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This is the One Skein Scarf from Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Happy Hooker.  The pattern is so easy-peasy, and I liked the chart included in the directions.  The ends curl a bit, but I can see why this scarf pattern is so popular. 

The yarn is from a garage sale, so I have no idea what brand it is.  I’m 99.9% sure it acrylic yarn (but soft).  I really like the teal color, which is actually a combination of blue and green fibers.  If you recognize this yarn brand, please comment! 

Purely for the blog, I took my camera on a short hike to Cascade Falls in Moran State Park.  The flash was actually really useful, since it is very shady under the forest canopy. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

A tree branch is not actually attached to the rest of the tree. It is held in place by a series of interlocking “collars”. Collars overlap and mesh to form a tight woven pattern of tissue.

I made three squares for Lesa‘s daughter Nesa, who has been put on the liver transplant list.  Nesa requested red, black and white Mickey Mouse colors.  All three of the squares have bullion/roll stitches.  Bullion stitches are crocheted by yarning over multiple times and drawing a loop through all of them.  The trick is getting all the loops evenly wrapped around the center,   

Katie’s Bliss square pattern uses the bent bullion stitch, which consists of a bullion followed by a slip stitch.  Once I finished the flower center, the rest of the pattern went quickly.  I like the center white rounds, which are supposed to look like hearts.  (Mine are a little square-ish.)

This square is called Angels Around the World, with four angels standing on the center circle.  Bonnie Pierce did a wonderful job writing the pattern clearly and concisely, but I really had to pay attention to get every part crocheted correctly!  

I’m glad that I have made a few Daisy Flower Crochet Chairty Squares, because the construction was similar.  The angel skirts and bodies are crocheted as joint rows with the background and then the angel wings and heads are added with separate lengths of yarn.   There are about ten ends to tuck in for one six inch square!

 

The Lacy Bullion Heart square was the easiest square out of the bunch.  The center of my heart has a spiraled look, which doesn’t show in the sample picture.  Next time I will chain-one more loosely; that might fix the swirl look. 

I added the ’2008′ after sewing the heart to the black square.  Even though I pinned and basted the heart on the background, it wasn’t centered very well, so I added the date to balance the square out.

I had to eliminate one or more rows from each of the squares to get exactly six inches across.  Even with a size E crochet hook, I could never get the correct gauge.  Red Heart Super Saver runs a little thicker than other worsted weight yarn and I’m guessing that was part of the sizing issue.   

Also, I had a few problems photographing these squares.  Black and red colors are really difficult to capture in their true tones.  This was true for the Lacy Bullion Square especially.  To get the colors to photograph better I waited until late in the day and lowered the exposure level.  (On my Canon PowerShot A530, I used program mode and pressed the +/- button to adjust the exposure manually.)

Da fourth

Happy 4th of July!

*That’s cool* a random fact

The official military name of the M-80, an illegal firework that was designed to simulate the sound of gunfire, is “military rifle fire simulator.”

Cream and sugar

Mellissa of The Adventures of Wondermommy asked me to test her new Ice Cream Cone pattern about a month ago.  Since I didn’t have a photo to work from, I was surprised to find that the cone is shaped like a waffle cone! 

The overall pattern is really simple to piece together and you only need to know how to increase in the round and crochet shells.  Both the cone and the ice cream start with the smallest number of single crochet stitches and increase to their widest part.  Then the pieces are sewn together and the shell border is added.  The whole thing works up relatively fast, especially since you can hide the ends with the stuffing! 

My Ice Cream Cone measures 3.5″ x 7″.  I used some stash worsted weight wool that was a bit thinner than Red Heart Super Saver and a size E crochet hook.  I’d like to try this pattern again in a lighter weight yarn.  Also, I’m interested to see what the cone would look like with the wrong side showing. 

Visit the pattern page to see Mellissa’s sherbert version, which is so cute!

Thank you for asking me to test the pattern, Mellissa!  (And thanks for the pattern books and crochet hook!)

