Category Archives: crochet

Groovyghan: looking groovy!

Standard


What a difference a few weeks make! I started this CAL on September 1st with all these lovely skeins of yarn. I had extra of three of the colours from a previous purchase. Now look at them, so depleted! Still a fair amount of pink and turquoise but the rest are starting to look skinny. 

This is what they have been turned into. A daisy strip, a granny square strip, a dot/applique strip, a stripe strip and a C2C (corner to corner) strip. The latter is not quite done. I have to make sure it is the right length before making the last corner. I worked both days this weekend so the evenings were perfect for watching podcasts and weaving in ends. Hundreds of the darned things! (No pun intended.) I still have about 150 left on the stripe section. 

Tomorrow I should be able to finish the C2C section and start crocheting the strips together. And then…the border!

Groovyghan: squares complete

Standard

Last time, I showed you my dot squares and granny squares for the Groovyghan CAL. I also showed you four oddball squares that I thought I’d be including in the final blanket.

Well, things have changed. My brain has been going through various options but once I bought the pattern for the Charity Daisy square and crocheted one up, I was in love with it and wanted to make more. When you make your first daisy, you find it is difficult to figure out. I ripped back more than once. However there is a link to a video (which I didn’t use) if you need it. But when you figure out the unusual construction and see the finished result, it really is gorgeous.

My Ravelry project page is here if you want a close-up of all my individual squares. My final choice of squares is the seven grannies, seven daisies, and the seven dot squares BUT with appliques attached to each one to make them more interesting. There is a marijuana leaf, a mushroom, a tree of life, a peace sign, a heart (from one of the discarded blocks), a vintage camper, and a rainbow.

image

 

IMG_7655IMG_7656

Now I can move on to making the stripe strip which will be a welcome change from squares.

 

Groovyghan: great progress

Standard

imageimageimage

All of the home time has paid off. Yesterday I made all seven granny squares. I did all the round 1s first, then all the round 2s, and so on. I made sure that there were, for example, no round 5s the same colour. Each square is completely different.

Now that the dot blocks and grannies are done, I can focus on the remaining strip of seven blocks: the original pattern has flowers which are pretty but fiddly with their dimensional petals. And I have already experimented with these other squares.

I worked today but managed to get all my ends woven in (100 total for seven grannies) and tomorrow I can start playing with other squares.

Grooyghan: first blocks

Standard

The cold that I caught on the plane home last weekend started out pretty mild, but on Friday I was at work and had to have a box of tissues and a bottle of hand sanitiser right next to my cutting station. I did my best  not to spread my germs! But on Saturday I woke up feeling way more congested – my head ached, my nose was running to win a marathon, and I let my manager know that I would not be making it into work on Sunday.

Thankfully I had the Groovyghan Crochet-along to keep me busy at least part of  the time. I completed seven blocks in the last two days, which depending on your personal output may sound a lot or it may sound like a little. Compared to some of the others doing the CAL, it is slow! But it’s not a race, and the first part of the CAL runs for three weeks and has you make the first seven dot blocks.

To make it a little more interesting, I am alternating my dot blocks and going off-piste with some ideas from YarnUtopia’s You Tube channel. Nadia has an amazing resource – a playlist of 365 Granny Squares that she published videos for back in 2016. For full details of the squares I have made from her site, I shall refer you to my Ravelry project page.

Four dot blocks done.

Three alternative blocks done.

My dot blocks are coming out at 8.25″ square so with the alternative blocks I am having to add extra rounds to make up the size.

As long as the yarn lasts, it would be great to make this Groovyghan larger than the pattern suggests. If I could make it big enough to fit my bed, that would be perfect. We shall see…

Let the Groovyghan commence!

Standard
Let the Groovyghan commence!

IMG_7601

Last post,  I showed you a bunch of stash yarn that I had gathered that I was thinking of using for the Groovyghan CAL. Well, I had some options – all the primaries and secondaries plus either browns, grey, or black. But in the end I went for Plan D which was to buy more yarn. I know, I am so bad! Hey, it came out of my birthday money.

The fabric store where I work is clearing out their Red Heart and Premier, and rebranding their own line, so I was able to get these skeins of Red Heart With Love at 65% off. The yarn was somewhat overpriced to begin with, but comparing what I paid to Herrschner’s catalogue (because I’ve not seen this yarn for sale locally) I paid a reasonable price.

