and it has ended.

I made so many potholders in such a short amount of time — in fact this post is super late!  Here are the 10 Christmas gifts:

not your average crochet - african flower potholders

not your average crochet - african flower potholders

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

I used this pattern but you can pretty much do this however you like.  I tried a slightly different one as well with the yarn I had left (it’s mostly just scraps now, which was the point anyway):

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

The gray backing on this one is slightly wonky but you can’t tell from the front and it works great (a nice size, too)!  This is probably my favorite one.

So do you make potholders for people for Christmas?  I feel like it’s a bit of an older tradition but it seems to still be going strong — I’ve gotten a couple from family members & a fellow counselor, as well over the past couple of years.

Well that’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!  I’ll have another ta-da moment soon, as soon as I can block my latest project & get good lighting for some photos!  See you soon!

it has begun.

Christmas.  It is time.  I’ve been wanting some crochet projects to do but didn’t have enough to do something big like a blanket, so I figured I’d just make some African flower motif potholders out of my drawer of Berroco Vintage & Vintage Chunky.

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I started with 10 yellow centers and continued working them at the same time.

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Before long they had their little khaki/tan borders (and I literally had about 6″ left of yarn — that was a close call)!

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The dark ones are purple, even if they look almost black in the photos.

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I love African flower motifs — they’re fun and easy to make.  With this chunky yarn and a J hook it feels like they’re just flying by, too!

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This was my first one and I ran out of the light blue to do the ruffly border called for, at least in that ball.  I have more, I was just too lazy to attach it & continue on.  I might do it anyway though because the ruffle just makes them look a little more finished:

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I completed both of those today & I don’t plan on stopping there.  More are on the way!

And if you’d like to see some different shots & some videos check my blog Instagram (and if you want to check out the adorable office bunny that is making a home under my desk, check out my personal Instagram too).

Well that’s all for now!  Gotta get back to crocheting!  I actually had a really bad day so I’m doing my best to keep busy, and this does the trick.  Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

improved Instagram!

Hello everyone!  In an effort to separate my day-to-day photos from my more blog-y photos I’ve turned my Instagram account into @notyouraveragecrochet which you can reach by clicking on the icon in the header.  If you were following me before as @hannah_owens_88 you shouldn’t have to do anything, but I made a new account and am using the old name for a more personal account (which you are still free to follow if you’re interested).

Now that Instagram has added the cool Instagram Stories feature I’ll be doing a little bit of micro-vlogging, so you’ll get more up close and personal with the details of what I’m crafting!

That’s all for now, hope to see you on both Instagram accounts!  :-)

Arlequin Shawl: begin!

Since I couldn’t decide what to do with that lovely sport weight yarn,  I started working on the Arlequin Shawl, a free downloadable knitting pattern.  I’m using the same brand of yarn called for in the pattern, Lily Neige, and even the same colorway, Bonbon Arlequin.  However, my yarn is not quite the same as the one in the pattern photos:

not your average crochet -  arlequin shawl

It’s variegated, not a long gradient.  The long gradient version is lovely but it wasn’t in stock back when I ordered this.  This is Lily Neige Single Fingering Alpaga & Soie: 90% baby alpaca, 10% silk.  And oh. my. gosh.  This stuff is so soft!  It’s creating a delicious fabric:

not your average crochet -  arlequin shawl

My stitches look to be a little looser than the pattern sample, but I like it the way it is so I’m not bothering to go down a needle size.  The fabric is so soft and drapey, it’s incredible.  The yarn is starting to pool, as you can see, but I don’t even care about that, it just adds interest!  The texture is great too.  I’m just loving everything about it.  Here’s a closeup:

not your average crochet -  arlequin shawl

I’ve never knitted a shawl sideways like this before, but so far I’m enjoying it.  It’s working up quickly, although I suspect that will not be the case for much longer once the rows get wider.  It’s such a delight to knit, though, that I don’t think I’ll even mind that.  I got 2 skeins just in case, each being 425m/100g.  One might do the trick, but if not I’ll be able to make it exactly the size I want and still probably have enough leftover to make a cute hat or something!

Well, that’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!  See you soon!

completed Maeve & sport weight struggles

Let’s start with the happy!  I finally finished my Maeve shrug!

