December 10, 2009

Interweave Crochet

The new preview is up. Please discuss.


November 21, 2009

Babette and Bleak House

I've spent the last few nights hunkered down in front of the computer crocheting squares and watching Bleak House. I've made it through episode six and just discovered it's a 15 episode series. Geez, Charles, concision isn't your strong suit, is it?

My original plan with the blanket was to do sections 1-7. I have four more blocks to make including the two largest blocks. I'll have to assess my yarn quantities when those are completed.

So far it nearly covers my coffee table.

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November 17, 2009

Babette Has Her Day in Court

I ended up bringing Babette, a set of dpns, a skein of Socks That Rock, Sock Innovation, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
and my iPod to jury duty. I got called right after lunch and ended up going through voir dire for a DUI case but was dismissed. So I had to go back to the jury assembly room and will have to go back again tomorrow. The voir dire was interesting to go through but it made me realize that I would be a terrible juror. I had already formed opinions about the case just based on the questions being asked. I was also one of only two people who admitted to watching crime dramas like CSI. And only one of two people who don't drink! I felt both tawdry and lame.

The jury assembly area for municipal court is swank. It's a giant, clean, bright room on the 12th floor with great views of the waterfront. There is television, games, magazines, wifi and a separate "quiet room" with lots of outlets and seating and four desktop computers that anyone can use. Also if you work within a ten minute walk of the building you can get a pager and just go back to work until they need you. Big thumbs up from this potential juror.


November 15, 2009

Short-Row Hat

Pattern: Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Karaoke in Mermaid by SWTC
Needles: US7 Addi Turbos
Notes: This is a clever, interesting pattern to knit. Unfortunately I kept making the same mistake of forgetting one yarn over which resulted in a lot of ripping and reknitting. I really enjoyed the Karaoke. The color shifts are very long and subtle. It's very soft. We used to carry it in the shop and it didn't sell well. I don't think it feels nearly as soft in the skein as it does when you work with it. I had enough left over to crochet another 8" square.

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November 13, 2009

Baby Steps

This Short-Row Hat has been giving me fits.

At first it was a lot of fun. All those little short-row sections coming together like a puzzle. But it's a real line by line kind of pattern. There are no zoning out spaces. It's nose to pattern and lots of instructions like, "yo, p10, ssp." I completed the first 6 sections and started to feel comfortable. So I tried to knit it in front of the tv. For two nights. The trouble is if you make a mistake you might not discover it until you've knit several more sections. Then you have to rip and figure out where you are. And there was that time I missed one line of the instructions and was attempting to knit the wrong row over and over and over. That didn't work out so well. But last night I got back into the groove of it and made some progress though I'm still only about half done.

I finished my granny square too. And it's a square also!

I know you're thinking, "Yeah, I made stuff like that when I was 8." Well for me this is a big deal.

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November 11, 2009

Crochet Foray

This weekend after finishing and blocking my blanket and shawl I started a few new projects.

The Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery.

Ulmus by Kristen Kapur.

By Sunday night my hands were very tired from knitting. But I still wanted something to do while I watched the season finale of Mad Men. The Fiber Gallery has volunteered to be a drop-off site for a local project to benefit Knit-a-Square. Despite the name, squares can be crocheted too. I decided to crochet a scrappy square with whatever I had lying around. This is when I learned that I can't crochet a square. I thought I could. I also thought these colors looked good together so clearly my judgment was way off late Sunday night.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to crochet a square that was square damn it! And I did it.

No, really. It's an honest to goodness square. See?

It then occurred to me that a granny square might be easier to keep square.

Only just started this guy but I like it already. And it looks like a square.

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September 22, 2009

Interweave Crochet Preview

The fall issue preview is available now. I think I kind of love this and this.

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June 17, 2009

Interweave Crochet Preview

It's up and once again I'm liking a lot of it. Especially this.


June 8, 2009

Slow and Fast

Here is proof that knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting on size 3 needles eventually yields something. This is the back of Georgie and the beginning of her two fronts. This is a very slow-going project. Not Auburn Camp Shirt slow but you know what I mean.

Yesterday I allowed myself to be side-tracked by my younger son. He asked me to make him the devil from Creepy Cute Crochet. I sighed and said I could make it but I'd have to find the yarn. His eyes lit up and he marched into my office and proudly pointed directly at a skein of red Lamb's Pride Worsted and said, "Tah dahhhh." Crocheting those little things is really fast.

I wonder how long it will be before I sew it all together.

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May 12, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything

I'm continuing to make slow progress on my GLMC. I still only work on it while at Purlygirls. I'm just a few rounds from starting the neck shaping.

