The box of yarn is slowly becoming squares for the Grandma’s Knickknacks blanket. I have made 13 now, and it’s slow going. I’ve memorized the motif pattern but with four colour changes, the joining and the end-weaving, it’s not going to be finished fast. Not that I have a deadline. I decided that 12 squares looks like a decent width so the last square started the second row.   

This is the Stylecraft Special Aran with a 5.5mm hook. Photo was taken outside on my deck as the light was fading. 

My other project, because I needed a portable one, is this… Colorful Stripey Mitts. Happy fingerless mitts in bright stripes that work perfectly with my Willow Wash worsted. 

I started them yesterday then continued on at the beach today.  

The Cooked Quince shade next to the orange stripe isn’t showing to its best advantage but it’s the same colour as the hooded cowl I made not long ago. These are so fun. I tend to crochet tightly but my gauge is just right with the recommended hook size, 4mm. 

As for the beach, we’ve had temps in the upper 20s this week so we met friends today and actually had a dip in the lake. The water is freezing – it is, after all, partly melted snow. I can’t get water in my left ear yet, but there was no way I was going to put my head under while it’s this cold. 

Work tomorrow, and new sale discounts to memorize at the fabric store. Should be fun (and busy).

Today has mostly been devoted to getting the housework done. I find it very satisfying to get to the end of a long To Do list. Poor Tai Chi Man, however, has been frustrated at every turn, putting in a new vanity in the downstairs bathroom. 

His dad arrives tonight so he has a tight deadline, with issues cropping up like the hole in the porcelain sink not being round, so he had to exchange it so that the drain assembly would fit. Yesterday, taking out the old vanity, he ended up putting his tiling and painting experience to good use, and the whole job is testing his inventiveness at getting things to work. Last I heard he was waiting to see if the leaky join under the sink was resolved. 

I’ve lost count of the trips to the hardware store(s). 

I can’t vacuum the utility room yet, because tools etc are in the way, so I went in my craft room and dug around in the yarn. Aaaaaah, what a lovely pastime! I found a gorgeous pattern for a blanket called Grandma’s Knickknacks (that’s hard to type) – here’s the blog link. And here’s the link to the Ravelry pattern page. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s lovely, and although it’s not the sort of mindless granny square I was considering, I think it will make a nice change. I’ll definitely use the Join-as-you-go method, for which the designer also has a good tutorial (link in her pattern). 

Looking at what I consider to be my ‘nice’ acrylic, I don’t have enough of the Willow Wash, if my Groovyghan quantities are a good guideline, so it’s going to be all Stylecraft Special Aran. I know I have enough of that. 

This is my palette – all the colours that I have – though I doubt that the black will make it into the blanket. 

  
If you’re in Canada, I hope you enjoyed your long weekend. Now, before I can start crocheting, I need to make dinner. Talk to you again soon. 

Last night at 1am, I finished this bag. I set up a project page for it on Ravelry and called it the Ugly Duffle bag! It’s one of those scrap projects which very satisfyingly use up lots of odds and ends but isn’t necessary very pretty. 

The drawstring goes around the holes near the top and then is joined to the outside bottom of the bag, so it can be carried backpack style or across the body. 

   
   

It’s a mixture of stitches, starting out with sc for the base, hdc for most of the sides and dc for the last few rows at the top. 

I carried two strands of yarn, one of which was black Loops & Threads Impeccable and the other, various oddments of mostly worsted or DK weight yarn. When it came to join the next colour, I tied a knot and left the tails sticking out. It took 150 grams of the black and 150 grams of scraps. 

The bag is approximately 14″ tall, 28″ in circumference and the base is about 7″ in diameter.  So it’s very roomy. I still have bits of yarn left over though! 

  I seem to have a habit of making scrappy bags when I’m between more traditional projects. 

The Cosmos Fields Shawl.. 

Yes, it’s huge! Wingspan is about 102″ and depth from neck to point is 47″. I should probably have stuck to the pattern’s recommendation to use five colours, as I followed the plan to do one row of each, two rows of each, etc,  and ended up with a larger shawl. I also had to fudge the first and last border rows ever so slightly. 

