Tag: Crochet 2009

Sat 3 Jan 2009

Entry #1 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

I have been wanting to learn how to crochet for a while now.

A babysitter taught me to do granny squares when I was a little kid. But I lost my crochet hook ages ago, and granny squares are kind of ugly, anyway. ;)

My Grandma used to make wash cloths, as xmas presents to everyone (tho maybe she knitted these, rather than crocheted). But she can't now because of her Lupus and arthritis. So I thought I would take over for her.

I got a starter kit as a gift from my aunt and uncle, and a Intermediate book with scarf patterns. My Grandma showed me how to do one of the stitches. And I took "orders" from my family as to what colour they want their scarves to be. :)

And I've been practicing... so far I've made three "mouse blankets" out of the different stitches I have to learn.

I am already frustrated, because I want my stitches to be consistent right now. And also, there are just a few basic stitches to learn but I'm already having trouble keeping them straight. And not to mention that my hands get tired after just a couple turns on the mouse blankets!

oof, practice, practice, I guess.

Mouse Blankets
sat 17 Jan 2009

Entry #2 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

I think my crocheting practice is starting to turn into an obsession. I have been practicing almost every day, and even tho my hands get tired after about half an hour, I continue to study my book and think about all the things I'm going to make... if my stitches ever get even.

Since I am trying to learn all the basic stitches, I have been making little sections of each stitch. I call them Mouse Blankets because they are just a couple inches square.

mouse blanket drawing

I've got Mouse Blankets of single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet and triple crochet. And then I tried to learn how to decrease stitches, which kind of makes the section curl around, so I made those into little hats. Which are way to big for mice, and too ackward for guinea pigs, so I don't know what to name them!


And now I'm trying out the Afghan Stitch, which requires a special long crochet hook. I got one with my kit. It started out kind of iffy, I couldn't figure out where to put my end stitches. And I guess I clutch my hook and string and section too hard, because my hands are really tired now!

But I think I'm liking the Afghan Stitch a lot better than the other ones. It makes a nice thick section... I don't like the air holes that double and triple crochet stitches make, the Afghan is much more solid.

Anyway. I've gone through my first ball of string, making Mouse Blankets and little hats. It took two weeks, and I think it was most of a 2oz ball (55g).

When I went to the store to buy more string, I was kind of disappointed at the cost. The little 2oz balls of cotton were just $1.50, but the regular yarns, the 3.5oz (100g) ones that I would use to make my scarfs and all, were $5... and I think even the most basic scarf has to have two skeins. The little blanket that I'd like to make needs six skeins.

Those are expensive scarfs and blankets, even before I put my time in to make them!

Oh well. I've got a while to go before I get to scarfs anyway. I got several of the small balls of string, in multi-colours, to make dish cloths with. The colours delight me, and I can't wait to get started!

Crocheting Chaos
thurs 5 feb 2009

Entry #3 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

Crocheting is a new hobby for me, I decided to teach myself this year and make some dish cloths and scarfs for family presents. I got a book and a set of crochet hooks for xmas, and I've been practicing my stitches.

Here is Crochet Fiasco: Project 1...

Afghan Stitch

I really really liked the Afghan stitch, which is not a normal crochet stitch and it uses a special, long hook. I was going to make all my dish cloths out of this stitch, because it looked good and it made a very solid piece of fabric.

Sadly, it curled something terrible. I tried to fix the curling by making my stitches really tight. That helped. But that also gave me some serious carpal tunnel pain!

So, Project #1 has been abandoned!

Here's Crochet Fiasco: Project 2...

half double crochet

Looks pretty good, huh. well, um.

For this dish cloth, I am following the directions on the back of the label on the string I bought. To begin, I had to make three attempts to make it the right size... it's supposed to be 6 inches long, and my first attempt was about 5 inches long. My third attempt was 5½ inches and I decided to go with that.

I stitch along, following the directions precisely, being very happy that this one is not curling at all! and I've gotten to the point in the photo. Problem is, at this point, the stupid thing is SUPPOSED to be approximately square. uh huh. Look at that picture, does that look like a square to you? no. not even approximately.

Yeah. So, pretty much I suck at the crocheting thing! But I will persevere!

