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More Project Photos...

A few more recent or current projects, as threatened!  ;o)

My as-yet unfinished Calorimetry:


I had such plans for Calorimetry... I was going to make this one for myself, then make one for my mother and at least one of my sisters for Christmas-- possibly make one for every female in my family.  (Ok, not really.)  It's such a quick project, even for a new knitter like myself.  It takes hardly any yarn at all!  It's useful!  It's handmade with luv!  It's perfect! 

...But I just had a pretty awful time getting the pattern to work the way I wanted.  I couldn't eliminate the non-essential holes, and I couldn't convince myself that the holes were a "design element".  Meh, it doesn't matter.  Maybe no-one would've wanted to wear them, anyway.  (Someone said they look stupid with short hair...?) Or maybe I'll finally learn how to fill in the holes to my satisfaction, and I'll make a few of them for next year.  (g)  We'll see...

Anyway, thi…

Wrap-Up-- for Reals This Time ;o)

Ok, time to really wrap up the (handmade) Christmas gifts. 

When I started (and named) this blog, I didn't realize that I'd eventually become so enamored of crochet (and knitting).  I expected to spend more time learning to sew than I do-- but I do still sew a little, with plans for more, eventually-- and a couple of the gifts I gave this year were rag quilts. (Which I'm not very good at photographing, apparently. They get blurry. I need to either take them outside or get out the tripod, next time.)

This one for my paternal grandparents:



(I gave my maternal grandparents an almost identical one, last Christmas. Er... Actually, I'm not sure which one is pictured, but I think they were so close in appearance that it hardly matters.)

Then there was this one for my husband, Donald:



He's from Sweden, so when I really looked at this denim-- blue on one side, yellow on the other-- it seemed perfect for a Swedish flag rag quilt. The back of the quilt is done all in da…

Christmas Project Wrap-Up

Whew.  As much fun as it is, it's still good to have the busy-ness of Christmas over.  I'm happy to have relatively guilt-free craft time, again-- time when I can crochet or knit or whatever on any project that strikes my fancy, without feeling that twinge of "I really ought to be working on Secret Project #9..." 

This has been quite a year for (mostly non-polymer clay-based) secret projects, by my standards.  I don't think I've ever crocheted more Christmas gifts than I did for 2011-- and that's not even counting the doilies I crocheted for a few birthdays and other special occasions earlier in the year.   While working on these Christmas projects, new ideas presented themselves, so I already have a few more handmade gifts nebulously planned for 2012, and I'm excited to get started.  (I'm aiming to start early, this year, but don't we always make such plans?)  However, first I want to do a little write-up (and yes, show-off) of the Christmas…

The Shame! & Popping Head Up From Pile of Secret Projects

I just discovered/realized that Ravelry has a messaging/mail feature.  And I have quite a few (by my standards) messages that I haven't even looked at, so potentially several people have thought I've been ignoring them...  *guilt-blush*

Of course, I'm pretty awful about answering non-urgent e-mail and comments on other sites/blogs, so it wouldn't be completely outside the realm of possibility that I'd have ignored them, even if I had been aware of their presence.  (Bad me!)

...Still, I think I'll make an effort to read through and catch up on at least the more recent messages...

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I'm popping my head up from under the pile of secret projects I've been working on, lately.  The end is in sight!!  On Christmas Day, we'll go to our last get-together of the season, and I'll be giving the remainder of the secret projects I've been working on over the past month or two. 

Most of those gifts are crochet, and one is sewn.  (Because I cau…

Sewing Machine, Resurrected! (?)

Last night, Donald (my sweet husband) looked at my sewing machine for me.

(I believe I mentioned that it had suddenly stopped working?  The needle had stopped moving, and I was afraid it would be impossible or too expensive for its value to repair, and was dreading having to shop for a new or used replacement machine.) 

We took the whole case off, as best we could, and looked it over.  It's amazing, all the components and moving parts that go into something as (seemingly) simple as a basic sewing machine!  I'll never understand how anyone ever managed to figure out how to make one in the first place-- but I'm glad they did. (g)

Well, long story short(ish), we think he's gotten it working again!  At least, it was working when we put the case back in place.  How long it will continue to work is anyone's guess, but there's no reason why it shouldn't last for months, if not years.

