Looking back and looking forward


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The last time I updated this blog, I’d finished off my aunt’s shawl made from yarn unraveled from her favorite but falling apart cardigan. It made me really happy to finally try a pattern I’d had in my library for years, to send that yarn back to its owner in a pretty new form, and to not have to move that yarn to our new home, ~1000 miles from our old one!

In the six months since then (eeeek!), I haven’t made much, even though plenty of yarn did make the move with us!

What little have I achieved in my crochet since then?

1) I sewed buttons on my red granny cardigan (haha but didn’t sew in the ends just in case I still want to move them & also because I hate sewing in ends) and wore it to work as a subtle Halloween costume. So subtle no one seemed to notice I was in costume. I guess that means it can be part of my regular clothing rotation?


2) I made ONE christmas present – a grocery bag in cotton for my brother and sister-in-law. The pattern is called Nonstop Net and it works up really quickly. Nicely written out AND charted, with helpful diagrams for everything. Somehow I still managed to mess it up and the sides aren’t exactly symmetrical, but it still works! And is big enough to hold a watermelon or pumpkin, I suspect. Haha.


3) Saving the best for last: FROGCAT.  🐸 😸 ??


Why frogcat?  It’s sort of a long-standing our-home-specific corruption of the word “groggy”  into “froggy,” which then has turned into saying “I’m a frog” instead of “I feel groggy.”   With Gossy taking many naps and then slowly blinking herself back into consciousness probably dozens of times a day, she is our home’s froggiest occupant.

Obvious, right?   Haha ok no, we’re just strange I suppose.

Anyway, Gene came up with the idea for Gossy to have a specific blanket just for her, rather than getting covered in our cast-off clothes or bathrobes.   He drew up an incredibly technical schematic:


Over the course of a weekend, I translated this into fabric.  We abandoned the idea of a tie – no sense getting her tangled in it.  Now Gossy spends lots of time snuggled up under her frog, and months later, we’re still getting great amusement out of seeing frogcat.


Looking forwards into 2017, I have my work cut out for me! Three dear friends are having babies in April-June, so it’s time for me to sort through my stash for baby-appropriate yarn (or go yarn shopping, oh my goodness!) and make some cute hats and other gifts.

Small projects like this are fun to look forward to.  I’m incredibly busy with my new job as my last six months of barely any crochet prove, but if I can make a frogcat blanket in a weekend, I can certainly make a baby hat or two in the same amount of time.

Happy new year and happy crafting to you all!

FO: Recycled Cardigan Shawl


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Over a year ago, my aunt brought me a beloved cardigan that had been darned a few too many times to keep wearing. She asked me if I might want the yarn. You all know how my stash of yarn has been overflowing in recent years and I’ve been trying to decrease its size, not increase it. But in this case, for this yarn that I knew I’d figure out how to give right back to her, I could make an exception.

It was fiddly to work with because it consisted of two unplyed stands: a tan/silver thicker cotton/acrylic one and a thread in either blue, orange, or brown. I managed  to keep it all together while unraveling and then again when crocheting it.


Pattern: Silver Bells Shawl

I like the pattern a lot. Initially skeptical of doing the last round of picot stitches for the edging, I’m glad I did. They add an essential dimension to the piece and pull it all together.


I hope she likes her “new” shawl!

Keep, toss, unravel


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We’re moving in about 6 weeks, so I’m packing and sorting through everything. Making some difficult decisions about things that, while I might have strong feelings about, maybe haven’t seen the outside of a box/closet since we moved in here 3 years ago.

I haven’t crocheted any clothing for myself in ages, probably because the pieces I already have aren’t things I love all that much.

The shrug below has already been unraveled. The yarn, which I like, will be better in something else.

Pattern: Maui Shrug

The next two have both been bagged up and boxed away, even if they’re not perfect.

This red little thing is the first piece of lace I ever attempted. The yarn, Caron Simply Soft, is not holding up well even through I’ve barely worn it, but feeling gas won out over function for now.


