Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary to the man who tolerates me

With divorce rates higher than they should be, I am pleased to take this non-crochet (somewhat) spot on my blog to say "Happy 14th Anniversary" to the man who tolerates me.

Yup - love is a wonderful thing but love cannot allow a person to remain blind their entire life. Eventually you will start noticing the flaws of your partner... and one of two things can happen: accept or reject, tolerate or irritate. In the 14 years of marriage, I can say that there are a few things I choose the negative on but they aren't deal breakers. But for the most part, I choose to fully accept the man and tolerate those little "eh" traits that may not be the most desirable. But ya know what - he tolerates mine too.

He tolerates:
- my inability to just stick with something and not do crazy stuff like go back to school on a whim to get a whole new degree that I may or may not use upon graduation but I like learning and it's worth going back to school just to learn *BIG BREATH*
- my tendency to talk a lot, out loud, to myself... to help make decisions and go in big circles until I finally come to a good decision only to follow it with "whatdya think? sound good?"
- a very very very very very large ... hmmm stash (?) of yarn and other craft related items
- my whimsical nature
- my never having enough time to clean the house because I'm busy being a student, worker, mother, wife, artist, crocheter, and who knows what else I find to fill my time
- my nagging nature when things don't seem to go my way all the time (yes, I can be difficult!)
- my asking him every night "what's for dinner" and never having any input of my own
- my gaming habit (although this has gotten TONS better *laughing*)
- my passion for new technology and fun things that cost money
- that one genre of music I genuinely enjoy but he seems to think is a bit melancholy
- did I mention my yarn stash?
- my seriously quirky sense of humor and inability to stop talking

Ya know, without asking him, I'm sure I could add on to the list 10 times over, but ya know what - there is no need.

Before anyone freaks out and says "oh good gracious, why would you be married to someone who *tolerates* you" ... the answer is simple: tolerance doesn't have to be a negative thing - it is a form of acceptance and love that I think many people in the world could stand to adopt into their day to day lives. He loves me no matter what - and that is what tolerance helps with. Nobody is perfect so tolerance is that little extra "umph" you get to help you move past any flaws and find the beauty within.

So... I take this moment to say "Thank you, my dearest husband, for 14 wonderful years and I look forward to many many more - through sickness and in health, richer and poorer (although we've nailed the poorer, let's try the richer part now hehehe), for better or for worse."

Sunday, February 27, 2011


My mother is a fantastic seamstress. She is really amazing at all the crafts she does. She taught me to embroider and crochet. She taught me to sew ... she is an invaluable resource for me.

The lessons I learned for all crafts seem to apply to the others. The lesson I bring to you today is about edging.

When my mom was teaching me to sew, she told me to never make it sloppy. Don't take shortcuts, even if others can't see them. Always finish your seam because if you don't, the piece will look unfinished.

This lesson is directly applicable to my crochet today. While she never told me to edge my crochet, it comes natural to me, especially with her lessons from sewing ringing in the back corner of my  mind. When I'm working on a piece, I believe that when possible, you should edge it. It makes the piece look more professional... it makes the piece look officially "finished."

I suppose this is a blog to pass this lesson on to you, the reader and ask - do you feel the same way? What are your favorite edgings?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Small Oval Gift Bag [Pattern]


Please click on the link below to go directly to the pattern on the new site.
My apologies for any inconvenience.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finishing may be difficult....

I'm working on a scrapghan - it's a simple scrapghan and honestly, if I had my camera with me I would take a picture and post it here. I'm making a very large granny square using a very large hook with several strands of yarn at once. I love the color sequence and how colors and textures that are completely unrelated are able to blend together nicely as each ball of yarn disappears into the -ghan.

I do like this lovely and cannot wait to drape it across my queen size bed. I think it'll be fabulous for spring and fall weather. But... I am having trouble finishing it, especially now that it is getting larger.