It would be nice to have a new machine with a few extra bells and whistles, but …

Summer in Sweden, Specifics

Someone expressed an interest in the exact color combinations I used in the squares for my Summer in Sweden Throw, and since I'm looking for ways to procrastinate various things I ought to be doing, why not? ;o)

(If you're wondering what throw I'm talking about, you can read about the "Summer in Sweden" crochet afghan in this entry-- and a few earlier ones-- or check out the Ravelry project page.)

First, here's a list of the brands and colors I used.  I've assigned each one a letter, except for the Antique White, which is used as the last round in each square and for joining the finished squares. (I think I forgot to mention the peach color in at least one earlier entry.  Oops!  The peach was an unlabeled acrylic worsted I found in a thrift store.  Any peachy acrylic yarn in similar weight would work.)

Caron Simply Soft:
A:  Ocean
B:  Dark Sage
C:  Persimmon
D:  Soft Blue
E:  Lt. Country Blue

Loops & Threads Impeccable:
F:  Lt. Fern
G:  Grass
H:  …

Figured It Out

I think I've figured out why I just couldn't get the hang of basic knitting that first time I tried.  As it turns out, the instructional video I found on YouTube just wasn't that good:


But as they say, I wasn't making mistakes; I was making experiences.  ;o)

Back with Photos!

As promised!  ;o)

First, apologies for the quality of the photos.  The light is sub-par this morning, but I wanted to act while I was in the mood.

Ok, let's start with the Very Vintage V-Stitch Rippleghan!






The last photo shows the afghan's current size. I still have many rows to go to get the length I want.

Also, as you can see, I'm leaving the tails loose.  The v-stitch is so open, I think that attempting to crochet over them or otherwise hide them inside the blanket wouldn't work well enough (to my liking).  Instead, I'll crochet over them at the end, when I single crochet along the two long sides of the afghan.  You could also put fringe along those two sides, but that's a lot of fringe... (g)

Next up, my current knitting project, the One Row Lace Scarf (aka Drizzled Chocolate Scarf):



(Again, not the best photo, but it gets the point across.)


It's fun to knit a row or two, then stop and think to myself, "Wow!  I'm knitting!" (g)  Sure, it&#…

Secret Projects, Knitting, & Sewing Machine Issues

I apologize for the silence over the past month.  I've spent a lot of my crochet time, lately, either making or planning a handful of Christmas gifts.

Working on projects that are destined to be gifts is fun, but it leaves me with less to blog about at the moment.  I don't want to risk someone seeing something they shouldn't and spoiling their surprise, so I'm trying to keep those "secret projects" under wraps.  (I'm even doing that over on Ravelry, which is something of a pain, since I have to "lie" about what pattern I'm using, hold back photos, and censor my notes.  I hope that reassigning the projects to their actual patterns won't be too much trouble, after Christmas.)

So, what I've been doing that I can write about is essentially working on that v-stitch afghan I mentioned last time.  It's getting some length, now, but I still have lots of rows to add, since I want this to be a full-length couch blanket.  I'm enjoying c…

Current Projects

Whoa.  It's already been twenty days since my last post?!  Where does the time go?

I thought I'd drop by to at least mention my currently open (yarn-based) projects.

#1:
Oldest in the list is a cotton market bag.  Once I worked through some issues with the pattern, the bag worked up quickly, but then I got to the point where I needed to make the handle... and it got set aside... and (almost) forgotten.

#2: 
Then we have my third knitting project-- a pin cushion / knitting doo-dads cushion.  Again, I went through most of the project pretty quickly, but then I got to the point where I'd have to sew the pieces together... and it got set aside... and (not quite) forgotten.  (Hm.  I'm beginning to see a pattern here. (g))


#3:
At that point, I started another "secret project" (gift item).  I got pretty far in that one, and I was still enjoying it, too, but somehow I was sidetracked into afghans... Ah, yes. I think it was because we were forecast the first cold weather…

Teaching Myself to Knit

What's this?


