Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tis the Season for Giving! Free Pattern

Hello All! I love this time of year. :) The Holiday Season is my favorite- I love all the cooking and decorating and the snow....I love it all! I woke up today seeing a beautiful white blanket of snow on the ground- it's still coming down- LOVE it.

As I said in my last post (over a month ago- geez....time flies....), I have been in a creative bent and finally have the time to sit and type up a very cute pattern to share. It's one of many coming down the pike. However.....before I get there, here's a rundown of the last month....

Each year for Halloween, my church holds a Hallelujah party for the kids- it's a safe place for the kids (and parents) to come and have fun and load up on tons of candy without having to knock on strangers' doors. My sis, hubby and I volunteered for the event. Being the creative sorts that we are, my sis and I made our costumes- it was so fun!

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum

For those of you not up on your Disney and Carroll characters, we were, of course, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Teehee! From the crocheted hats (created by yours truly- pattern coming soon), to the handmade skirts, we made it all. We have some matching red tights and black ballet flats to complete the ensemble. We wanted my hubby to dress as Alice to make our duo a trio, but no such luck. He can be such a party pooper sometimes.... Granted, he wasn't the only adult not dressed up for the a matter of fact, other than my sis and I, there were 4 other adults dressed up. Um....yeah. Turns out we were a hit and were recruited to do the puppet show for next year- something about us being creative and dramatic or some such nonsense...

I was out of town the first week of November for work- but I got to work on a travel bag that I'm super excited about- need to line it and then it'll be ready for it's debut. LOVE IT. Then, I had to prepare for my dad's visit for Thanksgiving. His b-day was that week, as well, so we had a blast. As I mentioned before, I used to do drywall finishing with my dad for 6 years when I was a kid. Painting was my area of expertise. Well, my dad offered to help us paint the entry way/foyer of our house. It took 2 days and 3 different colors, but it came out BEAUTIFULLY. It was great working with my dad again- sometimes it really is hard living so far from family.... *le sigh* This time of year makes me nostalgic.....

Ok, enough jibber jabber- on to the crochet!

I was going through a book of crochet stitches and came across one that really caught my eye. I thought it'd make a great scarf- and so it did! I found some Moda Dea Bamboo Wool in Boysenberry on clearance so I bought a ton and was waiting for the perfect inspiration to hit. When I found this stitch, I knew it was time to pull out that delicious yarn. It was great to work with and drapes really well! Here is Pinky LaRue (named by my sis- my mom used to call her that b/c she wore pink all the time).

Pinky LaRue scarf

At first I made it for me- but my sister wanted it. Then, one of my BFF's fell in love with it, so I made her an identical one. I have enough yarn left for another scarf- for ME- but have yet to make it. *sigh* Luckily it's a quick project- very easy pattern repeat. Here's a detail shot:

Pinky LaRue

If you continue the pattern repeat, you can make it into a shawl- here's Blackie LaRue Shawl:

Blackie LaRue shawl

And, here's the pattern!!

Pink LaRue Scarf or Blackie LaRue Shawl

Pink WW yarn- about 5oz for the scarf; ~ 14oz for the shawl.

Size 5 mm (U.S. H/8) crochet hook
Yarn or tapestry needle for finishing

Not important

Chain multiples of 7 + 1 to make longer if you wish.
Ch 3 counts as 1st dc

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

FPsc = Front Post Single Crochet (Insert hook from front to back to front again around the post of designated st, yo, draw yarn through, yo, draw yarn through 2 loops on hook.)

repeat instructions between asterisks as many times as directed


Chain 190.
Row 1: 1
sc in 2nd st from hook. 1 sc across. 189 sc. Chain 6. Turn.

Row 2: Dc in second
sc, dc in each of next 2 sc. *ch 4, skip next 4sc, dc in each of next 3 sc; rep from * across to last 3 sc, ch 2, skip next 2 sc, dc in next sc, turn.

Row 3: Ch 3, 3 dc in next ch-2 space. *Skip next dc,
FPsc around the post of next dc. Skip next dc. ** 7 dc in next ch-4 loop; rep from * across, ending last rep at **. 3 dc in ch-2 space of turning ch. dc in next ch of turning ch. Turn

Row 4: Ch 3; skip first 2 dc, *dc in next dc, ch 4, skip next 3 sts. Dc in next dc, skip next dc **. Dc in next dc, skip next dc; rep from * across, ending last rep at **. Dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Turn.

Row 5: Ch 1. FPsc around the post of the first dc. *skip next dc. 7dc in next ch-4 loop. Skip next dc**. FPsc around the post of next dc; rep from * across, ending last rep at **. Dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Turn.

Row 6: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2), skip first 2 sts. *dc in next dc, (skip next dc, dc in next dc) twice**. ch 4, skip next 3 sts; rep from * across, ending last rep at **. ch 2, skip next dc. dc in last sc. Turn.

Repeat rows 3-6 4-times for scarf; 18-times for shawl (or for width desired).

Last 2 rows: repeat row 3 & 4.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Copyright 2009 Gege Crochet. All rights reserved. Pattern available for personal use only- please don't sell it- that's just not cool. Please don't post this pattern anywhere- you can provide a link back to here, though.

As always, if you find a mistake with this pattern, please let me know!! Enjoy!!!

Pinky LaRue

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Allllive!

Soo, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Actually, I've been quite busy with some designs for scarves, hats, and bags. When I get an idea in my head, it's very difficult to let it go until I'm done with it. That being said, I've been on a huge creative bent recently and have 3 hat designs (including an awesome pixie hat- I've had that in mind for a loooong time), 2 or 3 scarves, and potentially 2 bags- all that I've been working on simultaneously. What? Moi? ADHD? Never! Now that I have a couple of them complete, I'll be posting pics soon.

Also, my sis and I are working on our costumes for next weekend- I soooo hope we'll be able to complete them in time! I did crochet some articles for those costumes, and that wasn't included in my tally above. Seriously, I've been all over the map!

Ok- back to my creative hovel. Pics and even *gasp!* patterns to come soon......

