Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Crochet Things....

         As promised on Twitter, I am getting up the post of latest crochet projects first, then I'll keep right on typing into the JANUARY TAG.  These blankets -and one stocking hat- are just the most recent ones I have completed. I have an album chock-full of all I've created in the last ten years. And while I really began as a pre-teen, the only two things I finished back then were a dozen crocheted Granny Squares, and a knitted scarf. I didn't even get the squares put together for what I began them in the first place; a wedding blanket for my Hope Chest. I did finish the knitted scarf, wore it, and promptly forgot HOW to knit. I was much more of a 'Tom Boy' and more interested in playing football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and swimming- all for the pure love of it, not competition. I 'zipped' through Home Ec classes, but whined to no end that girls were forced to sew and cook and only the boys got to take 'Shop'. The funny thing about that is, my Maternal Grandpa (who pretty-much raised me until my Step-Father married my Mother to become my DAD- for life) had me with him in his wood shop; building or rebuilding custom furniture and classic and antique cars (owning three of his prize-winners) practically every moment I spent with my Grpa & Grma. I grew up with a hammer in one hand and a nail in the other, knew how to run a power plane, already messed around with a lathe, and did most of my own sawing and sanding. Machines were Grandpa's specialty and if he couldn't FIND a part he needed for a car or any machine- he BUILT it. He was highly sought out by everyone for his talents. And my Dad loved being in that shop, too. He'd take me to visit my Grands, even though they weren't his real parents, and we'd 'tinker' in the shop .... aka; helping Grandpa (who didn't need our help at all). LOL 
              So, crochet was not really part of my 'Want To Do' List at all. The reason I ended up taking it back on was pretty simple; I was stuck in bed after complications from major surgery (Cervical Cancer caught early), and the trauma of all that sent my body into Rheumatoid Arthritis. The shock of this disease is that the onset of it is EXTREMELY PAINFUL and LENGTHY. A full year went by before this always active/biking/walking/running/yard-working/swimming/OCD w housework/school-volunteer perfecto Momma... you get the idea....could even get back up. And that was after being practically bed-ridden for two years from the surgery and REALLY out of it on meds. I have 3 Doctors, and one of them suggested "something like crochet to keep your hands from losing what you have left". It fit because I not only did it before, but alot of the ladies at church also did it- for Nursing Home Residents. So that was the start, and now I even have my own 'signature' blanket that I've made at least 20 of. I'd have to look in the album. I was smart getting started- I not only take a photo of every single blanket, but I also made my own patterns and kept all the papers I made those patterns on. I don't think I've ever followed ANY already-made pattern. And- you'll notice this- I don't do the usual crochet stitch. Instead, I do all double-stitch. The reason is fairly simple... it's easier on my hands, AND, as I found out early on.... it LASTS through really long, tough use by kids !!!! So making them has been an adventure in trying to make them as unique as every person they are made for.
You'll see....     :)

These 2 were made for Older Son's Fiance's 2 little Nephews. Most of their family is Navy or Marines (including Son's Fiance) and the American Flag is my 'signature' blanket. Most of the time, though, the colrs are in Primitive Americana colors (deep red, tan, and dark or light blue) which everyone seems to love as much as I do! This is the first time I've done lettering for the stars. I needed to be able for the boys to tell them apart (one is just a new baby) without having something on the blanket they could put into their mouth and choke on. So... A for Adam and C for Callen. And those babies are ADORABLE !!! The older looks exactly like our SON instead of his Fiance'... which means they are gonna produce some VERY CUTE Grandbabies for us....Someday!  


These are 2 of the Nursing Home lap blankets- the ones set aside for those who are Veterans. And we have many woman as well as men who served in our county! The lap blankets are only 30 rows, and mine tend to be tighter than most ppl do. But they are the perfect size for those who are in wheelchairs or now using a twin-sized bed again. And our church ladies try to make enough so that if someone is in need of a replacement for whatever reason; the homes have extra on hand (both for Veterans or civilain).

These are the backsides of the above blankets.

And here the Veteran blankets are tagged and ready to go.

The Tags I make for these are in another post. I generally like to make a bunch of them once a year- enough to last me all year long for whatever gift-giving comes up.

As you can see, there are other designs similar to the Veteran blankets... just in case others besides the Vets want to have a R,W,&B Americana blanket also. I don't want anyone to go without!

