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Showing posts from 2010

Hexagon Photos

I was just glancing back over some old entries-- and did I really never put up any photos of the finished hexagon afghan?  I can't believe that!  ...Though, looking through my "Afghan" set on Flickr, it seems I never took any wonderful photos of the finished afghan!  I'll have to work on that, one of these days. 

In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the Flower Garden Hexagon Afghan:

In progress:

Working on the afghan:

Still not finished:

All the pretty flowers-- er, hexagons:


Folded and ready to go!:

There! That's better, already!

A Rag Quilt for Dad

Let's see... Has it really been two months since my last blog entry here?! 

Where to start?
...Well, I've done a bit of sewing since my last post. 

I made a denim rag quilt for my father's 50th birthday, back in November. 

The "sandwiches" were denim on the front and flannel on the back, but because the denim was all fairly lightweight (for denim), I decided to put in a middle layer cut from a retired sheet.  (According to my mother, who has also used it, it's very warm, so that's good to know!)

To liven things up a little, I added some patches and faux chenille-style strips on the quilt top. 

(Note of possible interest:  The reason the denim was fairly lightweight was that most of it didn't come from jeans, but from a piece of denim I bought on discount from a store, a denim curtain, and a couple of denim shirts.  They all worked fine, but definitely seemed lighter weight than what you usually get from old jeans.)

Here's a not-exactly-stellar pho…
(I'm eventually going to finish that cushion, and when I do, I'll be sure to post photos.  In the meantime, here's some more afghan talk.)

Back when I was still working on my hexagon afghan-- which I still haven't really finished, if you count all the tails I still need to weave in-- I just couldn't keep myself from forming serious crushes on other crochet afghan patterns.  I don't know if I'll ever make them all, but I'm definitely keeping them in the back of my mind. . .

At least one of them I know I'll be making, because I've already started it:

The Moorish Mosaic Afghan.
"An interplay of color transforms three basic motifs into a rich tapestry." 
This pattern calls for sportweight yarn in six colors, but I've seen a lot of people on Ravelry making it in regular worsted weight, which is what I ended up doing, too.  I'm using Caron's Simply Soft in Autumn Red (for the main color), Ocean, Sunshine, Persimmon, Light Country…

Crocheted Cushion Cover

About the beginning of July, I decided to try to make something from some of the novelty yarn I’d bought (on clearance) before I really knew how to crochet.  Using the knitting loom, eyelash yarns could sometimes take a little extra patience, but it wasn't that bad.  However, it turns out that fluffy novelty yarn is kind of a nightmare to crochet with. (g) It was nearly impossible for me to see for sure where to insert the hook, so I just did my best. (I could feel where to put the hook more than I could see it.) On the plus side, the yarn is so fluffy that you can’t really see if you make minor mistakes. It’s pretty forgiving.

I made really simple granny squares-- just three rounds per square, counting the starting chain loop. When I had enough, I crocheted them together along the back. Because this is going to be a cushion cover, I didn’t even bother weaving in all my loose ends. I figure I can just keep them pushed to the back. (Yeah, I’m a little lazy. (g))

All I have to do no…

Bookmark Photos

This is the bookmark I mentioned the last time I wrote here (which was, um, way too long ago-- sorry!)...

...And here's a bit of a close-up:

I also made a second version without the flower "tassel", which I think looked just as good (if not better).

I've written before that I didn't like variegated yarn/thread as much as plain-colored thread and yarn. For that most part, that still holds true, but in the meantime I've learned that there are some patterns that look nice with variegation.  This Queen Anne's Lace-style stitching, for instance.  It was fun to watch the colors change while I crocheted-- and of course (because I didn't start at the same place in the color sequence in the thread), the two bookmarks ended up looking slightly different.  (This was also fun!)

So don't count me out on variegation altogether.  ;o)

What I've Been Up To...

I've been a bad blogger again.

Let's see... What have I been doing (craftwise), since last time... ?

I tried knitting.

The casting-on part (long-tail cast-on) was ok, once I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, but the first row after that was awful. Trying to get the needles to do what I wanted-- ugh, it filled me with disgust, even though I tried to remember that when I first started crocheting, the crochet hook didn't immediately bend to my will, either. I think part of the problem may have been the yarn I was using. It was a partial skein I had only because it was bundled with some other yarn I wanted to buy at a thrift store. It was nasty, nasty stuff (and I use almost only acrylics when I crochet, so if I say it's nasty, you may believe me that it was). Scratchy, catchy, yuck. Next time-- assuming there is a next time-- I'll use something a little nicer, even if whatever I make is likely to turn out ugly because I'm a rank amateur.

