The Coolorburbians

Nov 052016
 

Hello, Dear Friends

Today’s article is about a project that my sister and I started just recently to raise funds to modernize our parents farm. We launched the campaign on Indiegogo and now we are trying to reach to as many people as we can to make our campaign more visible and attract more support. And I thought that you might like to give a helping hand and spread the word.

My parents run a small traditional farm in Braila, Romania. They specialize in growing herbs (dill and leaf parsley), root vegetables , green beans, chili peppers and corn. Most of the work is still done manually. They aim to upgrade to a sustainable farm growing organic food over the next years. That’s why they need your help.

Let’s continue with the story.

Their name is Nicu and Vasilica Stan, a 50 something year old couple from Braila, Romania. Their life, so far, has been mostly tough than easy, with more valleys than peaks. This all began in 1995 when we lost our house due to the country’s economical changes. For the next 8 years they’ve tried various ventures (and adventures, including working abroad in Turkey). Until finally they found their passion. Because this is what farming is for them. It’s not just a business. It is freedom, love and caring. In fact, this is so well known about their work, that it got my father the nickname “Nicu Mărar”, as in Nicu “Dill”.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

2003 was an important milestone in their life. It was the year they went into farming on their own, but also the year, they decided to sell our second house (a 1 room flat) for the sake of us, who were both in high school and needed more space. Sadly, we haven’t been able to buy a house ever since. We’ve been renting for 13 years now. They never had a start up budget that could have allowed them to put a solid basis to their business. They still rely on loans for production costs.

Over the years their business grew little by little. They experimented with different vegetables, like tomatoes, pepper, garlic, cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, spinach, root vegetables, green beans, chili peppers, corn, but they found that dill and parsley were most successful. They were more resilient to weather changes than other vegetables and herbs and easier to manage. Although their main products are dill and parsley, they still grow other vegetable in rotation, mostly radish, green beans, chili peppers, corn and others.

All their products are sold in bulk to more than 75% of our local markets. They only sell fresh herbs and vegetables, per kilo/ pounds and in bunches. They cut the dill/ parsley and bind them in small bunches which they put in plastic crates. Then they put the crates in cold water for 15-20 minutes to keep them fresh. Then they are stored away from the sun until next morning when they are delivered to their clients. Their work begins at around 5.00 am in the morning until it gets dark, but it’s work that they love and do with joy, though, for the past few years, it has become a bit difficult for them to keep up with this schedule. (They are not getting any younger!). They would like to increase our workforce to reduce their workload.

The harvesting season lasts from April to late November, which means that they are on standby for 5 months due to cold and harsh winters. You may wonder why they do not build greenhouses. They did. Two of them. But they both got blown away by the strong winds and, ironically, it was in summer. The land is open; there is no curtain of trees to offer protection. And winds are especially strong in these parts.

They have about 5 hectares/10 acres of land. They do not own the land; it is rented annually. Also, they are still at the level of traditional farming, where most of the work is done manually. They use hand operating machinery, such as a two-wheel tractor, hand seeding machine, they weed manually. For soil cultivation, such as ploughing/plowing or tilling, they contract specialists from neighbouring farms.

In 2013 they decided to take the first step to becoming sustainable and modernize their farm. They wanted to buy:

solar panels to replace the generator which ran on petrol (very costly and inefficient) and thus produce their own energy;

– a drip irrigation and low pivot pressure system to reduce loss of water and prevent salinization of soil;

– build two extra drilled wells to deal with the shortage of water during droughts in summer, but also to make sure that the groundwater doesn’t dry up (the land is pretty vast for just one well);

– 3 new submersible water pumps adapted to the solar panels;

budget for production costs for the following year;

– a new car to replace their old Ford Transit from 1995.

Ford Transit

Our Parents Old Ford Transit

They applied for a bank loan which was approved. However, in late November 2013, I, Cătălina, suffered a stroke. But a month spent in the hospital and nearly all the loan money spent on doctors barely saved my life. At that time, I lost my sight, my hearing, the sense of smell and partial mobility. I began recovering only after I was taken out of the hospital and brought home. Currently, even though I’m still blind, I’m doing much better and I’m back to crocheting again, though I’m doing easy stitches such as the Granny on the Straight Stitch. In fact, I want to do something with my life. Since the income provided by the state isn’t enough to cover all daily expenses, me and my older sister, Ana, are planning an online little yarn shop. I’ve crocheted dozens of shawls so far, which I intend to sell; but that’s a story for another day.

