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Monday, April 30, 2007

A portly porker

Just in case I've planted the idea in your mind and you can't settle until you've crocheted a pig, here's someone who has come up with a better pattern than I even could. Yes I know it's a bag but it's also a pig. Just have patience.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

S'leeve me alone

I'm still not convinced about this sleeve. There's something very Spanish dancer about it. Not that I have anything against Spanish dancers per se. I'm just not sure flamenco is the look I was going for.
The decreasing hook size did bring the sleeve into a cuff of sorts. I think perhaps reducing hook size earlier in the process to take away some of the elbow area bulk might be an idea but I'm running out of yarn now. I'll experiment with sleeve #2. Me and my two sleeved garments...I'm such an old traditionalist!
In the meantime I found the answer to all my crochet prayers. The podcast Crochetcast which you can find on ITunes. It even includes a review of the Interweave Crochet mag which takes away some of the pig in a poke aspect of subbing to a mag sight unseen. It may even include a crochet pattern for a pig in a poke, who knows? If not there is obviously a gap in the market and I'll get to it, just as soon as I finish my sleeves.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ever decreasing circles

Yahoo! (No infringement of copyright intended). Sleeve in progress. The original pattern had short sleeves but I want three quarter length. At the moment the sleeve bunches and bells unattractively around my elbow. Needs a cuff of some kind but I don't want to introduce any new stitches to this already busy little number. Tried decreasing number of stitches in the round but the fabric becomes too solid and looses it's lacy look.
Then I remembered all the false starts I had with the garment. I kept using the wrong size of crochet hook which made it far too small. Ah ha! So now I need it to become small, increasingly small around the mid forearm, I'll take my hook size down by increments. Should work? Yes?
By the way, can anyone point me towards a good source of patterns of this ilk? Summer weight crocheted cardis?. Anyone get the Interweave crochet mag? Worth having? Many Thanks.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Life's a bleach

Here are some more £3 Tesco t-shirts given the bleach discharge treatment. I wore one of them the other day before bleaching (or washing) and that stupid transfer on the inside brought out the whole of my back in a rash. After washing they seem to be fine, fortunately.

I went from economy fashion to the other end of the scale today paying a visit to House of Bruar where I bought a skirt from Poland and a pair of trousers from Germany. What does that say about the British clothing industry?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Border lines

Mission accomplished on the crochet front. It was a cakewalk in the end. You just count the stitches in the repeat and repeat them. Why it took me eleventy two hours and several days goodness only knows. Just the sleeves to tackle now.
It is very textured and I can't decided whether to block it or not. I think not. I've still not recovered from blocking a nasty acrylic thing and watching it treble in size. No nasty acrylic here though. This is Noro Silk Garden.

Every tried photographing the back of your neck? I made the fancy trim go right round which looks quite dinkie but I'm afraid the wool might be going to itch the back of my neck. Oh well, too bad. I'm not undoing all the work now!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crochet Everest

Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet about something and I just refuse to let go. This would be an admirable quality if I was fighting for a worthy cause, but it's just a prefect nuisance when applied to crochet. I spent FIVE HOURS trying to work out an edging for this jacket. The pattern calls for a nice, simple double row of crochet. Plain but naff. Shell stitch is such a crochet cliche but that's what I'm reduced to at the moment. I want the border to be a sideways repeat of the main pattern. All these jolly books and podcasts about maths and crochet led me to believe working this out this might be fun. They lied.

Something tells me you haven't seen the last of this particular project.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Old knickers never die, they simply fade away.

When summer looks as if it might be going to put in an appearance, I like to buy plain, cheapo t-shirts and discharge them with bleach. This is a £3 black vest top from Tesco. I folded it, clipped it together with clothes pegs and gave it 12 minutes in a fairly weak bleach solution. A rinse in vinegar and a wash in the machine followed. Not bad.

I have some of these from last year that are fairing fine. No sign of the bleach rotting the fabric although for £3 it wouldn't be a major disaster. You do then to fall in love with things though, don't you?

Like underpants. Just can't persuade him indoors to part with his old ones which frankly should have a health and safety warning on them. He says he's keeping them for polishing cloths. What, precisely is he going to polish?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thereby hangs a tail

I've done something terribly bad.

My better half was working in the boat yard and to be companionable and catch a little sun I decided to go along and take my knitting. There was still a bit of a breeze so I sat in the driver's seat of the van with the window open happily knitting away. I'm still working on Lucy Neatby's Fiesta Feet and have reached a terrible difficult 'lift stitch over and off' bit which I can only accomplish with the assistance of a tiny crochet hook. This is very laborious and involves lifting and laying the crochet hook every three stitches.

