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Cross stitch started:
-Daffodil bowls (small, on linen)
-Daffodil bookmark (I think?0
-Poppy and cornflower needlebook and scissors keep (needs finishing, if nothing else)
-R. & M.'s wedding sampler
-Hardanger bookmark (needs finishing)
-Gigantic urn project (over 40 colors, I've been working on it for something like 10 years)

Knitting started:
-Pi shawl in sock wool.
-Slit up the front Cottage socks for E. I finally found them, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to get the edges not to curl. I may just rip these back, and make some nice slippers for E.
-Shrug - the neck ribbing was too tight, so I ripped it out, and will re-pick up the stitches and redo.
-Adjust the length of my cottage socks, since they're too long in the foot and I feel like I'm going to trip.

-L.'s dice bag
-M.'s dice bag
-M.'s furoshiki
-Various dresses
-Roumanian blouse

Things to start soon:
-T.'s baby blanket
-crochet ball
-another knitted ball
-E. & T.'s cross stitch for the wedding

No wonder I feel overwhelmed!
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(written in bits while waiting for my code to finish running)

The black-and-turquoise bag is into the sides now, thanks to U., who did the base for me. She forgot to bring something to work on for Sunday dinner, and was kind enough to work on the bag for me.

I also started R. & M.'s wedding sampler. It's little bits of color, and lots of backstitch. I use doublerunning stitch instead of backstitch most of the time, since I like it better. It's nice to embroider; I've been knitting more lately.

I "fixed" my sewing machine, which was upset about the tension difference between the bobbin and the main thread, and the two different types of thread, I think. I can finish some of my (long overdue) Christmas presents now. When I'm done with those, I may sew some clothing. I've picked up some Folkwear patterns I'd like to try out.

I'll be ordering from Nordic Needle sometime soon, probably. Hun broke one of my Q-snaps by accident, and I need the replacement parts. There are some other things they have that I'd like.

Book finished: Sunshine by Robin Mckinley. Reread. Good, but not having the place in my heart that her Damar books do.

(Gah! I just lost the post)

I've decided to do Thing-a-Day this year. Commit, for the month of February, to spend a half hour each day making something. I have a bunch of calligraphy stuff that I never use, and that is what I'll be doing. This means I have to clean off my desk (good!). It will be nice to make a large-ish commitment, and keep it.

Played Dragon Dice over the weekend with D. & J. Very fun. I need to get a few more dice to give myself more options with the dice I have, but I have a variety of dice (Thanks J. & M.!), and I expect to build the collection gradually. I'm playing with a coral elf and firewalker army right now, because I only have 2 dragons. I'm planning on acquiring a few more dragons, and terrains. I need to learn how to play, and not just dump money into, "Oh! Shiny! Must have!"

Why I make

Jan. 16th, 2008 10:47 pm
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(Watching an episode of Craft in America.
I admire the skill that these people have, the knowledge, the ability. They are all making a living making, and that is beautiful.)

I learned to cross stitch in the summer of 1989, and since then, I have taught myself several other forms of embroidery. I learned to sew in high school. The Girl Scouts taught me to crochet in second grade, but I forgot how til my first year of grad school. I got obsessed with crochet then, and a friend taught me how to knit, and I really never went back to crochet. Since then, I've also learned to tat, and will learn to spin and weave as well. At some point, I'd like to play with temari and kumihimo, and braiding, and small loom weaving.

I make because I don't like sitting still, and it gives me something productive to do with my hands.

I make because I like making something.

I knit because it's in my genes - my mother's mother was a knitter, and a very good one too.

I tat because my father's mother tatted - it's one making I know she did, and I only found out years after her death.

Knitting and tatting connect me to my family, on both sides, in some profound way that I really don't have the words for.
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I just finished a red-and-black string bag for myself, which I had started a few days ago. Now for a turquoise and black one for D.

I don't fell like making anything that requires a gauge swatch at the moment.

Code is going ok, debugging is frustrating. Getting the right trend in the data, at least.
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Tommy is sitting in a basket on the clean laundry.

So, I crocheted a bottle carrier for my liter Nalgene bottles.

I'm assuming you know how to join, then go up a round.

