Crocheted Bead Earrings

I've been wanting to make these earrings for quite a while.  I finally got around to buying the jewelry-making supplies and got to it.  They're super easy and the pattern is FREE! I've posted the free pattern on my Ravelry store
Now my Ravelry Store can be accessed by non-Ravelry members.  Take a look.


Crochet Thread Cup Cozies

I designed these cozies to add a little class to my occasional coffee-to-go instead of the paper sleeves they give you at the coffee shop.  I had previously made some cozies using worsted weight yarn, but the result was too bulky-feeling for my taste.

The cozies use either #10 or #3 Crochet Thread.  The multi-colored one uses #3 size thread.  When my wife saw it, she asked if I could make one in Red and White to match Starbucks new "Holiday" cup.  I didn't have #3 thread in those colors, so I made her one using #10 thread from my stash.

I've added the pattern, which contains versions for both thread sizes, to my Ravelry and Etsy Stores.  


Hot Air Balloons from our backyard

We live in an area where hot air balloons are frequently seen, but usually too high to get a good shot. This was an especially foggy day and the balloons stayed low so they could still see the ground. I was fortunate enough to get this great shot from our backyard.


Cotton Crusher

Cotton Crusher
Originally uploaded by
My latest hat - a cotton crusher. Even though the brim LOOKS firm, it's only the edge being held firm by nylon trimmer line (like in your lawn edge trimmer) It's VERY comfortable - yes, I'm working on the pattern - which will be a very easy project.


Granny Square Blanket

Granny Square Blanket
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
The yarn for this blanket came from my mother-in-law, who passed away 2 years ago. My father-in-law ran across her stash of cotton yarn earlier this year and asked if I'd like to have it. Coincidentally, my daughter was expecting a baby this year and asked if I could make a blanket with the yarn from "Grandma". I chose to make the blanket with granny squares because of the varied choices of colors. Join using the "join as you go" method. The border is two rows of single crochet followed by a row of *sc, 2dc in same stitch, skip two stitches, repeat from *


Tip enjoying her new bed

Tip enjoying her new bed
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
This is Tip - our last remaining cat from a litter of strays. Our daughter Ciera started feeding her mother (a stray she named Snowball) many years ago, and she took to sleeping in our garage when she became pregnant - Ciera insisted we leave the garage door open a crack to let her in when she wanted. Of course, she gave birth in our garage to six kittens. We found nice homes for three of them, and kept the others.

I named this one "Tip" because of the white tip at the end of her tail. She turned eight years old this year, and now she's the only one we have left.

We recently redecorated our home, which, of course included the bedroom - with new paint, and furniture including a new comforter for the bed cover. Since the cats had the habit of sleeping on our bed (whether we were in it or not) my wife insisted on a cat bed on top of the comforter to reduce the amount of hair left behind.

Anyway, here she is, totally relaxed in her new bed.


A Day at the Fire Academy

My son, Christopher, is in the local chapter of Fire Explorers.  He's also a licensed EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and is a certified ambulance driver.  He's pursuing a career in fire fighting.  

The Fire Explorers is an organization run by the Fire Department to allow kids and young adults to learn fire fighting and to see if this could be a career path they are interested in pursuing.  The Fire Explorer program also builds awareness (and appreciation) of the fire fighters.  Christopher is attending a Fire Explorer Fire Academy this week.  The aim of the Academy is to accredit the attendees in various fire fighting procedures.  He invited us to attend a "Free Burn" yesterday.  We had no idea what to expect.  

It turns out there is a "car" - actually a steel structure in the basic shape of a car designed to be set on fire for training purposes.  It is configured to allow fires to be lit in various parts of the car so the trainees can gain experience with different types of car fires.  The tubes you see entering the left rear of the car in the picture below are actually the propane (or whatever flammable gas is used) and ignition lines that go to various parts of the car.  The gas (and ignition) is controlled with a remote control (similar to your TV remote).  A fire can be started in different parts of the car - under the hood, front or rear passenger area, and trunk. The picture below shows an engine fire.

Here's group of academy attendees getting instructions before putting out the car fire.  This is the 3-man group my son was in for this activity.  He's the handsome one facing the camera in the black helmet and the SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus).  I feel like I'm learning a new language with all the things he talks about associated with fire fighting.

The next picture is the same as the one above, but showing a zoomed-out view.  I would estimate there were approximately 80 attendees of the Fire Academy and this shot just shows the ones participating in the car fire instruction and free burn.

