Better late than never

I made an Easter bunny. Yes, I know, a bit late. I actually finished it on Easter Monday, but that would be a bit late to the game too. Oh well, I had fun making him. No pattern, I just made it up as I went and I think it turned out quite nice. Well, actually I have a list of things I don’t like about it, but I have been reminding myself that this is only the third little animal I ever crocheted. I can hardly expect things to be perfect, isn’t it?.

Another cat

I think I’m getting the hang of it. This one looks a lot more like the one in my head, though there are still some things I’d like to do different next time.

The face gave me a really hard time . I feel like it’s the face of a rabbit, not a cat, but I’m not sure what to change. And I don’t think I can change it anymore without damaging the head.

Oh well. I guess it’s close enough. it’s just a toy after all.

A first try

Although I love knitting very much, I have been trying to get myself into crochet for a long time. I started with a set of potholders, proceeded to learn granny squares and then kind of got stuck there (you can find all my crochet posts here). I did make my father a scarf in a different stitch a few years ago and I enjoyed that very much, but I always got back to knitting.

Since we moved to Curacao, I have been looking at other ways to craft. When you’re in a colder climate only a few weeks every year, it just doesn’t make sense to knit sweaters, hats and scarfs so much. So I have been thinking about crochet, and specifically amigurumi, a lot. And since we knew we had a little grandson coming, the idea of making toys became more and more attractive.

But the thing is… patterns scare me. There, I said it. I can read knitting patterns, but I prefer them in English. Dutch knitting patterns confuse me. And crochet patterns are even worse. Did you know dc is a whole different stitch in the UK than in the US? Yeah, that kind of confusing.

So – you probably guessed where I was going if you’ve been following my blog for a while – I winged it. I mean, how hard can it be?

Meet Cat. My very first crochet toy. There is so much that I would do different a second time, but I also learned a lot figuring out how to make him. It was fun. I’m definitely going to try again (to be honest I already started).

To be continued…

Crafty goals

I didn’t have much time for crafting last week. But that’s okay. There was swimming, talking, laughing, reading and other good stuff instead.

Last week’s list:

/ work on the cowl -> just a few rows. Need to concentrate a bit on the pattern. Not that it’s that hard to follow, but with D. here, there’s just too much distraction. Oh well, it can wait.
/ make covers for the top of our chair cushions. They get greasy really fast (from sweaty and salty hair) and washing the cushions is not that easy. They dry slowly and it costs too much electricity each time -> Started simple granny squares, but it’s going slowly.

This week’s list:

– work on the cowl
– work on covers for the top of our chair cushions

Let’s see how far I can get…

Giant potholders (or: so maybe gauge does matter – a little bit)

I needed a simple and washable project to take with me to the house. So I decided to knit some potholders. I have been doing that the same way for years now.
Just knit diagonal squares by casting on three stitches, make a stitch in the second stitch of every row until I have sixty stitches, knit one row without decreasing or increasing and then knit the second and third stitch together every row until three remain.

Simple as that. No need to worry about gauge or needle sizes. Size isn’t that important for potholders and since I make them by crocheting or sewing two squares together they’re always thick enough even if I knit a bit loosely. I like that, because gauging is not my thing, really (yes, yes, I know… but I rarely knit clothing from real patterns, I usually just wing things).

I finished the first square rather quickly, but when I got halfway the second one, I remembered that I’ve always gotten only one and a half square from one ball of cotton. So I frogged part of the first one and added black stripes on both of them.

After finishing the first two squares I got kind of bored, so I thought it would be a brilliant idea to make crochet squares for the backs. I happily crocheted away, but I found that every time I thought I was done, the knitted square stretched just a bit more and I needed to add another round of crochet.

After a while, I realized that this cotton was a bit (or actually a lot) thicker than the cotton I normally use for potholders. I was also using larger needles and I could have stopped increasing at fifty stitches to get the size I make them normally (which is already bigger than most store-bought potholders).
By then I was almost done (or so I thought before I found I needed to add another round of crochet), so I thought ‘Oh well, bigger is better’.

I did not take into account that with crochet the squares also gets thicker.  Ahem.

So now I have two giant, really thick potholders. But you know what? I love them. I use that cast iron frying pan a lot and with normal sized potholders I often accidentally touch the hot handle. With these, I have never done that (and I have been using them at least twice a day for almost a week now).

All is well that ends well, I guess. But I will try to remember to at least consider gauge for my next project.

