New Crochet Projects

Wow, this year really flew by!  I have been so busy working on home projects, taking care of the little ones (and not-so-little ones), and learning some new skills, that I have crocheted less this year than any other year in the past decade. Honestly, I don’t even know where the time goes anymore!  But I do know that over the past week or two, I’ve had such a longing to just sit and crochet for a while. Now that the weather is starting to get colder, I just want to wrap myself up in a warm blanket and crochet for a good long bit. 

It’s pretty obvious to me that I won’t be getting too many projects done in time for the holidays this year, so I’m giving myself a pass and taking off the stress that I usually start to feel around this time of the year.  The 2017 BAMCAL blanket won’t be completed.  Neither will the one from 2016, for that matter.  And the plethora of other projects that I have can wait their turn in line while I slowly but surely catch up on all the little things I need to catch up on.  But I’m doing it with no pressure right now. 

So here are the new crochet projects that I have managed to complete in the past… what has it been, 2 1/2 months since my last post?  Sheesh.  The first is from the 2017 bamcal, this Moon Blossom square.  This was the filler (voted for) square for July (which feels like it was last week).  I have to say I’m in love with the outer stripe effect.  I think if I make this again, black and white stripes would be absolutely striking as well.  The pattern is free at the time of this post and can be found on Cuppa Crochet

Moon Blossom Square -New Crochet Projects - mellieblossom.com
Moon Blossom Square

The next project that I’ve just been casually working on here and there is a new hoodie sweater for Clara.  I found some discontinued yarn in my yarn closet and was trying to figure out what I could use it for, seeing that I only had three skeins of it.  Well, it turns out that this hoodie was exactly the project for it.  The yarn is Bernat Mosaic in the color Optimistic.  Such a bummer that these yarn companies keep discontinuing such gorgeous colored yarns, but I’m glad I had these on hand and found a good use for them.  I still have the hood and the front of the sweater to finish, but we have nice long winters here, so I’m certain that Clara will have the opportunity to wear it several times at least before the spring thaw.  The pattern is free and can be found here, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a new crocheter.  The instructions are not really clear and there are a lot of reviews on Ravelry that said that sizing was way off, even with gauge.  I’ve used the pattern as a basic outline and am kind of just holding it up to Clara and seeing how it fits her shape (she’s got a super huge head, so the hood would have had to have been adjusted regardless).  But still, fun to make with the yarn.  I love seeing how the color all comes together. 

Sweet Baby Hoodie - New Crochet Projects - mellieblossom.com
Sweet Baby Hoodie

Finally, as promised two months ago, I’m just now getting around to getting Zoë uploaded.  This was part of Polly Plum’s Firefly series, and I just love her work.  As expected, this pattern did not disappoint.  I love the colors too.  The yarn is Vanna’s Choice, but I’m still getting used to the new colors that they started carrying, such as the lilac and the peacock.  I know it’s been a while since they were released, but since this has been an off-year for me, they’re still new!  and exciting!  and I have so many color combinations that I want to play around with in my nonexistent free time!  Oh well, in the meantime, if you’re looking for the Zoë pattern, you can find the individual pattern on Ravelry for $2.49, or you can download the entire ebook, which includes the patterns I made of the other Firefly women.  The ebook is $9.99 and can be found on Ravelry as well

Zoe Crochet Square - New Crochet Projects - mellieblossom.com
Zoë Crochet Square

I’m still working my way through comments, emails and such, so if you’ve written to me and haven’t heard back from me yet, hang in there.  I’m slowly, slowly working my way through this beautiful mess!

~mellie

Firefly Crochet – the Polly Plum Files

Hooray for Firefly crochet!

Count me along the Browncoats – like so many others, I loved Firefly and was crushed when the series ended with the story only half told (and was grateful for Serenity  for later existing to correct that).  I used to sit and watch the show while crocheting away – I don’t think I’ve watched a movie or TV show over the past decade without some sort of project in my hands.  So what a fitting surprise when one of my favorite crochet designers – Polly Plum from Every Trick on the Hook – put out her eBook of Firefly crochet patterns named after the women of the series.  The collection, called “Shiny” features 4 patterns named after each of the awesome female characters – Zoë, Inara, Kaylee, and River, and Serenity (the ship), who I suppose is technically female as well. 

