Well, I HAVE been busy! On to my most recent 2009 projects!
I found Vanna's Choice yarn on sale at my local JoAnn's several months ago, and wanting to try it, bought what was left in Sapphire, Mustard and Fern, deciding it would be just enough for a nice lapghan. I decided on the diagonal box stitch (used for my large blue/beige ghan on page 3) since I was able to calculate ahead of time how to arrange the colors to use just the right amount of each, and I love the geometric patterns it forms. I haven't decided yet if this will be a charity item or gift. (And I did like the Vanna's yarn and would like to buy more sometime, after I use some of my current stash! Or not...fellow yarn addicts will relate!)
I decided to make a few more ghans for our new home. I'd already made several, but I love ghans! This was the first, called "Irish Roses", done in the join-as-you-go method that I enjoy. I used Bernat Berella in Soft Forest (misnomer; actually a pale dusty green) and Rich Pink, and the leaves are Dark Sage from Red Heart.
I wanted a ripple ghan but was having some trouble finding a pattern I liked. I decided to make a popcorn ripple, though I knew from having made one for a craft fair years before (which did sell) that they are time-consuming, but I love the look of the popcorn stitches. I used Bernat Berella in Soft Forest and Soft Taupe, and Caron "One Pound" in Claret.
And now, drumroll, please! It's time to show off the large square, and the resulting full-size ghan, that I sort of partially designed!! I realllllly wanted a ghan consisting of large cream squares, each with a burgundy rose in the middle and green leaves. I tried a few patterns but didn't like the way they were turning out. So, wheels again turning, I thought, if I can find a center motif to start with, maybe, just maybe, I can make up the rest. After all, I know how a pineapple is constructed, having made hundreds of them! I was at Dianne's house at the time, and looked through her many crochet patterns. I found a motif by prominent crochet designer Maggie Weldon that I felt would work great. I made it and liked it, but decided for such a large square, it would need a second full row of leaves. I added the cluster stitch leaves and proceeded to create a pineapple on each of the four sides. Then I edged the square in the same green as the leaves and added join-as-you-go loops. The square turned out to be 17", so I would only need 12 for a full-size ghan!
And here it is! I love it! I haven't sent the pic to Maggie Weldon (since as I write this, I just took the pic of the full ghan yesterday) but I need to do that. I hope she will like what I did with her motif (which is #2 in the book, "99 Floral Motifs to Crochet")!
Next, I got started on something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time: create pretty outfits for my few larger dolls. All of the three girl's outfits were designed by Carol Alexander. They were fun to make and then personalize with my own choice of trims. First came Mary Louise, resplendent in Caron "One Pound" in Claret and Bernat Berella in Soft Heather (cream). I've had this lace forever and was so glad to find the perfect use for it! The ribbon and feathers are from JoAnn's.
Next, I created this dress for Karen in Bernat Berella's Rich Pink (same as in the Irish Roses ghan; I found several skeins of this pretty color on clearance.) I didn't like the hat pattern that came with this dress (too small). So an online search led me to a ruffled baby preemie cap, which turned out to be just right!
Then I made Melissa this lovely dress in Bernat Berella's Forest Green (really more of a medium sage). She has a similar look to an "American Girl" doll. I found this beautiful wide lace on eBay, and the Medieval-looking metallic ribbon trim is from JoAnn's.
Awwwww!! Don't you just want to pick him up and hug him? This young fellow is an Ashton-Drake collectible doll, "Nicholas, The Winter Baby". He came wearing a white snowsuit and hat, which was cute, but I've wanted to crochet him a pale blue layette for the longest time. The pattern I used is from an Australian booklet and I was thankful that I first read how to make the basic stitches, just in case they were different than the U.S. They were! Their double crochet is our single, their half treble is our half double, their treble is our double, and their double treble is our triple! Keeping these differences in mind, the outfit came out the perfect size and was fun to make! I used Bernat Softee Baby in Blue Denim Ombre. I don't have much experience crocheting baby clothes, but I'm going to use this booklet again (it contains four different layettes) for clothes for real babies. I also crocheted Nicholas a new blankie, since the red plaid one he came with didn't look right with his new springy duds. The blankie he's sitting on is a 20" square in diagonal box stitch, made with Bernat Cottontots in Blue Berry.
I tease Dianne that she is a bad influence on me, since I often find yarn or other crochet-related items when shopping with her that I really don't NEED but just can't resist. Such was the case when we were shopping at the large Michael's in Lacey a few weeks ago. I have baby yarn on hand to make more baby or doll layettes, but fell in love with the new colors of Bernat Softee Baby and how beautiful they look together -- Summer Ombre, Soft Red (really more of a dark rose) and Fresh Green. So I just HAD to get some and use it ASAP. This ripple ghan, "Gentle Ripple" (a free flyer I'd picked up at one of the local craft stores), uses alternating puff stitch and mesh rows and I really enjoyed making it. I'm going to use this pattern again sometime for a full-size ghan.
After making the Gentle Ripple baby ghan, I had enough of the pretty yarn left over to make this little jacket and matching bonnet!
FINALLY, for now, the lavender doily on the right is the most recent project I completed. I don't know yet who'll be receiving it. With my love of pineapples, this is one of my favorite doily pattern. The one on the left, I actually made a couple years ago and never got around to photographing it. It sits on the table next to my recliner. This is another pattern that lends itself very well to using multiple colors. I used #10 Opera for the tri-tone doily and #10 Cebelia for the lavender. (Also, the original design left a big hole in the center of the doily and I didn't think that looked right. So I made up a different motif to go in the center of each one. I'm not 100% satisfied with either of the middles I came up with, but it beats a big hole in the middle!)
And that's it for now! Please continue on to Comfort N'Joy Crochet, to see my creations from late 2009 and beyond, and I thank you for visiting here and viewing my earlier projects! If you have a crochet or craft-related question or comment, please click here and use my special crochet contact form. This will go directly to my E-mail address, and I will reply as soon as I can. Then please visit the rest of my refuge!
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