Monday, June 23, 2014

Laguna Beach and Crochet Mandala

It's been a busy weekend here at Lilly My Cat.  My dear husband and I celebrated our 39th anniversary on Saturday, June 21!  We had a lovely dinner with the family and on Sunday we continued the celebration with lunch at the Montage in Laguna Beach.
It was a lovely day with the sun shining bright and no marine layer.  Our children surprised us - they told us to be ready at 12:30PM and they brought us to the Montage.  It's a lovely resort in Laguna Beach right on the ocean.  It has sprawling grounds that also includes a public park.  We had a lovely lunch overlooking the ocean.
When the server asked what we would like to drink, I saw a Pimms cocktail on the menu and had to order it.  I didn't realize that Pimms is available here in the US.  It was very refreshing and not sweet, just right.
It was such a nice time sitting together and reminisicing about our 39 years together.  It really doesn't seem that long but when I look at my picture, I know that I'm old now and no longer 21 years old!
At the end of the lunch the wait staff came by our table and wished us Happy Anniversary and presented us with this lovely apple tart.  It was a wonderful afternoon.
As to my creative craft these past couple of weeks, I'm sure you will remember the stripey blanket that I finished a couple of weeks ago.  Well, after 12 balls of yarn, this was what I had leftover.  I didn't know what to do with it until I ran across a blog post at Attic 24 which inspired me to make a mandala.
Here is the finished product.  It's call Starflower Mandala and the pattern was created by a very talented artist names Zelna.  The pattern can be found here on her website Zooty Owl.  It's a very large mandala with the diameter measuring about 20".  It was fast and fun to make.

In closing, I would love to hear from you if you have any pattern ideas for me.  I want to make a blanket out of cotton yarn.  I haven't bought the yarn yet and I don't have a pattern.  If you know of one, please leave me a comment.

Have a wonderful week and I hope to hear from you soon.

take care,

P.S.  Please remember to stop by Handmade Harbour to see some great ideas!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Crochet Along As We Go Stripey Blanket - Finished at Last!

 I am so excited to share this post with you.  I have had so much fun making this blanket for my little grandson, that I was a bit sad when I finished it because it was such a joy to make.

Here is my grandson with his finished blanket.  He was so excited to receive this gift from Grandma!

Maybe you remember a few weeks past when I ordered this package of yarn from Deramores, which is my favorite online yarn store.  I received 17 skeins of 100 grams each, in assorted colors.  When you go to Deramores website, you can choose which country you would like for your preference.  Their shipping prices are extremely low ($6.95 to the US for 17 skeins).

I found this fun blanket on Love, Lucie, a wonderful blog that I follow.  The original pattern can be found here as it is a pattern created by Hannah Davis of

Here's my additional notes to the original pattern:
1.  I used 12 skeins of yarn; 11 for the body of the blanket and 1 for the border
2.  I had a total of 193 working stitches across each row
3.  I crocheted a total of 142 rows
4.  I used a size H crochet hook
5.  For row 8, Catharine Wheel, I skipped "two stitches" instead of 3 stitches, thus eliminating the need to crochet this row loosely as stated.  This worked out perfect.  The only glitch is that you will have to skip "three stitches" one time only in the row.
6.  For row12, Catharine Wheel, I did the following:  With new color, ch 3, turn.  Make 2 dc around the chain below, make 1 dc in the "eye of the wheel below, make 2 dc in chain, 1 dc in sc, repeat. DC at end.
7.  For row 27, Bobble row, I did a hdc in  2 sts instead of 8 sts, and then continued the hdc over 5 sts instead of 8 sts.  I ended the row with 3 hdc.  This way you will have more "bobbles".
8.  I used stitch markers every 32 stitches, with the last group of stitches being 33 stitches.  This helped me tremendously as you will attain straight edges while keeping the stitch count constant.

Now for the fun part of finishing off the blanket and making the border.  I tied the ends of each two pieces of yarn twice.  Then I left the ends hanging and started single crocheting around the entire blanket.  I crocheted a total of six rows for the border: Row 1, sc with 3 sc in each corner; Row 2, sc with 3 sc in each corner; Row 3, sc with 3 sc in each corner; Row 4, sc and decrease* in each corner; Row 5, sc even; Row 6, sc and decrease* in each corner.

*To decrease in each corner, sc three stitches together as follows; sc in first stitch, sc in 2nd stitch but leave loop on hook (you will have two loops on hook), sc in 3rd stitch and leave loop on hook (you will have 3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook.

You can see how the corner turns by itself after doing the decrease in each corner.
As you can see, this made a "rolled" edge.  I found this idea at Little Woolie blog, who was the original inspiration for this pattern.  Anyway, as you fold over the edges, you tuck in all the loose strands of yarn and then stitch the edging closed.  I used one complete skein for the edging and ran short of some yarn to stitch it closed.  I used the other blue color in the afghan that blended in quite well.
Here's a photo of the edging after it has been completed.

You can see the finished blanket here - it turned out huge!  It's about 72" long and 54" wide.  The yarn I used is machine washable and tumble dry so it should be hassle free.

I hope you have enjoyed this little foray into my crocheting project.  Until next time, have a great week and don't forget to stop by Handmade Harbour where you will meet lots of gifted crafters!

Have a great week,

P.S.  I will leave you with a photo of my lovely lily bouquet. I found these flowers at Walmart, of all places!! (Oops, can you see Lilly in the background, on the carpet?)