Week 1
sat 7 feb 2009

Entry #4 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

Well my Blog Posting Month has gotten off to a shaky start. I was not prepared for February, and didn't really have a plan for topics to write about. And then I had a non-entry... Technically I did put down a post on Wednesday, but I see now, I could have done it better by doing a quick dredge through my photo directories and posting a random picture.

Oh well. It'll go better for the rest of the month!

I am so happy that it's finally the weekend. Can attempt to get caught up with some of my projects...

I had to buy stamps today, and I'm really excited about this new Oregon stamp. Nice artwork! (Artist is Gregory Manchess and the stamp was issued 14 Jan 2009.)

the new Oregon stamp

Of course, having to spend 50$ on stamps makes me pause. 42¢ for US letters, and 27¢ for US postcards... it's the International first class mail at 94¢ that really adds up.

My fascination with PostCrossing will probably not save the Postal Service tho: Mail days may need to be cut.

It was a slow week for my PostCrossing... I didn't get any postcards (update! Two arrived this afternoon!), and only two of mine were registered. Which is actually a good thing, since this week was so annoying. And I only had the two stamps left anyway.

And I need to get back to the evil crochet. I haven't worked on it since I discovered the directions weren't really working out for me (Thursday blog entry). I think I've decided to add a few rows to make it a square and to hell with the stupid directions. It's just a dish cloth, after all.

I can't wait to start screwing up my crocheted scarfs and hats! :P

My daily photographing has been on the lame side. This is because I only remember to get my camera out at the very end of the day! And then "what shall I take a picture of today?" Mostly: Guinea Pigs. Too bad they are completely non-photogenic when I have to use the flash!

Crochet Yay!
sun 8 feb 2009

Entry #5 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

Yesterday I finished my very first crocheted dish cloth, and it looks awesome!

Yay a finished project

I had a terrible time with the finishing directions. But that's okay: now I know how to do it.

I was so excited to see my finished project, I wanted to immediately start on my next dish cloth! Unfortunately, having crocheted for two hours straight, my fingers and wrists were killing me. And still are today. It'll probably be a few days before I can go back to it! Arg, frustration!

Then again, you guys are probably tired of reading about dumb crochet! I'll have to think up some more interesting topics for next week. ;)

a box
wed 25 feb 2009

Entry #6 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

I had to go back to work today, regardless of how sick I was... because I had an Amazon box -- delivered to my work -- arriving today! And since this was my first Amazon run of the year, I was pretty excited about it.

Usually I have a huge buying spree right after xmas. But this year I was pretty concerned about my finances. I didn't think my temp job was going to last and I had no idea how I was going to pay off my credit card for xmas!

But now I've got some employment. And longer hours means a bit more cash flow. I finally did my Amazon run, even tho it's on the pathetic side of tiny. ha.

I got a new toy for my computer. A kit to connect a bare hard drive to a USB port. I can't wait to play with this thing, because I have like a million hard drives just lying around doing nothing.

And I got some Miso, because I love Miso. And the latest Eric Maisel book. And...

Amigurumi World

"Seriously Cute Crochet"? OMGosh, Seriously!

Look! There's a turtle! A Hedgehog! A cute lil owl and bunny and yellow duck.

AND There's a octopus (on the back cover). *rift falls over with the cute-ness*

And if I knew how to crochet, I could actually make my OWN octopus! I could make lots! a herd!

I need to hurry up and learn how to crochet already!

odds and ends
thurs 26 feb 2009

Entry #7 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

I was making my lunch last night and I was all "peanut butter and jelly? bah. boring!"

So I made it a peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich!!

I am brilliant! It was Yummy!
It made my tummy ache all afternoon!!

haha. maybe I won't do that again.

half double dish cloths

These are all the dish cloths I've finished!

Never mind that curly thing on the left, there. That was my sad, sad attempt at the a-curséd Afghan stitch, which will never happen again ever.

The one with the white border is kinda cool, huh. I ran out of string on that one and had to go to the store to get a ball of something else to finish it. This store carried different brands of string and I discovered this "eco2cotton" blend, which is a pre-consumer recycled cotton. Unfortunately the blend part is polyester, which annoys me. eh.

and the dish cloth on the right is the one I did while I was sick. It's still attached to it's string because I couldn't find my scissors. ;) And having made two dish cloths out of that ball, there's a good bit left, but not enough to do another dish cloth. Not sure what I'll do with the rest of it.

sat 28 feb 2009

Entry #8 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

I spent this morning searching online for directions for making an interesting but easy scarf... but not too easy! ha.

