Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Photo from
How have you all spent the day?  We haven't really gotten into the trick-or-treating yet.  Next year, at the earliest.  We mostly observed Halloween today by eating candy that we didn't need.  If I had remembered, I would have dressed X in his Halloween shirt from Grandma Connie. Instead, I forgot, so he's wearing it to bed. :)

Well, would you like to hear about some Finished Objects?

Before the school year started this year my mom and I talked a lot about her Haruni shawl, as well as other knit items.  Mom came to me with the idea of knitting some things that would jazz up her school ID badge. You know the ones I'm talking about.  You attach your ID to a little metal clip, and then clip it somewhere on your body.  A lot of people clip them to pants, but you can't really see much there, let alone a name!  Anyway, Mom was looking for something a little snazzy, and seeing all the pacifier clips I've knit gave her an idea.  What if you took that sort of idea and applied it to an ID badge?

So that's what I did.  I had been looking at a book, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield, that would be perfect for this (as well as to adorn other knit items).  So you'd think that after Mom picked out the flowers and ideas she liked best that I'd get right to work and finish these off, right?  Wrong.  This book and the tabs identifying the right patterns sat in my pile for a long time.  Longer than it should have, I'm ashamed to say!  I was always thinking about them but couldn't quite get the motivation to start them.  Honestly, I think I was a bit intimidated by the idea since it meant improvising a little, as well as learning to crochet.

But the other day, I decided to just jump in and try crochet.  Once I learned a few basic stitches, it was just the inspiration I needed to finish these clips.

So on to the good part - the pictures!

The first clip is a trio of Bluebells tied by a braided yarn ribbon.  Using Knit Picks Shine Sport in River and Comfy Worsted in Honey Dew, I quickly knit these up in a couple nights.  It could be done in 1 night.

I love that the inside of the Bluebells is just a tassel attached to the base of the "bell" and fluffed a bit.  I think it's my favorite part of the entire flower.
I also learned a new way to fold over and seam the cast-on edge to form the scalloped top of the flower.  This is the same effect as my Reading Mitts, but on the mitts, I just folded over the edge and whipstitched it to the inside of the mitt.  This pattern calls for lining up stitches on the left needle and stitches of the cast-on edge and k2tog.  Once you've done this, you've still got live stitches and you can move forward from there.  Pretty cool, huh?  Cool, yes.  Easy?  Not at all - instead pretty fiddly.  But I'd use the technique again.

Next I worked on a couple crochet patterns.  The next clip is the Pelargonium flower.  This pattern calls for you to crochet 5 flowers, then knot them together at the base and single crochet (sc) around the yarn tails, which creates one compact stem.

Here I used yarn in Claret, along with Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Honey Dew. The pattern calls for fine yarn, but I didn't have any.  Make do with what you have, right?

I only crocheted 3 flowers since this was meant as an ID clip.  I didn't think there was enough room for all 5.  Three is still good.  If I'd do anything differently here, it would be to block or perhaps starch the flowers a bit.  All the petals roll inwards and make it a little difficult to see how pretty these flowers are.   The sc stem was a pain in the butt for a new crocheter.  I had a hard time holding on to the yarn tails while crocheting around them.  The effect is neat I suppose.
These will be great through the Christmas season as the red really pops and fits in with all the holiday cheer.

Finally, I crocheted an Orange-Tip Butterfly.  This was much easier than I thought it would be.

I used in Black, and Knit Picks Shine Sport in Caution and White.
This crocheted piece could also do with a little starching, just so that the wings open up and stay in place.
All 3 FOs have a snap "front" attached to the back of the item.  The other half of the snap (the snap back) is sewn to the ID badge.  I've asked Mom to bring me another clip so I can give her another clip that has the snap back glued to the clip with my hot-glue gun.  I think this will be plenty sturdy, and much easier and neater than sewing the snap on.  The snap is strong enough to hold on the knit/crocheted item, but not so large to be heavy or visible from the front.   So all Mom has to do now is snap off one flower and snap on a new one! (Clap On...Clap Off...)

All of these took very minimal amounts of yarn.  It only made sense to go stash-diving on this one.  My plan is to make a few more clips to take Mom through a few holidays and the different seasons.  What a fun way to make that boring little clip a little more interesting! :)


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