Category Archives: crochet

Zonkered

I finished the pitcher plant hat today.  It needs a good strong blocking, and then I’ll take some pictures for posterity.  I knit a full inner hat for a lining and for snuggliness.  I also did a row of single crochet all along the brim of the hat so that the edge stays firm and doesn’t roll.  It looks really good and holds the shape well.

I’m so glad to get something off of my needles.  I’ve been really frustrated lately.  Everything is just not working out as well or as quickly as I want it to, but I have to keep working on it because I’m, y’know, just like that.  I’m really not the kind of person who is comfortable letting things hibernate for a long time.

I’m crocheting a hat in thick and thin yarn, and there’s simply not enough yarn.  I think I’m going to incorporate some leftover yarn and try stripes.  Hopefully that’ll stretch out the quantity of yarn and also, make sure that the hat will actually fit a normal sized human head.  That is one of the aspirations of crocheting a hat, right?

I ordered enough Lamb’s Pride Superwash in a worsted weight to re-knit my cabled cardigan but with long sleeves this time.  I chose the SW18 colour, also known as Lichen.  I would love to have a lichen coloured cardigan.

I took a picture of the cardigan with buttons sewed on.  Mollyann at Ariadne provided the buttons and I think they suit wonderfully.

And just for posterity, the posterior.  (See what I did there?)

Much thanks to Ariadne for letting me snap pictures!  I’m going to use the pictures to help me write up the pattern.

Right now I’m just relaxing with a beer and trying not to fall asleep immediately.  It’s been one of those days that wasn’t monumental, but that required thinking and moving, so I mostly just want to nap.  I woke up late and didn’t get to shotgun a litre of coffee this morning, either.  But first, I’m going to hang out with my best friend and maybe work on some rainbow socks.

What’s relaxation without knitting, after all?

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Watching What I Eat

Oh gosh.

Yesterday morning, while lounging in bed (can you blame me?  It was Sunday!) I got a call from my landlady.  She was letting us know that we should clean out our fridge and move it, since she would be coming with a replacement fridge at 3:30 pm.  I was pretty pleased about all the notice because it gave us a lot of time to get our apartment into landlady viewing mode – you know, that kind of clean that makes you hang up your favourite sweater instead of draping it on a chair.  It also gave us an opportunity to go through our fridge and throw out some stuff.  We had some frozen compost that we’ve been meaning to get to the bin downstairs.

So 4:30 rolls around, and she shows up, asking that we please just wait for another hour.  Our response was obvious;  where else were we going?  Besides, Bad Santa was lighting up my computer screen and we were snacking on delicious hummus and pita.  (A quick side note:  my partner has always said that Bad Santa was one of his favourite movies so I agreed to watch it with him.  I concur – it was hilarious, but not suitable for any audience that doesn’t like crass humour.  Now I hope he’ll actually stay awake during my favourite movie, The Bicycle Thief.)

At around 6, she and some men brought the fridge upstairs with much difficulty.  The fridge is pretty new, so it’s a bit more deep due to the coils being covered, and the doors are fairly narrow for that.  But the fridge is about an inch and a half too tall to fit under the cupboards!  And they didn’t take the old fridge with them!  And because they laid the new fridge on its back to move it (which is a no-no because of how the fluids settle in the coils) so I can’t even turn it on until this evening!

And so, the old fridge has been plunked right in the middle of our living room.  It’s plugged in to save the integrity of our yogurt and eggs.  It’s humming until at least 4 o’clock this afternoon, because I don’t want to fry the innards of my new cold food making machine.  It’s humming at me.  It’s glaring at me.  And my cats are loving it.

Bazorov is on the left and Patrick is on the right.  They’ve been jumping up and down on it all day long, much to their delight.  They’ve exhibited absolutely no interest in the new fridge which is probably a good thing since there’s now a giant space behind the fridge.  We pushed the stove so that it’s immediately next to the fridge to keep cats from frolicking in that space.

It’s kind of ridiculous how that space makes me feel this anxious.  I just don’t like the idea of my cat jumping up on the fridge and getting stuck behind there.  I mean, if there are appliances working then there will be heat, and I don’t want them to get burnt.  It’s also basically impossible to clean properly in there as often as I’d like and I don’t want them to inhale burning stinky dust.  You know?

This may sound odd, but I really think of having cats as an enormous privilege.  They’re my friends, and I’m lucky that they’re in my life.  They have improved my existence tremendously, and help me keep myself in the present.  I am a very anxious and perfectionist person and they really show me how to relax, which I appreciate.  I try to repay them by keeping the house clean and neat and making sure they have everything they need to be happy but the idea of them getting hurt just makes me sad.

In an unrelated note (this is a knitting blog, right?)  I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting lately.  I’m crotcheting a hat,  knitting two hats, and both knitting and crotcheting a project for Ariadne.

I’ve run into a rather consistent problem of running out of yarn.  It’s so frustrating!  The hat I’m crocheting is being so difficult – I’ve frogged it three times.  I frogged the green hat four times.  I ran out of the light purple Lang Yarns yarn for the pitcher plant hat, so I’m trying to build up the courage to just switch to the darker purple.  No one will notice, right?  It’s just the lining!  But I hate that.

It’s also grey and rainy outside.  Pass the french press, someone.

Maybe I should just take some time to look out the window.  Or just relax.

