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Friday, November 30, 2007

 

Challenge Done!!

Today is the last day of the NaBloPoMo challenge. And I made it!! Yep, I have posted to this here blog every day for the entire month of November. Yippee!

It feels good - I've finished the challenge, I've crossed that bridge.

I probably should challenge myself more often. But I am glad that this one is over. I will keep up posting more to my blog and that's good because I almost let it die over the summer.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

 

Waiting for '08

Well, the Christmas Tree Skirt has really put me on a tight schedule so I've had to put aside all the other projects I'm working on. But, since I had the yarn, and the needles, and the pattern, I just had to see how difficult the Shell Lace knitting was going to be.

And Taa-Daa! I knitted up (and blocked) the right front piece. I'm really pleased with how this looks, especially since there is one stitch on each shell that is a purl 15-loops together.

This will be a nice project once the tree skirt is done. It's a wee bit advanced for my knitting abilities and I'm going to need advice on a couple of things. But I do like challenging myself now and then.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

 

No Pics - Too Busy

No pictures tonight, but I've been busy. I've got the front half of the Shell Lace Jacket blocked out (and I will have a picture of it tomorrow). And I'm almost finished with the third triangle of my tree skirt.

I'm also almost finished with the NaBloPoMo challenge of posting every day for the month of November. All I have left are two more posts after this one!!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

 

Rolled Brim Hats


Well, it is starting to get a bit chilly here so I made hats for hubby and me. I found the pattern on Ravelry. You can find it here.

The hats are made with Galway worsted yarn. Mine's the blue one, hubby picked out the tan yarn for his.

I followed the pattern working the hat part as a spiral but I changed to rows for the brims. That gives the stitches in the brim a slightly different look. (And since you can't really see that too well on the photo, you'll just have to trust me that there is a difference.) Hubby wanted a wider brim so I worked two extra rows on his.

Quick, easy projects like this are great to do, especially when I have another large project going. And the status of the Christmas tree skirt? I've got 2 of 9 triangles done and sewn together. A third triangle is in progress. I'll post a picture at the half-way point.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

 

Interweave Crochet 2007



By no means have I finished going thru all my books, but today's Monday Book is a magazine. I found the Winter 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet in my mailbox today. I've only had a quick glance thru but it looks like a good issue.

Doris Chan has an article inside on bust, waist, and hip shaping, which I'm looking forward to reading. You can get a good look at the patterns inside here on Interweave's website. I really like all the shawls, especially the Flowers for Eryn Wrap.

This is currently the only magazine that I subscribe to. (I do buy other crochet and knitting magazines, but I usually pick them up at the local Border's - gotta support the bookstores, ya know.) And I really like the direction that the magazine is taking.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

 

Marbled Chocolate Treats

Fixed this tonight for church. Chocolate covered graham crackers!! And they are good.

Found the recipe here at Kraft Foods. Just thought I would share with everyone out there.

Hope ya'll all have a great week!!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

 

But will she finish??


Hubby put up the Christmas yesterday. I decided it was time to start on the tree skirt. So the big question that I am asking myself is "Will I finish before Christmas?" There's a good chance I might, although hubby's afghan might well become an after-Christmas present.

This pattern is in the Nov/Dec 07 issue of Crochet Today. It's really cute I think. I've got one panel done and I'm almost finished with the second one. And there's only nine panels and five reindeer, so I'm good (I Think).

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Friday, November 23, 2007

 

You Did What???

So I was talking with an older gentleman earlier this year. And he mentioned a few things that he always wanted to do but didn't. He had put things off, figuring he would have time in the future to make it happen. And now, due to life circumstances, he wasn't going to ever be able to do those things. It was a statement of regret and a giving up of life-long plans.

The conversation stuck with me and sadden me. Now I have list of things I would like to do someday, a list of things that I think would be fun to try. And as we were planning our vacation to Chattanooga this summer, I stumbled across the chance to actually do one of the things on my list. I thought of that gentleman and his lost plans, and made the firm decision to Go-For-It.