A wedding gift just recieved by the Bride (a Niece in our fam) via  mail from us. I did this larger in 10 rows each stripe, so the 2 Lovebirds can sit under it together. The yardstick gives you an idea how large this one is. Again....the stars in a heart is a fave of many, but this one gets 3 stars in the middle- stands for the 3 in a marriage (Husband, Wife, and JESUS). 

All the Flags are double-sided, save for the stars. I have done stars on both sides on just a few of the blankets- if they are for hanging. But usually noone wants loose yarns up against their skin.

Now this is where Tim Holtz comes in! This is the first time I have done this. Im the past, I have hammered out the date and initials onto a Tim Holtz IdeaOlogy Type Charm. I cannot get enough of all those IdeaOlogy items and use them all the time for tons of things! But lately, my hands have not been doing well on holding the metal stampers for hammering. So I got to thinking ....clickety-clickety-click!.....and came up with THIS using my computer,T H's  Distress Inks, and a Heart Charm. I am pleasantly happy with this and hope to keep using this idea if it holds out as well as the Type Charm has (coming up).

This is the full backside.

And after snipping all the ties from color-to-color, making the pattern for the stars, and securing the charm... it's ready to get mailed or given- however close or far it goes, and this particular one went down near Opelieka, Alabama. (Where Auburn U is.... and all the Tiger fans screaming "WAR EAGLE" while we shoutout "BOILER UP, BABY!!!" cause we're just brave like that. Yeah. Hahaha.. Purdue... we can put a man on the moon but have trouble getting that football across a little goal line, and a basketball into that basket. Hmph.)

Here's one that had me REALLY thinking. The Daddy and Mommy are both Firefighters, and they were expecting a... litter squirter (a boy, of course). The baby's room was already drowning in firetrucks, and I wanted to definitely keep that theme going. What ELSE would a Retired Fire Chief's Wife do?!?! So I came up with a plan for a Maltese Cross and made that first. Then got into the background and lettering.  

So here is where you see it's been all ragged out. (The ties from the color-to-color all cut out and tucked back in where needed.)

And the last part took the longest- sewing the Maltese Cross into the background TIGHTLY.  I actually thought about doing this on both sides, but it would have been too thick,. This way, they can use it to cover the bed,  hang it up, or actually USE it.  I mean..... FIREMEN, FireMOMMYS.... are gonna need alotta blankets for a busy baby boy! I know.... we had TWO!

The finished product. Hopefully, you can see the bends of the Maltese Cross.  The rows got a bit stretched apart as I went, so it looks kind of crooked here.  I was blocking it out on the table but took the photo before I'd forget to do it !

Here's the usual Tim Type Charm with the initials and birth on it. I like doing these because they KEEP SO WELL !!! I hope to find out that the other Heart Charm idea workds out just as nicely so I end up with a CHOICE now.

By now, you may have figured out that all the recipients are all COUSINS ! So they are all Neices and Nephews of ours. And YES- they have all either gotten married or had a baby in the last months of 2015, so this Crocheter has been kept busy while we haven't been able to be down South since... September?? Here - a personalized AUBURN University stadium blanket for the new happily-ever-after married couple. I was getting ready to rag it out. 

And here you see it finished except for the charm.

This one is another double-sided so it can be seen from back or front. I got the idea that if they are at an AU football game (which is VERY likely to happen in that side of the family), they'll be seen if it's on TV because their name will be right on top of their laps ! Or used to lay across the seats.

The edge is actually ORANGE, but my flash overdid itself here. Again, you can see I had a hard time pounding that Type Charm. This blanket was done just before the American Flag with the heart stars. So it was one reason I was trying to come up with another idea for tagging the blankets.

And here they are ready for mailing to ALABAMA !!!

This last item is explainable if you look at both pics. One year, I set out to make long stocking-type, old-fashioned hats for all of us for wearing over the CHRISTmas holidays. Everyone had theirs but for Older Son's Fiance'. Since I have pink, The ChiefHubby has red (both of us had to have our fave colors), the Ygr Purdue couple kids have (what ELSE?!) Black and Gold striped, and the Older FFCaptSon also had red. But I didn't get time last year to make his girl one. This year, he finally popped the Big Q in July and she said "YES"! So I felt like I'd best get my butt in gear and get one done this year. Hey....gimme a break. I DID get her Americana Flag stocking done last year, at least. So I'm not THAT far behind.... maybe. :)

            And now, I'd better get to that January Tag or else I'll be just skirting the deadline...
                       once again. *sigh* So much to craft; so little hours in the day. Hahha!
                      Thanks for taking the time to check in and read this post!
                                           Be Safe and Happy Blogging !

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