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Archive for February, 2008

This Washboard Dishcloth used just over one skein of Lily’s Sugar and Cream in Soft Teal.  The color is washed out a little because it’s very dark and overcast in the San Juan Islands today and I waited until just before sunset to get the camera out for photographs. 

With a few more foundation stitches and added rows this pattern could double for a placemat.  The picture below makes the dishcloth look placemat size, but in reality it measures 11 x 13 inches – not quite big enough for a full size plate and utensils.   

 

Linuxwitch‘s square-shaped version on Ravelry uses only 18 rows for the body of the dishcloth.  (Thanks for the link Adrienne!)  If I made this again I would follow the 18-row formula because the back-loops-only half double crochet gets a little boring.  Plus, cutting back on the rows would put this pattern back in the single-skein category. 

The border is my favorite part of the pattern.  I like how the shells curve around the corners. 

Also, I finished the Through Any Window Blanket Tutorial.  I took plenty of pictures with lots of detailed shots.  For beginning crocheters, the first two rounds are written without abbreviations and there’s left-handed directions too. 

Hopefully, in the next few days, I can blog about my Swap Swap Gals package for Katrina!

*That’s cool* a random fact

The largest soft-shell clam, the geoduck, can weigh up to three pounds.

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Zarah sent me some beautiful crochet gifts for my ‘All About Hearts’ themed Swap Swap Gals package.  This cute little penguin has got a lot of character to him.  Must be the eyes. 

From foot to hat he stands about ten inches tall.   I like his heart-shaped tummy; that is so creative!  Plus, the scarf he’s wearing is really pretty.  Anyone know what yarn it is?   

These heart coasters are really pretty.  They are serving as a center piece on the table right now.

On top of all the crochet goodies, I got a bunch of gummies.  Yum.

Thanks, Zarah, for the fantastic Swap Swap Gals package!

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Pretty baby blue

I got my first RAOK in the mail from an anonymous fairy godmother on Crochetville.  (Thank you, thank you FGM!)  The package had a sweet little note and these ribbons.  There’s a handful more, including some pretty baby blue and sage satin ones.  All of them are beautiful and will be used for sure.  And I’m so excited to have a ribbon stash now!

I also received my Swap Swap Gals package today from Zarah.  (Thanks Zarah!)  Here’s a little sneak peak of what I got:

 

There wasn’t enough time today to get Zarah’s swap gifts blog-ready.  I’ll get everything photographed tomorrow ASAP. 

Meanwhile, I’m putting the finishing touches on my own Swap Swap Gals package for Katrina.  All the knitting/crocheting is done, but I am forced to sew a few things so it is going slowly.   

And for those select few that are waiting, I’m working on the Through Any Window Baby Blanket tutorial also.  

*That’s cool* a random fact

Pabst Beer is now called Pabst Blue Ribbon beer because it was the first beer to win a blue ribbon at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

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I’ve been making these scrubbies on and off for a while now.  The pattern is a no brainer, so it’s a great project for the hands when your mind is occupied.  I put all my Lily’ s Sugar and Cream scraps in a little basket with a hook, ready to crochet when I’m on the phone.

These scrubbies are also perfect cotton stash-busters.  There’s very little yarn needed, and the pattern is exceptionally easy to modify.  Subtracting a few rows or reducing the foundation chains does little to alter the finished product. 

I picked up too many stitches to gather together in my first few scrubbies.  It’s best to thread through less than half the stitches on the side, otherwise you’re left with an open hole that is difficult to pull closed.  This is what happened with the bottom right scrubbie.   

The photo mosaic shows my four favorites out of a batch of eight.  If you’re interested in the other four, I made a slide show of the complete set over at slide.com

Another free pattern with a similar design is the baby swirls hat, which is basically a giant scrubbie with only one side cinched together.  It’s a great hat for beginning crocheters and makes a cute hat for newborns.   

*That’s cool* a random fact

Cottoncan absorb up to 27 times it’s weight in water and the absorbent fibers get stronger when wet.

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More dishcloths today.  These are a quick distraction from other projects I’m working on, but can’t show.  First of all, I’m crocheting some top secret items for my Swap Swap Gals appointed recipient Katrina.  We’re not technically swap partners since each person delivers to next down a list.  Most of the projects for Katrina are crochet, but there’s also an intermediate knit piece that I’m excited to finish. 

Also, I’m spending some time on a picture tutorial for the Through Any Window Baby Blanket.  I’ve got about half of it photographed and, as usual, I’ll have left and right handed photos included. 

And there’s good news about the camera: my brother had a look and ‘broke’ the lens back into place.  Was that all?  In any case I’m happy to get my little PowerShot back in working order!

So, about the dishcloths.  This Sunshine Dishcloth by Drew was interesting to crochet.  I like the multi-layered effect and the unique shape the border forms using shells.  I had to block it lightly to get the ‘pointy’ effect, but this turns out well without any help.  I want to make another in a variegated cotton like Andrea on her blog Knits and Knots.   

