Cozy Crocheted Slippers

With the change in the weather, it’s time to think about cozy feet. Knowing my interest in curious things to do with yarn, my daughter-in-law passed along to me these crocheted slippers she found on one of her thrifting adventures. Do they remind you of elf shoes?

The color scheme strikes me as having a 1970s feel, with the chartreuse and brown combination–though the brown is just one color in an ombre yarn that shades from brown to pink to white.

The construction is ingenious–each slipper is constructed from four crocheted granny squares cleverly assembled to create the slipper shape. They aren’t the lacy granny squares like one sees in my favorite afghans but they are clearly a version of that concept.

Here is the slipper’s toe. The corners of the square have gotten a little rounded (these slippers were obviously worn by their first owner) but you can recognize the granny square construction in the way successively larger rows radiate from the center. These granny squares have an added feature. The innermost row involves an embossed technique that creates a flower-like effect.

Here is the vamp of the slipper–another granny square. I’ve folded the heel under it in order to smooth it out for the photo.

And here is the heel, also with rounded corners.

The rest of the slipper is formed from a large chartreuse granny square. Two of the corners fold up to join the smaller granny squares that form the other parts of the top. I couldn’t show it laid out as a square unless I wanted to disassemble a slipper, but you can see the rows radiating out from the center and you can see the other two corners at the right and left.

And then of course there is the pom pom.

Very cozy–though the fit is a bit tight on my size 8 1/2 feet!

Here’s another view.

PeggyCozy Crocheted Slippers
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Amazing Technicolor Dream Afghan

I found this afghan in an old house where a tag sale of odds and ends was in progress. Hardly anyone was venturing to the second floor, where  the rooms that had been bedrooms were nearly empty. Hidden away in a cardboard box tucked into a dusty corner was this remarkable find. It’s obviously handmade by someone who put a great deal of labor and love into it. It’s quite large–60″ by 80″–and it’s composed of 300 crocheted squares. I had to rescue it, though my taste usually runs to more restrained effects.

Not only does it feature a riotous assortment of colors, it also uses ombre and multicolored yarns for some of the squares–as if the patchwork effect of the variously colored squares wouldn’t be eye-catching enough.

Green ombre . . .

Yellow-orange ombre . . .

Gray ombre . . .

Rainbow multi . . .

Red, white, and black multi . . .

These are granny squares, but solid granny squares, unlike the lacier ones frequently seen in afghans. Here’s a good look at how the squares of various colors are arranged–organized but not too organized. Some diagonal rows are all one color, but others are suddenly interrupted by a new color, or just random. Ombre squares, however, seem never to interrupt solid rows or vice versa.

Not too many black squares.

Perhaps the creator wanted to save most of her black yarn to use for this decorative border.

It wasn’t until I spread it out on my sofa to get a good photo of the whole thing that I realized the squares had been arranged to form a striking chevron design.

Truly a remarkable tour de force!

PeggyAmazing Technicolor Dream Afghan
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Charming Crocheted Watermelon Potholder

Just in time for the lazy days of summer, here’s a crocheted potholder that evokes a favorite summertime treat. The deep pink, white, and dark green yarn do a very effective job of representing the watermelon’s flesh, rind, and skin.

The seeds were embroidered onto the crocheted watermelon using black yarn.

And for those who prefer their watermelon without seeds, the reverse side offers a seedless option.

The potholder seems to have been crocheted in a circle and then folded in half to resemble a watermelon slice just ready for tasting. Here’s a closer look at the crochet technique that was used.

PeggyCharming Crocheted Watermelon Potholder
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A Turquoise Twosome

I found this colorful pair of crocheted poodles at an estate sale.

The context in which I found them, as well as their curious shapes–as if each was designed fit over something, suggested that they had a purpose beyond mere cuteness.

Here’s the smaller one in the setting for which I suspect he was designed–perched on a bathroom counter by the sink.

Here he has been dislodged to reveal what he is hiding, two extra bars of soap.

I suspect he once had eyes, but at least his little red tongue is intact.

His sides are worked in a very attractive crochet pattern, with a long oval forming his back.

Here’s the larger poodle. He has also lost his eyes along the way, but you can just see his little red tongue.

He also hides a bathroom staple.

This side view shows his tail.

His entire body is worked in the same pattern used on his smaller companion’s sides.

I imagine these poodles were created by the woman whose estate was the subject of the sale at which I found them. I hope she would be happy to know they are having their fifteen minutes of fame.

PeggyA Turquoise Twosome
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Another Granny-Square Afghan Rescue

I can’t resist the urge to rescue granny-square afghans when I come across them in my estate-sale adventures–especially when they are the frugal type that mix random colors as if the creator was using up odds and ends from her yarn basket. The black yarn that forms the outer rim of each square sets off the colors and ties the design together in a most wonderful way.

This afghan had seen better days. Many squares were disintegrating.

The pink yarn was especially fragile.

Big empty spaces were left when I removed the damaged squares.

