Category Archives: crochet

FO: Wishing Well Wrap

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Ta dah! A finished Wishing Well Wrap, though it has not yet been washed so it’s a bit ruffly-looking at the edges. Instead of slipstitching along the edge as per the pattern, I just crocheted three rows of dcs. The second cake of Lion Brand Mandala had a lot of blotches in it which I’ve not seen before in this yarn. I prefer the solid look of the first cake.

My Ravelry project page is here and the pattern, should you wish to bypass Ravelry, is here.

And that leaves me without a current work in progress, though I think that before I start a brand new project I should tackle the neckline of the swoncho. I think if I put in a lifeline about an inch below the ribbing, and unravel the collar, I can reknit it looser and it’ll sit better at the upper chest. Worth a try, anyway!

Yes, I’m a Wool Warehouse fan!

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Welcome to Wednesday! Yeah, a very unappreciated day. For many, it’s too far from the weekend! With my shifts, that doesn’t mean a lot. My work days this week are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Saturday and Sunday. It was a very low-stress day at work today. Not too busy, time to put out new quilt fabrics on the shelves, nice customers.

I took photos of a couple of finished objects tonight and realised there’s a lot of Wool Warehouse product being used. The New Delhi quilt cottons in the cuff (top) are from there, as is the tortoise fabric by Lewis and Irene. And when I put the ribbon in the casing for the drawstring I used a bodkin that I also bought from Wool Warehouse. This kind of bodkin (pinch or pincer) is one I saw a lot of YouTubers using for tutorial videos and it makes putting in drawstrings so effortless.

Do you like the Bollywood Elephant button on the cuff? I originally used a silver button but when I saw those elephants at work I knew that one of them belonged on that cuff!

The Wishing Well shawl has grown fast. I zoomed through the first yarn cake and since taking that photo I’ve started on the second. I won’t use all of the second cake because the shawl is quite large already but I’ll see how it goes.

It’s going to be an early night for me tonight. No Netflix to drag me in for multiple episodes. I. Can, Resist.

Joy!

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Joy!

Hello all. I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend doing the things you love.

It’s my turn for a weekend off and Mr Fixit and I have had a good day so far. Just errands around town and grabbing some awesome tea from our favourite place, but so much nicer than being at work!

My featured photo today (above) is the view from my kitchen early yesterday morning. It looked like the trees were on fire! And today when I opened my curtains, I had a treat. Two deer were standing on the vegetable garden, barely moving, looking watchful and alert (probably because of the dog in the neighbour’s yard). I quickly grabbed my phone. They hung around for some time, then bounded effortlessly over the fence and went on their way.

I am always honoured to have a visit from them. I hope they know that they are safe on my property.

Onto yarny pursuits, and I finished some fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit. I used the Cygnet Chunky again. They only took two evenings. Once I had finished the first one, he did say he would have liked longer cuffs like his old pair, but I’m afraid I’m a bad wifey and told him I don’t have much patience for things made in pairs any more and I just wanted them done fast!

I used the basic mitten pattern from Ann Budd’s book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.

Once those were done, I started a new crochet project. A co-worker is scheduled for major back surgery in February and I wanted to make her something. After a browse around Ravelry I decided on the Wishing Well Wrap (link to pattern on her blog here) (link to my project page on Ravelry here)

I’m using Lion Brand Mandala Baby in Echo Caves which is a tasteful combination of blues, greens and cream. It’ll probably take two cakes, though I have five in stash, so could make it bigger if I have time. It’s an easy two-row pattern. Perfectly good for working on while watching The Crown on Netflix!!

Anyone who loves books will appreciate this stack that I brought home from the library today. A few of them were ones I had requested – the rest were ones I found that caught my eye. Three novels, some knitting and other crafts, and a lot of quilt and applique books.

Twenty three to be exact (the maximum number we can borrow at once is 100, and yes, when the boys were small we did manage to hit that amount sometimes). What a warm fuzzy feeling, to be home on the couch on a winter’s afternoon, with yarn to hand, and a pile of books to enjoy, while it’s getting dark outside. Joy!!

2020 knitting and crochet – a review

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2020 knitting and crochet – a review

Good morning, Monday! Thanks to the fact I worked Friday/Saturday/Sunday, today is a day off and it feels like my weekend!

I stayed up late last night reading a library book. It was compelling enough that I wanted to finish it, and by the time I crawled into bed it was 1am. That meant that this morning it was nearly 9am when I got up. I really shouldn’t go to bed after 11. My face doesn’t like it 😀

I have a bonus Window on the Weather for you. We have fog today and wet snow and our view has all but disappeared. (I made it the featured photo at the top of this post – I’m sure you can click on it to see it bigger.)

