week 210

My mother’s birthday was late last month, and one of my brothers gave her flowers. I was taking out the rose petals as they were slowly wilting until they were all slightly worse for the wear.

Yesterday, I finally purchased a stock pot and boiled the petals to remove the colour. Unfortunately some edges had already lost their freshness and had some pale brown bits. Also, I’ve never made dye from nature before so this is a whole experiment in what ifs.

I boiled the petals in distilled water for an hour then let the petals seep in the water overnight.

water with rose petals and without petals

I let the rose petals sit for another hour until I took out most of the rose petals. It turned this beautiful amber brown colour.

yarn being weighed

I have a postal scale that I use on occasion and have to re-calibate it because it kept changing the weight, so it’s somewhere between 50-85 grams.

(Just for your amusement but my brain somehow assumed packages weighed in other countries goes kg mg, and have no idea why I skipped over grams. I changed it to pounds and ounces but am trying to retrain myself to also consider things in metric.)

yarn in liquid

I let the yarn soak in the leftover distilled water, but didn’t think too much about alkaline and acidic when I felt it needed more water and just added sink water, then weighed it down by filling the empty gallon container with more tap water.

I let it sit in the bucket for a few hours then squeezed out the excess water. Most of it is one of the fingering yarns from Knitpicks and I’m not sure what the other small bit is from, but probably also from that website.

I added about a half tablespoon of alum and the same amount of cream of tartar to boiled water then added that to the liquid. I made the mistake of taking out some of the liquid post adding those, for another project, but I doubt alum and cream of tartar would affect being used as a watercolour coat on canvas.

After boiling all of it for about forty minutes or so, the water turned more brownish and less amber.

I somehow expected the yarn to be dyed darker and with a bit of red, but the yarn looks pale brown. I’m letting the yarn sit in the dye overnight, but doubt it will get much darker than it already is at the moment.

I’m not sure what I will do with the end result but it’ll become something.

 

progress on parrot yarn top

I made the top part seven inches in length and broke the yarn, then started working on the main body.

For some reason, I calculated that I started with 180 stitches, but recounted and started with 160. I was going to make the main body 120 stitches, but had to frog that and make the main body 60 stitches. At this moment, it’s around four inches or around ten centimeters, in length. The sleeves will be seven, with something between them, then the main body will be fifteen inches, or thirty-eight centimeters, then an extra bit at the bottom.

 

first part of weaving

I’ve been wanting to weave again for the longest time and actually made two looms, but sticking nails in an empty frame didn’t hold up. I was successful with cutting out notches in the cardboard. I tried to line them up but I’m not sure they do, but it’s not a big deal in the scheme of things. I don’t mind things on the wonky side. I am used to small scale but wanted something bigger.

I’m going to use the frames and attach muslin to them and use those as canvas.

So far, I have only one part down, as I’m currently indecisive over the rest of the colours. The layout has already been determined, it’s just what colours.

 

fabrics for constume

One of my older brothers is dressing as Chewbacca this year. (And the picture proof cracks me up.)  His son’s son, my great nephew, is going to be dressed as Hans Solo. I’m sure you can tell which version by the fabric.

I took some basic measurements on Monday but basically will wing it.

 

progress on this knitting project

And did a few rows of this project. I know it’s blurry. I was going to take another one then had to charge the camera battery.

Advertisements

week 209

Even though I promised to use up my yarn stash, I went ahead and bought more yarn after seeing an email from LoveKnitting that The Yarn Collective yarns were on sale and got curious. Ended up buying two hanks of the Bloomsbury DK in Soot and it’s so pretty. It’s mostly dark grey, with bits of lighter grey, but when I was turning it into a cake, I noticed bits of purplish in the mix.

This isn’t a clear picture but it’s not solidly one colour.

yarn about to be turned into a ball

 

I managed another inch for the top using the Red Heart yarn in their Boutique Unforgettable line in the Parrot colour.

When I started it, it looked like it was starting to get pale but the colours are vibrant.

Bad thing is I’m probably going to need more, as I am getting closer to finishing the front of the sleeves and I’m maybe nearing the end of half of ball two. I have three balls and they will all be used for the front, it seems.

continuation of top with Red Heart yarn

 

I’ve been wanting to make something for Dylan for a while, and am attempting to crochet him a vest using up two yarns from the two stashes a certain really cute man got me.

