Honeycomb as a Wedding Presie (crochet FO)

14 Jul

Someone might remember I like to make wedding presents instead of buying something. Not because I’m a cheapskate, but because I want to make something that’s sort of heirloom-esque for the couple. (Also, I don’t want to go to a store and purchase something that will only get thrown out or replaced for a better model.)

Wedding white table runner(Also, I don’t want to go to a store and get something they will eventually through out because it breaks.)

So, for one of my gals I made this Hexagon table runner by Marinke Slump. You might remember the Hexipuff blanket (that for some reason was all the rage for a few years, but I wasn’t going to get suckered into making 800 tiny little puffs) but this takes hexagons and makes the project much more manageable.

I took my sweet time on this project and didn’t hate it. Tucking a few dozen tails as I worked encouraged me to stop when I got tired and not think evil thoughts. Which is good because no one wants to give a wedding present with bad juju literally sewn in.

Sewing hexagons together. Two down, 18 to go...

Sewing hexagons together. Two down, 18 to go…

Instead of doing the single crochet stitch to sew the hexagons together I used a mattress stitch to make the runner more flush. I did this by facing two hexagons wrong-side touching and stitched through the edging.

The table runner border was very easy to do as long as you followed along with the directions and didn’t over think it. For your knowledge as you’re making this, the boarder adds about 2 inches. This was more than I was expecting, but didn’t detract from the final result. If you want a narrower edge, I suggest doing a double crochet or even a single (but know you will have to adjust how you handle the “valley” between hexagons).

This pattern essentially comes in three parts:

1. How to make a magic circle (best tutorial I’ve seen on it, yet)

2. How to make a hexagon

3. How to make a hexagon table runner (by putting everything together and making a border)

This takes some time but was an enjoyable project.

Back to my sequin yarn project – yes, sequins,
-Stacy

Monster in my closet

13 Jul

Recently, I was putting away my winter scarves — it was in the 50’s until late May, don’t judge me — in my neck accessory duster bag (doesn’t everyone have one of these?). I noticed one of my neck scarves had something wrong with it — a little bit bigger hole than the rest of it. The hole was also in a spot where there wasn’t a lace pattern… SOMETHING HAD RIPPED A HOLE IN MY BEADED SCARF!!!

The damage

The damage

I couldn’t believe it, my first fear was the dread Moth (man. You can’t name a monster and not make it cooler). I quickly looked at everything else and didn’t see any other holes. So my fears were allayed until I realized, “I beaded hundreds of individual stitches and it took me four seasons of ‘Tutors’ and several hours on a train to make this.” I spent a lot of time making this Kisseis scarf with Madelinetosh lace as my first beaded project. Sigh*

A closer look at the heart break.

A closer look at the heart break.

Maybe this is what I get from yarn karma by being all cavalier about frogging. Here I was undoing a different neck scarf because I wasn’t satisfied with an end product. Now I have a hard worked, albeit rarely worn, piece of creative brilliance that will have to painstakingly be undone.

I’m really glad I have a way of hiding it in the bottom of my closet to deny what happened. But if I’m really truthful with myself, part of the reason I hardly wore it was because, I didn’t like how I modified the pattern. I wanted a wider, narrower scarf with more of the lace edge and less of the stem; but to get as many stitches as I wanted I ended up doubling the size of the “stem”. It was beautiful but not what I envisioned.

Maybe this is what the yarn karma was really doing – if I’m going to take a stance on one piece, I needed to do it for all of the so-so finishes. I really hope there aren’t more denial pieces hiding in my closest…

Owning up to my knew mindset and it’s consequences,
-Stacy C.

Sometimes, you Just Have to Start Over

19 Apr

The title is so froth with possibilities. But I’m going to focus on one (maybe two).

As you can tell, the last couple of days with my blog have been a little weird. I decided to scroll back to a basic domain and presence here to refocus what I want to share and how I want to create. I want to be more intentional.

The last year has been one full of change, experience and long to-do lists. I’m grateful for the shift in my life, it’s much needed and eye opening. Because of new life demands, this means my creative endeavors must be more focused – which I think will be a good thing. It means deciding what’s important enough to spend my time on and not just another project to keep me busy. Before, I wanted to make everything that came to my mind and share it with you. Not so much now. I still get these brain worms that won’t go away. But instead of just tackling them I think, step-back and tinker. I hope you like the new direction.

