Sunday, July 31, 2011

Magic Blanket Ride: Chapter 3

We're back from Austria and I think it's time to show you the progress I've made with the Magic Blanket. Here it is, spread out on our bed:

Unfortunately it's another cold and grey day today, so the pictures are a little bit dull. By the way: I really feel like Johnny Cash in Folsom Prison, cause "I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when". Thank god we've planned a beach vacation in November (Canary Islands or Dominican Republic), otherwise I'd really go nuts! Pullovers and raincoats in July - how sick is that?? Sorry for the digression and back to blanket, here's a close-up:

The structure of the blanket is similar to this popular ribbed pattern which is often used for knitted socks. It's also quite elastic, here's a close-up of the fabric when it's a little bit stretched:

See the "dark side" shine through? I'm still thrilled about this technique, it's fabulous! Here's another picture where you can see both sides:

Finally I'd like to show you what Bri has called "alien tools" :)

These are my "Crochet on the Double" swivel hooks. I've ordered them in three different sizes, and for this blanket I'm working with the green hook (5mm, H-8). And now the facts:

Intermediate Statistics:

Width: 1,50m (~59 in) (same as always)
Length: 90cm (~35.4 in)
Colored Stripes: 18
Yarn Usage (basic colors): 10 balls of grey + 7 balls of white
Days actually worked on the blanket: 26 (I took the blanket with me to Austria but didn't find a lot of time to work on it)
Previous Posts: Introduction - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2

Half of the blanket is finished, because I was thinking about a final length of ~ 180cm. I still enjoy the Magic Blanket Ride, but I think I have to force myself to put the blanket away for a while. Tomorrow, I'll be back at work, still working overtime (probably until the end of October). So the time for crocheting is still limited and I really do miss working with a "normal" hook, making little items. My aunt gave me some flyers with vintage patterns for potholders and other things, I've still got some stones at home that wait to be dressed, and my fingers are itching to try the Overlay Crochet from Crochet Master Class. So if you're curious about my next projects, I'd be happy to see you back in K-town, soon! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Two Patchwork Stones

Hi there, how are you all doing on this rainy day in july?

Tomorrow, John and I will be going to Austria for a few days and I thought I'd leave you with some impressions of my latest covered stones. If you enter "crochet stones" or "covered stones" in google, you'll get lots of fabulous pictures. Lately, there are also more and more stones covered with little fabric patches - and again, Margie Oomen's stones are simply outstanding (here's an example in her etsy shop).

Of course I wanted to try this version as well and combine it with my own ideas by adding crocheted flowers and the obligatory buttons. This was my first try:

I picked a really huge stone for this, because I thought I needed a bigger surface for this project.

On the picture above you see the little details, like the flower, the fabric butterfly and the buttons.

I'm really quite happy with my first try, although there are some details I'd like to improve for the next stones.

For my second stone I wanted to use fabric patches in different shades of green:

I think the patches look nice in combination with the green crocheted flower.

I'm really looking forward to making the next one! Sometimes my brain is overfloating with ideas, if only there was more time...

Have a nice week-end everyone, I'll be back in a few days!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Special Feature # 4: More of my Aunt's Crochet

Hi, I'm back today with the last Special Feature of my Aunt Traudi's crochet.

Let's start with the amazing stool cover I've already mentioned in my last post:

She's got this stool in front of her bedroom's dresser, isn't it just lovely?

Most of her windows are decorated with crocheted items, too. Here's one of her covered bowls:

My Mom's also got a few of them hanging around in the house, and I've got one in our living-room (a blue one, my favorite color). Here are two more from my aunt's house:

And here are two examples of her window-pictures:

Finally I wanted to show you at least one example of my aunt's other crafts, and I've picked those flowers:

They're made with wire and very thin nylon fabric, the next picture is my favorite one - it's a plastic ring decorated with those flowers and a ribbon to hang it on the wall:

I really admire my aunt, she's got so many talents, and everything she makes is just so beautiful!

So this was the last part of the Special Features. Again, I'd like to thank you all for your wonderful comments so far! My aunt's gonna visit us in two weeks for my nieces birthday and I'm looking forward to showing her my posts and your comments - she doesn't have a computer, so she hasn't seen the pictures yet. I bet she likes it :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Special Feature # 3: My Aunt's Crochet

I've already shown you pictures of my Grandma Maria's crochet here and there. Today I'd like to introduce you to my Aunt Traudi and her crochet. She worked as a seamstress before she retired and she's interested in all kinds of crafts, not only sewing and crochet, but also macrame and other stuff I don't even know the name of :)

My aunt is more into making doilies and other lacy things with thinner yarn, so these two cushions are rather an exception:

I think the patterns are rather interesting, and luckily my aunt has kept the descriptions and gave it to me!

