Crochethook's Blog

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One square at a time October 14, 2012

Filed under: Crochet,Work in Progress,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 12:16 pm
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I seem to have lost my knitting mojo over the past few weeks.  I always find a new job is incredibly tiring for no apparent reason – maybe it’s the nervous energy I burn off when trying to look normal.  As a result, the green waistcoat I have been knitting has hardly progressed at all as I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm for knitting more than a few rows a night.  As I have settled in and worried less at looking strange, my interest is slowly coming back and I hope UFO guilt won’t be haunting me for too much longer.

I have,however, come up with a brilliant stash-busting wheeze which seems to be working out for me.  I have set myself the goal of making at least one granny square a day while travelling *and*, this is the important bit, sewing it into place in the evenings.  I have already disposed of a considerable quantity of wool that has been hanging around for ages. Some days I have done three or four squares but most days only one. Each 4 round square is made with DK and a 4.5mm hook and it’s surprising how quickly the blanket is growing and my stash is shrinking with only 20 minutes work a day.  This is what I have achieved since the 1st September:

Image

It’s not quite as bright as the photo makes is appear

Currently it measures 33 inches across at the widest point and I am planning to make it large enough to cover a double bed.  I am also pleased with the colour scheme.  Last time I made a granny square blanket I didn’t really plan ahead in the respect.

Here’s to hoping my next post will be the little waistcoat I thought it would be so quick to make.

 

The woes of well grown woman August 28, 2012

Filed under: Completed projects,Knitting,Round Up — crochethook @ 9:32 am
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I was shocked when I finally sat down to blog this morning and saw my last post was in April.  I am a very poor blogger!

Once again I have been busy knitting but I have been slightly disappointed in the final results and therefore less inclined to swank over what I have created.  I think this is mainly due to my lack of experience in knitting. That, and the fact I am far slower at knitting than I am at crocheting, all adds up to a lack of posts.

Anyhow, here follows the fruits of my labours:

As I said at the end of my last post, I knitted some Sirdar’s Raffaella into Rowan’s Meadow tank top.   The pattern was a good one but the yarn didn’t really work for this project.  It looks great -

Meadow tank top

but the yarn is a rick-rack. (There is probably a technical term for that but I have no idea what it is.) It seem to lie flat but as soon as the fabric is slightly stretched the knitting becomes very gappy where the rick-rack has left loose stitches.  It is particularly noticeable on the bust.  This was frustrating as the top fits me but it still manages to look like I have squeezed myself into it.  I am tempted to have another go in the future with a better yarn.

Next up was a little shoulder shawl.  I found the pattern on Ravelry but cannot find the link to it now for the life of me.  I used some lovely green sock yarn I got in my local wool emporium.  I didn’t really need another scarf but it was a great traveling project.

Holding onto this until the colder weather

While I was working on the shawl I was also in the middle of the most complicated knitting pattern I have tried to date.  This was also another Ravelry find.  I used Patons Smoothie which is a cheaper acrylic yarn as I wasn’t sure the pattern wouldn’t be beyond me.  It took me a couple of months to complete – including some serious frogging at times.  All in all, it came out well:

Quite lovely

My gauge was correct but I have since discovered that ladies were obviously far less well developed in the 1950s.  I ended up omitting the buttons up the band when it became clear that there was no hope of the two sides ever meeting across the expanse of my busty substances.  It makes a lovely shrug without the buttons but I really have to work harder on taking my chest measurements into account!

Taking these lessons on board, I have started work on a little waistcoat which features on the front page of the July issue of Let’s Knit. This time I have gone up a size in the hope that I will create something that really fits me.  The pattern involves knitting in two colours which is a new experience for me but I seem to managing it so far.  I will endeavour to post the completed results in a few weeks (but don’t hold your breath.)

Next week I begin a new job which involves some commuting.  I was thinking of portable projects when I felt granny square madness settle into my soul.  It seems I am starting another granny square blanket then…

 

Together in Electric Dreams April 22, 2012

Filed under: Completed projects,Free pattern,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 10:16 am
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This week I had a commission from Monkey.  (I say commission, what I mean is a barefaced, non-negotiable demand but I like to be diplomatic.)  We have been watching more daytime TV than is good for our sanity recently and one of the adverts that keeps appearing again and again is for EDF Energy.  They have a new mascot which looks like it was the misbegotten chimera of a poo and a breast.  Yet, despite this, it is also rather sweet and appealing, especially when it’s dancing in a birdbath to the Hawaii Five-0 theme tune. Monkey was a little smitten and could see no reason why I shouldn’t crochet him up his own version at once.

