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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Why can’t we be on the letter V?

V is for Virus

*UGH*

So, last night, I was perusing one of my favorite free crochet pattern directories looking for a pattern to create a new craft bag. Something sturdy. And of course, I got sidetracked into looking at market bags as well (but that has nothing to do with the story).

As I was clicking “open in new tab” down the first column, a java script began to run …. I sighed in disbelief of picking up a virus on a pattern website. Oddly enough, the lovely little script shut down my virus protection software and proceded to “wipe” my harddrive.

Yup – last night around 7pm.

Now, before I continue this blog – I want to make sure that you are aware that I didn’t get the virus from the pattern directory website – I got the virus from the pattern that was linked on the site. I am sure it was fine at one point and I would almost bet the person with the pattern doesn’t know their website is spreading the virus. This is common enough which is why protecting yourself is on your shoulders – unfortunately, malicious people are out there so we have to watch out for ourselves.

Ok – on with the blog!

I initiated immediate virus procedures and began cleaning up the mess. As it turns out, the lovely virus didn’t wipe my drive, it simply hid every file and has somehow screwed up my entire program list. Who knows.

I am about 80% back (as of last night around 11pm); although, my efforts to do system restore have been thwarted. As of this morning, three attempted system restores have failed. At this point, I am thinking that I needed to clean the drive up anyway. I have my personal folders and can easily backup my pictures and videos to a disk and just reformat the rest to rid myself of the pesky virus once and for all. I would have about 2 or 3 hours of installs to restore all my software but honestly, is that so bad? I was looking at my harddrive last week and noted that I needed to clean it up. Perhaps this little virus is just the kick in the pants I need to get the drive taken care of.

Honestly – I’m a little frustrated I got the virus but I was not doing anything horrendous. I am a bit surprised that a site with a crochet pattern on it is spreading the little gem; however, at the same time the IT person in me says ‘what better place than a website with a crochet pattern’ –

So why this blog post: be careful out there, make sure you have anti-virus software, and that you are keeping the software up-to-date (although in my case, that didn’t really matter, did it?).

I am fortunate enough to have “blogged ahead” and got three posts together that have images and I can edit to make them current to the day. They will have images; however, anything new without pictures for the next few days and you will know which posts were made after the virus. I figure, though, I’ll be up and running again tonight – no biggie *smiles*

Not only am I thankful that I was able to blog ahead, I am blessed to have the knowledge to remove the virus from my PC and blessed to have friends that can help me out with information I may not have known (thanks Shoo for the link!)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Rambles and Reflections

 

D is for Details

I have blogged on this before on how edgings are important to crochet. As a quick recap, my mother is a fantastic seamstress. She does amazing work – and when I was learning to sew, she made it clear to me that when you finish your piece properly, it will look 10 times better.

Those lessons also taught me to never cut any corners and do your best. So that is why today’s ABC post is “D is for Details.”

When you are crocheting (or knitting or making jewelry or sewing or whatever it is you like to do), the truth is this – if there is a tiny little flub, if the yarn splits and you ignore it, or you don’t do a stitch quite right – it will show. Perhaps it won’t have a big arrow pointing to it, but someone will look at it and think ‘hmmm that doesn’t look quite right’ – or worst case scenario is that it is compared to another that is supposed to be the same, then that little yarn split will seem to jump out.

My Dishcloth

So let’s take a little example – a “grandma’s favorite” dishcloth I whipped out for myself – personal use item.

So the question we start with is – what’dya think of it? It looks pretty good for my first one ever. I’m not an avid knitter so I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Ok – it looks decent.

But there is a glaring mistake to my eyes. My mother trained me to look for imperfections in my work in order to have a better product in the end.

Let’s take it in a wee bit so you can get a better look.

Do you see it?

Hmmm in case you still can’t see my little boo-boo – let’s make it bigger! (and add a red arrow *laughing*)

Yup – there it is!

I remember making this mistake. I thought I had missed a stitch and forced a knit where I shouldn’t have. I ended up doing a bit of an increase on the row I should not have and got this bizarre looking stitch. If you look further, that little blunder also messed up the stitches immediately around it. My gauge is pretty consistent except when you look around that blunder – the stitch to the left is a little bigger and the stitch above it is smaller and appears more awkward because it was an increase that was not part of a pattern. One little blunder cascaded to a few other issues.

Granted, all of the boo-boos are tiny, but in the end, I know if you put this cloth up to another with better detail, to the untrained eye the other will just appear “better” even if the person cannot put a finger on why.

Considering I kept the orientation of the cloth the same for all three pictures, I would almost bet  you can go back to the first picture of the whole cloth and see the weird stitch – where you know the weird stitch is. Am I right?