The first side turned out better but I keep randomly making mistakes on this side but the neckline is perfect. I’m tempted to embroider on this side but the first one is supposed to be the front, and I plan on doing something with that because the neckline is lower than I want it to be.

continuation of vest or sleeveless top for Dylan

 

I went into the same yarn stash and decided this needs to be knitted. This is the third knitting attempt after moving to smaller needles. This will be when using the five needle set will come in handy as none of my circulars are under 24″/60cm, in case I want to make a thin tube.

beginning of another knit project

 

So, I’ve gotten it into my head that I want to try filet crochet and made a solid row after making an initial row of 50. No sure how this will turn out either as I haven’t quite plotted it out on graph paper.

beginning of a filet crochet project

 

I’m a hoarder and find it hard to toss out my yarn labels and have decided to collage them onto a posterboard. This isn’t all of them, as I ran out of glue.

While I glue these, I also write it down. At some point, my lazy butt needs to update my Ravelry account, which isn’t as updated as I’d like it to be, but can only focus on so much and that frequently goes on the backburner.

a lot of labels glued down to posterboard

 

So….

Not quite how I expected all fours sides attached together would look, but I need to make a pillow insert then redo the bottom, as I had to frog the one originally made because it will not fit. The loose bits at the bottom got sewn into the insides.

all four sides of house two connected

week 208

I’ve mainly been focused on two different projects.

 

This crochet pullover uses the Red Heart yarn, in their Unforgettable line, in Parrot. I have no idea how many times I’ve used the yarn, only to frog it and start over. This could be the sixth time.

I’m starting from the top down, going from the sleeves to the bottom.

sketch of pullover (and baby hat measurements)

This is a vague idea of what I originally planned to do with the yarn, and will use white yarn for the wrists and bottom hem. Depending on the leftover, or if I have to buy more, since I only have three skeins, I haven’t decided on the part between the sleeves, on the shoulders.

I casually measured the project against myself and don’t need to add extra sleeves, so it will be seven pieces, as of now. I don’t think I even need to add the parts on the shoulders and just do the sleeves as is before narrowing it down for the body, which would make it five pieces.

closeup of pulloverprogress on the crochet pullover

I’m on the row that will make the sleeves four inches so still have a way to go.

In case you’re curious what stitch I used, it’s a modified Alternate Spikes Stitch. I messed up because you’re supposed to do a normal stitch then the next one is a stitch below. Instead, I do one regular stitch then next stitch, I go into the back loop and the stitch below that one.  I have no idea what this stitch is actually called as I’m sure someone has done this stitch intentionally and got to name it already. Can’t be arsed to look it up at the moment. It looks like the Mirror or Rake stitches but that’s not what it is called.

Still. I really like how it turned out so sticking with it.

 

House 2 in the imagined series in my head.  I haven’t gotten to the roof yet, but decided the roof will be brown. So, will use these two yarns.

earlier, both yarns to be used

This is the progress on the house so far. Need to do the other side of the house then attach those, make the inside pillow and put that in, then attach the bottom.

house 2 progress

And now for breakfast and coffee.

week 207

Things didn’t actually settle down until last weekend, and slowly the projects are returning to being in various stages of being finished.

I spent last week and part of the weekend trying to make a proper baby or toddler’s hat and booties.

first baby hat attempt

First attempt wasn’t great.

second baby hat attempt

Neither was the second attempt. And, yes, I own a Cabbage Patch kid. I have two.

third baby hat attempt

Third wasn’t great either. I realised using the Cabbage Patch kid, his head is smaller than my aim, so I used a teddy bear with a slightly bigger head.

I made four attempts and, for some reason, using the size H (5.00mm) hook was making the hat look too small. So, I went up, to an I (5.50mm) and went from there.

crocheted booties, hat and pom poms

It actually produced work that looked good, although it was a bit huge. I figured it was 100% wool so if I felt the work, it would shrink.

crochet hat on Dylan

It didn’t shrink. It just got softer. The hottest heat in the washer and dryer did not make it smaller. Had I known that, I would have just turned that pullover sweater from Banana Republic into a small blanket. Not bothered frogging all of it, thrown all of it in the washer and dryer and just cut it into pieces.

crochet hat and booties on teddy bear

This is what the hat and the booties look on the teddy bear. I feel bad because no baby has a head that huge, and it was commissioned from my sister-in-law because my niece’s music teacher is about to have her baby any day now.

 

knitting

I’ve finally gotten to the second colour on this project. I want to make a pullover and this will be in the front.

 

close up of progress on knitted top using redheart yarn

I have absolutely no idea how many times I’ve frogged this yarn and reknit. I can’t seem to make things not twist when it comes to knitting in a circle. This time around, I’m knitting from the sleeves down. I’m going to put lace panels in various places so this is one huge experiment.

 

house two front

 

This had been sitting around for a while and I messed up on the stitches but it still looks pretty decent. I was going to add another row of windows but decided to go this route, with just one row of windows. I’m going to add a roof to the sides and back.

Also, took this picture yesterday. I had a chance to redo my toenails today so they’re not that messed up.

