Pumpkin Passport – April

It’s completely ridiculous, but between the Pumpkin Passport and the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-long, I have been spending so much time crafting lately that I haven’t had any time to actually photograph or post what I’ve been working on! Time to remedy that.

The April installment of the Frosted Pumpkin Pumpkin Passport takes us to Switzerland. Okay, I’ll admit it, I know nothing about Switzerland, except that my boss has gone there to ski a couple of times, and she always brings back excellent chocolate. And really, what more do you need in a country than excellent chocolate? Maybe the cutest sheep in the world, but Switzerland happens to have that too.

Switzerland cross stitch - Frosted Pumpkin Pumpkin Passport April

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2016 Geek-a-Long Update 3

Tetris is probably the first game I ever loved. I spent many, many hours with my trusty Game Boy and this game. And I was actually good at it! I love video games, and I play a lot of them, but there are very few that I’ve ever been able to brag about my skill at. In fact I think Tetris and bilging in Puzzle Pirates are about it. Sadly, it’s been quite a few years since I played either of these games, so I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t be bragging too loudly anymore.

I choose to knit my Tetris square in green since it reminded me so much of the original Game Boy screen colour. I’m really happy with how this square turned out, and love that the Llamas were clever enough to make the score reversible. I am however, a little saddened by just how bad this Tetris player is at the game. And it does make me a little nostalgic for the days when puzzle games didn’t require you to pay real money, wait a day, or spam your friends to play the next level…

Front of double knit Tetris square

Back of double knit Tetris square

If you still haven’t checked out the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long you really should. It’s been  an absolute blast so far.

Crochet Baby Blanket

Most crafters love making items for other people. I am clearly not most crafters.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love that moment when you give someone a hand-crafted item and they truly love it, and they appreciate just how much effort goes into a handmade work. It’s all the moments leading up to that moment that I don’t love. The stress that comes with working on a deadline, the worry over whether the recipient will like the gift or if it will just get tossed in a closet never to be seen again, and the constant feeling that whatever I’m making isn’t good enough – if I can see all the flaws then clearly everyone else must be able to as well!

And yet, despite all these feelings, when I’m horribly sick, swamped with work, and have less than three weeks until a baby shower, I’ll still end up deciding that making something is a good idea. Because even though I spend the whole project grumbling to my husband, asking why I always do this to myself, swearing that I will never do this again, and cursing myself for thinking that crafting on a deadline is ever a good idea, deep down I know I will make the same decision again… and again… and again. Because at heart I’m a crafter, and that’s what crafters do.

On the plus side, I’m not completely deluded, so at least I picked the fairly simple rainbow granny square afghan from Stacey Trock’s Modern Baby Crochet as the project. There’s nothing better than whipping out piles of granny squares while watching movies on a Saturday afternoon. Granted, washing, blocking, and joining all the silly things wasn’t my favourite task, but making the squares was fast, so even with my crazily short timeline I had well over a week to deal with the finishing.

Crocheted granny square rainbow blanket

Stacey’s version of the blanket used grey instead of white for the joining colour – perhaps a more baby friendly (i.e. less stain apparent) choice – but I needed the yarn in my hands immediately, so I had to settle for whatever Micheal’s had in stock. Frankly, I was thrilled to find all the rainbow colours I needed in a single brand of yarn1, so no complaints. In the end I like the fresh and modern look of the white, and I did use a machine washable acrylic, so hopefully it holds up okay. Of course I’ll continue to worry since that’s what I do about items made as gifts.

Luckily, I think the recipient (my co-worker, who is expecting her first baby to arrive any second now) truly appreciated the blanket. Hopefully when her little baby girl finally decides to join us, she will as well.

 

1The yarn was the Michaels exclusive Loops & Threads Soft & Shiny. Sadly, I believe it has been discontinued. It was actually a fairly nice acrylic to work with and the final blanket was unbelievably soft. If it hadn’t been a gift I might still be rubbing it against my face.

