Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Knitting Theory

Knitting is simultaneously the simplest and the most complicated thing in my life.

It's only one motion.  Pull a loop through another loop.  (This requires yarn, but not needles.)  Held in your lap with your hands over his, a toddler can do it.  Sitting beside you, a six-year-old can do it herself with enough practice.  A sixteen-year-old can learn it in five minutes.  Right-handed people can teach it to left-handed people without trying to accommodate their different strengths.  It's just a single motion.

But it's such a rich subject.

  • You can go into how to tension the yarn: English, Continental, Portuguese, probably others I've never heard of.  
  • You can talk about the orientation of the stitches: Western, Eastern, and Combined; leading and receding legs, front and back loops.  
  • You can explore different types of knitting: colorwork, cables, lace; in the round or back and forth.  
  • You can talk about the needles: straight, circular, and double-pointed.
  • You can go into the yarn: weight, texture, fiber content, twist (you can get so far into this subject you end up in spinning theory).  
  • You can learn about changing shapes: increases and decreases of all types.  
  • You can research expert tricks: reading your knitting, dropping stitches to repair errors, lifelines, frogging and picking up live stitches.
This isn't even all of it.  There's so much more, and this is just what I could come up with off the top of my head.  The best thing about this list?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Resolutions: Happy Birthday!

Yes indeed, yesterday was my birthday! I am now nineteen years old. (Now three-fourths of you thinks I'm really young and the last fourth thinks I'm really old!) I have also survived my first semester as a college student and signed on for another one. Aren't I so smart.

I've also volunteered to start and captain a team for Ravellenic Games 2014, and hopefully I'll be doing another post on that later.  Preparation for the Olympic Games in February starts in December for us yarnworkers, believe it or not!

Astonishingly, things have actually gotten done in these last two weeks. An entire list of things. Not the whole list, unfortunately, but a list. Curious? Then take a look!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Earth Science Hat: And I Took A Lot Of Pictures

It has all paid off.

Sketching on a whiteboard, drawing little arrows to visualize plate motion and erasing in frustration designs that didn't work.  Lists of things to include that got longer as the semester continued.  Purchasing yarn, and the adventure that is dyeing with food coloring.  Going out the day before Halloween in search of black food dye (yeah, not going to find any!) and coming home with a sampler box of twelve dyes (including black but not orange?).  Experimenting with cast-ons, realizing I hadn't built one into my yarn requirements (oops).  Starting at least four times (too many stitches, twisted cast-on, etc).  Ripping out my first efforts at colorwork again, and again, and again.  Finally figuring out some half-assed intarsia-in-the-round thing that left a few ends but looked pretty good.  Frantically altering the design as we progressed through the class.  Learning to relegate some details to duplicate stitch; learning to do duplicate stitch.

And finally, wrestling a finished hat onto a balloon (you would not believe how many balloons end up in our house...) to take pictures of it.  And I took a lot of pictures.

I think this is my favorite shot of the bunch:

In fact, it's the first one on my Ravelry project page.  I like it because it's off-center, and you can see the mostly-concentric circles my gradient yarn produced.  The tiny twinkling stars out in space are pretty darn awesome as well.

So now let's go on a tour of the rest of the hat, shall we?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Spinning In Public

I take my spindle pretty much everywhere.  Anywhere I'll be standing or sitting in a position convenient for spinning, either Jara or Akitla has an invitation to accompany me.  I'm especially partial to places where there will be a balcony and enough time to get a good make or two over the edge, such as one of the college campuses I attend for classes regularly.

It's always fun to see the reactions I get.  A lot of people just stare out of the corners of their eyes.  Some people ask me what on earth I'm doing (at college, sometimes with stronger language!), while others ask more intelligent, informed questions.  Here are some of my favorite stories:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Earth Science Hat: Finally Off My Needles!

Yes!  Finally, this insane project is no longer occupying my needles!

