Tag Archives: Stylecraft Special Aran

FOs of the knit, crochet and sewing kind

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Oooh, I do feel productive. A finished hat from the cake of Lion Brand Mandala (the third from that cake, and there’s still some left). Cast on 94 sts with US#4, worked some K2P2 ribbing, changed to #5 tips and increased to 100 sts. When hat was 4.75″ deep, I did the same crown decreasing as in the Vanilla hat, but with hindsight reducing the straight part by a whole inch may have been a little too much as I find it a bit small now. It fits Sally perfectly (see below).

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A finished cosy from a German crochet book that I found at my local library. I learned some new words in German!

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And some finished project/notions bags. First, an unlined drawstring bag with a boxed bottom to which I added a special pocket with a slanted zipper opening. I messed up a little there as I was going to make the bag quite a bit bigger, but then my rotary cutter had other ideas and it ended up being the same size as the last one I made. The pocket dwarfs it a bit, but you get the idea.

This little guy is a tiny version of the triangle bag I made first (as talked about here) with the yarn ball print. I made it to go with the other bag as a gift for a podcaster I listen to a lot. They are now both in the mail. (Tutorial Crafty Gemini)

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And lastly this one from a McCall’s pattern (# M6256) which I bought on sale this week at work.

Oh man, this presented some challenges. Sewing a circle to a tube for the base – eeek! Handsewing the lining inside – grrr! Heat ‘n Bond that didn’t stick when it was supposed to – aaagh! Glad it’s done, and it does do the job – there’s a partial cake of yarn in there and the end is threaded through the top of the “lid” – though it wouldn’t hold a full cake. Maybe it’d work best for a commercial skein of acrylic set inside on its end.

This morning was productive in its own way too. An appointment with a new dentist, in which I had my teeth scaled and polished, and numerous other things they wanted to do as I am a new patient there. No cavities, thank goodness. Dropped bags of stuff at the recycling depot. Mailed a small package to the aforementioned podcaster in Wisconsin. And spent rather a lot of money on a new pair of spectacles. I hope to have them before I go on holiday in August as the ones I’ve been wearing are badly scratched.

What are you making this week?

 

 

WIP: March sweater – lots more stripes

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I had another awesome day of crocheting today. After starting the left front of the sweater last night, while sitting and having hot chocolate with friends at home, I continued with it today while watching crochet podcasts.

Last time I posted I was up to the yellow.

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This is what it looked like after doing the orange stripes and a red, right on the edge. Above, folded. Below, laid out flat.

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And today, it looks like this.

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Above, folded. My friend had the inspired idea, when I was saying there wasn’t room for more red on the right front last night, to suggest putting some on the left front. So I did, just on the bit you’ll see when I’m wearing it.

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Laid out flat, you can see what I mean. And there’s only about four inches more to add to the left front. Then there will be a ton of weaving in, and doing a border around the edges to neaten it all up.

I’ll need to find three buttons to match one of the colours – one for right and left top corners, and another for the left side to hold it at bust level if I decide to wear it with the top corner folded down. The double crochet stitches are large enough that I don’t need to worry about making buttonholes.

Well, the timer should be going off on the stove in a sec – for some reason, the food didn’t cook properly at 375 degrees so I put the nut roast and the Greek potatoes back in for another half an hour at 425 and if THAT doesn’t cook the buggers I will be well ticked off. I would have liked to eat earlier so that I had time to digest before yoga 😦

WIP: March sweater Day 2

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Well hello there, I’m back with more news of the March sweater.

Yesterday was a heavy crochet day – I spent a LOT of time on the couch and almost finished the back. I did go for a walk in the evening with Tai Chi Man to get some fresh air and some blood flowing through the veins, though.

The back was kinda boring, being all black, and it was nice to start on the coloured stripes for the right front today (after my 8am yoga class).

My first Ravelry project page update, earlier today, showed that I had done five blue stripes and was just starting on the green part of the yarn cake. In order to keep the coloured sc rows fairly visible, I’m crocheting the black rows in the front loop only. This leaves a little extra colour visible on the right side.

I’m also “cheating” with the colour. The blue did five rows and I made sure that the green would arrive on the sixth. So when I’d done five green rows I cut some out so that the acid yellow would appear on the next one. I want to make sure that all five colours in the cake appear across the front of the sweater (which is actually going to be a sleeveless vest with a wrap front).

Tricky to photograph black, especially when there are other colours involved in part of the shot. Of course I’m only using an old iPad Mini, so I guess I can’t expect too much. (And those ends! Lots of weaving in to do later.)

So that’s it for today. I’ve put down my hook for the night, even though it’s only 9.20pm. I’d rather go and get into my PJs and read in bed for a while because I’ve realised that staying up late is not serving me well. Thankfully I’ve finished all seasons of Mr Selfridge now, and am reluctant to start another series. It’s just too easy to binge watch episode after episode.

So apart from crochet, this week’s entertainment is finishing A Dog’s Purpose (yes, the book that the film was based on, though I haven’t seen the film) and starting on the third book in the Poldark series, Warleggan.

I gave a work shift away to a co-worker whose schedule was messed up so the coming week has me doing two shifts instead of three, which means…you guessed it…more crochet time! I estimate the March sweater will take no more than a week in all and then I can decide what to knit for April! Oh yes, and the Ravelry Ravellenic Games start on February 9th, and I am entering the toy event, so I need to do a bit of preparation for that before next Friday.

It’s all go, you know. 🙂

WIP: March sweater

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Well, it’s been a mixed-up weather day today. We’ve had blowing snow, cloud, sunshine, wind, just about everything. However I have been inside on the couch, getting on with my March sweater.

As I’ve said, my goal is 12 sweaters in 12 months, and January and February are checked off the To Do list. It feels good to be ahead of the schedule and starting my March sweater on February 2nd.

I went through a few ideas, one of which I sketched out in detail and actually started knitting. However it has now been frogged in favour of a crochet version. As you can see, my Hello Kitty pencil tin and accessories are a very important part of this process.

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I started with the back piece – this was earlier today – I have since finished the first ball of yarn and started on the second.

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Rather than make three separate pieces, I think when I get to the end of the back I will just keep going with the right front, and when that’s done I’ll return to the beginning chain edge and work the left front onto it rather than having to sew things together.

The stitch pattern I’m using is one row single crochet, one row double crochet. For the right front I will do the sc rows in my rainbow yarn. Hoping for a wearable result! I think this is why I have been hesitant in the past to make garments because it’s a big time/yarn investment that may not work out. However I am heartened by the recent finished objects so will plug on!

While crocheting, I’ve found a couple of new crochet podcasts to watch on You Tube, and also an interesting sock tutorial by Mikey at The Crochet Crowd.

 

 

 

FOs: Elephant lovey and Glamour Gloves

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Hello bloggy friends. Are you loving the fall weather, the colours, the coolness in the air, even rain? I am. What a balm to the soul after the heat and smoke of the summer.

I love sorting out my closet, thrifting a few things that I no longer wear, putting the summer clothes on the top shelf and bringing down the knits. The polar fleece PJs. The shawls. Aaah!

It’s getting dark around 6 now and there’s nothing I like better than putting on my PJs for the evening after a day at work. Pop out the contact lenses, get the bra off, and let it all relax, eh! Sorry, too much information?

Another two small projects were finished this week. My boss asked me to make this little lovey for a diaper bag-type display at work. We have a talented arty girl on staff who’s great at making stuff look appealing, so to add to this bag of goodies I crocheted up this quick project out of a DMC Top This kit.

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It’s just a granny square with the elephant head in the centre, made with the yarn that’s actually intended to be a hat.

I also finished these Glamour Gloves.  (Apologies for the nighttime shot.)

