Sunday, February 26, 2017

Another week, another square...


Wanting to make another square to go into my Blanket of Squares, I found this Crossed Square pattern in the Moogly CAL 2017 group and got right to making it:


The pattern is easy and very well-written.  After a round or two, the pattern really becomes unnecessary, though.   It did for me, anyway.

So... another square down.  Thirty-one to go!   =^/

Actually, I'm not sure how many squares I'll need for this blanket.  I'm working with a size G (4.25 mm) hook and so far my squares are pretty consistently coming out between 10 - 10 1/2 inches square.  If they're on the small side, I've been able to block them out to 10 1/2 inches.   I may end up putting an "equalizing" border around each square that will add some to that measurement, and depending on what join method I use, I guess there will be some width added there, too.   This is all new to me and I can only guess right now, but I'm thinking that what would be attractive is a blanket that is five squares running horizontal, and seven squares vertical.  That's 35 squares!   Yowza!   I best quit collecting square patterns and get cracking on making them.

In addition to the square above, here is what I've made so far that I plan to put in this blanket:



To see what other Yoppers are up to, click on the graphic below and visit our group on Ravelry.




P.S.  I'm experimenting with font size again and would love to get feedback on how this larger font comes through on your computer or reading device.   I love larger fonts, I'm just not sure how well they work for everyone else.  Thanks in advance for any feedback!


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

A pair of squares...

This week I got back to making some more squares for my BAMCAL blanket.   That's Block-A-Month Crochet A-Long (just as a reminder since it's been a month since I last posted any squares).

The main square in this Month's BAMCAL was the Kaleidoscope Blossom Square.  Looking at various other samples of this square, I found when the center was worked in a solid color, a snowflake pattern was evident.  So I decided I wanted to play that up.  The colors that I thought would work best for that (in my stash of heathered yarns) were Lion Brand Heartland in Mount Rainier (the light gray) and Willow Wash in Teal Heather (the dark gray is LB Heartland in Great Smokey Mountains):



I have some mixed feelings about this square.  First of all, it was a piece of cake to make.  I found the instructions very clear.  That I liked.  I didn't care, though, for the petals on this square. The way the pattern is written, the petals stick up (away from the rest of the square) and while it's cute, I knew that would bug me eventually, so I tacked the petals down as I was weaving in yarn ends.  I'm not completely satisfied with how that turned out either, though.  The end result is I have a square that I like enough to hang onto to see what I might make out of it, but didn't care for the design enough to try to make it a second time in colors that will go better with the "bright and colorful" vision I have for my BAMCAL Blanket.  I didn't think this one through too well.   But I did learn some things.  So it's all good.  :)

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The second block offered up in the BAMCAL group was the Marigold Mandala Square.   I decided to go with the Marigold idea and this my yarny interpretation:


I love how this one turned out, but the pattern was a challenge. The directions were a bit unorthodox, but fortunately, the designer provided lots of pictures so it was totally doable - if a bit tedious and long to make.

Some ponderings as I work through my second month of blocks...

This Block-A-Month idea, perhaps needs to be thought of more like a Several-Blocks-A-Month (SBAM?), if I'm going to work up enough squares to actually finish a large blanket in a year's time.  Poor color choices on my part, or designs that aren't to my liking, mean I'll probably end up doing a fair number of squares that are from sources other than the 2017 BAMCAL group.  And that's fine.  It seems everyone pretty much does that.  

Like everyone else, I imagine, I spend a fair amount of time each month perusing Ravelry for other square designs, and I'm coming up with quite a collection of miscellaneous square patterns to choose from.  Of course, that's all well and good, and the database of 1000's of patterns is one of the great features of Ravelry.  But I'm thinking the end result is that my final project will not feel so much like an "A-Long", but maybe something more like "Hey, look what I made too!"    

I guess when it comes right down to it, this picking and choosing different squares from various sources to use in my blanket suites me better than me feeling like I have to make the same thing everyone else is making.  But it does raise some questions in my mind.

For example...  if I pull a square from the Moogly CAL, or a weekly Block CAL, (or the Vanna's Choice group makes some beautiful squares!) is it proper to post a picture in the appropriate threads in those groups to share my square? That would be fun, but if I'm not actually joining in their longer "A-Long" is it appropriate to post my pictures there?   I'm curious what others of you do in this regard.  I'd especially love to hear from anyone who is a BAMCAL veteran, or a member of the other "Block CAL" groups on Ravelry.  Do you make yourself  known as a participant in other CAL groups even though you may pick and choose what blocks you make through the year?  Is there a general consensus about who posts pictures where, in the case of people choosing square designs from various places?  Is there a proper etiquette or protocol?  Does anyone really care?   Am I overthinking this?  You don't have to answer that - I overthink everything.   I overthink - therefore I am.    Do my questions make any sense?    




To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry!



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Heartfelt...

