Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Double Crochet Squares #21 & 22

November has certainly been eventful!  Saying the election season has been interesting would be an understatement.  Plus, my little girl had her first dance recital!  This was a big deal for me too (like last month's piano recital).  We tried ballet with her a couple of years ago, but it just wasn't the right place/atmosphere for her.  I was delighted to find a creative dance class for special needs kids that has truly more than exceeded my expectations.  Plus - Thanksgiving!  Still working on the leftover turkey here, which I think is going to end up in the freezer for later use.  It sure was yummy though!

With November's squares, we are going back to the basics.  And by basics, I mean very basic.  This is a simple double crochet square.  I did add some flowers as embellishment when they were finished, but this is optional.  You could have plain double crochet squares, double crochet squares with multi-color yarn, or use a few yarns and make them striped!  We often don't give this humble stitch enough credit in the crochet world.  I worked up this Amazing One-Stitch Afghan with only chain and double crochet stitches.  This stitch is truly versatile if you put a little creativity into it!  (Be sure to notice the sweet pug photobombing the pic, she follows me everywhere!)
Amazing One-Stitch Afghan taraduff 2016
Double Crochet Square #21

Double Crochet Square #20



Double Crochet Square #22

Double Crochet Square #21

Pattern

Foundation Chain:  Chain 34
Row 1:  Dc in fourth ch from hook and in each ch across.  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc).  Skip first dc, dc in each remaining stitch to end of row.  (32 dc)
Rows 3-19:  Repeat row 2.

Flower Embellishment
small flower
Begin with magic loop.  Make 8 sc into magic loop.  Sl st to beginning sc to join.
Row 2:  *Ch 2, sl st in next stitch.  Repeat to end of round.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

large flower
Ch 6.  Sl st to beginning ch to join.
Row 1:  Ch 3 (counts as dc).  Make 15 dc in ring. (16 dc)  Sl st to top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Row 3:  *Ch 8.  Skip one stitch, sl st to next stitch.  Repeat from * 7 times.  (8 petals formed)

Row 4:  Ch 1.  Make 12 sc in each ch-8 sp.  Sl st to beginning sc to join.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

To assemble, simply stitch the small flower to the center of the large flower and stitch to your squares.


Enjoy!!!



Monday, October 31, 2016

Italian Motif Squares #19 & 20

My sweet 9 yr old with autism spectrum disorder had her first piano recital last week!  This was a big deal for me.  She did a great job on her piece, and I think she really enjoyed it.  She just started taking lessons about a month and a half ago - so this is all new for us.

I was out with my husband yesterday, and as we were finishing up dinner, we talked about what it's like to be a special needs parent.  We feel separated from most of society.  That may not make much sense if you don't fall into the special needs parent category, but if you do - I expect you will more than understand.  We have different concerns that we deal with on a daily basis.  We often have different responsibilities than the average parent.  There are extra expenses - and often less ability to earn since we are home caring for our child.   The achievements that make us super excited for our children seem insignificant to the parent of typical child.   

My point being - this piano recital, it really was a big deal!  It was such a happy thing for this mommy to witness.  I had wanted to start her in piano lessons years ago - but  the few teachers that I talked to discouraged it - and I knew I couldn't trust just anyone with this little angel.  I was lucky enough to find a teacher who is a trained music therapist and has taught children with autism before.   A most happy moment for us! 

This month's squares come from what is commonly know as an Italian square motif.  It's in the family of granny squares - although not a traditional granny.  It has a lovely cross formed with a strategic placement of puff stitches.  I used it in my sweet nostalgia poncho along the bottom to add some interest to the chevron pattern.  If you look closely in the leaves - you even get to see our sweet little pug named Waddles.  She blends into the scenery quite well!  

