Finished Objects

Snowflake Ornaments

I’ve started seeing Christmas projects popping up on Pinterest and other blogs (in fact, I’m months behind by craft store standards) so I thought it was time to share a few ornaments that I made for the contest this year.

Crochet snowflake ornaments

The contest rules for this category specify that you have to enter a group of three. Last year, I made three identical angel ornaments in different colors. This year, I opted to use three different patterns (all by the same designer – Deborah Atkinson) and give them the same color scheme.

The first one (pictured below) is called the 3D Crystal Snowflake for Mom. I think this one is my favorite.

3D Crystal Snowflake Ornament

The second one is called Mother’s Day Snowflake. I got points knocked off for less-than-stellar blocking during the contest judging, and looking back I agree with the judges’ critique.

Mother's Day Snowflake Ornament

The third snowflake ornament is the Water Lily Snowflake. I wasn’t sure how well this pattern would work in my color scheme, but I like it.

Water Lily Snowflake Ornament

After completing the ornaments, I soaked them in a mixture of water and craft glue. Then I blocked them on my foam mats, with a layer of plastic wrap in between to keep the glue off of my boards. (Sorry for the horrible photo and lighting – it’s the only shot I got.)

Blocking Snowflake Ornaments

The thread is Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Cotton, size 10 in natural, and Knit Picks Curio in Victorian. To hang them, I just use the simple wire ornament hooks that are available (one billion to a pack) in the holiday decoration aisles. Overall, these got third place in their contest category.

Crochet Snowflake Ornaments

Finished Objects

Glitz at the Ritz Shawl

Now that the fair contest is over and I’ve picked up my projects, it’s time for a good old-fashioned online show and tell. 🙂 So without further fanfare, here’s part 1 of my 16-part (!) series of posts on this year’s contest entries.

glitzshawl1

Project numero uno is my take on the lovely Glitz at the Ritz shawl pattern by Helen Stewart. It’s available for FREE and is incredibly fun to make.

glitzshawl9

Okay, maybe the beading part was less-than-fun – as I have discovered before. If you’ve ever tried to shove a loop of yarn through a Size 6 bead (I used a pushpin to “fish” the yarn through – good times), you know what I’m talking about. Multiplied by about a zillion beads. Yep, it was a time-consuming, finger-endangering process.

glitzshawl8

Roll that beautiful bead footage. I used Bead Treasures beads in Beach Party, which coordinated very well with the yarn (I just omitted the green beads in the pack, and still had more than enough). As for the yarn, it’s the Araucania Nuble yarn from my stash – purchased on my trip to St. Louis.

glitzshawl6

I love the contrast between the main body lace pattern and the “star lace” pattern toward the bottom edge. It’s such a great pattern – reviewing these photos makes me want to make another one!

glitzshawl7

The edging was simple and stress-free. It’s all in the blocking!

glitzshawl5

Star lace makes this a yarn-thrifty project. I used less than two skeins of the Araucania Nuble – crazy for a project of this size. The beads lend weight and substance to this otherwise-airy shawl.

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Love the staggered polka dots in the main body lace.

glitzshawl3

Although this one didn’t receive a ribbon, it got a perfect score in the judged criteria. (It’s a very competitive category – I don’t envy the judges for having to make tough calls!) I’m proud of it because I learned a couple of new techniques.

glitzshawl2

Now that I’m done writing about this shawl, I’ll get back to my Gail (Nightsongs) – which I just frogged for the umpteenth time this weekend! With great yarn comes great responsibility…

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Crocheted Lorelei Shawl

I find out tomorrow how my projects rated at the contest – exciting! Not to mention the main reason I enjoy going, which is all of the awesome inspiration I get from others’ projects. Now that I’m on my third year of entering, I can recognize names of fellow entrants I admire – and even the names of some of the patterns/designers and yarns/colorways they have used. I love it.

I’ll be more timely about sharing the latest round of entries, but I’ll also continue to share projects I’ve entered in the past. This shawl was from my very first year of entering the fair contest.

Crocheted Lorelai Shawl

The pattern is the Lorelei shawl by Kimberly K. McAlindin, and the yarn is Lily Sugar’n Cream. The variegated colorway is Country Side. The solid color is just some coordinating green.

Crocheted Lorelai Shawl

I love the look of the yarn, but one of the judges questioned the choice (but didn’t really elaborate on why). To be fair, the cotton is pretty heavy for this type of project – it’s not a terribly useful shawl, but it’s nice as a “lapghan.” 🙂 I doubt I would pick it again for this project.

Crocheted Lorelai Shawl

This one got a fourth place prize, and I was over the moon to get awards in my first year of entering. It’s a fantastic pattern, and I’ve actually been wanting to recreate it with lighter yarn.

Crocheted Lorelai Shawl

Until then, the work progresses on my Gail (Nightsongs) shawl and I’ve finally gotten the hang of it.

