Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ooh, ooh! I finished something!

So I am going to take a break in my ongoing litany of previously completed projects to show you the one I just finished tonight. This is a wedding present for a friend of mine. Hopefully she likes it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Introducing the "Snowflake Throw"

This blanket is based on a pattern created by Nanette M. Seale and published in Leisure Arts' 1997 Contest Favorites Afghan Squares.

It is made primarily using the puff stitch and double crochet. It was super simple once I got the hang of the puff stitch, and very quick to make.

I built the blanket making nine "blocks" of four squares surrounded by two rows of double crochet in a contrasting color. For the main color I used Red Heart Country Blue and I used Red Heart White for the contrast.

After I put together all of my blocks, I bordered them with another two rows of double crochet in the white, and then did an edge row with the puff stitch in every other space. You can see the border a bit in this photo:

So there you go, there's one project off of my list. Of course, I've already thought of another two to add to it, but I guess that's how it goes, huh?

In other news, I got my invite to Ravelry today. You'll find me under AtlantisDragonGrl. Of course, I have to go join Flikr now so I can upload photos, and that's probably a project for tomorrow night.

Until next time, I wish you all a safe and happy week.

Take care,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No pattern necessary.

As much as I love the hunt for new and cool afghan square patterns, sometimes it's fun just to wing it and go freestyle. For today's post, I'm going to show you a few of the blankets I made without any specific pattern.

For starters we have my very first blanket. This was started in the summer of 2005 and finished up that September.

Primarily it consists of alternating solid double crochet squares with granny-style double crochet squares. You can tell just from the picture that it has some imperfections--I hadn't quite gotten the hang of corners yet, to say the least!

Also, when I say "wing it" in this case I truly mean that literally. I have been able to make granny squares and scarf type objects since I was a kid, but hadn't really done any crocheting since junior high or so when I decided to pick it up again. I had picked up some yarn I liked that went with the colors of our house (you can sort of see the bedspread underneath, which is a palm tree motif) and was basically just making squares that I liked until I got bored and started making a different type of square, trying to keep them all at the same size. Tricky, but fun. And technically, the stitch I used in this blanket, it's not quite double crochet, though I didn't realize that until after I had finished this blanket. What I had always thought of as "double" was really more somewhere between half-double and true double, so let's call it "3/4" shall we? As I started to accumulate more squares I did begin to formulate a plan for the overall design, and I truly feel that for a first effort it took shape quite nicely.

More recently, I made a blanket for my manager for Christmas this past year that also didn't have an actual pattern to it.

This one really is a giant granny square. I actually had to start and stop it several times before I settled into this design, which is fairly simple, but came out looking very pretty. It is also extremely soft and cuddly. My manager spends a lot of her time outside of work volunteering with efforts to rescue boxer terriers and she has something like seven dogs. I wanted to make her a blanket that matched them, so that she could cuddle with her puppies and not worry about the blanket getting too messed up (another reason I am so fond of Red Heart).

So there you have my two "patternless" efforts. I know that no project is truly without pattern, but these were made using just basic squares and built up from there.

I hope you have enjoyed. There's still at least two posts of blankets to come and then we'll get into the projects I currently have in the fire.

I wish you all a great week! Take care,

Until next time,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fun angles.

For all of my completed blankets, I've decided to break up my posts by pattern. The first set of blankets I have for you were made using the Triangles Afghan pattern found at I have yet to make the actual blanket the completed pattern outlines, but I love the pattern for the individual squares, and that is what I have used in my blankets.

The first one I call my "Jamaica Blanket" for no real reason. The colors just make me think of somewhere fun and tropical.

The center section of the blanket (the solid blue and green part) is made up using the triangles square pattern and the border of that part is just basic double crochet like a big granny square. The picture really doesn't do it justice, but this was a fun (and at times frustrating) one to make. There was no occasion for this blanket, I just fell in love with the variegated yarn I used in it. I really just wanted a project to give me an excuse to use that yarn.

This blanket was started in July 2006 and finished sometime late 2006 (I wasn't really keeping track yet at the time).

Also, while I think of it, just in case anyone is interested, unless I have noted otherwise, it is safe to assume any project I'm discussing is made using Red Heart yarn. While I can appreciate the really super cool fancy yarns, I tend to prefer Red Heart. Please don't throw anything at me! For my purposes--which nine times out of ten will be blankets--Red Heart just works. It is affordable, comes in a large variety of colors, is washable, and is pretty darn durable. Also, it tends to just get softer the more it is washed, which I feel is an excellent quality for a blanket. Anyhoo, that's my yarn stance. I do occasionally go in search of other brands/types--and I have a few skeins of swanky yarn I picked up on my last visit with my mother. That is just yarn that is waiting for the perfect project to come along so I can use it!

Okay, so back to blankets. I have made one other blanket using the triangles square pattern. This one is unofficially my "Southwest" blanket and was a Christmas present this past year for a friend and co-worker.

This one was made during November 2007. The lady I made it for is very fond of Southwestern decorations and such, and so I wanted to make her something that would fit within her color and style scheme. I was very pleased with how it came out and she loved it. I'm told it's the blanket she and her husband use to cuddle under while they watch television. That's always nice to hear.

So there's two of my blankets. Stay tuned for more to come.

In other project news, I picked up the handles and lining material this weekend for the faux vintage purse I want to make. I am getting excited about that, though I have a few projects to tackle before I can start on that one, since it's purely personal and kind of a whim.

I'm making good progress on my "Snowflake Throw" which will be a wedding present for a friend. Once I get all of my finished projects up I'll start putting up details about that one.

Well, thanks for checking in, and until next time, stay safe and happy,

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oooh, socks!

Hello! So I thought I'd start things off by posting some of my completed projects so you can get an idea of what I'm all about over here. As I mentioned earlier, I primarily make blankets, but I have also made a few pairs of socks over the past year. I'm going to start with those since there are so few of them compared to the blankets.

Thus far I have made four pairs of socks using variations on this pattern that I found, the "In Your Shoes Ankle Socks" by Pam. I dig this pattern because it is fairly simple and very customizable. With a little bit of playing, you can easily adapt it to foot size and to preferred cuff length. It can also be worked with a thicker yarn to make for house socks.

The two on the top and the one on the bottom right-hand corner were gifts for my best friend and my husband, respectively. They all seem to enjoy them very much, as I enjoy my pair, shown on the bottom left.

The other pattern I have found that I liked was for "Ribbed Socks" by Linda and can be found here. This one is worked side to side and the heel is kind of built in, but I really enjoyed making it. This was actually my very first pair of socks (shown below) that I made.

Unfortunately I used a yarn that was very soft in the working, but once washed, turned out to be not so comfy for the feet. I have another, "swanky" yarn I got when I visited my mom last spring and we went to her favorite yarn store. I think my next pair of socks will be utilizing this pattern again with that yarn.

So there you have my sock-making skills to date. One day I hope to branch out to some more complicated or just different patterns. My mom got me an awesome book of crochet sock patterns for my birthday and that will be the first place I go to--but I still have to tackle that challenge that is gauge before I can really delve deep into this well.

Next up....blankets a plenty!

I hope everyone has a fantabulous week!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Welcome to the Corner...

Hello. I've decided to follow in my mom's footsteps and start up a blog about my crafty side. By which I mean all of my crochet projects. I tend to specialize in blankets--mostly because I like to make squares. I do also dabble in socks and the occasional stuffed animal.

Anyhoo, this is just a little space for me to share my projects with the world at large, just in case anyone is interested. Crochet is something that keeps me going, and it is something that I share with several of the women in my family, so it is also something that gives me a definite sense of pride as well as letting me know that no matter how much I might sometimes think I'm a grey sheep in the family, I really do belong.

In the next few days I'll be putting up some of my past projects and then going over the few active projects I've got going on at the moment. So stay tuned for more details and photos.

Until next time,