Break Lace

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It’s a lovely day, and spring break to boot. No school for the children, and no work for me, or just a different kind, as the regulars don’t come but the cousins do! We’ve had an Easter egg hunt, eaten the candy and pocketed the coins, made gems with nail polish, cut dragonflies from paper, played baby dolls, store and superheroes, ridden bikes, scooters swings and been to the park.

All with little or no help from me! I’m nursing a headcold from the welcoming cushions of my couch.

More time to crochet, even if my head does ache. This is the second time I’ve tried this join, and it’s coming along much better than the last time, a couple years ago, if I remember right.

First I made six-color, six-round granny squares in Caron Simply Soft with an E (3.5mm) hook. Sewed the ends in, too! 🙂
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Tricky to get all the color combinations without repeating: once I finished round four, I used the little snipped tails from previous squares to lay out the last two rounds of color. Worked well, too! Much less frogging.

I had the celtic lace join in mind from the beginning:
http://babylovebrand.net/2013/11/20/celtic-lace-join/

My squares are smaller than hers, so I knew there would be some adjusting of stitch counts.

Getting started:
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I was excited to join two squares! It was late by the time I finished, but I had to do at least one join…

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I didn’t like it. Too many stitches in the third round of edging. Not nearly “lacy” enough. But by then it was imperative to sleep, especially with not feeling well.

I woke this morning planning stitch counts in my head! Should I reduce the number of dc in the shells in round three, or make fewer V’s in round two?

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Five V stitches instead of six won out!

Now to join four squares and make the pretty celtic cross in the center…
Foiled! I missed a joining stitch with the purple square!
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Can you see it? By then a lunch break was desperately needed to strengthen me for more frogging. I was so concerned I might have to redo the last round on ALL FOUR SQUARES.

Fortunately, using my handy-dandy stitch markers, I was able to catch the stray loops and only had to undo one side of two squares.

This was the moment of truth…would it look as nice as her pictures???

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And there it was. A lovely, lacy Celtic cross. So appropriate for beautiful Holy Week.
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Now to redo two of the final rounds again, sigh…as I did the blanket edge join on all four sides. O.o
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Going to mark two of those with yarn…to keep track. 🙂
Have a lovely week. May you be blessed by the true meaning of the resurrection. ❤

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Terrific Tuesday

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Life’s pace has slowed just enough that I can catch my breath. I am deeply grateful for the reprieve, no matter how slight.

And I am happy to report that I have been a good girl, making headway on some of my incomplete projects mentioned last time.

Mr. Dinosaur is finished and off to his new home.
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I did a few more round on the crochet crowd mystery CAL.

I made a squirrel hat, but despised it and have decided to completely rethink the design.
(DH thought it was an aardvark. Thus began the color debate…are squirrels brown? Red brown? Gray? Black? It is a difficult conundrum.)

In the meantime, a baby gift was needed. Of course I would much rather start a new project than finish one!

My perimeters:
*thick yarn that would work up quickly
*a corner or center start design so I didn’t have to guess at the length of my starting chain
*baby boy colors 🙂

And the result: a square baby blanket finished in an evening!
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See the little hand? 🙂 It is so amazingly soft. ❤ And the perfect size to swaddle an infant.
I used four skeins.

Made with the corner-to-corner stitch and a border of sc, ch-1. (Sc, ch-1, sc) in the corners.

Free pattern here:
http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/crochet-corner-corner-throw

I started using an N hook as recommended on the yarn label, but found the stitches much too tight and the resulting blanket too stiff. The softness of the yarn was lost, so I switched to a P hook and was much happier with retaining the cloud-like feel!
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*****
And in family news, my darling daughters have been busy with a few spring-like projects of their own. 🙂

Daughter number two industriously turned up the garden soil –and begged to begin planting– with the suddenly warmer weather a week or two ago. She was quite unhappy when I assured her the rule in this part of the country is, “Plant after Mother’s Day.” She discover the wisdom in that adage this week when temperatures dropped again, as they are wont to do. Yesterday, it did this:

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Snowfall on our outdoor toys is a bit disheartening! We were just using them yesterday…oh, the poor sidewalk chalk. But mama knew best. 🙂

Mama also knew the secret to any kind of garden at this lattitude and brought home a seed-starter greenhouse for her eager thumb. Daddy received free seeds at work (even better!) and I just love the retro packaging…
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Oh, bliss. She had a lovely morning, planting indoors!

Daughter number three busied herself with some baking, clever girl.

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Sugar cookie dough and a little food coloring made pretty spring flowers. Soon we shall be enjoying real ones!
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Off to do some sewing! 🙂 Or perhaps another round or two on my Sophie. ❤

Woebegone WIPS

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Today is all about unfinished business.
Crochet business, that is.
And a new design! New designs are what cause the WIPS, by the by…

Today I shall confess my WIPs (work-in-progress) and UFOs (Un-Finished Objects). 😀
And unashamedly tell you there are many, many more than these…easily a couple hundred…

Some have just a few stitches or ends to go.
Some were an idea that crashed and burned.
Some just fell by the wayside during circumstantial interruptions, forgotten and lost.

I am hoping you can help motivate me to finish a few…I do hate to weave ends…and get them out of here, creating much needed space!

First, celebrating success:
This guy went out today! I hope he gets squished, and drooled on, and loved until he is “real.” Blessings to that sweet new baby and his rejoicing family. ❤
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And here is the progress on my latest design!:
A customer request (oh, I just love those)
and creation success…

First the body

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Then a few bits
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And the pieces completed, just wanting some sewing
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Can you tell what he is? I used these web photos for inspiration:
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So much fun!

