Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gratuitous Snowflake

Christmas may be over...well not quite. For some of us it lasts until Epiphany on January 6, but I digress. Whether you celebrate Christmas for one day or 12 or not at all, it's winter for all of us in the northern hemisphere. So let it snow!

This is one pattern from a set of 7 by The pattern set is available on Ravelry. These are BIG snowflakes. The one above measures over 9 inches across so you won't need many to hook your own personal blizzard.

I highly recommend MyPicot as a source for both crochet and knitting stitch patterns and motifs. Some are for sale, but many are free. I especially love the gorgeous flowers and butterflies. There are also several tutorials and instructions on how to read crochet stitch diagrams. This web site is well worth having in your virtual crochet library.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fun with Thread or A Bit of Christmas Sparkle

I dug out my balls of crochet thread recently to make some snowflake ornaments. I could have gone with the traditional white, but I had a few bits of leftover red and gold sparkly fiber from other projects and some size 10 cotton crochet thread in silver and gold with a metallic strand. Time to play! Here's the result.

I started with this lovely snowflake pattern from my friend the talented designer Andee Graves. I added one little tweak - the gold picot edge. You can't see the metallic sparkle in the photo, but it's there.

Andee's pattern is lovely on it's own, but gosh, I have these pretty red and gold bits that are so Christmasy! I started leafing through my motif stitch dictionaries to see what I could find. This is a modified version of one of the patterns. I layered him on top of Andee's snowflake.

I like it! But it's not quite there yet. The center is too plain. How about a button.

I like this a lot. But...the gold of the button is a bit dull and antique looking. Not really what I'm after. And I wanted the center piece to be a bit bigger.  Let's try something else. I fiddled with all of these. None of them were quite right for one reason or another. But they are all saved and might go on my Christmas tree.

 I gave it one more try.

Now I've got the size and shape I want, but I need something in that center hole. What have I got in my bead stash?

A shiny gold filigree bead and bead cap. Now I'm happy. I could easily spend hours and hours leafing through stitch dictionaries and playing with snowflake or flower patterns and leftover bits of yarn, thread, beads and buttons. Dive into your own stash (you've got one, don't you?!) to see what you can find and where your creativity takes you. These are great for ornaments, package decorations, or fancy gift tags. Hang one around the neck of that gift bottle of wine. No wrapping necessary!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Call Me Cleo(patra)

What's your favorite project? For me, it's often the one I just finished. Right now, that's Feathers of Pharaohs by 10 Hours Or Less. I've loved this design since it was first posted on Ravelry. I got a great deal on two colors (Redwood and Honey) of Shibui Staccato yarn at Knit Purl in Portland during last spring's Rose City Yarn Crawl. This merino and silk yarn was fabulous to work with. I wanted a third color for this project so I dove into my stash for a dark teal Marion Foale wool that my sister had sent me for my birthday. The Marion Foale is a bit lighter weight than the Staccato, but it wasn't a problem. I'm thrilled with how it came out, and can't wait to wear it. 

What about you? What's your current favorite project? The one you just finished? The one you're working on? Or the one you're dreaming of?

Granny Square Creativity

It's been over a month since I've posted. I've obviously been slacking! Time to remedy that. In my continuing exploration of the possibilities of the granny cluster stitch and granny squares, here are some creative uses of the squares. First a qualifier. Many times you'll see all square crochet motifs called "granny squares," but I'm referring to the classic square using the granny cluster stitch.

Thanksgiving is past, but I love this turkey with granny square tail feathers that my sister Gina made for her table decorations. She said it was a great way to use up leftover yarn. The pattern is the Thanksgiving Turkey Amigurumi by Kara Gunza and is available on the Petals to Picots web site.  


I found quite a few jewelry patterns using granny squares. Here's one for a brooch I made. It was in the crochet mystery Knot Guilty by Betty Hechtman.

Hear are some Granny Square Earrings by Leigh Manson-Brown that are crocheted with wire. That's a technique I'm interested in trying. The gorgeous amethyst briolettes add a great pop of color.

As a tea fanatic, I love this fun tea cozy by Shari Tombs. It would brighten up anyone's tea time.

Toys are natural for granny squares and other motifs. These Granny Cats by Jen Maude made me smile. The middle one has a classic granny square belly.

Hooty the Owl lovey by Laura Tegg is a real cutie.

In anticipation of Christmas, maybe I'll make some of these Granny's Christmas Cubes by Carolyn Pfeifer.

That's it for now. I hope everyone is enjoying the run up to Christmas and the other winter holidays. Happy Hannukkah to my Jewish friends and family! I couldn't find a granny square dreidel, but this one by Marly Bird looks like it has a granny triangle in the base.