The scarf in my book was a bit too boring: a square of single crochet stitches, a square of double crochet stitches, repeat until your scarf is long enough. Easy but not very interesting.

And the scarves in my scarf book are a little too complicated. Very interesting, but the directions are way too long!

Thus the search. I found a good one and printed up the directions.

But then I started crocheting something else I had thought up.

Eh. I guess it'll be like my reading, I can't die until I've read all my books... and I can't die until I've finished all my crochet projects.

Ah, the end of Feb, and the end of my daily blogging project. I'm glad I can live up to these little challenges I set for myself. :) I believe that creativity breeds more creativity...

In other words, by taking the time (taking, forcefully or violently if need be!) to do something creative, the muse will pop up in other areas of your life to enrich you and by extension the world. It's like magic dust bunnies, pretty soon they're everywhere.

Let the Drinking Commence
fri 13 mar 2009

Entry #9 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)


Actually, the week wasn't that terrible. But since I had to work last saturday, I wasn't able to recover over last weekend. And a couple of minor hitches at the beginning of this week really frustrated me.

So, I turned down extra work this weekend in order to do my recovering! :)

The president of the company breezed through the warehouse the other day, excited about a magazine he had just bought. An Art Journal Magazine. He showed me a few pages, saying how people paint the backgrounds and add bits of stuff and drawings.

I figured I'd be able to find it online, so wasn't worried that I couldn't examine the mag right then and there. (Snatching things from the hands of the company prez might get me demoted.)

But google turned up too much, and after clicking through the first few pages, I wondered if I couldn't just find the publisher. I ran through the list in my brain of art publishers and figured out Stampington.

I was correct, and -fortunately- they were sold out of the single run mag... Art Journaling.

eh, those Somerset people are worthless anyway. Blasphmey, I know. They have great ideas, but zetti annoys the crap out of me. More blasphmey, I know.

I have gotten sucked in to their very beautiful magazines, on occasion. I ordered several of their Artfully Blogging issues. Brilliant idea, that I would have loved dearly... But then I realized every single article I read started with "I have been blogging for about six months now..."

*derisive laughter* *lots of derisive laughter*

Anyway, their magazines are ungodly expensive.

Last week, Fictionwise, the place where I buy my ebooks, got bought out by Barnes & Noble. I definitely congratulate the owners of Fictionwise. But I have my concerns about B&N.

The books at B&N are not cheap. I think they look at Amazon prices and say "Bah! add 5 or 10 dollars to that" and then put the book on their website.

Seriously! And ebook prices have enough problems as it is. So, yeah, I am rather worried about the future of my ebook consumption.

Ah the crocheting. It is not going well again.

Last sunday, my one day off, I got started on my first scarf. There was a new stitch to learn but I was tired of mouse blankets, I figured I'd learn on the fly.

Sadly, I was also using a new brand of string. And my beautiful new string was not appropriate for my scarf project...

The new stitch had to be figured out, several times over; no pictures so I had to guess at what I was doing. But then I realized the string was too thin anyway. It kinda looked like a cat had tangled up some string, laid it flat and then tried to pretend it was eventually going to turn into a scarf.

haha. But I'm so sad about this string because it is such a lovely colour... it's the eco-cotton blend (the preconsumer recycled cotton), a dark blue with bands of dark purple and dark green. I love it.

And ever since, I have been trying to figure out what my next project should be. Do I do the scarf with this fatter acrylic string? I could follow the directions, but the acrylic isn't as soft and wonderful as cotton. Do I design my own scarf and use a smaller hook with the lovely dark blue string? How do I decide on a design, when I could do this / or this / or this / or this ?

ha. It's a problem, ya know. ;)

Yarn Ethics
sun 22 mar 2009

Entry #10 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet, )

As a newbie crocheter, I have been a little bit clueless about the string I pick out to use for my projects.

As a vegan, I do not use animal fibers... no wools from sheep or alpacas or llamas or bunnies or whoever.

