Sunday, July 3, 2016

Doilies and Spring Sampler

Last time I wrote (about a month ago), the sampler was on hold and the ogee afghan was the Project-in-Chief.  Oh, how the tables have turned... (Or something.)  Now it's the ogee afghan that's in time-out, and the sampler is back in the spotlight.

But first, I have a couple of completed doilies to show!

I mentioned in the last entry that I'd made yet another "Summer Splendor"-- my fifth:

"Summer Splendor"

Pattern:  "Summer Splendor" by Denise Augostine Owens

Thread:  (discontinued) America's Best Country Cotton Thread (size 10) in "Raspberry"
(I used only part of one 350-yard ball.  Quite a bit left over.)

Hook:  1.75mm Clover Amour (No. 0)

As always, this is a relatively simple, repetitive doily pattern-- ideal, I think, for someone new to doilies or for any time you want to be able to just sit and crochet thread without having to refer to a pattern very often or keep intricate counts in your head.  And the results are always so pretty!

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Last time, my main focus was on a more challenging Patricia Kristoffersen doily.  Here it is, my "Momentous Occasion":

"Momentous Occasion"

"Momentous Occasion"

Pattern:  "Momentous Occasion" by Patricia Kristoffersen

Thread:  Cébélia Cotton (size 20) in "Nile Green"
(I used most of a 415-yard ball.)

Hook:  1.5mm Clover Amour (No. 2)

"Momentous Occasion"

"Momentous Occasion"

"Momentous Occasion"

"Momentous Occasion"

"Momentous Occasion"

"Momentous Occasion"

There were some tricky rounds.  I think Round 11 was the worst for me, but there were one or two more, later on, that also required some very careful reading of the instructions to understand.  I would not suggest this pattern for a beginner, unless that person is a thread prodigy. ;o)  That said, it's really not as scary as it might seem.  Once you get into the pineapple rounds, especially, the pattern seems to simplify (though the picot sequence in the final round might be a little tricky, if I recall correctly).

I was surprised to have so much thread left over, as I'd been under the impression that I'd need two balls.  It turned out that I didn't even have the open the second one!  When I was researching the pattern and choosing my thread, I checked the project pages of people who'd also used size 20 thread, but either I made a mistake or they did... or we just used different amounts of thread, for some reason.

If I ever make this pattern again, I'd like to use more than one color-- or maybe more than one shade of the same color.  There's a project on Ravelry that combines shades of white and grey, and it's just gorgeous.  The use of subtly different shades really makes the textures of this doily pop.

Looking at this doily again makes me want to start another PK doily... They're addictive!

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After a long delay, I picked up my "Triquetra" block and finished it.  I'd been putting it off mainly because I knew i'd have to change the pattern slightly to match the size of my other sampler squares-- something I don't really enjoy doing.  It turns out that I did have to omit some rounds (and I may have changed one round, but I can't remember for certain).

Here it is with the Canada Goose border.  (It's a little wobbly-looking, but I'm sure that'll all straighten out when the blocks are joined.)

"Triquetra Celtic Knot"

Pattern:  "Triquetra Celtic Knot Afghan Block" by Joyce Lewis

I love the way this turned out! The central motif (the Celtic knot) looks completely mystifying-- especially to non-crocheters-- and the “frame” around the motif is lovely, too. It’s a beautiful design that I'd be happy to crochet again.

(Maybe next time I'll be able to use the whole pattern exactly as written.  My first block for this afghan must've turned out a little too small, because almost every 12-inch block pattern I've made for this sampler afghan has needed to be downsized to match it in size.)

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Then came "River":

"River" (Afghan Block)

Pattern:  "River" by Polly Plum

This one was fun to make, too (though there were one or two rounds where it was tricky to find a good place to hide the ends.  Yet again, I had to leave off some rounds and make some changes to get it to match my other blocks for this sampler.  I definitely plan to make this one again.

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This last one's not finished, but here's a sneak peek...

"Ilsa" (Afghan Block WIP)

At this point, I'm not really participating in the CAL.  I have too many other blocks I want to make, so I'm just picking blocks from my queue, instead.  However, I'll check in with the CAL group every so often, in case they're making a block that I can't resist.

Oh, and I've started a simple doily, so there's something lightweight to work on in between and around afghan blocks.  More on that when it's finished!