Tag Archives: Spill

2017 project review

Standard
2017 project review

IMG_6886

Hi all and Happy New Year. It’s getting to the end of the first day of 2018 and I’m ready for bed (and it’s only 9pm). Last night we didn’t do anything special to see in the new year (as usual). Tai Chi Man was in bed early (as usual). I stayed up and binge-watched season one of a series on Netflix called Rectify. I found it strangely compelling.

So what I’m saying is that I did stay up past midnight, but not because it was New Year’s Eve!

The trouble with watching too much TV is that your brain is hopped up on electronic vibes and when you do go to bed, overtired, you can’t get to sleep easily. Still, I just lay there knowing that I would eventually get to sleep, and I did. But of course I woke up at the usual time so didn’t get enough rest, and I’m feeling it now.

I just did a quick review of the projects I have knitted and crocheted in 2017. This is why I love Ravelry. I can quickly scroll through  my project page, noting down what I made (of course if I had remembered to tag each project with the year, I could have done it even more quickly).

My favourite projects of the year would be the Spill Shawl, Anouska’s bag (the camper van one) and the Hungry Caterpillar baby blanket and cocoon. (All links to my Ravelry notebook.) I picked the shawl because the yarn worked perfectly with the design, and it’s in my favourite colours, the bag because I designed it and my niece loved it, and the baby blanket because it was a labour of love and the new parents loved it. And they’re all cute!!!

FullSizeRender (24)

img_6303

So, what did I make last year.

9 scarves/cowls, 2 baby blankets, 2 loveys, 1 pair of baby booties, 1 baby cocoon, 31 hats, 4 squares/coasters, 7 bags/cosies, 8 dishcloths, 3 baby sweaters, 1 poncho, 1 twiddle muff, 2 towel loops, 1 tank top, 1 baby dress, 6 rugs/cat mats, 2 shawls, 1 wreath (sunflower, pumpkins, leaves), 1 basket, 3 pairs of mittens, 1 pair of slippers

That makes a grand total of 88 items, counting the bits for the wreath as only one. Not bad at all.

However, there is an absence of larger projects. No big throws or blankets (I do already have a good pile of those so didn’t really NEED another one) and no adult sweaters or other garments, except for the linen tank top. So what I’m thinking for this year is that maybe I’d like to make a goal (NOT a resolution, of course, because I don’t make those) of knitting or crocheting a sweater a month. Doable? Maybe. FullSizeRender (1)

As for WIPs, I still have a couple of those and I’m not sure whether or not they will be finished. And I have some squares that I made for a blanket out of DK yarn (pictured above) that were joined together, but I decided I didn’t like how it was turning out so I took them apart. The ends were woven in on the squares so I didn’t frog them but will have to find a use for them later on.

I see a new thread was started on the Ravelry forums today – Flash your Stash 2018 – and I may well do that one of these days. My stash is quite manageable at the moment as I used some up or gave some away, so it wouldn’t be a huge task to pull it out and photograph it. I had culled the vintage stuff out and just kept the ‘nice’ stuff, but of course this then seemed to create a vacuum into which more yarn arrived. A co-worker gave me a bag of her unwanted acrylic. I kept it, though, as much of it is black and can be used in future scrap blankets or whatever.

So what else? I’ve already mentioned my thought of making a sweater a month. Another monthly goal that would be awesome to follow through on would be to sew myself a garment. I would add unique items to my wardrobe while getting more proficient at making things that I can wear in public. (I still want to make the sweater pictured below, it would be a quick knit, achievable in a month, but I STILL haven’t found the right yarn for the job!)

IMG_7071

Weekly goals are simple. Continue hosting my Hygge group on Monday nights, keep in touch with friends, and call my mum. Daily goals include doing something active (gym, walking, yoga, work) and being grateful for everything. I shall have to write these out and put them on the wall somewhere so I see them every day.

Now it’s time to love you and leave you, as they say, and I will talk to you again soon. Happy crafting.

 

A weekend retreat

Standard

Tai Chi Man and I are away for the weekend, leaving the three young men at home to eat, sleep and play unhindered! They are all adults now and can fend for themselves. Husband has classes, so I’m seeing him for short bursts of time in between. When I am alone, I am bingeing on Netflix (latest TV series watched is The Five), crocheting, computering, and this morning I hit the gym and the pool right here in the hotel. Gosh, it’s a tough life! I’ve also been out for a few short walks.

