I didn't make any formal resolutions at the beginning of the year. Just the same usual nebulous intentions of "doing better"-- healthy living, shed a few pounds, etc. "Blog more often" should be on the unwritten list.
After all the rush to have gifts finished/bought/wrapped on time, Donald and I ended up sick (with one of those colds that hang on for soooo loooong) right before Christmas, so we missed one of the family get-togethers. At least we were well enough by Christmas Day to attend the other planned celebration-- and the other gifts have found their way to their intended recipients, except for one. (Which, *shhh!*, is actually not completely finished yet...It involves the sewing machine... Oh no... (g))
I ended up paring down my "To Do by Christmas" list even further, after writing my last blog entry. (The crocheted snowflakes? Not blocked. The other seasonal decoration for our home? Far from finished.)
One more resolution for the list-that-wasn't: Don't go the hand-made-gift route so often this year! It's too demanding and stressful. (However, I have a sneaking suspicion that I made a similar resolution for 2013...)
So, now to bombard the blog with photos of Gifts that Have FINALLY Been Given!
Purple Skull Doily:
For my youngest sister, Kimberly. I figured she would appreciate the humor of the juxtaposition of a frilly, lacy doily with a skull (of all things) on it. (g) And she likes purple.
This was my first time trying filet crochet. It was fun! I'll definitely be thinking about making more filet crochet doilies.
WWII Watchman's Cap:
For Dad's birthday. I thought he would like the historical aspect of the pattern. I wanted it to be sturdy and machine washable, so I used acrylic. (Also, I think I was short on time and needed to use something already on hand.) It's ok, but I'm a little disappointed in the ribbing. The stitching in hats I've made with wool seem to have "evened out" better than this. Maybe wearing and more washing will help it.
Dad seemed to like it, at least. :o)
Just a small doily made with a remnant of pale blue thread, for Granny L. This is the third time I've made this pattern. It's extremely simple, but I like the result. I'm pretty sure it was meant to be used as a motif for a bedspread or tablecloth, but I like it alone like this, too. (Sorry, no pattern to share. I found the chart for this one somewhere on the Internet, years ago. I know, shame, shame, shame. (g))
Another small doily for Granny L.
I didn't like this pattern much... Just not fun to crochet.
This one wasn't a gift. I would've been happy enough to give it away, but I found a fairly major mistake during blocking. (Also, it was a pain to block. Wouldn't want to make someone else have to block it.) So, can you find the mistake? ;o)
I made the same elephant toy twice-- once for Clarabel and once for Matthew Tucker. It's a very cute little toy, but I must confess I did not enjoy sewing together the pieces.
The ball in the third photo is another Spin Ball. (I've made a few before.) The spiraling colors is a neat effect and looks more complicated than it is, so non-crocheters are impressed. ;o)
Monkey toy for Clarabel. Another cute pattern. Reminds me of the Amineko cat pattern. She can play with the Amineko cats I made last year. (g)
I started this one on a whim on Christmas Eve and wasn't diligent enough to finish on time. So I just took it along with me and did a little stitching during "down time" at the family get-together. Clarabel didn't mind that it arrived an hour or two later than the other gifts. ;o)
Downside: I didn't get a good photo. The flash doesn't do any favors-- and the little "eyebrow" bit doesn't stick out as much as I recall, either.
Imitation Pigskin Cap:
Made on a whim for Matthew Tucker. I could've done a better job on the decorative stitching, but I'm not just the best at that kind of thing, so I decided to leave well enough alone. It's more for fun than anything else, because I really doubt he'll be wearing it much.
Irish Mesh Cowl:
For Carrie, my sister. I want to try this pattern again in wool. Well, either this or a very similar pattern that I have since found. (Called something like "Grey Loop", I think...)
I think the "mesh" sections look pretty nice even in acrylic, but I imagine they open up and look better still in wool.
It had a tendency to curl a bit, and because it was acrylic, I couldn't really expect plain blocking to fix that, so I went around both edges with two rounds of single crochet-- one round of plain sc, then another of sc in the back loop only. I like the added textural element, if I do say so myself. (g)
I wanted to make a copy of a cowl I'd already knitted for myself, but I was in a hurry and wanted to use what I had in-stash. Luckily, I had a skein of almost the same color purple, but to make the heavy worsted/aran weight more like the bulky yarn required, I held it doubled. (Oh, and prior to that, I tried to halve the skein into two balls, as nearly as possible.) I think it worked out well. (If you're interested, see the Ravelry project page for the blurry photo.)
This wasn't a gift. (It's mine-all-mine. (g)) I love the design and the color, both. It got a bit repetitive to crochet, at times, but I do like the result. I would consider making it again as a gift.
That's all she wrote!