Now, let’s go on with the story.

Not being able to make those investments back then has taken a great toll on them. They simply couldn’t reduce the debts anymore. They couldn’t make any progress. They dream of a day when they start the agricultural year without any debt. That’s why, my sister and I came up with this idea to make a campaign to raise funds to help them. This is the least we can do to help them.

All of your donations will go into making the original plan from 2013 a reality: a sustainable farm which plans to grow organic food. They need $50,000. Here is what it will be spent:

– solar panels to produce solar energy: $10,000

– drip irrigation system and low pivot pressure: $4,000

– costs for two drilled wells: $2,000

– 3 submersible pumps: $1,000

– budget for production costs (seeds, organic fertilizers, which are very expensive, soil management, etc): $10,000

– a new car ( a car is essential to our business; we deliver the goods to our clients every morning): $10,000

– new machinery to replace older ones, such as our 5 year old two-wheel tractor, our 8 year old hand sowing machine, hand held fertilizing equipment: $5,000

– other unforeseen costs due to climatic hazards, mostly; estimated costs around $3,000

(Last year they went through a series of misfortunes where their well clogged; they couldn’t water the plants and they couldn’t produce anything for a month; later that year the car engine broke and needed to be replaced; because the car is very old, the pieces are also old and faulty and need constant replacement; believe it or not, this summer, there were some pretty strong currents which, unfortunately destroyed their greenhouse).

– there are quite a number of taxes needed to be paid for money transfers, exchange rates, commissions, fees and taxes that sum up to $5,000

Greenhouse

The Greenhouse which was destroyed

The land they work every day has given them and us so much, so now they want to give something back to it. They have noticed that over the years that the soil has lost some of its fertility, the droughts seem more intense and the rain is more acid. It is essential that we protect the land and environment and help replenish it and not overuse it if we want to have long term benefits.

We do know that there are chances we won’t raise the entire amount of money that we ask. Even so, we will use all the money that we will receive to implement our plan.

There is always a way you could help, even though you may not be able to donate. Please spread the word around. You can even use our text, story and photos to share with people that may be interested. For more information on how you can help or how to donate, please visit our campaign on Indiegogo: Support Our Farm To Become Sustainable.

Sure we would have wanted to write even more about us, since our story is full of experiences of all sorts. But your time, Dear Friend, is valuable. We do hope that we managed to give you an overall image of who our parents are and what they want.

Photo Gallery:


Thank you so much for listening and helping,
The Coolorburbians

Sep 262016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

Today, we are going to teach you how to crochet a square around a circle.
There are many ways to crochet a circle. Also, there are lots of variations in the number of rounds you can crochet for a circle, for instance, a circle with two rounds, a circle with three rounds, or more. Crocheting a circle with 2 rounds is different from crocheting a circle with 3 rounds. This is based on the number of double crochet stitches you are using on the first round. There are video tutorials showing both types of circles on my YouTube channel, which you can find by following the links below:
How to crochet a circle with 2 rounds: part 1 and part 2.
How to crochet a circle with 3 rounds: part 1, part 2 and part 3.
We had to reconfigure the number of stitches on each round so as to have an even number of stitches to match a square.

How to crochet a square around a circle

Let’s get started!

Abbreviations:
beg ch – beginning chain
ch – chain
ch-x-sp – chain x space
dc – double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
sc – single crochet
sl st – slip stitch
st – stitch

Level: beginner.

Part 1: How to crochet a circle with 3 rounds

Ch 4. Join with first ch with sl st to make a ring.

Round 1: ch3 (counts as a dc here and throughout); 11dc in the ring; join with top beg ch3 with sl st. (12dc in total)

Round 2: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch3; (2dc in next dc from previous round) X 11 times; join with top of beg ch 3 with sl st. (24dc in total)

Round 3: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch3; 1 dc in next dc; [2dc in next dc, 1dc in next dc] X 11 times; join with top of beg ch3 with sl st; (36dc in total)

If you want to continue with a different color, fasten off and attach the new color in any of the dc from previous round. We continued where we left off.

