Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 57

Motif # 57
Category: Triangles

Progress: 10 of 100+

A simple, solid, basic triangle. Although I've been quite enthusiastic about more elaborate motifs lately, I'm also very happy with this one. It's simple, but not boring: must be the corner gaps that make the motif interesting. Sometimes it's so relaxing just to look at the motif and the graphic pattern, and then start hooking without checking back after each row. I can imagine a colorful bunting with this motif, I should keep that in mind!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 20

Motif # 20

Category: Circles

Progress: 9 of 100+

Love this circle! I was a little bit astonished, that it turned out quite small, it looks a little bigger in the book. I'm quite a fan of spike stitches (working a stitch one or more rows below the actual working round), here you can see them in the last white round: the stitch is worked over the chains of the green round, into the ch-space of the white round below. This was one of the few motifs that turned out flat as a pancake without blocking. Simple and yet beautiful!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 53

Motif # 53

Category: Hexagons

Progress: 8 of 100+

Quick - easy - small - cute. :) With only three rounds, it's one of the smallest motifs. In the book, the motif is made in pink only. It's not that I don't like motifs in plain colors (I do), but the question is always: Which color should I take? I can never make up my mind, so I usually pick one, two or three colors plus white and then I'm happy. For this one I've settled on a dark pink and white.

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

PS: sorry there are no glimpses of the super secret project this time - I'm still working on it and hope to post new pictures, soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 62

Motif # 62

Category: Triangles

Progress: 7 of 100+

Another motif with lots of picots. Actually I've never been a huge fan of picots, but somehow I seem to grow fond of them by now. I can't say what's so special about this motif, but when I look at my motif collection or at the pictures, I always think "wow, that one's really cute!". In the book, the motif is pretty as well, with different shades of blue/turquoise.

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif #1

Motif #1

Category: Circles

Progress: 6 of 100+

The book starts off with a BANG, doesn't it? Right the first motif is one of the prettiest in the book, I think. The flower in the middle is made with popcorn stitches (you can never go wrong with popcorn, right? *gg*), the rest is just ch's and sc's, with cute little picots. Perfect! Check out the gallery, too - the other girls have already made and posted this motif as well!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif #144

Motif #144

Category: Unusual Shapes

Progress: 5 of 100+

The last motif of the book was one of my first motifs in the Challenge. It's in the category "Unusual Shapes", and unusual it is, indeed. It's a little bit tricky to make (not difficult, but rather unusual), and yet very interesting. The stitches are the well-known basics, ch's, sc's, hdc's, dc's and some tr's. In the book, the star is yellow and blue. Somehow it reminds me of a starfish rather than of a christmas star. I like it, though :)

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 89

Motif # 89

Category: Squares

Progress: 4 of 100+

Love this one!! Actually I like the motifs of the other categories (circles, triangles, etc.) better, but this is an awesome square! In the book, the motif is two-colored as well (magenta and lavender), but I instantly knew that I had to make it in black and white. This is another motif that needs blocking to look really good.

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

PS: I've also updated the Challenge News today -
thank you so much for the great feedback!! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 46

Motif # 46

Category: Hexagons

Progress: 3 of 100+

This is another great and easy motif, it would also be ideal for crochet beginners. It's made with ch's, sc's, and dc's only (plus the little picot-groups at the points). After I had taken pictures of the first bunch of motifs (light ones on a black background, dark ones on a white background), I discovered that I didn't like the pictures of the darker motifs on the light background at all: the colors just looked too dull. So I made new pictures of all the dark motifs on a black background. This one was one of them. Even though the first picture is a little bit dark overall, I think the color looks great, almost like it looks in real. In the book, this motif is two-colored, too. (edit: after I had completed half of the Challenge, I've taken new pictures of every motif on a white background and replaced the old pictures)

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif # 77

Motif # 77

Category: Triangles

Progress: 2 of 100+

At the beginning of the Challenge it's quite hard to decide which motif to make first or next, with so many pretty motifs in the book. So I just gave the book to John and let him pick one. Well, he's a man, so he was not very enthusiastic about this task and just flipped through the book and picked the first motif that caught his eyes (which was this one, motif #77). I also let him pick the colors (but insisted that I wanted white for it, too). In the book, this motif is two-colored, blue and green. Nice and easy!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beyond the Square: Motif #14

