Whatever!

What to muse about today?

February 23, 2013

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She looks so small in there

This morning, my phone told me there was a Kids Craft at Michael’s. Ashlin was napping, so I took Teagan and we went. Teagan was very excited, she loves doing arts and crafts. When we got there she was the only kid, there weren’t any others there. I’m not sure if there were any other kids before we got there. Crazy! For two dollars, they entertain your kid for 30 minutes while you shop. I guess that it works out for them, but still.

I got Teagan settled in, and the craft helper said that if there were any issues with her behaving they’d page me. Teagan was a bit daunted by the idea that the entire store would hear that she was being bad, and promised to be good, with her listening ears turned on.

While I browsed the yarn selection, looking for colors for a blanket for Ashlin, Teagan did water color. She painted this picture, a self-portrait. She’s in the lower left corner, with green hands and black hair. There are raindrops falling down, and a black puddle. The hearts she glued on are a tree, and the circle underneath is either the trunk and roots or a bucket that the tree is planted in.

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Self-portrait

The watercolor was a bonus. The craft was a heart mobile, with watercolor hearts matched with pink heart cut outs. I think the lady helped cut the hearts out, though Teagan can use scissors. She did tell me that this was the first time she used glue, and not a glue stick. That made her really happy.

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Heart mobile

She initially wanted to keep the paper the hearts were cut from glued onto the bottom heart. Eventually she allowed us to take the scrap off, so that the mobile wouldn’t break from being too heavy. The hearts wouldn’t be able to blow in the breeze.

Teagan wants to go to the next one. We’ll try to make it.

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February 13, 2013

Crochet heart garland

Heart Garland

Last night I was able to finish the heart garland I’ve been working on, here and there, over the past week or so.  Google image search found the pattern here.  I thought it would be a good use of some of the yarn stash, there was quite a bit of red left over from the angry birds.

The hearts work up pretty easily.  I’d do one here, one there.  The week of plague was not a good week for hook play, nor was all the snow.  Eventually I was able to get enough time to make about twenty.

I tried making them with both a magic ring and a chain, and found the chain looked better.  These hearts needed a little circle…  If I was making the hearts with one round, I’d use the magic ring instead.

The crochet chain was a bit tricky, a chain of 45 stitches isn’t easy to keep a consistent tension.  I would get about 3/4 of the way through the start of the chain and notice that the stitches were off, I wasn’t consistent.  The stitches on the top or between the hearts didn’t seem quite as important, foundational.  Still, even with redoing a bit here, a bit there, I was able to get all the hearts chained together.

I think it looks pretty good on the mantle…
Crochet heart garland

Crochet heart garland

 

Crochet heart garland

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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 18, 2013

dabler
One of my Christmas presents from Stu was a subscription to Dabbler, a site that will send information once a month about a new craft, hobby, thing! The mails are sent on the 15th, and I laughed when I saw it in my inbox:

dabbler - knitting

It seems as if the universe is aligned against me.  People at work, on line, friends, all are trying to talk me into learning to knit.  Now.  After crocheting for a little bit, I knew I’d eventually learn to knit, as much as I protested.  Saying one hook was fine, no need for two needles.

So, I’m still not ready to learn to knit, but this mail was very nicely put together.  It explained about yarn, needles, stitches…  it had links to videos, information  resources.  A beginner’s pattern and step by step instructions.  I know that now isn’t quite the right time to start, but when it is, I’ll have a great resource to use.

Thank you.  It’s a great present.  Now, I can’t WAIT to see what they’re going to send next!

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January 8, 2013

Foundation granny stripe  #crochet #scarf

Foundation

My dad’s present was a Granny Stripe scarf.  And I wanted to do a scarf from the long side, not short as I had done with Teagan’s and Stu’s.  I had never done a Granny Square, so figured starting with a stripe, something with very few corners might not be a bad idea.

I modified the pattern from Attic 24, I didn’t want an afghan, but liked the idea of learning the stitch, and thought it would be easy to adapt into a scarf.  What do I know? :D

I counted out a chain using the required multiplier for the stitch.  First row on the chain was a single crochet.  Easy.  I love how the chain and single crochet curl up.  Both girls hats have ties that were curled, when I made them…  but they’ve long been tugged out.

It was moving to the first row of the Granny Stripe motif that was a problem… Or rather, I found the problem.  I can’t count.

Kaaaaaaaaahhhhhhnnnnn!  #crochet

Counting issues

Oops! Off by two stitches.  My chain was two stitches short.  And with a single crochet in each stitch, I didn’t realize until I started doing the clusters.  Oh well.  At least it wasn’t too long of a scarf.

