Whatever!

What to muse about today?

March 31, 2014 ~ Blocks

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Baby with Baby Blocks

This is Ashlin’s blanket!  I used a pattern from the Lion Brand site – Baby Blocks.  I picked yarn colors that would go with the bedding we had.  I stayed away from the browns and yellows, focusing instead on the bright colors from the flowers and leaves.

I had started working a different blanket – a sampler afghan. I wasn’t happy with the way the few squares turned out – I just couldn’t get the gauge right – so pulled them apart and started the Baby Blocks.   Eventually, I’ll do the sampler, it is very pretty.

I know I always say this, but I liked working this blanket up.  The small squares were very easy to bring around with me – to and from work, the salon, the car, wherever.

I started the blanket in May but didn’t get it done until November.  It hibernated for a lot of the summer.  There was no rush.  Ashlin wouldn’t be needing it soon, she wasn’t close to being moved out of her crib, although she was climbing out. It got put aside for other projects with sooner due dates.

There were some troubles, not enough of a discontinued yarn color – orange.  Some squares were done with the wrong color order – each color was used on each round five times.  To make the size we needed, I did 20 squares instead of 12, this worked better for the colors, though did make it difficult to decide on the final positioning.  Too many dark colors on a row made it look lopsided, so each needed to be balanced out.

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Stack of Squares

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Final Position

As always, this was a learning experience.  Other than learning I have less-than-stellar color choices, (at times), I learned to do an invisible seam.

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Almost mattress-stitch

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Invisible Join

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used instructions from this site to join all the squares.  It’s very similar to a mattress stitch used when joining knit pieces.  You sew up through the bar between the top loop of the stitch.  Then you pull the yarn tight.  You don’t even need to use a coordinating yarn color.  When you pull the yarn tight, you can hardly see the yarn used.  You just need to be sure not to pull too tight, or the squares pucker at the join.  There’s a tiny bit of a bump, but that could be due to the tightness of the yarn used to seam.

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Snuggling in

I’m sure Ashlin won’t ever notice.

Another change from the official pattern was to add a border.  I just think it pulls everything together and gives the blanket a finished look.  I used my copy of Around the Corner for the border.

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Corner

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Edge

 

I went around the joined squares twice with single crochet before using the border patterns from page 120 (blue round) and 59 (green crab stitch).  I do wish I had kept up the corner style of the squares when doing the border.  But that’s a small thing.  I am really happy with it.

And Ashlin is as well.  And that’s what really matters.

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March 25, 2014 ~ Swift Sleep

Trying a #noodle to keep her from falling out. She also was excited to have her #crochet blanket. Not that you can tell. #lifehack #toddlers #fallingoutofbed #growingup Although Ashlin loves her converted bed, it doesn’t love her.  She’s been falling out at least once a night.  I go in and find her crying, half asleep, standing there unable to figure out how to get back in bed.  So, tonight we are trying a lifehack – a pool noodle!

I picked one up on the way home from work and cut it down a bit – she was having trouble crawling over it.  Hopefully it helps.  I’m sure she’s not enjoying falling out of bed.  It must be a bit shocking.

Even though you can’t tell, she’s very happy to get in bed, with her noodle bumper and her crocheted blanket.  I got her before she did the “I love you” sign she does every night.  Sweet girl.

Today was a good day, I got a new toy!  A co-worker’s husband made me an Amish Swift.  It’s awesome!  I couldn’t wait to get home to wind some yarn.  Heh.  I feel all official and serious now that I have both a swift and a ball winder.  Making cake is fun :D
I have a new toy! #swift #yarn #amishswift #baller

Yarn cake was fast on the new #swift #baller #amishswift
Now. What am I going to do with this yarn??

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March 19, 2014 ~ Love is Like [Crocheting] Ice Cream

Granny Stripe

This doesn’t exist any more.  I pulled out almost 1,700 yards of afghan worked in granny stripe, balled the yarn, and started over.  Yeah, crazy.  I know.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped liking how the Neapolitan yarn was looking with the granny stripe stitch.  I actually enjoy the stitch, and actually crocheting it.  Something about the stitch and the yarn, and the change of skeins.  I’m not even sure what it was.

