Sunday, February 23, 2014

What to Do?

Back around Christmas, I decided I wanted a cooler bathing suit cover up.  The one I had made a few years ago was good at covering me up, but it was a little warm in the Carribean.  This one would be more loose, but no too revealing, crocheted with an old yarn by Bouquet, called "Cindy" (80% acrylic, 20% wool).  Over the years I've gathered up a fair bit of it at Value Village, of course, not aLl in one dye lot.  I had made my mother in law a tank top years ago, but nothing for myself.  This time, I would!

I got started.  I wanted it not too open at the bottom, but the hdc I started with was taking too long.  Moved on to dc and a larger hook at some point.  It was moving along, I decreased the number of stitches for some simple shaping round the waist, and a smaller hook, or I changed to hdc, I don't remember for the belly zone.  Larger hook and dc or even tc for the next section?  Then I got that order for the beanie and cowl.

So, I didn't get this cover up finished.  Looking at it now, it seems like too much to bother with, I'm not sure I like the changing stitches.  I still like the yarn (wish it were a bit thicker though), and I still want it as a cover up.  I have some Mon Tricot stitch dictionaries but they use English terms and I get frustrated trying to convert.  I have had some crochet books out from the library with some stitches I might try.  They always seem either not lacey enough, or too lacey, or too complicated.  I'm not usually averse to ripping out failed projects, though there are quite a few small balls in this.  Ugh.

Even though I keep saying I need to work a season/holiday in advanced, I can never get into it.  This can be evidenced by the pile of pink hearts I crocheted before slicing my thumb on Feb 16.  Wait...I think this actually means I HAVE worked a year in advance LOL.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


THere's NO knitting or crocheting going on right now :(  To see why, check out my other blog  Hope you're not too squeamish!

I did make a whole pile more crocheted hearts before the injury.  Not sure why.  Have a pair of owl mitts almost finished, and some other stuff...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Here's My Heart!

I had wanted to find a little heart pattern for a while, I was hoping some photographers might be interested in them.  But Feb 14 sort of snuck up on me.  A week ago, I did search Ravelry, and found a free crochet pattern I wanted to try, but yesterday, another search didn't show it, and I don't remember which device I was using/where I stored the pattern.  So I tried another one.  Wasn't overly thrilled with it, and tried another one.  Used Red Heart Super Saver and a 5.5mm hook.  It was a little larger and looser than I wanted (but not bad, just seemed not dense enough).  Went down to a 4.5mm hook, I think.  Liked it much better.  I've seen the same pattern on a few sites, so I'll quickly just re-write what I did:

Chain 2. 
2 Single crochets in second chain from hook (or, the starting chain).  Ch1, turn.
2 sc in each of the 2 sts = 4sc.  Ch 1, turn
2sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of next two sts, 2 sc in last stitch.  Ch1, turn.
2sc in first and last stitch, 4 sc on the middle 4 sts  = 6sc.  Ch 1 turn
Sc across row, ch1, turn, repeat.
Slip st in first st, then 5 dc in next, slip stitch in next two, 5 dc in next, slip st in last.  Ch 1. 
Working around outside edge, single crochet in each row, doing 3 sc in the bottom point.  When you get back up to the first "hump", work 3sc in the top stitch, then sc to middle, then sl sts the middle two sts or so, sc up to the top of the second hump, 3 sc in that stitch, and sc back to where you started.
I got my KnitPicks Options needles on Wednesday.  I ordered from  So excited!  I also picked up these three balls of yarn :)  The pink/brown is quite fine.

Yarn In:  156gr + 198gr = 354gr
Yarn Out:   15gr + 275gr = 289gr
Balance: 65gr more brought IN than used up 

Costs:$15.28 +  $4.57=$19.85 /45 days = $0.44/day

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Uh....I'll Pass

I like getting knitting books from the library.  Sometimes you get a good one....sometimes you shake your head.  I got a book recently that had a cute hat on the front.  Once I looked closely, I didn't like the hat very much.  And I was very disappointed in most of the fur scarves?  There was one pattern in particular I just couldn't resist sharing:

Why don't you click on that and check out that furry fun up close?  Two randomly placed splotches of fun fur.  Plus the top border.  The tank top itself is fine, why did they mess it up?

Monday, February 10, 2014

First Up for the Year

Right at the start of the year, I got a message asking if I can copy an item from a photo.  I'm of mixed opinion about this.  One, I like a challenge, but also worry that the client wants the item exactly like the picture, which is not usually do-able, and two, I feel bad using someone else's creativity.  Now, I'm not exactly raking in the dough here, but I don't want to take credit for someone else's design work.  However, I LOVE to see how others interpret my own designs, LOL!  As long as I get credit.  Now, if the original is a basic pattern, then I don't feel so bad (and often the non-knitting client has no idea that the item they love is so basic that it doesn't even need a pattern).

