Thursday, September 20, 2018

Doily FO: "Saffron"

Time for the latest doily off the blocking board!

Today, it's "Saffron", another pattern by Grace Fearon. 

"Saffron" Doily

The thread is another color of the discontinued America's Best Country Cotton. "Coral" is a fairly dark orangey shade of peach.  I found it difficult to photograph accurately.  It's not one of my very favorite colors, but since it was in the stash (and because I don't actively dislike it), I thought I'd use it up. 

"Saffron" Doily

To be honest, this pattern wasn't one of my favorites to crochet, either.  There were a couple of what I'd call "doozy" rounds.  One in particular was a challenge, and I worried that it didn't look quite right.  (It's the one with the very, very tall stitches.)  However, now that it's blocked, I think it looks fine, so maybe if I make it again, I'll enjoy it more, since I can relax in the knowledge that it will block out nicely. 

"Saffron" Doily

I do like the "latticework" element of this design-- and the overall effect is pleasant.  It makes me think of a child's drawing of the sun, with the pointed "rays" shining out in all directions. 

"Saffron" Doily

I think this is one that would look very pretty in a long-change variegated thread (like Alize Miss Batik).  In fact, I'd really like to make this one again in a variegated thread... The only "problem" is that I have so many other patterns in the queue still waiting for their first try!

"Saffron" Doily

Well, I don't think I have much else to say about this pattern, so I'll just let the remaining photos speak for themselves!

"Saffron" Doily

"Saffron" Doily


"Saffron" Doily


"Saffron" Doily


"Saffron" Doily


There are now two more doilies ready to block (once I weave in the ends on the second one), and I have the third ready to start-- all in the same colorway of Alize Miss Batik.  I'm excited to see how they look after blocking!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Doily FO: "Illyria"

Still have doilies on the brain!  Aside from the one featured in today's post, I have one finished but waiting for blocking and another in progress.  (It's in Alize Miss Batik, which always adds another layer of interest and excitement to a project!)

Today's doily is "Illyria", a pattern by Grace Fearon.

"Illyria"

It's another "advanced" level pattern, this time with a pineapple theme. 

"Illyria"

I like the look of pineapples, but I find I'm much more likely to make a mistake and have to rip back rounds when a pattern has pineapples or any other "meshy" design.  It's so easy to zone out for just a second and miss a chain space!

"Illyria"

I love the "rope" effect framing each pineapple.  So pretty!

"Illyria"

The thread is more from my stash of America's Best Country Cotton Crochet Thread.  The color ("Casbah Blue") is fairly dark (which made it harder to get any decent photos...).

I'm happy with my results, but I probably wouldn't work a texture-heavy pattern in anything much darker than this, personally.  I'd hate to put in all that work and not even be able to see the texture without effort-- and it's probably a lot harder to work textured patterns in very dark thread, too, since you might struggle to find where the put the hook.

"Illyria"

The scallops along the edge are nice... I like a good scalloped edging on a doily.  ;o)

"Illyria"

Yep, this is a good one, if you like pineapples.  I can imagine making this one again, even though I'll probably end up having to rip out a round or two along the way!

"Illyria"

Luna kept me company while I took the doily photos, so I snapped a few of her, too.  :o)  She's a companionable little dog-- definitely of the "fluffy shadow" personality type.  (As long as the going is good, that is... She'll quietly slink off, if I dare to express displeasure with anything at all; even just a sigh when the computer's misbehaving can send her into retreat!)

Luna

Luna

Luna

Luna

Luna

Dogs surely can add a lot to life!  We're so lucky to have them!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Doily FO: "Kalani"

I'm still on a doily-crocheting kick!  Every so often I'll crochet a scrappy granny square or three, but mostly my crafty energies have been focused on doilies-- for months, now.

Supposedly it's getting closer to autumn.  There's no denying that it is September.  No-one has told our local weather, yet, but the days keep marching by, so it's only a matter of time.  The (theoretical) approach of cooler temperatures has turned my thoughts to knitting.  Hats... A brioche cowl... Maybe another try at socks...

But for now, it's still doilies, doilies, doilies!

- - - - - - -

This one's yet another Grace Fearon design.  "Kalani":

Kalani


"Kalani" has a different look from most of Grace's designs, to date.  It strikes me as a little more modern and graphic than her usual style, which is often lacy and ornate, with texture stacked upon texture.  I actually really like over-the-top ornate doilies, but I also find myself drawn to this sleeker style.  Why not both?!  And really, this one does have some of both.  It's more streamlined, but there's still loads of texture-- and touches of lace, too.  It's beautifully unique.

