RSS Feed

Happy Crochet Blanket, 1/30th Done!

I am happy to report that after a few weeks, and a lot of personal trauma, I have completed 1/30th of my Happy Crochet Blanket!

IMG_6698.JPG

Obviously, it doesn’t look like much now but completing one little granny square of each of the color patterns sure feels like the start of an accomplishment.

I have fallen extremely behind my goal of doing three a day because of life events, such as getting run over by a wheelchair, a massive electric wheelchair, while I was on the bus seated in the handicapped seats. Happily the accident only set back my ankle recovery by a week or so but obviously having to go back on pain medication and the stress this has cost me has put doing anything artistic on the back burner.

I’m so very lucky that my friends and family pitched in and helped me raise money so that I can take the bus to and from work, and to my PT appointments. There’s an incredible amount of kindness in this world and somehow I was lucky enough to tap into that and it has helped me feel so much less stressed. Thank you all for your help and kindness!

So this weekend, after being able to buy groceries again, I made myself a lovely large latte laced with some delicious coffee liqueur and finished the first round of many of my colorful granny squares.

IMG_6697.JPG

Pretty soon some dear friends will come over for dinner, a humble repast of local brought bratwurst, pasta with slow roasted tomatoes and padrone peppers. It feels good to be up to being creative again, with my hands with fiber, and with food.

Now I’m starting round 2 of 30 of the Happy Crochet!

Officially A Hooker

Today, with the help of a friend from my LYS Kraft group, I officially became a hooker!

As I wrote about earlier, I bought a starter kit for a adorable granny square crochet blanket and today Erin and I sat down and we (she) figured out the pattern. The Mercerie’s merino yarn is so very pretty and the colors work together really well, it truly is a Happy Crochet Blanket!

It’s fun getting patterns from other countries but sometimes it causes a few problems. For example a double chain stitch in the United Kingdom is a single chain stitch here and their charming half treble stitch is a half double crochet in the US. We wrote it all down, it will be okay.

Also, I find that crochet charts look to me like childhood doodles. This must be my knitting brain speaking!!! Likewise, when I talk about knitting patterns my crocheting friends look at me with abject horror and confusion. It’s really fun to cross over to the other side and try to understand this new skill.

After a bit of fortification, lattes and mimosas, we got started with the pattern and and ended up with two test squares using my largest crochet hooks. Happily my test square looked a lot like hers!

20140803-223039-81039350.jpg

Then, with lots of gentle encouragement and support, I swapped out to the correct size hook – a 4 mm, also known as G, and tried to duplicate my work using the correct combination of yarns. It took a little bit of time but it worked out just great.

20140803-223216-81136489.jpg

After my friend left, I had a little snack and started in on square #2 and it went pretty well. I was very pleased with myself that I remembered how to do it when was alone, a true test of whether or not the lesson took hold.

20140803-223401-81241166.jpg

Actually, I finished a third square, and decided I need to give my neck and back a break and I needed to watch some trashy TV.

Eventually, I will have 600 little squares and they will be crocheted together to look like this:

20140803-223519-81319751.jpg

After being puffed with pride after conquering the puff stitch, I had some time to do a bit of math. I need to do 600 granny squares to finish this blanket and I think doing three a day is a reasonable goal. That’s roughly 199 days, which means I might be finished with the squares by February 15 of next year. And then I have to seam it all together. What have I done…?

It seems like inordinate amount of work, but the colors are so beautiful, I love the way they look and it’s going to be so much fun to have this on my lap come next winter.

597 to go!

An Ocean of Blue

Posted on
An Ocean of Blue

A while ago I joined the Simply Sock Yarn Club, where they send you gorgeous sock yarn and pattern suggestions each month. I love these clubs, it’s like getting a present to yourself every month.

The first installment is a gorgeous set of gradient yarn from Miss Babs, she calls it Shades of Peacock.

Shades of Peacock

To me, it perfectly matches one of my favorite rings, a blown glass ball filled with azure liquid, my own personal drop of the Caribbean. It’s a big ring and I wear it most days.

Shades of Peacock

The club recommended several patterns for this yarn but I chose Spectral, by Debbi Stone, The Stitches of My Life. It was designed for this same yarn but in a grey gradient.

It’s a cowl with a lovely texture to it and knit in the round.  It will be a perfect thing to go with my ever-present black jackets during our very foggy SF summer.

Finally I feel good about trying to knit something besides the never ending Vajiante poncho, I knit and knit on it and I swear it goes nowhere.   After my latest ankle procedure a week ago I am still taking pain drugs and just don’t have much cognition, but like the waves on the shore, the pain is ebbing away and my mind is clearing.

I can’t wait to get home from work to start weighing out the yarn so that I can start it when I am up visiting my family this 4th of July!

