Tag Archives: crochet

thinking about . . .

Accessories for Winter. Yes, I know the piccie above is boots, but they’re the closest I had to wellies, which is really what I’m wondering about.

In most of the southern winters I’ve experienced thus far wellies’d seem to be the perfect solution to wet winter weather, which hardly ever includes snow.

I’m a little unclear as to what’s usually worn under the wellies, but hand-knit socks seem to be the norm. (But that might be because I’m reading blogs written by people who knit.)

I know there are crochet patterns for socks, but are they going to produce a decent sock, if you keen w’ay mean, quoting my Scots granny?

I also wonder how insulated wellies are, and how ergonomic for the feet? Traction is also a concern. because much of the ‘dirt’ down here is clay — every bit as slippery as ice.

Although my spot on the East Coast continues to be in a drought I’m thinking positive: sometimes it does rain. As I’m pondering what is needed to winterize meself, boots came to mind, but wellies might be more practical. 🤣

All comments, reflections, or suggestions are welcomed!

Thank you in advance!

A bit of festive decor!

macro Monday

Above is the yarn of my latest effort, aided & abetted by the craft supplies section of Stitch Buffalo’s Etsy shop, all of which I highly recommend you look through!

The artisan members of the non-profit Stitch Buffalo do beautiful and varied hand work, as learnt in their native countries. Some also teach classes, in-store & online. There’s lots on Insta, for those interested.

I think it’s wonderful they can carry on with their creativity and keep their traditions alive in America, their new home, and provide valuable income for their families.

If you look closely at the top photo, you’ll see a shiny, thin metallic blue yarn twisted lightly around the softer cotton. Said cotton yarn has huge slubs just to make things more interesting…

What to do with 10 balls of this magical yarn? Firstly, figure out how to work with it! I chose a 4.25mm hook almost randomly, and started doing some single crochet. (I’m using the American term – it’s double crochet in Britain.)

After not a little frustration, I put it down over Thanksgiving, then picked it up again on the weekend. I’m so glad I didn’t allow my initial frustration to keep me from working with it.

I’m getting used to it now, which rather surprised me. Those slubs really fill in most of the holes you’d see with a regular yarn, which makes counting stitches rather challenging. But the filament of tinsel-blue is showing more self-control, and not separating from the cotton as much.

Probably added another couple inches since this pic was taken. Wonders will never cease!

Come to think of it, that means a more solid end piece, which also means something like a shrug would might be warmer than if made up in a smoother cotton yarn.

Any thoughts from more experienced Lovelies? All suggestions welcomed❣️ ❣️ ❣️

(not so) Wordless Wednesday

Finished off 3 small balls of leftover yarn a few days ago, and now have a narrowish looong scarf for somebody to wind around their neck on a cold winter’s day. Below are beginning, in-the-midst-of and completed views . . .

The ends are ever so slightly differing shades of a creamy washable wool bought from a friend in California who was selling out her washable wool yarns.

The middle photo shows the leftover-from-a-shawl yarn of I can’t remember what fibres 60% silk & 40% wool (from discontinued HPKY Hand Painted Knitting Yarns, Daphne colourway), that I got from Loopy Yarns, the great (now closed) yarn shop I lived dangerously close to in Chicago.

The shawl’s probably on Ravelry, draped over a creamy foot rest if I’m remembering properly (yes!)… but I also remember blogging about it, and here’s that photo!

It seems I decided to take off the fringe and do an edging around the shawl, which I duly crocheted. (See photo below.) After all that, there was still enough yarn left to crochet the centre section of that looong scarf. Remember the looong scarf??

Shawl with edging, completed 2015

Waste not, want not . . . . . 😉

changing seasons

We’re having a slight taste of Fall today, but my enthusiasm’s tempered by the knowledge that we’re back to the 80’s by end of week. Heigh-ho.

Sewing is a bit up in the air, too. Have had another New Look 6871 cut out, with some lining basted in place to avoid the neckline stretching out, but it’s been sitting for several weeks.

What I have been doing is crocheting up the leftovers from other projects. Here are 2 examples, the first one (cream & multi) is still in progress.

Am currently reading The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles and enjoying it. (That’s in between listening a second time to whatever Louise Penny is available via the library app Libby.)

Incidentally, Libby includes magazines, so I’m keeping current with Country Living UK (always fascinated by the glimpses from Lucy’s Attic24 blog). Also Simply Sewing and Simply Crochet (both are UK publications), Peppermint magazine (Australian), Scotland magazine (mum used to get it), and Sew News (U.S.). Very sadly, Threads magazine isn’t available.

