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hearts for Valentine’s Day

It’s another yarn bombing exercise. I had a pattern for a crocheted heart but my attempt at it was an absolute disaster. The pattern was fine, I’m sure. The problem lay with my abilities, or lack of them, as a crocheter. I should dedicate more time to improving my crochet skills, I know, but not when I’m on a couple of deadlines.

I thought I could perhaps adapt the pattern to knitted format. Firstly, I did a literal translation. The resulting heart looked enough like a heart that you’d get the idea – I made two, anyway – but I wasn’t in love with the shape. So, using that knitted translation as a base pattern, I made up one of my own with a slightly better length for the width and a rounder top. Dr B liked the result and picked my version as being more like a heart. Good enough for me.

Stuffed heart made to knitted version of crochet pattern. Not a good shape. Flat heart made to my adaptation from crochet pattern. Thumbs up.

Stuffed heart made to knitted version of crochet pattern. Not a good shape. Flat heart made to my adaptation from crochet pattern. Thumbs up.

Today I’ve made another to match “my” heart and two larger hearts (merely a matter of thicker yarn on larger needles). I’ve crocheted the original two together and the first pair made to my pattern, stuffed them with craft fibre and considered them a job well done.

Two sizes of hearts made to adjusted pattern

Two sizes of hearts made to adjusted pattern

I might get the third one done tonight, but there are other tasks that now have higher priority. The hearts will wait. They look all right, though.

With both shapes stuffed, it's easier to see that the adjusted pattern gives a better shape

With both shapes stuffed, it’s easier to see that the adjusted pattern gives a better shape

Because I didn’t want to mess up what I was doing, I actually wrote out the pattern properly and everything. I’d be happy to share if anyone would like it. Otherwise, I’ll just press on with making a few more. I rather heart easy projects, don’t you?

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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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FO and a sort of plan for next year

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations, whatever form they took.

An FO? Yes, just one: the White Caps Cowl, which I was knitting till almost 9 o’clock on Boxing Day morning (luckily for me, it wasn’t needed until lunchtime; but, yes, it was somewhat necessarily, therefore, gifted unblocked). Sewing? A few lavender bags. Other knitting? None. Surviving the end-of-year busy-ness was sufficient achievement. And, as I’ve yet to send cards, I’m not too sure if we have survived. I’m going to call them New Year cards, though. But, you know, we made it through a festival of feasts and visits by friends and family, a birthday, a wedding anniversary, exam results, exploding champagne, a concert or two and lots of everyday stuff that included inordinate amounts of time dedicated to fitness pursuits (no, not me; that was everyone else while I was playing laundry lady).

What can I say about the White Caps Cowl? I adapted it slightly in terms of number of repeats. I think it’s probably a make that would knit to a nicer finish in its recommended yarn but I’m quite taken by the weight of the Patons Sorrento, the hint of glamour it provides with the slightly shimmering aspect of its mixed fibre and the smooth contrast of the Cleckheaton Bamboo. As far as knitting went, the bamboo was much easier on the hands and I was able to make reasonable progress. The variable thickness of the Sorrento slowed me down quite a lot. It hasn’t put me off by any means, as I’ve stocked up my cupboard with enough yarn to make a couple more of the White Caps Cowls throughout the year (it really is good on-the-bus knitting and I love the look of it). I might not use a faux seam with another make; it doesn’t really ring my bells. The photo was taken hurriedly with my phone, prior to wrapping; excuse background (bedcover) and less than ideal lighting.

Flat cowl

Not exciting but looks better in action

One of our visiting friends has put in a couple of knitting requests and I’ll be happy to oblige her with a Villawool Inca L574 hat in a colour scheme to her liking (that will be a reasonably fast knit, even at my pace). I’ve yet to decide on the yarn for that (the Villawool Inca being no longer available) but am fairly sure I could manage it from stash, which you’d have to consider a win. Hardly surprisingly, the really thick winter yarns are somewhat thin on the shelves at this time of year. There will also be a three-colour linen stitch scarf though I have absolutely no intention of making it as long as its predecessor. I understand about long scarves and cold climes, truly I do; but there is a point beyond which the extra length simply gets in the way. I bought yarn for that yesterday at Spotlight. I would like to make one for myself but will wait and see how other things pan out before I make that a firm promise/plan.

