More WIP witterings

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My Freesia shawl by Annie Baker has grown quite a lot in the last two weeks. There are at least two mistakes in it. Last week I was knitting away happily during a Zoom call with my friends in the Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry and noticed a yarnover hole where there wasn’t supposed to be one.

I know what I did. On the 11th row of the repeat there is a change in the instructions- after 13 K2tog/YO combos, instead of just knitting the rest of the row, you do K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog. Well, the muscle memory kicked in and I YO’d when I should have K1’d.

Never mind. I dropped down to the hole, hooked it back up and it looks all right.

The second mistake was tonight on the 12th row of the repeat which is the only one without an increase on the plain edge. I did the increase automatically. Again, no one will ever notice.

Not much else has happened in the Craft Department in the last week or two. I added a little bit of stitching to the sashiko vest project. Barely did any crochet.

I have read a couple of novels which possibly explains the lack of productivity.

And I have been experimenting with bread. A couple of weeks ago I attempted hot cross buns but they came out like dense doughballs. They barely rose.

The following week I tried again, using an enhanced version of my usual bread recipe. Rather than individual buns I made two loaves. They were better but still dense and even though they were in the oven for 45 minutes they still seemed underdone in the middle.

Today I tried again. Less salt and oil, and I changed out a third of the whole wheat flour for white.

Nailed it! Slightly sweet and spicy, these loaves were a great texture and well-browned on the crust. (Recipe may follow when I am more awake!)

Ds3 has also been experimenting with making bread. I came home from work the other day to find some very professional looking bread on the kitchen counter. It was white bread but very flavourful. It didn’t last long! (He had bought the white flour that day – we don’t usually have any in the house – which is why I was able to steal a couple of cups of it for my bread today.)

The house got a good airing today. While I was cleaning I opened windows on the south side. It’s been pretty cold for spring (apart from one day when it hit 18°C) but I love to get some fresh air in. As long as I’m keeping active with cleaning bathrooms etc I don’t mind the coolness.

I even hung my towels outside to dry for the first time this year.

Hope your week is going well. I have the chiropractor tomorrow and a knit night with friends in the evening so I’m looking forward to that. And then it’s a few days of work (with a short shift on Friday because it’s Good Friday) and then a weekend off.

Talk to you soon!

WIP: Freesia shawl and other witterings

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WIP: Freesia shawl and other witterings

The shawl is growing. I’m only adding a few rows at a time. It does need some attention, partly because of the slippery yarn but also so that I do my yarnovers and KFBs in the right place. But there’s still plenty of plain knitting and it’s pretty enough that it makes you want to put it down and admire it every so often.

Note the orange lifelines in there, just in case.

I’m also playing with a small design in cotton that I’ll show you if it turns out well. And I’ve crocheted a few scrubbies for the kitchen out of netting, though I only do one of those at a time because it’s hard on the hands. No photos as they go straight into the kitchen drawer when they’re done. But I’ve figured out a quick way to make them so I don’t have to reinvent the proverbial wheel each time.

This zippered bag started out with the remnant of blue vinyl. I had to work around a major flaw across the piece so that dictated the size. The blue goes perfectly with the sewing-themed cotton and I had a zipper in just the right shade too.

I had to wash it after I took photos as the Wonder Tape I used to insert the zipper showed on the outside of the bag (probably because I used my walking foot with the needle moved to the left rather than faff about with the zipper foot).

Originally I thought the zipper was going to go across and stick out at each side but after sewing it in I realised the error of my ways (not following a tutorial again) and ended up boxing the top as well as the bottom.

I used one of my empty thread spools to add a hanging decoration to the zipper pull.

And despite a couple of rethinking moments I’m happy with the result.

The new 58″ TV is turning out to be a good buy. The reorganization of the living room has created more open floor space and every morning I play the same 15 minute yoga video to ease me into the day. I’ve watched a series called Hope Street on Britbox and a couple of times now I’ve come home to find Mr Fixit or one of the boys watching something. A TV is a novelty around here; we haven’t had one for years.

I think we’re all caught up now. Hope you have a great week!

Random stuff

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Well, life has been a lot less stressful lately. British Columbia lifted the mask mandate and my employers followed suit. Whilst I respect everyone’s choice to wear a mask or not, I have chosen to go without. Bliss! In addition I don’t have to police people who come into the store and so there is far less friction in general.

It’s funny though. We had one customer complaining that our staff should still be wearing them. I feel like proclaiming to the world that working in retail has been utter shit at times over the last two years and getting back to some semblance of normal life is a sanity-saver.

