Tag Archives: Red Heart Super Saver

Winter is coming!

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Hello, lovely people. I hope all is well in your world.

There has been lots of yarn in mine, as usual. And some sewing too. First, I have to show you why it’s important not to take life too seriously and to laugh at yourself sometimes. Do you see the obvious mistake here?

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(Evening shot taken without any thought of styling!)

This is an awesomely warm, comfortable fleece onesie with a hood that I sewed for myself. However I didn’t realise until I was attaching the very last pieces that I had cut it out with the one-way Hello Kitty fabric running the WRONG WAY! I didn’t even think about it being one-way until that point. However, I had it finished just in time for the cold weather and I love how cosy it is. That’s the important thing, right?

As for crochet news, there are two FOs. The first is this one:

The link to my Ravelry page is here, and it contains the You Tube link for the tutorial. This is a yarn-eating cowl. It used a whole cake of Caron Big Cakes, all 300 grams/600 yards of it. (I know, I’m mixing my metric and Imperial.) It looks very odd during construction, with the loops sticking out, but you loop them through each other along the length of the cowl and then the last loop in each row becomes  a buttonhole.

I doubt I will be making another one, but if I did I’d probably make it with DK rather than worsted and also add some length. It will certainly be warm though.

Another project that is hot off the hook today is this one:

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My project page – Cuddly Cat crochet Scoodie This came out looking just like the one in the designer’s pattern photo, and I am pleased with it. (Direct Moogly link.)

Again, if I were to make this again, I’d tweak the pattern a teensy bit. The hood comes out a tad too far at the back for my liking, so I think I’d stop increasing a bit earlier, work straight for a few rows, then do the decreases. This is a gift for a friend – hope she likes it.

I need to toss both of these FOs into the washer and dryer to soften up a bit. The Caron yarn has an odd feel to it – I won’t be buying it again. And the Scoodie is Red Heart Super Saver which always benefits from a bit of rough handling in the laundry!

We have had strong winds whistling around the house the last couple of days. The windchimes on my deck have been clanging away. As the temperature has been hovering around 2 – 5 degrees Celsius, you can imagine with the windchill it’s starting to feel a little chilly around here. We have had a tiny amount of snow which melted straight away, but we can see the snowline moving down closer and closer. Winter is coming! Make yourself a fleece onesie!!

 

Hat FOs: almost-instant-gratification

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Hat FOs: almost-instant-gratification

Hats are relatively quick projects that are enjoyable and allow a lot of opportunity for creativity. Yes, you do have to make them to fit somebody, but there’s a lot of leeway there if you’re not attached to having them fit a particular person!

I finished two more hats, one crocheted, one knitted. The first is a free pattern from Yarnspirations called Cable Twist Hat. I haven’t done many crocheted cables, but they are pretty straightforward. However I can’t help feeling that the cable crossings would have been a lot simpler done right over left, rather than left over right. Also, I thought that the stitch count for the first round seemed way too big, so I took out a 12-stitch pattern repeat and worked on 60 stitches instead of 72. Bit of a mistake, really, as I failed to account for the “sucking-in effect” of the cable pattern, so ended up with a hat that would probably fit a ten year old rather than an adult woman.

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It fits Sally the Styrofoam Head perfectly. Shaun the Sheep is rolling his eyes at my thoughtless pattern adaptation!

The tension on this was quite tight with the Red Heart Super Saver and 5mm hook. I think if I were to make this again, I would keep the same stitch count but perhaps use a 6mm hook.

My other hat wasn’t made from a pattern. I wanted to use a new colourway of Bernat Pop that I found at Walmart. It’s called Candy Cane and has two shades of red, aqua, grey and a pinkish-white. I had two cakes, so started knitting the hat, pulling the yarn from the outside of one cake, and when I got to the Fair Isle pattern (which is in Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting) I used the second cake, pulling from the inside.

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The hat is definitely slouchy, and with the big pompom on top Sally didn’t want to stay upright. I had to use a yoga block to stop her falling over.

Once I had completed the first full pattern repeat, I decided to cut out a bit of the white so that the aqua would come into play for the second repeat. And then did the same again with the grey. I used all the colours in the pompom, which is the best one ever because I made it the old-fashioned way, the way we learned at school back in the 60s.

You need two circles of cardboard, cut about 3″ in diameter, with a centre hole cut about 1″ in diameter. (I didn’t measure, I just drew around a couple of things in my sewing room that looked about right. I don’t know what the perfect cardboard proportions are to come out with a perfectly spherical pompom –  mine is a little elongated – but it’s easy to trim it down if necessary.) One wraps the yarn around and around the cardboard, holding the two pieces together, until one can’t get any more yarn through the middle (a darning needle is an essential piece of kit here), then one cuts the yarn by inserting scissors between the two pieces of cardboard around the outside edge. Tie a piece of yarn tightly around the middle, then remove the cardboard, and hey presto! One has a fabulous pompom, full and squishy and awesome, not limp and scraggly like some I’ve seen.

