RSS

Monthly Archives: July 2011

Year of Projects: Week 5

Project Percentage Complete: 29%
Overall Percentage Complete: 13%
Number of Project Items: 28
Number of Added Items: 10
Total Items: 38

I haven’t made a lot of progress this week mostly because I somehow hurt my shoulder. I woke up Tuesday morning and it was achey and stiff. By Wednesday I couldn’t move. I actually had to call in sick to work because of my inability to move. Since Thursday, though, my shoulder has continued to be painful but I have been able to move. I’m hoping that by the end of this weekend, I’ll be back to my as-close-to-normal-as-possible self.

But enough about that, I did cast on a knit washcloth for the dishcloth a week Rav group. I was hoping for a crochet cloth but – oh well. Win some, lose some *grins*

I have also made some progress on the wristlet purse I made before. I’m working through some design quirks in hopes to have a good pattern by the end of next week.

Project List Items (not complete)
Filet Market Bag
– Lacey Table Runner for kitchen


– Throw for living room sofa (no pattern selected yet)
Men’s Vest (Christmas present)
– Round Afghan/Throw (potential Christmas present)
– Angel Tree Topper
– Joseph Wrap from Crochet! Magazine (as Christmas present)
– 11 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments (office Christmas presents)
– 2 sets of Golf Club Covers (no numbers) – (as Christmas presents)

Project List Items (done)
– 3 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments (personal use)
– 4 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments (as office Christmas presents)
– Easy Cabled Scarf (my own pattern) 

Added Items (not complete)
– Wristlet Bag (adjusting pattern) [65% complete]
– EnviroTote Market Bag #4
– 2 Kitchen Chair Wall Protector
– Knit Washcloth [50% complete]

Added Items (done)
– Wristlet Bag (making my own pattern)
– Mystery CAL Beach Bag
– 1 Knit Washcloth
– 2 Kitchen Chair Wall Protector

———————
This post is part of the Ravelry Group “Come Blog-A-Long” #yearofprojects Project. If you are interested in joining along or finding other posts similar to this one, visit the group on Ravelry.

Advertisements
 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 31, 2011 in My Projects

 

Hookin’ Up, Day 28: An Open Book

I am excited to be Day 28 of the Hookin’ Up Project being hosted/planned by Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence.

I want to sincerely thank Yarn Dharma for the review of my blog yesterday in addition to introducing to you the next blog in the project: An Open Book.

I would like to take this time to introduce you to Rowena, the owner/writer of “An Open Book” blog.

Rowena is a soon-to-be mom from Australia living in the Blue Mountains with her Canadian husband. I must admit that I had not heard of her blog before the Hookin’ Up Project, which is primarily what the project is about – introducing us to new blogs we may have missed and meet fun new people who enjoy many of the things we do. Rowena and I have a lot in common excluding she’s a soon-to-be mom, although I do remember those days before my first was born.

Her blog is a candid look at her life. Primarily she blogs about crafting and her creative nature, but she does blog about other aspects of her life like pregnancy, insomnia, and The Gladiator.

I’ll leave you to find out who The Gladiator is.

So without further adieu, I want to share with you a short interview I had with Rowena –

Would you mind sharing when you first learned to crochet? Who taught you or are you self-taught? What was the first thing you remember crocheting?

I was first exposed to crochet when I was 8 years old, a cousin was crocheting me a giant granny square blanket. I didn’t actively pick up a hook till I was 12 or 13 when my mother tried to teach me.  It didn’t work as she is left handed and I’m right handed.  Eventually I taught myself through magazine articles,  but then gave up in frustration, everything was so daggy and uninspired.

I picked up the hook  about three years ago when I found there was a big “internet revolution” and that crafting didn’t have to be daggy.  The first thing I remember crocheting was a wonky granny square with squeaky acrylic yarn.

Ya know, while my mother was the primary teacher in my household, I have to say the internet has been critical in learning new things as an adult. So I think that the “internet revolution” has really impacting crafting as a whole, even if you do have a real person to help you too. 

