Vroom, Vroom

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And a happy Tuesday to you!

It’s always so wonderful when our projects are appreciated, isn’t it? When they are used, delight the recepient and become well-loved, even to being worn through.

It’s the best.

A while back, I made a little diaper set for a handsome young chap. Something with cars, she said. 

It wasn’t much to go on! So I designed it to please myself and hoped for the best.

The family was thrilled. Unbeknownst to me, I had matched their nursey decor EXACTLY. 

Hurrah!

So just before Christmas, I got a sweet second request. Could I make a blanket to match???
But of course. 🙂

Now comes the fun part! Choosing a design. 

Here’s a composite of my inspirational photos so far…

I shall keep you updated!

Here is the pattern I used for the diaper set: 
http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/01/crochet-bunny-hat-pattern.html

May you stay warm and dry today.

Happy hooking!

Just Horsing Around, Part II

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It’s been a busy few weeks! Spring is in full swing here, and just lovely.

I’ve finished the horse scarf! A fun, well-written pattern.
Find it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/horsin-around-scarf

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Here he is, before mane and tail.

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And after! Fun, fun.

I was concerned about the level of difficulty, and assembly; I can never seem to get things sewn evenly. Fortunately it went well!

I did sew the white face accent on upside down at first…thankfully it came off cleanly and I was able to remove it without damaging the stitches underneath!

As a reward for completing this order, I treated myself and returned to an old favorite, my sunburst scrap-ghan.

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She’s been sitting on my shelf for what, two years now?
Yep.
See her start here: https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/snow-bound-stash-busting/

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Evening pictures, sorry…but here is a great shot of the join as you go technique I’m using. I do it a little differently, inspired by this post: https://babylovebrand.net/2013/08/27/continuous-join-as-you-go-again/

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I now have two sections of four (by ten) rows finished and a third piece with two rows joined!
Time to make more circles. 🙂
Contented sigh. Crocheted loveliness.

May all your joins lay smoothly and your families be peaceful and blessed.
Until next time!

Oh, Nativity

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Hello and Happy…!

I know that I promised you a mini-stocking this week.

But I gave them all away and forgot to take a picture. My hope is to make more, and do a cute photo shoot– but it IS Christmas week and I will have to see how the time goes.

In the meantime, my husband and I ran away to our favorite BnB (bed and breakfast) this week for a little RnR (rest and relaxation). 🙂  I have found that a short get-away significantly increases my enjoyment of the holiday season and finds me much more peaceful during the inevitable stress and family squabbles.

We had a fabulous twenty-four hours, and capped it off with a little antique-ing, browsing several local shops and enjoying the time spent.

And I found something so marvelous! I entreated my sweet husband to capture it on film so I could share it with you. Well, digital, anyway, since he has a smart phone…

The most fabulous crochet nativity! And in such colorful thread…I love nativities, and every year I browse patterns and consider making one. I haven’t found the time yet, but one of these years…

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I had him take several close-ups so that I can reverse-engineer the patterns. I love Mary’s braids!

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I think the angel is my favorite. I love angels.

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A detailed close-up of the angel halo and wing. A simple wagon wheel and shell.

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And the sweet babe, wrapped in a solid granny square, on a double granny cushion.

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Not crochet-related, I also had him capture the lovely embroidery on this old lampshade. I often add a bit of sewing detail to my projects.

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And last but not least, the special project I have been working on instead of making more mini-stockings– a last-minute request for a one-of-a-kind Christmas dress for a real-live little angel.

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I used this Bernat pattern as a base

http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/i-heart-my-dress.html

but worsted-weight yarn (Caron Sparkle) and an H hook (5mm). Since the pattern called for an E hook and sport-weight yarn, it ended up coming out as a size 18-24 months when I followed the instructions for the 6 month size. Perfect!

For the trim (hem and sleeves), I used the edging found here:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

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I also made the flower pattern listed in the blog above for the accent rose. I gave it a Christmas-y twist by chaining 2 or 3 stitches mid-petal (3hdc, ch-2, 3hdc) for example. This made the petals a bit pointy, more like a poinsettia.

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I can’t wait to see pictures of her in it! I love making dresses.

May you have a blessed Christmas, and be surrounded by love, regardless of circumstances. I am grateful for the Babe that came.

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Until then, happy hooking!

Oh Dear and Aha!

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I’m having one of those moments.

A bit sheepish and disgruntled.

I just had the most marvelous idea…about a project, of course…but the beauty of sheer simplicity means I have wasted dozens of hours crocheting work I will now proceed to rip out.

I can do it.

I will forgive myself and move on…

I mentioned in this post

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/the-perfect-all-hallows-eve/

I was planning to rework this afghan

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/the-lovely-african-flower-afghan-part-iii/

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And then tonight, sorting pictures, I realized that THIS photo (below) looks exactly like the blanket I was making in my head.

