peacock

Part Two of the CAL was released today. The next few rounds had their challenges but I figured it all out and it looks like it should. This is the front of the bag. I will do part two of the back another day – it will be plain stripes without the clusters and front post stitches. I am so pleased to see the Malachite colourway appear on the last round

Today is my birthday. I’m now 54! As Tai Chi Man was at work, ds1 was at work, ds2 was disinterested, and ds3 is out of town, it was up to me to find something fun to make my birthday special. So I arranged to meet a friend for lunch (she gave me a Himalayan salt lamp) at a vegan cafe, after which we wandered around some nearby small shops, including a yarn shop (at which I didn’t spend any  money), then went to the beach for some swimming and sunbathing.

Dinner was something simple, though it included my favourite cashew-based salted caramel cluster ice cream, and of course as I don’t do dishes on my birthday Tai Chi Man and ds2 had the pleasure of cleaning up.

And of course tonight I relaxed in the usual way with my crochet.

I never did get around to baking a cake or anything so I think I will do that tomorrow and make enough to share at work in the evening.

Is it just me or did this summer whizz by too fast? I can’t believe it’s September in about a week.

 

 

bear

Base the Bear is done. I realise that the designer probably named the pattern Base because it’s just the first in a planned line of similar creatures based on the same shape, but maybe I should come up with a cuter name. (There is a dog pattern too.)

Maybe Fred. Or Blue. Or Mabel.

Anyway, I made the arms today and sewed them on and decided to leave the face as is. The bear is about 7″ tall and crocheted with three colours of Stylecraft Special DK (turquoise, cloud blue and lipstick) and a 3.25mm hook.

And now I have no reason not to continue with the ripple blanket which, for some reason, I keep avoiding.

But maybe not tonight. Maybe instead I’ll pick up one of the books I’m reading – one is called Six Impossible Things before Breakfast by Lewis Wolpert (all about humans and belief) and the other is The New Good Life by John Robbins. I also have the option of Mary Stuart by Stefan Zweig, which is my own book, not a library book, and was a gift from a friend.

Have a good night/day!

 

OK, I’ve probably given you an earworm now, right? It’s all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble…

But in this case, Base is the name of the pattern I’ve been working on today. I didn’t realise that the CAL for the bag would be such a short commitment this week, so I’ve been able to do other things. And with today being a home day, with only a bit of cooking and laundry to do, I’ve had lots of time to crochet. (And lift a few weights so it wasn’t a totally sedentary day.)

It’s a bear…and he’s ‘armless!

IMG_5691

Totally ‘armless.

He will have arms soon, I promise, but I’ve had enough of this project today. It’s been a bit of a struggle in places, working DK with a 3.25mm hook, making the leg tubes, joining them at the top, and mucking about with the ears. The instructions for the ears don’t seem to make sense so, like many others who commented on their Ravelry project pages, I fudged it to make it look right!

I’m not really happy with the eyes and nose – I didn’t have safety eyes and anyway I want to offer this bear for sale with the ripple blanket as a baby toy/blanket set, so I embroidered them. The tails are still hanging out the back of his head in case I change my mind.

He needs arms which, in the pattern, are striped like the body of his little sweater. However I can’t face the thought of multiple colour changes in such a narrow tube so I’m going to make them red.

He’s about 7″ or 18cm tall, which is smaller than the designer’s version, who gave a finished dimension of 25cm. I didn’t check my gauge because I wasn’t bothered about the finished size.

Base will rest overnight on my coffee table, and hopefully he won’t get an itch anywhere because he doesn’t have any hands to scratch with…yet.

 

The pincushion is finished! I’m not sure that I chose the best combination of colours. A little more contrast wouldn’t hurt. But it was really just an experiment and it produced a nice little gift. I switched the order of the colours on the second half but I prefer the side with the pink clusters rather than the wine.

I’m taking a step in a more advanced direction with my two current projects.

When I signed up for Lillabjorn’s Crochet newsletter, so I could keep up with the Peacock Tail Bag CAL, I received a link for the Macaron Pincushion. So a couple of nights ago I made half of the pincushion (which was all I had time for that night as it got really late).

It turned out to be the perfect intro to the designer’s writing style and techniques, so that when I started the Peacock Tail Bag last night (again, way too late) I could understand it easily.

The pincushion and bag both use overlay crochet techniques, which just means stitches add texture by being made over the top of plain stitches in previous rounds. The patterns recommend very small hooks for the type of yarn, and I am using a 3.5mm one as I find anything smaller splits the yarn and also is too tiring.

This is the yarn I’m using for both projects:

bag cal 3

Deramores Studio DK, 100% acrylic. It’s very soft and nice to work with. These colours are from the Gemstones Pack  that I bought some time ago but it’s still available. (That link will take you to the main site and prices in UK pounds, but click on the thingy at the top for the currency of your choice. They ship everywhere. Very reasonably.)

This is the first half of the pincushion:

pincushion

And this is part one of the bag CAL – it seems we will be crocheting the front and back of the bag at the same time. The front will have the fancy overlay stitches, the back is plain stripes. I now have to wait until the middle of next week to get part two, but that’s fine – I’d rather progress slowly than fall behind with too high of an expectation.

bag cal 1

Later I can finish the pincushion and even add to my ripple blanket.

bag cal 2

Have you done any Crochet- or Knit-alongs?

 

image

 

I love this photo. In one shot, I have captured a work in progress and three finished objects: my ripple blanket WIP, the storage pouf on which I sat this morning to crochet before it got too hot, the basket that is holding the blanket yarn, and my Grandma’s Knickknacks blanket.

Five stripe repeats are finished on the blanket but that means there are still 18 rows to go plus a border. Considering the Peacock Tail Bag CAL starts tomorrow, the blanket may not see much action for a while. (That link will take you to the lillabjorn home page.)

I have my yarn ready for the CAL – five 100g balls of Deramores Studio DK in the colours fuchsia, fir, wine, indigo and malachite. I actually have a jewel-toned colour pack of twelve colours of this DK yarn but after looking at the colours that the designer used for her bag I found it easy to choose the five for the bag.

I’ll get a good daylight photo of the yarn when I post about the CAL.

Excitement for the day: the four of us went for a swim this evening and afterwards we were just enjoying the ambience of the lake when someone started pointing at something behind us. Across the highway and up the steep hillside, far enough away that they looked pretty small but still recognizable, were a mother bear and her two cubs. We watched them for some time as they made their way across the hill and upwards through the trees. So cool!

Have a yarnful day! (I think I just invented a new word.)

Project stats: Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK, 4mm hook, finished size when flattened 9.5″ across (19″ circumference), 10″ from centre of base to top edge.

Shown here filled with most of the leftover yarn. I can’t give you quantities as I didn’t weigh before and after.

Link to Ravelry pattern (paid) here.

I’m thinking this would look great using random scraps too – but I would use an acrylic worsted – easier on the hands.

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