Category Archives: Crocheting

Almost Christmas

Well Christmas is almost upon us and I really haven’t gotten much done to show for it. I found out that I have the beginning stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis so have been mired in the Internet for the last three weeks trying to figure out what happens with this disease. I did start some knitting today but I have to admit that as far as getting homemade gifts ready for Christmas this year was so-so.

I did make some more oven towels.
christmas towels
The tutorial for these towels is over at the right-hand side of this blog.

I also spun up a little hank of the wool I had dyed (shown in previous posts).
black boysenberry tangerine starfire
Shetland black, dyed shetland boysenberry and tangerine.

I also managed to do a low-water immersion shirt for my son.
IMG_3793
Jaquard Jet Black, ProChem Intense Blue. The grey/brown was the jet black separating in the water.

I also bought some stuff from KnitPicks.
enchanted lake sock yarn
Enchanted Lake sock yarn.

enchanted lake closeup
Close-up of the sock yarn because it’s so pretty.

IMG_3798
Jaquard acid dyes to experiment with my wool after Christmas.

IMG_3801
Some baby alpaca yarn on sale.

Not much else going on right now. I need to clean the dining room and put up the tree (I hate doing this but the grandkids will be here) so I can’t see blogging again before Christmas so I’m wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

Karen

April’s CAL blocks

Here are the blocks for April.


Scholharie spring Square by Mary McKnight. This block worked up fine but because I started with the varigated yarn you can’t really see the pattern that is in the middle, oh well.


Lion’s Mane by April Moreland. Very nice block to make and it looks pretty as well.

Nothing much doing around here. John went on a golf trip last week and it was “home alone” for me except I got sick catching fever, sore throat, cough from the grands when they came to visit on Easter weekend. I haven’t been this sick in years probably well over a decade it really hit me hard, one of my top ten colds. Spent quite a few days lingering in bed with fever and generally getting nothing done. Only good thing between that and having to have a colonoscopy yesterday I’ve lost five pounds. Now if I can only manage to keep it off.

Had a shipment of Jamieson & Smith yarn arrive this week so I’m currently playing with it and starting off on another tam, lets hope this one fits this time. Still have my mauve coin quilt languishing in the sewing room waiting for the final borders and quilting. I need to get cracking on the cottons. I’ll finish off the tam and then switch over to quilt-making mode.

Spring is here with coolish temps but it’s not stopping the plants from growing so I need to spend some time in the garden this weekend for sure, hoping to enlist John’s help on that one. Hope it doesn’t rain.

Karen

Purple Passion.

Well after two months and several countries I’ve finally finished my purple afghan. It seemed like it took forever to do but after I put the squares together I could see why, it almost covers my queen-sized bed.


Purple afghan on queen-sized bed.

The squares were crocheted in a simple granny stitch and because I wanted to do this quickly (ha, ha) I didn’t bother changing colour in each square just kept going until the square looked big enough.


Each square is a granny square and the squares crocheted together using a flat braid technique.

It’d been a while since I last crocheted squares together using the flat braid technique. Unfortunatley when I went to youtube to look up the videos for this I only looked at part one instead of reviewing all of them. The idea is you crochet around the first square and then each square after that you only go around one or two of the sides before joining it with the previous square.

Needless to say I got all but six squares done and then found out I’d done them wrong. I was able to salvage some of the work by only undoing two sides but I came up short on yarn and had to tie off and then rejoin with new yarn to finish each square off. A pain, if I’d done it properly I could have been done a lot earlier instead of back-tracking. Oh well….


Afghan on easy chair next to the window for better light while I took the picture.

I’m glad it’s done now on to finish up my Dr Seuss quilt that was supposed to be done for Christmas. I never seem to get caught up do I?

Karen

Freebird Done!

Well it’s been a while since I last posted I’m afraid to look at the date. We went on a 7-day cruise to the eastern Caribbean with our daughter her husband and baby Chase and a good time was had by all. I’d post a few pictures but they’re still on my hubby’s camera, sorry.

Meanwhile after much procrastination I finally finished one of the Christmas quilts that I hadn’t quilted – the one made with the fabric from designer Momo’s Freebird line.


Lap quilt made using Momo’s “Freebird” fabric.

