Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares

Hooray!  The first part of the swap is over for me.  Today I finished my twelfth and final square that I’m making for the Sprouting Hues crochet swap.  Pretty soon these squares will be in the mail on their way to their new homes.  And I’ll be sitting back and waiting for my squares to come.  But that’s just the half of it; after I receive all the swap squares coming my way, I have more big plans for them, stay tuned!

But while I wait for that, I wanted to finish up by sharing the remaining patterns that I made.  I already posted about the first half the squares here and here.  And below are the final six:

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares

 This one seems to be everyone’s favorite.  I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d work this when I looked up this pattern, but I had it open on my computer for a good week before I figured that if I could make them the correct size, I could fit them into a 12×12 square.  I ran into a lot of difficulties, though!  First, I didn’t realize that the pattern is in UK terms and not US, so I made a bunch rounds of dc instead of sc.  And then after I finally finished my first one up, I realized that with the H hook I’d been using, each flower measured over the 4″ mark.  It wasn’t by much, maybe just a quarter inch over, but it was enough that three in a row would go over the 12″ requirement for the swap.  So I took out the petal rounds.  I really didn’t want to have to do the centers over yet another time!  So I keep the centers with an H hook and did the rest of the flower with a G hook.  The finished measurements turned out to be right on the dot. 

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares
Hawaiian Flowers

 Then when the measurements worked out, I stitched them together in their petals at the largest points, the petal edges.  It worked, the square came out well.  I wondered then, if this would be an okay swap square, because I suppose technically it isn’t a square.  I tried to check with the moderator, but I finally decided to message the recipient to see if she’d prefer an edging around it or not. I would have put an edging around it, but I think it would have detracted somewhat.  Luckily for me, she loves the square as is and is looking forward to receiving it, so it worked out well all around.

This square is Sarah London’s “Hawaiian Flowers”, and it can be found for free here.  My Ravelry project page is here. This really is a lovely pattern.  I wouldn’t mind one day making an afghan of these, put together with a lightweight yarn.  It would make a perfect summer throw. 

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares

The next two patterns came out of the book that I mentioned in the previous blog entry, The Big Book of Granny Squares: 365 Crochet Motifs.  I ended up buying the Kindle version to finish up these two squares.  It was really refreshing to make these, because their construction and composition are lines instead of circles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful center motif, but after crocheting square after square of a center flower or circle, it’s nice to make a square that’s different!  These two definitely filled those shoes.  The first square below, Deck Squares, is actually written to be a bit smaller, I think.  I had to restart after my squares weren’t quite coming up to size.  Each of these squares are made with 13 scs arcross, put together piece by piece and then surrounded with a few border rounds.  Yes, I will tell you that there were a LOT of ends to weave in with this one.  I had originally wanted this to be a 4×4 square, but the idea of giving someone a square with all the woven edges didn’t sit well with me.  I blocked this square twice.  First, by blocking each smaller square individually, and then finally again at the end.  I do like how it turned out in the end, and the borders helped it keep its shape.  My Ravelry project page for this one is here

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares
Deck Chairs

The Big Book of Granny Squares: 365 Crochet Motifs had another square that I fell in love with because of its unique construction and layout.  This is called “Tartan” and it’s made by interlocking the four colors and then putting  surface crochet stitch along it.  I love it!  I think that in a sampler blanket, such as what we end up with during swaps, something with solid blocks, yet with detail can make a huge impact.  I’m thinking that I’ll eventually end up making another of these for another sampler.  Not only did this turn out to be visually appealing, but it was so refreshingly easy to make: easy rows with a change of color here and there.  It worked up fast and lovely.  There was a request in the group for more masculine looking squares, and I think this one does the trick.  My Tartan Square Ravelry page is here.  

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares
Tartan Square

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares

 I thought I had written about this Flight Square before, but it seems I haven’t.   This is the final square I made from the book.  Another one with unique construction but a visual feast in the end!  The trick here was to line up the lighter and darker colors appropriately in order to give it the “stepping” effect that it has.  This square also had a ton of ends to weave in, and it took longer than most of the other squares, but in the end, I think the extra effort shows.  This is such a fun square.  My project page for this square is here.  Right now it’s the only version in the Ravelry database, but I’m hoping to see more soon!  I keep thinking of all the different color combinations that this could be created with. 