  
I’m wearing my favourite skirt today, the one my mother in law bought for me a few years ago in the island of Jersey.

Here’s a closer look at the edges…

   
 

Even though I made three pairs of slippers while this was on the go, it took less than two weeks from start to finish.  Specs: Stylecraft Special Aran in teal, magenta, lavender, plum, aster and aspen. Total yarn used 8.1 skeins (810 grams) or 1585 metres. 5.5mm hook. 

  

Ouch! Having a home day gave me lots of crochet time but my elbow doesn’t like it. Crocheting tightly with four strands is tiring on the arm but hopefully means the slippers will be hardwearing.

So, the larger manly slippers used two strands of the olive green Red Heart Soft Touch worsted, one strand of Marks and Kattens Carolina in brown, and a strand of Carolina in light green. 6.5mm hook again. This time, I made sure the foot was even before working the toe, and then worked around for the top of the foot, figuring out as I went where to decrease. The aim was to do it all without having to break the yarn and rejoin. 

That’s not to say I didn’t have many ends to deal with. The Carolina was partly in small balls, having been previously used in another project that was frogged, and it felt really good to clear out those bits and pieces and just leave a couple of the more complete skeins for a future project. Much tidier for the yarn shelf. 

Going to bed now, as I had a late night last night and it doesn’t agree with me!

  

These slippers are identical to Dad’s slippers that I posted about last time. FIL isn’t a big guy and his feet aren’t that large, so I made his and auntie’s slippers the same size. 

The only colour change I made was to switch out the bright green for red Knit picks Shine Sport. 

I’ll be the first to admit that they look a little wonky….with wear they’ll probably be fine. I may need to thread some elastic around the heel part to help them stay on.

The last pair I want to make before going back to the shawl is a larger version for Uncle Joe. That will probably be a simple case of starting with a slightly longer chain at the centre of the sole. Whilst I have typed up the method I used to make these, I don’t know if it’s worth publishing. The sides of the feet aren’t exactly the same – one side is a row higher than the other. I think with uncle’s pair, I will try to work it out so that they are even. If it’s acceptable, I’ll then publish it. 

It’s a cloudy windy day here, and I’d love some rain. The pollen is making me sneeze and I feel like the air needs a wash! Happy crafting.

My father-in-law is arriving next week for a three week stay. He’s 80 now but likes to be kept busy and will probably do some painting while he is here. He’s actually flying across the Atlantic with his brother and sister, Tai Chi Man’s uncle and aunt, but the two of them are spending some time in the Vancouver area for a while then catching a Greyhound to us a bit later. 

We have had to think about where to accommodate them. Thankfully we have plenty of rooms, so with a little folding up of weights equipment and setting up of a bed we will have a downstairs room ready for FIL quite easily. Auntie will be put up in my craft room, once we have moved one of the sofa beds in there from the family room.  And uncle will be in the family room. It’ll be interesting for a week! 

We bought three ‘bed in a bag’ sets yesterday so they will all have new comforters, sheets and pillowcases. And there is a full bathroom downstairs for them so we won’t be fighting for space. 

Anyway, the point I’m getting to is that I will be making sure they have blankets on their beds, as the basement is cold in the shoulder seasons. The upstairs gets the sun and warms up nicely, so the heat is off, and the basement is chilly. I decided they needed slippers in case they don’t bring their own, so to that end I have spent the last two evenings designing these slippers ‘on the hook.’

  
I used two strands of Red Heart Soft Touch in olive green (frogged cardigan), one strand of bright green Carolina DK and one strand of what I can only call Mystery Turquoise (a yarn which is probably sport weight that I acquired in a garage sale lot). And a 6.5mm hook. Now that I’ve made these for dad, I’m going to switch the colours for a second pair for auntie, and then I’ll need to make a larger pair for uncle. 

I am off to root around in my stash for something a bit more girly! 

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