Thursday, January 27, 2011

There comes a time... every crafter's endeavors where you are so excited to start a new project. Be it something from scratch or a pre-written pattern. While failings from a piece derived entirely from scratch are completely understandable, I mean really you've never tried it before and in the case that no one else has can you be surprised at kinks and other design flaws? But when you start something that is pre written, has been tested in fact and done by any number of people and still it "doesn't quite work", it's rather disheartening. This is concerning the latter development.

Last February I started this bag, with every intention of finishing it quickly, after all it only required 10 hours worth of work! And proudly displaying it for sale in my store. Twas not to be, here almost February a year later I just now come to a point where I might find myself done, and honestly about half of it has been accomplished in this past week, versus the remainder of the time. Partially its due to the pattern. While the stitch pattern itself is interesting and has character, the behavior of the shape and the construction of the bag leave much to be desired. I find myself staring at the sample picture and I honestly cannot make sense of what I'm seeing versus what I have accomplished. It seems as it should not be so wide, but perhaps even much deeper. The "sewing up" of the sides of the handles at the very end makes not a big of sense to me.

So after staring at it for some time with a feeling of dissatisfaction I have finally decided that improvisation is the only way to "fix" what appears to be wrong with it. Rather than "sewing up the handles" I will be crocheting a seam along the long sides together. While it will change the orientation of the pattern stitch from my example, it seems the only solution. Behold a somewhat new bag from the original!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hellenic Reconstructionist Altar Cloth - Part 1

Joy of o joys....two things concerning one's muse....

"Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you."
Barb Miller

"The most potent muse of all is our own inner child."
Adrian Pilz

"are held in honor and respect by all mankind; for the Muse herself has taught them."

I have gone through times in which I have felt that my Muse has abandoned me, a tragedy to any artist. However, I reflect upon these times as meaning I was not listening (to my muse) and having been ignored (she) left me for another diversion until I was at once ready to listen again.

Tonight I feel as though she has come back, with a rather large branch from the "tree of ideas" and smacked me quite dead in the face. I have been buzzing with creativity at the propensity of creating a sacred gift for a close friend, a sister even, of mine for religious purposes (one of our specialties in the store).

Thus far a beautifully soft and vibrant shade of cotton has been chosen from Blue Sky Alpacas (Tomato). Later in my revelings did I decide that this piece would need a nice Greek styled border and I came up with the "Greek Key" as a wonderful match which means "infinity" & "unity" - both great words to associate with divinity and the sacred. This design will be done in a contrasting color - what precisely has yet to be decided.

Upon choosing the Greek Key, I made my own version of this design (later I have found others but like the simplicity of this one for this first piece)...

...having another moment of genius I opted to "test" my border theory out in a simple band of Tunisian Crochet (what oft looks good on paper doesn't always come out on paper...or as I so poignantly put it to my friend "The unfortunate thing about art is that it doesn't come into physical form quite like you envision it.") Wherein after much frustration and strain I finally worked out something nice...

...I would like to also put a wonderful honorable mention into Gege here for her wonderful videos and inspiration (as well as encouragement through her own fantastic piece of work), they had a very helpful tip for the colorwork I'm doing and although I figured it out on my own after my own struggles for the sake of others endeavoring this I suggest you watch them first.

The last point decided was the size - which will be of a derivative of 7 due to the spiritual nature of the number + the extra rows for the border (although I will likely extend it so that they still make it's dimensions divisible by 7). I am eager to really start on this project as all that has been accomplished is the theory and some testing of it, but no real application. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Revisiting the Gabus!

I found the pattern for these little guys and immediately fell in love with them. I often describe them as little hacky sacks with eyes and antennae (though I have made one without antennae). I plan to make more in the near future and the ones in the store will be re priced properly. (Our original pricing strategy did not take actual yarn quantities, but estimated them.)

The yellow one was made for a friend, "Sunny" Gabu, so this is the only picture of him I have.

This is another picture of "Big Mama" pictured with the "Sunny" Gabu above. In real life this one is actually a hot pink but inside lighting and flash caused it to appear orange.

This last one was actually in progress, but he looked so cute hiding in this hat that I had to take a picture. To date, I do believe he and his brothers are still not finished yet (there are four).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Scrap Granny Afghan...Part 1

When a project gets frogged there is a small death associated with it. Somewhat sad, but invigorating at the same time. While a project may get frogged for any number of reasons; the pattern wasn't working out, yarn issues, or just plain frustration with the project itself it eventually leads to a rebirth in another project. So it is with this project. Originally you can see it here andhere as the "Scrap Granny Square". Becoming dissatisfied with the innate "square-ness" of the project that would never quite be undone without some modification I opted to make smaller squares that could as a whole be made into a rectangular or other shape.

Thus far it's a 4x4 of 4 round grannies (each granny is 5.5") leaving it to be 22" square. It's likely to become a full sized afghan, but what precise size I am unsure about. I will be maintaining a square shape trying out different typical afghan sizes starting with a receiving blanket and on up.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Derby's Crochet Hook Case

In honor of my other half and my return to the land of crafting I decided to try my hand again at making a crochet hook case. My initial case was made for yours truly and without regard to any directions, therefore it's not quite up to par. However, kudos to me, I actually paid attention this time and constructed it as directed. Needless to say it looks conceptually much better, although my fabric choice is odd so it is "full of character"! Perhaps now that I have made one more successfully some will pop up in the store....stay tuned!