November 19, 2018

Hanging Baskets and a Great Lamp!

*This post contains affiliate and non-affiliate links to help you know exactly what I'm talking about. This way you can access these resources, too.*

In an effort to save water, money, energy, and my sanity (less to fold!), my school-age kids are expected to wear pajamas for two nights before washing. I decided my kids needed a little storage bag to help them to have a place to stash their pajamas between nights of wearing them. I am hoping that seeing the bag will remind them to stash their pajamas and not take them directly to the laundry basket. It's been a couple months now and so far, they have sometimes remembered and sometimes they've walked right past the baskets and totally forgot that they'd only worn the pajamas one night. Eh, it's a start, right?

I saw a cute pattern for a hanging basket on Pinterest and decided to check it out. Turns out, she had re-written the pattern into English from the original website, which was in Norwegian, using Google Translate. While I'm grateful for what she wrote out, hers turned out huge and then I modified it enough on my baskets that I wanted to save my notes here on my own blog. If you need any help with abbreviations, check here.

And I wanted to say that now that they days are getting shorter, it might be helpful to have a bright lamp handy! I've been trying out one from Brightech, a magnifier floor lamp. I (and my kids, sigh) love that it can be dimmed and switched on and off right at the lamp head. If you're in the market for a helpful lamp like this, check it out!

And now, here is my my version of the pattern!

Hanging Basket

Yarn: Bernat Maker home dec in two colors
Hooks: K/sz 10.5/6.5mm
Supplies: Stitch marker (or scrap piece of yarn), yarn needle

Crochet loosely, or try a size L hook if desired.

NOTE: Work will be started on "Wrong Side."
     At the end of each Rnd 1 - 12, place st marker to identify end of rnd.

With first color:
Ch 2.
Rnd 1 (WS): 5 sc in 2nd loop from hook, do not fasten off, place st marker. (5 sc)
Rnd 2 : 2 sc in each st around. (10 sc)
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each st around. (20 sc)
Rnd 4: (1 sc, 2 sc) repeat around. (30 sc)
Rnd 5: (1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc) repeat around. (40 sc)
Rnds 6-9: Sc in each st around. (40 sc)
Rnd 10: (1 sc, 2 sc) repeat around (60 sc)
Rnd 11: Sc in each st around. (60 sc)
Rnd 12: Sc in each st around, sl st to top of  first st of rnd. st marker is no longer needed (60 sc)
Rnd 13 (RS): TURN. Ch 2, hdc in each st around, sl st to top of first hdc. (60 hdc)
Rnd 14: Ch 2, in back lps only, hdc around, sl st to top of first hdc. (60 hdc)
Rnd 15: Ch 2, hdc in each st around (both lps), sl st to top of first hdc. (60 hdc)
Rnd 16: Ch 2, hdc in 15 sts, dc in 30 sts, hdc in 15 sts, sl st to top of first hdc. (15 hdc, 30 dc, 15 hdc)
Rnd 17: Ch 2, in back lps only, hdc in 15 sts, dc in 30 sts, hdc in 15 sts, sl st to top of first hdc. (15 hdc, 30 dc, 15 hdc)
Rnd 18: Ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st to top of first sc. (60 sc)
Rnd 19: Ch 1, sc in 20 sts, sc2tog 10 times, sc in 20 sts, sl st to top of first sc. (50 sts)
Fasten off.
With second color:
Finishing Rnd (loop strap and edge): attach new color into last st of last Rnd. Ch 10, sl st into first st from last Rnd. Turn, ch 1, then sc along the 10-ch (loop made). You should be back at the sts of Rnd 19. Reverse sc along Rnd 19 sts, sl st to beg of rnd. Fasten off, leaving 10-inch tail.
Wind tail around base of loop and weave in loose ends.

 All done!

November 05, 2018

My 20th Design! Square Owl Hat

My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia FashionThis month marks the release of my 20th crochet pattern! I've been designing since 2010, when my first daughter was an infant. I have continued to design as I've had three more children after her!

I'm always designing in my mind, but if you've written a crochet pattern, you know it takes time. But I love it!

