Archive for July 24, 2012

Starry Night–House #2!

house02-01

End view of house

house02-02

Working first row of roof

house02-03

Roof rows completed

house02-04

Work turned, now ready to begin making wall

house02-05

Slip stitches worked to keep roof firm (keep it from stretching), and for use later in securing outline stitches to

house02-06

First row of wall (single crochet) showing where to place stitches, BEHIND previously made, larger slip stitches

house02-07

Basic house structure and windows finished. Let the sewing begin!

house02-08

Windows attached

house02-09

Decorative stitching and outline stitches completed

house02-10

Imagine that!! They fit together perfectly! Two little houses finished, only eight to go....

my-starry-night-progress-chart

And finally, the progress chart

Continuing from where we left off last time….

House #2:

For this one let’s start with the end of the house and make a triangle. With a soft tan color from Bernat called ‘Antique’, chain 12. For first row, work 10 half-double crochets, in FRONT loops only. Continue to work in hdc, decreasing once at each end until, you have 1 stitch left. This is the peak of the roof.

Now, turn and work DOWN the left side of the triangle to start the roof. The roof will be worked in single crochet, back loops only. Every other row, decrease on the side which will be the top (peak) of the roof, and increase on the opposite end (bottom of roof). Work 18 rows, until you had 9 ridges.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Now, for the wall….Switch to a size or two larger hook (I used I), and turn so as to work across the BOTTOM of the roof. You will be working into the ends of the roof rows just worked, on the INCREASE (bottom) side. Slip stitch in the end of every other row, into the TROUGHS between the RIDGES. (11 sts). (We will work a decorative, contrasting color into these slip stitches later).

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Switch back to smaller hook size. (I’m using H). Turn and work back across, into ends of rows again. Previously made slip stitches will be lying on the front (right side) of the rows of sc ridges. Working below and behind them into the smaller loops that appear on the ends of each row, whichever loops appear handy and will allow you to pick up stitches evenly, work 18 sc stitches across.

.
.

Turn, switch to hdc and, working in front loops only, work 4 rows.

Basic structure of House #2 all finished!! Now, for some teeny-tiny windows. With yellow, make two squares in simple afghan (tunisian) stitch, 4 stitches by 4 rows. Sew these to side of house and use brown stitches to create the appearance of four panes.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Let’s add some shading and highlights…. With desired colors (I used rust, sage green, brown, dusty blue), embroider short, straight stitches along each trough between ridges of roof. With brown, work sc, slip stitch, or slip stitch/chain combination (in any way that you think looks good) around all edges that will be exposed. Don’t be concerned about the missing lower right corner of house, and don’t bother to outline it. House #1 will be fitted into this slot when all the pieces are assembled.

Guess what? We have our second house completed!! Only eight more houses and a church, and then, we’ll be ready to make trees. Lots and lots of trees!!

Last, but not least, our progress chart, to show how much we’ve completed. Maybe tomorrow I can make TWO small houses!

Let’s Van Gogh!!

starry-night

My all-time favorite painting

starry-night-yarn

All the perfect colors, I'm ready to roll

van-gogh-book01

The letters of Vincent Van Gogh

van-gogh-book02

All the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, a gift from a friend, many years ago

starry-night-cup

My favorite cup for my morning tea

I’ve decided to take the plunge and begin a big freeform project that I have thought about doing for years. I’ve collected photos, and just the right colors of yarns. And waited and waited and waited…. because I thought: ‘This is too complicated. What if I can’t do it?’ Well, today is the day!! And guess what? I CAN do it!!

 
 

After all…. it IS freeform, right? So I can’t go wrong!! It may not be what someone else might do, but it will be my representation of something I dearly love: Van Gogh’s painting, ‘Starry Night’.

Ahhh yes….. not sure why, but this man, and this painting in particular, have mesmerized me for years. I’ve bought posters. I’ve collected books. I even splurged and paid $8 for a ‘Starry Night’ cup to drink my tea from. But now, it’s time for ‘the real deal’! Well, anyway, my version of the real deal.