Motif #14

Category: Circles

Progress: 1 of 100+

One of the first motifs I've made for this Challenge - although I can't remember which one was definitely the first one. I always like adding white (or a very light shade of crème) to the colors I've picked. Here I've used three different colors + white, in the book the motif is two-colored (red and green). This is a very easy and pretty motif, with lots of front post stitches. Because of those stitches, the motif curled a bit to the front (the author mentions that in the book as well) - it's not really a problem, because I'm blocking all the motifs, so it's nice and flat now. I like it a lot!

Shared Gallery: link up your motifs!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Theme Party # 6: Baby Crochet

Welcome back to another link-party here in K-town, I'm glad you could make it :)
Again you had the choice to vote for your favorite topic and this month's winner is Baby Crochet: Can't wait to see all your baby blankies, clothes, hats, shoes, toys and more!

Some things you should keep in mind:
What you see is what you get: please link to the specific post where your chosen project can be found (not just your main blog address), and make sure that your post is about crochet and matches the given theme! No shops! Please understand that I might remove links that ignore these points.
Feel free to post as many links as you like - you should really search in the depths of your archives to retrieve your forgotten treasures, this is your chance to bring them back to the surface! :) more info

PS: I've also started another poll already and added a new topic, "Valentines Day" - I'm thinking about hearts, I'm thinking about flowers,... what are you thinking about? If you want this topic for the next theme-party, please vote for it (it will only be on the list for February!)

This collection can be found at The Crochet Boulevard now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Challenge 2012 News

This blog-post will regularly be updated, so check back for News!
(the latest News will be on top of the post, last update: September, 23)

The Challenge: work your way through Edie Eckman's book "Beyond the Square".

My personal goal: make at least 100 (maybe more) motifs in 2012.

to learn more about this Challenge, please read the Introduction.

Update September, 23rd:

It's done! I've reached the magical 100! :) (and of course I just had to celebrate it in a separate post *gg*). Only 44 more motifs to accomplish the ultimate challenge!
Are you still having fun with your personal challenge? I hope you do, and I'm glad that there are still new participants who join our party: Weaver Birdie from I Love Handmade has joined our little gang in August and has already shared some beautiful motifs, welcome Weaver Birdie!
Let's have a look at our gallery statistics again:
  • Circles: 98 motifs
  • Hexagons: 69 motifs
  • Triangles: 67 motifs
  • Squares: 89 motifs
  • Unusual Shapes: 50 motifs
  • Collections and Projects: 50 entries
  • Total entries: 423
  • New entries since the last statistics in June: 139
The most popular motif so far is # 2, it already appears in 10 different versions in the gallery, that means 10 girls have already made and shared this motif. Here is my version of it:

However, there are still ten motifs left, that don't appear in the gallery at all - yet! :)

If you'd like to see an amazing collection of all the 144 motifs in the book, please hop over to Sewing Daisies and admire Heidi's beautiful motifs, or check out Carmen's book review on her blog aduoscriptum: Carmen has also worked her way through the whole book! Hats off, girls! :)

Update August, 11th:

Time for some more News! First of all, I'd like to welcome the new girls who have joined the Challenge and added some motifs to our gallery since the last update in June:

Nata from Natas Nest, Rajeswari from Diaper Mum, and Anett from Freizeitbastlerin - willkommen in unserer kleinen Gruppe, welcome to our little group! :)

While I was on vacation, I received some e-mails concerning the Challenge, so maybe I've forgot somebody this time - but don't worry: as soon as you add your motifs to the gallery, you'll definitely be on my radar :)

Today I'd also like to mention Kara from Petals to Picots: She's got a Granny Month on her blog, i.e. the whole month of August is dedicated to granny squares and other motifs - she's already written a book review to Beyond the Square and promoted our Challenge (thank you!!). There's also a big Granny link-party on her blog plus a giveaway - lots of reasons to hop over to Kara and say hi :)

