Archive for the ‘crochet’ Category

Making Monday 2

Wow has it really been a week since I last posted? Whoops. I guess it’s been crazy busy at work so I haven’t had time to do a whole lot of crafting, but I’ve been off work since Friday so I’ve been able to get some stuff done!

I have finished the first of SISC2011 pair number #6 – the socks are 2LuvCrew from last year’s Knit Love Club:

2LuvCrew - First Sock

I’m making mine in the large size on 2.25mm needles – 88 stitches per row means they’re taking a little while – but I love the way the little heart pattern is forming. I also love the Channel-Island Cast On – which gives a little picot edge around the cuff to start from. They should look even better after a good block – I’m about a third of the way down the leg at the moment.

I made Trev some new Tawashi – the original ones I made him over a year ago have gotten really grotty and since they’re his favourites I made him some new ones! They don’t take long and I might whizz up a few more over the next few weeks, so he has a healthy supply.

More Tawashis

If you’ve never used tawashis, I can heartily recommend them. They clean dishes brilliantly – and when you’re done, you just chuck them in the laundry! Clean and eco-friendly.

The patterns I tend to use are below – both free – but the first one requires you to know or be able to understand Japanese crochet symbols and the finishing instructions are a bit fiddly.

Spiral Tawashi
Scrubbie Dots – I tend to make two of these and then slip-stitch them together to make thicker, double-sided tawashi.

Together with knitting on a long-overdue lace scarf (present for the mum-in-law) I have at last finished off some handspun! I started spinning in March (whoops) and finished the plying and skeining yesterday. It also got a bath and has now been safely packed away in the handspun box. Here we go:

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

I spun the singles on my Gripping Yarn Rose in Black Palm:

Camelbunny Silk - WIP

I spun the first quarter/half of it up quite quickly and then stalled. Slowly got the rest of it done, finishing up the singles during the Tour de Fleece this year:

Camelbunny Silk

Camelbunny Silk

Camelbunny Silk

From this I wound a 2-stranded plying ball and began plying it on my Bosworth Maxi Sumac:

Camelbunny Silk - Plying

I’ve ended up with a perfectly balanced yarn – although I’m not too keen on how some of the colours have come out together. It’s very soft and lofty and from 56g of yarn I’ve got about 300m – making a heavy laceweight/light fingering weight yarn.

For next time I’d love to be able to spin a thinner, more consistent yarn. There’s a few little snarls where some yarn has got tangled up too. My problem is getting a little fed up with projects sometimes and just wanting them to be done. Must develop more patience! But here are more finished pics:

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

Hopefully it will look good knitted up! Now to think of a project!


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Tawashi Time

Looking forward to Knit Night tonight – I desperately need to pick up some more yarn and make some more tawashis for the kitchen!

For the last few months we’ve been using the tawashis I posted in an old post (click this linky to read about them and to find out what tawashis actually ARE) and they’ve worked brilliantly! Clean anything off anything, and no matter how grubby they get you can just chuck them in the washing machine and they come out nice and disinfected.

Of course, issues arise when you eat a lot of curry (like we do) and generally just eat a lot (like we do). This means that some of the tawashis have turned a bit yellow over time and are now looking a bit worse for wear after all the washing up.

So tonight, I’m going to grab some brightly coloured acrylic yarn and make some more! There’s a really good super chunky yarn I’ve got in mind to make a larger, sturdier tawashi. Just what we need 🙂

Going to make some more in this style, and hopefully in two colours again too.

Spiral Tawashi

It’s also a good way to make sure I keep crocheting. Haven’t done any for a while as I’m into my knitting but it’s nice to keep both crafts up. Watch this space for pics!

BTW, for some stupid pictures of me and Trev, check out these blog posts from Baa Ram Ewe (Trev pic) and Woolly Wormhead (me pic) about the special event last Thursday.

Oh for more time! And more creative chops! I’d love to be able to design, but unfortunately I have a very analytical brain that just isn’t geared that way. So I’m going to rope Trev into help me 🙂

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A New Home

Well, it’s been 4 days since we moved house and I think we’re pretty much settled in now. A lot of our stuff is in storage, but what we need on a day-to-day basis has moved with us to our house-share.

Our housemate has very kindly given us the largest bedroom for all of our stuff, so I’ve got space for my craft bits and to have some private space to ourselves, which is great. All in all, should be brilliant until the lease ends in a few months and we all go our separate ways. We’ve got a few areas we are thinking of to move onto, so will be fun to do some exploring and see where we want to go.

Been doing our best to keep active, the last few days – it’s very strange going from an area that is totally flat, so a place built on hills – my legs certainly need the exercise and I’ve probably dropped a couple of pounds already – between the walking and cooking proper food again (last 2 weeks was spent living off junk food!). Overall we’re really happy. As mentioned in my last post, there’s a few things I’m unsure about in terms of my new job, but it’s been so long since I started anywhere new, I’m sure most of it is just nerves.

So, since we don’t use a dishwasher any more (although we’ve brought it with us and it’s in storage), I’ve been working on a few things to make washing up by hand more fun, more hygienic and easier.

