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degrees of difference

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My phone camera is dying, so apologies for the poor quality. You get the idea, however. Another tidy little scrapbuster.

There I was, sitting with Dr B and watching a TV program. I needed something to do with my hands. And I need to keep whittling away at that stash. So the other night, while YoungB zizzed on the mattress with the aircon at full bore, I crocheted up a beautifully soft, warm cowl. Yeah! Just what you do when it’s above 40C.

This is a mix of yarns, all with a high acrylic content. The lighter stripe is Lincraft Big Wool Solids, in what I think was described as denim. It’s a blue colourway, rather than green. The yarn at the bottom of the photo is Moda Vera Manor in colour 52, dye lot 1010109, and it’s definitely a green colourway. The starting blue-green colourway (at the top of the photo) is a mystery, but possibly Moda Vera Bouvardia leftovers from an earlier beanie. I used a 9mm crochet hook.

Best wishes for all your stashbusting, and may you never be afflicted with unidentifiable yarn 🙂

 

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Posted by on February 4, 2019 in Crochet

 

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obviously random

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Not exciting. But a little rug to keep my knees warm at work. And for that, exciting indeed 🙂

If I’d put any thought into this, the variegated yarns would be distributed more evenly against the solids. As it is, and as you can see quite plainly, they’re not mixed at all. I had the variegated yarns on top of my scrap bag, ready for another project. The solids were below that. I simply started at the top and kept going.

So, yeah. Totally unplanned and uninteresting but finished and fit for purpose, namely keeping my knees warm at the office during freezing summer aircon temps. And potentially useful in winter, but probably not at the office where even I have been known – very occasionally – to remove a jacket because the aircon is too hot :/

Details of this project:

Pattern (something like this):

  • Chain 60 (or any even number of your choice; this is what I used for this small rug).
  • Commence first row in second chain from hook, working all UK half-treble (US half-double) crochet; so that you end up with an odd number of stitches to work the mesh pattern.
  • Work 3 chain at end of each row then turn.
  • All other rows 1 UK treble (US double), 1 chain, miss a stitch, repeat to end.
  • Work into the top of the treble/double in the row below (so that you end up with a mesh).
  • Repeat until desired length.
  • Last row, all UK half-treble (US half-double) crochet.
  • Tidy up your ends, thrown it in for a quick wash, hang it out in the sun to dry, and that’s it.

Yarn: a variety of synthetic 8-ply/UK-DK yarns from my scrap bag. All yarns held double. How much I used is tricky to calculate, but probably 200g of one colour and whatever I had of the others to a matching overall amount. I joined using a knot. Quite a bit of the yarn already had knots in it, so I decided to go with the flow. As far as possible, I crocheted ends in as I went.

Hook: Milford plastic 9mm/US13 hook (according to the information on it).

Time from start to finish: a couple of weeks.

Did it dent the stash? It must have, and I think I have now actually run out of 8-ply variegated yarn. There are still four-and-a-bit balls of the green yarn and there is a reasonable amount of the grey-blue.

Make it again? Yes, but perhaps a little larger. This suits me, but everyone else in the family is taller, so would need more coverage. It was a good TV-watching project because of the simple, repetitive pattern.

So, yeah. Back to the housework now. Dr B is out on a motorbike ride and YoungB has been away at the coast with friends. It’s a lovely laundry day!

No matter what you’re up to, I hope you’re enjoying sunshine and down time with your favourite craft 😉

 
 

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catching up

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Dr B is making excellent progress with his creative task!

Isn’t it good when you share a meal with friends, and are able to catch up on everyone’s news? I don’t do it as often as I’d like. The Bs have far more of a cafe lifestyle than I do, mostly by virtue of their cycle outings (of whichever variety). Yesterday it was my turn with some old friends from my nursing days. One is still in the business, nowadays working as a midwife in a busy city hospital. The other has already retired. We met for our meal at a halfway-point eatery, and between swapping news of former colleagues and hearing about the exploits of children and grandchildren, a couple of hours passed swiftly and pleasantly.

The friend who is still in the business doesn’t live far from me, so we travelled together. She’s another who knits and sews, and would like to learn crochet but is time poor now. A particular joy of our homeward trip was our quick duck into a fabric store, one where we’re both VIP members. It’s not far from home for either of us, so barely even a detour. She was looking for something she could use to refresh the old, tired, three-panelled privacy screens in her hospital’s nursery. We bought some lovely animal-print curtaining (in both colourways, to be used alternately so that one side presents taupe, cream, taupe and the other side cream, taupe, cream). It should sew up beautifully and look a treat.

The style of curtaining uses stretch wires at top and bottom. I have recent experience with that, because I made a small, privacy curtain for YoungB, so that he wouldn’t be constantly disturbed by a neighbour’s sensor light going berserk. I used some old furnishing fabric and put a wire only at the top. That was mostly for haste, but also because YoungB’s cabin presents problems when you try to screw things into its walls. So, although my crochet projects might not be completed, I have had a small sewing success.

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Curtain in a hurry, with some installation challenges unmet. However, YoungB loves it because it keeps out enough light that he can sleep. That’s all it needs to do.

When my friend drove me home, we checked the progress of the Bs’ building work: as the top photo illustrates, they’re going great guns (and they were both working on it yesterday). They did some catching up, too, in their case with a chippie friend who is our unofficial consultant (he has lots of good, sensible advice for safely working alone and will be getting a slab of his favourite tipple when the project is done). YoungB will shortly have a run of almost a week off, so he’ll be a great help with the roofing. They ought then to catch up sufficiently with the work that we might have a fully-roofed pergola by the end of next week. Bonus. And exciting-issimo.

