Mini Frosty Snowflake

I used the light parts of Alize Miss Batik 3722 with a #5 hook and the snowflake is approximately 3″ across.  Using a #10 thread with a smaller hook will result in a smaller snowflake.
I am a sloppy pinner; I don’t pin each picot, though that will give you a more professional looking snowflake.   For stiffening, I purchased some bottles of sparkly nail polish at our local store.  It adds glitter while stiffening.

  ( ) is repeating pattern
  [ ] is a note
  ss Slip Stich
  sp Space
  ch Chain
  dc Double Crochet
  tp Triple Picot (ch 5, ss in 4th ch from hook, ch 5, ss in 4th ch from hook, ch 5, ss in 4th ch from hook, bring together by ss in 1st ch in picot)
 
Make a magic circle
1 Ch 9 [this is your magic circle, a dc, ch 5], (dc, ch 5) X 5, join in 3rd ch from hook, pull magic ring [or beginning chain] tight
  6 dc, 6 ch 5 spaces made
 
2 Ss to 1st ch 5 sp, ch 3, 2dc, ch 5, 3dc [beg shell made], (in next sp: 3dc, ch 5, 3dc) X 5, join to 3rd ch
  6 shells made
 
3 SS to 1st ch 5 sp, ch 3, 2dc, tp, 3dc, (between next 2 shells: 2 dc, ch 5, ss in 1st ch made, 2dc; in shell: 3dc, tp, 3dc) X 5, join to top of 1st ch 3 made
  6 shells with tp made, ch5 picot between each shell
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Zendoodles

After my last post, I reckon everyone knows what I think of the term ‘Zentangle’, so when my mate Donna came up with Zendoodle, I appropriated it.  This is my first finished attempt at it.  Design and colors are all out of my head, but my OCD prohibits total freehand.  I use ruler for straight edges, and when the design is the same on both sides, I draw it on flimsy paper, fold it in half and cut it out, so that both sides are even.

The Internet is the devil (Or Where did that 3 hours go?)

Three hours ago I started this post.  I searched google for an appropriate meme, and then had to read a few (dozen) others.  I saved the best one to use at the top of the post.  Then I happened to glance to the left of my computer, and I noticed in my move packing, I’d slid one of my bead boxes, and my container of embellishments into a basket of WIPs (works in progress).  I removed them and put them in the appropriate spot, and had a quick glance through the projects in the basket.  That reminded me – was I up to date on downloading the CALs (Crochet Along) I’m interested in?  You have to keep on top of those, because many become paid patterns after the CAL.  I went to facebook, and then to my groups to find my CAL group.  I noticed I have a lot of groups that I’m really not following any more.  Spent a few minutes deleting those.  But I did chance on my CQ group (Crazy Quilt) which gave me a nudge to find the materials for my 2020 quilt.

Out to the garage to search for them, ended up sitting and staring at all the boxes.  Very little of my stuff will fit in the house, so I need to take out the very most essential items, repack the rest, and stack it neatly in the corner.  ‘Course, to do that, I need to clear a corner (it’s not just my stuff out here!)  After 20-30 minutes of despondency, I found the materials, ooh, and my art paper too, and the modelling clay!  Brought it all in and sat to rest for a moment.

Oh crap.  I was checking CAL patterns.  Downloaded a few I had missed, and started sorting out the CAL section of my patterns on a memory stick.  Looking at them, I remembered there was a new shawl I NEED the pattern for.  Off to Ravelry and a pleasant few (dozen) minutes looking over the new stuff.  Looked up and noticed I had about 10 notifications on facebook.  Have to check those out.  Oh, the coverage of the protests and counter protests in Mass. is up now.  Watch a couple (or few) – I like to watch one with a left bias, one with a right and one that is more neutral to get the best idea of what – oh, that would make a good blog post – oh, crap.  I was writing one, wasn’t I?

And 3 hours disappeared in a flash.  Not one thing got accomplished.  And I didn’t even go near Pinterest!

 

 

Zentangle – or Doodling to Most of Us

You know that doodling you do when you are on hold on the phone, or trying to fill out your shopping list?
Chances are it’s copyrighted.
You heard me.

