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I’ve been teaching the younger high school girls how to crochet.  I’ve done this before with previous groups of kids and always with very limited success.  I never understood why success was so limited until I realized that the projects we were starting on, although simple and straightfoward, were too big for them.  A crocheted (or knitted) scarf is pretty easy to make, but it would take us weeks to make one because novice crocheters don’t stitch very fast.  Also, making 1293871293872 single crochets is kind of boring.

So, enter the granny square.  I never thought granny squares were very useful or interesting.  Ok, so you can use up bits of yarn making a granny square, but now you have…a square.  Yay.

But I recently realiezd that in ye olden days, kids were taught how to crochet with granny squares.  They’re actually really good teaching tools because each one only takes about 15-30 minutes to make and you learn a few different stitches.  That could possibly be a bad thing because now you have to keep track of all these stitches BUT they repeat in a pattern, so you get to practice each one.

In our case, we didn’t do a square motif because…a square isn’t very interesting.  Well, a few squares put together can be interesting, but we’re talking about each person making one square.  It’s really not that interesting.  Or useful.  So I found a hexagon motif instead that looks pretty good only using one color.  I guess it’s a granny hexagon?  I don’t think they’re called granny hexagons.

ANYWAY, here’s Yaris modeling our crocheted hexagon motif.


Were you aware that Yaris is vain and likes to look pretty?  Well, she is and she does.

Actually, the first hexagon I attempted (the red one) ended up…a pentagon.  I guess I had miscounted my stitches in the beginning.  I also had started with a magic ring.  I got rid of that when I taught the girls.

Their first attempts also missed the hexagon mark.  One of them ended up with a septagon.  That was pretty impressive.  I had started it for her and made sure she had the proper number of stitches and somehow she managed to add another petal.  The other girl ended up with a pentagon, like my first attempt.  I’m not sure how that happened either, because I also make sure she had the proper number of starting stitches.  Hmm…

In the end, it didn’t matter too much.  Their final result looked a lot like what they should have gotten, so they still had that sense of accomplishment.  They also had the desire to try again and make it correctly the second time.  And that’s what I was looking for.

Here’s Yaris modeling again.

WP_20130206_19_34_46_SmartShootTo make her flower, I layered that red pentagon I made the first time over a correctly crocheted green hexagon, and then I tied it to her collar.  You can’t see it that well, but it does look like a flower.  Actually, right now it looks like a very furry flower because I haven’t brushed Yaris in awhile and she’s shedding like crazy.  She probably doesn’t feel pretty right now and is quite grumpy with me.

And here is the pattern for the hexagon.  I modified it from a motif I found in this book, which I own in Kindle format and encourage you to get so you can make more than just this hexagon, so that it would be easier for the girls to start the pattern and follow through with it.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 12 sc in first ch, join with slst to first sc (12 sc).
Rnd 2: Ch 1, *[sc, ch 5, sc, ch 1] in same sc, skip next sc, repeat another 5 times from * (6 sets total), join with slst to first sc.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, *[sc, hdc, 4 dc, hdc, sc] in ch-5 space, repeat another 5 times from * (6 sets total), join with slst to first sc.  Fasten off.

WP_20130207_003 (1)

To purposely make more or less petals, you can alter the number of single crochets in round 1.  Or you can do weird stuff, like we all did in our first attempt, and get something totally not a hexagon.


That’s right!  I made something!  Finally!

Well, I actually have made a few things but haven’t found the time to write posts about them.


Anyhoo!  I recently crocheted a dog sweater for my ancient dog.  Choco is turning 17 tomorrow.  What comes after old fart?  Because that’s what she is.  And because she’s so old, she has a hard time regulating body temperature now.  Mostly, she just gets pretty cold.  I had put her in an old tshirt for awhile, but as she gets even older, a tshirt isn’t sufficient in keeping her warm.  Sometimes I’d see her wake up from a nap and look pathetically around while her ears were quivering from her shivering.  It’s…pretty pathetic.  When I knew she’d be sleeping for awhile, I’d cover her with a blanket.  But that doesn’t work so well when she wants to get up and do stuff, because then she drags the blanket with her and it kind of trips her up.  So I decided that making her something warmer than a tshirt took precedent over any other project I had going.

Did you know I crochet sometimes?  I do.  And my sister is more of a knitter.  We can both do the other, but we prefer to do what it is we do.  Now, my sister knits more than I crochet, because people request her to make stuff for them.  Mostly scarves.  That means she has all this leftover yarn overflowing the yarn drawer.

Generally, people don’t request me to make stuff.  Mostly because I make kind of useless stuff.  Amigurumi or hats with teeth (I believe more hats should have teeth…and eyes) or small stuff like that.  Generally I make small things because I don’t want to count stitches.  I lose count all the time and it’s tiresome to count and recount ALL THE TIME.  So the fact that I made a sweater for a mediumish sized dog was kind of impressive to me.  Stitch markers FTW!

Anyway, I also had a bunch of leftover (ugly) yarn from small projects that I made.  So I made a dog sweater.

Actually, I made my dog this sweater

dog sweater

in the XL size, based on the measurements around Choco’s neck.  (You will have to register with Bernat to see the pattern.  As far as I can tell, they don’t sell your email address to spammers and they haven’t bothered me about anything, so it seems safe.)  Choco is kind of a weird shape.  But because she’s such a weird shape, the collar of the sweater fits ok, but the rest of the sweater is waaaay too big for her.  It fits Yaris, but ends up being a little short.

So, as you can see, I didn’t bother with the stripe pattern.  Well unless you count my one big stripe of ugly, variegated yarn in the middle.  The red yarn is decent quality yarn that was left over from one of my sister’s projects.  The ugly, variegated stuff is not good quality yarn left over from one of my amigurumi projects.  I don’t have to buy good quality yarn because you don’t wear amigurumi.  I only buy good stuff if I’m making a baby toy or something.  I didn’t think Choco would mind the rougher yarn since she already has a fur coat and the yarn won’t rest against her skin.

Um…what else?  Oh, I accidentally half-double crocheted where I was supposed to double crochet, because I often get those two stitches mixed up.  I’m not sure why, but I do.  By the time I noticed, I had already gotten pretty far on the sweater, so I opted to just half-double crochet the whole way through.  I also decided not to add sleeves because I felt they were unnecessary.  Um…and later on I added a cinch for the waist because the sweater was just too big on Choco.

So, there you have it.  An ugly dog sweater.