Enter the tawashi.

Tawashi can be knitted or crocheted – it’s basically the Japanese word for “scrubbing brush”. Some tawashis can be used ta-washi-the-dishes, some can be used as face or body cloths. They’re great because they’re washable – so can be better cleaned than sponges or normal cloths. Plus they just look so cool!

My first attempt didn’t come out too well. It’s 100% aran weight cotton, but Trev’s already earmarked it as a face scrubbie, despite it being wonky. It was made from a Japanese pattern, using charts.

Semi-Circular Tawashi

My next few were a pattern called Scrubbie Dots (check out Rav) made with doubled DK yarn, again using a 5mm hook. Made them in a few different colours of acrylic I had lying around. I have since crocheted the edges of two together using slip stitch, so I have a thicker double sided-scrubbie, but these have come out pretty good:

Scrubbie Dots

Scrubbie Dots

The third pattern is also a Japanese one for a spiral tawashi. My first attempt was rubbish, as I forgot to sc through the back loops only (so the piece has no texture) and then I couldn’t figure out the finishing instructions. So instead of a spiral, I got this:

First attempt at Spiral Tawashi

Um, yeah. Second attempt was a bit better. Thanks to some useful photos on Rav, I was able to work out how to put them together. And I ended up with this little cutie:

Spiral Tawashi

I also added a little loop so we can hang it up:

Spiral Tawashi

Will definitely be making more of these spiral ones. Need to work out a way to make them even bigger for better scrubbage. Tried them out on the washing up this morning and they did really well. Want to get some very bright funky coloured yarn to make super interesting ones.

Also trying to finish off a few more projects this week before I start work. Got a few more bits and pieces to do too, like adjusting addresses and sorting out insurance etc. All takes time… and I already don’t know where the time has gone since Friday! Scary.

Another update hopefully later this week 🙂

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Hourglass Jacket

Whoops it’s been 2 weeks since I blogged. Very bad of me. But whilst I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been entirely idle! I’ve still been spinning and crocheting. I even tried a new bit of knitting which ended disastrously, but more of that in a minute.

I started to swatch for the Hourglass Jacket last Monday and I was able to get gauge, so I cast on. I’m finally using up my Rowan Calmer that I bought ageees ago for making Cupcake with, which then got frogged. I’ve done 6 rows now and am working on the armhole increases.

Here’s some pictures after 4 rows:

Hourglass Jacket

Hourglass Jacket

This will be a nice project to work on during the weekday evenings when I don’t fancy spinning for my Mum’s socks.

The only knitting I’ve done this week was to swatch for Arisaig using my new teeny needles which arrived (thank you Hubster – also for spare cables and other bits and pieces we ordered at the same time) and my Rowan 4-ply yarn. However I have severe issues with picking up my yarn-overs when I go back along a purl row. I need to have a go with chunkier yarn and bigger needles until I get comfortable with it. Grrr.

Speaking of the socks, I finished off spinning the singles for one sock yesterday. I wound both singles in a 2-stranded plying ball and will leave them to rest for a few days before I ply. I don’t know whether to start the other singles now, or wait until I’ve plied the first lot as I only have the one spindle to use.

Also on the spinning front, I’ve been doing a bit of purchasing!

I was browsing Etsy the other day and happened on Spindlefrog’s shop just after she had updated it with Luxury Spinner’s Kits. I snagged one called “Antique”, where the colours are a change from my usual pinks and reds – although they do feature some purple. It’s 6 x 1oz of various luxury fibres. Here’s mine all bundled up and then broken out:

Spindlefrog Luxury Spinners Set

Spindlefrog Luxury Spinners Set

Spindlefrog Luxury Spinners Set

From left to right, I think the fibres are:

  • Mohair
  • Alpaca
  • Camel
  • Angora
  • Cashmere
  • Silk

It’s lovely 🙂 To spin the cashmere and angora properly I need a lighter spindle, so I bought a 12gm Featherweight Bosworth in Canarywood which will hopefully come this week. I bought it from a seller in the UK as Sheila is away at the moment and the exchange rate isn’t really working in my favour! I’ll still get special orders direct, but whilst there’s stock in the UK I should make the most of it.

Unfortunately my Pink Ivory spindle came up a duff. Both blanks they turned were uneven, so they’re going to try again for me in May. So I HAD to buy another spindle as I had the money burning a hole in my pocket.

Because of said hole in pocket, I’ve also recently bought the following from Limegreenjelly on Etsy:

Limegreenjelly - Maybelline

This one is called Maybelline and it’s 103g of 50% merino/50% angora loveliness.

I also bought 2 items in her update last night. I don’t have them here yet, so you’ll just have to have a nose at Jo’s shop listings:

I had to buy Velvet Snow as Trev and I were talking about songs we’d like to turn into fibres and what they would look like. We thought Velvet Snow (after the Kings of Leon song) would be grey with purples/blues in it to symbolise the snow and the velvet. There would also have to be some cashmere to make it feel suitably velvety. Imagine my surprise when Jo told me there was something just like that in this week’s update. So I had to snag it 🙂

Right, we’ll I’m off to watch the F1 and cast on for Odessa – I want a train project to work on and I have nothing at the moment. Plus it’s in cotton, so it’s nice warm weather knitting. We’re having a spell of beautiful weather at the moment.