 

start of the knitted vest

Today, I decided to make a vest for Dylan and started knitting two yarns from Premier Yarns together. Deborah Norville’s Wool Naturals yarn in Oatmeal, which there is three skeins, and Deborah Norville’s Everyday Soft Worsted Heathers yarn in Terracotta, which I have two, which would be 600+406 yards, or about 990 metres.

I loosely measured around him and he’s about 27 inches around, or 68.58cm. I measured from the base of his neck to around his waist, and that was 16 inches, or 40.64cm.

 

By the way, I am slowly working on the dress but there are no pictures. Had to remeasure the sleeve because I cut it wrong.

week 205-206

This blog had to be temporarily put on the backburner.

My jury duty service ended last Tuesday. I really don’t feel like talking pubicly about the case, but it felt so nice to watch the local news or pick up the paper and not skip parts, after it was complete. Being a juror is more boring more than what shows make it out to be. Imagine being in a lecture and you have two professors giving their viewpoints on the subject. It sucked that two different cases were almost finished when ours finally finished.

After leaving there, filled with relief that it was over after about two weeks, I decided to reward myself with ice cream. I never got the ice cream because on the way there, got rear-ended. The funny part was it ended up being one of the mother’s of my son’s classmates. Thankfully, no one is hurt. Car’s bumper and closing the trunk is an issue and will have to use a rental until week’s end. Last week was an emotional rollercoaster, where my self-worth pretty much plummeted.

I haven’t had a chance to do much craftwise, because parts of me completely shut down, but this weekend I’m finding it’s slowly coming back to me. By the way, crying jags while untangling yarn is not a great experience. Also, I’m thankful, I don’t have to count spoons.

Over the weekend, I started a project. Twice I’ve attempted to make a pattern from Leigh Radford’s book, Alterknits. Twice, I’ve failed the Multilayered Tube Shawl or Scarf. It shouldn’t be that hard but it’s way easier to join rounds in crochet than knitting.

The second time I thought I had successfully not twisted the stitches, but then got to several rows and it became obvious, it wasn’t going to go my way.

Starting over is the worst but the end result is always worth it. Well, almost always worth constantly starting from the beginning. I’m not an absolute perfectionist, after all it’s more about the process than anything else, but like hitting some semblance of a goal.

So, this is what casting on 180 stitches, then joining in the round and knitting a few rows looks like. I’m pretty sure I realised it was going to be a failure when I wasn’t paying attention, then turned the project around and knit a round from the other side. Oftentimes I just incorporate mistakes into projects and just make them part of a design, because I really can’t be arsed to start it all over.

twisted stitches on circular needle

So, completely frogged that whole bit and restarted. This will be 180 stitches and won’t join the ends. I haven’t officially started drawing up sketches yet but have an idea from looking in all my knitting books. I have no idea why I’m constantly failing so much with this particular yarn. I think I’ve tinkered with it so much that at least three times the yarn separated itself in my hands when I gently tugged on it.

I’ve been wanting to make a pullover for a while and end up constantly making cardigans.

120 stitches

 

I promised my sister-in-law for a while now that I will make my niece’s music teacher a baby present. In the process, I snapped my favourite yarn sewing needle into two pieces.

broken blue sewing needle

From doing this. It’s all a complete mess.

I’m currently redoing the hat and need to make another sock to complete the set. Next time, I’m just going to sew the whole set and make it easier on myself.

messed up green crochet beanie and socks

 

The weekend between September 1-4 was starting and mostly making a crochet mini-shawl or cowl or poncho. (For a crafter, I still get them mixed up but it depends where on the shoulders and neck it covers.) I finished the last row (in order words, ran out of yarn), while listening to my boyfriend’s radio program, The Tripwire on The-Phoenix dot net, which airs at my time from 2-5am on Tuesday mornings.

The ends have been since sewn in.

mini crochet shawl

I completed the pom pom rug but still have to fill in a few holes. I’m going to use white pom poms to break it up more. It looks amazing but have to do a better job of weaving in the ends in the back but, also, want to put something on the back because it feels like it might slide about if it was on a tile floor.

pom pom rug

week 204

This week, and next week’s, posts will be posted on Fridays, because of jury duty. Obviously I’m not allowed to openly talk about the case, until it’s completely over, which should be by the end of next week. With all that down time, I’d be able to have copious amount of time to work on projects, but the courthouse I go to doesn’t allow knitting needles or crochet hooks, so can’t get much work done. I have been bringing Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel, Visitation, with me, but haven’t gotten much reading done. All my breaks are spent with my phone.

That said. I did squeeze in a few things after getting home. (I did have a break today and spent most of it going through emails. It’s amazing, how, once you break your routine, it’s takes a bit of time to catch up. And you don’t realise you have a routine until something comes along and mucks up the order of things.

