On Birthday Jewelry

Roommie’s birthday was in March, so obviously, I had to make her jewelry!

The necklace is a variation on a super-simple design I dreamed up at some point last year.

Supplies:
6/0 seed beads (or other beads with similarly sized hole)
No. 2 nylon thread
2 jump rings
Clasp of choice
Size C crochet hook

Instructions:

  • String as many beads as you want to use on the thread.
  • Start crocheting a simple chain, leaving several inches of extra thread at the beginning.
  • Every few stitches, pull a bead up next to the hook and chain around it like it isn’t there.


  • Continue this process until the chain is some multiple of the length you want the necklace.  (If you want three strands, make the chain three times the length of the necklace, etc.)  Odd number is recommended, as it makes finishing easier.
  • Finish the chain, leaving several inches of extra thread when you cut it.
  • Now fold over the chain and string it between the two jump rings, like so:

    You can always make more than three strands with more turns between rings.
  • Take those nice long loose ends and use them to tie down the chains over the jump ring, like so:
    That’s a series of half-hitch knots I use to tie up the ends.  If you’ve ever made friendship bracelets or done any boating, you know what I’m talking about.
  • Pull the loose end back through the series of knots, trim it short and (carefully!) fuse it (but only if you’re using synthetic thread; natural fibers will not melt – just burn)


  • Attach your clasp of choice to the jump rings, and now you have a crocheted necklace!
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On Potholders

So a couple weeks ago, the Boy and I baked a batch of his killer chewy triple chocolate cookies.  The cookies were delicious, as always, but he managed to burn the crap out of his hands several times during the baking process because of a variety of potholder malfunctions.  I’ve been meaning to do something about his somewhat inadequate potholder situation for a while, so this week I did:

The yarn is I Love This Cotton – a Hobby Lobby staple, excellent to have around when Sugar N’ Cream just doesn’t have the colors you want.  Speaking of color; this is Aqua Ombre.  I used more or less exactly two skeins.

The pattern is this super-nifty Origami Hot Pad that makes a cool double-thick but seamless square.  I made a slight modification to the design to add the loop.  I just chained an additional 10 or 15 stitches after the first round to make the loop.  I also used two strands of yarn at a time when I made the smaller ones, so they would be extra thick.

It probably goes without saying that I found the pattern on Ravelry.

On Birthday Blankets

I have had this hankering to crochet a blanket lately.  I blame my mother.  She picked crochet back up around the time I was first learning, and now that she’s retired, has been turning out blankets and shawls at an alarming rate.  Unfortunately, I do not have a new home with lots of beds and rocking chairs to make throws for, and I already have an oversupply of blankets thanks to Mom’s t-shirt quilting binge last year.  I already had a more involved sewing project planned for my niece-to-be, and Mom already presented my brother and sister-in-law with a hand-made baby blanket at Christmas.  The nearest immediate family birthday is coming up soon, but is – you guessed it – my mother’s, and she needs another crocheted blanket like a pastry chef needs a cupcake.

But wouldn’t you know, my Aunt Pagie (yup – my namesake) has a mid-February birthday, and has had a pretty crazy year, so I thought she could do with a little extra birthday cheer in the form of a cozy lap blanket.  So I hit up the pattern library on Ravelry.com and stumbled across this wonderful tropical flower-y pattern, ideal for fighting off the Idaho winter.  February’s birthstone is Amethyst, so I naturally went to Hobby Lobby in search of soft, purple yarn.

Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered two particularly wonderful kinds of yarn for my crochet projects.  Yarn Bee makes a variegated wool blend called Snowflake that isn’t quite worsted weight, but it is unbelievably soft and warm, and comes in the most beautiful combinations of colors.  Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice yarns are my favorite all-purpose yarn.  They are super soft, don’t unravel, and I’ve been able to use them for everything from small amigurumi projects (size G hooks) to sweaters and blankets that call for a size J hook.  They seem to come in every color I could possibly want, so I picked up a purple, beige, and two blues (navy and sapphire) to go with the purple “Whimsy” Snowflake.*

Each flower uses three colors, so I mapped out a plan for a 5×5 arrangements of flowers, with the variegated yarn in every other flower, and no purple in the outermost row of any of the flowers along the edge of the blanket, because I then planned to make a trim row around that outer edge starting with purple.

As per the warning on Ravelry, the pattern is written in Australian terminology, so I may or may not have heavily modified the design, but I was quite happy with the finished product:

…as was Aunt Pagie.

*I promise I’m not in any way being compensated for all the brand name-dropping.  I just like what I like.