Tag Archives: Lion Brand Mandala

August FOs

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I just realized I left you hanging, partway through my All That Jazz cowl and the sashiko project with the green fabric.

Well, both are finished. Here’s what I made from the pieces of denim and green cotton.

That was fun.

And just yesterday I bound off the knitted cowl made from Lion Brand Mandala.

It’s been washed and yanked about every which way to try and even up the stitches a bit. The maroon segued into the blue, so one strand traveled throughout, and then I added contrast with different parts of the same colourway.

I am very pleased with my corrugated ribbing – it’s only the second project I’ve made with that feature.

And today I spent a few hours in my sewing room, accompanied by various podcasts from Kate at The Last Homely House, sewing a bag for a yoga teacher.

Do you like the play on words? Namaste Llamaste! I couldn’t resist it when I saw the llama fabric and buttons at work.

And I can’t believe I used to be scared of sewing vinyl. It sews like a dream.

We’re having a cooler week, thankfully, but there’s still a lot of smoke in the air. A new fire started just south of us two days ago.

It’s a little worrying to see that view from your home. It quickly grew and spread and caused homes to be evacuated in the area. We’re ok here but I have friends who have had to relocate until the danger is past.

There’s an even bigger fire north of us as well that makes this one look like a campfire.

I feel like I have smoker’s lungs now and I’m pining for clean air.

I hope all is well for you guys reading this and that you’re able to enjoy your creativity.

38 rounds in…

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My tension isn’t brilliant but I’m enjoying myself and hoping that a good wash at the end will even things out somewhat. (All That Jazz cowl as linked in my last post.)

My new sashiko needles and thread have shipped but in the meantime I’m playing with embroidery floss. These two panels will probably become a zippered pouch. I intend to add more embroidery first.

FO: the Doppelgänger hat

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Inspired by a comment from a co-worker that she thought a ponytail hat would be nice (it wasn’t really a request and it certainly wasn’t a demand) I thought I’d crochet one on the fly and see what happened.

It needed to be warm so I made it double layered, starting at the crown, working down through the first part and then continuing on and finishing with a second crown to make a one piece hat which is also reversible.

And it has ponytail holes.

The holes were made by chaining 6 and skipping 6 stitches on one round, and then working into the chain on the next round.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in Chimera and I let the colours fall as they came, without cutting or splicing. I mostly used a 5mm hook but went down to a 4.5mm for 6 rows in the brim area.

I considered sewing the edges of the two holes together but that might have reduced the stretch. Also when washing the hat it will dry quicker if opened out. And if one didn’t want to stick a ponytail through the hole, one could stagger the holes to stop draughts!

Orangey shades one side, greeny shades the other. And a closeup of the hole.

Misc makes

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Misc makes

Spring has arrived in full, with today’s temperature reaching the low 20s. I managed to leave work early, which almost never happens, and took a book out to the deck to catch some sunshine before dinner.

I take my new phone now when I go walking because it takes good photos. These are from a couple of days ago.

I burnt the heck out of my fingers making this guy…

I got hot glue on my skin and actually had quite the blister afterwards. I feel like he could use more accessories. Or perhaps I’ll just make more using the rest of the dollar store socks and see how they turn out.

Another easy, quick project was this flowy vest (waistcoat) which is my fifth one of this style.

I like to wear these at work. They go brilliantly over a T shirt and jeans, making an outfit look more dressy and streamlined, and they take 5 minutes to make. You only need a metre of a non-fraying knit fabric. If the print goes all the way to the selvage you don’t have to trim them off. I just make sure to straighten up the cut edges.

Once the edges are neatened all you have to do is fold the fabric with selvages together, measure 8 inches down from the top and 7.5 inches in from the fold, and cut a slit from that point down for 8 inches through both layers to make armholes. Easy peasy!

I had to do a repair on this apron. My sister bought this for me years ago, it was made by a local (to her) crafter and has seen me through many a kitchen mess. But I wore a hole through part of it so dug out some stripey fabric from the stash and patched it and now it’s good to go again.

And finally (FINALLY!) a crochet work-in-progress!

A co-worker of mine is leaving soon. She hasn’t been there long but we will be sad to see her go. She mentioned (not in a gimmiepig sort of way) that she had been wondering if I’d be able to make a hat with a ponytail hole. Well, I didn’t mind having a go, not that she has any idea that I’m making it.

This Lion Brand Mandala is one of my favourite colourways. It’s called Chimera and is sort of a muted rainbow.

I am designing this on the hook and the plan is to make it double thick because she’s headed further north. I’m approximately at the halfway point. It was coming out a bit loose so I went down to a smaller hook for the rounds that will form the brim. It’ll be reversible when it’s done.

Enough distractions, I must get back to my hook. I’m on a deadline.

