Romantic Pineapples Centerpiece

Let the romance continue! Here’s yet another example of a pattern so nice, I made it twice. This version of the Romantic Pineapples Doily was made for a very special family wedding. (See the other one here.)

Romantic Pineapples

For this centerpiece, I stuck with classic white in the form of Hilaza Rústica Eclat, a fine cotton thread with an iridescent strand running throughout.

Romantic Pineapples

That little extra sparkle makes all the difference (even if it’s really only visible in closeups)!

Romantic Pineapples

Note that this thread is NOT mercerized. From my limited experience with it (I generally stick with the more common mercerized brands), it means that the thread is softer and a more fragile. Mercerized thread is tough to break even when pulling on it hard – non-mercerized, not so much. It also has more of a matte finish, rather than the lustrous sheen you’ll see with mercerized thread.

Romantic Pineapples

The thread seemed more resistant to blocking, although I wouldn’t rule out user error on that score. Not that, erm, that’s an ongoing shortcoming. :) Oh well, on to the next project!

Gilmore Girls Crocheted Scarf

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix lately – it’s just such a perfect show to “watch” while crafting. I’ve already seen all of the episodes anyway, plus there’s definitely enough dialogue to keep you informed of what’s happening by just listening. I’ve found Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy shows (West Wing, Sports Night) to be good for this, too. ;)

Repeat viewings do reward you, though – there are so many awesome details in the sets! The Hooked on Houses blog has a photo tour of Lorelai’s house and the Gilmore mansion, as well as the Dragonfly Inn (and the town of Stars Hollow). For super fans, there’s also a thorough guide to filming locations for the show on the Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog.

Needless to say, the knit and crocheted items on the show catch my attention – and there are a lot of them! One piece that I’d particularly like to recreate appears in at least a couple of episodes: Rory’s crocheted scarf.

Rory's Scarf

It appears prominently in Season 5 Episode 14: “Say Something.” This is the episode in which Rory borrows Logan’s limo service so she can comfort Lorelai in Stars Hollow. The limo causes a commotion in town, and Rory responds by poking out of the top and explaining that she’s “not usually in a limo.”

And good news for those who like the scarf as much as I do – there’s already a pattern that was inspired by this piece! It’s called, appropriately, “I’m Not Usually in a Limo,” and was designed by Maria Keays. (Available for free as of this writing.)

Rory Crocheted Scarf

In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

The scarf made an appearance in at least one other episode. Here, Rory layered it with other cold-weather wear. I think this was from Season 4, Episode 17.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

Bonus: Here’s another scarf that’s similar in appearance but clearly isn’t the same one. This one might be knit? It’s hard to tell, but it’s pretty.

Rory Scarf Gilmore Girls

A Trick for Knitting with Beads

I’ve really been on a beaded project kick lately – even adding beads to projects whose patterns didn’t already call for them. It can be frustrating and tedious. I don’t like the stringing method for adding beads, but I also haven’t been very successful with the crochet hook method. The holes in those little size 6 beads are too small/inconsistent, and I end up with lots of unusable beads.

So here’s my little trick for being able to use beads with very small holes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a slow process – but for me, it works better than the other methods.

I start with some very, very thin wire; it’s as thin as thread, but holds its shape. I’m not sure what gauge/size it is (it’s from my craft project stash and was purchased a long time ago), but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find something similar in the beading supply aisle at the craft store. I fold a piece of this wire in half, and then stick it through the loop where I’m going to place my next bead.

Knitting with Beads

Next, I thread both of the loose ends of the wire through the bead.

Knitting with Beads

I pull the bead down the wire and slip it over the yarn.

IMG_2211

I remove the wire, and I’m left with a bead on the yarn.

Knitting with Beads

Finally, I pull the yarn loop taut and continue knitting. As you can see, it’s still a bit of a fussy process – but it works for me. :)

Knitting with Beads

Rose Table Runner

A couple of years ago, I made a thread crochet table runner with special significance. But let me back up to share the inspiration behind the project first.

The flowers below are from my wedding bouquet. Hydrangeas were one of the first things I picked out for my wedding. I actually took a sprig of hydrangeas to the store when choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses to make sure I found the closest color match. Those flowers + ivory roses = a wedding bouquet that I’d still pick if I had to do it all over again. I’d pick the guy again too, by the way. :)

Wedding Flowers

Fast forward to when my crochet hobby really took hold, and I wanted to make something that reminds me of those special flowers.

Rose Table Runner

So I started making a table runner with ivory roses on a field of light blue.

Rose Table Runner

The pattern is actually for a pot holder – the Beauty Rose pot holder pattern that’s available for free. (I made a centerpiece using the same pattern with different thread colors.)

Rose Table Runner

I just omitted the backing that the pattern calls for, and turned the squares into join-as-you-go motifs. I also created an edging for the table runner by using the same stitch patterns that are included within the motifs.

Rose Table Runner

The thread is Aunt Lydia’s #10 crochet cotton in Delft Blue, Frosty Green and Ivory. The blue looks a lot brighter in photos than it does in person – in my opinion, it’s actually a pretty close match to the hydrangeas.

Rose Table Runner

Handmade items are sentimental in and of themselves, but this one is made even more special due to its inspiration. Do you have any handmade items that are particularly significant to you?

Beyond the Blanket

It’s been nice to see some coverage of knitting over at Huffington Post recently. One of the articles details things you should be making for your home that aren’t blankets. (Not that there’s anything wrong with blankets!) I also appreciated the quick knitting history link included in the article.

The article reminded me of some crocheted home decor I’ve seen at national retailers lately. All three of these examples feature really nice neutral tones that could go with a lot of different decorating styles. In any case, I enjoyed the inspiration!

It looks like the Kayla Crochet Mirror from Company Kids might actually include some knit swatches, too.

The Lainie Crochet Pillow from Home Decorators Collection combines a rustic element (jute fabric) with elegant crocheted trim.

Pottery Barn’s Crochet Bath Accessories (almost out of stock as of this writing) feature a unique fiber choice.