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Showing posts from June, 2012

Day 18: Craft Books

As I've done all through this photo challenge, I'm focusing on yarn crafts, so I left out any books about other crafts.

These are (most of) my crochet and knitting books and booklets.  I've left out one book by accident and a few vintage pamphlets/magazines by design (didn't want to dig them out), but this is the bulk of them. (This doesn't include my notebooks full of print-outs of free patterns.)

I find I'm much more drawn to collections of motifs and stitches, when I'm looking for a crochet book to buy.  Rarely do I want to purchase a book of "just" patterns-- because I usually don't feel that I like enough of the patterns to justify buying the whole book.  If I find something cheap enough (library book sales and the like), that's different, of course.  Also, doilies are a little different; for those, I will buy a whole book/pamphlet of patterns.

Day 17: Last FO I Used

Not counting the FOs I use continuously-- doilies, decorative pot holders, dish scrubbers, and my crochet/knitting tool pincushion-- I think this is the last FO (finished object) I used.  This is my "Very Vintage V-Stitch-Ghan"

It's not exactly afghan weather here (hasn't been for a couple months and won't be until late October, probably), but every now and then I still want a blanket (such as when I'm lying directly under a ceiling fan while using the Back Magic).

I had a lot of fun crocheting that blanket.  It's a little bit crazy with some of the color combinations, but I still like it.  It's surprisingly warm for something with so many small "holes" in the fabric-- yet it also feels a little bit lighter weight, which is practical in this climate. (There's a link to the free pattern on the Ravelry project page linked above.)

Day 16: Texture

The next prompt in the Month of Craft Photos Challenge is "Texture".

This is some of the most highly textured yarn in my stash.  It's Yarn Bee Highland Thistle (now discontinued) bought on clearance years ago.  I kind of like it, though the colors are very pink and purple, which Little Girl Me would have loved but Somewhat Older Me thinks may be a bit much, combined with the possibly excessive fluffiness.  It's partly eyelash yarn ("twinkled" eyelash, apparently), but it's also fairly bulky, so I think it will be easier to crochet (and maybe knit) than skinny eyelash yarn.  I have no idea what I'll do with it, though...

(Formerly Known as) the Ravelympics

So, apparently there's a big to-do about Ravelry's "Ravelympics" and the USOC demanding that they no longer be called such.  (And I'll admit right now, I only skimmed their lawyer letter.  Life's too short to read legal mumbo-jumbo, unless it's a contract you're about to sign...)  I think there may have also been something about Ravelry no longer using the Olympic logo in any merchandise.  I agree with that aspect of the request-- but the name?  Come on!

I've never taken part in the Ravelympics.  I was considering doing so this time around, but when it comes right down to it, I probably won't.  Nonetheless, I still have an opinion on this very important issue-- that opinion being that trademark privileges are often defended with ridiculous fervor-- and that some people take themselves way too seriously.

I very much doubt that anyone thought the Ravelympics was in any way officially connected with or endorsed by the (regular) Olympics.  Was the…

McCall's Christmas Make-it Ideas

I ought to be dusting the living room, sorting through accumulated "stuff" on kitchen and dining room surfaces, or cleaning the bathrooms.  Therefore, I naturally set about figuring out how to work our new(ish) scanner.  (I'm such a great housekeeper!)

Quite some time ago, I was given (among a bunch of other things) an old copy of McCall's Christmas Make-it Ideas, a seasonally themed craft magazine.  It's from 1970, so of course many of the crafted items have a very retro look to them.  Others are just plain ugly.  (g)  I thought I'd share a few scans of things that caught my attention.

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Check out the snowman in this first photo.
Those dark circles around his eyes are kind of creepy, aren't they? 

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Then we have this one, where Santa relaxes (a little too cozily?) with one of his over-sized elves, after a long day of toy-making (I guess)...

And those clown mittens!!  What was it with hand-crafted clowns in the 60s/early 70s? …

Day 15: A New Skill

The newest knitting skill I've learned is how to knit the "feather and fan"/ "old shale" pattern.  It's the laciest knitting I've done to date... possibly excluding the One Row Scarf-- but that one didn't feel as much like lace as this does.  (I need to get back to work on Multnomah again...)

After I took this photo, I realized I could/should have taken a photo of the thrift store sweaters I felted (with felting as my "new skill").  I still haven't done anything with them, though, so at this point they're just shrunken sweaters.  (g)

Project Updates

I have things I should be doing, so naturally I'm procrastinating.  There's nothing to give the old blog a boost like a long to-do list!  ;o)

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I finished the t-shirt yarn dog toy basket yesterday.  It looks... kind of raggedy.  Well, it is made of rags, so...

