beck's blog

Friday, June 13, 2014

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Vest

I decided to try out making a vest with the Autism  Awareness Puzzle Pattern I drew up a few years ago.
I also decided to make it in wool, tunisian crocheted, and then felt the whole thing in the washer to make a nice thick, soft, colorful vest.

Here it is. I think you can click on the photos to enlarge them.


The front upright on the bench and lying flat.


The back on the bench and then lying flat.

Here it is with the outside showing opened up.

 I still need to trim up some of the ends.

I only had so much wool yarn. I thought I had enough but could only make it to fit me pre-washing and shrinking stage. So, after the washing and drying it is an adult size small.
 I am a XXL and this will never fit me. So I am sad.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Batty For Nora - Nora Batty Crocheted, Felted Vest

I made a tribute vest to the late Kathy Staff who portrayed Nora Batty from the British comedy " Last of the Summer Wine"

I used a stencil I found on the web which was made from this  photo of Kathy Staff  in character as Nora Batty.

Here's the stencil...

I uploaded the stencil to the knitPro websight to make it into a graph.

I decided to use 100% all wool yarn and felt it after I was done crocheting it.
I used Cascade wool yarn in Heather and White. Also, lighthouse brand of Ocean Sunset Ombre Orange and some old Rochelle  labeled yarn in eggshell. For her curlers I used Persian wool tapestry yarns from left-over needlepoint kits, (in strands of three to equal that of the thicker yarns mentioned above).

So, here's the front and back after I tunisian crocheted the picture and made the front panels. (These are pre-felted.

Front panels. I just used all four yarns alternating them row by row. Since one is an ombre it gave the panels a random look.

Here's the back. I decided to create eyes because the stencil above only shows shadow. She looks a bit scary and quirky too. I also drew in on the graph where I thought curlers would be. I wanted her curlers to really stand out because that is how I most remember her character. She mostly wore those, (unless she was at tea with the ladies at Edith's home. Then she wore those ridiculously wonderful turban-type hats!)

Here's the back of the front pannels. I really liked how this looked and had a hard time deciding which side, front or back, to use for the front of the vest. But, in the end, this became the inside of the front of the vest. Hope that makes sense.

I crocheted the pieces together to form the vest and went around the whole thing with the ombre yarn.

So then, just to make sure people could tell who this was, I free-handed the name "Nora Batty" onto the back just next to her portrait with a needle and tapestry wool thread. (I did this after my husband saw my Nora picture and thought it was a man). LOL!!!!!!

Then, I put it into the wash and then dryer and it shrunk up to the final shape.
So, here's the vest now.

The back. It feels like all one solid piece of thick felt but you can still see the stitches. The name I sewed in kind of shrunk up too and it's not as legible as it was when I first added it. But I still think you can read it.

Here's the front. The red and purple bled a little bit but not too badly. It's so soft and thick.

And if you open the vest, here is the insides. Remember, this is the beck of the back of the vest. (The reverse side). I'm not going to line it. It's already warm and soft. 

Finally, I put on the vest and had my son take some photos.

The back.

A side view. 

And the front.

Here in Indiana I have only been able to catch a few Last of the Summer Wine episodes sporadically on our local PBS station. But, thanks to You Tube and the internet, I've been able to watch most of the episodes.

What a great show with a fantastic cast! No wonder it is Britain's longest-running comedy show ever with over 30 years of episodes! It's sad that most of the original actors have passed on. (I cried my eyes out when Compo, (Bill Owen) died and they had that wonderful few episodes dedicated to his passing.).

I've also fallen in love with the beautiful scenery that is Holmfirth, England, (where Last of the Summer Wine was filmed.) It's like a silent cast member always appearing with the rest of the crew and keeping you amazed at it's beauty!

I'm hoping some kind folks will upload the last couple of seasons so I'll be able to finally see them all.

