Tag Archives: crochet

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 🦟 🦟🦟

😳

🙈 knitting heeeeelp!

No, that’s not a typo – I mean knitting!

Above is my completed, crocheted scarf… but I discovered another ball of the same yarn. So . . . . .

First, let me define some terms. I can only knit & purl, and I crochet/knit for relaxation so don’t often do anything with a pattern. Besides, with such a busy yarn a pattern’d get lost!

After I got the brown crocheted scarf long enough to finish off (see above photo), I realized I had that other ball of yarn, plus the leftover from the crocheted scarf.

Remembering how to cast on with Maggie Righetti’s “Knitting in Plain English.”

So I decided to knit another scarf.

I started out trying to do 1 row knit, 1 row purl… then forgot which one I was on when I picked it up later. Now I have 2.5″ of what I’m calling the forgetful pattern… but the whole thing’s curling quite a bit, which I don’t like.

Do you think I should rip it out & start over? I’m not averse to that, and am tempted to restart with either all knit or all purl. The thing I really don’t like is that curling, which I’m not convinced can be steamed out, given it’s half cotton, half man-made. What do you think?

Yarn deets:  Content: 51% cotton, 37% acrylic, 12% polyamide.  Recommended needle size: 4 or 4.5 mm but I only had 5 mm.

Thank you – thank you – thank you in advance!

❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️ ❤️❤️

it’s a 5-day week?

(After a Monday morning “off” in preparation for a long afternoon meeting, am feeling like it’s a repeat of last week: What happened to Monday?)

As you can see from the photo above, I’ve been making headway with this slubbed Italian yarn. Surprise-surprise! It’s going to be a lightweight scarf. The ruler reported 27 inches and I’ve just started in on the second ball. The range of colours continues to fascinate me even if it’s been stashed for 10-ish years. 🙈

Which brings me to this hastily whipped up elasticated-waist skirt. I’m not gonna hem it because it’s a jersey and was cut very neatly. And really – hem jersey?! The length is below knee, for more sedate wearing; hoicked up it’s still long enough to be a dress.

A Nicola Miller design for Joann from more than 4 yrs. ago, it’s one of the two pieces I found in the remnants. Whilst stitching up the casing for the elastic waist I noticed some light staining on the wrong side, which might explain why this buttery soft knit got shifted to the discount table.

I don’t see a thing wrong with the right sides of these two pieces, and they’ve both been washed several times. The jersey’s also got good 4-way stretch! Now what to do with the other piece that’s 60″ wide but under a yard . . . . . . am thinking a loose top. . . . . 🤔 Which reminds me . . .

For yonks I’ve had a couple of smallish tablecloths that just kept shrieking “Make me a top!” so I’m finally paying attention, currently experimenting with a neckline I’m not quite happy with yet.

Thinking loose and boxy so as not to waste too much fabric, and deal with the heavy heat & humidity that’s now here, probably here to stay until….. could I hope for July??? Maaaybe not.

BAH! 🥵

Let’s talk BOOKS!

On the weekend I finished an electronic copy of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. It was sooo interesting, learning how NASA (National Air and Space Agency) came into being. . . . . . and the Black women who worked there for decades.

Before computers were created, these women were the computers. That was their title, which I found jarring every time it was used in reference to a woman instead of a machine.

Ms. Shetterly has written a superb book, focusing on both how and what several of the women endured in the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s in America’s South. (Unlike the movie, which consolidated events and covered a fraction of that time.)

I really cannot do justice to all she’s written, or tell you how deeply so many things in the book have affected me. The movie doesn’t even begin to do that, but this C-Span clip of the author talking about her book is a beginning. At under an hour, it’s time very well spent if you’re at all interested in America or history.

Laters!

Friday night

Friday night’s supper

Hello, Lovely Readers, and welcome to my Friday evening!

🌬 🌦 🌈 ⚡️ 🌪
We’re very much in see-saw weather so I’m flipping between fleece and cotton, with intermittent cogitations on corduroy & ponte — the season of “what to sew next?”  But more on that in another post.

Oh, our National Hurricane Center has decided to open two weeks early this year due to past increases in pre-season “activity.”    Uh-oh.

