Saturday, January 26, 2013

Crocuses

A couple of weeks ago I received the yarn for the border.  This is the darkest gold from the Rumpelstiltskin  gradiance set.  I decided to call this shawl crocuses because of the colors.

Pattern:  Over the Moon by Vicki Mikulak
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Ardent and Rumpelstiltskin
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

The Heart of Winter - 2 Blocks Done!

I finished up the second block on Wednesday but had to wait for the weekend to get a good photo.  I used my gridded blocking board to block them and wondered why I hadn't thought of using it before.  I think I've been blocking so many things where final dimensions weren't that important - primarily shawls - that I forgot about the gridded board, silly me.  I will be using it for all my crochet blocks from now on.

Pattern:  The Heart of Winter by Donna Kay Lacey, January 2013 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month Club
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Fog and Lichen
Hook: 2.75 mm


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Heart of Winter - 1 Block Done

Sunday I whipped this little beauty up. It is the January 2013 Unique Sheep Crochet Block.  The design is called The Heart of Winter and it certainly feels as if we are in the heart of winter today.  The designer is Donna Kay Lacey and her designs possess an elegance and lace quality that is quite distinctive.  This one definitely has an Art Nouveau feel to it.  This is the last of the Luxe Crochet blocks that I currently have in my stash.  Once I finish the second block I will probably move on to the Tinsel Toes Crochet blocks.  In the meantime I have been pondering assembly into a throw and what to do with the leftover yarn.  I had actually started assembling the Luxe blocks but yesterday I disassembled them.  Now I have a pile of blocks.
But I need at least twice as many to make a decent sized throw.  I also have a small pile of leftovers.
And you know how much I hate leftovers, so today I decided to use them up making the little blocks from the Mosaic Four-Patch by Melinda Miller.
It only takes 4 grams of yarn to make one, 2 grams of each color.  I have enough of these two colors to make 4 little squares, but should I make them all alike, blue in the center and gray on the outside, or should I do 2 and 2?  I will probably do 2 and 2, and I won't assemble then into a larger square, at least not yet.

Pattern:  The Heart of Winter by Donna Kay Lacey, January 2013 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month Club
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Fog and Lichen
Hook: 2.75 mm

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Field Day - 2 Blocks Done!

Finished the second block this morning, and wound the yarn for the next set of blocks that I am going to do.  These blocks are only 7 inches. I tend to crochet a little tighter with the Luxe.  I may just add another round or two to get them to match the other Luxe blocks.

Since Christmas I have been using my Fujitsu Stylistic for blogging instead of my Dell Mini because my Mini died.  Blogging has been a little different because my Stylistic does not have a keyboard, it is a tablet PC and uses a stylus. The handwriting recognition rocks, and my handwriting is getting better again after years of decline from disuse, but it has definitely had an impact on my blogging.  It isn't any harder, from a technical perspective, it is just that writing your thoughts down us opposed to typing them changes how you express them, for me at least.  For years I kept a journal, writing in it with a fountain pen.  I still have the pens, and bottles of ink in a variety of colors, and even some empty journals.  Writing this way on a computer is an interesting hybrid, the old fashioned long hand combined with modern editing capabilities.

Pattern:  Field Day by Margaret MacInnis, November 2012 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month Club
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Honey Comb and Brown Bear
Hook: 2.75 mm

Frosted Rose Cardigan - Finished!

I actually finished this last weekend but have been waiting for a sunny day so I could get a decent photo.   For the sleeves, I once again did not do any decreases until I got to the seed stitch section and then I decreased 8 stitches evenly around.  This did result in my sleeves being slightly shorter than the pattern called for, but not much.  I weighed my ball of yarn before I started the first sleeve, then again after I had knitted twenty or so rows and did some math to figure out how many rows I could knit to use half the ball  for each sleeve.  I wore this around the house last night with my sweats and a tank top.  Very comfy, a little slouchy, but warm.

Pattern:  Vodka Lemonade by Thea Colman (Baby Cocktails)
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity DK in Frosted Rose
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Field Day - 1 Block Done

It was another intense week at work and I didn't have much energy for knitting but I did manage to do some crochet.  This is the November 12, 2012 Crochet Block from The Unique Sheep.  I actually resisted working on this block because of all the color changes and some of the stitches looked tricky, but once I got started on it I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.  I finished this block on Wednesday but while I was admiring my work I was dismayed to discover I had made a mistake, and a pretty obvious one at that (see the picture below).
So I ripped back and fixed it.  I had to rip back four rounds and part of a fifth to get to the round that had the mistake, and after it was fixed it took me a little while to gather the energy to finish the block up again.   But is is done, and I have started the second block.

Pattern:  Field Day by Margaret MacInnis, November 2012 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month Club
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in Honey Comb and Brown Bear
Hook: 2.75 mm

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mosaic Four-Patch - Done!

Yesterday morning I finished up the other four little blocks and blocked them and then had to wait for them to dry.  You know how it is when you want to finish a project and you just have to wait for something to dry, whether is is paint or yarn.  This morning I woke up at 6:30 with the beginnings of a migraine so I got up, took half an Excedrin Migraine and started assembling the little blocks, which was harder than it should have been.  I tried the single crochet technique, the invisible join and finally settled on whip stitch through the back loop only, but getting everything to line up correctly proved to be challenging.