Now, I must say that your blog appears to be relatively new. Is it your first blog? What inspired you to start a blog?

I have had other blogs before, but deleted them.  I used to feel like I had to hide things even on the internet about myself, I wouldn’t even post a photo of myself, where as now with this blog I feel like I can post anything.  I think I used to be worried about not impressing anyone and that’s ridiculous because when it comes down to it, a blog is your own personal space and if people want to read it, that’s good and if they don’t – well that’s okay.

I was inspired to start this blog because I wanted my own ‘Sacred Space’ on the internet, where it didn’t matter if I posted raw unfinished pictures of my projects or whine about my pregnancy . I wanted it to be something that I can use as a record, to look back on.

Well, I must admit that since finding your blog, I have really enjoyed it. I am glad you have found a place to have as your own Sacred Space but are willing to share it with people like me.

So I have to ask how long have you been designing crochet items? What are your favorite to design?

I wouldn’t call myself a designer ;)

Oh, I beg to differ, Rowena! I’ve read your blog and looked at your pictures – you are definitely a designer. *smiles*

I have only recently started out drawing rough sketches.  Actually it came with a surge of creativity around my pregnancy! (I’ll be six months when this is published)  I’ll literally get flashes in my minds eye and have to write something down, so at the moment I have about 3 or 4 sketches, that I need to flesh out.  I’m currently working on two. My favourite thing to design would be something gothic and wearable.

Six months – congratulations! I can only remember how excited I was when I was in your shoes…. almost 12 years ago! So I have to ask have you made anything special for the baby that you would like to share?

umm nothing really special, just an array of baby cardigans and some booties. Ravelry is great for baby patterns!  I wish I could say I’d made something spectacular, but I’m a bit slack in that department.

Now, I loved the blurb you wrote about needing to begin creating spirals and mandalas. 

*shuffles papers*

Rowena’s Design

You wrote, and I quote: “Yesterday I was happily working on my rainbow stripes granny blanket and the creative side of my brain took over and started designing spirals and mandalas. I literally had to drop my current project, waddle inside, get a pencil and start sketching.” Is this how the creative process usually strikes you?

ERG Yes!  And its starting to drive me nuts because I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like have lots of works in progress.  I’d much rather work on one thing at a time and finish it, so I end up with lots of sketches, lyrics, and bass lines (I’m also a musically inclined person) and I want them to all be finished.

Oh? Musically inclined? What instruments do you play and how long have you played them?

I have been playing electric guitar since I was 13.  I stopped for about ten years when I turned 17, just lost a lot of respect for the music industry and performers and this impacted my playing.  I recently have gotten into playing the bass guitar, which *I* L-O-V-E!!! I find its a lot easier for me to write out melodies on a bass guitar.  So this is my main instrument.

That’s really cool. I’m seriously into music and would love to see more of it on your blog… in addition to lots of crochet posts, of course *laughs*

So back to crochet, is there a person who inspires you to crochet or design?

An Australian parrot – Rowena loves this one!

Not so much a person but the environment around me, I’m inspired by colour, especially the landscape and animals.  Australia has some magnificent sights so I want to incorporate the sights and colours somehow in my projects.

Here is a picture of an Australian parrot that I love.
*shows the picture*

What is your absolutely favorite thing to crochet or design for crochet?

I’m going to be boring and say blankets!

I’ve made two blankets for family members, and I always have people wanting one. I didn’t realise how useful blankets are. Its not just the warmth, its the fact that someone went out of their way to make you something that big and spent so much time on it!

Oh, I have to agree – I take so long on blankets that it really means a lot to someone who knows how much work they are.

Blankets take me ages to make too!

*smiling and laughing*


ok ok – let’s get back on track here *laughing* Do you do any charity crochet work? If so, are there any specific projects you like to crochet for that you’d like to share with the readers?

