Sunday, August 20, 2017

Winter Lodge and Lumberjack CAL

Good Sunday Morning! 

Today I would like to introduce two new patterns; Winter Lodge (on the left) and Lumberjack (on the right). I'm going to tell you a story about how these two blankets came into being.

These two designs have gone through almost a year of metamorphosis into their final states. They both started out as a totally different blanket design. That design was then changed into Winter Lodge because I was submitting it for possible publication. That fell through and I didn't feel like pursuing outside publication anymore, so the Winter Lodge was set aside for a bit. 

However, there were more design ideas I wanted to pursue with the pattern. I picked it back up, changed the yarn I used, went with a new color palette, altered stitches in strategic places, and the Lumberjack was born. I guess you could call Winter Lodge and Lumberjack fraternal twins. They share traits, they share "DNA", but they are not identical. The Bizzy Crochet team (myself and Theresa, lol) decided to keep them together for whatever project came up next because they shared so much, yet were so different.  

Winter Lodge is a more delicate feminine look, and Lumberjack is a sturdier more masculine look. They are both 50" x 50" finished size and make a nice snugly blanket. I love them both.


Ok, so why am I giving you so much information about the story behind these two new blankets? Because we are having a Crochet-A-Long with them!! If you've never been a part of a crochet-a-long you are not alone. My first ever foray into the world of CAL's was this last January when I joined the Hygge (what's a Hygge?) moderating team with Scheepjes on Facebook (you can check out that group here). Before then I had seen CAL's, but I didn't understand them so I had no interest in them. What I learned, though, was that a CAL is a great little community where everyone works at their own pace on the same pattern, and everyone receives encouragement through sharing their pictures and the process together. Questions can be answered in a timely fashion. It creates a great group of new to experienced crafters. 




These are pictures from the CAL group! We had a blast during the CAL itself. It was so fun to see all the variations! The E-book is over 20 pages and is available now, just click the link above.



If you've read my blog before, you know that I have fallen in love with Whirl by Scheepjes. It's a generous 1,000m cake of fingering weight cotton that graduates in colors. I can't even say how many colors are in each skein. It seems like at least 6 or 7. Their gradations are so subtle and natural and smooth they create absolutely gorgeous end products. I created the Sapling Baby Sampler Blanket (free!) from the Lumberjack base using one skein of Whirl in the Melting Macaron colorway. 

Theresa really wanted to see what she could do using Whirl with the Winter Lodge and Lumberjack patterns. She used two cakes of the Salted Caramel Matcha. She said it reminds her of her home state of Alaska. I've never been to Alaska, but I've watched a lot of Alaska: The Last Frontier and Alaskan Bush People (lol) so I feel like I'm a bit of an expert 😂😂 and I can totally see the resemblance. 

But, seriously, Theresa has created a bonus pattern with elements of both the Lodge and Lumberjack to use up both cakes of Whirl. The bonus information will help you increase your afghan past 50" x 50" organically if you are wanting a larger finish. 




Saturday, August 19, 2017

An Ode to "The Perfect Companion Bag"

I was asked by Pam at StichedNaturally.com to review one of her handmade project bags about a month or so ago. So, I said I would be happy to. The following is an ode to "The Perfect Companion Bag"...😎

                                  

Oh, little bag, how could I have known how perfect you would be when I agreed to test you out? With your whimsical fabric, and silk cord tie, and adorably themed buttons. You came to me perfectly packaged; You were protected in a nice thick plastic to keep the weather off of you (and that's good, because it always rains in Florida). As I got to poking around in you I discovered you were literally COVERED in pockets!! Five of them just on the outside of you...and another FOUR on the inside...that doesn't include the perfectly hidden zippered pocket on the inside. It's deeper than it looks. How did you fit so much in there??



It turned out you were WAY bigger than I expected you to be. Pam said she sent me one of the medium bags....was she right? Did she make a mistake? Actually, no....turns out the description on her website was right on with what I held in my hands. You're a medium? And you're only $28?? Handmade?? 😲

I started stuffing you with things to see what would fit. I dragged you to work. I took you everywhere with me. How would you hold up, little bag? How would you fare with the Bizzonator?? 


It's a good thing you don't care about the dust on my dashboard, little bag.


You were great with my granny square project when I had to fill you up with about 15 balls of scrap yarn in varying sizes. I was also able to keep my smaller bag with my hooks and needles in you, too. It seemed like you had no end to your ability to hold more!


Look at what we did together, bag! We made a granny square fall table runner!


Then we started on slippers. We are currently stuck on making the Simple Garter Stitch Slippers that are free on Ravelry. 



You don't quite hold a 10" pair of straight needles, but you sure do hide my dpn's nicely. It's ok little bag. I will get one of your brothers or sisters to help me out with the really tall projects. You and I will keep working on the smaller ones. 

If you have made it this far in the story, thanks for sticking around! Seriously, give Pam a visit. Bags are not her only specialty. She also happens to be one of very few US distributors who carries Scheepjes yarns (Whirl, Stonewashed, Invicta, etc), kits, and publications, as well as constantly adding to her supply of whimsical, yet practical, supplies for knitters and crocheters. She is located in Southern Wisconsin, so she's a fellow Cheesehead! 

Tah for now!