Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rocketghan almost complete

The rocketghan is *this close* to being done. This project was begun end of September 2015. Let's say it's taken about 3 1/2 months. The yo-yos, antennae and mouth still need to be added. I will add a picture to this post when it's finished.



Here are the details on this ghan.

First I needed a pattern, of course, and this was provided in a chart made by my daughter. 

Then I decided on the pattern I wanted for the squares. They had to be rather small to get a proper picture and not make the ghan too large since it is for a child. I decided to use three rounds of the  crossed stitch square (see Crochet Cabana pattern page under Kate Smith), but you could use regular granny squares just as easily. Eventually the pattern will be up at Crochet Cabana, but it may be a while.

More often than I liked, I would be working on a round and then run into a knot in the yarn. Rather than have two additional strands to sew in, I abandoned that square and put it aside. If this happens to you, my suggestion is to NOT throw those incomplete squares away. I used the yarn to sew together the odd squares that I could not assemble with one of the long strands. That way I didn't have to use more of the skein itself. Always thrifty with yarn.

I made all the Red, Sunshine, Peapod, Silver and Cobblestone Heather squares first and assembled those, sewing in as many tails as I could as I went. I also made the yo-yos. I then started on the Asphalt Heather (black) squares, using them first to complete the rocket itself, then assembling around the rocket for the finished look.

Another option would be to make all the squares first, then assemble them row by row or column by column in proper order. In some ways I wish I would have done that, but since I didn't have all my yarn when I began, this is how it worked out.

Tip: Be sure to join squares with one of the colors in the squares. I made a mistake in a couple of spots where I used, for example, a green strand I had lying there to join black and red squares. This shows more and I regret doing that. I should have used red or black to join those two squares. In one spot I was able to snip the inappropriate color and replace it.

There will still be lots and lots of tails to sew in, but by working on them throughout the project instead of leaving them all until the end, you'll get breaks and it won't be so overwhelming. I tried to sew all my center tails in before assembly. It still took me a week to sew them all in.

Size: 38" x 65"

Materials:
G hook, sport yarn as below (for reference I got 27 squares out of one skein of Silver)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Peapod (green)
1 skein Knit Picks Brave Sport Cobblestone Heather (dk grey)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Silver (lt grey)
8 skeins Knit Picks Brava Sport Asphalt Heather (black)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Red
1 skein Stylecraft Special DK Sunshine or Knit Picks Brava Sport Caution (yellow/orange)
1 skein Knit Picks Brava Sport Canary (you could use the Sunshine/Caution to make the yo-yos if you like, eliminating the Canary)
about 7 yards of royal blue (enough for a yo-yo with an extra long tail for sewing onto afghan)
about 7 yards of purple (enough for a yo-yo with an extra long tail for sewing onto afghan)

Number of squares needed (leave a long tail at least 16" for assembly)
There are 286 total squares - 13 rows by 22 columns.
4 Sunshine or Caution
10 Peapod
17 Red
18 Cobblestone Heather
54 Silver
183 Asphalt Heather (286 - 103 colored squares)

Number of yo-yos needed
(A YO-YO is 16 dc worked into the ring with no chains between them. To see if I have enough worsted weight yarn, I wrap yarn loosely around a 12" ruler 8 times (in other words 8 12" lengths or 8 feet, that means front and back of the ruler - once around - is 2 lengths). Don't stretch it. Just loosely wind around the length of the ruler. This will to some degree depend on the yarn.)

10 Canary (or Sunshine/Caution)
2  peapod
2 red
2 blue
2 purple


Assemble squares as per chart.

Assemble yo-yos as per chart. Here is a picture showing approximate placement before being sewn on.


Mouth: fashion mouth with a long single strand of black yarn
Antennae: fashion antennae per picture with 2 long strands of peapod

Edging is 3 rounds. First round is single crochet with asphalt heather. Where the corners met, I worked one single crochet in each corner and one in the join. Second round is single crochet worked in silver. At the corners I worked the modified sc3tog, which is basically a 2 sc decrease.

Here are the detailed instructions on the edging.

Modified sc3tog: Insert hook in next st, yarn over and pull through st but not loop on hook, insert in next st, yarn over and pull through st (3 loops on hook), insert hook in next st, yarn over and pull through st (4 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all three remaining loops 

Edging:
Round 1: Using asphalt heather, single crochet around, working (sc, hdc, sc) in corners. At side joins, work 1 sc in each corner space and 1 in the join. Join with sl st to beg sc.

Round 2: Join silver in any corner space. Work (sc, hdc, sc) in this and every corner. Work sc around. At joins between squares work the modified sc3tog. This will give you a li le bit of a puffy spot. Join with sl st to beg sc.

Note: I chose silver but you can use any of the colors for Round 2. My reasoning was that silver would blend into the night sky best...?


Round 3: Join asphalt heather, single crochet around, working (sc, hdc, sc) in corners. Join with a sl st to beg sc. 

