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December 26, 2005

If you happen to be my boss, please go away

I think the likelihood that my boss comes to my blog is slim to nil, she's the director of a department in a world renowned company, I'm sure she has more important things to do, but better safe than sorry.

See her rather belated Christmas present after the bump

Continue reading "If you happen to be my boss, please go away" »

April 12, 2006

That Cami I mentioned

Here's a preview of the camisole (ok, it's more of a tank, but I think camisole sounds better) that I plan to pair with the cardigan.

There will be no ruffles here, just stockinette and crochet. I think the horizontal lines will play nicely against the sweeping hem of the cardigan and the clean look of the crochet will tone down the effect of the ruffle a bit. The nice thing is that this piece is comfortable and wearable enough to be layered with other pieces. The straps are wide enough to hide a bra strap and the fabric has stretch so it hugs the body without being too constricting.


Here's a detail shot of the neckline. It could do with a bit of blocking. It's just three rows of single crochet, the last row I decrease every 9th and 10th stitch, so that it will sit flat.

Obviously, I still have one arm and the hem left to do, but it’s been a very quick piece to pull together overall.

May 15, 2007

Konichiwa Crochet

I'm almost always a guest, never a host. Our home is small and lacking in furniture and it's not just anyone I'd subject to a single small (very small) bathroom shared between three adults. But when Julia said she'd be in town for work, I vacuumed up the dog hair and gave the tub an extra scrub. We had us a guest in town!

Recently, Julia has decided to learn crochet in earnest and her enthusiasm is infectious. On a recommendation we found our way to a huge Japanese market replete with...wait for it...a Japanese BOOK STORE. Great googily moogily! Their selection of crochet books was small but packed full of goodness.

There may have also been some shopping at a couple LYSs and the opportunity to meet a really great blogger and designer. Have yarn, will craft, and there was no dearth of that. In the 3 days that Julia and I spent together, not a single solitary picture was taken until the third and final day. Luckily for you, it was the most photogenic day of the lot.

Early that day, we packed the car up for a trip to Horsetail falls. If you read my non-crafty posts, you may remember our last visit, not too long ago.

The day was perfect for hiking. It was a little cool, but not so much as to require substantial outerwear. The sun was out but shaded by some light and poofy clouds. Didn't we agree they were Stradivarius clouds or were they igneous, Julia?

Leo was doggy wrangler for the day. It's no small feat to keep two dogs from intertwining on leash especially when one of them is just a pup. They were each other's yin and yang. Panda would duck every time someone would try to pet her. She wanted nothing more than solitude from everyone she didn't know. Thea, on the other hand, wanted to jump all over every person and dog we passed (and there were many people celebrating Mother's day by hiking on these beautiful trails). Between these two extremes was our handsome hero, dragging one girl ahead and holding another back. Me thinks we have some more training to do.

On the drive home, I crocheted from my new Japanese crochet book. This little wonder is chock full of sweet motifs. While the book is all in Japanese, everything is charted which makes them delightful to use. The yarn? My lovely peachy Merino/viscose handspun, from Chameleon Colorworks. The viscose gives a subtle sheen and the brilliant dyeing gives depth to the simple colorway. When you see the yarn, it's clear the spinning is average, at best, but the fiber was so beautiful to start with that I can't help but be proud of the final product.

Blocked, the finished pieces look like snowflakes.
What am I going to do with them? Perhaps a doggy babushka.

Perhaps not.
I have more — what's the word — sane ideas. I don't have enough yardage to do a whole garment in this yarn (unless I want to go particularly scantily clad) but it could be paired with another handspun or store bought yarn in some creative way. All that is still in deliberation.

After our long hike and short ride home, I took a marathon nap and then arose with ample time to join Julia at Lake Park for a photo shoot. I'll leave those pictures for her to post. Instead, check out the fresh batch of ducky goodness from the same outing.

They can give me avian flu, any old day. I just want to scoop them up and snuggle them.

And now, Julia is back at home with all her fur balls. And all that's left is the now deflated air mattress where she was set up. Thea payed homage to Miss Tuna in Julia's absence. I think that's Thea's way of saying she was glad to meet her.

It was a great weekend and I hope there will be more like it soon. And someday, we'll own a house with more than one bathroom and a proper spare bedroom. I'm dreamin' big, baby.

May 18, 2007

Six times the motify goodness

Well, Lily is on temporary time out. I don't like the look of the raglan decreases. They just come in too far and it looks off. I need to rip back to the base of the armsceye and reconfigure for either a much less angled raglan or a set in sleeve....what to do, what to do.