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

Looks kinda weird when it’s not on, so here it is actually on:

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

I made the size Small and used exactly 5 skeins (1085 yds) of Berroco Vintage (50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon) in the colorway 5195 Macaron.  I ordered 6 so I have a leftover skein, which I’m super happy about because I LOVE THIS YARN.  Not only is the colorway absolutely GORGEOUS (I wish you could see all the flecks of purples & oranges & pinks & reds in there but my camera can’t get that close up) but the yarn itself is great; I used Berroco Vintage Chunky for one of my ripple blankets back in 2011 and I’m so glad I did; it’s still SO soft and SO warm and I’m glad that I purposely felted it slightly in the wash so my dog’s claws can’t pull the yarn.  Now I’m not going to purposely felt this shrug, of course.  It’s just cool that you can if you want to, but you can machine wash it on cold and it’s fine.  I’m going to use some of my leftover Vintage & Vintage Chunky for potholders for Christmas gifts, I think.  Anyway…

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

It’s kind of hard to tell since I can’t take a good picture of my back but there is some sagging around the armpit area & under the back band where it connects to the garter stitch section.  This is something that many people who have made this shrug have run into, and perhaps if I block it I can at least fix the second part of the problem, I dunno.  And I don’t really mind the whole bat wing look, so the saggy armpit parts aren’t the end of the world.  Both of these issues occur, I believe, due to the fact that the shrug won’t stay completely up — the wide garter band that goes around is 12″ and that much fabric at your neck doesn’t really work — it just pushes the shrug down a bit.  That’s how the model’s wearing it in the pattern photos so I guess that’s just how it sits.

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

Even if it has a couple of small cosmetic issues, this shrug is SO COMFY.  I know I’ve used a lot of caps in this post and I don’t usually do that but that just shows you how much I mean it!  The shrug is very warm and cozy and no parts of it are too tight, and the front magically stays in front of my chest which is the best (because it helps keep the whole shrug in place & it keeps me more securely wrapped and warm)!  I like how it completely covers my neck — that’s one of my issues in winter with my sweaters that have larger necklines — my neck gets too cold!

So to sum it up, I like this shrug a lot.  It was easy to make (minus the math headache that I completely created for myself) and took a little over 2 months to knit, working on it pretty regularly but not obsessively.

Now on to my sport weight yarn struggles — I need your advice!  I have this LOVELY (again, I mean super duper lovely because the spin is great and it is SO SOFT) yarn in a fun bright color that I got on sale a long time ago from Purl Soho called Mulberry Merino (80% merino, 20% silk):

Purl Soho Mulberry Merino

I wanted to make a crochet shawl that has a large wingspan so that I can add buttons and wear it as a cardigan if I want to, like The Boho Crochet Wrap does.  However, when I purchased a pattern that I thought would be suitable for my sport weight yarn I had a huge gauge issue.

The pattern I purchased is called Picnic, and the pattern says that gauge isn’t really important.  However it does give measurements for a gauge swatch and I was so far off that I redid my swatch 4 times!  It says 15 sts & 7 rows of dc = 4″(10cm) with a size E hook (3.5mm), but I went all the way up to a size H hook and my gauge was still too small!  And by the looks of it even if I keep going up hook sizes to get the stitch gauge my row gauge will still be at least 1/2″ off, if not more.  That’s potentially a problem if I want a large wingspan and have a limited amount of yarn to work with (988 yds/903 m)!

I also like the Hotel of Bees shawl, and I could make it with this yarn (I think it would look fine in one color, and this bright yellow reminds me of bees), but it has the gauge listed on the Ravelry page & it looks like I’d have a similar issue (although maybe not so much with the row gauge… but I’d still have to go from the recommended E hook to at least an I)!

Now I haven’t done a gauge swatch for crochet in a while because I haven’t really needed to; am I crocheting extremely tight?  It doesn’t feel like it when I’m doing it, and I even tried the gauge swatch with my Clover Amour hooks and my Susan Bates hooks to see if the different kind of hook made a difference (it made only a tiny difference in row height).

What do I do?  I feel bad about paying for the pattern if I’m not gonna use it but I don’t want to spend all that time making the shawl if it’s not gonna be the size I want.

Maybe I could just try to make The Boho Crochet Wrap in this yarn instead of a DK weight yarn.  It calls for 980 yds of DK weight yarn though and I only have 988 yds of sport weight yarn — if I went up a few hook sizes do you think I could make it work out to be the same size?

Ugh, all this nice yarn poses such troubles because I want the pattern for it to be perfect!  Please let me know below what you’d do, or if you have any suggestions.

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks for stopping by!  See you soon!  :-)

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