Tag Archives: Loops & Threads Barcelona

New pretties

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I told you recently that I gave away a lot of old acrylics that I had acquired from various sources, because I just wanted to keep the ‘good stuff’ that I will actually enjoy using. Well, the voice in my head said that now I had some space in my craft room cubbies I could feel free to invest in some new yarn. Totally justified, of course. And I have my birthday money fund, which is ‘free money’ which I can spend without guilt on anything I choose.

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With this in mind, I attended an autumn yarn event being held at my Local Yarn Store (LYS). I haven’t been in the store much since it changed hands at the beginning of the year, but I love the way things have been updated. New stock, a computerised checkout system, fresh look. The previous owners had run the store, very successfully I might add, for thirty years but they were ready to retire, and a new owner has the opportunity to make changes to suit her style.

My friend and I arrived at 10am, as the store was opening. It’s a two day event, and I expected there to be a lineup at the door, but no, we were the first ones in the door and we received our goody bags with a range of freebies inside. After a lot of browsing (yarns at LYSs tend to be mostly wool or wool blends) I found some pretties to bring home (pictured above). Four hanks (now cakes) of Cascade Yarns Sunseeker. Two multis, two solids, cotton/acrylic/metallic. I don’t usually go for sparkle and I haven’t a clue what I will make with them. The Drops Muskat is 100% cotton and I don’t know what I will use them for either but they coordinate well.

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The goody bag had lots of little bits and pieces including a hank of hemp yarn (and a ball of wool/alpaca which I gave to my friend).

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I also bought a placeholder and a set of stitchmarkers from a lady who was set up with her wares. I recognised her as a regular customer at the fabric store where I work. This sheep charm is fun (even though I don’t use wool) and the placeholder is an elephant charm. I liked that the lobster claw on it was large enough to use on crochet.

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I was fortunate to have a boss who went away to management meetings last week and came home with some freebies of her own. She didn’t know what these hooks were for and knows I love to crochet so I was glad to take them off her hands. I explained to her that they were for Tunisian crochet in the round, which is a technique I haven’t learned myself yet. However now I have the right hooks, I’ll have to go and visit CrochetKim on You Tube and learn how.

And finally…

Two finished objects for this week – a C2C (corner to corner) scarf and a slouchy hat. The scarf took a whole skein of Loops & Threads Barcelona and ended up 60″ long. No pattern. I used a tutorial from Mikey at The Crochet Crowd. The hat is the Joyful and Bright Slouch Hat from Oombawka Designs (Ravelry link) (direct link) and it has multiple sizes. I started out making the adult small, but the ribbed band would have been too big with 50 rows, so I did 44 then increased to 50 stitches on the second round of single crochets. That way, the brim should stay snug enough to stay on, but the body of the hat will be roomier. I also extended the 15 rounds of V stitch to 20 for more slouch.

The scarf took four days, the hat two.

I think that’s us all updated. Have a great weekend!

 

 

WIPs, workouts and weather

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I burned myself out on five-stranded super-bulky crochet last week and have put away the old crappy yarn for now. I actually  made a decision on what to make for the first ball of Lion Brand Mandala – colour Sphinx.

I started from the centre of the cake. It goes from teal, to turquoise, to a medium blue, to a darker blue, and then brown.  (Later I’ll get to green, mustard and grey.) If you look carefully, you will see the tail on the inside curve. This is the starting point. The short rows mean the shawl grows asymmetrically, but rather magically if I fold it in half it is still symmetrical, even though the starting point is not in the middle. This is giving me hope that, even though I have less yardage than the pattern calls for, I may end up with an acceptable result anyway. Or I can rummage through my Stylecraft Special DK and see if I can coordinate something to finish it off properly.

Pattern is Spill, a free Ravelry download. I think I first spotted it when the designer was getting it test-crocheted in one of the groups I belonged to. I’m happy that she published it for free!

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“Spill” requires some counting on the dc rows where some are short rows and some involve increasing. Odd rows are just sc. However seeing as I need to refer to the pattern every other row, it’s not ideal for tonight as I have a friend (or possibly friends) coming over to knit and chat. I needed an even easier pattern that I could do with only half a brain.

Therefore, this skein of Loops & Threads Barcelona was pulled out along with a 6.5mm hook, and after revisiting this Crochet Crowd tutorial I got started on a C2C (corner to corner). This is bulky yarn, and I have two 7oz skeins, so I think I will just play with making a scarf with it. I’ve never made a project with the C2C method before and a scarf will give me some good practice at increasing and decreasing.

My mind is sort of made up about the old yarn that I’ve acquired from various sources. I’d like to take it to the thrift store, get it out of my space, and just keep those skeins that I bought for myself that I really like. What do they say? Life’s too short to crochet with yarn that you hate? Maybe hate is too strong a word, but I feel that someone else will put it to better use.