A pile of once was.

A pile of once was.

Which brings me to my first share: complete projected frogging (You know, rip the whole thing out? As in countless hours are all wound up in a big ‘ol pile?!). It’s not as horrible as it reads. Yes, from me, the one who got over perfectionist tendencies to accept a project for the beauty they are without being exact to the pattern. But have you ever been 95% done and just didn’t like the way it looked? I used to finish and be proud of the end result, which is still a good thing. But there are times I want to enjoy my projects more, not just live with it when I know I could do better. I finally did that the other day – twice.

Yep, I was making the Triangle Cowl 2.0 and was on the finishing row, 1/4 of the way done and told myself, “Nope, those 15 mistakes are gross, you can do better. Don’t just finish for finishing’s sake.” Undone it went. Then, I was tinkering with a table runner design idea. It was looking ugly and I was not gonna persevere. This was all within a couple of days of each other. And oddly enough, I wasn’t freaking out about it. Sometimes the process and refining a skill is more than upping the number of completed objects in your Ravelry project page.

 

You Want me to Cast on WHAT?! (Test of Counting That High)

10 Jan

Casting on has is an art all it’s own. There are books dedicated to just this technique alone and depending on what you’re making/doing, you should know at least five at all times.

I dislike trying to use long-tail cast on for large projects (and I try to use other methods because this one is a little ugly for an edge). I know the whole trick about leaving a tail, wrapping the yarn, counting the wraps, then multiplying that length of yarn to the number I need. But you know what? It doesn’t always work. There, I wrote it! I find that method is a better measurement then eyeballing the amount of yarn you need, but I either end up with WAY too much yarn (usually the bigger the needs, the more yarn) or just missed the mark (converse issue of the former).

I figured out why this happens, it depends on how tightly you wind the yarn around the need and how tightly you actually make the cast on stitch. See how this doesn’t work out so well? Wind too tight, but cast on even a little loosely, there goes your measurement.

Also, don’t use the backwards loop cast on. Why? Because of the structure of the stitch when cast on (super stretchy), you end up with WAY too much yarn. This method is best for a handful of stitches, not for 100+.

I like to use the lace cast on method (and I stick to this one when I’m using smaller needles, but not necessarily lace. Like for a shawl, scarf, or cowl). Eunny Jang has an AWESOME page about this lace cast ons and I’m really linking it here for me to remember where the heck it is (oh, yeah, and you too. Sharing and all that).

But remember, when you have a project, look up a few cast on methods for the type of project you’re doing and chose accordingly. Not all projects need a long tail.

Working my crafty, old lady Friday night (Judge me, I dare you), -Stacy C

Coming to a Close (one about love and hurt)

11 Aug
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Bobby Brown Berens Cervantes

I’ve put off this post for a while because I’m trying to figure out a way to cope – or not, so I don’t have to think about it. This past summer has been one of the most amazing, crazy, whirl-wind summers of my life. It has been one of moving to my dream city, starting a new job, going on an international adventure and becoming a whole new person. But I also came to the realization that one of my dogs, Bobby Brown Berens (I didn’t name him) Cervantes, my “special needs” dude, needs to be put down.

You see, he didn’t start out as my dog. Even though I was there on the day of his adoption he originally belonged to someone else who, at the time, was very important to my life. I was there when it became evident this guy was “not normal” freaking out with strangers and really never able to relax. I coached, encouraged and even became an animal behavior intern (a huge part because of him) to help this little guy understand how to live an abuse-free life. I dog-sat, fostered, nursed, played, hugged, loved and babied him to a better life. I gave encouragement when it became evident he couldn’t live life without medicinal assistance on a daily basis. He was my fur kid in every way.

When I finally found better employment, it was ‘cross country and one of the hardest things was leaving him. I had him almost full-time for a year by that point because his “real” parent was in grad school and couldn’t give Bobby the day-to-day attention he necessitated while adjusting to a rigorous schedule. I still remember pulling away from the apartment and the look he gave me in his parent’s arms when I pulled away to make my 1,700 mile trek to a new life. My eyes still fill with tears at this memory.

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Back together. Jaci doesn’t mind, honest.

