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Archive for the ‘Crochet’ Category

It seems that I always have trouble keeping up with the Blog this time of year.  It is May, and I noticed my last post was in November!!!  But life (especially with 4 little ones) gets in the way.  And we have a whole mess of holidays AND birthdays at the end of the year and the beginning of the new year.  I have, however, managed to finish something in that time.  Just did not have time to blog about it.  If some of these are a repeat, my apologies, I try to make sure I do not duplicate my finished items, but some times it is possible on slips through a second time.  First and foremost, I finished my Andromeda socks last year.  It only took me 6 years…

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I used KnitPicks’ Stroll solid yarn, in the Dusk color way.  And some small #6 white beads.  I actually love the sock pattern, it has some lace and some mini cables, and the elegant cuff of with the beads, al things I love!  I did change a few things, I used a provisional cast on, and just before I added the beads, I knit the active stitches of the cast on side together with the stitches on my needles.  It creates a very non-binding top.  Maybe a little too loose, because they actually tend to sag just a little when I wear them.   But I still love them.

I also finished this shopping net, for a dear friend’s Xmas present.  I used Peaches and Cream Cotton in the Floral Bouquet color.  The funniest thing happened, while I was crocheting this, I was getting a hint of a smell.  It would come and go.  After quite a little while (I do get distracted, you know) I realized it was actually the yarn!  I had unintentionally bought one of the scented colors.  I personally do not really care for it, but it was not terribly invasive, provided you are not sensitive to these kind of smells.  It was alright for 1 project.

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The pattern?  It is called Gehaakt Boodschappennetje, and is to the best of my knowledge only available in Dutch.  Really a shame, because it is a good size, look:

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And it folds up into a little bundle, in a pocket that has very cleverly crocheted into the bag:

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Great pattern, even if I did loose count of how many double crochets and such I was doing, something that changed almost every row.  It took every bit of 3 skeins.

I will leave you for now, but hopefully I will see you again soon.

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Autumn is almost here

Autumn is supposed to start in a little over a week.  Elsewhere the weather is starting to get cooler, and maybe some leaves are already turning.  This morning, as I left the house at around 7 am, it was actually cool outside.  Something I have not experienced here in way too many months.  Highs in the afternoon are still around 95 degrees (35C).  And yet the feel of autumn is in the air.  The kids went back to school.  In the mornings it is dark just a little bit longer, and in the evenings it gets darker just a little earlier each day.  Cub scouts has started again, with all the chaos that being treasurer at dues times brings.  Plans for camping trips are being made.  And slowly but surely I am realizing how badly I have neglected some parts of my life, parts that I do enjoy, but are not absolutely “necessary”.  When you have 4 kids home over the summer, necessities are about all that happens… 😉

And even before that, I was quite negligent (for multiple reasons) in showing you the things I did.  I hope I remember them, and have pictures of those items that no longer live at our house.  Let’s see, where do I start.

Oh, the items I made for the (DO NOT LAUGH!!) Christmas Ornament exchange last year.  I could not tell you about them, because the recipient had not received  them yet.  And once she did, I almost forgot, because the year just turned so hectic.  I am part of a great handcraft group (online) and every once in a while we have an exchange.  They are always fun, and I try to usually participate.  This time the topic was Christmas Ornament.  Anything you could decorate with for the holidays.  This is what I made:

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Two stars, made out of size 10 crochet thread, using a size 8 (1,5mm)  crochet hook.  The top one was made following a pattern called Salmon Glacier Snowflake.  It was a pretty simple pattern, though well written.  And really quick, you only crochet 3 rounds!  And because it was so quick, I decided to make a second, but different, one.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I had real trouble choosing which one to make…  It is not like there are thousands of gorgeous, big and little crocheted snowflake patterns on the internet.

The second one was made from a pattern called Century Snowflake.  It was equally fun to make, and the little hearts in the center were so cute!  (In my humble opinion of course… 😉 )

I was also spoiled, in the swap, I received this:

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Isn’t he very, very cute?  And such awesome stitching.