So excited!

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Guess what! I have a new sewing machine!

It’s a Janome 4120QDC and I bought it after a fair amount of research of brands and prices based on the features I wanted in a new machine. My basic machine that I’ve had for over 20 years is a Janome, and I’ve been thinking of upgrading for a couple of years. Of course, with most stores closed, I didn’t get to play with different machines before I bought one. I ordered this from a local quilt shop, e-transferred the money, and they called me a week later.

I have read the manual, watched the DVD (how old-fashioned!) and tomorrow I will test it out.

One of the things people are finding out right now is how high maintenance they are! Do you usually go to the hair salon every 6 weeks, do you get your nails done every month, get waxed, tanned, massaged, whatever? Well, with all this social distancing, we are having to be more self-sufficient. Luckily I have been cutting my own hair since Christmas. We have clippers, scissors and combs, and that’s all I need to give myself a short back and sides, a bit longer on top. In fact, after I’d done the 23mm job the other day, I went back over it with the 15mm. It’s SO tempting to just keep going and do the lot but I didn’t!

My nails are natural – they grow really well when I’m not working, though I still break one now and then, so they aren’t all even lengths.

And my hair, well, that hasn’t been a natural colour for a long time! When I cut it, the old colour was gone. And I actually quite liked it brown with a bit of grey. So I left it for a few days. But I had bought some more Manic Panic Flash Lightning and some Atomic Turquoise and Hot Hot Pink (thank you, Sally Beauty, for doing curbside pickup) so today I took the plunge and did my whole head!

It’s kind of a tie dye look, isn’t it!?

Yesterday I had a big sewing jag. I was going to make a bag, but instead got sidetracked looking through bits and pieces in my stash. And I’ve had these thin knits for years, bought when I was quite new to working at the fabric store and this stuff was $3 a metre and I bought far too much of it in three or four colours.

I finally feel like I made something worthwhile out of it.

The skirts are simple rectangles with elasticated waists, with a half lining inside in the same fabric. I didn’t even neaten the hems. And the PJs are from a self-made pattern from an old pair.

The tie dye skirt is a rayon fabric that I recently brought home.

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I used the fabric sideways because I needed the extra length to fit around me with enough to spare, and that also meant I could use the selvage as the hem without sewing. (Can you tell I’m a lazy ass sewist?)

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This is my batik stash. I had them all in one drawer. The small messy pile is made up of leftover scraps but the other pieces are good sizes. The turtle ones, second from left, are half-yard cuts from a quilt shop in Maui. After I laid them out, I washed them on cold, hung them to get mostly dry and ironed them. They are now neatly folded and back in the drawer. Yes, the untouchable part of my stash! You know that feeling, saving it for ‘best’, like precious yarn, or the good china!!

And finally (at last, I hear you say) here’s my finished Cakes Two to Tango shawl. It took almost two complete cakes of Lion Brand Mandala.

I love it and want to make another someday.

WIP: Cakes shawl

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I am loving the way these two cakes of Lion Brand Mandala are playing off against each other.

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I have a teeny regret that in the first part I used three small balls of yarn that were separated from the original cake and I feel I should have put them in a different order, starting with lighter pink then going darker (at the top there, against the green). I prefer the stripes that visibly segue into the next colour rather than a hard colour change. But I can see myself making another of these.

I am almost finished with the cakes, but have to remember to leave enough for a picot edging.

I have also made another bag, what I call my Quadrant bag. This is the third one, and it’s 3″ taller than the first two. Did I say how much I really dislike sewing circles and cylinders together? Oh yes, multiple times!!

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And I wasn’t going to make any more masks, but the people at my favourite tea shop think that they may only be able to stay open if they wear masks to work, and commissioned me to make them some. They paid me in tea!

This bamboo flannelette print is just perfect for them.

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It’s been an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny but still with a hint of coolness. Mr Fixit and I went on a totally essential trip to a plant nursery to buy new plants for the garden!

It was nice to get out of the house and a little further afield than I have been in weeks.

And we had a wonderfully simple but tasty dinner of bannock, vegan cheese (Daiya Smoked Gouda, mmmmm), olive tapenade and a huge salad. Feeling blessed and replete!

 

 

What happens when you….

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….cross a Gnome and a Troll?

You get this:

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This pattern is called Cakes Two to Tango and I found it on Ravelry. It’s a free Ravelry download and it uses two cakes of colour-changing yarn. Of course I still had some Lion Brand Mandala in the stash, and I put two together that I wouldn’t normally have combined – but I’m loving the result.

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Gnome left, Troll right

The stitch pattern is easy peasy – just sc1, ch1 – which I think may be called granite stitch or something like that. Of course the rows get longer and longer as you go, but with the colour combinations changing all the time as you crochet through the cakes it keeps things interesting.

