Archive for April 28, 2012

Geeks Reign!

Today is a day I sure am glad I’m just geeky enough to know how to write my own HTML code and create a web page! Facebook Notes….. you’re just a wee bit annoying for me today!! So, instead of publishing my latest pattern on my JustDodie Knit-Crochet Facebook page, here it is, on my blog…. where it ought to be anyway! :)

For the past two or three days I have been busily working on another freeform crochet block for my afghan swap group, this time in peacock colors! Also, this time, I’ve been charting the entire thing as I went so that I can share the pattern. Makes me feel ever-so-proud to get this pattern written up–but it sure does slow down progress! Hopefully, if I do it more often, I’ll get a little faster.

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Peacock Colors Afghan square #4


So, here it is, in all it’s glorious colors–I sure am glad to be working with these colors. I think I’ll be doing quite a few more freeform squares for this one. Maybe some flowers next….

If you’d like to check out the instructions for this block, click here. Meanwhile, I’m heading back to my crochet hook, before it cools off….

Freeform Beige

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My entry for the '60 Odd' Freeform Crochet Challenge


I love to do freeform crochet!! I took part in a couple of freeform challenges several years ago when I was active in an online freeform crochet group. My first challenge involved first a yarn exchange (each participant donating their favorite yarn, then a small amount was sent to each person), and then we were free to do whatever we wanted with the yarn we received. The variety of pieces produced was amazing! The project was called Sixty Odd: A Fiber Odyssey because of the 60+ people who took part. This piece was sent on a long trip around the country and I never saw it again. Apparently, it ended up being made into a handbag and auctioned off for charity. :)
spring

A preponderance of posies


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My second freeform piece was for a ‘Four Seasons’ project. Not sure why I can’t find it online, but here it is: Spring Flowers. I had to stop taking part in the challenges–too much work made Dodie a very busy and tired girl–yes, even too tired to crochet in the evenings! Luckily for me, that horrible job is behind me now, and ahead of me–nothing but knitting, crocheting and yarn buying!!
……
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Scraps ready, getting ready to do some freeforming!


So, I decided it was time for a little freeforming once again. This time, for the Beiges Afghan Swap. I came up with an interesting, abstract-looking square. I could feel the creative juices flowing again! So yes, I’ll be doing some more for my afghan swaps, and perhaps I’ll even head back to the freeform group and see what they’re up to these days!

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And here's the end result--block #15

Two Little Bears

red and green bear

A little fellow who mutated from a valentine bear to a Christmas bear


Time to switch back to bear-making for a while. These two little fellows were started, oh, a few months ago, then allowed to languish in the UFO basket as I got on with other things…. like afghan squares and purses. This little fellow in green and red was supposed to be a Valentine bear. When I realized the red just was not the right shade for Valentine’s Day, I put him aside. Now he has a green sweater and warm, snuggly muffler….. perfect for Christmas… just about four months too late!
psychedelic bear

Some bright colors for a tiny little bear


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Now this short fellow, in the brightly colored orange, red, and yellow outfit is one of my favorites. Made from one of my favorite yarns (Deborah Norville’s Everyday Soft Worsted–’Flashback’). Perhaps that’s why I like it–it reminds me of the psychedelic colors of my misspent youth! Ha-ha!! Not that I spent my youth doing much other than crocheting and roller skating….. I love these colors so much, I’m not sure I’ll be able to part with this bear, but I’m sure some child in Africa needs him far more than I do. Now that these guys are done, it’s time to ship off another box of bears to Minnesota. This will make a total of 30 I’ve completed for the Mother Bear Project

Catching Up

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The nucleus of block 6.... patiently waiting for me to finish it


I discovered a little beige square, only six inches across, patiently waiting for me in my basket of beige yarn. This was supposed to be block #6 of the Beige Afghan Swap, for which I have now completed 14 squares. Well, make that 13. It seems that I lost interest in this one along the way, and never did complete it. Not that there’s a thing wrong with it. I guess I just got bored. Or distracted. Or couldn’t wait to get on with a new project. That happens a lot. So, in the interest of getting rid of a few more things that have been hanging over my head for far too long….
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Block #6, well worth the wait


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Not much left really, to finish…. I added a few simple rounds of double crochet, a couple of accent rounds in tan to add some texture and interest, and yippee–another UFO completed!! I like it a little more than I expected to…. some luscious cream colored yarn there!

Back to the Beige

endless-angst

Frogging..... AGAIN!!


I headed back to the basket of beige yarns today. I have a June 4 deadline to get these twenty blocks finished, and I still have seven to go! I thought this would be a simple and quick one–just some simple stripes in double crochet. That’s what I get for thinking!! I lost track of the times I ripped this one out and started over. It almost defeated me. Then I remembered a saying that some wise person once said: ‘If you keep doing the same thing over and over again and keep getting the same results…..’ Well, it dawned on me, perhaps–despite the fact that I am following the pattern precisely–perhaps I am doing something wrong!!!

So, I set the pattern book aside, analyzed the situation to figure out what the problem might be, and realized, ‘This crazy thing is simply not decreasing along the middle diagonal line as it’s supposed to. What if…. what if I decreased one more stitch each row?’

……

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Block #14 for the Beige Afghan Swap


Eureka!! I’m a genius!!! Ha-ha-ha!! So here we are, finally after the umpteenth try, I have a perfectly square…. square ! Gee, no wonder I prefer to work without a pattern most of the time. Patterns just seem to cause me to turn my brain off!

Bag Day

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The fun part is all finished....


