I do like a bit of alliteration, don’t you? The title just flowed out of my fingertips.

I am holed up in my bedroom this morning. This is Day Three of the window/door installers invading our house at 8am and changing out all the windows and doors. That’s about 15 windows, a sliding patio door,  and three regular external doors. The first day, I was at work most of the day, so it was just the two boys who were at home, literally chilling out! We had to turn the heat down because there was so much activity, with guys coming in and out, windows coming out and new ones going in. And the noise! Hammering, drilling, voices, music.

Day Two was ok as they were mostly working downstairs and the thermostat is upstairs so it was fairly comfortable.  Today I have turned it down again as they are doing the three doors, one of which is in the kitchen on the upper floor.

I know we will have a much warmer, quieter house when all is said and done, but poor old Tai Chi Man now has a new job on his home maintenance list. That of painting the primed window frames inside. We will have to get the bathroom and kitchen ones done ASAP so they are sealed against moisture.

Lurking in my bedroom is actually rather pleasant. I brought tea in here, my laptop, crochet, iPad (you know, all the essentials), I have an en suite half bathroom, so I can stay here while the guy working in the kitchen does his thing.

And I took a couple of quick photos of my WIPs to show you…

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It’s hard to get this all in one photo, but I am working bottom to top on this baby blanket,  (that’s a link to my Ravelry project page) and right to left. The green of the caterpillar is now coming in. There are only two plain white rows of hexagons in the whole blanket, which is good, as the colours make it more interesting to crochet. I am being sure to weave in all ends as I go and with the join-as-you-go method there will be minimal finishing.

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This second WIP is the Dreamy Lace Baby Throw from Lion Brand. (My project page.)

My boss said the other day at work that someone had over-ordered on the pink Red Heart With Love so she gave me a ball of it to work up a small baby blanket. The pattern asked for Pound of Love, and this ball is only 7oz, so rather than chaining 141 I did 101 to make a smaller version. The ball suggests a 6.5mm hook and that’s what I’m using. After the initial set up row, it’s a one row pattern with an easily memorised repeat. This progress was made last night at a friend’s house.

Before picking up this pink project again, I will be adding more to the caterpillar blanket, as time is ticking by and there’s a baby on the way.

My plant-based nutrition course is going really well. I have completed two parts now – Nutrition and Society, and Diseases of Affluence. Next, putting it all into practice – Applying the Whole Food Plant Based Diet principles. This third part starts today and has to be completed in the next two weeks.

I noticed that Forks Over Knives has a cooking course starting at the end of the month – it’s $349 if you sign up now, $399 after the 21st. I was tempted to go for it but then I realised that the information may be presented in the course that I am already paying for. So I’ll see how that goes, then if I feel I need more,  perhaps they will offer it again at a later date.

If you haven’t watched the Forks Over Knives documentary, I highly recommend it. It’s one of many documentaries that are available now on healthy eating to prevent and reverse chronic disease. A quote from one of the doctors on the course, “Food is the chemotherapy that you take three times a day.” That’s why it’s the most important thing you can do for your health.

OK, time to get some yarny stuff done. Have a wonderful day 🙂

 

 

 

Good morning! This is an expected morning at home. I missed a call from my manager and showed up at work at about 9.15 expecting to start at 9.30 and she asked if I could do a 1 – 9pm shift instead. Someone who’s due to work this evening is sick and they need an extra body for the evening. So as I only live 5 minutes away, I readily agreed. In fact, I took the opportunity to try out the car wash that opened not long ago, just across the highway from the store, and I now have a white car again! It was fun. The car’s wheels get pulled onto a track that takes you through at just the right speed, so all you do is sit there and enjoy the ride. They also have vacuums you can use so that your mats get the treatment too. It was minus 11 Celsius while I was out there, so I had to keep my two pairs of knitted mittens on, and also be really careful not to slip on the ice underfoot.

The cowl that was a mere WIP last time I posted is now an FO. I didn’t actually finish the two skeins of the Loops & Threads Facets after all. The person at work who is sick is a great lover of turquoise and lime, just like me, and I know she will love this cowl. So I measured it and it was 27″ long and just right for a single loop cowl. All it needed was a single crochet seam across to join the two ends, and voilà!

 

The photo on the mannequin head shows the colours well, but the whiteness of the styrofoam is a rather glaring. This Agnes Lace Cowl used 130 grams of the yarn and an 8mm hook, the circumference is 27″ and the depth is 10″.

I could easily make a bunch of these. The stitch pattern is so easy and with the bulky yarn it grows fast. Maybe this would be a good stashbuster project with multiple strands of yarn (brain is ticking away here but at the same time telling me I should keep going on the baby blanket). Speaking of the blanket, I have now finished row 4. I decided last night that my studies could wait and that I would focus on the blanket while watching Netflix. Have you seen No Tomorrow? A fun series with an important underlying message – seize the day!