Friday, August 28, 2009


Sooo...this has been the longest I've gone between postings since I've started this here blog. It's also been the longest I've gone without crocheting- I haven't picked up my hooks in about a month!! I think the last time I crocheted was on the plane during my trip to LA. Yipes. I blame it all on my new job- it's sucking all of my precious crocheting time away. Well, can't blame it all on the job (although it is the prime reason).... another contributing factor is that I've been in training for a movie that I may be filming next year. It's a period piece chronicling the plight of the Cherokee Indians in the mid 1700's. I've been hitting the gym pretty hard and even started taking horseback riding lessons. (Other than trail rides here and there, I've not ridden since I was a kid!) So, my days look like this: Get up, go to work, work all day, go to the grocery store, make dinner, work out, go to sleep. Rinse and repeat.

Weekends have been filled with Youth Group stuff at church....and more working out. The really irritating thing is that, even though I'm working out like a mad woman, the scale isn't budging. Argh. Although, the good news is that my body is changing- even my hubby is noticing. :) There's nothing like a slap on the behind followed by an, "Ooh la la!" for motivation, let me tell ya. ;) I think I just need to tweak my eating pattern throughout the day. I think I may not be eating enough, quite honestly. Strange, I know, but if you eat too little while exercising a lot, your body can go into starvation mode and hold on to every calorie, which I think my body is doing right now. It is helpful being a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer for these sort of things; however, it also means that I don't have Jillian Michaels yelling at me to push myself to my limits...I need to keep myself motivated and push myself to work out which isn't always easy. The idea of seeing myself on a 50 foot screen in very little clothing, however, is VERY motivating.

Anyway, just wanted to let y'all know what's been going on in my neck of the woods. I'm crossing my fingers that this movie will go through- I truly am very excited about it! However, if it does, I will most likely have even less time to crochet.....but, we'll cry those tears when/if the time comes....

And to the gym....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Natural Gas Makes Everybody Smile

Ok- life is getting back to normal here. It was my first day back at work- I ended up having strep AND pink eye. Oh yeah- fun times.

Good news, though. I made a couple etsy treasuries- check them out if you can! I'm in with a great group of etsians- Collaborators in Cahoots. You'll be seeing more of their stuff on here- lots of creative minds in this group!

Also, my commercial for Washington Gas has just been posted- whoo hoo!

YAYAYAYAYAY!!! It's also on their website:

Betcha didn't know that Natural Gas could be so fun, huh? Then again, doesn't gas always make babies smile? Teehee!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

And we're baack!

W.O.W. This last month has been super intense- well, the last 6 weeks, really. I'm finally back from the Mission Trip with the Middle School Youth Group from my church (got back last night). We had an amazing time! However, after a week-long summer camp and now a week-long Mission Trip, I'm about middle schooled out. I slept 13 hours and had a 3.5 hr. nap today. Seriously- I was tired. My throat was sore and I was losing my voice on the trip...I thought it was just from lack of sleep and overuse from the 2 intense weeks with the youth group. However, all that sleep hasn't made an improvement and now my tonsils are swollen and I have a low grade fever. Argh.

My LA trip was brief but good. One of my friends out here grew up with a guy who is now a big shot casting director. She sent him my pics/info and he wanted to meet me. So, my flight was at 7am....I landed at 9:45am Pacific time, watched Transformers to waste some time, and then met with him at 3. It was surreal. This was a REAL casting director- where REAL Hollywood deals go down. I was the only actor in there and overheard their phone calls. "Did you get the email from Steven Segal?" "Have you called Charlie Sheen?" "Get Cheech on the phone." SERIOUSLY!!! It was crazy! I don't know if anything will come of it- I hope so, otherwise it was a waste of time and money, but it really was cool. After meeting with him, my flight home was at 9:45pm. I landed back home at 5:20am the next morning. Coast to coast to coast in 24 hours.

I've been going pretty much non-stop since our anniversary trip in May...Anniversary trip, AZ trip, Summer Camp, LA and back in 24 hours, and Mission Trip. So, now I'm back and things should get back to normal...whatever that may be....And now....I need a vacation.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oy Vey with the Puppies Already

Holy camole- this summer is going to go by in a blur. I was in AZ for a week- my sister-in-law just got married. It was great trip- absolutely beautiful wedding! However, the whole week was filled with social activities- a luncheon here, a dinner there, somewhere in there a wedding, oh, and more food sprinkled along the way. WHEW! If I didn't gain 5 pounds, I'll get checked for a tape worm. As the old adage goes, time does indeed fly when you're having fun- it would have been really nice if we could have spent some more time there with our family. I have great in-laws and we didn't get to spend much time alone with them. I also didn't get much crocheting done; however, I did finish 2 headbands- one for my sis and one for me.

Unfortunately, I won't get much crocheting completed in the next few weeks, either. I'm leaving again Sunday for Summer Camp with my church- I love being a camp counselor. I get to do all the camp stuff- ride horses, go swimming, play volleyball, etc., AND get to boss kids around! It's awesome. :) I'll be back for a week, with a day trip to LA thrown in the mix (seriously- I live on the east coast...I'm flying to LA in the morning, have a meeting at 3, then fly back that evening- YIPES!), then I'll be gone again on a mission trip for yet another week. It will be the middle of July by the time things start to get back to normal! (Yes, I did inform my new boss of these trips prior to beginning my job...they still wanted me to start ASAP, go fig.)

This lack of crocheting time is a little distressing for me....I received a commissioned order for a bag. I am loving this bag. I see it in my mind and cannot wait to bring it to life. I'm just awaiting the go-ahead with the order. I'm hoping it will come soon since they want it by a certain date and I know it'll take a while to complete. It'll be about a month before I can showcase it, but I'm really looking forward to it. :)

Also, for those of you who are awaiting my watermelon bag pattern, it'll be up on Saturday. These past 4 weeks have been so hectic for me- anniversary trip, mom in hospital, starting new job, wedding trip....I really am looking forward to the solace of my hooks and yarn. Especially since I have projects planned and can't wait to see them alive and well. :)

One good thing about the long flight to and from AZ....I got to read. WHOO HOO! My first love has always been books. Ever since I've been crocheting so hardcore this year (starting with the Mario Blanket), I've been neglecting my literary friends. I read Brisngr (any Eragon fans out there?) and I finally broke down and read Twilight. I know why there is such a huge female following. Why the heck didn't I marry a vampire?? I guess I was in a fantasy mood this week. I just bought New Moon...I'm kinda hooked. It's strange- I actually felt guilty I was cheating on my hooks and yarn. Maybe I've been reading too much fantasy.....

