Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Beginning of the SS BADGER in stitches!

Hey all...I was recently challenged by my constituants at "Sisters Unraveled" to create an over-sized amigurumi that looks like the SS Badger.
What's an amigurumi? Oh yeah...it's a toy...stuffed...like a pillow! Now...visualize a large vessel pillow! You never know what you'll find on the bow of the ship...little people perhaps?! hmmmm...
Got me thinkin'...but that'll come later. Today, we're talkin' about the bottom or the creation of the hull of the ship...
And, for any one you who don't know anything about the SS Badger, it's a huge carferry that crosses Lake Michigan every day, May through October! It transports people and things back and forth to work, live and play between the two lakeshores that it now serves. One city, being Ludwig, MI...and the other city being Manitowoc, WI...which is where you'll find me, in our growing artisan store, locally owned and operated by Wisconsin Artisans! We are know as "Favorite Things", selling and dispaying our unique crafts, as well as teaching DIY classes. We're located downtown, along 8th street, inside The Village Square marketplace...at 908 S. 8th St., next door to Ditto! We have everything from antiques to yarn, and everything else new, custom and handmade thrown into our unique, eclectic mix!
 The SS Badger has taken on many a transformation, since March 21, 1953...when it began it's service here, on our GREAT LAKE MICHIGAN! If you've ever had the pleasure to board it's great vessel's body, you would've witnessed it's amazing capacity to hold 'more than enough'...people, cars, trucks, rvs, campers and more...all on their way to something greater, along their own journey...once they hit land. 
For the people who live here, in these two lakeports, the SS Badger is more than a big ship...it's a way of living! The coffee shops, restaurants, and retail shops...all up and down the main street of these DOWNTOWN local business districts...are small, family owned businesses...all relying on the daily, individual arrivals from the "other side"! To an artisan, like myself...it's a valuable commodity!  We wait upon the arrival of it's travelers, who will most likely be shopping, eating and foraging through the many shops...It's come to be known as the  reliable SS Badger "TRAFFIC", that comes into our ports, 'off the boat', to EXPLORE our city's finery and activities along the LAKESHORE! 
Now, I'm sure some of you are thinkin'...what's so unusual about this ship?! Why would we want to dedicate any time to its existance at all? It's only a ship, right?! Well, did ya know that it's the VERY LAST coal burning steamship in the United States...as well as, the VERY LAST vessel service here on the Great Lakes altogether! It's a "One of a Kind"!!!! 
          So, with that being said...it's sort of a SPECIAL THING...One that needs our attention, our love, our local, regional, state and national support! It's a UNIQUE set of circumstances, that have brought our two cities together as 'Seaside Sisters'...each one helping the other to grow and survive in these tough economic times. These small businesses then, are coming together to fuel a NEW HAVEN for it's lakeside travelers...all looking for something GREATER, then where they came!
With this new journey, I am thrilled to take you on...along side of me...we're going to enter a whole new level of the SS Badger...one with yarn and hook. It's a crochet story of timeless abandon, that will hopefully inspire each of you to reach beyond what you know...to allow yourself to be challenged to do something without a pattern or a diagram...only your passion to succeed!

Starting off, let me say...that any attempt to try, is already less than a failure! So...here we go! Let's board our SS Badger together...one foundation stitch at a time!
Considering that this ship is extremely large...I wanted to make it BIGGER than normal...not lifesize, but...Table Size! As I looked at my kitchen table this morning, I envisioned the bottom of the ship resting in it's middle...and I began to take measurements! 
With a finished measurement in my 'minds eye', thirty inches looked like a good place to start...but then, I needed to decide on a good hook size and what yarn I was going to use. So, I chose an H hook, and found some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in my stash, that I've used many times over in smaller projects. It seemed fitting to use a good American made yarn in my newest project...epsecially right here in the Midwest!
Needless to say, "our project project is born"...and we will call it the lil' ss bagder...lol!
How many stitches can I make in 30"...105! That's 104 chains, with 1 turning ch to start off with....and begin with 2sc in the 2nd ch from the hook, with 1 sc in each ch now across to the last ch, where you want to 2sc and cross over to the other side to sc all the way back to the beginning...and your first round is complete. 

you will have 208 scs at the end of this 1st round.

 Working into your second round here, take care to keep marking your rounds as you go along, with a paper clip or yarn...you're able to keep a better handle on these larger numbers then, if you use different colored markers for your (100) hundred marks...it makes it easier to count back from there, if you miss a stitch!
Now, if you're planning to build this along side of me...as a CAL...you might want to keep notes as we go here...I have a tendency to wander a bit...lol!

In this next round (2) 2sc in your join st (at your  marker), and in the next 2 sts (6sc in the next 3 sts overall), then sc in each st around (101 sts), then 2sc in the next 3 sts, and continue to sc in each st around til you come to the stitch marker again (ending round 2 and signifying the next round to begin)...leaving you with 216 sts at the completion of this round now.

Rnd 3: 2sc in the next 5 stitches, and sc in each st around for 102 sts, then 2sc in the next 6 sts and continue to sc around in the following 102 sts, and finish off this round with 2sc in the last st, before the stitch marker from the previous round. This will bring you up to 228 sts now in this round...
Rnd 4: 2sc in the next 8 sts, sc in the next 106 sts, 2sc in the next 8 sts, sc in the next 106 sts...bringing you back to your st marker at 244 sts to complete that round.

Remember to keep checking your size...we don't want to steer off course here...no pun intended...right?! Your initial chain should be 30", with your 4th row coming in at 32" in length. 

Round 4...whew! Many more months to come!

Whoop!!!! We're on our way to the other side....how far is it to the other side you say? Well, it takes the SS Badger approximately 4 hours to cross the Lake, that's about 60 miles wide...and if that's any indication to how long it will take me to make our lil' ss...keep guessin'! 
I'm clueless...since this is my first time to cross the great divide myself here! But let's timeline it....I'm thinkin' July 2015! Wowza...hope I don't disappoint anyone here! That's 4 months....and who knows how much yarn later...well, it'll be a trip, either way! 
Tune in tomorrow for the next leg of our journey....I now have to get more yarn...lol! I only had a small ball to begin our trip...so, for now....I'm dead in the water here folks! 
Silly me....never a dull moment along the lakeshore! And off to the store I go....