Occasionally.  I like to make simple blankets to take to dog shelters.  Just crochet hdc (that’s half treble for UK folks).  You can check with your local rescue shelters if they need any.

Alright, Rowena – one more question: Do you have any crochet websites or blogs you absolutely adore and would like to share with the readers?

www.ravelry.com
http://staffyrescue.wordpress.com  (the blog of Staffy Rescue NSW)

Thank you again for your time, Rowena – I know you have a lot going on. I really appreciate your taking the time to sit down with me for an interview. I wish you the best with your pregnancy and look forward to many more blog posts about crochet and motherhood.


============================

Be sure to stop by Rowena’s blog “An Open Book” and learn more about her and read her review of Cute Crochet Chat tomorrow.

(as a note, in case anyone was curious – Rowena and I did the interview via email… I used creative licensure to make it seem as if we were able to sit down together in the same room)

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Announcements

 

L is for Learning

Where I lived for 3 years

I went to college for the first time in 1994. I went to a small, all-women’s Catholic university – it is a prominent school and very strict in the curriculum. The school was not kidding when it came to churning out highly educated women, ready to take the world by the horns and make it their own. The women there are free-thinkers, critical thinkers, and well-rounded.

The classes were small, approximately 5-15 in the classroom, 50-75 per graduating class. It was a difficult school to go to and a lot was expected of you, but it was fun. I can say I am blessed to have been a part of the entire experience there and am a better person for it. While I did not graduate, not because of curriculum – it was matters of the heart, I feel forever connected to this school and everything I learned there.

But what does this have to do with crochet, you ask?

Simple.

Freshman orientation left us going from building to building, finishing up in a large room with Sister Barbara, the President of the university standing in front of us. She explained that the school was not about taking our money or churning us through – we were more than just a number. She went on about how education is more than a grade. She expected us to be involved and social. A person who makes all As with no social life is a person who will not be successful. She did not want us to lock ourselves up and bury our faces in a book. She wanted us to experience life.

Ok, Cris… but what does all this have to do with crochet???

I remember her speech as if it were yesterday – the Woods was not going to teach us everything we needed to know about our field of study. What the Woods would teach us is how to continue learning throughout our lives. Learning how to learn is what would make us successful in life. Learning to learn will ensure we are capable of learning new things no matter where we are in life.

She could not have been more right. I have remembered those words since she spoke them. I knew from that moment, I would love my experiences at that school and knew that each one would play into my life somehow, with those words as the theme.

And I do think something like crochet gives a person an opportunity to learn how to do something. In addition to this, learning a craft gives you the curiosity to continue learning more about it and in most cases, like crochet, there truly is no end.

Learning… what does it mean to crochet? Boy oh boy, what DOES it mean?

First, a person wanting to learn crochet must learn how to hold the hook, learn how to hold the feed yarn with their tension hand, and learn some basic stitches like single crochet and double crochet. This is the technicals – what they also must learn is patience in that their first try will most likely not go so well. Heck, their second and third attempt will probably stink as well.

Ok – that’s obvious…. but what else?

As time goes on and the person learns the basics and masters them, quickly I’m sure, then he or she must continue to learn but what they learn is up to them. Some may want to go in the direction of traditional crochet while another wants to learn thread crochet. Someone else may want to learn tunisian crochet while their best friend wants to learn how to do a graphghan. Their neighbor may want to learn to knit while the person down the street and one block over wants to learn interlocking crochet…..

You get my point, yes?

There’s a lot to learn and I’m still learning every day. Right now I’m in the throws of teaching myself to be a more advanced knitter (beyond the knit stitch is what I mean by more advanced) and working on designing some patterns of my own, regardless of how simple they really are.

