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Last seen on: Secret Project, with math!

For: Jan & Sara, just married in June.
Pattern: Jasper’s Chevron Blankie
(errata: “SK 3 ST” in R2 and every subsequent row should be “SK 4 ST” otherwise the gaps won’t be centered over each other.)

It’s not big enough for two people (which a friend pointed out doesn’t make it a very unity-inspiring wedding gift) but it’s perfect for one person to snuggle under for a nap. One or the other of them now, and maybe someday some adorable mini-Jan or mini-Sara.

Or some handsome cats.
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I’ve been looking over the math that I did before committing to making the blanket. It’s rife with bad lab practices – bad assumptions as shortcuts, dropping significant figures, rounding up or down for convenience – and it’s no surprise that the amount of yarn I predicted I’d have left over after finishing wasn’t all that close to what I ended up with.

To be fair, I did finish the blanket without running out of yarn, which is what I did all the math for in the first place. But, for example, I predicted I’d be left with 39g of blue yarn, whereas I actually only have 7g left. Yes, that last row of blue was a bit nerve wracking.

More weirdly, I thought I’d have 124g of the red left, but it turns out I still have 162g.

The biggest error I made, all the way back at the beginning, was taking my swatch, which had 4 rows of red, 4 rows of grey, and 1 row of blue, and extrapolating it out to a blanket that was proportionally 4 grey to 4 red to TWO blue rows. I doubled the amount of blue in the blanket while making the assumption that this extra yarn wouldn’t change the density of the overall fabric and that all the yarns had the same exact weight. I knew that wasn’t true, but I didn’t realize how significantly that difference would play out over the large size of the piece.

Earlier tonight, I tested this, weighing out 5 grams of each yarn before laying them down on the floor and seeing how much length there was per unit. The grey yarn was 74 cm longer than the blue and the red was 110cm longer than the blue. The weight of the blue, which was more than 1/9 of the weight of the swatch, caused me to overestimate how much of the grey and red I’d use and thus also underestimate how much of the blue I’d use.

The only thing I came kind of close on was getting the final weight of the blanket correct. I’d estimated 1073g and in reality the blanket came out to 987g. That’s only 8% error. Not too bad…

Last weekend, Gene and I went up to Minneapolis, MN for the wedding of my college friend Kat. I’d already ordered her and her husband a tea kettle that they had on their registry, but something about registry gifts feels so generic…

No, I didn’t make more mug cozies. I ordered some flavored black and green teas from a store another friend highly recommended (having now tried two of them myself, I am less than enamored, but I think I prefer strong, straight black or green tea to anything lighter and flavored) and then, taking an idea from my presents for Sara’s bachellorette, wrapped them in old maps and crocheted a basket as a gift bag.

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Pattern:Diamond Trellis Basket by Make My Day Creative
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton, held double
Hook: J

My wonderful next door neighbors moved last week, which would be sad except that they only moved a block away. In moving, they found a pair of fancy Chinese tea mugs someone gave them, in their original packaging, which they’d never gotten around to using. Openly regifting it to us, we’ve now decided to regift it to my friend, having more than enough mugs for our own use. The mugs themselves are really pretty, so I also think they fit in with my tea-themed wedding gifts, actually bringing the theme together even better.

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The bride and groom bonded over their shared love of travel, so I made the case that the mugs came in, which was purple and decorated with Chinese Bronze Age drawings and had ugly yellow string handles, look a bit more appropriate. (It occurs to me only now that I probably should have gotten a before photo.)

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I added a couple maps to that too, along with some other cutouts from vintage books I’d saved from library sales for crafting purposes. I realize it looks amateurish, but I also think it’s much cuter than the original case. I hope my friend didn’t find it ridiculous. I think Gene’s too kind to tell me if it did, especially after I spent over an hour working on it.

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When I tweeted a photo of the mug cozies I made for a friend, the mother of another friend expressed her admiration for them. Aha! Another excuse to use up scraps!

This time, I found a bunch of brightly colored wool scraps in the Cape Cod haul.

