Tag Archives: blanket

WIP Wednesday

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Well, I do have some WIPs to show you, but first I have a TA DA!

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The Granny blanket is done! This is made with rather a lot of Loops & Threads Impeccable in various colours (from stash), plus some vintage acrylic, plus some new kelly green Impeccable. The kelly green is there because this blanket is for my friend and she and her husband support the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team.

I gave it to her today and I think she is pleased! She put it over her legs while we were visiting.

Another smaller FO is this hat…

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Rather ugly, I think, in brown and gold, but it used up a lot of vintage acrylic! And I was happy to practise on some yarn without using the “good stuff!” This hat was made on my Bond knitting machine. It was just a long rectangle, half brown, half gold, which was seamed into a tube and cinched at each end, then you push one half of the hat inside the other and TA DA, a reversible hat that has a quadruple thick layer over the ears.

Now onto the prettier stuff.

I found this Christmas-inspired Bernat Pop! at Walmart recently and was itching to knit with it. So I started a fair isle hat using a chart out of my Alice Starmore Charts for Color Knitting book. I’m using two cakes, pulling one strand from the outside of one cake, and the second strand from the inside of the other.

I don’t claim to be particularly good at stranded knitting, though I have the technique down. One yarn in each hand, plus the catching of the floats, no problem. My tension, well, that remains to be seen.

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I just love the colours. So much more appealing to me than the standard red, green and white. The colourway is called Candy Cane. One pattern repeat done. The background will be changing to aqua in the next repeat.

I started another project today too. I am not usually such a prolific starter (I still have two other WIPs which have been neglected and I don’t like having too many on the go) but I wanted to take something out with me to work on that was restful and didn’t need much attention while I visited with my friends. So I started this…

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I made a scarf just like this last year so I looked up my Ravelry project page to see what hook size I used. One skein and a 6.5mm hook gave me a scarf 9 squares wide by about 60″ long.  This bulky yarn (Loops & Threads Barcelona) is pretty and soft and makes a lovely texture in the C2C stitch pattern. I think I may make a coordinating hat like I did with the other colourway last year. And perhaps pompoms at each end…?

Gotta run – dinner is nearly ready. Happy crafting, y’all!

 

 

 

FO: Dennis the Menace slouchy beanie

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FO: Dennis the Menace slouchy beanie

 

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This red and black striped slouchy beanie reminds me of Dennis the Menace in the Beano. When my sister and I were kids, we used to read the Beano and Dandy comics and when my co-worker asked if I’d make her a hat like this I was instantly reminded of Dennis’s sweater! She sent me a photo of what she wanted and I was able to recreate it easily as it’s just a basic hat, worked top down, in double crochet, alternating two rounds of each colour. There are a few rounds of sc at the brim, where I decreased and snugged it in so it would stay on.

The photo above was taken while the beanie was in progress. I was sitting in my favourite tea shop, on my own, with a Cowboy Fog (a latte made with a lovely tea blend which includes black tea, espresso beans and coconut flakes), my crochet project and my iPad. Pretty much my personal heaven!

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The rainbow slouchy hat in my previous post was the precursor to this hat. The second iteration is wider and longer and my friend at work is very pleased with it. We made a deal that she would buy the yarn, I’d keep the leftovers, and then she’d “pay” me with more yarn. Win Win!

I don’t often take commissions, and there are many many discussions online about how much one should charge for handmade stuff. I take each case on its merits. It depends on who’s asking (friend or random stranger), how they are asking (demandy-pants or not), whether I really want to make the item (a simple hat, sure, a blanket that’ll take up 100 hours of my time, no way) and whether we agree on what’s a reasonable deal.

So with that out of the way, I had an idea for another project, so I pulled out a bunch of worsted weight yarn and laid it out on the living room floor. I go through phases of yarn acquisition and stashbusting, and I am feeling the need for a stashbusting period. I tend to attract yarn donations from random people and it’s usually vintage acrylic. Time to use some up.

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The self-striping cakes at bottom right are two Caron Big Cakes, which I thought might be good to throw in to the mix. (Changed my mind on that.) My first idea was to quadruple-strand with a massive hook, and do a granite stitch (1sc, 1ch, sk1) but I didn’t like it. So now I am working up a simple giant granny square.

