Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two New CAL Blocks

I'm all caught up on the Stardust Melodies CAL, ready for the release of the next pattern later today!
Here are the latest two block patterns:

"Satin Doll".

"Satin Doll"

This one came out bigger for me than I'd have liked, but I'm not sure how much of that is the pattern and how much is just my shifting moods coming through in my tension...  In any case, it's a pretty block.

"Satin Doll"

It's not as difficult as it may look, though the video is helpful for learning where to place the double crochets.  Once you've watched a few rounds, it's easy to tell where they go for the rest of the block.

"Satin Doll"

Side note:  I tried a new-to-me yarn on this block.  The gray is Big Twist Value.

In my opinion (so far, based on just this one skein), it's not a bad yarn, but it's discernibly rougher/scratchier than some of the nicer modern acrylic yarns.  Switching between I Love This Yarn and Big Twist Value, the difference was immediately obvious.  I'll certainly use up the two skeins I bought to try and I might buy it again, but it's not a favorite.

"Satin Doll"

"Satin Doll"

"On the Street Where You Live".

"On the Street Where You Live"

This one works up very quickly-- a simple and straight-forward pattern with a strong texture.

"On the Street Where You Live"

I enjoyed making this pattern-- a nice change of pace from the ones where you have to guesstimate how far to pull up a loop. ;o)

"On the Street Where You Live"

"On the Street Where You Live"


Yes, I like this one a lot.

"On the Street Where You Live"

I've also finished crocheting the "Evelyn" doily-- photos to come when it's been blocked.  Maybe I'll even go ahead and block it right away!

Though I already have a big doily UFO in light hibernation, I think I'm going to choose a pattern and start a new doily in some "long change"/long-repeat variegated thread (Alize Miss Batik).  I've been wanting to try it for months, and I don't want to wait to finish that other project first.  (Who knows how long that will take?!)

Life's too short not to occasionally indulge the wish to start yet another new project!

Friday, July 14, 2017

More CAL Photos!

After a week-long intermission, the Stardust Melodies CAL recommenced last Monday!

"I Got Rhythm".

The first of the second half of the patterns was slow going, for me.  The "special stitch"-- a combination of stitches the designer labels a "fletching stitch", for ease of reference-- isn't exactly difficult, but I found it somehow time-consuming and lacking in "flow".  I kept putting the project down, so of course it ended up feeling never-ending!

"I Got Rhythm"

I was happy with my results, however.  It's a distinctive pattern that would work very well for a masculine or unisex afghan.

"I Got Rhythm"

Lo and behold, after I saw how well the first block turned out, the second one flew off the hook in a fraction of the time!  Part of the difference might be due to experience gained on the first spin around the block-- or maybe it's more a reflection of a change in mood and confidence.  Either way, it's still not the very speediest block, but it was much easier the second time around.

"I Got Rhythm"

(The colors are wildly inaccurate, in some of these photos!  I'd already put the blocks away, so I didn't have them handy for reference when I was preparing the photos to upload, but it shouldn't matter.  You can see the texture just the same, and the texture is definitely the star of the show in this CAL.)

"I Got Rhythm"

These were not my favorite to crochet, but I do love the way they turned out!

"I Got Rhythm"

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore".

This is another nice block-- this time with a starburst motif.  I like the star in the center and the way that each point is suggestive of a leaf.

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

I'd say this is one of the easier of the "fancy"/paid blocks in the CAL, so far, though there are some elongated stitches. The trebles are easier to place than you might imagine, too.

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"


"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"


Two thumbs up!

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

"La Mer".

As long as you aren't bothered by tr2tog, this one's a snap.  I found it very quick to crochet, and the texture is decidedly squishy-soft.

"La Mer"

"La Mer"


"La Mer"


"La Mer"


Another very nice all-over-texture block!

"La Mer"

Next up is "Satin Doll", then I'll try to put in some more rounds on "Evelyn".

Last time, I wrote that I was nearing the end of the third clue out of four total.  Well, I got to the end of Clue 4, only to realize that Clue 4 wasn't the last clue in the MCAL!  Oops!  Not a problem, of course-- just more crochet-time.  I'll start on Clue 5 this weekend, I hope.

Here's my progress to date:

"Evelyn"

Working from the second ball of thread, now.  One more clue to go!

