Nubbie Scrubbie Cloth

Yes, don’t get used to it, but I have another finished object report already.  But first, I have to flash my favorite nub…

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See that one on the left?  That’s the cutest little nub, especially when it’s wagging about a million miles an hour…

Anyway, back to the cloth

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Pattern:  Nubbie Scrubbie.   This is a great, very easy little crocheted cloth.   I need to make another one for the Knight to test-drive… he prefers to use handmade cloths and is HARD on them.  He’s a tough critic, so while I think it looks ideal…

Yarn:  Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Twists in Green Twists.  It was crazy-splitty, but according to Ravelry, I’ve given it high marks before, so maybe it just wasn’t twisted tight enough for this particular crochet project?

Hook:  I did the foundation chain with a size H hook and then the rest of the project with a G.

Verdict:  I think it looks awesome for scrubbing dishes or skin.  We’ll see what the Knight says when I get around to making one for him; this one is destined for someone else.

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Four FOs

I am completely unmotivated to knit (aside from a fascination with the Wendy Knits Shetland Pi Shawl KAL, not that I’ve cast on yet…) but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle.  I’m about 500 pages deep into Pillars of the Earth and I’m wondering why it took me ten years to read it.  It’s right up my alley, aside from the rather graphic rape/sexual stuff.  (Skim, skim, read…  and honestly, some of the building details are blah, blah, blah to me too…)

I’ve also been on a bit of a crocheted cloth tear.  I generally knit a bunch of cloths about this time of year, when it’s too hot to tote wool around, but I’m blaming it on my crochet murder mystery reading and hooking away.

First up is my first granny square, courtesy of Hooked on Murder
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Pattern:  CeeCee’s Granny Square Washcloth, listed in the back of said book.   It was easy enough, especially since I didn’t bother with color changes.

Yarn:  Peaches and Cream’s Peppercorn. 

Hook – J, but if I make this again, I’ll use H.

Verdict:  I’ll try another one of these days…

 

August 2010 008

Project: Lanscape Daisy Cloth.

Pattern:  Daisy Cloth, from Lily’s Bright Idea booklet.  According to Ravelry, this and the Primrose pattern (below) are/were available as a free flyer at Michael’s.  I liked them both a lot!

Yarn:  Sugar ‘n Cream in Landscape.

Hook:  H

Verdict:  I’d make this or the Primrose (below) again in a heartbeat.

August 2010 009

Project:  Peppercorn Primrose

Pattern, hook & verdict: same as above

Yarn:  More of the Peaches & Cream Peppercorn

August 2010 011

Project:  Carefree Mod Flower Cloth

Pattern:  Mod Flower Dishcloth, also from Bright Ideas.  I’m not sure there isn’t an error or two, or maybe I was just too tired when I was doing this one, but…  It also took FOUR tries to get the center right.  I’m guessing it was me there too, because I really am a crochet novice.

Yarn:  Red Heart’s Carefree Cotton.  I think the yarn might have been part of the problem with the funky, inability to get square results.  There’s a lot of acrylic in with the blend, and while that makes it soft to work with, evidently it’s too pliable for this pattern.  I think this yarn would be better suited for clothing.

Hook:  I used the Addi H on this one.  I really liked the slightly bulkier grip.

Verdict:  Meh.  I might have to try it again with a truly utilitarian cotton.

What did you do over the weekend?

More Catch-Up

… and another contest!  I love all the contests going on right now.  Do stop in at Nichole’s blog and help me win Edie Eckman’s new book.  Edie’s kinda’ local, and I was lucky enough to take a couple of her classes a couple of years ago.  I credit her with getting me past the “I CAN crochet but I’m not really a crocheter” to the “Why yes, I DO crochet” stage.   I have most of Edie’s other books and a pamphlet or two as well, but her Motif crochet book is my go-to crochet resource.  I am pretty sure this will be my new edging resource too.

Oh – and this time, DO tell Nichole I sent you, please?  (And if I can’t win, I hope you do… I’m trying to learn to say that and mean it.)

A bit ago, there was a contest on Eternal Arts & Crafts, and I won one of the prizes.  I got to select an Etsy vendor, for whom I then received a gift certificate.  That lovely BFL is what came to live with me, from Greenwood Fiberworks.  I actually got two braids, because…  I could.   I just love a pretty little package, don’t you?  Thank you for the contest and the prize, Eternal!

So, that brings us up to date, I think.  Morning is almost over here and I haven’t heard from wondervet, so after lunch, I’ll have to call back and be a pest.  I hate to call and call, but I want to talk to her about Sissy.

I think normal might be creeping back into my life!

