Archive for January, 2012

Crackpot Input Needed on Crackpotty Project

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

by Nancy

As I’m finishing the edging on my afghan and working on my hat, I’m pondering what I’d like to crochet next. I’m thinking of making myself a crochet vest.

Granny Square Vest

I like this pattern, but definitely not the colors used in the picture. So, I tried out a few samples in colors I like:

Crochet Squares Poll

Square #1 is done following the directions on the pattern with colors I like. Square #2 is a similar double crochet square from one of my crochet motif books. Square #3 is a traditional granny square. It turned out too big, so if I use it for the vest, I will probably leave off the last round. But I plan to use the light green rather than the dark green, so try to picture it smaller and without the dark green. 🙂

So, Crackpots, what do you like?

I Didn’t Make You Anything For Christmas

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Because I’ve been busy making a quilt for my bed! This is by far the largest quilt I’ve ever made, the first time I’ve pieced diamonds, and the first time I’ve done set-in seams.

Bed Quilt, ready for basting

Some background information – I decided around the time of the Wisconsin Quilt Expo that I wanted to finally make a quilt for my bed. I used the quilt show for some research and determined that I wanted a modern medallion-style quilt with a white background and bright colors. I looked through a stack of quilt pattern books at least a foot thick, and when I saw this pattern I immediately knew it was the one. Fabric purchasing and piecing started in October. I’m hoping to finish while it’s still bed quilt season here. I’m currently working on machine-quilting, but may need to put that on hold to work on some time-sensitive projects.

Some details:
Pattern: Over the Border by Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession 2. Here’s the quilt from the book. Note to anybody making this quilt: the materials list in the pattern doesn’t include the outer border fabric.

Fabric: Various prints from my LQS, stash, and an online store. Backing is an Amy Butler print from another LQS. Pet peeve: the horizontal pattern repeat on that backing fabric is such that it’s not possible to match the pattern across widths without wasting a ton of fabric, so I had to accept that it’ll just look like there’s about 1/2″ of pattern missing at each seam along the backing. So close to being able to align, and just not there.

Batting: Quilter’s Dream Wool Batting, bought online from a quilt store in Iowa. If any Crackpots want to try this out, I’ve got some 2-foot-wide pieces that I can send you – the queen sized batting was a few inches too narrow, so I bought the king sized batting and cut 2 feet off each dimension. I really like this batting – it’s wool, machine washable, isn’t supposed to shrink, and even though it’s somewhat lofty it machine-quilts well even on my machine with a fairly small space to the right of the needle. It has a maximum quilting distance of 8 inches, the largest I’ve seen for a wool batting. Always a plus for those of us who don’t have ideal sewing machines (or skills!) for machine-quilting of large objects.

You’ll note by comparing my quilt with the original that I rejiggered the colors (which I’m sure surprises nobody), and my outer border is striped (with bonus mitered corners!) instead of the inner border, but that’s because the fabric I loved for the inner border happened not to be stripey rather than any real design decision.

And, at Nancy’s request, a not-so-great picture of a mitered corner. Wavy stripes mean making them match exactly at the corner is impossible, but I think I did pretty well, and it only took a little futzing to make the 4th corner match.
Mitered corner

Life on the Edge

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

by Nancy

I’m working on the edge of my afghan now.


(The red pieces of yarn are just markers to help me count the stitches.)  It’s going well, though it does take a l-o-n-g time to get all the way around it.  I have done two rounds of white single crochet and a round of purple single crochet.  I’ve started the next round, which has me doing a spike stitch for the first time.

Spike Stitch

It covers up some of the purple in the previous round so that the border looks mostly white with small purple (and in a later round, yellow) squares.

I’ve also started a small new crochet project: a hat for myself.

divine hat1

It’s made from this pattern and comes together very quickly.  I’m a little unsure about how the size will turn out, so it might end up being a hat for someone else if it doesn’t fit.

I’ve chosen the fourth block I’d like to do for the Secret Quilting Project, too!

It’s done!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

by Nancy

My first-ever crochet afghan is done! 

2011 afghan complete

I finished sewing the final seam today, and am so pleased to see it all together!  It isn’t actually 100% done because I plan to add a border, but it is definitely a blanket now.  Yay!

