Tuesday, 30 December 2014

More crocheting, different size.
My daughters' friend is a NICU nurse and suggested I might want to make smaller hats for her patients. Much smaller.
So I did a few and asked if the sizes would do.
The small yellow and aqua hats are the right size. The other two variegated hats  are "average" children's hat sizes, for comparison.
So I whipped up a few more:
 Hard to believe such small hats could fit!

The reference to baking in the title is real, but the problem is if one forgets to take photos right away, there may be nothing left to capture. A hat which has been worn still looks OK in a photo, a pre used muffin, not so much!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Last kiln load before xmas, emptied today.
And here are the goblets.
Really I need to get a professional photographer to take some photos for me. Wait  I know one......

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Can't put down that hook!
I did add to the border on the Lucy blanket. I had started it the way the ripple blanket was done, this one ended with a different type of border. Instead of ripping out what I had already done I just changed mine half way.
And I started a new lap blanket. I debated whether to use the pattern for the green scarf for the blanket, or try a "plaid" pattern. I actually did small swatches this time to see how the yarn and colours would look. Lesson: do not try to rip out the very hairy variegated blue (acrylic, mohair, wool and polyester) it does not like to be ripped out AT ALL.
So I decided to try a plaid and use the hairy yarn just for the filler.
 The add-in yarn will be chained and threaded through the mesh holes left for it. The next photo was taken against the window so the spaces can be seen more clearly.
I have not tried this style before so it will be interesting to see how it works out.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The green scarf is finished, and a few things made from my new yarn find.

I really want to make something else, but Xmas is coming and I haven't baked, or decorated or done much any shopping, so it is time to get on with those things and set aside crochet for now, except maybe I will work on the final boarder for the Lucy blanket!

 Missed this one from earlier. Made with acrylic/mohair blend using dew drop wrap pattern

Friday, 12 December 2014

I went shopping again today, at Goodwill, and for 10$ this is my haul.
I really need to get crocheting faster, or staying out of stores with really good deals on random yarn. The large blue ones are fuzzy and size 5. Either hats or slippers. Or maybe a scarf?
The red ones at the top are bumpy or boucle like in texture. The size is not specified but they must be 5 or 6. Red is not usually my colour but 6 - 70g balls plus that bit of purple for 4$, how can I pass that up? And tucked in the middle are 3 balls of cotton, 2 variegated and one plain blue to make the donation hats.
There was also a half skein of Phentex. Awful stuff. Grannies used to make slippers out of it. They (the slippers) never wore out ( unfortunately, as they were always ugly). I will give that to my husband to use to tie up the tomatoes next summer.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Goblets look better the right way up. Even if they have not been fired yet.
for the first time since my wrist episode I threw something fairly large.
Last official class until January, but I will continue to finish all these off, perhaps some will be ready for Xmas?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Shopping for yarn.
Last week I dropped in at my favourite thrift store to check out their crafty supplies section. I found some yarn. Total cost 9$.
I checked online to find out how well I did. The round flat ball in the lower left, a burnt orange colour, is Harris, with Rowan. The closest equivalent I can find is listed online for 10.95$ a 50 gm ball. I have one and between 1/2 and a whole other ball in small leftovers, so I covered it right there! The pink is cotton and I see it adding to my crochet flowers someday. The pale green, 3 skeins of "unknown fibre" probably mostly acrylic is becoming a scarf/Nantucket cowl. Here is the start...
 The rest will just add to my piles of yarn for now. ( stash sounds too organized for my collection!)
I also have some "finishes" in leftover yarn from the crochet blanket/afghan. After a request for slippers I am into old fashioned crochet footwear.

These are in RH comfort yarn from my Walmart 10 pounds (yes 4540gm) of yarn for 65$ day. I used it for the afghan and still have LOTS left.
Off to hook!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

With a little help from my friends....
Wine goblets are one of those things that are something of a challenge to make in clay. There are several different ways but I am trying the build-the-stem-onto-the-bowl, not the join-the-two-pieces-together. First I made a selection of bowls last week.
Today I trimmed the bowls smooth and then threw a stem on top of the upside down bowl.
It sounds easy? Well not for me, this is where the "friends" part comes in, aka our instructor, who gave lots of help, and eventually there were ...
a whole set of them!
they still need to dry, to be bisque fired, glazed, and glaze fired; but in just a few more weeks they will be ready for their adoring public. Whoever it may be.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

This morning the thermometer out back reported the temperature as -30C.
There really is nothing more to say!
Yesterday was clear away the snow day.
when I opened the garage door

snow sculpture on the back deck

And my version of Lucy's blanket is done, because my yarn is thicker and I really wanted an afghan/lap blanket. Now I'm

just waiting for her to show her border, so I can follow along with that part.

The cold also makes me think of warm hats.