The 12 skeins fit perfectly into this wooden box which will live next to my crocheting spot for a few months. As you can see, I have a bit extra of three of the colours from a previous purchase.

The colours are

Navy

Mallard (teal)

Blue Hawaii (turquoise)

Iced Aqua

Hot Pink

Bubblegum

Violet

Boysenberry

Lilac

Cornsilk

Mango

Jadeite

I think they will make a groovy afghan!

The CAL starts today so once this post is published I will be starting my first square.

A couple of other things to show you: I FINALLY finished my March sweater which was halted when I broke my wrist in February. All it needed was some end-weaving, a bit of single crocheting around the neckline and armholes, and a couple of buttons. I’m not really in love with it, but at least it is DONE!

IMG_7599

Crocheted with black Stylecraft Aran and a rainbow coloured Bernat Pop!

And another thing I finished this week was another chunky beanie out of the Sommer Wolle Venezia from Switzerland.

IMG_7600

Well, I can’t hang around here, I’m off to do some crochet!

Holiday crochet

Standard

If you’re a knitter or crocheter, you’ll know how important it is to pack the right yarn and tools for your trip, making sure that there is no possibility that you will run out and be left with nothing for your itchy fingers to do while away.

Finding space for yarn in my CabinMax backpack is a priority, with more thought given to what to take than anything else!

What I took: Two cakes of Lion Brand Mandala, from which I had already crocheted some fingerless mitts. I took the mitts too, as I was expecting to need them. In the end, I didn’t.

One cake of Red Heart It’s a Wrap (a fingering weight yarn) with the Key Largo Lace Wrap pattern by Hannah at the Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast.

My Hello Kitty pencil tin with hooks in varying sizes between 2 and 6mm. Nail clippers for cutting yarn. Stitch markers. Ruler, pencil, notebook. Plastic darning needle.

From the LB Mandala, I crocheted a hat and cowl to match my  mitts.

I still had quite a bit left, which I have recaked on my yarn ball winder for another project.

My crocheting was garnering quite a bit of attention. We were holidaying with family who we don’t see very often, so they are not used to my “productive fidgeting” and with Tai Chi Man’s cousin and his wife being so generous with their time and the offerings of food I decided to crochet them both a hat. I had spotted some gorgeous yarn in the Co-op in St Moritz so I bought two different skeins (Sommer Wolle Carnevale and Venezia) plus I had to get an 8mm hook because it was bulky yarn. I started and ripped out about three times and in the end decided my usual hat recipe of starting at the crown and working down to the brim just wasn’t going to work. What I did was foundation hdc for 18″, join in the round, then work even, decrease for the crown, then work a round of sc around the brim for stability. Once I had the first one made, the second was easy. And I even made a third as my BIL rather liked the colours in the yarn.

So once those hats were done I took a break for a couple of days, then started the Key Largo Lace Wrap. This is a Ravelry download that is $4 US. I have completed a few pattern repeats but this yarn is skinny (1000 metres in a cake) so it will be a longer term project.

Current WIPs, then, are the Key Largo and the basic socks, both fingering weight projects. I have come a long way since the days of wanting to do all projects in aran or chunky yarn to get them done fast!

My focus from September 1st will be the Groovyghan CAL, being hosted in the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club Ravelry group. The designer is offering the pattern free to participants in the CAL. I acquired the pattern ages ago before it became a paid pattern. After work today, I pulled out all my medium weight yarn. After grouping it all by colour, this is what I put together. I took out white, cream and a very light tan. I took out the Red Heart With Love, because it’s quite a bit thicker than the rest. I could use black or grey as a neutral, but the browns seem to fit better.

IMG_7594

I don’t know, I may change my mind on some of those colours after I sleep on it. And sleep I must do. Still somewhat jetlagged, and fighting a cold. Last two nights, I’ve been in bed by 9. TTYL

 

A sock in progress

Standard

IMG_20180811_111642

My basic sock from the Ann Budd Handy Book of Patterns has grown a little since my last post. I’m still decreasing for the gusset and there’s a few decrease rounds yet to complete. This Perfect Pair yarn from Loops & Threads is pretty, but at 9st/inch the knitting doesn’t grow very fast.

The Frank Mandala that I was testing for Pam at Hooks and Hills is finished and blocked, but the only place I have a photo is on my Ravelry project page and I am having trouble getting a copy saved, so I shall send you to this link instead if you want to see it.

