Thursday, January 5, 2017

Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017!

  Hi! It's good to be back... You all might not have noticed, but I had to go away for a few days after I murdered my PC. I'm still working through updates, file transfers, and installing apps, so I'm a little behind in announcing an upcoming event: I'm excited to tell you that Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots has asked me to be a part of the Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017!

Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, EyeLoveKnots, blog hop, giveaway, challenge, crochet, granny square

  You'll find a few other bloggers joining the challenge, and we'll meet them in a minute. I share many of their same reasons for participating: In a serious need to de-stash some yarn, I've set aside more complicated patterns and gone back to simple motifs and the granny stitch... But sometimes that gets boring for me, and my couch disappears under a pile of WIP's! This challenge is a perfect way to keep me motivated and experiment with new, exciting ways to work with grannies. And I can't wait to see the creations everyone else will share!

Now, let's hear about the challenge from Alexandra:
(Or, you can read Alexandra's post here)

What is a Granny-Spiration Challenge?

Well, being inspired by granny squares, it's been named accordingly. In this challenge, a new project will be shared the first Saturday of every month from January to December of 2017. You will find both traditional and non-traditional projects created with either regular or solid granny squares, the granny stitch pattern or other afghan squares in the form of either a free crochet pattern, a crochet pattern review, a DIY of some sort or just inspiration piece with tips to recreate.

How to Join in on the Granny-Spiration Challenge:
Join my friends and I the first Saturday of every month as we share our Granny-Spiration project with you, and open a link up for you to share yours! You'll be able to share your WIPs and pictures of completed items in these link ups for a chance to win prizes. 
Tag it on social media as #GrannySpirationChallenge2017.

Chat with others, find inspiration and get updates and reminders in the EyeLoveKnots Crafting Community Facebook group.

Which Blogs Will Be Participating in the Granny-Spiration Challenge:

Alongside myself, the following bloggers will also be participating in this challenge with me, and I encourage you to visit them all for great patterns, DIYs and inspiration!

Marjan from Atelier Marie-Lucienne
Sandra from Hakelfieber Austria (in German)
Sara from Posh Pooch Designs
Sigrid from Kat Kat Katoen
Rhelena from Crochet n Crafts
Rachel from The Philosopher's Wife

By the end of 2017, you will have at least 12 finished granny square inspired projects that will be done just in time for the holidays as well as a smaller yarn stash since grannies are great for stashbusting! Can't wait to see your projects!

Thanks, Alexandra! Can't wait to see yours, too!

  So, I kind of panicked at the thought of having to keep with a schedule for this challenge... If you've followed the blog for a while, then you know nothing here ever goes as planned. And since the challenge starts Saturday, I feared I wouldn't make it in time. When I continued to go though the pile of WIP's that are hiding my couch, I realized I had more opportunities than I thought. The challenge is supposed to be a fun and inspiring way to de-stash, inspire, and create. I think it will be just the motivation I need to help me find my couch again. 😉

The challenge starts this Saturday, so I hope to see you all there!

and as always...

Happy Crocheting!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Finished Cowl

  My resolution to get my pile of WIP's off the couch was no empty promise... I've been cleaning / trying to remember why I started that project / finding more yarn / FINISHING things! This is the cowl I was working on in the post "Stay Out of my Stash":

cowl, crochet, granny square, Loops & Threads Facets

  It's been buried on the couch, still needing a few ends woven in. I'm so unhappy with the almost-finished project that I considered throwing it away without finishing it. I loved the square I used so much, and I was eager to share the pattern... But the yarn I chose turned out to be a bad decision. What had been a cool design on paper and in worsted weight yarn became an uneven, puckering mess when made with Facets by Loops & Threads.