Fast forward nine months after I leave him in Texas. I got updates Bobby wasn’t himself, he wasn’t really walking right, seemed lethargic, etc. After a vet visit it was advised he see a specialist because a normal course of action never got him back 100%. Bobby’s parent couldn’t handle this turn of events with other life issues and wanted to give him up to a shelter. Knowing what would happen because I worked in one there was no question – Bobby would live with me. I readily spent money to fly him out to get “Bobs” back. He didn’t seem so bad, just not completely himself. Things rapidly changed and I ended up needing to take him to see multiple specialists this past year. Second opinions, Orthopedic, Neurologists, vet interns, there were a number of people. Things worked alright for a while, but each time he never got as better.

Due to all the craziness that surrounded my last job, I was able to keep up the status quo until we moved cross states to a new place. After the whirlwind of our move, I went on vacation for several days and this was the first time in seven months I left Bobby. When I came back and heard how he did and saw him, really saw the new him, my heart hurt. Over the next week it became evident Bobby was no longer Bobby but a shell of himself. He doesn’t walk anymore but army crawls to get where he wants to be – if he has the energy. I carry him everywhere and basic bodily actions are a feat we celebrate, he routinely chokes and gags swallowing, it’s a struggle to get him to eat and the list goes on. We couldn’t keep living like this, so I made the worst call of my life and set up the appointment for end-of-life consultation.

After going over all of his records and seeing him, the toughest decision of my life came down to a date: August 14, 2013. This is the day I go back to the vet and say good-bye. This is the day all of the love, effort, history and memories comes to. Some people think, “It’s just a dog! Sweet goodness, GET OVER IT!” But if you made it this far in the story, you can see every day was an effort of love, hope and renewal. Not just for this dog who got shafted from the first day of life until he was 1 year-old, but for me. This dog has been with me, appreciated and loved me more than most humans have for the past five years. Medically, it’s not realistic I will have kids; but I’ve loved and cared for my dogs in a way that’s honoring to God in looking out for those weaker than us.

He did get to enjoy some of my knitted items

He did get to enjoy some of my knitted items.

In the midst of all this, I’m riddled with guilt. Obviously because of what I’ve decided needs to be done but also because I never got around to designing the ultimate knitted “Bobby Hoodie.” He’s feels safe and protected wearing a dog hoodie to the point he actually relaxes and “vegges out”. I never could find one that fit him just right. I bought yarn, researched patterns, have part of one created and I planned on making him the perfect one it just never materialized. I felt bad (and still do), but I chose to live in the moments with him and laugh at all the crazy situations this dog still does to this very day. Like falling off the bed this morning: He flops around trying to get comfortable and got a little too close to the edge. I warned him and he just looked over at me in his big-eyed, clueless way. He must have forgotten where he was on the bed because not a minute later he leaned back to lay down and “ninja spun” off. Totally his fault how this happened but after his swan dive the look he gave when he shook it off trying to figuring out the dynamics of gravity cracked me up.

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Those eyes say it all.

I know this is a long post but it’s my way of saying “good-bye” to Bobby and encouraging others not to worry about what you didn’t do, make or create as long as you spent time with the one you loved. The memories of giving your all and being there is something that goes beyond a hand-knit sweater. Don’t sweat the yarn but cry at the laughs and good times.

Still creating, but not missing the important parts of life,

-Stacy C.

A Yarn Refresher of Sorts

30 Jun

This has been quite a month. One would think after all the moving that I would have a down month – psych!

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What would be a travel trip without some yarn bombing?

Though the highlight of my June were the four days and three nights I spent in Bermuda! It was seriously life-changing. I went on my own because none of my friends could get their calendars to sync a good time when we could go. I decided I wouldn’t let something like that keep me from a tropical holiday. BEST IDEA EVER!

I had such a fun time meeting people, hanging out with locals and enjoying the beauty. But I also learned a lot about myself. The biggest thing was that I used my crafting as an excuse not to go out and do more adventurous things. That might read really weird, but when I thought about it more, it made sense.

The only people I hung out with were from my church or were part of a craft group. There’s nothing wrong with that, truly, but it wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do with my free time but what I thought I should be doing. I’ve always tried to live my life as a “good” person and I thought part of that meant living in this box. I realized good people can have fun dancing, go on adventures, not worry about every little action and just have FUN!