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I am using the kelly green every fourth round as I have quite a bit of that, with a dark green, brown, orange, rust, yellow, purple, blue and red. Of course my centre is skewing somewhat, which is typical of large grannies crocheted around and around, but I don’t mind. However I may try turning the work every other round on my next granny, because that’s supposed to maintain a perfect square. Of course it also make it reversible, though I’m not sure if my end-weaving is perfect enough to be invisible on both sides.

I have so much black and grey that my brain is working on the next blanket already. I’d like to make one in white, grey and black with small pops of colour. I will need to browse Ravelry for some pattern inspiration.

I just came off four days of work in a row. I worked  Friday to Monday, which was rather sad because it was Thanksgiving weekend and my husband was off work for three of those days and I barely saw him. Whilst I like my job at the fabric store and my co-workers, and now that I’ve been there four years I (finally) feel confident in my abilities there, I sometimes wonder whether it would be worth looking around for something I could do that didn’t involve evenings and weekends. Or is the grass just looking greener from the other side?

Talking of grass, my lawn has greened up beautifully with the fall weather. The cooler temperatures and rain have been very welcome. The squirrels have been busy collecting up my walnuts, though Tai Chi Man found three paint buckets-worth on the ground when he was doing yardwork over the weekend and brought them inside. For the first time in a few years we will actually get to eat some of our own walnuts! He dug the last of the potatoes and also rented this awesome gadget from the sprinkler store which meant that for the first time since we bought this house in 1995 we actually know where ALL the solenoid boxes are for the irrigation system. Some of them have been buried for a very long time, which makes it hard to fix problems.

My massive maple in the front yard is showing red this year for the first time. Previously it’s always turned yellow. Weird! And normally I like to see how long we can hold out on turning up the thermostat. I like to aim for the end of October. Well, forget that! This year we had the heat on at the beginning of October, just to get a bit more comfy in the evenings. I am really appreciating having a blanket project to crochet to keep my legs warm – it makes a big difference when you’re enjoying couch and Netflix time!

Guess I should get off this computer now. I have a little housework to do and a couple of errands, so I’ll wish you happy crafting and a wonderful week.

 

Ze Groovyghan! Eet eez done!!

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Ze Groovyghan! Eet eez done!!

I am so excited to announce that the Groovyghan, she is finished. Happy dance!

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I absolutely love it. Even though I was following a pattern I, like many others who have crocheted this beauty, made many customisations and ended up with a unique Finished Object.

The plain dot squares had appliques added, the 3D flowers were switched out for daisies, the vertical shell strip was replaced with a diagonal C2C strip, and the border! Oh, the border! I found a You Tube tutorial for a popcorn stitch border which I extended to include all 12 colours and I think it is my favourite part of the whole blanket.

That final popcorn round took two hours and twenty minutes! And the whole caboodle took me exactly a month from start to finish, with a lot of manic crocheting in between all my regular life commitments and a huge amount of weaving in of ends.

It was all worth it and now my bed is adorned with this colourful blanket. This is 1600 grams of yarn, approximately, and one day maybe I will make an even bigger version that covers my bed even better.

These are the best pics I could get because my hopes of taking it outside and getting some full daylight shots were scuppered by the rain.

Here’s a close-up of the border…

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Check out my previous post for a link to the pattern and my Ravelry project page for all relevant notes and links to the extra patterns I used and the You Tube tutorial for the border.

WIP: blanket, FO: hat, OMG: heat!

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I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend wherever you are. I have a surprise five-day-off stretch, thanks to booking Monday off to take the kids to the dentist, and I intend to make the most of it.

It’s all crochet today but two very different projects. This little hat is made with Loops & Threads Facets, a discontinued yarn that I picked up at Michaels  a while back. (No pattern, I just make hats top down until they look about the right size!)

When I have a large project on the go, I like to throw in some small, quick ones to stop me from getting bored. This is bulky yarn, I used a big hook, and I made it (hopefully) child-sized so I can send it to my great-niece. I have a few things in the pipeline for her so will send a parcel later this year.