Late on Sunday night I got to the armhole on the second sleeve of Lamour. I pulled out all the pieces and was preparing to join it all together when I realized that I was too fried and tired to think about it. But I still wanted to knit and made a rash decision to just knit the top of the front and back flat. So I'm working my way up the back.

I'm getting a little nervous about running out of yarn. I think I will make it but it's going to be close.

I've started a Babette blanket. I have 30(!) skeins of Rowan All Seasons Cotton that I've been collecting for a sampler afghan for years. Yesterday I bought a crochet hook and started a few blocks.

I'm quite sure I'm doing something not exactly right at the end of the rounds. I'm not sure I care all that much. They look all right.

I've been spinning a tiny bit too. I bought this "Batt of Beast" from The Artful Ewe two years ago. I started spinning it about a year and a half ago. It gave me a lot of trouble when I first tried to spin it. I spoke with Heidi about it and she suggested just blending it all up as much as I could before spinning. I've been tearing the batt into strips, rolling the strips up, pulling out a roving from the end of the roll, tearing the roving into short lengths and spinning from the fold. It makes a huge difference and the spinning has been much easier.

Just a little more to go. Look at all that cashmere. Yum.

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April 19, 2009


Maybe with all the intense sweater knitting I've been doing my mind is starting to crave a change. I've been thinking about crocheting something. Maybe a Babette Blanket? I dug around on Ravelry and found several examples I like.

Click for more info on photos

Will I do it? I don't know. But it's fun to browse.


March 21, 2009

Interweave Crochet Preview

It's up. There's some seriously cute stuff in there.

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December 13, 2008

Interweave Crochet Preview

It's up. Anything there to inspire you to take up the hook?


July 7, 2008

Totoro Approaches

Tonight at Purlygirls I finished the last piece to the Totoro doll. I'm so sick of single crochet...Now for all the sewing up which I abhor.


June 16, 2008

IK Crochet Preview

It's up. As always I welcome your thoughts.

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June 15, 2008

Good Evvvveeeening

I got a copy of Creepy Cute Crochet at TNNA. At first glance I was unenthused. All the little creatures have essentially the same body and head (there are a few exceptions). But when my kids got their hands on it they were in love. They asked--no, demanded--to be taught to crochet yesterday so they could "make two of everything in the book." I'm not whiz at crochet. I got them yarn and hooks and sat them down and showed them how to make a chain. My eight year old gave up after about 26 seconds. My 10 year old stuck to it a little longer. He made a chain and tried to learn single crochet. Then he gave up too. So I was instructed to make one of the patterns from the book. They picked Nosferatu. I made the head yesterday. It looked awful. I made a second one. It was much tighter and more rounded. I made the body, ears and collar today and stitched it all together. He just needs some buttons for eyes and felt for fangs and he'll be ready to suck. Your blood.

I have some minor quibbles with this book.
1. The instructions for the head are the same for nearly all the patterns yet they appear completely different from doll to doll. The instructions for Nosferatu's head make a sphere but his picture makes his head look very oval.
2. The patterns tell you to increase and decrease but don't explain how. I found more instruction on the author's website. I also found errata for the head there.
3.The instructions for the head and body both tell you to finish the piece and then later tell you stuff them once they're all closed up. I noticed this and stuffed them before finishing and so will 99% of people making them so not a huge deal.


May 26, 2008

Knit-Crochet Smackdown Lobster Style

So somehow I ended up starting two new projects this weekend. One is knit and one is crocheted but they're both lobsters. Weird, huh?

A customer mentioned knitting a cute lobster pattern from Ravelry. I went to look for it and found this crocheted lobster(.pdf) first. It called for 75 yards of worsted weight yarn. I remembered that Amanda had given me a skein of Mission Falls cotton in a tomato red colorway. And that Isabella had gotten to it and dragged it around and chewed it up a bit. I know that most people would have thrown it out at this point. I, for whatever reason, chose to save it. When I pulled it out I had to spend a little time untangling it and winding it into little balls.

I made all the pieces then realized it looked really crappy and was way too loose. The stuffing was showing all over the place. It was lumpy. Blech. I ripped it out and have restarted it on a smaller hook. It's looking a lot better.

While I was working on the first lobster I continued perusing lobster patterns on Ravelry. There's a lot more than you'd think. When I found the knitted lobster I had to cast on for that too.

The pattern is cute and looks a lot more lobster-y than the crocheted amigurumi style. This appeals to my Nantucket side. I can make buoys to go with it if I want to. We had lobster pots briefly when I was growing up. I don't remember them yielding many keepers.

Since I was hot on this whole toy theme I also finished knitting my charcoal Terra Bear. He's just hanging out waiting to be felted.

