Tag Archives: Red Heart With Love

FOs: Warm Willies and another hat

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Did that heading get your attention? 😉 The Warm Willies to which I am referring is actually a crochet pattern for fingerless mitts. Here’s a Ravelry link, because the pattern is a free Ravelry download. I love that I can look back five years ago and see my project page for the first pair I made of these mitts. This time I made the small size, and left off the button tab on the back of the hand.

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I also got the stitch pattern correct and it looks sort of like a seed stitch. Nice!

I left these in a co-worker’s basket when I was at work on Monday. She will find them when she gets back from her holiday and hopefully like them.

Monday night I was sans project and my friend came over for tea and yarny pursuits. So I quickly grabbed some old James C Brett Marble Chunky and a 6mm hook and started on a hat. I finished it today. It’s based on my Crochet Adjustable Hat pattern (recipe, really), with the crown increased to about 6.75 inches for a finished circumference of 22 inches and a depth of 8 inches. The good thing about the button tab is that the brim can be tightened by rebuttoning the tab further over.

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It’s nice to use some of the buttons I bought when they were discontinued at work.

We had a crazy strong windstorm yesterday. I was driving all over the place yesterday – first to buy some fabric to make a top, then to a class on the other side of the lake, then back to this side of the lake and further yet to a sewing class at my friend’s house, then the gym for an orientation and fitness assessment with Tai Chi Man, followed by a yoga class. There was dust and leaves and garbage cans flying all over the place and even some construction fencing was down and lying in the road in one place. I’m sure a number of trees probably came down but I haven’t checked local news sites. (We did have a couple of mini power outages.)

As for the sewing, it’s exciting, because my friend is helping me to make a top out of a rayon/spandex knit, and I am getting a lot of tips on how to sew with knits and finding out the joys of a serger. Oooh! I shall have to show you when it’s done. I spent two hours at her place yesterday and we made great progress. I go back next week for another two hours, in which I expect to finish that top and start another project.

It’s almost time to start dinner. Happy Hooking on Hump Day, folks, and talk to you again soon.

 

Better photo and another FO

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Edited to add: I just spent all of five minutes adding all my free pattern links back in the sidebar. They were all still there, in the background. If I’d realised how quick and easy it would be, I would have done it 9 months ago when I changed the theme! Doh!

 

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Daytime shot of the Polaris scarf, taken outside this morning. We have another day of orange sun, the sky being totally obscured by smoke again.

And I finished off this coaster, which is about 5 inches in diameter. I felt like my experiment was a success and I’m itching to move on to something new.

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If you look carefully, you can see a little bit of the Phil Techno rubber yarn peeking out at the bottom of the photo. I didn’t want to trim it too close. The yarn is Red Heart with Love, and I think the colourway is Boysenberry.

Yay for finishing things!

So my day looks like this…keep nagging young men to get up and get ready for the bus, drop them at bus stop, go to gym (which I joined on Tuesday and I am all gung ho for getting fit again), come home, shower and change, vacuum the house, and make dinner. Sounds like a plan!

And tonight I can pull out a cake of Lion Brand Mandala (totally non-fattening) and crochet on the couch, guilt-free!

 

 

You know you’re an addict when…

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…you finish a baby jacket (except for the buttons, but that has to wait) and you go out for a Sunday afternoon walk and cup of tea but in the back of your mind you are thinking, “What shall I make next?” It gives me the jitters to think that there’s nothing on the hooks or needles!

So this week’s WIP (99% done because it just needs buttons) is the second Baby Surprise Jacket. This is what it looked like after binding off.

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Sort of a rectangle with lots of increases and decreases that doesn’t look like it could be anything wearable.

But the magic happens when you fold it…

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And once again, so many ends to weave in! Note to self: use self-striping yarn next time.

The first go around at seaming the shoulders left me with a teeny neck opening that looked like it would strangle a baby, so I unpicked the seams and redid them, then picked up stitches and added a row of garter around the neck. Much better!

These are shades of Stylecraft Special DK and this time I used US6 needles. It turned out quite a bit smaller than the turquoise one that I made with US8s.

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I need to take this to work with me and choose buttons because as usual my stash of buttons is mostly mismatched sizes, shapes and colours from dollar store purchases and I really need a set of five.

My itchy fingers last night led to me starting a BB8 hat (inspired by the droid from Star Wars’ The Force Awakens).  That’s a Ravelry link as it’s a free Ravelry download. The baby (now overdue) has parents who are Star Wars fans and I think they’ll like it. It’s probably a bit big for a newborn at 16″ circumference but hopefully will fit next winter.

