Finished Blanket

*GASP*

That’s right! I actually finished a blanket.  I know, I know. I was totally surprised, too.  Without further ado: Ripple In A Pond.

A picture of my blue and white afghan

Ripple In A Pond

It is 60 inches by 40 inches – a little larger than the pattern because I accidentally added too many white stripes.  Still, I love it! I am selling this one, hopefully. If it wasn’t needing the extra income at this time, I would keep it. It is made up of worsted weight yarns, in varying degrees of softness.  I have yet to wash, soften, and block it.  I will get around to that.. eventually.. I swear.  I’m just glad I finished something.

I got the pattern from Elizabeth Ham (click for link to Pattern – It is a PDF).  There is also a two part video tutorial which can be found HERE.

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Organizing the Craft Monster

With my projects multiplying faster than I can finish them, I’ve decided to try and organize the mess. The physical components are going to be re-organized in the “craft corner”. I have to laugh because it’s just the corner of the bedroom and invariably spreads its way out. I’m not sure there is any way to organize it and prevent it from spilling over. Trust me, I’ve tried. I currently have three totes and a larger, round container (which was supposed to be used for something else but turned into a craft container).  Add on the beading “tackle boxes” and.. well.. you get the picture.

I also have a hard time remembering exactly what pattern I was working on a project that I have put aside for a while. To remedy this, I am making a pattern portfolio. At this time, it will only contain the projects I am currently working on. However, in the future, I would like to add a section of patterns I want to work on.  Printer ink is expensive and I’d rather save it for printing out resumes at this time.

Having said that, I thought I’d share my progress on some of my projects.  Just to motivate myself to finish them so I can start more.

1. Scrap Yarn Afghan

I got the pattern for this blanket from New Stitch a Day – Crocheted Chevron. I have to laugh when I see this afghan because it has, much like the rest of my collection, ballooned out from its original purpose.  In the beginning, there was scrap yarn usage, and it was good. Now, though, I am buying yarn to finish this scrap yarn blanket. It’s defeated the purpose entirely. I could have continued to work in my scrap yarn, but my colors vary so dramatically and I am not bold enough to combine these colors. It’s all about my creative cowardice and has nothing to do with a lacking yarn stash.

A picture of my scrap afghan

Scrap Afghan

2.Lace Ripple Afghan

This afghan has turned out more beautifully than I imagined it would. I am using Caron Simply Soft Solids in Ocean blue, Passion purple, and Off White. I had wanted it done in May, but am now waiting for December. If that doesn’t work out, it will have to get done next May. I detest when a project keeps getting put off, but there is no getting around it. Between not being able to get skeins to simply not having the time, this project is probably going to take longer than I had hoped.

Ripple Afghan

Lace Ripple Afghan

3.Pond Ripple Afghan

I got this blanket pattern from Elizabeth at Ravelry. This was meant to be a weekend project, but I ran into some snags in reading the pattern. This lead to the blanket being a little larger than the pattern required, but I am happy with the outcome so far. I am so close to finishing it, but I will have to be patient. Again, this afghan was meant to use up some yarn I had, without buying more, but it hasn’t turned out that way. I bought another skein of white because I could have sworn that I had more, but I can’t find it. Shock.

A picture of my pond ripple afghan

Pond Ripple Afghan

4.Zig Zag Afghan

I found this project from Yolanda on YouTube. I decided to change the pattern up a bit, to create a slant instead of a zig-zag because I didn’t like the gaps the zig zap was leaving. So far, it’s working out. Once I get the trim around it, the small imperfections won’t be noticeable at all. This project isn’t meant for anyone and it doesn’t have a due date, so I just pick it up if it’s nearby and I’m looking for a crochet fix.

A picture of a closeup of the Vikings blanket.

Ra ra Vikings!

5.Baby Ripple Blanket

This blanket is for my upstairs neighbors that have just had a little baby. Squee! I got to hold her and she is precious. *takes deep breaths* Okay, the blanket. I have not started it yet. I know, I know, but hear me out: I didn’t know these people a couple of weeks ago so it’s not like I knew she was preggers for nine months and totally put off making a baby gift. Granted, it is something I would probably do.. but this time I didn’t. I swear! *crosses heart*. Having said that, I found the perfect pattern for this one at All Free Crochet Afghan Patterns.com. It only takes one skein (or so it says) and looks pretty straight forward.

A Getaway to a Far Away Place

Well, actually, we only traveled two hours, one way. BUT, it felt like a far away place. That counts, right? Right.

