DIY Coasters!


https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

There are several nerdy obsessions I have. (You’ve probably all noticed the Doctor Who thing by now…) But I also LOVE anything Harry Potter and I have a passion for all things Walking Dead. So, after the last HodgePodge Crochet gift exchange–when my crossbow toting Walking Dead mug was gifted to me by the same dear friend who sent me all of that handspun Exploding TARDIS yarn--I knew I wanted to turn things up a notch by creating something nerdy to rest it on.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What goes better with a Team Daryl Walking Dead mug than Harry Potter?!? It works in my head… Off to Pinterest I went in search of how to make this a reality! I found an amazing How To over on brightnest. Using a few cheap supplies and some DIY magic, she came up with three gorgeous ways to make coasters that reflect your personal style.

Still, I wanted something a little more…geektastic…so I decided to build on her idea and make my inner nerd happy!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY CoastersI started with the cork. For my  project I used cork tiles. You can find these pretty much anywhere. They come in a pack of 4 and are perfect for cutting and are also flat (which is important if you’re making a coaster) but you can also use the rolled cork too if that’s what you have lying around. Just unroll it a day before you plan to use it and place it flat under something heavy (like a stack of books) so you can work with it a little easier.

You will also need a ruler, a pencil, a sharp scissor or X-Acto knife, an acrylic sealer like Mod Podge, a paintbrush, cardboard, hot glue sticks and a glue gun or e6000, a printer, and images of whatever it is you want to turn into a coaster! Optional extras are things like acrylic paint (to age your coasters), yarn (to decorate the edges), and rubber sealer (to protect the cork from drying out and to provide some grip so your coasters don’t go sliding around on you.)

The first thing I did was to cut coaster sized squares of both cardboard and cork. The beauty of this project is that you don’t have to do it with traditional square or circle shapes and you don’t have to stick with the standard coaster size. Make them smaller for impromptu tea parties or larger for oversized mugs. Make them oval or hexagonal or go with a rhombus if you’re feeling particularly geeky.

Since I wanted to put several Harry Potter chapter titles on my coasters, I went with a standard 4″ x 4″ square.

I sandwiched together my cardboard and cork and glued them together with my hot glue gun. Cardboard LOVES hot glue so this part of the project went super quick. Once I’d gotten all four of my coasters glued together, I printed out the chapter headings I wanted as coasters, cut my images to fit, and then took my time painting some Mod Podge on the cardboard, arranging the image on top, and painting on more Mod Podge to secure. GO SLOW so you don’t get any air bubbles and keep smoothing until your image is how you want it.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

I know people are going to ask me where I got my images from and the answer is from the book! I own all of the Harry Potter books as digital copies so it’s pretty simple to take the digital image and create a printable graphic to use in a project like this one. In order to create a printable of your favorite chapters–in Harry Potter or any book that you love–all you have to do is follow these simple steps:

If you’re on a PC, pull up the page you want to copy and hit the Prtsc button on your keyboard. (Nothing will happen so don’t panic.) Then open your favorite graphics program and paste the image into it. Crop until you are happy, save the image, open a word doc and insert the image. Adjust the image so it is the correct size and print!

If you’re on a Mac, pull up the page you want to copy and hit Command+Shift+4. This brings up a selection box so you can specify an area to take a screenshot of, then save it as a file to the desktop. Open your word alternative (like OpenOffice) and insert your image. Adjust the image so it is the correct size and print!

If you own a physical copy of the book you can always scan your pages into your computer and use that as well. Save your image and follow the steps above to adjust and print!

Once you finish sealing them with several coats of Mod Podge and they’re dry, you’re pretty much done. I wanted to age mine so I broke out the acrylic paints and got to work. I thinned some brown and yellow with water and used a paper towel to gently rub them in. Because the coasters were sealed, I got some lovely results!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.comOnce they were dry, I covered them one more time with Mod Podge and then sprayed the cork backing with some aerosol rubber. This step is optional but I find that it helps protect the cork from drying out and also gives your coasters a little grip so they don’t move around too much on you.

