#15 – Yet Another Blue and Green Ripple

Over the years I’ve crocheted many a blue and green ripple afghan:

2014 #33 – Coastal Chaos

574 CC full view2014 #17 – Spring Rain

547 S1-full view2014 #2 – Artic Chill

522 full view2013 #3 – Aquarium

392 Aquarium - flat2012 #42 – Mermaid

340 Mermaid - flat2011 #46 – Icy Blue Mint

172 icy blue mint2011 #30 – Cool Lime-Mint

#30 cool lime-mint2011 #27 – Little Blue Flowers

22 200H

2011 #10 – Inspired by a Beach Tote

53-#10 beach tote

and

2011 #5 – Blue and Green Scrappy.

Here is my latest. . .

Aquatic

645 aqm full view

with randomly placed one and two-row stripes

645 Aqm close-up

made from many, many blue and green scraps, plus Caron Wintuk ‘Cornflower’ from yarn fairy Sandi of MD and three partial skeins of white, including Red Heart’s sparkling White.

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A Party of Six

Five ladies came to the first Crochet Corner meeting; three knit and two crochet.

644 yarnball

The three knitters all got started on dishcloths; two are making Double Bumps, my personal favorite, while the third opted for a simple garter stitch square.

I left a few balls of cotton yarn behind in the Rec. Room because, although you can’t tell Helen’s impressive progress from this snapshot – lol –

644 Knit-blue

she got so many rows done I thought she might want to start another dishcloth before our next meeting. And this in spite of her having started over a couple of times and helped Diane with her cast on!

644 knit-purple

Notice those mismatched knitting needles? – one white plastic, one green aluminum. Amazing, really, considering the pile of ten-inch ones we have to pick from,

644 10'-needles

but that was the best I could do for a second set of #7s. Luckily, the last knitter to arrive happens to knit tightly and wanted #8s. – Seeing there are at least as many fourteen-inch needles unsorted in the vase, (upper left in photo) I can’t help but hope there are several sets of #7s. I wonder how difficult it would be for DH to shorten some of them? That’s probably easy compared to trying to reattach the endcaps. lol –

I came prepared with size P hook and Super Bulky yarn for the crocheter who is recovering from a stroke. It was very satisfying to help this woman begin to regain her ability to crochet; her every stitch felt like a triumph! I look forward to cheering her on as she progresses.

The second crocheter only wanted to make baby booties so, for this meeting at least, there was no use for all those easy-peasy crochet projects that I had worked so hard to prepare. lol.

I quickly found a bootie pattern on-line using my laptop and printed it by hand in a LARGE font.  – Love that the Rec. Room has Wi-Fi, but must find out where there’s printer. –

644 cro booties

Unfortunately, in a rush I didn’t proofread carefully enough. – groan – One particular line of instruction about 3/4s of the way into the pattern stumped all six of us. I did, eventually, come up with a way to fudge the number of stitches, but then, suddenly it seemed, it was time for dinner. Hard to believe that we had knit/crocheted for three hours!!

Now we’re left with a real cliffhanger. . .  cue dramatic organ music. . .

Will Nilda be able to successfully finish her first bootie by using my fudgy numbers? Will her second bootie match the first? or Will she even touch the hook or bootie before we meet? The suspense!! – Tune in again next week to find out the answers to these and other questions, like:  Will Mary, who missed our first meeting because of getting a perm, make it to our next? and With Ellen on vacation, will someone else remind the ladies that it’s Crochet Corner time?

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Not Just One

or two, but three boxes appeared on my porch the other day!

643 1-3boxes

I already knew a little about what was inside each; the littlest box held 3 two-year old blueberry plants, twigs really, that we ordered from Indiana Berry and Plant Co.

643 1b-twigs

– I’m excited to try a new variety, ‘Bonus’, because, to quote the catalog, “Its’ berries are the largest on the market, generally the size of a quarter or half-dollar”!! Can you imagine? Can’t wait to see if we get even one berry of that size this year.

And I knew that the other two boxes contained blankets that Karen of MA started for me. – I think that sounds better than saying “Karen’s unwanted UFOs”, don’t you? –

Box One had variegated granny squares.

643 1a-open

Lots of ’em!

643 2 - granny sqs

59 five-inch granny squares in all

with yarn enough to make a few more squares or a border.

643 3-bitsWhy, it’s like receiving a granny afghan kit – ready for assembly!

643 4-repacked

Time out for a little math; scribble, scribble, calculate, calculate. . .

If I lay out 54 of the squares in a 6 x 9 grid I’ll have a 33″ x 49.5″ blanket. If I add a couple of border rounds it will be about the same size as my kids’ ripples! Cool. Thanks Karen!

Box Two opens with the beginnings of a very pretty blanket

643 1-open

double-crocheted of two strands, one cream and one variegated. The variegated changes with each row.

643 2-scrapvrgtd

What a wonderful way to use up variegated scraps! I have a few of these same variegated yarns in my scrap box, but I don’t think mixing in some others will detract.

The next layer is a small section of a single-crochet ripple. Karen told me that she unraveled the rest of the blanket, one of her first, so I feel free to let DH unravel what remains.

643 3-ripple

She also sent the beginning of a second granny afghan

643 4-more sqswith plenty of coordinating yarns.

643 5-yarns for more sqs

And, tucked in a corner, I found a completely unrelated surprise of some mohair!

643 6-treat

So many projects, where shall I start?  The variegated granny is very near to being done, which makes me want to weave in the squares’ yarn tails right away.

Oh. My. Did you read what I just said?. . . “I want to weave in yarn tails?!” Am I running a fever or sumthin’?