Rainy Day = Crochet Day

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

by Nancy

I knew our sunny, 50 degree days in January wouldn’t last forever, and today they came to an end.  It’s been rainy and chilly today, so it was the perfect day to do some more work on getting my afghan assembled.  I got all of the December squares attached, so now the afghan is in two big panels, each of which are about 2ft. by 6 ft.  And I just need to do the final seam between the two panels, and I’ll have a real afghan!  Yay!  I think I’ve picked a border that I want to put on it from Around the Corner Crochet Borders, too.  But that will have to wait for another day, since it’s getting late…

The Final Four

Monday, January 9th, 2012

by Nancy

Dec 6in squares

Here they are, the completed final four squares for my 2011 Crochet Along Afghan! Hooray!  This square, called Ring Around a New Year by Aurora Suominen, has some neat texture to it, but it was a little challenging to do.  So, it took me until January to get all 4 squares done.  But this means that all of the squares for my afghan are done!  I’m working on sewing the November and December blocks together, and attaching them to the rest of the squares, which are all connected now.  I can’t wait to see it all together!

Chickie is done!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

by Nancy

Whew, I think everyone here is glad it’s only a 4 day week!  Andrew is not happy about getting up in the mornings for school and is really tired.  I’ve been trying to let him sleep as long as possible, but I think that may have backfired because then he has to hurry to be ready in time, and moving fast in the morning is not his thing.  So, I think I’ll try waking him a bit earlier tomorrow so that he can take his time eating and dressing and see if that helps.

One wonderful thing this morning was that I put apple cinnamon oatmeal in the crockpot last night, so I woke up to it this morning and it was SO good.  It was the first time that I had tried this recipe, and it was delicious.

And another happy thing is that I finished Nicholas’ crochet chickie this evening!  Ta-dah! 


(The photo is a bit dark – sorry!  I need to work on that.)  Nicholas picked out all the colors, and I wasn’t completely sure when he told me what he wanted, but now I think it works really well.  He told me he was thinking about the color wheel when choosing the color for the beak and feet – his art teachers would be impressed!

And yet another happy thing is that my books about crochet borders arrived today.  As I’ve been finishing up my afghan, I realized that I know very little about how to edge an afghan, and most of my crochet books only touch on it briefly.  So, I did some browsing at Ravelry and at the library, but still didn’t come up with much.  But I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble for Christmas from Ann, and after some research and in-store browsing, I decided to order these two books: Crocheting on the Edge by Nicki Epstein and Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman.  They have all kinds of cool borders and information!  I think I will keep the borders for my sampler afghan pretty simple since there’s a lot going on in it, but the books gave me some good ideas, and I think they will be good references for future projects.

Second Secret Project Quilt Block

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

by Nancy

Today was the first day back at school for everyone.  It was nice to get back into a regular routine.

I had time today to complete the second block of a secret project.  It occurred to me that someone who shouldn’t know the details of this project might possibly visit this blog, so I have edited my first post about this Secret Project and will have to be more careful about what I post about it.

I also made the wings for Nicholas’ chickie and sewed them on.  It looks a little more like a chick now, but it definitely needs a beak!

Now a little more work on the Crochet Along Afghan while watching the Sugar Bowl, and then it’s off to bed.

Amigurumi Animal Selected

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

by Nancy

Nicholas has selected the amigurumi animal he’d like me to make.  It’s a little chickie from Super-Cute Crochet by Nicki Trench.  He’s asked me to make it in orange with a red crest.  Last night I made the head.  This morning Nicholas helped to put the eyes in and stuff the head.  Then, this afternoon on the drive home from the Children’s Museum, I finished the body.  It looks a bit weird without a beak, wings, or feet, but here he is…

Chickie (in progress)

The plan for this evening is football and more afghan assembly…

New Year’s Day activities

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

by Nancy

It’s been a nice, quiet New Year’s Day here.  We’ve been watching football, and I’ve had time to work on both quilting and crochet.  On the quilting side, I worked on a  secret project.  I had written more about it, but it occurred to me that the recipient of the secret project might possibly peek in here, so I probably shouldn’t reveal much more than that Block 1 of the Secret Project is complete.  On the crochet side, I’ve been working hard at getting my 2011 Block a Month afghan assembled.   I have half the afghan – the squares from January through June – all joined together, and it’s quite nice to have on my lap while I’m working on the other pieces.  July, August, and September are connected together now, too, and I’m working on joining the October squares now.  And the two youngest members of my family have been browsing my crochet books, choosing an amigurumi animal (or two or three) that they’d like me to make for them.