Ash Has Her Crojo Back!

That’s right, after months of focusing on knitting I finally decided to pull my finger out and continue on with my Frida’s Flowers CAL blanket.  It is the only WIP I have now with a deadline, and over the last few days I’ve managed to finish off quite a few blocks.  I also finished my second sock, and wore the pair to work yesterday.  They are the warmest things I’ve ever worn on my feet!

Too Many Projects, Not Enough Time

Wow, this last month has been a hectic one!  Between work, uni, a funeral and a trip to the mainland I haven’t had time to scratch myself! Oh and I managed to get a really bad case of the flu and asthma which knocked me down for over two and a half weeks.

Things are slowly getting back on track again now so I thought I’d share some pics of the knitting and crochet I’ve done this month.  The cedar leaf shawlette I’m knitting for my work mate is progressing nicely, with about half the leaf pattern to go before it’s ready to block.  It’s currently sitting on a chair behind me at work, so I can knit during my lunch hour.

I started a knitted shawl for myself while I was on my mainland trip, following the ‘Waiting for Rain’ Pattern by Sylvia Bo Bilvia.  I’m using Madeleine Tosh Merino, and it’s a joy to knit.  Unfortunately it’s on the back burner now as I have a few other more pressing projects to complete.

I got my crojo back over the weekend and powered ahead with the blocks for Frida’s Flowers CAL.  I’m suddenly really enjoying crochet again and these blocks are great to work up.  Week 3’s block has about a billion ends to weave in though, which I most certainly did NOT enjoy.  Great result though – I think it may be my show entry for this year.

I’ve also put my Persian Tiles afghan on the back burner for a while.  It seems I need more hours in the day for crafting 😦

November Projects

It’s been a little while between posts now (mainly because I’ve been lazy) so I thought I’d show you some new projects I’ve been working on, now that the Summer CAL blanket has been finished.

Firstly, I’ve started the ‘Around the Bases’ CAL, which is a crochet-along that uses any feature square you choose for the centre of the blanket.  I’ve chosen the enchanted garden square by Courtney Laube, which is a nice combination of a crocodile stitch flower and Sophie’s garden square.  It took a while to finish the centre square, but I’m finally onto the around-the-bases parts; currently working through the 3rd inning.  As you can see, I’m using Cascade 220 yarn again, which is what I used on the Sophie’s Universe blanket.  I think I’m in love with this yarn.

151105_ATB_progress 151105_ATB_progress1

The other main crochet project I’m working on at the moment is a chocolate-coloured queen-sized afghan for my bed.  I’m using a small square pattern from Spincushions, and the yarn is a wonderful undyed, all natural Tasmanian wool.  It’s expensive but amazing to work with and I love the thought of a whole heap of chocolate coloured sheep running around somewhere!  Photos of this project to come.

Finally….I finished a sock!  The foot section alone took me all of Saturday and some of Sunday to finish, but it looks and feels great and it fits perfectly!  I’m pretty satisfied to report that for my first sock and first finished knitted item, I can’t find any major mistakes.  Happy days!  The only depressing thought now is that I’ve still got to complete the second sock before this sock is useful, which means all of that effort all over again….sigh.  The last image below is the beginnings of that dreaded second sock.  I figured I’d better start it straight away before I get scared and throw the yarn and the completed sock in my WIP pile in my office cupboard.

151107_Sock 151107_Sock2 151107_Sock3

OMG I Won!!!!!!!!!!

As you know I’ve been prepping my afghans for the Royal Hobart Show.  I submitted both the Sophie’s Universe blanket and the Summer CAL blanket last Friday, and promptly forgot about them.  On Wednesday afternoon I received a picture message from my father, who had gone out to the show to look at livestock.  He knew that my afghans were there somewhere and he went on a hunt through the pavillions until he found the homecraft section.  Not only had my Sophie’s Universe won its section, but it had also won most outstanding exhibit, and was ‘pride of place’ in the Cabinet of Excellence! WOAH.  I was in shock.  Unfortunately my Summer CAL blanket did not place in its section, but hey, I figure I can live with that since Sophie has cleaned up the best awards in the show!  Happy days!

151022_show 151022_show2 151022_show3 151022_show4

Guilt-Free Crochet

There is nothing worse than spending the whole time you are crocheting worrying about something else that you should really be doing instead.  Now that my exams are finished (YAAAAAAY!) I have six months of guilt-free crochet ahead of me, and man it feels good!crochet weekend

This weekend I put a thing dark purple border around my Summer CAL blanket, and blocked it again.  My dad saw it yesterday when he came over to watch the Bathurst 1000, and has told me to enter it into the Royal Hobart Show along with my Sophie’s Universe Blanket.  I’m still undecided.  Going by the reactions of friends and family, I suspect the Summer CAL may have a better chance at placing than my poor Sophie (which I love more).  I think it’s liked better simply because of the dramatic colour changes, while my Sophie is more subtle and intricate.  I have just under a week to decide, so we shall see!

bathurst

Now that I’ve officially finished the Summer CAL blanket, I decided to get my Rings of Change WIP out of the cupboard and work on that for a bit.  It may sound strange but I’ve missed working with a 4mm hook, and since I’m using varigated yarn there are hardly any pesky ends to weave in.  Nice and straightforward.  I like it.

Rings of Change

Blankets and Beanies

I spent most of the weekend on the couch crocheting – a very lazy, enjoyable couple of days! Firstly I used my new blocking pins for the first time to block my Sophie’s Universe blanket that I finished back in May.  It was pretty square already and I’ve been using it unblocked for months, but I needed to officially straighten it up so I can enter it into the Royal Hobart Show in two weeks.  This was actually the first time I’d seen it all flat on the floor, and I had to climb up onto furniture in order to take some photos of the whole thing.

