27 February 2017

Delphinium Monday


I started this pattern about two years ago and then got distracted, probably by Ride the Rockies or my garden or whatever dominated all my non-working, non-sleeping hours during the summer of 2015. Then I made only one flower flake last year. Busy year, I guess.

I have many favorite flowers in my garden, but I think my blue delphiniums might top all. So I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to dig out my prototype crocheted delphinium to write the pattern.






Unfortunately, I made the first flower before I HAD to wear glasses while crocheting with thread. I couldn't remember what I'd done for the first one, and even with glasses, I couldn't make out everything I'd done on the first Round.






So it was back to the drawing board, or back to the commuter train, I guess, and attempting to visually duplicate what I'd created before.






It took a while!

But now I'm very proud to present the next in my series of flower flakes!


Previous flower flakes may be found here:

Amaryllis
Blue Flax
Chamomile
Clematis
Daisy
Daffodil
Dahlia
Forget-Me-Not
Iris
Hoya
Lobelia
Love in a Mist
Mother's Day Snowflake (rose-like)
Picotee
Sixifrage
Spiderwort
Spring Star Flower
Windflower

And I'm happy to report I haven't given up on the vest project yet!


I'm using one of my favorite vests as a guide to shape my flower flake vest.


Right after I started the pink version of my crocheted delphinium, one of my co-workers who has always helped with every charity project I've done since she joined the company 14 years ago told me her best friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer. So I created a new pink delphinium snowflake in her honor and am sharing the bonus pattern below.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes and flowers you make from these patterns, but you may not sell or republish the patterns. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: flower, 1.75 inches across; snowflake,5.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in 2 or 3 colors, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line


Delphinium Snowflake Instructions

With white, ch 8.

Round 1: 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2. sl st in same ch, * ch 2, 2 dc in next ch, ch 2, sl st in same ch; repeat from * 4 times for a total of 6 stamen of flower center, omitting last sl st and instead sl st in same ch as starting dc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Round 2: With purple or petal color and working from under side of flower center, * 1 sc in any stamen sl st (or next stamen sl st in repeats), ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch (petal made); repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 petals, 1 sc in next sc.

Round 3: * 1 sc in bottom of next sc, 1 hdc in bottom of next hdc, 3 dc in bottom of next dc, 3 dc in 1st ch of ch 2 tip, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), 3 dc in next ch of ch 2 tip, 3 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next hdc, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc (between petals); repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 complete petals.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: * Ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch (inner petal made), 1 sc in same sc as final sc of Round 3 (or same between petals sc on repeats), working underneath/backside of next petal, 1 sc in next sc between petals; repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 petals.

Round 5: * 1 sc in bottom of next sc, 1 hdc in bottom of next hdc, 3 dc in bottom of next dc, 3 dc in 1st ch of ch 2 tip, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), 3 dc in next ch of ch 2 tip, 3 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next hdc, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc between next 2 sc (between petals); repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 complete petals; sl st in next sc; bind off, weave in ends. End here if making flower only. If making snowflake, keep going.

Round 6: With green if making leaves and working from back of motif, 1 dc catching 2 threads at the base of any Round 5 petal, * ch 5, 1 dc catching 2 threads at base of next white petal; repeat from * around 4 times, ch 2, 1 tr in starting dc to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of tr directly below, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, * 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp; 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. (If making leaves, bind off green here and work remainder of Rounds in white.)

Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 3, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 2 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 3, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 9: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 10: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 4 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 11: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 3 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), 5 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 3 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.


Pink Delphinium Snowflake Instructions

Work Rounds 1 through 7 same as above.

Round 8: With white or pink, * 2 dc in any green leaf ch 3 point (or next green leaf point on repeats), ch 5, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 5, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last ch 3 of final repeat, ch 1, 1 dc in starting dc to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 9: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 7, sk next ch 5 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 7, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same ch 3 tip; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last ch 3 and last 3 dc of final repeat, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 10: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, ch 14, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 5, 4 dc in same ch 3 tip; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last ch 5 and last 4 dc of final repeat, ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.

Round 11: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 7, sk next 6 ch, 1 sc in next ch, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch, ch 7, 5 dc in next ch 5 point; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 5 dc of final repeat, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

White Delphinium Snowflake
White Delphinium Snowflake with ch 5 instead of ch 7 on Round 9.

To shape and stiffen flowers only or not? The decision is yours.


Unblocked Delphiniums


Blocked Delphiniums

My crochet flowers and flower flake vest are pinned and sprayed lightly with a fine plain water mist, then dried with my hair blow dryer (or air-dried overnight if I'm not in a hurry).


Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

23 February 2017

Orphan Gemtones


I tried my hand, or, more appropriately, my machine, at paper piecing back in January. I'll continue to paper piece by hand, but I don't think I'll be jumping in the machine paper piecing craze again any time soon.


My first quarter block turned out all right. But the process was so icky for me, I dreaded going back to that block. Granted, a head cold prevented motivation and enthusiasm for anything creative off and on for three consecutive weeks, but I realized during that time that I found the process of paper piecing so unpleasant, I really didn't want to finish what I'd started.

I've learned over the past couple of years during the quarterly Ravelry WIP challenges that if I am not in love with a project, I have great difficultly finishing it. The whole purpose of the challenge is to finish WIPs. I knew I would need to get back to the gemtone Penny Lane block soon, or I'd never finish it. I even considered putting it in another project as a quarter square instead of finishing the entire square.


One day on the commuter train while finishing a snowflake frame, I realized I didn't have to paper piece the other three sections of the gemtone block. I could cut all the individual pieces and just piece it like I would any block. That's when I finally started getting serious about finishing this project for once and for all.