I pondered grafting new middles into squares whose outer parts were intact.

I did this when I repaired a granny-square afghan inherited from my grandmother, which was the subject of a Yarn Mania post back in 2018. But granny squares are created from the center outward rather than from the edges inward and, try as I might, I couldn’t reconstruct how I managed the grafting process when I repaired my grandmother’s afghan.

So I made new squares from scratch, which is fun..

Repair underway.

Here are a new square and an old square side by side, with the new square on the right. As you can see, the new squares blend in fine with the original ones.

The afghan originally had a crocheted border all the way around to finish it off.

I had to remove it because some of the new squares were added at the edges, but when I repairs I added a new border in a different style.

Here’s the finished project.

PeggyAnother Granny-Square Afghan Rescue
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A Very Merry Granny-Square Afghan

This afghan isn’t explicitly Christmas-themed, but the color is so cheery that it certainly captures the spirit of the season.

It’s one of my rescue afghans, found long ago. I have no idea who made it, but it’s definitely handmade and the workmanship (womanship, more likely) is exquisite.

As you can see, it’s all one color–a gorgeous shade of red–rather than the patchwork multicolor effect that suggests the crocheter was using up odds and ends of yarn. But the fact that it’s all one color puts the focus on the lovely texture created by the granny-square pattern.

It’s not too large. Each square is 3″ by 3″ and the whole thing is 27″ by 51″–almost more the shape and size of a shawl than a lap rug or blanket.

Here it is on another chair, waiting for someone to cuddle up under it, cat pillow included.

Happy Holidays to all!

PeggyA Very Merry Granny-Square Afghan
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Not Edible, but . . .

It’s hard to imagine a holiday for which no one has devised a yarn-based craft project. I came across this wonderful Thanksgiving turkey while browsing at a recent estate sale.

The rendering of the turkey’s distinctive plumage is quite detailed. Here’s a closeup of the wing.

And here’s the head, complete with beak and wattle.

He even has feet.

Here’s another view.

And here’s a clue as to how he was made, possibly from a kit.

This is the bottom. You can see the underside of his feet. The technique seems basically like needlepoint, with a more rigid base, plastic, rather than fabric. The pieces–wings etc.–are probably cut to size, or come that way in the kit. Then after the needlepoint is done, they are assembled into the finished creature.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

PeggyNot Edible, but . . .
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Crocheted Halloween Door Wreath

It’s amazing what you can do with imagination, yarn, and a crochet hook!

Ready for his closeup.

Almost good enough to eat.

Welcome, trick-or-treaters!

Enjoy the season, everybody!

PeggyCrocheted Halloween Door Wreath
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Almost Good Enough To Eat

Knit and Nibble combined! How could I resist these?  Cupcakes? Or ice cream in paper cups? No matter–they looked very tasty.

The loops on top suggest they were created as Christmas tree decorations, but with their evocation of summery pleasures like picnics and trips to.the ice cream shop, they seemed perfect for an August Yarn Mania post.

They even came in various flavors. Here’s strawberry? Or perhaps cherry?

Pistachio? Mint? The bugle beads make convincing sprinkles and the sequins add a touch of glamour.

Lemon sherbet? With a cherry on top? But then what are the green things on top of the strawberry ones?

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

PeggyAlmost Good Enough To Eat
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So Sweet–Woven-Square Baby Blanket

This is a garage-sale find from long ago. You can see that, befitting a baby blanket, the colors are soft pastels: pink and blue accented with pale yellow. Since it surely dates from an era before parents could know before a baby’s birth whether they would be welcoming a girl or a boy, the creator of this blanket seemingly wanted to allow for either possibility.

Recently I looked at it more closely and realized that it uses the same woven-square technique as the interesting vintage find I posted about in February of 2018, a woven-square blanket with squares of salmon-pink and two shades of green. In response to that post I received a most informative email from Barbara Minerd, a retired professor of visual communication. She confirmed that, as I had suspected, the squares were made individually and then sewn together, and she said they likely were created using the ‘Weave-It’ loom made by Hero Manufacturing Co., Inc., in Middleboro, Massachusetts.

Modern versions of these weaving kits–plastic, of course–are available from craft and hobby shops like Michaels, but vintage versions, including the authentic ‘Weave-It,’ can be found on Etsy and eBay.

The squares in the baby blanket are exactly the same size as the ones in the salmon-pink and green blanket, 3″ by 3″, but the creator of the baby blanket has added a bit of complexity. Some of the squares have plaid effect, the result of varying the colors of the warp and weft strands.

And some introduce an interesting surface pattern of nubs created by passing the weft strand over more than one warp strand at once.

The edges of the blanket are plain yellow, alternating smooth squares with the nubby pattern. Here’s a smooth square.

And here’s a nubby square.

Just to make things interesting, the corner squares are plaid.

The seams that join the squares together are more conspicuous on the reverse side.

Here’s another view of the blanket.

PeggySo Sweet–Woven-Square Baby Blanket
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