I started something akin to a prayer shawl – perhaps a care shawl – for a colleague who has had a rotten year by anyone’s standards. I won’t finish it quickly (the needle size is just on the edge of my comfort zone and I struggle to find a rhythm even with the very easy pattern) but it might be ready for her April birthday. In any case, she’s not expecting it so in some respects I have as much leeway as I need on that one.

The yarn bombing coordinator rang the other day to ask for more contributions: red hearts and lots of roses, not necessarily red, for another yarn bombing project, the previous one in Victoria Square having been hailed as such a success. I’ve already crocheted up a few test roses which will be perfectly acceptable contributions and am looking around for a heart pattern that looks sufficiently heart-like and sufficiently large. I think this one fits the bill. I know where the drop-off point is and I have my dark glasses at the ready so I can ensure my hearts and flowers are there before the due date. You might not be surprised to hear that Dr B and YoungB have somewhat taken this yarn bombing idea and run with it, referring to secret language, pack leaders and cell members as if it were an underground movement. I humour them. At least they’re not objecting!

In sewing news, I’ve repaired YoungB’s Draggins (kevlar-reinforced motorcycling jeans) again, having previously taken up the hem by the amount he requested. Anyone who knows about jeans will understand that much use had seen them sag to a point where the hems were in shreds. This time I cut off the original and new hems and turned them up twice. They might look a shade short were he to wear them with loafers but as that’s unlikely – his motorcycling gear has been carefully chosen to enable him to wear it all day, boots included (though I’d accept that leathers in winter are for on the bike and not much else) – then we reckon that this time they won’t catch on his boots nor drag on the ground. That’s not the sort of drag the brand intends although I’ll be very happy if it’s the only sort this pair of jeans ever encounters.

I still haven’t managed to make a new top for myself or tinkered with my rescued skirt and stripey trousers to create the jacket I’d half-imagined could be made from them, using Portia’s kimono-tee pattern as inspiration (it’s a winner; I’ve already used it to make five tops of varying degrees of respectability). They will happen at some point, I suppose. However, I have received my Pattern Pyramid winnings from Meg and will undoubtedly have something to show you from that; but not just yet. So if you’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement, take this as advance warning. I’m still rather run off my feet and although – o frabjous day! – I have managed to clear the sewing table (nearly, anyway), I have a couple of other urgent tasks that simply have to be done before I can allow myself to be frivolous.

All in all, I think 2013 is going to be just like 2012: full of good intentions, lots of things made that I didn’t really intend to make, other people’s things coming ahead of mine on a regular basis and anything made for myself done terribly last-minute and not terribly well! I do hope that you have a better year in terms of your crafty endeavours, whatever form they take. Cheers, everyone, and happy new year.

 
 

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apparently that was the weekend

Last week was, as you might expect at this time of year, busy with a lot of hearings (quick, must get it done before Christmas) and home has been a bit nuts too. I did, however, make a point of heading down to Vic Sq one lunchtime to check out the yarn bombing. Here’s a link to the City of Adelaide’s Facebook album. No, you can’t see anything of mine in any of the photos but that doesn’t matter. I found my items and they fitted right in with everyone else’s.

WordPress and I are having a bit of a stand-off about photos at present. Mostly I can’t get them to work. Sorry, about that, I’ll keep trying. But in the meantime, that link will show you VR all decked out in special Christmas finery, of which I’m sure she’d approve.

Sunday afternoon when I went out, I found my self thinking (for the first time this season, despite some warm temperatures early) that summer has finally arrived. Given that, I was pleased to have spent a few hours putting away my winter woolies. That required making some new lavender bags. They weren’t fancy, merely a handful of mix tossed into old stockings I’d cut up. I did, however, make a real one for YoungB’s undies drawer because I was well overdue to replace several I’d borrowed.

