theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 4, 2009

From Susan — FO or Project Avoidance?

Filed under: Crocheting,Updates — lv2knit @ 11:29 am

Answer: Both!

If you read my last post, you know I am not enamored with my lastest knitting project, though I am working on it bit by slow bit.  But I have also been puttering on other very small things to break up the monotony. 

My latest small, stupid, time-wasting project is another dishcloth.  I wanted to practice my treble crochet and beef up my supply of cotton dishcloths.  I made mine much smaller than called for, but was still worried about running out of yarn.  Enter my new favorite toy:

Scale by you.
Digital Scale from KnitPicks

I LOVE this scale!!  I use it almost every day.  It has changed my life — okay, greatly improved my life.  It allows you to estimate how much yarn you have used and how much is left over:

Weighing In by you.

I weighed the part I had completed and the amount of yarn left over and knew I had enough to complete my square:

Crochet Dishcloth by you.

The scale did not lie!!  It is also great for mailing packages, which is so easy to do from home, but only if you know the weight of the package (duh).

And of course:

Happy 4th of July! The American Flag in Fireworks by BL1961.

Happy 4th of July!!  Enjoy the holiday with family and friends!!

July 3, 2009

From Susan — This Week in Knitting

Filed under: Crocheting,Lacy Cardigan — lv2knit @ 10:17 am

I have been doing some summer time knitting.  I started a sweater last Friday and it is going pretty fast, but I do not like it. 

I named it “Last Chance” on Ravelry because it is the last chance I am giving this yarn.  The yarn (Sublime Aran, Color Clipper) appears ideal on paper: 75% merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere, in a perfect denim blue to go with my work wardrobe (my pathetic work wardrobe, but I digress!), in a gauge of 18 sts/4 inches.   This spring/summer I started no less than ten different projects attempting to use this yarn from my stash.  It is the reason my knitting stalled for months.  I kept trying to make something out of this beautiful $#$%^^&*(*&^ yarn!

So, I decided to start the Lacy Cardigan for which I learned to crochet and is knit to a gauge of —- 18 sts/ 4 inches:

Lacy Cardigan by you.

As I said, it is knitting up fairly quickly, but I do not like the way it looks.  I am hoping for a miracle.

Lacy Cardigan 002 by you.
The color here is completely wrong!  The real color is deeper, richer, more denim than bright.

A person on Ravelry who made this said that she thought hers looked terrible until it was done…a glimmer of hope!!  So, I knit on.  I will toss out this yarn rather than admit to another false start!!

Speaking of Crocheting
I have been trying a little bit of crocheting to gain experience.  I am making the Cockleshells Scarf by Theresa Gaffey —  a simple scarf done in fingering weight yarn using double crochet only.   The original is made in an alpaca sock yarn that is soft as butter.  Mine is not as soft but has beautiful color:

Cockleshells 002 by you.

Thank goodness for Kim in my knitting group!  She made this scarf too in the original yarn — and it turned out to be gorgeous.  She helped me with my edges because her edge was much nicer.  Unfortunately, I did not take a “before” picture so you are seeing the improved version!  Still looks uneven, yes?  You should have seen it before!  I don’t know if I’ll ever become a true crochet head, but it is a nice change from knitting.  I also knitted me up one of those dang dishcloths because I had some really pretty ocean-colored Sugar and Cream (Sugar and Cream Stripes, Color 21143).

June 19, 2009

From Susan — Tatting is SO Yesterday*!

Filed under: Crocheting — lv2knit @ 1:55 pm

Needles suggested that next up for me would be tatting — but I’ve been tatting for many years. 

I used to work in the fabric and needlework department of a now defunct department store — very dangerous for my paycheck even then!!  An older woman came in to buy tatting shuttles so she could teach her grand daughters how to do it.  I had never heard of tatting or shuttles, so she pulled out a little baggie filled with lace.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  I was enthralled.  So, I brought home a DMC tatting book, shuttles and thread and learned from the pictures.   I actually had to learn twice: I just couldn’t believe that the knots were made with the left hand…so I learned with my right, unlearned, and then had to do it the correct way.  Bummer.  :(

I was 18 at the time, so no one I knew tatted — I never saw anyone else do it until relatively recently!  I can’t tat much any more because it bothers my “tennis” [knitter’s] elbow!

Here is the only really large project I ever made.  It is a two-piece collar set that I gave my mom years ago.  I have made a lot of tatted snowflakes as gifts and actually helped finance part of my very modest wedding by selling the snowflakes for $3 each. 

tatting by you.

I really enjoyed being linked to the past with this old form of lacework.  I believe that crocheting was first invented to connect tatted motifs (at least I read that somewhere!!).

PS: Kristin is a teen tatter, too!  Woo Hoo!!

PS to Surly:  Tatting is the least practical thing that I know how to do — you will well survive without it!!

* The title is SUPPOSED to mean that tatting happened yesterday for me (as in “in the past”) but it is NOT supposed to mean that it is passe!  I’m sorry if it was perceived that way.  I love tatting — and have included it in previous blog posts.  I truly admire people who are able to do really intricate tatting.

June 17, 2009

From Susan — A Cro(t)chety Old Lady

Filed under: Crocheting,Updates — lv2knit @ 9:44 am

Now that we have firmly established my advancing age (thank you all for the birthday greetings!!), I will describe how I officially became a crotchety old lady. 

“Crotchety” refers to someone given to odd notions, whims and grouchiness, and the term “crotchet” denotes a small hook.   I have never been a crocheter and never planned on becoming one.  This is not to diminish crocheting in any way, it’s just that I’ve got enough on my [knitting] plate without adding a whole new line of crazy!  BUT, there are some knitting patterns that require a bit of crocheting and on occasion (damn that Ravelry!) I will stumble upon something very cute done in crochet (see below!). 

Case in point: my dollar pattern:

Lacy Cardigan by you.

I bought this pattern for a buck during the recent Shop Hop and love it.  I already have the perfect yarn and was excited to think about starting it…but then noticed that the cute scallops at the bottom are created using crochet.  Oh, the horror.  

Luckily, while in Duluth this past weekend for daughter’s soccer tournament, I happened to stop in one of the local yarn shops — Yarn Harbor (I had to do SOMETHING in-between games!!).   What could I buy in this very cute and well-stocked store??  I saw this and thought I should give it a chance:

Crochet Book by you.
Learn to Crochet in Just One Day

I told the clerk that I would be back for a refund if the title proved wrong…it didn’t!  No refund necessary!  I did indeed learn the fundamentals of crochet in one day — or actually one afternoon.  Just the basics to be sure, and I’m not saying I could make anything, but I did learn how to single, double, and triple crochet, slip stitch, and half double crochet.   When I got home and read the Lacy Cardigan pattern, I understood all of it except for reverse single crochet — after checking YouTube, I found out how to do this last necessary stitch. 

Here is my very novice swatch. 

I decided to try to make a little something to see if I could read a simple pattern.  Here is my rendition of the Fan Bookmark, a popular free pattern on Ravelry:

Crochet Bookmark 001 by you.
Fan Bookmark, Size 1.25 mm hook, DMC Perle Coton #8

Crochet Bookmark cropped by you.
Close Up View

I’m sure that “real” crocheters will find many errors, but I am pretty proud of my lil bookmark!  So, it is official:  I am crotchety!!!

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