Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Learning Ravelry

I just finished the poncho mentioned in the previous post:


But I also learned something at the same time - apparently when you mark something as "Finished" in your queue, it no longer shows up in the RSS feed.

I have little gadget installed that utilizes a (temporarily) free setup - but I think I'll be looking at the RSS feature, and see what else I can do up to and creating my own feed consumer.

Stay tuned...

Friday, January 22, 2016

The importance of the right tools

I've recently been introduced to the concept of being a tester for patterns. It's a great way for me to explore new patterns, while also applying my skill at both crocheting, and breaking down patterns to understand what makes them tick and what to do to improve communication about patterns.

Earlier this week, I finished one test pattern. Quick easy, was able to finish it off using some stash yarn. Great!

Then I started a new test pattern. Another wonderful, fun pattern, and I'm loving how the colors are gradually moving to the next one. Through this pattern, I found a new brand of yarn (Loops & Stitches - only available at Michaels). This is in their "Woolike" variety, which is a very soft, lace weight yarn. This is nice to see in stores, because it's usually hard to find adult colored lace weight yarns at a big box store - these are usually mostly available online or in local yarn stores (LYS), but with crochet being so yarn hogging, it's nice to sometimes work with "cheap" yarn - and this is no different. Normally 2.99/100g skein, it's currently on sale for 2.00/100g skein. They also have a nice variety of colors. For this project, I chose a gradient from gray to navy blue.

I also found that I didn't have a size M crochet hook - so picked one of those up as well (you can see it in the picture above). Standard Boyes plastic hook. I hate plastic, but it was the only one available in this size, so I sucked it up and picked it up.

However, not long into the pattern, I realized this plastic hook was NOT going to work - it caught frequently, it didn't slide through stitches easily. My hands hurt and I was getting frustrated - everyone said this pattern worked up quickly *and* I'm a fast crocheter, but this was taking forever. So I started looking for metal hooks (my preference), and came across a Brittany hook in the size that I needed.

I realized I had a smaller Brittany hook that I adored, even though it was wood, so that was ordered and on its way.

It arrived today - and already I've noticed a difference. This is a pattern that relies on multiple strands worked at the same time. Between the high static quotient and the very thin gauge of the yarn, any catch made progress unbearably slow. But with the new hook...I'm racing along as if it was any other project I've worked with in the past.


I'm in love, and now want to collect all sizes!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Looking for suggestions

I just picked up a mini-set of yarns (about 100g of yarn all totaled), so I'm looking for ideas of what to do with it:

It's fingering weight, so there are a lot of possibilities - including doilies. Thoughts (Since this is a Dr. Who themed miniset - Dr. Who themed patterns are definitely preferred!)?

Link to the product detail page can be found here

Really back this time...

I'm really back this time. 

When I last posted, I had just moved cross country, and was still getting my life in order. 

This past year, I've had a lot of tumult in my life as my father became very sick, and eventually passed away in September. Through the year, where I headed back to MO to be with him a few times, I picked my crochet hooks back up and have gotten into a nice little pattern. 

 Winter time is my crafting time - Summer is my be outdoors as much as possible time - so throughout the winter, you can find me working on at least 2-3 projects at a time, and have been working hard on keeping Ravelry up to date.

 Since November 2014, I've completed the following:

  1. The blanket I started while pregnant with my youngest (who is now 12). I gave it to him when I was done because that just made sense. It's his favorite blanket when he's here :). 
  2. An owl basket that I STILL need to send to the person I said I would make it for 
  3. A Victorian lace blanket
  4. Some owl wristwarmers 
  5. Made a couple of hats 
 I've frogged a couple projects entirely, and gave up on them, cleaning up my ravelry account. 
 I've pulled together patterns for blankets for each of the girls, and started on one of them (that will be my next project to complete).

 I've started on a few projects: 

  1. Halloween themed tree decorations 
  2. Started to learn Tunisian crochet with a shawl pattern 
  3. Started participating in my first Crochet A Long

 I've also cleaned up my craft room, and cleaned out old yarn donating it to friends. So...needless to say it's been a busy 14 months! 

 Now I'm working on bringing this blog back to life, and it looks like there have been enough positive changes here on blogger, that it might not be the chore that it once was. There will be some changes after looking at my old posts and cringing...While there's NO change in that I'm still very much an IT geek, there will be very little computer oriented chat going on here, unless I'm crafting something computer related. Everything will be all crafting all the time, and primarily crochet, though probably some quilting as well (as I've started to pick up a new skill in all these years!)