Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Little Things (Inspiration)

My charming husband interrupted our conversation on the drive home from church without saying a single word.
He breezed through the EZ-Pass as I chattered away about something irrelevant and apparently unmemorable. Perhaps I can't remember the topic of conversation because of what happened next.
Rather than accelerating towards the exit ramp, he slowed down and pulled the car to the side of the road, raising his index finger.  Just one moment.
"What's wrong?" I immediately began to fret. He raised his finger again. Just one moment. He unfastened his seatbelt, opened the door and slid out while I conjured car-trouble scenarios before he'd even made it to the ditch. Wait- the ditch?
I suddenly knew. The man had interrupted me, stopped the car, and now crouched down in the ditch tugging at wildflowers. For me. Just because.

"What is Daddy doing?" my three year old son stretched his neck for a better view. His younger brother, not quite two, is partaking in a sweaty Sunday afternoon nap.

"Daddy's picking me flowers," I reply. I'm grinning like a fool now.
"Oh, dat's so kind," my little boy replies.
My charming husband returns to the car, obviously pleased with his surprise and passes me my fresh-from-the-field bouquet. I'm bursting with joy and I hope, so much, the two boys in the back seat grow to be men just like their daddy.

(But you're here for the crochet.)

As soon as I got home I snipped the ends off my flowers and placed them in a vase of cool water. Destined for the tabletop, I look around and spy one of my favorite crocheted items I've made, The Simply Elegant Motif. How do people display flowers without crocheted doilies? The effect is charming, and every time I walk through the dining room I'm reminded that the little things are life's big things and I am thankful, for much more than I can tell.

PS- What kind of flowers are these? I see them in peoples' gardens all the time. ***Thank you to Annette from Petunia Pill - they are Black Eyed Susans! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

I *Heart* It! (Finished!)

I finally gave the Heartsy stitch a whirl! Here it is, an easy little washrag for my kitchen.

What I'd mention about this pattern is that the hearts "disappear" on you while you're working it up. I kept double checking the pattern, and repeatedly hung it directly in my husband's face and asked in an angsty tone, "Do they look like hearts to you?? They're supposed to look like hearts." He replied that they did not look like hearts. "But I'm following the pattern," I whined. (Hey, I had a long day behind me.)

Finally I decided it didn't matter. I yarned over and drew through speedily and reached the end, fastened off and hastily weaved those excessive ends in.  Zoom-zoom, good enough, I decided.
"They look like hearts if you look at them from this direction," I tried to convince Charming Husband (and myself). "Sure, I can see that. They look more like butterflies to me," he replied, making an appreciative effort. "Oh. Okay." I was disappointed.

Then this morning I spied the little washrag sitting on the purple chair, waiting for me to create some sort of ruffle-fruffly border before I put it to work. And, ya know... they do look like hearts. Surprise!

This pattern is like spelling a word correctly but being convinced you are in error. (Mine are: Vacuum, Perennial, Parmesan. They just look wrong. But they're not, I spell checked it. No red-squiggle line.)


Hopefully you've been inspired to give this beauty a go and my little anecdote didn't scare you off. Check out the image sources below for oodles of eye candy- the original crocheter used this stitch to create a blanket (so many beautiful photos!!). Goooorgeous! :)

The heartsy blanket how-to! Yeees!
Image courtesy of Char Ami
Image courtesy of Char Ami

Have a Lovely Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Check, X, Strike Through! (Finished!)

So just yesterday, in a burst of ambition, I made a to-do list for the day. Yeah, it's more like a to-do list for the week. #2 on this Very Ambitious List was commit (and make) a couple berets for a friend.

Or X!
Or Strike Through!
Depending how you work your ambitious lists.

Following the pattern for the Striking Doily Beret, I ended up with this:

So beautiful! I typically don't wear this style of hat... I typically don't wear hats at all unless the weather forces me to, but this one may have changed that for me. Slouchy and lacy? Yes, I'll take one of those!! And I'm just thrilled with this pattern, especially because the first pattern I attempted was nothing but trouble. Definitely check out Kristi's Blog and give it a go! You need 1 skein of yarn and a 5mm hook. Das it!

Have a Lovely Day!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today I Need To... (Inspiration)

I have a few things I need and want to get working on today.

1) I'm completely preoccupied with this Pinterest find... I'm calling it the Heartsy Blanket because the blog post is in Dutch and I have no idea how she's referencing it.
The heartsy blanket how-to! Yeees!
Image courtesy of Char Ami
That ^ pattern turns into this....