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I did some yardwork today. Mr Fixit was outside planting potatoes and I did some pruning of roses and pyracantha, and pulled out some dead stuff from one of the beds. Afterwards, I sat on the deck in the sunshine, and ds1, who just turned 28, was building this:

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You’re never too old for Lego!

 

WIPing in the New Year!

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WIPing in the New Year!

Happy 2020!

I have three WIPs that I’m bringing with me into 2020. I frogged the Party Cardi (granny square type cardigan) because I couldn’t see myself wearing it, so that was one off the list. And I finished the granny square blanket just after Christmas, and that felt good. Three Works in Progress are manageable, and what I feel comfortable with. Any more than that and it bugs me.

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WIP #1: Moe of Change with Lion Brand Mandala

I added a teeny bit to this last night. I was bored. Didn’t want to look at my computer screen. Didn’t want to sew. So I pulled this out and just focused on the one thing. I had put it down mid-round 21, so I had to work out where I was. It’s going to be pretty. Must keep at it!

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WIP #2: stashbuster blanket with various worsted weight yarns

Not pretty, but useful and will be very warm. I knitted a bit on this yesterday. It was nice to reacquaint myself with my WIPs. It’s only about 12″ of work so far, but there’s no deadline. It would be good to have it done before the weather gets too warm to have it on my lap though.

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WIP #3: no-pattern shawl, using Cascade Sunseeker

I started out with just a few stitches, used half double crochet, and increased every other row. When there wasn’t much left of the pink, I striped in the grey using single crochet rows.  I didn’t want to do that for long because it meant stranding the yarn up the side which means I’ll have to add some sort of edge treatment later. Carried on with hdc and grey, until I figured I should start decreasing. Changed to double crochet and decreasing on every row. (The dcs are taller stitches, but I wanted the decreasing to happen faster than the first part of the shawl.)

I am hoping that the grey will last until I get back to 3 or 4 stitches and that I then have enough of the pink left to go around once with sc.

And now for some exciting news! I had posted a request on Ravelry for anyone who might have been willing to part with a swift, as I now have quite a few hanks of yarn which have not been wound into balls. My initial method was to place a hank over the back of a chair and wind by hand, because I only needed to do it occasionally. I do have a yarn cake winder, but tend to use it with commercial skeins. Someone sent me a link to an online photo tutorial, and I asked Tai Chi Man if he was willing to make me a swift. He seemed amenable, I sent him the link, and in his usual way (Mr Fixit, very handy) he decided he could do better.

Using some scrap wood he had, plus a lazy susan from Lee Valley (the metal spinning part) and a dowel from Home Depot, he created an Amish-style yarn swift for me.

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Of course, as soon as he said it was ready, I had to test it out. I wound up the two cakes you can see in the above photo, and then tried a small one from a 25 gram hank.

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Because the pegs are movable, it can fit just about any size of hank, though I probably wouldn’t bother trying to cake something smaller than 25g.

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And I have spare pegs in case any get lost. It works great, all for less than $10!

Thanks, Mr Fixit!

WIP Wednesday

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WIP Wednesday

Hi peeps, how’s it going? Time for another WIP Wednesday. Seems like no time at all since last Wednesday, and it feels like I haven’t made a whole lot of progress.

The Party Cardi hasn’t been touched so I won’t bother with another photo of that. However I’ve started my Moe of Change…

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This is going to be a pretty blanket. It will be baby blanket size as it only uses two cakes of Lion Brand Mandala but it’s good to have at least one project where I have to concentrate on stitches and counting.

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The granny blanket with the Red Heart With Love has grown quite well though the colours are going to be a bit predictable from now on. The centre used up small balls of leftovers and now I’m on to the big balls, of which I have only a limited number. The plan is to repeat the white/black rows after each set of colours, and I hope it’s going to look ok with the different colours in the middle.

The knitted blanket has grown a tiny bit. I have added a few rows but they are so long that it’s going to be a slow project.

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That cake is one I wound up with my ball-winder when I first bought it and wanted to wind every scrap into a cake!

I also have a Finished Object – a very small one!

I needed ears for my Hello Kitty outfit for Halloween and found this hairband at the dollar store. It’s perfect because I crocheted the ears and slipped them over the plastic ear-shaped bits on top, sewed them on, and they won’t flop.

So I’ve been a good girl this week and got back to the gym. I had two weeks of holiday followed by two weeks of sloth (except for one yoga class). On Sunday, Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym in the morning and I did a 40 minute workout (20 mins treadmill, 20 mins weights machine circuit) to get me back into things. On Monday, I was back for 30 mins of treadmill plus a 30 minute upper body workout. And Tuesday, we had a challenging yoga class with lots of downward facing dogs and OMG my shoulders today are SO painful. But it’s a good kind of pain, I suppose, because it means I did some work! Couldn’t face another workout tonight after work, but I shall see what I can fit in tomorrow around my social commitments. Maybe a ‘leg day’ in the afternoon so that the shoulders get a break.

