Category Archives: crochet

WIP: Left-handed therapy cowl


Once my bandages were off, I was itching to try a little crochet. I had another play with the bulky green yarn and a giant hook and felt confident enough to pull out this Loops & Threads Facets yarn (Amethyst colourway) and a 10mm hook and start a cowl. I chose the C2C because it only involves a small amount of chaining. 

Working left-handed means I have to reverse everything which can mess with your head a bit, but it seems to be working out. I can only make a small amount of progress each day because I don’t want it to hurt. 

The above photo is the first day’s progress. Below is the third day. After this cowl is done, I’m hoping to go back to the doll. 

I had a lovely package in the mail yesterday.  One of the other moderators in the Crafternoon Treats Ravelry Group knew about my injury and asked for my address so she could send me something. She lives in Norway and by the time it arrived I had forgotten all about it. 

She sent two crocheted washcloths, a clay and rose water face mask kit, a rose-scented heart soap and some chocolate. How sweet is that? It made my day!

Spring seems to have arrived in our valley. The snow is mostly gone and Tai Chi Man says he spotted some daffodil shoots in the garden today. It’s mild and sunny this weekend. Ooh, I nearly forgot! I hit a milestone today (autocorrect changed that to “smile stone”) as I was actually able to put on a pair of jeans for the first time in over a month. But this typing is making my arm hurt like crazy so I am signing off for now. Happy Spring!

Cast-ocalypse Week Two


Aren’t these just the most awesome fabrics?! I had a friend drive me to the fabric store where I work today so I could say Hello to my co-workers and get a sewing pattern and this quilting cotton was on sale. I had had my eye on it for a while. I snapped up a metre of each in case they sell out before I get back to work. 

I attempted a bit more knitting and crochet yesterday but it was a pain, literally – I had to give up after a few minutes. 

I have adapted to the one-handed life now, and the family is learning what I can and cannot do. They are having to help with cans, jars, chopping, hand washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. I’m getting more comfortable with writing with my left hand.  

Over the last week I’ve read two ebooks and most of a regular one, and watched a season of Imposters on Netflix.

Today the big task that I’ve been procrastinating over for years was finally started. I pulled out the flash drive of backed up digital photos from the fire safe and started to upload them, rename them and sort them into folders for eventual creation of Photobooks. If I can get this job done while I’m off work, I will consider my time well spent.

Hopefully you are all well and happily crafting away. Talk to you again soon.

Healing in progress


First attempt at left-handed crochet!

First attempt at left-handed knitting!

A nice stack of reading

This is a quickie post as I have to type with one hand, which is a little easier on the iPad, partly because the letters are closer together and partly because of auto-correct.
Last night, a friend picked me up for our new book group at a coffee shop, so that worked out well. And today I walked to the store where I work to say Hi to everyone and get some exercise and fresh air too.

My attempts at knitting and crocheting were quite successful, if slow, but also painful. It’s too soon, and I think I shall wait until after my orthopaedic appointment next Tuesday before trying again.

WIP: The Paper Bag Princess (a Ravellenic Games project)


Hi all

First I should say Thank You for all the Like clicks on my blog recently. It’s good to know that there are people out there reading my ramblings and even enjoying them!

The stripey vest aka March sweater has progressed since my last post, but I don’t have up to date photos, so will dedicate this blog post to the Princess doll.

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Bagged up ahead of the Games, ready for the opening ceremonies

I am using a pattern that’s available for free – Princess Poppy doll. She is the best option I could find for my purpose, which is actually to make a doll who looks like the girl in Robert Munsch’s book, The Paper Bag Princess. I love this book with its feminist twist at the end, and bought the board book months ago, knowing it would make a great gift along with a crocheted doll.


The book, the hooks, the yarn

I love crocheted toys but I don’t necessarily love making them. Those fiddly little tubes for her arms and legs were a frustrating job to crochet, and let’s not dwell on the agony of getting polyester fibrefill into those tubes. The body was a comparative joy after the limbs, but with a 3.25mm hook the yarn gets splitty and doesn’t always like to co-operate.


Components ready to assemble

Sewing the bits together was pretty easy and it’s good to see how tall the doll is going to be when she’s done (about nine inches).


Assembled and ready to add hair and clothes

After I took these photos, I added a cap of brown ‘hair’: this princess is not going to be blonde, partly because her crown is going to be yellow, and her dress (ie paper bag) will be camel, and blonde hair would just look too washed out, and also partly because the little girl who will be receiving this is dark and I’m sure she would like the doll to look more like her.