I’ve always doodled.  Mostly it was because I had pencil and paper and was waiting for something.  Impatiently, of course, and doodling occupies the mind.  In more recent times, my doodles have become more stylized, as I use them to create Crewel Work designs.  One day, scrolling along facebook (my current mindless activity) I saw a post with doodles similar to mine from a group called ZIA.  I asked to join, to find more like minded individuals and see what they were producing.
Turns out the group is called Zentangle Inspired Art, and the participants all used created patterns to fill in their designs.  Mind you, those patterns are pretty much the same patterns I’ve always used.  As usual, I had to research this ‘new’ art form.  This is the description:

“Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created through a very specific Method from an ensemble of simple, structured patterns called tangles on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. Zentangles are not only exquisitely beautiful, they are fun and relaxing to create.

The process of creating a Zentangle is a form of “artistic meditation” as one becomes completely engrossed in making each pattern, deliberately focusing on “one stroke at a time”®.”

Now, I have a lot of issues with this.  First, the word unplanned.  How can creating something to a specific size, using a specific Method be unplanned?  Secondly, how can you ‘meditate’ once you have begun trying to recreate a certain pattern, and stopped your mindless doodling?  I’m not sure they thought this through.  And finally – see that little R in a circle at the end of that statement?  Yea. That is a copyright mark.  One day a woman named Maria Thomas had an epiphany.  She was doodling and – well, let’s hear it from the creators:

“She described her feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else.

“You’re describing meditation,” Rick said.”

They proceeded to copyright hundreds of doodle patterns and create a ‘method’ for producing them.  Who knew doodling could inspire that feeling of timelessness?  I’m gob smacked!  Well, no, I’m not really.  That is what I have always felt when doodling.  I knew it was therapeutic; I didn’t need some new age entrepreneurs to tell me about it.  More power to them – they are making a fortune off gullible folks who think they need to pay money to learn how to draw checkerboard patterns and wavy lines.  Lots of them even pay serious money to take classes in it.

As you can probably imagine, I’ve left the group.  I’ll carry on doodling with whatever design comes to mind, and I will make creations, like that unfinished doodle at the top of the page, or I will use them to embroider.  I might even sell a finished piece, if anyone wants it.  Let them sue me!

 

 

Low Income Housing

I’ve been searching for affordable housing for some time now, as I am living on social security alone. Every government funded housing project that I have looked at is appalling. They are located in ghettos, they are in major disrepair, and the amount of assistance renders them less than 10% under the cost of normal rental units (if that). Add to that the waiting lists that are 1-5 years long to get into one. If you try and get HUD housing, the wait lists are closed, and have been for more than 10 years.

I’m lucky. I was able to find privately funded housing for seniors recently. The building is secure, well built and well maintained. The rent is approximately 30% of one’s income. The wait list is over a year, but I have children to help me.
Now Trump and his cronies are going to take the money away from low income housing. Our homeless situation is going to skyrocket. People who are currently working 40 hours and more a week to be able to afford their ghetto housing will be displaced, and their ability to continue working severely limited.
I truly do not see how taking away health care, public schooling, social security, medicare and medicaid, EPA controls, Planned Parenthood, and affordable housing (to name a few items on the chopping block) are making America great again.  Could someone please explain it?  With actual, intelligent and honest facts, not a repetition of Trumpisms.

Blue or Pink for your baby?


It is one thing when a person asks if certain colors are too ‘girlie’ for a little boy, but when they ask if a certain crochet stitch is, I think the world has gone mad.
Up until 100 years ago, the appropriate color for a boy was pink or red, and for a girl, it was blue or green (the red spectrum considered more fiery and dominant,as we know only boys are. The blue considered more calming and peaceful, as only girls can be.)
Is there nothing more important in our lives than to worry about what color a child wears or what toy they play with?
How about we concentrate on making sure they are well educated, because that responsibility is going to fall more and more on the parents with our educational system falling to bits.
What if we instill them with feelings of gratitude for what they have, and compassion for those who have less?
Could we make sure that they understand every human being has worth, regardless of their age, their education, their monetary worth, their gender, their race, their religion or their sexual preference?
Wouldn’t it make sense to show them how to get involved with the world?  To volunteer their time, their skills or their money to causes they believe in?  To learn about and appreciate other cultures other than their own?  To understand and participate in the political procedure?
And instead of worrying because Tommy wants to use Susie’s play kitchen, and Susie is out playing soccer, couldn’t we make sure that they are growing up to be polite, caring, involved adults?

