Thursday, July 29, 2010

Update on the Caribbean Topper

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It's almost done!!! Wild whooping sounds and dancing going on....

This has been an interesting pattern so far. I had some major brain farts along the way that took me a few days to finally decipher. But overall, once the pattern comes together in your head, it comes together in your hands. 

I have 3 repeats to go on the one front and then comes the seaming of the shoulders and the final go rounds of the arm holes and the entire outside of it. I'm not going to attach buttons to the top since I want my daughter to have options as to where the buttons go and how many buttons she wants to use. So... in order to give her that option, I'm using a pattern found in one of Doris Chan's books on how to make joined buttons that can be used anywhere along the front.

I'll add photos of the buttons when I finish them. Right now I'm concentrating on finishing the vest first.

Other stuff in the works but I can't post about those until later :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where did July go?

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Wow, just a few days left to July. Where did it go!!??

I've been busy with crochet and other things. The weather has been keeping me pretty quiet with the insane humidity and heat. My lungs hurt with every breath so I've been spending a lot of time thinking crochet, making crochet items and more recently I've taken up testing patterns for a crochet designer.

I've always enjoyed her patterns and I finally took the plunge earlier this month and volunteered to test crochet one of her newest motifs. It was a pleasure to do up this motif and with the colors I used, made it very retro. The pattern is available at SmoothFox's site and is called Lemony Lime Citrus Square.

This is my square, which inspired me to make a second one which will become a bag. The bag is almost done, need a few more rows for the over the shoulder strap and then the lining.

The second test was for a lovely blanket. I'll post mine as soon as SmoothFox has the pattern up on her site.  So until then, the blanket remains a mystery!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You know knitting is cool when....

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Your husband is a follower of an online comic strip and he calls you over to take a look at the new strips. The strips are all about knitting! and funny too!

I've posted the first one here.
For the rest, simply click on the links and enjoy!

Day 1: link to the online strip

Click on the above strip for a larger version that can be read.
I especially love the last frame of this one LOL

Day 2: link to the strip

Day 3: link to the strip

Day 4: link to the strip This one is my favorite. I love the slogan!

Day 5: link to the strip

Day 6: link to the strip

Hope you enjoy these as much as I have.

Nice to see that fibre arts are alive and well even in the comic strip world!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What have I been up to this week

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Let's see...

I worked for 2 days temping for the agency I'm registered with for some much needed cash to pay the bills.

I won a full set of Boye Crochet hooks participating in a CAL with Crochet Soirée  See this post for more details.

I started and finished a doily for the Crochet Soirée July CAL. The original pattern gives a finished size of 15 1/2 inches. My doily came out to 31". I'm not sure if this still qualifies as a doily, but I don't care. It's a nice size to be a nice tabletop cover for in between meals.

Here it is all pinned out. I love love love the pattern. The Starlight Doily was originally published in the October 1999 issue of Crochet With Heart magazine but can be downloaded at Crochet Soirée's site. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't done doilies yet. I'm considering doing it again using ww yarn and turning it into a round blanket? shawl?.

I'm sure my Mom will appreciate it!

I have 2 shawls on the go. One for my darling daughter and one for my wee sil. Both are from the pattern by Doris Chan called the All Shawl. It's a free pattern that can be downloaded on Ravelry. If you're not a member of Ravelry yet, it's high time you come on in and join us in all the fun.

I also have a vest in the works for my darling daughter. I've been working on it off and on and really need to just sit and get it done. The pattern is from the May 2010 Crochet magazine and is called Caribbean Topper.

 The yarn is from Rowan, handknit cotton in navy blue. It's a very nice yarn to work with.

I know I have a lot other things in the works, just can't quite list them  all at the moment. With Christmas and stuff ... Definitely will update as I figure them out :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Come on a tour of Bag End

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 Maddie Chambers is amazing! 

At the time she made this replica of Bag End, she was caring for her twin 1 year old boys and taking a class in college. Part of the class was a module called ‘the importance of play’ and she had to make a toy to hand in at the end of the term. Now you would think that Maddie would have gone for something simple considering how busy her life already was, but no. She took the high road and recreated Bag End from the tiny flowers to the pantry filled with food that every hobbit loves.

In Maddie's own words "Lots of people have asked me how long it took to create – I have little twin boys who I look after full time during the day (and sometimes throughout the night!!) so I worked on it a couple of hours a night or during nap times in the day. I did work out once that if I had worked on it 9-5 with an hour for lunch it would have taken me 2-3 months!"

Following are photos of her work in progress as she calls it. To me it looks absolutely perfect as is!

The details she has included in the front yard, the flagstones were picked from her own backyard garden. The flowers were painstakingly cut and glued as were the leaves. The grass is added in varying shades and textures to emulate sun burnt grass next to the stones.

