beck's blog

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!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Built To Last - Vintage Sewing Machine

This past Christmas my sister gave me a brand new sewing machine. (YAY!)

So I wanted to post a photo of it next to an old sewing machine that a lady gave to me a few years ago at her garage sale. (She was moving and didn't want to lug around this thing to her new place. It's 33 lbs!)

Here they are together. The new one is a Brother and the old one is a Cavalier.

This Cavalier has a brittle, corroded cord so I've never been able to run it.
The body says made in Japan and GL - 7. The motor on the back is a Champion universal 24 model which was Made in the U.S.A. 

There's beautiful chrome decorated front and back pieces as well as pretty gold scrolled designs along the base. This last back shot shows the light housing which kind of looks like a small torpedo. LOL! The light bulb inside is broken and the turquoise cord leading out from it to the box says Okusun.

You can open it up because it's hinged to the box base and on the front left side there this stock number. The box is sort of a strong particle board with an outlet on the right side for the machine's plugs for the light and the pedal/power.

But one look at this cord and you can see the trouble. Because it's cord was crumpled up to fit inside the box for so long, it has many breaks in the cord's tubing exposing the wires. I'd never plug this thing in without getting it rewired.

Finally, here's the ugly case with no markings on it. There might have been a label on the top shaped like a circle at one time. Other than that; nothing. There's metal buckles on each side to clamp the top lid to the bottom base keeping this sewing machine protected really well. Too bad about that dang cord.

I can't image how much it would cost to mail this anvil somewhere for repairs. It'd have to be done locally.
Anyone know of a reasonably-priced, Hoosier, handy-man electrician?  LOL!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Paul Klee's Senecio needlepoint

This is a needlepoint I finished last year. It's still needs stretching and framing.

I had bought this old Simplicity pattern from a retro shop.
I still needed to buy the needlepoint canvas and then just iron-on the design's outline included in the package.
(There were actually two inside. I suppose in case one was damaged or you goof up or something.)
You can actually reuse the pattern a few times too, I suppose, until it wears out of ink color.

Anyway, I used all my left-over wool needlepoint threads from old kits or threads from kits that I never liked  and only bought for the thread anyway.

The Original Senecio (posted at that web site), is what I used to choose my colors from.
The web sight says that the Senecio -  Paul Klee painting is from 1922 which blows my mind because it looks like something you'd see done in the '60s, doesn't it? Paul Klee must have really been ahead of his time. Hard to believe it will be 100 years old in 8 more years!

It was a lot of fun to make. I wish it weren't so expensive to frame things.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Here Come The Hawks - The Mighty Blackhawks

I started making this next vest with the intention of giving it to my Dad for Christmas.
But I liked it too much and in the end kept it for myself, (even though I'll probably never wear it here in Indianapolis). (Does Indiana even have a hockey team? Wasn't there a Checkers team at one time?)

Anyway, here's the vest.

This is the front.

This is the back.
I made this first and then did the side/fronts. I crocheted the C and tomahawk logo and stitched that on top of the front. It's lined using a used xxx large red t-shirt that I cut down the center and just sewed in. At the bottom I fringed the t-shirt and added black and white pony beads.

I love this image of the Blackhawk warrior and I think it's one of the best sports logos there is. I really hope they always keep it for their symbol.

I did learn of another 'hawk' image that was made to possibly replace this one - (which I also think is fantastic) - but I read that a Canadian kids hockey league bought this 'hawk' design and now the Chicago Blackhawks would be out of luck if they ever wanted to purchase it back from those guys.

Here's that Canadian little league Team's logo. It's really impressive. In fact, it said on Wikipedia that some t-shirts were made using this new logo for the actual Chicago Blackhawks team and sold outside the stadium once.

Anyway, my Dad's always been a big fan of the Blackhawks. When I visited last time I saw he had a nice 2013 Stanley Cup Champions Blackhawks jersey hanging up in his pool room.

As an added bonus, I have a couple of photos from my new "craft room" I have been working on since my sister gave me a sewing machine for Christmas, (thanks, again, Sis!)

Here's the work station. I reupholstered an old library chair with vintage Flock-o-Fun fabric, bought lots of lighting from Goodwill, and added my fez hat on a stand for inspiration.

There's a trim of red Fun Fur all around the edges except the bottom.

As a kid growing up in a suburb of Chicago I remember the theme song they always played on the commercials. I actually found it on their official website. It's from 1968. Perhaps you might like to sing along...

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Oh, Deer! Rudolph Sweater Vest

I made this sweater vest from lots of Christmas yarns I had been collecting.

This is the back. I used that one deer pattern from the baby carriage afghan filet crochet pattern a while back.

These two deer I made from a cross stitch deer pattern that I googled.

This is that.

The bottom was simply tunisian crocheting the different colors. I was so excited to use a brand new size L cabled crochet hook from The Crochet Dude line from Boye. However, I was very disappointed with the cable of the thing. Whatever it's made out of doesn't last very long at all. The weak point is where the cable meets the hook. I was barely able to finish this sweater before it began to tear away from the hook. I'm going to have to cut it off and just use the hook as a regular L crochet hook. What a complete waste of money.

Anyway, here's a couple of photos with a hideous person modeling the sweater.

The front keeps curling away on both sides. Maybe that will stop after a while of usage.

I actually wore this to a Christmas party this past Christmas. It was very warm.