Hubby and I splurged this weekend and decided to go visit some friends that live in the big city. We don’t get to visit people there as much as we would like. In fact, if we had our way, we wouldn’t live two hours away and would be able to visit someone every weekend. Alas, reality is quite the opposite. It’s not so bad, though.. we don’t live *too* far away.

At any rate, Hubby and I went to visit friends this past weekend. We had such fun that we decided to stay another day. It was well worth it. Both Hubby and I were able to unwind and forget about or worries for a few days. I may have had help from wine, beer, and rum.. but those three friends never let me down before.  It’s good to have dependable friends *wink*.

Clipart picture of rum and crossed pirate swords.

I don’t care if the rum is red, just bring it over here!

It’s even better to have a friend that enjoys the same crafts I do!  We were able to show off our current, past, and on hold projects. We talked about patterns, dream projects, and discussed the difficulty with certain stitches. It was heavenly. Well, for us. Whenever we even mentioned those bad, four letter words (yarn, hook, etc.) the guys would roll their eyes and protest. “But you don’t need anymore yarn!” or “Don’t you think you should finish this project before you start another one?” or my personal favorite: “I wish you’d just burn all the yarn.”

It just doesn’t work that way, fellas. Believe me, I wish it did. Once you are bitten by the crochet bug, there is no relief except more crochet. It’s nearly as bad as being bitten by the cowbell bug. MORE COWBELL!

Ahem.  Put the cowbell down and walk away slowly. Hardly anyone will be hurt.

Along with lovely crafts, we played some fun games: Forbidden Desert Cards Against Humanity (another personal favorite),  and Power Grid.   Of course, it always helps when you have good company. And food. Good food doesn’t hurt either.

After a night of staying up too late, drinking too much, and having just too much gosh darn fun, we all (eventually) made it to sleep.  And it’s a good thing we did because we had a fair to go to. Not just any fair, mind you, the state fair!

I had never been to the state fair so it was kind of an adventure for me. There were more than enough animals to see (seriously, if you’ve seen one goat you’ve seen them all, right?), lots of neat projects with pretty ribbons (first, second, third, etc..), and wondrous fair food!  Elephant ears, rib eye steaks, pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, kettle corn, ice cream – – You name it! We ended up eating some delicious corn on the cob with buffalo burgers. Mmm, buffalo.

Bisonbaby

Mmm, walking baby burger

There were beautiful gardens, educational exhibits, and plentiful shops. We ended up buying some delicious smelling, hand made soaps from Earth Drops.  I got the Indian Summer and the Rosy Ann’s Garden. Mmm.. soap.  Seriously, it smells wonderful. It’s not too overpowering, yet still pleasantly present. My bathroom now smells like a subtle flower garden outside a kitchen window where someone is baking cinnamon rolls. Mmmm.. soap. *inhales deeply*

Yes, well. I was able to take a few pictures, but not nearly as many as I would have liked. I did not have the presence of mind to bring the digital camera. Although Hubby did have a better memory to grab the camera, we both of us forgot to put the memory card in said camera. I was able to take two pictures before being told that camera was also now out of memory. It would have had more, but there were pictures on the camera that I had forgotten to move over to the memory card. So, to recap: the memory card that I forgot to fill with pictures from the camera was forgotten at home. Although the camera was forgotten by myself, it was remembered by Hubby who also forgot the memory card. Confused yet? No? I must try harder.

I did get some lovely pictures of very interesting flowers:

A picture of an hibiscus flower

Hibiscus flower

Apparently, there are several varieties of the Hibiscus flower, which became a point of discussion at the fair. Fortunately, I was able to find an informative website which … well.. informed me of the variety in this particular plant (just click the picture of the flower).

There were also some lovely Passion Vine flowers near the butterfly enclosure. I have always loved these flowers because they look like something out of a science fiction movie.

A picture of a blooming passion vine

Passion vine flower

The picture is a little blurry because I didn’t want to lean any closer to the gentleman sitting next to the plant. I was afraid he might think I was rude. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t care if people think I am rude. I just didn’t want to get that close to another human being.

At any rate, we brought home some goodies (mmm.. soap), spent quality time with quality people, and got to enjoy good food. All in all, it was a successful fair trip.  Oh, and they had monster trucks. Monster trucks make everything better. Except demolition cars.. they tend to make those flatter.

All in all, it was a great trip! The only downside was that I did not finish my “weekend” blanket. Big shocker, I know. However, it is not entirely my fault. I think the pattern may have been cursed. We plan on burning the completed blanket to exorcise the demon from within the strands of yarn. *shudders*  But seriously, it has been a learning experience. Mainly, I’ve learned that the picture that comes along with the pattern does not always reflect an accurate depiction of said pattern. Even if it is a picture taken by the pattern writer of the so-called finished product. It’s really alright because my blanket is going to end up being larger than the pattern made it out to be. This means I will be able to now call the once “lap blanket” an actual “throw”. Ie: I can put it on the couch and it will look larger than my keyboard. Yay!

