Category Archives: crochet

Crochet kits

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I don’t have a lot to show for this week. There were actually a couple of days when I didn’t pick up hook or needles until I realised that my mild anxiety over my upcoming holiday would be smoothed out by making something simple. I pulled out some Bernat Handicrafter last night and crocheted a dishcloth and felt better.

However I do want to show you these kits…

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I work at a fabric store which also stocks a small amount of yarn. Every now and then, some boxes arrive which must be part of some sort of buy-out. I once bought a dozen facecloths, really smooshy ones, for about 40 cents each. This time, it was these kits. My boss showed me the kits and I thought, well, those are going to be expensive, maybe $30 each, so I doubt I’ll get one. Then she looked up the retail price on them and it was……$3.40!!! OMG! Less my staff discount, I picked up these three kits for less than ten bucks. (Those kits were gone, mostly to staff, within 24 hours!)

They have yarn, pattern, crochet hook, darning needle, toy stuffing, safety eyes – basically everything you need.  I don’t know how great the acrylic yarn is, or how strong the plastic hook will be considering it’s a 3mm, but I have metal hooks so that’s not an issue.

The monkey and the rabbit came in larger boxes but the monster was in a smaller one, and I was amused to open the monster kit and find it all vacuum packed within an inch of its life.

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I cut those packets open to let everything puff up back to normal.

So yes, my holiday starts Monday and it involves three flights, one of which is about 9 hours long, across the Atlantic. DS1 is coming with me. Of course packing is easy, as we keep it light to avoid baggage check-in and waiting at the carousels, and the biggest decision is my travel knitting/crochet.

After a lot of Ravelry browsing, I was inspired by a colour change cowl and had a lightbulb moment. I am therefore taking eight colours of my Deramores Studio DK and my sets of interchangeable Knitpicks needles and Denise hooks. The plan is to start knitting a cowl or scarf in the round, casting on after going through airport security here, and change colour for each leg of the journey. There’s always so much waiting around at airports, knitting opportunities in planes and cabs and during one’s holiday, that I should be able to finish a project in the two weeks I’m away. And if I need more yarn, I can pick some up over there.

This weekend involves some last minute shopping, bread baking, laundry and cleaning. The Plant-Based Nutrition presentation that I was going to do tonight has been postponed so that’s freed up about five hours, if you count travelling time, so I am less pressured. Tomorrow we have a potluck lunch at someone else’s house.

We have had an abnormally wet spring here in the Central Okanagan (BC, Canada) and with the milder temperatures, the melting snowpack and the rain have caused the creeks to burst their banks in many places and the lake to rise quickly. It is managed at the south end by a dam, but it’s rising faster than it can be released. We’ve had flooding in a number of areas on both sides of the lake, and people evacuated or on alert. Thankfully we are high and dry here, away from the lake and any creeks, and the lawn is about a foot deep in new green growth, the trees have leafed out and the lilac has blossomed. Tai Chi Man says he’s going to mow the lawn this weekend, which is a shame in a way, but it does look tidier when it’s all one length, even if it IS a mixture of grass, yarrow, weeds, and bulbs.

Well this turned into a long spiel so I shall sign off. If things are quiet around here, you’ll know why. I’ll be having too much fun with my mum, my sister, her daughter-in-law and the new baby! This holiday is all about the women!

 

FO: Twiddle muff!

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Yup, really, it’s a twiddle muff!

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I’d better explain. Knitters and crocheters are making these twiddle muffs for people with Alzheimer’s. Apparently having something to fiddle with helps with anxiety. So once you have the basic shape, which is a tube of single or double thickness, you add various doodads to make it interesting. Different stitches for texture, buttons, flowers, D rings, beads, whatever you like.

Mine is crocheted in fuzzy Patons Diana, as I have a lot of it from another person’s destash, and I added flowers sewn on with buttons and a string of beads on the outside, and some D rings, plastic rings on a crocheted chain, and buttons on the inside.

This is for my boss’s mother, who’s in a home with dementia. Hopefully she will like it and it will get some use.

