Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Rather Dishie Rainbow of Crochet

Rainbows are very happy - I mean with all those bright, fun colors striping together right next to one another in a curvy little arc... what more could you ask for color happy!

A rainbow comes at the end of a rain when the sun is peeking out again - that's pretty happy.

So, I'm sharing a bit of crochet rainbow happiness with you today.  For my crochet booth (see this post at my failed attempt at selling crochet) I made some happy little rainbow arches.  They are part of my Happy Hanger series.  What's a Happy Hanger?  Well, it's just a little something to hang around the house in a place you can enjoy it for no other reason than just looking at it might make you happy.

Here's my design, instructions and photo tutorial.  Enjoy.

First - I'm using Knit Picks Dishie Cotton Yarn.  I love this Dishie!!! (however, the yellow is a bit dull and they often run out of colors - but the shipping is fast and the price is right).   That said, in this example, I substituted Knit Picks CotLin dk for the yellow (canary).  The CotLin dk works up about the same as the Dishie - clearly making the Dishie a very very light worsted.  I used They say it's a worsted weight but I'd call it a slightly heavy dk if anything.  It's much thinner than any worsted here in the US.  I made rainbow Happy Hangers using E, F and G hook sizes... the small-ish hook makes for a nice tight rainbow that is good and firm.  For my photo tutorial, you can see I've used an E (3.5mm) hook.  You can of course vary the hook and yarn to your liking.  The tutorial instructions should work out the same.

Start with a magic ring.  Chain 2, make 10 hdc (American Crochet Terms) in ring.  Join ring with slip stitch and pull tight to close.

Join the next color (mine is orange).

Ch 2 and hdc in same stitch. 2 hdc in remaining stitches from round 1.  (20 hdc).  Finish off orange and join next color. (mine is yellow)

NOTE:  There is a great tutorial on making a flat circle from my all time, most favorite crochet gal - Lucy at Attic24.  Go here for her tute.  It's a common method for circle making but she describes and shows it very well and in great detail.

For the yellow round, ch 2, hdc in same stitch then hdc in next stitch *2hdc in next stitch, hdc in next stitch.  Repeat from * to end.  Join with sl stitch.  Add on next color (mine is green).

For the green round, ch 2, hdc in same stitch.  *hdc in next 2 stitches.  2hdc in next stitch.  Repeat from * to end of round, join w/ slip stitch.  Finish off.

Join next color (mine is blue).  ch 2, hdc in same stitch.  *hdc in next 3 stitches.  2 hdc in next stitch.  Repeat from * to end of round, join w/ slip stitch.  Finish off.

Join next color (mine is purple).

Make purple round the same as previous rounds but make hdc in 4 stitches and then 2hdc in next stitch and repeat that pattern to end.  Always join w/ a sl st and finish off.  OR.. use any joining method you like.  Sometimes I finish off and join each new round in a totally new place so I don't have a whole line of joining stitches in a row.  Sometimes I pull a new color thru to complete my sl st on the joining stitch.  There are a bunch of ways to join a new color when crocheting in the round - use your favorite method.

Next, join a final color (mine is pink).

Continue in same method.  Increase a stitch every 5 stitches.  You can increase more or less if your circle starts to curl or ripple.  At the end of this round, finish off.

I often weave ends in as I go.  In this circle I weave some ends in and others I don't.  The good thing about the rainbow hanger is that you don't have to weave the ends in.  They just live inside the rainbow - see the next photo.

Tuck all the strings in and fold the rainbow circle in half to form an arc.

To close the rainbow I use red.  I like to start and finish the rainbow with red.  Use a single stitch to join the two sides of the circle.  Go under both stitches (four loops), join the red yarn and then complete a single stitch.  Tuck the end inside the rainbow and continue single stitching around the arc.

Here the rainbow is finished in sc all the way around.  Finish off the red yarn but don't put it away.

To make a hanger loop, join the red by putting the hook under both loops of the center stitch on the sc row.
Make as many chain stitches as you wish or until the length of your hanger is at it's desired height when folded in half.

Join by making a sc in the same stitch where the yarn was joined.

Finish off the red.  I usually tie the ends in a tight knot then weave them in pulling the knot down into the top of the rainbow so it can't be seen.

TA DAH!  Your rainbow hanger is ready to make you happy!