Crafting, drinking, gaming, and outdoor fun. Who could ask for more?  (oh wait, chocolate.. always ask for more chocolate!)

Crochet Time!

Step right up, folks! It’s that time again. What time is it? It’s crochet time!

**Warning: Craft Content**

Alright, here’s the gist of it: I have too many crafty projects going on at once. I even have a few ton that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Yes, years.  The logical thing to do would be to finish these off, right? Select the easiest one and snowball it until all the projects are done. Yes? Not here.

Here, we start another project!

I decided that I wanted to give this awesome, crochet zig-zag blanket a go. I had some yarn sitting around that I was going to *gasp* give away or donate, so I decided to do a type of prototype with it. If it doesn’t work out, I’m not our any expensive yarn and I can just stop midway, right? Nope again.

I like the pattern and the colors are growing on me. Purple and gold. Yes, you read that right: purple and gold.  It’s the same colors for the Minnesota Vikings, or so Hubby found out. I don’t really like sports. I was thinking, though, maybe I can market it that way? Hmm, maybe not. Anyways.

Here’s the progress I made as of a few days ago:

A picture of the progress of the Vikings blanket

Go Vikings!

Since then, I’ve been to the laundromat and added about a dozen more stripes. It’s a great way to make up a blanket, and would probably work very well as a rug.  I’m just making a lap blanket that I am going to add trim to, so there will be a little more width and it should end up a few feet long (if not more).  Who am I kidding? I don’t have this planned out. I’ll just stop when it looks good, or way past the point when it looked good.

It’s my blanket, I can do what I want.

Ahem.

Like I said, the colors are actually growing on me:

A picture of a closeup of the Vikings blanket.

Ra ra Vikings!

It almost has a Harry Potter feel to it. Oh geez, now I want to do one in Harry Potter’s various school factions (or whatever they’re called).  God help me, I’ll kill myself with crochet!

On that note, it’s my plan to go to another Renaissance Faire this Fall, so I plan on putting the whole Vikings thing to good use.. just in another way.  I want to make a couple of viking helmets (one with beard for moi, and one without for Hubby who already has one), along with a scale-stitch armor looking vest, and some wrist and leg warmers. It’s a big undertaking so it probably won’t get done this year, but I already have the patterns picked out! Behold! Just click on the picture to be taken to the free pattern.

A picture of a crocheted viking helmet with beard

Go Vikings!

And any good Viking would be wearing gauntlets, right? Well, maybe not. But I hope to be! I found these and fell in love with them because the shape explains what they are so well.  It’s better than just making grey wrist warmers and explaining that they are my “gauntlets”. No! I will have true gauntlets like any hood-bearing warrior should!

A picture of crocheted gauntlets

Viking Gauntlets!

Now, all I need is a good leg warmer pattern that looks like armor. I’m still hunting, but when I find it, I’ll let you know *wink*.  As for the vest, I think I am going to have to modify a basic vest design. It really shouldn’t be too difficult. I can make the whole thing with the base for the scale stitch and then go back in and add the scales. This way, I should be able to ensure the dimensions of the vest are good before putting a lot of scale work into it.

Sounds like a plan! I will probably end up doing it a totally different way or not at all. Right.

 

Granny Square Bonanza!

**Warning: Craft Content**

So I’ve been hoarding granny square patterns for a while and a thought dawned on me. Why don’t make a blanket out of each granny square? Duh! That’s what they’re for, silly.

On that note, I’ve decided to share the links of all the granny square patterns I want to put into the blanket.  I have not even begun to work out dimensions, how many squares of what size I will need, how much yarn of each color I will need, and how many decades of my life I will spend on it and still never finish it.. BUT, I still can dream.  Just click on any of the beautiful granny square pictures to be taken to the appropriate FREE pattern. Woohoo!

A picture of a snuflower granny square

Sunny Flower Square by Zooty Owl

 

A picture of the sunburst granny square

Sun Burst Square by Nittybits

A picture of the owl granny square

Owl Square by Repeat Crafter Me

A picture of a heart granny square

Heart Square by Daisy Cottage

A picture of a flower granny square

Majestic Bloom by My Hobbi is Crochet

A picture of a celtic knot granny square

Celtic Knot Square

A picture of another flower square

Ten Petal Square by Joyce Lewis

 

Oh Hell’s bum!  I have too many to post here.  Well, if you have been bitten by the granny square bug, the only relief is more granny squares!  If you love these patterns but think that a few may look too advanced (I feel a reservation about them, as well) the lovely Adaiha has a wonderful Granny Square Tutorial right HERE.  She also has a project going on called “Granny Square A Day”.  That’s quite a lot of granny square ambition!  And hey, if a granny apple a day keeps the doctor away, there’s not telling what a granny square a day will do!  Have fun 🙂

Warning: Craft Content

You have been warned!

