Saturday, October 27, 2012

Playing by Ear

My niece can read patterns. It took me 15 or 20 years before I figured out how to read patterns. I was content for that long to just single crochet.
I recall my grandmother telling me once that I could discern a pattern by looking at a finished piece. At the time I couldn't even fathom following a pattern that was spelled out. To think that I could play a pattern by ear, as it were, that seemed like the stuff of fantasy.
Well talent and time progresses and I've learned to read patterns, but better yet I've learned to play by ear. These days when I see a pattern for sale I will just work it out, staring at it at length and mimicking it- undoing and redoing until I get it right. Maybe it would be easier to just buy the pattern and follow it, but where's the reward in that?
Recently my mother requested a doily for grandma's lazy Susan. I made one that ended up being too small- it was placed under a lamp in the living room. While visiting I spent time staring at the doily that currently occupies the lazy Susan. I took a few pictures for reference and set about to make it myself. I think it turned out ok, now if only I could remember to write down the patterns...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baby craft project 5: Layette

This project felt like maybe it took forever.  I started and completed multiple projects while this waited to be finished.  Perhaps it had something to do with it being a 3 part project.  Once I got to the blanket I was just tired of using a shell stitch.  That can happen.  Is stitch fatigue a thing?  How about color fatigue? 

At any rate, at long last it is done, and my weird reborn doll gets to model it.  Say hello, Esme...

If you like this, you can purchase it at my Etsy shop.

When I finished I had just enough yarn left over to make this little guy.

(He's pleased to meet ya.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Did you see the Sunrise?

When I am crocheting I am content to watch pretty much anything.  I depend upon my roommate to determine our entertainment.  This could mean a long forgotten classic film from the 1940's, a laughably bad B movie from the 80's or a sci fi serial from the 30's.  When forced to decide for myself it usually means Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because I don't have to think about it, and there seems to be an endless supply.  Recently however I found myself happily hooking to Magnum P.I.
First we went through a list of the top episodes, then through the ones with intriguing description, then from the first episode forward, and so on.  Early on my roommate declared that Tom Selleck had the "eyes of a kind wolf" which delighted me to no end.  I finished several projects during the Magnum P.I. obsession, and thought, "I would like to in some small way pay tribute to this nostalgic jaunt into 1980's Haiwaii.  And so I set about creating a Magnum P.I. commemorative blanket, to honor that beloved, laid back Viet Nam vet, who goes from light hearted jesting to cold blooded killing faster than you can say "The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club", and his precious if not vaguely homosexual relationships with Higgins.
As I set about to create this blanket, I received a surprising amount of advice.  I decided in the end to keep it simple, my tribute to the intricacies of Magnum's relationship with Higgins will have to play out in some other medium...perhaps finger puppets.  I do not have extensive experience in patterns that require frequent changing of colors, so, I figured I had enough of a challenge with the Detroit Tigers logo, and didn't wish to figure out how to work Rick, TC, and Higgins into the pattern.  So with graph paper and pencil I laid out a simple design.

It begins with a sketch.
I began to crochet a Magnum P.I. themed blanket.  I do not doubt that there is a serious dearth of Magnum P.I. related crocheted material, although I can't imagine why.  I suppose what with the show ending nearly 25 years ago it ceased to be en vogue and for some reason the DIY movement has not yet learned to appreciate the veritable bounty of potential in this untapped source.  I'm not saying I'm going to start a new trend in DIY...but maybe just maybe before too long we'll be seeing a cross stitch pattern on Etsy stating, "Lads, Patrol."

A mustache begins to take form...
And at long last, behold...the Magnum P.I. Blanket.  and perhaps the world is a better place for it.

Addendum...I submitted the blanket to the Fan Art section of Magnum Mania, and and proud to share the link, as I am now part of an elite group of artists dedicated to honoring this great show.  Furthermore the blanket was sold immediately when put up for sale on Etsy. A short time later I received a request for another Magnum P.I. blanket via Etsy. I shared updates with her as the project progressed, and she was kind enough to send me a picture of her boyfriend who received the blanket as a gift.

Sometime later I was discussing the blanket with a friend who told me that her husband thought that Magnum P.I. blanket was pretty much like printing money. If only it didn't take so long to print that money!