Now onto my pile of shame 😉
Here are just a few of my pendings WIPS.

Baby doll top design from last summer, just needs a little sewing and some buttons
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My darling’s snowflake afghan, wanting a fleece back and those ends sewn
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FOUR baby cardigans that must be finished before the little tykes outgrow them 🙂
Pattern here:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/paw-print-cardigan
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My lovely v-stitch…again, the ends
Pattern here:
http://www.lemondedesucrette.com/2014/07/01/something-new-on-my-hook-3/
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The african flower hexie afghan…more ends…
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I’m sensing a theme here. Those loose ends! Guess I better pick up my needle.

But first, I must give you a peek at this week’s rows on the Sophie.
http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/sophies-universe-cal-2015/sophies-universe-part-7-cal-2015/

So beautiful!
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And here with one (of a dozen!) reasons those ends aren’t getting sewn. ❤
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Toddlers climbing everywhere…and what else shall I do than make sure they are properly supervised? Then the teens need a loving ear. The rest need snuggles, new socks and help fixing their bikes…well, there isn’t much left of me at the end of the day, now is there?

I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Quiet evenings alone with my dearheart will come soon enough.
And my guess is we will spend most of them reminiscing. ❤

Happy hooking!
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Stunning Sophie, Part II

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It’s looking good!

The weekend was a bit full– more than I like– but it was well worth the time.

My lovely 13-year-old performed a solo and duet in a district school competition and we spent the day together, along with my sweet mother. I so enjoyed hearing the promising student vocalists and musicians! Our school was well-represented and I am grateful for such a quality music program in our quite-rural area.

A smile, despite the nerves, just before singing:
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After a day away, the youngest was wishing for some mama time. As much as I longed to pick up my hook, an eye to the clock said bedtime (and quiet crochet solitude bliss for this mama) was a scant hour away. So I acquiesced her childish request and here we are, “playing clowns ” with Sophie.

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She did a fair job with the make-up! No complaints from me. 🙂
And sure enough, I got my time soon after.

As others have said, it doesn’t do to work on Sophie when you are tired. Too many crucial stitch counts! So I did a bit, and then went to bed early…three days in a row!

She is growing so prettily.

Here we have the sought after Blue Hawaii to finish part 4:
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And then my favorite round to date, the TULIPS:
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Oh, it makes my heart hurt to look at her! That queer ache of pain when something is just a bit too lovely…

At this point the colorway decisions became a challenge again. Where to go next with the pallette?

Time for the blues and greens, but first, white petals for contrast.
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And just for fun, the back…messy ends everywhere! I am really very naughty not to weave them in at intervals. 🙂 The directions even include suggested weaving points!
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Now another row of tulips, and a little yellow sunshine to set them off:
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And decision-time! I need to plan the color scheme for the next few rows.
The pattern has been released through part 9 and I am just finishing up part 6, but no worries, I will get there!

Here is the link if you would like it. The color combinations of the myriads of folks creating a Sophie of their own are beyond stunning. Check out the ravelry and facebook links to see them all.

http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/sophies-universe-cal-2015/

Just finished those pink tulips moments ago!
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A few pending projects– a squirrel hat, dinosaur softie, pink flower baby sandals and two toddler cardigans, among other things!

Life is never dull.

Sophie’s Universe is such a lovely pattern…looking forward to an evening of crochet!

And a quiet upcoming weekend for the first time in ages…contended sigh.
Happy hooking!

Unveiling the Universe

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I have lost it…can’t find it anywhere. 😦

Have you seen my crochet time?

It is my own fault, I know…I said yes to far too many things…or perhaps it is all these children everywhere, or the school schedule, or just a seasonal quirk of the relentless calendar…
I just can’t find my free time!

I know– I shall blame the weather. The past several years we had SNOW DAYS! This year it is our friends out east that are snowbound, and we have had nary an inch at a time. It has been nice for travel, but oh, I would like to curl up for the evening and get hooking.

In typical ‘Toad fashion, the precious little time I HAVE had since we met last week went to an entirely new project. In case you haven’t heard…a little design called Sophie’s Universe has many of us in crochet world a bit excited.

She started out as a garden on ravelry.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sophies-garden

But now she is a crochet-along and the results are stunning!
http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/sophies-universe-cal-2015/sophies-universe-part-1-cal-2015/

So here is my Sophie, or at least the beginnings of her. My color scheme is muted rainbow, with some white for contrast and/or emphasis:

In the beginning:
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Choosing, adding and designing…
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Picking the next grouping:
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Greens and blues…
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And a few more rows:
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Gorgeous corner flowers…
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At this point I was forced to a halt. Horror of horrors, I COULD NOT FIND any more of a blue I used in the center flower! I cannot tell you how serious this is…it would mean starting over, as there would be no other way to tie the color scheme together with that one odd blue RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE…I had just a bit left, but each round requires more yarn to complete and I had only a tiny ball…

After rummaging (messily, of course, now I have more to clean up= less crochet time) through my stash several times, I gathered the four colors I  had run short of but wanted to continue using.

I found three at the first store, but…

That lovely electric blue-aqua eluded me.

Until yesterday.

Ha ha!

I have found you, my BLUE HAWAII, you are mine!

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NOW I shall resume my Sophie. And perhaps finish a few other things as well.

I WILL discover my free time again…she tends to appear when I am not looking, with serendipitous grace.
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I shall keep my hook at the ready.