This morning, I realised that I goofed. On Friday I went to the gym and of course peeled off everything when I got home, tossed it into the laundry basket, and headed for the shower. Well, I worked Saturday and Sunday – busy days at work, it’s a popular sale, lots of good deals, and also with the season changing there’s lots to do in reorganising tables of fabric. This morning, eating my breakfast and mentally making plans to go to the gym, I realise that my workout clothes aren’t clean. I have plenty of tops to wear but only one pair of yoga pants to work out in. Definitely time to go shopping, I’d say. It was a beautiful morning, sunny with a cool breeze, so it was an easy choice to put on a T shirt and skirt and go out for a walk around the neighbourhood instead. Over an hour, lots of hillwork, a pretty good workout with the bonus of making some Vitamin D!

This afternoon I blitzed the kitchen and bathrooms, did some vacuuming, brought the plants in off the deck for the winter and gave them some much needed water, and did two loads of laundry, washed, dried and put away. At dinner we had one of those awesome rain showers where it’s fairly heavy, and the wind is blowing it at an angle, but the sun is still shining.  The forecast for the next three days is rain (woohoo) and only mid-teens for the temperature. Gonna have to pull out a sweater. It’s time for my fall closet switcharoo anyway. Bring the wintery stuff down off the top shelf, put the summer things up there.

So yeah, the house got clean (this Monday night plan of having people come to my house is great motivation) and now I just need to hit Publish and pick up my hook and wait for 7.30!

WIP: Everything is Cool and Groovyghan

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I’m only a year and a half ‘late’ on doing this Crochet-along. It actually started in January 2016 and all the parts were published, done and dusted long ago. However it fitted my criteria for a summer blanket project. It’s modular which means I  can work on small pieces without being swamped in yarn on hot summer evenings. I can use multiple colours and get a scrappy look because, hey, it’s a Groovyghan and it’s supposed to be a bit wacky.

It’s coming along quite quickly. I’m using my stash of DK yarn, which is combination of Stylecraft Special, Deramores Studio and Mark & Kattens Carolina. I’ve had that Carolina for so long that it’s now discontinued and it was annoying me that it was still hanging around. I invested a lot of money in greens and browns, thinking I’d make this gorgeous cardigan, an adult version of a pattern I had with fiddlehead ferns embroidered on it. Nope, that stalled, as did the other projects I tried with it.

I see most people use a 4mm hook with DK, even a 3.5mm, but I’m using my Addi Swing 4.5mm because (a) it’s an awesomely comfortable hook, (b) I tend to crochet tightly, and (c) I don’t want my blanket coming out too small.

Here’s the pile of stash, sorted by colour:

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And here’s my progress:

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One strip of granny squares is finished (though I haven’t woven in all the ends yet). To control the colours somewhat, all the centres are yellow, and all the second and fifth rounds are shades of green (I have a lot of greens). That was part 1 of the CAL. Then part 2 is the popcorn blocks, where I chose to use the same purple for the background on both blocks and two of the greens for the popcorns to tie things in with the grannies.

The Ravelry link for the CAL is here. And the page on the Keep Calm and Crochet On UK website where it all comes together is here. Whilst I’m not crocheting along with other people, I have the benefit of working at my own pace, which means I’m not waiting around for the next part to be published, or rushing to finish a section and feeling pressured.

As you can see, this is not a portable project. I have three large bags/baskets of yarn and I’m choosing colours as I go. So I needed a small project which would fit into a project bag for taking to work and other places. This is one which I have worked on solely in my lunchbreaks the last three days:

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It’s a nice bit of comforting Tunisian crochet in simple stitch using a bulky yarn from Michaels and an 8mm hook. This will probably end up being another co-worker gift. No rush to finish this one either.

So that’s that! Summer has officially hit here, with temperatures into the 30s, though I think maybe it will be mid-20s for the next few days. The over-full lake has started to recede, and hopefully the beaches will all be open again soon (that’s if they are usable, considering the debris, dead grass etc all over the place). I have started an exercise routine as I need to firm things up for MAUI! Yes, we have booked a week in Maui for our 30th wedding anniversary in December. I’ve been wanting to go there for a long time and see for myself if all the rumours are true – that it’s an amazing place!

Tai Chi Man has sadly been given extra work around the house that he really didn’t need. He has the week off and already has a “honey-do” list as long as his arm, but we’re having trouble with the plumbing. The water pressure is triple what it should be which of course we discovered just before the weekend, the extra pressure is making the toilets and dishwasher quite unhappy, and he has had to phone around for parts and make numerous trips to the hardware store. I guess the pressure valve on the pipe coming into the house failed (no cold water tank like we used to have in the UK, just a direct line). What a nuisance! Old houses are always giving you little surprises. Nasty ones. Sometimes expensive ones.

I’d better go and get started on straightening up around here. The water is off so I can’t clean the bathrooms but I can certainly vacuum, and hem curtains, and get some things crossed off MY to-do list.

Happy crafting!

Stash Enhancement eXpedition

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S.E.X. = more yarn for me!

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Michaels have a pretty good sale on right now and I went there today with a couple of coupons. As it turned out, the yarn that caught my eye was on sale (from $13 down to $6) so I didn’t need the coupons, and the yarn fumes might have gone to my head a bit. I bought eight 200gram skeins, two of each colour.

No specific plans for them – just tucking them into stash with the thought that they might make nice scarves.

What would you make with these?