I did finish another project this week. It took three days to make some fingerless mitts from a pattern in a magazine that I bought. I don’t usually buy magazines, as I tend to flick through them in the store and then decide that they’re not worth the money. However this issue of Colorful Crochet (Fall 2018) was all about self-striping and cake yarns and has 40 patterns in it, some of which I like the look of.

So I crocheted up the Favori Mitts, which you can see here (another link to my Ravelry project page – my laptop isn’t playing nice today). I used Lion Brand Mandala, two cakes, so that I could get the mitts to look somewhat alike. I cut a little blue out so that the turquoise would appear for a reasonable part of the project. I learned how to do esc (elongated or extended single crochet).

Two of my WIPs have been relegated to the “Hibernating” pile, because they have not been worked on for ages and I don’t like having too many WIPs at the top of my Ravelry project summary. The March sweater that was put on hold when I broke my wrist will have to get finished, because I wove in a tonne of ends, though I don’t really love it.

I am leaving for a vacation in Switzerland today with Tai Chi Man. The three young men at home will be free of parental supervision for a couple of weeks but they are all capable intelligent adults and as long as the house is relatively clean when I get back they can do whatever they like. (No, there won’t be any parties!)

The remainder of the LB Mandala yarn is coming with me so that I can make a hat and possibly also a cowl to match the fingerless mitts, as is a cake of Red Heart It’s a Wrap with a printed pattern that I bought recently from Hannah at the Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast, Key Largo Lace Wrap. I love her podcast and even though I rarely buy patterns I felt like I wanted to support her a little bit. It’s a fingering/light fingering weight wrap and the cake of yarn has 1000 metres in it, which is a LOT of vacation crochet in a small space!

We always travel light, with cabin-sized backpacks and NO check-in luggage, so we have to be picky about what we take.

If I am absent for a couple of weeks, then, don’t be surprised, though if the old WordPress app on my old iPad Mini lets me I might be able to do some short blog posts. I am really looking forward to some cool clean Swiss mountain air. We have been under a pall of smoke for too long now and it’s been so hot. There have been a couple of rumbles of thunder today and some big fat raindrops, but not enough to make a difference.

Well, time to sign off and switch off. Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

 

 

Friday frolics

Standard

G’day crafty people! How are you? I have had a nice day off, during which I spent some time at a coffee shop, crocheting up a new test mandala design for a designer I have worked for before, and looking around for new runners and jeans. The runners were urgent – the cheap Wal-mart jobbies that I’ve been wearing at the gym were ones I’ve had for years but because they have been my dedicated indoor workout shoes they really didn’t get a lot of use until last September when I joined World Gym. This week, the sole of the right shoe split!

I decided that I’d be willing to spend more on a good quality pair this time. I set a mental budget of $100 maximum, which is more than I have ever spent on shoes before, and looked for some that had the right features (no leather, a bit of colour but not tacky, a good fit, and a good look). Sportchek didn’t have anything that fitted my specs in my size, so I ended up looking around Shoe Warehouse, found three possible options, and narrowed it down to these.

IMG_7554

Of course, as turquoise is my favourite colour, they were very appealing to me!

I can show you this square now. This was my test crochet square from last month that I didn’t want to talk too much about until it was published. Now that Pam has released it (Ravelry pattern page here) I can show off my square.

maya

It’s a pretty design, but I would use different colours if I made it again.

Today I was working on this test mandala, also by Pam, and I did all the crocheting on it (it’s only eight rounds) while drinking my London Fog at the coffee shop.

IMG_7552

It’s a bit wavy at the moment, and all the ends need to be woven in, but a good steam blocking should do the trick.

The cat backpack got an outing, as it was holding a dozen colours of DK yarn, and the pocket held my hook, darning needles, tape measure and snippers.

I have enough sock to make it worth showing too. This was taken before the heel turn, which I have also done. I’m using one of my sewn triangle zipper bags for this project, but am finding it hard to motivate myself to knit on this every day so it’s slow going.

The yarn is Loops & Threads Perfect Pair, and the needles are Chiao Goo stainless steel, size US#1. So skinny! (Oh, and the pattern is the basic cuff-down sock pattern from Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns.)

These two projects were tiny, crocheted items that I made using dollar store cotton.

