Tag Archives: Loops & Threads Barcelona

On a roll…a pink roll

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On a roll…a pink roll

Woah, I just checked the last post I wrote and realised I hadn’t shown you the finished Daisy Garden Blanket. Guess I posted to Instagram and forgot to do it here. Oops!

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I’m beyond happy with this blanket. I love it. It’s such a happy flower block, and putting 36 different ones together just makes it all the more cheerful. When I was seaming the blocks together, I found a couple of blocks where I’d messed up the corners on the last round, so redid those. Thankfully those didn’t have a colour that I’d run out of as they needed a few extra stitches.

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The size came out to be about 56″ square, with the self-designed border. And I used up 1430 grams of stash yarn, which is awesome. The yarn is Red Heart With Love, which is an aran weight yarn (heavier than your usual worsted weight, but not quite bulky.) It took about two months in all.

As soon as it was done, it was washed and dried and laid out to admire. And then I had to start another project. Because I get antsy without a WIP!

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This shawl was finished in about five days. It’s the Jayma shawl from Polly Plum and it is an easy to memorise pattern. You’re just alternating V stitches and single crochets, increasing on every row until it’s big enough or you’ve run out of yarn.

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I used almost all of a 200 gram skein of Loops & Threads Barcelona and made the tassels detachable with lobster clasps so they can be removed when washing the shawl.

And when THAT was finished, I had to quickly come up with something else, and found this in my Ravelry queue – Mimic, another pattern by Polly Plum. This one is written for fingering weight or DK, so I’m using Lion Brand Mandala in the colourway Troll. I chose to start with the cake that had bright pink in the centre, so the initial triangle is going to have a lovely pop of colour at the start. After constructing a triangle in rows, you then start to work back and forth along one edge to make a trapezoid shape. The bands of the design are formed from sections of moss stitch and V stitches.

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I think this is going to be a great use of the Mandala yarn and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.

And finally, a non-crochet photo because it’s from a walk I took with a friend recently along the waterfront not far from my house. We did get rained on a bit, but the temperature was comfortable, and the fog over the lake was quite atmospheric. Literally!

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A big day at work tomorrow. Starting at 7, most of the staff and some fit helpers will be weighing all the bolts of fabric at the store. This week has been tiring and a little stressful for many of us, and it will be good to get the job done and behind us. Today I have been baking loaves of banana bread and tonight I will set up the slowcooker so that there will be a vegan alternative to the pulled pork that the manager is bringing. I have an easy way to make it – shredded young jackfruit from cans with barbecue sauce from a recipe in the Garden of Vegan cookbook. It’s going to be a long day. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

WIP and health update

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WIP and health update

Hey everybody, how’s it going? I’m enjoying a day off with very few commitments. I’ve been to the gym, put on some laundry, loaded the dishwasher. Not very onerous.

I have been having some heel pain lately. I will be sitting on the couch, get up, and get a nasty pain in the bottom of my right heel making me limp to the kitchen or wherever. Now, I know that Googling one’s symptoms often results in a lot of false hits, but this time I think I found the cause. It fits with plantar fasciitis. I assume it’s caused by my longer times on the gym treadmill including the running segments in addition to walking. Of course, I am also on my feet all day at work, on a concrete floor.

Apparently the best treatment for this is a combination of stretching, arch-supporting footwear and ice. I bought some insoles yesterday especially for this condition, and have taken to wearing my indoor gym shoes in the house as well. Friends say I should keep shoes on any time I am not in bed! Felt kind of odd at first, but now I’m finding it very comfortable.

Last night, Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym and I just did weights, but I went again this morning for some cardio and decided on the low-impact option – a stationary bike which is a recumbent style and has a very comfortable seat, unlike the ones with a standard saddle.

Onto yarny matters, my Wayfarer Wrap is growing at last. Picking it up when I watch Netflix certainly helps, and it is now 33″ long. “Only” 17″ to go.

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The billion ends along the edge are being left as a fringe, perhaps in bundles tied with overhand knots. I haven’t finalised that part of it yet.

Yesterday I met a friend for tea in the morning, then hit Costco for a bunch of food. I had plenty of time before I had to be back at home so I stopped in at my favourite tea shop on the way home for another cuppa and some crochet time. I like to make sure I have something portable with me when I go out. You never know when you might need some emergency crochet!

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This is what I worked on while I was there. I added a little last night. I think it’s deep enough, but I’d like to add some sort of edging. This is a moebius cowl similar to one I made last year, where I start with a row of foundation stitches rather than chains (I used half double crochet this time), give it a half twist, then join and start working in the round. You end up with a true moebius which makes for a really comfortable cowl as the place where it twists is lower and fits perfectly under your chin.

It is also using up some stash yarn that’s been hanging around for some time.

After my last post in which I showed you more hats, I had quite the stack, so I filled a bag with about a dozen beanies and took it to the local Food Bank. Hopefully they will give them out to whomever wants them and someone will be warmer as a result.

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Finally, I found some lovely soft flannelette at work that’s a bamboo/cotton blend. It has a fun tea/coffee cup print so I bought some. I figured I could make something nice for the tea shop owner as well as for myself.

And with that, it’s time to say Goodbye for now. Hope you have a great weekend.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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?