Sunday, December 2, 2007

My First BICO & Sold Item!

"BICO" is the acronym for the Baby It's Cold Outside pattern that I discovered on Crochetville. I showed pictures of a few completed BICOs to a co-worker of mine and she asked me to make one for her as a gift for a new baby due in her family around the holidays ... AND offered to pay me!! I graciously accepted her offer. :-) When I was almost finished with the BICO, she asked me if I could add a hat. I got some good hat pattern ideas from Crochetville as well, but ended up using the cap pattern from the Caps to the Capital charity drive I participated in last year. Knowing that the original cap pattern was designed for preemies using a sport- and/or worsted-weight yarn, I used Homespun to match the BICO and also because I knew using a bulky-weight yarn would make the cap come out larger, and therefore suitable for an average sized baby.

Needless to say, selling my work is a dream come true and definitely an area where I want to put more energy and time (once I find it!). This experience has proved to me the level of caring that I put into my work. Having said that, I intend to make more BICOs so that I can improve upon my work with this particular pattern.

As always, thanks for looking!
**Special thanks to my Crochetville community; you all are an invaluable resource for ideas, problem-solving and encouragement!!**

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fall Toppers

I made these sweaters a couple of years ago, long before I created a blog, and thought this would be a good time and way to showcase them. The red one above was made from Lion Brand's Glitterspun and the pattern, Crochet Bronze Beauty Top, is also from Lion Brand. I love the look and weight of this yarn, which was easy to find at the time, but I haven't seen it in stores around here since I purchased it those few years ago. The pattern was simple, but also a little tricky at times. I've never written a pattern in my life, but I still venture to say that this one could have been written more clearly. In any case, once I figured it out, I was pretty pleased with the results. I'd actually like to make more of these ... one day. ;-)

This is my Flirty Top made from Aunt Lydia's Shimmer Fashion thread. Despite the fact that the skill level for this pattern was rated "Easy", I was a little intimidated when I first started this because the lace pattern looked as though it might be complicated. However, after just a few rows, I was amazed at how simple the stitches were to create and the pattern was very easy to follow. It was even easy for me adjust the sleeves to be a bit smaller than written for my size. Like the Glitterspun sweater above, I wouldn't mind making at least one more of this sweater, but I'm not sure where I would fit it in with so many more projects waiting to be started. ;-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Recently Completed Sweaters

I made this sweater (from the Crocheted Sweaters book by Susan Huxley) for my mom, at her request. When she saw the one I'd made for myself a couple of years back, she really wanted this to go with a skirt that she was having trouble matching to a top. So I recently completed this, only for us to discover that the colors didn't quite match with the colors in the skirt anymore (they certainly seemed to when we held the balls of yarn next to it - go figure!); I think it had a lot to do with the unusual pattern scheme in the skirt. In any case, she has since purchased two skirts that match her new sweater perfectly (yes, that's the answer -- buy more clothes - LOL!). I really didn't want to make this sweater again because I found when making mine that Microspun was somewhat frustrating to work with, it splits a lot. But as I mentioned in an earlier post, changing to a different type of hook really helped with that problem.

I made this sweater from the Blue Heaven pattern in the May 2006 issue of Crochet! magazine. Since I was using a double-knit weight yarn (Patons Grace), a D hook and a single crochet stitch for the majority of the sweater, I wouldn't exactly say that I was in "heaven" while making this! It seemed to take forever and the only fun part for me was when I got to make the lace. It's probably a good thing that the pattern was designed to work the lace as the last thing on the front/back and sleeves, or else I might have given up on this one. I'm glad that I didn't though. :-)

My Latest Baby FOs

It's been a very long time since I've made anything "baby", and I found I was very glad for the opportunity when my oldest nephew had his first child, a darling daughter. Here's what her grandaunt has cranked out for her thus far.

This is a baby robe pattern for the Feb/March '07 issue of Crochet Today. It called for Red Heart Ltd. Cupid yarn and Red Heart Baby Clouds for the border. I couldn't find Cupid anywhere in my area, so I used Lion Brand's Homespun instead. I am usually very "black & white" when following a pattern, so probably for the first time ever, I really went out on a limb" and changed some things. E.g., the sash was supposed to be a sewn on ribbon, but as cute as it was, a flimsy ribbon just didn't seem practical to me so I picked up stitches and crocheted the sash onto the robe out of the Clouds yarn. Also, the Clouds border was only supposed to be worked on the neckline, but I felt like it needed more to give it that real cushy robe look and feel. I hope she'll feel all warm and cozy in it down to her toes.

I made this Woven Ribbons Blanket from a pattern on the Coats & Clark website. It uses Red Heart TLC Baby Amore. This was a lot of fun to make, particularly because of the special Long Double Crochet stitch which gives the pattern a supposed "woven ribbons" look. To me this stitch was like a double crochet spike as it had to be made using spaces created in the 3 or so rows prior to the current row. The border was a lot of fun to make as well. This yarn is nice and cushy and gives the blanket a very secure feeling. I hope this blanket will be a keepsake for years to come.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Lion Brand V-Stitch Shells

I went sort of crazy on this V-stitch shell and made it in three different colors (one was intended as a surprise for my dd but she informed me that she didn't care for it before she even knew it was going to be for her - sigh). I used Bernat Tots; I love their vibrant pastels but boy, the yarn really sheds all over the place. This turned out to be very annoying (I even carry a small lint brush with me when I wear one of these tops!) and it's pretty much what deterred me from making a 4th shell in Bernat Tots Grape. I already purchased that yarn though, so I guess I may actually have to use it for a baby item. However, especially because I have a skirt in mind that I want to wear it with, I still intend to make this top in lavender, but will most likely use Lion Brand Cotton in Grape instead.

Spring Flowers for Mother's Day

Here's a basket of spring flowers that I crocheted for my mom for Mother's Day earlier this year. I bought the pattern from the Mary Maxim website. I don't like having to assemble items, just want to crochet and move on to the next crochet project (lol!), but luckily my sister was visiting that weekend and helped me hot glue the pieces into place. Her experience with silk flower arrangements really came in handy.

Summer Sweaters (all pictures are click-able)

These sweaters are from what might be my most favorite pattern book - Crocheted Sweaters by Susan Huxley.

The first two pics show the sweater I made from the "Bright Idea" pattern. The main attraction for me with this sweater was the shell trellis pattern border, it was a lot of fun to make. I am actually in the process of making this sweater again, this time at the request of my mom, in totally different colors. While I enjoyed making the sweater, I dreaded the idea of working with this yarn again -- Lion Brand Microspun. Love the weight, but it splits a lot. I recently found out though that the splitting is not that bad once I changed to a Clover Soft Touch hook.

Below is another sweater I made using the "Two-Way Tee" pattern in this book. The pattern called for a double-knit/light worsted yarn, but I took a chance and used a worsted weight -- Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. As I should have expected, it came out okay, just heavier weight than it was meant to be. I made it a 2nd time using Patons Grace (pictured below in fuschia). In the close up, I tried to show the stitch detail in this pattern. The bottom half of the tee is worked horizontally, the top half worked vertically, in two different stitch patterns. The neckline is also 2-way; you'll notice the round neckline in the first pic and the square neckline pictured below.

I made all of these sweaters 2-3 years ago. They've gotten a good deal of wear and I am now noticing, after taking these pics, that I have some loose ends to weave in and pilling to attend to. :-\