It's fine for a doggy toy basket, but I'm not sure I still want to make more for yarn storage.  Maybe, but not right away, at least.  (I need a break from it, anyway.  Crocheting with t-shirt yarn is a lot harder than crocheting with regular yarn or thread!)

(Sorry about the crummy photos.  Not enough light, too lazy for tripod.)

Trixie watched me pick up one of her toys, followed me from one room to another, then sat and watched as I put the toy into the basket/bowl.  I wish I had a photograph of how she looked as she stared at me in open curiosity.  Clearly, she was perplexed.  (g)

I made the sides of double thickness by just crocheting the sides about twice as tall as I wanted the finished product …

Day 14: Where I Craft

Though I occasionally crochet or knit while sitting in bed, most of the time, I'm seated either right there at my favorite spot on the couch (note the crochet thread and doily on the end table) or at the computer desk in the background.

Day 13: Inspiration Indoors

I'm probably taking this more literally than intended, but this is where I get most of my inspiration-- online (Ravelry, for instance) and from the photos of craft books.  I have to be careful, though; looking too much at patterns and finished projects in either place can make me want to drop whatever I'm already working on in favor of something new.

I Hereby Decree...

I've decided that I'm taking a day or two off the Month of Craft Photos thing.  (Since I'm not even playing along on Flickr, who's to care?)  I just don't feel the motivation on the weekends, and this (late) afternoon, I'm so tired.  The thought of figuring out what to photograph was not fun at all-- and having fun is the whole point of the meme! 

This weekend, I'd rather crochet than fool around with the camera.  So that's what I'll do!  :o)  I'll be back with the photos on Monday, probably.

Day 12: A Crafty Gift

The crafty gifts I've made are either given (so that I can't easily photograph them today) or are still a secret... so I'll just substitute a photo I took earlier, back before I gave the gift.

This is the afghan I crocheted for my niece, Clarabel, back before we knew whether she was going to be a niece or a nephew.  It's far and away my most popular (favorited) project on Ravelry, and it's one of my favorite crafty gifts that I've made, too.  :o)

Day 11: A WIP

This is the yellow doily I've mentioned a couple times before.  It's the "Double Pineapple Doily" from American Thread Company.  The pattern's from 1952 and available for free online.  It's written a little differently from modern doily patterns, but it doesn't take long to get into the groove of it. 

Yellow is not one of my very favorite colors, usually-- and I think the thread looks more lemony and less golden yellow "in person", too, which puts it further down the scale in my favor (g)-- but for some reason I decided I wanted to make a yellow doily, so here it is, in progress.

Day 10: My Craft "Bag"

I don't really have a dedicated "craft bag", as such-- mainly because I rarely take my crafts out of the house.  Around the house, I keep small projects/yarn in a bowl, ceramic flower pot, or whatever else seems suitable.  For larger projects, where there's lots of yarn to keep corralled, I'm partial to plastic tote baskets (like the one in the photo).  I bought a few at Dollar Tree-- well worth a dollar each!

When I do want to take a project on the road, I use any of a variety of bags, such as this cute denim purse made by either my mother-in-law or her sister.  (They sent several over for me to distribute, one Christmas, and I'm not sure who made each one.) 

Though I don't have a "real" craft bag, I like the idea of one.  I'd like something with at least a couple of pockets so I could keep all the necessary notions just so.  It would be best if it didn't have a velcro closure-- maybe not even a zipper-- for the yarn to snag on, as w…

Craft-Room Clean-Up... Again.

My craft room has long been in dire need of a clean-up.

Part of the problem is that there are things in there that really have no "home"-- no specific place they belong and could fairly easily be stowed away.  (So they end up sitting out in the middle of the floor or the edges of the room, until I get so used to them that I hardly even see them anymore.)

Then there are projects-in-progress or things that I'm sure I'll get to soon(er or later)-- like a couple of rag quilts... and a couple of partially crocheted afghans.  I don't have a good place to put them, so out they stay!

Also, now that my husband is using the craft room too (from time to time), his stuff is strewn over one of the tables.  I can hardly hint that he could be tidier with his hobby while there's a mountain of my own junk just two feet away.  (g)  

Anyway, I started doing a little cleaning and reorganizing today.  The thing is, I've done that before, but somehow it never seems to carry t…

Day 9: My Hands

Look!  It's a slap-dash photo of my hands.

I took more, but none of them wowed me (at all).  But there they are-- my hands.  They're not the long, thin, elegant hands women in novels always seem to have, but they do my bidding with reasonable dexterity.  