Alright....back to my regularly scheduled life....whatever that may be.....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Crazy couple of weeks

Well, good things happened: my hubby and I had a blast on our anniversary trip- it sure was nice to get away for a few days. But, the day we got back we had a family medical emergency, so for those of you waiting for my Felted Watermelon Bag pattern, I'm sorry for the delay. Things are settling back down now, which is good. Also since we've returned, I filmed another commercial, which was fun. I also started a new job, which is good, too. I'm back in the Nutrition business- I guess all those years slaving away at my degrees should be put to good use. I think I'm too ADHD to have just one job, though. Nah...I'm not too ADHD, I focus just- what is this crap on my shirt??

If you've read my profile "about me" info, you've seen that I tend to like to do a lot of stuff. You know what I'd LOVE to do??? Have my own Martha Stewart type show. I could combine the Nutrition, the training/teaching, the cooking, the crafting/crochet, AND the entertainment sides of me. It'd be PERFECT! I'd be the younger, nicer Martha Stewart- without the jail time! Sweet- get ABC on the line, stat!

Just a short check-in....I have to finish- seriously, what is this crap??

Thursday, May 21, 2009

3rd Time's the Charm- Etsy Treasury

This is great- a third Etsy Treasury. :) This time for my Watermelon bag.

I was listed by Sandy from Cape Cod Consignments- a fellow crocheter with lovely children items. Check her out at: Looking through her items, I must admit to having crochet envy.

Thank you Sandy!

(BTW- that was the first time I've done a screen cap using a Mac. Yay me! I never knew it was possible since there is no "Print Screen" button. For those of you fellow PC'ers who may want to know this sometime in the future, all you have to do is hold down the Apple key + shift + 3 to get a screen cap of the screen. If you want to get a cap of just a portion of the screen, hold down Apple + shift + 4 and your mouse will become a selector. Select what you want to capture and it will be saved on your desktop. This concludes the Geek Squad portion of GegeCrochet.)

This watermelon bag of mine has been getting lots-o-love. What has surprised me is that it's gotten more views and interest than the Marilyn bag. I am starting a new Watermelon Bag today and will be writing up the pattern- very excited about it! A friend of mine has commissioned one with a zipper, so that will be a new design feature- woot!

I'll be taking it with me to work on during our Anniversary trip beginning tomorrow. I didn't get to finish my travel bag- bummer! However, my sister-in-law is getting married in June, so, as God as my witness, I will never be hungry again! Err...I mean, I WILL have it finished by then. to my wool stash....I need to write a poem about it or something. I love my yarn- especially the wool. I need to take a picture of it to share the love. When I find a sale, I'm pretty darn ravenous. I think I'll change my name to Woolly Bully because I'll kick you in the teeth to get the wool before you do.

HAHA! Boy do I make myself laugh. :)

Woolly bully....woolly bully....woolly bully...woolly bully....woolly bully. Yeah- Watch it now- here it comes!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All right Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up

Ok peeps- here it is. The trailer you've all been waiting for! The cinematic masterpiece filled with love, deception, fear, and laughter....Lilly's Thorn!

Hee! Lilly's Thorn is the movie I filmed summer/fall 2008. I think it's just about finished with post production and will hopefully be hitting the film festival circuits. Will it be my big break??? Eh. No. But, it sure was fun to do! Even if I never do another film ever again, I feel content knowing I lived out this dream of mine and actually starred in a feature film. :)

Oh, yes- it also showcases some of my crochet work- the Lilly's Daisy Apron. :)

For more information, check out


SECOND Etsy Treasury!!!

YAY! Here is my second Etsy treasury- 2 in one week!!!

Thanks to Valerie's Essentials- check out her wonderful candles here:

Thank you Valerie!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Marilyn's Birthday Greetings

Ok- so, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. In between working on some new loverlies, I've been driving back and forth to Philly (3+ hour drive) for a photo shoot. Keep an eye out for the new Sesame Place advertisements- you might just see little ol' me. :) It was fun playing around with the kiddos and meeting the characters, but I do understand why they say to not work with animals or children. :)

My sister's birthday was last month and I had a glorious idea for her birthday present. She has a love for all things 1950's- particularly I Love Lucy, Elvis, and Marilyn. So, I went to the planning board, checked out my wool stash, and voila! This is what I came up with:

Marilyn blue

Isn't that gorgeous?!? That's not all, my friends- you can't have just one Warhol-esque Marilyn- you need at least two! Here's the other side:

Marilyn pink

I didn't want to give it to her, quite honestly. I LOVE IT AND I WANT IT! She absolutely adores it and has proudly worn it everywhere- she's a great billboard. :)

Birthday girl and Marilyn

I got the inspiration from Becky from beck's blog. If you haven't seen her stuff, you should- she's amazing!

This was the first time I felted Tunisian crochet- worked really well! It was also the first time I put a zipper in a purse:

Marilyn zipper

SQUEE! I had to figure out how to do it all by my lonesome, but I did it. I don't know if it's done the "correct" way, but it does work and actually came out decently. The lining is absolutely beautiful. It has a shiny silver backing to it that makes it shimmer. It also makes it a bear to hand sew!! Seriously- sewing those handles and the lining into the bag was probably the hardest thing I've done- I went through 2 needles! But, it was worth it- so gorgeous. :)

Here is a pre-felting pic so you can see just how big this sucker was:

Marilyn Pre Felt

Yeah. Freakin' huge.

The great thing about felting is that I didn't have to weave in the ends- I HATE doing that. So, the ends felt up, producing a rather disturbing image:

Marilyn wrong side Medusa

Yowza! I guess she is post menopausal and needs a Tweezy or something.... Possibly a nose hair trimmer, too....

Marilyn wrong side

HAHA! What? Moi? Juvenile??? Never!

My cat loves all things crocheted and felted, but was extremely fond of Marilyn:

Cool Cats

You can see the material with the silver backing in that pic, too. :)

I took this purse to the vendor party a week and a half ago- everyone loved it! I showcased some of my purses and scarves and made a couple sales! Yay! One lady bought a scarf and an Erin bag.