It’s time I finish up a project I started some time ago for a friend. Two little crocheted bags, not difficult or time consuming at all, and yet I have been working on them for weeks. Or perhaps the problem is, I’ve not been working on them! :(

These little bags are only 6″ x 7 3/4″ and really don’t take long at all to make. The problem arises when I get the crocheting all finished and I realize <groan…..> now there’s sewing to be done!!! Yes, there is fabric to be cut, a sewing machine to be operated, and several inches of hand-stitching required in order to make the lining. And I am not a person who enjoys sewing of any sort!

So, I let the finished purses lie around for days….. and days….. and days…. until I was so ashamed at the delay that I finally forced myself to get on it and get the job done. How long did it take? Oh, about one hour each! I am such a ding-a-ling!!
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The dreaded sewing


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But eventually, even I can no longer find excuses to drag my feet and realize, there’s only one way this is gonna get done: JUST DO IT!! Now I can notify my friend and let her know that the job is finished. She thinks that I am the ‘Crochet Queen’…. maybe I’ll just let her think it really did take this long to do! :)

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Pretty little linings installed.....


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Some decorative flowers to finish them off....

And Off We Go!

Peacock block 1

Peacock colors block 1


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Looks like I have officially begun my Peacock Colors Afghan Swap squares. I just completed block #1 by fastening together my four squares using a [single crochet in every other stitch, with 3 chains in between]. Done in the contrasting lime green, I think it turned out quite nice.

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Peacock Colors block 2


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Then, for block #2 I started with another ‘Four Petal Square’ and added six more rounds in various double crochet mesh, shell, and spike stitches, with some bobbles thrown in just for fun. I can see I won’t be tiring of these colors any time soon!

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Peacock Colors block 3


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Block #3 is a very lovely design I found in one of my many crochet books: 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans.” It’s pattern #19, ‘Lacy Cross’, on page 43. I did it in one of my favorite yarns: Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Yarn” jazz stripe. This is my favorite so far–could it be this amazing multicolor yarn??

Only seventeen more blocks to go, and I am looking forward to many more days of working with these colorful yarns!

Happy Birthday, Mom

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My mother, age 18


Today would have been my mother’s 81st birthday. She has been gone since 1998. It’s hard to believe.

My mother didn’t knit or crochet. She never learned how. But she sure did do a lot of sewing! Especially when we were little, she sewed so many little dresses and shirts–I have no idea how she found the time. Back in those days we were dirt poor, and Walmart had not yet been invented. So the best way to have nice, inexpensive clothing was to make them yourself.

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My mother, high school senior picture


My mother taught me to sew at an early age, and I was making doll clothes long before I arrived in high school and took my first home economics class. Needless to say, I was pretty sure I already knew more about sewing than the teacher did! And maybe I did. After all, my mother was a pretty good teacher!

So, today, no showing off of my own wares: This day is dedicated to my Mommy–I miss you still……

Evening on the Town

dodie-skates

Oh, yeah--I can still do this!!

Not much time for yarn this evening as this lady spent the evening going out to eat…… and roller skating!! Yep, I’ve still got it!! Not quite as graceful as I was when I was young, but at least I got up every time I fell down! :)

four-petal-square-test

Oh, I'm just loving these yummy colors!!


Despite this fun evening on the town spent with my sister and sister-in-law, I did manage to produce one teeny little motif. This was a test motif of the pattern I posted for the Four Petal Square. Done in more of the ‘peacock’ colors of Monday ‘s squares, I think I will add some rounds of double crochet to bring it up to 12 inches, and I’ll have my second square for this project finished!

Wish I could stay up and crochet some more, but it’s 2:00 a.m. and all that skating wore me out!! So, it’s off to bed for me!!

Big Yarn Run

alarm-clock

What time is it???? Time to go buy yarn!!!

After punching the snooze button for 40 minutes, finally, I’ve managed to pry my eyes open and haul myself out of bed. And why am I out of bed at this ungodly hour? In the morning??? Because today I’m going shopping–for yarn! My neighbor, Emily, needs to buy yarn so that she can have an afghan made for a new baby that is due to arrive in her family soon. Emily is one of those people who wakes up at 3:00 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Me, on the other hand…. I sit up all night watching cable news programs and knitting…. or crocheting as was the case last night. Then I sleep half the day away. Finally dragged myself off to bed at 4:00 a.m. but then I tossed and turned until almost 6:00. So, I’m guessing, I’ll run out of steam along about the middle of this shopping trip.

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This is known simply as 'The Yarn Room'


But here I am, up and at ‘em by 11:00. I figure we’ll hit two or three yarn stores at least, probably taking a break somewhere in there to graze at the local food bar.
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Deeper into the labyrinth we go.... If a little old lady falls off a folding chair, into a mountain of yarn, does it still hurt? I can attest that, yes, it does!


I’m not at all sure whether I’ll even bring home any yarn. I usually have to be in just the right frame of mind (usually needing a little psychological boost!). But I’ll try to force myself…. just to be sociable, you know. :) And as you can plainly see, my yarn room is in dire need of replenishing!

Well, I’ve downed my morning tea, so I’d best be getting myself ready. Wouldn’t want Emily to think I’ve overslept and forgotten about her. Results of the yarn run to follow later….


yarn-run01

Not bad for someone who just went along for the ride, and had no intention of buying any yarn!


And the winner is……. ME!! To think that I actually tried to convince Emily to go someplace other than Walmart because I didn’t think they had a very good selection of yarn colors!! Ha-ha! Looks like I made quite a haul, considering…. Oh, and what did Emily buy? Six skeins of blue, for a baby blanket. I am such an out-of-control yarn-o-holic!