Tag Archives: granny squares

So relaxed!

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Day 4 of a block of five consecutive days off between shifts. I don’t know what I did to deserve that, but I’m loving it.

Today I did one of my favourite things, which was tidy up my craft room as I had dumped yarn all over the place. I also updated my stash pages on Ravelry. I have acquired extra skeins from a couple of friends who were clearing out either their own stuff or someone else’s. There were some knitted pieces, two of which I darned in the ends on and will donate to the SPCA and the other two I unravelled.

Tai Chi Man and I had a pleasant walk along the waterfront this afternoon. It was raining but we had our new Costco waterproof jackets on so we were comfortable. Treated ourselves to some good tea from our favourite tea shop (and a cookie – oops!).

Friday I took myself off to the ski hill for some snowboarding on my own. I’ve never done that before but the boys weren’t bothered so I went. The drive started out rainy and ended up snowy. The road between the highway and the resort is about 20km and the second part was very slushy and slippery. Bit of zigzagging and tire spinning going on, and when I parked in the parking lot I just knew that I was going to have trouble getting out again, winter tires notwithstanding.

I had a free lift pass so that was great, but I had to rent a board and boots as usual. I have my own helmet (that’s saved me from many a potential concussion)! I did a couple of runs – first one always feels like I’ve forgotten everything. Second one was better. Snow was quite soft and deep in places and caught the board a fair few times. Got to the top of the quad chair and was pushing my way to the spot to anchor my right foot back in when someone asked me if I’d lost a binding. Oh great, the ankle binding had come off as a screw had come out and got lost in the snow. Told the lift guy who radioed down. Not sure why it took so long, but had to wait over half an hour before a snowmobile appeared to take me down the hill. I did get to warm up inside the hut at the top of the chairlift and chat to lift guy for a while.

The snowmobile guy was a fellow Brit and very nice and I enjoyed my ride down the mountain back to the village centre. Never been on a skidoo before, but it’s a lot of fun. Asked the girl at the rental place if there was any chance of a refund as had lost 50 minutes of boarding time out of my limited afternoon session and was told yes, and I could still get my binding fixed and do more runs first if I wanted. Did a couple more runs and then got a FULL refund (would have been satisfied with half) so was very chuffed!

As anticipated, car was bogged down in snow in parking lot, tires were spinning and I was going nowhere. Nice young man appeared in front of my car and pushed a few times while I was attempting to reverse and got me out. Drive back to highway was again rather hairy – nearly sideswiped a van coming the other way as I went around a bend. A pretty eventful day that could have turned out badly but thankfully all I had were a few sore muscles the next day.

And finally after all that blabbing I can show you a bit of yarn…

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Sorry for the fuzzy nighttime shot – I was very limited in what I could do as the iPad is plugged into the laptop, syncing and backing up. I decided to carry on with this baby cardi and trust that I will have enough yarn. Cross fingers! One front done.

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This is a finished gift. I bought some handmade soaps at the indoor farmers and crafters market yesterday and decided to give one to a friend. The mesh bag is Tunisian crochet, the washcloth just a basic granny square. The yarn is Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK.

The poncho has been neglected but not forgotten, as I have the skeins of Stylecraft Special DK lined up in front of the coffee table so I know which order to use them in. Thank goodness we don’t have any small children or curious pets in this house.

And finally, I almost forgot, the caterpillar set (book, blanket, cocoon and hat) which I mailed off to the UK weeks ago has arrived safely and the new parents-to-be love it. Yay!

I hope your weekend was wonderful. Have a peaceful and productive week and I’ll talk to you again soon.

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: Coatigan

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Well, good morning, Sunday people. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I’m enjoying the fact that the clocks went back so even though I had a lie-in I had a bonus hour which makes it feel like I got up earlier than I actually did.

It’s sunny with a bit of cloud and a chilly wind, though our temperatures so far this fall have been mild. We had a lot of grey days and rain this week, except for two sunny days, during which my car thermometer hit 18. Awesome! And no frost yet.

I know the wind is chilly because I ventured out onto the deck in my pyjamas to lay out my Coatigan granny squares and get a daylight photo of the progress.

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Last night, while I was “knitflixing” (OK, I was crocheting, but “knitflix” has kind of a ring to it) and watching the very first few episodes of The X Files on Netflix, I laid out my squares and decided to make it so I had three of each centre colour. I need to make more to coordinate with the squares at bottom right, and then I need to keep going until I have 62. Or more. I guess if there are any squares I particular dislike, I can use them under the arms!

I’m a bit disappointed with the ball of black that I’m using right now as it feels thinner and splittier than the other colours, but by the time I get to the collar and cuffs I will be using a different batch which will hopefully be plumper.

I have to work this afternoon, just 12 to 5pm, but there’s a big sale on this weekend and it will probably be busy. For now, it’s time to check on my rising bread dough. Have a light-filled day, peeps!

 

Happy Hallowe’en?

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I’m sitting here in my favourite spot tonight; in my living room at my end of the couch (the other end belongs to Tai Chi Man but he’s out this evening). I don’t expect anyone to ring the doorbell because we have only ever given out candy once or twice in the 20 years we’ve lived here. We are the Scrooges of Hallowe’en. Keep the door shut, maybe even dim the lights and pretend to be out or deaf!

