Must Knit Faster!

Jamie's SocksI’m working overtime with the sharp pointy sticks! When Jamie saw my Tiger Feet socks, he asked if I would make him a pair of socks. My second pair were much better than the first ones and these flew off the needles. He loves them, which is nice. He picked out some Phildar Folk 100 I had in my stash; I bought this in a Deramores sale last year and have a couple of balls of it. I see a pair in my future sometime soon! That these match is a complete accident. It never even occurred to me to match up my yarn and start the second sock from the same point in the colour repeat. I only noticed that they match when I blocked them! Read the rest of this entry »

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Crocodile Gloves

Fingerless Gloves Jamie was admiring some crocodile stitch fingerless gloves on Etsy. It’s not a stitch I’ve done before so I went pattern hunting on Ravelry. Sure enough, someone has written a pattern for them. The pattern I found was for aran weight yarn, but as Jamie has tiny hands I reckoned that if I did them in DK yarn I’d probably get a good fit. I can’t claim any credit for the colours; Jamie picked them and I think they look fabulous. Once I got my head around how the crocodile stitch worked, they were very quick and easy to make. Each glove took 2 hours, max. I’m really pleased with them and so is Jamie so smiles all round 🙂

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This is a bit like going to confession… Bless me, Father, it’s been 6 months since I last blogged… Instead of trying to cover the last 6 months, have some music instead! This week, I am mostly listening to Fink.

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Tiger Feet

Tiger Feet Socks

Tiger Feet Socks

I made socks! This might be a rather sad admission but my bucket list doesn’t include things like ‘swim with dolphins’, but it does include ‘make a pair of socks’. I have looked at many sock patterns over the years and they made my eyes cross. I couldn’t visualise what they wanted me to do. Then I found Winwickmum’s Sockalong. It was just what I needed. Her tutorials are brilliant and there are lots of photos. Even better, she covers every stage using different methods so it doesn’t matter if you are knitting your socks on DPNs, a short circular or a magic loop on a long circular. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bagalong

5 SquaresKathryn at Crafternoon Treats is hosting a bagalong. If you pop along to her blog you will find a pattern and several posts about how make the bag and how to alter it. There is also a Facebook group, a very friendly and informative group to show off your squares and bags. The pattern is also listed on Ravelry, if you want to add it to your projects page. I was initially going to use two strands of DK, but decided to order some chunky yarn instead. You can never have too much yarn, right? I have all my squares made. I just need to finish sewing in my ends so I can join them and start work on the lining. I’ve chosen this fabric for my lining.

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V-Stitch RippleFrog it and make something else! I started making this V-Stitch Ripple last week. I loved the colours of the original and I like the effect that using a v-stitch added to the ripple. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. The pattern suggests not cutting the yarn, but carrying it up the sides. I was struggling to manage 5 balls, so decided to cut my yarn and sew in the ends. After a couple more repeats, I realised that the ends were going to be a mare to sew in; there would be hundreds of them and while a v-stitch looks lovely, it’s a horrible stitch to sew the ends into, as I already know. So, I bit the bullet and frogged it. I hate frogging things. It feels like such a failure. Read the rest of this entry »

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FotoFuze

Blanket pre-processing

Blanket photo, pre-processing.

You know how sometimes you come across a solution to a problem and you just have to tell someone about it, because it’s fabulous? I’ve had a morning like that. One of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get around to listing my blankets on Etsy is I was struggling to get good photos of them. This weekend, I got my arse in gear and bought some cheap white sheets to throw over the bead and cover up the stripey duvet cover. The results were better, but not as good as I’d hoped for. The sheets creased and crumpled and the creases were really visible in the photos, even after ironing (well, I ironed the top one; I didn’t want to go mad and ruin my reputation!). I’m sure there are ways for me to deal with it in Paint Shop Pro, but I’ve always had trouble selecting the areas I want to deal with, plus I didn’t want to spend hours faffing about.

Blanket post-processing

Blanket photo, post-processing.

Today I found the answer; a web tool called FotoFuze. You do need to have taken your photo on a light, relatively smooth background, but I’d already done that, so I was good to go. All you do is upload your photo, use the highlight tool to select your object (and shadows), then press a button to process your photo. It almost took longer to type that out than to process a photo and the results are fantastic. It’s so easy to use that even the graphically challenged, like me, can use it and get good results.

My photos looks so much better. I noticed that the colours in the blanket look a lot brighter. I’d had to mess around with the colour saturation on some photos as the colours looked quite dull so, in future, I will just resize and put them through FotoFuze first, then adjust the saturation, if necessary.

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Lava BlanketWhen hell freezes over, I will have the perfect blanket! I used a block stitch and made this one in the round. I started the rounds in the corner and avoided the problem with the step effect I’d had on the Beachcomber Blanket. Aren’t those colours just fabulous? Like the Beachcomber Blanket, this one is made from DROPS Big Delight, this time in the Lava colour way. The colours are so warm, it’s like someone crushed up hot coals and spun them into wool. The DROPS sale is on until the end of the week and I’m having to sit on my hands not to order more. There’s a little devil sitting on one shoulder, whispering ‘Go on, it’s lovely. Get more.‘ The Voice of Reason is on my other shoulder, shouting ‘MORE?!’, like Mr Bumble from Oliver Twist.

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Deramores Runner UpAlmost 2 months ago I posted about the Barely There Rainbow blanket I made for the Deramores competition. This afternoon, I had a lovely surprise in my Inbox; an email informing I’ve been chosen as a runner up in the competition! Chuffed hardly begins to describe it. I enjoyed the whole process, so much that by the time I finished my blanket, the competition had almost become secondary. There have been so many fabulous entries, that I never seriously considered that I would get any prize at all.

I feel like I should do an acceptance speech now 😉 A big thank you to Heather at The Patchwork Heart for what was a truly inspirational post and to Selma, for an inspirational blanket. Thank you to everyone in the Official CCC Social Group on Facebook – I have learned so much in this group and everyone is always so supportive. Last but not least, a big thank you to everyone in the I Love Crochet Afghans Group on Ravelry – a source of much encouragement and enthusiasm. Every blanket’s a winner in this group! I suppose I’d better go and sew the ends in on that blanket now.

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Beachcomber BlanketI’m having a rest from corner-to-corner blankets and the lovely James C Brett Marble Chunky yarn I’ve been using. For the whole of May, most DROPS yarns are on sale, so it seemed like a good time to try out something a little different. I opted for the Big Delight, which has turned out to be just gorgeous. I might have ordered more… lots more! The yarn is aran weight 100% wool. The only slight downside is that it’s only hand washable, but blankets tend not to get washed often, so it’s not a huge problem. The biggest upside for me is that I can use a felted join, so there are no ends to deal with. Read the rest of this entry »

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