Part 2: How to crochet a square around a circle

Round 4: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch3; ch2; 2dc in next dc from previous round; * 2hdc in next 2 dc; 3sc in next 3 dc; 2hdc in next 2dc; 2dc in next dc; ch2; 2dc in next dc*; repeat from * to * two more times; finish the round: 2hdc in next 2 dc, 3sc in next 3dc, 2hdc in next 2dc; join with top of beg ch3 with sl st; (44dc and 4ch-2-sp in total).

Round 5: ch3; 1dc in next dc; (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in next ch-2-sp; * 1dc in each of next 11dc from previous round; (2dc, ch2, 2dc in next ch-2-sp)*; repeat from * to * two more times; finish the round: 1 dc in each of next 9dc from previous round; join with top of beg ch3 with sl st; ( 60 dc and 4ch-2-sp in total).

Cut the yarn and fasten off.

If you want to make the square larger, you can crochet an extra round following the same instructions showed in row 5, making sure you enlarge the square size in corners.

If you prefer video instructions, here is the link showing you how to crochet a square around a circle.

Part 1: Hot to crochet a circle with 3 rounds

Part 2: How to crochet a square around a circle with 3 rounds

When you are done crocheting your project using our instructions, please share your photos on our Facebook page, in the sidebar.

Happy squaring circles,
The Coolorburbians.

Jul 062016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

I thought I should tell you that I’ve finally managed to overcome the lethargy after the stroke. In fact, even my sister, Ana-Maria, is feeling much better. We were both struck with apathy and with this sense of futility. But for the past few months I’ve started crocheting again and my sister started to learn how to crochet. I feel this overwhelming joy that I can hold the crochet hook without feeling frustrated that I can’t crochet double crochet stitches like I used to. I’m still limited to a few techniques and stitches, because of my blindness, but it’s better than nothing. Ever since I started crocheting I’ve been making shawl after shawl. Seven, to be more precise. Some of them I offered to friends as gifts, and the rest I intend to sell. But, even if I want to sell the complete project, that doesn’t mean that you do not have the right to know “the secret” behind the project. So, we decided to teach you how to crochet a shawl in a triangle shape, like the one in the image below.

How to crochet a shawl in a triangle

You can also watch the video tutorials below on how to crochet a shawl in a triangle shape:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Let’s get started!

Abbreviations:

() – work instructions within parentheses as may time as instructed

[] – work instructions within parentheses as may time as instructed

beg ch – beginning chain

ch – chain

ch-x-sp – chain-x-space

dc – double crochet

sl st – slip stitch

Level: beginner.

Tips: Read my next article on tips and recommendations about how to crochet a shawl in a triangle shape.

Work a loose ch of 5. Join 1st ch with last ch with a sl st to make a ring. (Tip: work around the ring and the loose end to avoid sewing).

Row 1: work 4ch (this represents 1dc and ch-1-sp here and across); 3dc inside the ring; 3ch to work the tip of the shawl; 3dc inside the ring; 1ch; 1dc inside the ring; 4ch to turn.

Row 2: work 3ch in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; (3dc,3ch,3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; (3dc, 1ch,1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 3: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; 3dc in next ch-1-sp; 1ch; (3dc,3ch,3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; 3dc in next ch-1-sp; 1ch; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 4: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; [3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 2; (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 2; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 5: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp] X 3; (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 3; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 6: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp] X 4; (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 4; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Rows 7-40/50: repeat row 6 following the same steps as shown in this row.

That’s it. Seriously. We are not going to write instructions for the next rows because it would be redundant. All you have to do is follow the instructions for rows 4-6. The only difference is that each side of the row will have an additional set of 3dc. This is how the shawl increases: on the sides and not on the tip, as you might think.

Don’t forget to read the article about tips and recommendations about how to crochet shawls in a triangle shape. We will also post an article to show you how to attach the tassels to a shawl. And lastly, feel free to post photos of your finished projects on our Facebook page.

