Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crochet orange or peach potholder pattern

A while back, I made a set of these orange and strawberry potholders. The pattern for the strawberry can be found here. I recently made a second set for a lady from our Bible study, and this time I jotted down the pattern for the orange. It was inspired from a vintage pattern, but I changed it around a little.

Orange Potholder Pattern

Ch - chain
Sc - single crochet
Sl st - slip stitch
St - stitch
Hdc - half double crochet
Dc - double crochet
Rnd - round
Rep - repeat

Hook size: H (5mm)

Orange (make 2)

The orange circles are worked in a spiral - don't join your rounds. Mark them with a stitch marker. Note: A particular stitch pattern may not end exactly on the right stitch. (I.e., the pattern may read "increase in next stitch, sc in next 6 stitches" and you may have only 5 stitches left instead of 6.) I didn't do a very good job at this! It's pretty forgiving though. Just keep going and start the new round a little further on, or don't finish the stitch pattern. The general idea is to make your increases at different points around the circle, to avoid corners and make a smooth circle shape (you don't want an octagon-type thing). 

Rnd 1 - Ch 9 in magic ring
Rnd 2 - 2 sc each in 1st 2 sc, sc in next, rep around
Rnd 3 - 2 sc in each of 1st 2 sc, sc in next 3, rep around
Rnd 4 - 5 sc, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, rep around
Rnd 5 - 2 sc in each of 1st 2 sc, sc in next 7, rep around
Rnd 6 -  5 sc, *2 sc in each of next 2 sc, sc in next 9, rep from * around, end with 4 sc
Rnd 7 - 2 sc in next sc, 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 6 sc, rep around
Rnd 8 - 4 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 6 sc, rep from * around (I think this one ends with 2 sc)
Rnd 9 - 2 sc in next sc, 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 9 sc, rep around
Rnd 10 - 4 sc, *2 sc in next sc, 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 8 sc, rep from * around, end with 4 sc
Rnd 11 - Sc around
Rnd 12 - 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc, rep around
Rnd 13 - Sc around
Rnd 14 - 2 sc in next sc, 6 sc, rep around. Sl st to close.

Weave in ends. Place the two orange circles wrong sides together and sc together around the edge to join. 

Leaf (make 3)

Ch 10, 2 sc in first ch, hdc, 5 dc, hdc, 4 sc in end ch, working up the other side: hdc, 5 dc, hdc, 2 sc in last st, sl st to close.


Ch 14, dc in 2nd st from hook and next 11 sts. Fasten off. Sew ends together to make a loop.

Sew stem to edge of orange. Arrange leaves and sew them on. You're finished!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

More available journals

I've been busy these last few days making some more journals for the craft show that I went to today. Unfortunately, none of them sold (I actually made less than $20, and that was selling buckeyes as well. Which are still available - $5/dozen - if you're local, by the way).

London journal

Upcycled vintage book journal #1

Upcycled vintage book journal #2. I felt a little weird cutting them up, but I like the journals...

Africa journal with Africa/heart charm. This is an old map. All the countries are very different. Pretoria is still there though!

Plain sheet music journal with music note charm.

All of these (except the Africa journal, which is reserved) are available and ready to ship for $20 + shipping - you can view them here on Facebook.

I really need to do a tutorial on Coptic binding soon! I have a few more journals in the works - some custom orders and a few map journals. Maybe I will take some pictures for a tutorial then. I have a lot of tutorials planned...I've just been too lazy to get to them lately. ;) I'm not sure why I keep making all these journals when I have so many in stock! It's kind of a compulsion, I guess.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fundraising update & speaking date

Hi again everyone!

The day after I booked my plane tickets, I came home to find a check on the counter (from our church) that covered (and exceeded) the $18,000 goal I had set! I wasn't expecting it, and it was an awesome surprise!

