Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Bombshell "Boy Toy" Hop!

Another month has gone, and here's another Blog Hop from Bombshell.

Time for being's summer! So what's the deal with a "Boy Toy" bloghop. Well, it's dedicated to the men in our lives. Doesn't have to be a boyfriend or husband..... maybe a soldier, a father, or just a masculine theme or card.

Mine is my husband's birthday card, but since he doesn't look here I can put it up. :)

The inside says, "Boys never grow up... their toys just get bigger."

I've combined my Bombshell with a jukebox stamp from Personal Impressions. It's just simply done, stamped in one layer, no need for masking as the images don't overlap at all, matted onto some of the lovely paper from May's Prize Package. I was the winner this month!! I love my prize. The guitar-pick embellishment was one of many in the pack. I swore I'd keep them to myself but technically I am because hubby will have it. It won't go far!!

Speaking of prize packages, every comment you leave along the entire blog hop will enter you once into the prize draw! So do make the rounds to increase your chances of winning this:


Ok, off you go! Click your way down the list and leave comments as you go!


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Learning Curve - Crossed Treble Crochet

Ok, get your crochet-heads around this: These two squares are made with the same stitch. I did the left one first. It's crossed stitches right above each other. I didn't think it looked all that great. Not too different from V-stitch except it was a bit more densely packed. I figured maybe if I staggered the pattern, it would accentuate the crossed-ness of it. The jury's still out, but if I do this again, I'll choose the right one.

But can you tell the difference? Is it just because I made it that I can see it?
This really is a learning curve. I wonder if all my efforts will cause me to re-think each new stitch.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 19 and 20

I had to wait for the shipment containing issues 20-23 in order to finish the square that came with issue 19. No big deal though-- it's now done! A granny square in redcurrant, maize and lilac. The bobble square has returned, with the colours of the bobbles in a slightly different order, if I remember correctly.

Some of the squares will be repeating from here on in because I had a look at a photo of the finished product and I could see two of the same square in many places. There are also a lot of the same patterns in different colourways, which is fine. I like going back and revisiting different techniques.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

My second sweater project.

It had better work this time, that's all I can say.

The last time I made a sweater, it would fit a hunchback with no hips. That's just the opposite of me!!! So I unravelled it and whenever you see purple items, I've made them out of the unraveled sweater and leftover yarn.

A friend found a nice-looking crochet pattern in her Woman's Weekly magazine. When she was done with it, she gave the magazine to me. I had a quick look and decided to scale it up (I'm slightly larger than the pattern goes up to) by using DK instead of 4-ply and larger hooks. So far I'm doing well.

This is what it looks like in the magazine.

Here's what I've made so far in the colour of my choice:

I did a tension square with my chosen yarn and hooks and I'm aware that 10 cm is 17 stitches and 16 rows instead of 25 stitches and 20 rows. So from this information I can make decisions as the pattern progresses. I have been following the pattern exactly where the number of stitches/rows etc is used, but when an actual measurement is used I need to adjust this figure to adapt it to the larger scale of the project. Hopefully it won't warp it too badly and I'll just end up with a bigger sweater. :)

This isn't all of it, I must say, this is a small section of the front panel and it's not done yet. It's quite a wide project so I can get into the groove of a row and stop thinking and just stitch it before I turn it and do another one. It's a pattern of four rows which are in turn two pairs of two very similar rows. So I haven't had to look at the pattern for a while.

I'm enjoying it but I think I will be more than ready to stop when I finish it. If I do finish it I'll have to show you what it looks like on! If it fits...

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sy's Satisfying Stack of Squares!

Alliteration makes my son laugh his head off. I wonder if he'll see this title.

I was storing my squares in a perfectly-sized mobile phone box, but it was no longer closing properly. I decided to take two lengths of yarn, tie them together at their centre points, and make an x on the bottom of the first square, bringing the long ends up through the corners of my other squares stacked on top. What it has done is make a lovely stack out of my 19 finished squares, with plenty of room to add more. I love looking at all the colours squashed together like this too. The scheme makes more sense now that I see it together in stripes.

Making this stack has also given me the opportunity to weave in ends that I had left out. Sadly, due to the number of squares that had loose ends, this tiny organisation project took me over an hour!! Figures.

I intended to do some tidying up in my craft area upstairs today. I must grab a bite and do that afterward. :)

Friday, 18 June 2010

Learning Curve - Square One.