Time to go and have some soup. Have an awesome weekend with lots of warmth and crafting.

 

 

The time flies by! I just checked the date of my last post and it was 6 days ago! And I had forgotten I already showed you my stash flash, because I was about to post the photos…again!

Hmmm, guess my brain is all full up.

The Hungry Caterpillar blanket isn’t coming along as quickly as it should, but here’s the progress so far…

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The first two (green) segments of the caterpillar’s body are now incorporated. I’m working right to left on each row, and this is row 4 of 9. The edges are curling a bit, which will all be fixed when I add the border. I could have used a 5.5mm hook, with hindsight, and if I had I could have used my Addi Swing hook. Ah well, too late now.

Have you heard the word “hygge?” It’s a word that’s being bandied about on the interwebz and it is a Danish word with a complex meaning that needs a bunch of English words to describe it! A friend and I have started a women’s group of the same name. We had the first gathering last night at my house. Just four of us for the first one, though I’d like to add a few more. One woman recently had a baby and brought him along. OMG, newborns are so tiny and cute. I asked her to give the caterpillar hat a trial run, because I was nervous about the size. It was PERFECT! So I guess I don’t have to make another one.

And funnily enough, Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats was talking about the exact same thing in Episode 24 of her podcast that I watched today.  Have you seen her podcast before? I love it.

Last night, one friend was knitting on a pair of socks, another was knitting a rat cave which she intended to felt, and I was crocheting a really easy cowl. I wanted something I could do mindfully and mindlessly at the same time! You know what I mean? You can concentrate and enjoy the lovely fuzzy feeling that comes with forming the stitches with the colourful yarn, and if you want to chat you can continue crocheting because every row is the same and easy to memorise.

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This is Loops & Threads Facets. 100% acrylic, a bulky yarn in the colourway Capri Blue. This is a daylight shot but it still doesn’t do it justice. At the end of the first skein, I had a piece 20 inches long, which wasn’t quite long enough to join into a cowl. So as I was going to be starting the second ball anyway, I decided just to use up the whole of the second ball too and hopefully get a cowl that I can double up around my neck. I doubled the amount of pattern repeats across as my yarn isn’t anywhere near as bulky as the one used in the original design. Agnes Lace Cowl

Since starting this, I have become quite attached to it. Rather than give this one away, I may just weed out and donate some of the other older accessories I have. I might even make a hat to match (time to grab a Michaels coupon)!

Well, I must make some more progress on the blanket and also put a couple of hours in on my eCornell plant-based nutrition course. I’m at mid-point right now. Halfway through the second module of three. I am learning a lot and it’s getting me all fired up to share more with people about the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet. I am cooking without added oil now and the kids are having to get used to dinners without fake cheese. Whilst we are keeping maple syrup in the house, once the coconut sugar is gone I won’t be buying any more. Ditto the white flour.

I am being a lot more outspoken on my personal Facebook page about animal rights at the moment. I’m sure some of my FB friends would like to/have blocked my posts but the truth really does have to come out. And it will, one way or another.

Hope you’re having a compassionate week.

Nudge nudge, wink wink!

Flash your Stash, I mean. Yes, it’s January, and that means there’s a new thread on Ravelry’s Yarn forum where people can pull out their yarn, photograph it, and show it off. There’s actually a good reason to do this. If you have a lot of wool, it’s good to “toss the stash” every now and then to check for moths or carpet beetles. (Not an issue for me, obviously.) Also, you get to see what you have. It’s easy to forget the treasures if they lie buried most of the time. My yarn is mostly on view in clear zip top storage bags in cubbies in my craft room,  but when I laid it out on my queen size futon it surprised me how  much I had. And that’s another good reason to pull it out – to stop you from impulse buying a craptonne more yarn when you’re not using up what you have.

So, I flashed my stash in January last year. At the time, I had a lot of worsted/aran weight yarn but had just bought some DK colour packs from Deramores. I was a bit nervous about the skinnier yarn, wondering how I would get along with it.

This year’s stash flash shows a heavier emphasis on DK, then worsted, then the usual random skeins of bulky, super bulky and novelty. I didn’t buy the novelty yarn – it was given to me. May end up clearing that out.

Anyway, here’s the main photo. This is my queen size futon, and it only just fits. I think I’d be uncomfortable with more than this as I’d feel like it was too much pressure!

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I did  a lot of stashbusting this year with projects that used multiple strands of yarn, like a pouf, rugs, wraps, blankets and more. Since my large Deramores order at the beginning of last year, there have only been a few small purchases, like the Red Heart With Love and the souvenir yarn from my holiday. Plus one Wool Warehouse order where I bought extra gold for the Demelza blanket and extra black for the granny square coat.

The only colour pack I haven’t broken into is the Stylecraft Special DK Coast Pack. Fifteen balls of loveliness which may eventually become a sweater.