Update June 2nd:

It's June, and we're already halfway through with our 2012 Motif-Challenge. Are you happy with your progress so far? Unfortunately I'm still a little bit slow with posting new motifs, maybe I'll post a whole bunch of them one day :) I thought today I just share some little statistics from our gallery:
  • Circles: 70 motifs
  • Hexagons: 47 motifs
  • Triangles: 33 motifs
  • Squares: 63 motifs
  • Unusual Shapes: 35 motifs
  • Collections and Projects: 36 entries
  • Total entries: 284
  • New entries since the last statistics in March: 122
 The Circles section is still the most popular, but it seems like the Squares are catching up!

 Ladies, you're doing a great job here!! :)

Update April 29th:

It's time for another update on the Challenge News. I really hope that I don't forget any new participants, sometimes I get e-mails, sometimes I read new comments here and sometimes I find entries from new participants in the gallery - please, if you feel that I've overlooked you, let me now! :) With that being said, I'd like to welcome some new members of our little (but growing) party: Craftgirl78 said, her copy of the book was on its way to her and that we could definitely count her in.  MWitch3 from Needles and Hooks and Books, Oh My! found my blog via the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and jumped into this Challenge right away. I'm looking forward to your motifs, ladies! :) I'm also happy that we've found another new participant from Germany, who has already linked up some lovely motifs to our gallery: it's Rike from Rikes Kreativ-Blog, a brandnew site. Schön, dass Du dabei bist, Rike!! :)

I think that's all for today, next time I'll add some new statistics again. And now I'll leave you with a little preview of my latest motifs. See you next month

Update April 6th:

Since the last update in March, the girls and I have added 57 more motifs to our gallery - I just love the way how this challenge is going along! :) I'm also happy that Maike from Magentarot has joined the challenge and already shared two beautiful motifs - schön, dass Du dabei bist, Maike!

I have to admit that I have been a little bit lazy last month and haven't shared as many motifs as I had planned (although I've got lots of new motifs lying around here at home). Hope to show you more this month, here's a little glimpse of my growing collection:

Update March 2nd:

It's been a while since I've updated the Challenge News, so let's see what has happened last month: Svanvithe, Patricia from Las Manualidades de Pato and Little Orphan Skein have added new motifs to our gallery and Ladylike from Crochetapy left a message and said she'd join our Challenge. Can't wait to see your motifs! :) Mezzamay has turned motif # 54 into a potholder and shared it in the "Collections and Projects" section of the gallery.
I'm still happy about new participants, but I'm also happy that those of you who have joined this Challenge from the beginning are still making more and more motifs and keep adding them to the gallery, thank you!! Today, we've already got 162 pictures in the whole gallery, with 52 entries in the "circles" section alone. The "Collections and Projects" section is also slowly growing (20 entries) and it's so interesting to see your ideas!
This blog post might have become a little complex and confusing, with all those links to participants and maybe-participants. To keep track, I've made a little list of girls who have definitely joined the challenge so far (i.e. added their motifs to the gallery):


I wonder which name will be next on the list... :)

Update February 2nd:

I'm back today with some News about our Challenge. Let's have a look at our stunning Gallery again: Lucie from *Rosenrot* Kreativ has posted some beautiful motifs and left a comment, telling me she'd love to join the Challenge. Herzlich Willkommen Lucie, es freut mich, dass Du dabei bist!

Unfortunately I'm not speaking Spanish, but I'm quite sure that Paty from Tejidos con Amor would also like to join our party. Thanks for joining us, Paty - I can't wait to see your motifs! :)

And last but not least, a special goodie for those of us, who are still asking the big "and what shall I do with the motifs?" question: Kerstin from Mit Nadel und Faden has linked up two great ideas to the "Collection and Projects"-section of our gallery: a set of colorful coasters and a pretty bunting made of triangles. Please check out the links, her work is beautiful! Danke, Kerstin!

