Thursday, 17 December 2015

Inspired, or nagged depending on your point of view, by a crochet mittens group on facebook; I have made a number of pairs of mittens this year. The first ones were, by request, for Rebecca: lined crochet mittens.
 These are "Unicorn" from the crochet mitten drive. Patons Canadians  100% superwash wool. (a goodwill find).
Handspun wool, pattern is a simplicity pattern from the '70s.

Then I got right into the program, although I did start a few and ripped them out this was my final result.
In more detail: Landscape
 Red Heard Comfort,white; and Lions one pound, taupe. These are quite warm due to the back and forth stitching which results in thick ridges between rows.
5mm hook

Same pattern and hook size, brown yarn was a bit thinner. but still a [4].

spike aka winter

These 2 pairs were done just the same except for the wrist. Shows the effect of different yarns!

then I moved on the patterns from books ( library):

I can't even remember the names of these two pairs.

And after all that when a pattern I wanted to see blocked me and asked me to sign in I just said  fergeduboutit and made two pairs without a pattern.

What I have learned is: there are at least 3 ways to make/attach thumbs, the hand can be made wrist up or fingers down, the ribbing can be made separately and attached or as an integral part of the hand, horizontally or vertically. Just making these changes alone, with a single stitch can give many different mitts..

Sunday, 22 November 2015

This one is about throwing, or at least the results from throwing.
I have a long standing thing about dark deep blue. We had a "slops" glaze that was perfect, but eventually it ran out and then I was left with poor substitutes and trying to make a similar result. Not always very successfully.
Now I seem to have hit on a method that gives pretty good glaze. The plates are actually much deeper than the photo shows.

I have not yet decided whether to keep these plates or try to sell them at the Xmas sale.

This bowl and the lidded jars will be for sale.

The lower left front sold Saturday.

Monday, 16 November 2015

For the last few years I have been making a "Christmas special" a decoration for my short list of card recipients who deserve more than just a card.
In 2014 I found this design

in a book and made seven of them.  There is also a Christmas tree on the left side. I only took this photo then finished them and sent them off. Not keeping one for myself!

This year I found this sweater pattern online:

Everyone needs an ugly Christmas sweater!
I got caught up in the idea, floating around in some circles, that it might be fun to crochet a pair of socks. One of the blogs I read released a new pattern, they look nice, even possible, but 4£! for a pattern! I could buy socks for that much. Nice ones! I did try a while ago and made some using a free ( probably from a book) pattern and cheap thrift store yarn.
Actually they are pretty weird looking but they make acceptable bed-socks for cold winter nights.
After trying a couple of versions I realized that crocheting socks is a clear sign of not enough to do.
So I switched to mittens. Perhaps I can find a victim to give these to. May need to line them if they are going to be useful in our normal winters. This year so far we are having an el nino winter and it is very pleasant indeed.

Beehive Canadiana 100% superwash wool. a thrift store find.
Three different batches of hand spun wool, all from New Zealand, 35+ years ago .

Saturday, 7 November 2015

I have been interested to see that the post I did talking about the virus shawl I crocheted has had more views than any other. I guess the term virus is valid for that pattern. No more of that though, just non infectious crochet.
I made another shawl, entirely my own pattern. Well a couple of ideas from things I saw online and stitches from a "stitch bible" but still no one else worked on the pattern in any way

 It is too late to hang the shawl on the outside dryer, as it is away for the season.
 This is made with about 100  gm of acrylic/mohair blend. Two colours each found at a different thrift store in a different city and year.

The spun yarn was starting to accumulate so I made something with that too. This is 170 gm,  handspun and plied New Zealand wool which I have kept all these years. It was drum carded about 35 years ago, and spun this fall. The wool has lived with me in 6 houses and has crossed the width of North America twice ( after being shipped to me from a sheep farm in New Zealand in the late 1970s).

.It is very warm to wear!

Friday, 23 October 2015

I thought I would try a "test crochet" so signed up with a group on Ravelry, found a project that did not look too bad and gave it a whirl. Well what I have discovered is, if I choose some project I don't like I can just quit and rip it out. But if I am doing it as a test I feel constrained to continue and complete the project. The tester receives a free pattern, makes whatever, takes and posts digital photos and everyone is happy. At least in theory.
I had gauge issues with my projects ( set of 4 items) and had to make 3 gauge test squares moving down from 8mm and [4] yarn,  to 7mm and [3] yarn,  before I actually got the test square down to the size specified. The original called for 9mm and [3] yarn. Then when I actually crocheted the items, they are too small. And the stitch is unnecessarily complex, imho!

First item finished. I want to do other things, a shawl, a blanket, spinning, cookies, pottery. But I need to finish the other 3 pieces. One of which I have done but will have to comlpetely rip out and redo with a larger hook. And maybe a changed number of stitches too.