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares
Flight Square

 This next one is the last square I made for the swap.   The center flower is absolutely gorgeous.  I think that anyone looking for just a flower pattern would love the result of the first few rounds of this square.  I got distracted a little bit along the way though (Season 3 of House of Cards; it’s keeping my attention divided!).  The first round of puff hearts that I made were actually plain puff stitches and I didn’t even realize it until that round was done and over and I was starting the next round.  So I frogged it back and finally got it right.  Actually, once I got the hang of the puff hearts, it was incredibly easy.  It was in these final rounds that I just thought that this is probably one of the most beautiful squares I’ve made.  I love everything about it.  I love how the lattice looks like a white wooden trellis with shades of spring peeking in.  I love the hearts, I love the alternating greens, I love everything about it.  Best part is that the pattern is free, too!  The pattern can be found here.  It took me a bit of poking around to see the whole pattern – they’re under different tabs.  But it’s worth the search.  My project page is here.

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares
Starburst Flower Mandala Square

Finally, I saved this square for last.  This square is a continuation of the pattern I’ve been working on for the past few weeks (see here), except with a few more stitches added on the top to bring it up to 12″.  The tapestry stitches really give it a dynamic feel!  I have the pattern in my Ravelry page listed as a “personal pattern” that is “not available”, but that will be changing soon.  It’s not that exciting trying to get all the details into a pattern in a way that’s easy for everyone to read.; especially because the patterns I write to myself are incredibly basic (like: Row 3, hdc)., lol.   Anyway, I will get around to finishing up the finer details and it will be released soon as a free pattern, so that others can have as much fun with it as I am.  

Sprouting Hues Crochet Swap Squares
my little sampler square

 And there we are!  Twelve happy squares on their way out across the nation to eight different homes.  I can’t wait to see how they’re used in everyone else’s final piece, and I can’t wait to see what’s in coming in the mail for me, too!

For more detailed information on the squares and links, you can check out my gallery on Ravelry for this swap here

~Mellie ★

 

Crochet Swap Squares in Progress

Crochet Swap Squares in Progress

The crochet swap squares are coming along, slowly and steadily. As I mentioned before, I am can procrastinate when it comes to swaps (a big no-no!), and then get stuck the last week madly crocheting every free second to finish in time! So I’m trying to keep myself on a regular schedule.

I’ve made some progress so far, and I’m over halfway done with the squares. First, here’s a little background info on the crochet swap I’m in. The process begins with colors schemes selected and voted on. The winners have signups and then square sizes (usually 12”) and quantity are decided. Some swaps have themes, such as texture, or Halloween (more on that later!). After all the decisions have been made, we select squares, make them accordingly and then send them off to the other members in the group. Finally, we receive the squares and put them all together and voila! Swap complete.  At the bottom of this post is more information on crochet swaps.

This swap that I’m in right now is called Sprouting Hues. The colors are, as can be expected, colors of sprouts and dirt, perfect for spring. The yarn is from the Vanna’s choice line and includes Chocolate, White, Taupe, Fern, Lime and Linen. It’s very spring like, and after this long winter, I’m definitely ready for some green in my life!

The first three squares I talked about here, but I haven’t updated on those that I’ve done since then.

Crochet Swap Squares in Progress
Fluted Flower Square

First, this is called Fluted Flower Square. One chilly day a few weeks back, a good friend of mine came into town for a weekend. She brought a couple of crochet books with her and we sat around and crocheted and caught up on life for a couple of days. I had fun going through her book, The Big Book of Granny Squares: 365 Motifs* and picked a few squares to make.   I’m still working on a couple of them, but this one I finished while she was still here. The petals are a great texture, although they needed a bit of blocking so that they weren’t puffing out too much.

Crochet Swap Squares in Progress
Floral Kaleidoscope Afghan Square

The next square that I finished was a random find. I was just randomly pinning on my crochet boards on Pinterest and this square popped up and instantly caught my eye. So I headed on over to the pattern page and thought I’d make it up right then and there. Serendipity, yes? The pattern, called Floral Kaleidoscope Afghan Square, is really pretty and was very easy to make. However, it turned out a lot smaller than the 12 inches I needed to be for the swap,so I added a bunch of extra rounds while trying to keep the integrity of the pattern. Here are the extra rounds that I added:

Round 8: followed the pattern as instructed, but did 3 fptrc in the six trc around each corner. Corner as 2dc, ch2, 2dc. (linen)