So, what did I knit or crochet in 2020? You’d think that with the seven-week covid closure of my workplace back in the spring and fewer outside activities I would have made more stuff, not less. However that’s not the case. When I looked at my Ravelry project pages for things finished in 2020 there were only 32. Some years I have achieved twice that. I know it’s not a competition, and quality is better than quantity, but I feel a good deal of satisfaction from looking at my Ravelry notebook!

Of course there was a huge amount of sewing in 2020, which took up a lot of the time I could have been playing with yarn, so it’s not that I wasn’t making stuff, it’s just that I was absorbed in a different craft. I sewed masks and bags and journals and cuffs and was really enjoying delving into something bordering on textile art, not just utilitarian sewing. The new Janome sewing machine contributed to that too.

Here are the screenshots from my Ravelry notebook. If you are interested in more info, you can go check out my project pages here.

Even though there are 32 project pages, I actually made more than 32 things, as some projects include multiples of the same thing.

There are 3 shawls, 2 sweaters, 5 pairs mitts, 6 cowls, 1 pumpkin, 1 pompom garland, 1 blanket, 6 hats, 3 bags, 3 earsavers, 5 baskets, 3 hearts.

My one WIP is seeing me into the new year and then I have plans for some knitted fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit as his are wearing out. He is happy to have purple ones so I’ll use the same yarn as the current sweater, but probably at a tighter gauge. I’ll just use the Ann Budd pattern out of the Handy Book of Patterns. It’s easy and written for multiple gauges.

Since tidying up the stash, I am feeling an urge to do some stashbusting crochet projects. The desire to crochet has been a little weak in 2020 but I have that beautiful set of KnitPro Waves hooks just waiting for some attention.

The snowflakes just got bigger out there and I am appreciating the fact I can enjoy them from inside a warm house! Take care, everyone 🙂

FOs: crochet handwarmers

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Hello friends, and a happy Monday to you.

I’ve been having a heck of a time getting a focused shot of these handwarmers/fingerless mitts. I am using an old iPad, but still, the camera should be working ok. Maybe the lens is scratched.

It’s been nice to run up three pairs of these mitts out of old stash, as I was so entrenched in Netflix that I had been feeling VERY unproductive. These are really easy. Just chain 26, work 25 sc across, and then every row after that is 25 sc into the back loop. Once 22 rows are done, I slipstitch the first and last rows together until 8 stitches are left, slipstitch across 5 stitches on one side so as to leave a thumbhole, and then join the last 3 together. That’s it!

The yarn is Loops & Threads Barcelona in Sea Glass and Lapis. Super soft and a bulky weight, I used a 6mm hook and they were done in no time.

I was off this weekend and we had a great time. A walk along the waterfront on Saturday followed by tea at our favourite place, and a potluck with a few friends on Sunday followed by another walk around the neighbourhood in the dark to try to feel a little less overstuffed and lazy!

The last snowfall has mostly melted and it’s not particularly cold yet. Single digits on the Celsius scale anyhow. The trees have mostly lost their leaves and yesterday, when we were eating lunch and looking out of our dining room window, the sun was shining on the lake in the distance (something we see more of when the walnut tree is sans leaves) and it was beautiful.

I feel like, with this being such a weird year, we should make more of an effort to make December special this year. I suggested it to the family but they couldn’t some up with any ideas. I like the idea of a RAK Advent Calendar (random acts of kindness). Guess I’m going to have to put some thought into this.

Back from being pampered, and some FOs

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Well, what a week! Mr Fixit and I enjoyed a lovely break away from it all in rural British Columbia. We were served gourmet vegan meals three times a day, took twice-daily walks in the woods, had three spa treatments each (mine included a pedicure, a facial and an all-over seasalt scrub), sunbathed (because the weather was amazingly warm for the time of year, and windless), and took a complete break from social media. We even swam in the nearby lake, which was cold enough to make you gasp and even go a little numb when you submerged yourself.

No photos for you, I’m afraid, as I only switched on my phone or iPad to check for messages from the boys at home. But if you want to check out the place, go to silverhills.ca and you can see for yourself.

I took the Habitat Cardigan project with me (link goes to my Ravelry project page) and finished it partway through the week.

It’s soft and drapey in the Loops & Threads Serpentine/Meandering Minis. Perfect for this time of year.

The construction is easy – just a rectangle, to which you add an extension to make it cover your bum and then a collar and cuffs. Pattern is by Jess at Make & Do Crew.

