FO Friday: Sunflower belt

I have a hard time saying goodbye to summer.  Winters in the Northeast can be brutal, and, to me, the end of summer is the first part of the long haul through the shortened days and cold weather.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been passing a display of sunflowers at a local market.

Sunflowers pretty much epitomize summertime for me.  When I was a kid, my grandmother grew them in her (very small but extremely fertile) garden in Brooklyn, and they were usually taller than me!

I was inspired to make a sunflower-themed project a few weeks ago.  I started with just one motif, using Galler Yarns Parisian Cotton in Chocolate and Mimosa.  I used to hate working with crochet cotton, but since I’ve gotten some comfort hooks in small sizes, crocheting with thread has become one of my favorite summer activities.  When it is really humid and hot, crochet cotton is just about all I can tolerate working with.

Then I decided to make several more and transform these little motifs into a belt.

Even after commenting about how I seem to always be wearing the same shirt in my project photographs, I couldn’t resist.  After all, the brown really works with these sunflowers!

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 16

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I was feeling really good about my Holiday Stashdown progress last week, when I somehow completed an entire gift in one day.

The Bruges lace scarf I made for my friend, JS.

But then I happened to look at a calendar.  You may remember that my personal Holiday Stashdown deadline is Sunday, November 18 because I hate shopping after Black Friday.  Well, since that date is only about 11 weeks from now, it looks like I need to get moving on these holiday gifts.

Most of my projects are small and can probably be completed within a week if I create a schedule and stick to it.  I decided to look at my list – again – and think about the order.  I’m currently working on an infinity scarf using the Bruges lace pattern I designed for one of the ladies in my dad’s family.

I think I’ll work on the remaining projects in this order:

Week of 9/3: Knit a cabled for my dad’s partner.

I plan to use this Cascade 220 Superwash I won in a Robyn Chachula’s giveaway.

Week of 9/10: Finish the hexagon Christmas stocking for my grandfather.

I need to make 12 more hexagons and join them to finish the stocking.

Week of 9/17: Crochet a scarf for another lady in my dad’s family.

Week of 9/24: Knit a hat for my uncle.

My uncle’s hat will be something like these ribbed beanies I made for my male cousins.

Week of 10/1: Crochet a scarf for another lady in my dad’s family.

Week of 10/8: Make a hat or a pair of house slippers in charcoal grey for my special guy.  I’m not sure yet if this project will be crocheted or knit, or what pattern I’ll use.

Week of 10/15: Crochet the last scarf for a lady in my dad’s family.

Week of 10/22: Make something for my sister.  I’ve thought about using these slipper soles I bought for her a few years back, but I’m not sure if that will be too warm for her since she now lives in New Orleans?

Week of 10/29: Crochet a scarf for my high school BFF, CG.

I bought this awesome yarn – Nancy’s Hair by No Two Snowflakes – while in Philadelphia with CG in mind.

Week of 11/5: Knit a hat for my other high school BFF, JM.  I’ve been thinking of using this pattern since he’s a coffee fiend.

Week of 11/12: Finish the Pineapple Doily Shawl, which I can give to my mom since it is made with yarn from her mother’s stash.

It’s been hibernating all summer. I’m planning to do a CAL with my crochet students, and classes don’t start until the end of September.

Week of 11/19: If everything on this list is completed, start working on pet gifts at a leisurely pace.

This sounds really (perhaps overly) ambitious, but I am going to go for it!  If you are working on your holiday gifts now, have you had to switch around your priorities as the summer comes to an end?

Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!

Year of Projects, Year 2: Bruges crochet design, part 2

I’ve been pretty excited about my first Bruges lace design since I developed it and made a sample last weekend.  I actually started a second version yesterday so I could take some tutorial pictures to include with the pattern.  It’s being tested on Ravelry as we speak!

I’m making this version with Austermann Step, a sock yarn I got in a Ravelry swap back in June.

Austermann Step in 03.

Truth be told, I’m a bit afraid of variegated yarns.  Sometimes, there are mystery colors hiding inside of the ball, skein, or hank that are just plain scary.  In the case of this yarn, the color changes are unexpected, but still attractive.

This light green towards the bottom is my favorite of all the colors in this yarn.
The white and reddish brown are the most unexpected.

Most of the yarn is a darkish green, which looks grey in these pictures for some reason.  It’s more obvious in the close ups, but there are little flecks of brown repeated throughout which kind of pull the whole thing together.

I expect that this will be a holiday gift for one of the ladies in my dad’s family.  I have four that I’m making gifts for this year.  I might even make each of them a variation of the same design.

Assuming I have enough yarn, I plan to make this one an infinity scarf.

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long.