I have a friend who needs cheering up at the moment so after I finished the long armwarmers for myself I decided to knit some shorter ones for her. (I doubt she reads my blog.) These are all Scheepjes River Washed XL colours out of the pack of minis.
After the sweater and longer mitts were made, this is what I had left from the 50 x 15g mini skeins and 5 x 50g balls of Moonstone.
Rather than mix the Stone Washed and River Washed in such a small project, I went for the latter, and even though I didn’t think I liked this yarn as much as the Stone Washed I really like the look of these mitts.
Rather than start with 42 stitches and decrease down from forearm to wrist, I just started with 32 stitches, which is the number of stitches at the wrist in my pattern (posted a few days ago). Total length is about 7 inches, instead of 11.
The last 2 days were seaming and weaving in a bazillion ends
I followed the instructions for the medium to get a large, as my gauge was 13 sts/inch rather than 14
It took 625 grams of yarn. Around four 50 gram balls of the cream (Moonstone) and parts of nearly all the colours in my Scheepjes Stonewashed/Riverwashed XL minis pack
The only colour I didn’t use was the black
It was easy and fast and I’d consider making another, but maybe with only one colour!
Since I took those photos, I have machine-washed the sweater and it is currently drying on a rack in a corner of the living room.
I have also had a little fabric play. I made a small denim pouch and a bag with a snap, inspired by a Lizzy Curtis tutorial, that holds quilting clips on the outside pleats.
In addition to these, I have sewn a little ear saver from this tutorial for Mr Fixit, in case he needs to wear any disposable masks rather that the two cloth ones I made for him. I made it very manly in grey cotton with black snaps!
And when I ran out of things to sew, I started to play with the different stitches on my sewing machine, creating a kind of index of stitches on orange cotton with purple thread! All good fun.
Well, this is a bit of an adventure. WordPress have decided to give me a new blog-writing functionality. It’s not completely different from the old one but no doubt I will find some things require some extra thought.
Firstly, I hope you’re all doing well and that wherever you are you’re enjoying your crafting. Maybe even more crafting than ever! Maybe less. A lot of people have more time on their hands because they haven’t been at work, so their crafty productivity has soared, whilst others are suffering from COVID apathy and if and when they make something it has to be as simple as possible.
I’ve been back at work for two weeks and have noticed that every shift seems like 16 rather than 8 hours. One week in, Head Office mandated masks for everyone, staff AND customers, and so we have the physical distancing, the sanitising, the one-way aisles, and the clear barriers, plus the wearing of masks. Masks get hot when you wear them most of the day – my face gets pretty sweaty – and if I walk too fast around the store I get breathless.
I’ve seen many reports of negative effects of mask-wearing, the main one being that you’re re-breathing your exhaled carbon dioxide. This means that breathlessness and brain fog are quite common. However, in order to keep my job, I need to wear one, and I also have to enforce customers wearing a mask or other face covering too. Some people object to this quite strongly but until the Government decides to lift the restrictions I guess we’re stuck with it. It’s a minor inconvenience to wear a mask for a short time during your shopping trip, really.
The best thing to do is to immerse yourself in something you enjoy, and crochet gives me a great sense of satisfaction and calm. The back and front of my Ocean Breeze sweater are done. It’s a cropped sweater so it’s waist length. Once I reached the last colour in my chosen group for the body, I started on the sleeves. These I am working from the cuff up, but flat rather than in the round like the pattern states.
The sleeves have all the remaining colours of my Scheepjes Stonewashed/Riverwashed XL minis and now I’m up to the part at the top which is just a few rows of the Moonstone. The only colour I’m not using is Black Onyx, so there will be 49 colours total in this sweater.
The only sewing I’ve done in the last week has been an experimental couple of masks from Craft Passion. It’s a shaped mask with a pocket for a removable filter and an outside channel for the wire so it can be removed for washing. It’s probably a bit easier to sew than the one I’ve made lots of, but I was using a work T shirt of my son’s to see if I could incorporate his company logo. The first one was ok, but the second one was better – I interfaced both layers and it made an effective mask with some added body to it. I have bought some extra elastic and interfacing in case he wants more, or if his co-workers ask him about it.
Also, I’ve been patching this old quilt.
I made this in 2003! Can’t believe it was 17 years ago, but I made a label for the back so it’s true! At the time, I had been quilting like crazy for about 5 years and was starting to get back into yarny pursuits. So I made this scrappy nine-patch using bits of fabric I had left over from making all those other quilts. I decided it would be a beach quilt and would get used, and it was. It was dragged to homeschool park days, beach days, out into the garden, left in the sun, tromped on, wrapped around cold kids, it got wet and dirty and was tossed into the washer and dryer.