It took me ages to accept that if it is something industrial, like a washcloth, or if it is for me, then sometimes it is ok to leave it (which I did for this dishcloth, and how fortuitous considering I was able to use it as an example for this post); however, I have to admit, I will usually go back and fix it even if my eyes are the only to ever see the item in question.

By paying attention to detail, you will create a better product.

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For more ABC link party posts, visit An Accidental Knitter’s blog.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Rambles and Reflections

 

WIP Wednesday

Ah – another WIP Wednesday. It has been a while since I have done one of these so I figured it was time to get something down.

As I have stated in previous blog entries, I have had a hankering to make socks. And while crochet is my primary form of fiber arts, I have never felt that crocheting socks was good for socks to be worn in shoes. Perhaps it is because I have really sensitive feet, but if the sock goes into a shoe WITH my foot, then I prefer knit. I think it is because the post of a crochet stitch is round while knit is more flat…. who knows – it’s my reasoning. I know I’ll have a host of comments from readers stating how they have the perfect crochet sock – I’m sure you do for you… for me, shoe socks are to be knit socks. Although – I do like a nice thick, comfy crocheted pair of house socks.

Anywhoozles – what I’m trying to say is my WIPs are pretty much knit focus.

I have one sock on a loom; however, I’m not sure this sock will ever get finished. I like the loom ok – but not enough to torture myself with making a second sock.

I started another pair of socks on circular needles. This is a whole new way to doing it so I’m on a learning curve. I think, as of right now, I like this method mostly because I’m making two socks at once. Well, I had a couple inches done until I realized I borked up the knit stitch. Don’t ask me how. I got side tracked or something…. but whatever happened, I had some pretty darn big ladders. So what looked ok this morning, even with ladders, now looks like 2 big balls inside a zip lock bag. Hmmmm ok, that isn’t what it looks like. That is what it is.

How I figured out I was doing something wrong was I decided that I would use up the last of my off-white cotton yarn making dishcloths. Well, I’ve crocheted several dishcloths and thought I’d knit up one of Grandmother’s Favorites. Well, I was knitting away at the socks and decided to put some time in on the dishcloth. When I went to do a yarn over, the yarn didn’t seem to sit right. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what was wrong – and then it hit me. I was not doing the knit stitch right. For some reason, I got weird in the middle of the sock and didn’t realize it until I picked up the washcloth. Oh well – I ended up frogging the socks and will cast them on again, most likely, tomorrow.

So, this is my dishcloth – I’ve made it around the sides and am on the decrease. Decreasing knit is when it becomes VERY apparent that I knit too tightly. If anyone has any suggestions on how to loosen the iron grip I have, I’d be more than welcome to the advise.

I do have one crochet project in the making although, while I know the man does not actively read my blog, I do not want to talk about it too openly or post pictures. Just know I’m about 10 to 15% done with it. I am excited to see this one grow; however, he was off work Sunday and Monday so I have not been able to work on it since Saturday. I’m eager to see how this one turns out.

But – before I blow the surprise (I could see him reading my blog tomorrow on a fluke) I’m going to stop talking about it now.

Whelp, this is the mighty entry I have for WIP Wednesday. If you are interested in what others are doing or would like to participate yourself, head on over to Tami’s Amis blog.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in My Projects

 

*excited face*

APOLOGY: I swear I had this posted before but when I went to blogger tonight, it was listed as a draft. I thought when I published it, it would go to the original date, which was 5/17.. but it didn’t. My apologies for it being a double post/read for some of you.

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First of all – I am excited because the “recent posts” area of blogger seems to be working. I have spent a good amount of time going back and reading. I hope to be all caught up by tomorrow. There are some absolutely lovely crochet and knit items I missed out on when my blog-buddy posted them originally. So for not commenting the day you posted, my apologies. BUT – all is well now.

Celebrate the Square Dishcloth Trio

Second – I have posted a pattern for sale at Ravelry. In all my 30 years of crocheting, I have never once sold a pattern. I don’t know why – I have been writing my own designs for a while now. Perhaps I thought it was too simple to do or worried someone would say it was too silly of me to think the pattern was worth selling.

The pattern I have for sale is called “Celebrate the Square Dishcloth Trio.” The document, delivered as a pdf file, contains the patterns to three dishcloths. All dishcloths are textured, thick, and study.

Right now the pattern is only for sale on Ravelry, but I think I may expand out to Etsy soon.

My plan is to write up a few of my patterns to sell, but not quite in the proportion of the free patterns I provide on my blog. I still like offering free patterns and that will never change.

This is just a new endeavor – an exciting one, to boot!

If you are interested, here is a direct Ravelry link to the pattern: (Rav Link)

However, if you are not a Ravelry member and you want to purchase the pattern, you can do so here: (Buy Now)

 

Always Busy Crocheting

Shawl for Mom: Mother’s Day 2011

That’s right, I’m always busy crocheting…. or at least enough to make it the title of this post and qualify me for the ABC meme with An Accidental Knitter.

