Repurposed Bath Towel Blanket

When I was in high school, with my first car, okay a small truck, I had an “always prepared” bag behind the seat. The bag contained a coat, snow gloves, a blanket, a bathing suit, sun block, and a towel. Not exactly the same “always prepared” that I would think of today, but at the time you never knew what plans might arise for after school (especially if I had a day off work). It might be a trip to the mountains to play in the snow, or it could be a day at the river…really depends on the season and the weather, but I was prepared.

Well, several years have gone by since then, but I still attempt to keep “prepared” kit in my vehicle…no longer my cute little truck that I would take 4 wheeling, but my much more practical Subaru Outback…I still refuse to admit it might be a station wagon. My kit now has some granola bars, napkins and wet wipes, a flashlight, and I still have a blanket. I find that this blanket has many good uses, and can even still fit in some spontaneity, like a quick picnic in the park, or what is more likely a fast food dinner during archery practice. The blanket also helps when the kids are tired, or someone is cold. It covers the seats when the dog goes to the vet, or is rolled into a ball to give the driver some more support for resting their arm on the console.

Repurposed bath towel blanket. Www.lindadeancrochet.com

Repurposed Bath Towel blanket

This blanket has been replaced over the years, and one way I like to feel that I have a blanket that is really a second life is to make one. When bath towels wear out, become a bit thread barren, or simply have too many holes, I cut them into squares. As long as the squares are the same size, that is all that matters. I then crochet an edge around the squares. I then join all the squares together, I could sew or seem them, but I prefer to crochet them together. I find that the terry cloth a nice fabric for a blanket of the necessity, but just be mindful of ensuring that you slightly roll the edge of the fabric when crocheting the edge around it, this helps to reduce the initial fraying.

Give it a try next time you have a towel that has seen better days, and create your own blanket to be prepared with.

Pinwheel Blanket- A Work of Many Ideas

The Pinwheel Blanket is one that takes a little different approach then I usually do; it is comprised of small motifs that make a larger motif, then joined together. I will admit, I usually think a little more simplistic, I have a motif and that motif gets joined to other motifs, so making a motif out of motifs…well that is like an ah ha moment.

Pinwheel Blanket www.lindadeancrochet.com

Pinwheel Blanket Crochet Now Issue 10

I did not make this realization on my own, I had help. I often believe the best designs come out of a collaboration, ideas always grow when you listen to others…sometimes for the better, like this one. I had worked the smaller motifs together, mostly to see how they looked joined together as I think the join point creates a really interesting effect. It was the editor of Crochet Now that mentioned that the block created looked great just as they were and should be treated like motifs, this allows the join point to become a highlight.

This collaboration has opened my eyes to many different attachment and joining, sometimes it just takes a different view to open up a new world.

So about Pinwheel Blanket, the initial small motif is only comprised of three rounds, so it works up quickly. It grew from a flower, and I feel it has a floral feel. It is at the join point that I see the pinwheel, with a feeling of the whirly-gigs I have seen in the garden. So I guess in a sense this throw has a garden feel for me. With flowers and whirly-gigs it does have an outdoor feel, and even the colors are bright like flowers.

Each small motif is joined to create a square that is the bordered with a main color and joined to other squares, this creates a patchwork and rustic charm while in keeping with garden feel. This is a great project that can be worked as a portable, take on the go and create a fabulous blanket. Check this design in Issue 10 of Crochet Now.

Cartwheeling Filigree Wrap- Great Things Come to Those that Wait

ScannedImageSome ideas are all about timing. Cartwheeling Filigree fits this description.

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Cartwheeling Filigree Wrap Photo courtesy Annie’s

This triangle motif wrap design was envisioned a few years ago. I loved how the motif had a very floral feel, it felt so feminine. The triangle allowed me to have the “flowers” staggered, and share an openness that gives a very spring like attribute.