Hats Off to You

I’ve been knitting a lot of hats lately.  I recently realized that my cabled hat for those with big heads wasn’t organized properly on ravelry (and that the original in black doesn’t show the cable definition properly) so I cast on a new hat, in a smaller size, in Superfine Alpaca by Estelle.  Because it’s a heavier yarn with more drape (and with alpaca content), it makes sense to knit the hat in a smaller size and expect it to still fit my head.

cabled hat

I’m knitting it with the magic loop method, and I have to say that although I prefer working with double pointed needles, the magic loop method makes more sense with hats.  Not having to switch from one set of needles to another is awesome, and not having to worry about having both sets in the same size is great.  Most of my needles are in Halifax now and I’d rather not invest in needles when I know that I have a big store a few hours away.

I’ve also been working on a hat for charity, using the generic Norwegian chart from HelloYarn as a base. faeriecrafty is a rock star, and transformed my .xlsx file into a .pdf for sharing.  Here is the pitcher plant chart!  Please respect HelloYarn’s copyright restrictions and don’t mass produce.  I had major computer issues and couldn’t put the chart on her original sheet as requested on her downloadable free pattern;  if I could have, I would have, and I’m really grateful for them putting out the pattern online.

I chose the pitcher plant as inspiration because they’re extraordinarily hardy plants.  They’ve adapted to the incredibly nitrogenous soil of Newfoundland, and they’re absolutely beautiful.  I hope they’ll be an inspiration to the survivor who eventually wear the hat.

Right now, I’m knitting a lining for the hat.  It’s a hat headed toward someone undergoing chemotherapy, and I want it as soft as possible.  I’ve never knit with silk before and I have to say that I don’t think I will be again in the future.  The colour chart I made has long stretches of knitting with only one colour; usually, I accommodate long floats in stranded by twisting the yarns behind the work every five stitches or so.  This silk shows the twists with glaringly obvious dimples showing from the right side of the fabric and it’s seriously stressing me out.  It doesn’t look bad when the fabric is stretched out or worn, and I think a good blocking will help, but it definitely detracts from the joys of knitting.  The Cascade Yarns Venezia Worsted is spun more tightly than the Lang Yarns MerinoSeta, so it isn’t buckling as badly, which, incidentally, is why I’m knitting the lining in the MerinoSeta.   I think the looser spin will result in a softer lining.  I’m going to try  crotcheting this shell brimmed cloche in the Venezia Worsted next for the same charity;  I think the process will be more relaxing than this hat.

I’ve been sporting a simple double crocheted cap lately.  It’s 100% handspun wool (if you want to read about how I got said handspun, go here) and very cozy, although I’m excited to be able to wear a knit hat soon.  I’ve been able to keep up with the increasingly cold weather knit-wise, and I’m really proud of how I’ve maintained my body temperature.  Down to hypothermia!

crocheted hat

And, just for silliness, a strawberry hat.

strawberry crocheted hat with flaps

And Patrick Purrswayze.  Mrow!

Adorable!

Slippers!

This is a quickie, comparing and contrasting my previous slippers with my new crocheted moccasins.  My old slippers (in lana gato wool) have a giant hole in the bottom due to a collision with a nail in some hardwood.  I’m hoping the crocheted fabric is a tad more hardwearing.

Crocheted Moccasins

Hello world –

Here I am, with a brand new pair of cushy moccasins on my feet.  I’m an expert crocheter by no means, but I figured I’d practice with Umme Yusuf’s pattern on ravelry.   I altered the pattern by picking up and knitting an insole with Paton’s Shetland Chunky yarn (a 75/25% acrylic/wool blend) and stuffing it with cotton balls.  I picked up and knit the picked up stitches as I went along so that I wouldn’t have to seam the insole.  To compensate for the height of the insole (which I picked up from the first round of crocheted sides of the slipper) I ended up having to crochet an extra round on the back half, after sewing on the top flap.  Except for the insole, the moccasins are crocheted with 100% handspun wool.  I also crocheted a yellow detail over top to add personality.

In April, I moved into an awesome sublet apartment.  For seriously, I love my place.  But, one perk that doesn’t typically come from subletting was a big box of handspun yarn.  I live in an area of Montreal that was once Little Italy, and apparently, a relic of that era tried her hand at spinning yarn with 100% wool and dying it.  That woman was a hero.  She passed, and left her yarn to her family – none of whom knit with it.  They gave the yarn to a friend, who gave it to her daughter, and now I’m the lucky recipient.  It’s incredible, how you can see the taste and style of a woman now buried through something in which she had poured so much care and attention. And the learning curve!  From thick and thin to smooth 1 plys to professional looking 2 plys – well done!  The box had mostly greens, oranges, and yellows.  I’ve lightly committed myself to producing fibre art with this handspun until I’ve made a good dent in the pile.  I don’t like having a huge stash of yarn – what’s the point of letting yarn sit around, after all – so I’m enjoying this gift to the fullest.

These moccasins are comfy and cozy.  I learned a lot through crocheting them, and you can see that in the time it took me to make them.  I started them on September 23, 2010, and finished them last night, and I have to admit that the first one took three days to complete while the second one only took one day.

I love that I have cozy cushioned moccasins, and I love that my feet will no longer ache with cold.  I have crummy circulation – for some reason, my feet and hands always ache if it’s under around 10 degrees Centigrade.

I took lots of pictures!  The green is more of a true green than a blue green and the yellow is very gold – the moccasins look very bookish.