Tag Archives: crochet

2020 knitting and crochet – a review

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2020 knitting and crochet – a review

Good morning, Monday! Thanks to the fact I worked Friday/Saturday/Sunday, today is a day off and it feels like my weekend!

I stayed up late last night reading a library book. It was compelling enough that I wanted to finish it, and by the time I crawled into bed it was 1am. That meant that this morning it was nearly 9am when I got up. I really shouldn’t go to bed after 11. My face doesn’t like it 😀

I have a bonus Window on the Weather for you. We have fog today and wet snow and our view has all but disappeared. (I made it the featured photo at the top of this post – I’m sure you can click on it to see it bigger.)

So, what did I knit or crochet in 2020? You’d think that with the seven-week covid closure of my workplace back in the spring and fewer outside activities I would have made more stuff, not less. However that’s not the case. When I looked at my Ravelry project pages for things finished in 2020 there were only 32. Some years I have achieved twice that. I know it’s not a competition, and quality is better than quantity, but I feel a good deal of satisfaction from looking at my Ravelry notebook!

Of course there was a huge amount of sewing in 2020, which took up a lot of the time I could have been playing with yarn, so it’s not that I wasn’t making stuff, it’s just that I was absorbed in a different craft. I sewed masks and bags and journals and cuffs and was really enjoying delving into something bordering on textile art, not just utilitarian sewing. The new Janome sewing machine contributed to that too.

Here are the screenshots from my Ravelry notebook. If you are interested in more info, you can go check out my project pages here.

Even though there are 32 project pages, I actually made more than 32 things, as some projects include multiples of the same thing.

There are 3 shawls, 2 sweaters, 5 pairs mitts, 6 cowls, 1 pumpkin, 1 pompom garland, 1 blanket, 6 hats, 3 bags, 3 earsavers, 5 baskets, 3 hearts.

My one WIP is seeing me into the new year and then I have plans for some knitted fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit as his are wearing out. He is happy to have purple ones so I’ll use the same yarn as the current sweater, but probably at a tighter gauge. I’ll just use the Ann Budd pattern out of the Handy Book of Patterns. It’s easy and written for multiple gauges.

Since tidying up the stash, I am feeling an urge to do some stashbusting crochet projects. The desire to crochet has been a little weak in 2020 but I have that beautiful set of KnitPro Waves hooks just waiting for some attention.

The snowflakes just got bigger out there and I am appreciating the fact I can enjoy them from inside a warm house! Take care, everyone 🙂

Scrappy Sunday

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I have been having a very colourful time, working on Part 2 of the Creative Crochet Workshop’s Scrapsrific Rainbow Blanket CAL. The above motif will be a 12″ square. The last two rounds were added this week. I have realised that doing a crochet-along like this is very good for the discipline of weaving in your ends. You can’t proceed any further until Part 3 comes out, so often there’s a waiting period between finishing one part and the release of the next part.

The other squares for Part 2 are four 6″ squares. I made the two flowery ones different colours, but the rainbow ones are the same. I like the fact that the rainbow squares incorporate all ten colours in the blanket.

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What’s your weekend been like? Yesterday I was working, and we had another sale where the discounts were a bit bigger than usual, and we were reeeeeeally busy. It made the day go faster, at least, and customers were mostly happy because of the savings (except for a couple of grumblers who thought that the 53% should have been off literally everything – they obviously didn’t read the small print in the mailer)!

Today Tai Chi Man loaded up the prunings from the last couple of days yardwork. He had to cut some dead wood out of the cherry and apricot trees (much to the chagrin of the ants who were inhabiting the hollow branch of the cherry) and so today he took another 260kg of yard waste to the landfill. That’s nearly 700kg of stuff that’s been cleared off our property (of nearly half an acre) in the last couple of weeks.

The grass is greening up, there are more violets in the lawn every year, which is wonderful, we have daffodils and forsythia flowering, and even one of my Christmas cacti is pink and pretty, obviously deciding to be an Easter cactus instead.

The purple dishcloths have been flowing off my hook. I am on my fourth now. I think that may be the last one. When that’s done, I’d like to start another scrappy colourful project which I can work on when I have done my CAL pieces for the week. I have so much DK yarn, mostly Stylecraft Special DK, which would look lovely actually made into something useful. Do you have a favourite scrappy project? If so, comment and let me know what it is.

It’s been a good day of housework, tea at our favourite tea shop, stocking up at Costco, and going to the gym. I set up vegan mac ‘n cheese to bake while we were at the gym (can you believe my 20 year old son still complains when I put broccoli in it?!) so we’ve had a satisfying dinner too. All feels right with the world!

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. ❤

 

 

 

 

WIP: Feelin’ Groovy and feelin’ fine

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I was at this stage, evening before last, when I had to stop. Base done, looking a bit wavy in places because it needs blocking. (I have a large glass jar which is the perfect size for blocking the bag over.)

