Thursday, December 31, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #24

Well well, here we are.  It's December 31st, 2015, the last day of the year.  Are you ready to close the book on 2015?  Ready or not, it's coming to a close.  I remember thinking last year how glad I was for the year to be over.  I had lost my mother and a baby that year.  And do you know I thought the same thing the year before after losing another baby.  Trials come, whether we are ready for them or not.  It makes me super sad to think of how glad I have been to say goodbye to the last few years.  Can I hope to make 2016 the best year ever?  Who knows what is coming our way, but does it really matter?  I have certainly learned that there are events that occur in life over which we have little to no control.  I can choose to more fully enjoy the gifts that am blessed with each day.  I can choose to alter my perspective to look for the silver lining in all things - regardless of whether they appear to be good or bad.  I am hoping that 2016 will be filled with sunshine and roses, but more than that I hope that I will be successful in seeing the sunshine and roses that undoubtedly will be there.

So here we are, on our last square of the project.  Do you have the other squares all finished?  No worries whether you do or do not, the patterns are there for whenever you get to them.  Here are the links to all of the other squares for this project : Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, and #20, # 21, and #22. and #23.  If you are a pinner, you can find them on pinterest here.  And I'd love for you to join me on facebook twitter, and instagram!

I'm calling square #24 my puff stitch combo square.  It doesn't have an official name that I know of, but it does have puff stitches combined with other stitches - so puff stitch combo sounds great to me :-)  Anywho, this is a fairly solid stitch pattern with lots of texture and interest.  I used it in the Harvest Poncho to add some fun color and texture.

Block #24 Puff Stitch Combo


Pattern

Special stitch
Puff Stitch:  (Yo, draw up a loop in designated stitch) 3 times.  Yo, pull through all 7 loops.

Note:
Begin this square with C.  Work 1 row with C, then work 2 rows with B.  Next work 2 rows with C.  Continue by alternating colors every 2 rows for remaining squares.  Do not cut the yarn when switching colors, just drop it and pick up the next color.

Foundation ch and Row 1:  Ch 30.  Sc in second ch from hook and in each remaining ch.  (29 sc) Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout).  *Skip 2 stitches.  (Puff stitch, ch 2, puff stitch) in next stitch.  Repeat from * until 2 stitches remain.  Skip one stitch.  Dc in last stitch.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 1.  Sc in first stitch.  *(Sc, dc, sc) in next ch-2 sp.  Repeat from * until all ch-2 spaces are worked.  Sc in top of turning ch.  Turn.
Row 4:  Ch 1.  Scblo in each stitch across.  (29 sc)  Turn.
Row 5:  Ch 1.  Sc in each sc.  Turn
Rows 6-24:  Repeat rows 2-5, ending with row 4.



In the next week or so I'll post tips on stitching the squares together and also post the pattern for the lovely border.  And - there will be another crochet-a-long afghan project for 2016.  I'll continue with 10 inch blocks since that's what we've been doing.  I like having a stack of 10 inch blocks around to put together for an whenever I need an afghan for something.

Much love to you crochet friends - enjoy the holiday we'll get to assembling our blocks soon!!!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #23

Well, I meant to have this posted a week ago.  So much for that!  I could list all my excuses, but I will spare you the details.  Most of us have pretty busy lives this time of year ;-)

So this square is our last solid square for this project.  Just one more to go and you'll have all 24 squares and we'll be ready to assemble the afghan!   Remember, you can go to the following links for all of the previous squares : Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, and #20, # 21, and #22.  They are on pinterest here.  And how about joining me on facebook and twitter too!

The stitch for this square is a 'cross stitch pattern'.  It is called this because one double crochet actually crosses over another one leaving an 'X' look to the stitch pattern.  This is a super versatile pattern that could be used in all sorts of things from scarves to blankets.  I used it in the placemat below in the pineapple motif since the little x's reminded me of the texture on a pineapple.

