Monthly Archives: February 2012

Oh Boy….. things just got more bleak for the man

So…. the man has true fear now. Yes – he is afraid, and rightfully so.

 The story starts 8 or so months ago.

A friend of mine from work and knit group had some drop spindles her husband had made for her to sell when she was doing demonstrations. They were 5$ and came with the drop spindle, some fiber, and some printed instructions.

Whelp, I went through the instructions and didn’t have much luck. The main issue was my being able to figure out how to get a lead onto the spindle if I didn’t have any hand spun yarn on hand. I tried and tried but the fiber kept sliding off. It wasn’t working. So – I pitched it to the side figuring I could revisit it in the future.

Well – that time came.

I was watching a video by dalequan on YouTube (definitely click for her channel) where she was spinning on a drop spindle. She, from all I have watched, is a really talented spinner. So, I thought I’d ask – what do you do if you don’t have fiber to use as a lead. And she answered. Not only did she answer me, she answered me with a 20 minute video that answered a LOT of my beginning drop spindle questions.

She has no idea how much I appreciate what she has done – but now the man has fear because now… NOW I can make my own yarn in addition to buy it. The day will come when he opens the guest bedroom door and he is welcomed with a wall of yummy, delicious, colorful yarn.

This, my friends, is a picture of my very first drop spindle yarn! The fiber is blank – so I know when I’m done, I’m going to try and dye it too! I’ll most likely give the kool-aid method a whirl, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

I’m spinning a rather lightweight yarn. I’d say thinner than DK but not quite lace. Perhaps fingering weight?

I’m having such a good time now and its all thanks to dalequan.


Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Not Fiber Related, Rambles and Reflections


Year of Projects: Week 35

Project Percentage Complete: 80%
Overall Percentage Complete: 96%
Number of Project Items: 20
Number of Added Items: 167

Total Completed Items: 179

Total Items: 187

Today’s post is not going to be too interesting, I’m sorry to say. Basically I have started the now afghan (not throw) for the state fair project. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need to do a throw for the living room, but I decided that since I did pull a couple projects off the original list, I’d just change out the throw for something WAY bigger.

For the afghan I am making 90 8″x8″ squares. Yup.. 90. Insane! It will be 9 by 10 squares in size with what I am hoping to finish off with a good 3″ border. I am contemplating sharing photos here but right now I think I won’t simply because I only have 1 strip of 10 squares done. I have started on the second strip. Heck. I may make you wait until its done to see the photos.

But this afghan has been my focus for the last week. I do feel a bit guilty because I have done absolutely no charitable crocheting, but then again, I spend most of my year crocheting for charitable causes and others’ projects that taking a month out for an afghan for me shouldn’t be a big deal. And yes, this afghan will be for me.

My biggest fear is that it is too simplistic for a state fair project, but at the same time, I think the sheer number of hours going into this thing makes it quite a wonder. Many folks stop at throws because crocheting something that covers a queen/king size bed takes a while. I think what I’m doing is going to take a lot of hours but its not like I’m doing it in thread! *laughing* That would be insane…. but I bet it would look cool as heck *pondering* Am I that insane to give it a whirl? ….. maybe.

So since that has been my focus and I’m not sharing photos of it yet, I figure I can let you have the stats and the list (although it goes unchanged from the previous post), and another silly photo from my personal life.

My daughter loves Build-A-Bear and all the accessories and clothes that come with it. And… unfortunately, our cat is about the size of a Build-A-Bear….

because of these two facts, you can see the mathematics behind this photo:

Little Girl with Passion + Relatively Tolerable Cat = (ticked off cat)^funny.