I thought the next picture was interesting.  The time of day was late afternoon and it's within a few seconds of the previous picture, but I turned on the camera flash.  There are reflective strips on the fire fighter "turn-outs" (that's what they call the protective outfit they're wearing) to enable the fire fighters to be located in complete darkness - this is how my camera interpreted the light situation because of the extreme reflective nature of the strips.

The next picture shows the group that was getting instructions above putting out the engine fire.  My son is handling the nozzle.  Isn't he doing a great job?  You can get a sense of the power that the water produces coming out of the nozzle by the way he's leaning into it.  Each situation is done by the group 3 times to allow all 3 members of the group to experience each position: Nozzle-guy, Backup-guy, and Hose-guy.  There's probably a proper name associated with each position, so forgive me if I got that wrong.  The Hose-guy position is not visible in this picture - the third person here is the guy in the red helmet who is one of the instructors.  The Nozzle-guy aims the nozzle, the Backup-guy assists the Nozzle-guy by helping to position the hose, the Hose-guy helps pull the hose into and out of the fire fighting position so the other two guys can handle the nozzle.  The fire fighters go into the fire walking forward as you see below, and when they leave, they're in the same position and back out.  The Hose-guy's job on the way out is to keep the hose out of the way of the other two so they don't trip on the hose as they back out.  My son did the best at that position, too, by the way.  I really mean it, even though he's my handsome son doesn't mean he can't be the best at whatever I say he's best at.

Here's a shot later that evening with a fire in a different part of the car.  It's kind of hard to see detail in this picture - I didn't want to use the flash, since you saw what happened earlier when I did that...

Tomorrow (Saturday) is graduation day.  We'll be going back for that, of course.


Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day Gifts
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
A local (Temecula) customer requested these two hats for her Husband and Dad for Father's Day. Made from my Unisex Fedora pattern.


Tulip Baby Set

Tulip Baby Set
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
One of my entries in the 2010 San Diego County Fair. This one's in the Baby Set competition - my first entry in this division.

Pattern available in Crochet World Magazine April 2010


Amaya with her latest toys from grandpa

I was over on Crafster and ran across a cute bunny pattern made (almost) in one piece. I couldn't resist making one for my granddaughter...here she is with her latest toys from Grandpa


Here's the pink one!

Amaya's Flower Hat
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
When my granddaughter, Amaya saw her new yellow hat, she asked "Can you make a PINK one?" Of course, I said "Yes" and asked if she wanted flowers on it. She responded "Yeah" with a big smile. Here's the result. I know she liked it because she wore it or carried it around the rest of the day.  I'm definitely making a pattern for this one...


Crocheted Rocks

Crocheted Rocks
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
I ran across some crocheted rocks on the Internet and decided to try my hand at it. It's relaxing, rewarding and FUN! A nice decoration for the home, too.  Crocheted with #10 crochet thread and a #5 hook.


Amaya's new hat

Amaya's new hat
Originally uploaded by CrochetDad
My granddaughter, Amaya wanted a hat! Boy was I excited! I said "what color?" She said "Wellow". Since I'm a Los Angeles Lakers fan, I added a purple band. I might produce a pattern for this. It came out well.

Now she asked "Can you make a pink one?"  Guess what?  - I'm making a pink one, of course.


Sea Turtle for Amaya

I thought it was time my granddaughter had a new toy, so I made this sea turtle for her.  It's about 4½ inches across.  The FREE Pattern is available here


Crochet Pattern finished for Unisex Ribbed Fedora

After seemingly unending modifications, I've finally finished the pattern for my Unisex Ribbed Fedora.  Sizes available for Toddler/Youth (18-19 inches), Small Adult (20-21 inches, and Large Adult (22-23 inches).

As many of you know, I'd rather crochet than write patterns, but I've had so many requests for this pattern, I felt I'd better get something out there or I'd lose some credibility.

This hat is now the hat I wear everyday.  I've had many nice comments from people I meet.   

The shape of the brim and crown shape is maintained by nylon line - you know, the kind that is used in lawn edge trimmers. 


Knooking Hook

I recently discovered "Knooking". It's a combination of crochet (or "hooking) and knitting and uses a hook with a cable or line at the end.

The term knooking is used in a Ravelry group of the same name. Check out the blog http://knooking.wordpress.com/ for more info


Final Version of Fedora

I think I'm satisfied with this version of my Fedora.  Next comes documenting the pattern.  The hat band will be different (this version was done hastily so I could wear the hat to my grandson's soccer game - team colors are Maroon and White).