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Ready or not…

…it’s almost time to enter my knitting and crochet projects into this year’s fair contest. It looks like I’ll have 16 entries this year – down from last year’s 20, but still not too bad. 🙂 Here’s a peek at a few of my projects:

Victorian Romantic Pineapples 5

glitzshawl7

Circular Motif Shawl by Babycakes Creates

Nennir Scarf

Donna Spiral Doily

And now that I’ve cut myself off from making contest projects before this year’s deadline, I’m spending time on some fun projects with no pressure. I’m finally using my Blue Heron Rayon Metallic to make a shawl, and it… is… amazing. It just knits up beautifully. More on that project later!

Finished Objects

Seaside Tote

Here’s a project that’s perfect for summer – the Seaside tote! I created this one a couple of years ago using Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres & Prints. I haven’t been able to find the name of the color way… anyone? Summer Splash is similar but includes yellow tones.

Seaside Tote

Instead of creating a round bottom as specified by the pattern, I modified the bag to have an oval bottom. To do so, I just used a free pattern I found for an oval rug to determine the structure/increases, then kept working it until I had the number of stitches I needed to begin on the sides. For additional strength, I then made a second oval and attached it inside the bag with a row of slip stitches.

Seaside Tote

I also added a row of single crocheted stitches to the edges of the straps to help prevent stretching and give them a nice finished look. The single crocheted edge actually continues around the top edge of the bag for additional reinforcement.

Seaside Tote

Finished Objects

Beaded Cutie Pie Doily

I’m getting back into the swing of things after an amazing and much-needed vacation. I somehow managed to schedule this trip for the busiest time I’ve had in months (which is saying something), but I left it all behind and had a great time. And now, reality has set in.

While I sort through my daunting pile of photos that need editing, here’s an oldie but a goodie: one of my first doilies. This one, like my unkept house, could use a little TLC. Perhaps I’ll do a “before and after” to demonstrate the importance of blocking?

Beaded Cutie Pie Doily

The project is the Cutie Pie Doily,which is available for free online. My version doesn’t really do it justice – isn’t it tough to look back on past projects when you know you can do better?

Beaded Cutie Pie Doily

I added beads and that took forever. I was so proud of myself at the time. 🙂 I’ll be back with photos of my trip soon!

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Framed Crochet Flowers

Hi there! Spring is in the air, and I haven’t shared one of my past projects for a while, so this one seemed perfect. This framed crochet flower art is different from a lot of my projects, and it’s one of my favorites!

Framed Flowers 1

The inspiration for this piece was the Spring Bouquet pattern, which I highly recommend checking out. Many people have just made the roses, which are among the prettiest (free pattern!) crocheted flowers I’ve seen.

Framed Flowers 4

These colors just make me happy. It was a great stash-buster project – I used up size 10 thread that was left over from my black & white rose centerpiece. Using up thread I already had made me be a bit braver with mixing and matching the colors.

Framed Flowers 5

Even the black background of the piece is crocheted. I just made rows of double crochet stitches until my fabric was the right size for the shadow box frame. Then I hand-stitched the crocheted fabric to the shadow box’s fabric lining. (The shadow box is from Hobby Lobby – how cool is it that it has a latch?!) I made the flowers individually, and then arranged them on the black fabric. When I was happy with the layout, I tacked the components to the fabric with crochet thread and wove in the ends.

Framed Flowers 3

Love this thing! It got a second place prize in the “framed crochet item” category at the contest last year. Speaking of which, it’s almost time to register for this year’s contest!

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Black and White Rose Centerpiece

Hi friends! I’m so ready for sun. Green grass. Stuffing my heavy wool coat into the closet and forgetting about it. Fresh air blowing through the house. Unfortunately, that’s going to be delayed for a bit in my part of the world. So I’m consoling myself by pulling out photos of brightly colored completed projects.

Black and White Rose Centerpiece

I made this centerpiece for my mom’s birthday a little more than a year ago. (Has it really been that long? Wow.) She’s a big fan of Mary Engelbreit, so I wanted to make her something with colors/patterns reminiscent of the designer’s whimsical pieces.

Black and White Rose Centerpiece

I followed the Beauty Rose Potholder pattern pretty closely for this one – I just left off the backing layer and skipped the corner loop. On the last round of each square, I joined to the next square as I went. It’s made from various colors of Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread. I love how it turned out! Sorry for the poor-quality photos – I’ll have to get some better ones at some point. Stay warm!

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

Time for more show and tell. This baby blanket is my first knit lace project. Well, technically my second – I made two of these in a row. The first one didn’t get photographed – I gave it away as a baby gift before I started documenting my projects. How lovely is the Chalice Baby Blanket pattern? 

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

I really like the soft gray-green color of Caron Simply Soft I used for this blanket. Alas, it’s no longer available. (Story of our lives, amiright?) The other one of these I made was in white – really lovely for a baptism gift. It’s nice to have photographed my older projects like this one, so I can see some progress. My stitches are more even now than they were on this project!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket