Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Upcycled Jean Messenger Bag

I have such a hard time keeping secrets. I feel like I have been keeping this one forever. I have a new pattern that is appearing in the Crochet! Magazine spring issue. The digital version goes live today so I can finally share it with you.As always they did a great job photographing it.

 Here is the picture that I used to submit it:

I can't wait to get my magazine in the mail. If you would like to see the other patterns that they have in this issue go to this site here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Poinsettia Christmas Pattern

A Free Crochet Pattern

I am behind on the times. Last week I had a pattern that came out in Crochetvolution. You can find it here!
*Edit as of Nov. 2017* It is now also available on Designs by Diligence Here and it is available for purchase through my Ravelry Store. 

 Isn't it beautiful! I decided to watercolor it to make the design really pop. I was not disappointed. When I was done I thought that it would also make a really great Christmas ornament, so I got to work. 

The pattern is very close to the original, I only changed the chs, to make it more rounded. I'm also pretty
happy with it too.

Where Can I Get This Pattern

This is a free Pattern on the blog. Keep scrolling down to see this pattern. If you would like an ads free printer friendly version you can purchase one through my Ravelry Store for $3.00.
<------------->buy now<------------->

If you like this pattern and you would like to continue to see more patterns like this subscribe to designs by diligence. Follow the steps and you will get an e-mail any time there is a new post on the blog.

 Subscribe in a reader

You can also keep up with me through my social media.


  • Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet (Size 10); [100% Cotton, 400 yds/336m per ball] less than 1 ball.
  • Size 6 steel hook
  • starch
  • balloon

Make 2 sides, do not finish off on the second side.

Round 1: Ch 5, sl st in beginning ch to form a loop, ch 1, 12 sc in loop, sl st in first sc. (12 sc)

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), (dc, ch 3(also counts at a dc here and throughout this row), sl st) in same st, {sl st in next two st, (ch 3, dc, ch 3, sl st) in same st,} repeat { to} 4 more times. (6 groups of 3 dc), sl st in next 2 sp and up the first dc.

Round 3: Ch 3, dc in same sp, 2 dc in each of the next 2 st, ch 1, {2 dc in each of the next 3 st, ch 1} Repeat {to} 5 more times, sl st into beg. dc. (6- 6 dc groups)

Round 4: Ch 2, dc in next st (decrease just made), dc in next 2 st, dc2tog in next two st, ch 1, dc in ch 1 sp, ch 1 {dc2tog, dc in the next 2 st, dc2tog, ch 1,  dc in ch sp, ch 1} Repeat {to} 4 more times, sl st into beginning dc. (6 leaves and 6 dc)

Round 5: Ch 2, dc in next st (decrease just made), dc2tog in next st, ch 1, 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, {2 dc2tog in the next 4 st, ch 1, 3 dc in the next dc, ch 1} repeat {to} 4 more times, sl st into beginning dc. (6 groups of 4 and 6 groups of 3 dc)

Round 6: Ch 2, dc in next st (decrease just made), ch 2, 2 dc in each of  the next 3 dc, ch 2, {dc2tog, ch 2, 2 dc in the next 3 dc, ch 2} repeat {to} 4 more times, sl st into beginning dc.  (6 groups of 2 and 6 groups of 6 dc)

Round 7: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2), sc in next sp, ch 2, dc2tog, dc in next 2 dc, dc2tog, ch 2, sc in next sp, ch 2, {dc in dc2tog, ch 2, sc in next sp, ch 2, dc2tog, dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog, ch 2, sc in sp, ch 2 } repeat {to} 4 more times, sl st in beg dc.

Round 8: Sl st into sp, ch 1, {(sc in sp, ch 2) twice, 2 dc2tog, (ch 2, sc in next sp) two times, ch 2} repeat {to} 5 more times, sl st into beg st.

Round 9: Sl st into sp, ch 1, { (sc in sp, ch 2) twice, dc2tog in dc, (ch 2, sc in next sp) 3 times, ch 3} repeat {to} 5 more times, sl st into beg. St. Finish off. Weave in ends.

Joining the two sides
After round 9 of the second side, Ch 2, sc in a ch 2 sp of the first side, ch 2, sc in the next ch 2 sp of the second side, keep repeating till you come to the last ch 2 on each side, ch 2 and sl st into the beginning sc, finish off. Weave in your end.