After a few coats, you’re ready to use your new coasters!

You can opt to wrap them in a little fun fur (because who among us isn’t a little nerdy for yarn)…..

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

and all that’s left is to pull up your favorite pattern on your computer, grab some yarn and a hook, top your coaster with your favorite mug and hot beverage, and enjoy!

 and all that's left is to top with your favorite mug and hot beverage!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ :: DIY Coasters

 

It’s Time To Vote!!


https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Voting Time!

 

Voting for the First Quarter 2015 Event at The Crochet Awards is NOW OPEN! Enjoy all the fabulous crochet and VOTE for the best of the best in Crochet Apparel Designs.
PLEASE SHARE!!! http://www.thecrochetawards.com

7 Facebook Pages Worth Watching!


I really enjoy the thrill of hunting down smaller facebook pages to check out their content and see what they are all about. Since facebook has changed the way smaller businesses can interact with people using it, it’s become that much more satisfying to hunt down and find the diamonds in the ruff!

Here are seven pages that are worth checking out! If you have the time to look through their content, why not give them a like or drop a comment! I know they would love the support!!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching!


Page One: Hook Smart: www.facebook.com/hooksmart

As if being a wife, mom, doctoral candidate, and teaching assistant/online adjunct faculty weren’t enough, I decided to start my own business as well. I love creating handmade items that the “modern nerd” will love.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching! Hook Smart


Page Two: Tangled & Tied: https://www.facebook.com/tangledtied

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. -DIETER F. UCHTDORF

Ok, so he wasn’t taking about yarn. But still, it carries a ring of truth, no? I make things to feed this desire. Tangled and Tied was born from a desire to create 100% handmade luxury quality products using premium materials.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching! Tangled and Tied


Page Three: WL Creations: www.facebook.com/wlcreations1

I created my page as a way to share my passion for crochet and yarny goodness with family and friends. Hats are my all time favorite-I’m always searching for the “perfect” one! I love to add texture & bright, fun colors.

Whitney Lossie


 Page Four: Happy Hats: https://www.facebook.com/happihats

For me, being creative is something that comes from inside, a passion to make things for others to enjoy and it also keeps me out of mischief and I adore making funky hats for my baby’s. Before having two small baby’s I would keep myself busy with welding or spraying old VW campers.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching! Happy Hats


Page Five: Little Treasures by Nancy: https://www.facebook.com/LittleTreasuresByNancy 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
This is what I strive for with all of my creations
A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association in honor of my late husband. http://honor.americanheart.org/site/TR/Events/General?pg=fund&fr_id=1030&pxfid=12490

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching! Little Treasures by Nancy


Page Six: Divine Debris: https://www.facebook.com/DivinedebrisJewelry

I learned to crochet as a kid but didn’t pick it up and actually create things until I was well into my 20’s. Something about it, after I did some growing up, seemed both peaceful and exciting to me, especially the ability to make something with just your hands, a hook (or two) and a whole mess of yarn. Now a day doesn’t pass that I don’t think about something new to make or see something that inspires me to continue creating.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching! Divine Debris


Page Seven: Steff’s Simple Stitches: https://www.facebook.com/SteffsSimpleStitches

My dear Mum tried to teach me her immense yarn skills when I was young, but I lost interest when my first scarf became a long scraggly triangle. In 2010, looking for a hobby to help with some health issues, I took a crochet class at my local yarn store, and was instantly hooked (pun intended). I now craft daily, whether for family, friends, charity or customers, every piece is stitched with the love of creating things from pretty string!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com 7 fb pages worth watching! Steffs Simple Stitches


If you have (or know of) a really great facebook page that could use some love I want to hear all about it in the comments below! Note: Comments are moderated so they make take a few minutes to pop up! 

If you loved this blog post I’d appreciate a like below! And, as always, don’t forget to find that Follow HodgePodge button on the side-bar so you don’t miss any upcoming posts!

