Happy Halloween

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New Way To Work Double Crochet

This actually isn’t new, but it might be new to you. It’s called a linked double crochet.

This stitch is for anyone who doesn’t like the gaps in between normal double crochet stitches but love how fast it works up (compared with the more dense single crochet).

Normal double crochet with gaps in between each stitch.
Normal double crochet with gaps in between each stitch.

The linked double crochet does exactly what it’s called. It links each previous double crochet with the next to create a completely closed (yet surprisingly thin) fabric.

Swatch of linked double crochet.
Swatch of linked double crochet.

As you can see in the photo above the linked double crochet is completely closed in between the stitches. The resulting fabric is just as tall as a normal swatch of double crochet and requires just a change in one step so it will work up just as fast as regular double crochet.

This stitch can be used wherever you would normally use double crochet but want a closed fabric. I don’t say denser fabric because the resulting fabric is about the same thickness as regular double crochet. This stitch pulls each of the double crochets apart to meet each other rather than bulking them up to close the gaps. It’s really a cool stitch that is under utilized.

Check out the video below on how to work it and lefties can click here to see their version.

 

 

 

 

Just Made It – New Motif of the Month

Wagon Wheel Motif
Wagon Wheel Motif

Even though there are only 4 days left in the month, this is the October Motif of the Month: Wagon Wheel Motif. This is a fun and fairly easy motif. The center ring uses a special stitch called a DC puff.

I not only show you how to do that special stitch  with the step-by-step video tutorial, but I also show you how to join new colors with a special technique that keeps you from having to use chain stitches at the beginning of your rounds.

You can click on the picture to go download the pattern and watch the video and if you’re left handed you can click here for your version.

New Free Pattern – Moss Stitch Beginner Cowl

So fast and so easy!
So fast and so easy!

I’ve finally got a new video up!

It’s a free pattern workshop for this super easy cowl. It uses a stitch pattern commonly called “moss stitch”. It’s extremely easy to make and great for a beginner crocheter. You can easily make it in a night or two and wear it this weekend.

Click here for right hand instructions and video, or here for left hand.

Weekend Project ~ Video Update

I keep promising that I will begin taping again soon, and it keeps getting pushed back. Well after this weekend’s project, I can now say I’m really ready to start taping again.

So what was this project and why did I need to complete it before I began taping?

Well, our new house was a sight unseen house (as most residences are when moving for the military), and thankfully we got super lucky and got a great house. However, there was one negative about the place — a previous owner kept cats in the “washroom” (I don’t know what else to call this strange but wonderful addition to the back of the house), and these cats sprayed all over it. My husband and I are really sensitive to that smell (as I’m sure many people are), so we needed to get rid of it so I could use it for my taping.

The floor is a garage coating over cement. So first we tried mopping with Lysol.

That only made the smell laugh and didn’t get rid of it at all.

Then we got some cat pee neutralizing spray (twice, the first time I accidentally Amazon shipped it to our old address).

We saturated the floor and let it dry for a couple of days as users of the spray suggested. After the few days, the scents mingled into a new more unpleasant smell. Still no good.

Next, we decided to make sure the cat spray was only in the washroom (there is a long playroom attached that is carpeted, maybe it was in there too and that is why the smell wouldn’t go away).

So we purchased the Nature’s Secret Weapon- Professional pet-dog-cat urine detector flashlight hoping it would actually work. It so did, it is actually an awesome product which is why I’m linking to it, in case you are having this same problem. It is totally worth the $20. I’m not trying to gross you out with the photo below. Just wanted to show anyone who wondered how it works. Note: Make sure your room is completely dark so you can really see where the spray is.

The bright neon green in the middle is cat spray.
The bright neon green in the middle is cat spray.

That was just one tiny spot in the room we found after using the light. The whole floor was actually covered in cat spray, but the playroom was completely free of it. Thank goodness!

So our next step was to mop the floor with straight bleach (with a little water to cut it).

That almost worked, but there were still some spots and smell left. What is cat spray made out of? That stuff is no joke!