 In this sample, you can see I crocheted the colors in reverse order from my tutorial.  I made several of these in both color orders.  I figure some people prefer to see more of the warm colors and other like the cooler colors... the rainbow can make even the warmest and coolest people happy!

Enjoy - Sher

Stay tuned for a few more Happy Hangers...

A Failed Attempt

I remember a few months ago when I was reading one of my favorite blogs: MY ROSE VALLEY

I remember all the work Annette was doing to get ready for a craft show.  She made a beautiful booth and sat all day to sell her wares.  The success was just not there.  I'm not sure if it was the event or if the place she showed was just not ready for her Bloggy-loved crafts, but the sales were disappointing.

I remember thinking, ugh... I hope I never have to put my beloved crafts out to the public and have them shunned!

Well, I had JUST THAT happen.

A few weeks ago I hosted a table at our local Heritage Festival.  I have had a table there for many years for my scrapbooking and digital photo organizing.  But, this was my first time EVER adding crochet to my table.

I thought a lot about my booth, what I would sell, how I wanted it to look.  I wanted simple, cute, bright and happy.  AND... I got JUST THAT!

Here is some of the crochet (during the 3weeks preceeding the event I made a lot of stuff!) in the works for the booth:

And here are some of the photos of my booth.

Some of my designs were inspired by pinterest and blog patterns and the like, others were of my own design entirely and I'll be sharing the patterns for those.

Here are some more photos of the booth and event:

People kept asking if these were prayer flags - I told them I refer to them as buntings.  They had no idea what a bunting was or what you did with it - maybe I only live in blog-land?

What do you think - should I try it again?

The Heritage Festival is not a big shopping event - it's much more about our town's historical buildings and historical past - about community organizations and opportunities, about pony rides and ice cream and beautiful weather on a road beside the creek... but it didn't seem to be a big sales event for other people either.

For me.  I sold one item for $8.  Table fee was $25.  So, I don't feel it was a success.

But - my booth was successful!  I loved my booth.  It was nice and cool and shady on a hot hot day and I got to sit and relax and be surrounded by my happy, yarny colors all the same.  So what's your take...should I ever try it again - did you like my booth?

A Runner's Plate

I've been running with a running group in my neighborhood for 3 or 4 years now.  It's a great group of gals and we have a super awesome running coach.  The group is full of a range of ages and loads of different skill levels.  I am in the bottom rung of skill levels.  I don't particularly like to run races.  I train just because I like the group.  Some days I like running and other days not so much, but I definitely don't want to stop.

One of my favorite things about running group (aside from all the fabulous gals) are the Runner Night's Out (RNOs).  We do all kinds of things, visit the local pub, take a group yoga class but recently we had an entirely different kind of RNO.  We went to the Mud Room.  No, nothing like you are thinking.  No wrestling was involved and we didn't leave covered in brown muck.  This Mud Room is a local pottery painting place (tho. they have fused glass as well).

I love crafts but I'm not so good at drawing and painting.  I'm more of a yarny kinda gal.  So... I did a little prep work to create some crayon drawings of what I hoped to copy onto a piece of pottery.  What do you think?

As you can tell - I was playing around with some HAPPY colors - happy was my inspiration.  The crayon drawing in the back was what I liked best.  The actual painting in front is my un-fired painting job on a round platter.  I think it looks like I imagined.

The whole experience was a lot of fun - esp. in a group setting where we ate and ahem... drank...

And created all sorts of art work painting on china/pottery pieces.

Here are some of the gals and me at the event:

Roxane is hard at work painting carrots on her platter and that's Yoonie in the background telling some really good story I'm sure.

Here is Meg, Maria, (our fab coach, JoAnn) and Sandy (standing).  Meg even created TWO pieces while she was there.

This one is Carol (making a Halloween Platter - apparently there is an annual Halloween bash at her house that we all invited ourselves to!) and me making my flowers.

Apparently I am hard in concentration on this one - and there is Jen over my shoulder in the pink.  Megan was on the other side of her.  Everyone's project was so diverse but all of them were really great!

This is all of us - our pottery masterpieces are on the table in front of us, and Andrea (far left front) is our running group friend who owns the Mud Room!

When I showed up Tuesday morning, in the very humid and hot weather for the final spring group run session, JoAnn had my plate all fired and waiting for me to take home!  WOW!  That was fast - and I love my platter - it's so awesome.  It's happy and shiny and bright - just like I wanted.

Here is the back:

And the front !!!!

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