I suppose I sti…

Just Chatting

I'm in a funny mood tonight.  I can't seem to settle to anything, so why not blog a little instead?

Craft-wise, I've remained focused on the Flower Garden Hexagon Afghan, adding to it one hexagon at a time.  I'm not sure how many I have at this point.  (Donald could probably guess closer to the total than I could, because he tends to count the motifs every day or two, when he happens to see the afghan all spread out.)  I think I'm making decent progress, though, and I'll try to post new photos soon. 

It's not destined to be a big blanket.  I think I'd rather have something smaller, and I think that by the time I get a decent-sized small blanket, I'll probably be about ready to move on to something different.  I'm aiming toward something between a lapghan and twin-bed-size.  Something large enough to cover up with on the couch in the winter, without your toes poking out at the bottom, but not so big and heavy that it's awkward. 

Every now and…

Crochet vs. Knit (A Mockumentary)

I saw this video on Sarah London's blog this morning and thought it was worth saving here on my own blog.

As a post-knitting-boom crocheter who doesn't know how to knit (and probably won't try to learn for quite some time, simply because I'd rather use the time crocheting at an intermediate level than starting from scratch with a new craft), I must admit that I have at times felt that there has been. . . not quite a stigma against crochet. . . but definitely that it's not nearly as widespread or (sometimes) as deeply appreciated as knitting.  It's the old story of the apologetic "I only crochet". 

(Of course, that's not always been the case.  A nice lady in a thrift shop, as she helped ring up my purchase of yarn, asked if I was going to knit with it.  When I responded that I crochet, she said that she'd always wanted to know how to crochet, but that she could "only" knit.) 

Anyway, this video gave me a laugh, and whether you knit,…

Just a Heads Up. . .

It's a little bit of late notice, but you still have about a day to enter a fun "giveaway extravaganza" over at Scotty's Place.  The blogger-- Pammy Sue-- is celebrating her fourth blogiversary with five bundles of craft books (mostly crochet, but also a couple of sewing books, if that's more your interest).  Five bundles means five different winners!  Hop over to this post to read all the details on how to enter.

Blog giveaways always seem like so much fun.  I ought to do one of my own, someday. . . (Maybe on my polymer clay blog, though, assuming I ever actually start blogging there again. . .)

ETA:  Seems I was mistaken about the lateness of this post! You actually have until midnight today to enter the giveaway.

Flower Garden Hexagon Update

Even though the first time I blogged about this afghan (in detail) was earlier this morning (thanks to that accidental "save" instead of "publish" click), I'm back with an update.  (Maybe I should do all my blogging this way.  Makes me look a lot faster than I actually am.)

I've been working on the hexagon afghan (which I'm called the Flower Garden Hexagon Afghan, because all those colorful hexagons remind me of, well, a flower garden) for a week or two, now, since starting it over again.  I'm not making lightning-speed progress, but it's growing a little at a time-- usually by at least two or three hexagons every day or two.

Here's my progress so far, looking a little blurry because there wasn't quite enough light (and I didn't want to use the flash):

And another couple views, for good measure. . .

And then just one more in direct light from a window (thus the shadowy bars across it). . .

Just don't look on the back side yet.  …

Hexagon Afghan Yarn

While doing some blog housekeeping, I just came across this old entry that (apparently) I never got around to publishing.  I could've sworn I'd clicked "publish", but nope.  There it was, marked "draft". Oops!  I'll just publish it now, even though it's from 'way before I started the Procrastination Afghan...

It wasn't so long ago that the thought of crocheting an afghan would have elicited a "But why would you ever want to do that?" type of response from me.  The investment of time such a project requires was the most obvious deterrent, then there's the fact that you can buy a finished blanket more cheaply than the amount of yarn it takes to crochet your own.  Where was the appeal?

This, of course, was before I'd been bitten by the crochet bug.  Now it makes perfect sense.  It's about the process of making the afghan as much as (if not more than) the blanket itself.  You get the fun of choosing the colors and memorizi…

Catching Up (Mostly Doilies)

I've been quiet (here, at least) for over a month, but that doesn't mean I haven't been crafting!  Most crafty pursuits have been put (temporarily) on the back burner to make room for my more recent obsession-- crochet.

Let's see. . . What exactly have I done since last time? 

I made six more sprial scrubbies.  I used up the remnants of some variegated yarn I had left over from the Procrastination Afghan, and I've already given them all away (along with some of the square pot scrubbers I made some time ago).

Here they are, all bundled up. . .

Nothing fancy, but definitely useful. I enjoy the actual crocheting of them, too, though the process of transforming the scrubbers from parallelograms into spirals is somewhat less pure enjoyment.