I’m getting a late start. Yesterday was the post for C – and like always, I’m the last to know of the fun stuff. So… instead of pouting about being late and not getting to play along, I figured I’d just jump right in and do “A B and C” all together as “Always Busy Crocheting.”

So what does it mean – well, pretty much just that, although I did consider making this “A Busy Crocheter” because that is more truthful than you’d believe. However, I hate the sob story/rope-pissing contest type messages. I know other people are busier than me. I’m not alone and griping about it or making everyone aware doesn’t make it better. Truth be told – I actually love being busy which is probably why, when I do have spare time, I like to fill it with something like painting or fiber arts. Not being busy isn’t very fun to me.

Another aspect of “always busy crocheting” is that while I have limited time to crochet, my favorite of the fiber arts as it stands right now, I tend to have so many WIPs going at one time. Right now I have socks on the needles, a sock on a loom, dishcloths (both crochet and knitted), a scrapghan, AND a special project for the man. Sometimes I look at it and wonder what kind of crazy lady has taken over my body – but then I come back to reality and know it’s just me… I’m that crazy lady.

So, to wrap this up – I enjoy being always busy… and more so in my free time: always busy crocheting. It’s a good hobby and it’s constructive. So I ask you, dear reader, what are you always busy doing?

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If you are interested in reading other entries for this link party OR want to join in, head on over to An Accidental Knitter’s blog and check things out. It works like other link parties – make your post (preferably on Monday, but not required on Mondays) and link direct to your post from hers. Don’t forget to include a link back so your readers can join in on the fun.

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Join me next Monday when I tackle the letter D.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Rambles and Reflections

 

[Video] Magic Circle

Ever run into a pattern asking you to do the elusive ‘magic circle’? Look no further. The video below explains how to do the magic circle.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Video Tutorials

 

The Thrill of Something New

There is something special – almost magical, when starting a new project. I may be in a minority with this, but truly – it is something I think triggers my mind into releasing endorphins. I may be crazy, but it is somewhat like when a new relationship starts – everything is brand new and fun.

Am I crazy?

May be – but that doesn’t take away from my excitement.

‘tequila sunrise’ yarn from Red Heart

My first “new adventure” is one in knitting. I know I know… I really am not a knitter. I don’t overly enjoy it although recently I’ve had a craving to make socks. It isn’t that I “can’t” knit – I choose not to knit; however, this craving is worse than a pregnant woman with pickles and ice cream. I have been looking for the right method to knit socks, including the purchase of a new sock loom.

I had cast on using 4 double pointed needles and I remembered oh so clearly why I hate that method. So I thought I’d go 15th century (the true old-skool?) and use 5 double pointed needles. Yea… that’s about the same as 4 with just 2 extra needles to jam into your nail bed.

My frustrations had almost gotten the best of me when a friend suggested I use 2 joined hooks. I went online and found the magic ring method…. yea – that’s a negative as far as my first attempt. She then realized I had no idea what she was talking about and brought me a book: Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham. I flipped through the book and my initial thought is “ok, this makes sense.” So I took my Michael’s gift card out today and purchased 2 sets of joined needles. I have sock yarn so I guess I’m ready to go. Perhaps I’ll have something to show on WIP Wednesday as far as socks are concerned. It’s a learning curve so we shall see.

This project of socks excites me because it is a method where you make both socks at the same time, alleviating Second Sock Syndrome (SSS). In addition to preventing SSS, I will have better control of getting the colorways to match up and not have 8 sharp points wiggling around my fingers in a small work space.

I know this blog is about crochet, but I reserve the right to say it’s PRIMARILY about crochet *chuckles* I don’t anticipate a lot of knitting to be discussed beyond socks.

So to bring it back around to crochet, my second project (or probably the primary, considering I am VERY excited to get this going) is going to be my first true wearable beyond hats and scarves. I have decided to make my beloved a sweater vest for Christmas (or whatever holiday comes right after I finish it because I suck at keeping presents for any given amount of time).

I have chosen a pattern by Drew Emborsky, better known to us as the Crochet Dude. The pattern is simply called “Guy’s Vest” (ravelry link). I will be doing it in a darker green using Caron yarn. I am really excited about this one so I can see me plowing through the pattern and having it done in time for me to give it to him on Sunday… this Sunday. *laughing*

This one makes me doubly excited because it is my first wearable and I do love crocheting for the man. I hope he’ll love it as much as I love the idea (and the process) of making it for him.

So I ask you, the reader, do you get excited when starting a new project? What was the last big project you were really excited about starting and knew it was “right” to make?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 21, 2011 in My Projects