Yes, there is a point to this and yes, I am getting to it.

The crochet hook is the smallest in the world , barely visible to the naked eye. I discovered that the weave of the van seat fabric is such that if I impaled the hook into it I could get away with pulling it out again without catching the fabric. Excellent! Crochet hook was now to hand. Made mental note not to let dearly beloved catch me at this because jabbing things into his van upholstery would most definitely be a punishable offence. By what means I'm not sure but I do know he likes do look after his things. However, I didn't think I was doing any harm......

....until we were ready to go home and I skooched over to the passenger seat leaving my vertical crochet hook behind me. I noticed it seconds before DB lowered himself onto it.

This had it humourous side, not that he could see it from where he was standing, but it's also a serious cautionary tale friends. Imaging having to explain that one to accident and emergency.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bag lady

I'm very anti-loyalty cards. I'm also very paranoid. I really shouldn't be using a computer at all if I don't like the idea of people being able to trace my every move. To my mind, that's what loyalty cards are for. 'They' know when I've been shopping, 'they' know what I've bought. Poor 'them'. They must be so bored. Maybe they should learn to crochet?

A sweet and generous customer visiting my loyalty card free retail establishment yesterday took the time to show me how to crochet a Solomon's knot. I'd tried to master this from books but never managed it. We fell to chatting about crochet, like you do, I whipped out my hook and some yarn and before I knew it I was knotting away like a good 'un. Incontrovertible proof that the power of persistence works.....and if you need more proof.........

I changed my supermarket recently. After being asked a gazillion times ' do you have a loyalty card?', I gave in. I am now the proud owner of a Tesco loyalty card and my paranoia has swung full circle. I'm sure people are trying to swindle me out of my loyalty points. You are supposed to be given double club card points when you take your own shopping bags but how would you know? Each week I proudly hold up my motley assortment but no lights flash, no bells ring.

The subject of shopping bags brings us full circle to my kind, knot teaching customer. I want to crochet a string bag. If I have to carry my shopping home in something it must be chic, in keeping with my creative persona and have holes no bigger than those through which a banana could fall. Anyone out there know of any patterns? This is the beginning of my first attempt but I think I'm going to try and find some wooden bag handles. Nothing more painful than being garroted by your carrier bag, no matter now stylish.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

An awfully big aventure

Today was the start of the 2007 awfully big adventure season.

In glorious sunshine we took the ferry to Dunoon then hit the single track roads heading for the Crinan Canal.

We turned a corner in the road just as a tree was being felled in front of us and had to wait while the guys fired up their chain saws, lopped off the branches and cleared the way. They said we were the first car they'd seen in two hours. Sod's law!

We finally reached the canal and had a lovely lunch in the Cairnbaan Hotel. Most excellent eve's pudding and custard.

We found everything but the kitchen sink in Argyll and Bute. Oh no, we found that too.

Guess who forgot her sunglasses....but then, how often do you need them in Scotland?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fiesta Foot

The last couple of days I've been cycling, swimming, cooking, reading, working, knitting and generally reclaiming my life after a hard month of workshops. No mater how much I complain about them, I miss them dreadfully when suddenly they stop. It would be ideal if they spread themselves out across the year at fortnightly intervals but it's a hunger or a burst with workshops and that's just the nature of the beast.

It has given me time to finish my first Lucy Neatby Fiesta Foot. Whether or not it even becomes Fiesta Feet remains to be seen. It is the most difficult sock n the world, knitted here in the wrong yarn and full of mistakes. But I love it none the less!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Red sheep in the morning

I had a lovely day yesterday playing with civilised, grown up ladies as opposed to obnoxious children. The early morning drive across to the east coast of Scotland with the red sun just rising in the sky was glorious. I passed some red sheep grazing in a green field and no, it wasn't the sun's reflection. They had been dyed red. A farming chum once told me this is something to do with insemination or lack of it or some other need to identify certain sheep. They looked like a bizarre Easter/Christmas card.

I was early for my play date and had a wander round the charming historical market town in which we were meeting. Didn't have my camera with me of course so couldn't snap for you some scaffolding I found colourfully protected by carpet in different tartans. Only in Scotland!

A farmer's market was in progress and something smelled wonderful. Before I knew what was happening she whose body is a temple was wolfing down a wild boar burger. Yummmmmmmmmm!

The ladies were extremely talented and produced some fabulous work which I'm getting slightly better at photographing. The soldering iron was the star of the day and much beautiful applique and faux vermicelli was produced without a sewing machine in sight. Also no-one soldered through their partner's cable. Well done ladies!