Kalani

The pattern is marked as "advanced".  There were certainly a few elements of it that I found challenging.  (See my project notes for specific details.)

Kalani

The first difficult maneuver pops up in round five.  I found it impossible to place front post stitches around the round-1 sc, so I ended up improvising it slightly.  (Again, see notes, if you're interested.)  I think my minor changes worked out pretty well, fortunately.  I'm not sure if it was just me (possibly a combination of me and the thread I used) or if that bit would be challenging for most crocheters, but if I make this pattern again, I may end up doing the same improvisation to make it more manageable. 
I also had some difficulty at first telling if I was making the "y-stitch" correctly, but again, it seems to have worked out.

Kalani

In round 28, I came across what seemed to me to be a minor typo.  It might be that I was just reading/interpreting something incorrectly, but in any case, it wasn't hard to figure out what should be done.  (I think I did things right, because it looks good to me, and I didn't end up with the wrong number/type of stitches in subsequent rounds.)

As far as I can remember, this is the first time I've come across what seemed to be a mistake in one of this designer's patterns.  She seems to be meticulous, with an eagle-eyed attention to detail-- to the point that I still feel hesitant to say that it is a typo and not just a misunderstanding on my side!

Kalani

Once you get past the central octagonal "medallion", the bulk of the pattern is easily picked up and memorized.  There are a metric ton of back post stitches-- or maybe it just felt that way to me, since I don't usually love making back post stitches (compared to front posts, at least).

However, despite a few head-scratcher moments and a lot of back post stitches, I really enjoyed making this doily!  I like how it turned out, too.

Kalani

Other details... I used my favorite hook (1.75mm Clover Amour), and for thread, I pulled some America's Best Country Cotton Crochet Thread out of my stash.

That thread line was discontinued years ago when the company went out of business (or was sold or something), and I bought a good bit of it, at a steep discount.  It's been more than seven years, and I still have quite a few balls left, though my color options are getting somewhat limited-- especially since there are multiple balls of some darker colors that probably wouldn't be great for the highly textured patterns I usually gravitate towards, these days.  (I'll have to go "lacy pattern" hunting, sometime...)

Anyway, while I like it well enough, I've long since decided that it's not my very favorite texture of thread-- not quite as firm/"plump" as I like, mainly-- and I'm always happy to use up another ball from the stash.  At first, I was concerned it might not be quite as nice for a strongly textured pattern, but I'm satisfied with the results.

Kalani

Oh, and the color is "Light Lavender".  I had some trouble getting the color adjusted accurately in these photos; it's a very soft, almost greyish lavender.  There's quite a bit left from the second ball, so you should be seeing it again, at some point.

Kalani

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable project!

Kalani


Friday, August 10, 2018

Doily FO: "Delilah"

There's one more doily blocked and ready to share-- "Delilah", another by Grace Fearon.  

Same hook as usual (Clover Amour 1.75mm). 

"Delilah"

I had a leftover nearly-full skein of orange-magenta-lilac-beige-white Alize Miss Batik (left from "Ygritte").  There was plenty to make this doily, with a little ball left over for my scrap jar. 

I like this colorway-- warm and a bit exotic.  Last time I used it, I remember thinking it was "Halloweeny", and I still think it has a late summer/early autumn vibe to it. 

The AMB thread works really well with this pattern, I think. 

"Delilah"

(These photos all start to look alike, at some point... Sorry about that!  I had trouble getting any decent, in-focus photos at all, so I was thinking about that issue instead of getting a variety of angles, etc.)

"Delilah"

Some project notes had me a little worried, before starting this doily.  Squares do require a little more attention than circles, generally speaking, but I didn't find this one exceptionally challenging.  Grace Fearon's patterns are usually fairly advanced, but if you can handle her circular patterns, this one's do-able, too. 

(I guess we each have our own quirks in crocheting as in everything else.  Personally, I tend to make most of my mistakes in relatively simple parts of patterns-- especially pineapples-- where my attention wanders for just one second, and I skip a stitch or forget to make a chain space.  So annoying!)

"Delilah"

As is usual with this designer's patterns, there's layer upon layer of texture. This doily feels particularly "Irish crochet", which I like. 