======================
This post is part of the ABC meme created by An Accidental Knitter. If you are interested in reading more posts for the letter L or participating, follow this link.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Rambles and Reflections

 

Year of Projects: Week 4

Project Percentage Complete: 29%
Overall Percentage Complete: 14%
Number of Project Items: 28
Number of Added Items: 9
Total Items: 37

This has been a relatively productive week although I do not have much in the FO department to prove it. I grabbed some green yarn on Wednesday to make some green ice skates. I also started and finished a knit washcloth. I definitely am finding a preference of crochet for dish cloths and knit for wash cloths – I think it has a lot to do with the drape and texture each technique gives the yarn. I don’t use any different yarn for either, but just by changing out technique, I get two very different cloths.

I grabbed some yarn to make some chair slip covers too – I have finished two so far and I think they look really nice. They definitely serve a purpose so no matter what they look like, I’m using them *smiles* By adding 4 chair slip cover/wall protectors, my overall percentage went down.

Project List Items (not complete)
Filet Market Bag
– Lacey Table Runner for kitchen


– Throw for living room sofa (no pattern selected yet)
Men’s Vest (Christmas present)
– Round Afghan/Throw (potential Christmas present)
– Angel Tree Topper
– Joseph Wrap from Crochet! Magazine (as Christmas present)
– 11 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments (office Christmas presents)
– 2 sets of Golf Club Covers (no numbers) – (as Christmas presents)

Project List Items (done)
– 3 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments (personal use)
– 4 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments (as office Christmas presents)
– Easy Cabled Scarf (my own pattern) 

Added Items (not complete)
– Wristlet Bag (adjusting pattern)
– EnviroTote Market Bag #4
– 2 Kitchen Chair Wall Protector

Added Items (done)
– Wristlet Bag (making my own pattern)
– Mystery CAL Beach Bag
– 1 Knit Washcloth
– 2 Kitchen Chair Wall Protectors

———————
This post is part of the Ravelry Group “Come Blog-A-Long” #yearofprojects Project. If you are interested in joining along or finding other posts similar to this one, visit the group on Ravelry.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2011 in My Projects

 

Kitchen Chair Topper/Wall Protector [Pattern]

This pattern is a pattern designed out of necessity.

You may recall I recently moved to a new house. At my old house, I had a dine in kitchen so a round table was fine. The new house has a small dining area, not something I’d classify as a room, but it’s size and shape required us to buy a new kitchen table set. We went with a lovely cherry table and chair; however, the lovely new chairs have a tendency to hit my lovely new walls (compliments of the children).

I truly was tired of seeing small marks and cringing every time one of the children stood up and pushed the chair back. I have been thankful for several near misses… unfortunately a few times were not misses. So in order to protect the wall and the chair, I came up with a simple pattern to cover the top of the chair while matching the wood and the rest of the house. Read the rest of this entry »

 
25 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Original Patterns

 

Simple Knitted Two Cable Scarf [Pattern]

This pattern is a simple cabled scarf. It is a knit pattern. I contemplated not putting the pattern on this site simply because I started this blog to spotlight crochet; however, while I could start a new blog for knitting, I figure… why? I won’t have that many knit patterns so I don’t think it’ll hurt to have it on this blog.

The wool I used was a rather expensive wool/acrylic blend, but you do NOT need it for this pattern. Any yarn will do as long as it is a worsted weight – if you go with a thinner yarn, you will need to adjust the size of your needles accordingly. Unfortunately, I’m not experienced enough to be able to suggest a specific needle size for a different size yarn. You’ll have to experiment with that on your own. Of course, if you change yarn weight to something thinner, you’ll need more yarn to cover the pattern length. My only real suggestion is that whatever you use, you will most likely want it to be washable – some people have time to hand wash items… me, I like to pitch it in the washer and not worry about it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Original Patterns

 

Would you mind…

I have a relatively regular group of readers here and I just wanted to find out how people felt if I posted a knit pattern on the website? Obviously, this website is about crochet; however, I am more than just crochet.

So before I posted it, I was just wanting to check with you guys to make sure you are ok with it. If not, no worries – I’ll just write it up and post it on Ravelry.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Rambles and Reflections