Before I forget ~
In case you’re peckish for something oaty but your recipes are calling for an oat type you’ve never heard of, have a gander at this page. It describes what American oat growers & grinders mean when they use “their” terms. Hope it sheds some light.

I always enjoy a jaunt with Joanna Lumley and was delighted one night to follow her around her own isle, Britain. You don’t have to have access to BBC’s iplayer to watch – just check out YouTube for her latest 3-part series, Home Sweet Home.

Rest In Peace, little hyacinth

On a sad note – The hyacinth I’ve been photographing committed hari kari. Yes, this last ickle bulb, the runt in Aldi’s litter, always had a disconcertingly major bend in the bud stalks. That evidently became too much to overcome Wednesday dead-of-night, and it toppled off a high shelf. 💔

📚 & 🧶
I’m actually reading a book. 🤪  A very looong book. Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz. It’s about one of my fav eras, and came highly recommended by an old friend. Being fascinating and hard to put down, I’ve had a lot of late nights, and am not keeping up with my listening-whilst-sewing books. Naughty-naughty moi . . . .   hehehee!

I haven’t done a thing on my blues blanket since pinning 2 of the 3 long rows together, preparatory to joining them. They got carefully rolled up, put away, and not looked at since.

Problem is I keep thinking I need to clear off my long cutting table. Sewing long rows together needs consistent tension everywhere, no?  And to get that, everything needs to be flat, right?  Any suggestions or hints? Am I being too cautious?? Is a monster  trying to stop my progress?!?!?!?!

🤣     😆     🤣

 

Phantom thoughts on Groundhog Day

See the fold-over because it’s 10″ wide?

And some catching up!

In January I had a bit of a breakthrough with two crochet projects: a scarf and that turquoise throw.

Anybody remember that red scarf from last year?  I had sort of a plan in mind, and kept thinking what was coming off my hook was too wide. Stubbornly Nevertheless, I went with the 10″ concept and finished it.

Unexpectedly, a very different use came to mind, so out it came last month, and I searched for an end to frog. That accomplished, I re-crocheted the whole ball, leaving some for fringe. Gotta have a fringe, even if the scarf’s now over 2 yards long (by 5″ wide – width does make a difference 😆).

 

Now that’s done, I can concentrate on finishing the turquoise blanket/throw/whatever. I realised why I was so hung up about getting the pieces sewn together: I didn’t have the proper-sized crewel needle.

Click the pic for an enlargement so you see that nice looong eye in the needle!

Trying to thread a super chunky yarn through a “normal” crewel needle is not fun. I had a dim memory of using a larger-eyed needle in the past, but ignored it because it wasn’t in my packet of needles. The project languished.

Finally, whilst rummaging for something else, I discovered I wasn’t mis-remembering, because I had the right needle in a second packet of crewel needles I’d forgotten.  And there was my remembered needle. Yippee ! !

Another niggly thought I’d had was that the pattern I’d used was too lacy and wouldn’t provide any warmth, so I should frog everything and start over.

Finally I told myself to test it, so I put one of the rectangles over my legs. Did it make me warmer, or not? It did, so that took care of that froggy-recrochet niggle.

Talk about phantom doubts throwing spanners into the wheels of progress completion.  Geesh. 🙄

I did manage to cut out some leggings from a piece of bright yellow cotton knit, but haven’t sewn them up yet. Other things keep coming up – like a microwave that’s suddenly turning its’ fan on, but not off. So inconsiderate.

Unfixed after the first visit, I await a second. I’m not looking forward to another disinfecting of kitchen area – an unpleasant task these days – and sincerely hope this time it gets fixed.

Amongst the angst my weekly loaf started shrinking in size. I finally called the good folk at King Arthur to ask what might be the cause.

(I’d been buying a cheaper white flour from a store-that-shall-be-nameless. Curiously, I remembered my current package had gone into its’ container with a thud rather than a soft swish.)

That evidently brought the difficulty into focus for the expert on the other end of the line. She told me the season in which the grain is harvested can make a big difference in the flour. Mine probably didn’t have enough moisture content, and I should experiment by adding a tablespoon or so more water per loaf.