I’m still doing my yarn work but I’m not as focused on it. It occurred to me that part of the reason I was so “obsessed” was I was trying to keep my anxiety in check. Not worried anxiety, it turns out, but antsiness because I was telling myself I was having fun and that wasn’t always the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I love knitting and crochet and how my mind can work on a project and make a beautiful creation, but it doesn’t need to be such an intentional distraction. I think when we love, or think we love, something it’s good to take a step back and analyze why we are so dedicated. Yarn crafting will always be a part of my life, just not as busy work anymore.

Yarn on,
-Stacy C

Moving and the Yarn Blues

31 May

Well, Dear Reader(s, in my dreams),

The last few weeks have been a heck of a ride! Since my last post, I was offered, accepted, packed up, moved two states (and a district) south, unloaded my stuff and started a new job!

If you’re the least bit confused, don’t be. Things at my last job came to this weird stand still in late March. In mid-April, I started a job interview process. It was kind of crazy how everything happened and how quickly they needed me. I’m happy I took the job and I’m living in a place I’ve wanted to for a long time.

A little over half done. Clearly, I still have work to do.

A little over half done. Clearly, I still have work to do.

The only thing about this move is that my knitting time is drastically cut into. My commute is an extra 1.5 hrs. Not bad considering it’s all on public transportation. Problem is, I’m getting used to taking said public transportation. I’m not used to all the travel and still have to pay attention to make sure I get off in a timely manner – and at the right stop – whilst knitting/crocheting. I’m currently only knitting a little bit at night. I can totally tell the difference in my mental health. I’m not as chill nor content. The plus side is I’m reading like a fiend because I can do that easier standing than knitting.

I need time to adjust and get situated, but I’m quite annoyed at how my creative world has turned upside down. Best part out of this whole move is my new LYS is Fibre Space! That’s right, the place I wrote about has become my new yarn home!!! (Lots of exclamation marks are needed for this portion of my story.) The only thing keeping me from visiting so much is my inability not to overspend and my recent moving price tag has drained all my funds.

Planning my Bermuda trip (for reals),
-Stacy C.

Let’s be Real, it’s not Gonna Happen

1 May

Especially the way you might want it. What’s that? Putting up all of my FOs (Finished Objects) and giving a pattern review. I do this from time to time – and enjoy it. But in getting real let’s all admit I have better things I would rather do, like knit.

I’m not saying this blog isn’t cool (keep reading it), or that I don’t like doing other things (I sorta do); but writing reviews after each project keeps me from having fun with the actual medium conduit we all know and love – YARN.

All the pretty projects

All the pretty projects

Here’s my solution, “Be my Ravelry friend!” That’s right, if you’re not using Ravelry, you should be. As in, the 1990’s called and wondered how the heck you got into 2013 without using Ravelry?! If you’re hardly using Ravelry and only look for patterns and nothing else, you’re missing out! There are so many features on there you should be using to help your knitting/crocheting journey. (Hmm, future post!) If you get bored, want some inspiration or frankly need more knitting friends, I’m your gal.

So, add Stacyc55 to your friends and let’s get this party started!!!!!

Not a desperate plea for friends but an invitation to the cool crowd,
-Stacy C.

 

Knitting (and Crocheting) in the Unlikeliest of Places

30 Apr

I don’t really get International Knit in Public Day. Yarn-crafting in public is my life, EVERY day. I do it all the time, almost obsessively, because I don’t like to feel as if I’m wasting time. I knit in waiting rooms, watching TV, traveling, exercising, everywhere. Yes, I knit working out.

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I even figured out how to talk and take a picture of me holding knitting. I’m pretty BA.

It’s really not hard to do provided you take a few precautions. Can you walk and talk at the same time? Then you can knit and walk at the same time! I figured out how to do this earlier in the year when I made the resolve to get more fit. The only way to make my fat butt go to the apartment workout space was to let myself continue knitting while in motion. Before compromising with myself I would say, “After this row,” “When I get to the next section I will stop and work out.” This made it really hard to move it, move it, over to the building of physical fitness because let’s face it, I didn’t want to stop. After a few blah attempts to work out and the excruciating “wait” on the machines (you know, where you check the digital timer every 7 seconds because you desperately hope it’s been 20 minutes on the treadmill?), I told myself I could knit on the treadmill. I started out walking on a speed of 2.0-2.3 mph, really fast at all. To compensate not going so fast (but I was ok with that because at least my “fat butt” was moving) I put the incline at nine. I eventually can get up to 2.7 mph if doing a really simple knitting stitch.