Happy crocheting,
The Coolorburbians

Jun 182016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

In this post we will teach you how to crochet the Granny on the Straight stitch.

This stitch originates from the Traditional Granny Square. Unlike the traditional Granny square, the Granny on the Straight stitch is worked on the long or on the wide in straight rows (thus the name). It is one of the easiest and frequently used stitch. You can crochet a variety of projects with the Granny on the Straight, such as blankets, shawls, scarves, sweaters, blouses, handbags and much more. You just have to use your imagination.

Abbreviations :
ch – chain
ch-x-sp – chain x space
dc – double crochet
sc – single crochet
sp – space

And now let’s continue with some technical information:

– this stitch is worked in multiples of 4;

– because the foundation chain tends to stretch a lot because it is looser, we recommend crocheting a row of single crochet stitches for consolidation;

– the double crochet stitch is the main stitch used across the project; it is worked in sets of 3 double crochet stitches called shells (Note: shells are not necessarily crocheted with a fixed number of stitches, the number may vary from 3 to 9 , such as in the Catherine Wheels stitch);

– the shells are separated by a ch-1-space, which creates a space between the sets.

When learning a new stitch, always crochet small swatches before committing yourself to bigger projects.

Work a loose chain from multiples of 4. Then work a row of single crochet stitches.

Row 1: work 3ch (they count as a dc here and across the project); work 2dc in the same sc as the ch-3; * 1ch; skip next 3sc from previous row; 3dc in 4th sc from previous row*; repeat from * to *; finish the row: 1ch, skip next 3sc, 3dc in last sc from previous row; work 4ch to turn (this counts as 1dc + ch-1 here and across).

Note: If you decide not to work the row of single crochet stitches, the instructions are the same. You will work the shells in the chains on the foundation chain and not in the single crochet. Here it goes: work 3ch; 2dc in 4th ch from foundation ch; *1ch; skip next 3ch; work 3dc in 4th ch from foundation ch*; repeat from * to *; finish the row: 1ch, skip 3ch from foundation ch, 3dc in last ch from foundation ch; work 4ch to turn.

Row 2: skip 1st shell of 3dc; work 3dc in next ch-1-space; * 1ch; skip next set of 3dc; work 3dc in next ch-1-space from previous row*; repeat from * to *; finish the row: 1ch, 1dc in last ch-3 from previous row (this sp is the same as the ch-4-sp from the beginning of the row); work 3ch to turn.

Row 3: work 2dc in 1st ch-1-sp from previous row (these 2dc + ch-3 make a shell); *1ch; skip next set of 3dc; work 3dc in next ch-1-sp from previous row*; repeat fro * to *; finish the row: 1ch, 3dc in last ch-1-sp from previous row; work 4ch to turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 to complete the pattern.

If you worked a row of single crochet stitches at the beginning you need to finish the project with a row of single crochet stitches as well. So, work 1sc in each dc from previous row, including the ch-1-sps as well.

We hope that our instructions will help you learn the Granny on the Straight stitch.

We would be happy if you uploaded photos of your finished projects using this stitch on our Facebook page, which you can find in the right column.

If you prefer video tutorials, you can watch them following the links bellow:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Happy crocheting,
The Coolorburbians.

Jun 112016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

Today’s article will show you how to crochet an Anchored Stitch. Why anchored, you might wonder? Well we thought about how to name the stitch and we noticed that the mixture of double crochet stitches in V and one other on top of them looks like an anchor. We admit that renaming crochet stitches requires quite a bit of imagination.

This is a very easy pattern that you can use to make ponchos and scarves.

Take a look at the picture below see how this pattern looks like.

How to crochet the Anchored Stitch

Abbreviations:

[ ] – work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
ch – chain
ch-sp – chain-space
dc -double crochet
sc -single crochet
sp – space
tr – triple (treble) crochet

Level: beginner

Tip: This stitch has very loose and mixed edgings. Make sure you learn how to add various borders to make these edgings look prettier.

Work a loose chain from multiples of 6, plus 3 extra chains to complete the pattern.

