Sigh.  Being on the job market, trying to finish my dissertation, and slowly recovering from an RSI have wreaked havoc on my crochet productivity over the past few months. I made a few small things that I hope to get caught up on here. I crocheted only one (1!) Christmas present.  I have made no progress on my two long hibernating big projects – the lace weight red cardigan and the giant granny blanket.

Alas!

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about recently, however.

Below, on the left, is a grey 70% wool / 20% nylon / 10% cashmere sweater that I bought almost 5 years ago, right when I started getting into unraveling sweaters and working with recycled yarn, a little before I started this blog. IMG_1522

Along with a baby present – hat and pair of booties - see below for what else this sweater has since become:
IMG_9406

From head to toe:
Headband
Honeycomb neckwarmer
Button cowl
(both of the above cowls are also often worn as headbands, since I have too much hair for a hat now)
Ribbed cowl (meant for Gene, but he never wears it so I do when it’s awful out)
and, just finished yesterday:
Legwarmers

Yarn usage
Headband: 33g (includes weight of frog)
Honeycomb neckwarmer: 50.6g
Button cowl: 51g (this includes weight of the buttons)
Ribbed cowl: 96g
Legwarmers: 100g

I weighed the remaining two balls and found I have 110g left. What to make next? Should I be all matchy-matchy and make myself some mittens or fingerless gloves with the remainder? I’d probably still have yarn left after that. It strikes me an entire winter set in this grey might seem a little silly though, especially if worn all together.

Any ideas?

DSCN9578
Pattern: Quinty Shrug
Recipient: Mom

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited any crochet blogs, including my own. I’m a little behind on sharing completed projects, but the truth is that there haven’t been all that many to speak of. I’ve only just recently picked my hook and yarn up again after a long break.

In late August, I finished this shrug as belated birthday present for my mom. I didn’t ship it off to Taiwan until late September, which means my mom got it as a VERY belated birthday gift.

DSCN9577

I made this shrug out of recycled yarn from my friend Janelle’s old sweater, which I wrote about ages ago. The color is perfect for my mom, but the yarn was too thick, so the most fiddly part about the whole project was separating the two ply yarn into single strands to get the weight I needed. It was worth it!

Quinty is a great pattern. The only thing I changed about it was to add a little extra length to the sleeves by repeating the set up rows a second time before starting the lace. I like the effect enough that I’ll probably do the same the next time I make the pattern. And yes, there will certainly be a next time, if not many next times. I’m really happy with it and I hope my mom can find a use for it!

DSCN9580

You’ll notice I’m wearing a brace on my left wrist in the above photos. In mid August, I finally went to my school’s clinic to be seen about some pain, weakness, and tingling in my pinky, ring, and middle fingers that I’d been dealing with on and off since June. The initial diagnosis by a young GP was carpal tunnel, which made no sense to me because my thumb wasn’t bothering me at all. I dutifully wore that brace for ~3 weeks, including while I slept, before going in to get a second opinion from the school’s sports medicine physician because it wasn’t really helping.

Turns out the problem wasn’t in my wrist at all, but in my elbow. Somehow, I’ve ended up with a condition called Golfer’s Elbow. It’s not clear what caused it. I have a different brace now, a small one to wear below my elbow that’s surprisingly comfortable and helpful.

FlLSFEi

Knowing to ice my elbow instead of my wrist has helped a lot too. I still wear the wrist brace when I sleep, but at my follow up appointment 2 weeks ago, I was told that I can begin tapering off both braces now that the tendon is showing signs of recovery. For now, I’m being very conservative about giving up the brace, as well as being conservative about how much crochet I indulge in. I spend all my days at a keyboard right now and no amount of stretching is able to make my wrists totally ache-free.

There are a couple things I’m still working on, of course, because totally eliminating crochet from my life would make me even more stressed than I already am with school. I hope to share them with you soon!

IMG_20140828_153802
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.
IMG_20140828_154600

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.

IMG_20140808_154829
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.

IMG_20140808_154934

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.)

IMG_20140808_154844

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.

IMG_20140808_155021

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.

1403383767702

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!

btz8uptcyaehnsv_medium2

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?

IMG_20140723_141926_2

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.

IMG_20140724_100038~2~2

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.
1401469934596

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. :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 92 other followers