Archive for projects & plans

Starry Night–House #2!

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End view of house

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Working first row of roof

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Roof rows completed

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Work turned, now ready to begin making wall

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

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

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

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Windows attached

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Decorative stitching and outline stitches completed

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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My all-time favorite painting

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All the perfect colors, I'm ready to roll

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The letters of Vincent Van Gogh

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

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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.

 
 
 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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

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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.

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Used patterns from some of my favorite books for these.

Burst of Peacock!

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

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Some happy little spring-time flowers

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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!!

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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….

A New Bear Block

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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!

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

Freeform Fever!

Feeling like I’ve taken on more projects than I can possibly finish, and what did I do? I started a Facebook Freeform Crochet group. What the heck was I thinking???

Well, I know what I was thinking–I was thinking how much I miss doing the freeform challenges with the Yahoo! group I used to belong to. And I was thinking how much I’d like to get back into something a little wild and crazy and creative! So there you are…. Dodie’s Freeforming For Fun and Friendship (say that three times really fast!)

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Here I sit, pilfering through all the little scrumbles I made so long ago....


I got so excited I dug out one of my baskets of scrumbles from a couple of years back. Oh, what a mother-lode of inspiration!! I used to love doing this–why did I ever stop?? Ah yes, life interfered…. and I had to set it aside for less fun things :( But those ‘non-fun’ things are now long over with, and I am a free woman…. free to indulge myself playing with yarn 24/7 if I want (I WANT, I WANT!!) No more dragging myself out of the house at the crack of dawn, no more ‘more-money-than-time’…. This is the life!!!

Yes, I think it’s high time I started feeling FREE again!!

 

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Here they are, from a different angle

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Here are a few of my favorite little pieces. And see that pink and green one? It's SO FREE-form that I couldn't even tell whether I knitted it or crocheted it! Ha-ha!

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A fun little concoction of blue and fluff

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Some cool colors

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And some fall colors

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Some trees from a never-finished project

Play Day

Today was a day to just have some fun with my yarn. I need to take a break from making afghan squares, and just do some little piddly projects. I think another stash bag qualifies as play, don’t you?

My orange stash bag I started a few days ago is nice, but I decided if I’m going to make very many of those things, I need to find a quicker way. And so, I decided to make a mesh bag.

Double strand, K hook, lots of chains, and very little actual crocheting!

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The base of the purple stash bag

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

First I started out with a couple of rows of single crochet, to create a good firm bottom edge for the bag. Then, I simply worked chains, chains, and more chains, round and round and round until I decided it was long enough.

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All finished and ready to fill

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Oh my goodness! This thing will expand so much, I could use it as a sleeping bag!!

 
 
 
This thing is massive…. and not even half full. It’s going to expand to hold more yarn than I can even carry! Next one, I think I’ll make about half as tall, and a bit wider!

Special Bear Square

I got invited to do a really special project yesterday, by the Yarnplayers afghan group. Many of us are also bear-makers for the Mother Bear Project, and we are going to make a very special afghan to present to the lady who started the Mother Bear Project! We are each going to make one square with some sort of bear on it. The squares will then be joined together into a blanket which will be presented to Amy as a surprise for all her hard work. This is going to be a very fun project. Already tonight I have completed a little bear for my square. He is a miniature of the bear pattern I normally use for all my bears and he is quite a cute little guy, if I do say so myself!! Oh, how I wish I could be there to see Amy’s face when she receives her blanket!! Let’s hope someone takes lots of pictures!

I think I may have to make myself a blanket of teddy bear squares!

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My little baby bear

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Background finished, and all ready to sew together

Stash Bags

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This seems to be a very popular stash bag. I found many pictures of it online.


All that organizing yesterday got me thinking…. so I went googling in search of stash baskets. Oh my goodness, the options we have for stashing our yarn! This one is one of my favorites. So I set out to make one, in nice subtle colors, of course. ‘Cause that’s just the kind of girl I am–not one to stand out or make a splash! ;)

Of course, I already have a dozen different projects in progress, some of which have time deadlines. But I never let that stop me from starting something new and, therefore, more fun!

I’m not at all sure how other people make this thing this big using only one strand of yarn. I used a double strand of worsted weight, and a K hook. I figure, I’ll be packing it so full, I’ll need the reinforcement!

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A wee bit of color to brighten things up a bit

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And now the hexagon magically turns into a circle

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Little by little, the sides go up

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This sure isn't growing very fast

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So close, so close! Only one more repeat of the pattern and I think I'll be ready for handles.

Creative Juices are Simmering

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All those squares.... what to do, what to do....?


I feel like I’m on one of those cooking shows where they give the contestants an odd assortment of ingredients and say, ‘Make a winning dish!’ All these varied and unrelated squares, from a variety of people with different tastes and talents…. and it’s my job to pull them together and make something really outstanding…. I’ve been putzing around with my leftover beige/tan/taupe yarns, and I have a core idea, but beyond that…. not much. Suddenly it hit me: You’ve got to get outside of the box! Boxes are confining. Boxes are square. Boxes just don’t leave much room for the imagination…. stop thinking square!!

So, off we go!!

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Let's start with a nice long chain, and a couple of rows of single crochet.......

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Next, let's go back to our beige yarn bag, and wind some little balls of yarn....

 

 

I’ve never worked with this many colors at once before. And I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing yet. But whatever it is…. I’m sure it’s going to turn out great……

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Add a little frustration...... and shake well!

 

 

 

By the time I completed the first row, I’ve figured out, I have no patience for this whatsoever. So….. Plan B…… Each individual color, each individual ‘thing’, can be done one at a time. It’s only two rows, but still… the annoyance factor is just too great!

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Oh yeah, this is gonna work out great!

 

 

Sure enough–now isn’t this much better?! He-he-he!! It’s a good thing I know what I’m doing here. Otherwise, I might be getting a bit discouraged by now.

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There they are.... all the little 'things' in a row.....

 

 

Ah, yes…. this is exactly what I envisioned. But something’s off still….. I’m still stuck in that box…. So what’s missing??

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Inspiration comes from the most ordinary items

 

 

Hmmmmm….. look how pretty this pinkish-reddish color looks along with the beiges and browns. It reminds me of…. a lovely bag of yarn that’s been languishing in the back of my yarn room: ‘Red Heart’, Cherry Chip…. I think I’ve got it! COLOR!! What’s missing is a touch of color. A touch of…. cherry! Alrighty, I’m off now to see what I can do with all these beiges, and a little touch of cherry..