30 April 2018

Snowflake Monday


Gore Range in Summer

12,664-foot Dwarf Pyramid in the Gore Range of Summit County certainly is no midget. But today's snowflake could be regarded as Lilliputian.

Never fear, however! I've got mighty (albeit petite) plans for this pattern next week just in time for Mother's Day!

Reading about climbs of Dwarf Pyramid, which apparently don't happen too often, revealed another whopper of a name: Kneeknocker Pass!!! Doesn't that just make you want to rush out and climb Dwarf Pyramid?!? Ha ha!

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


Finished Size: 2.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, 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

Dwarf Pyramid Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (beginning popcorn stitch made), [ch 3, 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made)] 2 times; ch 3, sl st in top of starting popcorn. Pull magic ring tight.

Round 2: Sl st into next ch 3 sp; beginning popcorn stitch in same sp, [ch 3, popcorn st in same ch 3 sp, ch 3, popcorn st in next ch 3 sp] 2 times; ch 3, popcorn st in starting ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in top of starting popcorn to form 6th ch 3 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 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 6, popcorn st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch of ch 6, ch 1, 3 dc in same ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 6, popcorn st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch of ch 6, ch 1, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

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.

26 April 2018

Slowmigurumi


About four months ago, one of my friends asked if I could make her eight little sloths.

Sloths?!? Why sloths?

"Because they have long arms, and I can tuck money in them for my grandkids for Christmas."

So I looked up sloth patterns on Ravelry. Twisted Crocheter won with this pattern.

After finishing my first sloth, which turned out super cute, I did what I normally do when using someone else's pattern, particularly when I do it over and over and over. And over and over and over and over. That's eight, right? I made a few adjustments and finally figured out a method that works perfectly for me by about the fifth sloth.


For my second sloth, I closed the arms and legs, which are worked from the bottom up, at the top with two or three single crochet. Made attaching them to the body SO much simpler.

For my third sloth, I didn't do the increases and decreases to shape the paws; I worked straight 6-stitch legs and 8-stitch arms, using the starting thread tail to pull the leg or arm into a gentle curve or paw when joining to the body just by pulling a little tight.


For my second through sixth sloths, I kept working on a face formula until I got one I liked.

For the face for most of my sloths, I used white and the color of the sloth. By the seventh and eighth sloths I had come up with what I think is the perfect non-embroidered face. Starting with the white, I made a magic ring, then in the magic ring for Round 1, I worked 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, then with the contrast color 2 more dc, then 2 white dc, then 3 contrast dc, then 2 white dc, then 2 contrast dcs, then with white, 1 dc, 1 hdc and 1 sl. For Round 2 (all in white), I worked 2 sc in next hdc, then 2 sc in each white st and 1 dc in each colored st around to last hdc, then sl st to back of work to maintain face shape. I crocheted over the thread not being used during color changes, and changing color on the final draw through 2 loops of each color-change dc.


I didn't really care for the embroidered eyes on my first sloth, and the beads I used for eyeballs are too big. The seed beads are too small. I couldn't find beads in between size, so I thought perhaps googly eyes might work.


After finishing eight sloths, I confronted the dilemma of arms that couldn't hold onto US currency. Talk about money slipping through your hands...


I thought perhaps if I kept the arms, which in the original pattern are unstuffed) closed in a clip overnight, they might hold their shape.


That didn't work.

I wondered if I could insert pipe cleaners, with the cut edges bent back so as not to cause any injuries to little hands, to shape the arms.

I learned very quickly this might have been a superb idea had I inserted the pipe cleaners prior to closing them and attaching them. I couldn't insert pipe cleaners through my tight stitches in finished arms.

I created a ninth sloth, inserting the pipe cleaners as described in the previous paragraph, and voila! Perfect!


I now had a choice. I could make seven more sloths, which I really didn't want to do because I am thoroughly burned out on sloths at this point, or I try inserting some jewelry wire from my stash. I also didn't know if bead eyes would be appropriate; I didn't know the ages of the recipients. So I asked my friend if any of her grandkids would be too small for bead eyes and wire arms, if I buried the wires sufficiently.

Thankfully, all her kids are old enough to handle tiny animals with bead eyes and wire arms. She said they'd be more interested in the cash anyway.

So I gathered the troops...


... and I gave them the gift of sight.


Then I transformed them from amoebas to vertebrates, and my sloths are ready for adoption!






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





24 April 2018

Bluebird Day


We've had tree swallows in our bird house for the last few years.

For three days this year, we thought we were going to have mountain bluebirds!!! Words cannot even begin to explain how excited we were!

Alas, I inadvertently scared them off while working in the garden. They've moved on to presumably greener pastures. On the bright side, another pair is nesting on the porch of our neighbors. And, well, the bluebirds got the nest ready for the tree swallows...





23 April 2018

Snowflake Monday


Sometimes, I spend way too much time trying to shoot flowers or snowflakes in my garden. Or a combination of the two...

I recently saw a meme making fun of spring snow. It said, “Most people think it's April, but it's the 96th day of January.”

Well, we had the 111th day of January last weekend, and I spent way too much time in the garden trying to get pictures of snow on the flowers!






One of the things I needed to be doing was finishing organizing my bead/button/jewelry-making stash, which I eventually did. In the process, I found some flowers I crocheted about eight or nine years ago, when we first bought our house. They, and the snow in the garden, inspired today's pattern.


I love the versatility of this pattern. You can make just a flower...


… or a bigger flower...


… or a flower with leaves...


… or a snowflake, all just by changing the color of the last two Rounds.


Yes, an all-white snowflake is possible, too. I made one with three picot points instead of one on the final Round.


This pattern doesn't necessarily need to be stiffened...


… but you can achieve many different shapes if you do stiffen.