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What else has happened (craft-wise) since the last time I posted. . . ?  Oh yes, I've taken the plunge into the wild ;o) world of doilies!  I did it, and my doilies are recognizable as such! It's amazing! I t…


I never realized until this morning how cool-- how "down" we crocheters truly are. 

As I browsed patterns online, my husband came up behind me, glanced at the screen, and noticed all the "YO"s (abbreviation for "yarn over") scattered across the page.

He's right.   There's an awful lot of yo-ing going on in crochet patterns. 

Yo!  We crocheters be down wit dat.   ;o)

Beautiful Crocheted Pincushion

This project combines my new(ish) interest in crochet with my already existing interest in pincushions!

Crochet Tomato and Strawberry Pincushion from Karabouts:

Isn't it charming? 

The yarn used for the pincushion in the photo (Berroco Suede) gives it a glamorous, velvety appearance, but I'm sure you could get attractive results from a variety of other yarns.

Procrastination Afghan -- Finished!

I finished my Procrastination Afghan today!

Actually, I had it all but finished a day or two ago, but it took me that long to get around to weaving in the few loose ends and washing and drying it.

I decided to go with a simple edging, after all-- just two rows of single crochet (in blue) down each length of the blanket.  The pattern specified one row, but I like the look of two.  It seemed best not to compete with the simple ripple pattern, so I resisted the urge to try something a little more complex. 

I did one other thing that I can't remember if the pattern called for:  I added a row of single crochet to the final ripple.  I felt that would balance the blanket better, since the first ripple was also a little wider than the others-- due to the chain foundation row.  Also, single crochet just feels more stable and finished than double crochet.

Here's the finished afghan, lounging on the swing:

It turned out that I had plenty of yarn, and I still have some leftovers to use …

Only by Hand?

I was just reading something about the crochet hats worn by Sweden's athletes at the Winter Olympics (which I've written about before, in the blog entry linked), when this statement caught my eye:

"Crochet cannot be done by machine."

Is this really, truly true?
In my quick googling, I've found several people saying the same thing, but I'm still not sure I believe it.

If it is true. . .

I don't see how anyone can seriously be all snooty about knitting versus crocheting.  I mean, no offense to knitters-- and I might even try my hand at knitting myself, one day, if I get bored with crochet (and my many other crafty interests)-- but really, if a machine can do one of them but not the other. . .

Well, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.  ;o)

P.S.  I'm beginning to suspect that I have this blog account set up so that I'm not e-mailed about new comments!  I thought I just wasn't getting any comments-- not that unusual-- but a day or two ago …

***Procrastination Afghan Update*** ;o)

I'm happy to report that the little mistake I made-- and the simple fix I came up with for it-- seem to have worked out perfectly fine.  It didn't set in motion a horrible chain event of problems.  In fact, I doubt I could even find it now, without counting many, many stitches.

I think the blanket is probably long enough now that I could just finish the row I'm on and go ahead and start on the edging.  However, I may want just an extra row or two more to make sure it's long enough to stretch out on the couch with.  No sense in stopping short when I already have the yarn (and no specific plans for any leftovers there might be).  

I'll be so excited to finish this project.  My first crocheted afghan!  Back when I bought the yarn, I was planning to make a very simple blanket using strips made on a knitting loom.  I mistakenly thought crochet would be too complicated or time-consuming for me.  I'm so glad I finally learned at least the basics of crochet!  Though I…

Still Crocheting Away!

I just realized that I haven't updated on my progress on the Procrastination Afghan.

Well, I'm still crocheting away at it at least a little almost every day.

I like doing a little in bed at night to unwind before going to sleep (with the TV going in the background or the mp3-player providing a soundtrack).  There's something very relaxing about such a repetitive pattern.

Though it is very repetitive, so far I haven't found that to be annoying.  (That said, maybe I ought to mention that I'm the kind of person who likes to re-watch, re-read, and re-listen to things perhaps a little more than average.)

After making some mistakes from time to time in my counting (or by failing to skip a sc now and then), earlier in the project, I thought I'd finally gotten past that phase.  I'd gone row upon row with no mistake (or at least none that went beyond a few stitches before I noticed them).  But then.  I found a mistake last night back in the previous row.  (I had do…

What's Wrong with Doilies?

I know they aren't for everyone, but then again, hardly anything is.  

I just finished reading something somewhere (we won't go into specifics, because they don't really matter) that seemed to contain a bit of a jab against granny squares, ripple afghans, and doilies-- which are apparently "old lady projects" that make crochet less than cool.