Using worsted weight cotton and an H hook:
Chain 20, join.
Single 20 around the chain, join.
Single crochet 2 in each of previous round. Join.
Single crochet around. Join.
Single crochet 2 in each of previous round. Join.

Circle up the side in spiral, using a size F hook. (I had 51 stitches around). Stop when it's the height you want it.

Chain 250 for the strap. Go back and forth 3 times to make it about an inch in width. End the crochet.

Opposite the place where the strap joins, attach the yarn, and crochet about 4 single crochet. Go back and forth until your loop is a nice length doubled over. Slip stitch it down to make the loop.

Tie the strap through the loop in order to adjust the length to your taste.
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A nice absorbent coaster, which will not stick to the bottom of your tea mug and drop off, spilling tea all over your keyboard.

size G hook. Worsted weight cotton - lion cotton, or lily sugar 'n cream. Use the thicker end of worsted.

Chain 17. (15 plus 2 to turn)
Single crochet back and forth for about 18 rows, til you have a square.
Single crochet across one more row.

Crochet around the outside, putting 3 or 4 single crochets in the corners to turn.


Sep. 7th, 2006 10:44 am
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So, here is how I'm making my handles for the crochet string bags.

Using the same size needle as for the rest of the bag, crochet 36 chains and join per the directions; single crochet back instead of double crochet.

When the bag is finished, take worsted weight cotton and a 5.00 mm hook. Chain 5 (starting chain), turn, sc in 3rd chain from hook, sc sc, ch 2 turn.

Continue rows of 3 sc until it is the length of the handle.

Then wrap it around the handle, and slip stitch the edges together, forming a cushy worsted weight cotton tube around the nasty hard handle.
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Entry about string bag project here.

So, after shopping on Saturday, I decided that the extra chain-20 rows make it much too long a bag, so I ripped apart bag #2 and took them out.

One ball of Royal Crochet Cotton #3 will take me up to the 3rd chain 16 round, if I start the base with it. If I do the base in one color and switch at the sc "beading" rows, I will have leftover in the main color of the "netting" section, then I can do the upper sc rows in the bag base color, and have leftover on both colors.

I now have a pink bag with a green top, and a bag with a green base, top, and handles, and yellow "netting" section.

Royal Crochet Cotton #3 is 100% cotton, and recommended for 3.5 mm knitting needles, or a size E hook. I'm using a Clover C, 2.25 mm.
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The best hooks are Clover Soft Touch hooks. They look like this</>, and you can get them at JoAnne's or A.C.Moore. They only come in sizes from C to J.

For smaller sizes, you need
HANDLE CROCHET HOOKS; you'll scroll down to see them. They are Inox steel hooks, and labelled "Irma."

These are the best hooks because they have good, consistant throat sizes, which makes it easier to keep your stitches the same size.

Lacis (the Irma link) is also a good place to order lacemaking supplies.

SC or DC?

Aug. 25th, 2006 05:04 pm
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I just realized that on every string bag I have crocheted, I have single crocheted the join-y bits of the main bag loops, not double crocheted them like the pattern says. Ah, that is because the printed out pattern I'm using says "sc." Ursula! What's going on?

ETA: I'm promoting Urs's answer so that when I archive this, it will be kept (comments are not archived). And also so that anyone will be able to see this interesting info immediately.

Urs says:

The original pattern was in Austrailan. They use British crochet terms, not US ones.

US Term = Australian Term
Slip stitch = Single crochet
Single crochet = Double crochet
Double crochet = Triple crochet

So my pattern, in US terms, says single crochet, because the Australian pattern said double crochet meaning the stitch we call single crochet. If you look at the first part of the pattern, they wrote to do "TC" stitches, I wrote "dc" stitches. Same deal.

Also from Ursula, promoted from comments:

Just so you know, the book Crocheting Teddy Bears by Barbara and Ruth Jacksier has a complete list of US to UK stitch names on page 8. I'll reproduce it here, adding the number of yarn overs for the longer stitches

US Term = UK Term = Number of Yarn Overs

Chain = Chain = N/A
Slip Stitch = Single Crochet = N/A
Single Crochet = Double Crochet = N/A
Half Double Crochet = Half Treble Crochet = 1
Double Crochet = Treble Crochet = 1
Treble/Triple Crochet = Double Treble Crochet = 2
Double-Treble Crochet = Treble-Treble Crochet = 3
Treble-Treble Crochet = Quadruple-Treble Crochet = 4

Afghan stitch = Tricot crochet
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I finished the punchneedle cat and it looks sweet. I'm now working on a heart for a friend of mine. MR, don't look! I should be done to give it to you on Monday!