Row 1: work [ 2dc, 2ch, 2dc] in 6th ch from the hook; * skip next 5ch; work [ 2dc, 2ch, 2dc ] in next ch *; repeat from * to *; finish the row: skip next 2ch, work 1dc in the last ch from the foundation ch, 1ch to turn.

Row 2: work 1sc in last dc from previous row; * 3 ch; skip next 2dc; work 1dc in next ch-2-sp; 3ch; skip next 2dc; work 1sc in the sp between the 2 groups of 4dc *; repeat from * to *; finish the row: work 1sc in the last ch-sp from previous row, 4ch to turn.

Row 3: * work [ 2dc, 2ch, 2dc ] in first dc from previous row; skip next sc *; repeat from * to *; finish the row: work 1tr in last sc from previous row, 1ch to turn.

Repeat rows 2 to 3 to complete the pattern.

Happy anchoring,
The Coolorburbians.

Jun 092016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

This post will show you how to crochet a variation of the Arcade Stitch, which is one of the easiest stitches, even if it looks fancy and complicated. However, this particular variation is not for those of you who are faint at heart, because it requires a lot of attention and following many steps. But, if you try your best and practice, practice, practice you will end up learning an awesome stitch and creating lots of crochet items such as sweaters, cardigans, ponchos, shawls, scarves and purses.

Take a look at the picture below to see how this variation of the Arcade Stitch looks like.

The Arcade Crochet Stitch variation 1

Abbreviations:

ch – chain
ch-x-sp – chain x space
dc – double crochet
sc – single crochet

Level: intermediate

Tip: This variation of the Arcade Stitch is a yarn eater. Please make sure you have enough yarn to complete a project.

Work a loose chain from multiples of 8, plus 7 extra chains to complete the pattern.

Row 1: work 1sc in 8th ch from hook; * 5ch; skip next 4 ch; 1sc in next ch; 5ch; skip next 2ch; 1sc in next ch *; repeat from * to *; to finish: work 2ch, skip next ch, 1dc in last ch, 1ch to turn.

Row 2: work 1sc in 1dc from previous row; * work 9dc in next ch-5-sp; 1sc in next ch-5-sp *; repeat from * to *; finish the row: 1sc in last ch-sp, 5ch to turn.

Row 3: * skip 3dc in 9dc from previous row; 1sc in next dc; 5ch; skip next 2dc from same 9dc group; 1sc in next dc; 2ch; skip last 2dc of the same 9dc group; 1dc in next dc; 2ch *; repeat from * to *; finish: 1dc in last sc, 3ch to turn.

Row 4: work 4dc in first ch-2-sp from previous row; * 1sc in next ch-5-sp; 4dc in next ch-2-sp; 1dc in next dc; 4dc in next ch-2-sp *: repeat from * to *; finish: 5dc in last ch-sp from the row, 5ch to turn.

Row 5: work 1sc in 3rd dc from previous row; *2ch; skip next 2dc; 1dc in next sc; 2ch; skip first 3dc of the 9dc group; 1sc in 4th dc; 5ch; skip next 2dc of the same 9dc group; 1sc in next dc*; repeat from * to *; finish: 2ch, skip 2dc from last 5dc group, 1sc in 3rd dc, 2c, 1dc in last ch of the row, ch 1 to turn.

Row 6: work 1sc in dc from previous row; * skip next sc; work 4dc in next ch-2-sp; 1dc in next dc; 4dc in next ch-2-sp; 1sc in next ch-5-sp*; repeat from * to *; finish: 1sc in last ch-sp, 5ch to turn.

Repeat rows 3 to 6 to complete the pattern.

We hope that our instructions were helpful. We kindly ask you to upload photos of your finished items using this crochet stitch on our Facebook page that you can find in the side bar.
Happy arcading,
The Coolorburbians.

May 032016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

After nearly 2 years and a half break from crocheting, I began practicing the art once again on a beginners level. I started crocheting a blanket using the Granny on the Straight Stitch. It will be given as a gift to my bioenergy therapist, who is treating me free of charge.