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These yarns are mostly Stylecraft Special Aran, but the grey is Red Heart With Love. I wouldn’t recommend using these yarns in the same project, as the RHWL is a true aran weight while the Stylecraft is a worsted weight.

Of course finishing this hat (which was a really fast and easy project) has left me, once again, WIPless. What’s a girl to do? Go and dig in the stash and find some more yarn to play with, of course!

It’s a happy sunny day!

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We’ve had a few snowflakes today, and it’s currently about minus 7 outside, but inside it’s bright and warm. The sun has been streaming into the south side of the house and it has motivated me to do an extra great job on the weekly clean (plus I have friends coming over this evening so that’s a good motivation too)!

I took a couple of photos of my kitchen and dining room and posted them to Facebook with the comment that I had to record my enjoyment of the five minute period between finishing the cleaning and having it messed up again. Oh, if only we didn’t have to eat and pee, things would stay cleaner SO much longer 😉

What do you think of these cute little Baby Janes?

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This yarn has proved difficult to photograph. Must be the colour, because my iPad just won’t focus on it. Tai Chi Man’s iPad did a slightly better job. These are made with Red Heart With Love in Boysenberry. I’ll take them to work so that they can be displayed temporarily with the bubble gum blanket.

The update on the caterpillar blanket:

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The hexagons are a bit of a slog. To distract myself a little, I sewed the face and feet on, though I haven’t fastened off the ends or woven them in yet. I added the three and a half hexes in that top row this afternoon. My white yarn is getting low – I think I may have to visit Michaels with coupon in hand for another ball.

Okey dokey, time to hit Publish and get on with other things. Happy crafting!

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. ❤

 

 

 

 

WIPS: blankets

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I’m multi-tasking tonight. I have two windows open on the desktop. One is playing Episode 25 of Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats’ podcast. The other is, obviously, WordPress.

I thought I’d show you the progress on the Hungry Caterpillar blanket. His body is nearly finished – just two dark green hexagons among the white ones in the next row. Then it’ll be a plain white row. Then a colourful one, which will be pretty quick, as the coloured bits are already  made.

After that, there’s a border to do. I made his face last night, while watching The X Files, but he doesn’t have any eyes or antennae yet.

The other WIP is actually now an FO.

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Pre-blocking, the blanket wasn’t square, and the border was very ruffly. I did eke out almost the whole ball of the Red Heart With Love in bubble gum, up to and including the sc round around the edge. Then my ball of boysenberry was used for the shell edging.

It’s now been blocked aggressively to straighten things out, square it up and open up the lace pattern. (It still has a few damp patches where the iron dripped while I was steaming it.) This is the Dreamy Lace Baby Throw from Lion Brand, free (as long as you sign in). I think I linked it in my last post. It’s a smaller version than the pattern, as the yarn was limited to what I was given by my boss to make it for display at the store. Stretched out on the blocking mat, it was about 31 inches square.

And I know I’ve said this before, but I really have to stop getting distracted by other crochet projects, because the caterpillar blanket needs to be a priority. Baby’s due in three months.

I’m getting a little excited – I have a quote for flights over to see the family in the spring, I’ve checked with my family and boss to make sure they have no objections to the dates I’m thinking of going, and all that remains is for me to commit! I invited my oldest son to come with me, as he didn’t go with us last summer when we went to visit, but he hasn’t given me a Yay or Nay yet.

Well, back to the hooking. Hope you’re having a great week!

 

 

WIPs and Windows

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I do like a bit of alliteration, don’t you? The title just flowed out of my fingertips.

I am holed up in my bedroom this morning. This is Day Three of the window/door installers invading our house at 8am and changing out all the windows and doors. That’s about 15 windows, a sliding patio door,  and three regular external doors. The first day, I was at work most of the day, so it was just the two boys who were at home, literally chilling out! We had to turn the heat down because there was so much activity, with guys coming in and out, windows coming out and new ones going in. And the noise! Hammering, drilling, voices, music.

Day Two was ok as they were mostly working downstairs and the thermostat is upstairs so it was fairly comfortable.  Today I have turned it down again as they are doing the three doors, one of which is in the kitchen on the upper floor.

I know we will have a much warmer, quieter house when all is said and done, but poor old Tai Chi Man now has a new job on his home maintenance list. That of painting the primed window frames inside. We will have to get the bathroom and kitchen ones done ASAP so they are sealed against moisture.