When I originally put this design together, the editors loved it, but it wasn’t quite the fit for the magazine issue they were creating. This happened more than once, and waiting was its best thing that could have happened as it allowed Cartwheeling Filigree to grace the pages of the 15th Anniversary Edition of Crochet! Magazine (the Spring 2017 issue). In the world of current publishing 15 years is a long time, and anniversary issues attempt to make a special splash of all the favorites over the years as well as classics, so it is an honor to be included with all the other fabulous designs.

m22166_sc_small2This wrap can have a very different feel if a yarn is used. It is featured in Spud & Chloe Stripey Fine yarn, it is a superfine (fingering) weight yarn that is comprised of superwash wool and silk. The wool gives it a little “springiness” and a bit of body, if it 100% silk it would have a true luxury drape.

If you are looking for something a little larger and heavier, you can increase the yarn size and the hook size to create a piece that can add warmth as well as style. While working this same design with thread can create a very enticing table cloth. Working in a solid color also presents a more classic feel.

This design has a simplicity to it that allows it to be much more than it initially appears. I hope it inspires you see how wonderful simple can be.

Shining Shells Throw becomes a Star

ScannedImageSo, I have stated before that I really do not like to sew things together, well I also do not like to weave in ends. I do not think that I am alone in this. However that does not mean that I do not enjoy motifs.

I know it can sound a little bit of an oxymoron, as motifs usually mean sewing, and usually mean many ends to weave, but they allow for little subtle art pieces in a sense. They add a completely different movement in a sense, especially to throws. The classic throw or afghan, is very practical, full of purpose, and yet a handmade piece of art. People put quits on display, yet often many afghans can have their own beauty.

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Shining Shells Throw Autumn 210 Crochet! Magazine Photo courtesy Annie’s

My latest design in the Autumn 2016 issue of Crochet! Magazine features a solid color motif throw. Shining Shells Throw, is worked in a solid color, worked join as you go, so that you have a minimal number of ends to weave and no sewing, all while offering a unique twist of shells. Essentially each motif is worked with you thinking that it is square, then the final round, you shift everything to turn it on point as a diamond. This definitely gives an interest in working the motifs, while adding a visual interest. The negative spaces created between the motifs add a nice lacy feel, yet do not distract from the overall feel of the piece. A modest edging ties everything together, allowing this throw to hold a place of interest in any place you put it, living room to bedroom, hammock to sofa.

Cover8The solid color also gives you the opportunity to really enjoy the way the stitches come together, the simple color leaves a bold statement, that may have been lost if it dancing in colors.

Crochet Knees

ScannedImageIf you have read my blog for a while you may have realized that I am a little, let’s see, what’s the word…ah yes, thrifty. So in the spirit of thirstiness, I have been attempting to get some more life out of blue jeans my children run wild in.

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One knee mended, one more to go. Crochet patches tend to have more stretch

I am not sure if something has changed in the manufacturing over time, but the knees on their pants tend to split open in a relatively short period of time. Maybe it is the tree climbing, the running, or the playing in dirt that my kids still do within our rural lifestyle, but it seems that they are hard on their clothes. So of course that means that we have “good” clothes and “play” clothes. However when the knees get bad enough that they can stick a leg threw, I find a way to mend them to get a little more time out of them.

Sure I could cut them and make them shorts, but trust me they have an abundance of those. I have used fabric patches, but they do not tend to last as long as I would like, tearing out and just becoming flaps over the open knees. So I have taken to making my own, with crochet.

I crochet a few motifs, different shapes like flowers, and different colors. My kids enjoy coming up with ideas for me to crochet into patches, and the stitches seem to allow the fabric to stretch more and thus do not wear out as quickly as the fabric patches. I then pin them in place and reluctantly sew. I say reluctantly as sewing is not my number one favorite skill, but at least this way I get to enjoy some crochet in the chore.

I keep telling them that it is a new fashion statement, who knows maybe it will be. I just really hope that they are not tearing out the knees so that they can keep up with this “new” fashion.