This Square Owl Hat was originally designed back in about 2011, but has evolved a lot since then and finally been written out, edited, and published in a magazine! The pattern includes sizes from NEWBORN to LARGE ADULT! So you can make one for anyone--any size--in your list of family and friends to give gifts to.  Which is why it's in the magazine issue called "Great for Gifting."

The yarn used on these hats is Aran Weight, and doesn't use much at all.  Aside from the main colors of the hat, the tassels, braid tassels, owl eyes, and beak are all great scrap busters since those parts don't use much yarn at all. Even the main colors on the hat don't use too much yarn, either!
My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia Fashion
Until January 2019, this pattern will be exclusively in the Happily Hooked digital magazine (and in limited print copies mid-December).  The digital magazine is available at Ravelry for $7.99USD and includes 9 additional patterns from various designers and articles related to crochet! After that, you will be able to purchase the pattern directly from my Ravelry page if interested.

Happy Holidays!
My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia Fashion
Clockwise around: Red/Gray Hat - Large Adult
Pink/Black - Small Adult
Blue/Brown - Large Child
Orange/Cream - Small Child
Gray/Black - Infant
Green/Red - Newborn

My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia Fashion

September 06, 2018

Accidental Pixie Grow-Out!

So, I've been busy working on all kinds projects, and blogging in my brain! But I'm finally sitting down to type this part out.

I've got another magazine-released pattern in the works, so keep your eyes open for the announcement! I can't say much yet except that I'm really, really excited about this one!

In the meanwhile, I've also been working on trying out some other patterns and I'll post about those soon. Basically I've followed some other patterns for a project here and there and I want to post my edits here on the blog.

Today's post, though, is about hair. I got a haircut, but I wanted it pretty short but the stylist didn't get it quite how I wanted it. It was okay, but I've got curly hair and I thought it made my hair shape very triangular. So she offered to fix it and I went back and the re-cut was even worse in a new way! I guess I'm not good at explaining what I want! And maybe it wasn't a style that works with my hair? Either way, with my wavy hair, it looked like a great-grandma haircut with a flat spot. So I hated it. I've never hated a haircut before... My hair usually is pretty flexible with various bad cuts, but I guess it met its match.
Anna Virginia Fashion - Pixie Grow-Out
Top photos are the first attempt
Middle photo is what I was going for
Bottom photos are the re-cut.
I found another hairstylist and got her opinion, and she trimmed it up so at least it would look like an intentional pixie. This adjustment made me think of Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music."  Not my preferred style but at least it had style!

It's been a year since then and my hair has grown a lot! I wanted to show how long it can grow in a year. Here are some pictures... I have a hard time making it totally straight even when I try!
Anna Virginia Fashion - Pixie Grow-Out
Top Left: Pixie Straight; Top Right: Pixie Curly
Bottom Left: Year Later Straight; Bottom Right: Year Later Curly
Plus, I've learned a lot about my wavy/curly hair! It's curlier than ever which has been fun, although it looks shorter than it really is thanks to "shrinkage" (that's a curly-term for how long your hair looks versus how long it actually is). I have been shampooing with actual shampoo only once or twice a week, and instead doing co-washing ("washing" with conditioner). I've been on a medication that dries me out, so I've been co-washing every day for now.

I've noticed that for my hair, mousse works best in the Winter (I've used got2b mousse or Dove style+care mousse), and in the Summer a curl cream or cream gel works best (I've been using Pantene controlling curl creme or Garnier Fructis curl sculpt conditioning cream gel). I've also found that one of these products will work in my hair for a few months and then suddenly it doesn't work as well, so I switch it up. I also use double-prong hair clips to lift up the hair near the roots and pin them in place so that when my hair dries it lays away from my eyes (otherwise my hair dries in front of my face -- not fun!). I take the clips out when my hair is nearly dry.

So, I guess I want to say that if you end up with a haircut you don't like, get it to look good-enough-for-now and then give it some time.  I even had a wedding to go to a couple months after those pixie pictures.  It worked out; I received
lots of compliments! I took pictures once a month to remind myself and document how much it was growing, such a good idea when I was thinking it hand't grown at all!
(P.S. I'm not affiliated with any of these hair products or hair stylists. Any information shared is exactly that: information shared.)
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