Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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...

Trixie's T-Shirt Toy Basket/Bowl


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!)

Trixie's T-Shirt Toy Basket/Bowl


(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 to be, then folding it over inside.  It made the basket/bowl quite a bit sturdier than it would've been in single thickness.  If I do this again, I'll probably make the bottom double-thick, too.  (In fact, I may go back and make this one thicker on the bottom, too, but I don't think I'll be moving it around that much, so it's probably fine as it is.)

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The kind-of/sort-of secret blanket project is moving at a snail's pace.  I work on it when I'm afraid I'll make a mistake if I work on something more complicated-- but it's really gotten boring (the problem with this type of project is that each round takes longer than the last to crochet), and I want it to be finished soon so that I can stop thinking about it.

(This is where the photo would have gone, had I taken one.  ;o))

I'm somewhat afraid it will turn out not to lie flat, because it kind of looked that way, the last time I checked.  But at this point, I am not unraveling it, so if it's a little rumply-bumply, it'll just have to stay that way.  Maybe washing and drying will do wonders and block it out nicely.  If not, oh well.  It's a blanket for a baby.  I'm sure it'll be fine.

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I found a Big Annoying Mistake in my yellow doily.   Don't you hate it when that happens?  Especially when it's something that you did back in the very earliest rounds, so you'd have to rip it back all the way to fix it.

Fortunately, even though it's extremely annoying, I don't think it'll ruin the doily.  It's a good thing, because I wasn't about to rip it all out and re-do it.  Not in the same pattern, at least.  I get mad at patterns in cases like this.  I can hold a grudge against them, even if it wasn't the pattern's fault.  ;o)  However, I do blame this pattern a little for not providing any sort of stitch count until the 23rd round.  (If I hadn't counted, I might never have known about my mistake. (g)) 

So, apparently I started out with the wrong number of stitches in one of the earliest rounds, the result being that while you're supposed to have eight pineapples in the first set, I had only seven.  (The shame!)  It's a very easy mistake to make, I guess, because I've done it before, in another doily.  In that case, I was supposed to have twelve pineapples, but ended up with only ten.  I was able to block it out so that it looked okay, and I think this one will work out, too-- but it still irritates me to know that I made that mistake.  (Perfectionism-- ain't it grand?)

(I'll post photos of the completed and blocked doily.  I'm still crocheting it.)

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Finally, I read something somewhere (on one of the thread crochet e-mail lists I subscribe to, maybe?) about people using those little magnetic bookmarks to mark their favorite (or "want to make") patterns in craft books.  Well, of course I had to have some of my own, after that.

I thought about writing a tutorial for DIY magnetic bookmarks, but it turns out it's been done, multiple times (and years ago).  (g)  So just look it up, if you're interested; they're out there.

I made several from some thick scrapbook paper / light cardstock, a little glue, and one of those thin magnets that come attached to promotional calendars from local businesses.  (I have a couple I saved from the place that fixed our transmission a few years ago.)  Just cut up the magnet and the paper, fold the strip of paper in half, and glue a piece of magnet to the inside of each half.

I whipped mine up in just a few minutes, but if you wanted something fancier, you could trim the corners to make them rounded (or pointed like an arrow)-- or maybe use clear tape on the paper to make them sturdier / more resistant to dirt.

Keeping Track


I've been using one to mark my spot in the doily pattern I'm crocheting. 

It helps to have a system.  Someone else looking at this wouldn't know if I was marking the 26th or the 28th round, but I know that I always put the marker directly above the active round.  This is where an arrow-shaped marker might help...

So far, it's been working very well.  In the past, I've used little sticky notes, but those eventually lose their stickiness and can fall off, leaving you unsure of where you stopped.  These magnetic markers should hold pretty steady.  

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Ok.  Enough procrastination...