So, I hunted for a new pattern to do, a different style.  Something that isn’t all clusters, but still had an interesting stitch combination.  And of course, nothing too intricate, any of the intracacy would be lost in the strawberry/chocolate/vanilla striping of the yarn.  Also, crocheting is usually very relaxing, and most often done at the end of the day when I’m tired.  I don’t count well when I’m tired.

I ended up starting this pattern instead.  I think I’m happy.  It’s been fun so far.

Do-Over

 

 

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February 20. 2014 ~ Simple Lines

Simple Lines

Not too long ago I knit a second baby blanket for a co-worker. One who was expecting (not had!) a baby boy.  I got a skein of that lovely blue denim marl yarn that I used for the lacy crochet blanket.  Wanting a pattern that would be easy enough to do while watching tv at night, I googled away.

I really enjoy the patterns that aren’t too complicated – though those are fun too! – and don’t need to pull to much of me into actually working them.  Something a bit more than just back and forth, but not too much counting.  The pattern Simple Lines – Vertical Stripes was perfect!  An interesting border, simple pattern, but a bit of elegance.  I quite enjoyed working this up.

I will admit to using a technique suggested by a friend – writing the pattern on index cards, a card for each row.  When I mentioned to her how I got lost while working on the Time Turner shawl, she said she highlighted (on her iPad) the row she was working on.  I don’t usually use my iPad when I knit or crochet.  The index cards worked very well, and they’re easy to carry around.

My one learning on this project was how to fix garter stripes.  Fixing stockinette is easy, now.  Garter is a bit tricky, but not too bad.  I do love learning new things, strengthening my skills.

Usually I try to make a hat, or a lovey, to go along with the blankets.  This pattern had a matching hat, though I ended up not having enough time between finishing the blanket and needing to gift it.  I think I’ll end up making the Squares pattern, maybe for a girl, and I’ll work the hat up too.

Blocking Lines

PS. The recepient of this blanket was very touched. He wasn’t expecting me to make him anything, we don’t really work together much, though he has seen me knit and crochet at work – at lunch – before. I hope his baby enjoys it too!

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February 18, 2014 ~ Let it Snow

More. Snow

Another six inches or so today.  It was really pretty when it was falling at a rate of four inches per hour.  Not a true white out, but white.  Big fluffy flakes.  All between oh, 8 am and 3 pm.  Pretty quick fall.  The plows didn’t get to our street until after then.  They didn’t bother plowing us mid-fall.

The girls got to day care just after the flurries started.  We had a bit of shoveling plow wake – and finding our mailbox – before we could go get them.  But they had fun – Teagan pretended to be a monster (with claw feet and spiky hat!) and Ashlin did karaoke.  They both played with snow inside.  And Ashlin didn’t have an accident!

Stu and I worked from home, conference calls, training, with a touch of crochet between powerpoint slides and SQL code.

Granny Stripe in Neapolitan

I found the yarn Saturday while the girls were doing their heart craft.  Four skeins of Neapolitan by Loops & Threads.  Both girls said that Stu could have a pink blanket.

Variegated yarn can be so lovely and yet so daunting.  You don’t want to do something too complicated, because the detail gets lost in the color changes.  I Googled, pattern searched Ravelry, Pinterest and found some interesting things.  But kept coming back to the granny stripe.  I had done a scarf in this pattern, and some granny square slippers.  An easy stitch combination, nothing too complicated, but still lots of fun to work up.

I think it looks pretty good.

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February 1, 2013

crazy stitch afghan

All Done!

All done!

In just about a month, give or take, I finished my afghan.  The body was done last Wednesday, and the edging took three days, once I figured out what to do.  Very happy with how it turned out, and how lovely it looks on the sofa!

And it’s snuggly warm, and goes well with the sleepy sofas…  I fell asleep last night before I could read mail and blog about being done!

