Category Archives: crochet

S is for Saturday, sunhats, single crochet and stash

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G’day! How’s it going? If you’re in Canada, I hope you’re having a wonderful long weekend. Mine is somewhat interrupted, as I will be working tomorrow. But not Monday.

My wrist has been pushed to the limit today. I seem to be in frenzied crocheting mode. Maybe I’m trying to make up for lost time. I have started the project pictured above, which I am hoping will turn out to be a wearable brimmed sunhat made with Hemp for Knitting’s Allhemp 6. It’s a DK weight yarn and I’m trying a 3.75mm hook with it. No pattern. After all, I’ve made a billion hats. (Tai Chi Man says I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for making so many hats. He just doesn’t understand hyperbole, obviously.)

Anyway, that was yesterday, but I could only do a small bit of the crown before my wrist complained. That hemp yarn is STIFF! So I moved over to dishcloth cotton. I already made these earlier in the week…

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…two of which I sent off to my father-in-law with the two hats. One, I kept.

So last night I started a pink dishcloth, as I had three balls of Bernat Handicrafter in the stash from I-don’t-know-where, and today I took the bag of yarn and the 6mm hook with me while on errands and crocheted while Tai Chi Man drove. I also crocheted while walking around Lee Valley (Canadian store, not an actual valley) and at our fave tea shop. And now I have these…

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I am finding these very satisfying. Basic single crochet with an sc border. Twenty stitches wide and as many rows as it takes to make a square. If I didn’t think my wrist would seize up completely, I’d be starting another scrappy one right now to use up the leftovers.

Surprisingly, after dinner I felt quite energetic and decided that as long as I didn’t sit on the couch and get settled in I would be quite amenable to going to the gym. So we went. Definitely better to spend an hour (treadmill, weights machines) at the gym than veg on the couch the whole night. Our busy Saturday is drawing to an end and I feel like I achieved a lot. (I am seriously wondering whether I could manage to crochet while on the treadmill.)

Today’s tea shop experience was Lavender Lady Grey as a latte with almond milk and agave. What’s your fave tea?

 

 

T is for Tuesday, Tea, Tablet-stand and Thermometer

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T is for Tuesday, Tea, Tablet-stand and Thermometer

Hello! I’ve finished another quick project. It’s a tablet- or phone-stand and I used this pattern. Now and then, I like to have my iPad Mini in portrait mode but my Smartcover, which apparently ain’t so smart, only holds it in landscape.

So I thought this would be a bit of fun. It took just a few days and I used Red Heart Super Saver Ombre in Scuba (left over from the baby blanket). (FO photos follow further down.)

I worked all weekend, and the weather got pretty warm. The thermometer in my car has hit 29 degrees the last couple of days. Yesterday I hit the gym in the morning, and bought groceries in the afternoon, followed by a cool treat in the evening – visiting a friend at her condo where we crocheted/knitted by the pool and followed that up with a leisurely swim.

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we like the same colours, evidently

 

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the view from her balcony over to the pool

After the swim, we found it a bit cool, so went back to her apartment to dry off and drink tea.

Today I blitzed the kitchen and bathrooms and considered myself done with housework for now, and then I went to meet my friend for more tea at our favourite tea shop downtown (vanilla honeybush latte with almond milk…mmm…)

My project didn’t take long to finish…

Link to my Ravelry project page here if you’d like to peek.

Tonight our Four Agreements book study group will be meeting around the same pool, because it’s another hot day today and it makes a nice change from being at a coffee shop.

It’s the same every year. Spring seems to be here for a month at most, then summer temperatures hit and we all start having to find a shady spot to park the car so it doesn’t turn into an oven. From being too cold to hike, it gets too hot. From having the furnace on, through a short time of having the windows open and airing the house out, to having to close them up and shut the blinds to keep the heat out. The shoulder seasons are definitely too short here.

F is for Friday, Finishes, Food and Fitness

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Happy Friday, everyone! Thursday and Friday were kinda my weekend, as I’m working Saturday and Sunday. The forecast is for 28 degrees on Sunday.

I finished the hat that I started last night. It went quickly as I had plenty of opportunities to work on it today and I love it.

In the end, the hat incorporated the bright orange and purple parts of the Mandala cake, which is perfect, and used so little yarn that I have about half of the 150 gram cake left after finishing two beanies. It’s not quite as deep as the knitted hat, but I made it the same circumference – eighteen inches.