Pattern: Short and Sweet

This cream top still has potential, although I need to figure out how to stop it from sliding off my shoulders.


Pattern: Babydoll Dress

This last piece is sitting on my desk note as I write, making me go back and forth on my decision about its fate. I think I want to unravel it?  It was a pain to make (read my Ravelry process notes here) and I’ve only ever worn it once. Crocheted dense summer wear doesn’t make much sense… but something is making me hesitate and I don’t quite know what. 


Pattern: Red Hot Halter

What do you think?  Keep, toss, or unravel?

FO: Geeky baby gifts


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My marvelous cousins are having a baby this summer!

To get this little girl started off on the road to appreciating some great books, movies, and TV shows, I made the following geeky presents:


Ewok hood (pattern)
Star Trek cardigan (captain, of course!) (Basic baby cardigan pattern)
Hobbit hooded cape (made up myself through trial and error, leaf pattern here)

I hope they like them and that eventually, once she outgrows them, maybe her stuffed animals and dolls can wear them while she imagines herself on Endor, captaining a starship, or on an epic journey…

WIP: Granny Square blanket (yes, still!)


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As of last Wednesday, all 144 squares are joined!  Just as my luck would have it, it’s gotten rather warm here too, meaning that the last thing I feel like doing is to sit under a heavy blanket and sew in ends.


I spread it out over our bed to check the size – it’s almost perfect. I could see maybe doing a row or two of edging around the whole thing, also maybe extending the blanket over the sides of the bed a bit more, but it’s basically finished.

That is, apart from nearly 300 ends.

The cats love it.


It is a blanket of friendship! And naps!


WIP: Giant granny square blanket


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It’s coming together! Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I abandoned the idea of somehow coordinating 144 different squares into an organized, cohesive pattern. Instead, I dumped them into a big cloth bag and, without looking, I take each square out, attach it to the blanket, and then blindly select the next square.


I can do this while I read, which makes it an easy project to progress on for now. 72 squares are now joined together, which means 72 remain.

Once they’re all joined, however, the final onerous task that cannot be done while reading remains. 288 ends to sew in. Perish the thought!


I love how it’s coming along, even with end-sewing looming in my future!

Blocked on blocking


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“The time has come,” Gossy said, “to write of many crafts.”

“Which crafts, Gossy?”

“Miao. Miao. Miao.”

“You’re no help.”


Since I last posted here in August 2015, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve done much. Aside from a set of baby presents (hat, booties, cardigan – all basic patterns I’ve posted about before) and a big squishy red scarf for myself (pattern here), little has been completed.

But that’s because, as of a few days ago, here’s what the top row of my Ravelry project page looked like:

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.13.59 PM

See all those projects above 95%?  Three of them just needed to be blocked and have their loose ends sewn in. Instead of writer’s block, a state of being I’m getting frustratingly used to living in, I had blocker’s block.

Gossy was no help so instead I posted a picture of the three unblocked shawls to instagram.  Something about that helped me feel more accountable about finishing.


As of this morning, the Geoui and Nervous shawl have been blocked and sewn up. Finished! Action shots later when the light gets better.

And this lovely HUGE lace shawl is blocking on the futon behind me as I type.


The gradient baby blanket needs to be machine laundered and dried (to test its durability before giving it to someone with a newborn and no time for the nonsense of handwash delicates). I think there are a few ends to sew in there too.

And the granny cardigan?  I guess maybe that’s what I’ll pick up next if this bout of completionism continues.

Even if I’m not blogging regularly, I’m a bit better at keeping track of my work on Ravelry and instagram.

Want to help me keep accountable for another project, one that’s been languishing even longer?

Next up – finishing that huge granny square blanket.  I have the yarn. The ends are all sewn in.  I think there’s no way to do a systematic color progression with ordered chaos of 144 totally different squares.  My idea now is to dump them all into a huge bag, mix them around a bit, and work them together drawing them out one at a time. No system, just ordered chaos.  It could work!