I googled him to have a good look and a ponder only to find that Princess Delirium had beaten me to it with a completed pattern.  Huzzah for the internet!  Turns out his name is Zingy and he is supposed to be a flame.  I had trouble finding wool that was anywhere near the right shade but my LYS had a discontinued, slightly bobbly baby yarn which was close enough.

So behold:

Mr Zingy as Monkey is rather formally calling him.

His eyes are a bit wonky as I didn’t have any safety eyes to hand but Monkey doesn’t seem to mind.

Love is blind

All in all a successful project.  Even better from my point of view was the additional yarn which I accidentally paid for while I was shopping.  6 balls of Sirdar’s Raffaella

Pretty!

will hopefully become this jumper very shortly.

 

4 months of work in one small post March 29, 2012

I cannot believe I’ve let this blog sit silent for over 4 months.  I somehow got out of the habit of blogging and the weeks just ticked on by alarmingly quickly.  I thought the best thing to kick-start me posting again is to do one big round up of work and start again from there.

While my blog has been idle, I have completed a number of projects over the last 16 weeks.  As I mentioned last time, I got a little obsessed with knitting for a while and, generally, the results have been quite good.  To pick up where I left off, with true beginner’s bravado my third project was a cardigan.  The King Cole pattern was great and, at the time, I thought the King Cole Riot wool was brilliant. By the time I finished, I had sort of changed my mind about the yarn and I haven’t actually worn this outside the house nor do I think I will.

n

I just don't think this is ever going to be a good look

Colour aside, the knitting practise itself was good and I managed to complete the whole project without any glaring errors. After that I went a bit scarf and cowl crazy. (It was winter after all).

Blue Cowl

Black and White Cowl

Short scarf from 101 One Skein Wonders

For Christmas I was given Vintage Knitwear For Modern Knitters by Lise-Lotte Lystrup.  I made another cardigan from this collection but I am still trying to track down the proper fasteners so will hold off posting a photo of that one now. I also made some simple stocking stitch socks on dpns but I forgot to take a photo before giving them as a gift.

After all that, I beginning to miss my crochet hooks so I went back to amigurumi for a quick satisfaction.  First came Mr Slug.

Sluggish but sweet

And then 5 hippos.  (I was only supposed to be making 2 for my niece and nephew but it turned into 5 after I tweeted a photo and started getting requests.)

I love how happy these hippos look. Pattern from Super Super Cute Crochet by Brigitte Read

In and amongst all this, I have started on a Wooleater blanket to try and reduce my stash to more reasonable levels.  I worked on it for a couple of weeks but, with the unseasonably warm weather, sitting with a blanket on my knee isn’t too appealing.

Quite garish again. I think I might be part magpie...

And finally, I am half way through a waistcoat which is in danger of bring frogged.  I like the pattern but am just not sure about the yarn.

Less tweedy and more stripy than I imagined.

So that is it.  4 months of work in one photo-heavy post.  I am still trying to get used to the idea of being a knitter as well a crocheter.  I can see that for clothes two sticks is really the best choice as the yarn drapes so much better.  For all other things I think I still prefer the hook.

 

Two sticks November 10, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Knitting,Work in Progress — crochethook @ 9:28 am
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I don’t know if it was a reaction to the epic amount of crocheting that the TARDIS blanket called for or just a desire to try something new but I haven’t been crocheting for the past month or so.  I have been knitting instead.

I learnt to knit when I was little and have made the odd scarf over the years but I was never terribly good at it.  I got the urge to have another go when I was admiring some lovely socks someone was making at my stitch and bitch group.  Knowing that there was no way I could stitch a sock without some practise, I started with this keyhole scarf in Sirdar Tweedie.

Not faultless but not a bad start

It was a better effort than I had ever managed before which I can only put down to being a bit more skilled with my hands after crocheting for a few years. Flushed with success, I got uppish and tried a simple waistcoat next.  (Sorry, no link to this one as I found it in this book.)  It was very basic with the back worked first, split at the shoulders and then continuing down the front on each side.  I had some problems keeping the rib neat so it’s not something I will swanking about it in but, overall, I was pleased with it.