This project was like that.  I let her know that I do my best, but sometimes it's not possible to make an item exactly like an inspiration photo, so I inquire as to what they love about the inspiration.  She sends me the photo of a simple beanie with large black button, and a cowl.  The yarn appears to be a grey and white marl (twist).  No problem, but what yarn could I get to mimic the picture?  I googled and researched, and then I enlarged the photo and thought "Mmmm....considering the small crochet stitches (maybe hdc), and that there's only about 33 st around the head, it must be a thick yarn".  Then it hit me...maybe it was one strand of worsted weight grey and one strand of worsted weight white!  I sampled that up, and indeed, it matched the picture!

Poor lighting, above, but you can see the two strands of yarn and how they blend. In knitting, this doesn't always work well, as it appears blotchy. But in crochet, it is much more even! I have ideas for more hats now! Even the client thought maybe she'll get some for her daughters.
Got started on the hat, it took a few tries to get the gauge feeling good.  Ended up using the hook from Meg's new "Learn to Crochet" kit LOL.  Had to pause until I got her head measurement...good thing, since she was a little over 24"!  Then she said she wanted the cowl long enough to wrap twice, but a little longer than usual since most that she's tried feel a little snug.  Oooh.  Wasn't sure I was going to have enough of the white I was using (Decor).  Ripped a few rounds out and started alternating, one row white Decor (and grey) and one row a different white with the grey.  It all blends in pretty well.
Since we were leaving for our cruise very early Friday Jan 17, I really pushed on this set.  The length of the cowl scared me, but I used the largest hook I had and did double crochets, and each row was almost an inch high!  And it was very narrow, 12 dc wide.  I steamed it to make it a little drapier, since I didn't have a larger hook.
I didn't get the "ear to ear" measurement, but tried using a chart, however, the measurement it said seemed really long so I didn't go that long.  It's still too long though, and she asked me to adjust it (I have no problem with that, it was my mistake!), but she hasn't come by any of the times she said she would.  And, she still owes $5 :(
Here's the button, and the completed set.  Maybe I did trebles, and not double crochets in the cowl?  Gosh, I hope I wrote it down, LOL.  I did buy a skein of Red Heart, which I ended up not using.  I'm still thinking I might return it, but then again...a skein of white Red's not like it'll go bad, LOL.

Yarn In:  198gr
Yarn Out:  Hat:  95gr + Cowl: 180gr = 275gr
Balance:  77gr more used UP than brought in
Costs:  $4.57/42 days = $0.11/day

Nice to start the year off with a negative balance, LOL!  Not like last year!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


This is the final knitting project to show for 2013!  I have a couple of unfinished items...a little sideways cable cap, and a giant pinwheel blanket (just needs an edging!).  I also have a sewing project to show, but that can wait.

 I squeaked these ones in, the picture above is from Dec 31 before I felted them.  I bought an orange earflap hat from Value Village earlier in the winter, to wear during my job as a lunch room supervisor, so it would sort of match my safety vest.  But I needed mittens.  My orange is a little dull compared to the  hat, but it's not too far off.  The motifs at the top are taken directly from the hat, the lower band is slightly altered to simplify it.  It was all done in Patons Classic Wool.  I knew the white probably wouldn't felt much, from having made that pillow with Lucy, but I went ahead anyway.
The little rows of blue barely show up.
I wanted flip tops, since I'm always having to help the kids with something.  I was in a rush, and didn't really think them through.  Instead of knitting a topless hand, and then picking up stitches half way down, when I short rowed the one side, I added about 5 rows after increasing back out.  Then, on the non-short-rowed side, I added 5 rows.  Both of these were ribbed.  I thought that would be enough overlap.  It's not bad, but it's not great.  I did sew little velcro squares to keep the flaps down, otherwise they would just open up.  And, not very much of my fingers get exposed when they're open, so really, they don't work all that well, LOL.  They are decently warm though.  Knitted mittens have the issue of not blocking the wind, but felted mittens do that (though maybe not 100%). If I can find some more orange wool, I'll probably try another pair, doing them the right way, then chop off the flaps of these and make them fingerless.  They'd be good over those little cheap stretchy gloves.

Yarn In: 16 153gr
Yarn Out:  93gr + 16 712gr = 16 805gr
Balance:  652gr more sent OUT than IN

Costs: $378.91/365 days = $1.04/day