 
 
 
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

So…. let’s get started….

Colors I’ll be using for this first step:
Red Heart Fiesta, ’6347 Light Periwinkle’
Lion Brand Homespun, ‘Blueridge’
Lion Brand Homespun, ‘Montana Sky’
Red Heart Supersaver, ’387 Soft Navy’

Starting at the very bottom of the painting, let’s make some houses:

House #1:

Let’s do a couple of rows of sc in ‘Periwinkle’ (23 sc in row), working in front loop only.

house01-01

The very bottom of our very first house (the first of many more to come)

Switch to ‘Blueridge’ for roof. Continue to work house upward, decreasing on left end of roof and increasing on right end, switching between roof color and house color. When roof starts to slant inward (to the left) on the right side, decrease on this end also.

house01-02

Now the roof is on

House #1 trim:

With navy, work single crochets around the edges of roof and shadow areas. Using slip stitches, make door with navy. Switch to ‘Montana Sky’ and a yarn needle and stitch details on roof in short, straight stitches.

house01-03

There we are--our very first house all finished! Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

You’re all finished, except for tucking in those dreaded yarn ends!! Yippee!! Another house tomorrow!!

And just to keep me on track, and watch my progress, I found this wonderful line drawing that I’m going to fill in as I complete the pieces:

starry-night-progress-chart

Whoa!! I've got quite a ways to go, don't I?!?!

Memory Blanket Blocks

Tried to make some blocks that are bright and fun, something that children would like

block04

This one turned out a little wild and crazy!

 
 
I have discovered how quickly I can make 6″ blocks compared to 12″. One-fourth the size…. I should be a little quicker!

I’m taking time out from my other projects to make some blocks for a very special project. One of the ‘Yarnplayer’ ladies is making blankets for three young children who have lost their mother. I try to imagine what that must be like, for such young children, and I just can’t. I was 47 when my own mother died, and it was still so hard! And so, I am happy to join in this special project, hoping to help bring a little comfort into their lives.

blocks05-08

Used patterns from some of my favorite books for these.

A Bit of Freeform

peacock starts

peacock-scrumble

This one surprised me. That often happens! :)

With the completion of all those peacock blocks to urge me on, I figured it was time to incorporate some of those little scrumbles I’ve been toying with (instead of making real blocks, unfortunately). Some bullions, some peacock feathers, and other miscellaneous motifs that I can’t figure out what to do with next. I settled on the three little teal and aqua thingies (that started out with the notion of being flower petals), and decided to add some green, start working round and round, and see what happened. Woo-hoo!! I’m not sure what it is–but, I think I like it!! Not sure whether I want to work it into a square and give it away, or throw in a whole bunch more color and hang it on my own wall. Time will tell… These things often take their sweet time before they tell me what they want to be. Other than this, not much was accomplished at Dodie’s house today.

Burst of Peacock!

peacock-block15

This one was so fun. No brain power required. Just go back and forth, back and forth, and make those cute little holes!

peacock-block17

Some happy little spring-time flowers

peacock-block16

Oh, did this kitty-cat get me in 'trouble'! I decided he was so cute, I wanted to make an entire afghan of cat squares. The next thing you know, I've signed myself up to host a 'cat-ghan' swap!! This ought to be great fun!!

peacock-block18

A very pretty yarn called 'Water Lily', Red Heart with Love


I’ve gone a little crazy lately, getting some of my peacock squares finished up. It suddenly occurred to me that I only have another month or so to complete them, and well, I’m awfully slow and easily distracted. So I looked around, got myself organized, and began to see what I could work on.

 
 

First I turned out a quick little filet piece in one of my favorite greens. That gave me the incentive to actually work on one I’ve been dawdling over for weeks: the flowers! I made the mesh background for this a long time ago, and about three flowers. Then, I lost interest. Or found something new to pique my interest. Who knows? I can’t bear to work on the same thing two days in a row!!
 
