New Year, New Projects (and a lot of old ones)

Ginger

Don’t let this picture deceive you; Ginger is an adorable holy terror, lol.

Happy New Year, a few days late! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate), and a great New Year’s Day. I spent Christmas with my parents and crazy one-year-old Jack Russell/Red Heeler, and New Year’s at my friend’s home as my partner Tim was working. Good times all around.

I have already started planning my projects for the upcoming year. I have some new ones, of course, but am also working on finishing some older projects. I have the feeling I’m not the only in in this predicament. Now that I’ve recently expanded my needlework skills, I find it difficult to decide on what to work on. I think I need to come up with a plan to work on one craft each week. It isn’t spontaneous, but spontaneity got me into this, lol.

Temperature-Scarf

One project for the new year – and I’m already behind because I need to purchase the yarn – is the Temperature Scarf. The great thing about this is choosing the colors and the temperatures for each color. Depending on where you live, and the amount of colors you want in the scarf, you will want to choose a large temperature range for each color or a small one. I want to use several colors and in the Northeast it can get very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer (depending on the year), so my temperature range is from zero to 107. Frankly, it doesn’t usually get down to zero above 100 here, but I wanted to cover my bases. Here’s what I’m using, once I buy the yarn. I’m going to make mine colorful, but it could also be very pretty in several shades of the same color. The colors in parentheses are the color names from the Caron Simply Soft line I will be using. I’m also going to make it simple, just using single crochet. I figure that 365 rows could be a pretty long scarf, so I better keep the height of the stitch small.

0-11 – dark purple (purple)
12-23 – med purple (lavender)
24-35 – med blue (country blue)
36-47 – light blue (lt. country blue)
48-59 – green (green)
60-71 – light green (limelight)
72-83 – yellow (lemonade)
84-95 – orange (orange)
96-107 – red (harvest red)

There is also a Sky Scarf. The pattern is for knitting, but the basic idea can also work for crochet. I won’t be working on that this year but it’s another interesting option. It’s similar to the Temperature Scarf except it’s based on if it’s sunny, cloudy, raining, snowing — you get the idea. I’m sure there are other “journaling” scarves we could create; There already is a Mood Scarf (that could be dangerous!), and maybe you could create an exercise scarf (based on how many minutes you moved that day), TV or movie scarf (different colors for your favorite show that day), etc. I’m really making these up as I go along, but the options are endless.

2015-Afghan-CAL-Main-GraphicAnother project I’m looking forward to is Tamara’s 2015 Afghan Crochet Along on her Moogly blog. I heard last year’s was a lot of fun and it’s something new for me. Every two weeks she’ll share a new free afghan block crochet pattern for a 12-inch block. By the end, you’ll have blocks for an afghan that is about 4×6. I think some people use it to make two small blankets. You choose your colors and then follow along. Seems like a great way to end up with an afghan at the end of the year. Some people piece the blocks together as they go, but I think I want to see all the blocks at the end to decide how I want to place them.

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This week I started my Mirabilia 15 in 15 by working a little on my Angel of the New Dawn. I haven’t made a lot of progress on her this week, and this photo is from before this week, but will stitch more tomorrow. I am not starting one each day the first 15 days of the year, but will start or stitch on 15 over the course of January. The idea is to finish them all by the end of the year. I don’t know if any of us will be able do to that, but I think it will help me to make progress on some that have been languishing a bit.

What new projects are you starting this year, and what old projects are on your goals list for finishing? I love to see what other people are working on. 🙂

New Cross Stitch Designs

I like to wander over to a few places to see what new designs are out. Now, this isn’t always a good thing, as there are usually many beautiful designs and, while I have enough to last a lifetime, I am always distracted by more pretty things. One thing about not having as much to spend as I used to is that I’m forced to think a bit more about making such purposes. However, I do want to share a few that I saw that may interest people if they haven’t already seen them.

CM Designs - Sparkle

Sparkle from CM Designs

Ink Circles - Village Square

Stitchers Village by Ink Circles

Sparkle from CM Designs is a beautiful tree with a few little “crocheted Tidbits,” as they call them, mixed in. The pattern includes three hand-crocheted Tidbit flowers made with Valdani variegated cotton and three glass crystal beads. I imagine this would look beautiful in a variety of colors and fabrics and if you are a crocheter you could make your own little flowers.

Ink Circles has another beautiful design out called Village Square. The possibilities with Ink Circle’s designs are endless, and this is no exception. Have fun stitching with variegated threads of your choosing, or perhaps divide it up into solid threads. Whatever you choose, it is sure to be delightful. According to the Ink Circles website: “The Stitchers Village is a global needle arts community and is sponsoring a series of charts called My Village Home. Each month a different designer will depict their version of the perfect village home. Ink Circles is #2 in the series. The chart will be available through any of the Stitchers Village supporting shops. It will also be available to shops through my normal distributors or directly from me.”

TA Smith - Pretty Little Square 2

Pretty Little Square 2 by TA Smith

Tiny Modernist - Hot Tea

Hot Tea by Tiny Modernist

Pretty Little Square 2 from TA Smith is a delicate piece that includes the chart and an alternate center square that may be used for a thread keeper or scissor fob. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it looks to be a combination of cotton (or silk) floss and metallic. The grey is lovely, but (again), it would look beautiful in a variety of colors.

Last but not least is Hot Tea from Tiny Modernist, Inc. Underneath this pretty and fun teapot reads, “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” I’m sure I’m not the only Jean-Luc Picard/Patrick Stewart fan who caught that. 🙂 The pattern is available as a downloaded pdf from Tiny Modernist.

These are only a few of recent designs. Looking back on the ones I chose, they do have a similar look, but there are many more out there. For a more complete listing, go to Hoffman Distributing Company, Inc., or subscribe to your favorite online or brick-and-mortar shops’ newsletters.