Category Archives: crochet

Taming the yarn

Standard

The DK acrylic stash was tipped out onto my sewing table yesterday so that I could wind it up into magic balls. I excluded the fairly intact cakes of Lion Brand Mandala and two balls of Bamboo Pop, and the cottons.

It took me hours. Maybe six? A couple of hours in the morning, followed by a walk and a coffee at a local coffee shop, then another couple of hours, then dinner, then another couple of hours. I even recaked the ones I had wound previously so I could retie the magic knots and detangle.

The very satisfying result! 30 cakes of varying size weighing a total of 2440 grams. This equates to approximately 7173 metres of yarn!

Today, I swatch for a new project.

Happy Friday!

Standard

It’s a gloriously sunny day today. The last couple of days of sunshine have been very welcome after the fog and cloud of the previous couple of weeks.

Work was quiet today and I got to leave early so I unexpectedly have a free afternoon.

So, how should I spend it? I guess I could add to the Elevation cardigan which has a sleeve and a bit left to do.

I think that each time I change to a new colour I have to get used to it and get over the thought, “Does this work or does it look terrible?!” So I don’t always want to crochet on it.

I could go for a walk in the sunshine. My logical brain is saying that’s what I SHOULD do.

I could go downstairs and play with fabric.

Or lift some weights.

Before I make a decision, I’ll show you what I made with the coffee-themed fabric from the stash.

Each bag has two coasters, a bag of coffee beans and a bar of chocolate inside. I had to fussy cut the fabric just right so didn’t bother looking up a tutorial. I’ve made a lot of bags like this before.

Looking forward to a fun weekend. We are going to a hockey game for the first time in years. And friends are coming for a potluck on Sunday. Hope your weekend is awesome!

Fabric fun

Standard

Since my yarn stash flash, I was considering doing a fabric stash flash, but that isn’t quite what I ended up doing this afternoon.

The quilt cottons had got a little out of hand. I’d been rooting around in the bins, taking things out, putting them back, and generally making a mess of the shelves, so today I had a bit of fun sorting them out.

I originally put two colour groups in each bin, e.g. purples and pinks, blacks and reds. But some bins were getting too full and the lids didn’t close. So I had to review.

The above groups are new to the stash. Obviously there’s no rush to use up the Christmassy ones but I grabbed them on sale after Christmas.

The snowman panel and odds and ends of the coordinates have been in the stash for some time. Must use! And the blooming ocean panel and coordinates are absolutely fabulous and I will come up with a project for those soon.

I have a massive piece of the purple so it’ll make a good quilt backing. The “cut sew repeat” print pulled me in just the other day. That would make a great bag lining. And the animal print is cute as heck!

And these are just a few more that made me go Ooh!

All tidy! The green thing top left is my pattern box, which is just a cardboard box covered in fancy fabric. Next to that is a bunch of stuff I’ve made which I need to assess again to see what I really want to keep.

The lowest shelf in the photo has the water bottle for topping up my iron and bags of elastic, cords and zippers.

Then I set up my sewing table for some scrap attacks. I tipped my bag of scraps out, put a cutting mat, rotary cutter and scissors on the left of my machine, and the iron and pressing mat on the right, and grabbed my thread and bobbins. Scrap projects are a great way to use up spools that don’t have much thread left on them.

A bit of sewing followed and currently I’m at this point. Building new fabric from scraps focusing on the black and white ones.

This is obviously going to be an ongoing project as the pile of scraps is huge!

This crocheted amigurumi was my weekend project. I used a free pattern that I found via Ravelry but adapted it to be Edna Mode from The Incredibles. The person I made it for was delighted!!

And that’s my crafty catch-up! Excuse me while I go and cook dinner…

2022 crochet and knit FOs

Standard

A quick roundup of my FOs for this year.

Just screenshots from Ravelry – if you want a better look at my project pages just head on over and have a poke around. https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NicolaKnits

I love tracking things on Ravelry. It’s always interesting to look back on the things I’ve made and sometimes my project pages have helpful notes so I can make the same thing again. Some years I’ve finished 60 or even 80 items! My production has slowed as I make fewer accessories now and more sweaters which take longer. And that’s OK.

No man’s land

Standard

Yes, we’re in the no man’s land that is the period between Christmas and New Year, when many people are off work and the rest of us wish we were!

Christmas Eve dinner worked out great. We had the Vegan Wellington recipe from The Happy Pear, but with homemade shortcrust rather than commercial puff pastry, accompanied by roast potatoes, roasted parsnips, carrots and Brussels sprouts, gravy and broccoli.

I finished opening my yarn Advent, and officially gave myself the Hobbii yarn that I bought a month ago!

The sparkly cake is Hobbii Universe Christmas, and the other two are massive 200 gram cakes of Järbo Cookie.

Christmas Day was easy and relaxing. I cut out the pieces to sew a new coat. And we all went to the movies to see Avatar in the evening.

We’ve had milder temperatures so there has been some melting on the roads, but at around 4pm today it started snowing again!

My view from the sewing room downstairs is semi-obscured by snow now.

The Elevation Cardigan (from Make & Do Crew) is coming along nicely. I’m up to the upper body sections, so have split for the armholes. It looks like I may have enough yarn after all. I have a lighter shade of orange still to use, plus a yellow. Once the shoulders are seamed, it’ll just be sleeves, front bands, and pockets left to do.

I hope you all are having a good end to 2022 and I’d like to wish you a happy and healthy 2023.

Winter Solstice

Standard

We are having a cold snap! Minus 20C today and expected to get even colder tonight. I am so grateful for a warm house!

Yesterday it snowed all day and in addition to the roads being hairy scary we had to deal with whiteout conditions on the highway. The visibility was down to 50 metres at best. I ventured out to see a friend for a short visit then went back home. There was a lot of snow shovelling and some soup-making.