But special thanks go to Lizzie over at The Vintage Traveler, for mentioning PieceWork, which is available on Libby. Some really fascinating articles about all sorts of “things made by hand and the history behind them.”

Has anyone been reading Lucy’s Blogtober postings over at Attic 24? For those not in the know, Lucy — considered by many to be Crochet Queen, as well as living in possibly the most charming spot for photographing (Skipton, Yorkshire, U.K.) — writes a daily post during October and I’m thoroughly enjoying them.

Last but not least, here’s a second prototype of the soap sack, using more leftover yarn. It’s been in use and nothing’s fallen out this time, so it might be a working model.

It’s just a rectangle of (U.S.) single crochet, folded in half, with three sides stitched together, and a 3-strand yarn braid woven around the top (4th side) for a gathered closure. Be sure to leave a bit of room at the top of the rectangle for slightly larger soap bits!

I remembered to do that because I’m struggling with how to fix the too small pockets I put on my last denim dress-to-skirt conversion. But that’s for another time, after I’ve tried out an idea that came whilst I sorted through the jumble of assorted to-be-ironed items thrown laying on top of the ironing board.

Trying to convince myself to at least iron the pillowcases and napkins and leave the rest for later, I sat down to check email. . . and here we are. Well, I’m sure you never have days like this, do you? 🤣 😆 🤪 Aaagghhh!

👻 It’s C🎃ming! 👻

🍂 It’s October – YEAH! 🍂

And I’ve finished Osman’s latest adventure, The Man Who Died Twice, book #2 of the adventures of the Thursday Murder Club. What can I say? It’s every bit as good as the first, if not better, ’cause I think the book’s longer. Hard to judge as I read an e-book this time, instead of waiting for the hard copy from the library.

(I gave up getting either book from our local library, which reminds me to cancel those requests.)

Now to catch you up on what’s been going on creatively since my last post —

All the soap bags I looked at online seemed to be single or double crochet patterns and I just didn’t think they’d allow much sudsy action. So this is what I came up with for my first attempt. Would you believe I sat down the very next day and crocheted it? Then to test it in the shower…

Unfortunately, once in the shower I quickly learnt how much that 100% cotton yarn stretches when wet. Instead of 3 soap slivers neatly encased, I wound up with 2, plus an escapee. Live & learn, right? 🥴

No, I haven’t started a second soap bag yet . . . .

Possibly because I was going hammer & tongs on a yummy scarf with some leftover yarn sent from Yorkshire in 2016 as an unexpected gift from my sewing bud, Ali.

Ali hangs out mostly on IG these days. Look for her in 2 places: #timbers OR #the.fabric.first.aider. As an NHS emergency paramedic, she’s had a harrowing schedule for the last umpteen months.

Yes, GBSB’s (Series 6) Ali. I’m right chuffed to know her before she became famous! She is the most generous, sweet & kind soul you could possibly imagine, and always smiling. Here’s a clip of her on set.

(For those who don’t know about BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, Wiki has a season-by-season guide. Ali is in Season 6.)

The start of this story goes back to 2016 when Ali was crocheting several of what she christened Octopus scarves. If you’re intrigued, her pattern is here, and my version is here.

The reason it’s coming up now is I’m seriously working on eliminating my yarn stash before venturing out to buy more, considering the C-urrent situation. . . A-hem!

Yarn is Sidar’s Sylvan, 2016 vintage, and discontinued — ’bout time I used it up!
(Please note that freshly polished brass piece I used for contrast!)

Sewing sorta got lost in the crochet and ebook reading this past week, but I have plans, so stay tuned . . .

😆 🍁 😘 🍁 🤣

what’sit wednesday

Been meaning to crochet a small open-weave sack to put all my Maja soap shards in, but I don’t have any ideas for a pattern and can’t remember the proper name for what it is I’m looking for, so can’t search Ravelry.

Can anybody help?!?! HUGE THANK YOU’s!!!

In return, here’s some piccies I took to answer a question over on IGgy, when I showed one of my reels of rayon Hug Snug. If you’ve not heard about it, have a gander. . . . .

(Click any pic for a larger view, just like the older version of WP.)

Which also reminds me ~ remember I started knitting the remainder of some brown flecked yarn as a second narrow scarf? When I realised just how tense my shoulders got whilst knitting it, I frogged the puny 4″ I’d accomplished and went back to crochet. So now I have my own lovely narrow crocheted scarf, and a you-know-what gift already done. Hope that rates as a ta-da. (It’s too early for the C-word 🙀)

Plopping in all the Hug Snug piccies reminded me of another query: Any suggestions on if & how I can unravel & recycle the gorgeous Italian merino wool in this sweater? Adore the colour❣️

This being the Autumnal Equinox has gotten me remembering what “regular” Autumn was like before you-know-what.

