Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bathroom Decor Projects

Here are some quick simple things to make as gifts or for a craft show.  If you like to change the d├ęcor of your bathroom, this is a great way to make seasonal decorations.

I found the  FREE PATTERN HERE .  I made a number of them, with my own variations, of course (like I always do!) and donated most of them to my sister-in-law’s United Way consignment shop, where the sales benefit the Salvation Army and other programs.  I didn’t add the ribbon.  I just left the design open.

The long holders took me two or three nights in front of the television.  The toilet paper cover (back of the toilet) was finished in a couple of hours.  When I say “quick project”, I’m not kidding.  These are so fast and easy to make.

These extra holders are great for more than just toilet paper rolls.  Hang one by your sink or close to the shower and store rolled up washcloths or small hand towels.

Photo compliments of "crochetnmore.com"

Here is another pattern  (CLICK HERE FOR SINGLE ROLL PATTERN) for a single roll holder, as shown in this pic (this one was not made by me….. it is the ‘model’ in the referenced link.)

This is my Halloween or Fall set.  The toilet paper cover that sits on the back of the toilet comes from  THIS FREE PATTERN.

I love the Christmas Set.

The cover on the back of the toilet was yet another one of my “made it up as I go” projects.  Basically, I started the project like I would a scarf, using the double crochet stitch.  When it was large enough to wrap around a roll of toilet paper, I just connected the two ends together.  I crocheted the hat (again, freelancing it) and was happy to find the ‘fuzzy’ trim that I crocheted onto the outer edge for the Santa effect!

I sewed little beads on the white portion of the holder to make the center look like bells.

And of course, living in Indianapolis, I had to do an “Indianapolis 500” race design of black and white!

To hang them I used the removable hangers, as shown here. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Jacob's Ladder Afghan

This afghan pattern is called “Jacob’s Ladder” and when I saw a photo of one, I instantly had to find out how to make one.  Here is the pattern I used to get me started:  http://www.freewebs.com/bethintx/jacobsladderafghan.htm 

I deviated a bit from it as I didn’t like so many bump-parts of the design.  I wanted those to be the accent of the finished afghan.  (If you follow my work at all, you know I RARELY actually follow a pattern the way it is written.  I almost always make my own design changes in about everything I make!)

This is a blanket for my niece who is expecting her third child.  I felt pretty safe using these colors because there are no girls in their family.  She already has 2 sons and her husband’s brother is expecting their first baby …. a boy.  Wouldn’t you know it that when I’m over half done with this, she finds out it is a girl!  Oh well.  As I tell people, “Girls wear blue all the time!” 

I used one skein of the blue (with lots left over), 4 of the white and 8 of the multi-color.  However ….. I used 2 strands of yarn when crocheting with the multi-color so if you used just a single you won’t need near as much.  Size “H” crochet hook.

There are some things about the pattern I just love and some things you have to think about.  I love that I can easily figure out how many beginning stitches to make and still have the pattern come out right.  (Don’t you just hate it when you have 3 or 4 extra stitches at the end of your first row because of miscounting or miscalculation?).

The bump part of the design is actually 10 chains that are twisted together and braided.  The instructions in the pattern were pretty easy to follow.  

Knowing that, I was able to easily count my stitches for length.  The wide parts of my afghan are 30 stitches, so I just counted off 10 for the first solid section + 10 for the chain-10-braid + 30 for the next solid section +10 for the chain-10-braid  …….. and so on. 

The part you have to think about is the blanket will shrink in actual size once you do the twisting/braiding part.  The chain-10 are about 2-1/2 inches wide but once they are twisted they are only ½ inch wide.  You will lose two inches in width for every braid in your design.

But spend a few minutes thinking it through and you will be fine.  This is illustrated very well in these two before-and-after photos of the afghan laid out on the bed.  Notice how much extra bed is exposed in the after-photo.

The "before" measurement was 48 x 58.

The "After" measurement was 48 x 43.

I was concerned the bump in the design would be hard to lay on but was happily surprised to find it is just as soft as the yarn being used.  No worries after all!

This pattern is very easy, even though it may look a little complex to beginners.  So beginners ….. give this one a try and your family and friends will rave over your expertise and talent!!

It is about to become my Go-To pattern.  I’m planning one where I make the afghan all one color and the braids a different color.  Can’t wait to see how that turns out!