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Showing posts from 2015

Old-Fashioned Sampler Finished!

A few weeks or so ago, I finished the border, weaved in the last loose ends, and put the Old-Fashioned Sampler into the washing machine for its first bath.  It's done!

I feel like the actual working-time on this afghan wasn't that long, even though the project was "open" for over two years.  It's always exciting to finish a big project-- and this one's finished just in time for the main blanket season.  (Well, this time of year is supposed to be blanket season, but this particular December has been unseasonably warm and humid.  There are still a couple of months of potentially cool weather ahead, though.)

None of my photos turned out great, but they'll do, and if I work up the enthusiasm, I might take a few pictures of it in the better light outside (once it dries out enough, which might not be for a while).   I had an especially difficult time getting the color adjusted on these photos.  They weren't even close to correct, straight out of the camera,…


I just found this old draft of a blog post that I never got around to "publishing".  I was probably waiting to publish until after I'd taken photos, but by the time there were pictures, I'd forgotten about it.  I guess today is its lucky day. ;o)

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Scratch another one off the list!  I've finished the "Lotus Bloom" doily!

"Pretty Baby" by Elizabeth Hiddleson

Circulo Clea, white

Apparently, Doris Chan revised this pattern for a publication that was printed in late 2012 (months after I started crocheting it).

There were definitely things about this pattern in need of revision.  My own project notes on Ravelry indicate a couple of instances of possible errors.  (I say "possible" because there's a chance I was confused/missing something, but I'm pretty sure they were mistakes.)

Then there were at least a couple of times when I saw how the pattern could be improved (imho) and did so.  (I reduced the st…

Reuters Bans RAW Photos (and Yarn-Craft Updates)

This is a fairly off-topic post from the usual fare, but I suppose photography is a "craft", too, so it fits well enough.  In any case, it's something that interests me, as an amateur photographer.

Maybe it's not readily obvious in my recent photos-- because I tend to take fairly blah WIP and FO photos, lately-- but I do enjoy photography.  Particularly nature photography and macros.  Part of the hobby is editing the photos.  Post-processing.  Polishing them to show them at their best.

Some years ago, Donald introduced me to shooting in RAW (instead of "just" JPG), and now that's my preference.  (Actually most of the time, we shoot in RAW + JPG, but if a RAW version is available, that's the one I'll choose.)  RAW allows you much more control and flexibility in post-processing than JPG does.  There are times when a JPG is simply not usable, but if you have a RAW version of the same photo, you can correct the exposure and tone (warmth, coldness, …

Learning Brioche Knitting

I forgot when writing the last entry that I meant to mention thread holders.

Most of the time, I put the ball of crochet thread into a glazed ceramic bowl, where it can spin around freely.  It keeps the ball off the floor; I'm usually satisfied.  For times when I need the project to be more portable, I just pop it into a plastic food storage bag (the cheap, un-"zippered" kind, though the zipped ones work, too).  These bags have the added benefit of providing a spot to store the WIP away from dust and dirt.

For some reason, though, when I was working on the latest doily, I began to wish I had a "real" thread holder.  (Maybe because the ball is so small, it was moving around more than I'm used to.)

There are some pretty ones for sale, online.  (The commercially available ones are sometimes called "string holders".)  You could also make your own fairly easily with a piece of dowel and a block of wood for the base.  Then there's the "toilet …

Two Blocked Doilies

Latest crafty doings:

-- Sewed a dog toy for Luna using a scrap of polar fleece.

I've made a few of these for her, and she enjoys them.  They're as easy as can be-- especially if you have a sewing machine (though you could sew it by hand).  For this one, I took a long strip of polar fleece (which is more durable against chewing than other fabrics I've tried), folded it together lengthwise (right sides together) and sewed along two sides, leaving one of the short ends open for stuffing.  I stitched along those sides twice to make it extra sturdy, then turned it right side out.  I stuffed the tube loosely, alternating wads of polyfil with a couple of plastic shopping bags (which make crunching sounds that dogs find interesting), then sewed the end shut (by hand, because it didn't want to fit under my sewing machine's presser foot).

VoilĂ !  Stuffed dog toy on the cheap, and no eyes or noses for obsessive chewers to remove and eat.
 (No photo, but it's not much to…

Spider Scarf Done! (Well, Almost...)

I've all but finished the spider scarf (pattern: October is for Spinners).  Alright, I admit it: it's still on the needles, because I haven't bound off, yet.  That of course means that it also still needs blocking, but given that there's no way it'll be cool enough to wear it in the next few weeks, motivation is nil.