Perfect Pineapples Crochet Placemat pattern Taraduff 2015


Block #23 Cross Stitch


taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #23 Cross Stitch


Pattern

Foundation ch and row 1:  Ch 27.  Sc in second ch from hook and in each remaining ch.  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3.  Skip first stitch.  *Skip next stitch, dc in next st.  Working around dc just made, dc in skipped stitch.  Repeat from * across to last stitch.  Dc in last stitch.  Turn.
Rows 3-14:  Repeat row 2.
Row 15:  Ch 1.  Sc in each stitch across. (26 sc)  Fasten off and weave in ends.  
 
taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #23 Cross Stitch pattern close-up
Merry Christmas to you!  Here's wishing you time to relax and enjoy the season with your loved ones!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #22

Hi friends!  Did you have a stellar Thanksgiving?  Hopefully you got to have your very favorite kind of pie!  Besides crocheting - cooking is my other love.  So if you didn't, and want to come for a visit, let me know beforehand and I'll gladly whip up your favorite pie!  Mine happens to be apple - and I will readily admit I am a total apple pie snob.  I have yet to try an apple pie that I LOVE as much as my own.    I don't use a fancy recipe - seriously, just the basic apple pie recipe from Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens.  It's about the method.  A traditional well-made pastry crust (nice and flakey), and thinly sliced apples that meld together when cooked.  Yum!  Do you follow me on instagram?  I posted a picture the day before Thanksgiving of my beloved pie.  If only pictures captured divine aromas.......

Alright then.  We are on square # 22 my friends!  So close to being done and ready to assemble!!!  Wahoo!

 If you're just joining me, WELCOME!  Following are links to this crochet-a-long project and all of the previous squares : Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, and #20, and # 21.  Find them all on pinterest here.  And I'd love to have you follow me on facebook and twitter too to get updated when a new square pattern is published.

November's colorwork square is super interesting.  The stitches are very basic, single crochet and chain stitches are all that are used.  The result is fantastic though - lots of texture and interest when using various colors.  I love it in the Happy Homestead Christmas Stocking.

Happy Homestead Christmas Stocking designed by taraduff 2015

 Block #22 Jacob's Ladder

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #22 Jacob's Ladder

Foundation ch & row 1:  With B, ch 29.  Sc in second ch from hook and each remaining ch.  Turn.
Row 2, 3:  With B, Ch 1.  Sc in each sc. (28 sc).  Turn.
Row 4:  With B, ch 1.  Sc in first 4 sc.  **Ch 12.  Sc in next 4 sc.  Repeat from * across until 4 stitches remain.  Ch 12.  Sc in next 4 sc.  Turn.
Rows 5-7:  With B, repeat row 2. (Keep chain loops to the back when working row 4)
Row 8:  With A, repeat row 4.
Rows 9-11:  With A, repeat row 2. 
Rows 12-31:  Repeat rows 4-11 ending with row 7.
Before moving on to row 32, chain loops together by pulling each loop through the one below.
Row 32:  Continuing with B, ch 1.  Sc in first 4 sc.  *Inserting hook in next ch-12 loop, sc in next sc (this secures the cable loop chain in place).  Sc in next 3 sc.  Repeat from * until 4 stitches remain.  Inserting hook in next ch-12 loop, sc in next sc.  Sc in last 3 sc.  Turn.
Rows 33-36:  With B, repeat row 2.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #22 Jacob's Ladder close-up of stitch pattern
If you find the part following row 31 confusing where you chain the loops together, here is a photo from a Christmas stocking with part of the chains looped together that might be helpful.
Above photo shows chain loops being looped together.  Take bottom loop and pull it through the loop just above.  Continue this process until all loops are looped together and only the top loops are loose.  Row32 secures the top loops in place.
Only two more squares to go!  And I've been thinking long and hard about a 2016 CAL (crochet-a-long) project.  I would love to hear from you!  What things would you like to learn?  Please comment below! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #21

This month has been much better than last thank goodness!  I did get good news, and am now on my way to rebuilding my health.  Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.  They have been so helpful and appreciated!

The weather's turned cold here, and I find myself by the fireplace curled up with my hook and some lovely yarn whenever I can.  It is that time of year - time to get working on holiday gifts, or just something warm and cozy to suit the weather.

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  It's not too late to start!  Click on the links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, and #20.  You can find them all on pinterest here. And follow me on facebook and twitter too for updates when a new square pattern is published.

November's solid square features a 'slant stitch' pattern.  Slanted lines are created by skipping a stitch, making a few double crochet stitches and then making a double crochet stitch back into the skipped stitch working over the just made stitches.  This creates a slanted line across the group of stitches which is where it gets it's name.  It's featured in the Willow Flats Convertible Scarf.  The rows of slant stitch are the small black stripes in between the blue stripes in this particular scarf.  If you look at the photo, you can see the slanted lines in those rows.