Now, this doesn't mean it's done.  Oh, no.  For one thing, the back is a mess of ends hanging off from myriad different corners (notably, the subduction zone and ocean edge above it).  For another thing, there are a number of structures and details that need to be duplicate-stitched or embroidered in.  Here's what I can come up with off the top of my head:

  • Stars
  • Clouds
  • Rain
  • The details on the mid-ocean ridge
  • The magma/lava on the volcano
  • The stick-figure geologist
  • The outline of the mountain range
  • The converging crustal plates of the mountain range
  • The below-ground portion of the rift zone
  • The outline of the subduction zone
But at least it's a hat now!  Ready to see?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Resolutions for December: And We're Back!

Hello!  The particularly astute among you will have noticed that there were no Resolutions for November this year, and that is because I was too busy and distracted to make any until about the 20th, and by then I didn't even want to bother.  I did accomplish some stuff in November, including finishing that cupcake that was on my resolutions for I think two or three months!

Now it's the last month of the year.  Christmas decorations are going up everywhere I look, which reminds me I need to clean my room so it's not a fire hazard so I can get some candles going in here.  The Texas weather is going haywire, as usual. Expected high tomorrow is 75°F (24°C), while Thursday we're looking at 37°F (3°C).  That's quite a difference!  I have a pile of blankets on my bed keeping me nice and cozy, and I've been wearing a purple-and-grey plaid jacket every time I leave the house these last few days.  Definitely feels like December.

So let's get this ball rolling again and set some resolutions for December, shall we?  As always, Ravelry users are welcome to join us in the Resolutions Monthly group, anyone with a blog can link back to this post if they desire, and everyone else should feel free to post their resolutions in the comments.

I have a lot of resolutions this month, but I think most of them are fairly attainable.  Some are probably wishful thinking, but I'll do my best.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Final Project: Penny

I got up this morning to temperatures near freezing, a sky embraced by a soft grey sheet of clouds sprinkling tiny frozen droplets into my hair, and a brisk wind nudging me into the Fine Arts hall on campus.  My very favorite type of weather, nipping and teasing, weather with its claws sheathed ready to play.

I came home after class with tingling toes and ice-cold fingers because my dad's car has given up on heating and I'd forgotten to bring gloves.  After an hour of washing dishes and watching an episode of The Universe on 10 Ways To Destroy Planet Earth (Warning: Only watch if you're okay with your brain exploding at about 36 minutes in, and that's if you have some scientific background!), I was sufficiently warm enough to return to my room.

What greeted me was quite a pitiful sight.  A new volunteer for The Final Project had made her way to my house overnight, and had been sitting on my windowsill all morning, shivering in the cold and dripping with near-freezing rain.  Of course I let her in immediately, apologized profusely, and gave her a few minutes under my blow-drier to warm her up and dry her off.

With her feathers once again fluffy and her eyes bright, she's ready for her shining moment.  Introducing...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Final Project: Krissie and Maxwell

Before you panic, let me assure you that this is not my last project.  It's a clever title for my latest one.  I assure you, I will continue to knit long after I've finished.

With that reassurance, let's get to what the project actually is.

Have you ever heard of The (secret) Toy Society?  It's a wonderful organization that secretly leaves toys in public places to be picked up by children and taken home for free.  I just had to join, although I haven't made any drops yet.

I'm at college literally every weekday right now, and we're getting to finals in a couple of weeks.  This means, as my best friend put it, "There are lots of stressed teenage girls."  These people might appreciate adorableness.

Finals means many students are pulling several all-nighters to cram for tests they haven't prepared for.  Who better to encourage these tired teens (and adults!) through their study sessions than someone who's up all night anyway?

That's where my nocturnal friends come in.  An army of owls (and potentially bats) released into the campus[es] where they can bring happiness to a few lucky students.  Ready to meet the first volunteers?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Octuple Rainbow: Multiplying Spiral

The Octuple Rainbow, 144 squares of gorgeous yarn math and color mixing, is a single unit.  I don't think I can wrap my mind around this concept.

I raced through the last quarter and finished it just on time.  Impressive considering how far behind schedule I was.  I was literally working on it in a movie theatre the day I finished it.  The last stitches were done in the car, in fact, and I let my youngest brother snuggle under it all the way home because I'm nice like that.

Then I took pictures.  Remember the picture of the two stacked quarters offset?  I had to do it again with three.