 Round 9: continued this pattern with dc around and fptrc in the 6 fptrc below. For corner, ch1 after the last fp, 2dc, ch2, 2dc, ch 1. (taupe)

 Round 10: continue as previous rounds around, with fp stitches from the round below. For corner: dc in each two corner stitches, 2dc, ch2, 2dc in corner space, dc in next 2 corner stitches. (chocolate)

 Round 11: hdc in all the dc, and in the fptrc’s, I put a bptrc into each. For corner: 3sc in space, with sc in all other stitches. (linen)

 Round 12: bptrc around, with 2dc, ch2, 2dc in corner space. (fern)

I think that the resulting front posts kind of look like leaves coming out from the flower pattern, and makes a nice border.  The original pattern can be found here , and my Ravelry project page is here.

Crochet Swap Squares in Progress
Spiro Square

The third square that I’ve finished in the past couple weeks is the same filler square selected for the BAMCAL. I had so much fun making it and it turned out so well that I decided it would make a great swap square. I love how different the square looks depending on where color placement is, and the small fun stripes of green around the border make a nice frame for the center motif, which really stands out with the dark brown background against the light lines. The pattern is a free Ravelry download here, and here is my project page.

How does a crochet swap work?

 I’ve also had some questions on how to join in a crochet swap, and I can only speak of one with any certainty, because it’s the only one I’ve participated in. If you’re a Ravelry member, check out Vanna’s Choice Fan Club. You will need to register to be a Ravelry member in order to join this group, but Ravelry is free. The VCFC group hosts several swaps a year. There are also some very strict and important rules to ensure commitment and avoid getting scammed. The average cost for a swap is averaged around $60 for price of yarn (with the Vanna group, it’s always Vanna yarn) and shipping costs. So if you’re interested in joining a swap, join the group and take a look around the files, you’ll get the hang of things. Of course, there are several other crochet swap groups on Google; just do your research to make sure they have a good policy in place so that everyone gets their squares.

Crochet Swap Squares in Progress
blocking in progress

VCFC also offers a crochet-along (CAL) option for swaps too! For example, they’re having a swap that has a Halloween theme. I know that I won’t have enough time to participate in this swap, but I still love the idea. So instead of actually swapping with others, I’m participating as a CAL-er. That means I’ll make my own squares and keep them for myself without sending any out. This way, I don’t have to abide by the timeline but I’ll still be able to share my squares with the group and participate in the discussion. This is a great option if you’ve never been in a swap but want to get a feel on how it works within the timeframe.

I still have about six more squares to do for my current swap though, so I’d best get back to work. Have a great day, and happy crocheting.

~Mellie ★

 

*affiliate link if you would be so kind!

March Crochet Along Squares

Happy March and happy new Block-a-Month crochet along squares! I usually like to try to get right on the squares when they’re listed. It feels like I’m starting the month off on the right foot getting these done and being productive. But February was full of the flu, all around in our family, and I didn’t realize until it was too late that I was out of one of the yarn colors (Persimmon) and short on two others (Light Country Peach and Cypress). These are all from Caron’s Simply Soft line. So I went to order them online. Well, it turned out that the Peach was out of stock, and Cypress had been discontinued! Why do they do these things when they discontinue perfectly lovely colors? I know I complained a year or two ago about Lemonade being sold out, and then they brought it back, so I’m hoping that the Cypress will come back around again. It’s such a lovely shade of olive green. In the meantime, I’m scouring online for some extra skeins and crossing my fingers that the few small skeins of it that I have left will last until I find some more!

Anyway, since I didn’t get the yarn until a few days into March, I just got around to finishing them up this weekend. So here they are, and once again, they were a pleasure to make. There have been some months in previous BAMCALs that the squares chosen for the month are patterns that I am just not enthusiastic about whatsoever. Those are the times I try to challenge myself to make it as beautiful interpretation that I can, either by color placement, or by adding a few rounds here and there, etc. But luckily, the squares this month all were beautiful and I think turned out pretty well.

March Crochet Along Squares

The first one is Spiro Square found free on Ravelry here. This is such a gorgeous square; I’ve decided that I may make another for the Sprouting Hues swap. It’s fun to make squares a second time with completely different color schemes and different yarn weights and hooks, because they come out so differently! This one was made with the Simply Soft colors I listed above, along with off-white and pistachio. There were a lot of bpsc in the pattern, which sometimes makes my wrist a little numb, but it’s worth it, as it is such a lovely pattern. My Ravelry project page is here.