Okay, I’m making this wonderful afghan called the Lace Ripple Afghan (click for link to free pattern).    It works up fairly quickly, with just two alternating patterns.  The good thing about this blanket is if you make a mistake, no one can tell.  It is easy to cover up one too many or one too few stitches, so this on is going on the “Favorites” list.

So far, I’ve got about one third of it done.  It’s taken me four months to get this far so I had better get cracking. If I had a job that didn’t require me to use my hands and wrists so much, I wouldn’t have to worry about the impact my hobbies had on them.  Alas, I have to pace myself for the sake of my wrists.

Here’s a Work In Progress photo:

Ripple Afghan

Lace Ripple Afghan

Aside from making large projects, I am also tinkering around with smaller ones.  Namely, bookmarks.  I’m not knitting or crocheting them, though I would love to eventually make some this way.  Rather, I am using simple paper.

I got the lovely pattern off of WikiHow: Corner Munch Bookmarks (click for link).        I have made several versions, from basic ones with just stickers, full out character recreations.  My favorite ones, thus far, are Oscar the Grouch and SpongeBob Squarepants.  I want to redo them both with a few adjustments, but I still like them 🙂

 

First, SpongeBob Squarepants:

Sponge Bob Bookmark

Sponge Bob Corner Munch

Sponge Bob Bookmark Tip

Sponge Bob Bookmark Tip

 

Next, Oscar the Grouch:

Oscar Bookmark

Oscar the Grouch Bookmark

Oscare bookmark tip

Oscar the Grouch bookmark in use

 

I’ve also been working on some headbands, but that will have to wait until later!

Lots o’ craft links!

I have a lot of craft projects going on at the moment.

  1. I have a pretty lace afghan that I’m making ala All Free Crochet.com.
  2. Another ripple styled afghan for myself that I am making with scraps of yarn from New Stitch A Day.com
  3. Headbands made from the broomstick stitch learned from Brittany on Youtube.  She’s a talker.
  4. Crocheted beaded bracelets from Yuli.com.
  5. A granny square afgan that I started a couple years ago.  I forget where I found the pattern, but there are a bunch of free granny square patterns here at Crochet Pattern Central.
  6. A colorful scarf to match a winter coat that no longer fits me, done in the Smooth Wave Stitch.
  7. An unfinished scarf done in the Scale/Crocodile Stitch

On top of all this crochet, I have miscellaneous projects that need finished, as well.

  1. A winter wreath that I started a couple years ago.  I’m making one of my own, but here are some cool ideas from Craftionary.
  2. A summer wreath that never got started.  I haven’t even started on the felt flowers, yet. I think I got the idea from All Crafts flower section.
  3. Finish applying sissal rope to the cat tree  Hubby and his mom made the cat tree, but here is a great but simple one you can make at home from Instructables.
  4. Apply new sissal rope to the cat tree where I have already applied it because they’ve shredded it in a year.
  5. Finish reinforcing the cat hide out. I made this from oddly shaped boxes that I found at work. Unfortunately, the bottom box isn’t as sturdy as I was hoping, so I have another box to reinforce. Just have to do it. Martha Stewart has some tips on making your own cardboard cat house.
  6. Paint the mailbox using printed stencils and silver spray paint.  HERE are some crafty ways to jazz up ordinary items with stencils and spray paint.
  7. Make paintings to hang on the walls. I have a few ideas, but here are some great ideas to make Inspirational Wall Paintings.
  8. Paint the walls.
  9. Make matching pillows and runners for the couch
  10. Make floor rugs for the Kitchen, like these rag rugs.
  11. Make floor rugs for the living room, like these braided rugs.

The unfortunate thing is that I have a “craft corner” in the bedroom where all the supplies for my unfinished projects are stashed. “Craft corner” makes it sound so much more lovely than it really is. It is not a cute little corner in the room with a cute desk, organized drawer system, and bulletin boards with pictures of finished projects and patterns of current projects. Nope. It is a corner of the room where I have crammed my yarn, beads, felt, wreaths, fabric, etc.  I know it’s growing because I keep feeding it more supplies. Whether or not it is yet sentient is another question.