After a couple of months of more sedentary behaviour (following my accident) and just a few too many cheats and treats, I have been feeling somewhat blobby (proven by the spare tires that were exposed to the sun today). So I am being more careful with my food intake, both quality and quantity. Aiming to keep the Whole Food Plant Based No Oil ethics in mind, I am eating better, and also back to pushing it more at the gym. Yesterday and today I spent about an hour and a quarter at World Gym. I took my iPad which meant I could entertain my brain while I was on the treadmill for 40 minutes, and then followed that up with loose weights and machines. I wore my wrist brace of course but I am trying to do some upper body work, using a lighter dumbbell in the right hand. It’s amazing how a couple of months of injury time really set me back.

Smoothies are back on the menu now that the warmer weather is here. Last night we had one of my favourite meals, tortilla wraps with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, and my home-made smoky chipotle tofu-cashew mayo. I even had the same thing for breakfast, thanks to leftovers.

Today I baked wholewheat hamburger buns and black bean burgers, and we had them with ketchup, mustard, smoky mayo, avocado, tomato and lettuce.

It was a fabulous Friday. I hope yours was too.

 

 

Thursday thoughts

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With my yarn cakes now suitably dressed, I am able to move on to my next project (because God forbid I should be without a current Make In Progress)! In fact, the smaller of the two Cakeholes (see previous post) has already been pressed into service and is housing the remainder of the Lion Brand Mandala cake that I partially used for the knitted hat.

The next part of the cake is bright orange and magenta so I am continuing on where the light orange left off. This pattern (a simple hat pattern with a single cable running up the side) is a design by Clare of bobwilson123. I’m following her video tutorial here. This is to be a second hat for my father-in-law. I will send him both and see what he thinks. I’m crocheting this one with the same circumference as the first one, about 18″, because the foundation double crochet is  nice and stretchy and I’d rather it was snug.

The hat is just double crochet stitches with the cable being made of front post trebles and doubles. So far it measures about 2 inches, and that’s enough for me for one evening. I had a good long workout at the gym today and the wrist has probably had enough for one day.

So, I’ve been thinking. My method of blogging is usually (a) showing off something I’m making, or (b) showing off something I’ve finished, as and when it happens, plus random extra life comments. I see others where they are more organised, often through themes around the days of the week. What do you think? Do you like randomly timed published posts that just talk about what’s happening right now? Or do you prefer predictable and regular posts within a theme?

I just did a little brainstorming. Now I should say right here and now that any plans I may make to be more regular and predictable in my posting may not come to fruition. My motivation to post usually comes along with my crochet and knitting projects, and depends on the time and commitments I have on any particular day. Also I tend to resist setting goals and sticking to schedules (hmm, guess that’s where my kids get it from).

Looking around the internet for inspiration, there are ways to blog for each day of the week, such as Monday Makes, Tuesday Tips, Wednesday Workout, Thursday Thankfulness, Friday Fun, Saturday Scraps and Sunday Spirituality. (Those are just a few examples from the extensive list I’ve compiled.) Believe me, I have no plans to blog every day. I think it would feel like a chore if I tried to do that. Also I wonder whether losing the spontaneity of randomly timed posts would bother me; I’d have to start keeping notes of things I wanted to post about on the appropriate day.

I’d be interested in hearing your comments. Do you have a blog? Do you have a structure and schedule for posting? When you subscribe to a blog, what do you enjoy  most about it?  Thank you in advance for your input. 🙂

FO: Cakeholes

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I’ve called these bags “cakeholes” because, well, they hold cakes. Of yarn. And I like to think of the phrase, “Shut yer cake’ole” (meaning shut your mouth) with a Yorkshire accent in my head!

I used about two thirds of the skein of Red Heart With Love in cornsilk. After all those single crochet stitches, I’d had enough of it, though. The smaller bag with the Lion Brand Mandala inside is about 4.5″ across and 6″ tall, and the other fits a cake of Bernat Pop inside and is about 5.5″ across and 7.5″ tall.

We have had some gorgeous weather lately but last night had a rain storm hit us. I woke up around 2.15am to the sounds of rain, wind and rattling windchimes. I quickly went and made sure that the windows weren’t open too wide because the south side of the house gets the brunt of the weather and we could have had rain blowing in. I noticed that the boys’ bedroom lights were still on. A few minutes later, I was back in bed when ds3 knocked on our door and said something which I didn’t catch (my good ear was on the pillow), Tai Chi Man jumped out of bed and left the room, and my sharp Spidey senses told me that something was up!

