Getting Hooked

I crocheted long before I ever picked up the pointy sticks and run back to it’s simplicity every now and then. I can whip something up so quickly and not even have to really think about it. Joining some CALs on Ravelry really got me excited about crochet again.

Looking back over the past month, I’m actually quite surprised at how much has come off my hook:

Dreamcatcher Square

This is the first of 12 pattern squares for a sampler afghan I’m making as part of the 2008 12″ Crochet Block-a-Month CAL. It’s called the Dreamcatcher square and it’s out of Mission Falls 1824 Wool and Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (Black). Each pattern square will be out of a different colour of the Mission Falls with the last round in black. When all 12 squares are done, I plan on knitting them together with black mitred squares (a la Domino Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro). This took maybe 2 hours to do.

[Just for the record – I’m using up a stash ball of the Debbie Bliss before buying more black in the 1824 Wool – it’s black, it’s a blanket, so sue me.]

Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan (21 rows)

This is my Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan so far. I’m making it entirely out of leftover, frogged and donated Lopi/Icelandic Chunky wool using a 6mm hook. Totally retro, warm and feltable if I so choose. It’s also therapy as I am forcing myself to make the stripes as random as possible by changing colours every row – not easy for me so there may be a few stripe patterns occurring intermittently throughout the blanket.

In amongst the hoard of mercerized cotton crochet thread given to me lately by the lovely Fiona there were a couple of strange orphan balls of polyester yarn. The first was a ball of 2″ wide tape or rags (possibly for rug making) in a Harvest Gold colour which I immediately made into a small yarn basket using the biggest hook I could find.

Yarn Caddy Basket Yarn Caddy Basket (Side View)

Ain’t it cute?

The second ball was some rust-coloured Phentex of the “icky, cringe, shudder” variety. Rather than pass it along again to the charity shop from which it came I decided to make it into something useful for Fiona.

Using my favorite ancient crocheted bag pattern (from Women’s Day, December 1972):

Women's Day, December 1972

This is what it looks like so far:

Crocheted Tote Bag - Phentex

Here is one I made a few years back out of cotton string (which I love – I keep my socks in it):

Crocheted Tote Bag - Cotton

January 23rd was my birthday and BadgerDan gave me a new camera (yee!).

New Camera which does not as of yet talk to my laptop (bloody Linux….) but will chat with our server so hopefully there will be a lot more photos on the blog.

I’ve been working on a few projects for the shop:

Disco Lights Purse Disco Lights Purse - Liner

This is Square Cake from the latest Knitty made from Tilli Tomas Disco Lights in “American Beauty” on 3.5mm needles. I made the smaller version and lined it with a striped rayon fabric. Purty hunh? (And look how much is left over!)

Felt Ballerina Slippers FibreTrends Pattern

These are (pre-felting) Felt Ballerina Slippers by FibreTrends (see above right) made out of worsted weight Auraucania Nature Wool in a russet colour (033). As soon as Wendy felts them I’ll post a picture, but you get the idea.

I’m also working on a Luna Moth shawl for the store out of 3 hanks of Tilli Tomas Voile de la Mer “Mermaid” on 3.5mm needles. It’s going to be gorgeous.

Luna Moth Shawl - Photo 1

Okay, I think that’s it for now. Next entry – a sock update and what you can do with second-hand sweaters.

Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 7:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Frog Pond and Other Stories

Lately I’ve been finding myself ripping out and re-starting a number of projects for various reasons.

My Spring Surprise Shawl fought me from the beginning. The KAL began January 1st and caught me unawares without a yarn choice. After rummaging through my laceweight stash, I settled on some Misti Alpaca 2-ply Baby Alpaca in a nice heathered green. I then cast on with some old 3mm “fingering” style (blunted end) aluminum straights – first mistake. Then the yarn started giving me problems – splitting, getting caught on itself, not moving on the needle and generally making a pain of itself. The “halo” from the alpaca was also obscuring the lace pattern. Let me now say that it is an intricate rectangular shawl in the Shetland style that is really well charted and easy to follow – not an issue. Don’t get me wrong – I love this yarn, it just did not want to be made into this shawl and was making the fact quite clear. Undetered, I carried on and finished Clue 1.

Alpaca Spring Surprise Shawl

Hoping that changing to some Addi Turbo circulars would help, I went ahead with Clue 2. I battled with the bloody thing until midnight when I finally conceded defeat and ripped it out. I went through the stash again, deeper this time and came up with a cone of 2-ply cobweb weight mercerized cotton (like for making crocheted doilies) in a caramel/butterscotch tone and began again on 2.5mm needles. Ripping back a second time the next morning, I sized down my needles again to 2mm and am now happy with the result. Okay, so mercerized cotton isn’t the softest thing in the world to make a shawl or stole out of (especially when you originally began with alpaca), but it will make a “jim-dandy” table runner even if I don’t use it as a garment. Halfway through Clue 1 I could sleep soundly again.