Project List Items (not complete)

Lacet Table Runner […started…]
– Queen Sized (plus) afghan Throw for living room sofa [state fair project – started]
– Round Afghan/Throw
– Angel Tree Topper

Project List Items (done)
– 14 pair of Paperclip Ice Skates Ornaments
Easy Cabled Scarf
– Poncho (early Christmas present)

Added Items (not complete)
– Wristlet Bag (adjusting pattern) […65%…]
– 2 Kitchen Chair Wall Protector
– 1 knit scarf [started]
– Girls Trellis Poncho [started – my own pattern that will be posted free]

Added Items (done)
– 1 crocheted Wristlet Bag (making my own pattern)
– 1 Ear Bud “purse”
– 1 crocheted hand bag

– 2 Crochet Bags (Mystery CAL Beach Bag, EnviroTote #4)

– 5 Knit Washcloth
– 32 Crochet Wash/Dishcloth
– 1 crochet face scrub finger mitt (Christmas present)
– 1 dust mitt

– 2 Kitchen Chair Wall Protector
– 4 crocheted towel toppers

– 1 WW Yarn Runner for  ledge
– 11 crochet scarves
– 1 knit scarf
– 2 crochet cowls
– 5 Hybrid Hat (pattern coming soon)
– 1 knit hat
– 13 crochet hats
– 2 crochet character hats (sock monkey, puppy)
– 10 crochet hat clips
– 10 crochet headbands (some are Sherry’s Headband)
– 10  Candy Stocking Ornaments
– 2 Crochet Lid Topper
– 2 wreath pins
– 1 Spiderweb Doily
– 1 small decorative Christmas tree (didn’t like, threw away)
– 6 mug cozies
– 1 pair knit socks
– 4 crochet Faux Boob (pattern)
– 21 SIBOL Square
– 5 crochet pet beds (1 was not for donation, the rest are)
– 2 crochet mitts (owl mitts)
– 2 cup cozies (1 knit, 1 crochet)

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.


Posted by on February 26, 2012 in My Projects


Charitable Crochet: 12 for 12 Post #4

Today is my scheduled post in the 12 for 12 Project set up by Kathryn over at Crochet Concupiscence. Click on the link if you are interested in reading more about the project.

The premise of the project is to make 12 separate donations, one to each of 12 different charitable organizations of your choice.

And this …..*queue Law and Order music* ….. is my update.

Overall Progress: 1 / 12 donations made. Read on for more details.

OK – this is my fourth post in the 12 for 12 Project.

1. Knitted Knockers
Website Link
My Pattern
Would you believe I am still waiting to hear back from the cancer center? I think its time for a follow-up call! If I can’t make contact with them in the next week, I’m going to whip up a few more and send them off to the Knitted Knockers project group. I really wish I could get them donated locally though. *smirks*

Made 4 / Donated 0

2. Special Olympics Scarf Project
Website Link
I finished a second scarf and figure these two will end up being my donation. I will pick up more at the end of the year in the new colors for Special Olympics 2013. I want to get a state picked and get these mailed off in the next week so hopefully, with my next update, you’ll see that they have been donated.

Made 2 / Donated 0

3. Sunshine International Blankets of Love (SIBOL)
Website Link
I’m still workin’ away at these. They are a quick 20 minute square so always good for take-a-long in the car.

Squares Made 23 / Squares Donated 0

4. Hooked on a Cause
Website Link
This cause is still looking for hat and yarn donations! I am hoping to put together a hat donation by the end of March and get it shipped out as soon as I can. I will most likely be putting some yarn in the donation mailing as well to help the core people keep crocheting.

Hats Made 0 / Hats Donated 0
Squares Made 0 /  Squares Donated 0

5. Local Animal Shelter(s)
I was able to start making more beds soon. I have bought some more Red Heart yarn to make some beds so when I get a break from working on my afghan, I’ll whip out a few of these. I was able to get the pattern up on the blog (check under the Original Patterns category) so if anyone else is interested in making the pet beds, you can do so and get them off to your local shelters.

