WIP

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?

Finished Objects, Past Projects

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!

Fun Stuff

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

Yarns

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? 🙂

Finished Objects, Past Projects

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.

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Doily Blanket

I challenged myself to a task for the contest last year: make two versions of a doily in different sizes. The “mini” version was to be made of thread, and the “mega” version was to be made from yarn. Here’s the final result of the larger version: a doily blanket.

Sunburst Doily Afghan

The pattern is the Sunburst Pineapple doily, which is a rather large doily even when made with its intended thread. My blanket version was made out of the lovely Antique Teal shade of I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily Afghan

No awards for this one, but I do really like it. In fact, it’s one of the few crocheted afghans that I have out on display. It’s draped over the living room loveseat at this very moment. 🙂

Sunburst Pineapple Doily Afghan

Crocheted Snowdrop Treetop Angel
Finished Objects

Snowdrop Treetop Angel

This past weekend, I got it into my head that I wanted to make a tree topper angel. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute!) We have one on our tree that I purchased on Etsy before I got into thread crochet myself. It’s nice, but I thought it would be much more meaningful to have one of my own creations atop the tree.

I perused Ravelry and Google’s image search to find a pattern that I liked. I found plenty of lovely designs, but the ones that I really liked were published in now out-of-print books or otherwise not available. The only logical solution: create my first original design! Presenting the Snowdrop Angel:

Crochet Snowdrop Treetop Angel

To say that this is my first original design isn’t strictly true. I have done a few other projects that were essentially my own design – I just didn’t write the pattern. In an effort to create something that I could reproduce, though, I took the time to write down coherent steps. And it was HARD.

Crochet Snowdrop Treetop Angel

The process of writing down the pattern certainly slowed things down. When I designed this angel, I knew what elements I liked, but I actually closed all of the programs on my computer except Word so I wouldn’t be influenced by other projects. It was mostly trial and error. For many of the rows/rounds, I tried and frogged several different possibilities before getting one that gave me the correct look and shaping.

Crochet Snowdrop Treetop Angel

I even created an entire wing assembly design and decided that, although it was nice, it didn’t really match the style of the other components. So I tried again.

Crochet Snowdrop Treetop Angel

This angel is made with Rustica Eclat crochet thread, which you can purchase at Hobby Lobby (see link). It has iridescent strands that give the Snowdrop Angel the appropriate glistening effect.

Crochet Snowdrop Treetop Angel

I was worried that when I stiffened the angel (with a mixture of craft glue and water), the iridescent strands wouldn’t show through enough. But they do! I’m so glad. 🙂 The finished angel is about 8.5″ tall – perfect for our smallish-sized tree.

Crochet Snowdrop Treetop Angel

I really, really, really want to make this pattern available, and I certainly intend to. I had thought I would publish it along with the finished photos, but it’s still rough and there’s a good chance there are errors. It’s important to me that people who want to try it be successful, so I’m going to wait until I have a chance to polish the pattern and test it myself. (After some time has passed so I’m not just remembering how I made it!) Plus… who is going to be making more Christmas decorations at this point?! (Besides me, of course.)

I hope you have a great Christmas! Much love for all of your encouragement on my projects throughout the past year. 🙂

Inspiration, Patterns

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me…

…about Elizabeth Hiddleson? I had never seen her designs before, and they are amazing. I need to make this Wild Rose runner ASAP. I learned about her from the Linda Crochets, which I had also never seen. (She does beautiful work!) Check it out – I’m off to track down some patterns. 🙂

Uncategorized

The Power of Making Things by Hand

Today was a difficult day. It’s tough trying to get back to “business as usual” after saying goodbye to a loved one. The experience is one that everyone faces, but it feels so raw and unfamiliar when it happens to you.

Rose doily

I learned a lot of things from my grandfather, things that I can see have trickled down through generations and that I know will have an unseen impact for generations to come. Things too numerous and too personal to explain here and now. I can tell you that he was a man who appreciated the value of hard work, and of doing things right. Often, this meant making things with his own hands. I’m happy to know that, in some small way, the things I love to do reflect his values.