Archive for March 2009

3.23.2009

NatCroMo Freeform Crochet-a-long 2009 (3/10-3/22)

Whew! I got behind on the Freeform CAL from the last post, but I’m finally caught up through yesterday (V). Time for another picture-fest!

J is for Jam. I went with a berry-colored shape. Since the yarn color was called “Cranberry” I even put little ridges into it, like the canned cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.

J is for Jam

K is for Knowledge. I wanted to include a technique that I didn’t previously know, so I did a little rectangle of Tunisian crochet. I don’t have the proper kind hook, so I used one of my standard hooks to make it.

K is for Knowledge

L is for Leaves. I added little leaves to the chains between some of the “pebbles.”

L is for Leaves

L is for Leaves

M is for Mold. This made me think of the mold found in blue cheese, my favorite kind of cheese, so I added a mottled blue-green ruffle on the front.

M is for Mold

N is for Night/O is for Orange. Night is represented by the midnight blue shape, created using a star stitch, which I looked up online. Next to that is a little patch of puff stitch oranges.

N is for Night/O is for Orange

P is for Peel. I created three yellow banana peel shapes. I haven’t yet mastered the art of shaping my crochet to lie flat or curl the way I want it to — therefore these like to curl oddly. I got them to stand out correctly in the photo.

P is for Peel

Q is for Queen. Using a fan type stitch, I made a purple queenly robe, with fuzzy cream-colored yarn as trim.

Q is for Queen

R is for Russet. I only have one yarn of a russet color, and it’s the same variegated yarn I used for some other parts of this piece (the bullions, the antennae, part of the crab body). I used an edging stitch I found in one of my crochet books for this shape.

R is for Russet

S is for Stone. Since I already created some grayish/brownish pebbles for Ground, I decided to interpret Stone as gemstones and added a ruby-colored picot border.

S is for Stone

T is for Taste/Touch. I’ve been crocheting for less than a year, so I don’t have an impressive yarn stash yet. So it was lucky that I happened to have the perfect yarn for this one. My favorite taste is chocolate and one of my favorite things to touch is velvet. I had a velvety, chocolate-colored yarn (Lion Suede), and I used it to create another interesting stitch from my edging book. The stitch (twisted rib) took me quite a few tries, and I’m proud that I finally got it to work.

T is for Taste/Touch

T is for Taste/Touch

U is for Underground. I made the Night section into the top of a little cave/tunnel and added an entrance.

U is for Underground

U is for Underground

V is for Variety. I went through my stash and cut off lengths of yarns that had different colors, weights, and textures. Then, I tied them together and stitched an edging that uses a variety of stitch heights. I’m not sure how to deal with the knots on the back — I didn’t leave enough yarn to weave in the ends. I may just snip them off at the knots. Still, I like how this one came out.

V is for Variety

V is for Variety

One thing I’ve noticed about this piece is that by making the lettuce-y ruffle early on, I ended up with a very ruffly item where it really isn’t possible to see all the different parts at the same time. At first this annoyed me, since it’s kind of difficult to take a picture of something when parts of it are hidden, but then I realized that it’s kind of cool to be able to get different looks from the same exact object. I’m proud of myself for sticking with this project, even though I’ve had some not-so-fun time-sucks in my life this month (like both my bunnies getting sick at the same time). Now we’re on the home stretch, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I end up with, as well as everyone else’s finished projects!

Next time: my progress on the Lion Brand Moderne Jacket crochet-a-long.

3.10.2009

NatCroMo Freeform Crochet-a-long 2009 (3/1-3/9)

Last week was crazier than I expected, but I’m finally back with another post. This might be some kind of record.

March is National Crochet Month (or NatCroMo), and there’s a group dedicated to it on Ravelry. In addition, there’s a Freeform CAL (Crochet-a-long) project where there’s a different inspiration for each day. Despite having no experience in freeform crochet, I’ve been giving it a try. It’s been a great exercise for me. Although I have much to learn (how to make pieces lay flat, how to create the shapes I want without too much ruffling and/or curling, etc.) I’m also discovering that I know more than I realize. The final result (well, the final result so far) is rather crack-induced, but I’m discovering all sorts of ideas for future projects.

Here are the photos of my project in progress:

A is for Apple and B is for Blossom/Bullions. I started out with a reddish color (combined with another yarn containing muted versions of apple-y colors) and a shape that looked like the bottom half of an apple. To that, I added bullion stitches and ended up with a vaguely flowery shape.

A is for Apple, B is for Blossom/Bullions

A is for Apple, B is for Blossom/Bullions

C is for Crab. I added crab claws bordered with crab stitch. I also added a crab stitch border above the bullions.

C is for Crab

D is for Drop. I interpreted this as drops of water, and added a wave stitch in two shades of blue/aqua.

D is for Drop

E is for Eating. Crocheting food is fun, so I added a hyperbolic lettuce edge around the piece.

E is for Eating

E is for Eating

F is for Fragrance. One of my favorite fragrances is lavender, and the pieces ended up with a lavender spiral.

F is for Fragrance

G is for Ground. I chose a yarn with various grays and browns and crocheted pebbles (bobble stitches) around the lavender spiral.

G is for Ground

H is for Honey. That’s a honeycomb on the back side of the piece, crocheted in the closest color I had to honey.

H is for Honey

H is for Honey

I is for Insect. The little crab guy, buried under the lavender and pebbles, gained two moth antennae. They like to droop a bit, but I got them to stand up for the photo.

I is for Insect

I is for Insect

Today is J for Jam, but I haven’t decided what I want to do with that yet.

3.02.2009

About the New Layout (plus some crochet)

Okay! I’m finally sitting down to write an update post. I’ve been holding off on posting here until I was done with the new layout. I’m going to have to break this into several posts so I don’t go crazy. First, here’s the story behind the new blog look.

I’m redoing my portfolio, and one of the items on my to-do list is creating custom layouts for my blogs under my new name: Lopapalooza Studios. For my sewing and crafting blog, I am now using the name Lopapalooza Creative Fingers. The old name, “Diary of a Sewing Novice,” doesn’t really apply anymore. Not only am I no longer a novice (hooray!), but I’m focusing on more than just sewing.

For the layout, I wanted something that incorporates both sewing and crafts with muted colors and a bit of classic charm. And of course, I couldn’t resist including my lop logo! The site should be viewable on most browsers and versions, although it will look best on newer browsers. The text is also resizable.

I used brushes and patterns from Obsidian Dawn.

I am still very much into crochet, with the occasional bit of practice knitting. Crochet has become a major focus for me, and the best place to follow my recent progress is my Ravelry page. I encourage anyone who is interested in knitting and/or crochet, even if you don’t feel like you’re very good yet and even if you don’t have any completed projects, to sign up. The number of resources on there are just amazing, including the pattern search and all the groups. At the time of this writing, you need to sign up for an invitation, and it’ll take a few days to get it, but it’s worth it.

For those who aren’t on Ravelry, here are links to my latest completed projects. I’ll go more in-depth on these in following posts:

More to come soon!