It’s been a beautiful sunny day today, around 20 degrees, and Tai Chi Man and I headed for a nearby  mountain and discovered a new trail. We also had to buy a new kettle (the old one just quit) and we were happy to find a Kitchen Aid one at London Drugs that can be set to heat to any temperature from 50 to 100 Celsius. We also picked up a couple of new Pyrex dishes because I did a very silly thing this morning. I was making oat bars, and had my nice blue 9 x 13″ dish full of mixture ready to go into the oven. I also had a pan of water on stove, behind the dish, that I wanted to heat to make tea (because the aforementioned kettle died). Well, I stupidly switched on the wrong hotplate, walked out of the room briefly to talk to Tai Chi Man, and was suddenly half deafened by an explosion as blue glass shattered in all directions. I’m very thankful no one was close by at the time. And what a waste of food.

I seem to be on a run of stupidity, or shall we call it lack of mindfulness, lately. Broke a glass last week when the jar of salt slipped out of my hand. Damaged BOTH our cars when I backed out of the carport, forgetting my dear husband’s car was halfway up the drive. We were talking at the time, I was distracted, and the resulting collision was sickening. Broke the Pyrex dish today. Snipped my finger as well as the yarn while making the muff. Good grief!

Time to make tea and get on with things….carefully!

 

FO: Classique Cotton bag, and other stuff

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I had a little play with some of my Stylecraft Classique Cotton colours. I thought this would make a nice bag – sometimes you just need room for a phone and a key, and maybe a driver’s licence and a credit card.

I used the plum colour to seam it and I’m not 100% happy with how it looks, so rather than go with my original plan, which was to give it to a co-worker, I may just keep it for myself.

See that magazine there? It’s not often that I find a magazine worth buying, but I happened to be in London Drugs today and as usual I browsed through the available knitting magazines (there weren’t any crochet ones). Vogue Knitting has had some, shall we say, Interesting designs in the past that maybe a stick-thin model can get away with but on me, an average height, average weight, rather plain middle-aged girl, they would have looked just plain dumb! However I saw interesting articles, Canadian content and patterns I would actually knit, including a Cowichan-style sweater. Even though I don’t knit with wool, being vegan, I have long wished to make such a garment. I’m sure the knitting police won’t arrest me for using acrylic!!!

I actually bought two magazines.

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Whilst I already have adopted the whole-food, plant-based lifestyle and am now pretty adept at cooking vegan meals without oil, I do like to experiment with new recipes. Not only that, but I am currently preparing an educational presentation on the diet which needs to be ready by  next weekend for its first airing, and having this magazine to hand will, I think, be useful.

If you haven’t yet watched the Forks Over Knives documentary or checked out their website, I heartily recommend them.

I will shortly be retiring to bed with my new magazines, and the only reason I can get away with that tonight is that Tai Chi Man is working out of town so is not here to object to me reading in bed. He always goes to bed earlier than I do, because he works full-time and wakes early and is pretty knackered by about 10pm. Whereas I tend to stay up late (Netflix has a lot to answer for) and get up later in the morning.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Happy crafting!

Two more WIPs whipped

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This BasicSimpleLazy hat is done! It’s for my sister’s stepson Ben, for whom I’ve never brought a gift in previous trips to the old country. And as his teeny niece has been and will be a recipient of a bounty of my handmade goods, I felt he shouldn’t be left out this time.

Sally the styrofoam head above is, of course, smaller than a real head (why do they do that) so it doesn’t fill out the hat in a flattering way, so ignore the bumpy crown which will, I’m sure, sit fine once on a real head. (I just pulled it down further over Sally’s eyes and the crown looks lovely now!)

I followed the pattern…mostly: DK yarn (Deramores Studio DK), US5 needles (3.75mm?), knitted to 5″ before shaping the crown, did the decreases as described. The only change was a cast on of 120 instead of 108, and my touch of colour was a bit more than a plain stripe. Circumference is 20″, depth 8″.