Willow Flats Convertible Scarf modeled by Mitch, taraduff 2015



Willow Flats Convertible Scarf taraduff 2015

Block #21 Slant Stitch

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #21 Slant Stitch
Foundation ch and row 1:  Ch 29.  Sc in second ch from hook and in each remaining chain. (28 sc)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3.  Skip first sc.  Dc in next sc.  *Skip next sc, dc in next 3 sc, yarn over, insert hook in skipped sc and draw up a loop even with hook, (yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice.  Repeat from * across.  Dc in last 2 sc.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 1, sc in each stitch across.  (28 sc)  Turn.
Rows 4-19:  Repeat rows 2 & 3 ending with row 2.  Fasten off and weave in ends.
taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #21 Slant Stitch close-up of stitch pattern
If you need a super easy scrumptious pie to whip up for your upcoming Thanksgiving feast, try my favorite chocolate pie.  I've assigned it to my 14 yr old son this year, so we'll see how he does! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #20

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.  Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.  All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty together again.

I feel like this little rhyme describes me at the moment.  Completely broken.  I had a very disappointing dr's appt yesterday.  I get to go back next week and hopefully make a little more progress, but we shall see.  I always knew the system was broken, but I had been lucky enough to stay out of it for the most part.  They unfortunately got me caught in the 'medical (full of interventions) machine' now, and I'm stuck until it spits me out to see what's left of me for ME to put back together.

Next week, I am hoping for better news and at least some progress and prediction as to when this 'machine' is going to spit me out and I can salvage what's left and work on rebuilding my health.  I'm taking life one day at a time.  Something good is bound to happen today, and tomorrow, and the next day.  I'll be putting on my rose colored glasses looking for each one.

So, block #20!  Only 4 more blocks and you will have all 24 for your soon-to-be beautiful sampler afghan!

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18 and #19.  You can find links to all of them on pinterest here. And be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter to get updates when a new square pattern is posted.

October's second square is our colorwork square.  This is a super unique square in the way that it is worked.  Each row is a different color - but the rows are not worked back and forth as you would traditionally work rows.   One row is worked, then the loop dropped while another row is started with the second color working in the same direction.  Once that row is worked, then the new loop is dropped and the previously dropped loop picked up - then you turn and work the other direction.  It sounds confusing, but I promise it's actually pretty easy once you get it, and not many ends to work in since you aren't cutting the yarn after each color change.  And I do love this stitch pattern.  Here it is in the Oxford Shells Fingerless gloves.
Oxford Shells Fingerless Gloves by taraduff 2015

Block #20 Interlaced Shells

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #20 Interlaced Shells Square
Worked with A and B. Pay attention to color changes. When dropping a color, always pull up a long loop so as not to lose it. After the foundation row, you do not turn at the end of every row.   Please see the photos below the pattern for further help if this isn't making sense.

Foundation ch and Row 1: With A, ch 34. Work 2 dc in 4th ch from hook. *Skip next 2 ch. Sc in next ch. Skip next 2 ch.** 5 dc in next ch. Repeat from * across ending last repeat at **. Make 3 dc in last ch, do not turn. Pull up long loop and drop A.
Row 2: Moving back to opposite end, with B, sc in top of beginning ch-3. *Ch 2. *(Yo, draw up a loop in next st, yo, draw through 2 loops) 5 times. Yo, draw through 6 loops on hook (cluster made). Ch 2. Sc in next dc.** Ch 2. Repeat from * across ending last repeat at **. Pull up long loop and drop B. Turn.
Row 3: Pick up A. Ch 3 (counts as first dc). Make 2 dc in first sc. *Sc in next cluster.** 5 dc in next sc. Repeat from * across ending last repeat at **.    Make 3 dc in last sc. Pull up long loop and drop A. Do not turn.
Row 4: Moving back to opposite end, with B, Ch 3. Sc in top of beginning ch-3. *Ch 2. *(Yo, draw up a loop in next st, yo, draw through 2 loops) 5 times. Yo, draw through 6 loops on hook (cluster made). Ch 2. Sc in next dc.** Ch 2. Repeat from * across ending last repeat at **. Pull up long loop and drop B. Turn.
Rows 5-17: Repeat rows 3 and 4, ending with 3. Fasten off both A and B and weave in ends.

Please note that the pictures below were worked left-handed.  The concept of how to work the rows is the same - but your loop and end will be on the opposite side if you are working it right-handed.  Please comment or message me if you run into questions.  I can work up one right handed and get pics for you if needs be.  You are all smart cookies though, but let me know if you need further help on this!
After completing row 1 it should look something like this (this is left handed, so if you are crocheting right, just picture it going in the opposite direction).  Drop the loop and pull it long.