The edge may need some help. #crochet #scarf #grannystripe

Colors

By the time I got to the second color, I was enjoying myself. Very much.  A quick stitch that isn’t too complicated, but still fun.

Getting there! #crochet #grannystripe #scarf #present

Half way

Third color, middle.  I decided to have the color pattern reverse, work from the center.

To fringe or not to #fringe #crochet #grannystripe #scarf

Just before fringe

I used the three colors of the scarf in each knot of the fringe.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a picture of the scarf completely finished…  Maybe I’ll get a picture one of the times I go home. I think my dad liked it…  if he doesn’t, Stu did :D

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January 5, 2013

Just picked up yarn for a #sandyhook #scarf

Donated Yarn

Friday I dropped off the scarf that I crocheted for a student from Sandy Hook.  Some generous person or company donated green and white yarn for knitters and crocheters to make scarves, to make something comforting and snuggly.

I wasn’t sure at first what to do.  It was almost like the simple scarf was too big a task.  Friends made a few suggestions, one being a scarf with pockets on the ends.  Then I found a pattern to make the scarf look like an alligator.

Just about half done with #crochet #angel stitch #scarf  for #sandyhook. Thanks to donated yarn from #knitnewhaven

Half Way There

I kept going Google image searches looking for something that really called to me.  Eventually I found this pattern.  A stitch called an Angel Stitch.  Perfect.

It’s a variation of a puff stitch, one I hadn’t done before.  I printed out the directions and took my yarn up with me at Christmas.  By then, I was just about  finished all the pressing projects and could devote a bit of time to this one.  I could not work out the stitch from the printed instructions at all.  I kept trying, doing a few rows, but they never worked.  Again, and again, I would pull out the stitches.  It was so frustrating not to understand the words.  I knew what she was describing, but my stitches didn’t look like her images.

Weaving in the tails on my #angel stitch #scarf for #sandyhook.

Sewing in Ends

Eventually, I was able to watch the video she had made, and was finally able to get the stitch to look right.  I still think I have an extra yarn over after drawing up a loop, but that’s not really important, is it?  The final outcome looked right – like little angels with halos.

Even with changing yarn, it worked up pretty quickly.  Well, once you got a hang of drawing the hook through eight loops without dropping any or catching any stray threads.  I enjoyed working the scarf.  Each color band was a different width, keeping track of the second half was a little challenge, but not as bad as it could have been.  I just ticked off each band as I finished the rows it needed.

A little bit of weaving in the ends and it was done.  I followed the pattern’s creator and didn’t put a fringe on, though there was a little bird on my shoulder questioning if I should do something to “finish” it more formally than just tying off.

Dropped off the#crochet #scarf in #angel #stitch for #sandyhook today

Angel Stitch for Sandy Hook

Anyway.  Here it is all done, lying on the car seat as I was sitting in the car right in front of the store where they are collecting the scarves.  A lovely store, and one I would love to visit again.  They are doing a “Lunch and Learn” to to squares for an afghan, one square a day and then at the end, how to assemble them all.  I wish I worked closer!

As I was ready to pull away, I noticed that the tree in front was yarn bombed!  With Christmas decorations!  Totally cool!

#yarn #bomb out front

Yarn Bomb!

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December 7, 2012

How bad is it is I'm off by 4 inches?   #crochet #gage #fail

Bigger than a bread basket

I ran out of yarn just about halfway through a project, a present.  When I went looking for a new ball, there wasn’t any at the store.  I have to wait for the next shipment.  Sucky, but it gives me time to do another “me” project.

I found a pattern for a basket on the Garn Studio website.  A bread basket.  How French!  Then I found this lovely holiday yarn – Mistletoe by Sugar and Cream – a lovely variegated red, white and green.  It’s the first cotton yarn I’ve crocheted with, so feels a bit different, and it’s not as quick to work.

I just finished the basket bottom.  Following the pattern, worked up to 128 stitches from a ring of 10.  When I measure to see if I need to add some more rounds, I get 12 inches diameter, not the 8 inches that they call for.  Yikes!  How could I be four inches off?  Now that I look, I’m using a hook a bit larger than they call for, a 4.25mm instead of 3.5mm.

It’s really going to be a basket to catch mail or junk or something for the holiday, and it may not matter if it’s a bit wider than the pattern says, especially as I do have the right number of stitches.

