A Study in Contrasts

My most recent projects are on opposite ends of my fiber-crafting ability spectrum. He’s a little bit bulky-weight and knit, she’s a little bit cotton thread and crocheted.

Crochet and Knitting Projects

I ran out of thread while in the middle of one project, and had to wait until my order for more arrived. (Booooo. Hisssss.) In the midst of the waiting, I started the other. This is rare for me – I prefer to work on my projects one at a time. I usually work until completion, even when the project gets mind-numbingly boring and I reach what I like to refer to as my “point of despair.” As in, “Will this project EVER be done? I cannot make one. More. Stitch.” But then I do, and eventually it gets finished.

Crocheting and Knitting Projects

The thread crochet project is the Wild Rose table runner by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which I waxed poetic about in a previous post. I’m making it with Curio thread in Comfrey. I bought the thread without a project in mind – you’ll definitely need two balls of it for this table runner.

Crocheting Project

My “killing time” project is a GAP-tastic cowl made with Brava yarn in bulky. (Noticing a theme? Both this and the thread are from my amazing box of yarn.)

Knitting Project

It seems that many knitters/crocheters work on several projects at the same time, so I’m curious – am I alone in only working on one project at a time (most of the time)? Which do you prefer – working on several projects or just one, and why?

Danish Heart Garland

After seeing this Danish heart pin on Pinterest, I was reminded that I haven’t yet posted about my own Danish heart projects! I have made many of these adorable interwoven hearts from the free pattern on alipyper.com.

Danish Heart Garland

My most ambitious version of the project is a garland that I hang in the doorway for Valentine’s Day. Each heart is made from two ovals with slits, which get folded in half and interwoven. It’s much easier than it looks – my favorite kind of project! 🙂

Danish Heart Garland

I made the garland out of two different thread sizes: Aunt Lydia’s (sparkly) Iced Bamboo, and Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Cotton (size 10). I alternated the larger (Iced Bamboo) and smaller (Classic Crochet Cotton) hearts on a crocheted chain that’s made from leftover thread held together.

Crochet Heart Ornament

This past Christmas, I made a few of the hearts as gift toppers. I experimented with some different color combinations (above) to coordinate with wrapping paper, and also did some in the classic color combo.

Woven Crochet Heart Ornament

My garland got a first place award in its category at the contest last year. Love this pattern – give it a try!

OttLite Flex and Store

PSA: I just scored a new OttLite from Michaels for $24! I had been eyeing these awesome lamps for a while, and this deal was too good to resist.

OttLite Flex and Store

The Flex and Store lamp was originally priced at about $80 – but it’s worth noting that it can be had for much cheaper elsewhere. (This same model is on sale right now, along with other models, at Jo-Ann’s infamous periodic lighting sale.) In any case, I already had a Michaels gift card from Christmas, so it was priced just right for me. 🙂

OttLite Flex and Store

Note the small built-in caddy – perhaps now I’ll be able to keep track of my cable needle. Doubtful.

OttLite Flex and Store

I just got this and have already been using it a TON. I don’t know how I managed without it, really – I have such bad eyesight anyway, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by going without a decent task light.

OttLite Flex and Store

It’s set up on my coffee table right now, in fact, casting light over my otherwise eye-straining thread crochet project. Anybody else loving their OttLite (or another type of task light)?

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend – I’m getting ready to settle in for a night of PBS. Downton Abbey + Sherlock? Can’t think of a better lineup. The cup that the husband got me for Christmas has been coming in handy. 🙂  (It’s from Etsy, but it doesn’t seem to be available now.)

Downton Abbey Mug

Box of Yarn

I’ve got a jar of dirt a box from Knit Picks, and guess what’s inside it? That’s right, more stuff for my stash! I took advantage of the awesome sale at the end of last year, and scored an insane amount of stuff for just a little $. Fan for life (probably).

Box of Yarn

I picked a range of stuff to try, from bulky yarn (I haven’t used anything thicker than worsted in, oh, forever) to my beloved thread (Curio). Merry early Christmas to me! I’ve already made three things with the yarn from this box, with a fourth in progress. Can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on.

In the meantime, for those who like my Pirates of the Caribbean reference at the beginning of the post, please enjoy this video of the scene. Aside from the obvious crochet/knitting projects, I’ve spent my day so far at a lovely baby shower and then played my oboe for the first time in ages. How is your weekend going? 🙂

Crocheted Lollo African Flower Bear

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this project with you – it’s one of my all-time favorites. My first attempt at Lollo the African Flower Bear!

Crochet Lollo Bear

I admired this lovely pattern for a long time before I finally pulled the trigger on buying it. I would have gotten it sooner, but its $10 price tag and seeming complexity made me hesitate. As for the price, it was definitely a wonderful pattern worth paying for. (And it costs even less now!) I’ve already used it twice.

Crochet Lollo Bear

It is a time-consuming project with lots of color changes – make sure you’re committed to a long-term project before you start. 🙂 I still can’t believe how brilliant it is – different-sized hexagons and pentagons come together perfectly to form such a cute (join as you go) bear.

Crochet Lollo Bear

I used sparkling Aunt Lydia’s Iced Bamboo (size 3) for this project. (Well, for the aqua and white parts anyway. The black yarn is actually a few different types/brands because I kept running out and/or couldn’t find the same brand twice.) It turned out great, but the Iced Bamboo was a bit tough to work with using those tiny steel crochet hooks that the pattern calls for. The thread splits and tangles very easily. That being said, this clearly didn’t bother me too much – I made a second one with the Iced Bamboo later on.

Crochet Lollo Bear

I lucked out by finding some flower-shaped buttons at Hobby Lobby to secure the jointed limbs. They don’t sell these awesome buttons anymore at my local store – I snapped up the last of them on clearance to save for future Lollo projects.

I got a blue ribbon on this project. Can’t wait to make another!

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

The second part of my “mini” and “mega” doily challenge was to use the Sunburst Pineapple Doily pattern for its original thread crochet purpose. For this one, I used Aunt Lydia’s (Size 10) in River Blue.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

You’ll notice that I took some liberties with the pattern, so it looks a bit different than the doily blanket. The points of this doily don’t overlap, but rather stay flat. The overlapping points are made by finishing off the doily on one of the rounds, then crocheting each point individually. But here, I continued crocheting in rounds.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

I chose to make this change for practical reasons. The first was that the doily was getting too large for its diameter category in the crochet contest. The second was that I was running out of thread, and the store didn’t have any left in stock. So, I improvised the edge as I frequently do. How cheap resourceful.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

For such a simple, repetitive design, it really does have impressive results. And what a great colorway! My thread crochet version got a fourth place honor, and the judges commented on the nice shade of the thread.