I used up as many tiny scraps as I could, which makes the striped cozy look a bit zany. See all the tinier scraps left over? In the end, the only usable yarn I was left with was a quarter ball of seafoam green which I then gave to my friend who’s working on knitting a hexipuff blanket.

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What really made me happy was that, when I went through my collection of buttons, I found one for the blue cozy that matched the bright colors of the stripy cozy. It made them look much more like a matched pair!

My friend’s mom sent me photos of them in use, followed by a delightfully sweet thank you card. I’m so happy to be able to spread a little joy with these scraps of yarn. It’s really a great feeling!

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It’s been so long since I’ve blogged about crafting that I actually had to go back and read my old posts to see where I left off!

In the past month, I finished (ok, so I still have ends to sew in) the secret project, made two more mug cozies, and made another Geoui scarf. I also started another secret project and a cotton basket. More on all of these soon.

I’ve been taking things slow, not just because it’s been a bit warmer, but also because my wrists have started aching a bit. I don’t actually think it’s from crochet, but crochet aggravates the pain caused by too much typing on my computer and awkwardly holding my tablet when I read in bed. I’m confident that through stretching, resting, and icing when it gets bad (which I haven’t had to do in about a week!) that I’ll be fine, but it’s annoying too. There’s so much I want to be working on!

Let me start with the Geoui Scarf. Why another one? Back in March, I attempted this pattern for the first time with what turned out to be far too little yarn. Fortunately, Gene’s mother being the fashion icon that she is, actually loved the little teardrop cowl and adopted it for me.

Coincidentally, I’d already begun making another, this time with enough yarn, as a
present for my mom this past Mother’s Day. I loved how it turned out. When I hit a lull in my works in progress, not wanting to cart around the secret project or get back to my long-neglected hoodie, I started yet another Geoui.

In March, Ravelry user/designer Manfredovna sent me a massive amount of worsted weight acrylic yarn for my granny square blanket, accepting no payment in return. I’d always intended to make her a scarf or a shawl to say thank you, but it took me months to get around to actually making it. All the more surprise when it arrived in her mailbox, I guess?

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This time I used some 70% lambswool, 20% angora, 10% nylon yarn that I’d unraveled from a sweater years and years ago. It’s a heavier weight than the lace thread I used for my mom’s scarf. I also went up from a G hook to an H hook.

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I like the finished product so much I think I’m going to have to make myself one someday. Yes, ANOTHER Geoui. Yulianknits, could you have imagined I’d fall so in love with this pattern when you gave it to me?

Oh, and when Manfredovna received her scarf, she sent me a copy of her newest pattern. Her generosity overflows! The pattern is for a cotton market bag, called Nonstop Net. I’m excited to try it out when I get the chance!

After making Sara that bikini top and buying her some lacy undies for her bachelorette party gift, I realized last minute that I had no wrapping paper or bows.

No matter. I taped together pages from an old-ish atlas I got for free after a used book sale and crocheted rosettes to substitute for bows.
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Rosette pattern: Rose Bouquet
Yarn: size 10 thread
Hook: B or steel 0 (2.25mm)

I surprised myself with how cute it ended up looking. :)

My dear friend Sara married my other dear friend Jan earlier this month. In late May, Sara invited me to her bachelorette party, which included a lingerie party.

Now, for my friend Janelle’s bachelorette party in 2010, I made some horrendous looking crochet lingerie as a joke gift for her. Hilariously, she actually tried them on over her clothing and encouraged me to take ridiculous pictures of her at the party. Janelle, if you’re reading this, please, please tell me they got “lost” in your move last year, if not long before that.

I jokingly mentioned those pieces to Sara and she got really excited about attractive crochet swimsuits and lingerie she’d seen in photos. Well then. Certainly worth another try!

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I think I did better this time around!

One of our ministers at church just had a baby, so I took another break from the secret project and made her new daughter a little bonnet and dress.

I seriously love the bonnet pattern. The dress pattern is fine and is a quick little project, but I still like the bonnet better.

Bonnet Pattern:Blessing Day Bonnet

Dress Pattern: Little White Dress

The yarn was not great – kind of splitty, but I like the color. Not sure what kind of yarn it was, it was part of a big bag of donated odds and ends and came without a label.

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