The Clover hoop and stand are really nice and make it so much easier to work than propping up a regular hoop on a pile of coasters. The Clover punchneedle is sweet, and is much nicer to use than the cheap one that I purchased when I wasn't sure I would like punchneedle.

Oh, I subscribed to Interweave Knits in order to get the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts tabi pattern. (Tabi are big-toe separate socks, and PGR is awesome.) I'll be letting my New Stitches and Piecework subscriptions lapse. New Stitches is $70 a year, and the Piecework and Interweave Knits subscriptions are the same cost.

Project Notes: another headkerchief

So, my wrist is better enough that I have started and finished a headkerchief in white, yellow, blue, & green variegated Lily Sugar 'n' Cream. Yay! Started it on Friday night, finished last night. I used a seed stitch on the strap-border part, though not on the straps themselves. With the short repeat of the variegation, it looks very pretty.

Project Notes: String bag in Size 3 Crochet Cotton

String bag project in general here.
Pattern here.

Fiber: J&P Coats Royale, 2 balls, one pink, one green (colors here) 150 yds per ball.

I used the 2.5 mm (size C) Clover hook for most of it, but for the handles, I used a size H (5.00 mm) hook and 30 stitches, not 36. This made nice, thick handles, that I expect will be comfortable.

I used the additional 4 rows of chain 20, and the additional single crochets around the handles, which widened them nicely.

I had originally bought 4 balls of this thread in order to tat bookmarks, but I decided that it was too soft to use for tatting, and anyway, I have enough tatting thread to last a lifetime. (I bought out a local sewing shop's stock at half price.)

I started this and finished it in about 9 days, and it was not my only project.
redrose: (Default)
The string bag project is here.

I tried [ profile] ursula1972's string bag pattern, found here.

Done with a 2.5 mm (size C) Clover hook and cotton yarn (Linie 12 Clip) (at $12.50 a skein, and a little over 1 skein needed, not cheap! (well, I do get a Guild discount. Yay Local Yarn Shop)). The yarn is 100% Egyptian cotton, mercerized. 100 grams to 166 meters. Suggested gauge is 26 rows by 20 stitches for a 10 cm by 10 cm swatch. Suggest to use 3.5 to 4.5 mm needles.

I don't like the handles. I did more than 48 double crochets in each handle, and the end result is a the chain stitches still carry the weight, though they probably cut into the hand less. I am thinking that the next one I make (size 3 crochet cotton) I will do single crochets over the handle, maybe back and forth 4 times instead of 2.

I also ordered this linen yarn, in sandalwood, with the string bag pattern. I do hope it's not Turkish stitch....

ETA: more detailed info about the cotton yarn.
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The wrists are doing better; the punchneedle is about half done; and I've run out of thread for the crochet string bag.

Hmm. Maybe I should make a string bag out of bakery twine. I have a lot of bakery twine.

I wish I wasn't sick.

I wish I could stay focussed on the shit that I need to get done.

I wish for world peace and a pony.

Tomorrow I will get enough yarn to finish the crochet bag and make at least one more. And enough little cardboard thingies that the embroidery floss wraps on, and then wrap my Anchor floss, and the DMC flosses I have not wrapped for storage yet during knitting guild.


Jul. 26th, 2006 11:09 pm
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So, how do you know if you are a beginner, and intermediate, or an advanced knitter or crocheter? You look at the Craft Yarn Council!

There's a lot of other fun stuff at that link, including sizing standards, and yarn weight standards and recommended needle sizes.

Knitty offers suggestions on how to increase your level of difficulty in a reasonable fashion, and also commentary on/for those of us who jump into things with both feet!

And if you're looking for a really good beginner's knitting or crochet book, may I recommend Knitting in Plain English and Crocheting in Plain English both by Maggie Righetti.
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Both the clover that grows in the yard and the bunnies eat, and the Clover company of Japan.