Erin Bag size perspective

The original was sold at auction for the Loudon Therapeutic Riding Foundation, so this was the second one I made.

This next project is one that I actually started on this last fall- it's a continuation of my love of watermelons. However, as I've said, when there is something wrong with one of my WIPs, I put it away until I can figure out what the heck it is. It could be because of a color combination that just isn't right or, for a purse, it could be that I haven't quite figured out how to finish it- wrong handles or lining or....something. That's what happened with this little guy....I wanted to finish it soooo bad, but....I just couldn't figure out what to do about the flap! Should I put a silver embellishment? Do I line it so the magnetic clasp doesn't show? WHAT DO I DO?? So, there it sat....for months. Until I had the utterly brilliant idea (or at least something I could live with!) of using a big black button- a ginormous watermelon seed, if you will. Ahhhh. Once I figured it out, I could bring it out of hiding at long last.


A lady who attended the vendor party loved it! She contacted me a few days after the party and ordered it off of Etsy- yay!!! She also ordered one of my scarves on commission in a color scheme I didn't have showcased. All browns- very pretty! Counting the Mom bag I sold to a lady at church, I've sold 4 bags (including the one donated to auction) in the last few weeks. YAYAYAYAY!!

So, there you have it! In between the various trips to Philly (including the one with my church a couple weeks ago), I've been working like a mad woman on my bags. My anniversary is this Friday, so my hubby and I are going on a small 5 day get-a-way- WOO HOO! I'm working on a travel bag design- hopefully it'll turn out well....and hopefully I'll finish it before our trip! It's another reallllly HUGE bag, but it's all pre-felting, so hopefully it'll be the size I'm hoping for once it's felted. Crossing my fingers!

My first Etsy Treasury!!!

WOOOOO HOOOO! My Nintendo Felted Koopa Coin purse was listed in Treasury West:

YAY! It's filled with Nintendo stuff. :)

Also, I had my first Etsy sale! YAY! It's a bag that I just listed- pics coming soon. Just wanted to get this out there now because I'm bursting with pride. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cackling with excitement

I've been working on a few purses and will finish lining 4 of them today and tomorrow. I'm soooo excited! A friend of mine from church ordered a Mom Bag- this is the third one I've made. The first one was for my mom, the second was for sale, but I ended up gifting it to my hubby's aunt who is retired in Spain- she LOVED it. So, this one was made on commission for my friend- it's been a huge hit with her circle of friends! Because of this, she's invited me to attend a vendor party tomorrow evening. I'll be showcasing my purses and scarves and am super excited!

Another friend from my church is involved with the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation, which holds an annual auction to benefit the society. My friend asked if I would like to donate a purse for the cause and I was more than happy to. She said that everyone oohed and ahhed over my bag and a few people asked if I do work on commission. I know my cards were handed out, so here's hoping something good will come out of it. :)

Ok, my pursing break is post will contain tons of pics from the bags I've been working on- one of which is my sister's b-day present. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I didn't get any crocheting completed this past week. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Even though that usually makes me go through a panic attack mode, this time I'm perfectly cool with it. My husband and I actually were on a short-term mission trip with our church this past Monday through Friday. We went to Philadelphia to help out with Rock Ministries- an awesome ministry set in one of the worst neighborhoods in not only Philly, but also the nation. Buddy Osborne and Paul Orr run The Rock- a safe environment where young men and women can come in off the street and work out, learn how to box and grapple, and even more importantly, learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The gym area is fully functional; however, the rest of their building needed a lot of work in order to fully realize the vision of Buddy and Paul. One of the areas that we worked on was an apartment on the 3rd floor of their building. It will be the residence for a full-time counselor/minister so that there will be 24 hour provision for any kids who may need it. This apartment is where I spent my entire week.

Two years ago, on another mission trip with our church, our team was surprised to find out that I had some hidden talents and abilities. You see, my dad is a drywall finisher and I worked with him and my younger brother for 7 years- from age 12 to 19. I not only know how to tape, mud and texture, but I'm also a darn good painter, if I do say so myself. So, since they knew there was going to be a lot of drywall work needed in this apartment, and since I was the only one with expert abilities in drywall finishing, I was requested to go on this trip and be in charge of the drywall work. Even though my team knew the extent of my abilities, by the look on their faces, I'm pretty sure some of the other construction workers at The Rock thought it was cute that a girl was the team's taper....until they saw my work. Here is a short video of me in action. :)

Eat your heart out Ty Bennington!

Let me tell ya- I hurt all over! I'm very glad I learned these skills from my dad; however, I'm eternally grateful I don't do it for a living! Although, I did forget how very in shape I was when I was working with my dad- dang. My hands and arms are especially sore and still a little swollen; however, it is worth it. The amount of work our entire team accomplished on this trip was astounding and I know that all the work we completed is for a great cause.

So, even though I took my crochet with me, I was too darn tired at the end of the day to do anything but crash on my air mattress. My sister's birthday was this past week and I'm working on a gift for her I know she's going to love. I was hoping to have most of it done by the time we got back, but no such luck on that. That's ok- we'll be celebrating this coming weekend, so I'll be able to showcase one of my very favorite projects pretty soon. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Holy Julie Newmar Batman!

I love cats. My family has always had cats for as long as I can remember. Granted, we also had dogs, birds, hamsters, chickens, ducks, fish, and even a pig. Actually- just a random factoid for ya- the fate of that pig is the reason why my sister is now a vegetarian.... Ahhh....nothing like country living. But I digress. If I wasn't married, I'd most likely be the crazy cat lady that lives down the street with fifteen cats roaming around my house and yard, muttering to myself all day long. Every now and then I do get the urge to channel Eartha Kitt (the only REAL Catwoman of color) and say, "You're purrrrfect darling," when I pass a mirror. Teehee!

So, I've been wanting to make a cat-eared hat for the longest time; however, I never found a pattern that really called out to me. This all changed just a few days ago when I was looking at and petting my yarn stash (Oh, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!) The preciousness that caught my attention was the glow-in-the dark yarn that I've had for a while but didn't have a clue what I should create with it. Inspiration came a-knockin' my friends.