March Crochet Along

The main square this month is Emmalyn, another free Ravelry download. I made this into a 9” square instead of 12”. Since I use a G hook for all the BAMCAL squares, they often turn out much smaller in patterns that call for an H or I hook. Sometimes (like in the Spiro Square, above), I add a bunch of extra border rounds to reach 12”, but some squares just feel finished as the pattern states it. This was one that I didn’t feel needed to be enlarged to a full 12”, so I added one or two sc rounds to bring it to 9”. I plan to put this blanket together in a manner similar to my BAMCAL blanket from last year, so I make a variety of 6”, 9”, and 12” squares without worrying about it too much. Anyway, this square is so pretty! I just love how it turned out. The color scheme I’m using is perfect for garden-style squares, and with spring right around the corner (hopefully!) I’ve got seeds and flowers in my head anyway! My project page is here with the few variations I made on it and the free pattern can be downloaded here.

March Crochet Along Squares

(yes, I do realize how different the colors look according to what time of day I took the photographs!)

I was looking for the post on my Bobbly Flower hexagon blanket that I started some time back, and I realized that I never even posted about it! I’ll have to get that up soon. It’s a gorgeous puff flower that is really pretty (check it out here). I mention that because this month’s 6” square is the variation of the hex – Bobbly Flower Square (found as a free Ravelry download here). The pattern was already familiar to me, so I had a lot of fun making it again, and while there were more back post stitches, I ended up making dc instead of hdc just to ease the pressure on my wrists for a bit. Plus, it was much easier that way to bring it up to 6”. My project page for this one is here.

I know I’ve been MIA for most of February, but I’ve been working on a fun new pattern and have found so many wonderful squares that I want to make, so I have a lot coming up to share in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you want to join in the BAMCAL, by all means join the group and start wherever you like.

Hope you have a great Monday!

~Mellie ★

 

a little of this, a little of that

  winter train

Where does the time go? I woke up filled with all this energy as to what I was going to accomplish yesterday. That’s how most of my days typically start, with a bunch of motivation to tackle all these creative pursuits and unfinished projects. But then real life takes over and the day-to-day things – the chores, the homeschooling, the calls and the errands, the unexpected visitors who drop by, the extra freelance work that I picked up – they all take up bits of time here and there, until I realize that more crafty things that I wanted to accomplish still lay untouched. By the time the day was almost over, I sat down to look over my “to-do” list and was shocked (for some reason) to see how little had been done! Of course, I’m sure the same thing could be said for any busy mother with young children. When people ask what I wish my superpower could be, I always tell them I wish I could stop time for everyone else but me for about 2 weeks. In that time, I would catch up on all the stacks of paper, emails, crafts, cleaning, errands, reading, and everything else that ends up getting put aside for yet another day.

I probably should have made the rest of the day productive, but instead I decided to let everything slide, if just for one day. I sat down with my kids and joined them in their game of Minecraft for a little while, something that I usually never do. My eldest son was so happy – he started chatting with me through the chat box, and I found that he was so much more expressive through writing than with talking. Go figure that I’d learn something new about my son from a game of Minecraft! It reminded me that there are opportunities all over to connect with my children. When I finally had to disconnect, he was so disappointed that I promised I’d join in again after I had gotten some work done, and he gave me a hug and agreed that he would love that. So I have a date later that evening with my little one, and we have another time scheduled for later today!

winter snow

We had a water pipe break that had to be dug up in my yard this weekend. Through the four or five feet of snow, a bulldozer plowed right through and dug a good eight feet or so in the back of the yard. Part of me was aghast that the grass was ripped right off and tossed on top of the snow piles, but the other part of me was secretly thrilled that the bulldozer was turning over all the soil that would have needed to be dug come spring. It feels like we’re miles away from spring right now. It’s even been too cold to snow! But we had a couple of sunny days over the weekend, and with the sun streaming in through the windows and the heat blasting, I did my best to pretend that it was a warm summer day spent indoors. It worked for a little while!

mellieblossom crochet bag

With all these distractions, I’ve fallen behind on all my crochet things. I joined another swap on Ravelry, and have a couple of projects in the works for upcoming birthdays. There was (another) request from my youngest to crochet him up his newest imaginary creature. And with the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary shows up ahead, I thought I would stitch up a few bags to celebrate. Making them has taken me back to 20 years ago, when I sat in my old room in the attic at my mom’s house. I didn’t crochet much back then but I used to macramé hemp necklaces and make woven bracelets and love beads to sell at the shows. A lot has changed since then, but not my love of crafty things.