This article won’t teach you how to crochet the Granny on the Straight Stitch, but it will show the adventure of crocheting a first blanket being a blind person. However, if you want to learn how to crochet the Granny on the Straight Stitch, you can watch my old tutorials that teach you to do just that. Follow the links bellow:
The Granny on the Straight Stitch video tutorial: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

This is how a Granny on the Straight Blanket looks like. I made it a few years back and I do not remember the materials that I used. It is smaller in size. The one that I plan to make now should be at least twice in size.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Mom got me 10 skeins of yarn, but I am sure I’m going to need a double quantity. Each skein is 75g. The yarn is 100% Acrylic. Length = 210 m. The label recommends using a 3.5mm European size crochet hook, but I’m going to use a 6mm one. It is easier for me to hold it.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Black and White Skeins of Yarn

The Granny on the Straight Stitch is made of multiples of 4. I made a foundation chain of 300 chains (image 1), since I plan to make the blanket for a Queen size bed. By the way, I decided to crochet the blanket on the long. If you like to crochet your blanket on the wide, you will need to make a smaller foundation chain. You could,for example, chain approx. 200 chains. However, since I tend to pull and stretch the chains, I decided to work a first row of single crochet stitches to make my foundation stronger and more secure. (images2-4) My video tutorial on the Granny on the Straight Stitch does not show you this first row of single crochet stitches. I admit that mom gave me a hand. I tend to skip and miss a lot of the chains, or make more stitches in the same chain.

Then I began crocheting the first real, real row of the Granny on the Straight Stitch. If you remember, this stitch is done in sets of 3 double crochet stitches, also called shells. When a shell is done, you need to chain 1, than skip the next 3 chains of the foundation chain. In the 4th chain, you will work another shell. (Image 5)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 5

The first row of double crochet stitches using white is completed. There are 225 double crochet stitches (75 shells) and 75 chain one spaces. (image 6) Once again mom helped me , but starting with the next row, the work will be a lot easier for me because of all the chain one spaces. They will give me a lot of freedom when touching.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 6

The black and white colors will be changed every two rows. Image 7 shows you how I attached the black color to the end of second row and how I worked a few shells of double crochet stitches. The first row using the black color is completed.(Image 8) Six rows of double crochet are completed. This is how the colors look in contrast. (Image 9) This will be more noticeable as the project advances.

A few technicalities: a skein of yarn of 75g is enough to crochet 4 rows on the long. A small ball of yarn will be left (approx. 10g). I will use it to make the tassels. I’ve used 2 skeins so far. The blanket is 250cm long, and 15cm wide so far. (Image 10)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 10

I placed the blanket on the bed so you can have a guess about it’s length and width so far. Four skeins are over. 17 rows completed. 25cm wide now. (Image 11) By the way, it takes me approx. 30 to 40 minutes to complete a row. I make between 4 and 8 rows per day.

Crochet contrasting Granny on the Straight Blanket

image 11

I asked mom to buy me 20 skeins of yarn. She bought me the last 18 skeins that the shop-assistant had, 10 black and 8 white. Lucky me!!!By the way a skein costed us nearly 1,5$. The total cost for the materials for the blanket reached about 45$. (Image 12)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 12

I finished my first 10 skeins of yarn. They were enough for finishing a 1/3 of the blanket. This means a total of 40 rows (approx. 60cm width). (Images 13-14)

1/2 of the blanket is done. 14 out of 28 skeins of yarn were used to crochet 58 rows. The blanket is 93cm in width at the moment. Take a guess how short I am.!? The blanket is growing bigger and bigger It is becoming more and more difficult to turn it around when I end a row and begin a new one. (Images 15-17)

It’s been three weeks since I began working on the blanket. The blanket is nearly done. Got to 3/4. The blanket is 256 cm long and 140 cm wide. I used 22,5 skeins of yarn to complete 96 rows. (Image 18) Sadly, I caught a nasty cold after my dance class. It put my crochet work behind by a few days. I dropped to 2-4 rows a day. It took me 2 weeks to recover.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 18

5th week and working on the last row of double crochet stitches. I’m finishing the blanket in white to match the first row. I asked mom to help me finish the blanket. A last row of single crochet stitches was needed. I was afraid I was going to miss some stitches, so mom made it for me instead. She did one single crochet stitch( scs) on top of each double crochet stitch (dcs) and 1scs in each chain one space across the last row. (Images 19-20)

