Sunday, 19 September 2010

Pretty as a Daisy

I've got something I'd really like to show you. Feels like I'm a school-girl again and it's my turn for show-and-tell and I'm feeling really excited about it. Crochet does that to me. :-)

It's this lovely, tricky (well, tricky for me!), very grooooovy daisy square!

(this one was not made by me - details below the photo)
first daisy crochet square

Let me tell you about this funky, free pattern and the great project going on behind it.

The pattern is available from Krochet Krystal. Krystal has a really cool idea. She will share the pattern with you for
FREE! (You just need to register with her and then she'll send all the info to you).

There's just one, simple condition:
you need to make her a square, using her pattern, and then send that square back to her.

And what does she do with all these daisies, being sent to her in exchange for her pattern, from people all over the world?

She makes them into blankets and donates them to worthy charities.

Like this one:

It's an honesty system, basically. In a world-gone-mad, full of accountabitily and lawsuits, there is someone out there still working on the idea of goodwill.

Makes me feel good inside, knowing that. And, as I am an honest person (really!), I fully intend to complete my end of the bargain.

Only problem: I didn't know until I got the pattern that she wants you to use worsted weight yarn. And I have so little of that kind of yarn! It's hard to find in Oz. But it gives me a great excuse to go yarn shopping, doesn't it? ;-)

In the meantime, I made this one with some of my left-over Patons Smoothie yarn, the yarn I used in the Event Plaid blanket. Pretty, isn't it?

I found the pattern quite tricky at times, but I think I've got it right. Good practice for the one that I'll send her.

This is going to become part of a new project. A small-ish, spur-of-the-moment project. These don't often happen to me - I'm normally planning and budgeting carefully for some time, thinking about the costs and amount of yarn, etc, etc. But because this is now officially stash yarn, I can go with the flow a bit more. It's nice. I'm liking it. :-)

So, if you are interested in the pattern, or are interested in Krystal's charity work, head on over to Krystal's blog. By making her a square, you get the pattern, and you get to help a good cause at the same time.

Of course you can do more than one square, if you like. But one square is all that Krysal asks for. That's it. Then the pattern is yours to use and enjoy forever.

Let me know if any of you give it a go. I'd love to see your daisies and hear what you think about the pattern.

Til next time,
Happy hooking,
Caz :)

P.S. Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone that commented on my Event Plaid blanket. I'm so pleased with the finished result and it's great to read that you guys like it, too. I love reading your comments; they really make my day. :)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Event Plaid - TA DAH!

Extreme close-up of extreme weaving!

Yes! It's finished! Yay!

It is so true what the other blogsters said: it is only once you finally pull through that last row of weaving, stand back and look at it, that you can really see it. And then you think WOW.

It was all worth it.

So worth it.

It looks GREAT!

Well, actually, it looks like an ordinary blanket! LOL :-D Not at all like crochet.

But that's good, because my sister wouldn't want any vintage, granny-esque crochet in her lovely new place. Her new home is very modern and minimalist and I think a granny square on the sofa would look so... well, wrong. But this won't. This looks like a lovely soft, woven blankie. Perfect for carefully-draping-so-it-looks-casually-thrown over the back of the sofa. And also perfect for curling up under while watching a bit of late night telly.

I will be down in Brisbane in a couple of weeks so I will be able to give it to her then. I'm so excited!!

So, anyway, I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

You want to see?

Here it is!


Do you love it? I sure do. I hope my sister does, too.

When I finally finished weaving, I knotted all the ends. I tied each end with its neighbour, if you get what I mean, so that each tassel had four strands:

Then I trimmed them all to the same length - about 12 cm long. I found it a little tricky to keep it even, but I think it's worked out okay. (I also need to worry less about such things. :-) )

Now all that's left to do is give it!

Once I've visited her place in Brissy, I'll share a photo of it in situ
, in her actual home, on her actual couch.

That'll be really cool.

If you have any questions about the pattern or how I managed to wrangle it, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I'm only too happy to help.

And don't forget to visit the blogs where I first got the inspiration: these posts at
This Life and Laughing Purple Goldfish. As I mentioned in this post, these lovely ladies explain the whole process very well, and their blankets are most excellent, so check them out!