This was crochet with two strands of RH Comfort ( a [4] thickness yarn) held together, light denim and dark denim, and a 9mm hook. It is not yet lined, but if the temperature stays this cold I may add a layer of warm fleece to the inside!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

the basic beanie
There are many many patterns /instructions/ tutorials out there for beanies. By definition (mine) a beanie is a simple hat which fits closely on the head, and generally covers the ears. Once you look at the patterns in detail, however, it soon becomes evident that there is really one pattern.
 Make a flattish round piece for the crown, then go straight until the hat is big enough. Stop.
Well perhaps a few more details, but really there are not a hundred ways to cover the top part of a head with a plain hat, or at least there need not be a hundred different sets of instructions.
First you make somewhere to crochet into, a  magic ring, several chains slip-stitched into a ring or even a single chain. Then you crochet into that. I have seen instructions ( and followed most of them) for anywhere from 3 to 14 stitches for this first round. Why such variation? Sometimes it seems, just to be different from the last pattern! Basically though the taller the stitch you want to use, the more stitches you need to start with. So for sc (single crochet) you will probably start with between 3 and 8, for hdc (half double crochet) 7 to 11 sounds ok, and for dc (double crochet)  10 to 14 stitches into the initial ring will work.
The next step is increasing, so that the rounds will lay almost flat. It is very easy to figure this out. Increase each row by the number you started with. So if you first used 6 sc, the next round will end with 12 sc  ( so  2 sci n each sc). Then for round 3 you want another 6, to end with 18sc ( sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat). And the fourth round will increase by another 6 to 24sc (sc in first 2 sc, 2sc in next sc, rep). And so on until you have a round which is big enough. For a real shorthand version of the instructions I write R1-6, R2-12, R3-18, R4-24, R5-30, and so on .
A hat with hdc would work up for example as R1-11hdc, R2-22hdc, R3-33hdc, R4-44hdc...
And for dc, R1-14dc, R2-28dc, R3-42dc, R4-56dc.
And how big is "big enough "for the flat part. Depends on final hat size. Child size hats usually recommend 13.5cm (5 inches) adult hats 15- 16.5 cm (6-7inches). But there is a better way to be sure. Measure the circumference of the head in question, I just checked an available head and it is 57cm (22.5in). since a hat generally has "negative ease" to keep it from blowing away in the wind, 55cm (or 21.5 in) should be good.  To find Diameter, from Circumference  [D=C/pi] 55/3.14=17.5cm, or 6.9 inches.
Once you reach the correct size for the crown, stop increasing and just continue one stitch in each stitch until it is big enough. Again checking the head is best but it will vary from 12 to 18 cm depending on the head ( 5 to 7 inches) from the end of the increase (ie the edge of the crown)
There are 2 basic ways to go around and around. Either crochet in a continuous spiral, or join each round with a slip stitch and ch 1 to 3 (sc to dc) to begin next round. Spiral is fine if you do not plan to change colours along the way, but join and chain will give smoother colour changes.
Here are a few sample beanies showing the possible variations due to yarn size.
very old wool, probably  size 1, crochet with 2.5mm hk. Starting round 8sc, 53 sc rounds. Fits that head I mentioned above.
cotton yarn size 4, 5mm hk. 14sc in ring then dc for crown, hdc on sides. Total 17 rounds. To fit medium child.
acrylic/rayon yarn, size 5, hk 8mm and 6.5 for edge, 12 dc in ring, 10 rounds of dc then 4 rounds blo sc. fits adult.
There is now a system of sizing yarn. It is not perfect, but if you have access to an old stash with no sizing at all, you will see how much better it is to at least have a starting point!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

If it is Tuesday it must be Belgium pottery.
The only craft I have actually taken classes for is pottery. I first went as a child, my mother thought since I had liked making mudpies, I would also like pottery. And it was clear I had absolutely no musical ability, and I could not draw or paint, some kind or art was needed. Since then I have gone to classes or belonged to a guild on and off. Lately on.
All my pots are practical, I can't seem to just make decorative pieces.
This is what came out of the kiln for me this week.

Destined for the Christmas Sale  December 5-7. at the Guild.

Friday, 21 November 2014

This has been an ongoing project. I started crocheting cotton child sized hats in the spring, following directions from the Get Well Gang. I researched the best local place to send them and decided on the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, in Calgary. To date I have given them 38 cotton hats as well as 4 others, not cotton, not GWG tagged.
This is today's batch :

Some of these were made using the GWG patterns, but making too many things the same is boring, I added several other patterns too. The many different patterns and tutorials to make almost the same thing  is a topic for another day!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Really this seems to be too easy. Click a couple of buttons, type in a name and there it is. Wait, it should be harder than this.  Well one does need to actually write a post, or there will be nothing to read.
The only way to start is to jump right in today and then go forward and backwards as needed. So here is today.

First item. This is how far I am so far in CAL with Lucy. We all know Lucy, right? 
It may not look exactly like her blanket. I admit I changed the yarn (mine is a 4 hers is 3) the hook size ( 5.0 vs 4.0) the number of colours ( 6 vs 15), the actual colours, and the starting number of chains (150 vs 198).
But I did keep the stitch pattern the same. And the inspiration is all hers. I would not be doing this otherwise!