It must be that working in tails doesn’t feel like as big a deal when someone else did all the work of crocheting the squares for me. Thanks again Karen!

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#14 – A Debut

It’s fun to design a ripple in a way that will show off a particular yarn, like the lovely lilac chenille that DH just finished unraveling from this large sweater I found at Savers.

635 XXXL chenilleNot only is this yarn lovely to look at, it’s also lovely to work with, gliding over my hook and adding a nice drape to the resulting fabric!

642 CC-in prog

Since I have one-and-a-half pounds of it, I decided that I could be generous and alternate single-rows of the lilac with double-rows of my other four colors, which are RHSS ‘Light Raspberry’, Caldor Sayelle ‘Baby Yellow’, an unknown lavender, and Caron Dazzleaire ‘Tiger Lily’ (the orange).

642 CC - close -upWhat a yummy mix!

Cotton Candy

642 CC-full

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Crochet Corner *

I mentioned to LA, friend that organizes monthly Bingo parties at a nearby nursing home, that I’d like to start a crochet group or class for the folks there. She immediately gave me the number of the head of the facility’s Rec. Dept., Ellen. The very next day we had a great chat and Ellen thought of three female residents who would probably be interested in crocheting with me, so already I feel like my idea is off to a good start! She also explained the volunteer application process, offered to be a reference, and gave me the number of Diane, the Director of Volunteer Services.

My interview with Diane isn’t for a couple more weeks, but Ellen and I decided to get together anyway to go over my ideas for beginner crochet projects. . .

to introduce the Crochet Chain with a Beaded Spring Garland – Ellen thinks the ladies may actually prefer to wear one as a necklace

641 beaded garland

Practice the Chain and Introduce Slip Stitch

with a cute little Daisy Bookmark

641 bookmark

Practice Chain and Slip Stitch with a Daisy Chain

641 daisy gchain

Notice how the colors in the daisy yarn coordinate with the beads on the first garland?

641 coordinating garlands

I thought these first three projects might be too simple/juvenile for my mature audience, but Ellen assured me that “her ladies” enjoy having silly fun – as proof, the beaded garland ‘necklace’. When I mentioned hanging samples of the two garlands somewhere she immediately pointed out a large whiteboard in the Rec Room. Perfect!

Next up – to Introduce and Practice Double Crochet on a Cotton Dishcloth

641 dishcloth

Working into a foundation chain can be difficult for a beginner, so I’m going to help them out by doing the foundation chain and first row, neither of which are necessary for a granny square, which will be our next project. . .

It can be pretty hard to get excited over making one little granny square.

641 1granny

I hope multi-square samples will give a better idea of the humble granny’s design potential. – What a difference a change in color of the lattice makes! –

641 2grannyI plan to make more granny samples: solid saltines, checkerboard in which the dark squares are scraps, a ‘giant’ granny, and the granny’s step-daughter; if time allowed I could do dozens!

I’ve also started thinking about appropriate granny projects, both small projects like purses, fingerless mitts, pillows, and hats, and larger ones like tote bags, baby blankets, and shawls. There are an incredible number of free patterns available for unique granny projects! I can’t wait to hear what the ladies are most interested in making. As for myself, I feel the need to make at least one Granny Square Kitty Cat!

It was wonderful to meet Ellen as well as a couple of the ladies that I’m likely to see again once the ‘Crochet Corner’ * opens for “business”.

While there I also sorted all the yarn in the Rec. Dept. storeroom. . .

wool and wool blends,

641 wool

fingering and sportweight acrylic,

641 fngrg and sport

and, my fave for both beginning crocheters and granny squares, worsted weight acrylic.

641 worsted weight

The sight of all that yarn got the attention of longtime knitter, Mary, who told me that before she moved into assisted living she used to knit every day. She would like to get started again with a dishcloth, and then do a baby hat or two, working her way up to making a warm scarf. Stowed away with the yarn are many knitting needles: long, short, circular and double-pointed, in a variety of sizes and you know that I’ve got dishcloth cotton to spare, so I see no reason why Mary won’t be able reestablish her daily knitting habit very soon! cool.

Ellen happened to mention that there once was a volunteer who crocheted seasonal pins for the ladies. I’m going to give it a try. As we all know, “April showers bring May flowers.”, so I’ve chosen three flower patterns to audition for next month’s pin: 1. Crochet Flowers and Leaves, 2. Rose and Leaf, and 3. Layered Ruffled Flower.

* Ellen came up with the name, ‘Crochet Corner’. Cute, eh?

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#13 – Sunglasses Required

I kept the order of colors, Yellow / Green / White / Navy / Teal, consistent throughout this week’s ripple:

640 PLAY close-up

and alternated between one and two-row wide stripes for all colors but the yellow and green, which are always 3-rows and 2-rows wide, respectively.

I did this partly to use up all I had of some yarns, but mostly because I really like this playful style.

Playful

640 PLAY full view

The specific yarns I used are: RHSS ‘Bright Yellow’, ‘Yellow’, ‘White’, and ‘Soft Navy’, an unknown peacock blue, a pretty teal chenille that DH and I unraveled from a thrifty sweater, and some of the RHSS ‘Spring Green’ from Chrissy of TX.

586 open box

Thanks again, Chrissy – just look at the FUN ripple you helped me to create!

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#12 – Still Thirsty

Making the yellow scrap ripple, ‘Lemonaide’, was so much fun,

629 LMN-close

I wanted to do a red one. Not having nearly enough red scraps, I included some orange, rose and peach ones, as well as a partial skein of RHSS ‘Cherry Red’.

639 PNCH close-up

Fruit Punch

639 PNCH full view

Maybe ‘Orangeade’ should be next.

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