KnitCroBlo #2

An Inspirational Pattern

Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

Just see my Ravelry queue and favorites.   No?

Seriously, the pattern I most want to make time for is Julia Mueller’s Cheesehands and/or Cheesehead.  Double knitting AND color work.  I’ve never tried double knitting, but color work is definitely something I need to practice  more.  (Couldn’t find a non-copyrighted photo to share, but here’s a Flickr link…)

photo from Lion Brand

I also want to crochet a pair of socks, just because.   I don’t know that I have the skills to do such, but that’s the whole point of this post, right?! 

Have any of you crocheted socks?  If so, what pattern did you use?  Would you recommend it to a very novice crocheter?  Are the comfortable?

There now.  All caught up for the time being.   I do have other things to share this week, so there will either be some double posting or some really crazy posts that jump all over the place. 

Before I forget again, I do want to invite all of the spinners or anyone interested in spinning to Stony Mountain Fibers’ spin-in on June 13th.

Star Ripple

Or, a few hours equals a lap blanket…

Project:  Lap Blanket 

This will head west tomorrow for Dawn’s charity lap blanket challenge.  There’s still time, so please consider cranking out a lap blanket for someone at Dawn’s grandmother’s nursing home.  If a lap blanket doesn’t fit into your yarn plans right now, I’m betting that the nursing home nearest you would gladly take donations most any time. 

Pattern:  Fox’s Beginner Round Ripple   I’ve wanted to make a ripple blanket for a while, basically since I got comfortable with crochet.  For whatever reason, I find crocheting in the round more fun than hooking flat, row after row.  This was a great little pattern, and really, if you can chain and double crochet, you can make one of your own.

If you don’t know how to do the magic adjustable ring, you are really missing out.   I’m lucky that I learned that little trick in my first crochet workshop, and maybe it’s why I love to crochet in the round.

Of course EVERYONE wants a shot of me with the blanket!

Yarn:  Let’s just say three different acrylics, okay?  I honestly don’t even know what the lilac is.  I’m going to guess Red Heart, but I don’t know.  It was part of a bag of yarn a former employee’s girlfriend (got that?) gave me.  I don’t love knitting with acrylics, but I can tell you that Caron’s One Pound (pink)  is less offensive than the Lion Brand Pound of Love (yellow) and the very coarse lilac.

Hook:  #I, Boye, of course.

Verdict:  Don’t be surprised to see this one again.  Once you get past the “starter doily” in the center,  it’s rapid-fire double crochet.   Being crochet, it’s a little heavy for a baby blanket (like I would know!), but I think it’ll make a sturdy, warm lap blanket.  I hope it makes some sweet lady very happy. 

That was what I did yesterday.  I also spun a bit, but it’s going to be a long time before I have a finished yarn to show you.  Today, I washed and blocked three older projects, but we’ll talk about them later in the week.  Now, I’m going to knit on the other blanket that I’ve ignored most of the week.  How did your weekend shape up?

Every Everyday?

I was sitting here, trying to ignore the Knight and Neighbor Guy who are in the office today, when I realized I still owed you a finished object report.  Not bad… the object isn’t a week off the needles yet, right?

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I'm beautiful and so is my new sweater

Project:  Gretchen’s Everyday Turtleneck

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How I love this intense, beautiful girl!

Pattern:  The Everyday Turtleneck (duh?) from Knitting for Dogs.   I did several modifications, so I’m going to list them, rather than sticking with a paragraph, where they’ll all run together.

  • This was my first project with steeks.  I was DELIGHTED to start small, with the leg holes being the steeks.  They were far too big though, so once I got my model to quit flying around the house in her new frock, I single crocheted THREE rounds to get a size that’s good for my girl.  There’s no way I could have picked up and knitted sleeves according to the directions; I would have had to pick up about a third more stitches and then decrease, and the sleeves would have been too big at the shoulder and sloppy.  Not good for a little, active girl.
  • As several other Ravelers noted, I saw no reason to knit this flat and then seam, right up the chest.  So, I knitted it in the round.
  • Again, read those notes other Ravelers write!  Likewise, I knew my bouncy dog wouldn’t want a “flowy” sweater.  I didn’t like the look of the ribbed edge on the back, so I opted for an i-cord bind-off.  It was tedious, but it snugs the bottom edge right up to her belly, which is just what we wanted.
  • NOTE:  I did a regular bind-off and then tried the crab stitch.  It wasn’t “strong” enough to keep the miles of stockinette from rolling, just so you know.
  • I knitted a size small and then knitted to 10 inches before I bound off, because as a little girl-dog, Gretchen needs warmth, not a bare belly.