After the cap is sewn on, one adds strands of hair with a crochet hook. I haven’t done hair this way on a doll before but it seems to be a good method. I am part way through and will show you more next time. She will need eyes and a mouth, and then I will have to design a dress that looks like a paper bag! I have an idea in mind and hope it works out.

I’ve entered two projects in the Ravelry version of the Olymp*cs (mustn’t get in trouble saying the ‘O’ word). This doll is my Toy Bobsleigh entry, and the March sweater is entered into the WIPs Dancing event. I have even been following some of the real Games online with a couple of You Tube channels – one is the CBC and the other is a channel that is streaming live. I have enjoyed seeing the snowboard slope style and tried to pick up a few tips!!! (We are heading to the ski hill tomorrow for Family Day.)

I am a little stiff in places from yesterday’s five pin bowling (especially the left glute, from all that lunging)! When Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym today, I spent the time on the treadmill (43 minutes) which was really easy as I had a crochet podcast to watch. Tonight, I am groaning a bit each time I get up off the couch, and after tomorrow’s snowboarding it’ll probably be even more interesting.

Hope you guys all have a fantastic week. I’ll talk to you again soon.





WIP: March sweater – lots more stripes


I had another awesome day of crocheting today. After starting the left front of the sweater last night, while sitting and having hot chocolate with friends at home, I continued with it today while watching crochet podcasts.

Last time I posted I was up to the yellow.


This is what it looked like after doing the orange stripes and a red, right on the edge. Above, folded. Below, laid out flat.


And today, it looks like this.


Above, folded. My friend had the inspired idea, when I was saying there wasn’t room for more red on the right front last night, to suggest putting some on the left front. So I did, just on the bit you’ll see when I’m wearing it.


Laid out flat, you can see what I mean. And there’s only about four inches more to add to the left front. Then there will be a ton of weaving in, and doing a border around the edges to neaten it all up.

I’ll need to find three buttons to match one of the colours – one for right and left top corners, and another for the left side to hold it at bust level if I decide to wear it with the top corner folded down. The double crochet stitches are large enough that I don’t need to worry about making buttonholes.

Well, the timer should be going off on the stove in a sec – for some reason, the food didn’t cook properly at 375 degrees so I put the nut roast and the Greek potatoes back in for another half an hour at 425 and if THAT doesn’t cook the buggers I will be well ticked off. I would have liked to eat earlier so that I had time to digest before yoga 😦

WIP: March sweater Day 2


Well hello there, I’m back with more news of the March sweater.

Yesterday was a heavy crochet day – I spent a LOT of time on the couch and almost finished the back. I did go for a walk in the evening with Tai Chi Man to get some fresh air and some blood flowing through the veins, though.

The back was kinda boring, being all black, and it was nice to start on the coloured stripes for the right front today (after my 8am yoga class).

My first Ravelry project page update, earlier today, showed that I had done five blue stripes and was just starting on the green part of the yarn cake. In order to keep the coloured sc rows fairly visible, I’m crocheting the black rows in the front loop only. This leaves a little extra colour visible on the right side.

I’m also “cheating” with the colour. The blue did five rows and I made sure that the green would arrive on the sixth. So when I’d done five green rows I cut some out so that the acid yellow would appear on the next one. I want to make sure that all five colours in the cake appear across the front of the sweater (which is actually going to be a sleeveless vest with a wrap front).

Tricky to photograph black, especially when there are other colours involved in part of the shot. Of course I’m only using an old iPad Mini, so I guess I can’t expect too much. (And those ends! Lots of weaving in to do later.)

So that’s it for today. I’ve put down my hook for the night, even though it’s only 9.20pm. I’d rather go and get into my PJs and read in bed for a while because I’ve realised that staying up late is not serving me well. Thankfully I’ve finished all seasons of Mr Selfridge now, and am reluctant to start another series. It’s just too easy to binge watch episode after episode.

So apart from crochet, this week’s entertainment is finishing A Dog’s Purpose (yes, the book that the film was based on, though I haven’t seen the film) and starting on the third book in the Poldark series, Warleggan.

I gave a work shift away to a co-worker whose schedule was messed up so the coming week has me doing two shifts instead of three, which means…you guessed it…more crochet time! I estimate the March sweater will take no more than a week in all and then I can decide what to knit for April! Oh yes, and the Ravelry Ravellenic Games start on February 9th, and I am entering the toy event, so I need to do a bit of preparation for that before next Friday.