And as an environmentalist, I know that 25% of pesticides are sprayed on cotton fields. I also know that "acrylic" yarn is plastic, and plastic is evil.

My first few yarn purchases have included the pesticide cotton and a roll of acrylic. But I'm learning! And as I go exploring, I will discover more string that will satisfy my ethical cravings.

The place where I get my groceries, sells an Eco-Cotton blend. But only in two colours that I really like. It's pre-consumer recycling, which is not as good as post-consumer. And also, the "blend" part is evil acrylic. (Which also means I won't be able to give the worms my string scraps. I don't want to poison my wonderful worms with plastic!)

But online I have happened across organic cotton yarns and bamboo/cotton blends and cotton yarns that have been coloured naturally. Yep, even some Hemp Yarn! ;)

So, now I know a little bit more of what I'm looking for, when I visit the local yarn sections. This is good.

Anyway. The thing that got me thinking about all this was an item in one of the yarn newsletters that I've recently subscribed to. It included "4 free dog sweater patterns", which I thought was brilliant.

I downloaded the two crochet patterns that I was interested in. And then I looked at the yarn that they recommend for the projects.

a wool blend.

Wool? Are you kidding me? It's okay to cloth your tiny, freezing dog with the "fur" of an animal who has been tortured and murdered?

*shakes head* nope. Ban the wool, people! Go Vegan!

thurs 2 apr 2009

Entry #11 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

My current crochet project is a Snuggle!

  Snuggles Project
(They've not updated their website in years, but the project itself is active.)

Snuggles are security blankets for shelter animals. You make a little blanket, send it to a participating shelter, and they give it to one of the cats or dogs, and the kitty or doggy gets to lie on a blanket instead of cold concrete or steel.

So, YAY. I am so happy that I can crochet for an animal charity.

I just kind of jumped into my Snuggle project. I designed the little blanket, kind of based on the scarf that I want to make people for xmas. And since I wanted to use the eco-cotton string, which is not as fat as the other string I used (for the dishcloths), I'm using a smaller crochet hook.

I just didn't realize it would take soooooooo much longer with the small hook! I estimate that it will take me a month to finish this 18 inch square cat blanket. In my wanderings, I have recently discovered it normally takes a person two or three hours to finish their cat blankets!

laughs. oh well! I'll figure it out eventually.

I've also learned that you can crochet with two strings at the same time, to give the thing some more bulk. I'm going to try that next, I think.

But I've still got a week or so to go before my first Snuggle is done. I really love the colour of the string I'm using, it's dark blue with strands of purple and dark green. I'll get some pictures when it's done!

First Snuggle Done
sun 12 apr 2009

Entry #12 of 17 on this page (tagged: , crochet)

And I've recruited the small furry people to model it...

sniff, sniff

Boo and Twitch: *sniff* *sniff* I think there's one more carrot bit laying around here somewhere...

Boo and Twitch

Twitch: ha! *munch, munch*
Boo: hey, what'cha got??! can I have some??!

heh. anyway. That blue thing is my first   Snuggle! It's about 17x18 inches and it'll be for a kitty in a shelter... I haven't decided where to send it yet. Or Maybe I'll make a couple more so that I can send a pile of Snuggles. :)

tues 28 apr 2009

Entry #13 of 17 on this page (tagged: crochet, )

I started a new crochet project over the weekend... A new bag to hold my string.

It's my first go at crocheting "in the round". Rather than going back and forth in lines, I'm making progressively bigger circles.

little circles

And I had the worst time getting started on the tiniest circle! It was only three chain stitches big, and when I joined them into a circle, I couldn't figure out where to put the stitches for the next round. it just looked like a tiny pile of string!

So, okay. I started over, and this time I watched carefully as I joined my chain, to see where the stitches are. But they disappeared again into a tiny pile!

Eventually I just marked the chains with these tiny little clippy thingees that I got with my original crocheting kit. It still looked like a tiny pile when I joined the circle, but I just stuck my hook into the loops where the clippies were.

I've gotten a little bit farther than the photo shows, and my circle is seriously curling, darn it. Hopefully it won't matter too much!

mon 25 may 2009

Entry #14 of 17 on this page (tagged: crochet, )

Crocheted Market Bag

Yay, I finished the crocheted bag I was making to hold my string!

