Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pac Man game board graph pattern for sale

I'm not sure if I'll have time to make this before Christmas, but I know my 9 year old will love it when I finally do get it done!  I plan on backing this one with fabric because my little prince charming doesn't like afghans, or "blankets with holes" as he calls them.  I don't know if his toes poke through of if the air hitting him between the stitches bothers him. Either way, I'll back it for him so he can enjoy it.  This graph as is will make a decent size throw when using double crochet stitches. I may alter it later to make it twin size.  Anyone else wanting the graph, can email me their request at kendrascrochet@gmail.com and receive an invoice for $4. Upon receipt of PayPal payment, I will email the graph to you.

That being said...how do you like it?  My husband thought he'd like the classic board better, but I don't think our little prince will mind.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

personalized baby blanket

I do love designing personalized afghans for my customers.  This one is for the baby of a Detroit Tigers fan.  I wasn't sure about the stripes, but they turned out cuter on the corners than horizontally.  Unfortunately, the local Walmart, where I get my yarn, didn't have Caron in Navy blue or a more subdued shade of orange so I'm actually making it in Caron's Ocean and a bright, almost day-glo orange.  I hope they don't mind! I would have waited, but the baby was born yesterday and I was asked to get it done ASAP!  What would you do in this position?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shrek

Just a work  in progress but thought I'd share anyway. I'm thinking of adding a border that says "Then I saw your face" on top and "I'm a believer" on the bottom. Haven't decided yet.  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Intarsia tips/grad afghan completion, day 9

graph from which I created the afghan
 My project is completed and ready to be washed and dried before packing up to deliver. I spent a few hours a day for 9 days on this throw. I normally like to crochet top to bottom (or bottom to top if I'm honest), but when there are lots of color changes in a single row then the possibility to get all those colors tangled is very high! 

When I see a lot of color blocks (areas of the same color next to areas of a different color-like in the 2015) I sometimes will decide to work the afghan from the side instead. In the next picture you can see where I've started the very left edge of the tassel in the graph's design.  Even though the photo lays the work horizontally, it's the columns of the graph that I'm working. 
Getting started is the easiest part.  In the first day's work I only just started changing colors.  This particular graph I used 2 dc per graph square, while several graphs use 1 sc per graph square. So I count the number of graph squares and double it to get the number of dc stitches. This graph is 75 stitches high so I crocheted 150+1 for the starting chain (75 x 2 = 150 + 1 for beginning dc=151). Even though i start crocheting in the 3rd chain from the hook, I always used a ch 2 turning chain as first dc of the row (you may use a ch 3, but I think that makes my work look loopy and loose on the edges so I ch 2). When I got to the first color change row, I counted the number of purple squares before it turned to black, crocheted that far, then changed to black yarn and crocheted the black stitches over the working purple yarn (this is called "tapestry crochet") because there were only a few stitches of a different color.

The next day's work shows the black stitches getting wider and wider apart, I used a second skein of black (as you see in the photo) and did not carry them across the work.  Only one purple was used because there were only a few black stitches at a time to carry them under. Another thing I take into consideration is the contrast of the yarn.  Since this is a dark purple, it didn't show under the black as a light color would have.  This method of working each area of a color with a new skein of yarn is called "intarsia."


 On day 3 I started the white of the numbering and the cap.  At this point I did start another purple skein so I wouldn't be carrying it under the stark white and have it show up. In the photo to the left you can see several strands of working yarn attached to the afghan.  When I change colors I leave the previous color behind if I'm not carrying it through, and I pick it back up where needed as I work my way back.

There are some places where I decided to measure the yarn and cut it.  Instead of buying several skeins of yarn of the same color and using only part of each of them, I count how many graph squares of one color are in one area, measure how much yarn it takes to make up one graph square's worth of dc and figure how much yarn it will take to cover the whole area.  I pull out that much yarn and cut it off the skein then ball it up (as you see to the right) to keep it out of the way as I work.  Then I can use that new end of the skein in a different place on the graph when I need it.

At this point in my work, I realized I had miscounted somewhere along the line and was not going to unravel days and days of work to fix it! Counting stitches is important when doing colorwork.  It can throw your whole design off if you miscount.  Of course, as I was taught, you can hide nearly anything if you know how!  On this day, I had to fudge and blur my lines a bit to make up for a mistake that I didn't see was worth unraveling several rows and have a pile of unraveled yarn getting tangled at my feet.  Now I do unravel for big mistakes if I think they'll be noticed or if it is not possible to hide.

While I crocheted this portion, I was very excited because I was past the halfway point and could see the end coming nearer!  It went quicker too, because I didn't have so many color changes and even though it doesn't seem to take much time to switch yarn colors, it adds up and takes a long time to get through a project with a lot of color changes.  Even longer if you're carrying the unused strand through your work because you have to keep track of that and make sure you're covering it up with each stitch.

 You may also notice that I tuck in my ends as I go instead of leaving them for later.  That's my personal choice because I find the work tedious and prefer to do it one at a time and get it out of the way instead of doing them all at once and getting frustrated or mad because I missed one or I'm not finished as quickly as I thought I'd be. Besides all that it looks nicer! I get more satisfaction from my work as I progress if it looks neat and tidy.  I guess when I see ends dangling I just see more work and not how the final product will look!


Here, I realized that the miscount I made earlier was going to affect the design and that I needed to do something about it!  I think I hid it cleverly enough by adding or subtracting a stitch here and there in the design, or by increasing or decreasing where I didn't think it would be noticed.



Be honest, can you tell?  I don't think the recipient will know if I don't tell her!

My last step was to add a border.  You can't tell from the photo, but I went around it in purple first and the scalloped edge with white is done on purpose.  I wanted a more feminine look for this one than for the black one I did.

So, my project is completed and done on schedule, too!  Actually it's done a day early because I took a little extra time yesterday to complete it when I saw how close I was to being done. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Grad afghan progress day 8

The original graph
8 days progress. almost done!

Only another day or 2 to finish this graduation present!   It's going a bit faster now that the color blocks are larger and I don't have to change color every few stitches as I did in a couple areas.  I'm almost done with the picture on the design, then to finish off the purple area of the background and add a border.  I'm playing with the idea of making the border designed as well instead of just a plain stripe.  What do you think? 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Grad afghan day 7

I only got a few rows done this time (I started washing dishes and scrubbed my whole kitchen! What is it about springtime that makes us do these things?) You can still see progress though. I may be a little behind schedule, but that's not a big deal on this project.  I have one more number to go to complete the 2015 and just to narrow the cap to a point. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Grad afghan progress Day 6

Well, 6 days in and I'm about 2/3 done. Right on schedule!  But look at that tangled mess of yarn on the right!  Ugh!  It's going to take a while to fix that. I have about 8 strands attached at this point. A few more rows and the 1 will be completed and I can cut the white and have an easier time untangling that knot on the right. I'm wondering whether I have enough white left to complete this project, I may have to start another skein.  I'm using Red heart yarn. 2 purple (I think the actual name is "amethyst") "pounder" skeins, 1 white "pounder" and 2 black 7 oz skeins that still have plenty more yarn on them. It's looking pretty good,I think. minus the messy yarn on the right, of course.