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.)