Afghan

Almost all…

Because it’s hard not to find flaws with our work, even work that we’re very please with, I have a few with the afghan.  Looking at the full blanket on a table, I see that I probably should have blocked it before starting the border.  It’s not completely flat in the picture, but you can see the dip.  It’s not too bad, but it pulls in a little, just off square.  A little shaping is all it needs, and I could probably still do that.

Rows are done on the #crazy #stitch #brick #afghan #crochet. I have a bit of work before finishing.   Still not sure how to edge it.

Dream Weaver…

I think it took three days to weave in all the ends.  I wish there was an easier way to do that.  I suppose I could have tried to work the spare colors up the side, like I did with one of my friend’s baskets.  The baskets that I gave my friend for Christmas, that I haven’t blogged about yet. I promise to write that up soon!

Flattened #edge in #green. Happier!  #crochet #crazy #stitch #afghan

Flattening the bumps

Then I needed to flatten out the ripply edge.  I worked up a test piece to try out a few things, and the easiest one worked – double, half-double, single crochet with a slip stitch, repeat.

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Close-Up

For the border, I ended up picking something simple, but interesting.  Once the white foundation was done, and then one round of light brown in half-double crochet, I did a chain with single crochet motif in white, then double crochet in each stitch/space in green.  Second time around was white with the dark brown on top.  I finished with a final round of half-double crochet in brown to make a solid edge.

I’m really quite pleased with it.  I may have mentioned already.

While I’ve been finishing up the afghan, I had an anniversary:

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

I’ve been on WordPress for four years now!  I can’t believe it’s been that long since I migrated my blog from Yahoo!360.  Although I started blogging over there back in November of 2005, I knew I had to move when the site started getting funky, eating posts and basically being unreliable.  After a bit of research (thanks Stu!), I moved here.  I’ve never had any of those problems here, thankfully!

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January 24, 2013

Rows are done on the #crazy #stitch #brick #afghan #crochet. I have a bit of work before finishing.   Still not sure how to edge it.

Fun is done, but not all the work…

All the rows are done, green on top and bottom. There’s a bit of work to do before I can even think about edging it. All I’m sure about is one row of off-white single crochet. I ordered a book from Amazon – Around the Corner Crochet Borders – which should help figure out what to do, and how to do it.

There’s 150 crochet frames – not borders! – that should be helpful.  The sample on amazon was already helpful.  I can’t wait to see what else I can learn!

I also ordered The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs. which will also be useful.  I need to get me some book learning, there seems to be a bit of a science behind some of this  yarn art.

The books should be here tomorrow, but in the meantime, time to tuck yarn ends.

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January 21, 2013

one more foot, brick stitch, crazy stitch

One more foot…

So, I have about a foot left to go on the crazy stitch/brick stitch afghan.  It’s really working up fast, you almost don’t realize how quickly it does go…  But it’s now a bit too big to bring to and from work, for the “Ya ya yarn” lunch sessions, so I needed something smaller, more compact to work on.

A while back, I found this heart garland, thought it was pretty cool.  Hello new pin!  With all the leftover red yarn I had from the Angry Bird amigurumi presents, it’s a “free” project.  Gotta love when you already have the yarn and don’t need to buy any new supplies.

Anyway, the pattern seems pretty straightforward, but I must be reading it a bit wrong.  On the third round I needed 8 or 9 stitches (not 5) to get back to the alternating single and 2x single crochets.  Making that small change seems to work pretty well:

Heart

First Heart

I have my project bag all ready packed!

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January 13, 2013 ~ Progress

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I’m about a third done now, and really enjoying the stitch. A crazy, or brick, stitch. I’ve also done my first Russian join. Twice! I think it works very well for same color joins, not sure how to place it exact enough for a two-color join.

Anyway, the soft yarn is calling! Happy Sunday.

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January 9, 2013 (Not December, sheesh!)

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Progress on the afghan as of lunch today. I’m doing to need a bit more chocolate brown and maybe off white…

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