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 the progress seems so slow. Everyone else seems to be getting through projects and moving on to others, but the comparison is useless – we’re all working toward very different goals.

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

P.S. I found this knitting blog challenge at Pixels and Purls 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)?”

Advertisements

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!

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!

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!

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?

“Mini” and Mega Doily Progress

You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure (and when I say nothing, I mean nothing), you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.

“Chick flicks” are hit or miss with me, but I do love Julie & Julia. (In no small part thanks to this guy and this lady, who also made this movie a favorite of mine.) The quote above really resonates with me, because it can apply to any hobby or passion. If you love something, then it can provide a lot of comfort to you when everything else is unpredictable.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

With that being said, you don’t always get the results that you expect – even with your favorite hobby. The chocolate cream pie that Julie makes in the film may turn out beautifully 99 percent of the time, but not always. Likewise, my craft projects don’t always come out exactly how I envisioned. But that doesn’t make the process any less rewarding.

I’ve had to make some modifications as I have worked on my latest projects, for example. The “mini” and mega doilies that I am making for an upcoming contest were originally supposed to be identical. But circumstances (the store running out of thread, and a diameter that was quickly surpassing the contest guidelines) have forced me to reimagine how these will turn out.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

I’m still excited about the idea, though, and every modification helps me get better at improvising and will (hopefully) ultimately help me to design my own creations one of these days (years?). As much as I am enjoying the projects, I am also looking forward to the next big thing. It’s way past time to get out the knitting needles again.

The “Mini” Doily & Mega Doily Challenge

My next projects are the product of my overachieving nature. I am getting ready to enter some knit and crochet items in a local contest. Last year was my rookie year in this contest, and I had some beginner’s luck. Just enough to get me fired up to go again this year. 🙂

Sunburst Pineapple Crochet Hooks

Part of the entry for this contest involves paying for tags. The thing about the tags is that you buy them in increments of 10. You don’t have to use 10, but you have the tags. I had 18 items (I know) to enter, and just under a month until the contest. Two unused tags. Sitting there smugly. Mocking me.

I looked through the remaining categories and came up with an idea for an experiment that would be interesting and give me two more entries in categories that I hadn’t already entered. While perusing Ravelry, I have seen quite a few blankets that have been made from doily patterns. They’re elegant and unique, but I haven’t really had a reason to make one. Until now.

Aunt Lydia's & I Love This Yarn

Presenting my own personal “Mini” Doily & Mega Doily Challenge (mini in quotation marks because the finished doily is actually a decent size), to be made from the Sunburst Pineapple Doily pattern. Using #10 crochet thread (Aunt Lydia’s in River Blue) and Aran-weight yarn (I Love This Yarn in Antique Teal), I am making two versions of this pattern: one an afghan, one a centerpiece.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily Challenge

I picked this pattern because it is relatively flat, and isn’t too lacy to be an effective afghan. Plus, it’s also pretty in its original thread crochet form. I crocheted the first few rounds on each one separately, and am now proceeding round by round, switching between projects. Let me tell you now that this makes every round seem ridiculously long.

Here’s the project after ten rounds. Fingers crossed that they both turn out!

Sunburst Pineapple Doily Challenge