Crochethook's Blog

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Pompoms and the madness of crowds August 31, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Crochet — crochethook @ 10:21 pm
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The tea cosy is complete and it has pleased me to such an extent that I had to throw together a quick post about it. I thought originally that I was too cool for pompoms and planned to leave it plain.  When I was done, however, it just didn’t look finished so I posted a quick snap to Twitter to see what other people thought.

Slightly crappy photo but I wasn't thinking about blog posts at the time.

Somewhat surprisingly, the opinion of my followers seemed to be that a pompom was an absolute necessity – who knew that fluffy balls of wool were so popular?  In my heart of hearts I knew they were right and so…

Old lady-style finishing touches win the day.

You are obviously never too cool for a good pompom.

 

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.

 

It’s the end… but the moment has been prepared for. August 21, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Crochet — crochethook @ 4:20 pm
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Week 17 and I am done!  Callooh! Callay!  I haven’t posted for a few weeks for a variety of reason.  The first weekend I was gallivanting around the Edinburgh Festival having a lovely time.  While I was there I fell over and landed with all my weight on my left hand.  (I was stone-cold sober, I hasten to add.) For about a week afterwards I couldn’t really stitch for more than a few minutes at a time.  Once that had improved, I kept thinking I was almost finished and putting off blogging but, as always, the last little bits took far longer than I anticipated and, to paraphrase Number 10, time got away from me.

So what were the final tasks?  I glued the Police Public Call Box letters into place and then, because they seemed a little less than sturdy, I sewed them down for good measure.  Next I added a two round double crochet border in black to tidy up the edges. Then I “embroidered” the door plaque.  I am not happy with how this turned out *at all*.

Quite a disappointment

The soluble Aida gave the impression that the stitches were far more uniform than they actually were.  Once I dissolved the Aida and lost the grid structure, the shape of the crochet stitches underneath pulled the letters out of shape.  Some of the letters lost their shape and the lines of text revealed themselves as really quite wonky.  I’ve decided to live with it for the time being but, if it really bugs me, I may get some ironing paper and material to cover it in the future. Lastly, I sewed in the ends.

"Oh, you sexy thing!"

Approximately 50,500 stitches have gone into this blanket over 200 hours or 15.4 days.  It’s the most ambitious project I have made to date so I am trying to cut myself some slack over the deficiencies.  I have decided not to crochet the St John’s Ambulance badge despite declaring that I would all along.  I think it may make it look a little too busy.  So all that remains for Monkey and me to do now is to snooze under it.  Now, where’s that tea cosy pattern I had my eye on?

 

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.

 

Up there is the scanner, those are the doors, that is a chair with a panda on it… July 4, 2011

Filed under: Unfinished Objects,Work in Progress — crochethook @ 8:12 pm
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Week 10 and I am on row 263.  Just a quick, late post this week as I have been away for a few days so not much progress.

I would have been further on but after I had crocheted in the grey stripe on the roof I suddenly realised it looked dreadful. (I said any problems from now would be my own fault.)  I had to rip back 13 rows to get rid of it again.  I don’t know what I was thinking!

So much better minus the stripe.

This week’s quote is from the delightfully grumpy first Doctor.  It is a bit too long for a title really but I wanted to use it as it makes me giggle.