Block Party: Between-Meal Centerpiece Edition

After seeing an awesome time-lapse video project that my husband made, I demanded requested a video of my own. He put together a quick time-lapse video while I blocked the Between-Meal Centerpiece.

Many thanks to him for making this video for me.

I have to be in the mood to block a piece, but when I am, it’s so much fun. (And it’s important, as the great Doris Chan explains much better than I can.) That’s when a project really starts to show its true potential instead of looking, as the Between-Meal Centerpiece project once did, like a tangled mess.

Between-Meal Centerpiece

I didn’t really block my projects properly until I had a good way to do it – namely, some good blocking board material. I use Step2 24″ Playmats. A lot of fiber crafters use similar playmats for blocking, and I can personally confirm that they are, indeed, awesome.

Between-Meal Centerpiece

I think 24″ is a nice, generous size for blocking a doily, and I love that they can be connected to block a long piece (such as a scarf) or a larger square piece (such as a baby afghan). These, plus regular old ball-head pins, are my go-to blocking tools. (Side note: ball-head pins, in my experience, are ridiculously hard to find in big-box stores. But why?)

Between-Meal Centerpiece

Usually I just block with water and spray starch. I know that many prefer liquid starch, but that seems like a hassle to me. Convince me otherwise? I’ll try it if it’s worth it. 🙂

Have You Seen This Doily Pattern?

***Update*** Found it!

Original post:

Because it’s awesome. 🙂

Peacock Doily

This is the first doily that I ever made – can you tell? Actually, there was an earlier version that was unceremoniously destroyed after I couldn’t even frog it to save the thread. Hey, if you’re going to make a mistake, make it a good one.

Peacock Doily

Although this doily made it to completion, I haven’t been able to find the original pattern source. I know that it was free, and available online, but that’s where the trail goes cold. It would be great to be able to link it up to its source on Ravelry. Is it one that you recognize? If so, drop me a line.

Peacock Doily

In the meantime, I’m still working on bigger and better thread projects…

See this project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/crocheted-easy-doily

In My Stash: Lollipop Chroma Fingering by KnitPicks

Update: Psssssst… to check out what I made with this yarn, click here.

Update 2: Looking for this yarn? Click here to see what I found out about its availability.

I have been drooling over KnitPicks’ Chroma Fingering Yarn in Lollipop for a long time, because it’s so. pretty. I have never ordered yarn online before, and have been hesitant to do so because I like to see/touch it for myself. I finally pulled the trigger, and I’m so glad that I did. I mean, look at it…

KnitPicks Chroma Yarn

…it’s like a Lisa Frank explosion, in the best possible way. So nostalgic. It makes me want to search eBay for unicorn-and/or-baby-tiger-emblazoned Trapper Keepers.

Knit Picks Chroma Lollipop

I have seen quite a few people use this yarn for kids’ projects, but I think it’s perfect for kids at heart, too. 🙂 I actually have big plans for my skeins. They are destined to become a Haruni shawl. A fellow Raveler used this yarn for one, and it was amazing. I can’t wait.

Knit Picks Chroma Lollipop

I’m pretty picky about texture, and many wool yarns just don’t feel soft enough to me. I was pleasantly surprised by this blend – it’s much softer than I expected.

knitpicks chroma fingering yarn

I also love how the colors fade gradually into one another. That makes the color transitions show between rows instead of looking choppy as some variegated yarns do. Plus, it’s cat-approved. So there’s that.

Knitpicks Chroma

Between-Meal Crochet Marathon

Starting a new pattern is exciting, but there’s also a certain amount of apprehension involved. There are always challenges, and sometimes the things that are difficult take me by surprise.

My current crochet project, the Between-Meal Centerpiece, has been a test of endurance. By one fellow Raveler’s count, there’s even a round that has more than 1,300 stitches. I haven’t yet reached that round, but I dread it now that I know it’s on the horizon. 🙂

Between-Meal Centerpiece

Something that I find striking about this pattern is that it seems to have multiple personalities. Parts of it are frilly and lacy, parts of it are surprisingly modern – the chevrons could be ripped right from patterns created in the past few years, for example. These different styles are definitely emphasized by the fact that I have chosen to separate the pattern “sections” with different threads.

Between-Meal Centerpiece

The gray sections are Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread in Silver, and the white with metallic is J&P Coats Metallic Knit-Cro-Sheen in White/Silver. The silver Aunt Lydia’s seems softer than other colors of the same brand, but it may just be that it seems soft compared to the metallic thread. I’ve never worked with the J&P before. It’s stiffer than I’m used to, and the metallic strand makes the thread twist badly as I work. That being said… it sparkles. Oooo, shiny. So there’s that.

Between-Meal Centerpiece

These photos were taken while I was on round 36… I’m a bit farther now, but not much. I think this thing is going to need some serious blocking, which can’t come soon enough for me!

Between-Meal Centerpiece