Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ventura County Fair Crochet

This year, I was asked to be one of the judges for the crochet items at the Ventura County Fair.  A pleasant feeling for the old ego.

I've been a clerk/scribe for several years, having a great time helping the judge (my buddy Elisa).  While we hated to split up our team, there were 191 crochet items submitted to the fair this year!

Here is a sampling--there were two other looooong tables filled with crochet items on either side of this central one:

Three judges in total made it doable.

I had a lot of fun, with a very efficient clerk of my own, saw a lot of beautiful items, some incredibly cute items (a crocheted lavender octopus, anyone?  A crocheted OTTER?!  So cute!), and some items that… well, we try to give helpful suggestions for next time.

(For those of you planning to submit crochet items to fairs or contests, some very basic things to remember:  submit new things--nothing old, worn, dirty, or, heaven help us, smelly!  Weave in those yarn ends, too.)

When we were done, Elisa and I went out to lunch, our reward for a hard day's… or rather, morning's… work.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Split Variable Star

I inadvertently started a new project.

"I didn't mean to," she whined, "it just happened."

You know how sometimes you're just walking along, minding your own business, and suddenly you fall into a new project?  Ouch!

I blame the Quilt Guild.  Every time we get a new Guild president, the members make blocks, following a theme of some kind, as a gift for the OGP (outgoing president.)

This year, we are doing stars again, and the OGP likes Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

I happen to have a small stash of Fassett scraps, all gleaned from the Guild's Treasure Table.

And I have a pattern from Quilt Ventura, called the Split Variable Star, finished size, 6 inches.  Perfect!

(If you were to contact Quilt Ventura, I bet you could get a copy.)

So I made one.  I figured I'd crank it out and be done.  But it was so darn cute!

Besides, due to the way one makes half-square-triangles, I ended up with an extra center piece.

What's a quilter to do?

Make more blocks, of course!

Then I realized, since one corner of the block is different from the other, a secondary motif would emerge if one were to make a whole friggin' bunch of the darn things, which are, as I mentioned, going to finish at only 6 inches each, so one would need a whole friggin' bunch if one wanted to make a whole friggin' quilt, wouldn't one?

Actually, these are really fun to make, and the arranging possibilities are endless, so, let the scrappy quilting continue!

I made a different block for the OGP.

Sorry, but the split variables are mine, all mine!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Cupcake Strikes Again!

There's nothing quite like the Cupcake Beanie, designed by Debbie Ware.  She sells her patterns as well as finished items in her Etsy shop.

She has designed a lot of cute patterns, but this is one I go back to over and over for newborn babies.

The first time I made this hat, I was a new knitter, and found the learning curve to be high.  Knitting AND purling?  In the round??  With slipped stitches?  And bobbles??!!

I was determined, however, and I am so glad I stayed with it.

I even adapted it once for a grown-up friend:  I cast on more stitches, and knitted a few extra rows here and there.

This latest one turned out a bit more ruffly around the top because I added extra rows here too.  I'm thinking the original is better, but, oh well, too late now.  It has already been gifted, and the baby will grow into it eventually!

Instead of my usual Tahki Cotton Classic, I used Baby Bunny yarn, which has a dash of angora--yum!--yet is still machine washable.  Alas, it is a discontinued yarn.

I decided to go with a little I-cord topper this time instead of a pom-pom.  I attribute that decision to laziness.

More new babies are on the way.  Back to the knitting needles!