I didn't particularly like the yarn guide for knitting, but I love their bamboo needles, and I recently bought a soft-touch crochet hook, and it is fantastic. I have given away my old hooks (except for the K, which was my first hook and I have had about 20 years). (And I'm keeping my steels. Though they are weird because they come from all sorts of different times, and i don't know what size (in mm) they actually are.)

(I've been working a crochet scarf.)
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My sister is having a baby. I am in charge of baby hats! I already have this pattern, which I bought for myself. I'm requested to make a sort of a tophat that represents large chunks of the kids heritage. And no Chicken Viking hat is allowed. Anyone have any weird and wonderful baby hat suggestions?

Also, since D and I still have our baby blankets, and we both grew up having our baby blankets together, I am seriously considering making on for the squirt. Any suggestions?

Part of the challenge: they live in a warm, sunny climate. So no wool! I have a feeling most things will be in cotton or microfiber.

Bun covers

Jul. 17th, 2006 10:03 pm
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These are very nice in worsted weight cotton, now that my bun is big enough to fill them.
redrose: (Default)
So, I've been trying to knit/make myself a string bag. This has not been anywhere near as easy as I would like. This entry will be updated as the project evolves.

I'm looking for something that crushes up small and light, so that I can carry one around in my backpack and substitute it for the multitude of plastic bags that everything comes in. It should also be cheap to make, since I want to make several. This also means no special yarns.

String and Air Attempt
Pattern: here
Material: sport weight 100% cotton in beige
Needles: finally settled on 16" size 10 circulars
Problems: It's really hard to do the move from one round to the next with the double yarn over in the one instance. I tried putting a single extra knit at the end of the round, which should leave a "seam" of knits up the side, but I kept losing it! So finally I gave up.

Magknits Attempt
Pattern: here
Material: Worsted wheight 100% cotton in white
Needles: 36" size 15 circulars
Problems: It's really hard to get this stitch to look as nice as the one in the picture in the pattern. I'm not sure I like it very much. I may need a smaller needle, or to pull tighter, but it's hard to work this stitch tightly.

The Sydney bag; or the bag that I ended up making several of
My friend Ursula tried to make this bag. It is an old pattern from Australia, referenced by this link. After the cut at the bottom of the page, Ursula's rewrite and improvement of the pattern is given. She made it in worsted weight cotton, and it is huge. It balls up neatly into its bottom, and makes a nice contained lump, just like in the picture. It is totally cool.
These links are from Ursula:
Ursula's pattern and updates are now here.
Short pattern here
sizing here

My notes on string bag in expensive cotton here.
My preliminary notes on string bag in number 3 crochet cotton here.
More notes on string bag in number 3 crochet cotton here.

Other notes on this bag are below the lj-cut.

Other pattern links
Lily's pattern The problem here is that I'm looking for something I can jam in my backpack and use as needed, and this seems much too bulky.
Frugalhaus pattern I'd forgotten about this one. It looks like a good one to try next!
Fresco yarn But I'm trying not to buy new yarn for this project.
from a Sydney TV station knitted and crocheted. Possibilities!
Two more which are probably a little too thick for what I want, and I'd have to substitute for the acrylic. I prefer not to use acrylic worsted unless I absolutely have to. If you're interested in these, I'd suggest saving/printing the patterns, as they are archived and might not be around later.
This one looks like what I'm looking to make. Again, it's probably harder than it looks. It's Turkish stitch again.
Coats & Clark pattern. Again, this is an archive, so grab it if you want to keep it.
added 5-1-07: Canadian Living String Bag This one looks nice; I am thinking I'll try it.

General bag link collections

Other ideas
Make up a pattern with triple crochets and the worsted or sport weight cotton and the size M, N, or P crochet needle.
If I learn to net, I could make this one.

Ursula's pattern V8-8 )
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Here are my weekend goals:
-start work on matrix stuff
-spend 1/2 hour on sorting papers.
-finish coton à broder; all I need to do is embroider the monogram, then it's done
-make brown skirt and purple skirt
-finish one red cranberry sock

If there's time:
-knit the second sock
-do more work on matrix
-do more paper sorting
-re-file patterns, put socks in separate books and note technique patterns
-figure out the needleholder thing and make it
-contemplate crochet hooks


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