It didn’t take too long to get this far, maybe three hours at most.  Not sure if it matters or not.  I’m not going to be able to crochet much more today anyway, before my parents come and we go to the company party.  And I need to make that jam this afternoon…  oh, what to do, what to do?

 

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December 5, 2012

All done! #crochet #basket #project

Stash Basket

Over Thanksgiving, I made myself something.  Finally.  Well, I couldn’t work on anyone’s Christmas presents while I was there with them!

I used some of the leftover yarn from Teagan’s Ripple to make a stash basket, using Purl Bee’s pattern here.  It was a wonderful pattern, and well written.  To me, the most difficult part was counting stitches, up to 19!, while making the bottom.

Lumpy basket bottom. #crochet #project

Lumpy bottom

So, I seem to be counting challenged, I had problems with my foundation on the ripple, and with the granny stripe scarf.  I would lose my place counting, and need to pull work out.  Even with that, I was able to get the bottom of the basket done in just over one evening. I probably could have finished it in only one evening, if I was able to fully focus on crocheting and not being social.  I also think my yarn tension was a bit too tight, and the bottom turned out a bit lumpy.  If, when, I make another, I will try to loosen up.  It has a lovely spiral type pattern to it too…

Round one #crochet #basket #project

First round

While I was working the bottom, I kept getting a bit concerned that it wouldn’t be as big as I thought. I shouldn’t have worried though. By the time I got to the first round of the side, the basket was close to the promised diameter of 13 inches.  I am sure that the difference is due to both yarn weight and tension.

Two rounds of the side done on my #crochet #basket. Changing colors for one section now.

Progress

I got about three rounds done while away.  Once I got the first of the chain loop bits done I started getting excited.  It was really a lovely basket, and a joy to crochet – one round single crochet, one round of double, and then another round of single crochet.  It was the first time I had done a chain and single crochet combo, and loved how the gaps it made turned out.  I’m going to need to try a baby blanket with this type of finishing.

Getting ready to do last rounds of #crochet #basket #project

Just before handles

I swapped colors after three rounds, using up some bits.  Even doing the handles wasn’t too complicated.  The next time I do this basket, and I’m sure I’ll do another, I’ll do the sides in joined rounds and not spirals.  Although I’m sure it will leave a “seam,”  but it may be a bit less jarring than the asymmetrical way the bands turned out.  It could be because I misunderstood how to do the chain five single crochet join for the last stitch.  I don’t know.  I’ll ask around.  We’ll see.

The handles were a little annoying, but I did enjoy how the first one started right from the last band.  Then you started the second one right on the top too, so only one side of the handles are actually sewn on.

So, all in all, three or four nights of crocheting and I have a basket that’s just the right size to stand four skeins of yarn, or stash some current work.

 

PS.  I decorated for the holidays :D

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November 17, 2012

Tea with a Ripple

Tea with a Ripple

Look!  It’s Teagan, hamming it up in her bed, with her blanket.  And the side rail is also off.  She’s such a big girl.  And very happy with her blanket.

Last night, I finished another crochet project, one for Christmas.  It was a scarf, which tends to be something that can be worked fast.  I chose a Granny Stripe for the pattern!  It’s a fun pattern, looking a bit like a chunky block motif.  Similar to the well-known square, but in a line.

Chain

I counted the stitches for the base chain carefully, making a tick mark every time I hit ten stitches.  I added the right multiple for a bit more length (it is worked in threes).  But somehow, I must have miscounted.  Of course, I didn’t find this out until the third row in the pattern.  The first row is the chain, then there’s a row of single crochet, then you start the double crochet clusters of three stitches.  I got all the way to the end and look!   Gah.  So annoying!

Kaaaaahhhhhhnnnnn!!

At least it wasn’t a blanket!  Eventually, I’ll be able to do a foundation row and not need to rip it out.

Second time, second color!

I really had fun doing my two rows of double crochet clusters, and the scarf was looking pretty nice.  Switching to the second color really helped emphasize the pattern, and also pulled me a bit further along the rabbit hole that people seem to find themselves in with this pattern.

Third color, muah ha ha ha!

I really was impressed with how quickly the stitch went, how fast I was able to crochet the scarf.  Even switching colors wasn’t complicated, though I have some tails to weave in, if I decide not to fringe the scarf…

Reverse!!

To fringe or not to fringe…

I still need to block the scarf, but I may not fringe it… what do you think?

I’m pretty sure I’ll end up doing a blanket with this stitch, Attic 24 had an awesome edging to her blanket, I’m eager to try that too!

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