06 January 2009

The Great Shrug Project...

I promised my sister almost a year ago (or maybe it was a year ago...ugh...in my defense, it has been an unusually hectic year) that I would crochet her a shrug to her specifications: green and lacy (and, of course, with her taste in mind). Unbelievably, it was hard to find a pattern matching what I knew she wanted. Everything I found was either too bulky, too short, or just wouldn't fit her personality. So, I decided to modify and blend some existing patterns to create something just for her.

I can feel that I'm not too far from being finished (though I had originally intended to have it done for Christmas...it just keeps taking longer than I think it will). I know that the reason it's taking so long is because I'm making it up as I go along and having to constantly try it on to make certain it is laying correctly and shaping the way it should.

This is the second project I've taken on that was this time consuming along with having a due date...the first one I ended up hibernating at the last minute and replacing with an easier, less time consuming gift. I've realized now, with two of these under my belt, that I have to have a stash of quick projects to go back and forth between. If I force myself to work on this project and only this project I kill it because I get too discouraged. I now know that it's better to take my time and finish the project than it is to force myself to focus only on the big project and end up OD'ing on the poor thing.

It really will be a huge triumph once I finish this piece, and I know my sister will have exactly what she wanted. And I learned a lot from this project...my own limitations and my need for at least something to give me instant gratification. I really can't wait to post the finished project...hopefully in the not too distant future!

02 January 2009

Sunrise Stroll Barefoot Sandals

Here is my first shared original design. I've crocheted several items that I've made up as I went along...just as I did with this pattern...but this is the first one I've ever taken the time to write down.

I decided to make these, first of all, because my cousin and aunt are moving to Orange County, CA, and I thought they would enjoy these in their new sunny home; and second, now that Christmas and New Years are behind us, the thought of creating something to enjoy on a sunny day was quite tempting.

So, here goes...please let me know if you have any questions or notice any problems with the pattern. You can find me on Ravelry, username: YarnSprite

I'd also love to see your finished objects!

by Melissa Pedersen

Use Size B crochet hook and embroidery thread of your choosing (I used Prism Craft Thread, which comes in packs with 10 yd skeins…each sandal uses less than one skein). I also recommend variegated thread to give your sandals a little more dimension and interest.

(make two)

TOE: ch 20, sl st to join with first ch

ROW 1: ch 8, dc back into 3 ch from hook and do 3 more dc in same ch

ROW 2: ch 10, sl st into top of 3rd dc, ch 5, dtrc into ch before 1st dc

ROW 3: ch 3, dc into top of arch, ch 3, dc again into top of arch, ch 6, dc into top of next ch 10 arch, ch 3, dc into ch 10 arch, dc again into arch.

ROW 4: ch 11, sl st into top of ch 6 arch, ch 7, dc into top of ch 3.

ROW 5: ch 5, sl st into next ch, picot, ch 5, sk 2 ch, sl st into 3rd ch, picot, ch 7, sk 3, sl st into 4th ch, picot, ch 5, sk 2, sl st into 3rd ch, picot, ch 3, dc into next ch.

ROW 6: ch 3, dc into ch 5 arch 2 times, ch 2, dc into next ch 5 arch 3 times, ch 1, dc into ch 7 arch, trc into ch 7 arch 2 times, dc into ch 7 arch, ch 1, dc into ch 5 arch 3 times, ch 2, dc into last ch 5 arch 3 times. Ch 60 to form first tie, tie off.

For second tie, sl st to join with the first ch 3 of row 6, ch 60, tie off. Weave in all ends.

To wear, thread toe loop over your middle toe and tie the ends behind your heel.

*(I used pearl beads to add a little accent to the second tie by threading the thread with 3 beads and randomly chaining them in…the pearl accented strap should be worn on the outward facing side of the foot)

09 January 2008

Yarn Over, Pull Through

So I've decided to start a blog as an outlet for my outlet. I have long been involved in the arts (illustration, painting, theatre, photography, literature); I'm inherently drawn to any medium which allows a person to express themselves in ways that can give others pause to think and examine their own feelings and experiences. The human experience is so beautiful and it's the times when we realize how universal our feelings and experiences are that draw us together.
I've recently become more aware of how connected we all really are, regardless of space and time. I've spent the past few months going through my great-grandmother's memoirs and compiling them, along with much of her poetry and some time-weathered photos of our family past, into a booklet to share with our family. As I read through her delicately penned thoughts and memories I felt like I knew her, beyond just knowing the the elderly woman whose pain-bent hands had gently hugged my adolescent frame, but as I might have known a childhood friend. I realized how similar many of her feelings had been to mine and how so many of her family's choices, as well as the choices she had made, had shaped my own life. It was almost surreal, as I sat reading her stories I felt like I was standing in a place outside of time as we know it and looking at time not as a linear thing but as a delicately woven tapestry where all of our strings are entangled with each others--seemingly incoherently and accidental, but if we step back and look at the work from a distance we see how intricately and purposefully we are all held together--it's a work of art. For that moment I felt that God was allowing me to see time as it is seen by Him.
My great-grandmother was an artist, a poet, a lyricist...and a beautiful woman who loved God and her family more than anything. Our family is blessed with many heirlooms of her art, especially her crocheted pieces. I have two skirts she crocheted for my mother that I now wear. My mother and I had always wished that we could have learned how to crochet from her but she had to move away when I was very young to a climate more suited to her ailments, and she passed away 7 years ago. A few years ago, my mom and I decided to take crochet lessons. Now, every Thursday we meet with a group of misfit women (aren't we all misfits) who share one common interest--crochet. I was surprised to realize what a wonderful medium crochet is for expression. It is so satisfying to create something and see how through your two hands (and hours and hours of dedication) you can turn a tangled mess of yarn or thread into something beautiful and useful.
And so, I hope to use this blog to share my experience with others who have the same love--no, need--to express and create. In that way we may add some color and design to this tapestry called life...