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.
Let me first get this over and done with – Happy Christmas and New Years and all that jazz! I’m having a wonderful time at the moment doing whatever I please, since I’m in the middle of my almost three weeks off. My day usually starts with a lovely sleep in, followed by some computer games and then knitting or crochet (or both) in the afternoon. The housework is piling up, and my garden has become a jungle. My gym access card also hasn’t seen much use in the last few weeks, but screw it I’m on holidays!
I reorganised my stash one afternoon last week, and decided that I had way too much crappy acrylic yarn and needed to make a stash buster project. I chose to make a mandala rug, using 5 strands at once and a 8mm hook, using any yarn I could get my hands on (acrylic, wool and cotton mainly). The pattern is John Kelly’s Mandala 21, which is easy to find on Ravelry. The pattern itself was well written and the only painful row was the backpost double crochets and front post triple trebles….yeah you try working those in five strands at once and if your hands don’t feel like overheated iron weights afterwards, you must be superman!
This took me two full days (I watched all six star wars movies plus a season of a tv show all while I was working on this) but it WAS worth it. If I make another of these, it won’t be for a while in order to let my poor hands recover.
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 🙂
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.
During some downtime (HA who am I kidding, I MAKE downtime to get out of study so I can crochet instead) I’ve been working on a version of my original fingerloop gloves pattern that’s free on Ravelry (you can find it here if you are interested). This new version is going to include a heart on the top of the glove, but it’s proving a little difficult to work up. It doesn’t help that I used varigated yarn for my test glove – the pattern gets a bit lost in all that colour changing! It’s also too short at the moment, so the next test glove I make I have a few ideas to get the glove to cover more of your hand. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some family members to test the pattern in the next week or so, and then upload it to Ravelry 🙂
So I may or may not have used crochet this weekend as a procrastination tool when I was supposed to be completing assignments. I was supposed to get one Maths assignment completed and a biology report draft written, and only ended up completing the maths assignment. On Friday night I made all these amazing plans to get up early and get cracking in the biology research, but instead I spent the whole night crocheting a slouchy hat to wear on Saturday because the weather has been extremely cold (rain, sleet, snow, hail – you name it, we’ve had it). This resulted in a sleep in because I had stayed up so long, and my weekend plans just went downhill from there.
The slouchy pattern was from Moogly, and while I like the pattern, I wouldn’t use acrylic again for a beanie/slouchy as it’s just too stiff and doesn’t get that desired ‘slouch’ look. Okay so it pretty much looks like I have a tea cosy on my head. Definitely using wool next time!
I did manage to get my maths assignment done, plus I started and finished a bulky infinity scarf last night, which I’m wearing today and am absolutely in love with 🙂 The yarn I used is Ice Yarn’s Bulky Alpaca, and true to it’s name, the 25% alpaca gives it that lovely fluffy feel.
No biology report though – maybe tonight….? Maybe not, too.