Row 2 is worked by attaching color B to the opposite end of long loop and working in the same direction as row 1.  This photo shows the piece with row 1 and some of row 2 worked. 

At the end of row 2, drop the loop and pull it long.  Then pick up the loop with color A from the end of row 1 and begin row 3 by turning and working in the opposite direction.

This shows the piece with rows 1-3 completed and row 4 partially done.  The color and row changes will continue on in this manner to the end of the block.

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #20 Interlaced Shells close up of stitch pattern
Til we meet again!  Much love to you crochet friends!  Wishing you bliss until the next post!



Friday, October 16, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #19

October is now upon us.  Time to plan the Halloween costumes and carve the pumpkins!  I am super glad to have September over.  My son's surgery went so much better than we had hoped, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the good thoughts and wishes and prayers.  It was wonderful to have some great news, we certainly needed it!  And he's back up and running and ready to roll!  I'm still a work in progress, but I guess I must be content with that for now.  I've been to see so many Dr's and specialists in the last little while.  It's never comforting to hear how anxious they are to see you, but although they've heard of what you have, they've never actually treated anyone with it before.  But that's alright, I have too many blessings to stay focused on the current challenges.

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, and #18.  You can find links to all of them on pinterest here. And be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter to get updates when a new square pattern is posted.

October's first square is our solid square.  This is a lacy square with those 'holes' that are so associated with crochet pieces.  Now we now that crochet comes in all sorts of fun forms - solid, lacy, thick, thin - but the traditionally thought of crochet is the more holey granny square type of crochet.  This stitch pattern fits that classic idea with the nice texture and holes.  I probably would not use it for a pair of mittens or socks where I wanted great warmth and coverage - but for a scarf, vest or sweater it would work great.  If you like fine yarns or thread - this is perfect for a lacey skirt or shawl.  In the Shenandoah Scoodie it is featured in the body of the scarf.  This is one of my favorite Sunday scarves for my girl when the weather gets a bit nippy.
Shenandoah Scoodie crochet hooded scarf pattern
 Block #19

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #19 Lacey Square

Block #19 Lacy Square

Foundation Ch row 1:  Ch 32.  Sc in second ch from hook.  Sc in next ch.  Ch 3, skip 3 ch.  (Sc in next 3 ch, ch 3, skip 3 ch) across.  Sc in last 2 ch.  Turn.
Row 2: Ch 1.  Sc in first sc.  (Skip 1 sc, 5 dc in next ch-3 sp, skip 1 sc, sc in next sc) across.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 3.  Skip 2 stitches.  Sc in next 3 dc.  (Ch 3, skip next 3 stitches, sc in next 3 dc) across.  Ch 2.  Skip 1 stitch, sc in last sc.
Row 4:  Ch 2, turn.  skip 1 sc, 3 dc in ch-2 space.  Skip 1 sc, sc in next sc (skip 1 sc, 5 dc in next ch-3 space, skip 1 sc, sc in next sc) across.  Make 3 dc in last ch-3 sp.  Turn.
Row 5:   Ch 1, sc in first 2 dc.  (Ch 3, skip 3 stitches, sc in next 3 dc) across.  Ch 3, skip 3 stitches, sc in last 2 stitches.
Rows 6 -21:  Repeat rows 2-5 four more times.
taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #19 Lacey Square close-up of stitch pattern
Shenandoah Scoodie crochet hooded scarf pattern
One last picture to share, my sunshine girl LOVES small animals.   Elephants are a favorite.  She had to be sure I was getting her little elephant 'Peanut' in some of the photos. 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #18

Well, I finally got a diagnosis of what was causing some of the health issues I've had going on.  They tell me I have a super rare 'disease' going on that occurs in 1 in 200,000 people.  It's called retroperitoneal fibrosis.  So - if you or someone you know has this - I'd love to chat!  I'm going to try the recommended treatment for it and hope and pray for the best.  This is one time that I'm not sure I love being so unique! 

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, & #15, #16, #17.  You can find links to all of them on pinterest here. And be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter to get updates when a new square pattern is posted.

For September's colorwork square - we are doing a mitered square.  This mitered square is done in a single crochet stitch and makes a solid fabric.  If you do a mitered square search on pinterest, you'll find lots of fun possibilities.  Grovers Corners Afghan is just one example of what you can make with mitered squares.
Grovers Corners Afghan by Taraduff 2015

 Block #18
taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #18 Mitered Square

 Block #18 Mitered Square


Begin this square with C. Work 2 rows with C, then work 2 rows with B. Continue in this manner for entire square. Do not cut the yarn when switching colors, just drop it and pick up the next color.