Not sure about the toggle now...

So what am I doing next?  It’s a big project and possibly above my skill level.  Here is a close-up just because I love the colours.

Lovely, lovely colours

I’ll be back to post the final results when I am finished.  If this goes well I’ll be trying the socks next – hurrah!

 

If you can’t fight, wear a stupid hat. September 25, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Crochet,Quick Projects — crochethook @ 10:49 am
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This post is a bit of a moan on my part.  I do apologise in advance.

As winter approaches and I finished my scarf, I had the urge to try making some kind of headgear.  As I’ve said before, I cannot crochet hats. I don’t know why.  There is some disconnect between my brain and my hands which means the things I produce just don’t fit and/or look hideous.  Some eternally optimistic part of me, however, seems to think that if I practise enough I can overcome this problem so I have spent the last couple of weeks hunting for a pattern to tempt me into trying again.

My first attempt was the Any Gauge Beret pattern in the most recent issue of Inside Crochet.  The final result was an abomination which I frogged before anyone could see it.  I am sure the pattern is fine and the problem lies with me but, honestly, it was a floppy, misshapen mess and a waste of good wool.

Then I spent sometime rummaging around on Ravelry and found the Durango Hat pattern.  It was free, masses of people had managed to make it work and it looked quite sweet so I thought I would have a crack at that instead.

I didn’t actually manage to stick to the pattern as published.  I had to add a considerable number of rounds after row 7 to get a hat rather than a yarmulke.  I was using the prescribed yarn weight and hook size but there was no way an 11 round version of this was going to cover my head.  God only knows what it is I did to make this necessary.

I do like the raised effect on the main body of the hat.

The other modification I had to make was to use a double stand of wool for the brim.  One strand worked but the whole effect was a bit too holey-looking for my tastes.

Not sure why I am posting a "front view" too as you can slap it on your head at any angle. It feels necessary though.

The upshot of all this is that I have a hat, it fits and it (sort of) matches my scarf.  I am not totally enamoured of it but I am chalking it up as a win nonetheless. Now the question remains, will I actually bring myself to wear it in public…

<Walks off grumbling to herself and kicking things.>

 

Aqueduct Scarf Pattern

Filed under: Completed projects,Free pattern,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 9:49 am
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As promised, I have written up the Aqueduct Scarf pattern for anyone who would like a copy. And then corrected the pattern on 30/10/11 when I noticed I had missed out a couple of instructions. 

I used 3 balls of Artesano Merino DK which I’ve had knocking about for a while and a 4.5mm hook. This gave me a scarf that was 12cm wide by 164 cm long.  Gauge isn’t important so I think this would work in whatever wool you have to hand and with whatever hook you feel works for you.  The pattern is straight forward enough that, once you have done a few repeats, you can do it on auto-pilot.  I have added a fringe to mine in a contrasting colour as I have a hat in mind to go with it and not enough of the yellow wool to do both.

Close-up

As a side note, this was the first time I had ever used a bamboo hook.  When I first started to crochet I had some small plastic hooks which I really didn’t like and I put this down to the weight.  I was far happier with the heavier metal hooks I had also bought. For some reason, I was convinced that I would have the same problem with bamboo.  I only finally got Pony bamboo hook when I had the vague idea of crocheting on a flight.  As it turns out, I LOVE the hook and so I didn’t risk trying to take it in my hand luggage in case I had to dump it at security.  I am seriously tempted to add to my hook collection with a few more of these lovely, lovely things.

Anyhow, here’s the pattern.  I *think* it’s right but please do let me know if you spot any typos.

1) Chain 28, treble in 4th chain from the hook (3 chain counts as first treble in every row) and in each stitch across. (25 treble) Turn.

2) Chain 3, treble in next stitch and in each stich across.

3) Chain 5 (counts as first treble plus 2 chain), skip next 2 stitches, treble into next stitch,* chain 2, skip next 2 stitches, treble into next stitch** Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

4) Chain 3, *2 treble into next chain space, treble into next treble.** Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

5) Chain 4 (counts as first treble and 1 chain), skip one stitch, treble in next stitch, *chain 1, skip one stitch, treble in next stitch**  Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

6) Chain 3, *treble into chain space, treble into next treble.**  Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

7) Repeat rows 3-6 until scarf is as long as you desire.  Add fringe if required.

 

 
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