One more photo, on our bench, on our front verandah, to help you get an idea of the size: :-)

Well, thanks for sharing my Ta-Dah with me. I don't know many people around here who would understand my excitement quite the way that you, my lovely readers, do. :)

Til next time,
Have a happy, hooky day,
Caz :)

P.S. Laughing Purple Goldfish's current blog can be found
here. The link to her Event Plaid post (above) takes you to her older blog. Both are worth a look and I think the newer one links to the older one - somehow! C :)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Event Plaid - Nearly There!

I'm still working on the weaving part of my Event Plaid.

It's weird when you're half-way - it's sort of like a "before" and "after" image at the same time!

Want to see how it's going?

Here's how it was looking just a little while ago:

Anyway, I'm off to keep working on it.

Hopefully a Ta-Dah moment coming very soon!

Til then,
Have a happy, hooky day,
Caz :)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Event Plaid

This is my latest project - and it's almost finished! It's called an "Event" Plaid because the plaid is created by a special date.

I first saw this idea on this lovely blog, This Life. She lives in the US and
she first saw the idea on this post at Laughing Purple Goldfish, which is a blog in Melbourne. So back to Oz I went to see that one, too. (Laughing Purple Goldfish is a great blog, by the way, full of interesting ideas, tips and patterns. I thoroughly recommend it!)

Anyway, please follow the links above to their posts on Event Plaid blankets, because they explain the whole idea very well. But I'm about to try and explain it as well. Okay, here goes:

First of all, you need a special event/occasion/anniversary, etc. My special occasion is my sister has bought her first home - this is a house-warming gift.

Next you need to decide on a date. My date is 24 June, 2010. It's the date that my sister moved into her new place.

Then you need to choose yarn and colours, and organise the colours according to the date. My yarn is Patons Smoothie DK, which I showed you in this post. I chose 5 colours and they match the date like this:

twenty- (2 rows dark red/claret)
fourth (4 rows teal)
June (6 rows pink)
2 thousand (2 rows yellow)
and ten (10 rows blue)

See what I mean? (Again, check those other blogs - they explain it better!)

So that also decides the order of your stripes. EXCEPT... I didn't like that colour-order :-P so I kept the numbers but re-arranged the stripes. So, I've kinda messed with the whole idea there... oh, well, it's still the concept behind the whole creation.

So THEN you start to crochet. You crochet rows following that stripe pattern and the number of rows so it corresponds to the date.

The basic crochet stitch pattern is this: double crochet, chain one, skip next stitch (which is a chain-stitch), double crochet in the next double crochet. This creates a kind of mesh effect, like a net, with lots of holes:
dc (UK treble), ch1, dc, ch1...
6 rows pink, 2 rows yellow, ten rows blue... etc

Does that make sense?

It ends up looking like this:

THEN once that part is done, you do something a little different and it's really kinda groovy - you WEAVE. You weave over, under, over, under, all the way along the vertical, so the weaving is 90 degrees to the crochet stripes. Again you follow the stripe pattern so the same colour order and number of rows is followed. You usually need two or three strands to "fill" the weaving spaces well.

And this makes a plaid effect!

See what I mean? Cool, hey?

I have actually done heaps more weaving than this now - I'm about three quarters of the way through it - but I haven't taken any more photos!

A couple of things to mention, though. This project gets very boring at times. The crochet part seems to take forever. And it doesn't look very special or interesting at that point. I am so glad both the blogs mentioned above talked about this in their posts, because if they had not, I may have given up. But they both assured me it was worth continuing on with it.

And then the weaving feels like it takes ages, too. And I found it quite tricky and fiddly. First I tried it with a weaving hook that my daughter has from a craft set but it was too short and awkward. Then I tried with a sewing needle, but that made the yarn strands twist over each other. In the end I switched back to a crochet hook, and that worked quite well. As I went on it got easier.

I used two strands for the weaving, as I found that easier to weave - I measured the lengths I needed (which were about 3 times the length - this allows for the fringe as well) and then I doubled it over and pulled it through with the hook.

I am almost finished the weaving, and it looks really cool once the weaving is there.

Well, I hope that all made sense. I'm off to work on this again, and hopefully in a few days I will have a wonderful, big TA-DAH! to show you all. :-)

Til then,
Have a happy, hooky day,
Caz :)