I orginally rated this pattern with two stars, because of all the changes I had to make, but Gretchen REALLY loves this sweater and is quite comfortable in it, so evidently, the basic recipe was a great start.

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Do note that the girl is guarding *HER* project!

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun, colorway #7733.  (I know.  Isn’t THAT helpful!?)  I also wasn’t crazy about the yarn, but see above.  Gretchen loves the sweater, loves wearing it, the yarn is easy-care, so it’s a great fit for this project.  That it doesn’t feel like buttah sliding through my fingers while I knit isn’t important here.

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Note the button hole at her neck so I can use it when she goes to work, with the leash

Needles:  #8 Bryspun dpns.  After this project, I gave in and bought #8, 16 inch circs. 

Hook:  Boye G.

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Verdict:   As much as she likes it, I suppose if ever it wears out, I’ll have to make another.   I still want to make her a stranded sweater, so I’ll be looking for patterns with colorwork AND a turleneck.

So… can anyone tell me if dogs really are colorblind?  I’m wondering, because Gretchen seems to “see” PANK and assumes (generally, correctly) that anything I’m knitting with PANK yarn must be hers.   She did it with her dress, and again (as you can see in the yarn photo) with this project, long before I  tried it on her the first time.

Lace ‘n Loot

Anitas Grace Shawl

Anita's Grace Shawl

Actually, we’ll start with the loot.  Grace, the  sweet, speedy, wonder lace knitter, has added one of her glorious shawlettes to the prize pool.  (NOT the shawl pictured above – that’s just so you can see her lovely lace!) Thank you, Grace for your continued generosity! 

Glass jewels by TG Designs

Glass jewels by TG Designs

But wait!  There’s more!  Christina donated another special prize.   T G Designs is another pair of talented sisters cranking out beautiful, functional art.  In fact, I have my earrings in at the moment…  The pendant will feature a gold bail, so add your own gold necklace, and you’ll have a snazzy fall look!

I think that covers all of the prizes now.  You’ll have to peruse a few posts to find everything, but wowza!   I really do have some talented, generous friends.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, the vendor/donors are also eligible to win prizes other than their own.    There’s plenty here for non-knitters, so rest assured, I’ll assign prizes according to your interests, with a lot of help from Excel and the random  number generator.

Now, how ’bout that finished object report?

This is the shawl I made for Hope and her parents.   No, it’s not pink, as I’m sure Hope will note, but the Knight lobbied hard for a not too light (for easier care) and not too girly (out of respect for the dad, who would hunker down under a baby pink wrap to make his daughter happy) wrap, so… 

Pattern:  Homespun Shawl is a VERY simple feather and fan stole/rectangle.  It’s just four simple rows, and while I don’t memorize patterns as quickly as some, truly, one look was all it took for this one.  It’s as straight-forward as they come, and I think it would be a great first lace project, as long as you have the will to slog through miles of the same four rows. 

My final measurements, without any real blocking, were 19″ x 53″, right in line with what’s listed on the pattern.

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky.  My only complaint is that the yarn doesn’t have a colorway name on it.  (Don’t bother telling me if there’s a website that lists the numbers and gives an actual name; it’s one of my hang-ups.  I’d like my yarn to have a colorway name, not a number, right there on the band.)  It’s a shame it’s so pricey, because it’s a great machine wash, dry flat yarn.  Thank goodness for Little Knits and their sales, because that’s where all of my Debbie Bliss yarn has come from. 

I’m calling the colorway Mermaid, because Hope likes mermaids.  Take that DB and your nameless ball bands!  I used 8 balls, with just enough of the last one left over to save for repairs.

Needles:  Knitpicks Options, US #11, 24″ cord, metal tips.  No failure here, I’m happy to say.  I don’t want to jinx myself, but maybe I’ve finally gotten all of the early edition cords that come apart out of my kit.

Crab stitch border

Crab stitch border

Hook:  “What?!” you say?  Yep.  Lookie!  I successfully crab stitched on both short ends.  I might go back and do that on Fredfoot too, since the bottom edge rolls just the tiniest bit…

Anyway, if you don’t know by now, I use nothing but Boye hooks, and this was size J.

The crab stitch is also called reverse single crochet.   While I learned it at a Guild meeting this summer, I did find a nice You Tube video to refresh my memory.  I think that if you can single crochet, you can do this lovely, twistedropelooking edge.

Verdict:  Oh yeah.  I’ll be cranking out more of these, especially if I can find more of this Cashmerino Chunky on sale.   It’s a great prayer shawl, because I don’t think I swore once while I was knitting it, or even while I was crab stitchin’.  There’s nothing but love, hope and prayers in there, aside from the ever-present dog hair that is my signature touch to everything that comes from my hands, heart and home.