I started my gemtone project back in the summer of 2014 after scoring a clearance fat quarter packet of Stonehenge Bejeweled. I was SO in love with the colors and texture of that gorgeous fabric!


I had many ideas to craft blocks with gemtone fabrics from different lines and then combine them all into one quilt.

Perhaps I will still follow that dream one day. (After all, most of the Ravelry WIP finish rewards I earned during the last two years are gemtone fat quarters I requested!) But for now, it was time to finish a WIP. I decided to combine all my bright, rainbow orphan blocks into one project to finish this baby, I needed a bright color fix.

Some of the blocks came from a Block a Day project I started last year but lost interest in when I got a little more serious about finishing WIPs and not creating any more new WIPs.


I think I also lost interest in this particular one after I accidentally put a couple of blocks together wrong and had to redo them.


I needed craft only one more block for each row after assembling all my rainbow and gemtone orphan blocks.


I decided to try paper piecing for the final block. I was disenchanted with the waste of time spent frogging, the waste of sewing machine needles, the waste of fabric, the waste of paper and the waste of time in pulling the paper away from the finished quarter block. Many of the stitches pulled loose as I tried as gently as I could to remove the paper. I was tempted to leave the paper in place.

I know paper piecing is supposed to get easier once you've done it a few times. I knew I could piece the block traditionally in less time and with far less frogging.

The first quarter block took me two nights using the paper piecing method. The three remaining quarters were pieced in about two hours after about an hour of cutting the pieces, which probably was the most difficult part because I had to remember to mirror three different pieces.


In retrospect, I wish I had used three yellows in the center instead of two, and the traditionally pieced points don't all match up perfectly, but I'm thrilled with the ones that do match up perfectly. Especially since I'm trying to finish two WIPs every month, and I'm running out of February. I'm also thrilled to be done with the dreaded block!

I hadn't initially planned to put a border around the blocks, but one block was just a tad off 12 inches square, and a border could clear that right up. Once I started sewing the border on, the quilt top began to take on a new life, in my opinion. I didn't have enough black or white for a border, and I wasn't even sure I had enough of the deep maroon. But I'm sure glad I picked it. It makes a unique statement, I think.

I completed all the inner borders first because I wasn't sure there would be enough fabric for the outer borders.


I debated for a couple of days whether I should put on an outer border or use what was left of the maroon as binding. I finally decided there wasn't quite enough fabric for a binding, and I took a chance I could finish the outer border. This is all that remains.


I just love the new quilt top. It's the first of 15 I plan to make this year before Christmas. I don't know the young recipients, all age ten and under, well enough yet to fit their quilts to their individual personalities, but I'm pretty sure whoever gets this one is going to like it.


Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

21 February 2017

Tired


I discovered just a few days before my birthday I'd have to renew my driver's license on said birthday. Or jump through all kinds of extra hoops the following day or later.

It worked out great at work; my bosses (and all the bosses in our company) would be in meetings all day, and we'd have what is affectionately known as our catered Cat's Away lunch. The annual event is huge every year. It was the perfect day for me to be a little late. I wouldn't be missing out on anything.

I locked my front door at 6:05, planning to be first in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles when it opened at 8. As I backed out of the driveway, I heard this huge harrumph, harrumph.

I just knew I'd run over one of the neighborhood cats. My heart sank, and tears welled up in my eyes as I went to the back of the car to find out which feline had been resting beneath my car.

Instead I found a completely flat tire. Not low. No air whatsoever.

I thought I'd ruined the rim coming off the driveway because the rim hit the street so hard. I tried to park the car so it wouldn't be in the way and The Lizard wouldn't have as difficult a time changing the tire as he would have had the car been on the sloped driveway. I didn't have time to change the tire myself. I went back into the house to begin calling neighbors who also work 30 miles away in downtown Denver to find out if I could hitch a ride with someone.

After leaving three messages, I finally found a ride. I locked up the house and walked out to the corner to be picked up. I redialed the first three numbers to let other neighbors know I'd found a ride. Turned out I'd awoken each of them. I felt guilty.


I called The Lizard at work to inform him of the biggest birthday surprise I've had in quite a while. We didn't chat long because my ride showed up.

"I hope you don't mind if we take my daughter to school," my neighbor said.

"Not at all," I replied. I hope you don't mind if I need to part ways with you at the DMV so I can renew my license."

As I buckled my seat belt, the 14-year-old in the back of the car, who is getting her learner's permit next week, piped in, "My mom told me to always check all four tires before I get in our car."

"Good idea!" I told her with a smile. "You can darn sure bet I'll do that every time I have to drive from now on."

After dropping her off at school, we headed toward downtown Denver. Within a mile, there came that sanity-gouging noise again.

Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph...

I knew that noise. I'd experienced that noise. Most recently! I knew exactly what it meant. The calendar had to be wrong. This HAD to be Friday the 13th!

My neighbor was able to pull over safely. I offered to help change the tire, but she insisted on calling her husband to rescue us.

I finally arrived at the Department of Motor Vehicles three minutes after it opened, and I was 14th in line. And two hours late for work.

But not late for free pizza at work for lunch!




The day got only better from there. My dear, sweet husband brought home flowers for me, and it turned out I didn't have to replace the rim. Just one tire, not two.


The joy of having a full-size spare! My 382,000-mile, nearly 20-year-old car is still running on factory spare and factory rims. As well as factory upholstery and factory paint. The engine has had a lot of work over the years, but it's still original, too.

Me and my car. We're both showing signs of age, but we keep right on purring! Or purling... ha ha ha!

I think I might be contagious, though. I won't be getting in anyone else's car until I know the flat tire virus has abated.

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