Special stitch

sc3tog (single crochet 3 together):  [Insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, pull loop through stitch] 3 times (4 loops on hook). Yarn over and draw yarn through all 4 loops on hook.
 

Pattern

Foundation Ch: Ch 56:
Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and in next 25 ch. Sc3tog over next 3 ch. Sc in last 26 ch. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in first 25 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 25 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 3: Sc in first 24 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 24 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 4: Sc in first 23 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 23 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 5: Sc in each sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 6: Sc in first 22 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 22 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 7: Sc in first 21 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 21 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 8: Sc in first 20 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 20 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 9: Sc in first 19 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 19 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 10: Repeat row 5.
Row 11: Sc in first 18 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 18 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 12: Sc in first 17 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 17 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 13: Sc in first 16 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 16 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 14: Sc in first 15 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 15 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 15: Repeat row 5.
Row 16: Sc in first 14 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 14 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 17: Sc in first 13 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 13 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 18: Sc in first 12 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 12 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 19: Sc in first 11 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 11 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 20: Repeat row 5.
Row 21: Sc in first 10 sc. Sc3tog over next 3 sc. Sc in last 10 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 22: Sc in first 9 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 9 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 23: Sc in first 8 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 8 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 24: Sc in first 7 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 7 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 25: Repeat row 5.
Row 26: Sc in first 6 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 6 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 27: Sc in first 5 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 5 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 28: Sc in first 4 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 4 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 29: Sc in first 3 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 3 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 30: Repeat row 5.
Row 31: Sc in first 2 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 2 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 32: Sc in first 1 sc.  Sc3tog over next 3 sc.  Sc in last 1 sc.  Ch 1, turn.
Row 33: Sc3tog over last 3 sc. Fasten off and weave in ends.

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #18 Mitered Square close-up of stitch pattern
Well, I'm off to the hospital now with one of my children.  I'm praying that next month is less eventful for us, we could use some down time to enjoy life more.  Enjoy making your mitered square! (This is actually one of my very favorite blocks of the whole afghan!)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #17

Life has so much beauty, but sometimes things just don't go as expected.  Hard things happen.  I remember delivering my stillborn babies, trying to make sense of what had just happened.  I remember finally accepting the fact that my beautiful daughter had autism spectrum disorder and trying to sort out what that would mean for her and our future.   I remember when my mother died unexpectedly....   After each of those experiences, I just wasn't the same person as before.  I became someone new.  I remember a well-meaning relative asking when I was going to get back to my happy energetic self a month or two after burying our sweet Daisy.  I eventually found a new rhythm, a new 'normal' if you will.  I found ways to work through my emotions.  I can't go back to being who I was before, the person she wanted me to be just didn't exist anymore.

Without going into detail, I will say that this month has brought new trials for my little family.  We are still in the trenches of this one sorting it all out - doing our best to trust that all will be well when we come out the other end.  Sometimes things I find myself facing just don't make sense and I long to go back to who I was long ago.  I often listen to my favorite Miranda Lambert Song, 'The House That Built Me'.  This so eloquently captures how I, and I think all of us feel at times.



I know I started this post on a serious note.  I really do believe it's important to keep things real.  We often just see the idyllic photos and posts friends share on their facebook walls.  If you're like me, I have to remind myself not to compare - and to recognize that there are other things happening in those people's lives that are not being shared.  We all go through trials in one form or another.  It's just a part of the journey.  

Wherever you find yourself,  I wish for you to have support and love through whatever trial you might be facing.  Take time to do whatever makes you happy, whatever you do to take care of you!

Alright then, back to the regularly scheduled (albeit a few days late) post!

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, & #15, #16  You can find links to all of them on pinterest here. And be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter to get updates when a new square pattern is posted.

Our first square for September is our solid square.  The stitch pattern incorporates an offset cluster stitch into a background of simple double crochet stitches.  The offset cluster is a new concept from other things we've done on this project.  The stitch is a pretty basic cluster stitch - but it is done by working around the post of the last double crochet stitch giving it a sideways look making it stand out from the more common cluster stitches.  The Deer Valley Cowl features this stitch pattern in a chunky yarn made with an extra large hook.
Deer Valley Cowl by taraduff 2015
Block #17

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #17 Offset Clusters

Block #17 Offset Clusters


offset cluster stitch: offset cluster: (Yo, insert hook around post of last dc worked, yo and pull up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook ) 5 times, Yo and draw through all 6 loops on hook.