A wavy scarf

It’s done! It feels so great to actually finish something again.
Also, I forgot how hard it is to take acceptable pictures of a scarf unless you model it (but my face is not up to modelling today – believe me I tried). You’ll just have to take my word for it; it’s long enough to wrap around my neck comfortably and it feels really soft and warm.
I found the stitch pattern in a magazine and really enjoyed doing the zigzags. Easy to memorize, but interesting enough to keep going. I may be tempted to try and make a blanket with this stitch.

crafting on?

I picked up my crochet project for the first time in months and it seems I’m finally hooked again (unoriginal pun intended). I may even finish this scarf before the weather changes.
(let’s just forget for a moment that when I started this I intended to get a headstart on making Christmas gifts for everyone in my family)

(joining Nicole of Frontier Dreams)

Crafting on – startitis

Joining Nicole at Frontier Dreams today

Since everybody seems to agree that it’s better for my hands to have more than one project going, I allowed myself a bit of startitis this weekend.

This is the yarn I wanted to add to the blanket, but now it will be a sweater. I like the ribbing and the pattern on the body of this one, but I think I’d like smaller sleeves and a deeper neck.
 I think (hope) I have enough (I have seven skeins – it was another thrift find), but I think this sweater will look great sleeveless too (worn over a blouse), so I’ll make it that way if I need to.

This will be an assymetric shawl, simply in stockinette stitch, since the colors make it interesting enough. I am curious though how the stripes will look when I have more stitches in a row.

Switching off knitting and chrochet feels good on my hands too, so I had to start a new crochet project after finishing the cowls-that-were-supposed-to-be-a-blanket. This is the first project I’ve ever made beyond granny squares (or stripes). Well, the second actually. My very first project involved single crochet, but after that I just grannied along.
But, no more. I’m actually following a (simple) pattern here and it’s coming along nicely. I hope to have enough of this yarn (four more skeins) to make a scarf.

The summer sweater is still growing nice and steady.

So there you have it. I’m working on four bigger projects now (and to be honest I have some plans for more).
Part of me finds this scary. I’m usually a deadline kind of girl (finish this first by… then start…) and my recovering-from-burnout brain had some difficulties adapting to this. But this morning I reached into my basket and realized I don’t have to worry about what to make next for a while. I can just keep on knitting (and crocheting) without thinking too much about it and start new projects when I feel like it, not when the timing is exactly right.
That actually feels relaxing. And that’s what this crafting thing is supposed to be, isn’t it?

Granny stripes

Wel, I had such grand plans. It really was supposed to be a blanket.
But it didn’t work out so well. Too little yarn (it was a bag of scraps). I intended to add some other yarn from my stash, but it didn’t feel right. It was the wrong color to go with the rest and not the color I’d like in a blanket. Also I couldn’t stop thinking about how it was enough to make a sweater and how I would love a sweater in that color (lilac – I’ll show you tomorrow).

While I was making the first part of the intended blanket (I planned to make two striped strips and add squares between them), my husband kept commenting that those would make nice scarfs. And I said: “No, they’re too short.”
But when my first plan backfired, I reconsidered his idea and made cowls.

That was a good call. I actually love the colors with my black coat and it feels so soft and light. So I think I’ll be using one of them myself and put one aside as a gift.

The squares? Those won’t be wasted too. On the pile for KAS they go. There’s still some of that yarn left, but I’m thinking there might be enough for a hat and I haven’t made a hat for hmn… a few months, so it’s time 😉

Crafting on – sort of

I was typing something about being back, not sure where to go with it etc. but then I realized I’m a bit of a broken record about this. It’s not the first time this happened and I don’t think it will be the last time either. Maybe it’s time for me to just accept that I sometimes don’t feel like blogging for a while, without making excuses? Yes, I think it is. So I’ll skip explanations and just pick up where I left off.

Joining Nicole’s Crafting On today. Here’s what I’m working on:

:: a granny stripe blanket. But I already know it won’t be just stripes, since I simply don’t have enough of that yarn. This was a bag of scraps (mostly angora) that I found at the thrift shop. I have some lilac mohair that I plan to add, hoping it will be enough to make this at least a baby blanket.

:: a summer sweater. Knitting has been hard for me lately (arthritis), but right now it seems to be less painful. I hope to keep it that way. I have so many plans…

:: during my blogging hiatus there wasn’t much crafting (yes, there is a connection- no crafting, no blogging, or maybe ‘not feeling like crafting’ is the same thing as ‘not feeling like blogging’. I don’t know, but I always come back to both). A few weeks ago though, I itched to just make something, so I made some granny squares for KAS.

It’s good to be back 😉