In theory, this scrapghan should work up quickly, and up until recently, it was. Why is it not, you ask? Well... I keep falling asleep under it!

I live in an older house which can be read as "drafty." I begin to crochet and the toasty laziness of a rainy Sunday afternoon sets in and I fall asleep - and it doesn't even have to be rainy.... or Sunday!

For example, last night I came home from work and put on my workout clothes. They say once you are dressed, you are more likely to complete the workout. But I found that I was so hungry that I wanted to eat first. So, I made dinner for the kids and me. Of course... being full, I didn't want to work out. I was going to let my stomach settle and then tackle the calorie burn. So - what better way to kill an hour or two than to crochet, since we all know cleaning house or doing homework is out of the question (or at least I put it out of the question very quickly). The children were off playing and I began hooking. The next thing I know, I wake up at 9:55pm only because the dog nudged my arm to go out.


It was an over 3 hour nap! Obviously I must have been tired and the toastiness of that lovely -ghan put me over the edge. Oh it was a lovely nap, not to mention "much needed;" however, it brings into question how quiet my kids can play. They know if I woke up, it would be showers and bed at 9pm... so they *can* be quieter.... when they want to.

Odd enough, I was too well-rested to go to bed at a decent hour so here I am, a wee bit drowsy because I got so excited over a possible new stitch... but I'll save that for later.

Until next time - happy crocheting!
- Cris

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

say that 3 times real fast...

Image from
Bernat's Baby Bobble Blanket
Bernat's Baby Bobble Blanket
Bernat's Baby Bobble Blanket
Bernat's Baby Bobble Blanket
Bernat's Baby Bobble Blanket....


Well, it's on one of my hooks with no end in site. (Here's a LINK to the pattern).

A friend's wife is pregnant and due in 3 months .. hmmm, is it still 3 months or are the calendar pages falling off quickly? Well, at the beginning of January I decided to make them a lovely baby blanket. I figured I'd take the easy way out and find a free pattern. This lovely from Bernat caught my eye and quickly caught my hook. I think it is absolutely lovely and the soft baby green I am using looks amazing... in the 8 inches I've completed in the last month!

That's right - 8 inches! I don't think I'm a very slow crocheter, but I have got to say, this pattern has slowed me down to almost stopping. And of course, anyone who knows me knows that I have a problem with taking too long to do one task. If I have ever made you a full-sized afghan this means I really really love you. I get bored so easily and this baby blanket is pushing my limits. I am not sure how many times I have wanted to frog it and start over with a quicker pattern. The only thing stopping me is the time invested in the 8 inches I currently have done. I like the pattern, although I admit I am not sure how much I'm going to like the entire blanket being textured, and I really want my friend and his wife to have this amazing little heirloom-esque baby blanket.... but my patience is wearing thin.

Do you have this problem? Is it just me? What would you do?

UGH - I know I had better just finish the darn thing.... I've tried to think of a million non-time related reasons to frog the darn thing but nothing seems to justify tearing up all that work. I know I should just finish it and look forward to the day I can put a picture on my blog of the finished product next to the mailing envelope.

So... in the comments - tell me about your "project that never ends" - have you ever worked on something that seemed like it would never go away? What was it for?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

[Video] Stitches: Triple/Treble Crochet (tr)

This is a video tutorial to show you how to do the triple or treble crochet, often abbreviated tr in patterns.

Happy Crocheting!

Monday, February 21, 2011

[Video] Stitches: Double Crochet (dc)

This is a tutorial to walk you through the double crochet, or dc, stitch.

Happy Crocheting!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

[Video] Stitches: Single Crochet (sc)

This tutorial walks you through the steps to create a single crochet, or sc, stitch. Single crochet is a basic stitch that you will see in many patterns.

Happy Crocheting!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

[Video] Stitches: Half Double Crochet (hdc)

This video tutorial will show you how to do the half double crochet, or hdc.

Happy Crocheting!