Sweet Nostalgia poncho taraduff 2016


Italian Motif Square #19

Italian Motif Square #19


Italian Motif Square #20
Italian Motif Square #20

Pattern  

Begin with magic loop.  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), make 11 dc in ring.  Sl st to top of ch 3 to join.  (12 dc)
Row 2:  Ch 3.  3 strand puff stitch in same stitch as sl st from previous rnd.  Ch 1.  (4 strand puff stitch in next dc, ch 1) twice.  Ch 4. *(4 strand puff stitch in next dc, ch 1) 3 times.  Ch 4.    Repeat from * 2 times.  Sl st to top of first puff stitch to join.  
Row 3:  Sl st in first ch-1 sp.  Ch 3.  3 strand puff stitch in same ch-1 sp, ch 1.   4 strand puff stitch in next ch-1 sp.  Ch 2.  Make 5 dc in ch-4 sp.  Ch 2.  *(4 strand puff stitch in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) twice.  Ch 2.  Make 5 dc in ch-4 sp. Ch 2.    Repeat from * twice.  sl st to top of puff stitch.
Row 4:  Sl st in first ch-1 sp.  Ch 3.  3 strand puff stitch in same ch-1 sp.  *Ch 3.  Skip puff stitch and ch-2 sp, *(dc in dc, ch 1) 2 times.  Dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc ch 1 in next dc.  (dc in dc, ch 1) 2 times.  Ch 2.  Skip ch-2 sp and puff stitch.  **4 strand puff stitch in ch-1 sp.  Repeat from * 3 times ending last repeat at **.  Sl st to top of puff stitch to join.  
Row 5:  Sl st in first ch-3 sp.  Ch 3 (counts as first dc) Make 2 dc in ch-2 sp.  *Dc in next 6 dc.  Make 3 dc in next dc.  Dc in next 6 dc.**  (Make 3 dc in next ch-2 sp) twice.  Repeat from * 3 times ending last repeat at   Make 3 dc in next ch-2 sp.  Sl st to top of beginning ch 3 to join.  
Row 6:  Ch 3.  Dc in each dc, making 3 dc in each corner stitch.  Sl st to top of beginning ch 3 to join.  
Rows 7-9:  Repeat row 6.

Variation:  Use color A for row 1, color B for 2-4, and color C for 5-9.

I hope you all had a lovely October!  I'm afraid I overdid it on the sweets - so I may be paying for it tomorrow LOL!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Popsicle Spike Stitch Squares #17 & 18

September - I don't even know what to say about it.  We had good and exciting things happen, but we also were touched by tragedy and so much sadness....  A friend of one of my children took his own life.  The boy was 15 yrs old.  This has been such a shock to all of us, especially my son.  We have felt powerless to help him as he wades through the grief and confusion of the situation.  We don't know really know why - there are a lot of questions.  And it has made my husband and I as parents hold our kids tighter and try harder to connect with them - to understand what they are struggling with and feeling.  This seemed to come as a total shock for the young man's family.  I pray that they might somehow, somewhere find peace and comfort.

So, getting on with things, this month's squares feature a fun version of a spike stitch.  It's called the popsicle spike stitch.  It reminds me of stained glass when the right colors are used.  It makes a tight, sturdy fabric.  I used it in the Jubilee Christmas Stocking.  We like our Christmas stockings stuffed rather full - so this was the perfect stitch to use.
Jubilee Christmas Stocking taraduff 2016
Popsicle Spike Square #17
Popsicle Spike Square #17
Popsicle Spike Square #18


Popsicle Spike Square #18

Pattern

Color changes:  Work rows 1, 4, 5, 8 & 9 in main color.  All other rows are worked with another color.  In square #17, I used only two yarns, a solid color as the main color and a multi-color self-patterning yarn as the second color.  On square #16, I used a main color and alternated two colors for the other stripes. 

Special Stitch 
Lsc:  Insert hook into next stitch 3 rows below and pull up a loop.  Yo and pull through both loops.