I decided to crochet another slouchy.  This was my second attempt, since the first was crocheted in acrylic and thus pretty stiff and not slouchy-like.  I used some beautiful hand dyed merino in order to get a softer result, and bought a pattern from Ravelry, which can be found here.  I loved using this yarn, however the finished product was more like a beanie than a slouchy as it was too small to actually ‘slouch’ on your head.  I guess it doesn’t help that I have a rather large head, but if I try this pattern again I will make some pattern repeats to make it longer.  The pattern was lovely and simple though, and recommend (if you want a beanie!).

I then spent the rest of the weekend working on my Spectrum blanket, which is actually the Summer CAL blanket by Amanda Perkins.  After spending hours and hours and hours and hours (and did I mention hours?) weaving in ends and starting to stitch the squares together (in different colours so that the joins would be invisible – resulting in MORE ends to weave in argh) I’ve decided the next large project I work on will be in ONE colour so that I don’t have all those frustrating ends!  The blanket is looking good though, and I’ll be very happy with it once it’s finally finished and blocked.

150927_CAL150927_WS150927_Summer CAL progress

Holiday Crochet Fun!

While I was on the mainland for a week reveling in the glorious shorts-and-t-shirt weather, I wasn’t exactly on holidays.  I had a university residential (I’m an external student, so these lovely things are mandatory) which was so full on that I’m pretty sure my brain hasn’t fully recovered from over-stimulation yet.  I had these massive days, and then got to go back to the college and watch Netflix on my laptop and crochet.

I had a huge suitcase to lug around, which I’m unashamed to say was filled with more yarn than clothing.  After the residential was finally over my sister picked me up and I spent a few days at her place by the beach, where I got to spend time with my nieces and – surprise surprise – do some more crochet!  My mum also drove down from Queensland to spent a day or so with us, and so we had a bit of a crochet group going on in Mum’s motel rooms.  I think it was the first time the three of us had been in the same room crocheting together (other than on Skype) since we all started crocheting, and it was very nice 🙂

I ended up getting a hell of a lot of my Summer CAL blocks completed, and quite a bit on my virus shawl done too.  The latter was able to easily fit into my handbag, so I was able to take it with me on the plane and confused/intrigue the rest of the passengers when I whipped it out and started hooking.  I’ll take some nice photos of the shawl today and post them soon, but I’ll leave you with some images of the Summer CAL blocks 🙂

I’m very glad to be home, despite being back in coats and scarves.  I missed my puppies and my plants.  Oh, and my partner too I suppose 😛

150824_Summer CAL progress150823_Summer CAL progress

It’s Savage Ted’s Birthday!

This time last year I created this website to blog my adventures in crochet and life in general, and I am happy so say that my love of crochet has only increased over the last twelve months!  I can’t believe that I hadn’t tried to crochet before then – I liked knitting but I found it slow and got bored very quickly.

As a ‘birthday’ gift of sorts (any old excuse will do) I bought a LOVELY new handbag yesterday.  It was designed by knitters and has hook/needle pouches, roomy pockets and is big enough to not only house your usual handbaggy items but also a crochet project as well – all the while still looking like a classy handbag!  Absolutely in love with it.

bag

So last night (after finishing a very stressful maths assignment) I treated myself to a start on the Summer CAL by Amanda Perkins.  I’m only using cheap Spotlight wool for this, but they have a great range of colours and I needed a full spectrum.  It’s a little fluffy but I don’t mind working in it.  So I finished the first square last night with a 4mm hook, which is the size I usually use for this yarn, but because of all of the HCs being used in this pattern, it worked up very tight and stiff.  So today during my lunch hour at work I finished a square with a 4.5mm hook, and it looks and feel SO much better.  It’s amazing how drastically a slight hook size change will affect crochet!  I am very happy with the CAL so far, I think this little block is very cute and it’s nice to change colour every row, for something different.  There are two block patterns out this week, and I have to do six in one and nine in the other.  I can’t wait to get home now, curl up under a doona on the lounge and crochet my little heart out in front of the TV!  No uni for me tonight! 😀

DSC_0646

OMG I FINISHED MY SOPHIE’S UNIVERSE CAL!!!!!!

FINALLY!  I crocheted the last stitch on my CAL on Sunday night, and I almost got a bit teary!  It’s been an epic adventure, and I’m SO happy with the finish product!  While I haven’t blocked it for the final time (my dogs have been inside at night and they don’t have any manners when it comes to stepping around things), it’s now draping casually over my bookcase in my office at work, centre stage.  I’m so pleased with myself for keeping at it and finishing it off – I usually don’t have the patience for this scale of project, but I’m proud I did it!

Sophie's Universe CAL complete

On another note, I’ve been busily making cotton coasters of various colours and patterns to give to my boss’s wife who owns a salon here in Hobart.  I originally gave them a set of coasters for Christmas, and since then she’s been using them in the salon and has been getting a lot of comments and queries about them.  I gave her a couple of sets to display late last week, and they’ve sold already and I have new orders coming in….so now I’m happy I’m crocheting for money (and good money at that, Hobartians sure like to pay for quality, can’t complain with that!) I’m stressed out trying to keep up with demand as well as fitting in time to crochet my usual projects.  Busy times!  I’ve asked my sister to crochet some coasters too and send them to me, to try and keep up with demand.  This way it will help her out as she is in a worse financial situation than me at the moment, and give her something to do with her hooks 🙂