For joining the two blocks together I held them with the right sides together and started just inside the corner, leaving a tail for finishing.  For joining the two sets of two together I held them right sides together and worked from the center outwards.  Where the four blocks meet a stitched and X through both loops of the central triple crochet, following the maxim that if you can't hide it don't try, make it part of the design.  As I was doing the double crochet edging I would work just past where two blocks met and then go back and do a little bar stitch joining the central triple crochets through both loops.

Project:   Mosaic Four-Patch by Melinda Miller,  September 2011 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month
Yarn:  Pashmi in Blueberry and Mint
Hook: C -2.75 mm

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mosaic Four-Patch - 4 down, 4 to go

Last night I blocked the first four little blocks.  I figure they will be easier to assemble after blocking.   I made two more little blocks and almost finished a third last night as well. I should finish the little blocks today and tomorrow do the assemble and finish them up.  The little blocks floating in the wool wash reminded me of lily pads.

Project:   Mosaic Four-Patch by Melinda Miller,  September 2011 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month
Yarn:  Pashmi in Blueberry and Mint
Hook: C -2.75 mm

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mosaic Four-Patch - 2 down, 6 to go

Getting back into the work mind-set after two weeks off has been intense and exhausting.  I did manage to knit a few rows on my Color Study shawl during telecons, but haven't had much energy for knitting once I got home.  For several months, however, there has been a small project bag sitting on the bolster of my day bed with the yarn and pattern and crochet hook for a crochet block set from The Unique Sheep.  It was so close, so easy to pick up, and I have been thinking about crochet.  And here we are, 3 days later with two little blocks done and a third almost complete.  As you can see, there are two colors and I am alternating which one I start with.  I am currently working on the second little block with a green center.  The reason for this is pure laziness, the last color I used on the just completed little block is the first one I use on the next little block.

I really am enjoying the pattern, which is good because I have to make 8 of these little blocks. I especially love the petals in the center motif.  After I get done with that part I always sit and fondle it a bit before moving on.  I am fascinated by crochet.  I love how easy is is to weave in the ends and I love the quantized nature of crochet.  Each stitch is its own entity, complete in its existence.  It makes it so easy to rip back to fix mistakes.  So is crochet like particles and knitting like waves?  Unlike a crochet stitch, a single stitch of knitting cannot exist on its own, it must exist in a continuum or a field.

Project:   Mosaic Four-Patch by Melinda Miller,  September 2011 Unique Sheep Crochet Block of the Month
Yarn:  Pashmi in Blueberry and Mint
Hook: C -2.75 mm

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Frosted Rose Cardigan - Body Done!

After spending a couple of days beading I picked this project back up and finished up the body of the Vodka Lemonade cardigan, which I dubbed Frosted Rose after the yarn color.  Not very original, perhaps, but as much as I like the idea of cocktails I really don't drink them.

Pattern:  Vodka Lemonade by Thea Colman (Baby Cocktails)
Yarn:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity DK in Frosted Rose
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

The Holly and the Ivy

After finishing up the Chevron Chain I cranked out the St. Petersburg Chain in a day.  Then I started joining the two chains together, or zipping them together as I quickly came to think of it.
I started out with the Emerald beads but they got lost in all the green are gold.   Next I tried the Sapphire beads, but they lacked something.   Out of desperation I tried some pearls but they were too big.   That left the Garnet beads.   They were the right size and they definitely did not get lost against the green and gold, but it just seemed a little clich├ęd.   In the end, however, I went with the Garnet, and decided to embrace the Christmas theme as being seasonally appropriate.

Project:  Royal Chains Lariat by Kelly Wiese, Beadwork Magazine October/November 2009

Materials used:
Size 11 seed beads:  Beadcats stock # 2-11-480-01 topaz transparent irid
Size 11 seed beads:  Beadcats stock # 2-11-577-01 medium green transparent irid
Size 14 seed beads:  Beadcats stock # 2-14-577-01 medium green transparent irid
3 mm Emerald gemstone spherical beads
3 mm Garnet gemstone spherical beads
Faceted tube and rondelle Citrine gemstones
Bicone Citrine gemstones
Light green KO thread

I purchased the Emerald and Garnet gemstone beads at the Bead & Button Show and the Citrine gemstones from Soft Flex.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Emerald and Gold - Chevron Chain Done

I had done about 8 inches of the chevron chain before losing steam, but this afternoon I picked it back up and finished it up, all 28 inches of it.  It has been a while since I have done any beading but I am a bit fibered out at the moment, and perhaps handling all of my beadwork this past weekend to photograph it got me back in the mood to bead.

Project:  Royal Chains Lariat by Kelly Wiese, Beadwork Magazine October/November 2009

Materials used so far:
Size 11 seed beads:  Beadcats stock # 2-11-480-01 topaz transparent irid
Size 14 seed beads:  Beadcats stock # 2-14-577-01 medium green transparent irid
3 mm Emerald spherical beads
Faceted tube and rondelle Citrine
Light green KO thread

The project called for vertically drilled pressed glass drops, but I didn't have anything in my stash that would work, so I am using the Citrine tubes and rondelles