Unfortunately, I recently found out I may have to pay taxes (income and/or Social Security - possibly both halves) on my missions support, depending on what I'm using it for, how it was given, etc. This rather took the wind out of my sails. Although I'm still most of the way on my support raising, this could add up to a heftier chunk than I'd like. I'm really struggling with this realization, for several reasons. One, I now don't know how much I need for sure. I'm leaving in six weeks. I'm speaking at churches and don't know exactly what to tell them. Two, your donations were given as gifts from all of you! It seems bizarre that if a sweet little old lady walks up to me after church and hands me $20, that Uncle Sam should get a chunk. People have been asking all along, "Where can we donate so that you get 100% of the money?" Part of me worries that now people will not want to support me. I know I need to trust God with this, but I'm struggling, so please pray for me. I try not to include too much negative stuff on my blog, but this has been hard for me. We're currently trying to get in touch with some CPA's who can help me figure things out.

I also wanted to let everyone know that I am speaking at Mecca Community Church on Sunday. Please be praying for me, and if you are local, consider coming out! The service starts at 10:30. I will be speaking for about 20 minutes, so it will not be as extensive as the presentation at my church, but I didn't cut out any of the cute baby pictures!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Update!! Good news!!

Do you see this?

I have tickets to South Africa!!!

After many months of snow, crafting, and support raising, I am finally going back! I leave May 27th and arrive on the 28th. I am flying to Atlanta and taking a direct flight from there - first time not stopping in Europe! It's a long flight - over 15 hours!

I booked my tickets through Golden Rule Travel. They are a wonderful travel agency that works with missionaries and adoptive families to get them good rates on tickets. I paid about what I would have if I'd have shopped around, but I get extra baggage allowance, and it's SO nice to be able to talk to a human being - the same one each time - who is even located in Ohio!

Now it's time to send my visa information in pronto! Please pray that it goes through quickly, with no problems.

I am still raising support - still in need of monthly supporters in particular. You can check the thermometer on the side of my blog to see how far along I am, and for more information. =)

43 days to go!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Alyssa Manual: Or, the Care and Feeding of a Roommate

The Alyssa Manual*

Feeding the Alyssa

Feeding the Alyssa is quite simple, as she prefers an unvaried diet. Her daily meals can consist of a rotation between pinto beans with rice, steak, and things on tortillas with cheese. Make sure she always has an ample supply of both Coke and Pepsi (or Tab if she's on an anti-caffeine strike), as she tends to become quite displeased when she runs out. For snacks, Marie biscuits, muffins, microwave popcorn (the preferred brand), and more steak should do nicely. Avoid giving her either Steer's burgers or chicken feet.

Sleeping Habits

The Alyssa likes to stay up later and sleep in later than any other variety of roommate, except when she doesn't and then she gets up at 4 am and goes on the internet. Please keep the room as dark as possible and avoid waking her unless necessary. Note: Do not be disturbed by the weird vibrating noise she makes right before bed. She's not experiencing a malfunction - it just means she's cold, which is a rare occurrence for an Alyssa. Try telling her to wear more layers (and watch her laugh at you).

Suggested Uses

The Alyssa does not come with many everyday functions, but can easily be programmed to perform a reasonable number of them. Ideas for utilizing your Alyssa's skill set include: preparing guacamole, pico de gallo, and steak, doing laundry, loving cranky and incorrigible babies, making trips to the corner grocery, and drafting amazing checklists.

Intellectual functions, however, come pre-programmed and are almost unlimited. These include: reading maps, defining words, discussing politics, debating, speaking pidgin Afrikaans, and discussing the universe, among many others.

Laundry Requirements

The Alyssa doesn't ask for much when it comes to laundry; once a month should be sufficient as she has a seemingly endless supply of clothing, including socks. Also, note previously her adverse reaction to layers. However, one should set aside an adequate slot of time in the laundry schedule for the once-a-month occurrence. Note: Folding clothing is not a programmable function.


Troubleshooting is fairly straightforward: don't expect the Alyssa to be able to read your mind. Most problems can be resolved swiftly if you remember this and avoid any passive-aggressive tendencies.