The lap quilt measures up 59 inches by 67 inches and was made using three charm packets and one jelly roll. The block was made by surrounding a charm square by strips from the jelly roll and then matching borders and backing to finish. Very easy using the pre-cuts I must say but it would be just as easy cutting your own material as well.


Quilt showing the backing material as well. Jonathan`s fiance picked out the backing material after she`d opened the quilt at Christmas so part of the reason it took so long to do was just waiting for the fabric to cross the border.

And while I was working on the quilt I happened to run across some mill ends of yarn in one of the local stores. I’m a sucker for mill ends because they normally cost around $5 to $6 a bag for a pound of yarn. Now you have to take what you get and sometimes you can get some strange bits in there but for the most part you’re getting about four to five balls worth of yarn for the price you’d pay for one ball.

So what to do with this lot of three bags, well I decided to make an afghan and since I didn’t want to put a whole lot of work into it I decided to crochet huge granny squares. I have two left to do before I join the whole thing together.


Dark purple, mauve and varigated granny squares.

This afghan will be international since I worked on it not only at home but in the Toronto Pearson airport, Miami Florida airport and on the cruise ship where we visited the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Peurto Rico and Grand Turk, Caicos.

I’m hoping to get the squares done today and then I’ll start in on joining them all. I’ll post a picture when it’s all done.

Karen

Granny afghan finished.

I’ve had this finished for about a week now but am just posting about it as life gets in the way. Hopefully my son won’t see this but anyhow here is the granny afghan that I’ve made for his upcoming birthday using mostly scraps for the colours and nine (count em) 100g balls of black in Vanna White’s line.

granny-afghan
Afghan hanging over back railing of the deck, yes it’s huge.

The first picture I took was on an overcast day and you can’t really see the colours so I took a picture of the ghan draped over a ball indoors. The colours are a lot more brighter in person, neon in some instances, it makes for a very colourful blanket.

granny-afghan-21
Dan’s blanket of many colours.

I’m currently working on a prayer shawl for whomever using yarn provided by the church and it’s almost done. I’ll have to post another picture when it’s finished in a day or two. I’ve also started working on the first of many baby items for the two babes that are being born this August and October.

At some point some sewing would be good as well. Actually my two elbows are suffering from all the crocheting I’ve been doing and knitting is not helping either so it just might be time to switch over to something else.

Karen

Newsboy Cap

One of my most favorite blogs to visit is Thornberry – http://thornberry.wordpress.com/ – and a couple of weeks ago she posted a picture on her site of a newsboy hat that she’d crocheted. Inspired I decided to make one of my own.

bakers-boy-cap
“Swirls Cap” pattern by Sophia Kessinger of Ravelry.

This is my version of it done in Paton’s Classic Wool Merino – Harvest. The hat is on the small size for this type of yarn and hook size but since the girl I made it for is undergoing chemotherapy and has lost her hair I’m hoping it will fit. It’s snug on my head but I have a large head and she’s more petite so I hope she likes it and it’s not to scratchy for her. I told her grandmother if she wants another type of yarn and colour to let me know. Hard to be so young but have to endure such an awful disease as cancer.

Karen

Gifts received and Given

Well it’s been a mad few days recently with having to cook two Christmas dinners two days in a row. My back was so sore it’s amazing it feels as good as it does today but it’s all over. Everyone has eaten so much food in the last couple of days what with dinners and treats that I’m letting them fend for themselves with the leftovers until they leave.

I’m behind on posting pictures of items that I made for Christmas and I now have pictures to post of items that I received for Christmas so…

Here are some of the things I made in the mad scramble in the last two days before Christmas.

washcloths
Some crocheted washcloths for Dan’s girlfriend to go along with some other toiletry items in a gift basket.

A couple more in different colours for John’s mom they went with a basket of Aveeno products. These washcloths were inspired by a post over at Thornberry’s site: http://thornberry.wordpress.com/ and the pattern taken from Lion’s brand free patterns. This is the sedge washcloth. Just type in washcloth and you’ll find it.

washcloths-2
Bernat Handicrafter Cotton – Colonial Colours.