I tried out a new stitch when I was out in the park today. In British English, it's a crossed treble crochet. In American English, it's a crossed double crochet. :)

Let me talk you through the sample you're looking at from the bottom up:

I did a base chain of 23 stitches. I then did a row of 21 treble (double) crochets, turning chain counting as a treble (double).

Then I thought I'd alternate two treble crochets then two crossed stitches, then two trebles again, and on in that pattern just so I could get used to it. In the following row I crossed all the pairs of stitches leaving the turning chain on one end of the row and one treble on the other end. It was fun and easy. This is the first new stitch I'm learning in the Stitch Library section of my partwork.

I practiced this using the practice yarn supplied, but I am now confident enough to make a square entirely of crossed treble crochet. I'm going to make a piece called "learning curve" which will contain every new stitch or pattern of stitches I learn. It will be quite some time before I finish as I have every new stitch given to me in the partwork until the partwork is over, and since I don't know how many squares I will end up with, I can't really make anything with them til I'm finished.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 17 and 18

Two more lovelies. This time, one of the previous patterns in a different colourway and a new one altogether. This is the first one that the publisher has told the location of. The one on the right is going to make up the central panel. There'll be three more of these. They were interesting to make too. I'm not sure I got it quite right but I'll get more chances, won't I?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 15 and 16

I'm coming to the end of the issues I have in the house. Here's the squares from issues 15 and 16. You can see the difference between the sailor blue and the lilac here. The motifs were stitched on after crocheting. I learned a new embroidery stitch-- chain stitch-- and the way it was explained was perfectly clear. I used it on the arms of the man motif. I followed the instructions on placement of the motif but it ended up higher than it should have been. The star on the lilac square is not in the middle either but I'll live with it. :)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 13 and 14

First of all, Happy Birthday to my little girl Victoria. She's three today!

She sat on my lap as I made the square on the right, a clover pink and maize one. She loved it. She took a scrap of maize yarn and put it in her mouth. It was hanging out both sides and I told her to say "I am the Walrus!" and she did. It was a hoot!! So I put a scrap of the pink yarn in my mouth and did it too. We had a good giggle.

On the left, another white square with a cross-stitched diamond, this time in Aubergine.

I'm getting quicker at making these squares up. If I want a small diversion, they are the perfect size and time to stitch. As I type this, I have up to Issue 19 in my binder waiting to be read, re-organised into its categories, and of course the cover squares made up.

I get my issues sent to me every four weeks in a pack of four issues at a time. I have found that if I make up all the squares whenever I get round to it, I run out of issues and end up waiting on tenterhooks for the next shipment to come, so I have started to regulate it. Tuesday is my crochet day usually and if I do my cover square on the Tuesday then by the time I've stitched my last one, the new package will be on its way.

Get it?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 11 and 12

More colour-work now on a predominantly redcurrant square. This was really a lot of fun and got me well into the rhythm of intarsia. having three balls of yarn trailing from your work at one time is quite an odd feeling!!

Another visit to the granny square follows, this time in a different colourway. It won't be the last, if the picture of the finished product is anything to go by (and it should be!)

I'm loving this partwork. There's so much more to think about and do with this one than any other partwork I've ever collected in the past. Well done, Hachette.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 9 and 10

Lilac is the newest colour to pop out of my issues for square number ten. The photo captures its lilac-ness better than my horrible lighting. To me, it looks blue. It's decidedly more purple in the photo.

The open design of the lilac square means I'm left with quite a hefty chunk of that yarn. I'm sure it's going to get used in the near future for embellishment such as the interesting design on the left-hand maize square.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 7 and 8

Enter Sailor Blue and Aubergine!!!

The Aubergine (Eggplant in the US) one has bobble-stitches in different colours in rows throughout the square. I am really enjoying these opportunities to do "colour-work."

There is also a stitch library which is building up to be a great resource. I want to make a sampler out of all the stitches in the library too, so I am genuinely learning all I can from each issue. It's really quite exciting. Either that or I'm a saddo...

Wait, don't answer that, ok?

hey karen....

Ermm... In case you can't see that, it says Teabag. :) I thought of you today. :)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 5 and 6

Here's turquoise and maize!!! The Maize is a little on the green side but it doesn't show up as such in this photo. I think I have the white-set setting on auto or something. I like the knobbly-bobbly maize square. It was done using those round-the-post stitches. Fun!