Music tracks

The Alyssa's music function has many available songs, but she tends to automatically form short playlists of 2-3 songs at a time that are stuck on repeat. Her most commonly heard selections are "Shenandoah," anything from a musical, "Lean on Me," and "Stars and Stripes Forever." She can be set to vocal or whistling mode. Her preferred volume is "loud enough to be heard throughout the building" although her auto-adjust function will come into play if someone is sleeping.

*dedicated to one of the best roommates ever...don't let this blog post fool you. ;)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Strawberry Potholder Crochet Pattern

I got the idea for this pattern from a vintage patterns website, but their potholder was crocheted with cotton thread and sewn onto a quilted backing of some sort. I had worsted weight red cotton yarn, so I decided to design a pattern that could utilize that.

Strawberry Potholder Pattern

Ch - chain
Sc - single crochet
Hdc - half double crochet
St - stitch
Sl st - slip stitch
Sc2tog - single crochet 2 stitches together

Hook size: H (5mm)

Strawberry (make 2)

Row 1 - Ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook and continue across (5 sc)
Row 2 - Ch 1, 2 sc in next, sc 3, 2 sc in last (7)
Row 3 - Ch 1, sc across (7)
Row 4 - Ch 1, 2 sc in next, sc 5, 2 sc in last (9)
Row 5 - Ch 1, 2 sc in next, sc 7, 2 sc in last (11)
Row 6 - Ch 1, 2 sc in next, sc 8, 2 sc in each of last 2 sts (14)
Rows 7-9 - Ch 1, sc across (14)
Row 10 - Ch 1, sc 13, 2 sc in last (15)
Row 11 - Ch 1, sc across (15)
Row 12 - Ch 1, sc 14, 2 sc in last (16)
Row 13 - Ch 1, 2 sc in first, sc 15
Row 14 - Ch 1, 2 sc in first, sc 15, 2 sc in last
Row 15 - Ch 1, sc across (19)
Row 16 - Ch 1, sc 18, 2 sc in last (20)
Row 17 - Ch 1, sc 19, 2 sc in last (21)
Row 18 - Ch 1, 2 sc in first, sc 20 (22)
Row 19 - Ch 1, 2 sc in first, sc 21 (23)
Rows 20-22 - Ch 1, sc across (23)
Row 23 - Ch 1, sc2tog, sc 21 (22)
Row 24 - Ch 1, sc across (22)
Row 25 - Ch 1, sc2tog, sc 20 (21)
Row 26 - Ch 1, sc2tog, sc 17, sc2tog (19)
Row 27 - Ch 1, sc2tog, sc 17 (18)
Row 28 - Ch 1, sc 16, sc2tog (17)
Row 29 - Ch 1, sc2tog, sc 15 (16)
Row 30 - Ch 1, sc 14, sc2tog (15)
Row 31 - Ch 1, sc 13, sc2tog (14)
Row 32 - Ch 1, sc2tog, sc 8, sc2tog, sl st to next st (This row does not reach to the end of the previous row.)

With white yarn, embroider "seeds") on the strawberry that is to be the front of the potholder.

Joining: hold strawberries together and sc together around the edges.

Leaves (make 4)

Ch 6, sc in 2nd st from hook, sc in next, hdc in next 2 sts, 4 sc in next (end of chain). Down the other side: hdc in next 2, sc in next 2, join with sl st. Finish off and sew to top of strawberry.

Hanging loop - Ch 10. Sew ends together to create a loop and sew to strawberry directly underneath the spot where you will place the leaf center.

Leaf center (make 1)

HDC 9 in magic loop. Join with sl st. Sew over the hanging loop and top edges of the leaves. Hopefully this picture explains what I mean:

I made an orange to go with the strawberry, but unfortunately I didn't write down the pattern. I think they look fresh and summery together though!

Update: I wrote out the orange pattern! You can find it here.