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WIP Wednesday: Loggy Squares Blanket

3 May

I am slowly making progress on crocheting one of my old patterns in order to update it. I’m loving these bright cheery squares! These colors together make me so happy. 

For a project like this, I would normally wait until all the squares are made to see them together. However I needed to be able to visualize what they would look like in a row as well as take some measurements, so I’ll be assembling them as I go. It will be fun to see this blanket take shape one row at a time. 

Check back soon to see when the Loggy Squares Blanket Pattern goes live. 

WIP Wednesday: Lipstick Granny Ripple 

5 Apr

For this weeks installment of work in progress Wednesday, I’m featuring my Lipstick Granny Ripple blanket. I started crocheting this blanket last year as a side project for myself to work on between my shop orders. With the rush of Christmas and birth of my second daughter in February, it got pushed aside into a closet. But as April 20 approaches, I wanted to finally finish this blanket that’s been 9 years in the making. 

The reason why April 20 is significant to me is because that is the day my sister Heather died 8 years ago. I had originally started knitting a blanket for her with this yarn to give her for what would end up being her last Christmas, but unfortunately I never finished it in time. The project sat in a bag for many years and several moves before last year I finally decided to repurpose the yarn into a different blanket for myself. The original pattern I picked wasn’t a good fit for this yarn, but for 6 years I didn’t have the heart to undo my work, even if it never made it to my sister. 

Now as the 8th anniversary approaches, I have a strong desire to finally finish this blanket so I can wrap it around my two babies. It’s sad they never got to meet their Aunt Missy, but there are traces of her everywhere in our house. 

The Lipstick Granny Ripple will be just one more memory to add to our family and remember the one who isn’t here. Working on a yarn project has always been a way for me to cope with hard things in my life, so it seemed appropriate to work on such a special blanket this time of year. Someday I hope to tell my girls about the story behind this blanket as they pull it out to play with and cuddle under year after year. We love you Heather, forever in our hearts! 

Mermaid Tail Blankets

23 Nov

Looking for a unique handmade gift to put under the tree this holiday season? Look no further than a handmade mermaid tail blanket, now available to order in my shop!

Available in child and adult sizes. Two styles available and 8 color options to choose from. 
Limited spots available to order. These blankets are made to order in the colors of your choice. Order by November 29th to ensure Christmas delivery! 

These warm and cozy lap blankets are sure to delight any mermaid lover in your life. Visit kountingsheepshop.etsy.com to order today!

Big Heart Baby Blanket Pattern

11 Mar

Big Heart Baby Blanket Pattern

It’s been several years since I have released a new pattern, so now is the time! Introducing the new Big Heart Baby Blanket pattern! This digital pattern will help you crochet your own Big Heart blanket for the little ones in your life. Pattern includes written instructions and a color chart for the heart. You can grab a copy of the pattern in my shop here or on Ravelry here.

Big Heart Baby Blanket Pattern

Something new also available with this pattern is permission to sell finished items that you make using this pattern. Please remember that the pattern itself is for personal use only. Please do NOT distribute copies of this pattern and do NOT sell copies of this pattern. You may sell finished blankets that you make using this pattern, but you are required to credit the original pattern/designer as follows: “Made using a crochet pattern from Kounting Sheep Shop by Jenny Galusha-Luna: http://kountingsheep.com

Feel Better Friends Volunteer

7 May

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Last week I came across Feel Better Friends in my Facebook news feed that one of my yarn pages that I follow linked to. When I saw the picture of all the kids with their special dolls (shown above), it just struck a chord with me, and I fell in love with this organization. After watching my sister go through her own cancer battle, it makes me empathize with other families dealing with tough illnesses. Even though my sister was 20 when she went through her treatments, she was often scared and needed a stuffed “friend” to help her face chemo or procedures. Many friends and family gave her stuffed animals to help bring some comfort and she loved them and decorated her hospital room with them. I can only imagine how much more a younger child needs a special “friend” to make it through hard times too.

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The first FBF doll

The next day I signed up to be a volunteer crocheter, and I got my instructions for making a test doll to show my skills (original doll by FBF creator shown above). Even though I’ve been crocheting for over 17 years and have made numerous crocheted toys and dolls, this was my first time making a doll to look like someone specific. For my test doll I used a picture of my own little girl to match, and I decided I wanted to use her Halloween costume picture as Minnie Mouse. My little girl has been showing a love of dolls and stuffed animals lately, so the finished doll will be for her first birthday in a few months.

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It took me two days to make the doll and all the extras. Usually I try to stay away from intricate, fiddly embroidery/finishing work as much as possible, but with this project I really enjoyed it, especially making the eyes with embroidery floss and sewing on the individual polka dots on the skirt. I think the fact that I had to match my work to a picture made it challenging and fun.

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After submitting my test doll, I was approved, and I am officially a doll maker for Feel Better Friends. I received my first assignment today, and I am so excited to get started! If you would like more information on how to donate or be a part of this amazing group or to submit a request to get your own Feel Better Friend for a child with an illness, visit their website here: http://FBFdolls.org

Photo Friday: Favorite Ripple

17 Apr

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I am obsessed with this ripple pattern lately. I’m working on the edging of my second blanket using this pattern in a month, and I have plans for at least one more. Full blog post with finished blanket pictures coming soon.

