Saturday, March 8, 2014

Two of My Favorite Things

   I don't know about you, but if I can combine my two favorite hobbies together, I think it's a win-win! Well, I figured out a way to do that recently. April 5th is Table Top Day. What is Table Top Day you ask? It's a day to get together with your friends and family and play all of your favorite games. Our family LOVES games!  We decided we were going to have a party and I got to thinking of things we could do for this day. Then it hit me, I should tapestry crochet something for a decoration. 

   I pulled out my IPad and got to designing. First you have to come up with some sort of idea you want to create.I wanted to create something using the Table Top logo so I did a quick search and found one. I decided I didn't really want to do the stuff on top of the table. As cool as it looks, it would be hard to do and adds a few extra colors. The least amount of colors I think the better. Just because it's easier to untangle your yarn as you go along.


   I have downloaded a free pixel creator app on my IPad. I started with that. It's easier than erasing over and over on paper. The grid on the app wasn't quite big enough, so I had to do a couple of them so that it would all fit. Once I got it how I wanted it, I transferred it onto the graph paper.I found the middle of the paper and the middle of the picture. I started transferring it from there.


   Once it was all transferred, I gave it a quick look over. I decided I wanted to add something to the bottom to make it a little more of a square. I added Day at the bottom with a die on one side and a meeple on the other. I ended up using two pages of graph paper. I had to cut and tape it so it would be the right shape.

   To get started, you are going to count how many spaces are across your design and add one. This is how many you need to chain. Each space is one single crochet. In this case, it was 75 spaces. Once you get your chain done, you are going to lay your color(s) in your design across the top of the chain. In this pattern, I wanted the background red with yellow letters. So I chained 76 red and laid the yellow across the top. In tapestry crochet, the colors run through the inside of your work. This makes a thick sturdy piece.

   To change colors, you start like you would any regular single crochet.

   Put you hook through the stitch and yarn over.

   Pull it through so you have two loops on your hook.

   Next you are going to take the color you are using and pull it up over the second color. After you do this, take the color you had been working with and lay it down on top of your piece.

   You then yarn over with the second color

   and pull it through both loops. (I apologize for the poor quality of the picture.) You now have your new color ready to go. Continue until you need to switch colors again.

   As you go, your yarn is going to get twisted up. You will need to untwist every row or so depending on how long your piece of work is.

   If you are anything like me, you will get half way done and realize your design didn't work as well as you had planned. I'm a little OCD with my crafts. (Unless you ask my friends or hubby, then I'm very OCD with my crafts.) I pulled the whole top part out and went back to the drawing board. I wasn't careful and didn't have any uniformity with the letters. Some were wider than others, the circles in the letters didn't line up and there wasn't enough space between my T's. I did a little tweaking to the pattern and started going again. As I was going, I noticed a couple more things I wanted to change. Luckily they were all above where I was working and so I was able to keep going.

   I put little pencil marks on the sides as I went so I could remember which row I was on and which direction I was going. I have used other patterns before and didn't keep track. At times it was hard to remember where I was and would have to take time to figure it out. This system worked really well for me, and I didn't get lost. It also helped that I had put different pictures on it. It was easy to see which way I was reading the graph.

   12 or so hours later, I had this! I think it's amazing how you can create something on paper and make it happen. It is about the size of a place mat. Maybe a bit bigger.

   When I was done, I tweeted the picture to Wil Wheaton. He is after all, THE Table Top guy. And who doesn't like to show off their creations?? After that, I headed off to bed. When I woke up, he had actually retweeted and commented on my picture! I had 86 emails. I get an email for every thing from twitter. I was amazed. So many people had commented, retweeted and favorited it. I couldn't believe it!

    My plan is to try and get 5 more done before Table Top day so that I can use them as game mats for our party. I hope I can get them done in time! Now I need to decide what I want to design and make next!

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