To starch it
 I like to use a sugar starch. It is one part water and 2 parts sugar that is heated up on the stove till all the sugar is dissolved. With 1 cup water, 2 cups sugar I can get about 10 ornaments starched. When the mixture is heated though I will take it off the heat and dip my ornaments in the starch till it is completely saturated.

Then I will insert a balloon, blow the balloon up and tie it. Then I just hang the ornament to dry. It usually takes about 3 days. When the starch is dry I just pop the balloon and take it out. For this ornament I made some fabric bows and tied them with ribbon to hang on the tree.

More Free Crochet Patterns You Will Love 

Super Chunky Twisty Neck Warmer

Always Pointing North Blanket

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Color Options for the Always Pointing North blanket

I have been getting ready for Christmas, actually that is probably an understatement. I finished my first Christmas present back in March, and I have slowly been making things since. One of the things I have been making are blankets. I have mostly been using the Always Pointing North pattern. I fall in love with each blanket that I make and I want to keep them, so hopefully that means that the people receiving them with love them too. 

Here are the pictures of the new colors!
 The first one I wanted it to have fall colors, and the blue that is showing up so much in the picture is a lot more muted in real life. I also put a different border on it.

 With second one I wanted to make a spring/summer colored blanket. I really loved how the colors came together for this one.

I have another picture somewhere of another one I made, but I can not find it. I made a blanket for my Granny that had tans, blues and greens in it with a splash of Burgundy, all the colors that I think about when I think about my Granny. Maybe another time I will find it and add it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Un-pretty Shelf: Tomatoes

One of the first things I like to go look at when I enter a grocery store is the shelf that has the over ripe produce on it where they have reduced prices. I’ll call it the un-pretty shelf.  The only bad thing is you never know what is going to be there. I like to plan everything out before I go and stick to my list. The un-pretty shelf is always my lucky splurge, where I’m not really splurging.  Usually I can make a lucky guess at what will be there because of what is in season and what was on sale last week.
The thing that is great about over ripe or bruised produce is that there really is not anything wrong with it, especially if you are going to cook with it and within the next couple of days. The store wants to sell things that are pretty, and we customers also want to buy something pretty, but what to do with the un-pretty.  Instead of the store losing profits, it gains at least something back by selling the un-pretty at reduced priced.
This week on the un-pretty shelf they had bags of tomatoes. Each bag had about 10 tomatoes in it and the bag was priced at .99 cents. Score! One of the things that was on my list was tomato sauce. I was overjoyed at the prospect of making tomato sauce for cheaper than what I was going to buy it for.
The store brand sauce was on sale for 1.59. It come in a 640 ml jar (did I mention I just moved to Canada) which is like getting a 32 oz jar. To make my sauce I picked up some celery, and a can of tomato paste. Now if I was wonderful shopper I would have already had tomato paste at home from when I stocked piled 40 of them when they were only on sale for .25 cents, but I am not. I had to pay .54 cents for mine.  I had everything else I would need at home.
At home I was able to make 32 oz of sauce that I put in freezer containers for use throughout the week.
I paid .99 cents for the tomatoes
.54 cents for the tomato paste
.15 cents for the onion
.10 cents for the amount of celery I used
.10 cents worth of spices
So the grand total of my sauce was a 1.88.

In a way I guess you could say I lost out on .30 cents, especially when I think about the tomato paste I could have gotten on sale.  Though I guess I will take the .30 cents when I count in the fact that we will get to eat homemade sauce for the week and I know exactly what went into it without any preservatives and extra salt.  That is priceless.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sunrise Sunset Scarf/Cowl Pattern

A Free Crochet Pattern

Have you ever had an idea but you did not know what to do with the idea. This scarf or cowl is one of those ideas. I first came up with it when I was thinking about hairpin lace and how you have to crochet strips of lace together to make it into something. I wanted to make strips of lace that would come together to make a cowl.

 When I was finished I was really excited with how it turned out, but then I thought the strips are really pretty by themselves. I wonder what it would look like if I chose a chunkier yarn and just had one strip. That brought about the scarf. Then I thought to myself what would it look like if I added some more color. It was stunning.

Some times that is how patterns happen, they evolve and grow into something more than what they were. Sometimes patterns have a hard time deciding what they are, this one sure did.

