Category Archives: crochet

Treasures from “The Potholder Swap 2010!”

I feel like I’ve been stalking my mailman because I’m been SO excited to get my potholders from the Swap and last night they showed up on my doorstep!!

I could hardly wait to get inside the house to open up my precious and long awaited package and actually let out a little squeal as they fell out.  Here are the lovely crochet artists that made these beautiful potholders:  The Pansy:  Susann;  Red, White & Blue:  Affiknitty;  Blue & Brown Flower:  MaisyDay;  Hexagons:  HelloYarn;  Pink & Grey:  Buhnuh.  I feel liked I won the grand prize in this Swap!

So, Adrian, Maryse, Maritza, Stacie & Cheryl gathered last Saturday and they sorted through the 88 packages of potholders that literally came from all over the US and even some from Europe.  Let’s do some math — 88 packages + 5 sets from the organizers = 93 participants x 5 potholders per participant = 465 potholders!!  Wowzer!  There are pictures in the Potholder Swap 2010 Flickr group that show all the potholders in stacks covering the floors and tables in Adrian’s home, in fact go to the Potholder Swap 2010 Flickr group and follow the progress of the potholders being crocheted, the sorting process and then see the collections that each person received in return.  If you’re on Ravelry, go to the Potholder Swap 2010! thread and follow everyones thoughts and progress.


p.s.  Maryse has a great play by play of sorting the potholders on her blog bag’n’trash!


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Finished!! Potholder Swap 2010!

Finished!!  My potholders for the Potholder Swap 2010! are finally done, crocheted, ends woven in, wet blocked, and pictures taken, they’re ready to be packed up and mailed of to Massachusetts to be sorted and sent to their destinations around the country, or world.  Last year of the five potholders I received, two were from Europe!  I’ve been following the progress of the participates on both the Flickr group and the Ravelry group and have been impressed by all the patterns chosen and the color choices everyone has been making.  The Swap has also been a wonderful way for those that are new to crocheting.  I learned when I was in the 6th grade and made a matching lime green vest and tam (I wish I could find them and post a picture of them because they’re just day-glow bright), but I crochet only occasionally — knitting is my main addiction.  These round little projects have been so much fun to make and I believe that I’m going to have to make a couple of these colorways for myself.

Just as with knitting, the crochet potholders didn’t feel completely done until they were wet blocked.  I’m a firm believer in wet blocking — totally immersing the knit or crocheted fabric in water until it is thoroughly saturated, gently squeezing out any excess water, then laying it flat to dry, pinning if necessary to shape it correctly.  The picot edging had a tendency to curl up and the loop at the top wanted to twist a bit, so every picot, plus the loop was pinned in place while the potholder was wet.  Because it’s been raining here for days, I set up two fans to help with the drying (you can see the black fan in the upper right corner).  To me, spraying my crocheting or knitting with water only slightly affects the outer fibers and blocking with a steam iron only flattens the fibers like a pancake with no loft to the fibers.  Wet blocking gives a more finished look — things look “hand-made” not “home-made” — there’s an enormous difference.

So here’s the lowdown — I used the pattern called “Snail Shell” on page 158 from the book “Crochet Stitch Motifs” .  I used a size C crochet hook and Tahki Cotton Classic yarn.  Since I had a lot of crochet to do and was going to be using a fairly small hook, I decided to try Clover’s Soft Touch crochet hooks and am totally sold on them.  The body of the hook is plastic with an added rubbery cushion where your thumb rest, which is great because I have a tendency to clench my hook like a fiend!  FYI — I found mine on E-bay as a set of six for around $25, including shipping.

I’ll post the potholders I receive in return as soon as I get them!  I can’t wait!!!


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I’ve got yarn . . .

So I ordered 27 skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic yarn from WEBS this week and this tiny box arrived on my doorstep. There’s absolutely no way ALL my yarn could be in there, it must be half the order . . .

but low and behold, all my yarn is crammed in that box — ALL of it!!

Oh, life is good with LOTS of choices! The turquoise colors (on the right) are much greener in color, but you can still get the idea of the range of colors I’ve got to work with. I’m still looking for my pattern, though I think I’m getting closer. My plan is to start crocheting this weekend.


Filed under crochet, The Swap 2010!

Potholder Swap 2010!