And then with four.  But you might recall that I was missing one of my quarters because I had loaned it off to my best friend.  So I had to wait until Sunday to retrieve it.  He laughed at me when he saw what I was doing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bunny Fluff: Snowfall

Before I took up spinning, I was doing a bunch of research, and talking about it a lot with my best friend (since I process information by relating it).  I really don't remember how angora came up, but it did.  And for some reason, out of all the fiber I told him about, "rabbit wool" became his favorite (and yes, I know that terminology is incorrect; I've since corrected him to calling it "bunny fluff").  I knew I would have to make him something out of angora because of this, so when he later joked that I should make him a hat, there was my plan.

Turns out it's way cheaper to buy angora fiber than it is to buy angora yarn, so... yeah.  100% pure angora fiber is an interesting spinning task.  The fibers are short and hate to stay together, so they take a ton of twist to stabilize.  It also likes to spin thin.  So yeah, you could say it's a challenge.

I have four ounces of it, two 2oz ...bundles, I guess. Plastic bags full of fiber.  I manipulated one into a braid when I pulled it out, and I've left the other alone for now because of angora's tendency to shed.  I really have no idea how much the hat is going to take, so I'm going to do the two braids as two skeins.  That means I only have to have an ounce at a time on my spindle.  And means I can take a break from spinning to do half the plying, and then spin the other skein.  I'm easily bored.

Anyway, so this is my birthday gift to him.  Not just the hat, but the process.  Of course I have to do the spinning (this is so not a beginner's fiber), but I'll probably let him help me ply it if he's interested.  We're definitely dyeing it together, however he wants that done.  And since he's a quick study, he can also help knit it.  Meaning he'll be involved in every step of this process from fluff to finished, with the exception of spinning singles.  This is fun for both of us.

Right now I'm just shy of finishing the first ounce.  I have a small length of top left out of the ounce, and then I'll wind off this single onto a pen (probably) and start on the other half.

One of the college campuses at which I take classes is a giant two-story building that vaguely resembles a strip mall.  So while I was there yesterday, between classes with little to do for an hour, I spun.  Over the second-story railing.  Aw, yeah.

I picked a section of railing where people don't normally walk underneath, and it was fortunate that I did.  Once during the spinning process I lifted the spindle for a flick, and when I released it the slight bounce snapped my single.  Oops.

Interestingly, things seem to fall slower when watched from above.  Akitla struck the ground with a clunk audible from the second story, and lay forlornly in a tiled corner, waiting for me (I wish I had a picture of this, but I was too busy freaking out to stop to take one).  I admit I cursed as I snatched up my things and dashed down the adjacent stairs to retrieve her.  Except for a slight dent at the bottom of the shaft, she's perfectly all right.

I think from now on, I'll keep my balcony spinning to the plying part of the process.  There's less likelihood of tumbling spindles with that stage.  Anyway when plying over a balcony, a good solid spin will carry it all the way to the ground, which tends to make people stop and gape -- a sight that basically makes my day.

Friday, November 1, 2013

October Resolutions: What Just Happened?

Someone informs me that October is over.  What?  When did that happen?  Isn't it like the 18th?

According to my music professor this is the part of the semester where school tries to kill you.  My exams and major projects are stacking up within days of each other, making it difficult to plan ahead and forcing me to basically just get through a week at at time. Half the students are getting sick from not taking care of themselves well (not this girl!).  Sleep is in high demand and short supply.  So that might all be part of my confusion and inability to get things done.

As I suspected, this month did not go so well for my resolutions.  Check out the original post here to see what my original goals were, and brace yourself for a crash.  Here we go.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Earth Science Hat: Math, And The Doing Of It

A couple weeks ago, my geology professor walked through the seating area of the science building and saw me knitting.  "Are you making me an Earth Science hat?" he asked quite cheerfully.  Normally when people ask if I'm making them something, I don't respond with anything more than a weak smile (if that).  But he was so cheerful and the question was so odd that I grinned and said I was not; it was a sock.  "A challenge!" he returned with a smile.

So of course I determined right then and there that I was going to make an "Earth Science hat", whatever that meant.  Obviously this wasn't something I would be able to find on Ravelry (Ravelry member link only), meaning I would have to design it myself.  What an overwhelming challenge.  Design something worthy to be called an Earth Science hat (rather than a Tectonic Plates hat or Rock Cycle hat)?  Yikes.