Friday, February 18, 2011

And the OWOH winners are....

Oh I am sure you are eager to find out who the winners of the wonderfully soft and practical soap savers are, eh? Well, without further ado, these are the winners. I am linking you to their blog so you can go take a look.

I only had a total of 80 comments, 1 had been deleted. I used a random number generator to get the winners - and if my counting is correct, the winners posted comment numbers 13, 30, and 44.

Ok - now without further ado ....

1. FlowerMouse Design - Blog:
2. TuscanRoad - Blog:
3. Cheryl - Blog:

I have sent off emails to each. If I do not receive a reply within 3 days, I will drop their name as a winner and pick another.

This was a fabulous opportunity to meet new people and see so many blogs I otherwise would not have. I am very excited about the giveaway and am sure I will be doing more on my own in the future. To my 2 new followers - thank you for finding my blog interesting enough to follow - I am excited to get to know you through comments and your blogs as well.

- Cris

NOTE: The original giveaway announcement is here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One World, One Heart....

A lot of you will be seeing winners posted today; however - not here! I am allowing the comments to run through today so if you have not commented on my OWOH original post (click here) and you want a chance to win my handy-dandy soap saver, then go and make your comment. I'll be selecting and posting my winners (there are going to be THREE) tomorrow morning.

- Cris

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[Video] Front/Back Loops & Posts

This is a video I created to explain what the front and back loops of a stitch were and how to crochet in the front and back posts.

Happy Crocheting!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

[Video] Basics: Increasing/Decreasing a Row by One

Have you ever wondered what a pattern was talking about when it said to increase or decrease a row by 1? or what about "Crochet 2 together" (a decrease)... well, this video will show you how.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: Sidewinder Dishcloth

Finished Dishcloth
I frequent Crochetville and noticed a new pattern posted by Heather who writes "The Good Life" blog. The pattern is called the Sidewinder Dischcloth.

I saw the pattern and remembered I had just purchased some 100% cotton on one of my recent trips to Michaels. The pattern is simple enough so I thought I would make the pattern and give it an honest review here.

I created my dishcloth using "Sugar 'n Cream" cotton yarn in the color "earth ombre." I used a size H hook, as recommended by the pattern.

The pattern says it is "Easy" and I could not agree more. My only comment here is to new crocheters - the pattern is simple using basic stitches; however, you may find the edging a bit awkward at first simply because you are working a single crochet in the stitch behind your hook rather than the stitch in front of your hook. This does not, in my opinion mean this pattern should be listed as intermediate. I think Heather was spot on in marking this pattern as easy - once the new crocheter works through the awkwardness of the edging, he or she will find that it is a simple edging that gives a great effect. Simply: don't give up just because it feels a little awkward - you can do it.

I have one other note specific to the new crocheter - it can be very easy to get a lopsided dishcloth by missing stitches at the end. The "hump" created by the slanted v-stitch can be deceptive and it is easily dropped when doing the single crochet row above it. Make sure you always have 29 stitches working and that you have 9 humps created by the slanted-v stitch row. You want your dishcloth to be square, not trapezoidal *smiles*

The primary stitches for the main part of this dishcloth is the single crochet (sc), ch (chain), and double crochet (dc). The actual pattern of the dishcloth repeats between 2 rows: a row of single crochet and a row of the slanted v-stitch. The pattern does not reference the slanted v-stitch, only walks you through it without calling it by name.

The pattern states that gauge is not important, and I do agree; however, if you crochet tighter, be sure to measure your width after the first few rows so you know approximately how far you should go. The pattern states make it about 8 inches tall in completed rows, but because I crochet so tightly, if I had gone 8 inches, I'd have a rectangle instead of something that resembles more of a square. My finished dishcloth was 7 1/4" x 7 1/4". I was highly impressed at how symmetrical the stitches worked out. I think this is fabulous planning on Heather's part.