I must have been struck by Cupid's bow recently, as I've been a bit on heart kick.

A couple of weeks ago I made two different hearts out of the same Granny Sweetheart pattern:

First a hotpad sized heart:
Made out of Lily's Sugar 'n Cream yarns and crocheted with extra rows.


And then a sweet little coaster-sized heart from the same pattern:
Crocheted from Patons Grace sport weight cotton yarn.



And this week I finished this small Heart's Desire doily out of Omega Sinfonia sport-weight cotton:
I love how the hearts are a little bit funky in this doily. :)   Elongated and tilted, they're practically dancing - and they make me smile.  I kind of wish I'd made it in a bolder, or a non-traditional color, but even in a too-sweet pink, it says "fun" to me.  

~~~~~

Last night we celebrated middle son's 25th birthday.  A quarter of a century ago he was born!!!  How do my three sons just keep getting older while I still feel like their 30-40 something year-old Momma. Okay...  of course my body doesn't feel like I'm still in my 30's (or 40's), but in my heart it feels like just yesterday I was that young, and in my mind I can be there in a second.   ;^)

Which reminds me... this past week I had a sweet conversation with a friend (who's a bit older than me).  We talked about how our bodies age (and we certainly feel it), but in our hearts, we just don't feel ourselves aging.  It's an interesting phenomenon that some of you younger readers may not recognize yet (or surely don't recognize as profoundly as you will when older).  I imagine I don't yet feel it the way, say, an 80 year-old does.    But I suspect this happens to everyone who lives long enough to feel their body aging.  It's both a sweet and hard thing thing to feel younger in spirit than one's physical years.

Our bodies sometimes age us out of certain activities or fashions, sometimes language even, but our hearts still embrace these things (even if only in our memories - even if we laugh at ourselves remembering go-go boots and mini skirts, or granny glasses and bell bottoms ).  I smiled when my friend referred to something "cool".  I still say things are "cool", or sometimes "neat".   I can't help myself.  It just comes out.  I wonder, sometimes, if my youngers hear this and think that's just too weird, or does my generation, and the one before, satisfactorily own the lingo?  Will I still be using words like "cool" or "neat" when I'm 85?  If I get there, I sure hope so!  ;^)
    
I want to live young at heart.  Not in a cliche sort of way - always looking for fun, or being silly or always laughing.  Not that a happy spirit isn't desirable and something to strive for.  But I'm talking about having a freshness and openness of spirit that youth often provides.  An openness to the future, and to change.   A wonder about people.  A delight and vulnerability in giving and receiving love.   I don't know exactly what this should look like (since I don't know how my future will play out), but I'd like a young-heartedness to be a hallmark of my life as I  "age on".   I'll have to check back in on this in another 10 years or so and see how I'm doing...   ;^)

But today, as we approach Valentines' Day, I wish for big, fearless and, if possible, happy hearts for all of us.
 



To see what other Yoppers are up to, click on the graphic below and visit our group on Ravelry.










Sunday, February 5, 2017

Friendly Flying Tams...

My crocheting was inspired by "friendship" this week.  :)  

We knew we would be visiting with friends on Friday night and enjoying pizza and a movie with them.  While I don't want to be presumptuous (especially if they're reading this ;^), but pizza and a movie seems to have become something of an irregular, every once in a while, whenever someone is inspired, sort of thing for us and this family.  And we love it!   

The kids are young and remind us of when our boys were little, but that's not why we enjoy them so much.  We enjoy them because, well...  they just emanate love and acceptance of us.  Such a simple thing, but yet it feels absolutely huge in this busy, often disconnected world we live in.  We consider their friendship a real gift and we are so very thankful for friends like these that span the years and the many seasons of life.  

With permission from their mother, I share the children's four sweet faces.  


In case you're wondering what they're all wearing on their heads, well...  I'm getting to it.

Looking forward to the visit, I got the idea that it would be fun to crochet something for each of the kids.  As I was looking online for ideas, I remembered this flying disc I had made last summer (during the Ravellenics):


And thought that it fit the bill perfectly.  


So I got to hooking, and by Thursday night I had three more:


This pattern is a good first color-work project (for someone who's adept at pattern reading) and the end result is a fun flying disc that anyone of any age would enjoy playing with.   Or those with smaller heads, wearing like a tam hat.  :)

I've made these in the past out of cotton (the first time I made them they went into some Samaritan's Purse Christmas Child boxes), but I've decided I actually prefer them made out of acrylic yarn.  Made of acrylic, they're very lightweight (which makes them safer to fly indoors), but they hold their shape well because the single crochet makes a dense fabric.  They're also machine washable so I have little concern about the colors bleeding, or little worry about a change in shape or size with a wash.  I found them kind of fun to make and have a feeling I'll be seeing more of these in my crochet future.  :)

And hopefully, we'll be seeing more of these in our future, too:

 
To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.















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