It was difficult.  I knew what I wanted to put on it, eventually, and it was still difficult.  Getting tectonic plates to move the right directions, smash into each other correctly, show off enough diversity.  Making it look right was probably the hardest part.  But I did succeed.  Apparently, an Earth Science hat looks like this:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Octuple Rainbow: Mirror Mirror

My progress on this poor darling sort of... completely stopped when I started college.  I just didn't make time for it.  Which is terrible, because it means now I'm supposed to be finished with the third quarter and into the fourth, and well... I'm not.

Not the fourth quarter
However, I did finish the second quarter the day before classes began.  And there are some excellent pictures.  Do you want to see?

Monday, October 7, 2013

October Resolutions: Wait, It's October?

So October kind of crept up on me this year.  Either the end of September was a lot shorter than usual, or I just wasn't paying attention.  Which one of these things is more likely?

So I guess I should make some resolutions for the remainder of the month.  Or something.  Uh...

I'm super out of it.  Let's see how this goes.  As always, Ravelers should feel free to join us at Resolutions Monthly.  (I encourage everyone else to start a monthly resolution trend on a blog, Facebook page, or even comments here!)

Monday, September 30, 2013

September Resolutions: And Now Playing Catch-Up

Yes, I must admit, after starting this month so well...

...I got behind.

Vacations will do that to you.  Religious vacations involving a two-hour church service every day for a week will do that to you even more.  So yes.  I did lose it.  And yes, I will be spending the first part of October catching up.

But enough with the rambling: it's time to see the results!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September Resolutions: Stuff Is Getting Done!

September 15th means it's time to check in on my Monthly Resolutions.

I think I'm actually doing pretty well this month.  Things are actually being accomplished.

Have a peek back at my original resolutions, and let's see what I've done.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Storied Color: Coolest Thing

It's the end of week two, and time to check in!

I think I mentioned before that this is my third yarn, and it's already my favorite.  It's the fastest I've ever spun (I spun as much in the last two weeks as I did in my first month), it'll be the most I've ever spun (my current record is 1/2 ounce), and it's goshdarn the most complex I've ever spun (colors need to be kept in order!).

Recall my progress at the end of last week?  Jara's shaft wound with a skinny cop of reddish-purple singles, only beginning to show the rounded shape of a pregnant spindle?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Little Mischief: The Mischief Is Over!

Anyone remember this little jewel?

That's right, it's Little Mischief!  You might remember my struggles to get the math working, or the fight to cast-on the right size that led to the name.

It's due for its Big Day in just five days, and I'm glad to say that it's finally complete!

I finished the last stitch on Sunday the 8th, and immediately flung the whole thing in the washing machine with just a dab of soap.  Then it went for a tumble in the dryer and came out damp-dry, so I spread it out on the Table Of Terrible Lighting, stretched it gently so the border laid flat, and left it overnight.  But it wasn't until Thursday the 12th that I was able to sit down and trim off all the pesky little ends I'd sewn in earlier, and not until today (the 13th) could I take half-decent pictures.

Ready to see the whole thing?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Storied Color

Every month the Spindlers group on Ravelry hosts a spinning challenge based on a theme.  The goal is to start and complete a skein of yarn (at least 1oz/28g) between the first and last day of the month.  All entries must, of course, be spun on a spindle, and the "winner" gets to pick the theme for the next month.

Since Jara was free at the end of August, I decided to give the challenge this month a shot.  The theme this month is Storied Color.

This project is an adventure story, the story of my fiber crafting.  I pick something new to try, and then I just give it a shot even if it's considered hard or scary or whatever.  I don't let anything scare me.

So I started with 1.2oz of delicious merino from my Nerd Girl Yarns 8oz sampler pack, that looked like this:

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Resolutions: Balancing Act

Welcome back for another round, folks.  It's time to sit down, take stock, and write up a list of resolutions for September.  If you're a member of Ravelry, swing by the Resolutions Monthly group (where I'm now a moderator!) and let us know what your goals are.  If you're not, you're more than welcome to post them in the comments.  Feel free to check out my past lists for ideas.