It was a very busy weekend at work. I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I guess the sale got the people out, despite the huge (for us) amount of rain that’s fallen in the past week. Saturday was the busiest I’ve seen it in a long time. After three solid days of pounding the touch screen till at work, cutting fabric, and tidying up the store, my wrist is hurting, so today I decided to buy a basic support for it. I should probably have graduated to this after quitting my full wrist brace months ago, but have been managing without. However even eight months after the break/surgery I am not quite back to full, pain-free, use of my wrist. And I need to be careful not to overdo things and set myself back.

Today was errand day and I stopped in at a few places including Costco and a couple of bulk food stores. I was excited to find a Moo Free vegan chocolate advent calendar (made in Britain no  less) for December! I think that this year I will resurrect a tradition that has fallen by the wayside for a couple of years – that of making mincemeat ready for mince pies at Christmas. The recipe I have is vegan, and has no added fat, and you make it and put it into jars and let it sit in the fridge for six weeks. I love mince pies!

It looks like we will be having a low-budget Christmas this year. The boys are all young men now and are quite happy for us not to buy them stuff for the sake of it. Tai Chi Man and I buy what we want, when we want, throughout the year, so aren’t bothered about gifts under the tree. We will have to plan some great meals and some good fun entertainment. Maybe go to the movies, see a Christmas show, things like that.

I have ear surgery coming up in a couple of weeks time. I had the left ear “fixed” in 2015 due to a hereditary gradual deafness issue called otosclerosis. My mum had the surgery on one ear back in the 80s but never did have the other ear done. It involves a general anaesthetic; the eardrum is opened up, the calcification drilled away, and the stapes bone (one of the three teeny tiny bones in the ear that are supposed to vibrate together) is replaced with a titanium prosthesis. This surgery will be on my right ear, and my third piece of titanium (left ear, wrist and now right ear)! I am turning into the bionic woman. Just as well it doesn’t set off airport security scanners!

I have two weeks booked off work, which was an adequate amount of time in 2015 for me to feel sufficiently recovered to get back into the usual routine. I know what to expect (a mixed blessing: the vertigo is horrendous at first) and I am confident of a good result. I will be able to say goodbye to the remaining hearing aid, which will be wonderful. I will need to keep that ear dry for months afterwards, not to mention being very careful not to topple over at first, so Tai Chi Man will be back to helping me shower until I am steady again.

Hope you have a happy crafty week. Back soon!

T is for Tuesday, Tea, Tablet-stand and Thermometer

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T is for Tuesday, Tea, Tablet-stand and Thermometer

Hello! I’ve finished another quick project. It’s a tablet- or phone-stand and I used this pattern. Now and then, I like to have my iPad Mini in portrait mode but my Smartcover, which apparently ain’t so smart, only holds it in landscape.

So I thought this would be a bit of fun. It took just a few days and I used Red Heart Super Saver Ombre in Scuba (left over from the baby blanket). (FO photos follow further down.)

I worked all weekend, and the weather got pretty warm. The thermometer in my car has hit 29 degrees the last couple of days. Yesterday I hit the gym in the morning, and bought groceries in the afternoon, followed by a cool treat in the evening – visiting a friend at her condo where we crocheted/knitted by the pool and followed that up with a leisurely swim.

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we like the same colours, evidently

 

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the view from her balcony over to the pool

After the swim, we found it a bit cool, so went back to her apartment to dry off and drink tea.

Today I blitzed the kitchen and bathrooms and considered myself done with housework for now, and then I went to meet my friend for more tea at our favourite tea shop downtown (vanilla honeybush latte with almond milk…mmm…)

My project didn’t take long to finish…

Link to my Ravelry project page here if you’d like to peek.

Tonight our Four Agreements book study group will be meeting around the same pool, because it’s another hot day today and it makes a nice change from being at a coffee shop.

It’s the same every year. Spring seems to be here for a month at most, then summer temperatures hit and we all start having to find a shady spot to park the car so it doesn’t turn into an oven. From being too cold to hike, it gets too hot. From having the furnace on, through a short time of having the windows open and airing the house out, to having to close them up and shut the blinds to keep the heat out. The shoulder seasons are definitely too short here.

FO: Crochet Cuddler Cocoon (and new yarn)

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Before I show you my February sweater, here is a photo of me in my January sweater.  I wore it the other day (wow, it’s warm) and it fits perfectly. If I could change one thing about it, though, I’d add an inch to the sleeves. When I was driving and out and about, I felt I could have done with just a bit of extra length in the sleeves.

So, once I finished that sweater off last Monday night, I was free to get on with the next project. The February project took all of four days from start to finish, it was so quick and easy. I did make a few adjustments to the pattern so I will link to my Ravelry project page here.

I had to crop out my head in that shot because the cardigan is so dark that my face was overexposed. The base rectangle for the back of the sweater seemed really small in the pattern so I added four rows. The sleeves also would have been tiny so I doubled the length of those. And there were only three border rounds in the pattern and I did 12, basically until my yarn almost ran out.