Foundation Ch & Row 1:  Ch 35.  Sc in second ch from hook and in each remaining ch.  (34 sc)  Change colors.  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 1.  Sc in each stitch across.
Row 3:  Repeat row 2.  Change colors at end of row.
Row 4:  Ch 1.  Sc in first stitch.  *Lsc over next 2 stitches.  Sc in next 4 stitches.  Repeat from * to last 3 stitches.  Lsc over next 2 stitches.  Sc in last stitch.  Turn.
Row 5:  Repeat row 2.  Change colors at end of row.
Rows 6,7:  Repeat row 2.  Change colors and end of row 7.
Row 8:  Ch 1.  Sc in first 4 stitches.  *Lsc over next 2 stitches.  Sc in next 4 stitches.  Repeat from * to end of row.  Turn.
Row 9:  Repeat row 2.  Change colors at end of row.
Row 10 - 49:  Repeat rows 2-9.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Bow Tie Squares #15 & 16

This summer truly seemed like a whirlwind going by dotted with vacation, camps, visitors,  and lots of zucchini!  I'm not doing well at keeping up on the zucchini part, but seem to have made it through the rest.  I did find a recipe that my family really likes to use up some of the harvest.  Just in case you need it, here's a link to the yummy zucchini cupcake recipe.  My lunch today was zucchini and snow peas sautéed in bacon drippings.  I've still got so much though, I'll be looking to give some away.  I always hate to see fresh garden produce go to waste.

So, Augusts's squares feature a bow tie stitch pattern.  The base of the square is made of simple single crochet.  Some chain spaces are added in with a single crochet stitching them all together to make the 'bow tie' look.  It's a fun little stitch pattern that can be added to a basic project to change it up a bit.  I put it in these fingerless gloves just on the front side.
Symphony Fingerless Gloves by taraduff 2016
Square #15 Bow Ties
taraduff cal 2016 bow tie square #15
Square #16 Bow Tie Stripe
taraduff cal 2016 bow tie stripe square #16

Pattern

Foundation Ch: Ch 40
Row 1:  Sc in second ch from hook and in each remaining ch.  (39 sc) Turn.
Row 2:  Sc in first 3 sc.  *Ch 7.  Skip next 7 sc.  Sc in next 6 sc.  Repeat from * one time.  Ch 7.  Skip next 7 sc.  Sc in last 3 sc.  Turn.
Row 3:  Sc in first 3 sc.  *Ch 7.  Skip next ch-7 sp.  Sc in next 6 sc.  Repeat from * one time.  Ch 7.  Skip next ch-7 sp.  Sc in last 3 sc.  Turn.
Row 4:  Repeat row 3.
Row 5:  Sc in first 3 sc.  *Ch 3.  Make 1 sc over all 3 ch-7 spaces from previous 3 rows, ch 3 (bow tie made).  Sc in next 6 sc.  Repeat from * one time.  Ch 3.  make 1 sc over all 3 ch-7 spaces from previous 3 rows, ch 3 (bow tie made).  Sc in last 3 sc.  Turn.
Row 6:  Sc in first 3 sc.  *Ch 7.  Skip next bow tie.  Sc in next 6 sc.  Repeat from * one time.  Ch 7, skip next bow tie.  Sc in last 3 sc.  Turn.
Rows 7-38:  Repeat rows 3-6.
Row 39:  Sc in first 3 sc.  *Sc in each ch.  Sc in each sc.  Repeat from * to end of row.  (39 sc)


For striped variation, use 2 colors, referred to as A (black in the photo) and B (gold in the photo) 
Color changes noted below.
A: Foundation Ch, Row 1.
B: Rows 2-4
A: Row 5
B: Row 6
B: Row 39

I hope you've had a lovely summer!  

XOXO
-Taralee

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Triangle Lace Squares #13 & 14


Hi friends!  July has been HOT!  I am grateful for air-conditioning!  I think our sweet little pug is too.   They have a harder time cooling off than most dogs since they have the smushed in noses.  We have to wait until it's later in the evening and has cooled off some to take her out for walks.  It's been a nice addition to our summer though, both Syd and Waddles (the pug) seem to enjoy it.

Add caption


July's squares feature a triangle lace stitch pattern.  This is one of the more unique stitch patterns out of all of the blocks this year.  It's not particularly challenging, but pay close attention to the beginnings and endings of rows 5 & 6.  In the picture below, triangle lace is combined with a basic trellis stitch in the Saffron Lace Infinity Scarf.

