Category Archives: crochet

WIP: Gypsy Flower Square sweater

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Good morning, peeps! It’s such a beautiful day here. We’ve had lots of sun and blue sky this week. A few clouds threatened yesterday and even dropped about ten tiny snowflakes on me when I was walking for an hour, but it didn’t amount to anything.

Now that we have the new windows and doors, the house is so much brighter. No UV film to block out the much-desired winter sun. The extra window in the kitchen door is my favourite thing of the whole job – what was a dark corner is now filled with light. What a difference!

I took another photo of me with the new haircut that came out better. I sent it to my mum, but I will also share it here. I love the hair, but my face is definitely suffering the effects of my 54 year old hormones. It is reddened, partly spotty and partly flaky. Gah!

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You may have seen the first part of the Gypsy Flower Square in my last post. I reached the end of the instructions for the square…

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I absolutely love the stitch pattern in the last two rounds, especially as they are in my favourite colour.

After that, I had to decide what to do to make it bigger. This is what I did…

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Some V stitches, some puff stitches. I’ve now used all the colours in the pack except for the petrol. I need to save that for the edges as I would hate to run out of it when doing the neckline, etc. Rather than make another square like this, I think I will probably do the back in stripes, as well as the sleeves. That way I can use up the colours more evenly.

Stylecraft Special DK held double and crocheted with a 6mm hook is so nice and squishy. Of course, one could use chunky yarn to start with, but the DK comes in 82 colours and the Aran and Chunky weights only in, what, 30?

Well, the square still isn’t big enough, so I will have to be creative and continue on until it’s at least 22 inches across. Gotta have some positive ease, especially in a bulky sweater. I really hope this will look great with jeans this spring!

I spent an intense couple of hours yesterday, starting to type up my thoughts relating to a new venture. Since I acquired my Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, my plans are to set up a new website/blog helping people who want to transition to a healthier lifestyle. It will need to be written, rewritten, and tested (just like a crochet pattern!) before releasing it to the general public. I am excited about it!

Have an awesome day!

 

Back to crochet

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We had a slight digression there, while I reblogged Boats of Oats’ vegan posts, and even had a bit of a crochet hiatus. I think there was a three-day chunk of time when I didn’t pick up a hook! Incredible!!

However, we are now back to your regular scheduled programming, and here is the pile of little hats. All twenty of them.

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I used some yarns that were languishing in the craft room, miscellaneous ones that weren’t bringing me joy. (Maybe it’s time to clear out à la Marie Kondo?) Various yarns, various hook sizes, various methods. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s nearing the time when my friend needs them so she can pass them on to her friend with the Swaziland connections.

And now to move on…

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This bag full of beach-inspired colours is the Coast Colour Pack, originally put together by Lucy of Attic24. (That link will take you to her home page – there is a link to her ‘store’ at Wool Warehouse, and also in the right sidebar if you scroll down you will find a link to her Ripple blanket [Coast].)

Fifteen skeins of Stylecraft Special DK, which I bought probably a couple of years ago now with no specific plans in mind. But I’m a bit blanketed out, if you know what I mean, and I really want to crochet myself a sweater. I’ve never done that before. There has been quite a bit of mulling, agonising, swatching and pattern-browsing, trying to find that perfect design that will work with multiple colours without me looking like a circus clown. (Oh, wait, I already made the granny square coat, so what am I worrying about?!)

I did find a lovely design at DROPS, though their patterns can be quite challenging to follow, or so I’ve heard. However I am stealing their construction idea. Make two large squares for front and back, add bits at the top for shoulder shaping, and add sleeves. With that in mind, I found this – the Big Gypsy Flower Square – which has been in my Ravelry queue for some time. I love the look of this square and decided to use it as the centre of my sweater front/back. Using doubled yarn and a 6mm hook, because I’m impatient and don’t want to fiddle with one strand and a skinny hook, I made this progress last night…

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It’s pretty, huh? Round 5 caused me grief, as I think the designer may have added an extra stitch in when typing up the instructions. I wasn’t getting the right stitch count and my corners were ending up in the wrong place, so I ended up removing one of the scs from the middle of the straight edges.

That last (sixth) round is khaki green, though it looks browner in the photo.

