Monday, November 30, 2015

Crocheting With Friends

How do these things get started?  It is rarely my idea.  At least I don't think so.  There are a group of us who get excited about a pattern or "look" and then one person says the magic words and suddenly we have a small group knit/crochet - a - long.

Most recently, it was crochet.  One pattern, different yarns, different thoughts and we were off and running.  The crochet cowl we decided to make is huge.  Humongous.  Very long and wide.  Thus, you will not be surprised to find out that I shortened the thing.  Not in half like another in our motley group because I still wanted it to work doubled and be easy to pull over my head.  But math (with the help of two other number-type people) was done.

Just looking at the width on the pattern was scary, so I nixed repeating rounds and came up with the perfect size for me. 

The thing about the cowl that is most notable is the edging.  What looks like crochet bobbles is better described as closed clam shells.  It was a new stitch for me and I'm thrilled with the result.  Caution:  it takes a long time to work both edges; watch a movie and get a rhythm going.

About the yarn - also new for me.  This is Cascade Roslyn which is a wool and silk.  And I like it.  A lot.  Great for crochet work and I hear that it knits very well.

So, new math skills to reduce size of cowl, a new stitch for bobble edging and a new yarn to love.  No wonder I'm hooked.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Time Off

There is nothing like taking a break to recharge the old enthusiasm for sticks and hooks. 

One last chemo cap for donating was quickly finished and then a big and funky boredom set in.  There was a friend based CAL on the hook.  And the time-out-no-longer-a-rectangle beaded scarf was safely tucked into a bag.  And I was b.o.r.e.d. with knitting and crocheting.

As it happened, she who crochets and has blocking skill, called to say she was at the grocery store and wondered. . . .

"Need any thing?"
"WANT any thing?"
"Food coloring."

I'm calling this colorway Mowing Grass.

PS. I cast on two projects.  
The funk is over.  
Happy, happy, joy, joy. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shawl Blocking Tip

This tip comes to you and me from she who crochets - aka Daughter #1. 

She finished crocheting a new shawl to wear to the recent opening of the Branches Gallery which is the latest venture of The Knitting Tree, LA.  Every one who attended was bedecked in fiber of all forms.  It was glorious.

But I digress.

Check out the two stitch markers.  The shawl has three spines and she who crochets had marked each spine which makes it easy to work the increases without all that counting and worrying.

Her tip is leave the markers in place while blocking.  She wet blocked this wool/cashmere swath and then went to work folding it in half (the center spine marker) and matching up the points of the wings.  The next step was to match the shoulder/arm spines and pin in place - that is the photo.  It was so easy to get those points to be in alignment and make sure that the whole thing was equally blocked.  Folding in half really helps; the markers guarantees precision; and then it takes almost no stress to pin or wire up the remaining edges.

What a great tip! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In There Somewhere

Knitters and crocheters are so generous!  Look at that pile of gifts.  Amazing. 

A six foot table filled with warm scarves, with the occasional hat tossed in for good measure.  You will notice that each one plays around with the red colorway.

Why red?  So glad you asked.

The Riverside Knitting Guild added the Red Scarf Project to a growing list of charitable endeavors.  Now don't go thinking that anything else was short changed.  Oh, NO.  This was in addition to Precious Pals, hats for premature babies, lap robes for vets, toys for the animal shelter and more.

Somewhere in that huge pile is my contribution. 

You can read about the Red Scarf Project over here.  Scroll down for info and links.  It is not too early to raid your stash and find suitable yarn for 2016. 

Monday, November 9, 2015


There comes that point when every artist needs alone time.  Can you say "retreat?"  I'm not talking about going to a retreat with other artsy types and joining forces to enjoy the chosen medium.  I'm talking about going away - A.L.O.N.E.

It might be hiding the the bathroom or a solo picnic or a long walk or whatever works for you, the individual.

Those socks kept staring at me.  Waiting on me.  Mocking me. 

Well, not any more!  I retreated all the way to the courtyard.  Streaming video, an umbrella for shade and the breeze keeping me cool so that I could knit.  And I knit. 

And the socks, now named Stanley, are done.  Nice squishy ribbed all the way like tube socks and friggin' wonderful. 

The specifics:
Indigodragonfly yarn.  Try it.  It is fabulous.

Colorway "It's all fun and games until someone. . . " special from Yarnover Truck.   They always have something exciting.

Pattern - what pattern.  There ain't no pattern.  Make a toe that fits you and then rib until you can't take it any more or your yarn ball, which for the most part was happy pulling from inside and outside so as to work 2@time, finally collapses on itself and flips over into a wad of knotted mess and the only way to save your sanity is to tease out enough yarn to bind off and call it a day.

Postscript.  It took less than two hours to untangle the remains of the yarn.  

Extra Postscript.  My blood pressure has returned to normal.

Monday, November 2, 2015

When The Timeline Is Too Long

This "extra" pair of tube socks is not needed until mid-December. 

And they are not knitting themselves.

Been putzin' on them for months.

And still not done.

Shoulda cast on with only one week to knit.