Maybe it’s winter, maybe it’s the hectic work schedule, maybe it’s having a “boy” underfoot (kidding! I love him underfoot) but it’s so hard to blog of late and as to reading other posts… there just aren’t enough hours in a day. This why I sometimes mention to comment and link me to any of your posts that you think are not-to-be-missed 🙂
In the interest of keeping this somewhat concise, I’ll gallery photos and the green links will have more construction details if you’re interested. Almost every project or purchase I’ve made is to aid my intrepid teammates, the Peppermint Ponies and I’m happy to say that I’ve reached level 1 in the Booster Club (can I say popped my cherry? I just did!) I’m at Cherry level and achieved the maximum points for my Q1 KAL – any Melanie Berg pattern – submission, ‘Moonraker‘. Canada Customs has been holding my Birthday order (placed on 15 Jan) hostage since the 22nd of January. I have no idea why this semi-regular order has aroused suspicion but am considering a covert mission to liberate the fuzzy goodness!
I’ve finished some long time WIP’s and hopelessly tangled some cobweb lace of a WIP that I hoped to be adding here but… damn… To keep me calm whilst waiting on my Postie to rescue my Birthday yarn, I’m working on a super cute Casapinka pattern called ‘Loop‘. It’s bright and fun, a stashbuster and super easy.
It’s February already and soon March will arrive and another round of National Crochet Month. I’ve picked a pattern and have some gorgeous – Yarn Porn ahead! – Yarn Love and Shibui to use for my first project. Planning ahead – bless my little ADD heart – this one will tie in nicely with Yarnathon 2017 projects and badge collecting.
I’m off to work – they just don’t understand about priorities, lol! – have a great rest of your week!
The FO’s: Rico Socks, Smoke Rings Shawl, Moonraker Shawl
Smoke Rings Shawl – crochet
The WIP’s: Loop Shawl, Brise d’Été Shawl, Side Effect Pullover, NoFa Shawl
NoFa Shawl – progress
Loop Shawl ~ start
Brise d’Eté Shawl ~ Aarrgghh!
Side Effect Pulli ~ wishing for sleeves
Good for people and elephants! This story made me smile – enjoy 🙂
Elephants in India are sporting colourful woollen jumpers after villagers knitted the super-size garments to protect the animals from near-freezing temperatures. Women in a village near the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in the northern city of Mathura reportedly began producing the colourful, pyjama-like garments after staff at the centre warned temperatures were approaching sub-zero at night.
Source: Villagers knit jumpers for Indian elephants to protect the large mammals from near-freezing temperatures | The Independent
Still waiting on my ESK yarns to get fully engaged with my Yarnathon 2017 knitting – the shipment is right on track, I’m just REALLY impatient to get started! All groups and their members are off to a great start although at the moment, the Peppermint Ponies are bringing up the rear. I expect to singlehandedly boost our stats with my birthday order next week! Well, maybe boost a little… I am still on the never-ending yarn diet of Doom.
As of Saturday AM:
Yarnathon 2017 ~ Teams and standings on 7 Jan ’17
What I have done is plan as many non-buying point boosters as I can; these being mostly achievement badges for various skills, spills and thrills in the knit / crochet world. What I am buying for is a toned down version of the Persian Dreams afghan and a crochet version of our team mascot who I’ve dubbed “PepPonia“. So far, I’m favouring one of Heidi’s African Flower motif designs, Fatty Lumpkin, worked in our team colours on Cascade’s 220 Superwash base.
On the WIP front, my Side Effect has it’s first sleeve and the second should be underway later today. Contrary to my lifelong modus operandi, I’m focused on finishing this before going back to other WIP’s. No big thing but working this way as opposed to having six or seven UFO’s strewn over the living and dining room is so much more Zen 🙂
And now Saturday chores and stuff calls ~ loudly, obnoxiously ~ beginning with shovelling out after last Thursday’s very rude dumping of 20cm or so of snow and then freezing rain. Clearly, Mother Nature is not a knitter – I have to keep these muscles protected for warmer, fuzzier activities! Cleaning then organizing an under sink recycling pull out bin will be much easier now that Handy Andy very kindly repaired my ancient sink basket and trap (thank you !) and once the vacuuming is done, I’ll be tucked in with a cuppa, a book and SE’s sleeve 🙂
Here’s hoping your chores are light, and that there’s time for a few stitches where you are. Passez un bon-weekend!