This is all the yarn that was left from the 28 skeins. Approx. 300g in total. The balls of yarn will be used to make the tassels. (Image 21) We decided that the tassels should be about 10cm long. Mom cut a 110cm long thread as a swatch. (Image 22) We wanted to make more tassels at the same time. Based on the swatch that mom made, we measured ten more threads, then ten more and so on. (Image 23) Each thread was then folded and inserted in each chain one space using a bigger crochet hook. My sister then cut all the ends to make the tassels even and finish them.(Images 24 – 25) Mom made 200 of them, switching between colors. Tassels were added on three sides of the blanket. (Image 26)

Image 27 shows how the blanket looks before the tassels were added. Image 28 shows the final blanket, including tassels, covering the Queen size bed in the bedroom.
Final sizes:
200cm wide, including tassels, 180cm without them;
260cm long with tassels, 250cm without them.
24 skeins of yarn were used to complete 110 rows and 4 skeins were used to make 200 tassels. Some of the yarn was left over.
I used a 6mm crochet hook.

More photos of the crocheted black & white Granny on the Straight blanket:

It took 5 weeks to make the blanket. It was given as a gift to my bioenergy therapist 2 weeks ago. It took him by surprise:

” How much does it cost me?”, he asked me.

“It is art for art”, I answered and received five hugs in a row.

It made me very happy to know that he liked it, and, also, it makes me very happy to know that you, my dear friends, like my very first blanket after the stroke as well. Until the next time.

The Coolorburbians.

Jun 082015
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

It has been a long time since we last posted instructions for crochet stitches. We are going through major changes, but once in a while, we like to get our hands on crochet tools and play. Today we are posting instructions on how to crochet a pairing of single and double crochet stitches. It is a simple, yet very good looking to the eye stitch.

How to crochet a pairing of single and double crochet stitches

Abbreviations:
ch – chain
chxsp – chain x space
dc – double crochet
sc – single crochet

Level: beginner.

Tips: Because it is summer and the stitch is a solid one, we would recommend using it to crochet a bag or a purse to go to the beach with. Also, make sure to keep the tension of the thread constant, so that your project will look even.

Work a loose chain from a multiple of 8 plus 4 extra chains to complete the pattern.

Row 1: work 2dc in 4th ch from the hook; * skip 3ch; in next ch work [1sc, 3ch, 1sc]; skip next 3ch; in next ch work [2dc, 2ch, 2dc]*; repeat from * to *; to finish the row work 3dc in last ch of the foundation ch; work 3ch to return.

Row 2: work 1sc on top of last dc from previous row; *in the next ch3sp work [2dc, 2ch, 2dc]; in the next ch2sp work [ 1sc, 3ch, 1sc]*; repeat from * to *; to finish the row work [ 1sc, 3ch, 1sc] in top of beginning ch from previous row; work 3ch to return.

Row 3: in the first ch3sp from previous row work 2dc; * in the next ch2sp work [ 1sc, 3ch, 1sc]; in the next ch3sp work [ 2dc, 2ch, 2dc] *; repeat from * to *; to finish the row work 3dc in the last ch2sp; work 3ch to return.

Repeat rows to and 3 to complete the pattern.

How did you like the crochet stitch? Pretty easy, right!? We hope you enjoyed it and that you are going to use it to create many wonderful crochet projects.

Happy crocheting,

The Coolorburbians.

Feb 252015
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

Welcome to yet another pattern for a fancy stitch. We know that Halloween has already passed, but even so, adding a new stitch to your crochet dictionary is always a bonus. Today’s written instructions will show you how to crochet the spider stitch. You can use it to crochet scarves, cardigans, sweaters, even ponchos, etc.

You can take a look at the image bellow to see how the spider stitch looks like:

How to crochet the spider stitch, written instructions

Abbreviations:

ch– chain
ch- – chain from previous row
sc– single crochet stitch
dc– double crochet stitch
tr– triple crochet stitch

Level: beginner-intermediate.

