Crochet Stitch: Popped V Stitch {crochet pattern, tutorial}

Hi there!
Sometimes I like to play around with different textures and stitches and see what I can come up with.  This one is called the Popped V stitch, and it is a pattern of stitches that you might already be familiar with, but when put together, makes a really neat pattern.

Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!

To begin, start with a foundation chain that is in a multiple of two.

In the third chain from hook, hdc.  Chain one, *hdc dec, chain one* across the row.  Turn, then repeat the first row, making sure that your hdc dec's are done in the chain spaces from the previous row.

How to make the hdc dec:
 YO, insert hook into same st as last st (will be either hdc or hdc dec depending on where you are in the row), YO, pull through, YO and pull through two loops (will leave 2 loops on hook), then sk next st, YO, insert hook into next st, YO, pull through, YO and pull through all four loops on hook.

Note: the chain one in the pattern serves two purposes.  1- it closes off the hdc dec, 2- it provides a place for you to do your stitches in the next row.  Always make sure that when you do your hdc dec, that you are doing them in the ch1 spaces.

Crochet Stitch: Flying Birds {crochet pattern, stitch}

Hello Again!  I'm back today with yet another new stitch for you to try out, and this one is called the Flying Birds stitch.  I call it that because if executed correctly, it forms upside-down V's that look like flying birds!

Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!

Begin with a foundation chain by chaining 30.
Row 1: Sc in second chain from hook, *ch 1, sk next ch, sc* repeat to end, turn.
Row 2: ch2, hdc in next st, *ch1, hdc dec* to end, turn.
Row 3: ch1, *sc, ch1, sk next st* repeat to end, turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your design is finished.

How to make the hdc dec:
 YO, insert hook into same st as last st (will be either hdc or hdc dec depending on where you are in the row), YO, pull through, YO and pull through two loops (will leave 2 loops on hook), then sk next st, YO, insert hook into next st, YO, pull through, YO and pull through all four loops on hook.

Note- In row 2, the stitches are worked into the ch 1 spaces, and in Row 3, the sc's are worked in the top of the hdc dec's.

Thick and Easy 1 hour potholder, Version 1 {crochet pattern}

Everyone has seen these potholders, I'm sure that some of you have received them as gifts even.  The mystery is in how they're made.  They're one piece double thickness potholders, and they are super easy!  I've rarely come across patterns for them, as I think they are one of those kind of "word of mouth" patterns...The kind that you learned from so and so, who learned it from her mom, who learned it from her grandma, so on and so forth, you get the idea.

Well, I've been playing with this pattern for some of my holiday gifting and am here to share it with you!

Thick and Easy 1 Hour Potholder, Version 1


Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!

Size H hook   
Cotton yarn-  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Cotton is able to withstand very high heat and will not melt.  It will catch fire if exposed to flame, but it will not melt.  Acrylic yarn will melt when coming into contact with very hot items from the oven and is not to be trusted as an actual useable potholder material.  Acrylic yarn is fine when used for trivets, provided that your dish has cooled slightly prior to being used for it.  I personally used Lily: Peaches and Cream Yarn.  I really like the Peaches and Cream yarn and Sugar and Cream for kitchen items because it gives a thick and durable feel.


{pattern notes}  this pattern is mostly a free form spiraling round pattern.  Do not get hung up on where you are on a row, you can figure out if you are right by laying it as it will go together as shown in the pictures.  You may end your potholder before or after i do, depending on the yarn that you use and the tension of which you crochet.  The important thing is that it meets together as shown in the pictures.
You will not join rounds, instead moving on to sc in the top of the last round directly.

ch 30

Row 1- work 1sc in the 2nd chain, from hook in the back chain only! (see picture)  sc to the end, turn.

Row 2- work 2 sc in what is now the back of the chain, on the opposite side of the last sc of the last row.  work 1 sc in each back chain to the end.(see picture) Add one more sc to last chain.  Do not turn.
*note, piece will begin to curl on ends, and this means you're doing it right.

Round 2- *now rounds will be worked, Row 1 and Row 2 equal the first round. *  sc in back loop of each sc around.

R3-15- sc in back loop of each sc around.

Now while following this pattern, it is advised that once you get to Round 13 or so, you begin laying your piece as it folds naturally.  This way you can see how much of the gap that you need to fill.  Reference the pictures below to see how much difference even just one round can make.  Feel free to add or omit rows as you need to in order to get the seams to line up properly.

