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 😦
I received my Stylecraft DK yarn from the UK yesterday, so (of course) I started a crochet project. I’m going to do the Persian Tiles afghan by Janie Crow, which I’ve been wanting to do for aaaaaages. 8ply, with 3.5mm, 4mm and 4.5mm hooks. The blocks have a heap of colour changes in them so they’re a bit time consuming, but the end result makes it all worth it. Note that I’m using different colours to the original pattern which is in blues and oranges.
The socks that I’ve been knitting have gotten me interested in other knitted projects, so I decided (after many advice filled conversations with an old school friend who is extremely competent in the knitting department) that I’d start a nice easy project to ease me into the world of knitting. The pattern I’m using is called the ‘Hitchiker’ which can be found on Ravelry here.
I’m using 4ply merino wool in three earthy tones, on a 3.75mm circular needle (first time using a circular needle….WHY HAVE I NOT USED THESE BEFORE?!) and I’m really enjoying the project so far. As you can see in the image below I’m about halfway through the pattern already, all of that lovely garter stitch is really fast to knit up. I love the texture of it – it’s relaxed and stretchy yet still dense and will keep my neck warm next winter!
Initially I was just calling this project the ‘Hitchiker Wrap’, but I’ve been knitting it while watching my favourite fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss’ Twitch channel as he livestreams his adventures in the recently released Fallout 4 game. My favourite author, my favourite game and a great project to work on….what more could you want? So I’ve decided to called this wrap my ‘Fallout Wrap’. I think it’s rather fitting with it’s earthy apocalyptic tones, and would be quite handy if you needed to fight some ghouls in cold weather, just saying.
Also, I DID promise some photos of the progress of my coffee afghan, which I’m crocheting in lovely undyed Tasmanian brown sheep wool. I have quite a few squares done now! I only do one or two every now and then, but I’m still enjoying it 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
I had another yarn-filled weekend. I should’ve been studying since my exams are at the end of the week, but I decided to have a nice relaxing weekend followed by a few hectic weekdays. My Summer CAL blanket is finally blocking, which is very satisfying 🙂 It looks lovely on my floor, and I’m sure will look just as lovely when draped on my couch after blocking (it wasn’t blocked in the lounge photo below). It has turned out to be almost as big as my Sophie’s Universe blanket, which is a comfortable lapghan size. Speaking of my Sophie – it’s now nicely folded and awaiting transport to the showgrounds in just under two weeks.
I made a lot of progress on my stripey knitted socks, and thanks to a few random questions to my mum on Skype I managed to complete the leg, heel flap, heel turn and gusset decrease. The sock is a bit more progressed than the images below show, but you get the idea – it’s definitely looking like a sock now!
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.
My partner has been pestering me to make him a blanket (apparently the manghan I’ve been making isn’t cool enough) that is game related, so over the weekend I purchased some Red Heart Aran in red and black, and completed my first graph pattern. I’m not going to lie – graph crochet is ANNOYING and I don’t think I’ll be doing it again in a hurry. But it does have its uses and I think this Horde emblem (from World of Warcraft) looks pretty cool.