May your weather be cooperative in whichever hemisphere your lovely selves are gracing.

🍂 🍁 🍂

wordless wednesday (not really)

Editor’s note: The maaany links in today’s post should all open on separate pages. Should, but they won’t all cooperate & I’ve given up trying to force them. Just wanted you to know, in case you’re expecting them to all do the same thing.

As most frequent readers will know, the recipe above was altered when I made it up — I was looking for a spicy microwave cake recipe that didn’t require an hour’s baking time (in other words, a quick Raisin Spice Cake alternative). You can download it here.

I’ve been giving the above with spice variations a trial run. So far have made it twice, managed to waaay over-spice the first one (hint: 1 teaspoon of ginger, not 2 ), forgot the molasses the second time, but got the spice amount a bit better.

As usual, I only used 1 tablespoon of brown sugar rather than the 3 listed. Have yet to try it with a few raisins, but the chocky variation, which includes chips, came out nicely. So maybe a few raisins will be fine.

As mentioned above, this also chimes in with Deb’s & Donna’s monthly #WhatsOnYourPlateBlogChallenge.

Above piccies are further research into a yarn substitute for The Habitat Cardi by Make & Do Crew mentioned in a previous post. Thanks to the lovely Lynn (of The Tialys blog) for telling me about the wonderful web site YarnSub.

I adore the colours of the James C Brett Marble Chunky MC07 yarn on the left (see how I made it up here) and know the soft and easily washed yarn well. The way they go from one mixture to another is why I think it might be about the same weight as the sweater calls for.

But I’m tempted by this one as denims would “go” with everything. It’s James C Brett Marble Chunky MC10.

However, on close examination (hence the close-up), all the Brett Marble Chunky is probably 2-ply. But aren’t those strands thicker than the 4-ply of the red Vanna Yarn on the right (which I used yonks ago & still had a bit of)?

I know Vanna is not as soft as Brett’s Marble Chunky. Which might be why I’m not too keen on using any of the specified Lion Brand yarn. Aside from the fact I cannot find any colour I like. 😒

Am also tempted by this Brett Marble Chunky MC02 – the deep, dark blue reminds me of my dark blue stretch denim skirt.

Which would you choose?

Which looks more like denim to you?

Decisions! — Decisions! — Decisions!

🙄

hoovering

I decided to hoover my mattress the other day. No forethought. No reason.  

“Hoovering” is a British term for vacuuming, but I’m claiming it’s kosher for me, too, because I own one.

It came with a miniature suction roller attachment. They claim it’s for hoovering up pet hair or soft furnishings. (No, it’s not recommended for use on pets, even if some owners are tempted.)

I spent most of the day washing bed linens, putting pillows in the dryer to refresh them, just getting on with it and never changing out of my jammies.

(Don’cha love those days when you give yourself permission to just do the work and not worry about getting dressed ?)

Mind, I did do all the crockery washing up, proper morning ablutions and such, but I sooooo wished I could ‘a been pegging out in the sunshine and fresh air.  Ahhhh . . . . .

About mid-afternoon the thought came that I was getting on with something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and I should be a happy chapess. 😳 What might encourage the feeling?

The Stitch Sisters! The YT gods put up a 2-part Autumn/Winter pattern review from 2020 – their COVID collection of comfy clothes. Perfect! It’s never to early to think about cold weather togs!

Comfy is still the vibe I’d be going for, so I settled down for a very late clean-out-the-fridge lunch with The Sisters.

(They’re really partners who started a sewing business together, and both also have teens and hubbies — none of which applies to moi. But working from home is working from home, and so is comfort! (Plus, their choices aren’t so laid back you’d be under suspicion if you risked a quick trip for take-out.)

Plus — and this is a BIG plus — I got several great ideas for easy crochet patterns for Autumn/Winter, and now have a great free sweater pattern to find yarn for: The Habitat Cardi by Make Do & Crew. (Note to self: Check pattern directions & Ravelry reviews first — would I reeeally make it? Yeeees!)

I had no idea Agatha Raisin (on telly) had continued over in Blighty, and their fourth season is in the works now. 😱 😱 😱

Where have I BEEN????

Not checking BBC, that’s for sure. As I type, series 2 is winging it’s way to me and I plan a bit of binging as soon as it hits my mail box.

Have been test-wearing my Autumn tablecloth top but cannot decide if I’d be comfortable wearing it out. It’s shorter than my usual well-below-waist length.

That’s very cooling inside, and should make it ideal for outside. . . except I keep thinking that if air can flow in freely…… so can 🦟 🦟🦟

😳