1. Twister, 2. I Love the Green One. , 3. [04.06.09] flower parts, 4. 90/2009: Topflappen, 5. More potholders, 6. Potholders.. , 7. Shetland Potholder, 8. Fiestaware, 9. Catherine Wheel Hot Pad Back

The Swap is on! Last year I joined in a Potholder Swap – the rules were that each participant was to crochet five potholders, send them to the gracious organizer, Adrian, and in return five potholders would be sent back to you. I received five fabulous potholders, three from the USA, one from the Netherlands and one from Germany. There was a group formed on Flickr and everyone posted their progress — what type yarn, color combinations, patterns, choices and more choices. One wouldn’t think that the lowly potholder/hotpad could be so inspiring, but the imagination and energy poured into these little gems was wonderful. I was hope, hope, hoping that there would be another one this year, but I didn’t know if the organizers would feel up to the challenge again. Oh, me of little faith! This year Adrian will be joined by Maritza, Maryse, and Stacie to sort through the stacks of potholders whilst eating cheese and drinking Pimms (at least that’s how they did it last year).

Last week they announced that Potholder Swap 2010! was on and anyone was welcome to join in. The rules being that you must crochet 5 potholders and they must be on Adrians doorstep by March 27th. (go HERE and HERE for the low down on the rules) Groups on Ravelry and Flickr have been formed to answer questions and post progress.

So, I’ve pulled out my books, ordered a couple more and sent out an order for more DK weight cotton yarn than anyone one person should possess in a lifetime. Finding the “perfect” pattern is half the battle, so that’s first on my list. Here are a few of the free patterns that are in the running: Pretty Petals, Old-Fashioned Potholders, Wool Eater (the pattern is for an afghan and has been modified, it’s #2 in the picture mosaic), 10 Point Hotpad, Scalloped Potholder, Hot Stuff (sometimes called Squiggly) and Catherine’s Wheel (the pattern is for a scarf and has been modified, it’s #9 in the picture mosiac). Last year I made my potholders using a afghan square pattern from the book “200 Crochet Blocks” using pattern #189 as the front and pattern #157 as the back.

Egad!! Decisions! Decisions!! The clock is ticking and I need to choose a pattern . . .


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Giant Granny Afghan

The previous afghan I crocheted took me three years to complete. I didn’t work on it everyday, every week or even every month, but still, it took three years. **sigh** I had piles of yarn left over and I thought about throwing it all in a box and dropping it of at the nearest senior center. But then I decided to make another afghan, only this time it was going to be one giant square — no sewing endless squares together and weaving in the ends because I would crochet the ends in as I went. I was on a mission to prove to myself (and anyone else that was interested) that I wasn’t a total, horrible, miserable slug of a lazy crocheter! So I took on this challenge on December 6th and finished it December 20th! Woo! Hoo! Done in two weeks!

This was a great project to eat up all the left over yarn. I resolved when I started that I would NOT buy ANY yarn for this afghan, that when I ran out of a color I would just switch to a color in the same family, I mean I had a gigantic storage tub running over with several rainbows worth of colors. Grumble, best laid plans. By the time I got to the last three rows, the rounds chewed up massive amounts of yarn and I had to buy two skeins of yarn, one gold and one dark brown. I admit it, I had to pout for a couple of hours about that one, but, when all is said and done, I had only a measley little pile of yarn left — mission accomplished!

The pattern is the basic Granny Afghan crochet pattern that has been around forever and has been published and passed down in books and memories for decades. I found that many patterns used a set of three double crochets, but after some experimentation, I liked the way four triple crochets looked. I finished the edges with four rounds of single crochet and then final fifth round of a picot edging. The finished piece measure 70″x70″.

There are so many sources for this pattern and here are just a few: Basic Granny Square, Old Granny Afghan, and How to Make a Granny Square.

Okay, so while I was taking pictures to post, I turned my back for a second and Louis decided to curl up with my newly finished afghan. He can’t claim both of my afghans! (can he?)


Filed under Cardigan Welsh Corgi, crochet, dogs

We’ll See About That . . .

Hmmm, Louis seems to think that I crocheted my newly finished afghan for him!  The nerve!!!  I think we need to have a little talk.

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Filed under Cardigan Welsh Corgi, crochet, dogs

Finis — My Afghan is Finally Done

Last night I (FINALLY) finished my “Spectrum Afghan” and this morning I took the pictures to prove it. Okay, okay, I started it in 2006, have worked on it in between many other projects, but I picked it up this fall and was determined to finish it before the year 2009 ended. The final size is 80″x80″, big enough to fit on our king size bed. The “Spectrum Afghan” pattern was a free wrapper pattern (#LW1233) from Coats & Clark/ Red Heart and unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on their website. I’m usually an all natural fiber girl, but I used acrylic (gasp) for this project because I want to be able to throw it in the washer and dyer. I finished the edges with three rounds of single crochet and the final row with a single crochet and picot edge.It weighs a ton, but should keep us warm and cozy this winter.


Filed under crochet