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.

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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.

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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!

 

Small things amuse small minds August 30, 2011

Filed under: Quick Projects,Work in Progress — crochethook @ 12:09 pm
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It’s a post-blanket world and I am enjoying myself running two little projects which I know won’t take long to finish.

Number one was a direct result of my obsession with the Habitat closing down sale.  I couldn’t stop dropping in and buying things I needed but was too tight to purchase at full price.  I ended up playing reduction chicken –  I lost on a wok as they sold out before they had gone as low as I hoped but I did come away with some genuine bargains.  My favourite is a sizeable teapot and, as all roads lead to crocheting, it was one small step from buying that to deciding I needed a tea cosy to go with it.  As it shaped more like a coffee-pot than a traditional teapot, finding a pattern to fit was a bit of a mission but I came across the Checkmate Tea Cosy in Issue 17 of Inside Crochet which was adaptable enough to do the job.  I am about halfway through after a week and, some initial wonkiness aside, it seems to be coming on a treat.

It will make more sense when it's done, honest. At least that's what the pattern says.

Second quick project is the aqueduct scarf.  When I was in Edinburgh I had a trip to Armstrongs on Grassmarket. (I heartily recommend a visit if you are in Edinburgh.  It is an amazing shop.) I came out with a pristine red leather jacket for the bargain price of £25.  I swear, it looks like it has never been worn.  I genuinely didn’t have a scarf that would go with it so I started one last night with some merino wool that has been sitting in my stash for months.  I improvised the pattern to give me something quite narrow and a suitable weight for Autumn.  Mr Grasshead said it reminded him of an aqueduct in structure which suggested the name.  I will write up the pattern as a freebie when I am done but the more experienced amongst you can probably work it  out from the photo.

One hour's work including the improvisation. I do like a project that grows quickly.

During the long weekend I had my first snooze under the TARDIS blanket and I can report it was as cosy as I hoped it would be. It was a bit of a slog toward the end but I am quite delighted with it.

 

Optimism: belief that everything will work out well. Irrational, Bordering on insanity. July 31, 2011

Filed under: Crochet,Cross Stitch,Work in Progress — crochethook @ 10:29 am
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This post covers week 13 and 14 which have been a mixed bag of success and downright disaster.  Last week I finished the main body of the blanket.  By the time I had added the word TARDIS it was finally long enough so I decided not to bother with the words ‘type 40’ as well.

The final row count was 340.

This would have been cause for much celebration on my part but, before I could enjoy myself, I got a stinking cold and spent three days wandering about feeling sorry for myself and not doing very much.  (This is why I didn’t post last week. I was mostly sleeping and moaning.)  Once I was taking notice again, I leapt in and made a start on cross-stitching POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX onto the sign board.  As I said before, my plan was to use soluble Aida and charts.  I had drawn the charts a few weeks ago and they looked spiffing so I got cracking.

After the first row on the P, I stopped and looked and thought ‘Hmm’ but convinced myself that I needed to finish the whole letter before I judged.  This was my first mistake.  I finished the P and still wasn’t convinced but tried to tell myself I was being fussy and started onto the O.  This was my second mistake.  Three rows into the O, I stopped and admitted that it looked dreadful.  Despite the Aida, the stitches were really uneven which I think was down to the irregular nature of crochet fabric.  I wasn’t even getting a clean edge on the letters.  If I had stopped at the first row like my instincts suggested, I may have been able to unpick it.  By the time I done the P and part of the O unpicking wasn’t an option anymore without running the risk of damaging the crochet underneath. The stitches were too small to get any purchase on without pulling hard.  Chiz!

Having spent a couple of days thinking that I had ruined the whole project and sulking, I was suddenly struck with the brilliant idea of appliqueing crocheted letters on instead.  This means the letters looks even and they hide the failed stitching underneath.  They also have the advantage of being really quick to make.  An all round win, I think you will have to agree.

Covering a multitude of sins

So I am back on track again – hurrah!  I still plan to stitch the door panel but only in back stitch which I hope/think won’t cause the same problems as cross-stitching.  The end is in sight.  I estimate another 3 weeks will see this finished so I am already pondering what I will do next.

This week’s quote is from everyone’s favourite tin dog.  It’s not a TARDIS quote but struck me as so apt that it was begging to be used.

 

Well, there must be intelligent life at the end of this lot. July 17, 2011

Week 12 and the row count is 308.  The actual TARDIS is complete but the blanket still isn’t long enough for comfortable snoozing. I had seen this coming and plotted a third chart a couple of weeks ago.  The new chart adds the immortal words Type 40 TARDIS  to the top of the blanket and really should signal the end of the crocheting on this project.  Phew! Click on the link if you would like a pdf of this part.

Now officially too large to photograph well.

I have carried on practising my cross stitch this week and have completed almost one whole word. As I have only been stitching on the bus, I am not entirely ashamed of my progress.  The plan is to eventually stitch the the whole of the door panel unless I run mad first. I have a feeling that this could be haunting me for years as my cross stitch concentration is never good.  It is making me happier about stitching on the blanket though so it has already done some good.

I am going to need a lot of blue thread.

This week’s quote’s an easy one but I did have to watch 15 minutes of the requisite episode so I could take it down accurately.  What a slog for me!

 

Don’t come all clever dick with me. What’s going on? July 10, 2011

Week 11 and the row count is 280.  Not terribly impressive.  I am dragging my heels the closer I get to the end as I suspect I may feel a little bereft when this project is finally finished.

I have also started a side-project to practise my cross-stitching in preparation for the embellishments and this distracted me for a couple of nights.  I have cross-stitched on and off since I was 12 but I am acutely conscious that I only get one shot on the blanket. Unpicking mistakes will be a nightmare on crochet so a refresher seemed like a good idea.  There’s too little done to make it worth sharing at the moment but I will in the future.

The blanket is now so long that getting it all into one photo is becoming quite hard.  You will have to excuse the slightly odd angle on the picture.

The light is coming on a treat though.

This week’s quote is Ace’s reaction to entering the 7th Doctor’s TARDIS for the first time.  I know I am in a minority but 7 is one of my all-time favourite Doctors. I feel he is undervalued so I thought it was time we had some serious 7 love on this blog.