It’s huge, and when I constructed it I did it in four sections which I then joined together after quilting.
The fabrics faded and in time actually started to wear out, and I have had to patch areas of it before. Last night, I started patching over the holey areas that have developed since the last round of mending. It’s very quick and dirty patching – the stitching is messy and a lot of the edges are raw. I think what I should do next is lay it out in the sun for a while so that the new fabrics fade a little to blend in more with the old ones.
My gym is opening June 1st and I really need the exercise. I’ve been getting lot of steps in at work, but I need to lose weight and get those muscles lifting weights again. I’m off the oil again – no fried foods, no margarine, no oil in salads, no vegan cheese – and I’m also off Yorkshire tea (sob) and coffee because I have a touch of acid reflux which I’m convinced I can control with tweaks to the diet and a loss of the spare tire around my middle. Dr Greger (nutritionfacts.org and How Not to Die) says that the valve at the top of the stomach is relaxed by a fatty meal which allows the acid to leak back into the oesophagus. I’ve read what this can do long-term and it isn’t pretty. I’m not going to take antacids because those just mess up your digestion and weaken your bones. Of course, stress plays a part too, and the last couple of months have certainly brought new stressors (promotion and the dreaded virus)!
On that note, it’s time for me to get off the computer and make dinner. Take care, and talk soon.
Well, since I tidied my sewing room, I have tested out the new arrangement. It works great. I decided to make a Car Diddy Bag from SewCanShe.com. It’s a medium-sized bag with a long strap that can loop over the gear stick, it has a main compartment, front pockets and a hidden zippered pocket.
I do love these Patrick Lose fabrics. As you can see, it does what it’s supposed to do…sits in my passenger seat footwell, looking pretty. It even has a strip of hook tape on the bottom to stop it from slipping around.
That made, I also went on to cobble together this drawstring bag. It’s a dodgy bag! The rayon fabric was left over from a skirt I made a year or two ago. It doesn’t behave itself at all. But I had this rectangle which was just the right size for the outer and lining, and I used some sew-in fleece in between the layers. It probably would have worked better with a fusible, but never mind.
That was one afternoon’s sewing.
As you’ll see, the backdrop to that photo is my pack of Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL minis. Big news! I finally decided to crack them open and actually make something with them.
It’s been over a year of wondering what to make, wanting it to be wearable rather than another blanket or something, and I finally found a sweater pattern which seemed like it might be compatible. The Ocean Breeze Sweater is an easy project. Mostly double crochet, simple shaping, and a clear pattern. I have 250g of the yarn in Moonstone (the cream colour) and a total of 750g in the pack of minis so the plan evolved on the hook.
I started the front and worked 14 rows, and then started the back and worked 14 rows, and joined the shoulders.
Then I played around with the minis in the hope I could get a pleasing gradation from light to dark for both the body and sleeves.
I have added a few rows of the lighter colours now:
As I said on my FB post yesterday – this will either be a huge mistake and get frogged, or it will be my most favourite sweater ever. The jury is still out! Fifty colours is a lot for one sweater, after all!
Whilst the body panels are worked flat and seamed, the designer says to crochet the sleeves from the cuff up in turned rounds. But because of my intended stripes, I would rather crochet them right on to the side of the body and work down. Wish me luck!
Today was the first day that I’ve had to wear a mask for my whole shift – well, except for breaks. After the first hour, it actually wasn’t so bad. But I’ve been up since 6.30, because I woke early, and now it’s only 9pm and I’m fried.
Hope you’re staying well and enjoying some crafty moments.
Hi all. Another Sunday has rolled around and I’m glad to say I didn’t have a shift today. It’s been a beautiful sunny day and Tai Chi Man and I were able to walk along the city waterfront with just sweaters, no coats required. My car’s thermometer read 12 degrees Celsius in the sunshine.
We followed up our walk with a long sit at our favourite tea shop. I brought crochet with me, of course, and before leaving home I picked out a pretty ball of Loops & Threads Facets in Light Azore to take with me. My plan worked out. While drinking two delicious Cowboy Fogs (tea lattes) I made a cowl and was able to give it to the owner of the tea shop before we left. She loved it and put it on immediately.
It was just simple double crochet in the round, using a 9mm hook, with a row of shells along the edge before fastening off. The sewn bag in the photo is one I made last year. It’s designed to hold a ball of yarn and you thread the yarn through the hole in the top flap. It worked well! The only downside to something like this is that there are no extra pockets for hooks and things, or anywhere to put a project-in-progress. However the hanging loop was handy for attaching it to my handbag with a carabiner.