Being vegan, and raising vegan kids, meant that going out trick or treating never really appealed that much. The one time we did it, we had to pull out a lot of the candy and give it away. And I am not going to buy crap that I wouldn’t feed to my own children just to hand it out at the door.

When the boys were younger, we did carve pumpkins, but to be honest that has lost its appeal too. So much effort and mess for such a short-lived result, not to mention that my conscience is pricked when I think of our culture using food purely as decoration when they are so many people who are lacking enough to eat.

Well, that’s enough of my whining, now for some crochet. I have links! The coat that I mentioned in my last post is a free pattern based on one worn by some celeb or other who I probably have never heard of (did I say I don’t watch TV and that the celeb magazines at the store leave me cold)? The original cost over $1,000. Well, mine is going to be less than $50.

Coatigan in Grannies is the name, and here is the Ravelry link, and here is the Red Heart link. I’m not sure how realistic the gauge is, when you consider that I am using Stylecraft Special Aran, which is thinner than Super Saver, and a 5mm hook rather than the suggested 6mm for the size of square I need. I am aiming for the middle size and my squares should be 6.5″ but there are closer to 6.75″. And I usually go UP a hook size to meet gauge.

Here are the first nine squares:

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The pattern uses a smaller, more coordinated, range of colours but I have a lot of this yarn to use up. I rejected lemon yellow, white, cream and fondant pink as I felt they would stand out too much. The lightest colours in these squares are parchment, camel, silver grey, and I am using them in the second round of each square. The centres can be brighter, but from the third round out I’m trying to keep things fairly sober. The last two rounds of each are black.

I’m not going to stress too much about how they look at this point. I am just going to crochet a bunch of them (I need 62 for the coat) and lay them out and if one just looks like a glaring mistake I’ll make a different one to replace it.

And now to pick up my hook. I found Leonardo di Caprio’s film, Before the Flood, available for free on You Tube today, so assuming it is still available I am going to watch it while I crochet.

Happy crocheting! Boo!!

 

 

 

Easter mitts

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I think these look Spring-y, don’t you? They are so easy and quick to make. You could use any granny square, worked to a measurement that wraps your hand, seamed up the side leaving a thumbhole.

This is the Sunburst motif, as linked to in my last post, with three extra rounds of regular granny pattern. I would hate this square if I wanted it to lie flat for a blanket, because it just wouldn’t behave! However for my purposes it’s perfect.

I’ve started part two of my Chinese philosophy course, but after watching a few video lectures I started feeling sleepy so had to stop. The information wasn’t really sinking in.

Work today was physically challenging, with lots of long bolts of upholstery fabric to lift and move, and I have a similar shift tomorrow. It’ll be time to hit the sack very soon. Zzzzzzzz!

 

 

 

 

Easter mitts

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I will give you a link to my Ravelry project page which will link to the motif and the method I used to turn it into fingerless mitts. Why Easter mitts? Well, it’s nearly Easter, and the colours remind me of painted eggs.

The project page isn’t complete yet as the project itself is a work in progress, but I have made similar mitts to this before. I came across the older project recently and thought it was time for a new incarnation.

This motif, on the website “Crochet Spot” which I have linked to on Ravelry, has a couple of anomalies in the instructions for round 1, but as long as you’re not a total crochet noob you will be able to follow them. (I did leave a comment on their post.)

I don’t know if it’s just me, but both times I have made this motif it’s been very ripply which indicates to me that there are too many stitches being squeezed into the circle. However I am working with this rippliness (totally a real word) as when the finished square is folded in half and seamed to make a mitt, the centre of the motif snugs into the curve of the wrist.

When I made these mitts before, I used a 6mm hook and a total of 6 rounds worked perfectly for size, but this time I’m using a 5.5mm hook and will need to add an extra round.

In case you’re wondering why I’m not making another nest, I am ‘resting’ my wrists with some looser gauge crocheting. I did something to hurt my wrists, which have been quite painful today – it’s either the tight crochet or playing around with foam dumbbells in the pool last night. (I met my friend and she showed me some physio exercises she’s been doing. I think I overdid it!)

Okay, it’s an early night for me. Ttyl!

Back to the blankie

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With fresh motivation, I have once again tackled the Grandma’s Knickknacks blanket and have whizzed across row 11. I have officially decided that this blanket will have 144 squares. Each square is about 4″ across, if that gives you a better idea of its size so far.

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So the final size will be 12 X 12 squares plus a border. I have been looking at Lucy’s blog (Attic24) for inspiration as she seems to be one of the current crochet queens of blankets. You have to see her latest – the Sunny Log Cabin. Those colour packs I recently ordered from Deramores in the Stylecraft DK? All her colour planning.

I am holding firm on the yarn ban, despite emails like this one!

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Not to mention people at work showing me their lovely smooshy cabled cowls-in-progress with yarn available at the store.

It’s been a good day today. I really needed a home day, and I had one. I thought I was going to have to do a long round trip this afternoon to pick up ds3 from his two night sleepover, but Tai Chi Man did it instead. So the housework was done, the laundry, the dinner; I even made bread for the first time in ages. And I vegged on the couch this evening with my crochet and Netflix (current show – Luther).

Wishing you all a wonderful week.