In the mean time, the motifs have become a mindless delight.

Six lovely motifs, half of which were completed in the last 24 hours.

No dogs were embarrassed in the course of photographing these pictures.

Thea is making herself quite at home. She sat by our feet last night and made cuteness at us.

Wouldn't you pet that little head?


August 14, 2007

Hey, how about some knitting and crocheting?

I've been posting a lot of dog photos lately, mostly because I can't post much else, but look. I have crafting!

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Remember those motifs I crocheted? I have been playing around with how to use them. I knew I didn't have enough of the motif yarn to make a whole garment, but I realized that the September Glow Cotswold and Silk yarn I spun, would look nice with the muted peach color of the motifs.

I think I want to make this into a skirt. I have quite a bit more of the Cotswold, that I can spin. I've played around with knitting and crocheting the skirt portion. Right now, the motifs are joined in such a way that they make a natural chevron, which is great for this subtly variegated yarn. I tried crocheting the skirt, but I wanted it to be a little softer and drapier, so I switched to knit instead.

It's actually really hard for me to post a this point, because I'm not totally sure I love it and I might very well rip the whole darn thing out if I'm not satisfied with the results, still, so far, it looks good enough that I feel I can share.

And aren't I doing well, not a doggy in sight.

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Urm, well, yes, Thea did sneak her paw into that shot. You can see her little goth pinkie nail. But we aren't looking at puppies in this post, we're looking at handspun yarn working up into a skirt.

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*Sigh* I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. I mean, come on, that's funny, people. Even if you hate dogs. Plus, I think the color really brings out the pathetic expression plastered on Panda's face. Don't you agree?

August 30, 2007

Is she a bad dog or am I a slow learner

I'm guessing it's the latter.

Over and over again, I obviously need to be reminded that Thea is not Panda and probably won't ever be. In my nearly 6 years with Panda, I can think of only a couple of items she has destroyed before she learned that she could only have things that had been explicitly given to her, everything else was off limits. Brilliant, I know. We were spoiled.

Thea, she is loving and sweet and cute in so very many ways. But there are times.

theawithbook.jpg

And while her handy work does take your attention away from some of the clutter, I'm not sure it does so in a very aesthetically pleasing sort of way. Luckily, it was nothing important.

That was 3 weeks ago. Except for an odd incident when I found her giving a hex wrench a taste, she's been as close to angelic as she's capable of being. Then, on Monday, Leo and I came home from dinner to this...


Brace yourself.

theagotmyskirt.jpg theagotmyskirt_notions.jpg

Since I last posted about this skirt, I've probably put another 6 hours into it and all that work has been handily undone.

The Inox needle and clover stitch markers are destroyed. She seemed to mainly be interested in those and not the skirt itself. There are only one or two breaks in the yarn and areas where she has pulled out short sections of rows, repeatedly, down several inches, but not across the whole round. It salvageable but it'll be some time before I'm back to where I was.

I think the hardest thing is that my momentum for this piece has been (hopefully temporarily) quashed. A few hundred stitches, worked in stockinette chevron does not for exciting knitting make.

But just when I think I might actually be able to hold a grudge, she goes and makes cute at me again.

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I'm such a sucker.

August 31, 2007

It's ALIVE

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The yarn was broken in two places and all the knitting had to be ripped, but the skirt has been revived and I've even knit a few rows.

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And lest you all think I hold any sort of grudge towards Thea, fear not. I could never be mad at her for my own poor planning. I do, however, love to give you all a good laugh, and I suspect that you all find Panda's guilty conscience even more humorous than Thea's mischievousness. If we could harvest just their best traits, we'd have one perfectly balanced pup and enough left over parts for one entirely neurotic dog.

September 3, 2007

Lovely long weekend

Leo and I have put this labor day weekend to good use, if I do say so myself. Since we are renting a house, it's always a struggle to decide how much time and money we should invest in beautification of our humble abode. It's a great little place, but after years of being rented, there's a lot that has gone neglected. This is not the loving little first home, it was originally built to be, but a way point in the lives of folks like Leo and me. Still, never one to shy away from a little hard work, Leo has decided we should get things tidied up, so on Saturday and Monday, we shoveled, we weeded, we hauled masses of toppled brick and we planted a little flower garden that we hope we'll stick around long enough to see bloom once, and only once, before buying our own home. But Sunday, we put aside our shovels and spades and seeds and bulbs and packed up our car for a trip to Manzanita Beach.

On the way, we listened to Harry Potter and I got in a little knitting.