Star Within a Square

IMG_0067[1]

The star part of this was incredibly easy – of course, it is just a simple ripple in the round, but I fought with the squaring of it for longer than I care to retell, lol.  Hopefully I have explained it fairly adequately.  It ended up being a tad smaller than the Square Within a Square block, but I think I will add an edging to each block, of sc, hdc or dc; whatever is necessary to make them all the same size.

I am using a worsted weight yarn and a size F hook.

Abbreviations & Definitions
beg: beginning
ss: slip stitch
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet
trc: triple crochet
bpsc, bphdc, bpdc, bptc: back post single, half-double, double or triple crochet (work the stitch behind the last round)
sk: skip
rnd: round
std: standing
picot: chain 3, slip stitch into top of stitch below
v st: v stitch – 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in a ch 2 space
beg v st: beginning v stitch – ch 3, dc, ch 2, 2 dc in 1st ch 2 space

To learn basic crochet stitches, you can go here.   You can read about post stitches here.

NOTES:

  1. All single crochet rounds begin with either a standing sc or a ch 1 in a magic circle, half double crochet rounds begin with a standing hdc or ch 2, all double crochet rounds begin with a standing dc or ch 3, all triple crochet rounds begin with a standing tc or ch 4.
  2. All rounds end by joining to the beginning stitch with a slip stitch.
  3. Don’t forget that hard to find first stitch after the corner, sometimes called the ‘hidden stitch’.  See more about that at Diedre Ulys’ blog.
  4. All instructions in () parenthesis will be followed with X & a number, meaning repeat these instructions that many times.
  5. Anything in [] square parenthesis and italics are notes from pattern writer.
  6. There are many links in this post, to crochet stitches, and tips.  Simply click on the underlined words, which will take you to a new page.
  • Round 1:  In a magic circle, std dc,dc, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2) X 5, join with ss to beg dc. [12 dc and 6 ch 2 sp]

IMG_0017[1]

  • Round 2:  Beg V st, (V st) X 5, join with ss to first st, finish off. [24 dc & 6 ch 2 sp =  6 v stitches]

IMG_0019[1]

  • Round 3:  With new color, beg V st, dc in next st, sk 2 st, (dc in next st, V st, dc in next st, sk 2 st) X 5, join with ss to beg dc [36 dc & 6 ch 2 sp = 6 v stitches & 12 dc]

IMG_0020[1]

  • Round 4:  Beg V st, dc in next 2 sts, sk 2 st, (dc in next 2 sts, v st, dc in next 2 sts, sk 2 st) X 5, join with ss to beg dc [6 v stitches & 24 dc] 

IMG_0022[1]

  • Round 5: With new color, beg V st, dc in next 3 sts, sk 2 st, (dc in next 3 sts, V st, dc in next 3 sts, sk 2 st) X 5, join with ss to beg dc [6 V stitches & 36 dc]

IMG_0023[1]

  • Round 6: With new color, beg V st, (dc in next 4 sts, sk 1 st, (working BETWEEN that st and the next, sc, ch 7, sc), sk 1 st (dc in next 4 sts, V st, X 5, dc in next 4 sts, sk 1 st, (working BETWEEN that st and the next, sc, ch 7, sc) dc in next 4 sts, join with ss to beg dc [6 V stitches, 6 ch 7 loops, 72 dc, 12 sc]

IMG_0051[1]

This next part is what threw me so much.  Turn the block to the wrong side, and hold it as in the picture (there is a point in the center, begin to the right side of that point.  Work with new color grouping). 