As for the bags, I have a couple waiting to be lined, and am writing up a pattern for anyone who might want to make their own. My hope is to have a few in my very much neglected etsy store in the next week or so. They’re so much fun to make, and so cute when they’re finished. I’m going to have a hard time deciding which ones to sell – I want to keep them all!

~Mellie ★

Crochet Swap Squares

Happy Monday to all!

I hope it’s nice and warm where you are. We got a ton of snow yesterday and even more is on the way. I shoveled snow three times in the past day and you can barely even tell! But we got a nice snow pile out of it that my kids are using to sled down, and we even built a snowman! That’s the first one I’ve made in at least 20 years, and it was so much fun. Winter is definitely here.

Crochet Swap Squares

Inside, we’ve been trying to keep nice and warm as well! I’ve had soup simmering on the stove and it’s been amazing to be so snug and warm under the blankets while looking out the window at the fat snowflakes falling down so thick that just across the yard looks like it’s in a fog. It’s so incredibly beautiful, like a winter wonderland to just be surrounded by white falling snow. Even though I’m not a fan of the cold, and I really don’t like driving in it, when I’m safe and warm at home, winter has its moments of being magical.  And there sure is a lot of it!

Crochet Swap Squares - mellieblossom.com

And now we’re in February already. I had all these goals of everything I wanted to accomplish in January, and so little was accomplished. We instead passed around the flu and slept and drank lots of water and tea, and when I had the choice of whether to sleep or to crochet, I slept and slept. Maybe I even hibernated, because it doesn’t seem like it should be February already, does it?

It seems like around this time every year, when I’m home bound and sitting among my yarn that I get inspired to join a crochet swap. I joined one last spring with the Pink Lemonade swap, and then the year before with the Carrots swap. The problem is that the swaps usually end in May, when no one is still sitting at home looking at the snow anymore. May is one of the busiest months around here, with quite a few birthdays, the obligatory graduation parties, taking finals, planting the garden and finally getting some warm enough days that finally ease our cabin fever. By the end of the swaps, I’m no longer inside crocheting, and usually stress myself out trying to catch up.

Crochet Swap Squares

This year, I’m trying to be a little bit more proactive and starting early when I actually am at home. The theme for this swap is “sprouting hues” and the colors are what lured me in. I’ve always loved earthy colors, and dreaming of my garden is only adding to that. I even started a separate blanket (the Big Colorful Throw) in these colors as a complement.

So in the past week or two I’ve made up a couple of squares for the swap. Wouldn’t you know, they were not easy squares for me! The patterns were written well enough but for some reason I had a lot of difficulties. The rounds rippled on one, which I pulled out and re-did three times; on another, it was just me not paying close enough attention to the pattern and not realizing it until several rounds later when I didn’t want to rip them out. But overall, I think they turned out nicely.

Crochet Swap Squares

The first one I made was this Picture Frame square. I first saw it on Pinterest, and saw that it was an Interweave download. I went ahead and followed the link and purchased the digital magazine, only to realize that it had linked to the current edition instead of the Fall 2010 issue where it was featured. Oops. So then I bought the correct digital issue, which made this pattern a very expensive one for me!  The link to the actual issue is here if you’re interested in buying one. 

Crochet Swap Squares

In order to cut my losses, I tried another one in that issue. This one is called Lotus Blossom, and wouldn’t you know that this afterthought square turned out to be one of the most beautiful of them all! I had such a good time making this, and the pattern went to easily.

Crochet Swap Squares

 

Finally, I found this third pattern that I just fell in love with… and also messed the pattern up. No worries, I’ll be making this one again soon. I love the effect of the different colors throughout the square. Even though my version isn’t perfect, it still turned out nicely and definitely acceptable for the swap.  This square is called Twist and Shake and you can find it here for free

I have a little under 2 dozen left to do, so I’ll be posting some more soon! I’m keeping my eye open for lovely granny squares to crochet, so let me know if you see any that catches your eye!

~Mellie ★