Turns out there was water leaking through our son’s bedroom light fixture. Not good! We made sure to turn the light off and put out bowls on his bed and floor to catch the drips. He ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room which meant that those of us who went to work before he needed to get up for his own shift had to tiptoe around. No smoothie for me today as it would have meant running the Vitamix. If you have one of those you’ll know how loud they are.

This morning, there was more heavy rain, but no wind, and no more dripping coming from the ceiling. Tai Chi Man called the roofers first thing – we actually asked them for an estimate nine months ago and if all had gone to plan the roof would have been done last fall. However the snow arrived and it was delayed until spring – which turns out to be a bad thing! We are now on the Urgent list and I hope we don’t have to wait too much longer.

It did look lovely and green outside today, after the rain. The walnut trees are leafing out, the grass has greened up, we have our potatoes planted in the vegetable garden. At one point the cloud was so low I couldn’t see past my neighbour’s house.

It’s rather a shame that we have this short window of green before everything crisps up in the scorching heat of summer.

My brain is starting to give out – it was a long day at work after my disturbed night and my train of thought is derailing. Wishing you all a great day tomorrow.

 

 

A new project

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OK, so the hat’s done (I am really hoping it’s going to be all right, it was quite deep when I tried it on Tai Chi Man) and as per usual I immediately moved on to the next project.

The idea for this project is to make two or three containers to hold cakes of yarn in a snug and secure way while pulling from the centre. This cornsilk-coloured Red Heart With Love appealed to my eye when I glanced through the stash, so that is what I am using along with a 6mm hook.

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This morning at the cafe, crocheting and drinking matcha chocolate

I started the above yarn-cake-holder a few days ago and have been designing it on the hook. It was easy – just crochet a circle, then do a round in the back loop to turn the “corner” and continue straight. When it was deep enough, I added a 4-stitch buttonhole-style slot and a simple 40-chain wrist strap. It was all done by the time we left the cafe.

After having our drinks, my friend and I had a bite of lunch then sat on her condo’s balcony for a while, and I started crocheting a second one in a bigger size.

This one measures 4.5″ wide and 6″ tall to fit a Lion Brand Mandala cake. The next one will be about an inch bigger both ways to accommodate a cake of Bernat Pop.

And then I may have to make a third…

…to fit this giant. This was an impulse buy at Michaels today because my friend wanted to go there and I had my iPad with me so could access the current 55% off coupon!

Well, no more crocheting for me tonight, I suspect. The wrist has taken a bit of a beating today, what with all the yarn action and then chopping up pizza toppings for dinner. I should probably rest it. I shall enjoy watching the new Bakery Bears podcast this evening. I recommend it if you have a couple of hours to spare. 🙂

FO: Scuba baby blanket

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FO: Scuba baby blanket

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I called this the Scuba blanket purely because that’s the colourway of the Red Heart Super Saver Ombre, but now that it’s finished and has been adorned with an appliqued orange elephant perhaps it deserves a better name. The “Mandarin Pachyderm” blanket, maybe? Here’s a link to my Ravelry project page so you can see which patterns I referenced.

I started this after my shopping spree at Michaels last Thursday with a plan to get the blanket done in nine days. Crocheting is uncomfortable, even left handed, so I’ve had to pace myself, but I think it’s big enough to be a respectable baby blanket. I did measure it when it was laid out for the photo but can’t remember both dimensions now, and it’s currently in the washer. The length is 33 inches. The little elephant applique is made with some Stylecraft Special Aran in the colour Spice from my stash.

I’m going to schedule this to publish tomorrow. I don’t think that my friend (who’s having the baby) reads my blog, but I’d rather not risk it. The baby shower is tomorrow so once it’s underway my blog post can be released to the world!

Another friend knitted a matching hat, plus she sewed a gift bag made from vinyl (oilcloth) which will make a practical gift as it can be used for so many things.

I am adding an elephant lovey to the bag that I made some time ago. I have been waiting for the opportunity to give it to someone. Hmmm, I seem to have an elephant theme going on.

I added to my button stash this week.

Found these at a dollar store for $2.75 a pack. Way cheaper than the same brand at the store where I work!

Spring has finally arrived here. Yesterday was a glorious day during which I abandoned the To Do list, changed into a strappy top and denim shorts, and set myself up on the back deck in the sunshine with a book, an iPad, tea, the Herrschner’s paper catalogue and notebook and pen.