 
 

Next, I decided to finally make the cat square that I’ve been mulling over in my mind for a while.Wow! Did that one ever turn out different from what I envisioned!! That’s the great thing about doing freeform–no rules, no mistakes, and you just never know what you’ll end up with!

 
 
 

After all this, it was time to do another ‘quickie’. I let the yarn do the designing for this one, and it didn’t disappoint! I ended up with an interesting set of stripes.

So, for a little while anyway, I feel like I’m finally catching up….

Sunday Inspiration

Unity-of-Springfield

It's just as lovely inside!


I took a couple of hours today to pop in at my church and let them know I’m still alive (I’m a rather sporadic attendee at best). And afterwards, out for a bite to eat with my bloke at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I think I may be burning myself out on crocheting afghan squares, so it was nice to get out and think of something different. But when we wandered into the church, what do you suppose I saw everywhere I looked? Apparently, they’ve decided to display the antique lace again for a while. Lovely little crocheted lace tablecloths, everywhere! One in the hallway, another just outside the sanctuary doors, and this gorgeous piece in the foyer:

antique-lace

Lovely old lace tablecloths, just what I needed to give me a little inspiration

I’m afraid my cell phone camera just does not do it justice! I sat and admired and studied this for quite some time, until I figured I’d better break myself away before Duggy went off to eat without me!!

Turns out, he was in no hurry. After this, we decided to go out and sit in the meditation garden for several minutes and admire all the lovely flowers. I couldn’t tell you much about the sermon, but I did find plenty of inspiration today!

caladium

I've always loved these gorgeous plants!!

Well, That Was Fun!!

Lots of confusion swirling around over at the ‘Yarnplayers’ group last night. Naturally, being the curious type, I had to find out what it was all about. One of the ladies was trying to complete a square from the book, 99 Granny Squares to Crochet. (It’s #2 if you’d like to give it a try). It seems that the very last round was giving her fits, and another person was trying to help her out…. all by way of Facebook posts!

When last I left them, I think they had both given up and gone to bed and I decided to do the same. But this morning, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided I had to give this thing a try. All went well as I made my way through round 7. Then, sure enough, when I got to round 8 I had pretty much the same reaction: “Okay, I’ve put my treble and my double crochet stitches here, here and here, and I’ve done the corner….. hmmmmm…. what the heck is that long 7-chain going to do? Just dangle there to tickle my toes when it’s finished? No, that can’t be right!! So I studied the pattern some more, tried to figure out what the designer was trying to accomplish, and finally went to Ravelry to study the picture again. Aha! It appears to me as if those puzzling stitches have been worked around that silly 7-chain. Not sure why. Not sure it’s purpose. Except that, maybe it’s simply a connecting strand to make the transition from the side to the corner. Anyway, that’s my conclusion, and I’m going with it. However, may I say, if that was the intention, I certainly would not have written the instructions the way this designer did. So, here we go…. my interpretation, as best I could figure it out, and it looks like the picture, so it must be right (or close enough for my purposes anyway!!)

Here’s where the problem begins. The instructions say, ‘Working in front
of
the 7-chain loop…..’ Whatever that means!! I tried following literally what the instructions said, ended up with a length of chain just hanging there on the back of the square, with no conceivable purpose. That couldn’t possibly be right!

weird-granny01

Inserting the hook for the very first treble

I studied the photo again, and decided that the confusing stitches had actually been worked through both the 7-chain and the 5-chain. Well. That’s certainly not what I got from the instructions! But I went ahead and tried it that way. It seemed to work. I think maybe I got it right. Anyway, once again, it’s good enough for me!!

