Cardis Everywhere

Standard

And a happy Tuesday to you!

There is no more sun than a week ago, but a bit of snow has brightened things up considerably and I have pictures!

My latest obsession? A free cardigan pattern from ravelry:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/paw-print-cardigan

I am in love!

First, I used the sport yarn the pattern calls for, but with my favorite 5mm hook.

I made the first ten rows as written, then chose my favorite lace to finish the body. Instead of a 0-3 mos size cardigan, I have a 9 mos in pretty spring colors for my sweet twins! They need a bit of finishing, but here we are so far:
image

I am nearly out of yarn, I may need to use something else for the edging…

I experiented with worsted weight next, which has given me a 12 mos size, about a 22 inch chest.

I ran out of red, of course–a soft specialty yarn, so nice–, but I rather like the grey–leftover from MY cardigan…perhaps a hood, as well as sleeves? Or an initial…
image

Now that I’ve finished my busy weekend, perhaps I can hook that second sleeve!

The sweet little boy the red cardi is intended for has a special little lady in his life…with a vibrant spirit! So here is hers, as we have it to this point:
image

I just love lots of color! Weaving the ends, not so much 🙂 but they will get tucked in eventually…

Isn’t it marvelous what can be done with one simple pattern?

A man-size is next…a 22 inch chest becomes 44 if I double the pattern, yes? I may up the hook size to 6mm just to make certain it fits through the shoulder.

There will be some fpdc in that one, stay tuned!

Time to actually finish these…have a lovely day. ❤
image

Advertisements

African Lace

Standard

Hello and happy…oh, wait, it’s Wednesday! Already?

With my long to-do list this week, I seriously considered waiting until Thursday to post. Or even next week…but if you don’t mind a few loose ends and unedited pics…here’s a sneak peek at my latest project!

It started over a year ago, here:
https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/pretty-flower-mandalas/

image

I had seen a gorgeous photo and just had to try my hand at recreating the blooms…isn’t that how most of my adventures start? 😀

The flowers were so pretty! And I cracked the construction code pretty quickly. I even posted a free pattern, here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/bursting-blooms-flower-mandala-free-pattern/

image

But production came to a screeching halt when it came time to join. All of the techniques I tried SQUISHED the flowers. Is that a technical term? 🙂 And I tried! I have a sweet friend waiting for this pretty blanket…thankfully my friends know me well enough to be patient, right?

My second issue was the yarn. I was using Caron Simply Soft for the flowers. But she wanted a black background. Enough for a blanket would be expensive! I tried Red Heart, but it was too scratchy and bulky for this project. As far as local fiber options, that’s pretty much it for me. So I packed up my blooms and moved on.

Then came vacation! And a gift card for the holidays. So, recently, I treated myself to a little shopping spree and picked up a half dozen skeins in black, as they were on sale! And here we are. Unfortunately, black is dreadful to photograph, and most of my freetime is in the evening lately. And I cannot make myself weave the ends until Thursday, my anti-procrastination sewing day. But I think you can get the idea…

My newest creation, the African Lace Afghan!

Joining the squares in front of the TV one evening…
image

Time for the last hexie!
image

Experimenting with edging…
image

And a fun border, on a cloudy afternoon

image

I will be crocheting this in white next…I can’t wait for you to see the “lace” hexigons…and if the sun ever shines again I will take some real pictures. 😉 Pattern coming soon to Ravelry!

Happy “hump” day ❤
image

Shoulder Snugglers

Standard

Well, my technology conundrum is about the same, with the exception of a new tablet charging cable, winging its way to me from Amazon by the end of this week…I do hope it will cure my sickly device.

On the plus side, today I unexpectedly have a 35% charge, after sitting at about 5% most of the last week, so blog I shall!

Today is all about cardigans. And a shrug.

Pictures of pretty sweaters is actually what motivated me to ramp up my skill a good two years ago. I could read the pattern, and mostly follow the sewing and assembly instructions, but mine sure didn’t look like the picture!

image

(Yarnspirations.com has such pretty free patterns…here are a few of my favorites…

http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/crochet-cardigan.html
http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/on-the-lace-cardgian.html
http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/pretty-v-neck.html )

My problem?
Mostly it was my gauge. A 3 month sized baby sweater came out 2T.  Then there was that tiny little detail of sport weight (or dk) vs. worsted weight yarn.  Who knew? 🙂 My odds and ends collection so rarely has two matching skeins of yarn in it…I would try to combine them, but using different weights and/or brands together was a level of skill I did not yet have and I don’t recommend it, unless you have more patience than me!

Once, I tried to make this stunning (and simple) Doris Chan pullover but didn’t make it past the first row of motifs because my gauge was so off it wasn’t even close to my size…

But guess what?!? This time, I did it. My tension has improved significantly, I would imagine, in the past couple years, and now I have learned all sorts of lovely resourcey-type things, like crochet groups on Facebook and the “notes” section on Ravelry pattern tabs where other crafters post their tricks and tips for things.

So I made this…and it came out just like the picture, AND it fits. 🙂

image

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chevron-lace-cardigan
I used Caron Simply Soft in pretty silver-gray and an H hook.

I also made a darling shrug out of a gorgeous skein from a dear friend at Christmastime. Have you ever googled “easy crochet shrug”? I love to look at the pictures!

image

This one looks like mine, and is a free pattern, too:
image

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/clothing/easy-breezy-shrug/58487

I know you would love a photo shoot of my two new sweaters. 🙂 Maybe if I can find a photographer, or…a better looking model? 😉

Or a working camera…that would help O.o

I am so happy I had enough battery to chat with you today!
Until next time…I am off to fill a few orders and perhaps type some patterns. My sketches and notes are piling up, as are your requests! ❤

Happy New Year?

Standard

Hello and happy Tuesday!

I am posting on borrowed time, I’m afraid.

My technology has all gone to haywire.
The tablet won’t charge, at all, above 7%.
The desktop thinks it is 2006.

Oh, dear! And I so love my blogging…

My limping-on-its-last-legs camera has been taken over by the still eleven-year-old, and my ancient cracked iPod that holds a charge for about a day claimed by the newly eight-year-old.

The furnace man came for emergency repairs and said we will get perhaps another eighteen months out of that…

The computer program I use to keep my accounts is overloaded with files…and very confused by the 2006 dating snaffuuuu…and it is tax time.

I could use my teen’s laptop but I would still need a way to take pictures. We shall see! If you don’t hear from The Sparkly Toad for a while…now you know why. ❤

We will do what we can!

Today's post:
We had a lovely holiday. I received a giftcard and bouht…YARN, of course!
image

We quickly switched from holiday to birthday and made (yet another) Frozen theme cake. Loved the easy rock candy recipe! You can find it here:

image

And then I ran away for a whole weekend and scrapped a year of pictures in 24 hours. (I also crocheted a nifty cardigan, but more about that another time.) My craft bags packed:

image

Now for this week…it was back to work, and the babies, now crawling, are keeping us busy!

If I have the time, anytime soon, will be weaving ends…and weaving ends, and weaving ends…on these FIVE afghans:
image

It is a good time of year to quit procrastinating. 😉

May you be blessed in 2015!