"Evelyn"

What a pretty pattern!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

CAL Update

Time for another progress report on the Stardust Melodies CAL!

"A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

"A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

"A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

"A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

"A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

The fabric of this block is very squishy!

Once you've done a couple repeats of the "texture round", you'll have it down.  It would be easy enough to just keep going with this one and make it in any size you might want.

"A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

"Honeysuckle Rose"

"Honeysuckle Rose"

"Honeysuckle Rose"

"Honeysuckle Rose"

"Honeysuckle Rose"

Love it!  The center looks like clusters of either sweet little rosebuds or luscious berries to me (could pass for either, imho), and the edging has "caged bobbles" that have a very old-fashioned vibe that I adore.

"Honeysuckle Rose"

This week is a break in the CAL; the next pattern comes out on Monday (if I recall correctly).

Since it's an "off" week for the afghan, I've put in a little more effort on the doily.

"Evelyn":

"Evelyn"

I'm not too far from the end of clue three out of four, but of course, with doilies, the further you get from the center, the larger each round is-- and the longer they usually take.  There's still plenty of good crocheting to go!

I'm enjoying this pattern and looking forward to tackling another of the designer's doilies-- in multicolored thread, next time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Stardust Melodies CAL (Etc.)

I fell completely behind on the doily crochet-along.  I think it wrapped up late last week-- or at least the final clue was released then-- so I'll just take my time and work on it when I feel like it.  (Soon, I hope!)

I am still keeping up with the afghan CAL, though.
Here are my blocks for the three latest pattern releases (not counting the one that came out today):

"Just One of Those Things":

"Just One of Those Things"

This was an interesting pattern to crochet.  I think the motif could be interpreted as either a flower or a four-leaf clover.  It would be pretty repeated over a whole blanket.

"Just One of Those Things"

I'm still making two of each block pattern; here's the second one:

"Just One of Those Things"

"Just One of Those Things"


Together:

"Just One of Those Things"

"Pennies from Heaven":

"Pennies from Heaven"

This is a very simple pattern with a polka-dot effect.  It works up quickly and easily.  (Great TV- or movie-crocheting!)  Even a fairly new crocheter could feel confident about this one, I think.

"Pennies from Heaven"

Here it is in blue:

"Pennies from Heaven"

"Pennies from Heaven"

Together:

"Pennies from Heaven"

This is a stack of all my blocks up to (including) "Pennies from Heaven":

Stardust Melodies Crochet Blocks

"Stormy Weather":

"Stormy Weather"

This one's a little more complicated.  The main challenge is the special stitch (dc6tog), which requires a certain amount of practice and/or intuition.  I love the results-- very poofy-- but I found it a bit difficult to relax and enjoy crocheting this block until the special stitches were all done...

"Stormy Weather"

Can you imagine enlarging/extending this pattern to make an entire baby blanket or pillow covered in that fluffy special stitch?  It would positively devour yarn, but I bet it would be dreamy-soft.

"Stormy Weather"

"Stormy Weather"


The colors are off in my last photo, and I'm too lazy to go back and re-edit it.  The "Soft Green" is actually closer to the color in the photos further up the page.

"Stormy Weather"

These last few photos are of a different project.

I wanted to make a small something to put in with the Father's Day gift for my Dad, this year.  He's always enjoyed listening to music, and in recent years, he's been collecting vinyl records.  I thought these crochet coasters could be a fun addition to his Man-Cave, where he stores and listens to his records.

"On the Record":

"On the Record" Coasters

They work up really quickly.  (The main thing that slowed me down was having to stop and weave in the ends!)

"On the Record" Coasters

Because I was using what I had on hand and I didn't have any cotton or wool in the right colors, these are acrylic yarn.  Some people seem to think that acrylic is a bad choice for coasters.  I don't know if that's true or not.  Acrylic yarn seems to repel water, to some degree, but I'm not sure if that's really a bad thing in a coaster, as long as it's not "holey" fabric...

In any case, to be on the safe side, I blanket-stitched some circles of black (acrylic) felt to the bottoms of the coasters.  I think that should make them sufficiently water-proof for standard coaster duty.

"On the Record" Coasters

Next up is the newly-released CAL block named "A Kiss to Build a Dream On"-- and then maybe I'll tackle the next part of the doily.