Keepsake Baby Afghan

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One of those projects that I started (about a year ago!), ran out of yarn, tucked away and forgot about, recently found, purchased more yarn, and FINALLY FINISHED!

Yarn: I Love This Yarn – turquoise
Hook: 5.00mm
Pattern : “Sweet Memento” Keepsake Baby Afghan by Leisure Arts
**adjusted slightly as I only did 59 of the 77 rows that were in the pattern.
Finished size: approximately 39″x39″

Graph to Greek Key!

So you know how we want for our children to intrinsically value themselves and be excited about learning? Well, I am so excited about my learning and can’t wait to share it with you!
I have forever been looking up Greek key patterns for crochet on Pinterest, but have consistently put them on the back burner because I am not a fan of all the color change that would be necessary (sidebar: this is also the only reason I haven’t attempted a “grafghan” yet).
Then I found a picture on Pinterest of a tunic that was made up of strips of Greek key connected. The best part was that there was no color change, just “blank” and “solid” spaces! This I could do! Bad news. No pattern. The link had been blocked as spam :( I started looking up Greek key crochet graphs and found a link to this little gem.

Despite being in a different language, I was able to do this :

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From there, I began to draw the key “pattern” on graph paper in multiples

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I applied what I learned in the video about the stitches used for “blanks” and “spaces” and began crocheting using my drawn pattern. As I finished a row by using the visual graph, I wrote down what I did (in a very rough/not suitable for sharing “pattern” that at least I was hoping to be able to understand for the next strip).
Here is my first finished panel!

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I am so excited and hope to finish a couple more panels this weekend!
Stay tuned… I may be able to create something resembling a tunic eventually ;) Wish me luck!

Altering a Pattern

Does anyone else do this? I bought that “Wrapped in Warmth” pattern from ELK Studio and I absolutely love it! In the short time since I’ve purchased the pattern, I have made 2 shawls with it.
I decided (kind of last minute) to make a shawl for a friend that was having surgery tomorrow and decided to use the pattern again. As I was making it, I thought that it might be quicker and use less yarn if I omitted the repeating 3 solid dc rows. It was! I also omitted the last 3 rows of edging, but still love the finished look. What do you think?
I used a 5.5mm hook and 2 1/2 skeins of “I Love This Yarn – COLORS” in Morningstar. I bet if I had used a solid color, I probably could have finished the shawl with only 2 skeins as they seem to be bigger, but I really liked this yarn…or rather I loved it!
What do you all think about my changes?

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Wrapped in Warmth

I don’t often buy patterns, but when I saw this, I knew that it was one that I would use over and over. And I have! I am now making my 3rd shawl with this pattern and altering it a bit so that it will use less yarn. I will post pictures of that one soon (I hope). This was the first “Wrapped in Warmth” shawl by ELK Studio (found on ravelry) that I made. I used Isaac Mizrahi yarn and a 5mm hook.
These are pictures done by my  photographer friend. Just goes to show how important a good picture is to marketing your items! Thank you Christina from http://www.beeskneesphotographync.com for the wonderful photos! Please go check out her beautiful nature photography as well.

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/239568980/golden-threads-crochet-bridal-shawl

Creative Outlet in Zentangles

My name is Maria Hartemann and I have become a pattern addict. I admit it. I used to be so creative before I learned to read patterns. When I was in elementary school, I used to crochet outfits for my cabbage patch doll. Honestly, I didn’t even know how to read a pattern until about a decade ago when a friend asked me for help. Hats are about the only thing that I still improvise and get creative with.
But last fall I saw a picture that my cousin posted of some beautiful drawings she had done using sharpie markers. They were amazing and inspiring! She used colored sharpies and called the drawings “Zentangles”.
I began experimenting. My daughter loves squirrels (as you can tell from this picture).

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For Christmas, I ended up drawing, matting, and framing a different Zentangle for each of my children and my husband. They loved them! And I loved my new creative outlet.
Here’s a picture of my first Zentangle. The original is now hanging on my daughter’s wall.

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I have since done many more! A fox for my son, the Tottenham Hotspur logo for my husband, a buffalo, gorilla, cat, owl, 35mm camera, butterfly, dragonfly, salamander, elephant, and a cactus🌵 for a friend that was moving back to Arizona. I’m sure there are a couple that I’m forgetting…
I have given most of the originals away, but scanned them all and have added notecards to my etsy shop and have made iron on t-shirts for kids.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/228075335/original-art-buffalo-zentangle-4×6

I absolutely love drawing them! Have any of you tried them? If so, what are your favorite things to Zentangle? I love drawing the animals but have since seen some beautiful free flow designs.

Solution to the “Now What?!” Post

So I will admit that I tried cream and I tried white (as was suggested in one of my crochet groups), but neither looked quite right.
I headed to the store and after about 30 minutes in the yarn aisles, these were the colors that I settled on. When I bought them, I wasn’t sure if I would use one color or both, but in the end this is what I settled on.
It’s growing on me and I think that it will be a hit!

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Now What?!

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This is the 2nd “Wrapped in Warmth” shawl by ELK Studio that I have made…well almost. I ran out of yarn (and it was given to me without the wrap, so I don’t know how easy it would be to run out and find more) with 3 more rows AND the edging left to do. So now what? Any suggestions???
Here is the one that I actually completed so that you can see what all is left.

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This amazing pattern can be found here on Ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wrapped-in-warmth