This month I'm not dividing by category, but I am limiting myself to one resolution per "thing" whether that be craft or area of life.  Since school has started I have a lot less time, and I need to spread it out pretty thinly.

On to the resolutions!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Resolutions: Two-Thirds Is Good

So it's the end of August, and time to figure out what I didn't do.

Remember from the mid-month update how I had a good four resolutions "in progress?  Well I did some of them!  Which ones, you ask?

Let's see...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Resolutions: The Month Of "In Progress"

It's the fifteenth, which means it's Time For An Update!

If you'd like, go back to my August resolutions for a refresher before proceeding to the update, or check out the resolutions page to find out what this is.  Ravelers, don't forget to update us on your progress at the Resolutions Monthly group!

On to the update!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Colorwork Teddy: My Swatch Is Called An Arm

Small pieces make good swatches, because that's all swatches are.  Hence the absurd number of dishcloths and afghan squares conscientious knitters tend to make.  (For those who don't know, swatches are small pieces of knitting made to determine whether the pattern is good for the yarn, figure out what size needles you'll need to make the right size garment, and become at least somewhat familiar with the stitch pattern.  They're a good idea, but most people seem to hate making them.)

Someone commented recently that her sweater swatches are called sleeves, which made many people laugh.  Mostly because it's true.  A sweater sleeve is a small piece of the larger object, making it a useful and decent swatch.  I think many more people do this than they would like to admit.

Well, my swatch is called an arm.  The arm is the smallest piece of my teddy bear pattern, and I usually start with them because of that.  I pretty much don't care what gauge I get, because they all turn out unique.  In this case, I was swatching for color.

Monday, August 5, 2013

English And Continental

I think there are more ways to knit than there are to crochet.

Maybe it's that the knitters on Ravelry are louder on the main boards than the crocheters are, but there seem to be a lot more divisions, disagreements, and problems with knitting than there are with crochet.  Maybe it's because there are fewer ways to make a knot out of loops than there are to pull one loop through another loop.  Maybe we'll never know.

The biggest knitting division I know of is the English And Continental Divide.  This basically refers to which hand holds the yarn.  Knitting is a two-handed craft, meaning it doesn't really matter whether you're left- or right-handed, because you're still doing something with both hands.

English-style knitting is holding the yarn in the right hand, while Continental-style is holding it in the left hand.  Sometimes you'll hear English referred to as "throwing", and Continental as "picking", because of the different motions used to wrap the yarn around the needle.

My knitting story is as complicated as everyone else's, with one extra step at the beginning.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Resolutions for August

Those of you who came over from Ravelry's Resolutions Monthly group, and those who have been reading since last month, already know the drill.  Make a list of goals for one month and see how well you can stick to them.

Here are my goals for August.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Resolutions: Final Tally

(Shh.  No, of course I didn't backdate this post to be at the end of July.  That didn't happen.)

At the end of the month, it's time to see how I did on my resolutions for July.  Here we go!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Octuple Rainbow: We All Know Seaming Is Terrible

I thought I'd share with you how I'm sewing together my squares for this blanket, in case anyone searching the internet for some variation of "attaching granny squares" is not coming across anything satisfactory and wants another option (hello, past me!).  So come into my workspace today and I'll show you what I'm doing.

Sewing things together is often seen as One Of Those Things that knitters and crocheters hate doing, because come on!  It's not knitting! (or crocheting), and that's the stuff we really want to be doing.  I admit, I also hate sewing, but because I like the finished product I do resign myself to sewing once in a while.

So at the end of last year when I was figuring out how I wanted this blanket to come together, I tested all kinds of joins.  I didn't want to do a join-as-you-go style because I wanted this to take a year and JAYG takes less time than making and joining squares as separate steps.  I didn't want to crochet the squares together because that creates a seam--a ridge.  And I didn't want a ridge every six inches.  I have an invisible join that works pretty well, but it lays the edge of one square on top of the edge of the next, and doesn't show the joining thread.  Since I wanted the join visible and the squares flat, that wasn't going to work either.