Lurking in my bedroom is actually rather pleasant. I brought tea in here, my laptop, crochet, iPad (you know, all the essentials), I have an en suite half bathroom, so I can stay here while the guy working in the kitchen does his thing.

And I took a couple of quick photos of my WIPs to show you…

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It’s hard to get this all in one photo, but I am working bottom to top on this baby blanket,  (that’s a link to my Ravelry project page) and right to left. The green of the caterpillar is now coming in. There are only two plain white rows of hexagons in the whole blanket, which is good, as the colours make it more interesting to crochet. I am being sure to weave in all ends as I go and with the join-as-you-go method there will be minimal finishing.

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This second WIP is the Dreamy Lace Baby Throw from Lion Brand. (My project page.)

My boss said the other day at work that someone had over-ordered on the pink Red Heart With Love so she gave me a ball of it to work up a small baby blanket. The pattern asked for Pound of Love, and this ball is only 7oz, so rather than chaining 141 I did 101 to make a smaller version. The ball suggests a 6.5mm hook and that’s what I’m using. After the initial set up row, it’s a one row pattern with an easily memorised repeat. This progress was made last night at a friend’s house.

Before picking up this pink project again, I will be adding more to the caterpillar blanket, as time is ticking by and there’s a baby on the way.

My plant-based nutrition course is going really well. I have completed two parts now – Nutrition and Society, and Diseases of Affluence. Next, putting it all into practice – Applying the Whole Food Plant Based Diet principles. This third part starts today and has to be completed in the next two weeks.

I noticed that Forks Over Knives has a cooking course starting at the end of the month – it’s $349 if you sign up now, $399 after the 21st. I was tempted to go for it but then I realised that the information may be presented in the course that I am already paying for. So I’ll see how that goes, then if I feel I need more,  perhaps they will offer it again at a later date.

If you haven’t watched the Forks Over Knives documentary, I highly recommend it. It’s one of many documentaries that are available now on healthy eating to prevent and reverse chronic disease. A quote from one of the doctors on the course, “Food is the chemotherapy that you take three times a day.” That’s why it’s the most important thing you can do for your health.

OK, time to get some yarny stuff done. Have a wonderful day 🙂

 

 

 

The aftermath…

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Well hello folks. I hope you have had an enjoyable few days. If you celebrate Christmas, I trust your day was awesome, filled with family fun, good food and warmth.

Christmas Eve was a quiet one, with my commitments including bread-making (so that I had wholewheat and white bread for the Brazil Nut Roast the next day) and pastry making (again for the nut roast). I did a quick search online for rough puff pastry as the commercial frozen pastry has crappy ingredients, and I found this one which turned out brilliantly. Making it a day early and refrigerating overnight probably helped it to be flaky and delicious.

Christmas Eve dinner for the five of us was a very basic nut roast made from almonds, cashews and pecans, plus scalloped potatoes from a recipe from the very wonderful Silver Hills vegetarian guest house recipe book, and salad. I got a bit carried away and made two desserts from the same book – a pear coconut pie and chocolatey pecan squares.

Day 1 – stuffed!

Entertainment involved watching The Nightmare Before Christmas (creepy, Jack Skellington reminds me of the pin men on an old British TV show that gave me nightmares) and Cards Against Humanity, played in front of a real fire for a change.

Christmas Day morning was relaxed as we decided to have dinner rather than lunch as we planned to go to the movies to see Rogue One in the evening. I crocheted most of these slippers that day, which I am very pleased with…

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They have non-slip fabric on the bottom which I bought from work. These took most of a skein of Red Heart With Love in Mallard, two strands held together, and a 7mm hook. The pattern is Slipper Boots by Erika Knight. It is an ingenious design, easy to understand and execute. I think it will be simple to adjust it for bigger feet too and I’m thinking of making another pair for Tai Chi Man’s uncle (he visited last year and absolutely loved and appreciated the slippers I made him).

So the prep for Christmas dinner was pushed back to the afternoon, and that involved assembling the Brazil nut roast (while watching Love Actually for the tenth time on my laptop), parboiling the potatoes for later roasting, cutting up the Brussels sprouts and carrots and broccoli. I roasted the sprouts along with the potatoes, steamed the carrots and broccoli, and made a simple gravy. Plus of course we had hot apple cider as always. Dessert was Bananas Foster without the rum, which basically means simmering them briefly in a sweet caramel sauce. The recipe is in my Betty Goes Vegan book, which is always over the top on sugar, and I cut the maple syrup quite drastically. We had it spooned over plain cashew So Delicious ice cream.