To do the last several rows, I needed size 13 needles, but they were still stuck in a WIP-- a Wham Bam Thank You Lamb cowl I was reworking.  That prompted me to go ahead and finish knitting that, too, so there's another project off the list.  (Except the reworked cowl wasn't technically on my WIP list...)

The spider scarf was an interesting pattern.  Definitely one to keep you on your toes.  I'm still not sure when I'll ever wear it, but it was fun to make.

Here it is in its bowl (along with the leftover yarn).  The pink yarn is some scrap kitchen cotton that I used for a lifeline before switching up needle sizes.  I don't use life…

The Spider Scarf

No blocking or sewing to report, and the spider scarf is still my only active yarny WIP.

I worked up to row 156, then had to decide whether or not to swap up to a larger size of needle (as indicated in the pattern).

The problem (as you may recall from the previous post) is that the pattern is written for laceweight.  You start with four strands of yarn and gradually work your way down to fewer and fewer strands-- and larger and larger needles. (You also gradually end up with fewer stitches per row.)

I'm using a single strand of worsted weight throughout and had intended to stick with the same size needle for the whole thing, but started questioning that plan (which was based on something I read in someone's project notes, I think).  Maybe it's better to increase the needle size, after all-- if not as drastically as in the pattern, at least slightly.

In the end, I decided to put in a lifeline for the last row before the first needle swap.  If going up a couple of needle …

In Anticipation of October

Sorry, still no photos of anything that was awaiting blocking (because blocking hasn't happened), but here are a couple of photos of the finished (but not washed) crocheted pillow covers.  The pillow inserts aren't yet in existence, so it's just the covers by themselves.

I ended up only doing part of the ruffled edging, because I was afraid the yarn wouldn't hold out through the final round. Fortunately, I think it looks good even without the last round.  (Otherwise, some other white acrylic would probably work fine in substitution.)

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Looking through my Ravelry queue (which is way too long and should be pared down), I came across a pattern I'd completely forgotten: "October is for Spinners".

It's kind of an odd-looking knitted scarf.  You start out normally enough, though the motif (the spider from Barbara Walker's Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns) is perhaps a bit unusual for some of us.  Things only get weirder from there.  A fe…

Checking In

This is a boring "checking in" post with no photos to share.  (Next time?)

-- I finished knitting the scarf from last post.  Have yet to weave in the ends and block it.

-- Still haven't blocked the three "Meret" berets...

-- Still haven't weaved ends and blocked the Hiddleson doily ("Pretty Baby")...

-- Haven't done much on the quilted table runner...

This isn't sounding good. (g)

What I have done (aside from knitting the scarf) is pull another languishing project-- the "Granny's Step-Daughter" project-- back out of hibernation, as part of the campaign to reduce the backlog of UFOs.

I wrote a long post about these pillow covers over a year ago, but then (for some reason) set them aside.

I've just finished crocheting the last (fourth) panel.  I guess I'll go ahead and turn them into throw pillow covers, though at this point, we don't really need more pillows.  (I've made at least another couple of other croc…

Laceweight Scarf and String Block Table Runner

No new blocking since last time.

I decided to put off "Wisp" for the time being and instead knit "Petits Trous de Printemps".  I read a lot of project notes, thought I understood some modifications that I wanted to copy, and cast on.

Oops, realized I wasn't doing something right.  (Bead placement, I think...)
Frogged it (slowly, as this yarn is 70% mohair).

Cast on again.
Soon realized that again something just wasn't right.
Frogged it again!

This time, I decided to put it in the corner for a few days.
When I looked more closely at the pattern, I just couldn't figure out one of the modifications.  People kept saying they were adding an extra stitch for improved symmetry, but in my quick, primitive charts (scribbled over and over again), the extra stitch seemed to lessen the symmetry.

Finally, I asked for help on Ravelry, and right away someone explained it in a way that made complete sense.  (Lesson for next time: Just ask for help!)

I doubt this will m…

Block Party

How many crochet and knitting blog entries do you think have been written titled "Block Party"?  ;o)

Ok, so it's probably not that original.  It's still accurate!  Yesterday afternoon, I threw a little block party.

Some time ago (and I do mean some time), I saw some knitters somewhere (over on Knitting Paradise?) discussing affordable alternatives to the special foam mats sold specifically for blocking knitted or crocheted objects.  Someone mentioned that Harbor Freight sells four-packs of large (25in²) foam mats that interlock to create either a large square or a long strip (depending on what you're blocking).

Here's a link, if you're interested:  Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set.
At the moment, they're on sale for just under $10.  You can use a coupon on them and get them even cheaper-- which is what I did.

Yesterday was my first time giving them a try, and I'm very happy with the results.

A few things you might want to know, if you're in the mark…