The mini backpack was the third in a row for this pattern, and the smallest of all at about 3″ tall. The cup and saucer were created on the hook (2.5mm) while sitting outside my favourite tea shop, just so I had something to do with my hands. I gave it to the owner when it was done and she was delighted.

Well, quite the roundup, eh! I expect things will be pretty quiet around here this month as I will be on holiday with Tai Chi Man for a couple of weeks, but I have lots of options for holiday knitting/crocheting so will have stuff to share with you later. Ta ta for now.

 

 

Fire update and FOs

Standard

The valley is less smoky today, but the fires are still burning. The two fires that are burning just south of us on the west side of the lake were merged into one, deliberately, in a controlled burn today. The news article I just read said that this would make it easier to tackle. The one directly across from that, on the east side, is still smouldering, but when we were out walking this evening it didn’t look very active and doesn’t seem to have spread any closer to the southern end of the city.

Two of my sons and I drove down the other evening to a beach where we could see the flames on both sides of the lake. It looks very impressive after dark, with the orange glow, and even more so when you get the binoculars out and can see details of trees and flames even from many kilometres away.

I am currently enjoying a block of days off – my schedule happens to include four days in a row between shifts. It probably had something to do with the mild complaint I made to my boss about working five Sundays in a row. So it’s been a lovely weekend, enjoying a potluck with friends, and visiting a vegan market, and having tea at our favourite tea shop, and going out for a walk around the neighbourhood this evening after the sun hid behind the mountain and it wasn’t too hot.

And there’s been crochet. Just a couple of very small, fun projects which I was inspired to make when I spotted this video tutorial.  It’s for a mini backpack that is really small, keychain sized really, but it still has little shoulder straps to make it look like a real backpack. I made the first one with Red Heart Supersaver Ombre in the colour Scuba  (about 30 grams) and a 5mm hook and it came out about 4.5″ tall. The second one uses Scheepjes Linen Soft in the colour Hummingbird (about 20 grams) and a 3.5mm hook and it is about 3.5″ tall.

 

IMG_7537

The pattern tells you to braid a little cord from three strands of yarn, which I did for the turquoise one, but it was fiddly and annoying so for the pink one I just worked a chain with my hook.

And I almost forgot, but I found Lion Brand Mandala at my local Walmart. I have been enviously seeing other people’s posts in the Canadian Crocheters group on Facebook, where they say they found a display of the Mandala yarn at their local Walmart. The few cakes of this yarn that I have bought were from Herrschner’s online. Well, I bought some this week from Walmart for less money, AND no shipping fees of course. They don’t have the whole range, but I found some I liked. One of them is actually a Mandala Baby cake, but it has the same yardage etc as the Mandala.

So pretty. A couple are new to me, and the rest are ones I’ve bought before. But when I ordered from Herrschner’s I only bought one cake of each colour and then realised I wanted to have at least two so that I could have more options as to patterns.

It’s just as well my birthday is coming up and I have money from my mum! I shall choose my projects carefully for these babies!!

 

Startitis

Standard

My poor WIPs. I had good intentions, I really did. I posted pictures of them to the Finishalong2018 thread in the Crafternoon Treats podcast group on Ravelry (which I help moderate) with a plan to get ’em done. But I’m just not feeling the love.

So Startitis has hit me bad. After I crocheted those two small drawstring bags that I showed you last time, I made another ‘cake holding bag’ with Red Heart With Love. It started with a circle, which I just made up as I went along, doing however many granny clusters I needed to do to keep it flat, then it was granny stitch all the way up the sides. A small loop at the top finished it off.

By the time I finished it last night, sitting outside on the deck, it was getting dark.

I’ve already put it to good use, as I crocheted a hat today and put the cake of Bernat Pop inside it. This hat pattern is fast. I think it took around 2.5 hours total, and I got most of it done while waiting for the two boys at the dentist. It’s called the Newsboy Slouch and the Ravelry pattern page is here.

Very easy, very quick. I’m not 100% sold on how it suits me, but I’ll keep it for now. It’s not washed yet.

I also did some stealth crochet this week for a crochet designer. She asked me to be one of her testers, as I’ve tested for her before. It’s an afghan block with popcorns and overlay crochet, but I am waiting for her to publish her design before showing anyone my finished square.

So lots of hooking this week, and a teeny tiny bit of knitting. I have done four rounds of ribbing on a sock on US#1 needles. OMG, talk about fiddly. I’ll show you that project another time. In the meantime, have a great week!