I never bother with fingernail polish.  Fact is, I'm terrible at applying it, and it doesn't last long enough to be worth the effort, anyway. At least I no longer bite my fingernails like I did when I was a kid. ;o)  I usually keep them cut fairly short, though, for practicality's sake.

Can't Settle Down

I don't know what's going on with me lately, but I'm having a hard time settling down to one project at a time. 

A couple of weeks ago, I told myself I wanted to make an effort to finish Multnomah-- but instead of buckling down to that, I started two or three new projects.  I finished one of them-- a very small one (still secret-ish)-- and am within sight of finishing another medium-sized project (again, semi-secret)... But in the meantime, I've also begun crocheting a not-so-small doily (which I still have yet to photograph for an "in progress" shot).  As if that weren't enough of a distraction, today I started making "t-shirt yarn" for a dog-toy basket.  (Our Eskie has several toys, and they end up strewn all over the floor.  Maybe having a place where they're meant to be will help me keep most of them tidied away.  Fewer stumbling hazards would probably be a good idea.)

It's not that I don't like the projects I already have going…

Day 8: Challenging

I know I mentioned this project (Spanish Moss Celtic Cables) at least twice in the last meme (30 Days of Knitting), but I couldn't help using it again.  It is the most challenging thing I've knit to date, I believe.  Working the cables (and reading the chart for them) required a fair amount of concentration for me, though I've read that some knitters simply memorize the pattern for "easy" cables like these.  (I don't see myself ever getting that comfortable.  I'm too paranoid.  I must refer to the chart.)  I love it, though, and I definitely want to knit more cables in the future.  For me, cables are the epitome of Real Knitting.

I'd have a much harder time choosing a most challenging project for crochet.  It would be doilies, I guess-- just doilies in general.  They are a ton of fun to crochet, but they do present something of a challenge.  The tiny hook-- the thin thread-- the involved instructions, usually different for every round.  Then when you…

Day 7: Materials

My hand's feeling much better today (so I've been getting a little done on the yellow doily-- photo pending-- and a secret-ish project), but the light was still very scant.  (We've gotten several inches of rain just over the past few days.)  Poor light and the fact that I slack off on weekends don't lead to good photos. 

After reading today's prompt, I decided to focus on just the materials I'm using for one of my current works-in-progress.  It's an afghan made of paperweight grannies / African flower motifs (which I'm calling "A-Gypsying We'll Go").  I put it into "hibernation" mode on Ravelry, because I'm simply not working on it at the moment, but whenever I spare it more than a passing thought, I feel excited about working on it again, so before long...

That's not all the yarn I'm using, either.  There are colors you can't see, at the bottom of the baskets, and I'm planning on making the final rounds of t…

Day 6: Color

My right hand is hurting today-- probably the result of pulling too many weeds in the garden on Friday (she said, virtuously (g)).  I'm still managing to do a little crocheting on a new doily, but it has put a bit of a damper on my overall mood and willingness to put forth much effort.  For that reason (and all-day drizzle and rain), today's photo is kind of uninspired.  But here it is:

Waste not, want not. :o)

This is one of my jars of yarn scraps.  I can't bear to throw away any length of yarn that could possibly be used, so I keep them in jars.  (I keep tiny, non-useful lengths of yarn separately, ostensibly to serve as pillow/amigurumi stuffing, sometime in the future.)  I've used some of these kinds of scraps earlier in the year to make a small gift item, and I'm planning on using more of them to make the smaller portions of motifs for pillows and/or an afghan (someday).  In the meantime, it makes me happy to see those bits of color all scrunched together beh…

Day 5: Notions

There's not much to say about this one... This is my collection of knitting and crochet notions. Most of them were gifts, so I remember who gave them to me every time I use them, which is nice. :o)   I made the decorative stitch markers myself from polymer clay doo-dads and jump rings.

Day 4: Inspiration Outdoors

Honestly, I don't think I get much direct inspiration from anything I see indoors or out... unless you count craft books, blogs, etc.  (g)  I'm a bit stumped for this topic.  I do love looking at beautiful things/places, of course, but I don't know if I've ever looked at a flower and thought, "Wow, I feel so inspired by this!  Got to go crochet!" ;o)

So, since I'm just playing along here at home (i.e. not on the Flickr group), I'll just share several photos I took in our garden this morning.  They inspire me-- to keep working in the garden.  (g)  As for crochet or knitting inspiration... Well, I feel inspired to take more photos of finished objects outdoors instead of hastily draped over the computer chair.  Does that count?


"No turning chain" double crochet is something I've heard about from time to time, but never tried until recently.  It's really not difficult once you've done it a time or two, and it does seem to blend in with the rest of my stitches better than a turning chain does.

