Thursday, December 27, 2012

Shark attack!

My friend Sheila likes to deep-sea dive, and I enjoy making her shark-related things for Christmas and her birthday (which are five days apart).

I don't have photos of this little shark pouch in progress because it came together so quickly, and it involved sewing AND a zipper, and I knew if I stopped to take photos I'd lose my momentum and never get back to it.

The body and tail are worked in one piece, and the fins are worked separately and then sewn on.
He doesn't look all that vicious.
Until he opens his apex predator jaws!
I went to my favorite high-end chocolate store and got some interesting bars. Pop rocks!
Mr. Shark chowed down. I hope the chocolate made it to its destination before being totally digested.
Scary things I did for this project: I accidentally bought a 22" zipper instead of a 7", so I figured out how to cut it to the right size. I then sewed those felt teeth onto the zipper and sewed the zipper into the mouth opening. Badly.

I have encouraged my friend, who is a quilter of the highest caliber, to feel free to rip out the zipper and reinsert it properly because: shame.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hell on needles

I love bamboo needles. They do not love me.

These are pieces of one needle that sheered off yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I got a splinter from this same needle. I am contemplating buying some replacements, but I'm 18 pattern repeats of 24 done on the pink scarf, so I'm not sure it's really worth it.
This is the sad and tragic state of said needle.
So, to buy new needles, to sand this needle into submission, or to just keep calm and carry on?

Monday, November 12, 2012

More than halfway done

The pink scarf is now loveseat-sized.

Looking good!
I managed to mess up one row in a big way. The Husband was making a racket while I was concentrating on counting, and it threw me completely off, so I somehow ended up with 52 stitches instead of 49 at the end of that row. I fixed it in the next row. You'd think that after 15 years of me giving him the Stinkeye every time he talks to me while I'm hunched over a pattern he would finally LEARN. But no.


I also managed to get a huge sliver in my thumb from the bamboo needle. I'm surprised it's taken this long to happen.

Monday, October 29, 2012

About a third done

A long weekend at the cabin, with crappy pre-hurricane weather, led to me finishing 8 of 23 pattern repeats on the scarf. I'm sad to say that one row ended up with 50 stitches instead of 49, but I somehow managed to get it back on track on the next row.

I love this pattern.
And the yarn ain't too shabby either.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Am I done?

I finished two rows of what I've been thinking of as the thread runner. I can't decide if I'm done or if I should make a third row.

On the one hand, once it's blocked it'll be wider and more runner-y. To the left there? All the thread that's left over. That's some good usage of materials right there.
On the other hand, a third row would highlight that nice diamond pattern better. What to do??
While I'm ponder this Very Important Question, a friend saw me wearing the green skinny scarf and asked me to make one for her, but in pink, and longer. The green skinny scarf used up every available inch of yarn so I consulted with the lovely ladies at my favorite yarn store to come up with a suitable substitute. After much discussion, we decided that this delicious hand-dyed yarn would do the trick.

It's slightly thicker than the all-silk yarn of the green scarf, and it's a silk/merino blend. I'm using size 6 needles, which, it turns out, are really comfortable and easy for me to work with (the green one used size 4).
So after a weekend of alternating between knitting two rows and reading a chapter of my book, I have the bottom edging and one pattern repeat done. It's not as delicate as the silk, but I think it'll block nicely and should ... SHOULD ... produce a longer scarf.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Slow but steady

This is what happens when I'm busy doing other stuff. The crochet falls behind! It doesn't help that these motifs take, I would guess, 3 hours to make (I have yet to make one from start to finish without putting it down a million times).

But there's some progress.

And it's pretty.
I'm looking forward to what it looks like after it's been blocked. That's quite some distance in the future, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Turned a corner

I've been plugging away at the thread motifs. I got 14 motifs out of one skein of thread, and then discovered that I had another skein lurking in the back of the stash, so I started on row two. I'm still thinking this will be a runner for my nonexistent table.

It's long! I couldn't get the whole thing to fit in the shot.
Close-up shot. I think this will be lovely after blocking.