This was not done very well but tried to make a bag to carry my crochet hooks and knitting needles, because I’m constantly dumping out the measuring cup I store them in, but it’s just the crochet hooks, for right now.

bag with four front pockets

It’s not noticeable but there are three small pockets at the bottom, to sort the crochet hooks. All the hooks fit into the biggest pocket. The middle one can hold a pen or two. The third pocket is smaller than the first and has nothing at the moment.

Behind that is another pocket, which is almost as big as the main bag inner.  I, also, accidentally sewn the lining a bit too long, so it folds up a bit inside.

I was going to put a flap on it, but decided against it.

pouch with a closure

Instead of a flap, I made a wee pouch and will put a snap closure. It could be a coin purse or something similar.

I wish there were more of this fabric but this small bit was in the clearance bins at Joann’s.

 

few rows of knitting

What I was originally doing with this, it was frogged yesterday and started over. Had originally cast on with a bigger needle size before moving it to a different needle and tried to attach the ends to each other and it was just a huge mess.

So far, my notes, this time around, are:

Size 9/5.5mm knitting needles. Co80. Knit first row. p1, k1* until end of row. Repeat until twelve inches/30.5 centimetres. Start binding off for sleeves.

It’s just two skeins of Lionbrand’s Mandala. I could totally make the sleeves in a different yarn, than that yarn, but haven’t quite decided what sort of sleeves this will have.

 

starting the crochet squarered crochet squarecrochet square with crochet 4 attached

These two crochet squares, I guess granny squares, will be part of the blanket. Hopefully.

The first one wasn’t, and didn’t, come out flat. With a bit of pinning and blocking, it shall be better.

The number square is fine, as it is, although one side is oddly lopsided.

And, as you can see they’re both about the size of CD jewel cases.

week 203

After so much frogging, I finally was able to settle on something I liked for House 2.

crochet side one of house 2

It’s not perfect and I’m going to add something to outline the lighter blocks, but this is the first “wall”. Yes, I did mess up when adding the second colour but no big whoop. Just have to remember to mirror it when I repeat for the other “windows”.

I plan on having four windows on two sides and the thinner sides will all be that red.

Haven’t decided on the roof yet.

partially done rug of pom poms

For some time now, I had a load of pom poms in a plastic bin, after making them from leftover bits from previous projects, using the lazy method, as in using the Clover devices to make pom-poms. I can never make them full enough with the fork or cardboard methods.

So, while watching DVDs–Actually, just Shrek 2 and the pilot and half of the first episode of I Love Lucy, before my son shut it off and demanded dinner–I attached them to the empty rug pad. And ran out after the green, white and grey ones. Slowly in the process of making more and finishing this rug. I need to make more reds and blues and purples.

Not sure if I’ll give it a proper trim as the messiness looks quite nice. Just need to fill in holes, after popping on a “last” pom pom on the bottom or top left corner.

muslin pieces of dress to be

Making up pattern pieces for a dress is hard, if you have never done it before. I’m so used to changing up already made patterns that I wanted to just start from scratch.

Not the first time to admit this but math can escape me. Like to the point of calculating things more than once then getting confused because none of the times end up with the same result. In my case, it’s measure four times, then measure again, then cut. None of this Measure Twice, Cut Once. With knitting and crochet, you can frog and start over, but fabric, you cut it once and you’re done.

(Just a funny anecdote but I bought more muslin this morning and the lady cutting it had to recut it when she was about to give me three yards when I asked for four. So she wasted three yards. I would have totally been fine if she had just cut one more yard and added that to the three she already cut.)

I made the pieces after drawing out the measurements on muslin. I actually had sewn the front and back pieces together and they were the perfect length, but a bit tight. I could breathe easily but want it a bit looser. I didn’t add any darts and it didn’t seem to need one. Funny enough that I thought it was perfect after adding an inch all around for the seam allowance and ended up with a seam allowance of 3/8″, which is almost a centimeter. The front is perfect, except have to add for the shoulder seams, but want to add to the sides of the back piece. I need to fiddle around with the pieces a bit more before I am willing to cut into the fabrics.

And, yes, I labelled it according to which fabric I’m using, in my various sketching of ideas. So, some pieces are labelled A, and some are labelled B. Until I can come up with a name for it, it’s going to stay labelled that way.

starting of next knit project

Finally decided to use this yarn from Lionbrand. I only have two cakes and want to make a pullover. Will it happen? We will see.

Yes, I pulled from the bottom. Wasn’t paying attention and also cast on 80 stitches onto a size 11/8mm circular needles but, since then, moved it to a 10.5/6.5mm on a purl side. I could probably close this but want the front middle something that hasn’t been decided yet.

I want to experiment with making cables which I’ve never done before but want to save that for when the yarn is all one colour.