Talking of sanity-savers, I had a day off today and I feel like I achieved quite a lot. I did an hour’s workout at the gym. Vacuumed the house and aired it out by opening the windows for a while. Made some reflective armbands for when we go walking in the dark.

Made some mesh laundry bags.

Added pleater tape to the top of four store-bought curtain panels so we can hang them up in our family room (we have an Ikea system, not rods).

Made lasagna. Ate lasagna. Went to yoga.

Crocheted a thing (sort of a bunny container from a tutorial by Repeat Crafter Me) though it doesn’t have any features yet. I pulled out four colours of cotton from the stash the other day, hence the green basket, and there may be something else to come in yellow and lilac.

And cast on my Freesia shawl that I mentioned last time.

Only seven rows in. No more crafting tonight. It’s nearly 10pm now and I’m pooped! Time for bed.

Fluffies and goodies

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I showed you the beginning of the grey cowl last time. It only took three days to knit two cowls. Ten mil needles and furry yarn make a project fly off the needles.

This is Spindle Buttersoft which is a discontinued yarn from the store where I work. Shame because it was very popular. It only took 42 stitches and about 40 rounds to use up the skein.

The Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry is planning an April KAL. It’s going to be a shawl knit/crochetalong, so knowing I wanted to use my stash of Berroco Modern Cotton in the colourway Matunuk I did a search on Ravelry for something in DK that wasn’t too challenging but also not completely mindless.

This shawl design by Annie Baker looks perfect. It’s a paid pattern on Ravelry. I don’t buy many patterns but this one drew me in. Freesia I caked up the three hanks of yarn last night. Doesn’t the yarn coordinate perfectly with my Caspian knitting needles!

I had some happy mail yesterday too.

A while ago, maybe a couple of months, I heard my name mentioned on the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast. Ali said I had won something in one of her makealongs and I was very excited! The package arrived (and was a total surprise because I had forgotten about it by the time it got here)!

I won a project bag and book and Ali had put in a couple of ‘You are a Little Drop of Wonderful’ pins and stickers. Fun!

I’m itching to do some fun sewing this weekend. Not sure what yet. Depends how much time I have.

A caterpillar on my couch

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Look at this lovely fuzziness!

I’ve had these two balls of Spindle Yarns Buttersoft in the stash for some time. I made the simple cowl pattern on the back of the ball band in 2018 with my first ball of the fluff and then couldn’t get any more.

When it came in the second time I grabbed two more balls as I regretted giving away the cowl. I’ve cast on a new one – it’s a very simple pattern – 42 stitches and knit in the round until the yarn runs out. It’s so soft!

I was tidying my sewing room tonight which is something I do when I’m not sure what I want to work on. This is why I ended up with a new knitting project!

It’s not perfect. The floor now needs vacuuming again because I was pulling stuff out. But at least the work surfaces are clear. The project sitting next to the sewing machine is my hand-stitched sashiko vest of which I should probably get up to date photos.

My other knitting project is the top down sweater. The circular yoke is almost done, at which point I’ll try it on. I am having teensy weensy reservations about the gauge and wondering whether I should have used smaller needles for a denser fabric.

No up to date photos of that either.

I did play with strips of fabric and made some fabric twine which is something I’ve seen a couple of YouTubers do. Lorrie Nunemaker and StitchesbyJulia, I think. I put on a movie last night (it was suggested by Netflix, a Ryan Reynolds one called The Adam Project) and twisted the night away! I did more today.

Interestingly it made my left wrist sore, the one which was gripping the strips, rather than my right wrist which was doing the twisting.

So pretty though.

The couch was covered in threads though. I had to vacuum afterwards!

I’d better get off the couch now. I want to go to bed but the dish fairy failed to show up so there’s a few things to wash. Take care, and keep crafting.

Sewing frustrations

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Sewing frustrations

This zipper pouch caused a lot of frustration. I used two of the adding machine paper scrap strips. It was all fine and dandy until I realised I had forgotten to remove the paper and had to rip out my stitching AND peel back the fused Thermolam.

Also the top corners looked like crap and I had to figure out what I was doing wrong in that area. I probably should have just gone back and reviewed a tutorial on YouTube but you’d think I would know what I’m doing by now.

Anyway it’s good enough for my own use but I doubt I’d give it as a gift because it still has issues!

This small drawstring bag is for my boss. I used a scrap of vinyl and some quilting cotton from stash. It’s about 10″ tall and has some chocolate inside for her birthday.