Knitting needles?!  Shocking, isn't it?  ;o)

For a while, I resisted all thoughts of learning to knit-- at least partly out of loyalty to crochet.  I liked the looks of both, but I felt that crochet often got short shrift.  Poor thing.  Plus, everyone always comments on how fast crochet is compared to knitting.  (Not a selling point for knitting, honestly.)  Also, how long would it take me to learn a whole new craft?  Why bother, when I already knew how to crochet?  Despite those concerns, I eventually decided that, ok, I would like to know how to do both, mainly because it would open up a whole new collection of free patterns-- and because I'd fallen in love with knitted lace shawls.  (There are some lovely crocheted shawls, too, but they're not quite the same thing.)

I tried to teach myself to knit a year or so ago (or who knows how long ago, the way the months zip by).  It was not a success.  At all.  However, this time around, I am determined to stick …

Smitten

I came across some stunning crochet afghans (and cushions) this morning:



They're all by Moxy Crochet, based in Cape Town.

Though the patterns don't seem to be identical, the motif they use reminds me of the African Flower motif.  (Here on Ravely, and here, in a slightly modified form.)  I've bookmarked that pattern before, but these photos have brought it to the forefront of my crochet-obsessed mind.  ;o)  I love the colors they've used-- and the mixture of fuzzy yarn with plain is beautiful, too.  Simply gorgeous work.

If I didn't already have a list of projects I want/need to make (some of them before Christmas, too), I'd be tempted to start a new afghan inspired by those in the photos. (Especially the one in the upper right-hand corner.  It will surely haunt my dreams. (g))

Summer in Sweden Afghan Finished!

I finally finished the Summer in Sweden ("Weekend in Stockholm") afghan-- about a week ago, actually, but I'm just now getting around to taking a few photos.  I tend to put off photographing completed crochet projects.  Some of my least favorite types of photos to take, because they usually turn out blurry or otherwise blah, but I'll do my best. :o)

Here are a few of the better photos I managed to take this afternoon:




There are a few more in my Flickr photostream, too, but they're pretty much just more of the same.  I may try to take a few more in better light and "pose", one of these days.  For now, I really just wanted to do my little write-up before I completely forget what little I still remember about the making of the blanket.  ;o)


Pattern:
Debbie Stoller's "Weekend in Stockholm Throw"


Yarn:
 I used mixture of 100% acrylics.  As for amounts, I used less than a skein of each of the colors listed below.  Some were partial skeins to begin…

Afghan in Progress & Unraveling, Too

I was looking at color charts for a couple brands of yarn this morning, trying to remember the names of a couple of shades I'm using in my current afghan-in-progress (the bands of which I've either thrown away or stowed into a folder for the free pattern's sake).  So many pretty colors!  Why don't the local branches of the craft stores carry them all?  (Not a serious question.  Still, I wish they would.)

- - - - - - -
Speaking of the Summer in Sweden Afghan... After weaving in all the ends on my initial stack of 40 squares (which went well right to the end-- never got completely sick of the process!), I decided to embrace the old "in for a penny, in for a pound" mentality.  What's the point of crocheting a blanket that's just a tad too small?  I don't like a blanket that doesn't cover my feet when I lie down and pull it up under my chin, and though this is intended for a couch / lap blanket, I suspect the time will come when I'll want to s…

Summer in Sweden, Progress

Apart from blocking a few doilies (Treasure, Summer Splendor, and the Fancello Pineapple Oval-- all of which I still need to photograph...), I've been spending my crochet time on the Summer in Sweden afghan.



I made the first two batches of eleven blocks (each) using the assembly line method, as I described in an earlier entry.  I modified the method for the next batch(es), mainly because I was running out of a couple of colors-- but also because I wanted to emphasize one or two bolder, darker colors, or use them more often so that they wouldn't feel unbalanced in the blanket. 


To date, I've crocheted 40 blocks-- mostly only rounds 1-4 of each.  I think I might want to add another column/row/whatever of blocks to the width (possibly to the length as well), but I'm going to wait until my current set of squares are all done before I make that call.


In the meantime, I've moved on to rounds 5 and 6 of the current, existing squares.  Those are the rounds worked in the …