Little things coming off the needles

These are the little things coming off my needles. I decided that I wanted to make a Halloween wreath. I don’t have the resources right now to go out and purchase the materials to make the one I want. The one I want to make involves purchasing a lot of ribbon.  Maybe after Halloween, I’ll start gathering clearance ribbon.

I do, however, have this fabulous orange wreath that Janalee made for me for my 50th birthday.  It’s so amazingly orange, I love it, and I’ve wanted to dress it up for Halloween ever since I got it. This year, I’m doing it. I’ve made a little ghost for it.

I also want to make a T.A.R.D.I.S. blanket. I looked at several patterns but nothing was quite what I wanted. I didn’t want one big T.A.R.D.I.S., I wanted a blanket of T.A.R.D.I.S. squares. I fiddled a bit and made up something that I liked.

I decided to not continue the rounds to make the top and bottom edges and the light on top. It will be obvious what this thing is without them. For my next one, I will just single crochet around the edges and use less stitches to keep the edge from rippling.

I’m also back to making the watch caps, I may or may not push myself really hard to get it finished this month for an HPKCHC.

As long as I get Danica’s shawl finished on time 😉 

 

 

I’m not a crochet novice

So, this should be easy, right?

Right?

After years of only making granny squares, I’m about to start something a little more complicated. With black yarn, bad eyesight, and a small hook.  What could go wrong?

It’s going to be a journey. Or a descent into madness.

A few rather plain pictures

I may have started a couple more baby blankets. I wanted to jump up and take pictures of the blankets, but being the only person in the house that can see spots and crumbs on the kitchen table, I had to clean up a bit first.

I remember the days when I’d have a cat that would come in photobomb a blanket picture like this, but sadly those days are behind me and likely to remain behind me for some time.  I had finally gotten up the nerve to think about going check out a local shelter to see if a cat there would accept me. A small conversation was had and I was debated right back down to staying petless for a while longer. I’ve never been with a pet before, it’s uncomfortable. So, the pictures are plain. Just small starts of baby blanket, sans cat. At least the colors are lovely and the table is clean.

 

I was amused that one of the skeins of yarn had it’s little tail sticking out all ready for me to start.

 

Every person who needs to reach up high to hook things into a computer should have a makeup mirror, don’t you think?

 

 

Knitting funk

I’m in a kind of knitting funk. I want to knit, I just don’t know what to knit. I’ve spent a lot of time planning this thing or that thing and never quite start on anything. I’ve wanted to make something with the ClearCenter logo on it for a while now. I knew I would have to chart the logo myself. I used a program called Stitch Fiddle to make the chart. I have some yarn in mind for the first test knit, I just need to swatch and plan on how big I want the logo to be.

clearos_logo orange white clearos_logo

In the meantime, I crochet. Miles and miles of crochet. I have a little over half of a Caron Cake to do on this one.

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And I’m still in love with this one: I’ve finally started on the second skeins of each color. The blanket I copied modeled this one after started doing 2 rows of each color. I’m not sure why but it looks nice and I’m still trying to decide if I want to do that.

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In which I get a little twisted

While waiting for my car to be done, and that’s another issue, I found an article online that showed me how I could add twist into the yarn while crocheting. I’ve got to try this on some of the more frustrating yarns I’ve crochet with. Yarns, in which I love the colors and softness, but they untwisted so horribly that I hate crocheting with them. The yarn was splitty and it slowed me down. This doesn’t happen when I knit. I felt cheated as a crocheter, like the yarn world didn’t seem to care about me.

I have been searching for a solution to this problem for years and just never managed to put in the right search words. I was confident in my Google Foo and so thought the information either just wasn’t out there, or that a solution didn’t exist.

I had just started another baby blanket because I didn’t want to drag out my almost done blanket in the mechanic’s waiting room and pondered once again what on earth could be done.  My usual word-around (I refuse to call this a solution) was to roll the skein of yarn to add twist. I would stop every few inches of stitches and roll the skein over several times. This is irritating. If I would just doing a small granny square I could easily flip the square around on the hook by waving it in a circle and I’d get twist in the yarn that way. This doesn’t work once the granny square blanket gets to a certain size. It’s irritating. It’s frustrating. A yarn that I would normally love becomes my nemesis and I just can’t crochet as fast as I’d like to be able to. This is why I gravitated to certain yarns over the years when making the endless parade of baby blankets for the babies that just keep coming into this family.  Anyway while pondering something Abby Franquemont said during her spinning video.  She was explaining about putting twist in the yarn and that you could keep or lose that twist depending on how you wound the yarn or fiber onto a stick.  My DVD was at home so I once again did a Google search and for whatever reason typed in something different.

I came across a blog post by Doris Chan that told me exactly what I needed to know. I’m trying not to be irritated that I didn’t figure this out by myself because in the back of my mind, I had thought this might be the answer.  But I didn’t know which direction I needed to try and was never willing to experiment. It turns out that if I’m using the yarn from the outside of the cake, it’s this way:

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I positioned the skein in the direction Doris showed, started crocheting off the outside of the skein, and EUREKA! So far, I appear to be putting in just enough twist to match what I’m taking out by crocheting. If the yarn gets too twisty, I can simply flip the cake over for a bit. It’s like magic.