In other news: I'm starting to feel the Call of the Loom. It must be that Fall is around the corner. I've been neglecting all my looms for way too long.

Monday, July 30, 2012

More motifs

Despite the fact that I've been dealing with a major remodel, and now no AC in the middle of summer, I've managed to still do some crocheting. It's a sanity saver!

I had a hard time getting a good photo of all the motifs in a row. I think I have 9 or 10 of them done.
Here's an ok closeup.

Monday, July 09, 2012

I made something

My self-imposed crafting exile is coming to an end. But it was so worth it. I've been getting really antsy to get my hands on a hook and some thread, so I unearthed the many, many books of patterns that I now have, and found this one, from 1961. I just happened to have some size 30 thread and a size 10 steel hook, and I was also able to FIND both of those items, so I happily crocheted away the weekend and watched the Wimbledon finals while it sizzled to 106 outside.

The pattern. Of course I was drawn to a tablecloth pattern, even though I do not own a table. Maybe I'll just make a runner. I don't know this early on.
Motif #1.
Motif #2. Join as you go!
Motif #3. These take a good long while to finish, but that should change once I memorize the pattern.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Checking in briefly

I haven't done anything craftwise in a couple of weeks because I've been a little distracted.

This weekend I managed three whole rows of the pesky fuzzy scarf. It's not easy and I might flee to a new thread project for a while during the chaos that is June.

I have like 15 rows done on this thing. Gah!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Done at last!

I had the great benefit of being home a couple of days last week while some workers came in to turn my bathroom from a tragic pile of squalor into a gorgeous sleek beauty of a room, and I also didn't have much going on at work, so I was able to power through and get the skinny silk scarf done!

I was a little concerned because there's no binding off in this pattern. I had to store the stitches on a dpn while I worked on the other end piece. Luckily no stitches fell off.
Then I knitted up the second end piece.
And then I grafted the two pieces together! I really took my time with this because kitchener stitch is the bane of my very existence. I'd do a couple of stitches and then walk away for a while. Worked out fine in the end, I'm happy to say.
And finally I was able to block. I'm so happy I have wire rods, which I threaded down the sides. I'm also happy for heavy-duty t-pins, because the little flimsy push pins I also have just were not doing the trick. I stretched the holy hell out of this thing.
But that's how we get from this ...
To this!
It was still slightly damp this morning, so I haven't taken the pins out yet, and I may block it again because it's not totally uniform, but either way at some point soon I will post a pic of this thing being worn by me.
I'm really rather pleased with myself.

Now I need to work up the courage to get back to this:

Monday, May 07, 2012

An unexpected gift

Back in December 2010 (I can't believe it was that long ago) I finished a thread tablecloth that I'd been working on for, literally, years. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it because, naturally, I don't have a table. Not long after I finished it we got some good news that an old family friend had beaten back Demon Cancer and was also about to celebrate a Very Big Birthday, so I packed up the tablecloth and sent it along to her. I have it on good authority that the tablecloth was well received.

Last week I got an amazing and unexpected gift in the mail as a direct result of that tablecloth gift. Another friend of my mother's had gotten wind of the tablecloth gift. She is a long-time crafter who, unfortunately, can no longer hold a hook, and who didn't have anyone to pass along her trove of books to. So she sent them to me!

Here's part of the letter that was enclosed in the box.
Some thread, some squares for a bedspread, and the bedspread pattern.
And all these books. Just look at them! Some are quite old.
I can't wait to leaf through them and see what's in my future.
The best part is that this woman is also clearly a huge fan of thread and doilies.

So there you have it. An amazing gift from a very generous woman. It has left me wondering though: who will I gift all my books and stash and hooks and needles and looms to when I can't hold a hook anymore??

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Lazy days

I have been unabashedly lazy the last couple of weeks. Not a stitch was made! And then this past Sunday I was faced with some much coveted Alone Time and got another five repeats of the scarf done. So now we're up to 15 of 23 or 24.

Becoming longish.
And still really curly.
And I still don't have the pattern memorized.