Friday, April 14, 2017

New baby sling

So a friend is having a baby, and we were having a surprise shower for her.  She's having a girl, and she likes to be very girly at times, so I thought it would be fun to make her a super girly sling.  Unfortunately, my only pair of sling rings* left were black.  I thought I could either go with a girly color and a black accent, or a black sling and a super bright accent.  Since I did not give myself much lead time, the decision was made when I couldn't find a really bright linen blend at JAF.  So I went with black linen blend and a bright pink print for bias tape.

I did the gathered shoulder instead of pleated for no real reason.  I think either way seems fine.  My friend was delighted to get the sling and loved the colors - so that was a win!


*I ordered new ring slings from www.slingrings.com - I decided to go with the neutrals and colors nylon samplers, just to check out more of the colors and have them on hand.  Basically, if you're buying more than 3 of the rings in the pack, it's worth buying the sampler.  Also, I discovered that an order over $35 gets free shipping.  My expectations were low for shipping time, since traditionally free shipping takes forever.  But I was surprised!  I ordered late on Friday night, got a shipping notification on Saturday, and my rings arrived Monday!  Great customer service.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Time for new appliqued shirts!

So I was told that my niece had requested a PINK shirt with Boba Fett on it.  Well....that kind of started an avalanche of shirts.  True confessions: I tend to buy shirts to applique when I see them on clearance or a really good sale, and I don't always remember what all I have.  So when I went looking, I discovered 14 total shirts, including 2 long-sleeved size 6-6X shirts (current size), 4 tank tops, and 8 short-sleeved size 7-8 shirts.  Then there are the numerous size 7-8 long-sleeved shirts that will not be discussed....

So I started digging through appliques and fabric scraps, and eventually matched templates/fabrics/shirts together.  Nine went the Star Wars route - including 2 Boba Fetts (one is on a tank top).  I'm especially amused by the R2D2 from keyboard fabric.


And then I threw in some random others, just for fun.  It amused me to use a paw print fabric for a paw print applique.  The butterfly is leftovers of a neat print that I used for bias tape to bind a baby sling.  The Pokemon bunny is leftovers from boxers for Things 1&2.  And the skeleton animals are leftovers from a project that hasn't yet been finished.


I sent seven shirts in the first box - both the long-sleeved shirts and 5 short-sleeved.  The rest of the short-sleeved shirts and the tank tops will go in another month or two.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Snowflakes in {Whenever that's not Winter}

I was on Pinterest a few months back, which is always dangerous.  I was thinking about what to work on after finishing the current afghan, and this snowflake afghan pattern popped up!  It's the free, it's worked in blocks, it's beautiful, and it's got some interest to the blocks - looked like a total winner!  Unfortunately, the pattern is written to sew the blocks together rather than crocheting them in place, but I figured I'd just crochet them together and see how things went.

I loved the dark blue/white combination, so I went with the Peacock blue and plain white Red Heart with Love yarns.  I don't remember exactly when I started it, but it seemed to work up pretty quickly.  An added bonus was that each block had only 4 yarn ends to weave in, instead of the 8 in the stained glass afghan.  And this afghan takes only 59 blocks instead of 82.  Also, it worked great to crochet the blocks together, so that's what I'll do again.  And the second row of the border gives some additional visual interest - almost looks like popcorn.

I really like how this turned out, and hopefully the recipient will, as well.  In the meantime, I've started the second version - this time with a dark red.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Repetition is the name of the game

When I find something that works, I tend to stick to it.  This is another example. I wanted a new afghan as a portable project.  So it has to be fairly mindless to do, interesting somehow in the end, and easily carried (so made in blocks or strips).  And I don't want to have to sew blocks/strips together - I want to crochet them in place.  This afghan had caught my eye years ago, but it was finally time to give it a whirl.

I'm always drawn to the shaded colors.  I love the ombres.  I just don't usually know how to use them without making everything seem too much.  So I chose a pretty yarn and went to town!  I think the ombre here is Wildflowers.  I made test blocks with both black and white, and I think both would be gorgeous.  But ultimately, purple is my aunt's favorite color.  (I used Red Heart with Love for the solid - think it was Lilac.)


I really liked how it ended up!  This is spread out on my queen bed.  I think it's really pretty, and my aunt loved getting it for her birthday.


I also made another one for a friend, but she hasn't gotten it yet, so I won't post a pic.  Eventually I'll get it up.  In the meantime, I wanted one for MY living room.  I have blue and brown couches, so I chose a blue/brown ombre (Reef Super Saver) and started up.  My intention was to use the dark brown (Red Heart with Love) for the whole thing, but The Husband thought it would be too dark.  So I searched the super saver aisles and tried buff and warm brown (I think) in sample blocks.  Then I thought it would be neat to use them all.  So I planned out a scrappy but organized layout and even enlarged the pattern by a couple of rows so that I could lay it out the way I wanted.  I think it turned out really well!



