I'm not gonna lie, its been a weird week. Kinda good, I mean Fall! I love Fall... but kinda blah... maybe cause that rain they told us to expect never came. Maybe I just need more chocolate. I know I really need to get myself organized. If I do that over the weekend, next week will automatically start out better.
I am still finishing my granny square sampler. Every stitch I add makes me love this hodge podge of granny squares more than before. Well. Except for the thousand tails I have to weave in. Good lord. Its like its own pompom.
In the meantime, here are some links that are making me less blah today:
I have been on a mission to find the perfect sweater. This may be it.
Amy Karol on Creativebug! If anyone could ever convince me I needed to make my own underwear, if would be Chicken. And seeing her on video is the next best thing to visiting her in Portland, so I'll take what I can get, go check her out!
I love everything about this quilt.
I will announce a winner of the custom crochet hook giveaway on Sunday evening or Monday. There's still time to enter.
And lastly, I treated myself to this book and this weekend, I plan to make something from it to tell my own self that I am awesome.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
I just looked at the Flickr group at the finished afghans, GORGEOUS! Wow! I am so glad you guys kept going with it and didn't wait for me to post. I love how different each one is!
After a busy couple of weeks that left me painfully short on crochet time, I was finally able to pick my sampler back up this week. I've now joined and completed the inner rectangle portion of the sampler, and am now on to adding the rest of the squares around the rectangle. For anyone who is still working on joining their squares, I thought it might be helpful to share a few joining tips that worked for me, in case they might help anyone who is still joining. If you're done, you just go pour yourself a glass of champagne and don't mind us!
Over the next week, I will play with placing my remaining squares around this rectangle, and deciding if I need to crochet more granny squares. There is an even border of squares around the inside rectangle on the original sampler, that's the look I'm aiming for.
At week 17, I put a call out to anyone that is doing this sampler with us to provide your links, which I am now adding to the project page. If you'd like to be added, just leave a comment in that post or here.
Hello fellow samplers! I am taking some unauthorized liberties today. I wanted to share some photos of some of the samplers that everyone is doing. One of the best parts of this granny square sampler project is, although we all crocheted basically the same squares, each afghan is so unique to its designer. So much color and pattern out there! There were times I was constructing this afghan that I started to wonder if it would end up one hot mess (you may have wondered that too!), but that couldn't be further than what we're ending up with. Just beautiful. Take a look at some of the in-progress afghan shots from our Flickr group-
From Grace B1, I love all the white space on this one.
And then I absolutely love the explosion of color (the pinks, cranberries, and reds really pop) in Melissa's-
And in all of Daniela's squares
I don't say it often enough, but I have really enjoyed crocheting this project with all of you. It has resulted in some often funny exchanges on twitter and instragram from folks who are learning to crochet along with this project. (Oh goodness, I really hope you have learned or relearned something, and that I just haven't confused you to frustration.)
Please leave a link to your blog, flickr photostream, etc in the comments on this post, I would love to compile a list of permanent links on this page of everyone who has been working on this project with us this summer.
We are nearly done! Next week we will start joining the rest of the granny squares.
Enjoy your weekend!
As I challenged myself a few posts ago, these latest little evening hand-busy crocheted rocks were done using a smaller hook, US9/1.25mm, and smaller thread, size 20. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually like using these small components even better.
I nearly finished blocking all my granny squares for the sampler. Ready to start joining tomorrow? You may be as relieved as I am to know that it's not as hard as I thought it would be!
And lastly, here's what's playing in my studio today. I just love Camera Obscura. Enjoy!
I jumped the gun last week when I said let's start joining our squares. Because it we are good crocheters (and we are) we must block them first.
Some of you may be asking what exactly is blocking? Blocking means setting your squares by pinning them into the desired square shape, steaming them, misting them with a spray bottle, adding the heat of an iron, and allowing the squares to "set". I consider it an important step, but one that I always forget until I get to that part of the project. But make no mistake, I block everything I crochet or knit. The reasons? ... the steaming of the pieces allows the stitches to relax and smooth into a nice uniform placement, the stitch pattern is set evenly, the size of the piece is set, my work always look better when I block it, and I'll be honest, I love the smell of wet wool.
Here's a visual of what blocking does for our squares-
I use the same method I learned in my knitting class 12 years ago and it has never failed me. This method works for natural fiber yarns like cotton or wool (not mohair or any furry natural yarns, I'm told). As for acrylic yarns, I did a little research online and it seems like there are folks who say its unnecessary, and others who say you must. I will let those of you using acrylic yarns decide for yourself.
So, before joining squares, I will task you this week with blocking your squares. You may decide not to do this step and that is entirely up to you. Those of you who are old pros at this, carry onward. Those who are learning, here's how I block.
To block granny squares- instructions and supplies are for cotton or wool squares, (acrylic instructions are in parenthesis).
- Your granny squares.
- An ironing board or a stack of towels to pin your squares to.
- An iron with steam (not needed for acrylic squares).
- A spray bottle with water.
- A good supply of rust proof pins that don't have plastic heads (the plastic will melt). I use short T pins, but you can also use glasshead pins.
- (Clean damp towels for acrylic squares only).
To block squares:
1. Start pinning the smallest squares on the smallest end of your ironing board. You will want to pin at each corner first, then add 2-3 pins down each the sides evening. Don't pull or tug the square, you're just straightening and smoothing it out to its correct size.
2. (If you have acrylic squares, skip to Step 4). With your spray bottle or using the spray button on your iron, lightly spray the squares. The goal is not to saturate, but to dampen it evenly.
3. Using your iron (I use a high heat setting with full steam), iron over all the squares without touching them, keep the iron 1" or so from the surface of the squares, just allowing the steam to hit and penetrate the squares. Again, just an even steaming, no need to saturate.
4. (Acrylic squares only. Lay a damp towel over your squares, covering them all completely.)
5. Leave them to dry overnight, and remove them the next morning.
Next week we will begin joining some of our squares. I am playing around with a couple of different methods of joining and will share what I come up with. I realize some of you are still scrambling to catch up and I'm hoping this week will give you time to do that as well.