I received an email last night from crochet designer Carolyn Christmas, announcing the release of a new pattern book. Upon seeing it, I ordered it immediately! Not that I need another afghan project...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Published by Erica at 8:36 AM
Monday, June 28, 2010
Published by Erica at 8:55 AM
Please enjoy these rippled beauties. I have begun working on a ripple afghan myself (following Lucy's pattern) and will post pictures on Wednesday.
1. Rainbow Ripple - April, 2. WIP more ripples, 3. ripple again, 4. Close-up of ripple, 5. Work in Progress - Ripple Blanket, 6. Baby Ripple Crochet , 7. Ripple crochet, 8. Ripple dreams... part 4, 9. Zig zag baby blanket, 10. crochet ripple blanket, 11. crochet ripples, African flower, leaf, 12. rippling along - WIP, 13. Full view of the crochet ripple blanket
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Published by Erica at 8:17 AM
It all began with the completion of this wondrous (if I do say so myself) blanket. Following Lucy's wonderful Summer Garden Granny Square pattern, but going nuts with nearly 20 shades of Vanna's Choice yarn...
So there was nothing to do but buy a metric buttload of white yarn and get to work! The blanket occupied much space in my thoughts (and my home) as I worked on it.
Along the way, others were right there by my side, providing moral support and quality control testing.
A few of my favorite squares, below. Unfortunately, the photos don't capture the precise colors.
I hit a snag in progress when it came to the border. A particular shade ("Rose") was required for one round, and to my surprise, none of the local big-box yarn stores (none of them!) carried this shade. It could only be procured online. So I waited until there was a coupon for $5 flat-rate shipping from Joann.com, and ordered my one measly skein of yarn. (Along with additional yarn for future projects, maximizing the value of the coupon! Any excuse for more yarn...)
Seen below, a skein of "Magenta" ready to become the final round, dovetailing so beautifully with the elusive "Rose."
And seen below is the final product. A cozy blanket measuring about 77" x 58" (195x147 cm). Here it is laid out across my king-size bed. I had to stand on a step-stool and hold the camera above my head, doing my best to get the whole thing in the shot. (Mind your hands under the ceiling fan!)
I especially like the way the color layout turned out. Each half of the blanket has a distinct tone to it. Like the old McDLT sandwich (from McDonalds), it's warm on one side, cool on the other.
A close-up of the edging. The colors remind me of the "Old Country Roses" pattern of china.
And yes, as noted in one recent post, there are 1,152 yarn butts to weave in. I didn't crochet over the ends because of the gaps inherent in granny squares, and I didn't weave them in as I went, perhaps upon completion of each row. I may act different next time, and I may not. Oddly, I do sort of like weaving in ends. I just plug into my iPod and get absorbed in the music and the weaving. It will get done eventually.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Published by Erica at 8:33 AM
We do love our yarn cookies, don't we? Whether we convert them to squares, hexagons, something else, or just arrange them prettily in a jar to invite admiration, there is something compelling about these guys.
1. 100 pices all done , 2. Second Round, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. WIP - Spotty Afghan, 6. rings in yellow, 7. Circles, 8. why I need to learn to crochet - Japanese crochet book I have been drooling over, 9. Ciranda, cachecol de crochê, 10. Circles, 11. circles done! (C365:234) [Sept 16, 08], 12. crochet circles, 13. Circles ready, 14. crochet circle motif, 15. circle crochet, 16. Playing with circles
Friday, June 18, 2010
Published by Erica at 9:03 AM
Usually I showcase a bit of amigurumi on Fridays, but I have nothing new to show this week!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Published by Erica at 9:13 AM
Father's Day is this weekend in the U.S. I have had to set hook and yarn aside (not entirely) for the past couple of weeks while I worked feverishly to finish this creation for my dad. I'll be sending it out to him today.
It nicely juxtaposes his love of old-school science fiction with old-school video gaming (Space Invaders, in this case).
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Published by Erica at 9:55 AM
I've built up a sizeable yarn stash over the past decade, though nothing like some folks I've seen out there. In fact, I invite all my fellow bloggers to write a post showcasing your stash, sharing any special notes or stories about how it got that way! And let me say from the start, I am no yarn snob - I adore acrylic yarn. I love all yarn, in fact. However, that is a subject for another post.
(I'm sorry, I don't remember whose stash this was; I saw it on Ravelry once in a "Flash Your Stash" message post, possibly from 2009.)
I myself have been storing my yarn in various plastic tubs throughout the house, mostly in my closet and under the bed. Okay, and at work. This is not me hiding my addiction at the office; it's just that I do a lot of crochet on my lunch breaks, and it's nice to keep the stash handy there!
For our most recent wedding anniversary, my husband and I agreed on two things: for his gift, he would get a dog (our lovely Olive, the Scottish Terrier), and I would get to convert our seldom-used dining room into an actual sitting room for the two of us.
(and no, the rest of our house is not THIS cluttered - this room was just a catch-all for all the junk and disorder)
And here is the more peaceful "still-in-progress" picture:
Note that "Medium Blanket" is resting peacefully over the back of the sofa, just the perfect size for it - and I didn't even plan it that way. The walls will eventually be painted a more serene color, and I may cover the sofa... but for now, I love it.