As I implied, I’m not caught up on all my crochet WIPs. The green market bag needs handles, but I have to count stitches at least a little bit so that the handles are centrally located. I have, however, just about finished a knee-rug for work! Yet again, it’s made with some of that 8-ply (DK) synthetic green yarn gifted to me by a friend, and more of my variegated scraps, held double. So it really is thick and, this time, it really is quite small. I think my starting chain was about 60. It will work fine in the office, which is where I intend to use it. I will catch up with finishing all of the other small bits and pieces, but not while I’m watching TV. For me, because of my poor eyesight, that’s sometimes a little trickier than simply dealing with a piece of repeating-pattern crochet. I can manage, “One treble, one chain,” ad infinitum! The photo is somewhat dull, but I think you’ll get the idea: a quick and easy pattern that produces a lovely, squishy finish.

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Scrappy stashbusting stuff. And small, but enough to cover my knees so that I don’t get too cold at the office.

I hope you’re also catching up with your crafty projects, and old friends.

 

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still on the go

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Probably larger again by now, but this will give you an idea of how it’s going.

The green string bag/shopping tote/market bag is still going. It’s much larger now, but I’m back at work. Hence, exhaustion is already creeping in and although I well understand the value of retaining craft work as some sort of therapy, I cannot summon sufficient energy by day’s end to do much more than sit with Dr B as he watches TV. Often enough, we both pump a lot of Zzzz’s and decide to call it quits without much TV-watching and certainly no crochet.

Work will continue to be busy for most of the year. There will be some easing of pressure in a few weeks, but the sector is in such upheaval that it’s unrealistic to anticipate a huge improvement. I’ll keep going on the crochet when I can. it all helps a bit. Right?

So, as I say, we’re still on the go: I and my crochet. Hope you are, too 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2019 in Crochet

 

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rulers of our kingdom

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I couldn’t get my head around the bag I was trying to make. So I started another of the market tote/string bags.

I’m not sure if the requisite rest is being factored in, although I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve simply collapsed after lunch because I could not manage to stay upright. Once or twice, the Bs have done the same thing 🙂 YoungB has been so tired and out of synch – a drawback of shift work, as I’m sure you’d agree – that he hasn’t yet managed a day at the beach. He’s occasionally been lucky enough to visit friends with a pool.

Every now and then, Dr B and I sit under the apricot tree in the backyard and survey our little world. The lawn is looking summery – ie, dry, brown, and crunchy underfoot – but it’s still a lawn, and not mud (or, given the time of year, dust). Our fences are mostly high enough that neighbourly intrusion is kept to a minimum, so we sit and survey our realm, as it were! Sometimes I take my crochet with me.

This is the same cotton yarn I used to make Youngest Aunt’s Christmas present. I’d intended to something more akin to Dr B’s cherry bag, but was not having any luck at all. Oh, well, there’s no harm making yet another of the old favourites. They’re always useful; and this is at least easy to do while semi-watching TV with Dr B. I won’t make this one with a long enough handle for it to be used cross-body, but have yet to decide precisely what I will do in that regard.

I hope your 2019 is rolling along smoothly and that you’re making good progress on your projects.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2019 in Crochet

 

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planning ahead

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The size of the problem.

I know, I know. I never plan. Right? And joining in with things? In the past, that’s rarely met with success. This time,  I’m – look, I don’t want to say I’m committing to a knit-along (KAL) or crochet-along (CAL) I might not manage. But I’m thinking about participating in one run by this yarn shop. YoungB desperately needs either new fingerless mitts or a major rescue operation on those he already has: as you can see clearly (despite the fuzzy photo), one already has a hole in the palm, the other is wearing through. The point is, the KAL/CAL is flexible as to whether you knit or crochet, or what pattern or yarn you use. Also, most significantly, the May option is for gloves or mittens. I don’t doubt that YoungB will need something before then. So, I could do a rescue in the meantime, and knit a new pair as part of the KAL/CAL I’m not singing up to. Right? To that end, I’ve ordered some yarn. What’s more, I’ve ordered enough to make a hat, too 🙂

Shall we take bets on how quickly this all falls over?!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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it might look like nothing

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At the end of a lot of calculation and measurement, cutting, sanding and painting, this is the present state of affairs with the refurb. It might not look much, but it’s been a huge amount of work. That’s Dr B just making a few notes in his project book.

Do you remember I mentioned that Dr B has been busy with a (re)construction project? It’s actually some overdue maintenance and upgrading of our pergola, and has involved, inter alia, removing and replacing rotten timbers and reinforcing the new, slightly narrower beams. The new work has all come together within a remarkably small error margin – we’re talking a few millimetres – so the doc is very happy. He reckons the next bit will be faster. I’m not entirely convinced, but it is probably true that the trickiest calculations are over and that the base for the rest of the work is now in place.

You’ll notice a couple of agapanthus flowers (really; you can clearly see one but believe me when I say there are two; and there’s a bud just beginning to show colour). There would normally be more blooms at this time of year, but I think the disruption to their micro-environment might have affected them. Or then again, who knows? They might just be late blooming this year because of the climatic disruption.

I’m finishing ends on a pile of face scrubbies, and am about to start another lot of crocheted string bags. Once again, I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton, and this time I hope I’ll remember to photograph the finished articles before I give them away. I’m much taken by this bag, but might have to pass on it for now, even though she explains very clearly with good visuals. I love the shape of the finished article.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re neither melting nor freezing and that both your DIY and crafting endeavours are bearing fruit 🙂

 

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