Celestine

I finally finished the Celestine Crochet (a knit version is also available).  The pattern was a bit interesting to follow.  Each point is made from the bottom up.  With the first cone made, the second base is made by chaining a portion and then slip stitiching the rest on the adjacent points.  After the first few points, the general idea is easy to pick up. 

The yarn is a beautiful mixture of a brilliant blue and golden browns, hand dyed by Kayla of The Yarn Bearer.  The 100% wool content and fingering weight made it difficult for me to keep yarn tight.  The fibers felt more ‘sticky’ to me and even with a size C hook, I have little holes where the stuffing shows through. 

The hardest part of the Crochet Celestine was the stuffing.  This was my first project with stuffing since I was a kid.  I found out very quickly that just taking big clumps of polyfil and shoving them in the points made a really bumpy texture. 

The second time around I fluffed the stuffing by pulling and stretching it.  Much better!  Also, I found that the whole shape looked more symmetrical when the center part was stuffed well.  If I ever make this pattern again I would stuff it with a wiffle ball in the center to save on stuffing and make the whole thing lighter.  

Question is, what do I do with it?

Bird in flight

The Lacey the not so Lacey Headband turned out to be a much wider headband than I thought.  I used Red Heart in Ranch Red and a size H hook and my headband measures about 4″ wide.  

I’ve been hiking around Moran State Park a lot lately and this headband with a low ponytail is perfect.  I like having my hair out of my face when I’m on a long walk.  I haven’t taken my camera with me on the trails yet, but I really need to.  Late spring and early summer is so beautiful in the park!

Apart from a hiking headband, the reason I wanted to make the Lacey Headband was to sample the bruges lace technique.  From what I understand, you crochet a long strip with chain loops hanging off the side.  When you make the second strip the parallel chain loops are slip stitched together.  This makes an interlocking, lacy fabric.  The center strip looks like the X-stitch to me. 

 

The pattern is a really nice introduction to bruges lace. The written directions are very clear and there’s a chart included.  I’m not a full fledged chart reader, but if you’re a visual person, it can really make the process clearer. 

I’ll leave you with an evening photograph.  The hummingbirds around the house stop by the feeders all day, but at sunset they come out in swarms!

You can see a slide show of the other hummingbird pictures I took on Slide.com. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

Hummingbirds have the fastest wing beats and the largest brains proportionate to body weight, of any other bird.

I made a Seamless Nintendo DS Lite Sock as a belated Mother’s Day gift for my mom.  She started out playing Tetris on the original Nintendo Gameboy my brother and I bought as kids and now owns a few versions of the newer Gameboys.     

I modeled the cozy after Spock’s uniform since my mom is also a Star Trek fan.  The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver in Country Blue and the felt Starfleet insignia was copied from an illustration of the Starfleet insignias from Danhausertrek.com.   The site is dedicated to the the Animated Series, so I’m not sure if it is completely accurate to Star Trek: The Original Series. 

I couldn’t find gold felt at the craft store, but they did have this bright yellow.  I’m not sure how well the craft felt will hold up to heavy use; it felt a little flimsy.  There’s another layer of felt under the insignia to plump it up and hopefully reinforce the applique. 

  

The DS Lite Sock pattern is double knit, which means you cast on a certain number of stitches on straight needles and knit the front and back at the same time.  I was confused with the directions to start since it doesn’t actually spell this fact out to you.  Once I understood the idea of double knitting, the whole project turned out to be very easy.  You only need to know knit, purl and the slip stitch to work this cozy. 

The gauge is pretty tight with worsted weight yarn and small needles.  The pattern estimates needing size 6 needles but I ended up using size 2s.  Possibly I’m a loose knitter?  Also, I had to restart a couple times because the smaller needles were harder for me to use.  With the right gauge, the sock fits really nicely and there are no seams to sew. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

The Vulcan Nerve Pinch was invented by Leonard Nimoy as a way for Spock to overpower opponents without having to resort to violence.

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