Thursday, May 20, 2010

༺ Violet Project: Fitting the Tumbler ༻

This is the second installment of my series about creating a crocheted violet basket arrangement for my etsy shop. In the first post on this topic, I gave examples of past projects and started initial planning. In this post I'm ready to show how I fit a crocheted basket cover over the white tumbler.

I chose a pretty multi-colored acrylic yarn for the body of the basket, and selected a #3.00 crochet hook. The cover is made from the bottom up. The beginning of the basket is a simple chain of about 4 stitches, joined into a ring.I made about 8 single crochet stitches (sc) into this ring.

Next I started to form corners by making another round of sc stitches but adding three sc into one stitch, placing four of these around the ring to create 4 corners. I don't have a written pattern for this basket, instead I watch each row as the basket grows and make size changes as needed. After a few more rounds of sc with corners, I reduce the corners to two sc, then finally no corners at all. This starts the basket moving up the sides of the cup, and I begin slowly increasing stitches as I go.

The basket continues up the tumbler and when it gets to within one row of the top, I join the trim color and do the last round in the butter color. After that round, I switch to half double crochet stitches (hdc), and also do the next two rounds in only the back loops from the previous rounds. This causes the yarn to wrap inside the tumbler to form the top. The next picture shows the way the yarn bends backwards into the cup.

Finally, the last round is double crochet, with a decrease every 6 stitches. This causes even more tightening to hold the cover snug in place. I cut the yarn after this row and sew in the ends.

For the decorative basket trim, I use a new piece of cream yarn. It gets joined in the front loop of the hdc row around the top, at the back of the basket. I create an anchor row for the basket trim by single crocheting loosely around for one row. You can get more creative here, but this is how I made the trim shown in the picture. I do a round of hdc, then turn the work, and do a round of double crochet. Finally I do a finishing trim round of (sc, slip stitch) in each stitch.

With the basket part of the project complete, I add some paper basket fill and start gathering materials for the crocheted flowers and other accents I'll put into this arrangement.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

☂ Maple Tree Sprout ☂

Yup, I have sprouted a maple tree from a seed !! Isn't it cute !!

maple tree sproutI soaked the seed in water for 2 days, then laid it under a thin layer of potting soil. I kept the pot in warmest window each day, moving it around the house like a mad scientist. Well, it paid off as you can see. The little sprout looks full of life.

I plan to move it outdoors after it gets a bit larger. Hopefully with some attention I will have another shade tree in a few years. Life is all about patience, right?

The little lemon tree sprout continues to grow too. Here is how it looks today:

Besides my indoor experiments, I have been planting flowers and vegetables outside. Colorado has had a windy, wet and cool spring (not complaining) so the season is about two weeks behind schedule though. Yesterday I put out some annuals on my south patio. The tall bed is new, and hopefully will keep out local rabbits from nibbling down my blooms.

flowers patio annual garden annual plants patioWhat's growing at your place?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

༺ ♥ Violet Basket Step by Step ♥ ༻

Recently I sold a violet arrangement on, and found myself ready to replace it with another. I had to decide what type to make, as I have sold a variety of kinds over time. Did I want to make a basket, or select a vase? In the process of thinking about it, I decided that I would share my basket creation progress with all of you, my wonderful blog followers.crochet violet basket

This post will include information about how I get started with the basket project. The next blog post will include details of how I fit the basket and prepare it for flowers.

The typical first step is to look back over past violet arrangements to get ideas. Sometimes I crochet a basket, and sometimes I use a pretty tumbler or vase. Here are a few pictures of arrangements created in the past. I really like the one in the pink vase. I found this ceramic vase in the discount bin at my local grocery store - my favorite kind of discovery !violet pink vase ceramic crochetcrochet arrangement violet pink purpleAfter looking over past projects, I have decided to replace the arrangement with one similar to the first picture in this article. It will have a crocheted basket cover placed over a simple white bathroom tumbler. I have some green tweed yarn that is worsted weight, and some off-white cotton yarn that will work well for the basket's trim.yarn tumbler white The flowers will also be made from worsted weight yarn, in pink and purple. I'll decide later about the greenery and bead trimmings.

So I'll get started with the crocheting, and snap some pictures for my next blog post. I'll do my best to show how the basket fits on the tumbler.

Stick around, and feel free to ask questions through the comments feature of blogger.