Last weekend I took an embroidery class at Rocking Bobbin Quilt shop. I had a great time and got to sharpen my embroidery skills that had gotten a bit rusty over the years. Not only did I get to learn several new techniques, I walked away with 12 completed ornaments for the holiday. If you've never worked with Kimberbell designs before, check them out here. I am hooked!
This design set is called "Happy Hoop Decor Volume 1 Whimsical Christmas Ornaments."
Another afghan complete!
Okay, I confess. I actually finished this some time last year but never got around to posting it. I think I wanted to keep making it bigger (like king size) but after living with it (and napping with it on the couch) I think I'm done.
There is no pattern. I actually saw a picture of one that had been done by someone else. I searched for nearly a month trying to find the designer and I would have happily paid for a pattern, but I gave up and decided to go for it.
The inspiration afghan had the edges squared off, but I decided I liked the wonkiness of the sharp edges. This photo was taken just after completion, so it has flattened out with usage and washing.
Every once and a while a pattern or project comes along that forces you to stop EVERYTHING you are doing and focus on it. That was true of the Flower Power Afghan. When I saw this I was reminded of the bright colors of the Lite Brite toy I loved playing with as a kid.
Not only are the colors super vibrant and fun, the blanket is soft and warm - simply perfect!
Others have done this same pattern in softer colors such as gray and pink, which makes a beautiful baby blanket.
Best part? FREE pattern! Download your copy here.
This scarf is a free pattern by Atty's called Crochet Candy Scarf. You can get the pattern here. I actually made this a while back but never posted a picture of it for some reason, even though it's one of my favorites. It reminds me of the candy dots that come on the paper rolls.
I worked mine with medium weight yarn, but the samples on the pattern page are also very lovely. I may need to make another one soon as it works up quickly and is very enjoyable to make.
This month I'm working on a lot of custom orders for holiday gifts, so I can't post those pictures just yet. But, I'm keeping VERY busy! What's on your hooks this month?
One of my goals this year is to work on things that have been hanging around for a while. That could be UFOs, patterns that I picked up long ago that I want to crochet, decreasing my yarn stash, etc. The Tides of Change afghan has been on my bucket list for a long time - maybe even since I first learned to crochet. At the time I remember reading the pattern and thinking "I'll never be able to do that."
Turns out I probably could have done it, and it would have been great exposure to a ton of stitches. I think an Advanced Beginner could easily tackle it.
Instead of changing colors every round ('cause, I'm lazy like that), and in an attempt to use up all that variegated yarn I just can't stop buying, I decided to pull from my stash. (Good news - the stash is down 9 very large balls and I can see a corner of my desk!)
I think this one is stunning and I plan to use it as a table cloth in my kitchen. Best of all? The pattern is free on Ravelry.
Here are some more pics to enjoy!
My sweet sister asked me to make her a cozy for her french press. Of course, I immediately agreed! A quick search did not yield many patterns, and I'm sure that's because the french presses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I knew I was on my own, so I decided to have some fun.
My sister didn't ask for anything fancy, but, well, you all KNOW how I LOVE embellishing things. I drew up a ton of ideas but ultimately decided to brighten up her coffee with flowers - lots and lots of flowers. Plus, I knew my little nieces would like them too.
In the tutorial below, I'll walk you through determining how to size your piece, and then we'll make the base. The base is great as is and you can immediately begin using it. Then we'll talk about embellishing. Specifically we'll make a five-petal flower and add it to our base.
This is a quick project. The base only takes about 1-2 hours. The embellishing will vary depending on how many you add.
Making the Base Cozy
Crochet the Base
Crochet Side One
Add the Buttons
Use your sewing needle and thread to add the buttons. Try and space them evenly. NOTE: These buttons have been in my stash for a while, but I think I picked them up at Michaels.
Crochet Button Hole Side
At this point place a stitch marker in your working chain and do a quick test fit on your carafe. You want it to be snug but not over stretched. If you need to adjust your chains, or add/remove rows to get the right fit, now is the time to adjust.
Once you are happy with the fit. Finish off. Your base cozy is done!
NOTE: Have some fun with this. As I started digging through my buttons I thought it would be fun to add a TON of those to the piece. Of course, you'd want to ensure the buttons you use don't have shanks. I also thought out using circles or squares. It would be cool to pull out that book of crochet appliques and try those out as well. Maybe a rainbow with a cloud and sunshine? Of course, a cute little sheep is always adorable. This is the perfect time to be creative and make something that is unique to you!
Flower Center (Work in Rounds)
Make as many flowers as you need to get the desired look. You can see in these photos that even a few flowers look nice. I can see embroidering leaves and stems for the group of three.