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I haven’t ordered more yarn…yet! I do have a few tabs open on my laptop though, as I’m thinking of buying some Premier Wool-free Sock Yarn and getting back into sock knitting, or even sock crocheting. And thinking ahead to my international travel in the summer, having a couple of small skeins of thin yarn with lots of yardage will take up less space in the backpack!

Well, I’d better get that blanket into the dryer. Have a great weekend!

WIP: Scuba Baby Blanket

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Hello, bloggy friends. Another weekend is drawing to a close and I have, of course, been crocheting. This project has a deadline, which means I am having to push myself to work on it every day, though tonight I’ve had to put it down because the wrist is hurting too much (probably from the gym work, rather than the yarn manipulation).

Michaels had a “30% off all yarn” day on Thursday so my friend and I went over there and bought yarn and other fun stuff. I picked up two skeins of the Red Heart Super Saver Ombre in Scuba – turquoise is my favourite colour but it’s also a good colour for a baby blanket. These are big balls! Ten ounces/482 yards big!

I have crocheted up almost a whole skein and so far I have a rectangular granny that measures about 23 x 16 inches, so it looks like I’ll be making inroads into the second skein for sure.

I also found these on clearance…

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(Just a little stash enhancement.)

So as I said, the wrist is pretty painful tonight. Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym and I wore my wrist brace for the first time since last Sunday’s gym session. Even though I’m not using my right hand while at the gym (because lifting even a cup of tea is beyond me right now) I am trying to use my forearm on the weights machines, but it still strains the wrist a bit. The night before last, I had a really painful night and got up early. Last night was better.

I have been doing the exercises that the hand therapist showed me, but also doing stuff around the house like cleaning out the fridge freezer, doing the seasonal review of my closet, and sweeping and mopping the deck where the pine needles off the neighbour’s tree have gathered and stained it.

It’s a fine line between pushing yourself far enough that you improve your strength and flexibility long term, and hurting yourself and setting things back. Turns out that the morning tingling/numbness in the fingertips was caused by me curling my wrist inwards while I slept and putting pressure on the carpal tunnel. Now that I know to keep my hand straight, that situation has improved.

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Before I sign off, I thought I’d show you my latest hair art! I added turquoise and hot pink Manic Panic to my hair with gloved fingers, and this is the result. I call it unicorn hair!

FO: The Paper Bag Princess

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This is a quickie post to show you my finished doll, as promised. 

The photo with the board book was taken before I made her crown. Luckily I found some Aunt Lydia’s crochet cotton in gold so that the crown has a bit of sparkle. I dug out a 1.5mm hook for that, which I bought in 1983 in Greece. Amazing that I still have it. The crown is sewn on in four spots so that it doesn’t get lost. 

The dress is from the Princess Poppy pattern, though I didn’t need as many rows as the pattern suggested for the bodice. It still worked out fine. I was disappointed that there was an outside link for the granny shrug that was broken, so instead I searched Ravelry for a hexagon baby jacket pattern and worked the first three rounds. 

I didn’t bother with knickers or shoes. 

We booked our summer holiday today. Two weeks in Switzerland to visit with some of Tai Chi Man’s relatives and enjoy some beautiful mountain vistas. Very exciting! Do you have any travel plans?

WIP: The Paper Bag Princess

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The Princess doll has come along well in the last few days. Her paper bag dress is done, but her crown is not. I did try it with some yellow yarn but it came out too big and I’d like to find some metallic gold embroidery thread. 

Considering how much girls like to dress dolls, I decided to make the dress and cardigan from the same pattern but had to take a break when my wrist hurt too much. I’ll show you those next time. 

The grapevine wreath on my kitchen wall was looking very outdated as it still held the crocheted fall leaves, pumpkins and sunflower from autumn. Today it was taken apart and, considering my crochet output is so little at the moment, I cheated by using my Shaun the Sheep and a bunch of cotton minis from the stash to fill the wreath. It will have to do until I can up my game!


My wrist was quite sore yesterday and again today, and I think it’s partially due to exercises I did after watching a couple of physiotherapist videos on You Tube and partly the crochet. It worries me a little, but not having anything to compare with means I don’t know if my healing expectations are reasonable.  The skin is sensitive around my wrist – cuffs chafe unpleasantly now that I’m leaving off the brace more during the day – and the joint is still quite inflexible. 

Next appointment is April 10th, and hopefully all will look good.