The view from our hotel room is very lovely and very changeable. The weather yesterday was low 20s (Celsius) and sunny, today it’s low teens and showery.

IMG_6873IMG_6874IMG_6881IMG_6882IMG_6883IMG_6895

That last one is today’s. Please excuse the dirty window. Nothing I can do about that!

I’m pleased to have a Ta Dah moment for the Spill Shawl. It’s not blocked, as I just finished it last night. I did try taking photos at the time, but a dimly lit hotel room is definitely not the ideal location so I took it out with me this afternoon. I found a nice stretch of beach to walk along and an interesting bit of fallen tree to drape the shawl on.

The last couple of rows are not the Lion Brand Mandala yarn, they are Deramores Studio DK in Jade. It was big enough by the end of the skein (and 67 rows) to call it quits but I thought a brighter/darker colour than the grey would finish it off better.

The other FO I have to show you is one I started and finished this morning, while drinking tea after my workout.

The pattern is from the book in the photos. It’s a sunflower to add to the pumpkin wreath in my kitchen. I used Stylecraft Special Aran in copper for the centre and lemon for the petals. It’s got great texture from all the popcorns.

I had checked Google Maps for getting a bead on the area and how to get to where I needed, but after the beach my aim was to find the large supermarket beside the Trans Canada highway. I did find it, just by a somewhat roundabout route. We have a small two-burner stovetop in our hotel room, and yesterday I threw together a very simple dinner from a can of kidney beans, a can of tomatoes, part of a bag of frozen vegetables, some salt and some chipotle flakes. OMG, I love chipotle. Smoked jalapeno, for those who don’t know, and I have the powder at home but forgot to bring any condiments or seasonings with me. So when I found the jar of flakes at the supermarket yesterday I just had to buy it.

Tonight I think we’ll have avocado and tomato on toast, and tomorrow night it’ll be pasta with olives, artichokes, tomatoes, peppers – and maybe some more of those chipotle flakes!

Brrr! I actually had to put a sweater on.

Hope your weekend is awesome. Bye for now!

 

 

 

 

WIPs and waiting…

Standard
WIPs and waiting…

Waiting for the electrician and plumber to arrive, who should have been here at 8 and it’s now 9.30am. Hopeless! The reason we need the team is that all three of our bathrooms are having extractor fans installed. Our tiny en suite (toilet and sink only) has a pathetic fan that’s never worked well. The two full bathrooms (one up, one down) have never had them. Now that we have new windows and doors and the house is better insulated and less draughty we have to make sure we don’t have a mould problem. (It started to manifest early this year after we had the work done – in January! Yes, the house was freezing for a bit.)

Tai Chi Man hung around an hour longer than usual this morning, but when we got the call that they would be late, he left for work and gave me instructions on what to tell the guys.

Anyway, last night was fun. I’ve started to host a Monday night ‘Hygge’ gathering, for friends to come and have tea and maybe crochet or knit or just chat. The first two, it was just me and one friend. Then last night there were four of us and we had such a laugh (and scads of Yorkshire Tea because three of us are Brits and the fourth is an honorary one)! It may or may not have been the tea that caused my wakefulness between 4 and 5am.

So my WIP is still Spill. I work on this when I can concentrate, as right side rows do require a bit of counting, but it’s an easy pattern and I love the way the colours look with the short rows. I’m almost at the end of the cake of Lion Brand Mandala and it’s 12 inches deep at the centre. Maybe not quite big enough to quit at the end of the cake, so I will go stash-diving later for something that works with it so I can keep going.

And I have a tiny FO that I started last night and just finished off.

FullSizeRender (9)

This is a bit of Stylecraft Special Aran. I just made a rectangle, starting with 20 chains, worked sc in the back loop only every row for 25 rows. Sew up the side seam, gather up one end, stuff it, gather up the other end, and then take the tails through the centre a couple of times to flatten it out and make it pumpkin-shaped. Add a little green stalk – 4 chain, work 3 sc into the chain, finish off and use the tails to sew it in.

This would be fun to make in different sizes. I may experiment with ever smaller starting chains.

Looks like I will have plenty of crochet time this morning. Have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIPs, workouts and weather

Standard

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!

IMG_6832

“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!