Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye...

Yesterday was an emotional day.  The hubs left us for a year deployment in Kuwait.  I don't even like it when he has to go on drill one weekend a month.  This is 52 weekends plus their weeks all strung together.  Boo.  I put Griswold's camera on to document the day. 
I was hoping that Gris would catch a photo of everything as he was saying goodbye.  It ended up being a lot of the inside of my car.  But he did happen to catch this photo which made me really emotional.

I love this photo so much.  It was taken while we were at the airport unloading the car.  I really don't have any words to articulate the emotions, which is why having this photo is so amazing.  And now that I think about it, I'm glad he didn't get one of us saying goodbye.  You would've thought I would try to look cute or something.  Although, no one's cute when they're a snotty, red-faced mess.

Naturally, I have a lot of projects to keep myself busy over the next year (this blog being the main one to keep him in the loop).  So I'm going to dive right into two projects to honor our soldier while he's away.  I did both of these last night to keep myself occupied.

I had been wanting to try my hand at paracord bracelets for awhile now.  After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I found this camo pattern.

$8.99 plus 40% off coupon.  I used this tutorial for making the cobra knot/stitch pattern.  It took me a couple tries, but the great part is that you can just undo the knot if you made a boo boo.


Paracord (amount will vary.  See approximate calculations below)
Plastic  buckles (Size .5 for Coop, .6 for Gris)
Old collar

Here's what I did to make the collar.  First, I measured their existing collar to determine how much cord I would need.  I only measured the cloth part, not including the clips.  Griswold's was 12 inches, Coop's was 10.  You need approximately 1 foot of cord per inch, but I cut one foot extra just to be safe.  So 13 feet for Gris, 11 feet for Coop.
Now the clips.  These are right next to the paracord in Hobby Lobby.  If you need a bigger size, you can find them in the sewing notions department.  Fold your cord into two equal halves and feed the loop into the female part of the clip (I swear that is the correct terminology).  The bottom side of the clip should be facing up.

Then feed your ends through the loop you made and pull it tight.

Now for the other part of your clip.  Again, with the bottom of the clip facing you, feed the cord from the back to the front, through the top section (with this size clip, you'll notice there are two sections that you can feed cord through on the male part).

Here's where you'll need to measure.  The easiest thing for me to do was to take their existing collar and hold it up to the cord until they were each equal lengths, clips included.

Once I had that, I taped down each clip so it wouldn't move while I was making my knots.  Now for how I did the knots.  Though the tutorial I used was very thorough and perfectly fine, I am the type of person that has to talk myself through each step.  So here is a visual of my task analysis for those of you like me that need a little more detail to keep you straight (and clear of verbal freak-outs):
Click to Enlarge
You don't want your tension to be super-tight, but not loose either.  You'll begin to see the "V" pattern. You'll also be able to tell if you mess up.  You can see I did in the third to last knot.

Keep repeating the pattern until you get to your clip.  Here's where you get to play with fire.  Clip your paracord so you're only left with a little end (I left about 1/4 - 1/2 inch).  I also did one side at a time.  Heat the end of the paracord that you just snipped.  Let it heat for a good five seconds. At first, I was too timid because I thought it would just engulf in flames.  It won't.  Just make sure that you're only heating the end and you don't accidentally catch any other part.  Once you see it start to bubble and shrink, you're good.  CAREFUL!  SHE IS HOT!  Use the bottom of the lighter or some other object (I used the edge of a butter knife) to seal the end to the collar.  Repeat for the other side.

Attach the tags on a loop in the middle (you could also attach a D-ring if you wanted) and here's what you get for about a half-hour's worth of work and less than 10 bucks.
Look how proud they are.  But the fun doesn't stop there.  Oh no.  I've gotta fevah!  While on my trip to Hobby Lobby, I also picked up some camo Bamboospun yarn.  What to make.  What to make...  A cadet cap, natch.

See how psyched he is?  Ready for battle!  Or to join the cast of Duck Dynasty...


Camo yarn (the stuff I used was pricey, but really nice yarn.  Red Heart also makes a camo yarn), Worsted weight, small amount
Size H Crochet Hook
Large Eye Blunt Needle to weave in any ends
Your dog's head for size confirmation

Instructions are in U.S. crochet terminology.
ch - Chain
sc - Single crochet
dc - Double crochet
sl - Slipstitch
fo - Fasten off

Note -- Griswold is a small to medium sized dog, so this pattern will fit that population.  I will let you know where to add another round for larger dogs.  Likewise, for a teeny dog, just subtract rounds before the ear holes.

