Monday, May 20, 2013

My kingdom for a well-written instruction

Grr. The instructions for this thing are so, so very bad. I was doing fine up to this point, where another row is added to one of the motifs.


And then that same pattern is continued about 100 times until you're ready to attach to the second, smaller motif. Ok, no problem. The directions basically say to continue around the motif and don't elaborate.


What the directions don't tell you, and what you can see in the diagram if you get out your magnifying glass, is that it's not a one-to-one correspondence between the loops on the motif and where you attach. The first time around I ended up with a horribly bunched-up mess, which prompted me to take a closer look at the diagram. That look wasn't close enough though because I ended up frogging the damn thing four times in all. I have to do this three more times (I think ... the written instructions say to make two but I'm pretty sure that's wrong too) so it should be smoother sailing now that I know where the pitfalls are.

Monday, May 13, 2013

New doily

Well, it'll be more than just a doily when it's done, I think. More like a ... small table cover? I don't know.

The directions in this pattern book I have are seriously terrible. They often make no sense, but luckily whoever was in charge of drawing the diagrams knew what they were doing.

First step is to make four each of two motifs, checking back and forth between the written and drawn instructions a thousand times to make sure it's right:


These will be added to and then joined in some future way that I'm not yet totally clear on. Here's the diagram for the pattern:

This is more like it. Nice and complicated.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Giant doily done

I actually finished this doily in about three days but I'm so out of the blogging habit that I keep forgetting to post pix.

Here it is prior to blocking. It grew on me the more I worked on it, even though the thread is pretty big.


And here it is with about a thousand pins stretching it to within an inch of its life. Blocking is our friend.


And a little closeup action.






Not too shabby. It fits perfectly on a little round table in my living room. Unfortunately, I'm now in the midst of another thread fever, so I'll be churning out complicated, old-fashioned little pieces like this until my eyes give out. If you see something you like let me know. Maybe it'll arrive in the mail at some point in the future...


Monday, April 22, 2013

It's been a while

Turns out I haven't posted anything since before Christmas! This is, without a doubt, the longest dry spell I've ever had. Part of the problem is that I bought materials for some socks that I then realized were just WAY beyond my abilities (if you don't believe me, click here and scroll down to the heel instructions). And then I couldn't find my favorite sock book. It has disappeared somewhere within my palatial 635 square feet of living space. Also? I found a great woven towel pattern and ordered the supplies for it, only to find out that everything I ordered is on months-long back order, so I canceled the order. And then I wanted to make a thread doily, or something from thread, but I also can't find my favorite doily book.  Grr.

So the other day I broke down and bought a big-ass cone of size 10 crochet thread and went to town through my gazillions of ancient thread patterns. I found one that I like:


This is from a book of patterns from the mid-50s. I made a go of starting it, but my thread is too big for this one.

Then I found this one:


This is from a book of patterns from the mid-70s. In addition to all my missing pattern books, I also appear to be missing some steel hooks, so instead of a size 10 or whatever hook it called for, I am using my smallest regular hook, a size B.

I actually got within three rounds of finishing it over the weekend but then my hands gave out. Here's a photo from the first several rounds. I'll post more when it's done.

It's going to take just a wee bit of blocking.
I think I have the thread bug again, but this pattern just didn't do it for me. I think it may have been too easy, and the thread is too big. I need smaller thread and a fresh supply of steel hooks. Herrschners to the rescue!

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, 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.

Anyway.

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.