Do you like statistics? I do! Let's see...: so far, 11 girls (including me) have shared their motifs in our gallery, with Ana BC from Lanas & Hilos being the busiest bee out there - she's already shared 11 beautiful motifs. Come on girls, kick her from the throne! *lol*
The most popular category seems to be "Circles", with 30 entries so far - well, the reason why we've got the most pictures in this section, might be because it's the first chapter of the book, and some girls (like Stocki for example) might pick the first motifs first. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Motif # 1 is the one with the most pictures in the gallery - 6 girls have already picked and shared this motif.

And finally, here's a picture of some motifs I've made lately:

See you soon with more News here on this post - by the way: wanna join us? :)

Update January 22nd:

So, what's new and exciting today? Let's have a look at our Gallery first: Carlyn shared some motifs from her motif slideshow on her blog Crafting With Style. She has already made those motifs a while ago and is thinking about joining them to a freeform afghan. What an amazing idea!! I love to see freeform projects but I haven't dared to have a go at it myself - so far. :)

Valeria from Argentina has also joined the challenge and posted some motifs on her blog El blog de Ché! Crochet.

Maria Laura has started an extra page for this Challenge on her blog Lalaborda. Can't wait to see the page filled with your motifs! :)

Luna from My Crochet, Mis Tejidos has learned from this Challenge via Gloria's blog and has already posted her first motif on her blog.

If I've forgotten someone this time, please let me know! :)

And now a few words about the big "what are you going to do with the motifs?" question: Some people asked me here on my blog, and Stocki's reader have asked the same question on her blog. The truth is: I have no idea :) Moreover, this question is the one reason, why I haven't started making these beautiful motifs much earlier, and that's really a pity, because it's so much fun making them without a big project in mind! Of course, there are some ideas for specific items: Some would be great as embellishments on a bag or something, there are others that I can image as embellishements on cards (like for birthday, mother's day, or a wedding).

When I thought about a good way to present the motifs on my blog, my first idea was to put them into a picture frame - honestly, it looks lovely!! (I'm not sure, but I think Stocki's got something with frames in mind as well, right?) I've decided against this way of presentation, because you cannot see the details of the motifs that well. Nevertheless it makes a great decoration, what do you think?

Maybe I'll decorate our hallway with my favorite motifs in frames, I'm not sure.
I personally LOVE Carlyn's idea of joining the motifs to a freeform blanket, but I'm a little scared of that, because - as I've mentioned above - I've never tried freeform before. Moreover, for a freeform blanket I should have given more thought to color combinations and material. I think it wouldn't work out with the motifs I have made so far, I've already used too many different colors and cotton yarn probably isn't the best material for a big blanket.
Even if the motifs will never make it to a finished project, I'm just happy to have them in my little box and look at them once in a while - and who knows, maybe an amazing idea might pop up in my (or your?) mind as the Challenge continues... :)

Update January 19th:

Wow, I'm so happy about all the comments I've read today when I came home from work! AND we've got some new (maybe-)participants for our Challenge:

Warpspeedlinda from The Diary and Blog of a Crazy Crocheting Fool thinks about joining the challenge in March. Sure, the year's still young - join whenever you cannot resist any longer :)

Sarah and Lauren from Whimsy and Juno are two sisters from Brisbane - one of them left a comment here and said the instructions might be too difficult to understand for a crochet beginner. I think this is a perfect Challenge even for beginners, just pick the easier motifs (with the basic, well-known stitches) first. It's fun, you'll see - and a perfect way to learn and practice! I'd be happy if you'd join us! :)

Trish from Tales from Trish left several lovely comments on my motifs - and she'll definitely be joining us! Hooray! :)

Paula from Cards by Paula is also in. She's already made two motifs and will blog about them soon. Can't wait to see your motifs, Paula! :)

And finally, there's Gloria from Mossita Bella Crochet y Tejido. She asked me, if she can start the Challenge on her blog for the girls in Latin America who don't speak English. Sure, spread the word wherever you live! I'm glad to have you in! :)