Day 2 – stuffed!

The movie, Rogue One (a Star Wars prequel to Episode 4)  was good, full of loud explosions and storm troopers and rebels of course.

We rounded off the day with hot chocolate and vegan marshmallows.

Tai Chi Man and I didn’t have to work today so it’s been another day of relaxed vegging on the couch, finishing off the slippers, checking out my new Twitter account (I am now on Twitter @nicolaknits) and eating leftovers. The kids are still in bed at 1.30 in the afternoon. We have horizontal snow blowing past the house which doesn’t exactly inspire me to get outside.

I am thankful.

 

FO: Girly Santa hat

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I am excited about my new Finished Object…

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I don’t know how much wear this hat will get over Christmas but for some reason I just had to make it.

This lovely boucle Astrakan stuff works perfectly as a brim but crocheting it was out of the question. You just can’t see the stitches. It’s too much of a gamble. So I pulled out the old straight knitting needles, cast on ten stitches, and knitted a strip that was just about long enough to go around my head. I seamed the short edges together and then I managed to single crochet around a long edge with this hot pink Red Heart with Love. A lot of double crochets and gradual decreasing, plus a messy pompom, finished off the hat in two days.

I don’t have a pattern for it, I’m afraid. It was a design-on-the-go, see-if-it-works type of thing. (The pompom is held on with a bow on the inside of the hat, so it’s removable when the hat needs washing.)

I am feeling quite virtuous today, having gone to the pool two days in a row. Yesterday I swam 20 lengths, today 30. I would like to maintain a frequent swimming schedule but I am making no promises because I know myself!

I just realised it’s almost bedtime and I haven’t practised my piano tunes today. Oops! However I have spent a few hours on my Nutrition course and have learned some very depressing facts about the state of the US food industry. Ugh!

Have a good day and talk to you again soon.

WIP: Demelza (and acquisitions)

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I seem to have neglected you for the last week. I didn’t realise it has been seven whole days but I have been assembling the Demelza blanket and crocheting the border and things are taking their own sweet time.

I do have a photo of the blanket, taken after I joined everything together but before I started on the border. As of tonight, I only have one round left to do, plus a bit of end weaving, before I can show you a Finished Object. Soon, I promise.

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You can see where I deviated from the standard pattern (the 16 small squares that are all different). And of course my colour scheme is quite different from the original pattern.

I have been burning the candle at both ends somewhat as I have been excited to finish this project and move on to the next one. What with this project plus The Good Wife on Netflix, I have been going to bed late, and rather reluctantly.

The fabric store where I work had a staff appreciation night tonight. They bring in food (Chinese, this time, and I didn’t eat any as I wasn’t sure if any of it was vegan) and you get to browse the store while it’s closed and buy stuff with a special discount (though sometimes the current sale is just as good, or better than, the discount).

I had a short list of things I wanted, such as some knit fabric to make simple drapey vests, some non-slip slipper sole fabric for future crocheted slippers, some felt for my wood dining table for when we play Mexican Train dominoes or cards. However I also picked up some extra sewing machine needles and a couple of spools of thread, which I can always use. And these…

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Pom pom trim for a future crocheted blanket

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Some ‘Knit Klips’ which will hold pieces of crochet together for seaming (I really could have done with these a few days ago)!

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A pom pom maker (had my eye on one of these for a while)

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And I know you’d be disappointed if I said I wasn’t lured in by the yarn. I have used this before and it is nice and soft. No definite plan for it yet, but the colours co-ordinate with the ones I already have.

Here are all the skeins together…

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Cornsilk, Pewter, Black, Hot Pink, Boysenberry, Blue Hawaii and Mallard.

Each of these Red Heart With Love skeins weighs 7oz (about 200 grams) so that’s a lot of yardage. I believe the term for this type of shopping is SEX – Stash Enhancement Expedition!!

I have my third piano lesson tomorrow  morning. I can play a simple tune with both hands now, and we are learning all about chords and ‘forte’ and ‘piano’ and middle C and all that. It is nice to be finally learning how to play an instrument that I’ve wanted to play for years. Funny how we put off these things. Thanks to Tai Chi Man giving me the push to do it (birthday present) I am on my way. And thanks to my awesome friend Joan from whom we got the piano.

I’m hoping that my next post starts with the heading FO: Demelza. In the meantime, have a great week.