  • Round 7, the Square:
  1. Side 1:  Working on wrong side, ss to back of 3rd st from beg of rnd 6, ch 3, ss under loop, ch 3, ss to rdn 4 [directly under the center of the  point],  IMG_0053[1] ch 3, ss under loop on rnd 6, ch 3, ss to 3rd st from end on rnd 6, ch 3, turn to side, ss in same st [corner made]
  2. Side 2:  ch 3, ss to 2nd st of round 5, ch 3, ss into the 5th and 6th st of rnd 5 [this puts the stitch directly under the loop]  IMG_0052[1], ch 3, ss to 2nd st from end of round 5 [the first half of the point, ch 3, ss to the side of  2nd st from the end of round 6, ch 3, turn, ss in same st [corner made]
  3. Working on wrong side, ss to back of 3rd st from beg of rnd 6, ch 3, ss under loop, ch 3, ss to rnd 4 [directly under the center of the  point], ch 3, ss under loop on rnd 6, ch 3, ss to 3rd st from end on rnd 6, ch 3, turn to side, ss in same st [corner made]
  4. Side 4:  ch 3, ss to 2nd st of round 5, ch 3, ss into the 5th and 6th st of rnd 5 [this puts the stitch directly under the loop] , ch 3, ss to 2nd st from end of round 5 [the first half of the point], ch 3, ss to the side of  2nd st from the end of round 6, ch 3, turn, join to beg ss  [corner made] 

Square up your outline as best you can, sliding the slip stitches up or down as needed to create a straight line.  16 ss & 64 ch]

IMG_0054[1]

  • Round 8:
  1. Side 1:  Still working on wrong side, dc in beg ch 3 sp, (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 3 sp, ch 3, dc [corner made].
  2. Side 2: (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 2 sp, ch 3, dc [corner made].
  3. Side 3: (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 2 sp, ch 3, dc [corner made].
  4. Side 4: (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 2 sp, ch 3, join to beg dc with ss [corner made]. [40 dc, 36 ch 1 sp & 4 ch 3 sp]

Your work may feel tight at this point; not to worry, it should ease up.

IMG_0055[1]

  • Round 9:  [Turn the work to the right side now. ] 
  1. Side 1:  [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side] ss to center of ch 3 sp [corner] 2 hdc,  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc [corner made]
  2.  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc [corner made]
  3.  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc [corner made]
  4.  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, join with ss to beg hdc [corner made] [92 hdc, 4 ch 3 sp]

Back Side                                                                                   Front Side

IMG_0056[1]                IMG_0057[1]

  • Round 10: [In this round, make the dc’s that go through the loop and the hdc rather loosely]
  1. Side One:  [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side] With new color, work 2 dc in  ch 3 corner, dc in next 4 hdc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it,  IMG_0065[1] dc in next 13 hdc,  dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, dc in next 4 hdc.  In the ch 3 loop work: 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc [corner made]
  2. dc in next 23 dc’s, In the ch 3 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  3. dc in next 4 hdc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, dc in next 13 hdc,  dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, dc in next 4 hdc.  In the ch 3 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  4. dc in next 23 dc’s, In the ch 3 corner work: dc, ch 3, join to beg dc with ss. [corner made] [108 dc & 4 ch 2 corners]

IMG_0064[1]

  • Round 11:   [Working in the back posts except on corners and loops!]
  1. Side one: [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side]  2 hdc in ch 2 corner, bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  2.  Side two:  bphdc in next 13 dc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, bphdc in next 13 dc, 2 hdc in ch 2 corner, bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  3. Side three:  bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  4. Side 4:   bphdc in next 13 dc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, bphdc in next 13 dc, 2 hdc in ch 2 corner, bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]

IMG_0066[1]

  • Round 11:
  1. Side one: [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side] 2 dc in ch 2 corner, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X 7, ch 1, dc through the ch 2 sp of the point on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X  7, ch 1,  in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  2.  Side two:  (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 7, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  3. Side three:  (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X 7, ch 1, dc through the ch 2 sp of the point on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X  7, ch 1,  in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  4. Side 4:  (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 7, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, join to beg dc with ss. [corner made]

IMG_0067[1]