beck's blog

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Poncho

I finished my Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Poncho and got my son to take a few pictures of me wearing it on today's sunny day. (Please click on the photos to enlarge them).

There really is no front or back side. It can be worn either way facing front.

Here's with my hands on my hips. I wanted to spread it out so you can see the whole thing clearly.

Here's the "back" with my hands still on my hips. I wish I had had one taken from the back with my arms down but I didn't think of it at the time. It looks like I need to twist it just slightly over a bit around my body too so that it would be perfectly symmetrical. Oh well. I can never seem to get a perfect picture no matter what! LOL!

It is made in two panels and then joined end-to-side and end-to-side. It was tricky to try and make sure as I was crocheting it, that two of the same colored puzzle pieces weren't right next to each other. AND to make sure that, where the panels are joined, I had the same color of the puzzle match up with it's other panel's color too.

It's tunisian crocheted using a size J cabled afghan hook.
I drew out the puzzle pieces on graph paper myself. It's a simple repeating pattern.
The best part of this project is that, once again, I was able to use up my tons of left-over yarn bits to make it. I made sure that if I didn't think I had enough for a whole puzzle piece, I wouldn't use it. I didn't want to get stuck not having enough of the right color. (If you'll notice, on the ends I was able to use smaller bits of colored yarn I had that were only needed for the round "head" of the puzzle).

After joining, I needed to trim the edges to stop curling and to make the poncho fit nice and snug around my neck.

So I used some really soft yarns I had. I combined Moda Dea Chichi yarn with Fun Fur. It worked great.
It's really soft right where you want it to be most. Around the neck and where the arms stick out.

The "symbol" which represents Autism is usually a piece, (or several pieces) of a puzzle.

The following is a brief definition of Autism from

Autism is a neurological disorder, which affects three main developmental areas: social interaction, communication and imaginative play. It is called a spectrum disorder, which means that the effects from it can range along a spectrum, from severely affected to a very highly functioning person who might only be described as quirky. No two people with autism are the same, so remember to never generalize, such as 'People with autism don't speak or like to be around people', because that simply isn't true in many cases. Some of the friendliest, most personable and charming kids you'd ever want to meet are on the spectrum. They are all different with a few common traits, that is the key.

Currently, one in every 150 children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism. (Source, T.A.C.A.).

This Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Poncho would surely grab anyone's attention. LOL!


I'm adding the graph I made because a lot of you were asking for it. (Click on it!)

Each puzzle piece is 13 squares across, (minus the "heads". If you keep that number in mind you won't mess up.

The outlined area is what I used for the poncho. (But the third row is really a repeat of the first row).
All you really need to remember is two squares across and two squares up.
(But it does help to draw out more of it to visualize it in your mind better).

I'd love to see the things you all make with it!

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Times They Are A-changin' - Bob Dylan Afghan

My latest afghan is a tribute to Bob Dylan.
It has the title, words, and his image from his third album "The Times They Are A-changin' and also the afghan has an image of Bob from his "The Essential Bob Dylan" album from 2000. (It's like a greatest hits album).
I wanted to include a young, accoustic Bob and an older, electric Bob. LOL!

These are the album covers.

Here's the afghan. (Please click on the photos to enlarge the images).

As usual I had a hard time fitting it all into the photo.

It's crocheted with a cabled size J afghan hook.
The red and white are "I Love This Yarn" from Hobby Lobby.
The black and blue are Red Heart yarn. (I ran out of the blue and had to switch to a royal blue up near the top. Oh well. Life is not perfect.

This is the back of the afghan.

'Ok, so why is Bob in front of an American flag?', you may ask.

Well, the lyrics to The Times They Are A-Changin' should explain that....

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

I found some great live versions on Youtube also.

When I first heard this song it was sung by Simon and Garfunkel and it blew me away.
(I've included a version here but it's only a recording from their album. Not a live cut. Still, it is my favorite.)
First, though, I have Bob singing it. There are two, one live and one a photo montage.

a live Bob Dylan version

Bob version with a slide show

Simon and Garfunkel version (just the music, no video)

There were still so many others covering this song. Peter Paul and Mary, The Byrds, Tracy Chapman, etc. You just have to go there and check out them all.

I think the song is just as relavent as it was back in 1963. Maybe even moreso.

Anyway, I want this posted for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Indiana's Democratic primary.
And, of course, the Presidential election is Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

Vote, if you can. If you can't; hang on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

For the times, they are a-changin'!