Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fair time!

I know it's been awhile since my last post, but life around hometown USA is a bit busy right now. Most everyone is in the middle of our annual community fair and local rodeo, plus getting ready for school to start the day after Labor Day. For me, the fair means a lot of work relating to work - where I work has two activities/events happening during the four-day fair that are organized through my office. Not much time to crochet, but I have found a bit of time to relax with my hook!

I've found the pattern for my coasters. It's the ombre coasters from Wink. Really quite easy and quite stunning! I'm enjoying the different color combinations, so much so I will likely hook up a set for an auction donation. In this particular case, I prefer Lilly's Sugar 'n Cream yarn for its stiffness. After all, coasters are supposed to be somewhat stiff!

Earlier I mentioned the local community fair. I actually entered a few of my crocheted items and received blue ribbons. I entered the purple African Flower Hexagon Mandala, Little Spring Mandala and wrist warmers.

Very pleased with the wrist warmers, using a Drops Design pattern in Hobby Lobby brand I Love This Cotton yarn. I received a Best of Class for the finished product. I haven't looked to see if the judge wrote any comments.

Remember, this is how we share our love of crochet and the art of fiber is by showing it off. Be proud of your work and the time you spend following the patterns, the money spent on the yarn and the care spent in each project.

I even do crocheting while sitting in a booth at the fair, and it does draw attention to it. People stop and watch me, ask questions about what I'm doing, the yarn I'm using, etc. It's the best way to show that what we do!

Happy on the Hook!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stash Bustin'

The time has come to use up yarn. While it's nice to have yarn on hand for that quick, I-want-to-start-a-project-now moment, I have more than enough for those times. I decided to tackle the Lion Brand Homespun stash first. I have leftovers from various afghans, plus skeins I've bought for projects I'm just not sure I'll tackle. And then there are the skeins I purchased on sale (bonus!!).
I started with a sc, ch1 afghan (taken from a dishcloth pattern), but the unique pattern that was so visible in the dishcloth disappeared in the afghan due to the yarn. My mother had purchased some Homespun Thick and Quick and whipped up a simple afghan of one row of single crochet, one row of double crochet. I liked the looks of it and frogged out what I had started.
It works up fast and is oh so soft like Homespun is meant to be. I'm carrying the yarn on the side for all the colors, eliminating the need to tuck all those slippery ends! The length is set - I believe I crocheted 120 chains and I'm using a size N hook. The yarn is Homespun Baroque, Windsor and Colonial.

It's a great stash-buster, and an easy pattern. Right now my life is hectic at work planning a fundraiser and a parade, so I need a pattern I don't have to think. And I need to crochet just to unwind. I will be looking for other easy patterns that are stash-busters as well, because work will get only busier now as fall arrives.

Happy on the Hook!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pattern trials: Coasters!

I have an antique table that if moisture even gets anywhere near it, water marks appear. So coasters are a part of my everyday routine. I grew up using coasters; I was taught they saved the furniture from a beverage's condensation, those little drips that slip down the side of the glass and even from minor spills. In fact, I've been using the coasters I used as a child on my antique table - the same ones I tooled on leather. Ahh, the memories!

I sit at the same table and crochet often. During one of those recent sessions, I began to think it would be quite lovely to crochet some coasters. So I started my search for coasters. I headed to Ravelry and used its search function, and found quite a few.

The above coasters are a combination of two patterns. The center is from here and the petals are from here. The difference in size is yarn. The center on the left is I Love This Cotton from Hobby Lobby and the right is Sugar 'n Cream by Lilly. The petals on both are with I Love This Cotton. I will likely make more with Sugar 'n Cream just to get the size I want.

This coaster is really quite pretty and is a larger size, which I really like. It's by Wink and the tutorial is available here. I used Sugar 'n Cream yarn for the entire coaster (sage green) and I Love This Cotton for the accent (pistache).

This is based on a pattern by Charmed by Ewe. I added a few rows, and then the final row wouldn't work so I did my own. I still want to make the original pattern, maybe with Sugar 'n Cream so the final coaster will be large enough. I like my coasters to be a bit bigger so they will work for mugs and glasses of almost any size.

The other colors I used in these coasters are Sugar 'n Cream Aloe Vera, I Love This Cotton Camo Print and I Love This Cotton Too Pink.

I'm not done testing coaster patterns. I'm having fun looking for the 'perfect' pattern - the right size that's tight enough so moisture won't damage my table and one that has just enough pretty to fit my tastes. Don't know if I'll find the one, but the hunt is fun!

Happy on the Hook!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday ramblings

I actually had a productive weekend, even though it was a busy one. I'm caught up on my temperature blanket, pictured above, and I'm very happy with the minor adjustments I made to the Riley Flower Square Motif. The colors are working together quite well, although once again I've adjusted the color scheme for that as well.

The idea of a temperature blanket came from a group on Facebook. It's really been a lot of fun tracking the highs and lows each day. The nuances of temperature changes each day is fascinating, how the temperature can jump around within a day and how in the summer it stays hot well into the evening (in our part of the United States anyway) is all intriguing. I am a bit frustrated though, that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service's website where I obtain my temperatures stopped posting information on Aug. 1 at 7:40 p.m.

Since I am at a stopping point on the temperature blanket and will have to wait for the local newspaper to come out on Thursday for the temperatures, I turned my attention to my mood blanket. I had initially began working on the centers with the intent of 'catching up' from January 1. Well, we're in August, and I'm just starting, so that's not going to work. So I decided to start in July like I did with the Temperature Blanket.

I came across the mention of a mood blanket in someone else's blog at the beginning of the year. I did some research and found a group on Facebook dedicated to those who were committed to the Crochet Mood Blanket 2014 Crochet Along

First, select your moods. Then select the colors that best represent the moods. For my blanket, the inside of the block is the mood.

My moods are content, relaxed, happy, blessed, productive, busy, tired, stressed, bleh, overwhelmed, migraine, energetic, excited, confident, frustrated and bad day.

Then, you can either do a block every day or choose a block pattern that has multiple rows and do a row a day for a block a week. I am doing a block a week.

Some crocheters/knitters are doing rows per day/week. The choices are infinite!

This has been a good exercise for me. It's helped me to see how my moods change, and how long my moods stay the same. As with the temperature blanket, I've been tracking my moods since the beginning of 2014. 

I am using the same pattern Zelna Olivier at Zooty Owls' Crafty Blog used for her Mood Blanket. I am using I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby for the entire afghan. So far, the colors I've selected are going together nicely, even the not-so-good moods!

Both daily afghans are very similar in design, it turns out. I will have to be very careful and not get the patterns mixed up! I am enjoying how both are working up, and knowing each is specific to me - one the temperatures of my hometown and the other my interpretation of my moods each day - will make these very special indeed. They may look somewhat haphazard, but they will be perfect!

Until next time...

Happy on the Hook!