I'm glad that this Challenge attracts so many girls from all over the world! If you're a new participant, don't forget to show us your motifs in our Shared Gallery. And if you're just watching this Challenge from outside, check out the gallery as well - the girls and I have already linked up lovely motifs there. THANK YOU ALL for your enthusiasm, this Challenge is more fun than even I had imagined at the beginning! :)

Update January 15th:

We've got two new participants, yippie! :)

TintockTap doesn't have that much time for crochet, so her personal goal is to make 30 motifs. Of course every participant can define her goal, and I'm looking forward which motifs you choose! :)

I'm also very happy that Traudi from Drosselgarten has joined the Challenge. She has already posted her first motif today. Danke für's Mitmachen, Traudi :)

I've also opened the Shared Gallery today, it's the tab "Beyond the Square: Challenge 2012" just below the header.

If you like what you've seen so far, please join us! :)

Update January 13th:

Stocki is in! Though she's already involved in several challenges (including the "Beautiful Blogger Blanket" which she's organising), she couldn't resist.

Kathryn (CrochetBlogger) has already commited herself to lots of projects, but she's thinking about it.


Barbina is thinking about buying the book (and joining maybe? *gg*)

Lots of other girls said, they're looking forward to watching our progress - thank you, I hope you too will enjoy the Challenge (and maybe you'll want to join later)! :)

A great idea came from Ana BC: She suggested to set up a link-party for the motifs we make as a group - I'm already working on an extra page on this blog where I'll create a shared gallery. Thank you, Ana!

I've also made a button. Like my party-button, this one is optional as well. If you like buttons, feel free to take it, but I'm not hurt if you don't :)

Who's the next girl to join in? :)

Original Post from January, 11th:

You're all still welcome to join the Challenge, some of you are already in, others are still thinking about it, so here's a little list of (maybe-)participants:

Ana BC from Lanas & Hilos was the first one who said she's in.

Marie from Underground Crafter would love to join, if she can emerge from her various crocheting deadlines.

Royce has already made a few motifs, you can find them on her blog, Royce's Hub.

Linda from Linda's Craftycorner has also started working her way through the book and wants to see who will make the most motifs this year - Challenge accepted, Linda! :)

Saritha from Rainbow Bunting wants to buy the book and might join the Challenge later on.

Needlekrafter (no blog) says that this Challenge provided the incentive for her to make a few of the motifs - if you do, please let us know (and think about writing a blog, that would be cool! *gg*)

Jane will join in occasionally if time permits.

Thank you so far, girls! :) And thanks to everybody else for your words of motivation, even Edie Eckman herself has left a nice comment, this is awesome! :)

So, who's in next? I'll be editing this blog-post regularly to add new participants, you're all very welcome!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beyond the Square: Challenge 2012

Für meine Besucherinnen aus Deutschland gibt es jetzt auch eine deutsche Einleitung zur Challenge, bitte einfach nach unten scrollen! :)

When I re-discovered crochet last year, this was the first crochet book in a foreign language I've bought:

Edie Eckman: "Beyond the Square - Crochet Motifs"
Although I love the book, the motifs, the pictures and the instructions, last year I've only made two or three motifs and they've all served a purpose. Recently I've flipped through the book and thought, why not make a few motifs just for fun, just for the sake of crochet and colors, without any other purpose? So I've tried several motifs this week-end, and then I thought, why not turn it into a challenge?
So my personal Crochet Challenge for 2012 is working my way through this book. Well, maybe not the whole book - there are 144 motifs in this book, most of them beautiful, but a few of them just don't appeal to me. So my goal is to make at least 100 motifs from this book, maybe more. I think it's a great way to play with colors and see which combinations work and which don't. It could also be a possibility to play with different types of yarn, but I think I'll stay with cotton yarn. I also hope to learn some new stitches or stitch combinations along the way, or refresh some stitches I haven't seen in quite a while. Furthermore, I hope to improve my skills in pattern reading and writing (both in written and in graphic form). After all, it's mainly about fun and inspiration, inspiration and fun! :)
I'll be choosing the motifs spontaneously, not in a specific order. Every motif will have its own post, with a picture and some notes (about the colors for example, the stitches, ideas for what to do with the motif or whatever else comes to mind). I'm really looking forward to sharing the progress and my experiences here with you!
And what about you? Would you like to join this Challenge? It's not a very time-consuming project, and it's a perfect distraction when you need a little break from a bigger project once in a while. You can order the book from Amazon USA or Amazon Germany, or in the respective country where you live (ISBN-10: 1603420398 / ISBN-13: 978-1603420396). And no, I'm not getting paid for this commercial :) It would be great to see lots of colorful motifs, so don't forget to let me know if you'd like to join the Challenge (or if you've maybe even mastered this Challenge before?), so I can check out your blog!

