Friday, December 02, 2016

My Kindness Quilt Square #1

It only takes ONE person, and ONE act of kindness, to inspire others and create change.
@jennifer_hogan

That quote illustrates a great way to live and one thing I have discovered in the 
creative blogging community, is that they are some of the most
generous and kind people around. 

My friend Vicki, over at the 2 Bags Full blog is one of those wonderful
people.  

So when I was invited to be a part of her KINDNESS QUILT PROJECT, I was thrilled and honored to participate. An immediate "YES' was my answer. 

4 squares - crochet and embellished.

Roughly 6 inches square. 

These will be gathered by Vicki, assembled, and gifted to a special person. 

What a wonderful way to share our love of creating with others. 

I immediately went to work. 

Here are the details of the very first square from me. 



A luscious, soft, pink cotton yarn. I crocheted in a single stitch basket weave pattern. 
(Looks like an Easter basket to me.) 

Once I had the base completed, I then set about embellishing.

I have made hundreds of these melty fabric flowers over the years, (here's a HOW TO link if you like) and I had these warm pink fabrics left over from making some for a wedding, so I made one for this block. 
( Trying to be stashsourceful, so I made all four blocks from assorted stash materials.) 



The flower kind of disappeared against my base, so I crocheted a circle for the "leaves"

I went to the scrap box for a bit of linen and added a bit of cross stitch to this. 

That little glass button was gleaned from my "favorites" jar. 


I then called this one complete. 

Although, Vicki may add more embellishment to it as she assembles the entire quilt. 


Again, I am so honored to have been asked about being a contributor to this project. 

I'll be back in a few days with the next block. 

Have a fabulous weekend. 

Life is crazy beautiful

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The four points Blanket

 This is a story about a gift.

It started out going to be a gift for one person.

But it ended being a gift for someone else.

It started like this.

I found a pattern that I absolutely loved. 

Go ahead -- go take a look.

A linen baby blanket.

I've never worked with linen and I wanted easy care.

So I bought some of my favorite acrylic yarn for this and proceeded to follow the instructions.



I started this just before my end of summer beach trip. 

I followed the instructions to the letter and realized quickly that this was going to be no BABY blanket. 

OK, change plans.

I needed a wedding gift. 

Thus - this became Dean and Stephanie's big ol' blanket. 



Easy colors.

Blue, Grey, Cream, and Tan.

Miles and miles of single crochet. -- literally (I worked on it in the car) 

I was really pretty OVER  decreasing rows of single crochet by the time this was finished. 

And then it was finished.

And it is huge.

Like easily double snuggle huge. 

The perfect weight for a great blanket.
(come on you all know that favorite feeling) 

and the yarn felt great. 

But by golly --- the damned thing curls like Shirley Temple's hair?

I wet blocked - nope
I steam blocked - nope

So I tried my own method for stopping curling.

I added a brown border ----

Yup -- fixed it. 

Then I had a huge fight with MaggieGrace (myself) about keeping it. 

Well - Dean and Stephanie won a fight they didn't even know they were having. 

And here's the finished result. 





I took it to the city park for a photo shoot. 

the floor of the gazebo so I could stand on the bench for a full shot.



Last minute statements about the pattern. 

It is beginner simple.
Lot's of SC and SC decreases.
It's made in two halves and then sewn together. 
Blocking may work to fix curled edges on some yarns - but you can always use a border band to fix it too. 

I found it fun to read all the how to increase the size of the blanket questions in the comments. I know they all meant how to with the linen yarn, but I chose another method.
If you want a bigger blanket --- simple ---  use bigger yarn. 

My final say on the pattern. 

I LOVE IT AND I WILL DEFINITELY DO IT AGAIN. 

As soon as I recover from those miles and miles of single crochet. 


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Fall Nandina Shawlette

So, it's like this.

I craft.
I sew.
I cross stitch.

I CROCHET.

It all is important to me.

I am also cleaning and purging a lot of things. It's time. And its beginning to be very effective. The clean corners give me space to breathe.

Enough preliminary information.