Anyway, there will be 14 rounds total, but I think I’m going to have to do a lot of extra rounds to achieve a sweater width, but this is a ‘design-it-on-the-hook’ sort of sweater and we shall see.

In other news, I had a haircut this week and I bit the bullet and went with an idea that’s been in my head for ages – an asymmetric style that scared me a little but I did it anyway. Hair grows, right?! I gave the hairstylist free rein, after a brief explanation, and I love it. It’s not a drastic difference – my hair is really curly when short, and so now the left side comes to just below my ear and the right is at chin level. No, I don’t have a good photo.

I also treated myself to a Fitbit Flex 2, which is one of the less expensive gadgets that one can wear on the wrist to track activity. It is waterproof, so you can actually swim in it. Time will tell if I actually pay attention and up my step count. I’m not sure how accurate it is – the first night, it got my sleep time right, but the second two it was way off. But anything that gets me more aware of my sedentary habits and getting more exercise has to be good. I’m thinking of bringing the small rebounder upstairs and getting more steps in that way. Plus the weather is getting milder and walking when there’s less ice on the ground is more enjoyable!

Better run – Tai Chi Man and I are planning to go out this morning and I’m still in my PJs. Enjoy your Sunday. 🙂

 

 

A hatty sort of week

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The little stack of hats for Swaziland has now grown from four to fourteen.

I think I should just stick to the regular hat shape if I make more of these, because the square ones are sort of naff!

Since the BIG project was finished, it’s been a relaxing time of churning out these little hats each time I picked up a hook.

And there’s been another hat – an adult-sized one for a co-worker’s husband.

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This is a very manly hat using James C Brett Marble Chunky in MC59. Shades of brown and grey. The pattern is my Adjustable Crochet Hat (crochet hat recipe) pattern without any embellishments, and with an sc round at the end, and a 6mm hook.

We’ve had quite the snow build-up this week. Today it’s milder so we’ve had some melting, but for a few days it was shovel, slither and slide.

Yesterday I had a plan to go to a friend’s house for some energy healing, and I wanted to do some errands, like Costco, that I plan for when I go across the lake, but I did wonder whether I should just stay home. However I did venture out, and as long as I was careful not to accelerate or brake too sharply I mostly maintained my traction!

I’m having a blissful day at home today – a friend came over and we drank scads of Yorkshire tea and got out our knitting and crochet and put the world to rights (well, at least our corner of it). Now I should probably get off my arse and go and bake a pineapple upside-down cake, because it’s on the meal plan, and leaving it until the last minute is not a good idea if we want to eat it for dinner. Probably should prep the shepherd’s pie too.

I hope you’re staying cosy in your part of the world. Happy crafting!

FOs: Caterpillar blanket and hats for Swaziland

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – TA DAH!

The Blanket, Hat and Cocoon are finally ready to wing their way across the Atlantic, along with the board book. Full details on my Ravelry project page.

I don’t have much time to chat, as I have to leave for work in a moment, so will quickly show you the first of a stack of baby hats that I am making for the friend of a friend. She goes to Swaziland every year – runs an organization called SwaziKids.

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I started using a Basic Beanie pattern on Rav, but quickly realised I can churn these out easily enough without a pattern.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here, which is made extra bright by the fact we’ve had about a foot of fresh snow the last few days. Have a great Monday!

 

It’s a happy sunny day!

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We’ve had a few snowflakes today, and it’s currently about minus 7 outside, but inside it’s bright and warm. The sun has been streaming into the south side of the house and it has motivated me to do an extra great job on the weekly clean (plus I have friends coming over this evening so that’s a good motivation too)!

I took a couple of photos of my kitchen and dining room and posted them to Facebook with the comment that I had to record my enjoyment of the five minute period between finishing the cleaning and having it messed up again. Oh, if only we didn’t have to eat and pee, things would stay cleaner SO much longer 😉

What do you think of these cute little Baby Janes?

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This yarn has proved difficult to photograph. Must be the colour, because my iPad just won’t focus on it. Tai Chi Man’s iPad did a slightly better job. These are made with Red Heart With Love in Boysenberry. I’ll take them to work so that they can be displayed temporarily with the bubble gum blanket.

The update on the caterpillar blanket:

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The hexagons are a bit of a slog. To distract myself a little, I sewed the face and feet on, though I haven’t fastened off the ends or woven them in yet. I added the three and a half hexes in that top row this afternoon. My white yarn is getting low – I think I may have to visit Michaels with coupon in hand for another ball.