Want to know what I did?

I went hang-gliding!! And it was so much fun. Lookout Mountain Flight Park is just outside Chattanooga. I took a tandem glide with a wonderful guy. The photo above was taken by a camera attached to the wing. We went up to about 2,000 feet and then slowly (and safely) came down. Hubby watched from below. I really enjoyed it, the feeling of being totally free and being able to look around at miles and miles of scenery. I could even look down and see birds.

Did I mention this was fun? If I lived closer to Lookout Mountain, I would take lessons. I hate that I haven't found anywhere local to learn hang-gliding. But it is something that I want to do again, maybe on our next vacation.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

 

Turkey Day!

A good day today. No pictures (left the camera at home).

But there was family togetherness, a Thanksgiving buffet, bread pudding with caramel sauce, chilly weather, a little knitting and a little crocheting.

That's about as good as life.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

 

Holiday Reminder

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So sometime between the food, the parades, the football games, remember to be...
God has blessed me so much over the past few years. I have a warm dry home, a loving husband, a good job, and wonderful friends, both real-life friends and internet friends. I haven't always had these things in my life, and I haven't always appreciated these blessing. But I am so glad to be blessed.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

Book: Crocheted Baby Blankets


From the Vogue Knitting on the go! series, this is Crocheted Baby Blankets. It's a collection of 24 crocheted baby blankets. And they are nice!!

I love making baby blankets. They are a pretty quick project and I keep a stash of baby blankets ready to give as gifts to any new mothers. (So along with my yarn stash, book stash, and hook stash, please note that I also have a baby blanket stash.) The duckie blanket on the cover is, of course, my favorite project in the book and I plan to make it sometime in 2008.

A few of the other patterns I really like are pictured below.


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Monday, November 19, 2007

 

FO: Waffle Lattice Shawl

Waffle Lattice Shawl designed by Elin Nybo. Pattern is in the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet. I used 5 different colors of Cascade 220 for this felted shawl.

This was really a different type project from what I usually make. It's the second time I've felted anything. The shawl is made from a series of 80 connected chains. And then the whole thing is felted. And this yarn felts wonderfully!


And now for a revelation that I've never had to make before about any of my projects -- I'm not sure I like it. There I've admitted it and I feel better for it. I messed up on the colors, the reds are just too red and too similar. Really you can't tell that there are two different shades of red in this shawl. I should have gone with more brownish shades to contrast with the green. And it doesn't really fit comfortably. I wear my shawls a lot and I just haven't figured out how to wear this one well. It's basically a large felted net and tends to scrunch up in the front. I'm hoping it will grow on me though.


But...The felting part was a success! And I've got a good bit of yarn left so I think I may try making some felted potholders for Christmas.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

 

Check back tomorrow!

Honesty time! I'm posting for the sake of posting. The shawl I've been working on is all felted, but my picture-taking man has gone to sleep. So I'll post pictures and descriptions tomorrow.

I've started knitting the Shell Lace Jacket today. It is going pretty well. Hubby even mentioned that my knitting speed has increased. He's right and I should actually be able to finish this jacket within this lifetime.

But I really need to put it aside and work on the afghan I would like to give him for Christmas.

So many projects! So much yarn! So little time.....

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

 

No More Chains!!

Please, no more chains! I'm so tired of chains. Feels like I done 2,473 chains in the last week. And I just can't do anymore.

Okay, that's not exactly true. There's only 80 chains in this shawl, but they seem to just go on and on forever. However, I finished the crocheting part of this Waffle Lattice Shawl. I'm doing the really easy part now - the felting! I should have pictures of the completely finished, felted shawl tomorrow. So stay tuned!