Most patterns I've seen seem to be a simple rectangle that is folded over and sewn together; however, the ears never seemed to be cat-like enough for my taste. There are also some that are plain hats with crocheted ears sewn on at the end. I hate sewing things together and avoid it whenever I can. So, I got tinkering with some yarn and with an increase here and a decrease there, I was able to get a cat-eared hat that really worked for me.

cat hat up close

See! The points actually look like cat ears! WOOO ME!

My sister's cat wanted in on my photo shoot, yet surprisingly didn't really enjoy being a model. Shame- he was such a natural.

cat hat baxter2

Although, I did get the point that he wanted out of his contract when he sliced my arm off- that darn cat.

cat hat baxter

The best part? IT FREAKING GLOWS IN THE DARK! Muahahahaha!

Another thing I've been working on is a purse inspired by my scarves.

catherine watermelon bag

Yes, I do have a thing for watermelons. My bag isn't complete- I'm looking for fabric with which to line it. However, I am writing up the pattern for it and my dear friend has offered to test it out for me, so I'll hopefully have it available in the very near future.

But, what I DO have is a pattern for my Cat Lady Hat!! It's not been tested, so if you do make it, please let me know if you find any mistakes. Enjoy!

Black WW yarn (Color A)- not a whole lot- maybe an ounce or 2
Glow in the dark WW yarn (Color B)- ditto

Size 5.5 mm (U.S. I/9) crochet hook

To change colors, work the last stitch until 2 loops are left on the hook, then pull the new color through to complete the stitch. I carried the unused color throughout the work to avoid weaving in ends. I hate weaving in ends.

Also, if you do use glow in the dark yarn, keep in mind that it does NOT have any stretch to it at all. So, you may want to go up a hook size if you want it a tad looser.....

chain 3 does count as first dc

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

sc dec= Single Crochet Decrease (Insert hook in stitch indicated, yo, pull up loop, insert hook in next stitch, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through remaining 3 loops on hook.)

dc dec =Double Crochet Decrease (Dc in stitch indicated, keeping last loop of the stitch on hook, dc in next stitch, yo and draw through all 3 loops on hook)

yo= yarn over

With black, ch 31

row 1: sc in second chain from hook. sc down row, changing color at end of row- 30 sc.

row 2: turn. with color B, chain 3 and dc down the row, changing color at end of row- 30 dc (including ch3)

row 3: Turn. with color A, ch 1, sc in same stitch, sc down row, changing color at end of row- 30 sc.

rows 4-11: repeat rows 2 and 3

row 12: Turn. With color B, ch 3. 1 dc in same stitch (increase made). 1 dc in next 2 stitches. dc dec over next 2 stitches. dc in next 20 stitches. dc dec over next 2 stitches. dc in next 2 stitches. 2 dc in last stitch, changing color at end of row. (32 dc total, but because of the decreases, you will still only have 30 stitches in which to work)

(NOTE: if you are carrying your unused color with each row, do not carry color B with row 13)

row 13: Turn. With color A, ch 1. 2 sc in first stitch (increase made). 1 sc in next 2 stitches. sc dec over next 2 stitches. sc in next 20 stitches. sc dec over next 2 stitches. sc in next 2 stitches. 2 sc in last stitch. DO NOT CHANGE COLOR. (32 sc total, but because of the decreases, you will still only have 30 stitches in which to work)

row 14: Turn ch1. Sc dec in 1st and 2nd stitch. 1 sc next 2 stitches. 2 sc next stitch. sc in next 20 stitches. 2 sc next stitch. sc dec last 2 stitches, changing color at end of the row.

row 15: Turn. With color B, chain 2. dc in next stitch. 1 dc next 2 stitches. 2 dc next stitch. dc in next 20 stitches. 2 dc next stitch. dc in next 2 stitches. dc decrease last 2 stitches, changing color at end of the row.

row 16: with color A, ch 1. sc in same stitch and down row. Do not sc in chain 2 of previous row. Change color at end of row- 30 sc.

row 17-26: repeat rows 2 and 3

Cut off yarns.

Fold hat in half and sew together by sc up each side- 1 sc in each sc and 2 sc in each dc.

Bottom band: Attach color A to any sc and sc around.

Repeat 5 more times. Cut off yarn. Weave in ends.


Copyright 2009 Gege Crochet. All rights reserved. Pattern available for personal use only- please don't sell it- that's just not cool. Please don't post this pattern anywhere- you can provide a link back to here, though.

Meow Baby!

cat hat

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!

Yes, folks. I'm one of the millions who has fallen under the enchantment of Susan Boyle. I'm not ashamed to admit that the tears were freely flowing down my face- and still do- each time I see the video. I've been working on the pattern for my new bag and, for those of you who crochet/knit, you know that wet cotton is not the easiest fiber to work with. Sopping cotton notwithstanding, I absolutely cannot stop watching her! I've seen her video at least 20 times. I just wanted to smack those all those people who were ridiculing her at the beginning. Even if she had the voice of a bullfrog, nobody should be tormented like that. Ahh...but when that voice, that beautiful angelic voice, sang those first few notes, I was elated! She sure showed them!! She has shown the world. In all of my cyber-stalking of this woman, I keep on seeing the phrase, "don't judge a book by its cover." How true that is. And yet how sad to think that, if she did have a terrible voice, everyone would still be judging her by her appearance. I know that they'll end up doing a make-over on her in order to conform her to the world's standards of beauty. However, all they will be doing is revealing the physical beauty that has always been there in an attempt to match the gorgeous inner beauty of this woman.