Another benefit to my crocheting so tightly is that I did not use a full 2 ounces of the cotton yarn, which tends to be a wee bit more expensive. I will most likely be able to get a second dishcloth out of the same 2 ounce skein of cotton yarn.

I would definitely recommend this as a fast work-up pattern that is great for quick gifts. The stitch is nice and tight (few holes) so it makes a perfect dishcloth. I even gained a few ideas from the slanted-v on what other projects it would be ideal for.

I would like to take a bit of a side bar and say that there are more great patterns other than this one on Heather's blog - it's a definite "must follow" for anyone who crochets as a resource website.

The Good Life Blog
Sidewinder Dishcloth Pattern
Reversed Single Crochet Tutorial: coming soon

Quick Review Summary:
Great pattern - I'm making more!

I would give this pattern 4.5 balls of yarn out of 5.

Friday, February 11, 2011

[Video] Basics: Slip Knot and Tension Hand

This video covers the basics of creating a slip knot and how to thread the yarn through your tension hand.

Feel free to leave a comment with any other tutorials you would like to see or on how I can make my existing tutorials better.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One World, One Heart Event Introduction

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Winners were announced here.

This entry is an indicator of my participation in this blog event: One World, One Heart. To sweeten the event, every participating blog is supposed to have a door prize, with winners selected on February 17th. To read more about the event or to visit other participating blogs, click on the One World, One Heart link above.

A Whimsical Bohemian has hosted this event with this year being the 5th year. A lot of work goes into the event but hopefully she knows how much we all appreciate all the work she puts into it. There are a lot of participants so I highly encourage you to visit the link above, perhaps put your blog on the participation list, and visit a lot of great blogs you may have never seen without this event.

So first - welcome to Crochet With Cris.

To briefly introduce myself, my name is Cris and this is my blog. Obviously, the primary purpose of the blog is to present crochet topics. Sometimes other stuff sneaks in, but I do try to stay on topic. I am 34, soon to be 35, years old and have been crocheting since I was around 5 years old. I love to create patterns, work on classic patterns, discover new crochet patterns and techniques, and crochet for charity. I don't need to tell you more about any of this stuff, there are plenty of posts on this blog to introduce you to what I do here. 

So let's get to the super fun stuff. My door prize, well THREE door prizes, are going to be crochet soap savers. The pattern is here on the site but these will be all done up for you! I'll be giving away one soap saver to each winner - and I will be selecting three winners total.

The soap savers I am making are all the same yarn brand and color so they will look pretty much like the one in the picture to the right. Basically - drop your bar of soap into the bag and use it as a scrubbing bag directly on your body. The yarn is 96% acrylic and 4% "other" - I'm sorry I can't tell you what the "other" is but I have a feeling it is whatever is in the small flecks of color.

So how do you win? Very very VERY simple - just post a comment to THIS post. It will be only one entry per person so please don't try to spam my comments. If you spam, then I'll remove you completely from the giveaway. Please make sure you leave some way for me to contact you. It could be via your blog, post an email, or something. I just need some method to contact you and let you know you won. Winners will be selected on February 18th so all comments will count up until February 17th. If you win, I will contact you and then send you the soap saver within 3 days after the 18th. I will also announce the winners on the 18th, right after they are selected, right here on my blog.

Please note: if you do not have your email on your blog profile or some means of me to contact you, then you won't be able to win. If you don't have any of these available and you don't mind, just drop your email in the comment. Anything just so I can contact you!

I'm pretty sure that's all there is. If you have any questions, do feel free to ask. I look forward to meeting all of you!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

[Contest] Book Giveaway

I figure it is easier to embed the original video in my blog; however, here is the basic idea: Put your name into the form and you enter to win "Crochet Afghans: 25 Throws, Wraps, and Afghans." You will need to watch the video for details and then click on the link to go to to put your name in the form for the drawing.

