Saturday, February 20, 2010

Easy poncho

I have a round afghan that, when folded in half, drapes over my shoulders and keeps me toasty warm on a cold day. Believe it or not, warmer weather is coming. What if a double layer of crochet is too much?
Let's say you have a pattern for a round afghan that you would be willing to wear. The trick to making it a poncho is simply not to sew up the last seam.
A similar thing works for a rectangular pattern. Granny squares lend themselves to a poncho-type garment. Sew the pieces together in the usual flat way, but only sew half of the center seam. You could even close the sides if you want - with room for the hands to stick out, of course. If you want to make fewer seams, you could make three pieces: a larger one to cover your back and two half-sized pieces for the front.
Once you work it up, you'll be set for the early spring temperatures.
Happy crafting,

Monday, February 8, 2010


Whatever you happen to think of snow personally, it certainly makes a good excuse to sit and crochet. This is the season for large pieces - things that would be too hot to work with in the summer. In hot weather, I would rather make small pieces or work on little motifs for the big things that will be sewed together later. But this is the time to make the all-in-one-piece afghan that beckons from the back of the couch on a chilly day or the heavy shoulder wrap that keeps you warm when you have to let the dog out the back door.
I have no recommendations or specific patterns in this blog. You know what you've been wanting to do and have put off because it was too hot outside or didn't fit in the car on vacation. Pull that project out and watch the snow drift by while piles of soft, warm, twined yarn keeps you cozy.
Happy crafting.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rag Rugs

I just finished crocheting a rag rug to lie in front of the bathroom sink. It took one king-sized sheet and one twin bed sheet torn into about 1 1/2" strips. I connected the srips together by cutting a small slit in the ends and looping them together the way you loop rubber bands together - running the tail through the head. If you want to see a demonstration of the technique, you can watch Rag Crochet Annie's Do-and-Learn Way video.
The pattern I had was for an oval rug. Had I followed the directions exactly, I believe I would have had too many increases at each end, giving my rug a ripple on both sides. When you are working a pattern, and you don't think it will come out the way you want, change the number of stitches until it does come out right. You can easily back up and fix things too, if you need to. That is one of the best things about crochet. It's easy to fix.
The rug is worked in double crochet with a Q hook. I worked around both sides of the starting chain for the inside and worked seven rows around after that. It's about 2 1/2' by 3' so I got a pretty decent-sized rug without investing a lot of time or energy.
The worn cotton of the sheets makes a soft, cushy rug. If you use heavier material like denim, you'll get a firmer, more sturdy rug. (Either cut narrower strips or use an S hook.)
Rag rugs are fun, versatile, colorful, washable (depending on the material), and make good use of stuff you would ordinarily throw in the trash.

I'll bet some of your friends wouldn't mind having one or two and might be persuaded to give you the shirts from the backs of their closets if you asked.

Happy crafting.