With that finished, I picked up a skein of the other yarn I took with me on my retreat, Berroco Espresso, which is a chainette yarn in acrylic/cotton. I whipped out a quick basket with an 8mm hook in a couple of days.

I have a second skein of this yarn and am in the process of making a pumpkin with it. It should be finished quite soon.

I’m excited about my birthday present to myself. My birthday was back in August, but I waited until Labour Day as I thought that there would be no lake swimming after that (I was wrong)! Then I got the massive toothache and waited until I had that dealt with, and by the time those aches and pains had gone I was out of town. No more excuses left, I went to the piercing place today and now have a new titanium helix stud.

My plan is to wait for it to heal and then get a cuff to put in, in place of the stud. And buy three extra pairs of studs to go in the old piercings.

Gosh, look at all that natural grey/brown hair! For the first time in ages, I don’t have any colour in my hair.

The fall weather hit properly yesterday, with the temperature dropping below 20 and the rain starting. I do love this time of year, though I’m glad the rain held off until this week.

Hello September

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I’m currently enjoying a beautiful long weekend. It’s Labour Day here tomorrow and I booked four days off from work to coincide with Mr Fixit’s time off.

Thursday was an insanely busy day at work, moving tonnes of fabric around, shifting tables, reconfiguring parts of the store, and so having this weekend off feels more precious than ever. (Also I am going to a four day week instead of three soon, so definitely appreciating this leisure time.)

Friday was a restful day. I was letting my body recover from all of the strenuous activity of the day before. Saturday we enjoyed a mini road trip south, repeating one of our favourite traditions for this time of year. We stopped to pick up lunch from our friends’ food truck at a farmers market, sat in a park to eat it, continued on to a fruit stand in a little town, bought lots of peaches, plums, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, peppers and beets, then turned around and stopped for a cup of tea. Further up the valley we parked by the side of the road at a small beach and enjoyed a swim and a sunbathe.

Today we were out early again and hiked up to the top of a local mountain, which we followed up with tea and baked goods at our favourite tea shop. This afternoon, after a fruit salad made with lots of local fruit, we hit the gym.

After dinner tonight, I finished a couple of things that I started yesterday. This crochet beanie was made from a cake of Caron Cupcakes grabbed out of the stash yesterday morning to keep my hands busy while Mr Fixit drove. (I used one of my new KnitPro Waves hooks and it was very comfortable.)

And the other finished project is this bag. I have seen some people on a Ravelry sewing group making Japanese rice bags (good tutorial here). They looked pretty simple. Just four squares for the sides, another square for the base, same for the lining, and sew them together incorporating tabs or loops for a drawstring.

Of course this bag would look a lot classier with fewer fabrics but I decided to do this…

Yes, I tipped all my quilting cotton scraps onto the floor and dug down to the bottom and grabbed pieces at random to make crazy quilt blocks. So the five outer panels are all different, all clashing, and once I’d sewn them last night I started to doubt myself!! (I started with 11″ squares of sew-in fleece and pieced the fabric right onto the fleece. They needed trimming a bit afterwards so ended up 10.75″ square.)

Tonight I thought, “To heck with it, I’m going to do it anyway,” cut some squares for the lining (all different, of course) and put it all together. It’s really easy to make, the trick being that when you sew the seams you leave the last little bit unsewn so that the corners come together neatly. (Watch the video I linked above.)

Seen from another angle…

And the inside (with my hand-dyed yarn inside)…

Oh yes, I haven’t told you about the yarn yet. These were four balls of white Drops Paris (worsted weight cotton). I dyed them with turquoise and yellow, overlapping the colours in the middle to make green.

This was only my second attempt at dyeing yarn. I think I am going to take four balls at a time and use different colours and methods on each batch and see how they turn out. I have no plans for the yarn once it’s dyed.

If you live in North America, happy Labour Day! How will you be spending it?

Goodbye August

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And where DID the time go? The end of summer already.

I can feel the changes in the air – the daytime temps have still been warm, but the nights are cooler and damper. The sun is lower in the sky and the nights are drawing in. Love that “on the cusp” feeling, actually.

I have picked up the Habitat cardigan again, and am in the middle of adding the collar.

The rows are pretty long, running as they do from the bottom of one side, up and around and down to the bottom of the other side. It’s an easy stitch – half double crochet in the third loop – but the collar is a wide one so I have a lot of rows still to go.

