Tag Archives: crochet

And Something Completely Different

Well. I’ve put my striped sweater in a time-out for now. Not that it did anything wrong exactly. I’m just grumpy about the whole math/sleeve situation.

I’m also grumpy about the stuffed animal situation.

“What stuffed animal situation?” you ask.

To which I answer, “You must not have a kid living in your house.”

Because my kid (my kids!) have So. Many. Stuffed. Animals.

They don’t even really play with them. (To be fair, one kid is just a little lump who still hasn’t figured out how to use his hands yet, but still.)

There is a big basket of stuffed animals in the living room, two bins of them in Kid 1’s room (in addition to the half-dozen or so that live in his bed), and another bin in Kid 2’s room.

So, in my frustration, I decided to make the biggest basket ever. (Is this a smart decision? No.)

I found a big roll of quarter-inch rope in the shed and a decent amount of leftover Wool of the Andes in my stash and pulled out a crochet hook.

And with a little futzing and a lot of improvising, I’ve got (most) of the bottom of a basket. (Basically, I’m doing a simple (ch1, sc1) around, catching the rope in each single-crochet stitch, and increasing as needed to keep the stitch density more or less even as the rope spirals out. Eventually, I’ll stop increasing, when I start the walls of the basket.)

Unfortunately, it’s growing super-slowly. And if I want this basket to be big enough to contain the horde of stuffies that my kid has been collecting, well… I’ve got a long way to go.

It looks pretty good so far, though!

Coming out of hibernation

I haven’t been inside a yarn store since March. Which is a bummer. There’s nothing I’d like to do more than take a good wander and browse through a bunch of fancy yarn that I would never know what to do with. Online shopping just isn’t the same. (Which is wild. If, six months ago, you asked me what my least-favorite thing to do was, I would have said root canal, followed closely by shopping. Oh how times have changed.)

Instead of acquiring more yarn for new projects, I’ve been slowly working through my stash. It’s been kind of fun- a challenge to myself to see what yarn I’ve had hiding away for “someday.” I don’t think I have a particularly extensive stash (I’m not one to buy sweater-quantities of yarn without a plan), but but I’ve been surprised to see what I have found lurking around at the back of drawers and the bottoms of bins. And it’s been a good excuse to force myself to finish up projects that I had hiding in the back of my closet for “someday.” My quilt from the 2000s is done (ish). And I found this amazing half-finished scrappy project(OK, it’s not half-finished… it’s probably barely a quarter-finished, but still): a crazy scrappy crocheted afghan!

According to my Ravelry, I started in 2013. I remember digging out all the worsted-weight leftovers I had in my stash (and I mean all. There’s definitely some Red Heart, a little fancy-pants alpaca, and everything in-between) and made probably several thousand little round yoyos.

Then I crocheted around the yoyos, adding a round of white to turn the yoyos into squares. Each square is maybe an inch-and-a-half across… they’re very small.

Then I started sewing them together.

Then I got bored.

Well, I’ve got nothing but downtime this year (thanks Covid!), so I’ve dug this project out and have slowly started making progress again. It’s approaching baby-blanket size, but I’m nowhere near finishing off all the yoyos. If I had infinite time and patience, I’d keep going until all the yoyos were used up. But, I don’t, so this might just end up being a small blanket.

Or maybe I’ll get bored and throw it back in the closet for another 7 years!

Have you ever actually finished a long-stashed project?

Kitchen Confession

I have to admit to something.  Something I’ve been neglecting for far too long.  Something… gross.

My dishcloths have officially turned into dishrags, in the worst possible way.

It’s real grim in my towel-and-rag drawer.  I didn’t think it was that bad, but now that I’m thinking about it, most of my “nice” dishcloths were wedding presents.

We got married 9 years ago.

Yikes.

I thought about posting a picture of the old rags, but I decided against it for 2 reasons.

  1. You really don’t want to see them.
  2. I don’t want you to judge me.  Because… oof.  They’re real grim.

The nicest ones are “only” bleached out from years of washing.  The worst are stained with curry or chocolate (or who knows what) and riddled with holes from being used so many times.

So, in a fit of practicality (and avoidance of the projects I’m “supposed” to be doing), I’m breaking out my bin o’ dishcloth cotton.IMG_1293.JPGThere’s plenty of yarn in there, but none of the colors are terribly cohesive, and there isn’t a ton of any one brand.  I’ve always had grand plans of working up a lovely set of fancy matching dishcloths and towels, but… clearly that hasn’t happened.