My two most current WIP’s use a provisional cast on and I thought I’d share a little pictorial of how I do it. My favourite of the many provisional cast on methods is the crochet method and it’s one of many reasons that I think every knitter should have some basic crochet skills – there’s lots of time to entice you to the dark side!
There are two crochet-type methods, the most common is where you create a chain length and then pick up your stitches in the back bump of each chain stitch. This is a perfectly serviceable method but even as an experienced Hookster, I find dealing with a long, floppy bit of string to be a pain. I think it would give a novice the vapours!
For control, neatness and ease – once you’ve practised just a little – the “crochet on” method works best for me and I think would be easier to manage for beginners or entrenched knitters. It does require two “sticks” and works stitches in a knitting-type way, so is a more familiar feel. When done the way I do, there is lots of room to correct stitch count before beginning to work with your project yarn without having to rip out and start over. If you’re as OCD as I am, this method really fits the bill.
Below is a photo infographic with notes of how I work this cast on. I can’t be sure if anyone else does it like this, I haven’t seen it in any tutorials or pictorials, so I’ll call this tweaked version “Kei’s Crochet Provisional Cast On”. You’ll need to click the individual photo in order to read the full text of the instructions 🙂
Step 1: Your project needle, same size crochet hook, smooth waste yarn – same weight as project yarn.
Step 2: Make slipknot and place on hook as normal. Now the different part, chain 3-5 stitches. This creates a little tab for the next step.
Step 3: Hold hook on top of needle at a right angle. Bring yarn underneath and to back of needle, wrap around the hook and pull through the loop on the hook. Hold the tab as shown to stabilize the hook and needle as you make your stitches. Bring the yarn back under the needle to make the next stitch.
Step 4: Your work will look like the regular crochet provisional cast on after a few stitches, it’ll just have the nifty little tab at the end. Continue casting on until you have the number of stitches called for.
Step 5: After making the last stitch, bring the yarn to the front of work, wrap around the hook and pull through to create a chain stitch. Make a few more, at least two more than the beginning tab. This will help you find the correct end for “unzipping” more quickly. You can draw out the last loop, nice and long in order to count your stitches and correct by carefully taking out the extras of the end chain, putting the loop back on the hook and adding the stitches you need. Extras are fine as long as to knit up the correct number with your project yarn in the next row. Leaving the ending chain tab will also give you something to work from when you pick up the provisional stitches to a 2nd needle and that pesky but unavoidable “Missing Man Stitch” happens. It was years before I realized that this MIA stitch happens with all provisional cast ons and that I didn’t have some sort of dark power to make it evaporate every single time I used any provi technique!
I hope this is as clear as I think it is and if you are trying this out, feel free to message me if you have a question – there’s a “message me” email button up top there ↑
You will find that you very quickly gain a rhythm with this, using your forefinger to move the yarn from the front of the last stitch made and around to the back for the next one. I like giving myself the insurance of a couple extra chains even if I wind up not needing it and the added control that the beginning tab gives me for those first few stitches.
I’m using a ChiaoGoo circular needle, a Prym hook and a smooth cotton fingering weight (a scrap, don’t remember the brand). Smooth cottons are ideal for any provisional cast on.
Hope this will help someone out!
Cheers all! 🙂
Off the hook and going soon to Mama, Papa and Baby.
My project notes are on Ravelry -> here <-
Jungle Superhero Pram Blanket ~ finished
I’ve been somewhat AWOL the last couple of weeks. Mostly to be sure JSPB was finished but also am participating in Yarn Love’s Castra KAL and test knitting a shawl for my friend Anja (it’s interesting and fun – you’ll want it 🙂 ).and will have an update later this week.