I cleaned out an embarrassingly piled up corner of my kitchen. It's an awkward little space that I have hated for 20+ years and we pile stuff there. I dragged it all out and went through it an item at a time. And I found YARN (imagine that)

What to do?
Stash it - nope, did not ever seriously consider it.
Sell it - nope there too, I loved this combo of colors so much
And it was good yarn. 
Only option left was MAKE SOMETHING. 

But what? And this other project is not done. Hmm!

So I left it on the table by my chair and I studied and I designed in my head and I worked on finishing the big project I was working on and the car project I was working on too. 

And then I finished the car project and I started the head designed thing with this. 
And it looked like CRAP. 
Yes crap. 

So I frogged and regrouped. 
Enter Ravelry search. 

I found this free pattern over there.
And boy does it live up to its name. 

After the first four rows, I was off and running. 
It became the car project, because it was so easy. 
I changed my yarn colors at whim.
And it was fun. 

I call mine the The Fall Nandina Triangle Shawl, because the color remind me of the Nandina bush fall colors.  that link goes to my ravelry project page with notes about the yarn if anyone is interested. 

Below are some of my pictures of the thing. 


Just started - and that orange could easily be worn as hunters safety orange, it is that bright. 
A row of single crochet and a row of double crochet --- repeat.



I really love these colors so freaking much. 


 

And the yarn is so wonderful, both to work with and that the finished object feels like.


The japanese maple tree is starting its fall color showing. and the multicolor areas have this wonderfulness of color in them.



It even matches the pretty color of my new car.



I added a button for securing this.
The button allows for closing it in any of the double crochet openings, making this very easy to secure. 

And --- I listed this on my facebook and Instagram as a give away. 

People have been very generous to me over the years and I am returning that favor now. 


Monday, August 22, 2016

Still on my hook .....


The four points blanket is still being worked on. I am very much "over" all these rows after rows of single crochet. But it is turning out really cool. I have decided that it will still be a gift, just not a baby gift. This will turn into a very adult sized sofa blanket and I will post pictures here in full color once it is finished. But not on my facebook, because the recipient does follow me there. I can rightfully cover up with a single panel of this one.  One of the repeated questions on the PurlSoho.com post with the pattern was how to make this bigger than baby sized. Easiest way ---- change the yarn to a larger one. I have/will use 8 skeins of worsted weight yarn and it is wonderful.

 THE PERFECT SNUGGLY WEIGHT 



In my Serenity location, I have these on deck. My friend Vicki is leading a wonderful project - THE KINDNESS QUILT and she invited me to create a square. Well I am stash busting and I crocheted these four very different squares. I will begin embellishing them for the project. I have some ideas that I think will make these really pretty when they are finished. 

Embellishing will feed my creativity as well. It's not just crochet, this will let the "artist" in me have a bit of fun. 


And last there is this brightness. Yes it is damned near safety orange. This is the car project. I keep a box in my front seat with a project that I can do a few stitches on in the bank drive thru, or fast food drive thru, or even to grab when I will be riding with a friend. 

This is a triangular shawl pattern that I found for free on Ravelry. It's the Oh So Simple Wrap pattern and it is so easy. I am making it from 4 balls of a cotton blend yarn that I found while I was cleaning the corner in the kitchen. (Let's not talk about how long they were buried in that corner.)
I refused to add this yarn to the stash, so it spent a few days beside me while I worked on all that single crochet. I spent those days "designing in my head", then when it moved to the car project box, that designing was not working out. I went on the search for a project that I could easily pick up and put down, Where I could change colors as I wanted and that could expand or contract in size depending on the yarn I had. I could have done an old fashioned granny square shawl, but I wanted something with slightly more style. This is turning out to be perfect. 

I sure hope you are having a wonderful day.

Remember LIFE IS CRAZY BEAUTIFUL


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

On my Hook ----


I am making one of these ........ you can find the pattern here. also some fabulous yarn kits for this.

the pattern is written for a stunning linen yarn and will finish at approximately 36x36 with that yarn

I fell head over heels for the contemporary feel of this big color block blanket. I stalked it for weeks before I committed to it.

those of you who know me --- know that I have changed up the yarn. I was reading all the comments at the pattern post and several people were asking about sizing it up for a bigger blanket. I chose the absolute easiest way to do that.