Foundation ch and row 1:  Ch 27.  Dc in fourth ch from hook and in each ch across (25 dc)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3 (counts as dc in this and all other rows).  Skip first stitch.  Dc in next stitch, ch 1, skip next stitch, dc in next stitch.  Work offset cluster.  *Ch 1, skip next stitch, dc in next 3 dc, ch 1, skip next stitch, dc in next stitch.  Work offset cluster.  Repeat from * across to last 3 stitches.  ch 1, skip next dc.  Dc in last dc, dc in top of beginning ch-3.  Turn
Row 3:  Ch 3.  Skip first stitch.  Dc in next stitch.  Dc in first ch-1 space.  Dc in top of offset cluster.  Dc in ch-1 space. *Dc in next 3 dc, dc in next ch-1 space.  Dc in top of offset luster, dc in next ch-1 space.    Repeat from * across to last 2 stitches.  Dc in last 2 stitches.  (25 dc) Turn.
Row 4-14: Repeat rows 2 and 3, ending with row 2.

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #17 Offset Clusters
So, tell me what you do to take care of you?  I sometimes forget how important taking care of myself really is.  I am working on doing better in that department :-)


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Taraduff's 2015 CAL Sampler Afghan Square #16

August hasn't gone at all like I'd planned.  I went on a little educational trip at the beginning of the month - and when I returned home, I ended up so sick!  I literally spent 2 wks of August in bed very ill.  I couldn't even crochet I was that sick :-(  But it has helped me be a little more greatful for the health that I typically enjoy.  I am a more greatful for being able to care for my husband and children each day.  I'm greatful for being able to get up and care for myself.  There are so many things I seem to have taken for granted until I could no longer do them!  I'm reminded of my mother - she often thought I tried to do too much.  She thought I should slow down and enjoy life a bit more with all of it's wonder.  I think she was right.

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5, Square #6, Square #7, Square #8, Square #9, and Square #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, & #15.  You can find links to all of them on pinterest here. And be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter to get updates when a new square pattern is posted.

The second square for August is our colorwork square.  It's a wave pattern.  There is some similarity to the chevron pattern in that the stripes move up and down and aren't straight, but the stripes actually go thick and thin across the piece.  It's one of my favorite colorwork patterns.  There are lots of ways to do the striping.  My favorite involves changing colors each row - having all the single crochet rows in one color.  That seems to define the waves more how I like it.  Once you become familiar with this stitch - you'll see lots of variations on how it can be done.  I like it in this baby blanket, especially since there are no ends to weave in.  You knot the ends on each side and have a cute finished fringe edging with little effort.

Easy Finish Reversible Baby Blanket by Taraduff
So I have to put in a disclaimer here for this square.  This square has lots and lots of ends to weave in.  If you hate weaving ends in with a passion, then I would recommend changing up the way you do the stripes.  Simply do more than one row in a color and carry the ends up the sides as you go, like we have done on past squares.  I do prefer this one switching colors every row, so I think it's worth weaving in all those ends on this one square.  This is your blanket though - and I highly recommend doing it however you like, and if those ends are going to drive you crazy - change the stripes and don't think another thing about it!

Block #16

taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #16 Waves

Block #16 Waves

With A, chain 28
Row 1:  Sc in second ch from hook and each remaining ch.  (27 sc) (Switch to C in last sc)  Ch 1, turn.  (Fasten off A)
Row 2:  Sc in first stitch.  *Hdc in next stitch.  Dc in next 3 stitches.  Hdc in next stitch.  Sc in next 3 stitches.  Repeat from * 2 more times.  Hdc in next stitch.  Dc in last stitch. (Switch to A in last sc.) (Fasten off C.) Ch 1, turn.
Row 3:  Sc in each stitch across. (27 sc) (Switch to B in last sc). (Fasten off) Ch 3, turn.
Row 4:  Skipping first stitch, *hdc in next stitch.  Sc in next 3 stitches.  Hdc in next stitch.  Dc in next 3 stitches.  Repeat from * 2 more times.  Hdc in next stitch.  Sc in last stitch.  (Switch to A in last dc)  (Fasten off)  Ch 1, turn.
Row 5:  Work as for row 3 only switch to C in last sc.
Rows 6-27:  Repeat rows 2-5 ending with row 3.
taraduff's 2015 CAL sampler afghan square #16 Waves 

Remember to take time to enjoy life and all the things you love!