I had so much fun making these  I’d been waiting to find the perfect color combination before starting this series, and I ended up with a variation of a swap scheme from the VCFC group on Ravelry.  The swap, from last fall was the “Retro Doodles” colors, originally: Magenta, Lilac, Brick, Peacock, Lime, and Fisherman from the Vanna’s Choice yarn line.  I modified this somewhat, bringing in Big Twist yarn in two colors – Sprout, which replaced the Lime color – which I can’t find anywhere anyway, and is also much brighter and more saturated than Lime; and Cinnamon, the brownish color, which I purchased a whole bunch of when it was on clearance some months back.  I also replaced Fisherman with Beige, which I felt has a more retro-ish feel to it, kind of like weathered white does when it’s 50 years old. 

Anyway, after finally settling on the colors, and being so uninspired for the past few months with the current projects I’ve been working on, I pushed everything else aside and whipped up all the squares from Shiny in a matter of only a couple of days.  And I’m so in love with the results!

The Patterns:

The Shiny e-book is a Ravelry download.  At the time of this post, the cost is $9.99, which comes out to about $2 a pattern.  I would say it’s definitely worth it.  However, each pattern is also available individually for $2.49.

  • E-book download: Shiny
  • Inara only download: Inara
  • River only download: River
  • Kaylee only download: Kaylee
  • Zoë only download: Zoë
  • Serenity only download: Serenity

You need a Ravelry account (free) to download the patterns.

My Firefly Crochet Squares:

 

Firefly Crochet - mellieblossom.com
River

This was the first of the bunch that I made.  I wanted something that was challenging and absolutely gorgeous, and River did not fail to deliver.  I’m a big fan of the hdc in 3rd stitch, which was utilized heavily in this pattern.  And I think the end result is just lovely. 

Firefly Crochet - mellieblossom.com
Kaylee

I wasn’t expecting Kaylee to be as much fun as it was.  The ruffles are so satisfying.  I sometimes get a little bored with center floral motifs, because so many of them are only slight variations on the same thing over and over.  But this was definitely not one of those.  And the leafy edge ruffles were a nice touch.

Firefly Crochet - mellieblossom.com
Inara

Inara turned out to be my favorite of the bunch.  In order to place the colors in the pattern method that I had in mind, I ended up using tapestry crochet with two colors in order to get the center cross the way I wanted it.  It was a bit of extra worth, but the end result was worth it.

So, you may be wondering, where are the Zoë and Serenity Firefly crochet squares in all this?  And the answer is that Zoë is completed, but I had a lazy weekend, and honestly haven’t gotten around to photographing it.  But that’s on the list of the (many) things I hope to accomplish today and will hopefully be up tomorrow.  The Serenity square, on the other hand, is on the list of squares to make.  But because I wanted some more complicated crochet to work on, I ended up setting that one aside for later. 

I have big plans for this series of squares, though – and it includes continuing this color scheme through plenty more Polly Plum squares.  Stay tuned!

~Mellie

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket (and Discontinued Yarn)

Thank you for all the messages, comments and emails over the past month!  I have a lot to go through.  I’m sorry I missed everyone who came by for the Nuts About Squares 2017 Crochet-Along, but I’m so happy to have you here!  I am working on a future photo tutorial post for the border of the Tropical Delight square, and if you are waiting on a message from me, I’m slowly working my way through them!  Thanks for your patience and support. 

~*~

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

I have a lot of unfinished crochet projects.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of finished projects too, but for one reason or another, and with blankets especially, I take my time and work on them when I’m inspired to do so, in between other projects.

But.

The one problem with this is that over the course of a year or two (or three or four), some of the yarn colors that I started out using were discontinued.  I know that you’re supposed to purchase all the yarn color up front for dye lot continuity, but for acrylic projects that use no real dye lots like Red Heart or Vanna’s Choice, I’ve never really considered that necessary.  There’s a craft store right down the street from me, and it’s no big deal to run out for ten minutes and grab a few more skeins of the color that I’m running low on. 

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

Big mistake, though.  Because back in 2012, I participated in an awesome swap with the VCFC gals called “Pink Lemonade”, featuring a great color scheme of pinks and yellows.  And when the swap was over, I decided to use up my leftover yarn on the gorgeous Bobbly Flower crochet blanket.  I worked on it for a while, and it got put away during a move, placed in a basket on a shelf, and took a bit of a break in my project rotations.