At the end of yesterday, this is where I left it. (Those sc2tog rounds were a b*tch to work into.)

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I have designated this as the front, and have my drawstring coming out front and centre. Haven’t added the wooden beads yet as I don’t want them to get wet.

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And this is the back. Just the strap to make now. The original strap is a long chain worked into with a row of dcs, I think. I may just use Tunisian instead, then I don’t have that whole fiddly ‘working into lots of chains thing’ going on. I made the drawstring simpler too – it’s just a chain, rather than making a whole row of sc – yuck!

My main colour (ie the colour I used for the last round, the drawstring, and the strap) is the teal, purely because I have three balls of that and only one of each of the other colours. Wouldn’t want to run out part way through the strap.

After three cotton projects, I can’t wait to get back to good old acrylic! SO much easier on the hands.

 

 

 

 

Silver Hills

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I have just had the most relaxing and rejuvenating week. The blog was neglected, not because I didn’t take my iPad with me, but because I was out of town at a health spa right here in the province of British Columbia.

Silver Hills guest house has been operating as a health spa for over 30 years. It’s set in rural countryside surrounded by hiking trails and unpaved logging roads, with its own garden which produces much of what is later served in the kitchen.

The food is all vegan, except for the honey, abundant, and beautifully presented at three set times per day. Snacking between meals is discouraged (and really unnecessary)! There is very little caffeine available, only decaf coffee for the diehards, and a little cocoa powder in the zucchini muffins.

The schedule incorporates two walks per day, one after breakfast and one after lunch. Health lectures each night explain the importance of correct nutrition, water consumption, deep breathing, exercise etc. It’s run by Seventh Day Adventists and therefore there is a spiritual component, saying grace before meals, and a short gathering each morning, which you can embrace or not as you wish. The morning gatherings did include a lot of laughter as well as inspirational readings.

The spa is beautiful,  with a steam room, infrared saunas, hot tub, and treatment rooms where you can enjoy salt scrubs, massages with or without hot stones, detox wraps, reflexology etc. What a treat.

When I initially heard about Silver Hills I looked up their website and thought it sounded expensive but now I think otherwise. You get a beautiful room with en suite bathroom, three enormous meals a day, spa services, guided walks, cooking classes and health lectures. And at the end of the week, you leave with the feeling that you are part of a bigger family (the staff eat with the guests). It’s actually a non-profit organisation and the cost is worth every penny.

While there, there was some downtime, so I worked a little on my crochet blanket which attracted a lot of attention. So far, 122 squares out of a possible 180 have been added. So 67% unless I decide to do more or fewer. In the photos below, the newest squares are at the top.

I hope your week has been awesome too. If ever you feel the need to destress, I strongly recommend a visit to a place like this, even if it’s just for a day. But a week is better!

Skull beanie FO

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imageJust popping in to show you my Finished Object. The skull beanie, modelled by Sally the Styrofoam head!

It’s snug on her which means it won’t fit me, but that’s ok. I’ll take the head and hat to work on Tuesday and when it’s had its time sitting out on view I will find a suitable new owner.

I just finished all five seasons of Drop Dead Diva on Netlfix and then discovered that Bones Season Ten is available. Yay! I’ve already started watching episode 1.

Two potlucks in two days this weekend, and tomorrow I’m cooking lunch for the five of us. Hmmm, better hike extra kilometres and swim extra laps after this.

Experimenting with skulls

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imageThe last ball of sample yarn I was given at work is in the process of becoming a generic beanie. Just half doubles worked in a spiral until it’s big enough. It’s Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted in black, and I’m using my favourite Addi 5.5mm hook.

To make it more interesting and relevant to the season, I’m adding a white skull applique to it. I found a pattern via Ravelry. The non-Ravelry link is here. It’s the one in my photo above, on the right. It’s an effective design but too big for my hat. So I used the idea to make a smaller version, which is on top of the hat on the left, and I think this will work just fine.

For now, I need to keep going on the hat. I just tried it on my styrofoam model head and it’s too shallow.

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers 🍁

Bombay Love

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Bombay Love – a free pattern via Ravelry download.

Link here

This little baby cardigan is made from one of my free balls of yarn for display at work. The yarn is Red Heart Designer Sport in Heart Red, I used the free pattern linked above, and a 5mm hook. Unfortunately I didn’t have quite the right button for it but used one from my stash that does at least match the yarn.

Don’t you just love the buttonhole idea! It’s two-stitch I-cord…the first knitting I’ve done in a long time.

The green is Marks and Kattens Carolina from my stash.

I’ve been whizzing along on the stripe strip for my blanket and will get a photo of that soon. Aaaaand, it’s late once again, and methinks it’s time to abandon the yarn and Netflix and hit the sack!