There was much excitement this week when my Wool Warehouse order arrived. Here it is!
A box of gorgeousness! Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL (aran weight), 15 gram balls in all 50 shades. No specific plans for this yet. And…
Five 50 gram balls of the Stonewashed in Moon Stone as a neutral, should I decide to use it with the colours in the box. It rounded my order nicely up to 1000 grams of yarn. And the bonus was, it only took 15 days to arrive.
My friend went to Vancouver Island last week and we met up for a cup of tea afterwards. She bought me this lovely stuff.
Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop in the colour Ocean. She knows me so well! Fifty percent bamboo, 50% cotton, so it fits in with my 2019 goal of more natural plant fibres.
My heel is no better, though wearing the shoes all the time means it (mostly) doesn’t hurt. However last night we went to a friend’s house for a potluck and our hands were full with food going in, so I left my gym shoes with the special insoles in the car. By the time I had been sitting at the dining table for a while and got up to walk back to the kitchen, the pain was back and I was limping.
I did 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym yesterday morning, while Tai Chi Man did weights, and today we are going back for more weights. I am alternating weights/cardio as I have four days off and if I am good and go every day then I need to mix things up.
My weight loss program, started about nine days ago, involves pretty much eating half of what I usually do. It worked well the first week with a 4lb loss. Last night’s potluck meant a lot of calories going on so I’m being extra careful today and eating just fruit and vegetables.
Finally, we had a big dump of wet snow this week, which looked lovely but left our road axle deep in snow. We are third level (out of three) priority for the graders, but as long as we clear our driveway we only have about 100 metres to drive to get to the clearer road.
I am grateful that Tai Chi Man did the clearing because my right wrist would have complained bitterly at shifting all that wet snow.
It’s almost time to get changed for the gym so I’ll say Auf Wiedersehen for now. Talk to you again soon.
In the first six days of 2019, I have crocheted four beanies. Two of them are not worth showing off. They are made with vintage acrylic in shades of brown and I am just glad to get some of the yarn used up and done with. The other two are nicer. The one above is made with Sommer-Wolle Carnevale, a gorgeous wool blend that I bought in Switzerland last summer.
I don’t usually buy wool but last August I really wanted to make Tai Chi Man’s cousin and his wife some beanies to keep their heads warm while camping in their trailer, as they were so generous with their time and food when we were in Switzerland. In a Co-op in St Moritz (those two things don’t seem to go together, somehow!) I found some of this Sommer-Wolle in the beautiful shades of turquoise which seemed perfect for red-haired Lisa, and a masculine shade of Sommer-Wolle Venezia in dark greens and blues with black/white sections for Andreas.
The beanie below is mostly black and white because when I made the first two hats out of this skein I cut out some of it so it didn’t dominate over the coloured sections.
I can’t remember how much I paid for these balls of yarn, but I got three crocheted beanies out of each one. And by making these this weekend, I cleared out some stash.
I also cleared out a bagful of ugly old acrylics and weighed it – 1200 grams – which I will be donating to a thrift store, along with some of the beanies I’ve made. So when I tell you that I ordered yarn this week, you will understand that it’s totally ok because it’s still a net loss in the stash account!!
What did I order? Well, it’s a rather pretty colour pack from Wool Warehouse. The Scheepjes Stonewashed/Riverwashed XL colour pack has 50 little 15g balls of all the shades in those ranges in a lovely presentation box. It’s going to be like having a big box of candy arrive on the doorstep. How will I bear to break into it and actually use the yarn? I don’t know! In addition, I decided that it would be a good idea to get some extra of the lightest shade, Moonstone, so that I have a neutral that I can use with the brighter colours. Of course with Canada Post’s union woes, it could take a while to arrive, but I’m hoping they have their problems sorted out now. (Tai Chi Man’s birthday card from the UK took a month to get here.)
If you’ve never ordered from Wool Warehouse, I have to say they are brilliant. You order in British pounds but they give an approximation of the exchange rate next to the pound figure on each page. Their shipping is an incredible £3.99 – seriously, that’s amazing considering they are sending 1 kilogram of yarn my way across the expanse of the Atlantic!
Here’s a screenshot if you don’t want to click through to their site…
My goal for this year is more out than in, so that the stash doesn’t grow. And new stuff has to have plant fibre content, not be 100% synthetic. The Scheepjes yarn is 70% cotton.
We’ve had surprisingly mild temperatures this week – two of the days this year have hit double digits (Celsius) according to my car’s thermometer. The snow has melted quite a bit and we’ve seen some sunshine.
I hope you’ve had an awesome weekend. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what your yarn goals are for 2019.