Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Distractions and a Little Crochet

We had a major home repair done last week.  Monday, we found yet another leak in our pipes.  This has been an on-going problem, and it turns out that this particular type of piping has been discovered to be prone to problems.

Rather than continue to patch leaks as they happen-- never knowing when or where the next one will pop up or how much damage it might do (especially if we're away from home at the time)-- we'd already decided to have the whole house re-piped.  But you know how that is. You make the decision, but one thing and then another gets in the way, and before you know it, oops, here's another leak!

Anyway, we went ahead and had it done, and it was finished in a couple of days.  Well, except for the holes the plumbers left behind.  We'll eventually deal with those ourselves (complete with some repainting). 

In addition to the plumbing distraction, we've been working outside a lot.  I'm continuing to mulch and pull weeds-- and now plugging good sod into the weediest patch of lawn.  We're also working (slowly) on the raised vegetable beds.  But the biggest project of the moment is gravel.  My father used a tractor to clear the sod from a backing out/parking area in front of our garage.  We're cleaning up the edges that he couldn't get to with the big machinery, then we'll put down heavy-duty landscape fabric/weed barrier and have a load of gravel delivered.  Then we can tackle the pathway(s) inside the yard.  It's a large project, and I'm sure it'll drag out longer than we'd like.

If you're interested in the continuing Saga of the Gravel (and Other Thrilling Tales of the Garden), I've started a garden/home-centric blog.  Maybe I'll be able to keep myself on crafty topics in this blog, with minimal distractions, but sometimes different interests in life overlap.  They certainly affect one another! 

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All that to say that I haven't been spending a lot of time crafting, lately.  When the plumbers were here, I did some crochet, but that's about it.

First, I crocheted a doily using yellow size 10 thread and the pistachio-handled 1.75mm hook.
The pattern is a chart I found online and printed out years ago, with no name or other identification.  I thought it was a new-to-me pattern, but after a while, I recognized it as one I'd made for Granny L. in white thread, quite some time ago.

The pattern's not bad, but it's not outstanding, either, and since I didn't find it especially fun to crochet, I've thrown it away to prevent another repeat.

Here's a photo (in its unblocked state):

Unblocked Doily

It definitely needs a good, hard stretching.

When the doily was done, I still had time to fill, so I turned to some "kitchen cotton" Mom gave me.  I originally intended to make a few dish scrubbers, but I don't really like the way that thick cotton works for dish scrubbers.  (I prefer acrylic.  Thick cotton takes too long to dry and gets so heavy...)

I think these will serve as fabric trivets instead.  They're too full of holes to be good for pot holders, but they'll work fine for protecting the counter-top. 

Cotton "Trivets"

The two above are an extended version of Motif #33 from Edie Eckman's Beyond the Square book.  As you can see, I've started putting yet another extension on one of them, but I'm having second thoughts... Maye they're big enough as they are.  I might rip that back and call them done. 

That motif, by the way, is very easy-- great mindless crocheting.  The only downside is that the "skinny rounds" (orange, in my samples) don't leave you a great place for hiding the tails.  That aside, it could be pretty-- or clean and simple-- or manly-- or whatever-- in the right colors.  Not complicated, but something a little different from the standard granny square.

Cotton "Trivets"

These are Motif #89 from one of Edie Eckman's other books-- Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs.  They're okay, I guess.  Even better if you like eye-searingly ugly 60s/70s color combos.  ;o) 

I didn't love crocheting this motif.  I definitely would not want to make an entire afghan out of this one.  On the plus side, it's pretty bulky, so it should keep hot pots well off the kitchen counter-top. 

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And that's all!
I haven't touched the sewing machine since the last blog post, I think.  (I want to, but I'm afraid it's going to feel like jumping over a hurdle, getting back into that particular groove, again.)

The hexagon-motif afghan and the old-fashioned granny square scrapghan have gone back into temporary storage.  (This isn't blanket weather.  I am so uninterested.)

None of the many UFOs are calling my name...

I'm not sure what I'll work on next, but I'm feeling the need for something to do with my hands in the evenings, again.