Sunday, June 9, 2013

Gecko Frecko

Have you heard of Gecko Frecko?  No?  Then let me tell you about him.

Gecko Frecko is the companion of my youngest son, Benjamin.  Gecko Frecko sleeps with Benjamin every night, and even went camping with him.  He is content to snuggle under the covers, but mainly he sits right on top of Benjamin while he's falling asleep, like a scaly sentry making sure that bad dreams stay away.

While I was making Gecko Frecko, Benjamin literally sat by my side for hours, watching my hands and watching his new friend grow.  When I had everything done except for the eyes, I handed him over.  I ended up needing to sneak and steal him back in order to add the eyes several weeks later!

I absolutely loved the way this pattern is written!  Let me tell you why.

I am not a big chart person.  I can make do with one, but I prefer to have both line by line instructions and a chart to refer to if I need a visual.  But in general, I spend more time squinting at the chart trying to figure out where I'm supposed to be than I really should.

But Gecko Frecko, he's a special one.  The author, Raphaela Blumenbunt, used line by line instructions, but with symbols!  So each line, instead of being incredibly wordy, contains the symbols for the stitches required.    She took the best of written patterns and the best of charting and fit them together.  I found this pattern incredibly easy to follow, and the finished Gecko is extraordinarily cute.  Even if I did put one of his legs on upside down.  Ahem.

I sincerely hope that everyone makes themselves a Gecko Frecko!  Be sure to read the abbreviations and explanations closely at the beginning of the pattern, and this lizard will fly off of your hook!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Capelets For My Girls

The warmer weather has brought much hustle and bustle to our household.  We keep a fairly large vegetable garden out back, and we are also heavily involved in our local community garden.  Every Wednesday night and Saturday morning, you can find either my husband or I out there gardening with friends.  Every afternoon during out toddler's nap, I'm outside in the back planting, weeding, harvesting, and observing our own garden.  I have to say that at this time of year, growing thing trumps yarncrafting, except on rainy days.

That said, I do have a couple of very special projects to created this spring and the other the year before.

My daughter middle child received her First Holy Communion this year, and like for her older sister the year before, I made her a keepsake capelet to wear over her dress.  We sat down together and went through the Ravelry pattern database to find something that she liked.  As you can see, she loves all things frilly, lacy, and girly so she chose the pattern Chanson En Crochet by Mari Lynn Patrick.  The pattern calls for bulky yarn and a large hook to fit an adult, so we scaled down by using DK yarn and a G hook.  This pattern had a very extensive errata, so if you try it out, make sure you get the errata too!

The year before, for my oldest daughter, I didn't give her the chance to pick out a pattern, because I wanted it to be a surprise for her.

Obviously this one is knit rather than crochet, but it fits her style and personality very well.  Most of the time she likes her clothing to be very simple, though she does have her moments of grandeur and pomp in her style.  This pattern is simply called Knit Capelet and it was written by Mary Jane Protus.  Once again, this pattern called for bulky yarn, but I wanted to use something lighter weight, so I used DK and added two lace repeats.

I really hope that my girls will keep these capelets and, if they have children of their own, pass them down the line.