Saffron Lace Infinity Scarf designed by taraduff 2016

Square #13 Triangle Lace Square
Square #14 Striped Triangle Lace Square

Pattern

Ch 36.
Row 1:  Sc in second ch from hook and in each remaining ch.  (35 sc) Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 1.  Sc in each sc across.
Row 3:  Repeat row 2.
Row 4:  Ch 1.  Sc in first 2 sc.  *Skip next 3 sc, ch 3, sc in next sc.  Repeat from * until 1 sc remains.  Sc in last sc.  Turn.
Row 5: Ch 2.  Skip first 2 sc.  Sl st in next ch-3 sp.  *Ch 3, dc in next sc, ch 1, work 3 sc around the post of dc just made, sl st in next ch-3 loop.  Repeat from * across to last ch-3 loop.  Ch 3, dc in next sc, work 3 sc around the post of dc just made, sl st in last sc, turn.
Row 6: Ch 4.  *Sc in next ch-3 loop, ch 3.  Repeat from * across.  Make 2 dc in ch-2 sp.  Turn. (Beginning ch 4, 8 sc, 8 ch-3 sp, 2 dc)
Row 7:  Ch 1.  Sc in first 2 dc.  *Ch 3, skip next ch-3 sp, sc in next sc.  Repeat from * across.  Sc in last ch-4 sp.  Turn.
Row 8:  Ch 1.  Sc in first 2 sc.  *Make 3 sc in ch-3 sp, sc in next sc.  Repeat from * to end of row.  Sc in last sc.  (35 sc) Turn.

Repeat rows 2-8 three times.  
Repeat row 2 two times.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

For striped variation, use color A for rows 1-3.  Use color B for rows 4-7.  Use color A for row 8.


XOXO - Taralee

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Granny Squares 11 & 12

Well my friends, June is practically over.  This post is well overdue, but I do have some rather good excuses for being late on this one.

Excuse #1: Family trip to Maui.
My awesome kids on the beach in Maui June 2016
My sweet parents-in-law took their whole family (kids, grandkids, etc) to Maui to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  It was a great time with lots of beaches and much needed relaxation.

 Excuse #2: New puppy.
8 week old pug puppy named Waddles
Would you look at that face?  Well, I never in a million years thought I would be getting a house pet (my mother didn't like them, and admittedly I am not the best housekeeper) - but we did.  After some deliberation with an old friend (my daughter's aide from a few years back when she was in kindergarten - who is now a dog trainer), we concluded to get a family dog.  The intent is to train her as a therapy and service dog for my girl.  She wanders occasionally - and although the family cat does sometimes follow her around the neighborhood, we can train the dog to actually alert us when she is going and help us find her.  I have never owned a dog - so I went to the library last week and checked out a whole stack of books on dogs.  I still don't know what I'm doing, but am happy to report that so far she has gone to the bathroom outside only and doesn't bark or whine much at all.  Beyond that, I have no idea what I am doing.  I think our friend will come to visit sometime next week to give us some tips and instruction on what to do.

Ok, moving on to business!

The basic granny square.  This was truly one of the first things I learned to make when I started crocheting as a child.  My sweet step-grandmother that lived next door taught me to crochet.  I would visit her in the evening (my grandfather had passed on years before, so she was alone) and while she watched her evening soaps (Dallas and Dynasty) I would work on my crochet skills.  We made granny squares out of all of her scraps and odds and ends.  I am definitely fond of granny squares - especially the traditional ones.  Square #11 is the most basic granny square.  You can make it all the same color - or change colors on some of the rounds as is often done.  Square #12 is a definite twist on the traditional granny square, I call it a diagonal granny.  It uses two colors, but instead of switching the colors on certain rounds, it's actually worked back and forth turning at the end of each round if that makes sense.  Below is a picture of one pattern that combines these two squares.  The possibilities are absolutely endless - just check out google or pinterest for half-triangle square quilts for some fantastic inspiration.
Granny Star Afghan by taraduff 2016

Square #11
Square #12 Diagonal Granny


Pattern

Ch 4, sl st to beginning ch to make a ring.
Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (counts as dc in this and all other rnds).  Make 2 dc in ring.  *Ch 3.  Make 3 dc in ring.  Repeat from * 2 times. Ch 1.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 2:  Ch 3.  *Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 3:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 4:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *(Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 5:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *(Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 3 times. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) three times.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 6:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *(Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 4 times. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 4 times.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 7:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *(Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 5 times. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 5 times.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 8:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *(Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 6 times. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 6 times.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.
Rnd 9:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  *(Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 7 times. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Repeat from * 2 times.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 7 times.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.