  I wanted to further put this yarn to the test, so I didn't throw the project away after all. Perhaps you can see in the first photo how uneven the edges look. My idea of being able to wear it long won't work. Where I thought the project would have lovely drape, it just stretches out of shape. However, it seems like it doesn't look so bad doubled over. Possibly even stylish with a jacket... And there's some cold weather coming for me to test out the warmth of this chunky yarn.

cowl, crochet, yarn, chunky, Loops & Threads, Facets

  BUT. (There's a big "but" here.) The picture above was taken before it got a bath. Let's talk about that testing: The trouble I had with the yarn coming apart while working made me suspicious that it won't hold up to much washing. After just one gentle hand-wash in the sink, I think it's safe to say my theory was correct:

crochet, cowl, yarn, chunky, Loops & Threads, Facets

  The photo above shows the cowl just after wetting it - No agitation yet and just cold water. The fuzzy "halo" of the chunky yarn became a matted mess of cobwebs between the lace.

crochet, cowl, yarn, chunky, Loops & Threads, Facets

  ...And after just a few gentle "swishes" back and forth, those cobwebs became the tangled mess you see above. How horrible would it be if this piece accidentally found its way into the washing machine? Oh! And what if it then made the trip to the dryer?? I'm not willing to risk it with this project. Not yet. I've had some acrylic yarns that make it through the wash fine, despite the label saying "hand-wash only". I don't have any expectations of that happening with this yarn.

  To be fair, I took the final picture after it was dried. The tangled mess fluffed back up a bit, but this cowl already looks worse than a well-worn sweater. The yarn is soft and warm, which makes the end result a big disappointment. With the awesome color play throughout the ball and the diamond texture of the squares, I had hopes that this would end up being my new favorite piece... And a big hit as a free pattern. Now all I have is a desire to make it again with a different yarn. Until then, I'll see if I can enjoy my cowl until it falls apart, and when I try again it will just be more

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Video Tutorial for a Scarf

  My camera hasn't been doing much better than a potato, but it looks like I'm on my way to becoming a YouTuber. (Pun intended for those who catch it.) Even though I'm able to get a halfway decent video out of it, this problem is once again holding me back from getting good photos for the written pattern. So, I'm stuck stuck with pictures like these:

free pattern, crochet, scarf, Caron Cakes, Faerie Cake, video, tutorial

There's two other reasons I'm starting to do more videos:
1) While I was sick I tried working on things that are behind, but I couldn't make sense of my chicken-scratch notes to turn anything into a written pattern. Listening and watching the video is helping me put all the information together. I think it's a method I'd like to adopt... I have five paper notebooks full of patterns. That's a lot of trees I could save.

2) I've discovered that I actually like making videos, and I'd like to continue making more. Except... I'd love to make them better. At least my camera is taking higher quality video than pictures, but there's still a big problem with it. I hope you all don't mind that I'm using my videos as an opportunity to beg for donations. I am going to be able to afford a better camera, plus I found it available as a package with different lenses, a tripod, and spare batteries. But when I found out that lighting equipment was going to be almost as expensive as the camera package, I lost hope. I'm sure I'll still be able to make good videos without it, but if I can get some help I'll be able to make awesome videos for you.
*cough* donate button *cough* in the sidebar *cough*

😉Hmm, seems like I'm still feeling that cold...😉Anyways, please help if you can. And if you can't, then please still enjoy the video. 

  This tutorial will teach you how to begin the double crochet cross stitch, work in rows, measure for your gauge, and all the way to binding off and weaving in the ends. Follow along to create the scarf I've made, or use my instructions to adjust the multiple for any kind of project. You'll find notes between sections of the video that include materials and stitch instructions to help you stay on track- These are a good place to pause the video if you need. And don't worry: I've tried to keep it as tasteful as possible and save the begging for money until the end. 😥

PS- My scarf is made with Caron Cakes yarn, color Faerie Cake. A size H/8 - 5.00mm hook was used. You could use the instructions in the video to work this stitch in any weight yarn or thread. I'll get that written pattern done eventually, but I hope this helps for now.

Happy Crocheting! 

free pattern, crochet, scarf, Caron Cakes, Faerie Cake

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