Rather than boxing the bottoms the usual way, I did that thing where you fold your fabric in half, right sides together, top edges matching, then push about an inch and a half of the bottom edge up inside then sew the side seams. It makes for a cool detail on the base without the extra step of sewing across the corners and chopping off the triangles to get that 3D bottom.

I just had three days off and my main activity was reading. Why? Well, this came in at the library.

You Outlander fans will understand!

I did get some exercise in too. We went out for a sunny walk on Sunday and on Monday I spent over an hour at the gym in the morning and I was back in the evening for yoga.

Work today so I shall have to put Jamie and Claire aside until this evening!

FO: giant stash-eating monster-granny-of-doom!

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FO: giant stash-eating monster-granny-of-doom!

She is finished! I actually completed the last round two evenings ago, but waited for a day off to weave in the last four tails and get pics.

Thankfully it’s a beautiful sunny day today. The previous three days were damp and foggy.

She weighs 6lbs 4.5oz/2852g and measures 80″ across (203cm). I started crocheting her on January 2nd, though I wasn’t monogamous. I had knitting and sewing projects on the go too. She’s going on my bed later.

A mini yarn review, and other fun stuff

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A mini yarn review, and other fun stuff

Hello and welcome to my sofa full of blankets. Actually the granny-in-progress is dominating the space right now. I have five more rounds to do until I audition it on my queen size futon. Each round is eating a lot of yarn and time so I can probably count on one round per day.

I have to say, I didn’t think I’d ever buy this Craft Smart acrylic from Michaels but it’s soft and cushy, and I prefer it to the Bernat Super Value which is more expensive and thinner, even though they are in the same weight bracket.

It isn’t my imagination. I just checked the yardage per 7oz ball and the Craft Smart is 354 yards and the Bernat is 440. I wish Michael’s had had the Craft Smart in black because I much prefer it (and it would have been $3.99 instead of $6.99).

I have cast on a sweater! The Cygnet Chunky that I bought for a sweater last year (but unravelled) is being pressed into service to make a top down seamless yoke sweater using my Ann Budd book for the numbers. The large scrappy drawstring bag that I sewed recently is perfect for holding the project and warms the cockles of my heart every time I look at it.

I need to find some bright pink and green yarns to jazz up the cuffs and neckline of this garment but for now it’s just a lot of round and around stockinette. I have worked 6 5 inches of the yoke so far.

After seeing Karen of Just Get it Done Quilts and Kate of The Last Homely House play with their quilt scraps, sewing them to adding machine paper, I was excited when my friend found some rolls for me at a thrift store. I had some time this afternoon to start making my own colourful strips. I cut my paper at 13″ because I doubt I’ll make quilt blocks that are bigger than 12.5″. Karen makes hers 18″.

It was a lovely day off today. The sun was pouring in, I did some housework, and got the tea things out in time for 11am.

Tea, coffee and gluten-free gingerbread cake, friends, laughter and sunshine. What a way to brighten the day!

And we’ve booked flights to go and visit the family in the summer. Can’t wait!

A small finish

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I had some friends over this week to knit and crochet and drink tea. One wanted me to teach her to make these face scrubbies. They are just simple circles and after the knit night I ended up using the last of my Knit Picks Dishie to make eight of them. I also had fun making a Fidget Ball (which could be used to wash your face) from a video by The Crafts Channel.

The granny square blanket is almost six feet across now. I think that one round each of the five new colours I showed you last time, plus the black and grey in between, should result in about 80 inches and at that point I think I’ll call it done.

I have bagged up the small balls and there’s over two pounds of those, enough to make another scrap project. Or I could just take them to the thrift store.

We’ve had some mild days lately and I had a lovely walk along the waterfront with a friend this week.

I hope all is well with you and that you’re making time for creativity.

The blanket that took over the living room

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It’s growing!

I measured and weighed this baby last night. It’s 64 inches across (the same as my height) and weighs 4lbs. That’s about 1.6 metres and 1800 grams.

I put it on my bed which is a queen-size futon and it needs to be bigger!

The yarn was running out so I did some weighing and calculations. The last black round used up 45 grams. So my conclusion was that I had enough for 12 more rounds which would add another 10 inches or so and that I needed to boost the stash a little.

I went to Michaels and looked around for the best options. It didn’t need to be the best quality yarn as long as it didn’t feel horrible running through my hands.

I ended up with the budget-friendly Craft Smart 200 gram skeins ($3.99) for the grey and five other colours, but had to get Bernat Super Value ($6.99) for the black as there was no black in the Craft Smart.

This basketfull plus the black and grey should see me to the end of this project.