Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

A four-day weekend of gift making

Chris and I recently took a second honeymoon to Gatlinburg, Tenn. We spent a Saturday through Wednesday traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway and gallivantin’ around in Tennessee.

And I still had Thursday through Sunday left to fill up with activities. What to do, what to do.
So I swore off any house cleaning, other than laundry, and crocheted to my little heart’s content.
But after that week of bliss, I was ill and didn’t get much crafting or house cleaning done the next week. Therefore, I’m behind in sharing these fun projects.
I finished an afghan I had been working on for months. The pattern is from Leisure Arts’ “I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting.” I’ve seen a reprint of the book at various craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby and my own local deBeez House of Herbs and Yarn, Galax, Va. There’s also a new version of the book, featuring knitter, crocheter and designer Melissa Leapman, but I don’t know if it has the same patterns or what it’s like.

It’s Chris’ afghan, so he picked out the colors: a tan yarn, a tan and cream variegated yarn, a reddish-orange yarn called paprika and a black yarn variegated with cream, reddish-orange and browns. It’s nice and cozy!

I also came close to finishing these little birdies. My friend, Kelly, pointed out the pattern for them on Ravelry. I fell in love with them! These, once stuffed, will serve as a Christmas gift for one of my nieces, 6-month-old Bridgette. Since she’s still a babe, I sewed on the eyes and bills instead of using felt or craft beads. I felt that would be safer.

The yellow one is a baby chick, the green is a baby parrot, inspired by my mom’s new Quaker parrot, and the blue is a baby blue jay.

My friend and yarn pusher, Debbie Worrell of deBeez House of Herbs and Yarn, suggested stuffing leftover yarn into the birdies. I like this idea and have been slowly collecting a pile of scraps as I clip along on projects. If I don’t have enough by Christmas, I’ll either use yarn from skeins I’ll probably never use or I’ll buy some polyfill.
I also finished and stuffed this hacky sack for Bridgette’s dad and my brother-in-law, Aaron. I was a little surprised that he asked for this as a present, but I made him one using leftover yarn from Chris’ blanket. I filled it with rice.

I also found the pattern on Ravelry.

In the past week I also finished a hat for Aaron. I haven’t taken a picture of it nor of a blanket and hat set I’ve made for a friend’s soon-to-arrive infant as I haven’t had time. Maybe later. But I’d like to keep some things a surprise until the said items are in the hands of the recipients. So maybe I’ll share pictures later.
I will say that the patterns came from Debbie Stoller’s “Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker,” a good handbook for those learning to crochet or those who can’t seem to remember how many chains to do at the end of a row for half-double crochets, double crochets, triple crochets, etc. It’s full of more modern, youthful patterns that you won’t find in most books or magazines.
I also recommend Stoller’s other books “Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook” and “Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation,” also a knitting book.
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