James G. Davis adapted this design for a twelve inch Sunny Skies Square.  So, if you’re not a dishcloth kind of person, you could still try this pattern to include in a blanket or comfortghan.

 

Here’s another design by Drew called the Pentagon Dishcloth that does require blocking to get the right shape.  In it’s unblocked state, the pentagon looks more like a miss-shaped circle.  

The dishcloth is made with Lily’s in Soft Teal.  (Can you tell I have a lot of Sugar and Cream in my cotton stash?)  The pattern itself kept me on my toes, but I like the overall design and I learned a few crochet lace tricks along the way.     

 

The Lacy Honeycomb Dishcloth is made with Lily’s Sugar and Cream in Over the Rainbow and Hot Orange.  I’m thinking that this color scheme would have worked better if I used the orange as the main color.  The pretty crochet design is lost in all that mishmash of color in the center.  This dishcloth  is on the small side (not necessarily a bad thing) but turned out to be a satisfying little project.     

 *That’s cool* a random fact

The bumblebee moth has transparent wings and a black and yellow body that makes it look like an ordinary bumblebee.  This disguise allows the moth to infiltrate a bee’s nest and lay it’s eggs in the honeycomb.

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My Canon PowerShot A530 took a turn for the worst. While attempting to replace the batteries, I dropped my camera (again) and it broke. I was actually surprised, since this point-and-shoot model is really sturdy and has survived some pretty traumatic falls. This time the height of the plunge wasn’t astronomical, but the retractable lens took the brunt of the impact. Apparently, lenses are really integral to camera functions, so I’m dumb out of luck. A new camera is in the mail but, for now, I’m stuck sifting through my Flickr account for old project photos like this baby hat.

There’s no pattern for the newborn beanie since I just made it up as I went along. I used a partly filled party balloon and Bev’s sizing list to determine the number of increases. The hat is half double crocheted with a size G hook and a row cluster stitches. I used some scraps from my Grandma’s old wool stash so I don’t know the yarn brand. Most likely it’s virgin wool from the Mill End store, though.

This Boy Beanie v2.0 was made for my brother. Shh, I haven’t tucked in all the ends! The hat is a revised edition of the Boy Beanie published in Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Happy Hooker. I wasn’t impressed with how the pattern was written. For one, I was never sure which rows were meant to be made in the back loops only. Plus, there’s an odd ch 2 maneuver that I didn’t like since it made the seam stiff and shorter than the rest of the hat.

I do like the color changes and overall style of the hat, though. There’s not a lot of yarn required and with all the double crochet it takes very little time. And free is a very good price for a pattern.

My brother has requested a ‘less holey’ version that fits his head. He does have a big noggin so I can’t blame the pattern for the size issue. One of these days I’ll get around to making him a custom, single crochet version.

Another pattern pattern designed with guys in mind is The Husband Hat, available for free at Crafty Christina with a folded brim and minimal single color trim.

*That’s cool* a random fact

The first passengers to ride a hot air balloon were a sheep, a duck and a rooster in 1783 as a royal demonstration for the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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I finally got to make this Starburst Hotpad. Ever since I saw Angela’s orange and pink version on Ravelry I have wanted to crochet my own. The only thing stopping me was the lengthy assembly directions. They seemed complicated, but the hotpad isn’t as daunting as I predicted. The hotpad makes sense once you have the pieces made and it all pulls together for the final step.

I tacked down the petal edges when I wove in the ends. Next time I would do this with a little more ease since there are visible creases. I used Lily’s Sugar and Cream in Bright Navy and Over the Rainbow. With the granny square holes, I’m not sure if I would use this as a hot pad, but it makes a sturdy trivet.

The Circular Cloth pattern is very simple and easy to follow. Perfect for the beginner wanting to practice increases in the round before tackling a hat. I used half a skein of Lily in Summer Splash.

In hindsight this dishcloth would have looked better with a contrasting border. The picture for the free pattern even has an orange border around a white center, but by the time I realized this I had already tucked and cut the ends. The back-loops-only do make nice ridges for scrubbing though.

The Crochet Hexagon Dishcloth is adapted from a Japanese pattern and the origin shows in the writing style. It took a few tries before I understood the notation.

My real problem was the recommended size G hook made this dishcloth bend in a cup shape. I had to use a size I crochet hook to get it relatively flat, and then I blocked it to keep the shells down. The blocking wasn’t really necessary though, and it made the shells look more pointed than they were originally crocheted because I’m still learning to block well.

The dishcloth is crocheted in Lily’s in Soft Teal. The simple, solid look of this pattern is really pleasing and a few of these in coordinating colors would make a nice gift.

Finally, in lieu of a random fact, I give you a YouTube video. Compliments of Geckogrrl, here’s a music video from the Canadian group Tricot Machine.  All the frames are knit!

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