Monthly Archives: April 2012

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Bullion stitch blocks finale

This post is part of my Year of ProjectsCrochet Master Class series. You can read the other posts in this series here.

I missed my YOP post last week (only the second time I’ve done that), and that was a real bummer.  But today I’m back with some more bullion stitch blocks!  These will be going to the Binky Patrol in Arizona by way of the Crochetlist April charity challenge.

This one was really fun.  I used the Granny’s Gone Bull-istic pattern by Donna Kay Lacey.  As you can probably tell, it’s a variation on the standard granny square patterns using bullions instead of double crochets.  She is a really inventive designer, and if you are at all interested in the bullion stitch, you should check out her tutorial, which is available as a free Ravelry download.  I think my bullions have become much more even as a result.

And, I decided this exploration of the bullion chapter wouldn’t be complete until I made a few squares by the featured crochet master, Bonnie Pierce.

This is her Amazing Grace pattern.

And this is her Katie’s Bliss pattern.

I had a lot of fun with these and I’m definitely going to be playing around more with the bullion stitch.  I can see why the freeform folks love it so much.

I’m up to 38 (!) six inch squares to donate, so I’m rushing off to make two more.  I figure since I’m this close to 40, I should just make two more before I mail out the box tomorrow.

3KCBWDAY7 – Crafting Balance

I know how to do most needlecrafts, but if you’ve been following my blog you will already know that crochet is my true love.  Not only is crochet versatile and fast, but, since it is the one craft that I’ve done pretty much continuously since I learned from my grandmother back when I was 9 years old, I’m much more skilled at it.  For that reason, I haven’t (yet) found a crochet project I really wanted to make that I couldn’t tackle.

In the six months, I’ve been trying to give a bit more of my crafting time to knitting.  Last year, I dabble briefly in embroidery and even tried to rekindle my quilting mojo.  For this year, though, I know I’m going to need to devote more time to photography.

My newest toy, er, I mean, tool: the Canon PowerShot ELPH300HS.

I really need to step up my photography skills.  Photography allows me to show off my creations to their best advantage, makes my blog more interesting to read, and is helpful in marketing my patterns and projects.  I have been taking out a few minutes everyday to take pictures since I got the camera.  I’ll admit, most of these pictures are pretty boring so far :).  But I’m learning a lot about composition this way!

3KCBWDAY6 – Improving Your Skillset

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I’m an advanced crocheter, but there’s always more to learn – and more people to learn it from.  As a crochet teacher, I consider it part of my own continued development to learn from other teachers.  Since last July, as part of the Year of Projects hosted by the Come Blog-a-long group on Ravelry, I’ve also been crocheting my way through the book Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters in an effort to improve my skills and share my love of crochet.  (You can read my original inspiration for doing this here and find my posts on the topic here.)

The one crochet method which I’m still apprehensive about is Hairpin Lace.  In all honesty, I have no real reason to fear hairpin lace.  But there seems to be a cloud of doom hanging over me whenever I try to learn it, which only increases its mystique.  On two separate occasions, I’ve attempted to take hairpin lace classes.  For the first class, held at the library, the teacher went off on a tangent about other lacemaking techniques and only taught broomstick lace and Tunisian lace, which I already know how to do.  The second class, with hairpin lace diva Jennifer Hansen, was supposed to be at Vogue Knitting Live but was cancelled :(.  I will definitely tackle my fears of hairpin lace before the end of this cycle of YOP in June, though.

As for my knitting, well, that’s another story.  Although I have a good command of the basics and even teach beginner knitting, there are many gaps in my knitting skills.  I don’t feel as motivated to expand these skills, though, since I don’t find knitting as pleasurable as crocheting.  I’m also the world’s slowest knitter, so it would take me too many lifetimes to tackle all the major knitting skills in depth.

I would like to knit a pair of socks at some point, if only because I don’t understand why everyone is so fascinated with knitting socks.  Surely, there must be some exciting thing that happens when you make them??  I have two books in my collection that have inspired even me to consider knitting socks, which are Socks a La Carte: Pick And Choose Patterns To Knit Socks Your Way and Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks: Yet Another Revolution in Knitting Two at Once on One Circular Needle!  I won’t set a deadline, though.  (World’s slowest knitter, remember?)

3KCBWDAY5 – Something a Bit Different

So different that there was a delay in posting it  :).  If you like it, please consider nominating my post for some groovy Knitting and Crochet Blog Week prizes here.  For other unusual posts, search for the 3KCBWDAY5 tag on Google.

Thanks to MC for his amazing technical skills.  And no, I don’t normally crochet that slowly, but the video was originally made to be a tutorial.  Can any one guess on what stitch?

FO Friday: Granny mania

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Since last week, I’ve finished another 17 (!) six inch squares for Crochetlist‘s April charity challenge.  These will eventually become blankets for Arizona children through the Binky Patrol.  I can definitely see how people get excited by granny a day projects.  Once you get on a roll, it is pretty hard to stop!

I made three blocks from Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman.

Motif 105 (Ravelry project page)

Motif 114 (Ravelry project page)

Motif 115 (Ravelry project page)

I personally have trouble naming patterns, so I totally understand why Eckman went with numbers.  But it does make the names less than memorable :).

I also rescued two more squares from 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans by Jan Eaton.  These were started back in 2007 for class samples.  They’ve been sitting in plastic sleeves and needed to be put to better use.

Begonia (Ravelry project page)

Willow (Ravelry project page)

I also made two squares from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet.

8 by Carole Prior (Ravelry project page)

90 by Mary Jane Protus (Ravelry project page)

True story: When I first ordered this booklet used on Amazon, it arrived missing about 6 pages in the middle.  I was fuming!  But Amazon promptly refunded it and I was able to find another used copy for the same price a few days later.

I also picked up Contest Favorites Afghan Squares and chose two squares.

10 by Mary C. Abadir (Ravelry project page)

13 by Martha Sadler (Ravelry project page)

I even returned to two other books I used to make my first batch of grannies.

Paula’s Pendant by Margaret Hubert from The Granny Square Book (Ravelry project page)

Pick a Posie by Ellen Gormley from Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook (Ravelry project page)

At this point, I was determined to make blocks from as many sources as possible.

Squared Circle by Melody Griffiths from 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas (Ravelry project page)

April Square by Julie Bolduc from JPF Crochet Club (Ravelry project page)

And these last four were transformations of swatches or patterns from my brain.

Alternating Stripes

Double Treble Granny


Grit Stitch

I had to make some modifications to almost every pattern to get the squares to be six inches.  You can find the details on my project pages.

I was originally planning to mail these out on Saturday, but I found some awesome bullion stitch patterns online last night, so I thought I’d make a few of those to share in my year of projects post on Sunday.  Now that I’m extending my deadline until Monday, there is time to make even more grannies!

I had a lot of fun making these and going through all of my granny books looking for the “perfect” grannies.  (You can read reviews of most of my granny books here.)  And, so far I used up about 2-1/2 skeins of stash yarn.  Every little bit helps!

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.