Fun Stuff

Getting Started

Do you remember learning how to knit or crochet? When you’ve been doing something for a long time, it’s hard to remember where you started and how difficult it was. That’s certainly the case for me – I’d rather forget the frustration and frogging. šŸ™‚

A woman named Dayna has started posting about a series of challenges that her family and friends have given her to help her learn new things and get outside her comfort zone. Aside from being a great idea in general (who hasn’t made a “bucket list” at one point?) I love that one of her challenges was to learn how to crochet from herĀ mom.

It seems that, more often than not, this type of craft is passed down from one generation to another. It just makes the hobby that much more meaningful. Who taught you to knit or crochet?

 

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.” šŸ™‚ 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. šŸ™‚ Here’s a peek at a fewĀ 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 beforeĀ 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 LilyĀ 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

Fun Stuff

Out and About

I went out for a quick shopping trip today, and found this crocheted skirt. It wasn’t flattering on me, but I thought the design was interesting.

photo 1

The bottom edge was especially pretty. I bet I could make something like this if I had the inclination…

photo 2

Here’s a closeup of the main stitch pattern:

photo 3

I also enjoyed this sign… well, they’re not wrong.

photo 4

And finally, HobLob attempted to put me in the Christmas spirit, but I wasn’t into it.

photo 5

WIP

123 Little Stars

My current project is easily the biggest long-term project I’ve ever done. I feel as though I write that about every project, but that probably just means that I continue to build my skills and my patience. It’s a tablecloth that’s made up of many, many star motifs. One hundred and twenty three of them, in fact – or there will be, once it’s done. I finally worked up the courage to count.

Midnight Star Motif

I’m getting close(ish) to being done, and it’s made me think about how the project has mirrored other aspects of life lately. Lots of frantic activity, but theĀ progress seems soĀ slow. Everyone else seems to be getting through projects and moving on to others, butĀ the comparison is useless – we’re allĀ working toward very different goals.

But overall – I’m pretty happy with my project. šŸ™‚ What are you working on?

P.S. I found this knitting blog challenge at Pixels and PurlsĀ and thought it sounded like fun. At the very least, I’ll refer to it from time to time if I need a topic. I’m going out of order, but I’ll still consider this post to be part of it, in response to “What is currently on your needles (hook, in my case)?”

Finished Objects

Beaded Cutie Pie Doily

I’m getting back into the swing of things after an amazingĀ and much-needed vacation. I somehow managed to scheduleĀ this trip forĀ 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,Ā 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. šŸ™‚ 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 oneĀ 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!