Blind Tiles Quilt – Quilted and Bound

Friday the quilter,  Sandy, called and let me know she was done with the quilting on my “pretty little lap blanket”. I met her up at Sew Crazy to pick it up. 

I trimmed it and started the binding the same night.  I really wanted to get this one done!  I finished it up on Sunday in the early afternoon. 


Miss Penny had to inspect it for me first. 


Then immediately after, it went to the next quality inspection,  Miss Pixie.

They both approved!



Sandy did old fashioned roses and hearts in the quilting.  I love it!  She read my mind. 
When I had sent it to her,  all I said was that I was thinking floral,  maybe roses.  She has a wonderful sense for picking out thread colors and designs. So I want worried about having to give a lot of details for the quilting. 

Finished size is 66″x66″.

Yesterday we (mostly my mom) picked out the fabrics to make another Blind Tile quilt so I can work out the details for the patterns. 

Speaking of patterns,  the Braided Chain placemat and table runner pattern is almost finished.  My testers had great suggestions,  and i just need to finish shrinking the photos to put them into place. 
I hope to have it available soon!

Radiant Red – Crazy Square and Pattern

Last night’s venture into the Wife Cave led me to the stack of red fabrics on the table.


Lovely, bright reds. I think red is becoming one of my favorite colors lately.

I had a rough design in my head for how i wanted this square to look. As you’ll see, this one is more symmetrical than my previous squares. I showed my Mom via text once the square was done and she immediately started asking for the pattern! As I didn’t have a pattern for it, it was another one I winged together, I had to think of how to make it.


Does the pattern design make sense? I hope I have the numbering correct. Oh and this was made as a 6″ square but it should work well as a larger square also.

This is the square that prompted the pattern design:


Some slight differences as the square was made first and I didn’t measure or agonize over proper placement.

I hope you enjoy the pattern if you try it!


Edit: I will be turning the pattern into a PDF as soon as I can get assistance from my hubby on it. I will post the PDF in its own post once it is ready.

Diamond Daydream Scarf Pattern

The Diamond Daydream Scarf is made up of clusters, shells, and chains. I haven’t written many patterns, so please let me know if something is unclear or wrong. Thanks in advance! (Please be gentle, I’m fragile! haha).


Diamond Daydream Scarf

Skill Level: Easy

Yarn: I used Bernat Bamboo which is considered a 5 – Bulky weight.  I used 4 skeins of the Bamboo, which are 2.1 oz each. My scarf ended up being 6 inches wide by 5 foot long. (Personally I don’t think this yarn is very bulky, but hey, whatever floats Bernat’s boat!)

Hook:  H-8


DC – Double crochet

Ch – chain

St – stitch

YO – Yarn over

Special Stitches:

Shell – A shell consists of 4 Double Crochets in the same 1 stitch, which is the ‘tip’ of the cluster from the row below.

Cluster – A cluster is worked over the 4 stitches from the shell in the row below.

To make the cluster:

  1. Yarn Over (YO), insert hook through the first stitch of the shell, YO, draw the yarn through the stitch, YO, draw the yarn through first two loops on the hook. You should have 2 loops still on the hook.
  2. YO, insert hook through next stitch, YO, draw the yarn through the stitch, YO, draw through first two loops on the hook. Now you should have 3 loops left on hook.
  3. YO, insert hook through next stitch, YO, draw yarn through the stitch, YO, draw through first two loops on hook. 4 loops left on hook.
  4. YO, insert hook through next stitch, YO, draw yarn through the stitch, YO, draw through first two looks on hook. YO, pull through all remaining 5 loops left on the hook.

Note: A half cluster works steps 1 – 3. At end of step 3, YO and draw through all 4 loops on hook.


Chain 24 + 3.

Row 1:   2  DC in 4th st from hook. *Chain 2, skip 2 st then work a cluster over next 4 st. Ch-2, skip 2 st then work a shell in the next st.* Repeat from * to * once. Ch-2, work a half-cluster over last 3 st.

Row 2: Ch 3 (this counts as first DC). 2 DC in next st. *Chain 2, then work a cluster over  the 4 st of the shell below. Ch-2, work a shell in the top st from the cluster below.* Repeat from * to * once. Ch-2, work a half-cluster over last 3 st (3rd st is the top st of the chain 3 from row below).

Repeat Row 2 until scarf is desired length. Finish off row and weave tails into scarf.


NOTE 1: I have started a second scarf using Deborah Norville Everyday yarn ( 4 worsted weight) using an I hook. The scarf is almost 7 inches wide. My Mom tested the pattern using Bernat Softee Baby yarn (3 sport weight) and a size G hook and the scarf is approximately 4 inches wide.

NOTE 2: This pattern should easily transfer into an afghan pattern by doing the chain in multiples of 24 then adding +3 at the end of the chain to be the turning chain/first DC.

Favorite Shapes/Patterns in Crochet

(Lake Michigan at the end of August 2011)

Good evening! I have a three day weekend coming up (go go vacation days!) and I was contemplating my craft plans for the weekend. As I was doing this, I started thinking about the blankets I’ve made so far this year for the donation pile. Then I started thinking about some other blankets I’ve made, some UFO/WIP’s that are on the shelf in the Wife Cave, and the patterns I’m drawn most to in books.

I’ve discovered that I tend to gravitate toward squares, hexagons, and ripples. The majority of the blankets I’ve made use those shapes or patterns. Most of the UFOs that I have in the Wife Cave are squares or hexagons. Is this because they tend to be easy? Or is it something about the sharp edges of a square, hexagon, or ripple that tickle my creative side? Why am I drawn to a hexagon versus a circle? Why a square and not a triangle? I also seem to prefer blues, greens, and jewel tones but I’ll crochet with many different colors if the pattern calls for it.

Tonight I should hopefully finish donation blanket #4 – Icy Ponds. I’m on the last couple rows around then it is finished. Guess what… it’s squares! Four of them bordered and whipstitched together.

I have the yarn bought for donation blanket #5, which doesn’t have a name yet. The colors are white, pink, and a variegated yarn which has white, pink, and green. Perfect colors for a donation blanket made in October, don’tcha think? I haven’t decided on a pattern yet. I may just wing it and see where my hook takes me.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I have a three day weekend coming up. And as far as I can tell, it will be a weekend with little to no interruptions. So, what shall I do? I know I will crochet, that’s a given. Between the pink and white blanket I need to figure out, and a hook case that I’m trying to design, and a few other ideas, I have enough crocheting to last all weekend.  But I also have a canvas on the easel in the Wife Cave that wants attention. And two special projects that I need to work on, one is crochet related, one is painting related.

So what are your favorite shapes and/or patterns in your crochet? Do you find yourself gravitating more toward the same style, even if the pattern is different every time?  Do you use the same family of colors for most of your work, or do you like to mix things up? Do you plan out even your wildest color changes, or just reach into a ‘grab bag’ and see what you end up with? I’d like to know!

Stash Buster Tote

I confess, I did it. I really did it. I made… a Stash Buster Tote! Now, if you don’t know what that is, you’re probably asking yourself “what in the world is Shell talking about? A Stash Buster Tote? What is that?”

A Stash Buster Tote is a very easy and fast tote that has a wonderful and easy to read pattern, created by Sue Usiatynski.

How fast, you ask? Well, I printed the pattern, picked my 2 colors of yarn from the stash, sat down and started crocheting. With small breaks to talk with the hubby, order dinner, and pry the cat off my chest a few times (she loves to cuddle), I managed to make my tote in 3 1/2 hours. Yes that’s right, 3 1/2 hours.

You can purchase the pattern: HERE or HERE (you need to sign up for Ravelry to purchase from the second link).

And for your viewing pleasure, here is my first, but certainly not last, Stash Buster Tote!

I used Caron Simply Soft in Orchid and Violet. It took about 1 skein of the Orchid and 1/2 to 3/4 a skein of Violet. K hook.

US Crochet vs UK Crochet

Conversion Chart:

UK Term –> US Term:

DC –> SC


TR –> DC

Ever read a pattern and wonder, why does it matter if you use US Crochet stitches with a UK Crochet pattern without doing the stitch conversion? After all, shouldn’t it still turn out looking the same, maybe just a little different size?

Well if you are making something where size really does matter (haha), then yes, it matters a great deal whether or not you use the correct terms and correct stitches for what YOU know. Wouldn’t you hate to get that gorgeous sweater completely made, only to find out that you could fit three of you in it now because you didn’t convert the stitches over?

Did you learn US terminology and stitches growing up?  So you know that in US terminology that a DC (double crochet) is where you yarn over hook, insert through required stitch, yarn over, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over again, pull through remaining two loops on hook. Well in UK terminology, that same stitch described above, is a TR, or a triple crochet!

What UK terminology calls a DC (double crochet), is what the US terminology calls a SC (single crochet).

If you have any experience at all with the basic stitches, you know how different something can look depending if you’re using all SC, DC, TR, or any other stitch.

In the pictures below, I am going to show you some of the differences that can happen when you use the wrong terminology for the pattern (i.e. using US stitches with a UK pattern without converting).

The first picture, I used the Teeny Tiny Flowers pattern from Attic24. The flower on the left used the correct conversion from UK stitches to US stitches: if the pattern called for a UK DC, I used the US SC.  The flower on the right, I read the pattern exactly as written, and used the US stitches that correspond without doing any conversion (i.e. when it called for a UK DC, I used a US DC):

See the differences between the two flowers? Not only is the one on the right bigger, the shape is loose as well compared to the correctly made flower on the left.

In the next picture, I just did a few rows using the following pattern (we’re pretending it is written in UK terminology):

Row 1: Chain 16, turn, DC across (15 st)

Row 2-5: ch 1, DC across

Again, the one on the left takes the pattern and correctly converts it from UK to US terminology. The one on the right, uses US stitches exactly as the pattern is written (i.e. uses a US DC where it calls for DC instead of converting the pattern) [I didn’t shape/block them before the pictures, sorry!]:

If this was the start of your gorgeous sweater…well you can see the difference!

I hope that I helped you and didn’t confuse you with this post. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Have YOU made anything recently and forgot to do the conversion from one terminology to the other?

Crocheted Cancer Ribbons

Driving home from work today, I was behind a car that had several of the magnetic cancer ribbons on the trunk. And the sight of those ribbons had me thinking again about making crocheted versions of the ribbons. After I got home and got the roast in the oven (2 lb roast, 10 redskin potatoes, small bag of baby carrots, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, 1/4 onion, 2 garlic cloves, and broth) I did my usual deal of checking out all the websites I normally check out, then sat down with a small ball of yarn and a hook.


Crocheted Cancer Ribbon:

Materials used: Caron Simply Soft, H hook, Yarn Needle (optional: J or K hook)

Skill level: Easy

Chain 31

Row 1: sc in first 12 ch st. 2 sc in each of next 6 ch st. sc in last 12 ch st.

Row 2: ch 1. sc in first 12 st. For the next 12 st – Repeat:  2 sc in st, 1 sc in next st. 1 sc in each of remaining 12 st.

Row 3: ch 1. sc in first 12 st. For the next 18 st – Repeat: 2 sc in st, 1 sc in each next 2 st.  1 sc in each of remaining 12 st.

Before fastening off, do a round of slip stitches around the entire piece then fasten off.

Arrange the curved strip into the ribbon shape. Using a yarn needle and piece of yarn, sew the ribbon together where the “legs” cross. Weave in tails.

Please let me know if anything is not clear in the above pattern! Feel free to make as many ribbons as you like for personal use, gifts or for charity. Please do not copy/reproduce this pattern or pictures for your own monetary gain.

(c) copyright 2011 – Michelle Drenzek

Edit: I find that using an H hook makes the ribbon look better/tighter and the round of slip stitches may become part of the overall pattern.