See you in a few days for the first motif of the Challenge! :)

* * *

Beyond the Square: Challenge 2012
(Deutsche Version)

Hallo Ihr Lieben!

Vielleicht tun sich einige von Euch ein bisschen schwer, alle Details meiner Beiträge auf Englisch zu verstehen, deshalb habe ich hier eine ausführliche Erklärung meiner Challenge 2012 aufgeschrieben.

Auch in Deutschland zählt das amerikanische Buch „Beyond the Square“ von Edie Eckman zu den Bestsellern unter den Häkelbüchern.  Für jedes der 144 Motive gibt es eine graphische Darstellung in Häkelschrift, eine gute Übersetzungshilfe der Häkel-Fachausdrücke aus dem Amerikanischen gibt es hier. (GANZ wichtig, falls Ihr Euch selbst auf die Suche nach Übersetzungen macht:  Im Buch wird die amerikanische Häkelsprache verwendet, die leider Gottes wieder anders ist als die Englische!!)

Die Challenge 2012 ist, sich durch dieses Buch zu häkeln. Mein persönliches Ziel ist es, zumindest 100 (vielleicht sogar mehr) verschiedene Motive auszuprobieren und hier auf meinem Blog vorzustellen. Natürlich kann sich jede Teilnehmerin ihr eigenes Ziel setzen, und wenn’s nur 10 oder 20 sind, ist das auch okay. Die Reihenfolge der Motive ist auch beliebig – Ihr seht, es gibt hier keine festen Regeln, es geht nur um den Spaß am Häkeln mit einem tollen Buch.

Wenn Euch diese Challenge gefällt, macht doch einfach mit und zeigt Eure Werke in unserer gemeinsamen Galerie! Die Galerie ist – ebenso wie die Kapitel in dem Buch – geordnet nach Formen: Circles (Kreise), Hexagons (Sechsecke), Triangles (Dreiecke), Squares (Quadrate) und Unusual Shapes (Ungewöhnliche Formen), außerdem noch eine Extra-Kategorie für fertige Werke aus den einzelnen Motiven (Kissen, Decken, etc.) oder z.B. auch für Bilder auf denen alle Eure gesammelten Motive zu sehen sind. Wichtig ist, dass die Motive in der richtigen Kategorie der Galerie landen, und direkt zum entsprechenden Blog-Post verlinkt werden (also nicht nur zur Hauptadresse Eures Blogs). Auf dem Bild sollte das einzelne Motiv gut zu sehen sein, die Beschreibung des Bildes sollte „Motif # xy“ sein (wobei xy die Nummer des Motivs im Buch ist). Schaut einfach mal in der Galerie vorbei, dann seht Ihr genau, was ich meine! :)

Neuigkeiten (zum Beispiel über neue Teilnehmer) gibt’s regelmäßig hier, die neusten Updates stehen dann immer oben.  Wenn Ihr teilnehmen möchtet, wird also auch bald Euer Name (natürlich mit Link zu Eurem Blog) dort zu finden sein!

Zu guter Letzt habe ich hier noch einen Button für Euch:

Wer gerne Buttons auf seinem Blog hat, darf ihn gerne mitnehmen – ich bin aber auch nicht böse, wenn Ihr das nicht tut :)

Ich würde mich freuen, wenn ganz viele von Euch mitmachen würden! Und wenn vielleicht manche bisher einen Bogen um englische/amerikanische Häkelbücher gemacht haben, ist das vielleicht genau der richtige Ansporn! :)

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