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Crochet or a book or three?

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Am currently on hols – still crocheting but yarn is competing with paper.

I just finished a great novel – The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse. It’s a psychological thriller. Fun part/topical line – ‘my Isle of Wight has been the one running 20 years behind the rest of southern England’. ‘… even a wool shop which I was sure had been there when I was a child’.

Then there’s a local guide book I brought with me. Plus a town guide in French – that really tested my brain today – so much I couldn’t understand!

Bye for now.

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More than 50000 stitches

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I’ve just been trying to add up how many times I’ve fed the hook through the yarn (not including any mistakes and undoings along the way). It makes my head spin!

I cast on 250 stitches.

Two rows of single crochet makes 750 stitches.

Then 51 rows of double treble stitch (250 x 4 x 51) makes 51750

Adding 3 loops and two loops round every other end makes 51875

I think!

And not even one third through this project.

Who else takes time to count stitches sometimes?

And look who thought he was helping today, my furry friend Mercury.

I crochet every day and am having a Marie Kondo moment, yarnwise.

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I recently began a crochet project and I am loving it. Every day I am finding time to do a few rows. Every day I love deciding which colour to crochet next. Every day I tell myself it is using up excess piles of yarn and I can look forward to searching out new ones to purchase and new projects to plan. My name is Tina and I am a yarnaholic !

My usual ‘thing’ is knitting and I dabble with sewing too. It’s so refreshing to be making something right now and enjoying every minute of it. There have been a few moments in the last few months when I haven’t had as much joy from crafting as I should have had. This week, this moment, this summer I am have a ‘Marie Kondo’ moment, yarnwise. I am sorting my yarn stash – deciding whether it ‘brings me joy’ or if I am ready to ‘let go’ and gift it to someone else (occasionally it goes back into the stash for another project, that’s allowed). I haven’t Marie Kondo’d any other areas of my life – but I almost feel I have joined the MK movement!

Who else is loving their crafting right now?

Knit finished ready for autumn

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Not bemoaning about my lack of recent lack of words here or anywhere (family and friends would dispute it if I did – ha – only they’ve been verbal for the past few weeks rather than noted down in pen, or in this case via a keyboard.)

So, a little update re my last crafting: I finished the wrap/scarf I was making in Louisa Harding’s Orielle. I love it! I asked friends on here ‘how long is long enough’ when I was about 3/4’s of the way through. Advice given was to keep going – so I did. I cast off when it was 196cm long, it drapes around my neck with long enough dangly ends to feel comfortable and if necessary to tuck nicely inside a jacket. I look forward to wearing it when the weather changes and by then I may have actually blocked it too so it won’t seem quite as ‘curly’ at the edges.

Since then I cast on another couple of projects. I started a winter jumper on a plane ride (I couldn’t bear to sit for several hours without a project in hand). Since returning it’s remained in the carry on bag as I don’t think I like the way it knit up.

Then we’ve had lovely summer weather and for some people that means all thoughts of knitting go out of the window. For me, summer knitting still evokes childhood memories of sweaty hands and squeaky needles! I suspect it was cheaper yarn and tense knitting style. Now I often switch to working with a cotton or linen mix – change of season, change of materials. This year I decided to change tact entirely.

Crochet. I haven’t crocheted for years and I am not very experienced. Thus a new challenge and a great excuse to use up many scraps of yarn (in theory).

A rather dreadful first attempt. I could hardly remember how to hold the hook and the first book I pulled off the shelf read like gobbledygook. These two and a half rows were pulled back twice and stitches rethought.

Moving from double crochet to double treble helped a lot. Now it’s growing! I aim to make a blanket. Watch this space. Progress could appear several times over the next few months!

Other progress of note. One son graduated from University. (Proud moment!) One holiday done, one to go (chilled and ready to chill again!)

How long is ‘long enough’?

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Or how long is ‘to the desired length’. I am talking knitting terms here. I am deliberating with myself. I am currently knitting a pattern called Spring Roll, by Annie Baker. The pattern recommends knitting with a particular cotton double knit yarn. Instead, I used yarn from my stash, a gorgeous Louisa Harding, Orielle which is mostly alpaca and knits more like a sport weight even on 4mm needles. Hopefully knitters reading this will understand the jargon. If not, you may learn something or move onto another blog post by someone else!

So it needs to drape artistically (!). Currently it’s 113cm at it’s longest point. If I’d gone with the suggested yarn I’d have needed 600m. I have about 550m. I am deciding whether to just keep going or whether I just won’t like it if it’s too short. Kind of playing yarn chicken, or just chicken. Do I continue or will it just not cut the mustard if it’s too short to be effective?

Finished at last

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Ta dah! My little lacy number is finally off the knitting sticks. It’s sewn up and the buttons are on – it’s no longer a work in progress! Adapted from a 1980’s waistcoat pattern, using Paintbox Cotton DK. I shall wear it as a layer over a summer dress or two. In the UK you never know when you need an extra layer. Can you hear a sigh of relief that I never have to rip this one back again and reknit it? !

RIP, Knit, RIP, Knit, progress. Meanwhile, envying others beautiful crafts.

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My last blog post was about progress and deciding to tackle another WIP. I put aside a pale green scarf and picked up a half-done cotton summer top.

My boy, Mercury watched me as I ripped back. No matter what I do to the camera settings he is so difficult to photograph, being black (with the odd white fleck peeping up as he’s 12 now) he always seems camouflaged. Armed with coffee in one of my ‘knitty’ mugs I was ready to go. This mug was a lovely present from my long suffering husband, you can find them here https://www.dearewe.com/

So, I ripped back, knit, undid a few rows, found a fault, knitted again, found a dropped stitch, couldn’t pick it up, ripped back, continued (you get the idea!). Then yesterday I finally started sewing up and I am now on the home stretch. I am feeling rather proud this WIP has finally progressed but am frustrated this fairly easy knit nearly beat me, probably as I didn’t follow the pattern exactly, changed stitch count and sizing along the way.

Over the last couple of weeks I also thought about my fabric WIPs, none of which are top of the pile to revisit. Mine will be nothing as gorgeous of these, but wanted to share here to help inspire others. This first one is hanging in our local library. It is a work by Orpington Quilters Group. Beautiful, isn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t hung well, I couldn’t get a better photo of the whole quilt.

This fantastic one was made by a friend at my knitting group. It is her very first foray into quilting, techniques learnt at a Beginner’s quilting group. Despite (again) my photography skills I hope you think it’s fantastic too. Anne, beginner quilter extraordinaire you have definitely inspired me to do better and in particular try the quilt as you go method. I was wondering how I was ever going to tackle the length and breadth of one of my half done quilts!