This morning I made a pumpkin. For some reason, pumpkins are the only seasonal things I tend to make. I didn’t get a photo as I did it just before work and took it with me. It was just a circle of orange fabric, cinched up with a running stitch around the edge, stuffed, and then I added shape using embroidery floss and a button on top. I may have to make more of those!

Other things I have made this week:

Crochet hook roll

This crochet hook roll was something I wanted to make to house my new KnitPro Waves hooks. I had this cute cat and mouse fabric in the stash so used the pawprint fabric for the outside, the mice to create the secondary row of pockets, and the cat fabric for the inside. I didn’t use a tutorial directly but it was inspired by an Erica Arndt video and a Melanie Ham one. I combined features from them both.

These gnomes were made for display at work. The materials for the taller blue one were provided by the store, but I couldn’t resist making a second one. The blue one has a styrofoam cone inside, but it’s very light and tippy, whereas the red one’s base is an old sock filled with wheat so it’s much more stable. I couldn’t believe how much hot glue I used, though!

Summer Face Mask – Keiko Olssen

Then there were these masks, which were really quick and easy. What I like about this style is that the fabric design runs uninterrupted across the front. No seams or odd shapes to cut. And they have since been thoroughly tested and found to be very comfortable.

Ring pincushion – SewVeryEasy

And I spent an evening before a staff meeting sewing up 22 of these little cuties. They are teeny pincushions which fit on your finger. Everyone seemed to enjoy being able to take one home. I didn’t get a photo of the mason jar pincushion which I also made at the last minute. I put a bunch of pins inside the jar and the person who guessed closest to the right number won the jar (and the pins).

As you can see, it’s been a creative week. And I’m sure there will be lots more crafty stuff going on later this week as I have the long weekend booked off (four days in a row for Labour Day).

See you in September!

Summertime, and the living is eeeeeeeasy!

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Did you sing that title? I did!

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t had much to say. I did get an up to date photo of the Habitat Cardigan just now, but indoors because it’s too damned hot outside. It’s around 30 degrees Celsius in here and I have ceiling fans on, the furnace fan to circulate the air between upstairs and downstairs, and a big floor-standing fan blasting directly at me. It’s about ten degrees hotter than that outside, so the curtains are still closed.

Dinner was a simple affair – potatoes and lettuce from the garden, and some tofu “steaks” which are the simplest thing ever. Slice up extra firm tofu, marinate it in Braggs, dip it in seasoned flour, and shallow fry.

However, I digress. The cardigan…

I am at the part where I’ve finished the basic rectangle and folded it and seamed to form armholes. I’ve also started adding to the bottom edge to make it longer, and next I have to add a collar and cuffs.

This yarn is Loops & Threads Meandering Serpentine for the main colour and Minis for the stripes. I haven’t touched it in three days though. I was working all weekend and haven’t had the urge to add more, but now that the second half of the pattern is printed out I’ll get on with it.

Today was a day off, and I planned it well. Did some laundry and kitchen tidying this morning, went to the gym for an hour (air conditioned but then of course I’m working out so super sweaty), then shower and lunch. And this afternoon I retreated to the basement for some sewing. The other day I made up a paper pattern from an existing tank top and used some cool tie dyed knit fabric to make a new one. However I didn’t add enough ease, it’s too close-fitting, and I was disappointed with it.

So I redrew the pattern, adding a bit extra at the bust, flaring it out way more and adding length. Sewed it up this afternoon and I’m much happier with it.

The reverse is cool too. This is the same fabric (but in a different colourway) that I made a sweatshirt with in the spring. I didn’t hem this version because I was concerned it would go wavy like the previous one.

I think that’s all I have to update you with for now. It’s my birthday next weekend so I have the day off. I am trying to think of something special to do within the parameters of the-virus-that-shall-not-be-named! Maybe a mini road trip with Mr Fixit!

And the heat continues…

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Regardless of the high temperatures and stuffy house, the crochet continues, because we crafters are always planning for winter!

The Habitat Cardigan is growing. The back section is about 14″ long now, so I’m over halfway done with the initial rectangle. I have one more colour to incorporate and then I’ll start repeating them.

When the back is 26″ long, I have to add a “tush extension”, a large collar, and cuffs, so I have a long way to go yet. It would be great if this cardigan could be finished by the end of August.

I was so overheated yesterday I went for a swim in the lake. It’s been a few years, I think, since I did that, and it was very pleasant. I think I shall have to do the same today. The housework is done (the vacuuming had to be done this morning before it was too hot), I need to make bread, and Mr Fixit and I plan to go to the gym later, but I’m sure I can fit in a quick swim too.

How’s your weekend going?