Now, before I leave, I also want to show you this:

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Just a simple scarf, using Fisherman’s Rib, or the one below stitch.  DS2 was soo cold last winter, he just had to have a scarf.  And this is a marvelously thick, cushy and warm scarf, perfect for a 5/6 year old.  He wanted bright, so bright he got.  🙂  Some of you might recognize the yarn from the sweater he got last year.  It is Caron Simply Soft, in Rainbow Bright.  I used Needle size 8 (5mm).  A closeup?  Sure, here you go:

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He was thrilled with it.

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Towel Toppers

I do not blog very often about projects I crochet.  I do however know how to do it, as some of you might remember from a post almost a year ago, where I showed you the Swan Doily.  Recently I have not been working on something quite that intricate, but I did make some towel toppers for my mother-in-law.  The renovated their kitchen, and when we were there last christmas, she commented on one particular faded towel that she said was her favorite.  It had one of those towel toppers on it that you can loop through a drawer pull and button up.  After a little more questioning it was not the towel part or the color, but the topper that was what she liked.  I figured, a gorgeous new kitchen deserves new towels!  So, after a little study, I copied the topper, found a nice cotton towel and a gorgeous couple of buttons.  Their kitchen is dark wood and black, so those were the colors I chose.  And here is the result:

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The end of an era

Long, long ago, in a state, far away….  Isn’t that how most fairytales sort of begin?  Well, it would be rather appropriate for this project’s story as well.

The story started a long time ago.  I think about 14 or 15 years.  I had just learned to crochet (again).  My mother had tried to teach me a long time ago, when I was a little girl, but at that time it didn’t appeal to me.  I was much rather knitting.  But when I was in college, I re-discovered crochet.  And I figured one of the best ways to learn different patterns, was to do one of these blankets or afghans with different squares.

Off to the hobby store we went.  I found a really interesting pattern, a leaflet from Leisure Arts, 2146, called 63 “more” Easy to crochet pattern stitches combine to make an Heirloom Afghan.   I bought more yarn then I had ever dreamed of buying all at the same time.  And not just Red Heart, something I usually used, but something ‘nice’.  I ended up with bags full of Caron’s Wintuk.  It was soft, creme-colored (the color is actually called Fisherman), and just plain awesome!  I started to crochet, and it really was easier then I expected.  I finished the first 20 or so blocks relatively quickly.  But then life got in the way.  I got a job, we moved around the country a couple of times, and all together, I kind of almost forgot about this afghan.

But then I joined a wonderful online group, and they had a UFO club.  And I remembered that I really did want this blanket to be finished.  So I joined, and every month, I added a block, sometimes 2, sometimes none.  But progress was once more being made!  And about 2 years ago, I realized that it was still going to take forever to finish it, at 1 block month.  So I decided to try for 1 block a week.  And even though I didn’t always manage, life sometimes got in between, I kept at it.

I couldn’t for the life of me remember how much yarn I actually bought, but I am pretty sure I had kept all of it together.  It was kind of scary at the end, because I could not tell whether I had enough yarn to finish.  Of course the yarn is discontinued, so finding more would be very, very difficult.  And I discovered that I actually had two different kinds of Wintuk, both from Caron, both bought at the same time, both asking for the same hook, but one had 16 stitches per 4 inches, and the other 18 stitches.  Which means that some of my squares are a little denser, but I am okay with that.  Then at the end, when I was just about to start the final single crochet edging all around the blanket, I found 1 more skein of yarn in my stash, it had been taken out to take with me on a trip last year, and apparently never made it back in.  The edging took about 2/3 of a skein (I guess), and all together, I think I have the equivalent of 1 skein left over!  And here she is:

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When you click on it, you can see a bigger picture.

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Happy Holidays!