In the meantime, I'll wear my Nora Batty vest proudly in honor of the show!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wiggly Chair Pads - Chocolate Bunny and Peace

Just in time for Easter, I've finished my Chocolate Bunny chair pad project.

It's covering my library-turned-sewing-chair which never had any padding but is nice and wide.

I used Sugan 'n Cream all cotton yarn and a size H hook.
The bunny pattern is from Susan Lowman's "Hot Stuff for the Holidays" wiggly trivet and coaster book.
I've used that book to make some chair pads in the past but I don't think I ever posted about them.

Here's the jack-o-lantern one. Since it's all cotton, and you wash them, they will shrink. But this chair is a little wider than most so it would probably work fine for any chair anyways. Otherwise, don't wash them! LOL!

Here's my own wiggly peace design chair pad. I wish the yellow were darker but it's all they had in the stores I was in. Plus, no one had true blue! I had to use Sinfonia 100% cotton yarn and double up so it would be as thick as the Sugar 'n Cream yarn.

Here's a comparison shot of the chair pad with the original wiggly trivet on top. (That was made from size 10 crochet thread). I wanted the chair pad to be that dark yellow too but, oh well. (Mondrian colors always look awesome!).

I know I've made the Christmas tree trivet pattern into a chair pad too but I can't find where I stored it. Anyway, the trivet patterns work great for making chair pads. You don't have to use cotton yarn either. I just thought it would be nice and durable. Many people make cotton scrubbies with the yarn so it should last a while for just sitting on.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

March Madness Afghan

With so many left-over colors of yarn from previous projects, I created this wild and frenzied afghan I'm calling March Madness. 

It's fifteen squares, all tunisian crocheted, and joined together. There are six basic colors with - varying shades - of yellow, orange, pink, turquoise, green, and purple

Not quite as many chevrons as this year's Norwegian Olympic Curling team, 

but very close. 

I used black and white yarn for the square borders and joining. I made them zig zag as well.

Also, I wanted to post a photo of my Remembrance bear the people from my Mom;s hospice care made for my Dad, my sister, and I. (We gave them some of Mom's t-shirts and they sewed each of us a bear out of the shirts.) 

Here's the three of them. They arrived right around Mom's birthday in February. My sister then mailed mine to me.

The first is made up from a shirt of all Mom's great-grandson's hand prints. She loved that shirt. (Dad has a shirt just like it.)

The middle shirt, I think say's Chieftans which is their local school's mascot.

The last bear is mine. It's of a riverboat casino near where they lived. Mom and Dad liked to go gambling at the boat.

Casino bear is now in my craft room on my director's chair in the corner. He's sitting on a chair pad my sister made.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Close Encounters of the Crocheted Kind - Meep & Stella

I love to play Scrabble and joined an online gaming site a while ago just so I could play it without any of those dang annoying ads. I've learned how to play lots of other games at the site as well. 

When someone at the site made a graph with which she created a Perler beaded coaster, (out of one of the characters from one of the games), I knew I had to try and crochet an afghan by doing the same.

 I uploaded the character's photo to the knitpro graph generator site and made a graph I could crochet from.
Ta-daaa! It's Meep from Stellar Sweeper.

I used the left-over sparkly yarns from the Harlequin poncho a couple of posts ago, plus, added the ocean colored variegated I Love This Yarn for the background and some sparkly soft fuzzy purply yarn for trim.

I think he's supposed to be giving a sort of 'Spock-like', V-shaped, greeting with his fingers only he's doing it with both hands and has them touching at the fingertips.

I also crocheted a dress for a stuffed alien doll I found at Goodwill. I think the doll was originally made as a toy from that partially animated movie with Michael Jordan in it from a while ago; Space Jam.

The doll had a cloth basketball outfit that was red with black and white trim and a number 23 on it. (Like Jordan's Chicago Bull's outfit).
Anyway, I stripped that outfit off and crocheted this cute dress onto the alien.