Friday, March 31, 2017

Color therapy

So this blanket begins with a story.  Once upon a time, long long ago (we're talking 14-15 years ago), I started a random baby afghan.  Normal baby colors and all.  This is the "Lollipops" pattern, created by Diana Sippel of Diana Lynn's Designs, and was found in the book Afghan Splendor, put out by The Needlecraft Shop.


I finished all the "lollipop" strips and started adding the white edging, and then I either lost interest or ran out of time or something.  No idea.  But I put the pieces into a plastic bag and stuffed it into a box of UFOs.  Somehow this passed the purge test when I got rid of a lot of yarn UFOs on freecycle six years ago before our move.  I think at the time I thought I'd finish it for a baby gift?  At any rate, Thing 2 dumped out the UFOs to take the box last year around this time, and I needed a mindless project for a day-long CE meeting.  So the stars aligned, and I got to work on finishing the afghan.  I did run into some trouble, as it was not wide enough, and I wanted to add another strip (or two?  I don't remember now).  But I couldn't match the blue I'd used - apparently Red Heart discontinued it at some point.  That started a frantic search, and I ultimately matched it to a blue in a baby yarn (that really seemed worsted weight) in another brand, and I finished the afghan, with no idea who it would go to.  Then a month ago, I gave it to an expecting colleague - who just happened to be sitting next to me when I had worked on it last year.  Full circle, eh?

After all that, I sadly have to say that apparently I never took a picture.  Oh, well...but it did spawn an interesting next project.  So the pattern calls for 5 colors, and you make 4 repeats in each strip.  Finished size should be 30x38".  I had used 6 colors and 3 repeats in my baby version, and I don't think I ever measured it.  Anyway, I was in the fabric store, looking at yarn one day.  And I had had a bad day at work and just wanted some color therapy.  And I was drawn to the Red Heart blacklight yarn.  So I painstakingly picked out the five main colors that were in it, and I bought those and black to make myself an afghan.  I thought it would be neat to do the lollipops a little bigger for a grownup sized afghan.  And then I decided to rotate the strips so that the colors went diagonally across the afghan instead of straight across.  Ultimately it ended up almost the size of the top of my queen-sized mattress.  The Husband thinks it's weird that it's black, but I love it!


Ultimately, this is a great portable project, because it is fairly mindless in each phase and easy to remember what to do.  Also, until you're putting the strips together, everything is small and easily carried.  Worked out great for what I needed!  I have also since made a smaller, baby-sized version of the black light afghan - no pic yet, but it's for a friend who loves the colors and is hoping for a baby.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shawl frenzy

I believe it's been previously mentioned that I don't sit still terribly well, and that I do better with a hand project to distract me from fidgeting.  When my grandma was in the hospital last year after a broken hip, I thought of crocheting her a shawl as a gift.  I'm familiar with the concept of a prayer shawl, where basically the idea is that you're thinking of/praying for the person as you work on the shawl, and then they are given a gift of warmth and positivity.  So I found a (naturally) free pattern online that would allow the yarn shades to be the star - bonus points that it was a mindless pattern, allowing me to work without paying much attention.  That's important when one is crocheting while attending continuing education meetings or church!

This one was given to my grandma.  The yarn I used is Red Heart with Love, which is softer than the regular acrylic.


This one became my mom's Christmas present.  She loves yellow.


This one, which didn't photograph well, was for a friend for Christmas.  I thought she'd enjoy the cheery colors!  It is the Fruit Punch shade.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Scrub caps

 You may remember that I previously was asked to make scrub caps for coworkers, which I did, using a free pattern.  And then I did make more as Christmas gifts for a few coworkers, though apparently I didn't take pictures. :(

Anyway, I was asked by another friend about making scrub caps for her and her coworkers.  At this point, I had given away my original prototype, so I needed something for them to try on.  I pulled the sea life print out of stash and made it up, using the same free pattern - no changes.  While I was at it, I made a scrub cap for another friend (late Christmas present) using the Dr. Who fabric.


Then I had the brilliant thought of trying to enlarge the pattern a bit, to see if it would be helpful for those with big heads or a ton of hair.  (I have both problems, and I haven't been wearing my own creations so far.)  The 101 Dalmations print was also from deep stash.


Ultimately, they were happy with the original size, and these are the resulting scrub caps, which are now ready for delivery!  I hope that they enjoy wearing them!


I decided to try out some of the other free patterns available on that site - but they are cut and pinned at the moment, not sewn.  So hopefully eventually those results will be pictured here.  It seems kind of strange that so many at work wear my creations, but I don't!