I made some awesome ‘cheesy’ vegan scones without a recipe. Best scones ever! (I used a snowman-shaped cutter.)

Here’s one of my fruit cakes complete with pecans, dried apricots and apricot glaze.

Some days that’s all I’ve eaten for lunch! What? It’s OK, it has fruit in it 😉

We’ve also been indulging in a few vegan marshmallows with our evening hot chocolate. And some mornings I have made a pot of tea, rather than a single mug, just because it feels good.

In yarny news, I have fallen behind with opening my little yarn bags.

And I’m adding to my Elevation cardigan tonight.

I’m up to the third colour (of six). I still think I may need to get more.

So it’s the 21st and I still haven’t decided on the menu for our Christmas Eve dinner. I’ve done my last pre-Christmas Costco shop but I do need to go back to the regular supermarket for a few more things. I’m working the next couple of days so it looks like it’s all going to get done at the last minute.

It’ll probably be some sort of loaf, roast vegetables, gravy, something green, some mince pies and a secondary dessert for the weirdo in the family who doesn’t eat dried fruit 🙂

Home!

Standard

It was a snowy night and when we drove home this morning the first 15 minutes involved some pretty deep snow on the road.

Once we got to the highway, it was just wet so it was a straightforward drive, going through rain by the lake and then finding ourselves back above the snowline at home.

It’s falling now and looks like it’s set in for the day.

One of the first things I did when I got back was line my beanie. Crochet lets the wind through a bit too much when it’s below freezing so I found a remnant of turquoise fleece, measured my hat, and ran up a quick liner.

I measured the circumference at the brim, with the hat lying flat on the table. It was 23 inches. I also measured the depth from brim to centre top which was about 7.5 inches. So I cut a strip of fleece (with the stretch going the long way) that was 23 x 8. I wanted the finished circumference of the lining to be a bit smaller than the hat, and once I’d sewn the two short ends together with a half-inch seam allowance it was just right. Once the seam was sewn, I laid the tube on the table with the seam at one side and eyeballed a curved corner at the top right. I folded it in half so I could cut the opposite corner the same. And then I opened it up and refolded it so the uncut corners were at right and left and cut them the same way. Then I sewed two sections together along the curve, followed by the opposite two sections, and finally the seam that went across the top of the head.

It worked perfectly and all I had to do after that was turn a small hem and handstitch it in along the brim.

My Elevation cardigan by Make and Do Crew is coming along. I’ve finished the first 200 gram skein of brown and now I’m onto the cinnamon.

And I have opened today’s Advent yarn…

The colours are so pretty together.

More yarn and lots of hiking

Standard

Two more balls of Advent yarn (above) and an FO below (from DK acrylic that I brought with me).

Here’s the Ravelry link to the pattern https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/succulent-plant-amigurumi

We enjoyed a beautiful, level, sunny walk along Skaha Lake yesterday morning. Two hours total following which we spent the rest of the day at the Airbnb relaxing and enjoying the hot tub and sauna.

Today was cloudy, still in the region of minus 8 Celsius, and the two hour hike involved an uphill trek to a bluff with a view. There were signs of bear but we only ended up seeing a deer and a few birds!

Again, the hot tub was welcome after all that exertion!

And finally, the start of my new WIP https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elevation-duster-cardigan The Elevation Duster Cardigan is a long crocheted cardigan which looked like a good option for my six shades of Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. However I am wondering whether it’ll be enough. I may have to figure out how to get more of the yellow. Time will tell.

Whip those WIPs

Standard
Whip those WIPs

Take that, Works in Progress! You are now Finished Objects.

Sporto sweater pattern, free from Knitty.com. I used 550 grams of a clearance yarn from work. It’s a worsted weight acrylic and is very warm and cosy. I wore it all day today. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sporto

Zeb-the-zebra pattern, not free, from Ravelry here https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zeb-the-zebra

I’m usually cheap and prefer free patterns over paid, but sometimes it’s worth paying a few bucks for a good pattern.

Looking at the designer’s pattern photos, I realise I forgot to embroider his nostrils!!

But I think he looks good in rainbow stripes.

So I am back to zero active WIPs, though I do have an ongoing dishcloth project and of course I can’t forget that I have four baskets of yarn downstairs earmarked for sweaters. Patterns yet to be decided.

Bowl cosies are not for me!

Standard

After my first bowl cosy turned out to be a big disappointment, I went on to make another with two solid pieces of fabric.

Hmph, sadly my topstitching was crap and any ideas I may have had for making a bunch of these were dashed on the rocks. Bowl cosies and I have broken up!

Mt Fixit and I are using them, though, as they are handy when you want to have a hot bowl in your lap.

We had a bit of a flood in the kitchen over the weekend. The Berkey countertop water filter was overfilled (son #1 filled it then Mr Fixit topped it up without realizing it) so by the morning water had leaked across the counter and onto the floor and had, rather unfortunately, soaked two bags of flour.

What do you do in that situation? Use the damp flour to make bread, of course. I ended up with five fresh loaves from the wet flour bags which I think could be considered a win!

A more successful sewing project was this pair of PJs made with some fleece-backed knit fabric from the store I work at. Super-easy to make and they will be perfect for winter nights.

I have enough left for a cowl too.

And this is my current crochet project. It’s a rainbow zebra! The pattern is one I found on Ravelry – Zeb the Zebra. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zeb-the-zebra

I’m using stash yarn, DK weight, and a 3.5mm hook, and so far I’ve completed the head, ears and neck, and made a start on the body.

I’m off to make hot chocolate now. Some Dandies vegan marshmallows are calling my name!