Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hope This is Worth Waiting For!

So much for the goal I originally had to update this blog quarterly -- or at least 3 times per year. But 2015 has been a challeging year. Ten days after last updating this blog, our beloved dog Jesse passed away. Nine weeks after that, our darling dog Archie passed away. Then there were the two incidents with my car, the passing of a lady I penpalled with on and off since we were teens, the bronchitis I had on the entire vacation I'd planned for months, and continuing to deal with the challenging dog hubby brought home last Dec. But I wanted to be sure to get this updated before next week's craft fair, when hopefully some of the items you see here will be sold.

The items in the first two photos were sent to a lady in Oklahoma who I did a crochet exchange with this spring. There was a scarf and hat set done in my favorite stitch pattern (used Sensations "Rainbow Classic", a doily consisting of 7 "Midnight Star" motifs (which I'd used to make the dresserscarf shown in an earlier blog entry), an angel ornament and one of many hotpads I've made by covering old CD's.

I then began to concentrate on items for the craft fair I'd agreed to do with my dear friend Dianne and her mom in Dec. If you have read this blog before, most of these items will look familiar, as they are patterns I've used before. The newborn-size layette above is the second time I made this layette using Sensations "Little Treat". I ended up making two pair of booties due to the way the colors fell in the variegated yarn, so that the booties would match!

This popcorn stitch layette, for a larger baby, is another I made for a second time. I used Mary Maxim "Marbles" yarn.

This is the third time I've made this baby sweater and hat set, which came out beautifully in boys' colors, so this time I made it in girl's colors. I really love this pattern. I used Herrschners' "Cloudsoft" yarn.

By this time, it was summer and I felt like working on a few lighter weight projects. I had one each on hand of the four Barbie dresses I've made in the past for craft fairs, so I made one more of each in different colors. You can see other examples of these, both on and off the dolls, in an earlier blog entry.

I was in Hobby Lobby during one of my visits to Dianne's (we always visit there as there is no Hobby Lobby within 30 miles of my town) and I saw the most colorful crochet thread I had ever seen. I believe it was HL's own brand and the color was "Masquerade". I bought a ball since I had never seen anything so colorful. I used it to make the Barbie dress with the 3-tiered skirt and decided to keep it for one last Barbie for my full display.

Now it was getting close to fall and I knew I had to make several of a few different items I wanted to offer at the craft fair: scarf and hat sets, pinwheel mats, and my fancy sets of round star potholders. These first two scarf sets are Sensations "Angel Hair" in berry (which is more of a rust color with yellow streaks) and "Beige Stripes".

The scarf on the left, and the bottom hat, are Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn" in "Element Flowers". The other set is Deborah Norville Everyday yarn in "Oak Moss".

The scarf on the left, and the bottom hat, are Lion Brand "Heartland" yarn in "Glacier Bay" (I bought more of this yarn to make myself a poncho next year). The other set is Deborah Norville Everyday yarn in "Lava".

Next, I made several pinwheel mats. There is also one I left at Dianne's house in the Christmas colors (top, far right) but with the green and the burgundy reversed.

I really enjoy making these sets of star potholders. There is an additional Christmas set at Dianne's house in the white with burgundy/green dots and forest green. The mate of the dotted white and burgundy one is also at her house. The mate of the cream and lavender one will hopefully get done before the fair -- I had to order more of the lavender yarn. Am also working on one more set in light blue and white.

As mentioned at the top of this blog -- though this blog will remain online, this will be the last entry. This blog is replaced by my online photo album, Please bookmark that page and visit often! All my latest creations will be added there, and all photos from this blog have also been posted there. I'll also soon be adding earlier photos to that album from the crochet section of my web site, The Evergreen Refuge. See you at!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Still Here, Just Not All There!

Can it be May already? I definitely didn't plan for it to take 5-1/2 months till my next blog update. I also have less projects to show off than I normally would, especially after all this time. There is a reason for this. 2015 has been an unusual year so far: good in some ways, definitely NOT good in others. (I may explain more about that later in my narrative blog.) And during pretty much the whole winter, I worked on two large projects for my own collection using my discontinued Opera #20 thread, both of which were fairly time-consuming. I had delayed photographing those two projects for my blog since I still don't have a way to block them properly. I plan to do something about that as soon as I can. I decided to try to post a halfway decent photo of both for now rather than wait even longer to update my blog. I'll re-photograph both projects once they are blocked properly.

First was the "Geometrics" table runner I referred to last time, a pretty spiderweb and shell design using #20 Opera thread in Summer Straw. I am NOT happy with this photo. I was reluctant to post this since it looks so misshapen till I can get it blocked properly, but at least this will give an idea of what it will look like once it's a perfect rectangle, which it will be. At the moment it measures maybe about 42" by 22", but I'll know its true size once it's blocked properly.

Next came a table topper made of 127 small snowflake motifs. The photo below shows most of it. It currently measures about 31" at the widest point, but will be a bit larger once it's blocked properly. (I tried to block half at one time but that didn't work too well.) I used #20 Opera thread in Aqua.

I also have a stash of #20 Opera that I want to make a special project with in a beautiful color called Tea Rose. In fact, I have twice as much of the Tea Rose as the other two colors. So that will likely be a larger tablecloth, and I have an idea which pattern to use. But that is definitely not going to happen this year, as I need to get more inventory ready for a craft fair I hope to be in this fall with my friend Dianne (inventory = mainly baby layettes, as well as kitchen items). I may not even get to that tablecloth next year. Maybe not till after I retire??

So by the time I finished the above two projects, I was definitely in the mood to get back to baby layettes. I'd been waiting to try the Granny Hexagon baby jacket pattern I'd found online for a long time. Both the boy's and girl's version turned out really cute. The jacket didn't come with a matching hat and booties, but I found a hat pattern I can adapt to go with both versions, and I have a new favorite bootie pattern that you will see in all three layettes pictured here (and probably most of my future layettes)>

As you can see, the boy's version has a wide collar, while the girl's version has ruffles on the jacket and hat bottom and the cuffs, and a smaller stand-up collar. I love making both, and they work up faster than most layettes, but now we'll see if they sell at the craft fair! I used Caron Simply Soft for both - Navy and Country Blue for the boy's; Grape and Soft White for the girl's.

I had also made two more pairs of the same booties with some extra Grape and Soft White yarn that I used for the girl's granny set, for gifts or charity. The photo didn't come out right, but they look pretty much the same as the booties in the grape and white set above. So my last photo for now is a layette I made with Red Heart Gumdrop Yarn in Cherry. I had used and liked this jacket pattern before, so I found a hat pattern to go with it and added my new favorite booties.

For awhile now, I've been working on a girl's version of a sweater and cap set I've made successfully before for baby boys. I'm using Herrschner's Baby Cloudsoft yarn in pink/lavender/white variegated, with solid pink and solid lavender trim. It's taking me longer than I planned, since I've been battling bronchitis for over 5 weeks now as I write this. Though it's getting 1 or 2% better each day, it's still not gone and it's really sapped what little energy I tend to have. Hope my next update to this blog will be much sooner and with many more projects to display!