Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Samplerghan Progress Report

I've been plugging away more or less steadily at the "Be of Good Cheer" Samplerghan.  The "one block a day" average has relaxed to "one every two or three days", but that's ok. 

Here are the blocks added to the pile since the last entry:

Cheerful Blossoms. (#62 from Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs)
This was another "four-patch" block made up of four of a smaller square motif.  I don't remember much about this motif, but I think I enjoyed crocheting it.  The flowers look a little like daisies to me.  Well, what they really make me think of are those typical "cartoon doodle flowers" that everyone draws.

Cheerful Blossoms

Grandma's Heart. (freebie online)
Honestly, I found this pattern somewhat confusing, at times.  But it's a freebie, and the designer went to the trouble of not only writing and sharing the pattern, but also taking photos and drawing charts, which was very considerate!  If you can read charts and are fairly familiar with crochet, you should be able to figure it out.

Please note that within the same PDF there are instructions for working the center of the heart with either popcorn stitches or puff stitches.  (I decided to stick with the more familiar-- to me, at least-- popcorn stitches, this time.)

Cheerful Grandma's Heart

Irish Rose. (from 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet)
There are several "Irish rose"-style blocks out there-- some free, some not.  I have (at least) two more in my queue at the moment, and I might give one of them a try for this afghan-- but since one of my birthday gifts was a book full of floral-themed crochet blocks-- and I was already in the process of crocheting a floral-themed afghan-- I couldn't resist trying one of the patterns from the new book right away.  The Irish Rose Square spoke to me, so I chose it.

I'm sure the square would be perfect for some applications, but ever since I finished it, I've been wondering if it's too lacy to fit in well with the rest of my blocks.  I've seen other people's beautiful sampler afghans with lacy motifs mixed in with more solid ones, so it'll probably work out... Another time, though, I'd probably try to keep extremely "floppy" lacy squares for other uses... Possibly for an afghan where all the motifs are going to be airy and open.

Oh, and I added a flat disc of crochet to the center of the rose, too.  You can read about it on my Ravelry project page, if you're interested.  :o)

Cheerful Irish Rose

Lacy Valentine. (freebie online)
This pattern felt a bit complicated to read, at times, mainly because of the length of the instructions for each round and the need to place markers at specific spots.  Some of the markers I don't really think were necessary.  For instance, the marker indicating the right side?  Just skip that, if you're familiar enough with crochet to tell front and back by sight. Once I felt I had a handle on the pattern, I sort of winged it, because I am lazy and hate reading long patterns.  (g)  Since you work the heart pattern four times, you'll probably have it nearly memorized by the last one. 

There was one part of the pattern that I think may be in error.  On the second round of the border, the corners seemed off to me.  So I tried reworking it.  Where it says to work dtr, I worked tr, and where it said to work tr, I worked dtr.  That yielded better corners for me, at least, so I thought I'd pass it along. 

58/365 - Cheerful Lacy Valentine

Simple 10-Petal. (freebie online)
This was another fun one.  I particularly enjoyed the center of the motif through the petals.  I borrowed some of the extra rounds from Maryfairy's version to bring it up to 12 inches.  (I've added/altered rounds in most if not all of my blocks so far, even if not so noted here.)

Cheerful 10-Petal Square

Coaster. (from Hearts & Flowers, a LA booklet)
The pattern was originally written for size 10 thread and intended to be used as a coaster, but by switching up to worsted weight (and substituting my own edging rounds), I ended up with a 12-inch block.

The hearts themselves (before you add the rounds to turn them into squares) are cute, and I think they'd lend themselves well to use as appliques or in the colorful motif-based bunting/garland that has gotten so popular among crocheters. 

Cheerful Hearts Coast Along

Field of Dreams. (freebie online)
This pattern isn't quite perfect.  It seems like many (if not most) people have trouble with rippling/waving/curling at a certain point in the square.  Fortunately, helpful project notes on Ravelry suggest a couple of ways to make fix the problem. 

I added some "granny rounds", a single crochet round (or two), and a round of V-stitch to bring it up to size. 

Cheerful Field of Dreams

I'm trying to decide how many more blocks I want/need.  I'm leaning toward a total of 20 blocks, which would mean I need eight more.  Hm...