Tip: The spider stitch is mostly based on the triple crochet stitch. Working this stitch requires you to keep a steady tension, so that the swatch will look even. Otherwise, the spiders will turn out messy.

Work a loose chain from multiples of 14 plus 2 extra chains to complete the pattern.

Row 1: 1dc in the 6th ch from the hook; * ch1; skip next ch from foundation ch; 1dc in next ch * ; repeat from * to * ; ch4 to return (counts as a dc + ch1sp here and throughout).

Row 2: 1dc in the 2nd dc from previous row; * ch3; 1tr in each of next 4dc from previous row; ch3; 1dc in next dc; ch1; 1dc in next dc * ; repeat from * to * ; ch4 to return.

Row 3: 1dc in 2nd dc from previous row; * ch3; 1sc in each of next 4tr; ch3; 1dc in next dc; ch1; 1dc in next dc * ; repeat from * to * ; ch4 to return.

Row 4: 1dc in 2nd dc from previous row; * ch3; 1sc in each of next 4sc; ch3; 1dc in next dc; ch1; 1dc in next dc * ; repeat from * to * ; ch4 to return.

Row 5: repeat row 4.

Row 6: 1dc in next 2nd dc from previous row; * ch1; 1tr in 1st sc; ch1; 1tr in 2nd sc; ch1; 1tr in 3rd sc; ch1; 1tr in 4th sc; ch1; 1dc in next dc; ch1; 1dc in next dc * ; repeat from * to * ; ch4 to return.

Row 7: 1dc in 2nd dc from previous row; * ch1; 1dc in 1st tr; ch1; 1dc in 2nd tr; ch1; 1dc in 3rd tr; ch1; 1dc in 4th tr; ch1; 1dc in next dc; ch1; 1dc in next dc * ; repeat from * to * ; ch4 to return.

Repeat rows 2-7 to compete the pattern.

As usual, if you prefer the video instructions, you can watch the one below, that will show you how to crochet the spider stitch.

Photo gallery:

Happy spidering,
The Coolorburbians.

Feb 062015
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

We apologize for the over a month break, but, as you probably remember, one of The Coolorburbians is still recovering after a stroke (that’s me). So, my sister and I are now in Bucharest so I can get more alternative therapy. There is a noticeable progress with the therapy. In any case, since we have a little more free time on our hands, we decided to post patterns and stitches again.

Today’s written instructions will show you how to crochet the tulip stitch. Take a look at the pictures bellow to see how the stitch looks like:

The pattern can be used to crochet all sorts of items, such as scarves, hats, scoodies, vests, neck warmers, ear warmers, gloves and so on. There is no limit to the possibilities.

Abbreviations:

ch – chain
ch- – chain from previous row
chx-sp – chain x space
beg chx-sp – beginning chain x space
dc – double crochet

Level: beginner.

Tip: Before committing yourself to a large project, please crochet a smaller swatch before, so you can understand the basics of the tulip stitch better.

Work a loose chain from a multiple of 6 plus 4 extra chains to complete the pattern.

Row 1: in the 7th ch from the hook work [3dc, ch2, 1dc]; * skip next ch-5 from foundation chain; in next ch work [4dc, ch2, 1dc] * ; repeat from * to * ; to finish the row: skip next ch-2; 1dc in last ch; ch3 to return. (counts as a dc here and throughout).

Row 2: skip first 2dc from previous row; in next ch2-sp work [3dc, ch2, 1dc]; * skip next 5dc from previous row; in next ch2-sp work [4dc, ch2, 1dc] * ; repeat from * to * ; to finish the row: skip next 3dc from previous row; work 1dc in top of beg ch from previous row; ch3 to return.

Row 3: skip first 2dc from previous row; in next ch2-sp work [3dc, ch2, 1dc]; * skip next 5dc from previous; in next ch2-sp work [4dc, ch2, 1dc] * ; repeat from * to * ; to finish the row: skip 3dc; work 1dc in top of beg ch from previous row; ch3 to return.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 to finish the pattern.

As usual, if you prefer video instructions, you can watch the tutorial bellow that will show you how to crochet the tulip stitch:

Happy tuliping,

The Coolorburbians.