Once you're done, you can use any method of seaming that you prefer, but I use a whip stitch with an yarn needle.  If you need ideas or how-to's on seaming, check out this post with nice pictures: How To Seam Crochet

Another note!  Once you understand this pattern, you can make these in any size!  Follow the same formula, but increase your starting chain!  By making it bigger, you can make yourself a bigger potholder!

You can also flip it inside out, and make a different look:

Holiday crafting, Bulk gifts, Part 1: Food in a Jar

Every year I always make a bulk craft that I give to everyone, usually with some variation.  For anyone who has kept up with or looked back upon my blog, you might remember last years crafting, for which I made homemade mini pies, waterless snowglobes and gift bags.  Find the waterless snowglobes here!

This year, I decided to make a variety of different packages, and I won't go into more detail until after the holidays because I don't want to ruin the surprise.  I will, however, share some of the ideas here, but just not tell you what goes with what or whom it is going to. (Can't spoil everything!!)

My goal for crafting this year was that I wanted to make little packages, where everything was related and everything was homemade.  Thus, I thought instantly of my favorite holiday crocheting, Potholders!  They're quick, they're easy and everyone loves them.  (and honestly, who can't use another potholder?)  Then I got to thinking, why stop at just potholders?  I've been hanging on to these patterns for bath mitts, loofahs and washclothes, why not try out one or two of those? 

So now, I'm fleshing out my ideas and I start to search.  I found a total treasure trove at one of my favorite recipe websites,  Here are a couple of links that I loved from that website.

Cookies in a Jar
Soup in a Jar
Drink Mixes in a Jar

After devoting hours (and I mean hours) to finding the ones that sounded good to me, and then letting my daughter make the final decision, making the lists, I was finally ready to begin execution.  I already had the jars at home, along with the majority of the spices that I needed.  I went through all the recipes, calculated how much flour, sugar, and other things I would need, along with the special ingredients I would need to find or substitute for.  I gathered my jars, sanitized my lids and left them to dry while I went to the store.  I ended up spending around $75 getting all the items that I needed, which may sound like a lot, but just wait until you hear how many it made!

I ended up making 3 different soups in a jar, 3 different cookies in a jar, and 4 different drink mixes in a jar.
All said, I made 6 jars of soup mix, 6 jars of cookie mix and 12 jars of drink mixes.  All said, that works out to be about $3 per jar and I have lots of materials left over, either for another crafting venture or for myself.  (Speaking of... perhaps I should make some for myself for a rainy day!)

Of course, my daughter helped, and she had so much fun!  This is a great activity to do with small children, provided that you have a canning funnel (it just makes the job so much easier!)

There are only two things that I consider to be "Must Have" items for this crafting project:
Canning Jars and lids- you can use many different sizes, depending on the recipe.  I use 1 quart for my soups and often times smaller for drink mixes.
Canning Funnel- MUST HAVE!  It just makes everything way easier!

This is probably why my husband runs screaming every time that I say "It's time for holiday crafting!!"

The finished product!

Like I said, I don't want to ruin the surprise for everyone who will be getting one of these gifts, so I'm not going to mention what they are.  After the holiday gifts have been given out, then I will post what kinds I made and how I made them :)

Can I make it?

This time of year I'm filled with thoughts of "can I make it?"  I feel totally overwhelmed between work, holiday crafting and gift finding and purchasing!  So here are my current "can I make it" goals and thoughts!

"Can I make it" Number 1:

So this year, if you haven't noticed, I set a goal of reading 100 books.  I'm getting ever closer to my goal, but with only 26 days left in the year, can I make it??  I'm currently up to 86 books and on my way to finishing my 87th, but that still leaves 13 books with an average of 2 days time to read each one!  I'm not sure I'll make it unless I throw some shorter books into the mix, we'll just have to see!!

"Can I make it" Number 2:

I have about 20 some odd holiday crafting/gift projects that are either in progress or haven't been started!!  These include, custom gloves, blankets, hats and then of course my mass christmas present, which has been started but is in no way close to being done.  This year's theme is "Naughty or Nice"~ I bet you all can't wait to find out what I think you've been, eh?

"Can I make it" Number 3:

I've been on a quest to lose the baby weight this year, and while I've done ok, I haven't made my goal for this year.  I have about 10 lbs that I would like to lose before the holidays... but Can I make it?  This might be the hardest one of them all!