And now it’s all packed away neatly again. The only WIP I have going right now is the Hungry Caterpillar blanket. I didn’t think to include that in the flash, but there will be a fair whack of Impeccable left over when I’m finished.

Have you ever flashed your stash?

 

 

Here I am, sitting on the couch with my crochet and laptop as usual. Well, they do say you should start as you mean to go on!!

It’s been a good week.  A few not-too-busy shifts at work. A fun potluck last night with friends. And only one WIP to start off the new year.

The current project is The Very Happy Caterpillar blanket by Artisan Loops Designs, aka Ne11 on Ravelry. (Yes, that IS Nell with two ones.) It’s a paid pattern which she kindly sent me as a gift some time ago. My Ravelry project page says that I started it on December 6th, but despite that I haven’t made much progress. The blanket has a row of coloured circles in the top row and two rows at the bottom, so I crocheted these circles first. The final white joining round is one I was dreading a tiny bit as the layout of the pattern has lots of little picots around the circles for joining them to each other and I was getting in a tizz about them. But as usual, getting them done was easier than I had anticipated and now I have a full row done. I did make a teensy weensy mistake on the last circle, adding an extra picot where one wasn’t needed as it is a corner circle. That is now fixed.

The yarn is Loops & Threads Impeccable, which is an acrylic worsted weight yarn from Michaels, and these colours are yellow, purple, orange, blue, dark green and red. The green looks better in real life, and the photo isn’t showing much differentiation between the blue and purple. Anyhoo, so far, so good. I have pushed through the thing that was making me procrastinate and I am off to the races.

If I need a small portable project at all, I think I will make another caterpillar hat in a larger size. I would hate for the one I made to be too small. Better to have it a bit too big than too small. And the cocoon, well, I think I will be adding a drawstring to the top of it, as the opening looks huge. Just my thoughts as I type away here, excuse my rambling!

I hope 2016 was good to you. Make 2017 great!

 

A friend came over today, bringing her sewing machine and supplies with her, and we set ourselves up at my dining room table, she at her machine, me at mine. One of the things that puts me off sewing, I think, is going downstairs to do it. Yes, I have a craft room with everything I need in one place, but I prefer it upstairs where it’s brighter and more comfortable, which is why I usually opt to crochet on the couch.

However I have been partway through a sewing project for months now. I made a table runner from a gorgeous panel of fabric that I bought at work, and I had the eight coordinating placemats cut out and pinned. I just needed to sew them up, turn them right side out, and topstitch them.

The placemats are reversible – heron fabric on one side, cherry blossom on the other. I still have a bit of this fabric leftover so I’ll have to pull it out of the drawer and see if I have enough for napkins. I know there’s none left at the store.

Once I was on a roll, there was no stopping me. Out came the Weekend Sewing book and the pattern tracing paper, and I started on an apron. This fabric was one I spotted as soon as it arrived at the store – so funny – and I just had to get some. I only bought 0.8m (about 31″) and I really could have done with a bit more for the apron, but at the time of purchase I didn’t have any specific plans. In future I’ll know that a metre is an absolute minimum cut.

 

Luckily I had some green fabric that worked for the facing on the waistband and ties.

It was very enjoyable to be sewing again, especially with company. I must do it more often.

I have also completed a second pair of the Slipper Boots, this time in Pewter. Two strands of Red Heart with Love and a 7mm hook work perfectly and I just extended the upper and sole by three rows at the widest parts to make them man-sized. The ones I made for me are in constant use and very cosy.

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Now that Christmas is over, I must get back to swimming, piano, and that one WIP that has a very definite deadline. Happy New Year to all.

 

 

 

It is a little early for this but I was interested to see what my project stats were for 2016. I’m not obsessive about entering the amount of yarn used for each project so I can’t tell you how many yards I have crocheted and knitted but I can tell you what I made.

This is my Ravelry project page, the link for which will only work if you’re a Ravelry member. (It’s free to join – all you need is a user name and password.)

Some project pages include more than one item, for example the wildlife rescue nests and the itty bitty bags. So I have totted up, as accurately as I can, the totals and here they are.

Wraps/shawls 2

Cowls 6

Slippers 5 pairs (including the ones that are half finished and I expect to finish tomorrow)

Scarves 2

Mitts 4 pairs

Baskets/bags 15

Blankets 3

Frisbees 1

Nests 3

Home items (eg rugs, dishcloths) 10

Yarnbombing 1

Bath 2

Cosies 4

Hats 7

Amigurumi/toys 7

Baby 2

Coats 1

That makes a total of 75 which is ten more completed projects than last year. My goal for January is to complete the baby blanket WIP, and then perhaps I can experiment with a sweater or cardigan. I still have the Stylecraft Special DK Coast Pack patiently waiting in my stash, which would make a great sweater.

What are your crafting plans for 2017?