It’s all go, you know. 🙂

WIP: March sweater


Well, it’s been a mixed-up weather day today. We’ve had blowing snow, cloud, sunshine, wind, just about everything. However I have been inside on the couch, getting on with my March sweater.

As I’ve said, my goal is 12 sweaters in 12 months, and January and February are checked off the To Do list. It feels good to be ahead of the schedule and starting my March sweater on February 2nd.

I went through a few ideas, one of which I sketched out in detail and actually started knitting. However it has now been frogged in favour of a crochet version. As you can see, my Hello Kitty pencil tin and accessories are a very important part of this process.


I started with the back piece – this was earlier today – I have since finished the first ball of yarn and started on the second.


Rather than make three separate pieces, I think when I get to the end of the back I will just keep going with the right front, and when that’s done I’ll return to the beginning chain edge and work the left front onto it rather than having to sew things together.

The stitch pattern I’m using is one row single crochet, one row double crochet. For the right front I will do the sc rows in my rainbow yarn. Hoping for a wearable result! I think this is why I have been hesitant in the past to make garments because it’s a big time/yarn investment that may not work out. However I am heartened by the recent finished objects so will plug on!

While crocheting, I’ve found a couple of new crochet podcasts to watch on You Tube, and also an interesting sock tutorial by Mikey at The Crochet Crowd.




FO: Crochet Cuddler Cocoon (and new yarn)



Before I show you my February sweater, here is a photo of me in my January sweater.  I wore it the other day (wow, it’s warm) and it fits perfectly. If I could change one thing about it, though, I’d add an inch to the sleeves. When I was driving and out and about, I felt I could have done with just a bit of extra length in the sleeves.

So, once I finished that sweater off last Monday night, I was free to get on with the next project. The February project took all of four days from start to finish, it was so quick and easy. I did make a few adjustments to the pattern so I will link to my Ravelry project page here.

I had to crop out my head in that shot because the cardigan is so dark that my face was overexposed. The base rectangle for the back of the sweater seemed really small in the pattern so I added four rows. The sleeves also would have been tiny so I doubled the length of those. And there were only three border rounds in the pattern and I did 12, basically until my yarn almost ran out.

The yarn is Willow Wash Bulky, which is so lovely and soft to work with and to wear, but the six strands are very loosely spun so you have to be careful not to split them. As I am just hanging around the house today, I decided to wear it (it would probably not be warm enough outside in the cold at the moment) though I had to abandon it while vacuuming because I was getting too hot.

I am pleased with it, thanks to my adaptations. I think if you were to use a much bulkier yarn, you could follow the designer’s numbers, but it would have been far too small for me using the Willow Wash, following it as is.

There has been a little bit of yarn acquisition this week. OK, a lot. Walmart still has the Bernat Pop! yarn, and I decided that I should get extra of the rainbow coloured one to pair with plain black for a future sweater. Also I found a nice one with grey and pink that I can pair with the leftover Red Heart Supersaver in grey heather. And a couple of cakes of grey/turquoise, just because.

Also today I received my Wool Warehouse order, a mere WEEK after they shipped it. I love their efficiency. I ordered on the weekend, they shipped it the first working day afterwards, and the post office have done their bit too. Normally stuff takes two weeks to get here. I am glad it’s here as part of the order is for my Ravelry Ravellenic Games project, the doll I mentioned in my last post. The rest are colours that I picked to pad out gaps in my DK collection, like the  yellows, browns and neutrals.

My Christmas/birthday fund is being rapidly depleted!

I’ve said this before, but I love the organza bags that WW send the yarn in.

Well, today I need to start swatching for a new sweater: the March sweater, in theory, though I am well ahead of my deadline. Believe it or not, despite the thousands of patterns in the Ravelry database, I couldn’t find the perfect one for my black/rainbow combination, so I have sketched out a possible design and need to figure out my gauge. I am having a few niggling doubts about a rainbow tunic, even if it is calmed down with black, so I  may end up going with the grey instead. For now, though, I have to finish cleaning the kitchen (totally distracted by the parcel of yarn in the mail and wanting to tell you all about it, but it’s nose to the grindstone time for me now)!

I hope next time to show you what my decision was for the March sweater, plus some progress.