Friday, November 16, 2007

 

The Wall

There are some strange things to see in this world. Things that most people never see, either because the oddity is located in a rather obscure location or because people just don't really look at their surrounding. But sometimes you can be driving along, say in rural south Mississippi, and you turn down a long gravel drive, go around a curve, and find -- The Wall.

My parents have erected a wall at the edge of the woods outside their home. It is a rather useful wall since my mom apparently has a large collection of birdhouses. But still, it's a wall, standing in the yard and was totally and completely unexpected. I love it!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

 

Half-way!

I've met a goal of sorts today. Well, really I've met half a goal today. I've been taking part in the NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month. Which means, I blog every day for the month of November. Since today is the 15th, I have made it thru half the month and posted each day! Yeah for me!!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

Loop-d-Loop Yarn

My yarn has arrived!! Nine balls of Moss Loop-d-Loop yarn. This will become the Shell Lace Jacket from the fall 2007 issue of Vogue Knitting. (At least, that is what I planning right now.)

The yarn is 85% extra fine merino wool and 15% nylon. It's soft and a little bit fuzzy. And the first thing I thought when I grabbed a ball from the bag was slippers.

I want a pair of moss Loop-d-Loop slippers. I know I've seen a pattern for knitted ballet-type slippers somewhere on the 'net. I'm hoping there will be enough left over from the jacket. If not, well, I'll just have to buy more.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

 

Chained Up!


HELP!! The duckies and I are trapped behind this huge woolen net. I'm not sure if we will ever get free. The net just keeps growing larger.

As you tell, work is continuing on the Waffle Lattice Shawl. Even though at times it seems that I'm doing battle with a giant red octopus, I am enjoying this project. I like to do new and challenging things occasionally.

I'm really torn between projects now because my yarn for the knitted jacket came in the mail today. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it but the yarn is really nice.


Monday, November 12, 2007

 

Amazing Crochet Lace by Doris Chan

I love Doris Chan's patterns! I'll thumb through a magazine, find a pattern I like, look for the designer's name, and, of course, it will be -- Doris Chan. This happens quite often. She just seems to design things exactly the way I like them.

That's why when this book showed up in my local Border's, I didn't have to think twice about buying it. I knew I would like the patterns and I was right.

Now I haven't actually had a chance to make anything from Amazing Crochet Lace yet, but it is one of my frequently browsed-thru books.

A.C.L. contains 19 patterns. There are dresses, vests, shawls, jackets, and shrugs. The Rissa Robe made with Microfiber Ribbon is one that I do hope to make sometime next year.

The book is geared towards crocheters with a bit of experience. But a determined beginner should have no problems working through the patterns. And as a bonus, the patterns seem to be correct. The published errata, which is found here, is very short.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

 

Chains & Video

These are the 40 base chains for the Waffle Lattice Shawl I'm making. They almost completely cover a full size bed. And I thought I would finish this project today!! I didn't.

I'm usually pretty good at reading a pattern and visualizing the work involved. But I totally underestimated the size of the shawl before felting. And is going to be big, big. I have started on the cross chains and I do think I'll be happy with the finished project. But it's a lot of chains.
And tonight at church we made videos. Here I am in the back of the closet, in front of the green screen (which was very, very green) and surrounded by lights (which were very, very hot). We talked about the ministry we are involved in - I'm a leader in the Celebrate Recovery program - and about the changes that God has made in our lives. I had never sat down before a camera like that before, but it was a lot of fun.

I tried to find some volunteers for the video project later. I was surprised at how many people really seriously don't want to sit down in front of a camera and talk.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

 

New Yarn! New Stitch!

I currently have six projects going. One, a butterfly blanket, almost finished, that will probably be put aside until after Christmas. Two, a knitted shawl, half done, that is also probably going to wait. Three, a shawl I started today. Four, a jacket that I'm waiting for the yarn to get here. Five, a Christmas tree skirt that I have some of the yarn for. And Six, an afghan that I haven't started and don't have the yarn for and would like to give my husband for Christmas. I think I'm going to be very, very busy over the next couple of months.