200 Blocks in 200 Days: 8 Squares

8 Apr

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I decided to start officially making squares for my 200 Blocks in 200 Days challenge on April 1st, which means I now have the first 8 squares to show off. I am using a size G crochet hook for each square, and I am weaving in ends and edging each square with the same stitch count as I go along to help save finishing time later. I am not sure yet whether I will add an additional edging to each square in the same color before joining them, so I will decide that later as I get more squares done.

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I have found that no matter how hard I try, each square comes out a slightly different size. The concept of the book is that the squares come out the same size if you use the same size crochet hook for each one, but it’s nearly impossible to do that with all the different stitch patterns and techniques. Some squares are made in rows and some in the round. The ones made in rows aren’t quite true “squares,” but are a little more rectangular. That’s why I am edging each square with the same stitch count because once they are assembled, most of the wonkyness will even out or be less noticeable. If I wasn’t using acrylic yarn, blocking could help with that too. It’s hard for my perfectionist side to let go, but overall I am enjoying making each square.

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I am usually not a “bobble” or “popcorn” stitch fan, but surprisingly I am finding these fun to make. The variety definitely helps to keep this project interesting. At the same time, each square is finished pretty quickly so if it’s not a favorable pattern, I don’t have to work it for too long. It’s fun to see the different blocks laid out together the more I finish; this will definitely be an eclectic blanket!

Want to join me? Click “Follow This Blog” in the sidebar (or at the bottom for mobile viewers) to follow along and get updates. Post your progress in the comments or on Instagram using hashtag #200blocks200days.

200 Blocks in 200 Days

24 Mar

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I’ve been crocheting for a long time, which means that I have some finished projects that I am not especially fond of now years later. Some are because I don’t like the color combos I originally chose, some are because I wasn’t the best at finishing and weaving in ends in my early years of crocheting, and some were projects that I just never liked the finished result. So I decided that I wanted to reclaim the yarn from some of these projects and create something new that I will love. And that is how this new project was born: 200 Blocks in 200 Days.

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I have had this book, 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton, for many years now and have made a few blocks from it. However I tend to pick and choose my favorites and ignore the rest. In order to push myself to use every pattern from this book, I want to challenge myself to crochet a block a day, starting with the first one and going straight through the entire book. I will be using mostly scrap yarn, and I anticipate making one possibly two blankets from all these squares.

I would love for others to join me in this adventure. If you are interested in joining, click “Follow This Blog” in the sidebar (or if you are reading this mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Follow button), and then feel free to post your progress in the comments of my weekly update posts. You can also follow me on Instagram, as I will be posting my progress there too. Feel free to use hashtag #200blocks200days to share your progress on Instagram! You can find a copy of Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks on Amazon here: 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match

Rainbow Baby

31 Mar

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I’ve been working on a very special baby blanket for a very special baby: mine! That’s right, my husband and I are expecting a baby in August. We are hopeful this is our “rainbow” baby, since I’m almost halfway done with my pregnancy and baby has been doing great so far. For those who may not know what a “rainbow baby” is, here is a great description:

“A rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”

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The first handmade object I finished is this rainbow baby blanket. I wanted something bright and cheery to greet our new baby, our rainbow after the storm. We find out next week if we are having a boy or a girl, but we decided to stick with a gender neutral themed nursery, because we hope to have more than one baby someday. The theme is vintage circus inspired, so I’m using lots of bright colors and vintage handmade pieces from my grandma and great-grandma, as well as favorite books and toys from my own childhood.

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Our other big news is that we now have a furbaby: an 8 month old black lab/border collie mix named Rosie. She’s a good little dog who keeps me company during the day and seems to really like blankies (likes to chew them too). She even shows interest in crocheting by trying to take my hooks and play with yarn. I’m happy to have a new crochet buddy (wink, wink).

Homemakery, Part 2

21 Feb

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The great thing about living in a bigger space is that there is more room for handmade things, and I love being able to display the things I make around the house. The first two yarn-related projects I did when we moved in was revamp a pillow and an old afghan.

We had a plain pillow on our oversized chair, so I decided a cabled cover would help add some interest and make it more cozy.

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I just picked a cable pattern I liked and used the pillow itself as a template. For the back, I did plain garter stitch. Then I crocheted around the outside edges to close it around the pillow. I used yarn I already had, so this pillow got a free facelift.

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Next I decided to revamp an afghan I made more than 10 years ago using scrap yarn from my own stash and also from my Grandma’s stash by redoing the edging. The original edging was a bad choice from the beginning (a fuzzy yarn ::shudder::), so I wanted to fill in the gaps left by the hexagons to make this a true rectangle.

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After some trial and error, I finally got the effect I wanted. I did some scallops around the whole thing to help even out inconsistencies, and I am so happy with the results. I also had to spend some time weaving in ends because back when I made this blanket, I was sloppier when it came to securing my ends. Now this blanket sits on the back of our couch, always ready to wrap someone up.

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