Ta ta for now 🙂

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Well it’s done 🙂 I finished it on Monday and gave it to Eu-Wen on Tuesday to give to the parents in question.

I know I said I might make this one more than 28 rounds wide, but it got to the point where I couldn’t be bothered. It was taking over an hour to do a single round and I’d had enough of it!

Here it is:

Arsenal Starghan

Arsenal Starghan

Arsenal Starghan

Arsenal Starghan

Arsenal Starghan

Arsenal Starghan

It didn’t lay completely flat in the photos, but it’s since had a blocking and is a bit bigger and more even. It also feels quite soft – surprising since it’s 100% acrylic.

Pretty happy with it! Now onto spinning and knitting 🙂

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Super excited – my first shipment from the Yarn Yard Fibre Club arrived the other day. Unlike a lot of clubs, you don’t sign up for a fixed period. As long as you sign up by the last day of the month, you get a package of 100g-ish fibre the following month. From then on, you just make a payment on the same day each month, and you’ll continue to get fibre until you decide you want to leave!

Natalie’s clubs have been spoken of very highly by a number of people on Ravelry and as she often uses different fibres in the Fibre Club, it’s a great way to get to use some fibres that I wouldn’t normally think of.

Take a gander at the March shipment:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The colour is called Rhododendron, as it’s inspired by the plant outside Natalie’s kitchen window. The fibre is Texel, which is predominantly a breed used for meat, but it also has a usable fleece. The staple length is similar to BFL, but it’s a bit coarser. So whilst not the softest fibre, it would be good for socks, hat, mittens etc…

I actually plan to make socks with this – I love the pink shades in the fibre, but not too keen on the “plant” sections in the green and browns. My Mum however (as I thought), loves it, so I’ll attempt to make her a pair of socks from it.

This weekend I’ve also been working on my baby blanket, and I’m making some good progress:

Arsenal Starghan

I’ve done the first 20 rounds. My last blanket came out at 28 rounds and I think I might make this one a bit bigger. I’m on round 24 at the moment… each round is taking an hour or so – starting to border on tedious! But the sooner I get this done, the sooner I can get back to my other knitting and spinning.

Thanks goodness I have a week off now 🙂

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Been over a week since I blogged! Naughty me. We’ve been very busy the last couple of weeks. After going to London 2 weeks ago, we spent last weekend helping my parents do some painting… which left me too tired on Sunday to do anything other than sleep!

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do any knitting!

On Friday I finished the gloves for my Mum. I took them to her house and finished off the thumbs whilst there, so I could get her to try them on while I was there.

It took me a little while to do the thumbs, but they’ve come out really well:

Mum's Evangeline

Mum's Evangeline

Mum's Evangeline

Made a couple of changes aside from my usual mods. I cast on an extra 4 stitches to allow a bit more room – so they’re a better fit for both me and my Mum who have bigger than normal hands. I also made a conscious effort to knit looser, so these are a bit longer than previous gloves, too – which is great.

For the thumb this time, I picked up total of 20 stitches, did 3 rows of 20, on rows 4 and 5 decreased 2 stitches each, giving me 16. Knit 16 on row 6 and 7, then on rows 8-12 knit 2×2 ribbing.

I then cast on for another Boyfriend hat on Saturday – this one for me! Finished it on Monday – it was my train project so I got plenty done during the commute.

A Hat Fit For Me

This is made from the same Rowan Cashsoft Chunky as Trev’s hat, just in black instead of blues.

I added more length to this one, doing nearly 7 inches before starting the decreases, so it more or less covers my ears. But I could probably have added yet more length quite comfortably.

I made a mess of weaving in the ends of yarn where I had to add in a new ball of yarn – I pulled it too tight and there’s a puckered bit in the hat – but at least it’s towards the back.

I’m a bit meh about the hat to be honest – I don’t think it looks great in just one colour, and it reminds me of the hat I had to wear then they threw me out of a plane. But here’s another pic with it modelled on Trev:

A Hat Fit For Me

Took the opportunity to take another photo of Trev’s hat:

A Hat For For A Husbeast

That’s been it in terms of knitting!

When it comes to crochet, I had a request from a friend to make something for a friend of his who is having a baby in May. I suggested a starghan and asked for favourite colours. The bloke in question is an Arsenal fan, so red and white spring to mind.

So I picked up some more acrylic yarn and started this the weekend before last. Not done much during the week on this – but am hoping to do more this weekend. Making good progress:

Arsenal Starghan

I’ve done 16 rounds so far, and want to do between 28 and 36 rounds to make it a good size. It’s already gotten to the stage where doing a single round takes about 40 minutes… so it’s a good thing the baby isn’t due until May.

Once I’ve gotten this out of the way, I’ll finish off my CPH and then start work on my broomstick lace Hourglass Jacket. It’s funny how I’ve got more knitted stuff in my queue now than crocheted. Still need to start on socks!

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