Thursday, March 30, 2006

Crochet Calender Afghan Begins

I have this years Crochet Calender from Accord Publishing and decided to do CrochetDude's Flying Afghan. Various blocks are featured throughout the remainder of the year. The afghan uses Lion Chunky yarn, which I found rather nice to crochet. Fortunately, this project is periodical and completed on December 29th, so I can still keep my goal of finishing all my knitting and crocheting projects before the end of the year.
Image hosting by Photobucket
Flying Afghan

I made the very first block. However, my block came out at 6 3/4 instead of 6 1/2. Given that the center seems to want to pop up a bit, I might redo it and use 2 different size hooks to get that gauge. Otherwise, a 1/4 inch difference doesn't make a lot of difference since the blocks are connected with a sashing anyway. This block features an easy to do double puff stitch. What wasn't easy to do was figuring out how to space the stitches with the stitch count from the previous round. I adapted.
Image hosting by Photobucket

I am currently working the 16th ladybug on the Ladybug afghan! Progress, progress. I ran out of white Red Heart, bought another and discovered that the new stuff has a sheen the original yarn didn't have. Darn it. I'm just going to keep using it, however. Nobody but me will ever notice it. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to doing the next batch of blocks for the Triple Irish Chain swap (I wanted to send 9 and I have 6 done).

Here are links for the Pattern A Day calenders which include pattern corrections.
Crochet Pattern A Day Calender:
Knitting Pattern A Day Calender:

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Triple Irish Chain Swap

It's really grey and dreary out there today, but inside, I've been accomplishing plenty of knitting and quilting too! In knitting, I've finished my 14th Ladybug! Only 4 more to go!

I LOVE swaps, but hadn't participated as often as I would like. I already finished my 2.5 inch floral strip swap (just waiting for them to arrive). My latest is a Triple Irish Chain in Florals swap where I'll be using all those strips. Here is what the finished quilt looks like. This quilt top can actually be finished in two weekends.
Image hosting by Photobucket
With random florals, you don't actually need a pattern. You can calculate everything out from the diagram itself. We are using 2.5 inch strips, so the resultant blocks are 14 inches finished. These rows are strip pieced then cut into 2.5 inch strips.
Image hosting by Photobucket
Here's my finished block! They go together very quickly once the strips are done and the correct width! My seam ripper and I are very good friends.
Image Hosting by
The result is very Springlike. As soon as my 2.5 inch floral strips swap arrives, I plan to finish the blocks that aren't being swapped and plan my quilting.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Springing Into Ladybugs

It's Spring! It's Spring! We still have 6 inches of snow on the ground, but not for long! Although I haven't posted much this month, I have been accomplishing. I have finished another panel of ladybugs and have just started my 14th ladybug on the final panel. Here are the finished rolls. It's going to take a long time to sew this up, so I'll buy a new CD to listen to (something country/beeboppy) while I do all that tedious sewing.
Image hosting by Photobucket

In addition, I've been doing a little quilting. Here's Month 2 of this year's Thimbleberries BOM project. I had to wait until my March meeting because one of my fabrics was wrong in the kit. I'll try to get March done this week.
Image hosting by Photobucket

On a concerning note, my Uncle had cancer surgery yesterday (colon cancer). He came through it well, so perhaps I will see him on Saturday. My Aunt says that the doc is pretty confident that they got all of it, so other treatment may not be required. Cancer is very uncommon on any side of my parent's families. In fact, only one case in all of the 20th century that was actually a blood relative. My Uncle's cancer was discovered during a routine colon screening, so folks, this is just a reminder that even if you don't have it in your family, screenings are important (he is just shy of 63).

Monday, March 06, 2006

Goodbye Kirby

I'm still saddened by the sudden death of my favorite baseball player, Kirby Puckett. I didn't regularly go to baseball games until after Kirby couldn't play anymore, but I did see him play once. My Dad was at the Dome the day Kirby hit his very first Grand Slam. So, goodbye Kirby. We'll miss you.

On the knitting front, I have now finished 10 ladybugs on the Ladybug Afghan. Another 8 to go. Tomorrow, I'll be crocheting lots of those little flowers for my Mom's Rose Afghan. I'm was hoping to get to a little quilting on Saturday, but I guess that will be waiting until Monday. Ah well.

National Crochet Month

This is National Crochet Month! I'm still working on other stuff, but in honor of this month, I started my mom's Rose Motif Afghan. Back in the early 80s, my Mom suddenly decided to learn how to crochet, probably because she saw this motif. A co-worker taught her how to make it, and wrote the directions. Mom never got around to working on it and had forgotton how to crochet. Last year, she finally decided that she didn't want to learn to crochet (she was 70), so asked me to make it. So, after running around buying yarns until she decided what she wanted, we settled on pink and medium sage green. It will also have a white background, but I have not purchased that yarn yet. I am using TLC Essentials yarn. This is a Red Heart yarn that is very soft and flexible and washes well. My Mom doesn't put afghans into the dryer, so that works well as this stuff fuzzes slightly.

The next challenge was figuring out how to make it the same size as her sample, particularly since worsted of the 80s is very different from what is sold today. I ended up making 5 of these motifs in different hook sizes before I discovered that a "K" hook was what gave me the size I needed. I don't think I've EVER crocheted anything with this hook, so at least it will now be used. Another unique thing about this pattern is that after the flower motifs are completed, it is actually the reverse that is the 'front' side. I am still left with the challenge of figuring out why the pattern results in a motif that is neither square nor rectangular. The sample is rectangular. In all my books, I found one granny square rose with 6 petals (most are 8). Unfortunately, that pattern does not use a granny square technique immediately after the flower, so I'm still stuck. I am so happy my Mom had samples, or I don't think I'd ever figure this out! Here is a photo of my 4th flower. I am now pulling the center much tighter so that it is near closed. Image Hosting by

As always, I need take-a-long projects and this one is it! I normally crochet when I'm watching TV or DVDs, so this one is ideal as the roses are difficult to do when your attention is split. I have to take a relative to a 3 hour medical appointment on Friday. I wonder how many roses I can get done then?

I have finished yet another Ladybug, so have 9 left to do before seaming the strips together.