Here's the video I learned from:

This is one technique I'll actually use, unlike that seamless join thing that requires you to cut your yarn at the end of every round.  That has always seemed like just way more work than it's worth, unless you're going to be cutting the yarn every round, anyway.  But then again, I'm a little lazy about that sort of thing, so... (Have no idea what I'm talking about?  Here's one photo tutorial.)

Day 3: An Old FO

Today's prompt is "An Old FO".  I believe this is my very first crocheted finished object (not counting some loose granny squares of dubious workmanship).  I still remember sitting on the patio swing, joyfully crocheting this scarf one early fall morning... ;o)  And then noticing that my gauge on one side was noticeably different from my gauge on the other side.  Oh well, it's wearable, and actually, I still really like the look of the scarf (if I do say so myself).

If you want to see photos of the whole thing, check out the Ravelry project page.  (A link to the pattern is also available on that page, of course.   There's another version of Luna Lovegood's scarf here, too-- one that wasn't available when I crocheted my scarf.)

Day 2: Craft Tools

I chose to focus on crochet/knitting for this photo (as I suspect I will for most of this month of craft photos project), so that meant a photo of crochet hooks and knitting needles.  I haven't used wood or bamboo hooks or needles (yet), but I have tried acrylic versions of both.  They're useable in a pinch, but so far, I definitely prefer aluminum hooks and needles.  I need as little friction as possible, please!

Incidentally, not all of my needles and hooks fall into this color range, but obviously quite a few of them do.  (g)

Been a While...

Even though I've been posting a lot lately (for the 30 Days of Knitting meme), it feels like it's been a while since my last "real" blog post.  (Partly, this is because I tend to write those meme posts in batches and just wait to upload them until the right day...)

So, time for a little yarn-craft chat.  ;o)

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I don't think I ever blogged about how I found another mistake in my Multnomah shawlette...  Well, I did. (g)  It was pretty far back in the lace section, unfortunately.  I tried to fix it, but I just couldn't figure out how to do so.  (That's a big part of why I prefer crochet to knitting.)  In the end, I ripped it back to the lifeline at the end of the garter stitch section.  (I didn't cry, but nor was I particularly happy.  This project has been taking me forEVer, seems like.)

Well, I'm finally back past where I was when I found my mistake.  (I put in another lifeline toward the end of what I've knitted so far.  I can lea…

Day 1: Me in Action


I really hate taking photos of myself. It's so difficult getting a flattering, in-focus self-portrait, and it doesn't help that I almost always feel I look awful in photos. (Losing a few pounds might help...) Anyway, here are a couple of boring photos of me in crafty action. (If I get some inspiration and snap a better photo this afternoon, I'll edit this post later on.)

ETA:  Well, I don't really like this one, either, but at least it's a more honest (i.e. full-body) self-portrait.  This is how I usually prefer to crochet-- sitting "Indian style" on the couch.  I always look slimmer (no double chin!) and less grumpy in my mind's eye, though.  Funny how that works...  ;o)

A Month of Craft Photos

Now that I've finished the knitting meme, I'm on the look-out for other crafty memes.  I haven't found much.  (If anyone knows of a good crochet meme, for instance...)

I did find a crochet-themed "list meme" (where you put items into bold or italics depending on if you've done them/want to do them); I may do that, one of these days, but I don't generally enjoy list memes quite as much as other types.  (There's also a knitting version of the list meme, but at this point, I don't think I'd be able to put much in bold/"done it".)

The most interesting meme-ish thing I found was a Flickr group called "A Month of Craft Photos". The group's base page offers this description:
A Month of Craft Photos is a photo-a-day challenge to help practice and improve your photographs of your crafts and craft inspiration. Follow the daily prompts, mix and match them, or come up with your own ideas for each day. The prompts can be interpre…

Day 30 of 30 Days of Knitting

Day 30:  What's your name on Ravelry?  If you don't have a Ravelry account, why not?

(I think I've already given this, earlier in the meme.)  I'm MossyOwls on Ravelry. 

I joined Ravelry about four years ago.  Back then, I didn't completely "get" it-- didn't realize how useful it could be.  It took a while for me to really delve into the site, but I am now a devoted Raveler.  It's such a wonderful resource-- and it's completely free.  I'm usually on there at least once a day, checking/updating my project notes, looking at a forum, or browsing patterns and projects.  I know there are aspects of it I don't use to the fullest capacity-- I'm awful about reading messages, for instance, and though I read several forums, I'm just a lurker-- but the parts I do use, I love.

Seriously, there's no reason I can see not to join Ravelry.  If you are a knitter or crocheter, it's definitely worth signing up and looking around.

ETA:  I…