Link to enter:

Video from Mikeysmail (I love his videos)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Afghans in the Winter

I never knew how much I appreciate crocheting in the winter, especially anything 'ghan' related. Currently I'm working on a lapghan for my beloved and it is about 1/4 of the way done. Granted, that is not a lot, but it's enough to know when you take it off your lap to go grab something else to drink or start dinner.

When I stood up this weekend, removing the work-in-progress from my lap, my instantly chilled thighs gave me the reminder that my husband is going to love this lapghan - and by love it, I mean *LOVE* it. I thought of how he's going to adore the fact its in his favorite college team colors and that it's a nice manly stitch and an even nicer, manlier pattern (which I'll be posting later, with pictures).

What I also began to think about is my trend - my trend for crocheting larger projects only in the late fall and winter. I can't remember an afghan that I have made that had crochet take place outside the colder months.... I started my daughter's afghan in a summer month, but it was granny squares.... and I didn't sew them together until the fall. My son's afghan was done pretty much completely in Nov/Dec of 2009... and it was a full dc only afghan....

The earliest I remember crocheting an afghan was when I was about 10 years old - for my baseball coach. And again - it was granny squares. I made the small squares in the summer months but waited to sew them together for the fall.

While I have not started any afghans recently, I know I have one more to make for my oldest daughter and I have a feeling, that if it isn't small squares thrown together, I have only a few months to get it started and finished before it gets boxed up until next fall.

.... perhaps a Christmas present for 2011.

Friday, February 04, 2011

"Corner of my Heart" Gift Pouch [Pattern]


Please click the link below to be taken directly to the pattern on the new site.
My apologies for any inconvenience.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Crochet Breaks

I would naturally assume that people who are considered "crafty" do not put all their efforts solely into one craft hobby. People I know who are crafty tend to do multiple crafts - each serving a purpose in alleviating stress. For me, other than crochet, my big hobby is painting. I enjoy painting. Both painting and crochet are almost meditative. Each takes me to a place beyond my physical being and allows me to express myself. With crochet, the rhythm of the stitches and the counting in my head calm me. Painting allows me to look beyond myself and put images and thoughts on canvas without judgment.

Recently, I have begun loom knitting. ... let me back up a little bit.

loom knitted scarf - basic knit stitch with crocheted caps
I used to knit a long long LONG time ago (read: as... a really freakin' long time ago). Recently, I have met some people who knit and I began to wonder why I didn't knit anymore. While at the yarn store, I saw some knitting needles for sale and thought "why the heck not" so I picked up a pair and home I went. I cast on and while creating that first row, I remembered why I don't knit - because it's suicidal.

I knit tight - and by tight, I mean I cannot get the needle between the yarn and second needle. So here I sit, forcefully trying to shove a large pointed object into a small area... where my wrist happens to be behind.

I sat the needles to the side, remembering why knitting is a bad idea for me, and conceded to return to my crochet hook. It wasn't until I was breezing around YouTube, making my normal rounds on people I find wonderfully entertaining and crafty, when I remembered mikeysmail - a YouTube member I have watched for a very long time. Mikey is wonderfully creative and fun to watch. I remembered a series of videos he had done using a knitting loom. I was curious if it would work for me so the next time I was out and about, I bought one.

loom knitted caterpillar scarf (mikeysmail pattern)
I've been hooked (pardon the pun) since!

What I like is that I get the look and feel of knitting but it takes less time. One of my favorite features of crochet is the sheer speed you can create. Traditional knitting is so slow. I picked up Tunisian crochet a couple years ago and I while I do enjoy it, I struggle with the amount of time it takes to finish a small piece. Loom knitting, while not as fast as crochet, actually goes pretty quick when comparing it to traditional knitting and Tunisian crochet.

If you haven't tried it, I would highly suggest you do so. I still have several items on my crochet hooks - but when I'm looking for a quick break from crochet, I can still continue my crafty self through loom knitting. It's definitely a valuable and fun addition to the crafty mental cupboard that is my mind.