I’m still waiting for a package from Wool Warehouse – it’s been over a week and as you probably know time drags when you’re excited about getting something in the mail. Especially yarn! I will take photos to show you when it arrives.

My WIP is the Everything is Cool and Groovyghan blanket CAL. I have to say, there’s nothing cool around here, as we have had a run of 32 – 34 degree weather (90 – 95 Fahrenheit) and the only respite has been when I have been working in an air-conditioned store.

I wouldn’t mind too much if the nights were cooler but sometimes you go to bed and you can barely stand having a sheet over you. Yuk!

Anyhoo, here are some photos of the progress. I did intend to go out on the deck and get some better ones but right now it’s too darned hot and windy outside. So I quickly laid things out on my bed, took a few pics, and dashed back to the couch in front of the big fan.

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This is the overview – part 1 of the CAL was the strip of grannies at the top – part 2 were the popcorn blocks – part 3 the ripple blocks – part 4 the large central granny – and part 5 is currently under construction. Part 5 is two blocks, each made up of eight small squares.

As you can see, this is looking pretty scrappy.

And I have rather a lot of ends to weave in.

When my new yarn arrives, I will probably neglect this WIP a bit as I want to make the Kanata Kerchief Tank (Ravelry link as it’s a free Ravelry download) for myself. I ordered a linen blend (Scheepjes Linen Soft, I think) in a soft grey, thinking I’d wear a colourful tank or tee underneath. Now I’m wondering whether a bright yarn would have been better with a neutral tank underneath, but it’s too late to second-guess myself now. I also ordered three balls of the same yarn in a deep pink so that I can make a cute little toddler dress with a crocheted bodice and a fabric skirt (this one). And two shade cards will be in the package, one for Stylecraft Special DK and one for Scheepjes Colour Crafter. Oooh!

Well, my brain is cooked and I need to go shower and cool off. Have an awesome Sunday and I’ll be back as soon as my Wool Warehouse parcel gets here.

 

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. ❤

 

 

 

 

January WIP update

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The time flies by! I just checked the date of my last post and it was 6 days ago! And I had forgotten I already showed you my stash flash, because I was about to post the photos…again!

Hmmm, guess my brain is all full up.

The Hungry Caterpillar blanket isn’t coming along as quickly as it should, but here’s the progress so far…

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The first two (green) segments of the caterpillar’s body are now incorporated. I’m working right to left on each row, and this is row 4 of 9. The edges are curling a bit, which will all be fixed when I add the border. I could have used a 5.5mm hook, with hindsight, and if I had I could have used my Addi Swing hook. Ah well, too late now.

Have you heard the word “hygge?” It’s a word that’s being bandied about on the interwebz and it is a Danish word with a complex meaning that needs a bunch of English words to describe it! A friend and I have started a women’s group of the same name. We had the first gathering last night at my house. Just four of us for the first one, though I’d like to add a few more. One woman recently had a baby and brought him along. OMG, newborns are so tiny and cute. I asked her to give the caterpillar hat a trial run, because I was nervous about the size. It was PERFECT! So I guess I don’t have to make another one.

And funnily enough, Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats was talking about the exact same thing in Episode 24 of her podcast that I watched today.  Have you seen her podcast before? I love it.

Last night, one friend was knitting on a pair of socks, another was knitting a rat cave which she intended to felt, and I was crocheting a really easy cowl. I wanted something I could do mindfully and mindlessly at the same time! You know what I mean? You can concentrate and enjoy the lovely fuzzy feeling that comes with forming the stitches with the colourful yarn, and if you want to chat you can continue crocheting because every row is the same and easy to memorise.

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This is Loops & Threads Facets. 100% acrylic, a bulky yarn in the colourway Capri Blue. This is a daylight shot but it still doesn’t do it justice. At the end of the first skein, I had a piece 20 inches long, which wasn’t quite long enough to join into a cowl. So as I was going to be starting the second ball anyway, I decided just to use up the whole of the second ball too and hopefully get a cowl that I can double up around my neck. I doubled the amount of pattern repeats across as my yarn isn’t anywhere near as bulky as the one used in the original design. Agnes Lace Cowl

Since starting this, I have become quite attached to it. Rather than give this one away, I may just weed out and donate some of the other older accessories I have. I might even make a hat to match (time to grab a Michaels coupon)!

