Sunday, 1 April 2012

Spring Break!! Time for Camp...

Well this week is a catch up week over at the Crochet Along.  Although I've managed to complete my motifs, I really need to get started on blocking.

At first I wasn't going to bother.  For the most part, my motifs have come out the right size and I figured once I sewed them all together they would look fine.  But after reading about blocking and how it is done, I figured that I might as well give it a shot.  Some people seem to swear by it - that it completes the item giving it a finished look.  There are however, two very definite camps when it comes to blocking.  Camp Wet Block and Camp Steam.

But more on that later.  First, the reveal... Tadaa!!  Clue #6. 

Lacey goodness...

This one was really fun to do.  Similarly to the clue with the star motif, it looked rather dishevelled
 and wonky when first making it.  But once complete, it has a pretty lacy/doily kind of look.  This was one that I figured would benefit most from blocking.  Apparently, this is our last motif, but since there are still 2 weeks left, I'm curious what else is coming up?  One week for seaming the pieces together and the other week?  Hmmmm...

So back to blocking.  Camp Steam are a pretty adamant bunch.  They strongly believe that steam is the way to go, even with acrylic yarns, and that the Wet method simple doesn't produce a worthwhile result.  But due of course to the nature of acrylic, you have to be super careful that you don't over heat the yarn to the melting point, referred to as "killing" the yarn.  And they warn not to use plastic headed pins, as they may melt.  Yikes.  Unfortunately, I don't have  a steamer and although my iron does have a steam setting, it doesn't work very well.

So for this go around, I've decided to bunk up with Camp Wet Block.  There seem to be a few ways of doing this, but I've decided to go with the damp towel method.  The pieces are first pinned to the correct size, and then a damp towel is placed over the motifs and allowed to air dry.  Some people recommend misting the motifs first with a spray bottle, and some people forgo the towel altogether and just spray the motifs till damp and let dry.

In the next post, I'll include some photos to show what I did and how well it worked.  ( that is, if it works...I've yet to try it)

See you soon,
 Happy Crocheting!


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Clue # 5 Complete! What's Next?

Well another clue finished!  This clue was fun and quick.  It felt easy compared to some of the other clues, so I was able to catch up on The Office at the same time.  So far, this has been very satisfying.  A few challenging areas, but through the glorious power of YouTube videos and help from all the kind folks on the Bernat Forums, I have been able to successfully complete all my clues so far.

Before I reveal last week's clue, a little something I've been working on.  It seems Bernat hosts many Crochet Alongs and Knit Alongs too, for those so inclined.  One that some of the folks are working on now is a cute little bag called The Mermaid Tears Purse.

Considered an intermediate pattern, I was a little hesitant to try this, but I loved the scales that make up the body of this little boho bag.  And we don't even have to mention that little flaming cute is that?!

I figured that since some of the motifs we've been working on were rated intermediate as well, that maybe I'd give it a go.  I really think it's the flower that makes this bag, so I thought I'll try it first.  If I can do it, and it looks remotely like the one in the photo, I'll give it a shot.

I have to say, I almost reconsidered after seeing the chart for the flower stitch pattern....

I was completely lost after the2nd round.  I could not make heads or tails of what was going on.  I found the on line tutorial by Mikey from the Crochet Crowd.  He and Bernat have done a step by step tutorial of the bag.  Well I must have watched the flower video, 6 times.  The video instruction was very helpful, but I found it tricky to actually see what he was doing in the back loops.  He mentioned that once you get going, and allow yourself to go with the flow, it gets less complicated.

So I mustered up my inner Zen, and decided to "Become The Flower".  And you know what ?  This newbie not only managed to finally get the right number of petals after about 10 attempts, but it's soooo cuuuuute!

First Flower of Spring !

So I think I shall definitely go ahead and give the bag a shot.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Or lack thereof. 

OK so for this weeks clue reveal, I present...

Clue #5

This one is like a granny square, but in an octagonal shape.  It's simple in design compared to the other motifs so far...I wonder if we'll be doing some embellishments on this piece.

I am happy to report that I am starting to loose my fear of the dreaded granny...seems she's not such a scary girl after all.  In fact, I have found a beautiful granny square afghan pattern that I really want to make for my bed after this project is done.  Hopefully, I can share that with you later.

Well that's it for now.  I'm off to Bernat to have a look at this week's clue.  I'll be back to share my colour choices for my bag.  (could take awhile...always the most agonizing part for me)

Bye for now!