FO: mug cosy


This is my first FO of 2018. A very quick and easy cosy to prettify a dollar store mug, which has already been packed into a gift bag with some boxes of tea for a friend.

I used Loops & Threads Facets in Capri Blue, double stranded, with a 10mm hook.  Such a pretty yarn but barely spun at all, so it doesn’t take rough handling. The big button was in my stash. Instead of just the basic circle, which wraps around the outside of the mug, I added a base to it too.

And while looking for a mug, I happened to come across these mini skeins of cotton yarn and, well, they jumped into my hand and begged to come home with me. Each tiny skein is 10 grams. So cute! The yarn looks OK. There were acrylic minis too, but I thought I’d stick with the cotton.

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Apart from mug and yarn shopping, I had a visit with my ear doctor today. Three years ago he performed a stapedotomy on my left ear, which entails opening the ear drum, drilling out the calcification around the bones inside my ear (due to otosclerosis) and replacing the stapes with a teeny tiny titanium prosthesis. As the hearing in my right ear has got progressively worse, I’ve decided it’s time to schedule another surgery. It won’t be until the second half of the year sometime, but as the wheels of the medical system often grind slowly, it’s worth starting the ball rolling early. Hmmm, I think I’m mixing my  metaphors.

My current Netflix obsession is Rectify, which I am going to continue watching as soon as this blog post is done. Do you watch shows while knitting or crocheting? If so, what do you like to watch?



Flashin’ the stash


Well, it’s that time again. The calendar is showing us a new year and a new thread has opened up on Ravelry called Flash your Stash 2018.

I’ve done this before and it’s rather fun, and interesting too, because you get to see what’s been lurking in cubbies and bags and boxes for a while and you can make sure that everything is photographed and listed on your Ravelry stash page.

I have a relatively small stash compared to many yarn collectors…erm, I mean knitters and crocheters on Ravelry. Some have entire rooms dedicated to yarn and their photos look like actual stores.

However much one has, I think it’s important to keep it organized and bug-free and current. (I find it’s also good not to have it get out of control, because then I feel pressured by it. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.) This time around I have decided to give away a couple more things that I don’t love.

Here are some photos…


These two pictures show the entire stash. The yarn above the gap in the first photo is acrylic, mostly worsted and bulky, except for a few DK cakes. The yarn below the gap is plant fibres like hemp, cotton and linen. The second photo is all my solid DK, organised by colour, which is a mix of Stylecraft Special, Deramores Studio and Carolina. The squares were going to be an afghan, but I changed my mind on that so they are waiting for inspiration to strike.

More shots of groupings, e.g. plant fibres, Stylecraft Special Aran, Loops & Threads Impeccable, cakes, worsted and bulky. The navy blue balls in a clear plastic bag are Willow Yarns Wash Bulky from a frogged sweater. Those have probably been in the stash the longest.  Click on the thumbnails to embiggen.



And my WIPs, which are possibly not going to continue to fruition. The four-strands-of-aran-weight-yarn sweater which I was so excited to start on 15mm needles is looking a little messy. The knitting is sloppy and the gauge, while close to that asked for in the pattern, is looser than I’d like. I can foresee this being a sweater that loses its shape quickly, stretches out, and ends up in the closet. So I may try a smaller needle with three or four strands instead and see if I like the fabric, then make a sweater based on my personal gauge.

I’m typing the draft of this at the gym while on a stationary bike. It’s a great way to pass the time. Better than staring at the wall anyway. Tai Chi Man and I were joking that we’d probably see an influx of people after January 1st because, you know, New Year’s Resolutions. I like the upstairs ladies-only part of the gym when I’m alone. If we both go, then we use the co-ed part downstairs.

I probably should get off here and do some weights so I’ll upload the photos to this post later.

Three hours pass...

OK, now adding photos and editing my typos. Dinner is done and it’s couch time. The yarn has been taken back to my craft room, though not put away properly yet. Now that my stash is officially flashed, both here and on Ravelry, I should spend a little time putting it all away neatly. Unlike many of the flashers, who say they have too much and want to go on a yarn diet, I am happy to look out for yarn for sweaters this year. Sweater quantities, in other words enough of one yarn or colour to make a whole sweater, are something my stash lacks. And now that I’ve made something for just about everyone I know, it’s time to be a little selfish and make some garments for myself this year.

Do you flash your stash? Do you even have a stash? Let me know in the comments 🙂