I think maybe I won't do this again! I do not need the aggravation just for a free pattern when there are so many others online and I can probably do any of these things without a pattern anyway.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Mostly spinning...

the only craft, in my mind, which has background music

Spun, plied and skeined. ready to wash

Most of this wool is still "in the grease" and the water runs very dirty!


and the first crochet item made recently from handspun, natural colour wool:

winter cowl.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Having succumbed to the virus...
Last week I heard for the first time about a shawl pattern with a controversial provenance.
It was a free pattern so as far as I can tell no one is losing money on this. There is a chart floating around and also a Ravelry  contributor is claiming it as her own. Others say it is very old and she just grabbed it. There are also totally unhelpful ( and copyrighted) videos where we watch someone crochet.
So to cause my tiny bit of trouble I decided to give it a try.
I used Bernat baby softee [3] and a 5mm hook. The chart is perfectly clear so away I went. And finished in just a few days. Except there was no border or edging on the chart and the only one I found online was boring, with just sc and the occasional picot. The shawl already has shells along the edge so there was no need to add shells. I researched possible borders then ended up using a simple one, modified from  the summer sprigs shawl (special picot) and added to my own base edge.

The Virus Shawl

crochet to the end of third row of the four row repeat. Turn {each shell has 10 dc, wewill dc into the 1,4 7, and 10 dcof each shell as follows} ch2, dc in same st, * ch3 sk 2 dc, dc in next dc, special picot, sk 2 dc, dc in next dc,ch3, sk 2 dc, dc in next dc, sc in ch 4 sp. dc in first dc of next shell* repeat to end of row.
special picot: ch 4, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch1,

The picot is clearer while blocking but this is acrylic so the blocking relaxes after pins are removed.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Did I forget to mention "spin"?
I dropped by our local library on Saturday to see spinners and weavers participating in Worldwide Spin in Public Day (annually on the  third Saturday of September). I had never heard of it before, but I was then inspired to drag my Ashford wheel up from the basement, dust it off (literally, it was very dusty!) and give it a try.  In case you are wondering, it turns out spinning is like riding a bike, once you know how you never really forget!
Most of my wool is New Zealand fleece, ordered and mailed directly to me from a sheep farm in the late 70s! I also have bits and bobs purchased at craft fairs and such. It is mostly still "in the grease" so after it is spun it needs washing.
and drying!

Then what to make with it? The colours really do remind me of the 70s, brown was very in then. Now, not so much!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Photos of finished cotton summer shawl with fancy edging.
The body of the shawl is double crochet with some v stitch rows for increase purposes. It seems to go on forever.

I have never done a border like this, it attaches sideways as you go.

 The pattern is Crescent Lace Shawl by Tian Connaughton in the summer 2015 Love of Crochet. I mostly behaved myself and followed directions. The hook recommended was 3.5mm and I used 3.75mm. I did not do as many rows as specified because it was big enough. I used a mystery cotton on a cone (thrift store find). The only information is a small tag on the inside saying 3000yds  2 ply. It is very fine and slubbed.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Finished a few things this week.
The Katniss cowl , using "inspiration" from two different sources is done and the photo has been approved by planned recipient!

As a change from something warm and practical I also made this:

Described as a summer cowl It is intended to be made in a much finer yarn, and would presumably then look much more "air-y".

And the really slow one, because this is made in a pattern appropriate yarn:
beginning to block. How are we supposed to block cotton anyway?
I did not exactly time this but I do know that the last 90% or so was done while watching 4 Masterpiece Mystery s, and the entire rebroadcast of Ken Burns "The Civil War". It is forever going  to  remind me of that dolorous violin background music!

On a more practical note (no pun intended) I whipped up a warm neck cowl.
My pattern, drastically modifying one I found online.

And after all that I am back to making baby hats. Posting next time.

Friday, 4 September 2015

An actual cowl that looks a bit like a Katniss cowl seemed like a good compromise to figure out some of the kinks in the pattern. So I found a free pattern online and made this.

 Caron "one pound" in taupe 8mm hk, thick size [4]
I need a better model than the newel post!

Next project will be to take that texture and add it on to a bland double crochet version of the Katniss cowl , again a free online pattern.
And of course I am not following instructions about which yarn, or what thickness, or size of hook. That would make things way too easy!

The yarn for all this, and many more future projects came from 2 visite to Goodwill my last trip away.

True treasures here, as well as some trash (how did I miss that Phentex wrapper?) And the difficulty of judging feel with out actually being able to, well, feel the yarn leads to some buyers remorse too.

Other  recently finished:

Newborn sized hats for newborn patients in two locations.

and just for looking...

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

At the Regina Folk Festival craft booths I saw an item of crocheting that was very interesting. I thought, as I often do, I could make that. And usually that is the end of it, but this time I decided to give it a try. No photos just do this from memory. Well my memory is not that good, but it turns out the artisan has a website and a photo of a similar piece was online. Now I had a name for the item! Now I could google it and lo and behold it is one of the iconic accessories from a very popular and cult recent film. Naturally I am behind the times on this.
Now I can make this. "Vaguely inspired by" by way of Regina. Yarn from Goodwill in Calgary.

It may be a bit too symmetrical to be authentic, but I was actually aiming for useful. Fall bike riding?
Oh and its name? Hunter cowl.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, snow peas, beans, potatoes, basil, apples, raspberries...
Which is why I haven't been as much with the hook, throw etc.

I did get a crescent moon shawl done. Or at least mostly done
The pattern is apparently in a book which is out of print and written in Japanese. I found a chart online and worked from there. There are two versions, one with dongles and the other with shell edging. I picked b. There are still two rounds to go from where I am here, one of 3- dc clusters and one of picots, but this is big enough already and I am happy enough with the way the edge looks so I think I will stop here. This has not been blocked but it already looks fine.
That pattern took concentration, lightand reading glasses.
While watching TV I have been doing easier crochet.
Not sure yet where, but these are for donations.