Image courtesy of Char Ami

Isn't that marvelous? I want to make a bunch of cotton wash rags and dish towels out of the stitch. So  incredibly delightful and fun! The original pattern can be found here >> I Love Scraps Afghan.

2) I also need to commit to a Beret Pattern for a friend who put in a request for two. I made an attempt at a pattern I found on Ravelry, and within the second round the count was off-off-off. What in the world! I could fix it, I suppose, but it was just too frustrating- who knows how many errors are in a pattern that doesn't even come together in the *second round*. Anyway. I'm considering this one...

3) Making a few squares for the Sunburst Blankie is an ambitious addition to my to-do list. It's really coming together-- so incredibly exciting! No new rows have been put on since this picture, below, so I'm a tad antsy to work on it. I don't want to forget it, like some other blankets...

4) Little Boy Blue's Turning 2 Blanket *still* isn't d-o-n-e! I was doing it in my spare time, whenever I had a chance to sit and listen to NPR. Which is, apparently, twice, every other week.

5) When I was at my non-for-profit local foods store (Farm 2 Family) last Saturday, (where I got this yarn: 

and made this garland from it...)

I placed my crochet-contained apples on the counter.
"Did you knit these?" the (assumed) owner asked me.
"Um, I cro-"
"Crocheted, I'm sorry, yes, I see now," she corrected. Immensely pleased that she could tell the difference, I affirmed.
"Can you make us a bunch of produce bags? I've been looking for some, but the crocheted mesh style ones are hard to come by."
And what did I say? What I always say- "Of course!" So, I have several produce bags to get to work on. I created one on Saturday and haven't yet photographed it or written out the pattern. (Free Pattern, anyone? Well, let's file that under "Coming Soon").

6) I need to get to work writing that post all about Christadelphian Meal-a-Day Fund of the Americas, why I care about it, why I want to help and how you can help, too. Sometime this week, I think.

In summary: I am swamped with ideas, projects, commitments, good intentions, and creative juices. (Juices, ugh, just one of those words.) And what better use of my time than updating my blog? :)
Have a lovely day!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cushy Cotton Cover (Finished!)

Ooh, lookie here!

So, I took a brief respite from the Sunburst Blankie and Little Boy Blue Turns 2 Blankie. I kind of - sort of - definitely - stole some yarn from both projects (whoopsie), to bring together this sweet little Cushy Cotton Cover...

Mm-HM! I do love color.

One bright orange flower button, followed by a row of bright white ones means this cover is removable. The 100% cotton yarn means this cover is washable.

I had thought, whilst I worked up the navy blue side, that I would stick a flower on there asymmetrically.

Crochet Bouquet was consulted, and I did find one I thought would look pretty adorable on there...

It reminded me so much of my recent Anthropologie splurge...

Yeah? Yeah? You like it? Me too. But, mmm, I dunno. Something about putting the buttons on the cover *finished* it for me. I ended up lethargic and decided not to go the flower route.

Me, awkwardly snuggling the new cushy cotton cover and taking 15 self portraits and deleting 14 of them in disgust.

Cushy Cover certainly steals the show when arranged on a couch full of pillows and blankets.

The blue side is less attention hogging, but I do find it lacking. Perhaps I haven't truly given up on the flower embellishment...

I love this shot, with the bunting in the background. Background bunting. I'm on an alliteration kick.

I pulled out the Sunburst Granny just to be excessive about the crochet. Oh, Yeah!

And here's the cushy cover on The Purple Chair (as in, Purple Chair Crochet). I wonder if I go overboard with all this yarny stuff..... nah!! Haha, such a good joke. =P

So here's the great part of the Cushy Cotton Cover--- it's for sale! The best part is that 100% of the sale price is going to Christadelphian Meal-a-Day Fund of the Americas (whew, mouthful). I'll be writing up more on this particular charity in the coming week...

But, for now, if you're interested in helping a great cause, here's the info...

- The cushion cover (excludes the 14" pillow) is $50 (USD) - that money goes directly to Meal-a-Day.
- The shipping cost is $5 (this applies to those in the United States; additional charges for shipping international may occur).
- If you would like the opportunity to purchase Cushy Cotton Cover, please send me a convo on Etsy and I'll create a reserved listing just for you.
- One last thing.... kinda awkward, but I have to mention... after June 29th I can no longer offer this cushy cover for sale. It's going on a craft-tour, of sorts, along with all my bunting and flower pins, and all for Meal-a-Day. So, dear reader, you have two weeks and then someone else gets a shot to bring Cushy home! :)

Have a lovely day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

*Sc, Ch-1 * (Work in Progress)

I snapped these pictures of Little Boy Blue's blanket just a few days ago, and it's already changed so much since then! Things are starting to get spicy with the color play. 