I have Maui in December to keep me motivated!

Yarndale and other holiday fun

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Yarndale and other holiday fun

I have been on holiday! I only had my old iPad Mini with me, and no phone, so I was only spending minimal amounts of time on t’internet, hence the gap between blog posts.

I had a lovely time. It was quite the whirlwind – the itinerary involved flying from Canada to London, England, driving down to see my cousins on the south coast, driving up to Yorkshire to spend a few days enjoying the area, including Yarndale, driving back to London, flying over to Jersey, a few days with the close family, then flying back to London, then flying home.

Kudos to Tai Chi Man who drove about 750 miles while we were in England. And motorway driving is NOT fun.

Highlights of the trip:

Yarndale, of course…

I was excited to meet Kathryn from CrafternoonTreats. We had been in touch prior to the day, because I have been helping to moderate her Ravelry group for a long time now and I just had to make sure we met up. She was a vendor, so she couldn’t avoid me, LOL. All of the yarn she dyes is wool, but knowing I am vegan she and her friend Helen had dyed up some natural coloured Stylecraft Classique Cotton with Procion dyes as a gift. So lovely!

Sorry, my photos aren’t great. iPad in poor light.

A few other souvenirs…

Being vegan helps me be disciplined in my yarn buying! Most of the yarn on sale at Yarndale is wool. So all I bought was this Louisa Harding Giardino (though it was pretty expensive)! And of course I had to get a Yarndale bag.

I was fan-girly about Lucy from Attic24, whose blog I have been reading for years. She is one of the organisers. I saw her, but didn’t talk to her, in the Knit ‘n Natter room. And I also spotted Tatsiana from Lilla Bjorn in the Scheepjes booth.

My travel knitting was a simple pattern from DROPS called Rascal. A two-row pattern repeat, it was just knitting back and forth until I felt the shawl was big enough. And I wanted to give it to my sister when it was done, so I had to finish it before I came home.

I forgot to get daylight shots before giving it away.

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It’s made with Lion Brand Mandala in Phoenix.

Other notable mentions…

Met up with my English cousins (one I haven’t seen since 1988) for a lovely day of hiking and lunching and catching up.

Took the tube around London, including Camden Market, Regent’s Park and Tower Bridge. Went up inside the bridge and got a funny feeling in my tummy looking down through the glass floor.

Seven hour drive north to Ilkley in Yorkshire where we had a lovely cosy Airbnb. Hiked around Bolton Abbey, saw some of the cycling world championships, got absolutely soaked on a three hour hike up on Ilkley  Moor. After Yarndale, a 5.75 hour drive back south to Gatwick airport.

The island of Jersey in the Channel Islands (close to France) is where most of our family lives and I stayed with my mum and Tai Chi Man stayed with his dad. That gave us the most time with our respective parents. And one day was spent almost entirely with my sister, including lunch at a vegan restaurant and a walk on the beach with her dog.

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A successful trip, all went to plan, with the only travel hiccup being a three hour delay getting out of Jersey. But as we had split up the three flights home with a stay at a Heathrow hotel this time it wasn’t a problem.

We were happy to see so many vegan options in many places. Supermarkets and restaurants are now offering so much more than they used to, so finding food is easier than it ever was. We still mostly self-cater when travelling, but it’s good to know we won’t starve if we have to rely on outside sources. There was a lovely cafe in Ilkley called The Veggie, the Sinful Vegan in Jersey, tons of vegan places in Camden Market, and I can’t forget Ransom’s Garden Centre in Jersey which has so many vegan mains and desserts that it’s hard to choose. (I had the coffee walnut cake, which was so rich I couldn’t finish it all in one go and had to save some for the evening.)

So we’re back to our regular scheduled programming. We arrived home Saturday evening, and Tai Chi Man had Sunday in which to recover somewhat from the jetlag and was back to work Monday. Thankfully my schedule meant that I am not back to work until tomorrow, Wednesday, so I’ve had time to blitz the house and do some grocery shopping. I haven’t quite had the energy to get to the gym yet though.

I’m back to crocheting the Party Cardi (a video tutorial on The Secret Yarnery’s YouTube channel) now that I have had a delivery of two more cakes of yarn. My stashbusting for September was pathetic, with the only outage being some tiny pumpkins, and then of course the incoming yarn from Yarndale. However I have blanket plans, because there’s nothing better than a blanket project when the weather gets cold. What are your favourite blanket patterns? I have some Red Heart With Love (which will probably become a giant granny square) but also a tonne of random worsted and DK to use up. I need ideas!