So our very awesome landlord, who all along was very apologetic and willing to let us do anything to get rid of the smell agreed to pay for (and perform the task) of putting a new garage coating on the floor. We said we would try doing it as an easy weekend project, how hard could it be?

I’m sure you think because I said that, it was really hard, but actually it was as easy as painting a wall.

Here is the room before with the tan garage coating.
Here is the room before with the tan garage coating.

We used the BEHR Premium 1-gal. #PFC-68 Silver Gray 2-Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Kit and had the problem fixed in an afternoon.

Though this is for garages, this is an awesome flooring kit for any cement. This was another product that I had to share because it was so easy and worked so well. If I had seen this on a shelf, I would think it was the most difficult thing to try to do, but I was pleasantly surprised. It comes with a cleaner (that took the most time). You need to put it on the floor and then scrub it with a brush and then rinse it off. So you need a way to get the water out of the room, we have a door, but keep that in mind in case you are thinking of using this yourself.

Then you start painting. There is paint already in the bucket (that can be tinted at the paint counter if you want) and a quart of activator (remember this is epoxy, but water based so it’s not that stinky). You mix the two and start painting.

So easy a 7 year old can do it.
So easy a 7 year old can do it.

You can see the bucket next to my daughter. You can put your roller right in (it comes with a roller and brush in the kit) so you don’t actually need the tray that is next to the bucket. It also comes with the decorative flakes. So you paint and then sprinkle the flakes as you work (this felt particularly like putting sprinkles on a cupcake and was slightly addicting).

All painted and sprinkled.
All painted and sprinkled.

We painted it in under an hour (with sprinkles). I called this a weekend project, because you need to let it dry for 3 days. Or at least we weren’t able to drive a car on it for 3 days (remember it’s for garages), but you can technically walk on it after a day.

So now the smell is completely gone and I have a perfect room for video shooting (there is even a skylight, which is great for photos).

So now you know what the hold up was and soon you’ll see some new videos on the site. You hopefully might have also learned a few things about cat pee and garage coverings.

So you have any fun cat pee stories, or any great remedies for the smell that I haven’t mentioned above. Let us know below, I’m sure anyone like me will be happy for the advice.

 

 

Transforming Impractical Items Into Useful Tools #1: Souvenir Popcorn Bucket Yarn Holder

We really love Disneyland popcorn!
We really love Disneyland popcorn!

Here is my first in a series of using forgotten items around your house and transforming them into useful needlework tools.

Ever buy that souvenir bucket of popcorn, caramel corn, or whatever your favorite amusement park was hocking? As you can see, I have — a lot.

Though I do actually reuse these to hold the kid’s microwave popcorn, I found another way to use them — yarn holders.

The picture above shows how useful these buckets can be. I have stuffed the bottoms of them to show my balls of yarn for the picture’s sake, but these will easily hold a whole skein of balled, or non-balled up yarn.

The Disneyland buckets also come with reusable tops (not pictured) that snap into place. If you have a drill handy you can punch some holes in the center of those to run your tails through to make managing multiple colors a breeze. Just like the yarntainer below, these buckets will keep your yarn from rolling around your floor and give use to an otherwise forgotten souvenir.

This yarn container costs more than the bucket (with popcorn) and has no nostalgia attached to it.
This yarn container costs more than the bucket (with popcorn) and has no nostalgia attached to it.

So the next time you’re at Disneyland, put down the mouse ears that you’ll never wear outside of the park again and get something really useful — the souvenir popcorn bucket.

Just remember to wash it before you stick the yarn in it.

 

 

I Got 1st Place!!

Fair Isle Love Beanie
My entry: The Fair Isle Love Beanie

A little while back I mentioned that I had sent in my entry for the CGOA Design Competition with fingers crossed that I might place in the competition.

Well I can now show you what I entered (the beanie above) and I just found out that I won 1st place for the category that I entered it in (small accessory).

I am so excited and thankful to the CGOA for choosing my design.  You can check out all the winners here. There are some very talented crocheters out there and the other winners have some awesome entries. Congrats to all of them as well!

Now I’m off to planning what I want to make for next year (I’m thinking multiple entries this time).