It took 11 hours of crocheting which I spread out over one month. Because of my carpal tunnel, I just have to accept that I am a very slow crocheter!

I was so excited that I had finished something, that I decided to whip up a quick dish cloth. And I suddenly realized that my crocheting is getting faster!!

The dish cloths that I did in february took me 2.5 hours... but this one I finished in 1hour 40mins!! yay! It's also a bit bigger than my first dish cloths, which means my stitches are getting a bit more relaxed. Which is a very good thing.

So anyway. When I went to put my string into my new bag... I discovered a serious lack of string. A couple rolls of the too-thin eco-cotton are not going to get any projects complete!

So, I need to get some more string. And also figure out what to do with it. I really should get started on xmas scarves... but I'd really rather work on some more   Snuggles!

sun 19 july 2009

Entry #15 of 17 on this page (tagged: crochet, )

Yay, I finally finished the dog blanket that I made for the   Snuggles Project. Actually, it took me so long that Significant Other couldn't remember the project name and he "renamed" my blanket the Snuggy! haha!

piggies and Pepé the pound puppy

Huge! It's 3feet x 3feet 8inches.

It was supposed to only take a month. but then my mom visited in that month. and then I just got lazy. :) So it actually took 8 weeks, a total of 22 hours working time.

My first go at adding colour... the zig-zag didn't zig very much but now I know better for the next one! And I think there's probably a better way to switch colours, to make the transition smoother... I'll have to look that up.

Twitch thinks about eating celery, Boo talks to Pepé

crochet projects
sat 5 sept 2009

Entry #16 of 17 on this page (tagged: crochet, )

Yay, saturday. And Super Yay, long weekend. :)

This morning I worked on my file system for my website. It was looking rather pathetic. And I'm happy now that it's all fixed up. I've added a 2009 tag, finally. go and check it out.

I sent the two  Snuggles I made (1st Snug, monster Snug) to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. They arrived on Friday and there's a baby goat who needs a blanket. :)

The last weekend of August, I was inspired by the blankets my friend made: cat approved blue blanket. So I started a new  Snuggle blanket, that had a white border. But I ran out of white string... so I decided to do some xmas present dish cloths instead:

Crochet Away

And, oh my gosh. I am so glad I write down my obsessive numbers. My first dish cloths took over three hours to make. Then it was 2.5 hours. Then it was 1h40mins. And my first one this time around (orange in photo) was 1h 30m... my second one (yellow and lime) was 1h 15m.


Wow. I am so happy with myself. :) I can almost whip up a little dish cloth in one sitting.

And, speaking of... I have been able to crochet for more than ½hour at a time, and my wrists and hands have been okay. I've been making sure I'm not leaning against anything... sometimes when I leaned against my bean bag, I think it was cutting off my circulation, or messing with the nerves going down my arm. And I think that having my entire arm free has made all the difference. My fingers still get stiff while I'm working, but next day pain is below my threshold.

So... Next: xmas Scarves!

sun 13 sept 2009

Entry #17 of 17 on this page (tagged: crochet, )

My latest newsletter tells me there are 102 days until xmas. Um. Yikes!

My goal for the weekend was to start one of the scarves that I plan on gifting at xmas. I knew it was going to be a problem... a new kind of string, and a new kind of stitch... Who knows what chaos would ensue?!

Only thing for it was to go ahead and start. So I did.

"Gauge" always gives me a problem, so I automatically added a few stitches to make it big enough. The instructions said 8 inches and I had 8½, all is going well!

I worked for an hour, but with increasing trepidation. My stitches were -- somehow -- getting tighter. And it was _twisting_. And finally it was so warped I had to stop. I got out my measuring tape: It may have started out over 8 inches wide, but the newest rows were less than 6 inches wide!


I have done so many little dish cloths, and they turn out perfectly. And now I want to do something serious, and it's a disaster!

Try, try, again, right.

And you know... it's a bit humbling. I've been crocheting since January, and I am _still_ having problems with tension and keeping things straight.

My next attempt, I am consciously trying to keep things loose and straight. And I've decided Maybe I don't need to give away my first scarf. Maybe I'll keep the first scarf and see if the second scarf is any good!

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