 

 

 

A Pause For Healing and Minor Knitting

Posted on
A Pause For Healing and Minor Knitting

I’ve been quiet for a little while because I’ve had another procedure on my ankle, minimally invasive this time but still annoying not to be allowed to walk for the past month. Surprisingly I have not felt like knitting at all.

20140624-221922-80362436.jpg

I have been working on my Vajiante or “Vag” shawl and have made it to two of my craft nights! That group really lifts my spirits! Despite being extremely challenged by simple stockinette I have managed to make some progress on it and hope to wear it this year.

20140624-222141-80501486.jpg

Yes, I have been dropping stitches all over the place, but hopefully they won’t show too much after it’s been blocked. No matter how carefully I repair them, I still feel like everybody can see exactly where they are. Or is it just me? I feel like my brain is taking a vacation, involuntarily, while my ankle is healing.

I have about one and a half of a skein of yarn to go to finish this shawl/poncho. It is interminable, but what else do I have to do.

Well, actually I do have a few other things I want to do! For example I decided to branch out from my current repertoire and try hooking.

Some lovely Twitter friends shared a beautiful crocheted blanket of floral-based granny squares and the colors were just so delightful I had to try it. I impulsively bought the first installment of a kit for this blankets and I have no idea what to do now.

I’m having another yet ankle procedure on Thursday, so while I’m home recuperating I shall indulge myself on YouTube and try to learn a few of the basic crochet stitches so I can attempt this beautiful British pattern.

20140624-222552-80752525.jpg

20140624-222626-80786930.jpg

It is called the Happy Blanket from The Mercerie in England and I hope my friends at craft night can help me with the crocheting aspect as well.

20140624-224541-81941024.jpg(this is craft night)
(P.S. The saddest part about craft night is really can’t tolerate any alcohol right now, not even my favorite Lime-a-Rita.)

I found a bit of cotton yarn and tried to make a dishcloth. I think it came out really nicely, but I swear it fried up all the remaining brain cells I had because it shouldn’t have been this hard, and after just completing one I feel like I’m done.

20140624-222849-80929758.jpg

I have enough of the yarn to make about five more, if I can wrap my head around that!

I also bought a beautiful pattern that I saw on my friend Chris’s Facebook page, another Ruth Sorenson pattern using Kauni yarn done in fair isle and depicting Scottish thistles in a beautiful design. Since I’m Scottish, I figured I had to make this so perhaps someday I will. Here is the Flowers of Scotland Shawl.

20140624-223439-81279094.jpg(Ruth’s photo from her Ravelry page)

It’s just beautiful, I love the colors, but is much too ambitious for me right now. Her designs are lovely but her pattern instructions are possibly not translated in the best possible manner from their original Danish (or is it Norwegian?) for my current levels of comprehension.

This section made me cry.

Increase 1 st on both sides of the
shawl as shown on the chart. Increase
each row 3 times, then knit 1 row without
increasing etc.

Oh my.

Before my first minor procedure last month, I had finished one sock of this really cool pattern and started the cuff of the second sock, and then lost the pattern and I can’t figure out where I got it from or where it might’ve gone to. It was on my bed when I came home from surgery and then it is gone. It is not under the bed, it is not on my dresser, or on the coffee table, or in my pile of baskets of knitting and yarn. So I’m a bit stuck. Perhaps I’ll do what my friend Kathy at Princess Animal does and just knit a second stock in a completely different pattern and say to heck with it.

20140624-224432-81872777.jpg

I still also have the Swiss cheese scarf using Knitwits ombre yarn. I just cannot count properly right now in order to get the buttonholes to offset properly.

20140624-224828-82108464.jpg

This, by the way, is officially the world’s worst photograph of me. Ever. Please just look at the beautiful yarn that I’m holding up and imagine you can’t see anything else. Thank you.

So as you can see, I have been thinking a lot about knitting, but not actually doing much of it. I’m hoping this brain fugue is just temporary and a side effect of the pain medication they have given me, and not some permanent vast wasteland of stupidity that will afflict my creative processes forever.

Fun Baby Projects – Wave Jumpers

Posted on
Fun Baby Projects – Wave Jumpers

I was ever so delighted to hear that one of my coworkers is having a first baby. I was even happier to hear that he’s having a baby girl! Baby girls mean that I get to make cute little dresses, like my favorite baby pattern, the wave Jumper.

I went through my yarn supply to see if I had any cute sock yarn in girly colors, and all I could find was this really cool sock yarn called FlatFeet. You unravel it as you knit, it’s rather cool. I wish more of my sock yarn came knitted up like this.

20140515-203830.jpg

My coworker lives in San Diego and is a big-time surfer, so I thought that these cute hippie like colors would be super darling on his little baby beachy girl.

The pattern is really easy it is a modified feather and fan lace, knit in the round with a little stockinette tank top from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders that was a gift from my dear mUm.