What I finally settled on was astonishingly simple: whipstitch.  It shows a neat set of diagonal lines, it's totally flat, and it's really easy.  Let me show you.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little Mischief: Still Not Behaving

This little guy is just bent on finding ways to annoy me.  Well guess what, buddy?  I'm not annoyed!  (Much.)

Here's my problem:

(I apologize for the truly terrible lighting.  That room is impossible to take pictures in, and the one with flash was all the wrong color.)

You probably don't see the problem.  Let me explain.  My gauge for double crochet in Caron Simply Soft on a size H hook is half an inch per row.  Has been since I picked up the stuff to make my newborn cousin a granny square blanket nearly two years ago. (Wait what? It's been nearly two years? He's almost two??)  When I worked a little sample to see what the fabric was going to look like, it seemed to measure 1.5 inches for three rows. So I fully expected the twenty-four rows I'd completed at the time of the above picture to measure twelve inches.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Octuple Rainbow: Something To Snuggle With

Some of you may know from Ravelry (or real life) that I'm crocheting a large patchwork blanket this year called my Octuple Rainbow, inspired by this knitted afghan from Wooly Thoughts.

I'm using only six colors, arranged in rainbow order across and down... but I'm doing it four times. (That makes two rainbows--one across and one down--four times, which makes eight.  Hence, "octuple".)

The blocks will be arranged so that the solid purple squares will all be the very center of the afghan, and the solid red ones will be the corners.  In essence, it'll look like this:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Little Mischief: Cast On

Recently I came to the unsettling realization that I had nothing to work on, and commenced snuggling under a blanket on the couch to actually watch a movie while not doing anything.

It was torment.

So, as I was going to Walmart yesterday for two 97¢ packs of colored pencils (explanation to follow), I picked up four skeins of Caron Simply Soft to make a blanket for my middle cousin (yes, I only have three), who doesn't have one yet, although his little brother was given one at birth.

My original color scheme for this blanket was dark red, light yellow, dark green, teal-blue, and dark brown.  The only color I could find was the red.  So instead of leaving and finding them somewhere else, I improvised.  What came home with me?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Little Spinning Story

I'd like to tell you a little story, if you have the time to read it.

Since I was a kid I've been fascinated by the idea of turning fluff into string.  I remember Mom showing us a little envelope containing wool (I think for a literature discussion) and how while she wasn't looking I tried to twirl a little piece of it into string with my fingers (it didn't work).

When I found out that people actually do this, I got really excited and fixated on the idea of spinning.  I did a bunch of research on the internet, looked up spindles (people spin with weighted sticks?  I thought they used wheels!), calculated how much it would cost me to start.  I figured around fifty dollars for what I wanted.  But I didn't really have that kind of money to blow.

I saw a thread on Ravelry about someone getting used to their first drop spindle by plying commercial yarn, and something else somewhere about spindles made of LEGO.  There's a lot of LEGO in my house.  I built this at the end of April:

Monday, July 15, 2013

July Resolutions: Mid-Month Update

It's July 15th, halfway through the month.  That means it's time to take stock of what I've accomplished so far, and see what I still have to work on for the second half of the month.

Check the first July Resolutions post to remind yourself of the goals I set and the reasons behind them, and then keep reading to see how I've done so far.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July Resolutions

This March, a thread turned up in the Ravelry Loose Ends forum entitled "Resolutions for March".  Which of course made it intriguing enough for pretty much everyone who saw it to click on it.  The basic premise was that it was the end of February and we'd all failed our New Year's Resolutions, so we may as well make some new ones, just for March.

The idea took off, so in April there was another thread.  By May, I was curious enough to join, with eight items, all fibercraft ones.  I accomplished only three.  Toward the beginning of the month I suggested we ought to create a group for this, since it was turning out to be an excellent idea.  The idea was pounced on and Resolutions Monthly was born (come join us, Ravelers!).

June came along; there were six items on my resolution list, again all fibercrafts.  I managed four of them.

So now it's July, and I've finished creating my list. May I show you?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Single Crochet

Just starting out? Welcome to my phototutorial for working single crochet stitches, abbreviated "sc" in written patterns. Note that the stitch called single crochet in the US is called double crochet in the UK. Same stitch, different name.