Do you remember my Grandma's dolls with the crocheted dresses? My aunt also made one years ago:

This doll's got a porcelain body which is from another aunt of mine who worked in a porcelain factory (but I don't know if she made it herself) - quite a creative family, you could say :)

Now to the lacy stuff, here's some Easter decoration:

These are transparent plastic eggs, covered with lacy patterns and embellished with ribbons and pearls. Here are two more:

I can't remember how many doilies she showed me, and I really took lots of pictures - here are just two of them:

She's also got dozens of magazines with doily patterns and gave them to me - I'm not much of a doily fan, but some of the patterns would be great for my stones, I think.

That's it for today. I've still got some pictures of my aunt's covered bowls, window pictures and a great stool cover - I'm looking forward to your next visit in k-town! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Magic Blanket Ride: Chapter 2

Today's the first day of our two weeks summer vacations, yippie! Actually it will rather be a working vacation, because we want to renovate the balcony and the bathroom and buy new furniture. So today we started our "vacations" with a trip to the DIY store and this afternoon John has already painted the wood panelling on the balcony. There's still a lot to do though, but maybe we can still go on a few days vacation to Austria - depending on how much time and money is left after the renovating :)

But now back to the Magic Blanket Ride - it's getting more and more colorful, look:

To tell you the truth, in the beginning I was a little worried, that the blanket might not turn out the way I had it in mind, but now I like it better every day!

It looks so happy with all those different colors, and there are still seven colors left that I haven't used yet!

Here are both sides in a direct comparison, I also love the way the dark side turns out:

Intermediate Statistics:

Width: 1,50m (~59 in) (still the same)
Length: 42cm (~16.5 in)
Colored Stripes: 9
Days actually worked on the blanket: 13 (today was my first day off)

And now I've got to leave you for today - Thursday night is poker night :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Special Feature # 2: More of Grandma's Crochet

I had so much fun writing yesterday's post and reading all your wonderful comments, so I couldn't wait to show you more of my Grandma's crochet. So, let's go back to my Aunt's house and see what we'll find today...

Here's a round cushion. My parents have still got the same one at home and I've known this cushion for as long as I can remember. Maybe one day I'll sit down and try to figure out how grandma made it:

This is the back:

The next cushion was completely new to me, I'm sure I've never seen it before:

aaaahh... no words necessary...

I really thought that forty years ago people mainly made the traditional granny square, so you can imagine my surprise, when I saw this little blankie:

It's the 1970s calling (or rather screaming) again :) But have a closer look at the pattern, isn't that just awesome??

In my mind I see this blanket with light pink circles and light green "leaves" on a white ground...

Here's another, bigger blanket:

I think my grandma made it with lots of front and back post dc's, similar to the basketweave pattern but with a different placement of the stitches:

Today's last blanket is a treasure we've still got at home:

This is a woven crochet baby blankie my grandma made for my brother (he was born in 1971). I remember using this blanket for my dolls, and my niece Hanna's still got it in her doll's pram - and that's where I found it today :) Such a gorgeous pattern...

And finally... do you remember when I told you that I had a crochet dress but couldn't find a picture of it? My Mom found one :) It's not a very good picture, though - but anyway: here's a picture of my Mom and me and my little crochet dress:

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip to the 1970s as much as I did! Next time it's my Aunt's turn - different style but beauuuuuutiful! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Special Feature # 1: My Grandma's Crochet

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while, might remember that I had planned to visit my Aunt, because she's kept lots of my Grandma's old crochet stuff. Last Saturday the day had come, and my Aunt showed me every handmade treasure she could find.

Everytime I thought I had taken the last picture, she brought something else she just remembered :) My Aunt's also a wonderful crocheter, she's mainly into doilies and other lacy things. My Grandma could make anything, I guess. Just look at those poodles! They're so old, the brown one's already blind :)

Most of the things I'm gonna show you are made in the 1970s, so they might look old-fashioned, mainly because of the color choices. But look at the patterns!! Everything she made was so creative, elaborate and unique! Okay, I have to admit that the next guy is quite an obscure fellow, but it's great crochet nevertheless.

Here's a little sheep and a ladybug, I bet they didn't call them amigurumis forty years ago :)

In my Grandma's old kitchen (now my Aunt's craft room) I've discovered these old potholders still hanging on the wall:

And downstairs, in my Aunt's bedroom, I've found this little treasure on the dresser:

This is just so lovely!! The next one is a decorated candy glass (quite dusty, my Aunt found it somewhere in the basement):

My Mom told me, that they didn't have many detailed patterns at that time, and my Grandma probably just looked at crochet stuff in magazines and tried to re-work them, or she just made up her own patterns. I really do admire the talent she had! My Grandma died in 1994, and as far as I know she didn't crochet that much anymore in her last years. I really don't want to sound too sentimental now, but somehow it's a wonderful feeling to know that my Grandma Maria's crochet - that probably would have been forgotten in the years to come -  will now be seen by people from all over the world and stay in the internet forever!