I named her Stella.

The dress is made with 100% cotton Sugar n Cream yarn. I added a necklace which is just two green pop tabs strung on a metal bead link chain, (like for a key chain).

Here they are together. Meep and Stella.
The afghan is really small. It would fit into a baby crib.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Baby Animals Afghan - Team Sasquatch - Winter Olympics Games 2014

This year for Ravelry's Ravellenic Winter Games 2014, I joined the Team Sasquatch and finished up an afghan I started a while ago but had never finished until now.

I had wanted to make a tunisian afghan using graphs made for filet crochet. I also wanted to use two different patterns and pick out and match up the animal graphs from each pattern into one blanket.

I used the two Design carriage crib cover filet crochet patterns originally available as mail order patterns.
Design 915 and Design 7757.
I took the dogs, cats, and rabbits from each and made them into one afghan.

In order to fit them into the same size squares, I decided to leave out the ball, bows, butterflies, and ribbons that were in the original graph patterns.

Each square is 50 stitches wide by 45 stitches tall. (Since tunisian stitches are taller than they are wide, the squares must be shorter in stitch length so they would be perfect squares).

I made two squares at a time going across row by row so I didn't have to join squares when done - they were already all together as it is made as one whole piece.

Each animal is a different color. I added the flowers, (snowflakes?, sputniks?, lol), after it was done by using a yarn needle and simply stitching/weaving them onto the afghan.

The border is single crocheted row by row alternating between black yarn and one of the colors of each animal. Kind of gives it a rainbow look.

Since I finished my UFO project during the games I was awarded a cute virtual "gold medal" along with most of the other Team Sasquatch Ravthletes.

I will proudly display this honor in this post for all to see. Here it is along with the proper discription of award ceremony festivities.

"Cheers and applause shook the stadium as the gold medalists walked proudly to the stadium. Streamers of yarn and knitted flowers and amigurumi toys flew as tribute and homage to their feet.
Now please stand to honor our Ravthlete medalists as they receive the glory due to their olympican effort in reaching the finish line!"

Monday, January 27, 2014

Harlequin Poncho

After Christmas I went to the Meijer store to scour the clearance items and came across some Red Heart Celebration yarn skeins in bright jewel tone colors with sparkly silver or gold thread wound within the yarn. Here's a link on that.  redheart celebration
So I bought one skein each of seven colors they had left, (almost all the rest they had but I think I left a few pinks and yellows).

If you checked out that Red Heart link and scrolled down a bit, you can see that the colors are so bright and they reminded me of Mardi Gras and jesters. So, I decided to make a poncho in tunisian crochet.

It's made the same as the puzzle piece poncho by making two rectangular pieces and joining those together end-to-side on the front and end-to-side on the back as well.

You can see the seams running across diagonally on both the front and back from the joining.
Then I added two more rows of squares on the top to fill in the poncho up to my neck.
(Don't ask me about the hat! It's my next post! Shhh!)

The poncho flares out a little at the top and stands up nicely thanks to a fleece lining I added so it would be warm and so the yarn, (which is really scratchy because of the metallic thread,) doesn't hurt my neck.

I decided to add a cute pom pom trim around the neck area. It's some unwritten law that a crocheted poncho requires fringe or pom poms, isn't it?! LOL! Anyway, it make this a fun piece. I was going to add pink jingle bells but my son talked me out of that. Something about not wanting to annoy anyone whilst wearing it. LOL!
Here it is laid out in the back. Yes, that one green square at the top could have been purple. 
I used a dark purple fleece blanket material for the lining.
I sewed this in by hand and, well, I'm not very good at that.
It's so soft and very warm and toasty now. (But still not warm enough for this ridiculously cold weather we are having here in Indiana right now! Ugh!)
Anyway, I'm ready for Mardi Gras.  Let's see. Tuesday, March 4. It'll still be cold so this poncho won't be too warm by then.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!