Monday, December 28, 2015

Year-end yarn projects

I've been scrambling to finish up some projects before the end of the year - and before I really start clearing out my personal projects this winter.

First up...

A Tale of Two Baby Blankets

I have a friend from law school who is American, but of Russian heritage and really enjoys all things Russki. Longtime readers will remember a chart / intarsia afghan I designed for his first child - a representation of St. Basil's cathedral. I was hoping for something a little easier for his second child, which he informed me is on his or her way. I wanted to make a Bavarian-style afghan, which is easy, fun to make, and gorgeous. 

No, it would not be that easy. Nick wanted a Russian folk art firebird. Well, what my friend wants, he gets.

This beast of a chart pattern actually existed for purchase, and I am fairly certain no one has ever attempted it before. I powered through it in about three weeks. It was really hard, that's all I'll say, and I don't really want to talk about it anymore, haha. But I am excited it is going to someone who really appreciates it.

Around the time I started the firebird, my coworkers and I planned a shower for a pregnant coworker. It's her fourth child, and I feel like any child beyond the first gets overlooked, so I decided to make a special blanket. 

And I mentioned earlier that I didn't get to do a Bavarian crochet afghan for Nick's baby, so I did one for coworker instead!

I really like the colors and how it turned out. My rationale was that it was going to be a boy born in winter, so I'd go with icy blues. Good thing we had the shower before we left for Christmas break last week, because she had the baby over the weekend!

Some Tiny, Quick Projects

Following up on my baby blanket section, I wanted to mention a cute, quick little project I worked up for a different coworker: a top hat and beard for a baby named Lincoln!

The top hat worked up better than I expected, and I just kind of made up the beard part. But when you look at the top hat on the kid, it actually looks a little small! Maybe I should have added some rows.

Another fun one I did over the summer that I didn't get a photo of until recently is a dog sweater I made for a coworker's wedding. Her dog has his own Facebook fan page and needs a sweater for winter, being a very, very tiny little thing. 

He looks a tiny bit indignant, but overall I think he looks really good!

Gray Cabled Poncho

A cable project I posted about in fall was completed about a month ago, but I forgot to post a final photo. Here it goes:

I got the project from a magazine and extended it by a few section repeats because I'm tall. I also did some decreases around the neck line because it was too loose and floppy. I'm very happy with how it turned out, and I definitely need to strut this fabulous thing around the office!

Donated Projects

I am a member of a small crochet / knitting club in the northwest suburbs, and this year one of the other members suggested that we could make some items to donate to charity. She found Warm Up America!, a non-profit organization that distributes afghans to the needy.

Rather than make squares and mail them in - or make afghans individually - we decided to make 7-inch squares and stitch them together to make one or two afghans and mail them as completed projects. (Here and here are some of the squares I made this summer.) A bunch of us made squares, including my mom, and one of us (not me!) stitched them all together.

Here are the completed afghans:

Peg put them together according to cool colors and warm colors. I think they look fantastic, far better than I expected, given the motley crew of squares submitted by the group. 

These awesome projects inspired me to do more charity crochet, so I donated some half-finished afghans to Comfort for Critters, which coordinates donations of blankets and toys for animal shelters. They also take donations of yarn, which they bring to senior homes and the seniors make blankets for the critters. What a wonderful world of crochet and knitting charity!

Merry Christmas, readers, and happy new year. Resolutions to come before the end of 2015.

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