I like all the sides of it and all of the different personalities that it can have. I wanted to share with you what can happen with one simple pattern and that sometimes the possibilities for something is limitless.

This pattern is available for a Ravelry Download. This is a printer friendly ads free pdf.
download now.
You can also see it now. Just keep scrolling down.

Sunrise Sunset Scarf/ Cowl Pattern

Yarn: I used a fine lace weight yarn for the cowl.
I used Caron Simply Soft for the scarf.  
 Hook: For the cowl: size 7 steel hook
 The scarf: I/8 6.00 mm hook
Gauge:For the cowl each strip is 8 by 4 in.
 The scarf is 8 by however long you want it.


Foundation Row: Ch 4, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in forth ch from hook, {ch 1, turn, sl st into next 3 dc and into the ch 2 space, (ch 3, dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch 2 sp} repeat {to} till you have your desired width if making a cowl or till you have your desired length if you are making a scarf. Do not finish off.

Row 1: (You will be working down the side of the foundation row), Ch 6 (counts as tr and ch,2),{ tr, ch 2 in next dc that is sticking out} repeat {to } till last dc group, tr in last dc group.

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as a dc), sk 2 ch make 2 more dc in same starting st, {sk 2 ch, 3 dc in next tr}, repeat {to}.

Row 3: Ch 2, dc2tog with the next two dc, {ch 2, dc3tog in the next 3 dc}, repeat {to}.

Row 4: Ch 8, sl st in forth ch made ( tr, picot just made), {ch 2, Tr in dc3tog, picot}, repeat {to}. Finish off.

Repeat rows 1 through 4 on the other side of the foundation row.

(If you want to add color to the scarf like the picture you will change color at row 2, and change back at row 4.)

To make cowl: (connect the strips together)

Make the scarf pattern (1 strip)

Repeat the scarf pattern on one side (2nd strip)

On the second side of the foundation row repeat rows 1- 3:

Row 4 for joining piece: Ch 6, sl st into first strip’s first picot, ch 2, sl st into forth ch of beginning ch 6, {ch 2, tr in dc3tog, ch 2, sl st in next picot of first strip, ch 2, sl st into tr just made}, repeat {to} till all picots are joined.

For the last strip you make for the cowl you will be repeating the second row 4 on each side, joining up both sides. 

Once it is all pieced together you can sc around both sides of the cowl to give it a finished look.

Some More Patterns You Will Love

Garden Party Clutch 

The Love Patch 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tears in Baby Hats

There was an ancient practice of catching your tears of grief in a vessel when someone died. When it was time to bury or cremate that person your vessel of tears would go with that person. This past year I cried all of my tears in to baby hats.

In February of last year my husband and I found out we were expecting. We had only been trying for a couple of weeks and I was pregnant. We were excited about having our dreams come so soon, and at the same time frightened at expanding our family and change. Within a week of finding out I started having complications. It came about that our precious little one was an ectopic pregnancy.  The doctors were never able to locate were my baby decided to grow, but it was not where it should have been, so it was only growing at 5 % instead of 100 %. My husband and I had to make the decision to end my pregnancy. At 11 weeks into making dreams and a new family I took a shot that would end all those dreams.  Then for another 11 weeks I had to go to the doctor and get my blood taken to watch my pregnancy numbers go back down to 0.

During all of this time I was crocheting. I was so excited to start making things for my new little one. I started making hats, sweaters, little booties. When we found out we would not be able to keep the baby I could not bring myself to stop. When the grief became overwhelming I would get out my hook and I would make a hat, some days that hat would turn into three hats. Often times I could not even see what I was making for the tears that were dropping on to the hat. After three months I had two under the bed totes full of baby hats, diaper covers, booties, and sweaters. After that time I found I did not have to go to my hook so often to shed my tears.

Now that a year has passed I am down to just one tote. Some of the hats have been given to friends. Some have gone to a local hospital. And I have even sold some.  

I wanted to tell you dear friends how much those hats mean to me. I have poured my dreams and prayers into those hats and I pray that the baby that fills them will grow big and strong and that they will be cherished and loved. When I give you a hat or other crochet items, I’m not just giving you something to keep you warm I am giving you something that has been saturated in prayer and thought for you and even sometimes tears.