Thursday, June 28, 2012

WIP | High Tide Sailboat Backstitched

The backstitching on the sailboat is complete!

I have started on the first of the borders that go around the entire piece. I'm on the home stretch.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

IHSW | High Tide Sailboat Section Complete

This past weekend was International Hermit and Stitch Weekend. While I didn't get in as much stitching as I did last weekend while watching French Open tennis, I did hit a good milestone on High Tide. The Sailboat section is now complete (excluding the backstitching).

Once I backstitch this section, I will only have the border around High Tide left to do!

I hope you guys had a beautiful and productive weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2012

WIP | Oh, Sharla

Last summer I started stitching my first HAED Sharla. I have a thing for mermaids and Hannah Lynn, so it was easy to choose my first HAED project:

I quickly realized it would take an entire lifetime to complete her stitching 1 over 1. This is as far as I managed to get with Sharla:

Not very impressive. I pondered for months whether I should switch to 2 over 1 tent stitch. I did some test stitching, and I really liked how the 2 over 1 tent stitches came out. I finally made the decision to frog what I had done and start over.

I gotta tell you - frogging that much 1 over 1 was a nightmare. To top it off, on my very last little 10x10 square I cut a thread on the fabric. I don't even know how I did it. There were some other close calls I could have understood if I broke the thread, but nothing bad should have occurred when it did.

My husband suggested I move Sharla down the fabric since the cut thread was on the top row of the pattern.  I got out the measuring tape to find out not only did I have enough room to move Sharla past the cut thread, I probably had enough room to just move Sharla past the entire section I just frogged. I didn't need to frog any of it. I could have cut off the stitched portion or just flipped the fabric upside down.

In the end I wound up flipping the fabric upside down anyway. My cut thread is now at the bottom below where I will reach. That was a big lesson to me. Never, ever frog an entire piece without first measuring to see if I can just recut my fabric!

The good news is this is my best season for stitching: grand slam tennis time. The last two weeks the French Open has been on. Since men's matches are usually about 3-5 hours each, I can get in a lot of stitching time glued to the couch. This year's final match had 3 rain delays! Talk about getting in some stitching time. :)

This is my new progress picture of Sharla:

I'm loving the tent stitch so I'm happy I decided to start over.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Start | Super Mario Blanket

My son is a huge Super Mario Bros. fan so I decided to crochet him a blanket featuring a bunch of the Mario characters and items. I'm using Tunisian crochet for the stitches.

So far I have 2 squares completed for the blanket: the mushroom and the star power.

This is my working pattern. I still haven't decided exactly which characters are going to make the cut.

Each image on the pattern is a 16x16 pixel graphic. I'm doubling each pixel to 2x2 as I crochet so the end result is a 32x32 stitched image (plus a 4 stitch border all the way around the image).

You will notice there are several repeat images on my pattern. Take Toad for example. It took me so long to make every image the exact same dimensions, I didn't have it in me to make a blue Toad, a yellow Toad, and a red Toad. I can just look at the blue Toad and make it red. The same thing goes for several of the Mario characters.

Right now I'm planning to crochet 28 Mario characters and 28 solid squares. That may change again, but that is the current plan.

My son is helping me decide which characters to stitch next. Hopefully this will also help eliminate how hard it is to narrow down the images. I've started stitching Goomba's Shoe (what we call "the boot"), and I think it will be one of the easier squares.

I'm using mostly Caron Simply Soft yarn, but I will use a couple Red Heart Super Saver yarns, too. The yellow I used for the star power is RHSS. I needed it to be really bright.

You can also see my plastic crochet hook in that last picture. If you are going to do a small project in Tunisian crochet, I really recommend these plastic crochet hooks. The normal Tunisian crochet hooks (that look like knitting needles) are just too long and most regular crochet hooks do not allow you to keep enough stitches on your hook. Prior to getting the plastic hooks, I was using a regular aluminum hook, but it was a nightmare trying to get my stitches over the grip bump.

These are the crochet hooks I am using:

I got them at Michael's in a set of G - K. I'm using size J for my Mario squares. The key is to find a hook that is smooth all the way down (no grips). Another great option is bamboo double ended crochet hooks.

I have a few other projects in the works, and I have to finish Hide Tide in the next month or so, but this blanket really is a lot of fun. I'm excited to see it progress, and I just love how excited my boys are about it, too.

Best stitches!