I really do hope that the Lord just blesses the socks off of her. I hope she not only wins the competition, but that she also makes bundles in record sales and concerts. I really hope that a good man will come into her life- one who will love her for her and not just because she's now famous- and that she'll finally get her first kiss. Good luck Susan Boyle and may God bless you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

End of project doldrums

Blerg. That about sums up how I have been feeling lately. My Mario blanket was a huge mountain that I'd been climbing for a while and, like any mountain, once you reach the top, the only way you can go is down. I'm looking for my next mountain, but have been traversing some hills while I wait. I've been dragging my feet with the border of my Mario blanket because, not only is it the same few stitches over and over and over, I'm also so impatient to start something new. So I have. I worked on and finished a Chanson en Crochet, which I love and want to make in another color. I am working on a felted purse (actually, another one of my mom bags) that has been commissioned by a lady at church. I ran out of my brown and went to 3 different stores to find it. Granted, I could have just called them to find out if they had my yarn in stock, but where is the fun in that? I also have been working on a purse utilizing my favorite stitch that I used on my scarves. I am just about done with it (minus the lining) and am actually going to write up a pattern for it. Yay me. (Said in my best Ben Stein voice......doldrums, people.) My scarves have actually been quite a hit and I've received numerous requests for the tutorial that I've promised. It's coming. Promise. I just hope to get out of the I-finished-a-freaking-huge-blanket-and-now-what-do-I-do blues. So, tomorrow is Wednesday- hump day. Hopefully I'll be able to get over this hump and focus on some of the things that I need to do. Blerg.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Border Crossings and Princess Savings that the hard part is done with my blanket, all I have left to complete (crochet-wise) is the border. I decided to go with my initial instinct and use bricks as the border rather than the ground tiles. Both hubby and my sis agreed that bricks just fit better.

border crossing

I'm humming along quite nicely on it- should be pretty quick to finish and not the never-ending project I envisioned. :)

Waaaay back in December, when I cut my hair, I was working on a new scarf- a Princess Toadstool scarf to keep Mario company. Well, I really wasn't pleased with....well, anything with it- the colors, the yarn I chose for the body, the design- all BLECK! So, as I do with anything with which I'm not pleased, I bury it and pretend it doesn't exist. Works for ostriches, works for me. Well, in one of those beautiful, miraculous once-in-a-lifetime moments, while I was in the yarn section in Walmart (where these moments usually occur), the bells tolled and the birds chirped when I saw the PERFECT yarn for my scarf. I love it when that happens. :)

Pri. vs Pri.

I am soo pleased with the outcome! I found the right scarf color, right skin color, right red hair color- and the yarn was great to work with. I don't remember the color name, but it was Vanna's Choice- LOVE it! I had an epiphany on how to fix the design, too. I really didn't like the back of the scarf with all the ends weaved in, so I found a way to hide the Princess' ugly backside (hey- not everyone can be J.Lo!).

Princess Scarf 2

I made a pocket!! I ran out of the main color, so I used this raspberry color, instead and then used it as an edging- LOVE it!! I guess with the right colors and design, you really can save a princess. :)

I even used white sparkle yarn to make the princess just a little more princess-y

Princess sparkles

The pocket is a good size and can fit a DS, natch.

Princess scarf with DS

The DS provides a nice heft to the scarf, so if you are walking down the road and are mugged by one of Bowser's minions, you can swing the scarf and whack them in the head. Hey- works in the game and, as we all know, games influence our real lives. ;)

princess scarf

Now, Mario has his mate. :)

Princess Mario

Mawaige....Mawaige is wot bwings us togeder today.

Wuv, twue wuv.....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mario follow-up

Wow. The response to my Mario blanket has been simply overwhelming. Thank you all so much for your comments! I'm just jazzed that there are folks out there who think it's as cool as I did. :)

This is going to be kinda like a FAQ blog post from the many questions I've received either on here or on various message boards.

1. What pattern did you use? Is there a pattern available? Are there charts available? etc.

A: There is no pattern that I followed. I searched the internet for screen shots of SMB and then used them for the map I had in my head. There is no "master graph" for any of the panels, much less for the entire project.

ETA: I posted a video on YouTube and showed the master map for my blanket as well as 2 of the sprites I used AND a "graph" of one of the panels.  I know some folks *coughboingboingcough* were a little incredulous that I didn't have graphs for the you'll see for yourself!

The most involved panel was the battle scene and is the only one I drew out. I have absolutely no intention of creating a graph of my entire work; however, there may be a time when I decide to make a graph of a panel or two.....dunno when/if that will happen, though. I'll definitely post here when I do. :)

2. What yarn did you use? How much yarn did you use?

A. I used mainly Red Heart Super Saver. There was at least one TLC Heathers (the brown in Mario) and Vanna's Choice (the cream in the bricks) and the skin is a peach Caron Simply Soft....but mainly RHSS. They had the best colors!!! And, considering the amount of yarn that went into this baby, it was the most economically prudent yarn to use. I've weighed it (without the border) and it weighs a little over 7 pounds and will be maybe 8 pounds with the border. I didn't want wool because it'd be too scratchy for a blanket and, again, acrylic is just a little more wallet friendly. :)

3. I didn't know crochet could make images like that. What kind of stitch did you use? What size hook?

A. The reason the images came out so crisp and accurate is because I used Tunisian crochet- the stitches are more or less square and there is no turning of the work so there is only the "right side" when you are working. I used a size "I" afghan hook. I just filmed a short video tutorial on how to do Tunisian crochet and will upload it this weekend. I think one of the things I'm most proud of is that I have gotten to show so many people that crochet isn't some old timer's way of passing time for just making doilies. It can be, and is indeed, ART. Going to start on a TP cozy tomorrow.... ;) HA!

ETA:  video can now be found on YouTube here.  

4. What does the back look like? Did you weave in the ends? Are you going to put a backing on it?

A. The back is not even close to being finished and looks like this:

back fringe

I'm definitely NOT weaving in all the ends- did you see that picture??? I'm going to tie them into square knots and trim them and then sew some sort of (light weight) material on as a back. Not quite sure how I'll do it, but I'm pretty good at figuring things out...

back ties

My hubby has offered to help me with all the tying....he knows how lucky he is!!!! Especially after reading some of the hilarious responses (and marriage proposals) I've received. :) Men seem to really appreciate this work. Wow- a crochet blanket a man actually wants made for him!

5. What are you going to do with the original panels? Are you going to sew them together or make pillows?

A. YES! I actually made this pillow a few weeks ago but didn't post it because I wanted to reveal all the panels (except for the 2 I teased with) as a whole.

mario pillow

I simply crocheted them together and stuffed with fiber fill. It's incredibly soft and has gotten a lot of use already! We just have to keep the cats' claws trimmed so as to not snag it.... This is the only pillow I'll be making from the Originals since these two panels were the only two that came out well, color change wise. Hubby has asked for other pillows, though, so I'll be making them later.