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 stats

As I always do at the end of the year, I took the opportunity today to look at the year's statistics for Crochet Cabana. I pay for hosting services at Site 5 and have been pleased with the very low down time with this service. They provide the statistics. I also pay for a domain name at Directnic. The money made through the Google ads help to defray these costs. I don't choose the ads, but hope you find some of them useful.

I have been keeping track of these statistics since 2005 so I can view the past ten years at a glance. Site visits are about half what they were in 2005. This is likely due to a number of factors, some of them my own fault. I'm not as active as I used to be. The world has also changed and the high volume of copyright infringement incidents make it less appealing to make the effort to provide new information - if there is indeed any new information to provide. 

Just to show the difference, in 2005 unique visitors was 356,111. 2015 that number was 181,924.

I would like to do more video work. We'll just have to see what the future holds.

I pulled the definition of terms from my 2014 post. I myself sometimes forget what these terms mean.

Unique Visitor:
A unique visitor is a person or computer (host) that has made at least 1 hit on 1 page of the web site during the current period shown by the report. If this user makes several visits during this period, it is counted only once. Visitors are tracked by IP address, so if multiple users are accessing your site from the same IP (such as a home or office network), they will be counted as a single unique visitor.

Visits:
Number of visits made by all visitors.
Think "session" here, say a unique IP accesses a page, and then requests three other pages within an hour. All of the "pages" are included in the visit, therefore you should expect multiple pages per visit and multiple visits per unique visitor (assuming that some of the unique IPs are logged with more than an hour between requests)

Pages:
The number of "pages" viewed by visitors..

Hits:
Any files requested from the server (including files that are "Pages")

Bandwidth:
Total number of bytes for pages, images and files downloaded by web browsing.

Apparently some people are still using links saved from the old site as there were a number of error pages generated. Please do update your links if you've saved off any or make a note to yourself to doublecheck the new site if you get an error message.

Anyway, on to the stats.

People from these countries topped the list of my visitors. This is the number that I could catch in a screen shot. In case you can't read them, the top 5 are United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ukraine, and Germany. I always enjoy seeing where my visitors come from.


The top download this year was again Janie Herrin's Drop in the Bucket pattern (661 times). This pattern has been the top download since 2012. The pattern downloaded the second highest number of times in 2015 was the Bulky Men's Hat pattern (539), also #2 last year. Both had fewer downloads, however, than in previous years.

Other highly downloaded patterns included the cancer ribbon, which is always popular, and the Doctor Who patterns. I was pleased to see my daughter's patterns continue to be popular though I was surprised that there were no downloads of the latest patterns, the robot afghan and fleur de lis chart since I'd had inquiries about those patterns.

The most visited page was again the All About Hooks page (3805). The patterns page was a close second at 3066. The rest were tutorials and individual pattern group pages, like the Doctor Who page of patterns, for example.

Windows, Macintosh, and Linux were at the top of the Operating Systems list, in that order but close.

Browsers were all over the place with some I've never even heard of making the list. The top ones were:
Chrome   149908  32.5%
Safari   132398   28.7%
Firefox  44,226  9.6%

There were a good number of PDA/phone browsers as well. The top two were iPhone and Android.
Android 23039
iPhone 13997

In the area that tells me from where people come to get to Crochet Cabana, I was pleased to see folks are visiting my Gallifreyan Crochetin' site about Doctor Who. The other sites were mostly familiar - Crochetville, Pinterest, Facebook, Ravelry, Bev's Country Cottage, About.com, Crochet Pattern Central and others. In other words, a person might go to Pinterest, see something from my site and then visit Crochet Cabana. This list tells me where they were originally.

I'm keen on statistics so I enjoy going through these things. I hope some of you enjoyed it as well. If not, eventually I will have more interesting things. 

I'm still working on the rocket afghan. Just a few dozen more black squares to make and then tails to sew in. I would only do this for love of a grandchild! LOL

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Friday, December 18, 2015

rocketghan

I can't believe it's been a month since I posted here. I really haven't been doing much crocheting lately. I'm sure that will change eventually, but right now I've been enjoying the Christmas season, watching Christmas movies, buying Christmas gifts. I've also jumped aboard the coloring craze and one cannot color and crochet at the same time. LOL

Anyway, I'm still working slowly on the rocket afghan. Here is where I am on it currently. The rest will be the colored yo-yos and more black squares surrounding the completed area. Yes, there are a ton of tails that will need to be woven in. I have tried to do all the center tails on each square to at least reduce them somewhat. 


I'm pleased with how it's coming along. The yo-yos will make quite a difference I think, but still many black squares to make before it's ready for that.

As to any other crochet news, if I find anything of interest I generally post it to the Facebook page. The last thing I posted there was the video I added to my YouTube channel regarding filet crochet. It's not a new video but one I made some time ago and which was requested by a visitor. A Fleur de lis chart filet pattern has been added to Crochet Cabana as well (under Kate Smith).