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


Finished Size: 3.25 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in two or three 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

January 111th Snowflake Instructions

With light yellow or flower center color, make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [yo and draw up loop through magic ring, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 2 times, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook (beginning cluster st made), ch 3, * [yo and draw up loop through magic ring; yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 3 times, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook (cluster st made), ch 3; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 6 cluster st and 6 ch 3 sp; sl st in top of starting cluster st. Bind off. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: With pink or petal color, * 1 sc in any ch 3 sp (or next ch 3 sp in repeats), ch 2, in same sp work 1 dc, 1 tr, ch 3, sl st in top of tr just made (petal tip picot made), 1 tr, 1 dc, ch 2, 1 sc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc. Bind off.
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 3: With white, leaf color or petal color, * 3 dc between any 2 sc (or next 2 sc in repeats), ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 2; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting dc.

Round 4: * Ch 2, yo and draw up loop in same dc as sl st, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, [yo and draw up loop through next dc, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 2 times, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook (cluster st made), ch 2, sl st in 3rd dc of Round 3 3/dc group, ch 3, 1 dc in next picot, ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 2, 1 dc in same picot as previous dc, ch 3, sl st in 1st dc of next Round 3 3/dc group; repeat from * around 5 times; bind off. Weave in ends.

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 snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

19 April 2018

Butterflies Aren't Free


Butterfly fabric definitely is not cheap, but that's okay. The prettiest fabrics are worth paying for, right?


I have a collection of blue snowflake fabric, blue floral fabric, and now... blue butterfly fabric. Perfect for dressing up, right?


Back in December, I decided to make a gored skirt because I had seven blue butterfly fabrics, and my favorite pattern required eight. I searched on quiltshops.com and quickly found another blue butterfly fabric at Ann's Fabrics. I'd ordered fabrics from there before, so I quickly placed my order.

A day or so later, I got a call from Ann. Wow! She asked if I'd seen the notice on her front page that the shop was closed until February. I told her I'd found the fabric on a search engine, and I didn't see her home page. She asked if I'd like to cancel the order or wait until February. I didn't have any upcoming weddings or special occasions at the time, so I told her February would be fine.

In February, she called back to make sure I still wanted the fabric. By this time, my niece in California had become engaged, and if added a bodice to the skirt pattern, my new dress would be perfect April wedding attire. Ann said she'd have the fabric in the mail to me the next day, so that night I modified the pattern, added pockets, cut the seven gores with fabric I had, and selected another butterfly fabric in my stash to cut a fully lined bodice. I figured I'd have the dress done in a couple of hours once I had the eighth blue butterfly fabric.


Days turned into weeks. The weeks turned into a month. I called Ann in March to let her know I'd received her shipping notice, but I'd never received the fabric. She had paid for two-day delivery with tracking, so she looked up the shipping info and sent me a copy so I could track the package, too. The package was in Denver and scheduled for delivery in the next day or two.

Neither Ann nor I could understand why the package would take so long, but it finally did arrive the next day. The package itself adequately displayed its age and mileage. Thankfully, the fabric inside was in perfect condition. I cut out the eighth gore that night but did not sit down to the sewing machine until the Monday before the wedding.

I do not have a good track record for finishing dresses (or shorts or swimsuits) I cut out for weddings (or other vacations)! Work gets busier than anticipated as I prepare to leave, and it just seems the vacation is upon me before I know it, and the clothing is still waiting to be stitched!!! Perhaps I need to start a dress WIP list! These are a few of the projects I have not finished on time and am still hoping to finish soon.








I was absolutely determined to finish the blue butterfly dress in time for Ashlie's wedding. I took off work the day before our flight specifically to sew, and in addition to packing, I finished the dress!!! YAY!!!


In California, The Lizard took pictures of me in my dress before I took pictures of my nieces in their dresses.










You'd think I'd had enough butterflies after all that. Not on your life.


I wanted to make a dress when I found the Studio E Fabrics Aflutter pictured above on sale, but only one and an eighth of a yard remained. The next best thing was a block in my simple butterfly fabric sampler.


I began collecting butterfly fabric two years ago after a cinnamon bear snuck up on me while I was completely oblivious taking butterfly photos. I want to make a Bear and Butterfly quilt, inspired not only by the experience, but also by the Heart classic.


This isn't the quilt top I envision, but it shows off 13 of my favorite butterfly fabrics.


Two, including the sashing, were already in my stash before The Day of the Bear. One is left over from the bodice of my dress.


I vowed not to add new projects to my WIP list until I finish more WIPs. If I finish this gorgeous quilt before the end of the quarter and it doesn't become a WIP, it doesn't count, right?!?


What about TWO more tops I'll have to finish quilting before the end of the quarter???

I was piecing a butterfly backing for the sampler above when I decided to go ahead and make a quilt top from the butterfly panels below, which have been cocooning in my stash for who knows how long, to make sure I had enough butterfly leftovers to finish it before I use all the leftovers up in a backing.

And this is what I wound up with... a piece worthy of the Denver National Quilt Festival, in my opinion, if it still existed!


Initially, I planned to put five more butterflies on the left side of the quilt top, but after I finished attaching the right side, I decided I really like the off-centeredness, as well as the size, so I'm leaving it as is and packaging up the five leftover butterflies along with a few other butterfly leftovers for my bus driver, who went nuts over my butterfly dress. She said one of her friends recently gifted her an old sewing machine, she has not sewn in years, and she'd love to get back into it so she can make a dress just like mine. She said she loves butterflies and has them on her dishes, her table cloth, her curtains, her couch and her bedspread.

She seems to be as obsessed with butterflies as I am with snowflakes! So I don't mind indulging her at all. My little butterflies might give her something to practice on until she rebuilds her confidence and skill, and that makes me a very happy butterfly dress wearer!

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