This is six balls of Cascade 220 and they are not quite as bright as in this picture. I've actually started this project today. I'm making the Waffle Lattice Shawl in the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet. It's coming along pretty good and I have high hopes of finishing it tomorrow.
The fall 2007 issue of Vogue Knitting includes a pattern for a Shell Lace Jacket which I have absolutely fallen in love with. The VK jacket is red but I'm going to make it in green. I've got the yarn on order and I'm having to endure the hardship of waiting for it to be delivered. But since I do own a pretty hefty yarn and needle stash, I did some practicing on the cockleshell lace pattern today. This includes a purl 15-stitches together maneuver! Not something I do very often, so I figured the practice would be good. You can see that my second try came out much better than my first.

Friday, November 09, 2007

 

Geometrics by Ruthie Marks


This is a neat book. Ruthie Marks uses geometry principles to create some really interesting patterns.The book focuses on three geometric principles, dragon curves, golden ratio, and fibonacci sequence. And if, like me, your comprehension of these principles is a little rusty, there's an understandable explanation of each one.

But I have to admit that it was the star afghan on the cover that caught my eye. It is an example of the golden ration and is worked entirely in front post double crochet which gives the blanket a very smooth appearance.

Geometrics includes a wide range of patterns - scarfs, rugs, afghans, wall-hangings and pillows. There's one shawl pattern in the section of dragon curves.

I plan to adapt one of the rug patterns to a blanket for my hubby as soon as I can buy the yarn.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

 

Rock City Waterfall


Hubby and I took a trip back in September to Chattanooga, Tennessee. We had a wonderful time. I'll post a few pics as time goes by cause one must have a break occasionally from books.

Chattanooga is really a beautiful city. And there are lots of things to do there. There's Ruby Falls, an Inclined Railway, the Chattanooga Aquarium and Imax, dinner cruises on the river and lots of beautiful scenery. And of course we had to See Rock City. I had been there once as a child and it was neat to go back as an adult.

This is the waterfall near Lover's Leap at Rock City.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

 

Scarf Style



This book of knit and crochet patterns is one of my books that I just love to browse through. Scarf Style has 31 patterns, mostly knit, although there are four crochet patterns included.

Some of the scarfs are more shawl than scarf and two of the patterns are really shrugs. But there are some beautiful patterns in here.

Some of the earliest printings have errors. There's a list of corrections at here.

I do wish that knit and crochet books would make more of an effort to even up the mix of knit and crochet. Twenty-seven knit patterns and four crochet patterns is really not fair to the crocheters who buy this book.

And as long as I'm on this soapbox, I also wish that publishers would note on the Contents Page exactly which patterns are knit and which are crocheted.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

 

Home Again!



Hubby keeps mentioning that I haven't put a picture of our new dog on my blog, so here she is! This is Pepper Doodle, a medium-sized, mutt-type dog.

We acquired Pepper when she showed up outside hubby's office looking for a new place to stay. He scooped her up and brought to our home (after a brief detour to the vet's office).

She's a young dog, still full of all that happy peppy puppy excitement. And she is incredibly friendly. I really don't think she was homeless for very long.

She has managed disappear once by creating a hole in the wood fence in the back yard, leaving a puppy sized hole in said fence. She stayed gone all that night, and the next morning crawled back through the hole and showed up at the back door like nothing at all had happened. (And we were so worried about her being all lost and all alone.) Hubby has since covered the hole with some plywood and there have been no more escape attempts.

She's also a thief and loves to grab things and take them outside. She steals shoes, towels, CDs, and coffee cups. She even managed to steal hubby's power drill and take it out back. We are looking for ways to discourage this thievery thing she has going on.

But I think we will keep her. She is slowly starting to settle down and become part of the family.