That same week I noticed a different store had a new-to-me King Arthur brand of white bread flour, and it was on a 2-fer sale — be still my heart! Shamelessly, I stocked up. Out went the suspect flour, in went the K.A. white bread flour, and my loaves have been huge ever since. Expect some good tea sandwiches for February’s Virtual Tea Party.  😉

Thank you for making it to The End, Lovelies!

As all our ❤️super-heroes❤️ say,

❤️ Mask UP & STAY HOME !  ❤️

🍂🍁 weekend remnants 🍁🍂

Found this hand towel ages ago in Chicago and it certainly fits the weather we’ve been having lately.

Hello. Lovelies!

Autumn has officially arrived up here in the Northern Hemisphere, although temps and humidity are resisting. It’s not as severe as last year’s 90-100℉ September-October revolt, for which I’m most grateful!

All last week telly peeps kept talking about “remnants” of Hurricane this-or-that, and I kept thinking, That’s a fabric term! Use another word, like ‘dying’ or ‘remains of.’

It was like salt in a wound… but maybe that’s because it’s been so long since I’ve been anywhere near a remnants bin. Wonder if that’s why I’ve been diving into my scrap drawer so often. 🤭 Hmmm . . .

Speaking of which, I’ve been favouring a free multi-sized 3-dimensional pattern from Japanese Sewing Books.

You might want to watch her video. Where to fold & sew wasn’t intuitive for me, but easy once you’ve done one it’s easy-peasy.

Speaking of scraps, I’ve given myself permission to use some old cotton fat quarters. I’m definitely not a quilter, but I can whip up a pillow or a bag, so am taking a little break from refashioning to play around with “soft furnishings,” as posh folk might say.

Reminds me! P.O.S.H. is a shop in Chicago I used to pop into regularly. Wonder if they’re surviving . . . Well, I’ve just had a mooch through their website, they’re definitely still there, and online is as cheerful as the store. 😉 Almost.

Have stopped watching telly for several reasons, primarily because the picture blacks out as soon as it turns on and cable comes up.  Or doesn’t right now.  Maybe the set has something against cable. Someone’s coming out in a few days to check everything out.

I set the schedule because I wanted a week to detox. Admittedly, I wasn’t watching much telly anyway, as local, state and national political parties’ adverts are non-stop. Mind you, some of them only slowed down after the last election a couple years ago.

Clock the remnant underneath the scarf, did’ja? 😉

Meanwhile, I’ve rummaged through my crochet bag and finished a red washable wool scarf, and resurrected that turquoise acrylic blanket I started a couple of years ago. Putting all those pieces together is going slowly — I’m half way through the first two. 🙄

A second chance on that remnant… he-he-hee!

Am quite a fan of Lucy at Attic 24, but haven’t tried any of her blankets— can’t figure out how to substitute colours.  Do I order the pack plus my substitutions? This could be a mote point if Wool Warehouse again stops shipping internationally. Deep sigh. . . . .

Hate to leave you on that note, but the shower and my BritBox subscription are calling. I’m having fun catching up on all the “Midsomer Murders” and “Vera” episodes, and have already watched every “Jonathan Creek”.

Thursday will start October and Hallowe’en, so I’ll start diving into everything with Autumn colours or appropriate holiday mentions. Any recommendations?

Meanwhile, puh-leeese be safe and take good care ’cause you’re worth it. You’re special!

❣️     😘     😘     😘     ❣️

A Scraphappy Virtual Tea Party

(In an earlier post’s comments, someone mentioned tea & sewing, which I thought would be a great idea, so I’m combining them. Tea first!)

Kia ora whānau! (Welcome, friends!)  He kapu tī māu? (Would you like a cup of tea?)

Visiting New Zealand for originator Su’s virtual tea party earlier in the week, I learnt it was Maori Language Week. So I had a special treat, seeing Su and enjoying her delicious tea whilst learning a bit of Maori.

Su is the originator of these monthly teas, but had been a bit poorly, so some of us brought along contributions for all to enjoy. I brought some of my crispy digestives as Su is a dunker, and I wanted her opinion.