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These are cute, easy and quick to make. They are just tubes, no thumbhole or anything. I made them with Stylecraft Special Aran in Lipstick as they were for a coworker who just sewed herself a beautiful red coat. She loved them, as did the two ladies who received the Warm Willies mitts and blue hat in my last post. I also gave the Bernat Pop cowl to my boss, so that means that every staff member (plus a couple who have left now) have received a small crocheted gift from me in the last couple of years. Perhaps 22 people.

But oh, the angst last night, while I tried to come up with just the right project to make next. I feel like knitting something, perhaps with another cake of Lion Brand Mandala, but could I find any inspiration?? Nope.

As I’ve just binge-watched three seasons of Game of Thrones, I thought I’d do a Ravelry search to see if that sparked something. Not really. And if it had, which House would I pick? Stark? Targaryen? Or would I just go with, “Winter is Coming.” But really, Winter is Here in Season 7. I’ll say no more than that for fear of spoilers.

Wishing you all a happy crafty week. Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday WIP and Wonderful Walks

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Those few days whizzed by, didn’t they! I blogged on Saturday and now it’s Wednesday.

To finish off my report of the weekend away, Sunday was a pleasant day, and I spent two hours in the morning walking along a nature trail beside the lake/wetlands/nature reserve. I took a sweater, a rain jacket, a bottle of kombucha and a sandwich, but I could have left it all behind. But you know how it is. I didn’t know how long I’d be out for, whether the sun would shine or if it would cloud up and rain on me, and I do like to be prepared.

It’s a very beautiful place.

And so much greener than the valley where I live.

So, I showed you my shawl and my sunflower. Well after this walk on Sunday I spent literally hours crocheting and started a bag for my laptop. I have been meaning to do this ever since I bought the laptop, which is I think a couple of years ago now. I had all my Stylecraft Special Aran with me, and all my hooks, and I decided to use the C2C technique. It’s a great choice, being fairly dense and thick with the aran weight yarn, so will protect my laptop on the odd occasion when it leaves the house.

The colours go dark/medium/light across the work, with three rows of each colour.

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After finishing a rectangle that would wrap around my laptop, with a bit extra for a buttoned flap, I single crocheted all around it in navy, then folded it and single crocheted the sides together.

Pretty wild, huh!

It just needs buttons and of course even though I have a button stash I couldn’t find a combination I was happy with, so I have picked out some discontinued buttons from a basket at work and will bring them home tomorrow.

I also made this peace square.

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That link will take you to Ravelry. The pattern page has a further link to a video tutorial which I followed without even looking at the written pattern. It’s very thorough which is good, because you’ll probably have to do what I did and replay bits of round 2 because there’s a lot of messing about with crocheting in the back and front loops of stitches, plus the colour changes. Once that’s out of the way though it’s all quite simple.

One thing I dislike is on the vertical upper part of the lavender peace sign in my square you can see little dots of blue encroaching on the lavender. That’s because, while I changed colour to slipstitch for the end of the round, it would have been better to finish the previous stitch with the lavender and then slipstitch. I’ll know what to do if I make any more.

Monday evening was my Hygge group which this time was a happy group of five. There was much laughter, knitting and tea drinking.

And Tuesday was a day off too, so I made the most of the beautiful day by walking for a an hour on a nature trail alongside a creek followed by going out for tea and a vegan cookie with a friend. Today was a work day, as is tomorrow.

Enough chat. The day is winding down and if I want to get some crochet done I should revisit those Ravelry links I was researching this morning for leaves to add to my fall wreath. Talk to you later!

 

A weekend retreat

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Ta Dah!

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OK, I confess it doesn’t have buttons and it hasn’t yet been ‘blocked’ i.e. machine washed and dried, BUT it’s wearable AND I wore it last night to go out into the cold dark night! Well, it was just a visit to someone’s home – this coat wouldn’t hold up to any sort of windchill!!

 

It took about a week just to sew in the ends. Yes, next time I would do it as I went along.

The sleeves are only just wide enough, as I was wearing it over a sweater last night. I thought it would end up more roomy overall, but actually it fits just right.

Evening photos in artificial light…

 

And so another project is (almost) put to bed. I love finishing things!  How about you?