I felt pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to get through the boring knitting rows when doing a sweater or repetitive pattern and at the same time getting through the painful act of exercise. I felt like a knitting ninja when I figured out how to do my circular entrelac on the treadmill. Additionally, I successfully experimented in other attempts to push through the workout blues and figured out how to knit while doing crunches, bollywood-style knee bounces, leg lifts and wall sits. I’ve also heard of other knitters crafting while working out on a stationary bike (I don’t have access to one) with good results.

One of the biggest things I can’t stand doing is sitting still for stupid award dinners, especially ones that rival the Oscars in time sucking and matter even less. Well, one of my professional duties is sucking it up and going to one every year. Last year, I crocheted under the table. This year, I’m going to work on I-cord for a necklace. Not visualizing it? Imagine this: sitting on one of those tables right next to the stage at the table of a “VIP” with my hands under the table linen doing I-cord. Another ninja skill – knitting without looking. If I’m gonna be a prisoner, I’m gonna make the most of it!

If you wonder how I get all that knitting time in, it’s because I make time in the most unlikely places getting through stuff and doing what I want to do. Rocking life.

“Stacy, out” *drop the microcphone*,
-Stacy C.

It’s all Fun and Games until Someone Loses a Scarf

7 Apr

My “Fairy White”

Easter has come and gone and I’m updating you on some tom-foolery that oddly involves yarn and handmade items. Some of you know about my super awesome Black Friday experience at Fibre Space. It was the first time I’d ever woken up at 4 a.m. to go out and shop–but it was for yarn, so totally acceptable. I could have sworn I had written a post, but you tend to be a little delirious when you’re reliving a half-awake life experience.

Anyway, the only thing I had bought for myself at that wonderful yarn sale were two skeins of Spud and Chloë, Outer in sandstone. It was so beautiful, super bulky and perfect for the Vite Cowl I had wanted to make for a while. It was also my sanity project hanging out with my parents over Christmas. I wore that thing all the time because it was the perfect color of off white… You get the idea, I loved that scarf and we had a history.

Well, this Easter I went back down to D.C. to hang out with some awesome people. We decided on Good Friday to go out and have some dinner, hangout at a sports bar, and then go to this crazy weird club. Things were going all well and fine until we got to the club. Let’s just say the night got NC17 REAL fast with some of the shenanigans going on in there!

I won’t shock you with too many details but I can tell you I experienced a co-ed bathroom for the first time. I didn’t know it was one until I went in there. I rolled with it, but was SO confused for a good minute. When we went onto the techno floor all the bartenders were shirtless, but when you went up to the bar to order a drink it turns out, they were ONLY IN BOXER BRIEFS (that deserves all caps for the shock it gave me)! We decided to stay and dance, making coat check and ideal solution for our stuff. I put my lovely scarf into the sleeve of my sweater (stupid move). When we were ready to leave I got my coat back and we walked out into the night. No one puts their coat on right when they get out of a club you’re hot and sweaty and… stuffs. When we got onto the metro, I realized MY SCARF WAS GONE (also, deserving of caps)!

I was crushed. I had no idea it would just disappear. I tried calling the club the next night, but you had to go in to claim anything and I was leaving the next day. An acquaintance when down to see if they could find anything but never go back to me. I can only hope my beautiful scarf found a new loving home. Tear*

My new “precious”

After that travesty, we headed to Alexandria and–obviously–I went to my favorite D.C. haunt (Fibre Space if you haven’t figured it out by now). I consoled myself with some Capital Luxury Lace by Neighborhood Fibre Co., in Victorian Village. It goes great with a ton of my spring and summer wardrobe. I also bought some Spud and Chloë sweater in sandstone. I decided the thinner yarn would be better for wearing in warmer months. The new Spud and Chloë inspired a design that I’m working on with owls. If I had to lose my scarf, I found a great way to try and get over the pain.

Back to my Hogwarts Express Special, -Stacy C.

Scharetta Bow Scarf Pattern

25 Mar
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The Birthday Girl, showing it off.

It’s a special crochet month with means you deserve a Stacy C original design! (Waiting for applause)
It’s been a few months since my last design and everyone seems to be getting a kick out of my “Faux Entrelac” pattern on Ravelry. And I’m trying to build my street cred… I mean, give you more creative ideas! I’ve noticed that my designs like to use a lot of chaining, but I’m ok with that. I’m taking a simple element and making it a fashion MUST. Have fun with my design and let me know either here or on its Ravelry Page, what you’ve made and what you think.

Hook: I (5.5 mm)
Yarn: Red Heart, Soft in Berry (Weight #4)
Amount used: 66 grams total for the scarf. 14 grams for the bow

Scarf base:
Ch 14, turn
Ch 1, sc 14. Cut

Close up.

Close up.

Scarf:
In the last sc, ch 250. Cut yarn leaving about a 2-yard tail

For the chains 2-14 continue in the following way:
In the next sc (to the right of the last one made) chain 20
Sl st into the left chain on its 20th stitch. You want to make sure when you slip the stitch that the chains line up. You only slip into the chain next to it, not all the chains.
*Ch 20 stitches, sl st into the left chain on its 20th stitch*. Repeat * section 9 times
On the last section ch 25, sl st into the left chain on its 25th stitch
Cut yarn after each chain is finished. Leave about a 4″ tail.

Scarf finishing base:
(Start working on the WS with all tail ends in front of you)
With the 2-yard tail from first chain, Hdc 14 into each chain end, turn
Ch 1, sc 14. Cut yarn

Scarf Finishing:
With the tail ends, you can either try to tuck all them into the short base. I decided to only tuck the tails that started and ended the base structure. I then took two tail ends next to each other, double knotted them, then snipped the ends. I did this for both bases.

Bow:
Ch 18, turn
*Ch1, sc 18, turn*, repeat * 4 times. Cut yarn
Bow will be about 3″ x 2″. Tuck in ends

Not too shabby.

Not too shabby.

Bow band:
Ch 8, turn
Ch1, Hdc 8, turn
Ch 1, sc 8. Cut yarn leaving an 8″ tail to sew bow onto scarf.

Blocking:
Because it’s Red Heart yarn, and pretty hearty (pun intended), I steam ironed the scarf separately from the bow. I also steam ironed the bow seperately from the scarf. While ironing the scarf I focused on one section at a time (between the slipped stitches is a “section”) making sure the chains faced right side before placing heat on them. I did iron the bow before and after I added the band. I only added heat for about 10-15 sections each time. I did do one last “once over” after I sewed the bow onto the scarf.

Bow sewing:
With your rectangle, squish the middle and wrap the band around it. Take care to center the band around the rectangle and sew a couple of stitches to secure the band. Now you can sew the bow onto the scarf.
I tried to sew the bow onto the chain section, but found that too difficult. Instead, I sewed the bow onto a sl stitch section, making it easier to anchor it, before tacking it down onto the scarf.

Voilá! You now have a snazzy scarf for the spring – and around here it just won’t quit snowing!

Continuing my FO fire!
-Stacy C.

You can Make an Ocean with Crochet

15 Mar

Not too long ago I came across the Sólás Caomh pattern by Jodi Euchner in an Interweave Crochet magazine. I became enthralled with crochet cabling. Most people think of knitting and the “scary” extra needle. But I had to learn how to do this wonderful new technique, but not in a baby blanket size, on a blanket that would fit a 6’1″ man – this had potential disaster written all over it. My knitting/crochet class was a little skeptical of my plan (they often are, but most times, it’s valid) but they still helped me tinker some pattern adjustments and the tricky new stitches.

The Manly Blanket

I decided to use a J hook (6 mm) and bulky weight yarn. I picked out a Clover “Soft Touch” crochet hook that’s an ergonomic design and a great price. Let me tell you, this saved me many a painful hour working with the hook. I never had to take a break or slow down because I was doing too much with my hands. It’s high enough up and has a flat neck where  you place your thumb and forefinger that makes working with it very comfortable. Mind you, this hook works best if you hold the hook like this:

Knife Holding Position

and not like this:

Underarmor position (my own misnomer)

My friend crochets the latter and had a hard time gripping the hook with the ergonomic chunky flat head. (Pictures courtesy of the Crochet World blog.)

Next, I used Ella Rae “Seasons” in color 19. It’s a bulky weight yarn that is “chainette”, which means that it’s not wrapped around itself, but is like an icord or crochet chain of yarn. I liked this style of yarn better, because I had ZERO splitting.

To make a blanket this size, I went up two yarn weights and two hook sizes larger than the pattern, then I added six stitches to the beginning and end of the pattern rows the whole duration of the blanket. This meant I casted on 135 stitches instead of 23 and added six more stitch repeats to the beginning of the row before doing the first cable set.

There are three separate cable types in this pattern and each is a little different. For help understanding how to do a Front Post or Back Post click on the links to understand how it works. Even if you know how to do these stitches, check out the videos anyway, because it’s a dude doing the videos. He has these big beefy hands and you sit there wondering, “This is a work of counter-nature.”

The part that is the hardest to understand in the pattern is FPdc or FPtr behind the stitches you worked, but it’s not a BPdc or BPtr. What this is trying to tell you (but hard to visualize), is you will be working the stitches as a FP, behind the stitches you just worked, but still in FRONT of the body of the project. Crochetme has a blog post all to help you out with this pattern.

To complete the edging I did the first two rows in the same color as the blanket and only used white for the last and final row. I liked the look of it better and called the white accent my “sea foam” to the ocean colored blanket.

Back to work on my knitted sock – don’t judge that I’m not crocheting!
-Stacy C.

Making it to the BIG TIMES!!!

6 Mar

Some of you might remember my post about the man-sock from Ravallenics 2012 recap. I have BIG NEWS!

But first, let me start at the beginning:

It was like any other crappy Monday. It started out mediocre and got bad, REALLY quickly. I needed a break and went onto Ravelry and had a message in my inbox. Who should the message be from but Patons Yarn?! What could they possibly want? WELL, they contacted me to let me know that MY sock was a completed project they wanted to feature on the pattern home page!!!!!

It took several hours for this to sink in. And after it did, I felt like the coolest kid on my sock knitting street. Are you basquing? You’re welcome :-p

Image

That’s me, the one on the bottom.

From this HAM sandwich to you,
-Stacy C.

March is Crochet Madness!

5 Mar

Hello my fellow crafters. Technically, March is craft month as well as crochet month. But on this blog, because I reign supreme, we’re going to celebrate crochet – and throw in some other crafty stuff for you whiners out there.

But to kick off this month, I want some audience participation. Yes, from YOU!

Imagine him pointing a paw at you

What, pray tell, could I be asking you to POSSIBLY do?

Give me ideas. If you think this journal has been missing something vital, or you need to know something badly, you want me to try something crazy cool (with yarn) or it’s just plain sucked in the past – make it better. Tell me what floats your boat or what needs to be happening and I will be more than happy to try things out.

Here’s the deal, I’m not lazy – usually. It’s just really hard to be creative in three different outlets and then sit down and write things out if I’m not even sure it’s what the people want. Now, mind you I’m not always worried, but I would like to make sure that the $26 a year I spend to write down my stuff isn’t lame and boring.

I have some stuff queued up for the coming month and think you will be pleasantly surprised I mean with a stash like this:

Stash beast

Stash beast

how could it be anything other than stellar? Or hilariously ridiculous.

Keep the brilliant ideas flowing, I need ‘em,
-Stacy C

 

Happy Anniversary!

29 Jan

Hello readers,

Today is a day of celebration because I realized (belatedly) that yesterday was the second anniversary for this blog! I feel like this anniversary means a little more than the last. Sure, it means we’re one year older; but it’s more about the longevity of this project and how far the owners of this online journey have come in the art of yarn making.

Yeah! Our Anniversary!

Here’s a few facts to show you how far our adventures have taken us: 59 posts (including this one) – a little more than one every other week (not bad for people with full-time jobs, hobbies and children of multiple species), over 7,000 visits to the site (you read that right), over 100 comments and many people occasionally tuning in to this little periodical.

I’m happy to write as many posts as I have, it would be more if I could occasionally be more motivated or pushed. What is written on this site is only a fraction of the fun and adventure we’ve had over the years and I’m thankful that some people find this space so interesting.

Two years is a good marker – longer than some marriages! Raise your cupcake and toast to fiber and happiness!

Mmm, cupcakes! (Vegan in my case.)

P.S. that is Susann’s picture I stole from the webs. She takes better pictures than I and I’m sure to hear about it later. This is what happens when I wait six months for a “I’m working on it” post :-p heheheeee…

Keep on creating,

-Stacy C.

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