The yarn is Willow Wash Bulky, which is so lovely and soft to work with and to wear, but the six strands are very loosely spun so you have to be careful not to split them. As I am just hanging around the house today, I decided to wear it (it would probably not be warm enough outside in the cold at the moment) though I had to abandon it while vacuuming because I was getting too hot.

I am pleased with it, thanks to my adaptations. I think if you were to use a much bulkier yarn, you could follow the designer’s numbers, but it would have been far too small for me using the Willow Wash, following it as is.

There has been a little bit of yarn acquisition this week. OK, a lot. Walmart still has the Bernat Pop! yarn, and I decided that I should get extra of the rainbow coloured one to pair with plain black for a future sweater. Also I found a nice one with grey and pink that I can pair with the leftover Red Heart Supersaver in grey heather. And a couple of cakes of grey/turquoise, just because.

Also today I received my Wool Warehouse order, a mere WEEK after they shipped it. I love their efficiency. I ordered on the weekend, they shipped it the first working day afterwards, and the post office have done their bit too. Normally stuff takes two weeks to get here. I am glad it’s here as part of the order is for my Ravelry Ravellenic Games project, the doll I mentioned in my last post. The rest are colours that I picked to pad out gaps in my DK collection, like the  yellows, browns and neutrals.

My Christmas/birthday fund is being rapidly depleted!

I’ve said this before, but I love the organza bags that WW send the yarn in.

Well, today I need to start swatching for a new sweater: the March sweater, in theory, though I am well ahead of my deadline. Believe it or not, despite the thousands of patterns in the Ravelry database, I couldn’t find the perfect one for my black/rainbow combination, so I have sketched out a possible design and need to figure out my gauge. I am having a few niggling doubts about a rainbow tunic, even if it is calmed down with black, so I  may end up going with the grey instead. For now, though, I have to finish cleaning the kitchen (totally distracted by the parcel of yarn in the mail and wanting to tell you all about it, but it’s nose to the grindstone time for me now)!

I hope next time to show you what my decision was for the March sweater, plus some progress.

 

 

FO: January sweater

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Thanks to a few knitting opportunities throughout the day yesterday, I finished my sweater last night. I love the touch of colour in the hem facings. I will try it on again today then give it a wash – thanks to the hardwearing nature of Red Heart Super Saver, I can machine wash and dry with abandon (as long as nothing else in the machine has Velcro or hooks).

It took me about 15 days. I cast on January 7th after a false start with a different pattern and needles. As I’ve finished my January sweater early, I can get a head start on my February sweater.

The February sweater is this one – The Crochet Cuddler Cocoon – which I plan to make with the navy Willow Wash Bulky that was frogged from a different sweater that didn’t work out, and which has been sitting in my stash for a long time.

It’s snowing here today, which seems appropriate as I have a new sweater to wear! I have had a very lazy morning of Ravelry browsing, but I plan to hit the gym shortly to remedy that.

Are you joining in with the Ravellenic Games on Ravelry? They coincide with the Winter Olympics in South Korea. My project will be a crocheted doll for whom I intend to devise a dress that looks like a paper bag. She will be the Paper Bag Princess, and will be sent to my great-niece with the board book of the same name by Robert Munsch. Well, I didn’t have the right colour yarn, of course, so ordered some from Wool Warehouse….along with a few others to keep it company as it flew here from England! I will of course show it to you as soon as it arrives. It shipped yesterday.

 

 

WIP: January sweater

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I cast on this sweater on January 7th. I think I have knitted on it every day except one. Sometimes when I’ve been at work all day, I am a Netflix zombie in the evening. But most days I’ve added to it, and it has grown satisfyingly quickly.

Above is the finished torso, with stitches on waste yarn awaiting the sleeves. It only took two evenings for the first sleeve. The other one was finished tonight while I enjoyed the company of my friends at our Hygge gathering at my house. It was perfectly timed as I was on the straight stretch at the top of the sleeve while they were here and didn’t have to concentrate on any more shaping.

Once they had left, I united body and sleeves, leaving four stitches on waste yarn on each piece at the underarms, and knitted four rounds without any decreasing. And that’s where I’m stopping for the night.

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The hem of the sweater is very curly but I intend to knit hems in a different colour and weight of yarn, à la Elizabeth Zimmermann, once the rest of the sweater is done.

I have to confess that my gauge swatch was inaccurate, one reason being that I knitted it flat and now I am knitting in the round (I should have known better), and the circumference is coming out considerably smaller. However I think it will be fine. In the case of the sleeves, I was able to slip the first one on my arm to get an idea of the length and circumference I needed.

I’m really feeling the tiredness now. Just did four days of work in a row, which I was not crazy about. Thankfully I have the next couple of days off so I will be able to get to the gym and also do grocery shopping. I’ve nearly finished Book 2 in the Poldark series, “Demelza,” and need to pop over to the library website to reserve Book 3.

What are you doing to make the winter comfy and cosy?