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April 11, 2008

Where's My Crafting At?

My knitting/crafting life has been very compartmentalized the past few weeks.

I started working on the Auburn Camp Shirt in Jaggerspun Zephyr (Ice Blue). I swatched on 2s but it was too loosey-goosey. I've switched to 1s. I've been working on a sleeve but only while sitting at the computer. Lace-weight yarn, size 1 needles and using the computer while knitting means I only have about an inch and a half of my sleeve done so far.

When I go out to knit I bring my Tailored Scallops. I have both sleeves and a good bit of the back done. It's a super fast knit but I don't seem to work on it while at home.

My evening sitting-front-of-the-tv project has been the ripple afghan. I don't have a photo but I've made some fair progress this week.

I've also been working on my Dear Jane blocks. These are all hand-pieced.

This one doesn't look so crooked in person. I also got gunk from my iron on the white part as I was pressing the final seam. Bah!

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April 8, 2008

Not Hibernating

I have been on the run since I got back to Seattle. Yesterday was a full day of work and Purlygirls. Today was a short day of work (but I it started early) and now I'm off to a sewing machine class.

After completing my four March to the Finish projects I was left feeling a bit aimless. I really wanted to start something new but all those hibernating projects on Ravelry were making me feel guilty. I have started working again on my sock yarn blanket (I keep it in the car for when I need an easy knit), my Cormo handspun sweater and my ripple afghan. Yes, even a little crochet. It isn't very exciting or sexy to work on these projects but it feels good to get some of these older projects done. I also ripped out my argyle double-knit scarf I was working on for the shop. I knit about 5 inches in 8 months. It was not meant to be. Another project off the hibernating list.

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July 17, 2007

Finish, Start, Finish, Start, Prepare, Pack

I finished the first Hiiumaa sock.

See that teeny amount of blue yarn? That's all I have left. I know these socks are supposed to be mismatched but now they're going to be really mismatched. I dug out a bunch of odds and ends to use for it but in the meantime I got distracted and started a new pair.

This is Unst, also from Knitting on the Road. I missed this one a while back in the knitalong so I'm playing catch up. I'm actually using the suggested yarn, Lang Jawoll, which I got as a gift from Brynne the last time she was moving (not to be confused with her current move).

I cast off my shop model shawl inspired by the Evelyn Clark workshop I went to in May.

Hopefully I'll find time to block it before I leave for camp on Thursday(!).

I also started a ripple afghan for Dulaan.

Rebecca was giving away these natural colored wool. It's a pretty rustic yarn. It's kind of rough and still has a lot of lanolin in it. I was inspired by this afghan made in organic cotton. Crocheting, for me, continues to be a humbling craft. I finished the first two rows since I took this photo. So far, so good.

Now I need to pack and prepare for my Guild
presentation on Ravelry tomorrow. You know you can check and see where you are on the waiting list now?

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April 4, 2007

Lacy Child's Top

Sorry for the fuzzy photo.

Pattern: Lacy Child's Top (free but registration required)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Strawberry Cream (exactly one skein)
Hook: J
Notes: I didn't come close to getting the right gauge so the sweater is pretty small, more like a 9-12 month size instead of 2T.

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April 2, 2007

Smaller Hook = Smaller Stitches

Okay, crocheters. Now you're confusing me. On my sweater I'm getting more sts per inch than I should (stitches are too small). I have already gone up one hook size. Why are you all telling me to use a smaller hook? How will that make my sweater bigger? A smaller hook makes smaller stitches makes a smaller sweater. Right?


The C Word

It has begun.

There was the first attempt. It didn't look half-bad. Hey, I can do this!

Then I realized I was working into the wrong place on some rows. It was a short-lived sense of competence.

After lots of ripping, I prevailed.

Then I worked on one of the fronts last night. I finished it then realized I missed two rows way at the bottom.


I also realized that I had place the stitches on one row in the wrong place. It looks fine so I'm just repeating the mistake on the other pieces. I keep hearing from crocheters about how much easier it to rip out your work than in knitting. That may be true however when I found a mistake two rows below in my crochet I had no choice but to rip when in knitting I could have dropped down, fixed it and moved on.

Another issue here is gauge. I don't care what size this is when I'm done since I'm just doing it for practice. However the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and an I hook. The gauge is "5 (sc, ch-3 sp) + 10 rows = 4 in. [10 cm] in Ch-3 Mesh pattern." I'm using a J hook and getting more like 5.5 sts/4". I can't imagine using a larger hook. The fabric would be so loose and not at all like the photograph. So are they lying? Am I measuring wrong? Is that sweater way more meshy, loosey-goosey than I think?