The annual Toy Run took place on Sunday too, so Dr B and YoungB headed out on their motorbikes for that. Because I then had the house to myself for a while I was able to decorate our Christmas tree. I’m not much good at it, to be quite truthful. I couldn’t honestly say I don’t have an artistic bone in my body because if that were so, I’d never have been much chop as a performer. Simply, my artistry and creativity don’t extend to decorations.

Dr B complimented me for the tree. His take on it is that, if he were in charge, there’d be no tree because he wouldn’t get around to it (not necessarily because he’s closely related to Ebenezer Scrooge). It’s been a decorative couple of weeks, you might say, and I’m now getting a bit desperate about the amount of work I want to get done before all the guests start arriving. Help! Are you having the same dilemmas or are you just one of those really, really organised people? Whichever you consider yourself, good luck with getting all the festive season stuff completed in time.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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dark glasses

I made sure I was wearing my sunnies today when I dropped off my contribution to the Victoria Square yarn bombing. Ideally, I’d like to be able to participate in the placement but I can’t guarantee my availability. Therefore, I delivered my rose and scarf to the cafe in the square. But, you know, it’s graffiti, so I thought I should disguise myself! Just in case.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Knitting

 

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laundering

You remember that blue top I made for Nonno? I asked Dr B today if its recipient regarded it as OK and did he want another? Dr B’s response was that he’d put the top straight in the laundry basket when he delivered it so he didn’t really know whether the fit was good or not, but he thought it should have been. I was a little puzzled by that, I admit, because the fabric had been washed and, you know, I hadn’t been trampling it on the ground or anything. I said as much. Dr B admitted that he’d had an accident with a box of liqueur-soaked cakes and the top was, uh, one of the nicest smelling he’d ever encountered! But, alas, not able to be worn without laundering. Oh. And, yes, please, Nonno would like another. Fine. That can be done. Now that I have the pattern sorted out, you’d think it shouldn’t really take me all that long.

Knitting has been the thing this weekend. I’ve only a few more rows do to and the White Caps Cowl will be finished. I’ve packaged up the crocheted orange rose and the knitted red scarf to take to the yarn bombing coordinator – they’re not large contributions, but every little helps and I would struggle to knit more articles between now and 7 December, which is the deadline; I’m not a fast knitter – then I need to turn my attention to aprons and lavender bags and other Christmas sewing.

I hope you’re making great progress with all your Christmas projects. I usually end up sewing till midnight Christmas Eve – which is really Christmas Day, I know – because I’m not well organised. But I get there. Good luck with your efforts!

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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knitters are everywhere

Rowing parents are a varied bunch. At a recent regatta, two of the mums had their knitting out. Yes, I was one of them. The remarkable part about it was not that we were knitting but the comments we garnered from other mums (no dads commented, I’m not being sexist or elitist), many along the lines of how lucky we were to be able to knit. Knitting is like many skills, easily learnt. Yes, expertise takes time and practice, but there have always been lots of books and nowadays there are online resources to help with that.

The funny stories from other would-be knitters? One – whose jumper made for herself would, she assured us,  have fitted your average horse – had us in stitches (I know, couldn’t resist) imitating her serious husband wondering at which point she hadn’t realised that the sleeves were, ahem, MUCH too long? I had to say she obviously hadn’t knitted a tension square – she admitted that was true! – but who hasn’t had similar experiences sometimes even IF there’s been a tension square? Real garments don’t always behave like tension squares.

I pounced on the other knitting mum to ask if she was participating in the Victoria Square yarn bombing? She knew what yarn bombing was if not that there was a sanctioned plan afoot to bedeck Vic Square for Christmas, but generally she didn’t appear interested. Oh. It can’t just be me, can it? Dr B finds it a nice idea if somewhat nutty. YoungB has me sussed. He knew the moment he read about it in the local paper that I’d be there with my knitting needles (and crochet hook, I feel bound to add).

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Knitting, Rowing

 

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bloomin’ heck

I said I crocheted a giant, orange rose. So I did.

And it only took me an hour to make

IRL, as they say, the colour is much, much more vivid.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Crochet

 

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