Thursday, May 28, 2015

Teacher gifts : cozies

Working from a slightly adapted version of Marion Hassold's super mug warmer cozy pattern I am mass producing monogrammed cozies for the teachers. 

Found the insulated mason cups in TJMaxx for $3.99 - $4.99 each. Using a single crochet stitch instead of double allows me to more easily cross stitch the initials. I did try tunisian as a prototype but the piece curls...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Stretchy Nature of Cotton Market Bags

Last year, around this time, I made a whole load of market bags in cotton as gifts. This week I knocked one up for my all time favorite school staff member and fellow Brit who is going into hospital for an operation a week before school finishes. The pressure is on. So I have found a great looking market bag pattern by Erica Jackofsky on and I've sourced sufficient co-ordinating cotton yarn from my stash and I've completed it, Yay, just in time. However, I load the bag up and it stretches and I think "oh no, why didn't I remember this is what happens with these bags". I have made so many of them and I completely forgot. My 8 year old son said it looked fine if I just put it down on the table and also suggested stuffing more things in the bottom. He's so great at fixing problems - practical and emotional. And I was distraught and out of time. Anyway, had to undertake a high risk last minute alteration, cutting one section completely out of the bag. Then single crocheted the top to bottom leaving a slight ridge "feature" but mission accomplished. Surely if I immortalize my error in a blog post I won't forget the stretchy nature of market bags??

I did so like that red stripe but it had to go.

Aaahhh that's so much better!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Joining crochet squares

I have a short attention span always having to move onto some new project so with the charity lapghans I've been exploring the fastest way to hook them together. I'd prefer to hook than sew. So my first lapghan was a two-stage process after sewing in the ends: single crochet around, then single crochet together.  However this creates a ridge on one side which was not pleasing to me. For the latest one I used a single crochet to first, chain 1, single crochet to second, chain 1 join making a feature of the join and since my squares differed in size and stitch number with different contributors sometimes I could lose a stitch by single crocheting in the same space. The end results is fab (see charity lapghan #5 in my previous post). Have managed to recruit a second joiner to the group who can offer me a little respite. I  need a break!

Great week for completing projects

School is almost out and I'm in the mood for finishing projects off. Finally added my Attic24 cosy blanket edging at long last AND finished the joining and edging on charity lapghan #5. Yay!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Books for Mother's Day

My gift - an uninterrupted hour in Half Price Books where I cleared out the shelf on crochet. Bliss!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

My first yarn bomb

Just HAD to yarnbomb my husband's birthday gift - a Redneck Rita machine (  Will be in action and on display tonight at our neighborhood pool at a Mexican Fiesta party that we're co-hosting. Kind of cheated because I repurposed a scarf but there has been a lot to get organized for the party and I was at my happy place yesterday afternoon: running the weekly workshop at the yarn store.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Knitting for a change

I don't knit very often but I was camping this weekend with the girl scouts and this yarn, doublepointed needles and pattern fitted in a baggie so it came too. Yarn is KnitPicks - deep dark blue with a slight fleck but soft. The pattern is from the rather splendid book The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jane Brocket. I've knitted a few items from her book - gloves (!), slouchy hats, chevron scarf, cable socks, Chanel style bag....It's not just patterns and photos but lots of lovely wordy preamble about the inspiration for different patterns. Love reading books like this just as much as actually making something!