Firefly Shawl ~ test knit
Castra Shawl ~ KAL progress
Le Scarabée Argent ~ WIP
I’m working hard supporting the ‘Save Mooney’s Bay‘ community group and this is my priority at the moment.
A member created this wonderful Youtube video that hits the highlights and provides a link where you can add your voice. Your support would be very appreciated.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 🙂
I am introverting so hard the last few weeks – sorry for not being more interactive with everyone. Even posting feels like a chore lately.
I do have an FO. My ‘Gothic Starfish‘ afghan is finally finished and ready for gifting. Love the end result but so damn glad this is done! It started as a “let’s use this up” and quickly escalated to a “No-o-o-o! I need to buy more acrylic!” Anyway. It’s perfect for its new home and hopefully, I’ll have pix soon of this eclectic piece in its eclectic house.
Just the border to go 🙂
Under the tree… under the tree. Little Mermaid fans will get it 🙂
Gothic Starfish ready for gifting.
I’m working on Le Scarabée Bleu and Brise d’été and loving them both. I can work in the back garden now – it’s tidy, old picnic table gone, shrubs shrubbing, flowers flowering and I have a pretty nook to sit at while I knit, hook and daydream – hence my absence from the Interwebs. I can’t recommend strongly enough unplugging, it’s such a gift!
Le Scarabée Bleu ~ front
Brise d’Été Shawl ~ much more complete but no pix
Le Scarabée Bleu ~ back showing pleat increase
Victoria Day weekend was amazing – more soul restoring with my Bestie and I’ve been getting my butt to the other side of town for ‘Sit ‘n Knit’ at my LYS, Yarn Forward. At this rate, I may even make it to Guild meetings! I haven’t written a darn thing, nor do I miss it or care – not so much ‘writer’s block’ as ‘this writer don’t give a crap’ – so liberating! My books are still on Amazon and I don’t have to stress about the devolving of WordPress for poets and authors. More time to do the things that make me happy. Win!
Don’t you… forget about me…
Rewards of a walkabout.
Tiny succulents, shells and stones.
I hope your summer is humming along beautifully and feel free to say hi on Ravelry or Instagram – I’m there more often because they’re ‘quick and dirty’ for posting 🙂
À plus tard!
Still not anything on the FO front – spring restlessness and the call of the garden are working a different kind of creative spell 🙂
My poor, poor Rheinlust has suffered some ‘dino damage’! A needle pulled out and I don’t have the patience just yet to tackle dropped twisted stitches. I will, but right now, it’s not happening. I have to fibre so snagged another of Hélène’s patterns, ‘Brise d’été‘ and went stash diving for the right yarn. I came up with a cobweb weight, hand dyed, 100% silk from ‘No Two Snowflakes’.
I’m terrified! I’m still far more enthusiast than expert with my crochet and I rarely knit with cobweb weight – dammit Jim! I’m a maker, not a masochist! So far though, it’s coming out okay and I’m a process stick handler so it’s all about that anyway 🙂 The NTS has a silky hand, subtle sheen and the colour is beautiful.
On the house front, the gardens are coming along well. I had promised myself no plant purchases this year – funds and needing to see how last year’s fill in being the reason – but… I have a few more heuchera and sedum coming and some mini bee balm to keep the bees happy. My living room long term plan got a wee bump up too – curse you Ikea how I love you! The bookcases I’ve had my eye on went on sale and it’s so rare, I decided to go for it. The last bit should be finished by the weekend, super happy that it’s working out for use of space and scale in my little nest 🙂
My Mother’s Day was wonderful as always because… my kids ❤ and my own Mumma ❤ and I hope the same for all the mums who read here.
And here are a few pix of of the WIP’s both wool and wood:
Brise d’Été Shawl ~ much more complete but no pix
Two of Three cabinets ready for books.
One of my large orchids.