My one son Jon informed me that he wanted a Where’s Waldo Hat to go along with his striped scarf. This was two days before Christmas. Of course I didn’t have the one set of correct needles so it was a mad scramble to find some but I finished the hat Christmas Eve. Here is the other son Dan modelling for me.

wheres-waldo-hat
I thought this hat would be striped but the cartoon of Waldo shows it as red brim, white body and red pompom for which I was thankful as it made it easier to knit. He now wants a striped sweater to match (oh joy).

Next are a series of photos of the gifts I received from my secret sister. We decided to swap items that we already had on hand at home and I feel like I cleaned up from what she pulled from her stash (does the happy dance).

jacquies-fly
Here we have a foam stamp (I can use it on my hand-dyed fabric), some Angelina hot fuse fibres and a cute fly that she had made in a class she took. He’s so adorable.

fly-back
This is the back view and he has “metallic” wings, so clever.

inside-fly
Look at this, he even has pockets inside of him. (He came with a chocolate bar inside, yum…)

complex-cloth1
I got this cool piece of complex cloth.

In a complex cloth swap what happens is the owner of the piece dyes a piece of white pfd (prepared for dyeing) in the colour of her choice. The piece is then mailed off to the next person in the group and this person then does something to the piece. In this case although you really can’t see it I believe a discharge of some type in the shape of a fish was applied to the cloth so the fuchsia became pink in those areas.

Next a stamp of purple (or blue) dye was applied over top and then finally a pattern of blue metallic paint (probably lumiere but maybe shiva paintstick) was put on as a last layer. I don’t know if this piece was part of a swap or something my secret sister did all herself but all in all it’s a very valuable piece of fabric for all the time and effort that went into it. I’m going to have to think how to use it , maybe for part of a quilt or maybe that special bit of fabric that is just the right accent for something.

wall-hanging
Last is this beautiful piece of machine embroidery. Lovely matching fabric of yellows and purples. It is now taking up residence on the wall in back of my sewing machine.

Speaking of sewing machines…here is my new baby.

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Husqvarna Mega Quilter.

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MegaQuilter with table.

I haven’t had a chance to use it yet as I still have company but sometime this week we have a date to work on the Christmas tree skirt I just finished sewing.

One last picture just because you all know how I like a bargin (even if I don’t need it).

scissors
Drop-forged Heritage scissors.

I saw these at Costco the other day but refrained from buying them because I have a lot of scissors but when they dropped the price to $10 I couldn’t resist. I’m always misplacing scissors so didn’t feel too guilty at ten bucks for three.

Well hope you all like seeing the goodies as much as I liked receiving them.

Karen

More Treasure

Well the previous post was fabric, this post is about the yarn that I inherited along with the fabric and lest you think it was only leftover craft stuff that we picked up on the weekend, we also scored a rather nice corner cabinet that will come in handy for my excess dishes, which are squirreled away somewhere.
Corner Cabinet
Cherry corner cabinet.

The yarn was very much like the fabric in that there were all these little bits of left-over balls and when I say little bits…I mean…little bits. The only reason I can think of for keeping these tiny bits would be for using them to repair any holes that might appear in the knitted garment.
Bits and bobs of yarn
Bits and bobs of yarn, a pair of booties, mittens and some written instructions for a sock heel.

I’m under the impression that some of the yarn was from items that had been knitted and unravelled. When I thought I would inherit the yarn stash, much like the fabric, I thought it would be usable with bits of four-ply that could be used in a colourful granny afghan. This stuff is what would have been used for socks and baby sweaters, useless to me because I won’t be crocheting or knitting anything out of such fine yarn. The thing is, there is only one or two small balls that you might want to make a pair of socks out of but then you’d be taking a chance on running out of yarn at that.

There were some balls of soft fuzzy acrylic yarn and some leftover mohair blends that my mother-in-law used for making hats and mittens out of – something else I can’t use in an afghan but there is enough yarn in a couple of colours that I possibly might make a baby’s sweater out of so we’ll see.
Soft yarn
Yarn stash.

One of the things that there was quite a lot of was cotton crochet thread. My MIL used to make the hanging oven towels out of these and indeed she is the person from whom I picked up the idea in the first place. The only problem is that while she used fine cotton thread I use thicker. Some of the cotton I can probably work with but the rest might just go to a friend who like my MIL uses the finer thread.
Cotton crochet thread
Cotton thread stash.