So instead, I’m grabbing colors at random and making big ol’ single-crochet squares until the yarn runs out, then switching to the next color.  They might not be the fanciest dishcloths, or terribly interesting to work up, but they’ll do their jobs well enough, and I’m enjoying burning through my stash yarn.  IMG_1301We’ll just have to see how many I make it through before I get bored- so far two and a half, and I’m still going strong.

Have you worked on any really practical projects lately?

Why isn’t this working?

I have a question for you.

Why don’t projects progress if you ignore them?

Honestly!

It’s been a couple weeks since I picked up my crocheted blanket, and honest-to-goodness, it hasn’t grown at allIt’s very frustrating.

I keep it in a nice big project bag in my studio, protected and safe, yet it refuses to crochet itself.  What gives?

Why can’t it just hang out and grow on its own like a potted plant?  I’ve thought about breaking it out from time to time over the last couple weeks… shouldn’t that be enough?

Sigh.  I suppose if my “ignore it and I’m sure it’ll be finished eventually” strategy isn’t working, I’ll just have to go to plan B (“get it out and actually work on it while binge-watching Masterpiece”).  Too bad.  I had hoped that maybe I’d just invented a new, more efficient way of working on projects.

Do you have any projects that you’re trying the “leave it in the closet and maybe it’ll magically get finished” strategy with?

On My… Hook

I figured out what my next project is!  Yay!

It’s a simple, stripey, crochet blanket.  I haven’t crocheted in a long time, and I haven’t made a blanket in years, so I figured it was about time.

I love crocheting blankets, even more than knitting them.  Crochet goes so much faster than knitting, is much thicker (in other words, cozier) than knitting, and you don’t have to worry about it rolling up on you like stockinette.  It’s really the best thing for blanket-making.

I picked three shades of gray (OK, two shades of gray, plus black), along with a lovely medium blue for a pop of color.  (Jo-Ann’s was having a pretty good sale on Lion Brand Wool Ease, so I stocked up.  It might not be the fanciest yarn, but it’s soft, warm, and sturdy- perfect for blankets.)  I cast on about 5 feet of stitches (I didn’t even bother counting- another thing I like about crochet- it’s so easy to improvise!), and started working in a simple V-stitch.  I’ve made a handful of V-stitch blankets before.  They always look good, work up quickly and stay looking nice for years.  I’m kind of winging the stripe pattern, but I think I like how it’s turning out.  I just hope I got enough yarn!  (Though, if I end up having to go back to Jo-Ann’s, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world…)

Do you ever dabble in crochet?

Inspiration: Headache?

Y’all.  It’s been a rough week, I’ll be honest with you.  I’ve had a headache for probably 6 of the past 7 days (Saturday was OK for some reason).  I’ve tried everything.  Painkillers, extra caffeine, removing caffeine, more sleep, less sleep, sitting quietly in the dark, going out and running errands to keep my mind off of my headache, extra hydration, hot packs and cold packs.

At most, I’ve gotten a relief for an hour or two at a time, but my headache keeps coming back.  It’s now managed to migrate from my head, down into my neck and shoulders (probably because I’ve gotten so stressed about it, I’m tensing up the muscles in my shoulders… sigh.)

This morning I’ve been sitting quietly in a semi-darkened room, knitting and listening to podcasts (because looking at screens (like the TV) seems to exacerbate my headache), drinking a Coke (because coffee sounds gross right now, but I wanted to see if caffeine might help my head this morning), and taking turns with the hot and cold packs.  It seems to be helping, and hopefully by the time I need to leave the house for work this afternoon, I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or at least I won’t be dragging as much as I have been the last few days).

I’ve got a bunch of cold packs left over from when I used to play roller derby, but none of them have sleeves as nice as this- I might need to make one or two to have on hand the next time my head gets the best of me.

Knitted Ice Pack Cozy by Ampy Versalles-CurtisI’ve got a heating pack that I made years ago that I filled with barley.  I like it a lot (I’ve got it on my shoulders right now).  But, it’s gotten a bit stained and worn over the years, so maybe I should crochet up a cute little pouch for it.  I like the little crocheted buttons, especially

Comfort Pack by Donna Hulka

I’m so ready for this headache to go away!  Do you have any remedies for a stubborn headache?

Inspiration: Autumnal Equinox

It’s officially Fall!  Happy Autumnal Equinox, everybody!  It’s now officially the best time of the year!!  It’s time for cool, drizzly days, steaming cups of hot cider, and cozy afternoons knitting on the couch and listening to old records.  The Autumn Rain has started here in Seattle, and I’m looking forward to everything getting green again.

(What, I’m the only one who prefers cold and rainy over sunny and hot?  Well, I’m a knitter, it’s in my DNA.)

Autumn is the time of year I like to start hibernating, making my house as cozy as possible.  It’s all about warm soups and comfy blankets (until the day after Thanksgiving, at which point my house turns into a Magical Christmas Extravaganza).

If I didn’t have a million things to do, I’d make myself this fantastic fall afghan.  I have a similar one that my Mother-in-Law (Hi Kris!) made me years ago.  I keep it in my studio, and it’s perfect for when my old house gets a little too drafty.  But this one’s lovely color scheme would be perfect for autumn!

Autumn Waves Throw by Mary MaximOr maybe I should make this blanket?  I can’t get over how gorgeous this crazy-oversized lace pattern is.  I bet it would work up in no time!

Autumn Lace / Winter Lace / Mayfield Afghan by Lion Brand YarnI don’t think you can have too many blankets (just ask my husband), but you can’t be truly comfy without a few pillows in the mix.  And my current throw pillows are getting a little bit… disreputable (dog hair just gets everywhere).   Maybe I should bust out a couple cute new throw pillows?  Maybe ones like this:

Autumn Equinox Pillow by Maria O’KeefeWhat do your thoughts turn to in the fall?

Inspiration: Eclipse

Are you guys excited for the eclipse today!?  If you’re in the US, I’m sure you’ve heard all about it!  Unfortunately, Seattle is not 100% in the path of the eclipse.  And, unfortunately, I have to work this morning.  But STILL!  It’s going to be so cool!  (I really hope the school I’m teaching at has a plan to all go out and watch it.  It’s a fancy-pants school, so I bet they have eclipse glasses for everyone (or at least I hope so!).)

Well, whatever happens this morning, I want to celebrate the event the only way I know how: With yarn.

I don’t think I have time to make this hat, but man!  I wish I had started it last week.

Solar Eclipse Knit Hat by Heidi Arjes

I wish that I could drive down to see the total eclipse in Oregon.  If I could, I’d make this coaster on the way.

Solar Eclipse Totality Coaster by Kathy KellyBut I think the best we can expect in Seattle is something like this (which is still pretty dang cool.

Solar Eclipse Coasters by Tamara AdamsWill you be watching the eclipse today?  How complete is it by you?

Inspiration: Daylight Savings Time

Happy Monday Morning, everyone.  It’s a particularly early one today.

Oof.

It’s the first Monday of Daylight Savings Time, which is one of the stupider things we do.

We lost an hour last night.  And, now, even though it’s technically 9:00, it feels much earlier.

I could have been sleeping that extra hour!  Or I could have watched two extra episodes of Bob’s Burgers!  Or I could have knit up one of these super-quick projects.

So many lost opportunities.

I could have crocheted this gorgeous, chunky-textured cowl.

one hour textured cowl by Claire BorchardtOr I could have made these comfy-looking slippers.  (Which I could totally use! My slippers are starting to fall apart!)

1 hour Slippers by Mel PatonOr I could knit this adorable cabled cowl.  (I question the “one-hour-ness” of this pattern, but since I wasn’t able to knit for that lost hour last night we’ll never know.)

1 Hour Cowl by Stefanie JapelWhat would you have done with your lost hour if we didn’t have to deal with daylight savings?  Also, can you bring me some coffee? I’m sleepy.

Fall is… Falling?

It’s the end of October already, and fall is in full swing around here.  The leaves have all turned, and are shockingly beautiful this year.  I don’t know if it’s because of the warm, sunny weather we had all summer, or the strange number of downpours earlier this fall, but something happened and the trees are every shade of red and yellow (and purple and orange and everything in-between).

And, since Christmas is right around the corner (eep!), let’s not get bogged down in big knitting projects- no sweaters or afghans.  Let’s just look at adorable leaf patterns.

I love the texture of these leaves- The designer says they’re maple leaves, but they look more like sugar gum leaves to me.  Either way, they’re super cute.

Maple Leaves Applique Crochet Pattern, by GoldenLucyCrafts

img_9371-1_-_copy__2__medium21These oak leaves are great, too.  And so perfect!

Oak Leaves by In the Yarn Gardenoakleaves_rainbow_intheyarngarden_medium21These look like maple leaves.  Just adorable.

Fall Leaves by Michelle @ The Painted Hingefall_leaves_free_crochet_pattern-11_medium21Which is your favorite?  I can’t decide!  If I had time, I’d totally make a big pile of these and attach them to a great fall wreath, or maybe overlap them and sew them into a big afghan.  How cool would that be?

How’s fall treating you in your neck of the woods?