Okey dokey, time to hit Publish and get on with other things. Happy crafting!

Knitting, crochet and courses

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Whoopee! I am now a graduate of the Centre for Nutrition Studies whole food plant-based nutrition programme. I even have a badge for my blog, which is now in the sidebar near the top. It doesn’t fit in that well at the moment. I think it may be time for a renovation around here. I’ve been using the same WordPress template for, like, forever!

So that’s one FO! A finished course, for which I will get a certificate. I did the course partly for myself, partly so I could help others by educating them about healthy eating by not just giving them my opinion but actual facts backed up by actual science. And now I CAN!

The other FO is a crochet one which I whipped up in a little under an hour today.

It’s a cute lamb lovey, made from a kit that we sell at the store. It’s more expensive there than online, but I get a staff discount. And I’ve been eyeing these kits for ages. They come in many colours (always with three different colours/textures in one ball) with a different animal head or ball to go on top.

Rather than go with the crowd and knit a hat, I crocheted a granny square and added the lamb’s head to the centre. I was inspired by someone on Ravelry who has been posting photos of her projects to one of my favourite groups, the Colourful CALs/KALs group.

If you can’t find these at your local yarn store, they have them at Herrschners.ca. They are called DMC Top This knit hat kits.

What else? Ah yes…

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Knittin’…..started these Baby Janes a couple of days ago. Haven’t picked them up since. But if I actually get them finished they will match the bubble gum blanket’s border and will make a cute set. It’s a free pattern from Red Heart – I found it at work in the yarn section.

And the caterpillar is coming along. I did  add some hexagons today, and as you’ll see from the photo I positioned the bits for the head and feet. Tonight I sewed them on because I was too impatient to wait until I had added all the hexes.

We had a very pleasant Sunday. A slow pace, a walk along the waterfront, a cup of tea at Chai Baba. And a couple of interesting new recipes, which the boys were very dubious about. Beetburgers (a beautiful colour) in buns with grilled pineapple (another idea from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook) with salad, followed by lime custard tart. I used an unbaked crust idea from the Fat Free Vegan blog (because I couldn’t find the right ingredients for the original crust) which was made with rolled oats, dates and fresh orange juice. The filling was silken tofu with lime juice and maple syrup layered with fresh fruit. It was rather good!

Despite all the doom and gloom in the news (best not to watch) I hope you manage to stay joyful and positive and spread good news instead of bad. ❤

 

 

 

 

WIPS: blankets

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I’m multi-tasking tonight. I have two windows open on the desktop. One is playing Episode 25 of Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats’ podcast. The other is, obviously, WordPress.

I thought I’d show you the progress on the Hungry Caterpillar blanket. His body is nearly finished – just two dark green hexagons among the white ones in the next row. Then it’ll be a plain white row. Then a colourful one, which will be pretty quick, as the coloured bits are already  made.

After that, there’s a border to do. I made his face last night, while watching The X Files, but he doesn’t have any eyes or antennae yet.

The other WIP is actually now an FO.

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Pre-blocking, the blanket wasn’t square, and the border was very ruffly. I did eke out almost the whole ball of the Red Heart With Love in bubble gum, up to and including the sc round around the edge. Then my ball of boysenberry was used for the shell edging.

It’s now been blocked aggressively to straighten things out, square it up and open up the lace pattern. (It still has a few damp patches where the iron dripped while I was steaming it.) This is the Dreamy Lace Baby Throw from Lion Brand, free (as long as you sign in). I think I linked it in my last post. It’s a smaller version than the pattern, as the yarn was limited to what I was given by my boss to make it for display at the store. Stretched out on the blocking mat, it was about 31 inches square.

And I know I’ve said this before, but I really have to stop getting distracted by other crochet projects, because the caterpillar blanket needs to be a priority. Baby’s due in three months.

I’m getting a little excited – I have a quote for flights over to see the family in the spring, I’ve checked with my family and boss to make sure they have no objections to the dates I’m thinking of going, and all that remains is for me to commit! I invited my oldest son to come with me, as he didn’t go with us last summer when we went to visit, but he hasn’t given me a Yay or Nay yet.

Well, back to the hooking. Hope you’re having a great week!