Despite having some shoulder issues from doing too much at work, I have been managing to knit a little bit of it each day and I think it looks completely adorable.

20140515-204132.jpg

The baby is due in June so I have plenty of time to get this blocked and finished up for them. I can’t wait to see a picture of her in it!

20140518-231937.jpg

Two Giants Shawls, So Little Time

Posted on
Two Giants Shawls, So Little Time

—–> March 2014 <——-

I realized the other night that all of my current knitting projects are insane.

I have the Event Horizon Pi Shawl, which was supposed to be finished last Friday on Pi day (3/14), however I was only up to the second ball of yarn on Friday, and it only measured 1 1/2 feet at that point, to the target of 6 feet.

Over the weekend I worked on it exclusively and added the third ball of yarn, making a total of 800 yards of knitting completed. As of last night I added ball number four, completing 1,200 yards of knitting, which is officially at the half way mark.

When you think about this, that means I have been working on this since January, I have 576 stitches on the needles for this shawl and there are still 1,200 yards of yarn left to go.

20140515-201624.jpg

For perspective:

  • 1,200 yards is 1.097 kilometers
  • 1,200 yards is 3 laps around a standard track
  • the 1000 yard shot used to be the exclusive mark of a military sniper or top competitive shooter, now it is 1600 yards

I’m still working on the second ball of yarn for the VIajiante shawl, that one is going to take even longer than the pi shawl to make.

—–> Zoom to today <——-

Pi Day has come and gone, and I have done a lot of work on the shawl. Last week I finished it!

I didn't use all of the black yarn for the border, which is nice because now I have almost a full ball to use for some other project. In total, I knitted a whopping 2200 yards!

It still needs to be blocked, which I have to figure out how to do. My knitting group thinks that I should block it out on my bed, and sleep on the couch for a couple days while it dries.

20140515-202124.jpg20140515-202142.jpg

It doesn’t look very lacey right now but the blocking really stretches out the lace and makes it look more airy and light.

I’m not exactly thrilled with the color transitions, but my knitting group said it was gobstopping gorgeous so I am going to go with their feelings on it and perhaps it will grow on me in time.

Until it’s blocked it is living on the back of my settee and perhaps someday I will find a nice little black dress to wear it with.

It feels really good to have this project done, it’s the largest piece of knitting that I have ever made and the most intricate.

I have been combing through the book Stories in Stitches 2 to see if there were other lace project that I might attempt, thinking perhaps a doily might be fun. I need to get some cotton perl yarn! Perhaps yarn in a color?

Startitis: The Viajante and The Mohair Bias Loop

Posted on

Knitters know of the curse of “startitis”, the irresistible impulse to start many projects all at the same time.

I most definitely have a healthy case of this, the moment I came home from Stitches West I started these:

I have in progress:

All I want to do at lunchtime is work on the Viajante and, when I get home, knit on the Mohair Bias Loop! It is like an irresistible compulsion.

But the Viajantes is so wonderful and simple, I am making it out of the dreamiest Malabrigo Silkpaca, a silk-alpaca lace yarn that is soft and airy, it’s going to be gorgeous to wear.

20140228-182253.jpg

20140228-182312.jpg

20140228-182338.jpg

20140228-182359.jpg

It is a fun design and I have wonderful support from the LSG group on Ravelry. LSG stands for Lazy, Stupid and Godless, and I just love these ladies.

The Mohair Bias Loop is the simplest pattern that I found at the Claudia Handpaints booth at Stitches West. Years ago I made a pretty spiral scarf out of Alchemy Haiku, and it had a tragic end. I made another and it’s pretty but I missed the airy loft of the silk mohair thread of the Haiku yarn.

At the booth I saw this gorgeous, glowing fluff of the Haiku knitted up into a pretty, simple cowl shape. I have cones and cones of silk mohair yarn from Artfibers, but I coveted a skein lying next to the sample Bias Loop that glowed like cranberries roasted on butter at Thanksgiving. They were meant to be mine.

I started it last night after I finished my embroidery and thought about it all day.

20140228-183326.jpg

20140228-183343.jpg

After a few hours I was more than halfway done.

Mohair bias loop

It did not take long to finish it and I wore it to the book reading by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, the “Yarn Harlot”. She complimented me on it, which thrilled me down to my toes. She’s a tiny lady and I crouched down as far as I could so spare her from yet another “Mutt and Jeff” photo.

Me & @yarnharlot - such a fun night.

Despite all my projects lurking in the wings I am really tempted to pull our the cone of palest lavender or the cone of vibrant burnt orange and make this according to the pattern, which fits around the shoulders like a shrug. The gorgeous Haiku skein did not have enough yardage . I think I might have to cast on one immediately!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers

%d bloggers like this: