Friday, March 25, 2011

Not Ready for Intermediate

Lion Brand yarn posted some patterns for dishcloths on Facebook today and this Knit Folly Beach Washcloth took my fancy. That would be the white one pictured below, which has already come off the needles. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out. I'm not ready for intermediate.

I wasn't too far off, and I will be trying it again but the combination of a mistake I didn't feel I could live with and my needle size choice being too large, I've decided to start again. Start again, that is, after working up to it.

I need a little more practice with knitting stitch patterns before I do this one again and there are some great samples at Knitting on the Net and the Angel Hugs Stitch Sampler. I'm going to make up some cotton washcloths to give a few a go.

It's not undersatnding the pattern that I have great difficulty with, nor is it the actual stitch variations (ssk, skp) which usually seem well explained. My fundamental problem is paying attention to what I'm doing. It's been a while since I've done crafty things that didn't allow my mind to wander off completely while my hands kept busy, and it's a wee struggle.

Even with a piece of paper to cross off rows, I often forget to do so and it was only when taking this photo of my work in progress on the Triangle Squares washcloth that I realized I flipped the diamonds after the first two repeats. As Homer would say, DOH!

While it won't be a perfect example of the Triangle Squares pattern, I am going to press on. At this point I'm curious to find out if the size will be square with one ball of wool, and it isn't terribly noticable as this makes a nice chunky looking pattern.

Next stitch choice .. something more obvious to follow. Baby steps.

In other news ... Spring arrived this week. But it's not like you would notice yet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A little over half way

It's been fairly quiet on the crafting front, but I thought I had better do an update of some fashion before too much time passes. It is a challenge for me to keep focused - and a challenge I intend to conquer vis a vis maintaining this blog and doing more crafting this year.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I need a ring mandrel ...

I really had no idea until very recently just how amazing the craft world is on the internet ... and I'm just beginning to explore. Bravo online craft world.

Today through a facebook update from I noticed a link to this youtube video for making a beautiful swaroski crystal ring - and I wanted to keep note of it as this is a definite must try.

But it brings me to a point that I wanted to share which is that youtube is an excellent resource for instructions on doing virtually anything crafty.

Most of us, especially when new to a craft like knitting or crocheting (but feeling overly adventurous), will come to a part of a pattern when we wonder what language they have suddenly switched to. With the magic of the internet and resources like youtube, you've got the world at hand to answer any question - and show you.

Note to self: Get some supplies from Artbeads.comand have a go at making rings.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Cat Wall Repairs

There is an area on our kitchen wall that looks ugly because it was once an opening for the milk bottles, and wasn't filled in terribly professionally. The opening is gone and all is secure, but you can clearly see where it was filled in.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's your favourite colour?

Q: What's your favourite colour?
A: All of them!

I am completely in love with this new blanket concept! The idea had been knocking around in my head for a while, and after seeing other blanket projects online, and being inspired by Lynn's fantastic scrappy scarf, the time seemed right to give it a go when I decided to put another blanket project on hold.

This is a simple shall pattern, like the pink dots baby blanket I finished recently, but you change colours every row. I find it grows quite quickly as you're really keen to see the result of the next colour you add into the mix.

I did think after several rows that it would make a very nice scarf pattern done lengthwise - as opposed to vertically as most shell scarf patterns are - but I neglected to take a photo at that stage so you'll have to imagine.

I will no doubt be grumbling about all of the ends to sew in - which is a negative result of this kind of patterning - but I think I might just love it enough! I also intend not to leave that all to the end - or it could be trouble.

An Uncertain Future ... for the Ripple

So much for the rain. Winter came back - but it's sunny today, so all's good.

The same can't quite be said for my ripple blanket which faces an uncertain future. As I am well underway, I find myself somewhat dissatisfied. It's okay, but is okay good enough? Both arguments in my head are on fairly even footing at the moment, in short, I'm really not sure.

Last night I caught myself looking at the wool and thinking ... you (the wool) could do so much better. So, before it became balls of wool again rather than a nearly completed blanket, I decided to put it away and pause.

The sunset promises nice days ahead!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Minnesota Winter Hat

Rain, rain, and more rain ... When are we happy to see the rain in Ontario? When it is washing away all the snow - yippee! Now, I understand it is not yet Spring, and yes I accept that there will likely be more snow ... BUT ... at least when Spring does roll around there will be less snow to get in it's way.

It's been a busy week with not too much time for crafting, but I have been ever so good about not starting anything new and plodding along with existing projects with the time I have. My first ripple blanket is coming along nicely with not too much further to go I think.

In the meanwhile, I thought I'd share with you another one of my favourite hat patterns. This version is super warm and knit with two strands of wool. You can also use a bulky chunky wool in single strand, which might be nice.

As the design folds back for the 'brim' there is a lot of warmth and comfort around your ears. It's rather surprising that I haven't made more of these given the host of colour combination possibilities with two strands. And I think - (don't know as I haven't tried yet) - that if you used two solid colours of wool, you would end up with a very nice tweedy effect.

This hat is called the "Minnesota Winter Hat" and you can find the pattern at Bev's Country Cottage.