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Friday, January 29, 2016

Seamed Socks, Part 1

Well, look what turned up in my inbox from Purl Soho -- a free pattern for seamed socks.

As you will recall, socks are definitely on my knitting bucket list, and this pattern could be a great way to learn about sock construction and sock making techniques and check it off my list, though I bet I will still want to make a proper pair nevertheless. 

I bought this beautiful sock yarn a few Metro Yarn Crawls ago, so I'm pulling it out for this project. It's a hand-painted fingering weight, 100% merino wool from Claudia and Co. in Strawberry Latte.  

I also got this inexpensive set of long double pointed needles (note:  we are an Amazon affiliate, so we'd appreciate your using our link if you decide to purchase :-) for the so far disastrous brioche learning. I made a swatch and ended up using 2.25 mm needles.  So I think I'm ready to go!

Now, what size should I make?  Mm, maybe some foot measuring is in order. Plus, you know I'm not going to make it exactly as instructed ;-).  I want little ankle-length footies because I know that's what I tend to wear around the house.

First order of business, what's m1r?  "Make 1 right", ok.  This video makes it so clear!

Ok, so come back on Tuesday to see how this little project is going...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Corner-to-Corner Baby Blanket

I do love the crochet and knit demonstrations on Facebook!  A few weeks ago, I came across a wonderful technique demonstrated by the Crochet Crowd called the Corner-to-Corner Afghan Project. 

It showed up right in time because I recently found out that a friend of mine is expecting baby number 2!  This one's going to be a boy (the first baby is a girl, and she got this baby blanket and still carries it around :-), and the nursery theme is safari.  So, off to A.C. Moore I went before Blizzard 2016 (now, yarnies, don't judge!  Acrylic yarns these days are pretty decent, and, for a baby, the wash-ability and allergy-free nature of the yarn is key) and found "Camouflage" by Red Heart (that's another thing, there were no safari-like or camouflage yarns at fibre space or Looped).

It did not take long to get to this point with this worsted weight yarn and an H hook:

I ended up having 18 "boxes" across and 22 for the length.  I probably should have tried to have 24, but I was running out of yarn (the main body took just one skein) and didn't want to chance it.

Now, I'm putting on a double crochet black border and am thinking about experimenting with adding a row of beige/camel in there too.  I'll be posting a better photo of the final project soon (she's coming to visit at the beginning of February!) with more details if you want to give it a try as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blogging Schedule?

Ah, yes, the blogging "schedule".  I felt the need to use quotes since there is NO schedule right now!  But, that's just got to change.  As I said in my first post of the year, I don't want to post just for the heck of it; I want to create blog posts that are worthwhile and meaningful.  That needs to be done, however, on a reasonable timetable; if you're like me, you take comfort in certain things popping up in your email at certain times :-).  Too much, though, and it's overwhelming; too little, and you wonder what's going on...

I'm going to try to be better at linking and coordinating posts with other social media outlets also because I know everyone's got different favorite sources for information, and each platform has its own benefits and burdens too. 

But now, dear reader, I need YOUR help!!  Sometimes it feels like I'm blogging and posting into a black hole.  I hope I'm writing about matters of interest to you, and I respect those of you who just want the information and no interaction -- I do it myself all the time too.  But, I've recently gotten more interactive on Facebook with others' posts, and I'm finding more enjoyment and community as a result.  I'd love to have and need your feedback because I'd like to create that feeling here (and on my Facebook page) too.  So please leave a message with your thoughts and ideas...

My aim had been to have a techniques post on Tuesdays and a random topic discussion (fiber and/or small business related) on Fridays.  Should I try to go back to that or try something different??  One thing I do want to weave in is my progress on the Crochet/Knit Bucket List -- I'm hoping my experiences and musings on the process will be interesting and relate-able :-).

Well, I hope others are getting to enjoy a 3-day weekend in honor of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. 

Happy crocheting and knitting!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Hello 2016!

Well, here we are again, at the beginning of a new year!  I try to look at the upcoming 12 months optimistically, a whole new clean slate on which to do whatever it is you want to do.  Of course, it's bittersweet because I always go back to the first post of the previous year to see what I did, and did not, accomplish.  The two blog posts a week plan sure didn't get done; I did participate more on Facebook, and I've discovered I really enjoy the interaction and some of the new tools that have been added; and I have been much better about actually starting and finishing projects -- you all just haven't heard about them... yet!

So, for 2016, here are my three goals:

1)  a realistic and meaningful blog post schedule

As much as I read about the importance of consistency in posting, I think, or at least am hoping, that you all will appreciate fewer but more meaningful posts.  I really don't want to slap something up here for the sake of posting and not have it be worthwhile for the reader.  Now, I know, don't let perfection get in the way of progress, and I won't/can't, but this year is really going to be about meaningfulness.  Quality above quantity and meeting crocheters' needs.

2)  a focus on techniques and projects

"Give a pattern to a crocheter, and she's (or he) got one project; teach a new technique to a crocheter, and she's got a lifetime of possibilities."  Or something like that ;-).  I really want to approach this new year in learning and teaching mode.  Don't get me wrong, I too love just picking up a pattern and knowing/hoping that I can follow it and end up with a wonderful finished item.  I've actually been doing that a lot this past year, and I think it's going to make me an even better pattern writer.  But, there are times when the pattern isn't just the way I want it, and I think it's important to stray from the directions and add my own touches.  I really want to empower other crocheters to feel comfortable doing the same.  Not everyone's got a local yarn store where they can get assistance and build community.  That's the beauty of the Internet, we can do it right here!

3)  explore the "crochet/knit lifestyle"

I hinted last year at my observation that crocheting (and knitting) are more than just hobbies; they really are important aspects of life itself.  You know what I mean -- you start crocheting or knitting, and you just get this feeling.  Not just about the particular project you are making but about the process you're engaging in as well as about your surroundings.  I really want to spend this year exploring and conveying specifically what this means.  Again, due to modern life, we don't have the communities and kinships that we used to, but I have noticed on Facebook in particular and the Internet in general, that like-minded souls do seem to find each other :-).  And, I'm sure you've noticed my references to knitting as well.  I really want to incorporate more knitting into my projects because, let's face it, there are certain knitting techniques that work better than crochet for certain aspects of a project (think ribbing!).  I also get a different feeling when I knit than when I crochet (maybe because I haven't been knitting for as long), and I think that phenomenon will be worth exploring as well.

So, perhaps loftier goals for 2016, but hopefully ones you will want to explore with me!  Happy New Year everyone, here's to making it a great one!!