6. What are you going to do for a border?

A. From the beginning, I was debating between using either the brick pattern or the ground tile pattern for the border. I envisioned it like a picture frame around the blanket and either of those two work. However, after I finished all the panels and saw the monstrous size of this behemoth , I thought, "I'm going to be 120 before I finish this thing!" and was seriously considering just doing a plain black border just to be DONE. But, I didn't take the easy way out with this project and am not going to with the border, either, so I'll be starting it this weekend. That gives me a solid week of rest since finishing, which I seriously needed. :) Which one of the two border choices, though....I dunno. The bricks have only 2 colors, which makes for a (hopefully) quicker border; however, as someone pointed out, I don't have the ground tiles represented in my blanket. Sooo.....suggestions??

7. You must have so much patience to crochet for a year and a half on one project!

A. No- no all. I had a lot of fun planning it out- it literally came to me in a dream. I had to tweak it a little while I was making it, but for the most part, that first map I drew is what you see today. My husband is the one with the patience- he had to put up with a ghost of a wife while I worked on it. I didn't call it "my obsession" for nothing....I seriously felt like Isaac from "Heroes" (or any other "future painters") when he got an artistic eyes glazed over and I worked and worked on it until it was done. Also, I crocheted the entire blanket in 2 months- not a year and a half. I started it a year and a half ago, but since I had to scrap all but one of my original panels, all of my crocheting was between February 1 and March 28.

8. Have you really only been crocheting for a year?

A. No- it's been a year and a half. ;) I had wanted to crochet and/or knit since I was a kid, but that seemed to be the only artsy/crafty thing my mom didn't do. My aunt did and I always wanted her to teach me, but something or other always happened and I never learned. So, mid summer 2007, I bought one of those "I Taught Myself Crochet" kits from WalMart and...well...taught myself how to crochet. I couldn't get the hang of holding the crochet hook "correctly" with my index finger in the air, so I watched some videos I found on youtube. I found someone who held it differently- I tried it and VOILA! It just clicked. This is why I've decided to put up crochet videos- hopefully my videos will help others like the ones I saw helped me.

I started on the blanket a few months later- fall 2007. The vast majority of my stuff (actually, everything I've posted on here) has been my own pattern- the purses, the scarves, the Mario blanket. I've made a few Round Ripple blankets (just realized I never posted about them...) but those may be the only things I've made with a pattern. I've always been creative, but I never knew I was "artistic" until I got that hook and yarn in my hands. Some people paint with acrylic paints....I paint with acrylic yarn!

9. What are you working on next?

A. Something small and not as involved... :) I have a couple of purses that are almost done- need to line at least 2. I have a few other projects swirling around in my brain, but nothing as big as this.....yet. ;)

10. If I marry you, will you make me a blanket like that? Will you marry me?

A. No.

11. Is the blanket for sale? How much is it?

A. Nope- it's for my husband. Very few people in the world could afford what we would even consider selling this for. However, if you do have the clams, I am definitely available for commission work. If not for something this huge, then for something half size (which will still be a good blanket size- about 6.5' x 5' with the border) or even something for a wall hanging (for which the Battle Scene would be great!). Same goes for my purses and scarves. My email is on my profile page- contact me and we can work something out. :)

I hope this has answered all the questions I've been getting. Until next time, Zoobaroos!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mario Party! Part 3- My Quest Ends.

Ok- now we are now on the home stretch. My previous post has the blanket half way for the final half!

Alright....I knew that I was going to have a battle scene for my blanket. In order to put up a good fight, Mario had to get big, but I couldn't fit all of the characters/scenes I wanted previously with Mario taking up so much space. So, towards the end of the blanket, he finally gets a Big Man mushroom. Hmmm.....where does this pipe lead??

To an underground level with a fire flower! Ok, another geeky world 4-2, an underground level, there is a hidden warp zone. You go up a vine to an upper sky, mushroom land level....

Now, in the game, the warp zone does not have a Flying Koopa Troopa; however, he was the one enemy I didn't have in my blanket, so here is his cameo. :)

WARP ZONE! To..... 8-4?? Hey- it's my blanket....I have the artistic license to do as I please....

Now that he's warped to the castle, brave Fire Mario (with "spit power" as mom would say) gets to battle a fire fan....right before doing battle in the castle.....

Ok- I ain't even going to lie....this is my hands-down all-time favorite of all the panels. I dreamed about making this panel since the very beginning. It came out just as I imagined! I am so incredibly proud of it! It's HUGE! It's 3 panels wide and 2 tall- roughly about 4' x 3'. It can be a wall hanging- something I've been debating about doing. I wanted to keep this one all by itself b/c it's so awesome. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!!!!

Ahhh...the end of my quest. I had debated about whether or not to just leave it as, "Thank you Mario!" But, this truly has felt like a quest for me. I spent so much time and energy in planning this blanket and doing the math to make things just right. I am so incredibly proud of this work! My quest truly is over. :)

I hope you have enjoyed this journey along with me. It has been a long time coming! I do need to finish off the ends (I'm not weaving them in- I'm tying little knots and then am going to sew a backing on the blanket). I have put in so much into this blanket and now truly feel like a quest has been completed. I know my husband loves this blanket and will treasure it for many many years to come. :) Now, I can get back to my regularly scheduled life....and crochet projects. :)

PS: A FAQ can be found here.

Mario Party! Part 2- My Quest

As my teasing (and teasing) can attest, this blanket/bedspread has been a real obsession of mine for a very long time. I had just taught myself how to crochet and decided to make a Mario granny square blanket for my brother- this was over a year and a half ago. My husband saw it and wanted one of his own. However, I could not let my husband have the same blanket I made my brother....oh no, my friends. His had to be so much....MORE. I woke up in the middle of the night and had the beginnings of the blanket in my head. I scribbled out a rough draft of a map and was so giddy, I had a hard time falling asleep. I had never used Tunisian crochet before, so I had to practice. This was the result of that first practice:

My husband wanted a hat with Mario on it-I was unable to get my idea for a hat to work, but I thought, I could so do it as a scarf! Thus the Mario scarf was born.