Well, I must make some more progress on the blanket and also put a couple of hours in on my eCornell plant-based nutrition course. I’m at mid-point right now. Halfway through the second module of three. I am learning a lot and it’s getting me all fired up to share more with people about the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet. I am cooking without added oil now and the kids are having to get used to dinners without fake cheese. Whilst we are keeping maple syrup in the house, once the coconut sugar is gone I won’t be buying any more. Ditto the white flour.

I am being a lot more outspoken on my personal Facebook page about animal rights at the moment. I’m sure some of my FB friends would like to/have blocked my posts but the truth really does have to come out. And it will, one way or another.

Hope you’re having a compassionate week.

Only 4 hours of 2016 to go

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Here I am, sitting on the couch with my crochet and laptop as usual. Well, they do say you should start as you mean to go on!!

It’s been a good week.  A few not-too-busy shifts at work. A fun potluck last night with friends. And only one WIP to start off the new year.

The current project is The Very Happy Caterpillar blanket by Artisan Loops Designs, aka Ne11 on Ravelry. (Yes, that IS Nell with two ones.) It’s a paid pattern which she kindly sent me as a gift some time ago. My Ravelry project page says that I started it on December 6th, but despite that I haven’t made much progress. The blanket has a row of coloured circles in the top row and two rows at the bottom, so I crocheted these circles first. The final white joining round is one I was dreading a tiny bit as the layout of the pattern has lots of little picots around the circles for joining them to each other and I was getting in a tizz about them. But as usual, getting them done was easier than I had anticipated and now I have a full row done. I did make a teensy weensy mistake on the last circle, adding an extra picot where one wasn’t needed as it is a corner circle. That is now fixed.

The yarn is Loops & Threads Impeccable, which is an acrylic worsted weight yarn from Michaels, and these colours are yellow, purple, orange, blue, dark green and red. The green looks better in real life, and the photo isn’t showing much differentiation between the blue and purple. Anyhoo, so far, so good. I have pushed through the thing that was making me procrastinate and I am off to the races.

If I need a small portable project at all, I think I will make another caterpillar hat in a larger size. I would hate for the one I made to be too small. Better to have it a bit too big than too small. And the cocoon, well, I think I will be adding a drawstring to the top of it, as the opening looks huge. Just my thoughts as I type away here, excuse my rambling!

I hope 2016 was good to you. Make 2017 great!

 

A distraction from the current WIP

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I think I’m safe to post this here as my Jersey (British Isles) family doesn’t read my blog (except maybe for my mum and she won’t tell).

I had a Michaels email yesterday – my usual routine when those arrive is to keep the most recent one, just in case I find myself in need of a coupon, but this time the info was somewhat more interesting. All yarn on sale? Hmmm, have to check it out.

When I arrived, the employees were frantically opening towers of cardboard boxes and stocking the shelves, and at first I thought I might get Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice because it was about half price. However they had no white, and I need white for the main colour of my next project.

I went off to Costco and when I came back there was still none, so I looked at the Loops & Threads Impeccable. A similar 100% worsted weight acrylic, not quite as soft as the Vanna’s, but less money and more yardage per ball. The colours are white, four shades of green, yellow, purple, orange, royal blue and cherry red. The purple looks blue in the photo for some reason. They are 4.5oz each, so bigger than the usual 3.5oz put-up.

That haul of 12 skeins cost me $30, which I think is a good deal as I will have enough to be able to make this blanket AND this cocoon/hat set (Ravelry links). I already bought the board book and I feel that this combination will make a nice newborn gift for the new parents. I will need to have it all finished by February to allow for snail mail, so no rush for the deadline.

The Coatigan continues – I think I have 31 squares made so far, so when I get to 36 I’ll take another photo. (Oooh, I just realised that 31 is halfway there.)

It’s been a gloriously sunny day here. After my piano lesson I met a friend for tea and we sat outside the coffee shop for an hour, enjoying the rays. Not bad for November, eh!