Here is Maddie sitting next to Bag End (top removed).

Seeing the sign Bilbo had put up on his front gate in the hopes that the Tooks wouldn't come and bother him made me laugh.

And here we are in the front entrance, looking at the chandelier that Gandalf hit as well as the rafter he ran into trying to avoid the chandelier. The detailing on the furnishings, lighting and clothing is amazing. Look at the set of keys hanging on the wall, the tiny candles, the wrought iron detailing of the door.

Opposite the entrance, a small shelf holds books, flowers and a statue of Gandalf riding Shawdowfax. See the wee jar of flowers below? I want to reach in and pick up one of the books to read it, they are amazingly realistic.

Through the entrance archway, you can see the fireplace in the living room complete with paintings of Bilbo's parents and a statue of Frodo & Sam to the left. 

And here we are in the living room where Bilbo wrote his book "There And Back Again". The maps and scrolls are all actual maps of Middle Earth printed on old parchment paper. 
The table strewn with remnants of a hasty meal as if someone had just walked away for a moment really makes you forget that this is a miniature reproduction.

 Here is a comparison between the movie and the miniature. Simply put, Wow!

 A closeup view of the statue of Sam & Frodo. Notice the parchments, the small trinket box. So much attention paid to details. Absolutely amazing!

No tour of Bag End would be complete without a peek in the kitchen and pantry. Maddie created every single food item from fimmo clay. I love the fireplace. I just want to sit at the table and enjoy an elevensies with Bilbo.

And here we get a rare treat, a peek into the Bag End pantry. Those apples, the cheese, the loaves of crusty bread and the pies! MmmMmmMmm...

I have to keep reminding myself that this is all fimmo. She made so much food that she had to put some in cupboards and drawers. Exactly what I would picture a hobbit pantry to look like.

Notice the leaded stained glass window? Handmade! You need a steady hand to accomplish this kind of detailing on a window. Actually this kind of detailing on anything of that size. Those wee bottles on the top shelf are made from beads. 

And what every good hobbit pantry holds; a nice barrel of longbottom leaf pipeweed!
Only the best of course.

Even the bathroom looks amazing. From the tiny oil lamp to the tiny towels made from terrycloth. Bottles made from beads and soap from Fimmo. I love the texture of the walls. They are exactly as I imagined.

The bathroom fireplace is made of stones collected from Maddie's backyard. I just love all the tiny jars, mortar and pestle, the beautiful details of the bathtub right down to the small metal soap holder hanging over the lip of the tub.

If you ever wondered what Bilbo's bedroom looked like, you can stop now. Simple, charming and filled with small trinkets and books. I especially love the small bed warmer standing next to the fireplace. 

A perfect souvenir that I would have expected Bilbo to bring home from his adventures. A pair of dwarven axes. The carpet is so pretty. Amazingly detailed for something so small.

This concludes our tour of Bag End. If you want to see more photos and how Maddie built this beautifully accented version of Bag End, you can go to her blog.

If you reside in the UK or plan to travel there this fall, don't miss this!
Bag End will be on display at the Dolls House Emporium, Ripley, UK,  from September-December 2010.
Maddie is currently working on a miniature of The Prancing Pony. You can follow her  progress here

Images owned by Maddie Chambers and used without permission. All rights reserved by Maddie Chambers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Surprise surprise surprise" a la Gomer Pyle

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Wow, talk about a surprise!

I open my email to see what's new and there's an email from Crochet Soirée.... and this is what I read...

Hi MariAngel,

I drew your name for the prize of a Boye CrochetMaster hook set!

Please send me your full mailing address and I'll get your prize out to you

 My jaw hit the desk and I scared the cat and my husband with my whoop of joy LOL

I have been participating in Crochet Soirée's CALs. The May CAL was the Red White & Blue challenge. I chose to make the hot pads, 1) because I needed one and 2) my daughter needed one as well.I had some beige cotton with flecks of red and blue in it and that's what I used to make the hotpads. They came out quite nice.

I have been wanting a set of these Boye hooks for quite a while now. I had a Boye hook that I absolutely loved but lost earlier this year and hadn't found a replacement for. Now it's on its way along with a lot of other gorgeously colored hooks in a range of sizes!

Every crocheters dream come true!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I see You

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I know husband darling is going to roll his eyes, but I want my Avatar movie!

So in the meantime, I watch and listen to the title track. So there!

I know it's a mix between Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas and Titanic but I still love the movie and the music. 

And the way this movie was put together is amazing. See below...

I'm so glad he waited 10 years for the technology to catch up with his dream. Blue-painted humans in undies running through the rain forest definitely would not have done it for me.