The three cabinets are from IKEA. If you're interested, the center piece is a PAX wardrobe with Komplement baskets that pull out on tracks. The two flanking pieces are Expedit bookcases. The little table is a LACK (costing only $8 USD).
And now for a little close-up...
The yarn is mainly organized by brand or type. Of course, it's all acrylic or acrylic blends, with a bit of kitchen cotton. (And believe me, there's still plenty of yarn tucked away upstairs.)
My crochet magazines are hiding in those two white magazine boxes; I have a nice assortment of crochet hooks, scissors and even knitting needles in the jar. A fresh gardenia from the yard on top of the clock (placed there by my wonderful husband). On the shelf below, some of my favorite crochet books, my hook case, and a box containing sundry items like stitch markers, measuring tape, crochet thread and other bits and bobs.
My goal is to keep this room simple and neat, not to overload it with Things Going On - that only stifles my creativity, because if I see a bunch of unfinished work, I have a hard time deciding which one most needs my attention!
Interestingly, though I intended this room to be for me and my husband - an oasis away from the occasional chaos of the living room, where my children and their friends congregate - it has turned out to be THE new central location for the entire family. It is smaller than the living room, but on any given evening now, you will find all four of us humans (and our two pets) tucked away in this room - which has no TV, so it's good family time.
I am loving the change in my house as a result of this re-purposed room. I have been wanting to change it almost since we moved in (TEN YEARS AGO) and I'm so thrilled with it now.
Anyway, reiterating the call in my initial paragraph - would love to see your stashes, folks!!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Published by Erica at 2:38 PM
Green inspiration today... greenspiration?
Busy weekend full of yarn cabinet construction! Can't wait to share pics very soon. Have a wonderful week...
1. Lime Green Scarf with Flowers, 2. Stack of Squares, 3. Juice Box, 4. tiny cotton nesting bowls set of 3 - mixed green and yellow, 5. Pineapple afghan, 6. Handmade blanket in green colors, 7. Virkad grön hjärtväska!, 8. Green Yarn, 9. John Deere Blanket
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Published by Erica at 12:51 PM
I don't make many baby afghans, though I feel called to crochet them and give them away for charity. Selfishly, I have not made the time for this endeavor.
I'm not always a big fan of baby afghan books, especially since so many crochet books seem to be of the mid-80s to mid-90s vintage, with lots of dusty country colors - just not my style. (Picture the classic bonnet-wearing geese against a gingham background - ick.)
Anyway, I recently acquired this book of baby afghans, which is chock full of very decent patterns, indeed.
Out of the 30 or so different patterns in this book, I would be interested in making more than half of them, which is a VERY decent ratio for any published crochet pattern book. Especially since I managed to look beyond all the pastels and traditional baby shades, and thought in more brightly colorful terms. I did a sample motif using "Lucy-ish" colors and it definitely updates the square for something I could enjoy in my own home, or as a gift.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Published by Erica at 4:56 PM
1. Colours, 2. Muskat in many colors, 3. B rainbow 4, 4. sherbert colored handwound yarn balls, 5. DSC01303, 6. ripple-icious, 7. Yarn for my Attic24 hexagon!, 8. cotton, 9. Yarn Balls
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Published by Erica at 9:59 AM
Thank you for all the comments yesterday (here and on Flickr) on the nearly completed afghan. I will be edging it this weekend. In the meantime, I have received several helpful notes about crocheting over the ends as one goes, in order to avoid the endless weaving-in of yarn ends. I appreciate those suggestions!
It's almost Friday... even closer to it for you folks in Europe and points farther east...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Published by Erica at 8:08 AM
All squares of the Fruit Salad Afghan (or Box of Crayons Afghan, or Afghan of Many, Many Yarn Ends to Weave In) have been completed and grannied together. 192 lovely squares, all different, all arrayed to my satisfaction in terms of color placement.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Published by Erica at 9:10 AM
I always seem to have several (quite a few) crochet projects going on at once. Some are unwieldy (afghans) and remain in one place until complete. Others are smaller and portable, and may travel with me to the office or on road trips.
There are many options for toting a project around - obviously, a tote bag works well! You can buy a tote bag, sew your own from cheerful fabric, knit or crochet your own, or repurpose some other bag. For example, many grocery stores and other retailers are now offering "green" shopping bags, reusable tote bags you can bring back to the store, instead of using plastic bags. These are very roomy and handy, and Sarah London has a fabulous pattern to make yours lovely here (second one on the page).
I have found the ultimate yarn bag, though. My grocery store has a large wine section, and they have begun offering the aforementioned tote bags specifically for wine. This means a smaller tote bag with six divided compartments for holding wine bottles. In other words, it will also hold six full skeins (6 oz) of yarn, which (if they pull from the center) is perfect! Viz:
I haven't yet crocheted around this bag to perk it up since this one hasn't yet left the house - as you can see, I haven't even started it! (This will eventually be a Christmas ripple afghan.) But what a perfect little bag - because these skeins DO pull from the center, I won't have to take them out, and won't have to worry when they become depleted and "floopy" from lack of innards!