In the US a lot of people just finished celebrating Christmas.  Others celebrated Kwanza, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice for those south of the Equator, and probably a couple of other holidays I am not thinking of right now.  (Feel free to enlighten me, I love learning new things. )  I want to wish everyone a happy holiday, which ever variety you celebrate.

Just a quick update of some of the things I have done while I was in out of reach this year.  In June, I made this hat for a very dear friend:

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It is the Esprit Chemo Turban.  I am drawing a complete blank on the yarn.  It was a very soft cotton/polyester if I remember correctly, the thread made up out of 9 or so very loosly twisted threads.

I have also worked on several squares for my 63 crocheted squares afghan.  Let me see if I can show you those kind of quickly:

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I think that catches you up on that blanket, and for those of you with sharp eyes, that last square is indeed number 59, I have only 4 squares more to go!

I also made The Swan Doily:

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It is here unwashed/unblocked, but I forgot to take pictures after I blocked it… Oops! The bottom one is a closeup picture of one of the swans, which I think turned out very nicely.  After blocking the lines were much neater…  The recipient was very happy with the doily.  I used Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton.

Enjoy the season!

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I did it again

I thought after doing Oregon twice, and clearly passing on the issue when I did them, I would have somehow learned to by pass this stage.  But obviously that is not the case.  Because this weekend I realized that I have been doing ‘IT’ again.  What is ‘IT’ you ask?  Well, it is this little problem I have.  When I get close to finishing a project, I stop working on it, because I don’t want it to end.  I don’t want to say goodbye to this project that has been with me for quite some time.  It doesn’t seem to happen with small projects nearly as often.  But recently I have been working on Hippo Gnu Deer and have gotten really good progress.  So much so, that I have finished all the body charts, and have started the edging.  Here is a picture of my progress right after I started the edging:

But now that I have gotten half way around, I don’t want to finish….  I am enjoying working on this too much.  Instead, I have also made progress on Wingspan:

And, because it is also nearing it’s end, I have even been making major progress on the Heirloom Crochet Afghan.  I will share those pictures later, I still have to liberate them from my camera… 😉

And on top of that I have actually been reading!  I got 3 new books for my birthday, The Dresden Files 1-3 by Jim Butcher.  So far I have been quite enjoying them.  Maybe, now that I have actually been writing about my procrastination, I will actually get my act together, and actually finish one of these projects?  I mean, my list of WIPs could definitely use some crossing off… 🙂

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Some FO’s

While I took a little sabbatical from the Blog, I did do some more knitting.  I promised I would show, so…

First up, a pair of socks for my youngest son, DS2.  He saw this yarn, and just had to have a pair of socks.  I didn’t quite manage to make them matching, but he doesn’t care.  I hope they are big enough he can wear them next year too.  The pattern is from ‘New Pathways for Sock Knitters’ by Cat Bordhi, the Riverbed Master pattern.  The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Merino 100, as you can see that is quite a bright mix of colors.  It really is a shame that apparently Meilenweit Merino is not for sale in the USA… 😦  I love this yarn, it is sooo soft!

Next was the cardigan for DS1, a pattern I made up myself.  I think it worked out rather well, in my opinion.  He is very happy with it, which is of course the most important thing.  The yarn was a very old worsted weight Wintuk by Sears.

And last but not least, I actually made some progress on my crochet afghan with 63 different blocks.  Here are block 34:

and block 35:

As I said, there are supposed to be 63 of these, and I am making them ‘in order’, at least the way there are listed in the book.  The order in which they are attached according to the picture is quite different.  It is fun to make squares with a different pattern each time, but 63 is an awful lot…  I try to do at least one a month, but the last couple of months have not gotten quite that much done.  Oh well.

If I can get WordPress to talk to Facebook, those of you following on Facebook get an update again, but since Facebook has cancelled the link, I have not been able to show my posts on my wall.  😦  I finally found something on WordPress that supposedly worked the same way, but I can’t get them to talk together.  Yet.

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