 

Instead of adding rounds of granny color

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All I needed to do was single crochet the strips together.

Argh.

 

I shall do so directly.

Let the holiday season begin.

Please feel free to chime in your opinion as to colored granny stripes or no…

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I have the most fabulous mini-stocking ornament pattern to share with you next week.

On a personal note: my beloved grandmother passed away last week and we will be celebrating her life with family and friends tomorrow. I thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

 

Circling Lovlies, Part II

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I have been distracted by other projects (imagine that!) and neglected to give you the long-promised update on my Circle Of Friends afghan.

It was back in October I first shared with you:

Circling Lovlies with TheSparklyToad

I promised squares from the circles for the very next week…and then I was of on another tangent crochet adventure or two and did not return…until now.IMG_5240

And I have such cheerful news. I bought a little camera!

I have had a nightmare of dead and dying technology around here, that left me nice-new-tablet-, old-used-iPod- and digital-camera-less. Awful!

I prefer us to be a frugal, low-tech family, so I really tried to make a go of it without…but to not be able to take ANY PICTURES AT ALL was really too much for this mother.

It is my eldest’s final year in school, after all. She plans to attend university next fall, and you can imagine how many LAST school things I was longing to capture as we go along.

I caved and bought the camera a few weeks back. I am having a bit of a love-hate relationship with it, as it isn’t as nice as my previous one, and I can’t seem to get the right combination of lighting and shutter — it doesn’t seem to have adjustable speed and the flash is much too harsh. At least to please me…I am a bit particular…

Hopefully I will learn a few tricks. I have yet to read the directions. 🙂 If it turns out to be the camera, not operator-error, well…then perhaps it will be visiting the dustbin!

Now, onto the lovelies…

I just love this pattern, and the satin gloss of the Caron Simply Soft highlights it beautifully. I think I used my E hook (3.5mm) for this one.

If you’d like the free pattern, it is here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/circle-of-friends-square

I do love Priscilla Hewitt designs. They are always so nice and texture-y, but never too tricky. Just double-crochet and single in this one! Can you believe it?

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Pretty, pretty, pretty.

I bought a half-dozen skeins of light grey for joining. Now to toss around which method to use: flat-braid is a little too fancy, and also too flimsy for these thick, dense squares. Plain double-crochet might be nice, but can I make myself complete that many boringly-same stitches??? Likely not…perhaps granny clusters…or something else I haven’t thought of yet.

I must experiment. How fun!

Off to bed for me, a busy day tomorrow.

Lovely crochet blessings to you.

Break-A-Leg

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Another lovely weekend…and nary of stitch of crochet.

I mustn’t complain! Really. Those bitter winter nights will be along soon enough.

With errands and children and a calendar-full of events, I haven’t managed to photograph my latest work. I have a certain afternoon light in mind, and haven’t been able to catch it.

Daylight savings time doesn’t help…

I featured this shawl previously here (https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/the-perfect-all-hallows-eve/)

and have made four companion works in various shades and patterns.

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I look forward to sharing those with you when the light is right!

In the meantime I have tackled a few home projects, such as cleaning the porch and sorting boxes in the basement.

My cookie cutters had been AWOL…I found them with a vengeance as I had added a few dozen more to my collection over the summer. 😀

All gathered and washed…now to find a box that large.

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This weekend was mostly taken up with the school play…over 100 children were in it, a novelty for this-size town!

Here are my three: Snow White, Miss Muffet and one of the Blind Mice. 🙂

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It was quite a bit of fun to have them all participate and they did so well.

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Wore the mouse out…

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Sweet.

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And sassy…

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I think we all need a nap.

Time to get ready for my week.

I look forward to chatting again soon!

Oh, Glorious Autumn

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The weather has been simply glorious.

At any moment the temperatures will drop, so we savor every bit of sunshine and balmy breeze. I’ve been busy with family activities and nary a moment to crochet, but I won’t complain. The memory-making is precious.

Bought a bit of self-striping yarn and worked up a cardigan one evening. Didn’t like it.  Already ripped it out and made a pop-over dress in the round. Not sure if I like that either…

Here’s the pattern for the dress (not pictured) if you’d like:

https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mais-oui/

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With the streak of glorious weather we had a lovely field trip to the Christmas tree farm for wreath-making. I’ve done this several times with the older girls and always enjoy it.

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Dad came along too, a special treat.

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All finished:

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I had fun with my new camera in the beautiful sunshine.

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We even found a Charlie Brown tree!

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The golden colors of the autumn countryside made my heart ache just a bit– so pretty.

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The sight of these pine cones put me in the Christmas mood…

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Where we live, this weather isn’t taken for granted. Yards have been put to rights, lawns mowed a last time or two, and winter gear washed and hung on the line to dry.

We are feeling a bit spoiled.

I hope it lasts a bit longer…