Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crocheted Colorado Stripe Afghan

In an earlier post (Breakfast Scarf) I wrote about my mentor. About a year ago she contacted me via Facebook asking where her crocheted gift was. I assume she was joking, and possibly inebriated. I thought, I may as well make her something, after all she did have a significant impact on my life. I asked her what she wanted and she. She did not know, but suggested something with her mother in mind. Her mother had recently passed away unexpectedly. I enquired further if there was a place or color that reminded her of her mother. She told me Colorado and Yellow, and then she had to run.

I began working on a blanket. Actually I began looking for something to work on I googled "crochet" and "Colorado" and eventually came across a pattern for a Colorado Stripe afghan. It was from a book called The Great Afghan Book. I ordered the book, and began to follow the pattern once it arrived.

The book was one that my grandmother had referenced in her notebook. The first pattern I ever followed was from this book. I was glad to buy it, and am sure that I will end up using several of the patterns.

I worked on the blanket sporadically, and eventually set it aside as other projects grabbed my fancy. Finally in that in between period where my fancy lay dormant and I had nothing else to work on I remembered- I need to finish that blanket some day! And so I set to work, and when I finally tied off and wove in the last strand I thought briefly of keeping this for myself, but instead took a picture, shared it and tagged my mentor, "It's yours if you want it"

Now, I just have to make sure I mail it before another year goes by!

Follow the simple pattern below to make your own!

* * *
Crocheted Colorado Stripes
Worsted Weight Yarn (any two colors)
Size I hook
Make this as large or small as you like, I used about 6 skeins for this particular blanket.
With color A – ch 194 loosely. Work in pattern stitch as follows.
Row 1 (foundation row): Sc in 2nd ch from hook *ch 3, sk 3 chs, sc in next ch, rep from * across
Row 2 (patt row): Ch 1, turn, sc in first sc, *ch 3, scin next sc, rep from * across
Rows 3-5: Rep row 2, 3 times. At end of Row 5 change to color B in last sc.
Rep Row 2 in the following 12-row sequence
2 Rows B
1 Row A
1 Row B
1 Row A
2 Rows B
5 Rows A
Rep 12-row color sequence until you are satisfied that the blanket is big enough! Weave in the ends and border as desired. I sc crocheted around once and finished with a scalloped edge (*ch 1, sk1, 4dc in next ch, sk 1, sl st in next st, repeat from * around. Tie off and Weave in ends.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Gorgon Medusa

Every now and then I leaf through an art book, looking for inspiration. I had imagined that I might find some gory painting of a saint. Saint Sebastian will some day rise out of a skein of yarn, I swear. But this time I was inspired by Caravaggio's Medusa (painted in 1597). It is a haunting image of the Gorgon frozen in the moment when she sees herself as what she is. It is horrifying and tragic.

I had no plan (or more specifically, no pattern) for how I might pay homage to Medusa, and obviously I could not hope to replicate the mastery of Caravaggio. I also culled inspiration from Ray Harryhausen's Clash of the Titans, and as I worked I played Clutches "Release the Kraken" repeatedly in my head.

And when it was all said and done, I am pleased with the results. Behold, the head of the Gorgon Medusa (as held by the hand and forearm of Perseus).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monkey and a banana

It is summer, and who wants to make blankets in the summer? But due to all the babies made during the winter I feel I should make something to celebrate their birth. And so I set to work on a monkey.

It sometimes happens that when you start a project without a pattern the end result might be a different size from your original idea. Upon completion of this particular project it was requested that I hide it, as it caused undue terror every time either my roommate or I wandered into the living room and saw it there. Giant monkeys can be unnerving, even if they are adorable.

The monkey was good, but there was something missing. After a discussion with a co-worker it was determined that it was a banana. The monkey needed a banana. So once again I took up hook in hand and got to work.

I think I needed to make something that was cute enough to counterbalance the Medusa head I've been working on. I think I may have succeeded.

And just in case the monkey and the banana were not enough, I threw in some bunnies for good measure.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Inching into spring

Living in Buffalo makes spring one of the most precious seasons of the year. While it seems like the rest of the country bursts to life in verdant brilliance we inch slowly towards it with one crocus at a time. The sight of a daffodil has been known to inspire squeals of glee. Though I have not seen the official sign that the season is upon us, that being a shirtless man doing yard work or riding a bicycle, I have heard the tell tail warnings. There may be one warm say (highs in the low 70's) and a without fail some one will say, "I don't know if I can take this heat". Fear not, because the next day it may well, and did, snow.

Not much changes for me, except maybe the colors and themes of what I am working on. Since winter ended I have finished a few projects but am largely in that in between place, much like spring itself. No particular project has seize me and thrilled me. More babies are on their way, the staff art show looms on the horizon, and several projects lay dormant - set aside in favor of some other endeavor.

My plastic bag yarn continues to proliferate. I made "the perfect crochet beach bag" from a pattern found on Pinterest, and I mailed it to a friend in a gift basket, which included one of the four fat adorable Easter bunnies I made using no pattern. Plastic bags were also turned into nested baskets through crochet alchemy. I converted a pattern for a shirt into a dress, which I may or may not wear to an event at work...or ever for that matter.


I suppose that even for a dry spell its still pretty prolific. I better get back to work, there are still projects that need to be realized!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day (a week early)

Today at work my colleague, who has begun to crochet requested that I figure out a pattern for her. She had seen a blanket she wanted to make, no doubt to celebrate her Irish-ness (translation-American Irish, not to be confused with actual people who live in or came from Ireland). At any rate at the end of a long work day she forwarded a picture of the afghan she wanted to make.

After five o'clock I headed home and worked on figuring out the pattern and then transcribing it for about 5 hours- through True Detective, Girls, Walking Dead, and Bates Hotel I worked, until finally I could produce something to be shared. It is late, and I am tired.  I just hope this pattern isn't complete nonsense.

Now, perhaps you can help me here. This pattern is untested. I've provided a link to the pdf of the pattern below.  Test it out for me, and let me know if it works, or makes sense. Feel free to make suggestions. Thanks, and happy St. Patrick's Day!