Spring Suprise Shawl - take 2

Now almost caught up at the beginning of Clue 3.

Spring Suprise Shawl - Clue 2 Complete

Another project to be ripped back and re-started was my Minimalist Cardigan. I had finished the back but hadn’t gotten back to it. Reason to be taken apart – it was too darn big. Had to go down a pattern size so here we go again – I’m about 4″ into re-knitting the back now. I’m seriously debating giving up and ripping this one back for good.

Minimalist Cardigan - Take 2

Also frogged – my Katmandhu shrug I made a year or two back (a victim of an unfortunate washing incident resulting in the shrug being able to fit a large rhino). There was just no way on earth that I was going to let 5 balls of grey tweed (shade 120) Queensland Katmandhu go to waste – so back into balls they went.

On the brighter side, some stuff got finished in the holiday period:

French Fable Socks - Complete

My French Fable Socks – a little bit of a loose fit on my feet, but okay.

Fawkes Socks (Toe-up)

A pair of Fawkes socks which DO fit very well flew off my needles. These are made from a single hank of Shelridge Farms 3-ply Soft Touch Ultra Handpaint and some solid burgundy fingering wool from the sock yarn stash.

Not my normal colour choice (I don’t generally care for pink), but you see…

Once upon a time, there was a lonely orphaned hank of handpainted sock yarn that had been put up for adoption in the discount bin. Every time that Erin went to work it stared at her and kept reciting over and over the name “Fawkes”. And in response, Erin told it back “No, you’re too pink” and carried on working. Finally, after about 3 weeks of this bantering back and forth, Erin took pity on the poor skein, paid the adoption fee and took it home feeling rather foolish.

Knowing that she would have to knit the socks toe-up, she followed this version of the Fawkes pattern on 2.5mm circulars using a contrast yarn to make it stretch. They came out only a half repeat shorter than the original. Now both the yarn and Erin are living happily ever after together…

…but the yarn is still too pink.

Other things I’ve been up to:

Austermann Abotanicity Sweater

I began working on a sweater pattern from the latest Knitty – “Abotanicity“. I’m making it out of some Austermann Step instead of Trekking XXL (because, frankly, I found 4 balls of it on sale). I really like it so far.

Mystic Waters - Clue 2

I’ve finished Clue 2 on the Mystic Waters shawl – have I mentioned it’s huge?

Neon Madness Socks

And the next socks in the queue, what I’m calling my “Neon Madness” socks. It’s the Madder Ribbed Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush for my KAL group of the same name. I took the opportunity of the “simple” pattern to use up one of the psycho self-striping sock yarns that have found their way into the sock yarn suitcase. It’s Online Supersocke 100 Highland Colour done on 2.5mm circs.

They may not exactly be neon, but certainly have all the subtlety of a Will Farrell movie.

I’ll catch up the rest of what I’ve been working on next post. I tell you – right now I’m not really sure if it’s me trying to keep up the blog or the blog trying to keep up with me!

Published in: on January 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Seeing Stars

Well, it’s a new year and I thought I might start it by giving everyone a free pattern.

PENTACLE DISHCLOTH by Alynxia Designworks

Note: For those non-Pagans out there, simply make the star solid (for a sheriff badge look) and/or remove the outer circle.

Pentacle Dishcloth - 1

I’ve written it as a knitted dishcloth pattern, but feel free to use the chart for whichever craft or project takes your fancy. As it is simply a worsted weight square, it would work equally well for afghans, bags, etc. Be creative!

Materials:

1 50g ball of worsted weight dishcloth cotton (I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in “Jewels” for the one in the picture)

Pair of 5mm needles (or whichever size to get gauge)

Yarn needle (to weave in ends)

Size: Approximately 9″ square.

Gauge: 18 sts/24 rows = 4″ in stockingette st.

Pattern:

Cast on 39 sts.

Work pattern starting with Row 1 of chart reading Right to Left on odd numbered rows (RS) and Left to Right on even numbered rows (WS) ending with Row 39 (RS).

Pentacle Dishcloth Chart

Bind off in pattern. Weave in ends.

Enjoy!

Pentacle Dishcloth - 2

Hoping this pattern brings blessings and a little Magick to your 2008.

Alynxia

Published in: on January 7, 2008 at 10:30 am  Comments (3)  
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