This stitch is incredibly fast- it's a "seed stitch", a simple *sc, ch1 * across. In the ch space of the previous row you make your single crochet.

It's results in a very dense mesh and nice little "seeds" in the texture. Seed stitch.
The colors I have coming into this blanket are mostly turquoisey-blue, a touch of grey, a smidgeon of "pomegranate" red, some cherry red, and navy blue. It's getting excessively fun. But, blast, I don't have pictures of that part yet.

I truly can't wait to show a completed blanket. But, all in good time: for now, I'm enjoying this simple, brainless stitch. Mindless crochet. I lurve it. :) I am pondering over the possibility of a border - even a simple sc around might make it more visually pleasing and give it a *finished* look. We'll see. Borders are tough for boys' blankets. They're usually very frilly/lacy/scallopy.

 I hope Little Boy Blue loves it too. :) I honestly can't believe that boy will be *2* in just 6 weeks. Of course, when you're waiting on their, arrival 6 weeks is an e t e r n i t y. 

(The project bag is from the Purlbee.com website:
an incredibly gorgeous place to get lost in.)
But, one thing I'm sure of, this blanket will be completed in much less than 6 weeks. Can't same the same for the Sunburst Granny. ;)

Have a lovely day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Too bad.... (Work in Progress)

Too bad it's not a baby blanket. 

The much-loved Sunburst Granny is now *6* rows deep! Yah-hoo!!

Have a lovely day!

Birthday Bunting (Free!)

Last Wednesday (the 30th of May), I celebrated my 26th birthday. It was completely perfect.
My Charming Husband took off work.
He came with me to a yoga class.
The boys were *good* that day (hurray!).
The house ended up being clean with minimal effort (love when that happens).
Friends came over and played with our children while Charming and I ventured off to Carytown, a little strip of shopping, eats, and fun things in Richmond.
I snagged some vibrantly colored yarn from The Yarn Lounge.
Food was consumed. Gifts (for myself and others) were purchased.
The day began drizzly and cloudy, but soon cleared to a beautiful expanse of azure.
See? Perfect. :)

But, you're here for the yarn. ;)
So, here it is. And a something that I made from it, too. Oh, and my "helper" made an appearance as well. Gets a tad bossy too, but I suppose he gets that from his parents.

"Take a picture of my pooh-bear! Can I see???"

"This one, this orange one. Yep, that one's my favorite."

Ta-dah! A sweet little bunting for my door.

I have a bunch of bunting available in my Etsy shop, but not for long. I've just arranged to sell all the completed items for the Meal-a-Day Fund. Just a way to incorporate Love and Service and Sharing into my crafting, something I've been wanting to do since I was pregnant with the 2nd boy.

But, here's something for you.

Granny Bunting How-To....

Granny Triangle: 

Any size hook with an appropriate yarn-weight. Or any yarn-weight with an appropriate hook. ;)
(Sorry, newbies. Uh, go for a 4mm hook and a sport weight yarn. Should do the trick!)
Begin by: Chain 4, join with sl st to first ch.
Round 1: Chain 2 (counts as first dc) 3dc in chain loop. *Ch 3, 4dc in chain loop. * 2x around. Ch 3, join with sl st to first dc.
Round 2: Sl st across dc cluster and into ch sp. Ch2 (counts as first dc), 3dc in ch sp. Ch3, 4dc in same space (corner formed). *Ch1, in next chain loop form another corner by 4dc, ch3, 3dc *. Repeat around, and slip st into first dc.
Round 3: Sl st across dc cluster and into corner. *Form a corner (4dc, ch3, 4dc), ch1; in ch1 sp of prev round work 4dc, ch1 * repeating around. Join with sl st to first dc.
Repeat Round 3 until the triangle is to the size you like. Fasten off.
Create as many as you like, in colors of your choice. Change colors for each round for a festive look.

Chain 10 (or 15, your preference), join with sl st to first ch. Chain 5 (or 10, 15, or preference), sl st across bunting. Repeat across with as many triangles as you like!

Easy-peasy. Now get to work!

Have a lovely day!