Mario scarf

Even though I had the concept down correctly, I did not know how to change colors correctly- there were huge holes in between my color changes. I'll show an example of this in just a bit.

I soon started on my blanket with this panel- The Beginning of a Journey:

beginnings of an adventure

Then, I did the second panel- needed to have a Goomba and a Koopa Troopa!

I fell in love with these two! I kid you not- I would wake up in the morning, see them on the floor, and bust out with a smile and a laugh. My husband thought I was nuts....

Well, I continued on, making 7 panels total throughout the months. Each panel took about a day to complete and, since I was working part-time, I could dedicate my days off to making them. But, I was suffering migraines from having my head hunched over all the I put off the blanket and started other endeavors.....

With each blanket or purse I finished, my husband would sigh, look longingly at my Mario panel pile, and say, "One of these days, I'll have a blanket of my own...." I wanted to finish this blanket soooo badly, but was not satisfied with some of the panels. The last one I worked on was the underwater panel; however, when I counted the rows (height) after completing it, one side had 50 rows and the other had 49....oops. I had mistakenly started a first pass with a row when I hadn't finished the second pass of the previous row. (Each row of Tunisian crochet has 2 passes- the forward pass and the backward pass- in order to make the stitches square.) I was sooooo bummed. As I mentioned before, if something doesn't come out right, I put it aside. Well, I put this blanket aside for about 8 months because of that. I didn't have the heart to tear back 15 rows and re-do them.

Well, all that changed at the beginning of 2009. I decided that this was the year I was going to finish this blanket, so I started in earnest. Well, now that I knew how to change colors correctly, I had to redo 4 of the previous 7 panels that came out all wonky. Ugh. But, it really was soooo worth it! There were 2 other panels that I had to redo- not because of the mistakes in color changes (I had learned how to do it with the underground coin panel), but because I found the right colors to use for Mario's skin and for the "skin" of the enemies. So, even though I started a year and a half ago, every single panel that is now on the blanket, except for the coin cache one, has been completed since February 2009.

Here are side-by-sides of the panels:

This first panel actually didn't look so bad. However, I did have some issues with my tension, which is why it's so much smaller than the newer one. However, the character definition, and even the cloud, is so much better in the newer one. Changing colors correctly is soooo important!

This second panel really shows how having the correct colors makes the image POP. Also, the first one was sooo wonky! I was so incredibly proud of it when I first did, I feel like a kid proud of a stick drawing. I am proud to say that, by changing colors correctly, the goomba no longer looks phallic...

This one I knew I had to redo....if only to correct Luigi's hat. Erg. You can see how malformed the pipe is (due to incorrect color changes) and how much more the color pops in the second one. Also, I had originally crocheted the turtle shell by using a screen shot of the whole turtle and taking off the head and legs. I then found this awesome site that has all of the characters on there...including the correct turtle shell!

Next comes the underground coin cache. This is the only "original" panel on the blanket. I learned how to color change correctly with this one; however, I didn't have the right color for Mario's skin tone. Though you can't really tell in the picture, he's my Chicano Mario on the blanket. :)

Mario comes out of the coin cache and steals the star Luigi was about to use. Life isn't fair for Luigi.... This is actually the first of the new panels that I made in February.

Ever since the beginning, I knew that Luigi couldn't stay forever....this was Mario's quest. I loved the idea of him being trapped between a Bullet Bill and a Buzzy Beetle! However, the star panel above was not part of my original design. I decided to add that during the blanket reboot. So, since I had to redo this panel anyway due to the wonkiness, I decided to replace the question block with a brick, and to have Mario as star Mario. Oh yes- Luigi has to take one for the team!

This panel makes me laugh- poor Luigi! Game over for you, chump! And, to add insult to injury, that innocent looking brick actually contained a 1UP mushroom for Mario- hahahahaha!

Awww yeah! Hammer time!! This was a new one that I did in February and also had to redo. I used the peach color for the Hammer Bros. skin when this color really popped. So, I ripped out allllll of those rows and redid it....this one took me 2 days to do. *Sigh*

This is one of my favorites- not only do you get a Piranha plant, but also a squished goomba!!! Ahhh...I love this game. :)

The Lakitu and Spiny panel. The original is on the right and was my favorite of the original panels. I did the color changes correctly and I LOVED it. Then, I realized that the colors weren't correct....then I realized that I had Mario in that same pose for a few panels in a row....BORING. So, I changed the colors (MUCH better!) and put Mario in a skidding stop right before he could slide into a Spiny. Whew!

After surviving Lakitu, Mario goes underwater. The original one is on the left. I ripped back the 15 rows to correct my goof from a year ago....then I realized that I needed to change the Cheep Cheeps' color to make them pop. But, the good thing is that I got to add the air bubble that I wanted to add originally but forgot and, again, didn't want to rip back so many rows to fix. I changed the red and green Cheep Cheeps' positions b/c of the following panel.

Flying Cheep Cheeps! Since the red one was on the bottom left, I decided to have the green underwater Cheep Cheep on the bottom right....crazy? Maybe.... I LOVE this panel. The bridge just makes it....WOW.

I LOVE THIS ONE! This is the cutest of the bunch. :) Mario now gets to go to Coin Heaven...atop the "teeth clouds" as my mom would call them. :) Now, astute gamer geeks will know that in world 3-1, just prior to hopping the turtle (next panel), Mario does get to go to Coin Heaven. I debated whether or not to make this a black panel since world 3 is a night-time world. However, I had always pictured this blue! I LOVE IT!

Awww true SMB geekiness shines through. Getting infinite free men by hopping the turtle. I LOVE THIS GAME!

Mario finishes the world by getting 5000 points off of the flag pole. He even ended the world with 1 second on the clock, thus the 1 fireball. :)

Here are the first 3 rows complete. Honestly, this could have been a blanket just by itself! You got the beginning of the adventure at the very top and end with Mario on the Flag Pole, beating the level. If you can see, I have Gilmore Girls on DVD scattered on the floor. Oh yes. Tons of GG time spent on this blanket....kinda poetic, don't ya think? :)

I'm going to continue the story in one more post. This one is just about filled to the brim.....The end of the quest is in sight!

PS: A FAQ can be found here.