June 29, 2012

June Catch-up

Lots happening this month! I've got a bunch of things I've been working on, but I seem to be a little bit scattered project-wise. I've started a bunch of things, finished a few, but not all.

Antarctic Doorstops

I just finished this little guy yesterday. He's so cute and does a great job as a doorstop! In case you're wondering, he's an Adelie penguin. 

I also made this 'Scott Tent' doorstop the other day, out of actual Scott Tent fabric that I got when I was in Antarctica (left over from retired tents). These tents were used 100 years ago in the Antarctic and are still used today. See this photo.


Color-copia Crochet Afghan

 This is proceeding slowly. One thing that surprised me is that I really prefer knitting over crochet. I didn't think that would happen; I mean, they're basically the same kind of thing right? But I found I was really missing knitting after going round and round with granny squares for a while. But I'm still excited about this project and will be so happy to finally have it done sometime. It's SO colorful and it makes me happy just looking at it. My husband, Antz calls these little squares, 'Crochet Cookies.'

Heart Slipper (yes, slipper, not slippers)

I found this pattern, 'One Skein Sweetheart Slippers,' that uses 1 skein of heavy worsted yarn and it just so happened I had some Brown Sheep washable heavy worsted in my possession. I don't usually use that yarn weight, so I don't have a lot in my stash, but this pattern seemed to fit the bill. I'm on the constant search for the perfect slipper pattern; an ideal marriage of fit, comfort, style and warmth, but I'm afraid this pattern doesn't quite do it for me. I like the style -- the color is not so great, but that's not the pattern's fault -- but the fit is not quite right. I made the middle size, which supposedly fits women's 8 to 11 (quite a range). I have a 8.5 foot I found this to be a little big. And the heel and sides are not very 'deep' so the slipper seems to want to slip off. This would be greatly improved by wearing it over thick socks I imagine, which is appropriate for a New Zealand winter anyway. Going down a needle size may help as well. 

I only made one of these slippers. I haven't made the other one. Not sure I will. But chances are I'll start to feel guilty about not finishing this and make the other one. Super fast knit anyway.

Rosebud Lace Scarf

Then I fell in love with this project from Ravelry (click here for pattern)

I've been wanting to do a lace project for so long. And I have this wonderful ball of dusty-pinky-lavender acrylic mohair in the stash that my husband's Mum gave me. Yes, it's acrylic and I don't usually like knitting with non-natural fibers, but it really is quite pretty, and light and fluffy and subtly sparkly and I'm enjoying it. So much fun with all the yarn overs, k2tog's, but I find I'm not so fond of purling two together through the back loops. I suffer through those. It's aptly named because down the center are these lovely rosebud shapes with leaves on either side. Gorgeous! Not my color exactly, so it will be a gift at some point.

June 01, 2012

Cornucopia of Color!

Grabbing the crochet hook between the day's normal activities, plus while spending a great deal of time watching the new Sci-fi series, Stargate Universe, I've managed to complete all the large blocks for the afghan and some of the small blocks. 

For whatever reason, I'm having trouble nailing down the pattern for the small blocks, as I am going without a pattern for those (off-road crocheting) and I think I may have finally come up with a few versions that I really like.

I was starting to feel a little insecure about the cornucopia of colors I've chosen for this project (I LOVE all the colors, just wondering if they all should be playing in the sandbox all at the same time?), but now that I have arranged a few in the final pattern, I'm starting to like it more. 

I mean, this is meant to be a COLORFUL afghan and it sure lives up to that!

Lookie all the colors!

The hot pink sure is unexpected, but I'm bound and determined to leave it in there, against my normal judgement. I am, after all, working on being more adventurous with color. I'm not sure of the color I will use to put them all together. Maybe an off-white for maximum contrast? Pink? (oh no! she's really lost it now!); I'll have to think about that one a bit more.

Here is the sketch I made of the afghan in my notebook:

It's an unusual pattern, one I made up myself (I find it extremely challenging to stick to any pattern as written).

May 21, 2012

After a trip to the yarn store (I managed to get away for under $100), here is the pile of yarn that it destined to be an afghan.

Everything is 100% wool, but washable wool, so it can be thrown in the washing machine. And most of it was around $4 - $5 a skein. Cheap as, mate.

It will be colorful for sure (understatement). So you may be wondering about that ball of hot pink. It doesn't really look like it belongs, does it? But I am excited about the idea of being adventurous with color and wouldn't a splash of hot pink be just the most unexpected and wonderful thing? The jury is still on the fence on this one, but I can almost see it in my mind's eye?

What do you think?

Here's a couple of initial blocks:

I really like the idea of circles. But I also like the more traditional granny square as shown on the lower photo -- far left and far right. I may combine all of them together. Why not?

May 20, 2012

Ambitious Project Commenced

This could be the start of something beautiful.

Okay, I've gotten into a sudden and unexpected crochet kick. I'm not sure what has come over me. Perhaps it's a temporary condition that will come and go? But I have a vision for a crocheted granny square afghan in blues, aquas, mint, grass green, brown, taupe, grey, periwinkle, olive and perhaps a nice greeny-yellow. I think the color scheme needs a splash or two of bright, unexpected color though. I have a bunch of washable wool in my stash that I don't usually use for my other projects, so I'm going to use all that up and make something useful. I'm going to decrease my ever-growing stash!

But wait. Oh no. I weighed a completed granny square on the digital scale and then I counted how many squares I need to make the afghan. And uh...it appears a trip to the yarn store is in order. I have less than half the amount of yarn I need. So much for using up yarn in my stash!

Here is a very inspiring book I picked up last week, 200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws and afghans, by Jan Eaton. I think this book may be responsible for this latest affliction.

This is truly a fun, engaging exercise in color and pattern. Love it!

May 11, 2012

The Intersection of Math and Crochet


This TED Talk will fascinate you (click here). These coral reef forms were made by modeling hyperbolic space with yarn and crochet. Take 30 minutes out of your day to watch this. I was inspired!


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It is my intention to be a little bit better at posting! Creative things are always going on in my life, but it doesn't always make it to the blog. I'd like to be better at that.

May 10, 2012

Handmade cards for Mom's Day

Here are two Mother's Day cards I had fun making on this overcast Christchurch day! The basketweave stamp is a traditional Maori design and the Paua (say 'pow-ah') shell is a favorite symbol of New Zealand. I colored the Paua shell with Copic markers. The paper is a little more purple than what the photo shows. I glued tiny crystals on both for a little sparkle.

What a mess I made dragging all my papercrafting stuff out into the dining room today. I'll look forward to someday having my own big creative space. 

I guess I'd better get these in the mail!