Of course, I MUST ADD MORE FLOWERS!
To add the flowers I used the tail from the inner circle to attach it to the body. I then used the tails from the petals to sew some of them down. I did the petals randomly as I wanted some of the petals to stand up. A good way to see how much you like being flat or standing up is to wrap it around your carafe and make any adjustments you need. You can sew all your ends in as you go, or do them at the end.
That's it! You are done! Now go make you a nice cup of coffee and enjoy your hard work.
I may be the ONLY crocheter in the world that doesn't make afghans all the time. Okay, okay, maybe not the ONLY one, but I know that number is pretty small. I think the main reason is I get bored, I also tend to like more modern designs and colorways so a lot of the patterns out there just don't appeal to me that much.
That was until I stumbled across Cypress Textiles. OMG I love how she combines color! The details are simple yet striking when you add it her color choices. I picked up two of her patterns, but decided to start with "Cozy Flowers" as I had the yarn on hand to make it. This pattern is free at her site, so check it out if you'd like to make one for yourself. This would be terrific with scraps.
One of the nice things about this pattern is that it starts with circles, which I love making. And, they are only a few rounds so they work up quickly. This was perfect for all those December outings and road trips. Here are all my stacks and the final pile. I ended up using seven colors as I was using my yarn stash versus what she calls for in her pattern.
Once I had these babies worked up I then worked on color placement. I liked the effect of the color pooling moving from dark to light.
I took a picture so I could use it as a reference as as I worked. NOTE: Of course I made stacks of the rows, but I know my cats well enough to know not to count on said stacks surviving for long.
Next up was the joining. The pattern calls for the "continuous join as you go" method, which was new for me, In fact, this may be why I don't make a lot of afghans. I find joining all the pieces tends to get tedious, but with this method it seemed to flow and move more quickly.
Here are some close ups of the various sections. Yummy!
I love how this piece turned out and am thinking about doing it in grey scale and making it larger for my bed. We'll see if I have the attention span to tackle that.
Overall the design on this is fantastic. The pattern is not for beginners and there are some steps you have to infer and figure out on your own. If you decide to tackle this, see my notes on my Ravelry page as I provide some of the detail that I thought was missing. Still, this is well worth the time and effort.
P.S. Cypress Textiles is in Texas, ya'll, so be sure to stop by and say "Howdy!"
I'm still working away on these two projects! Below are my April pictures for the hourly high temp for 2007 in Princeton, and for my 1997 afghan.
Normally long, drawn out projects make me crazy(ier). These to have been fun. I work on them both every few days and it's been fun to see how they are progressing. Here's my update for February for the two blankets in process. The top is the hourly temperatures for 2017. The bottom is month two from my wedding year.
March will wrap up very soon, so stay tuned for further updates.
You may (or may not) have heard of Temperature Blankets. The concept is to create a blanket that reflects the temperature for an entire year, allowing the temperature to dictate the color choice. You can use the average high, average low, or even capture the temperature as it changes hourly throughout the day. Some people even use special stitches or special yarns to reflect weather events such as snow, or special occasions like birthdays. You can crochet, knit, or quilt your blanket depending on your skill set.
I wanted to start one last year, but the options had my head spinning. (Here's a link to a quick Google search so you can see what I mean!) I finally decided to take the plunge this year and ended up working on TWO!
The first starts with October 17, 1997, which is the day I married. Rather than using all the colors, I knew I wanted to keep it simple in whites, grays, and blacks as that matches our decor. I also LOVE doing circles, so I knew how I wanted it to look. Each circle with the square outline will ultimately represent 30-31 days.
The first picture shows my colorway. The second is my first circle. You can see my normal method of making circles isn't working too well as I'm getting a jog in the stitches. I have a couple of ideas on how to deal with that as I don't wish to start over, but more on that later once I decide for sure. In the meantime I'll join my circles with a slip stitch/chain one on future pieces.
Now this, combined with my goal of creating a new pattern each month for my shop AND getting ready for trade shows later in the year, should have been plenty. BUT NO!
I'm a member of a Temperature Blanket Group on Facebook and one of the members posted a blanket that was TO DIE FOR! She did an hourly temperature blanket. Basically she did 10 stitches for each hour of the day for a total of 240 stitches in each row. Based on how her blanket turned out I knew I had to do one too. Here's my colorway and progress pictures as of end of January.
The piece is such an odd shape right now that it's difficult to get a good picture, but you can already see where the yellow is starting to accumulate at the warmest parts of the day. As this grows I'm hoping to get what looks like a sunset over water. We shall see.
So, have you tried one of these? Let me see your pictures! Or, if you are interesting in learning more about the Facebook group put a comment below and I'll share the info.