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Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Hate Gauge...

I have finished my August Bride's Tree ornament - the August them is beauty & affection, symbolized by a rose:

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And I did September, too - theme is hospitality, with a teapot or coffepot. I couldn't find another little coffeepot besides the one I stitched last year in a little sampler, so I went with the only teapot pattern I even vaguely liked:

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This pattern is stitched diagonally - first time I've tried that. My brain kept wanting to short out until I made myself focus on the squares and not the pattern as a whole. Then it went pretty fast.

This brings me even with the Bride's Tree SAL - now I have to find a pinecone for October. Both these patterns were freebies that I found links to on the Bride's Tree blog. All these will be an anniversary present for either my mother or my sister-in-law.

When I got the stash shown in the previous post, I also picked up the latest issue of the Cross Stitcher - I hadn't had a chance to look at it then but I have now, and this little pretty is going straight on my to-do-list in October:

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We had a sweet doggie that died a few years ago - my little sister's first dog that she can remember. She looked a lot like this and all I'll have to do is tweak the browns to a little darker. Then I may put her name and maybe dates at the bottom; my sister will want one, my brother, my mother... um... maybe I shouldn't stitch this yet! lol!
She was our best-loved dog ever and we all miss her.

I also joined (and promptly forgot about) the Bernat blog's Mystery Afghan Crochet-Along. I didn't remember it until I saw someone else posting about their first squares. So I hurried to the blog and read the instructions and it was super easy. I stitched the first right away, Tuesday evening.

The next morning I took the yarn with me to stitch the next one while I was waiting for my mum at the chiropracter (I have to drive her there). I made the nexxt one just as easy. Took no time.

Then I got home and laid them beside each other, and the first one was at least an inch bigger.

Huh. Odd, because I've been crocheting for eons - honestly, I don't even remember being taught, in our family our grandmother and aunts and mothers all crochet and I think the girls all learned by osmosis or something. Everyone can do it and only a couple of us actually remember lessons - anyway, I've never had that happen before with crocheting - same yarn, same hook, I should have gotten the same gauge. Knitting, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised, but crochet? Good old reliable crochet?!

So I tried again, doing just the first few rows, and measured carefully, and the square was still going to be smaller. Now, I'm using a K hook already to get gauge and I didn't want to use a bigger hook, so I started another, crocheting loosely.

Still too small.

I started a block four times before it occurred to me to try & measure the new squares I was making with the second, smaller square I had made that morning.

They matched perfectly.

ARrrGGhh.

So I made them that way - they are smaller than the 8 inches they are supposed to be, but I'm making my afghan to use up stash, and my yarn is worsted weight instead of chunky. So they will be smaller, anyway. I know how to make patterns compensate for that, it was just the gauge that was killing me!

Apparently, I was drunk when I made that first square.

REally odd, since I don't drink...

Here are my squares:
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The edges look a wee bit odd to me since I'm trying that new technique where you don't have to chain 3 - it is neater, but it'll take time before I get them looking the way I want them.

Since yesterday was Wednesday, and that's when the new 'clues' come out, I went back to the blog to see what torment I had gotten myself in for.

Clue 2 was Granny squares. Thank God! I can do those in my sleep:
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Now I'm going to be all antsy until I use the first yarn again. I wish my brain didn't work the way it does...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stash!

I got some :D

Winter's coming this way pretty fast - when you live in a very rural area like I do, it's a good thing to have plenty of projects for the days you're snowed in with the roads closed. Although I already have waaaaaaaaaay too much stash already, I couldn't resist Coupon Days at JoAnns to get a little more.
I get their online newsletter and the one in the mail, so I had a lot of 40% off coupons. Enough to make the 2 hour trip worthwhile. Not that I don't think it's worthwile, anyway, but convincing someone to go with me isn't always easy. (My father gets really worried when any of his daughters, or our mom, goes that far away on their own. Men!)

So here's what I got this trip:

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The Rooster ended up being $6 with the coupon, and Leonardo was about $10.

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Lots of floss for my HAEDs - I kit those up slowly. Also two other projects that I'll show starts on soon.

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These will be a shawl with beaded fringe for my mother's Christmas present. The yarn actually matches the beads very nicely, but the camera makes it look grey.

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And this is why you don't let a price-obsessed grandmother choose her own yarn and embellishments for her Christmas shawl. But I promised to work with what she chose, so I'll see what I can do. I don't think this lot came to even $10 total...

And this is for me:

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I love this apron!

I also got some other yarns and some backing fabric for my ornaments, but I thought this was enough pics for one post!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Severus & the Snowman

Sounds like a fanfic title, lol!

Here's my ornament kit, all done:
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It's called 'Ho-Ho Snowman'. Gotta love these names!


And here's my progress on Chibi-Sev - since he isn't very big and has only about 12 colors, I'm stitching each color completely, then moving on to the next.

One grey:
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Two greys:
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Three greys:
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He looks like he stood to close to Neville's cauldron of Bleaching Solution XD
I have two more greys, the whites of his eyes & shirt edges, the 3 greens of his potion, and the two skin tones left.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mary & Lizzie*Kate

I got this in the mail:

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and immediately made this:
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That's the Lizzie*Kate ornament from the issue, with the colors washed out a bit by my flash. It's super simple and looks really cute (like a little package) the way it's supposed to be finished. I have to buy some Christmas fabric to start finishing all these up!

I'm still going to try to do another of my little kits, too, but if I don't finish it, at least this one will do for my goal :D

Here's the motif I stitched for Mary Wigham:
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Which leaves her looking like this now:


Progress! I may go back and change the pattern like I did with the yellow motif, by doing the few little stitches it would take to make her symmetrical. I know the original wasn't, but it's not as charming, to me, that I'm copying a mistake instead of making my own XD. Once I finish my Bride Tree stuff, I'm bumping Mary up to two motifs a month, otherwise she will never get done.

Next post - pics of Chibi-Severus' progress!