“Spoil Me” Yarn – Project Ideas

Everyone who crochets (or knits) finds that perfect yarn for them that makes that their inner child scream “Spoil me!”. For some, it’s the $65 skein of yarn that makes them dream of beautiful lace shawls draped across their shoulders. For others, it could be the perfect shade of a color that matches their eyes, the one they’ve been searching for years to find.

For me, my tastes are a bit less expensive when it comes to yarn (well…my bank account kinda dictates that!). For the most part, I don’t spend more than $4 for a 6oz skein of yarn. I admit, I love the soft acrylics such as Caron Simply Soft and Loops and Threads Charisma. I do avoid most Red Heart SS because I can’t stand the feel of it.

Earlier this month I found MY Spoil Me yarn (I blogged about it in an earlier post). The skeins have been sitting quietly in a bag, waiting for me to find the perfect pattern to use with them. I know I’ll have to pick up more skeins, as these are only 3oz each, but there are several colors to choose from and I can see using more than just the three colors I already have picked up.

I’m very intrigued by Round Ripple patterns. The phrase “very intrigued” doesn’t even scratch the surface of how much I love the looks of Round Ripples. And there are so many to choose from! 8 point, 12 point, 20 point, 5-10 point, etc.

Right now, these are the Round Ripples (RRs) that I am considering for my “Spoil Me” ghan:

Lyn’s Round Ripple

Down In The Valley

RoseRed’s 12 Point

Lyn’s and RoseRed’s are both 12 point RRs. The Down in the Valley pattern is an 8 point RR that adds a little extra to the design.

I have seen a few other RR patterns in my searches for the perfect pattern for my yarn. But these three above are the ones I’ve narrowed it down to so far.


What have been YOUR experiences with Round Ripples? Are there any ones you prefer over others?



Teeny Tiny Hearts from Attic24


Are you looking for something quick and easy to crochet, that’s also cute? Something that could be used to accent, adorn, or enhance a project? Check out the Teeny Tiny Hearts pattern at Attic24.  If you are in the U.S., make sure to convert your stitches over as she does her patterns in UK terms (she provides the conversion information at the beginning of the pattern).

I think it took all of 5 minutes to crochet one of the Teeny Tiny Hearts, and part of that time was spent figuring out where I put my bag of scrap yarns. I used Caron Simply Soft in Grape and a K hook.

I can see these being a great way to use up scrap yarn. Use them to add a fancy touch to a scarf of hat. Add them as focal points in the center of a square. Or figure out how to connect a bunch of them to make a lapghan! Personally, I think they are a little too small for me to sit and sew hundreds of them together to make a lapghan, but that’s just me. Someone with a lot of patience could whip up something gorgeous with hundreds of these Teeny Tiny Hearts.




Granny’s Daughters and Yo-Yo’s

Since I did a post on Saltines, I thought maybe I should do a post on Granny Daughters and Yo-Yo’s as well.

Granny Daughters are even easier than Saltines. They are the first round of a granny square. That’s it! So if you wanted to use the pattern I posted in the Saltines post, you would just make the ring and the first round:

Granny Daughters:

Chain 6, slst into first ch to make a ring.

R1 – ch 3 (counts as first dc). 2dc into ring. ch 2. (3 dc, ch2) 3x into ring. slst into top of ch3. Fasten off.

It’s just that easy! (note: I did not fasten off on the one in the above picture because I plan on turning it into a Saltine, but I wanted to share a picture of a Daughter).

Yo-Yo’s on the other hand are different. From my understanding, they are a flat circle, around 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.  There is a thread for Yo Yo’s for Charity on Crochetville with a very simple pattern in the first post.

Give me a couple minutes here and I’ll whip one up to share with you.






Hey, quit pushing! I asked for just a couple minutes. I’m almost done…






There, it’s done! Was it worth the wait?

I know, I know it’s just a circle, but think of the possibilities you can do with a bunch of circles! You can donate them to the Yo Yo’s for Charity group that I linked above, or another charity if you have one in mind. Or you can alter them a bit to join as you go and create amazing looking wall-hangings, blankets, purses, clothing, and more.

Check out what this lady did with her YoYo’s:

Sunshine’s Creations

Sunshine’s YoYos