In three steps, this is how to work a single crochet:
  1. Insert hook into next stitch [or space]
  2. Draw up a loop (2 loops on hook)
  3. Yarn over and draw through two loops to complete
If that doesn't do it for you, then on to the pictures! As always, you can click the pictures to enlarge them if you need a better view. (Left-handers, either reverse my pictures or work while looking in a mirror, either should work.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Joined Rounds

I will get back to this and make it a real post. For now, look at these pictures!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Flash Your Stash 2013

Flash Your Stash is a Ravelry thing. There's an annual thread where members post and explain pictures of their yarn stashes, usually covering large expanses of floor or king-size beds. If they've participated in past years, sometimes they'll link back to previous Flashes, allowing others to watch their stashes develop (or mutate, as the case may be).

I did not participate last year, since I didn't really have a stash last year. This year I sort of do, and I have the storage for it, so I decided to join in. I reorganized my stash, and while it was all on the floor I photographed it. So here it is:

Well That's Encouraging?

While surfing the Ravelry forums today, I happened upon a statement that made me laugh, then pause:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sock Ramblings

Yes, I knit as well. I actually dabbled in it before I took up crochet, but only enough to make a garter-stitch teddy bear and an iPod case that turned out too big. Only after I became proficient in crochet did I pick up the knitting needles again, and then things really took off.

Eventually I decided I wanted to make socks. At a Shakespeare reading I found myself next to a woman knitting a sock on DPNs (Double Pointed Needles), and mentioned I was considering getting a set of DPNs to learn sock knitting. Instantly she answered, "Get circulars. Knitting on double points is like wrestling an angry porcupine. The only reason I'm doing this is I don't have size 0 circulars." I laughed along, and privately determined then and there that I was going to learn to use DPNs.

A few days before I bought the needles, I picked up a skein of Serenity Sock Weight yarn from Jo-Ann, 50g of squishy sock goodness. Then I went to Walmart and bought a set of five size 2 double points. They are gold and shiny and I love them.

Since then, I have made three socks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Actual Marshmallows

Sometimes I have the overwhelming desire to bake something. This usually happens when the kitchen is a disaster and baking is out of the question. But not today!

I flipped through a cookbook and nearly decided on a cookie recipe when I saw one for what was basically Rice Krispie treat balls. That reminded me that my little younger brother (as opposed to my big younger brother; I have two) wanted to make Rice Krispie treats recently. So I went and found him and asked if he was interested in assisting me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Hate Sewing

I can thread a needle in under a minute (sometimes on the first try). I can sew whipstitch, running stitch, and backstitch like any beginner. I make small, even stitches that usually remain in a straight line. But I hate sewing. The action. The process.

I do love the product, though. I love turning the bag right-side-out and seeing that beautiful seam. That's one reason I sew.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Diagonal Two-Color Squares Tutorial

Time for the phototutorial I told you I would probably make, on how to make the Diagonal Two-Color Squares. Click the pictures to expand them if you need a closer look. (Please note that all terms are US.)

The basic pattern is a solid square (1 dc in each dc on the sides, [2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc] in the corner spaces), only in two colors. What you're going to do is work with one yarn at a time, and carry the yarn you're not working with by crocheting over it. So, work the first corner as normal with color A. When you get to the second corner, work the first two dcs, drop the working yarn to the front, chain two with color B (the first chain will be in color A, the second in color B), then work the last two dcs with color B. Now work with color B until you get to the fourth corner, and repeat the directions given for the second corner (with A and B reversed). Make sense?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quilt Block

I have this Quilt Block Purse that's been lying about half-finished for a good length of time because I haven't bothered to seam it or sew in the lining or make a strap. So I dug it out yesterday to distract myself from the Headache From Hell, seamed the sides, edged the top, crocheted the strap, and started figuring out the lining.

Hooray for productivity.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Having Acquired A New Style...

Hi. Remember me? I think I'm back.

I took a break from blogging for a year, as you may have noticed, and I've just decided to come back to it. However, I'm taking a different approach. Now, this will be about Life And What Goes On In It. Because frankly, I don't think I'm interested in a blog only about crochet.

If that wasn't evident from the year-long hiatus.

So, here I am.