"Delilah"

I also appreciated the fact that there aren't tons of tall stitches in this pattern.  Tall stitches have their place, but they're not always necessary.  (I was ready for a break after two or three patterns in a row with lots of tall stitches!)

"Delilah"

Yes, I definitely like this one in the variegated thread! 

"Delilah"

Fun doily!

- - - - - - -

I've finished another one, but still need to weave in the ends and block it.  I'm probably 75% or more done with the next one, too, but I keep making silly mistakes (pineapples!!) and having to rip and redo.  It might take a while to finish, at this rate!

Doily FO: "Whitney"

All I ever crochet lately is doilies!  And I haven't really knitted in months!

(Actually, not so long ago I did pick up a long-neglected knitting project-- those worsted weight socks.  I managed to make a mess of them, though.  The decreases went in the wrong places-- don't ask-- and by the time I noticed, it wasn't worth fixing.  They were really just meant to ease me into the world of sock-knitting, so I wasn't that upset.  I ripped them out and the next time I try socks, I'll be using sock yarn!)

Anyway, for whatever reason, all I feel like making lately is doilies.  I did get the itch to knit a hat, recently, but I didn't manage to cast on immediately... and ended up starting yet another doily, instead.  Maybe in the next few days... Doilies are good, lightweight projects for summertime, though, and I have a bunch of great patterns to crochet my way through, still!

Today, I'm sharing "Whitney".  Pattern by Grace Fearon.  (No surprise there.)

"Whitney"

I think "Whitney" was a CAL, though I don't believe I actually crocheted mine during the CAL period.  This designer's CAL patterns always seem to have accompanying round-by-round photos, which are very helpful-- particularly if you're not as confident about complicated doily patterns.

"Whitney"

I used my usual hook-- Clover Amour size 1.75mm-- and one of my favorite threads, Cébélia, in size 10.  The color is another favorite-- a sort of "vintage" green-- "955 Nile Green". 

"Whitney"

It's marked as "expert" level.  I can't really remember much about crocheting it, and my project notes don't go into much detail.  It does look like there are a lot of tall stitches, though, which can be a little tricky, tension-wise. 

"Whitney"

This one turned out smaller than I was expecting.  (Haven't measured, so can't give exact size, though.)

"Whitney"

I bet this one would be interesting in Alize Miss Batik or a similar long/slow color-change thread.  All those tall stitches dipping back into previous rounds... I might give it a try, someday, but there are so many patterns in my queue, I doubt I'll return to this one soon.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Doily FO: "Ygritte"

The third and final recently-blocked doily is "Ygritte", pattern by (you guessed it) Grace Fearon.

(Project page.)

Same hook as usual, but this time I broke out the fancy yarn-- Alize Miss Batik, with its long, slow color changes.  I think the designer herself wrote somewhere that this pattern would be good for a variegated thread, so I decided to give it a try.  I have to say, I'm happy with the results!

"Ygritte" Doily

There are quite a few tall stitches in this pattern, if I recall correctly, and I see from my project notes that I had trouble with Round 5, in particular-- but the rest of the pattern went more smoothly. 

"Ygritte" Doily

There's something autumnal about this colorway, I think.  Maybe it's the purple (well, purply pink) and orange/gold together.  Those are "Halloween colors", to me. 

"Ygritte" Doily

This makes me think of candy corn, for some reason... Oh, yeah, probably because it has orange, yellow (gold), and white.  Just like candy corn.  ;o)  Yes, this one will be great for October decorating.

"Ygritte" Doily

I think this one was fun to crochet (from what I remember), and I do think the variegated thread works well with the pattern. 

"Ygritte" Doily

It's another where the very center is less interesting to me than the rest of the pattern, but that's better than the alternative, if you're going to use it under a Halloween candy dish (for instance (g)). 

"Ygritte" Doily

And now for the bonus, which is a little doily that's almost more of a coaster than a real doily. 

More than a year back, I taught Donald (my husband) to crochet-- or rather, gave him a refresher course, since I think he may have learned the basics before, as a child.  He didn't crochet much before losing interest, but he did make most of this little doily from scraps of some sport-weight cotton (Omega Sinfonia and Patons Grace).  I improvised the last round to finish it, months later.  (The pattern was an old print-out with no identifying information.) 

NOID Doily

There are two more doilies just waiting for their chance at blocking, so I hope it won't be quite so long before the next blog post!