Thursday, January 30, 2014

Crochet Mood Blanket 2014

Everybody's doing it!  This is definitely all the rage.  Stacey Wentford-Hall aka "Frofunky" on Instagram started this, having no idea what kind of response it would get.  Visit Stacey's blog for more information.

But here is the basic idea:  you crochet a block a day, or a block a week, based on your mood.  I've seen people take that idea and morph it into lots of different things.  People are making giant granny squares and all kinds of striped blankets - chevrons, granny stripes, mixed stripes.... lots of choices.

Having recently finished two big blankets, I decided to go small.  That's definitely a new concept for me. Besides, I have other plans in mind, and don't want to feel overwhelmed or burdened by this project.  I want to keep it fun.

So, this is what I have so far: mini-hexagons - using colors that reflect my mood at the time. I am using my existing stash of Stylecraft DK - and only working with what I have on hand.

My color choices and moods have been greatly influenced by the death of one of my dearest friends on December 3. She was diagnosed with advanced, metastatic colon cancer in August, and died peacefully at home just four months later.  Donna's favorite color was purple. Blue ribbons represent colon cancer awareness.  Right now, "feeling blue" is something I understand and experience often.  My hexagons mainly reflect my memories of Donna, missing her every day, and a visual representation of my grief. The shades of purple and blue vary in intensity based on which color speaks to me that day.

There are some colors with a different meaning. Red hexies are days that I was angry or frustrated.  Bright pink means I had a migraine.  (There are two of those in the top row, left).  And fiesta pink, which is actually brighter than "bright pink," reflects happiness and excitement (bottom right).

As I move through the year, I suspect some colors may change their meaning.  I'm okay with that.  I will be flexible and try to really let the colors speak for me.

This picture was taken just about 2 weeks before she died.  Donna received an award from our local Girl Scout Council.   At this point, she had been bedridden for months.  Hospice worked a miracle getting her into a wheelchair and escorting her to the award ceremony.  They were amazing!

Donna worked as Marketing Director for our Girl Scout Council many years ago, and that is where I first met her. We met again 7 years ago when we were both running local homeless shelters. She become one of my absolute dearest friends. She was an amazing woman, and the world is definitely a better place because she was here. I will miss her forever.

Donna Perras, 9/15/1954 - 12/3/2013

Final Update - Mixed Stripey Border

I worked hard to crochet my ends in during the project.  I still had a few to contend with at the end, but not too bad.  To me, weaving them in as I go is really essential. It's the worst part of the project - very tedious - and feels overwhelming if left to manage all at once.  But that's just me!

The border: 
2 rounds half double crochet - shrimp, 3 hdc worked in each corner stitch.
3 rounds hdc - aster

3 rounds granny stripe - wisteria, saffron, aspen.
*Work each corner like a regular granny square: 3 dc, 2 chain, 3 dc

Bobble stitch stripe - turquoise background and plum bobbles.

Final - Edie Eckman's Around the Corner Crochet Borders, #133 - fondant and lipstick.  I did a round of single crochet in fondant before beginning the special stitch.  Because of copyright, I can't give the directions, but border #133 is very simple - a series of chains looped and sc in place.  If you don't have this book, it's worth getting.  It has lots of great inspiration.

And that's it!

On Ravelry, there is a Crochet Along (CAL) that will be open at least this year - maybe longer - for people who are making their own version of the mixed stripe blanket.  If you've been thinking about making your own version of Little Woollie's awesome design, I encourage you to join the group.  I am one of the moderators, and know you will get lots of encouragement.  It's a nice group of hookers!  You can work at your own pace - share your progress - and get support and ideas from other people who are working on this project.  It's a lot of fun! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Big Happy Ta-Dah!

I thought I would never see this day, but here it is! Almost 1 1/2 years after's finally done!

My posts with instructions/colors for each row are way behind - and as soon as this blanket comes out of the wash - I'll get that updated.  In the meantime - I think this is awesome eye candy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Picture Updates!

Squares made by my daughter and students at Bowling Green State University. They yarn bombed the residence hall in December. Now those squares are being donated to Love-Squared.

More progress on circles! 

My daughter is a knitter!

Isn't this gorgeous?  She did a great job.

She is teaching me to knit.  Very challenging! (Ignore the dog hair!) 

Christmas stockings made by my Mom.  She has made 27 of these over the years - one for each of her children and grandchildren, and a few for nieces and nephews.  I can see how her skills have improved from the earlier stocking (made for me 48 years ago) when compared to the ones made for my girls.  They are all beautiful! 

Intricate patterns!  Lots of detail!

I'm still working on knitting.... switched to circular needle and find them much easier to use.  Shortly after taking this picture, I found a dropped stitch. Tried to repair it...ended up ripping out the whole thing and starting over.  Sigh. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Going In Circles

Using up odds and ends of brightly colored yarn.  Eventually, the circles will be made into squares.