+1 Anyone?


https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com +1 AnyoneI get asked a lot of interesting questions about crochet and today a really great one came my way that I thought would be perfect to share right here on the blog!

HodgePodge Fan Writes:

I’m trying my first graphghan and I am a little confused as to how to begin. My foundation chain calls for 150 stitches. I am supposed to put +1 for the turning chain which makes 151. Right?

Well, Row 1 is the same exact stitches…shouldn’t it be 1 less…150 and not 151? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

That’s a great question because foundation chains and + amounts confuse a lot of crocheters. When creating something with so many chains, it is so important to get right because you don’t want to have to frog that much yarn.

Here is the skinny on + amounts in foundation chains.

Sometimes a pattern will tell you that the skipped chain(s) count as whatever stitch you are working for row 1. Most of the times, the skipped chains are there because they take the place of a stitch in the pattern and are important for the multiple to work correctly. For example:

Chain 20

Row 1: DC in 4th chain from hook (skipped chains count as dc)…

In this pattern, you would include the skipped 3 chains in the foundation as a dc stitch when you get back to this end in row 2 of your pattern. Generally, the pattern will tell you to work into the turning chain (this is the + amount of your foundation or the 3 skipped chains)

When you are working a graphghan, the skipped chain does not count. Most patterns won’t really tell you that but generally what this means is that you will not be crocheting into it on the way back in row 2. Adding a +1 means you will end with the exact number of stitches you need. In the case of the question above, that means 150 sc.

If you were to leave out that critical +1 when crocheting the foundation chain of 150 sts, when you get to the end you would have 149 sc. (Not including the skipped chain.) Your graphghan would be off by one stitch. That’s not a huge deal if your edges are all a solid color but if your pattern takes the design all the way out to the edge, something is going to go awry!

If you’d like to include the skipped chain (meaning you will crochet into it when you finish row 2) then you will have 150 sts but you might also end up with a pinched foundation that throws your corners off as your blanket grows. It might not be noticeable at first but you’ll see it as you get 10+ rows in.

If you’d like to see what I mean (but on a smaller scale) you can try two test swatches in a solid color. Here is how:

Test One: +1 Included:

With any hook and worsted yarn:

Ch 10 +1

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook (skipped ch does not count as a st), sc in each ch to end, ch1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 2-4: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, ch 1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 5: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, Finish off. (10 sc)

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com +1 Anyone

Test Two: +1 Not Included:

With the same hook and yarn:

Ch 10

Row 1: Sc in sc in 2nd ch from hook (skipped ch does count as a st), sc in each ch to end, ch1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 2: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, sc in beginning turning chain, ch 1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 3-4: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, ch 1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 5: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, Finish off. (10 sc)

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com +1 Anyone

Notice how both photos show exactly 10 sc over 5 rows but that the second–without that tricky +1 chain–has a weird corner. That will come back to haunt you later when it’s time for a border and depending on how tightly you crochet, it could pull your entire blanket out of line and make you wish you hadn’t started at all!

So, to recap, add a +1 to all of your graphghan patterns and do not treat the skipped chain as a stitch! Practice the technique over a smaller swatch just to make sure you’ve got it down and if you have used this technique I’d love to see your finished projects over on the HodgePodge Crochet facebook page!

Better Blanket Corners


https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Better Blanket Corners

Lots of people ask me about blankets. Mostly, how to keep their sides square and neat.

Generally speaking, square blanket corners are made right from the foundation chain. If you get that right, odds are your finished blanket will be stunning.

But how is that possible?

The answer is TENSION!

If you’re interested in learning how to create better blanket corners, you’re in luck! In about 7 minutes from now you’ll be well on your way to cranking out corners like a pro!

I love reading your comments so if you have time, drop one below! Also don’t forget to click that like button (to give me the warm and fuzzies) and if you enjoyed this and don’t want to be left out whenever I make a new blog post, head on over to the side bar and click that Follow HodgePodge Crochet button!

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