Fast forward to a few years later, I’ve pulled it out again and have found that not one; not two, but SIX out of the eleven colors I used in it have been discontinued!  Yikes!  Of the colors:

  • Olive Green
  • Pink
  • Kelly Green
  • Fern Green
  • Antique Rose – ?
  • Duckie – discontinued
  • Lamb – discontinued
  • Pink Poodle – discontinued
  • Pea Green – discontinued
  • Soft Pink – discontinued
  • Wild Berry – discontinued

Has Antique Rose been discontinued?  I’m only able to find regular Rose online, but I’m so out of the loop these days I don’t even know!

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

Now fortunately, I do have an admittedly small stash of most of these colors; others just a skein or two, so I’m planning on continuing the project for now, but I’m fully aware this may end up to be more a lapghan than an actual blanket.  It’s just such a bummer to have such great colors disappear seemingly overnight.  I especially miss Soft Pink – there were so many projects I wanted to use that color in, and all of the substitute yarns I’ve tried so far have been close in color- but not quiet there. 

Bobbly Flowers Crochet Blanket - mellieblossom.com

 

So now I’m debating whether to include some new colors in this, or make do with what I have?  Or maybe I’ll hit up the eBay circuit and see what I can collect.  I’m not sure.  This pattern, with all its bobbles, certainly does use up a good deal of yarn.  And at the very least, I’ll enjoy making what I can with what I have left.

~Mellie

A Baby Skirt for Clara

I’m so in love with this patchwork baby skirt I made for Clara! (And with her too, for that matter!)

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

Our family has been doing a lot of sewing over the past couple of weeks.  It was my eldest son who was tired of not finding the toys he wanted anywhere and decided to be a little like mama and just make them himself.  I took him to the craft store with a hefty $5 budget to pick out all the felt he wanted and he came home with a nice bundle and started hand sewing. 

After several (wonderful) attempts, he asked me to teach him to use my much-neglected sewing machine.  I was half thrilled and half apprehensive, but I set it up for him anyway.  My sewing machine is so old.  I got it as a birthday gift – on my 14th birthday – and that was some time ago.  And while there was a period in my life where I was sewing every day, lately it’s been just sitting in front of me on my desk, there to remind me that I should use it, but with me always having something else to work on.

So it was inspiring to see my son catch onto using the sewing machine so quickly!  I mean, he was threading that needle within like two attempts of being shown how.  And then problem solving when the thread got stuck or when the tension was off.  His passion for his creativity makes my mama heart so proud.  The next time he took a sewing break, I decided I might try to make a little something myself.

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

I bought this fat quarter square of fabric many, many years ago.  (See, this is why I like to hang onto things – the sewing machine is being used again, a 9-year old fabric stitch is being used now… I’ll never be one of those clutter-free mavens!).  The fabric is from moda and is called Prairie Paisley II by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for moda (pdf).   I fell in love with the Americana feel of this fabric when I first saw it and so I bought a couple of bundles and put them aside for the perfect use… which hadn’t come until now!  I had purchased a few pre-cut 5″ charm bundles, but all I could find anymore is a link to some of the fabrics which seem to still be for sale in shops such as here and here.   

Don’t even get me started on how many cute fabric bundles are over there on moda right now, too.  I didn’t think it would be dangerous to take a peek around there, thinking that a bundle from 2008 would obviously not be there, but there are so many other cute fabrics that would make such adorable clothes for Clara that I’m trying to evaluate any wiggle room in my yarn budget to make room for more fabric!  The Charm Packs, which are the perfect size for this kind of patchwork, are here

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

So anyway, I was trying to decide what kind of project would be easy to make.  So I peeked through some of my pins on my sewing pinterest board and came across this very easy and adorable little patchwork baby skirt by Create Kids Couture (download link is at the bottom of the linked page).  And really, it was so simple to make.  The pre-cut squares made the process even easier, and within an hour or so, Clara had herself a brand new baby skirt.  The best part about it is that the elastic waist and long length of the skirt (on her right now) will last us many, many months in the future!  What more could I ask for?

A Baby Skirt for Clara - mellieblossom.com

Maybe just some more patchwork baby skirts for her.  And some more adorable baby pictures! <3

~mellie