It seems I do a lot of this ‘make-shift designing’ whenever I’m using a pattern. Maybe that’s why I don’t like to use patterns. I always end up re-designing them anyway! ;)

So here is a series of pictures showing exactly how I did this confusing round on what turned out to be a very lovely square. Quite challenging! And quite fun!

weird-granny02

After inserting your hook under both chains, work the tr and 3 dc around both.

weird-granny03

First treble completed

weird-granny04

Treble and first double crochet completed

weird-granny05

All four stitches worked around two chains, and first half of corner completed

weird-granny06

Hook inserted under both chains on opposite side of corner, getting ready to repeat the process

weird-granny07

Getting ready to make first dc on second side

weird-granny08

First dc completed on second side

weird-granny09

3 dc and 1 tr completed, ready to move on to working the side stitches

weird-granny10

Heading along the side, first sc completed

weird-granny11

Here's how the back looks when finished. I don't know if I did it the way the designer intended, but at least there are no loose, dangling chains! :)

weird-granny12

And here's the front of the completed square. Turned out very nice, I think. I believe I'll use it for my very first YFA-ICE block!

Getting Into Design Mode

Today was a very worthwhile day–I learned something new! I learned how to create a .pdf file so that I can make my patterns available as a download that people can print. And, it wasn’t even difficult. Or costly. Just wrote it up in Google Documents and downloaded it to my computer in .pdf format. Nothing to it! If I’d known it would be that easy, I might have tried it a little sooner.

I don’t know if I can really call it my design. I created it by looking at a photo that was posted by one of my yarn friends. I tried to duplicate the flowers, but I don’t think I was successful. Does that mean I actually didn’t plagiarize it? I hope so. Anyway, it’s my version of what I think are some very lovely flowers:

flower-my-version

On the left, the picture that was posted online. On the right, my version as best I could duplicate it without a pattern

And here it is, the instructions for my copy of these flowers, my very first ‘official’ published pattern: A Big, Bright Flower

A New Bear Block

special-teddy-square02

Background finished, and all ready to sew together


Remember my brightly colored bear I made a while back for Amy at Mother Bear Project? Well….. never mind!! After finding out that her favorite colors are pretty much NOT those colors, I decided to make a different one, and keep little ‘Bright Bear’ for myself. Besides, I figured out, I was going to have a devil of a time finding an orange heart-shaped button!!

So, I decided to make one in ‘Mother Bear red’. I’ve gotta say, I’m glad I did. I like this one even better than the first one! So, keep watch…. there may be more bear squares in the future!

special-teddy-square03

I'm so madly in love with this little guy, I think I'll make myself a blanket of teddy-bears!!

Magazine Sort

magazines01

Sorting them into neat little stacks


There comes a time in every knitter’s life when it’s time for the dreaded magazine purge!! I subscribe to a number of both knit and crochet magazines, and I buy quite a few more off the rack. Impulsively. Without checking to see if I already have them. As a result, I regularly find magazines that I have bought twice!! Just think of all the yarn I could have bought, if only I hadn’t bought all those duplicate magazines!! :(
magazines02

Wow! That's a LOT of magazines!


But, I guess my carelessness can be someone else’s gain. I’ll see if any of my ‘yarn friends’ would like to put them to good use. So, check your magazine stash and see if you’re missing any issues.
 
 
 

Below is a list of the issues that need homes:

  • Knit ‘n Style, June 2007
  • Knitter’s Magazine, Issue 104 (2011)
  • Creative Knitting
    March 2007
    March 2010
    January 2011
    May 2011

  • Love of Knitting
    Fall 2009
    Spring 2010
    Spring 2011
    Winter 2011

  • Interweave Crochet, Summer 2011
  • Crochet Today, May/June 2010

And photos of the covers, so you won’t make the same mistake I did!!
magazines03

magazines04

magazines05

If you see one you want, just let me know. You can send me a message on Facebook:
My Facebook page Send me a friend request if we’re not friends already.

If you can afford a couple of bucks for postage, that would be appreciated. If not, don’t let that stop you from claiming one for yourself. Someone might as well get some use out of them!