I did score one really nice haul in the yarn department and that was a stash of green flecked wool that my MIL had seen when they had travelled out to New Brunswick oh must have been what about 30-40 years ago? She had seen the yarn and ordered some to be mailed to her so I’m thinking it was a home-craft business perhaps? It makes sense if the yarn wasn’t ready-made to be bought at the time. Anyhow nice hanks of yarn maybe about 4-5 in total. It’s hard to tell because my MIL had rewound some into two balls.  Anyhow she never did get around to knitting them up, probably because she was allergic to wool and so was most of the family. The stuff is scratchy but I’m hoping to use it as the colour is divine even after all of these years. LOL, the colour suits a man’s sweater but my husband is one of the allergic family members, oh well.
Green wool
Looks darker and richer in person.

The thing I found most interesting about the yarn stash was the patterns I inherited and the needles. LOL, my SIL would be going nuts about the patterns as she sells on ebay and these treasures are just the type of things she looks for in garage sales, oh well, too bad.
Old patterns
Old patterns, one or two booklets (not shown) I actually own myself – awk! – am I ancient as well?

Red Cross booklet
Red Cross booklet of instructions for “selected civilian knitting instructions for women and children”…does this imply war-time? **As an added note:  I went through the patterns and there was another booklet and this one had instructions for knitting for the armed services with instructions for items that a service man or woman would need.

Old crochet hook with covering
What is this thing? Looks like a piece of metal of a broken off crochet hook.

Crochet hook
Oh…it has a lid. This is the finest crochet hook I’ve ever seen. This hook is so fine I swear I have needles with holes that are bigger. I’ve never ever seen one this fine for sale in a store. It boggles the mind because it implies the finess of the thread it was used for and I just wouldn’t attempt to go there in any way, shape or form.

Well most of the left-overs have been tossed into a box with a few of the usable bits left out. I’ll have to come up with a pattern for the wool but I’m not sure how much four hanks will knit up. There was another nice bit of wool but only one ball’s worth so I’m not sure what that could be used for but it looks like the same variety as the green.

My MIL had the green wool wrapped up in four different layers. I think she came from an era where wool was used a lot and moths were a problem, maybe another reason for all those little bits of left-over yarn. She makes judicious use of mothballs to this day.

One more interesting picture of some nylon yarn touted for being used for adding strength to your garment. This ball of yarn was advertised with the quick pull method to get it started.
Magic yarn
Magic ball, pull here (notice arrow) also some knitting needles mostly for finer yarn different looking from what I use today for the most part.

All in all this was a slice of the past.

Karen

Crocheted Squares

I have been working on crocheting up some squares for an afghan this past month. With six more left to do the goal is almost within sight of getting this project done. I rediscovered this UFO when browsing for some Christmas yarn in the corner of my room where I stash the excess yarn. To give you an idea of how old this project is, I started on this little gem when my daughter was in first year university. It was to match the comforter that she bought to go on her twin size bed. Well she has been graduated for a year and out working in that time. The kicker is that she went through for optometry which is a seven year program so this UFO has been sitting around for eight years, yikes!!

Crocheted squares
Not a great picture but you get the idea.

The problem is, it just seems like yesterday. Where does the time fly by so quickly? I seem to be getting old really fast. When I rejoined the gym last month it had been eight years since I last joined this particular gym. A lot of the people that were working out eight years ago are still there working out. They aren’t any slimmer or buff but they are working out. The thing is I walk into the gym and see these people and all I can think of is “boy do they ever look old”. You come to the realization that perhaps they are thinking the same thing of yourself, awk!

Karen

Bed Jacket and Christmas Fabric

Well I finally finished the bed jacket, I’m just hoping it will fit my mother-in-law and that she’ll like it. If not I guess she can give it away to another lady at the seniors. The pattern is by Ceil Cummings.
Bed Jacket
Bed Jacket

And here are the Christmas fabrics that I bought on sale.
Christmas fabric 1

Christmas fabric 2

Christmas fabric 3

You can’t see it very well but most of the fabric has shiney gold in amongst the berries, flowers, etc. I wonder how well the gold washes up. I guess it won’t matter because whatever I make will only be hauled out once a year anyway.

Karen