I have also started using the old Crafty Corral to post about my coloring adventures. If you are interested in that, the link is http://craftycorral.blogspot.com/ 

I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate during this time. Be safe if you travel the roads - don't drink and drive. Set your patience level to high and enjoy the wonderful companionship of family and friends.  It's a stressful time of year for many, so do remember those who are alone or infirm if you are able.

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

hiding join on a hat

Some time ago I posted about hats I made using hdc which had that slanted join. I did not like this and rarely ever use hdc in anything much less in a hat that would give me this sort of look. Here are pics of a hat I worked that shows this diagonal join. When I mentioned this, several others contacted me that they had the same problem.  If I recall correctly, it was called a traveling curve.



Today I ran across a tutorial which is supposed to reduce that diagonal join and give a straight join. I found the link in a Happily Hooked magazine blog post. I know of the magazine but I do not subscribe. It is just shy of $40/year.They have a great blog which provides interesting and helpful information. 

You can find the tutorial to eliminate the diagonal join (with hdc) at Charmed by Ewe. Kudos to her for coming up with this as I know this has been a problem others have fought with too.

I also found another blog through the same post. It is about crocheting in the round with single crochet and getting an invisible seam. In the first part of the video she shows how others might work single crochet joins incorrectly - she tells you this is the incorrect way to do it. If you follow your patterns correctly, you should already not be doing this.Most patterns will explicitly say to work the first sc in the same stitch. It's good to see how one could make this error, however, if you're not paying close attention. 

She then demonstrates the correct way to join single crochet in the round. This is, as she says, part one to getting a good seam. The important part of the tutorial is how to get the seam invisible. The post is at Crochet Ever After.

Those tutorials are for working sc and hdc. I might also add that when I work a hat in the round using double crochet, I like to join with a slip stitch, ch 1, and work my first dc in same stitch. If you working an increase here, you would work ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch. By using a chain 1 instead of the usual ch 3, on my next round I can join right into an actual stitch, rather than a chain. I've been doing this for years now. It is a tip I read when working a pattern for a hat over at The Gingerbread Lady. I have made her Big Button Beret twice. I love the look and the pattern. 

Here are pictures of my dc join.


And just for fun pictures of one of the Big Button Berets I made. I did not add the button. Of all the hats I've made, this is one of my favorites even though I used thin yarn and it took a while to complete. You can read the blog post I did when making it here




Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Thursday, November 5, 2015

nameghans


I thought I had posted this, but apparently I started it and didn't finish it. So here is a two-in-one post.

The narrow nameghan was completed a couple weeks ago. The finished size is about 25"  x 54". Long and skinny. :-) The picture shows the afghan folded over so it is about a third wider than it looks.

The yarn used is
Knit Picks Brava Sport Paprika (rust)
Knit Picks Brava Sport Walnut (brown)
Knit Picks Brava Sport Sienna (brown)
Knit Picks Brava Sport Brindle (brown)
Stylecraft Special DK Lipstick (red)
Stylecraft Special DK Khaki (green)
Stylecraft Special DK Plum (purple)
Hayfield shade 0792 Moss Green
Knit Picks Brava Sport Almond (cream) for edging

Each strip is edged in one round of single crochet in the same color as the strip, then edged again in almond, also in single crochet. I left a very long tail in the almond which was used for whipstitch assembly in back loops. The border around the entire afghan is (sc, ch 2, 2 dc, sk 2).

Though I wish it would be wider, I'm please with the resulting look. It actually works quite nicely as a shawl.

I also just finished a second one-piece where I made the individual strips a bit wider. My foundation chain was 137 (67 columns). After edging it ended up 36" x 38 1/2", a nice lapghan size. 

Yarn used was all DK or sport that I had on hand. I am not sure about the maroonish color but the others are

Knit Picks Brava Sport Walnut (brown at the top)
Knit Picks Brava Sport Persimmon (peachish second stripe)
Hayfield shade 0792 Moss Green (after the maroon)
Stylecraft Special DK Lipstick (red)
Knit Picks Brava Sport Sienna (brown FAMILY stripe)

Each stripe has a name in filet. I colored them out in the photo.



Just as in the one above afghan, each strip of this one was edged in the same color with a round of single crochet and then an additional round of single crochet in almond, leaving a long tail for assembly. When all strips were assembled, I edged with a round of (sc, ch 2, 2 dc, sk 2) round.

I ordered additional almond skeins and also skeins of a different neutral color - Camel Heather - to see which I like best, with the thought of adding a name to the original lapghan.

I also will start back to work on the picture afghan I was working on. I had started making black squares when I got sidetracked with names. Truthfully, filet is my thing at the moment so I enjoyed the distraction. I will be making more dishcloths in filet soon. 

I am also sorely tempted by Knit Pick's Learn to Knit Club. I have tried knitting a number of times but it hasn't taken yet. :-) At the least I can get three dishcloths out of the kit if I decide to do it. If I can't pick up the knitting, I can always make them in crochet. ;-)

That's all for now.

Happy crocheting!
Sandie