Monday, November 05, 2007

 

Jean Kinmond's Crochet Patterns


Just to prove that my obsession with collecting pattern books is not a recent thing, here's a book from 1969.

(Note: I did not actually purchase this book in 1969. I was only 6 years old and my prized possession at that time was a green plastic Disney Jungle Book bag that I proudly carried to school each day.)

I picked up this slightly used copy somewhere and it's not a bad book although the print is really tiny. And it still has the original dust jacket!!

Crochet Patterns was written for the more refined lady of the sixties. There's no groovy hippie-type patterns here. The thread color used falls mainly in the white/ecru family. And each pattern starts with the charming phrase "Commence with xx ch".

There are patterns for tablecloths, mats, runners, and chairbacks along with a few wearables. Actually, there is one pattern for a tailored blouse that I hope to try one day.


The patterns are all for thread crochet. Obviously, Jean Kinmond designed for Coats because each pattern calls for Coats Mercer-Crochet thread in various sizes. And a quick google of her name brings up several different books for Coats.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

 

Toilet Roll Covers


Yes, I own this book. What else can I say? I thought the cover was very cute and even my husband laughed when I showed off my new purchase.
It's a real book - with patterns - of toilet roll covers. And it's English, as in East Sussex, from way across the Atlantic ocean.
Now I don't have anything against English people or products, but they just don't use the english language in the same way that we Americans do. So reading the book is slightly odd - what with the mentions of colours, stocking stitches and double crochet that isn't a dc stitch at all.
But, all in all, it is a cute book and I may actually make a piggy TP cover one day. The book has patterns for 30 different toilet roll covers, there's sweaters, polar bears, keyboards, and drums just to name a few. Nine crochet patterns and the rest are knitted.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

 
And now for something a little different...
Over on Crochetville, some of us in Mississippi have been talking about meeting up, for real, in person. And we actually did it!!
Meet Craftytoo, CD Bear, and me! We spent the day in downtown Columbus, MS (a very lovely spot). We talked, we ate lunch, CD Bear taught a class, and we played with yarn. The afternoon just seemed to fly by. It was lots of fun and I made new friends!

Did I mention there was yarn? We met at Yarns Downtown. And there was lots of yarn to pet, and comfy chairs to relax in. If you are ever in Columbus, be sure to drop by.

And you know I came home with a bag of yarn and another book (of course).




Friday, November 02, 2007

 

Vogue Knitting Crocheted Shawls

Now I absolutely love shawls, so this book was a must-have. It is from Vogue Knitting's On The Go! series and is a small book packed with some wonderful shawl patterns.

Although there is a small how-to-crochet section, this book is best for crocheters with some of experience crocheting and reading patterns.

I like this book and several of the patterns are very high on my to-do list. Crocheted Shawls has 21 patterns from mohair to ribbon, spiral to box, mesh to snowflake, triangles to rectangles. Honestly there's only 1 pattern in this book that doesn't appeal to me and I've already figured out a way to "tweak" that pattern to my liking.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

 

Crochet Flowers

So it is National Blog Posting Month. And there's a contest, which I've joined for two reasons. One, I would really like to get back in the habit of blogging. And, two, I've thought of a theme. I've been wanting to get some form of organization to all my crocheting books and this is a perfect excuse to catalog the books that I have.


I'll start with a brand new book that I just got today - Nicky Epstein's Crochet Flowers. It's a beautiful book that I'll be browsing thru for quite a while. The book contains patterns for over 40 different flowers. There's also several project patterns including a felted purse, a hat and a bridal bouquet. And there's a great shawl that I hope to get around to soon.

Directions are given as both written patterns and symbol patterns. (Yea for the symbols - that's my favorite way to read a pattern!!) The only negative thing I've found is that the measurements of each flower are not given. And it would be really useful to know just how wide that pansy is before I started.

But I do like the book. And since flowers don't use much yarn, it is a great excuse to buy one skein of some truely wonderful yarn!!

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