Su’s crispy crackers with cheese were fabulous! (I love crisps & cheese and these were sooo delicious!) I’m not much for sweets, but I know Su’s brownie isn’t too sweet, so had to enjoy a bit of that, too. Rich, dark chocolate & beetroot = a chocky lover’s heaven on earth! 😇

Back on my home turf to welcome my Northern Hemisphere friends, I’d made a coconut cake to go underneath fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Using the Foundation Cake recipe, I added about half a cup of desiccated coconut. Will do this again, as I think the chewiness of the coconut lifts the combination above a traditional shortcake.

I also have my latest bake of digestives biscuits (cookies). This batch is crunchy, and perfect for dunking. As I have no cookie cutters,  these are in a different shape, but I’m sure they taste the same. 😉

Here’s the recipe I use, from King Arthur Flour.  King Arthur uses both American and British measurements, so you don’t have to convert.

My variation:  I skimp on the sugar.  After rolling out the dough to about 3 mm (¼”) I left them to cook a good 6-7 minutes longer. They definitely didn’t burn, just got wonderfully crisp after thorough cooling.

And now to Scraphappy sewing ~

Chiming in rather tardily with Kate’s band of scrap happy peeps, I finally got several large-ish pieces of cotton fabric out of stash and onto hangers this month. Everything can be worn with either fabric to the front, providing versatility.

You might think making tops from different fabrics is totally bonkers, and you’d be well within your rights to do so! However, in this wacko country I’m considering myself in quarantine, so am not out except for very local walk abouts.  When I’m out I’m always wearing a duster over whatever top I’m wearing, so nobody sees my back anyway.

The vintage red that I thought would become a bag refused, and has become a top instead.  Ditto the blue combination. I’ve worn each over top of my scrap denim shorts.

Good news has been that Hurricane Sally came & went without doing tremendous damage to this little part of the world. My rellies on both coasts are in good shape, but for the horrible air out West.

Still, there’s lots to be thankful for as everyone is safe. Hope all you lovely peeps are in good shape, being well in yourselves, and able to enjoy your weekend safely.

Haere tū atu, hoki tū mai.

(Go safely and return in good health.)

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

First, hello, Lovely Readers!  How’s your week gone? Hope everyone is holding up under whatever rules & regs are in place in your space.

Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S., so Happy Mother’s Day to you all, but let’s extend that to all Mothers in any country.

And let’s extend it to all those Dads who’ve had to be both Mum & Dad.

We’ve been having wonderfully cool weather, and I’m sending a giant THANK YOU to Canada for shipping it down to us.   ❤️   🇨🇦   ❤️

It’s been heavenly — mostly breezy with low humidity and 60’s for highs. As we’ve really had no winter to speak of, the prolongation of moderate temps is MOST appreciated.

[Could we talk about repetitions in June, July, August, September…]

Having recently met folks who had no idea there was such a thing as raw peanut butter, which separates quite naturally if not stirred, I looked it up, and discovered our Northern Neighbours created it! Another reason to be grateful to Canada! 🇨🇦

🐸 Crochet 🐸
Crocheting continued until Thursday, when I thought I had finished the ski hat and could go on to the pompom. Then I tried it on. Oops.

The bulky superwash wool yarn I was using was bulkier and less stretchy than I’d bargained for.

Currently the cap would fit a very short and extra-wide head. Am preparing to rip it, and maybe do a scarf instead. . . .

Friday’s #VirtualTeaParty2020
Still unable to purchase whole wheat flour for my weekly loaf, I started reading about substitutions. Taking my own advice, I did a quick check on the Library of Congress’ website, wondering about flour substitutes. Found a few things that might be doable, if I can get corn meal. Both are circa 1918. You can see them in situ here and here.

Photo by SDP ~ thank you!

If anybody’s missed my Wacky Cake or Boiled Raisin Cake recipes, they’re here and here. And here’s a variation, kindly sent down to me from SDP’s collection.

Friday’s #VirtualTeaParty2020
Please do stop by either Su’s place, on the 14th New Zealand/Southern Hemisphere reckoning, or right here on Friday, the 15th if you’re Northern Hemisphere/East Coast North America, or both.

Come as you are, or in your best bib & tucker. No need to bring anything, but you can if you want. There’s always an interesting assortment of peoples and conversations about food, recipes, coping, whatever. But we keep it civilised. It is a Tea Party. 😉

 

P.S./ Here’s a closer look at that page with recipes . . .