I'm using bigger yarn. Linen Quill is a stunning, fingering weight yarn. And it is not a terribly expensive yarn. But it does have the drawback of requiring washing in cold water and blocking in the care and cleaning of items made from it.

My intentions are a large blanket for a baby blanket. Because babies are just not tiny for very long and I much prefer my blankets to be used for a long long time (especially for special people), i tend to make mine very generous. Mommies - you will never regret pulling that blanket off the back of the sofa and snuggling you and that little one together - I PROMISE.

I also want my blankets to be easy care and well used. Toss in the car. Go to the ball game. Make a pallet on the floor. Or a tent over the dining room chairs. Add in a dog or a cat to snuggle if you like. Toss into the washer and dryer. That's my lifestyle. I love it. Less stress.

So I am making a big version from Hobby Lobby's I Love this Yarn. Acrylic worsted weight yarn. I've chosen my colors and I have started color A ---- I will not be putting photos up as I go, but Just know that this is happening and it's going to be amazing. The texture and feel of this really super soft yarn are wonderful to me. This is not a stash project, I bought the yarn for this one.

Now for the negative part of this blanket........ it is SINGLE CROCHET and it is taking what seems like FOREVER. I don't care what weight yarn you use, that many single crochet stitches are going to be a drawn out process. (It's really stunning though)

Even though it is taking a while to do this one, there will be repeats of this pattern because it really is very appealing to me.

I have next week off for vacation and I plan to work on this and a few other things while I rest and relax. I'm thinking that NOT DOING THE WHOLE TOURISTY thing will let me get some progress as well as rest accomplished.

I'll see you guys again in August.



Friday, July 15, 2016

July 14 ---- a new trip around the sun.


yesterday was my birthday.

it was a most relaxed day for me.

work.
craft with children.
dinner with friends.
ended with crochet. 

and in conversation with a wonder friend named MaryAnn, I committed to focus again on cleaning, using, purging, my seriously deep hoarded stash and mess.

Crusty Old Guy puts it this way. "mine is STUFF, yours is SHIT" 

its kind of an inside joke with us, but it makes me think. 

I am downsizing my substantial stash and will be tracking the progress thru until my birthday next year - just to see where I land. 

now just to learn how to make a side button to the post so I can edit it regularly 

have a great afternoon

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What the what? (or what happened?)


it's been over a year since I posted here. 

Oh, I've been making.

And doing.

And living.

And posting about those adventures over at my more personal home

But the, oh so neglected,  MaggieGraceCreates world is calling to me with pleas to not forget her and to please come home. 

So here I am --- and I will try to be back on a much more regular basis.

let's just jump right on in. 

I have crocheted several blankets, some hats, potholders, skillet condoms.
I have made jewelry.
I have enjoyed paper crafts. 
I have been helping littles learn creative stuffs. 
I've sewn.
Done some serious mission stuff. 

I've stash busted.
I've stash added (minimally) 

And then I have worked on THIS.



Elias will be a year old in August.

This was supposed to be a baby shower gift for the little guy. 

He may get it when he turns 21 - or has his own kids.

WHAT WAS I THINKING????

A year peeps - I pick it up and put it down and if you divide that picture up there into 16 sections, you will see that I have almost completed ONE OF THOSE.

I have a trout - some rocks and a deer foreleg ---- 

BTW Eli did get a gift ---- Mama T crocheted him a Count Down Granny Square blanket. 

Don't get all excited and google that --- it is a simple way to label a granny square blanket that has a descending count of rows from the center out -

I did four colors --- in the following row  pattern 8-7-6-5 repeat color starts here 4-3-2-1.  This allowed me to do a complete blanket from 8 skeins of yarn. and have a bit left for the stash pile. 

Next week finds me having that project box packed for a week of sitting still at the beach and hopefully making a bit more progress. 

Maybe you guys will rejoin me here for crafty goodness. 

Life is beautiful

I post much more regularly at my FaceBook
And my Instagram
I also have a huge collection of funstuff over at Pinterest

Have a great afternoon.