Beds Made 4 / Beds Donated 4

Locations Receiving Donations:
Local APL (Animal Protective League) – 4

6. [to be determined]

7. [to be determined]

8. [to be determined]

9. [to be determined]

10. [to be determined]

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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Charitable Giving, My Projects


Crochet Mathematics: Chaos

(c) Wikipedia

This is probably a pretty cool design you’ve seen on a t-shirt, perhaps while perusing (one of my favorite geek-gear websites). But what is it? Whelp, I’m here to tell you AND show you how it can be represented through crochet.

In 1963, Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist, introduced the Lorenz attractor which was a form derived from the simplified equations of convection rolls arising in the equations of the atmosphere.

And you say… huh?

Me too – and this is where the research begins.

The Concept
The idea is that chaos is derived from a series of questions that help describe the chaos of nature. These equations, the Lorenz equations, have been used to help describe the behavior of chaotic systems like weather and water turbulence. Lorenz first developed a simplified model of thermal convection. He used three different equations to model two thermal convection rolls, each behaving unpredictably. He noted that even the small change in the beginning caused the system to evolve very differently in a short amount of time; however, while unpredictable, the equations produced consistent structure.

So, what in the world does all this mean?

If you put a gaseous substance into a box and heat it up, you will note that the warm gas will rise and the cooler parts will sink. As the gas closest to the walls warms it will heat and rise, and as it rises it will cool and fall again. This will form cylindrical rolls. With a regularly applied temperature, the moving gas should be regular and predictable; however, its not even if it appears to be. The movement is chaotic. The gas, even under the conditions described, will roll for a while in one direction and then stop and reverse direction. It will continue to randomly reverse directions at unpredictable time and speed.

Why? Because regardless how smooth a surface may appear, at a molecular level it is not smooth. Something at a molecular level can impact the overall pattern.

Think to the butterfly effect – with Lorenz’s observations, the beat of one butterfly wing can change weather patterns drastically – perhaps not immediately, but it can cause change that otherwise would not have occurred.

(If you are interested in seeing the equations in full, you can click here to view.)

Crocheting the Concept
Dr. Hinke Osinga and Professor Bernd Krauskopf, both of Bristol University, got the idea to crochet chaos using computer generated patterns sketching out the increases and patterns created by the Lorenz equations. Osinga, who had learned to crochet at age seven, took the computer generated pattern and got to work. The pattern could always be observed in a 2D image, such as one on computer screen, but being able to view it in a 3D world, via crochet, was exciting for the researchers.

Lorenz Manifold

After crocheting just over 25,000 stitches in 85 hours, Osinga has created chaos. The crocheted model, called the Lorenz manifold, helps visualize how chaos arises and is organized in systems like chemical reactions and biological networks.

Dr. Osinga explains this shape, this concept by imagining “a leave floating in a turbulent river and consider how it passes either to the left or to the right around a rock somewhere downstream. Those special leaves that end up clinging to the rock must have followed a very unique path in the water. Each stitch in the crochet pattern represents a single point [a leaf] that ends up at the rock.”

Osinga and Krauskopf insist their crocheted manifold was not done for fun (although any crocheter and mathematician/math geek may disagree), they insist their work gives true insight on how chaos arises and that chaos is organized in systems. While I still insist it had to be fun, I cannot imagine how wonderful Osinga had to feel as a concept viewed only on a computer screen came to life as she created each stitch.

Oh, want to know something even more exciting for those truly intrigued by the shape of chaos? You can crochet your own following the original instructions published by Osinga and Krauskopf (click here if you want to give it a whirl).

Just remember, if you tackle crocheting chaos, I need to see some pictures!

The Guardian


Math World




Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Rambles and Reflections


[Video] Understanding and Creating Filet

This isn’t so much a tutorial rather than a walk-through in understanding the creation process of crochet filet – or at least how I make basic filet designs.

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Video Tutorials


[Video] Single Crochet Foundation Chain

The tutorial below is to help you learn how to do the single crochet foundation chain, also known as the single crochet base chain.

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Video Tutorials


[FOTH] February 20, 2012

My Fresh Off The Hook Video for Monday, February 20th.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in My Projects, Video Updates