The other WIP that I whipped today is the second Agnes Lace Cowl this week, this time in Loops & Threads Facets, colour Ruby. It looks similar to the last one, though that was more reddy-purply and this one is more pinky-greeny.

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It’s so hard to get the colours to look right. The sun was shining in my deck door and I picked a shady spot nearby so the photo wasn’t too dark, but too much light washes things out. I used an 8mm hook and about 120 grams of this yarn (a ball plus part of a second) to get a cowl that measures about 10″ wide and 24″ around.

Only two weeks until my holiday, when I get to see my mum, my sister and my new great-niece. Can’t wait!

You know you’re an addict when…

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…you finish a baby jacket (except for the buttons, but that has to wait) and you go out for a Sunday afternoon walk and cup of tea but in the back of your mind you are thinking, “What shall I make next?” It gives me the jitters to think that there’s nothing on the hooks or needles!

So this week’s WIP (99% done because it just needs buttons) is the second Baby Surprise Jacket. This is what it looked like after binding off.

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Sort of a rectangle with lots of increases and decreases that doesn’t look like it could be anything wearable.

But the magic happens when you fold it…

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And once again, so many ends to weave in! Note to self: use self-striping yarn next time.

The first go around at seaming the shoulders left me with a teeny neck opening that looked like it would strangle a baby, so I unpicked the seams and redid them, then picked up stitches and added a row of garter around the neck. Much better!

These are shades of Stylecraft Special DK and this time I used US6 needles. It turned out quite a bit smaller than the turquoise one that I made with US8s.

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I need to take this to work with me and choose buttons because as usual my stash of buttons is mostly mismatched sizes, shapes and colours from dollar store purchases and I really need a set of five.

My itchy fingers last night led to me starting a BB8 hat (inspired by the droid from Star Wars’ The Force Awakens).  That’s a Ravelry link as it’s a free Ravelry download. The baby (now overdue) has parents who are Star Wars fans and I think they’ll like it. It’s probably a bit big for a newborn at 16″ circumference but hopefully will fit next winter.

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These yarns are mostly Stylecraft Special Aran, but the grey is Red Heart With Love. I wouldn’t recommend using these yarns in the same project, as the RHWL is a true aran weight while the Stylecraft is a worsted weight.

Of course finishing this hat (which was a really fast and easy project) has left me, once again, WIPless. What’s a girl to do? Go and dig in the stash and find some more yarn to play with, of course!

FO: Big Gypsy Flower Poncho

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The poncho (Ravelry project  notes here) is d.o.n.e. Yay! Yesterday when I was bemoaning the fact that I had so many ends to weave in, I had no idea that all I needed to do was plonk myself on the couch, put on Netflix, and just get on with the finishing off and it would be done in an evening. (Big Gypsy Flower pattern Rav link here.)

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of the peacock colour to edge the whole thing, seam it AND finish off the neckline. The ball was looking rather skinny, so the neck ended up with a couple of other colours around it, along with some serious decreasing to make it less gapey.

It needs a wash and dry cycle to (hopefully) relax and smooth it a bit. It’s pretty snug around the upper arms, and because the yarn is double-stranded I think it will be very warm.

This afternoon I spent a pleasant few hours cutting out and starting the sewing of the tiered skirt. It has a lot of long seams so I think I will be picking up another spool of thread at work tomorrow.

Tonight – another Baby Surprise Jacket to be cast on.

 

No crochet today

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While I didn’t actually crochet, I did get a photo of the poncho progress…

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Look at all those ends! They will probably take a week to darn in.

So, this is 55.5″ long and when I folded it the way I plan to seam it, the neck opening was 34″ which is the maximum I’d want and have it stay on my shoulders. So I’m stopping with the length, and the next step is to use the Stylecraft Special DK in Peacock to go all around the edge, then crochet the seam, and then probably go around the neckline again so it’s not too gapey.

My day was full of vacuuming, laundry, and cleaning and I was out for the evening, but I have a sewing project that I must make this week. I have prewashed the fabrics and will show you what I’m making as soon as I can. I think it’s gonna be cute!