I’m going to try this with some of the other yarns I loved for their color and softness, perfect for baby blankets, but HATED because they were hard to crochet with. I’m looking at you Yarn Bee Soft Secret and Caron Simply Soft.  I didn’t want the mess of trying to crochet from the outside of a skein, so I wound the Yarn Bee into cakes and placed them in the project bag with the correct side up.

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Pardon me for saying this, but today I am a very happy hooker. Thank you Abby and Doris! You ladies have saved my crochet sanity.

February

At the beginning of Feb, we made another Texas trip.  David’s uncle Luther passed away and we wanted to attend the funeral and support his Aunt Janet. It was nice to see our families. I just love David’s East Texas family. Since we were going to be in the area, David’s company arranged for him to meet with some clients. One meeting was going to be in just a few days which meant we had to leave on the trip 12 hours earlier than planned and drive straight through instead of breaking up the trip into two day. We left at 6:30pm in the evening, after having been awake and working all day and drove to Houston. We took turns driving and only had to make one short stop for David to take a nap.

We got on day of rest and then it was off to Dallas to pick up David’s sister and over to Tyler for the funeral.

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Aunt Janet showing off the darling quilt her son made for her.2017-02-05 17.09.57

Aunt Janet with her chickens.

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Sweet tea happened. I regret nothing.

Normally a trip to Texas is a 22 hour daylight trip in which I got a lot of knitting and crocheting done. In reality, it was a lot of night driving and during the day I was trying to nap so that I could give David a break.  I didn’t get a lot done. I managed a little bit of crocheting on a baby blanket that I need to get finished sooner rather than later. I finished a blanket that I decided I’d rather put in the Future Grandbaby Stash instead of give away.

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could get more of the same yarn and make another one, it went super fast, but in keeping with my desire to knit from stash as much as possible (and by knit, I mean crochet). So, for the trip, I brought the Caron Cakes I bought a while ago to make the two baby blankets I need to make.

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This appears to be the only pictures I’ve taken of it. The color change in the yarn happened right on the corner at the start of a new row.I guess I thought that was super interesting. I might have been suffering from last of sleep. I like the colors but, I don’t much care for the yarn. It’s not bad or horrid, it just isn’t the soft, silky stuff that Caron Simply Soft is. This yarn is a small step up from Red Heart.

We spent several days in Houston visiting with my family and then it was back home.

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I may have purchased some Texas shaped jewelry.

My parents and I also attended a funeral for the lady that lived next door to my family for most of the time they’ve lived in Houston. Her youngest daughter and my sister were good friends.

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This is what my parents’ yard looks like in February.

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This is what my yard looks like in February.

We got home just before the middle of the month and went right back to work, spending a lot of time at the office.

My lovely daughter’s had this waiting for me when I got home from the office on Valentine’s Day.

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I did very little knitting or crocheting during the rest of the month. We have been working so much. I should bring a project to leave at the office to work on during some of the down time that I have.  I have work projects stacked up so that while I’m waiting on something for one, I can be working on another. But oftentimes, there isn’t enough time to really get into a different project. A mindless knit or crochet would keep my hands busy but my mind still focused on what I’m doing. I want to make some blanket squares and I think those would be the perfect thing. They’re small, won’t take up space on my desk and can easily be picked up and put down.

I love what I’m doing at the office. My new job is extremely fulfilling. I’m using my skill set and learning a lot of new things on top of it. I’m in heaven.

Thus ends February. We’ve barely had a moment to breathe. March is going to be more of the same.

Flower Bouquet of Yarn

It makes me so happy when I see a lot of the skeins have the ends already sticking out. It’s like sorcery. 

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It’s like a flower bouquet of yarn.

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I’m turning this into the Bahama Mama baby blanket that I found on Ravelry. I may even make it big enough for a lap blanket instead of a baby blanket. How cool would that be? The Bernat Baby Cakes yarns was out of print. I found Yarn Bee Soft Secret at Hobby Lobby in just the right colors. I started this last March and it will continue to be worked on this winter whenever I need some relief from the winter blahs. 

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#crochetworldproblems

I’m trying so hard to be a good kid and to use up my stash but, I keep running into instances where I have to go buy yarn.

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I either have to go buy yarn, or I have to adjust my own natural gauge and use the black yarn I have. It’s Red Heart like the green yarn I’m using here, but it turned out to be thicker.  It was so frustrating.

So is this:

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Same yarn, same hook, same crocheter.

I bought more yarn. Life is too short to try to force Red Heart to work for a project like this.

#knitterworldproblems  #crochetworldproblems

Two Steps Forward

I’m pretty sure this is more than one step back…

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I keep messing up the number of rows between the decrease rows and then I’ve goofed up the number of stitches on each needles. That means I’ve skipped a decrease somewhere. I’ve had to rip back to before the decreases twice now.

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And where was my brain when this happened?