A lot of the time the squares with patterns stitched onto them are just made with more "normal" stitches... double-crochet in the US, treble crochet in the UK, or half-double (half-treble).

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 3 and 4

Here's squares 3 and 4. The granny square was done a bit differently to what I'm used to, but I really liked it. The pattern on the white square is cross-stitched on.

The way this works is great- you save the extra yarn from previous squares and that gives you enough to make the different-coloured bits on the squares in future issues. I have this little bag of teeny-weeny balls of yarn.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Art of Crochet Squares 1 and 2

The next series of posts to my blog will be about my crochet partwork from Hachette. Every week you get an issue with a free ball of yarn and instructions for making one square and it builds up into a vintage throw. There's lots of other stuff in there too- clothing, accessories, home decor items... every issue has lots of things I want to make in it.

Anyway, here's the first two squares I made.
The colours don't come out too well but they're calling them redcurrant and clover pink.

The quality of the yarn is nice. It's softer than acrylics that I've been using and it's a bit shiny and smooth. It's not mercerised cotton though. I don't actually know what it is. I'll have to check the labels.

More later.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

From Cross-Stitch to Crochet!

I tried to make a sweater ages ago from a crochet book. I stupidly attempted to make it bigger and ended up with a sweater that would only fit a hunchback with no hips. That's nothing like me, so I made a New Year's Resolution to unravel it and make something else with the yarn. Well, I have! Here it is:

It's a v-shaped wrap made of squares of four different textures but in the same colour yarn. I hadn't realised where I got that brilliant idea until I noticed Wendy's knitted squares throw. I remember when she learned how to put it together! It was ages before I even started this project. It must have been looming in my subconscious. Lovely!

My throws and wraps tend to get tucked away at this time of year, so I don't really get a chance to appreciate my work. It'll be nice to take them out of hibernation when it gets colder again.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Charm-ing card...

This isn't my usual thing but I'd like it to be. One of the people I admire in our little crafty group has started putting little bead danglies on her cards. At first, I thought it would be too expensive to do that but when I think of the beads I've found at the 99p shop, I decided it's a small amount to pay for a pretty embellishment.

This is a Tilda with Lilacs image, coloured with Copics and brush markers, and with Flower Soft to accentuate the lilacs. The mat was cut on the robo, the border was punched with a Fiskars punch, and the embellishment is made of two paper flowers, a pound-shop embellishment in the centre and a bead and wire danglie. The sentiment is hand-written.

This is the kind of card I want to continue making. I'm really pleased with the quality of it. Many of my cards look like I "phoned it in," but this one makes me happy.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Daughter's Carrot Patch Lucky Dip!

My little one's having a Garden-themed birthday party in a week and a half, and I've made a lucky dip game for the kids.

It's a shoe box with 24 slits cut into it. I created carrots by manipulating shapes in my Craft Robo program. I cut the leaves out of scraps of green patterned paper and I had to paint the carrots- I didn't have any orange card, so I cut them out of white and painted both sides. I made the fence posts on the robo too.

Here's another view of it. I'm so pleased with it!

I need to widen the slits to make the carrots easier to pull and I have to put symbols on the carrots and matching tags to assign little prizes. I can't wait to let the kids play! So cute...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Cross-Stitch at This Very Moment...

And here's what my birdie cross-stitch looks like right now.

The aida is scrolled down as I'm stitching the bottom right now. On the left of the post there are two birds and a ball. On the right there should also be two birds and a ball. I've done one bird and the ball, and a tiny bit of the final bird.

That's where I'm at. I've packed it up again for a while. I have got a load of crochet to get on with now!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Still Catching up with Cross-Stitch

Bam!!! Only a few weeks and several migraines later... The base of the birdhouse and two additional birds are completed!

Of course, this is only the cross-stitch portion of events... there's longstitch, backstitch, and even french knots to come.


Remind me why I ever decided to do this???

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Catching up with Cross Stitch

I thought I'd catch you up. I've got a UFO (un-finished object) that I've been avoiding for years and years and only work on sporadically. It's a bird cross-stitch and a friend of mine lit a fire under me and I've been working on it quite a lot lately. This picture here is what it looked like when I picked it up after quite a while of avoiding it.

Here's a better view, this time with a bit more of a bird done on it and some of the base of the birdhouse. Still so much to do on it.

More later.