Pumpkin Passport – March

The March installment of the Pumpkin Passport has us riding past a tulip field in the Netherlands. And what a wonderful view it is!

Cross stitched Pumpkin Passport - London, Paris, and the Netherlands

It’s definitely on my bucket list to see the tulip fields someday, but for now, the cross stitched version will have to do.

I’ll admit that I finished this before the month of March was over, however it took a few weeks to get posted since my life is currently being sucked away by Stardew Valley. I will not admit to just how many hours I have already put into a game that was only released six weeks ago, but it’s obvious that blog posts have fallen to the wayside because of it. I have lots of projects to post – I’ve made good progress on squares for the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long, and even finished off a crocheted baby blanket for a co-worker. So hopefully I can pull myself away from my virtual farm for long enough to get those up here sometime soon. No promises though… there are crops to plant, animals to feed, villagers to woo, and a mine that needs exploring…

Pumpkin Passport – January & February

I am clearly a sucker for craft-a-longs. How else can I explain talking myself into yet another year-long Frosted Pumpkin stitch-a-long? Like the WIP pile wasn’t already big enough! But this year’s stitch is travel themed, and like everything Frosted Pumpkin, just too darn cute to resist.

Here’s a shot of the full piece after I finished stitching the January & February installments. I really love that the layout is horizontal and that it’s clearly going to be a full scene rather than individual framed motifs like the last two stitch-a-longs.

Let's go on an adventure cross stitch

Here’s a close up of the January and February stitch:

Cross stitched Pumpkin Passport - London and Paris

An interesting side note is that I have actually been to both London and Paris. These are likely to be the only cities in the Pumpkin Passport that I’ve actually visited!

 

2016 Geek-a-Long Update 2

I’ve finished two more squares for the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long. Double knitting is absolute magic to me. If you’ve never tried it you really should. As I’ve said before, I don’t knit very often, so I’m not an accomplished knitter. Double knitting looks impressive but is actually incredibly easy to do. The basic action is a simple knit one, purl one, which with one strand of yarn creates a basic rib. In double knitting you always carry two strands of yarn. You knit with the colour you want to see on the side of the fabric that is facing you and purl with the other strand. Effectively making two pieces of fabric at the same time. Beautiful two colour images with no nasty colour changes. Magic!

I double knit slightly differently than the Llamas do, but they do have a video tutorial to help get you started.

Here’s the front and back of my Kirby square:

Double knit Kirby square

Double knit Kirby square

And my Sonic the Hedgehog square:

Double knit Sonic the Hedgehog square

Double knit Sonic the Hedgehog square

Three down, at least 21 to go…

2016 Geek-a-Long Update 1

OMG it’s a Geek-a-Long! Every year the talented ladies over at Lattes and Llamas plan a geeky craft-a-long in support of the Child’s Play charity, and somehow I didn’t know until now! To make this year’s geek-a-long even more exciting to me it’s specifically focused on video games.

How it works is that every Sunday throughout the year a new pattern for a geeky square is released. The goal is to craft at least 24 of the squares and stitch them together to create a seriously awesome afghan. The patterns are clearly designed primarily for double knitting, but could be crocheted (or even cross stitched, beaded, you name it) if you prefer.

The patterns are released for free, and the organizers simply ask that if you enjoy the patterns you consider making a donation to the Child’s Play charity. How cool is that?

I don’t do a lot of knitting so I was a little hesitant to jump into a year long knitting project. But as soon as I saw a square featuring the prince from Katamari Damacy I knew the Lattes and Llamas ladies were geeks after my own heart and that I’d end up getting sucked into this adventure.

Conveniently, I learned how to double knit not that long ago from Alasdair Post-Quinn’s Adventures in Double-Knitting class on Craftsy (which is excellent by the way) so this is also a great way to practice my new skills.

Here’s the front and back views of my first square. Only 23 more to go 🙂

Double knit Katamari Prince front view

Double knit Katamari Prince back view