1.  Make a magic ring.  Ch two (counts as first dc).  Dc 7 into ring.  Pull closed.  Sl to top chain in ch 2. (8 dc)  

2.  Ch 2.  Dc in same stitch.  *2 dc in next stitch*.  Repeat in each stitch.  Sl to top chain in ch 2.  (16 dc)

3.  Ch 2.  2 dc in next stitch.  *1 dc in next stitch.  2 dc in next stitch.* Repeat.  Sl to top of chain in ch 2 (24 dc)

4.  Ch 2.  1 dc in next stitch.  2 dc in next stitch.  *1 dc in next two stitches.  2 dc in next stitch.*  Repeat.  Sl to top of chain in ch 2 (32 dc).

5.  Ch 2.  1 dc in next two stitches.  2 dc in next stitch.  *1 dc in next three stitches.  2 dc in next stitch.*  Repeat.  Sl to top of chain in ch 2 (40 dc).

(Here's where you would add rounds for larger dogs.  Just place what you have on your dogs head as measure and keep following the multiples of 8 pattern.  So for the next round, you would put a single dc in four stitches, then 2 dc in the next, totaling to 48)

6.  Ch 2.  1 dc in the next 7 stitches.  Ch 8.  Skip the next 8 stitches.  Rejoin yarn in a dc (this is the ear hole).  Dc in the next 8 stitches.  Ch 8.  Skip the next 8 stitches.  Rejoin yarn in a dc (this is the other ear hole).  1 dc in the next 6 stitches. Sl to top of chain in ch 2  (24 dc and 2 ch 8 spaces).  (Note -- you may have to ch more than 8 to accommodate ear size)

7.  Ch 2. Dc in each stitch and chain around.  Sl to top of chain in ch 2 (40 dc).

8.  Ch 1.  Sc in next 11.  ch 20.  In second ch from hook, sc.  Continue to sc to first chain made (these are the ties).  Sc in next stitch and the next 19 stitches.  Ch 20.  Follow same procedure.  Sc in next stitch and the next 10 stitches.  Fo.  (40 sc)

9.  Join yarn in the last sc round, underneath where the first ear hole ends.  Dc in same stitch as join.  Dc in the next 8 stitches.  Turn (now working in rows).

10.  Ch 2.  Dc in next 7 stitches.  Turn.

11.  Ch 2.  Dc in next 6 stitches.  Fo.

12.  Starting in one of the corners of the brim (below the ear holes), join yarn.  Sc in each stitch around the brim, with two stitches in each corner at the top of the brim to give it a nice, round edge.  Fo.  Weave in any straggly edges.  Go torture your dog.  Just don't get bit and blame me :)

Just look at this patriot!
I am sufficiently spent on my projects.  Until another day.  Have a wonderful evening and don't forget to give your loved ones an extra squeeze.


So after I giggled at myself a bunch, I decided to turn Griswold's cadet hat into a Duck Dynasty mask.  Turns out, that's all I needed to do to make him happy!  Look at that smile!

Look at me Jack!
He even has the crazy Uncle Si look down.
Punch like a flea!
I would like some iced tea please.  And some duck jerky.

Here's the pattern:


Small amount of worsted weight yarn in your beard color of choice.  I went with Si.
Size H Crochet Hook
Large Eye Blunt Needle to weave in any ends
Measuring tape

Instructions are in U.S. crochet terminology.
ch - Chain
st - stitch
dc - Double crochet
dcpc - Double crochet popcorn stitch**
trpc - Treble crochet popcorn stitch**
sk - Skip
fo - Fasten off

** Popcorn stitch - If you've never done a popcorn stitch, don't worry.  All you're going to do is dc (or tr as noted) 3 into one stitch.  When you finish the third, pull your hook out.  Put your hook in the first dc loop of the 3 cluster.  Depending on what side you want the popcorn to pop out, you are going to put the hook from front to back of the final stitch and draw through a loop, or back to front.  Here's a tutorial.  For this pattern, you're only going to dc or tr 3 into the same stitch instead of 5.

Row 1 - Ch 31 (the measuring tape is if you need to add more.  Measure from the bottom of the hat to the other side under the ears.  You'll have to adjust the amount of stitches to accommodate any more chs added)
Row 2 - Dc in second ch from hook.  1 dc in each of the next 6.  1 dcpc in next st.  *3dc.  1 dcpc* Repeat * until you have 5 dcpc total. dc 6 in remaining 6 sts.
Row 3 - Ch 2.  7 dc.  1 trpc in next st.  *3 dc.  1 trpc.* Repeat * until you have 4 trpc total.  8 dc in remaining sts.
Row 4 - Ch 2.  3 dc.  sk st.  1 trpc.  sk st.  *2 dc.  sk st.  1 trpc.  sk st.*  Repeat * until you have 5 trpc stitches.  3 dc.  fo  with enough to attach to hat.

Attach to hat underneath the ear holes where the ties are.  If you are making this hat with the beard, you can skip the part above in the hat pattern to add the ties.

Now go make some iced tea.

Happy.  Happy.  Happy.

1 comment:

  1. Great job!!! You'd better make one for Frisker or else he will be jealous of his cousins! You should put the tutorials online.
    Love you lots, Mom/Grandma


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