Next project on the go

Hooray, my lovely husband has finally managed to get home from London after being stuck there for a few days sur to the snow. But, today while I was feeling anxious about him making the journey I started a new crochet project.

I’m still not motivated to go back to spirits of life, but have started a second pattern for a top by lilla bjorn (who wrote the spirits of life CAL). Sitting here earlier I spotted 2 rainbow sprinkles caron cakes in my stash and immediately wanted to make a top for myself with them. Though I also have 2 cakes of blueberry kiwi and I can’t decide at the moment if I might use one of them for the back instead of the second cake of rainbow sprinkles. I’d love your thoughts on that, though i don’t have to make the decision until I find out if I can successfully crochet the front!

I’ve started on the front but was having trouble concentrating due to my anxiety, and I also had to frog several rounds twice when I realised I’d missed a stitch ūü§Ē.

The caron cakes call for a 5mm hook, but the pattern uses a different yarn and a smaller hook. I started with a 4mm hook but felt the holes were too big, so dropped to 3.75mm. Now my octagon is going quite wrinkly. I don’t know if that is just how it would be… The pattern says the octagon will start going curly but that can be remedied with blocking… Or if its because I’m using the wrong size hook for the wool? What do you guys think? Does it matter? Will it sort itself out if I block it?

Anyway, here’s how far I’ve got… I’m about half a round off the orange colour change which I’m looking forward to!

Meanwhile, Emma bunny has found a home on one of my bookshelves… I think she might be working her way through the Arthur ransome books (swallows and amazons etc) while I’m asleep at night!


Some successes…. And one not so much!

Hey there everyone. I’ve been catching up with a bit of crochet. The butterfly shawl is finally finished : I’m really pleased with it but I’ve realised I probably won’t wear it… Partly because it’s too green to match any of my outfits, and partly because I can’t see myself wearing a triangular shawl. Maybe I’ll have a go at making one in a rectangle and in different colours. I’ve also joined in Eleonora’s crochet along, with a stash busting blanket that requires 4 rows a week. Perfect! I’ve done my first four rows already, and am enjoying choosing colours and wools to use. Plus I decided I’d use this as an opportunity to have a go at learning a foundation treble crochet instead of crocheting a whole chain and then doing the first row. It looks a bit shorter than the next rows but I’m essentially happy with it! Finally I fancied joining in with rosina’s granny along. She also mentioned in one of her posts a heart blanket using squares from different people to make it up, that they will raffle to raise money for charities helping children who have great problems. I started working on one of the patterns but got myself very confused and ended up with too many puff stitches so it was growing too quickly. I was also reminded that I find puff stitches very frustrating as my hook often gets stuck or catches another bit of wool. So… It’s frogged, but it was fun having a go at it. Maybe I’ll try one of the other heart designs as there are several to choose from.

Blanket WIP update 

Well, I’ve done lots of the blanket, which unfortunately means I’ve made lots of mistakes! The blanket will be fine but I’m not sure how useful my services as pattern tester will be. 

This is where it was last time I blogged about it. 

Then I had a lovely evening crocheting with my friend lizzy while she knitted a hot  water bottle cover. It got this far then

Then I did the odd few rows, and then went to a crochet morning at our church. I did a couple of rows and realised I’d missed something out so frogged. But then I realised I hadn’t frogged far enough, and to get it right I’d have to frog back past my new ball of wool join and lose about 2 inches of work. Well, that would just be too disheartening, so i keep going and decided i’d have a pair  of leaves missing and a bigger  gap between the flowers. 

So tonight I’ve kept going and have appreciated they loan of a spindly spool thing that I put the wool onto so it unravels without going everywhere. Thank you to lovely Ann from church for lending it to me. I normally take wool from the centre of the ball, but i felt the colours would match better if I started from the outside of this second ball. 

Here’s where I’ve got to now after an evening of sitting listening to my sister reading a loud from little town on the prairie to my niecephews as I crocheted… I felt like I’d gone back in time! 

Just need to make the final flower and then make the blanket the right length and do the border. 

Here’s a close up of tonight’s flowers which look different to each other when they’re supposed to be the same, and which have big gapey holes in the bottom edges. Other than those two issues I’m quite pleased with them! 

I’m getting better at living with and adapting as a result of my mistakes in crochet, but I’ve realised that I overestimated my ability as  a pattern tester, and I’ve also learnt a very important lesson that it helps to tick off the tows on the pattern as you crochet them. On my defence I didn’t do that because I thought I would want to use the pattern more than once, but I’ve now realised that problem can be overcome with different coloured pens!! 

Crocheting on train journeys

The last couple of days Mark and I have been to visit friends in London and other friends in South Wales. This involved a fair bit of time sat on trains so I thought I’d take my crochet with me. I worked on my slipper(s).
Gloucester to London: I finished off the sole, adding extra rows as i measured it against an outline of my foot. Then I did the row of double crochet all round the edge.

Then I put my foot on it and realised the front end was too long and square. So I frogged all round the edge and the last 4 or 5 rows! For those who don’t know (and I only just looked this up now having read it on other people’s blogs) frogging is undoing what you’ve done, or ripping out the stitches. Apparently ‘rip it rip it’ reminding us of frog noises!

And having frogged I then had to redo the edging.

This was frustrating but resulted in a much better shape.

Visit to friends in London :I spent time chatting and crocheting, and was pleased that the front post and back post stitches worked out well. I’ve never done these before and the first row was tricky but it got easier after that.

London to South Wales journey :this was a crazily busy train but we got seats at a table. I carried on building up the sides of the slipper with front and back post stitches. ¬†A young girl and her mum sat with us for part of the journey and admired my work (always nice!) and as they were leaving the girl said “it’s looking really good now” (which depending on the tone of voice you read that with could sound a bit negative, but her tone ¬†was all positive).

I was also able to start closing in the toe on that trip, which started to pull the sole tighter, but it stretches back out when I put it on.

South Wales to Gloucester: I finished closing in the toe, even though I stopped crocheting often to see the beautiful views of the river Severn from the train.

Chilling out at home while catching up on episodes of masterchef from last week : I started to work on the cuffs with scales. I thought this was going to be complicated but was very pleasantly surprised to find it quite simple. It did take me a whole ¬†row of scales to eventually figure out how to hold the crochet on the second side of the scale so the stitches didn’t keep falling off the hook though.

Progress will slow down dramatically now as I’ll be going back to work on monday and have got busy evenings scheduled. Also, I’ve adapted this pattern as I’ve gone along as my foot is bigger than the largest size in the pattern. I’ve written down what I’ve done but on two occasions I’ve been meant to have a certain number of stitches and have ended up with a number that was closer to the real pattern. This seemed like a good thing at the time, but I’m really not sure how I’m going to deliberately recreate that when I move onto the left foot. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it… Got three more rows of scales to do on this one yet (and I’m too tired to tackle ¬†any more this evening.)