Those of you who have waited for my Granny's squares (*lol* forgive me the pun) should not be disappointed: I've also discovered some cushions and blankets, and I'll show you the pictures in one of my next posts. My Aunt's crochet and other crafts are also more than worth seeing, and of course I've made some progress on the Magic Blanket Ride, so I'd be really happy to see you back here soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Winner and a Preview

It's sunday afternoon and that means we have a winner for my giveaway-stone! I wanted to know the exact weight of the stone and this would have been the correct answer:

So the real weight of the stone is 194g, and one of you was only 4g away with her guess of 190g. And the winner is... Barbina! :) Congratulations!! Please contact me and give me your full address, I'll be sending you your prize this week (there's an e-mail link in my detailed profile)!

Thank you all for playing, I had lots of fun and I'm looking forward to the next giveaway!

Something else I'm looking forward to is my next post (or rather: the next few posts). Here's a little glimpse:

Everything on this table is handmade, most of it is crocheted (yes, even the poodle and the scary looking creature in the middle). And this is just one table in one room. But - my aunt's house is big, and there are lots of rooms, and I took lots of pictures yesterday!! Check back this week to see the treasures and curiosities I've discovered!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Giveaway - The Second Chance!

It's friday, and so far none of you has guessed the real weight of my giveaway-stone (although one of you is very very close!). As promised, here's a little hint:

I put the stone on top of a regular sized apple, and the total weight is 363g. Please don't guess the weight of the apple, I haven't got it anymore and can't send it to you :)

The question's still: what is the weight of the stone? If you've already entered a guess, you can post another one now, and both your results will count! (So don't worry, if you think you're the one who's closest to the real weight, you don't "lose" your first entry by making another guess!)

If you haven't entered into this competition before, please read what it's all about and enter your guess!

Thank you all for participating, on Sunday I'll definitely announce the winner, so good luck to you all! :)

PS: just in case you wondered, why the kitchen scale's got a yellow handle now: the one with the green handle was my mother's, and I really liked it (there's actually a measuring beaker attached to the handle, and you can change the units of weight). So last week-end John brought me this one! A kitchen scale instead of flowers - that's why I keep him :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Magic Blanket Ride: Chapter 1

Hello and welcome back to K-town, I hope you’ll enjoy the first chapter of my Magic Blanket Ride!

If you’ve missed the introduction to this project, you can read everything about it in my previous post.

This is what I’ve made so far:

The blanket is 1,50m (~ 59 inches) wide, and I’m planning for a length of at least 1,50m up to 1,80m (~70 in). I make the blanket in one piece, so this time there’s no joining squares and only a few ends to weave in, depending on how many colored stripes I’m gonna make. So far, I’ve made three colored stripes and I’m always looking forward to the next one for a bit of a change (it takes a while to make a long row like this and with only white and grey, it gets a bit boring after a while).

I wasn’t bored at all, when I lost the cable of my hook just when I had almost finished a row. Boy, I was really annoyed, and I needed two more attempts to complete the row because I kept losing the damn cable! Intended as a temporary solution, I’ve connected the hook and the cable with superglue at the swivel, and to me it makes absolutely no difference, so there’s no need to order a new hook. I guess you always have to anticipate some little accidents on a Magic Blanket Ride, don’t you think? :)

Oh, I’ve almost forgot to say a few words about the yarn: this time I’m working with acrylic yarn. For the colored stripes I use mainly “Bravo” by Schachenmayer or similar yarns. The white and grey yarn is from the drugstore, it’s the same quality like the “Bravo”, but it’s slightly cheaper (and I need LOTS of white and grey, that’s for sure). Actually the recommended hook size is 3-4mm, but I’m working with a 5mm hook (US H-8), as double-ended crochet pattern look nicer and feel softer with a slightly larger hook.

Some intermediate statistics at the end:

Width: 1,50m (~59 in) (constant)
Length: 18cm (~7 in)
Colored Stripes: 3
Days actually worked on the blanket: 6 (no day off so far)

I only wished I had more time, but I can only work on the blanket a few hours in the evenings. So please be patient with me, maybe you shouldn’t expect a too substantial progress so soon. Nevertheless, I hope to meet you back here again for Chapter 2 of the Magic Blanket Ride!
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