Diagonal Two Tone Granny
Note - when changing colors, do not cut previous color, just drop the previous color and pick up the new color.  Turn at the end of each rnd to work the next rnd in the opposite direction.

With A, ch 4, sl st to beginning ch to make a ring.
Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (counts as dc in this and all other rnds).  Make 2 dc in ring.  *Ch 3.  Make 3 dc in ring.  Ch 3.  Switch to color B.  With B, 3 dc in ring, ch 3, 3 dc in ring, ch 1, hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.  Turn to work Rnd 2 in opposite direction.
Rnd 2:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 3) in next ch-3 sp.  Pick up color A.  With A, make 3 dc in same ch-3 sp. Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch sp, ch 1.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.  Turn to work Rnd 3 in opposite direction.
Rnd 3: Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp.  Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 3) in next ch-3 sp.  Pick up color B.  With B, make 3 dc in same ch-3 sp. Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp.  Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.  Turn to work Rnd 4 in opposite direction.
Rnd 4:  Ch 3.  Make 2 dc around post of hdc from previous rnd.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice.  Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 3) in next ch-3 sp.  Pick up color A.  With A, make 3 dc in same ch-3 sp. (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice.  Ch 1.  (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp.  (Ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice.  Ch 1, (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch sp.  Hdc in top of beginning ch 3 to join.  Turn to work Rnd 5 in opposite direction.

Continue working in this manner until square measures 10 inches.

I'm just getting an email list going - so if you'd like to sign up for a 20% off discount code for my Etsy shop, visit http://eepurl.com/bYEGUz

Have a lovely 4th of July!

XOXO  - Taralee

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Padded Clusters Squares 9 & 10

It's now May - we're almost halfway through the year already and I can hardly believe it.  I remember as a child thinking that time passed so slowly - but the older I get, the faster it seems to go by.

May's squares feature a stitch pattern called 'padded clusters'.  This is a fantastic stitch with lots of great texture and thickness.  Post stitches are the key in creating this stitch pattern.  It's a great option for anything where you need a thick and sturdy fabric.  Once you get this stitch pattern down, you could try it out in the Bonnie winter hat and Bonnie neckwarmer.
Bonnie Winter Bonnet and Neckwarmer

 Square #9 Padded Clusters (solid)
Padded Clusters square #9

Square #10 Padded Clusters (self-patterning yarn)
Padded Clusters Square #10

 Pattern


Foundation ch & row 1:  Ch 44.  Sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across.  (43 sc)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 2 ( counts as hdc now and throughout), skip first stitch, hdc in next stitch.  *Skip next stitch, sc in next stitch.  Skip next stitch,** 3 dc in next stitch.  Repeat from * across, anding last repeat at **.  Hdc in next stitch, hdc in top of turning ch.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 2, skip first stitch, hdc in next stitch.  *Make 3 fpdc around the post of next sc,** skip next stitch, sc in next dc.  Skip next stitch.  Repeat from * across, ending last repeat at **.  Hdc in next stitch, hdc in top of turning ch.  Turn.
Row 4:  Ch 2, skip first stitch.  Hdc in next stitch, *skip next stitch, sc in next dc.  Skip next stitch,** make 3 fpdc around the post of next sc.  Repeat from * across, ending last repeat at **.  Hdc in next stitch.  Hdc in top of turning ch.  Turn.
Rows 5-30:  Repeat rows 3 and 4.
Row 31:  Ch 1.  Sc in each stitch across.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Variation:  On block #10, I simply used a self-patterning yarn following the pattern above.