Now, I'm not an old lady-- only thirty-one-- and yet I still happen to think that grannies, ripples, and doilies are all great.  Not only that, but I know I'm not the only non-old-lady to appreciate them.  (What's the problem with old ladies, anyhow?  I hope to be one, someday. (g))

A few thoughts:

1)  Granny squares have had a resurgence in popularity.  (Perhaps the granny square's cool-factor is ebbing somewhat, again, but other motif-based afghans and cushion covers are still popular projects among the crocheters I follow online.)

2)  Ripples have also recently come back into fashion (in certain circles, …

National Month of Annoyance Over National Months ;o)

Apparently, March is National Crochet Month and National Craft Month.

Busy month!

P.S.  I kind of hate all that "National This 'n' That Month" stuff.  It just seems so pointless.  It might have made sense once upon a time, when few things had "national months", but these days, everything has an official national month, it seems.  Either that or there are lots of bogus national months being falsely advertised here, there, and everywhere.

Why must there be a special month for every possible cause and/or interest?  If something is near and dear to your heart, you don't really need an excuse to revel in it (if it's a good something), raise awareness about it (whether it's a hobby, an industry, or a disease), and just generally pester other people with it.  ;o)

Then again, maybe I'm just being grumpy. . .

Sweden, the Olympics, & . . . Crochet?

You've probably already heard about this, if you follow any crochet blogs, but I want to document it on my own little blog, since it's the kind of thing that might be fun to remember in ten or twenty years (assuming I back up my entries and they even exist that far into the future). 

When we watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, I took a good look at the Swedish athletes marching into the stadium.  When you're married to a Swede, you're obligated to take a certain interest in these things.  ;o)  I was curious to see what they'd be wearing and whether or not I could detect a certain Scandinavian or Swedish "look" in them.  Actually one of the star athletes does remind me a little of one of my husband's cousins, but that's neither here nor there, because what immediately caught my eye was their hats.  They wore crocheted hats in stripes of turquoise/sky blue, yellow, white, and black.

Honestly, they're quite plain, these hats, …

The Procrastination Afghan

So.  I've fallen into the same bad habit as so many crocheters (and knitters) before me-- putting aside one project to work on another.  I don't want to start a collection of UFOs (unfinished objects, to those unfamiliar with yarnese), but maybe it's impossible to avoid.

At least I still have only a mild case of UFOs.  The lovely, colorful hexagon afghan has been set aside-- temporarily.  I'll eventually have to look at it again, figure out a thing or two about changing colors (and whether or not you're supposed to turn your work as you make each motif), but rather than tackle those questions, I've allowed myself to be sidetracked.

First, there were a bunch of granny squares I made as I learned to crochet.  The problem was, they weren't very nice.  They were all of one type of variegated yarn, and I've come to realize that (in my opinion, at least), granny squares really need to be either multiple colors or a solid color.  Besides the yucky effect of th…

Crochet Your Way to a Romance

So I've been up since the middle of the night, thanks to some back pain, and I found myself in front of the computer, trying to take my mind off the discomfort.  What better time to browse some free crochet patterns, right?  (I've found so many things I'd like to try!  If I ever do them all, I'll be buried under a mountain of crochet-- swimming through an ocean of afghans, throws, scarves, wraps, and doilies.  That sounds kind of fun, actually. . .)

Anyway, after looking through a certain number of patterns from the same company, you start to recognize the models.  One in particular stood out to me this morning-- a blond, blue-eyed Ms. Crochet Model.  As I found her in pattern after pattern, a story began to emerge (with a little help from my sleep-deprived brain). . .

Ms. Crochet Model lead a lonely life.
Sure, she could crochet a mean afghan. . .

. . . (better make that several afghans [of varying temperaments]). . .

. . . but how many afghans does one person really

Vintage Acrylic

My mother found some vintage-y acrylic yarns at a yard sale and thought I might like them.  (Answer:  Yes, I would!)  I'm sure I'll find a use for it, and in the meantime, I love looking at the old wrappers. The colors and fonts! (Mainly the fonts...)

They're all either "Orlon" or "Acrilon".  Do modern acrylic yarns go by such retrolicious names?  I think not.  And it's marked as "mothproof"!  I've never noticed that on the new acrylic yarns I've bought.   Some of the Sayelle brand yarn is labeled "FOR SWEATERS, AFGHANS & FASHION ACCESSORIES".  (Only under penalty of law dare ye use it for anything else.  Sincerely, the Yarn Patrol.)

I'm not sure how old this yarn really is, but some of it's old enough to stand out and feel interestingly different.

(TG&Y?  Haven't thought about that place in a while...)

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I'd come across "Orlon" before, back on one of those pages of free vintag…