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This skirt remains my one mindless piece of knitting, that I can plug away on when I don't want to have to worry about row counters and lace patterns and other distractions.

We were expecting some serious crowds at the beach, and places like Cannon Beach and Hug Point, were, indeed, crowded, but Manzanita proved to be an ideal spot. While there were many people, we never felt crowded or cramped.

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The girls had a wonderful time and Thea is really starting to come into her own. Slowly, Thea is building her recall and we are able to keep her off leash for longer without incident. She's still so filled with social excitement that I wouldn't trust her implicitly, the way I do Panda, but she's proving to be a wonderful little girl.

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After a quick stop over at Blue Heron to pick up some provisions, we went back to Manzanita and set up camp. We are currently conducting reconnaissance in preparation for a bigger excursion with our friends; Erica and Larry and Jackie and her pup Tulip.

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Leo is in charge of setting up the fire.

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I am in charge of proving that pups will do almost anything for salami.

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Thea was a little scared of the fire at first. Can you see her hiding behind the log?

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But she came around after a little while.

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We attempted to take a family portrait, by way of self timer.

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Twas not so successful.

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And as the sun set and the air got a little cooler, my ample tush proved excellent insulation for the not-so-little one.

See more pictures over at Flickr.

September 11, 2007

Hola, El Matchador

You know how I said that spinning puts Thea to sleep? Well, that seemed as good an excuse as any to spend some quality time with El Matchador.

At first, I thought I'd just spin up enough of my Cotswold to have a skein ready when I run out on my skirt.

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But once I plied the yarn and skeined it, I had, what appeared to be, a relatively small amount of fiber remaining, so I figured, what the heck, I'll spin up the rest.

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The result is a skein that is 297 yards long and a second skein that is 217 yards long. Added to the 225 yards I already have, I have a total of [insert calculator here] 739 yards. That should be plenty to finish the piece.

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Thea helped me with the photoshoot. It's nice that we can have both an out of focus AND poorly lit image. She's really an artiste.

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I'm not going to do another whole round up of the yarn, since I've already done one here and it's the same, only different, or whatever. I will say that I continue to really enjoy spinning this yarn. It is well prepared, with only a little bit of vegetable matter and the colors are gorgeous.

In my next post, I start doing the spinning equivalent to making a gauge swatch. Good girl, Marnie, here's a cookie.


Quick question, would anyone out there be interested in some very basic tips for using Photoshop to adjust color and exposure in an image? I'm no expert and I sort of wonder if anyone who can afford Photoshop, already knows it well enough, not to need any help, but if folks are interested, I'd be happy to do a tutorial. Just leave a comment with your thoughts.

September 22, 2007

Assessing the skirt progress

It seemed about time to move the skirt to some waste yarn and see how it's coming along. I have mixed feelings

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Things I like:
  • The crochet: I think the motifs are cute and hang nicely.
  • The colors: While I don't usually buy these colors for myself, I think they are lovely and the colors compliment each other nicely.
  • The chevrons: Who doesn't like chevron? It breaks up the horizontal nature of the subtly variegated yarn.


skirt_blocking.jpg

Things I don't like:


  • Yarn choice: I feel like the main yarn should be a little drapier. I don't feel there's enough weight to the piece to pull off the effect I'm envisioning

  • Skirts: I don't wear skirts. What the hell am I thinking?

  • Shape: Would a-line instead of straight have been better?

I'll probably finish the piece, just to see how it comes out, but I'm starting to think there may have been a better project for these yarns.

On the plus side, I should have 300 or more yards of the main yarn leftover when I'm done. What will I do with it? I dunno. I'll have it nonetheless.


I've been spinning bits of the Corriedale, here and there. It's been quite relaxing and mindless.

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I'm annoyed, though, with my Woolee Winder. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it really upsets my sense of balance that it doesn't load the yarn evenly. Some of it appears to be that the whorls from Schacht aren't perfectly machined. There's an ever so slight gap, but I'm realizing that it's not enough to account for the severity of the imbalance.

Has anyone else who has a Woolee Winder seen this and if so, is there a way to fix it?

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Oh and Thea had her stitches taken out and has been taking full advantage of the ensuing belly rubs.

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She's such a little floozy.

October 2, 2007

Fine tuning

A little while back, I posted this picture and lamented that my WooLee Winder wasn't filling evenly.

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Well, June came through with a most excellent suggestion. If I twist the traveling loop so that it is angled towards the smaller end, it will shift everything in that direction, resulting in a more even feed.

It's going to take some fine tuning, but I'm definitely seeing improvement.

corriedale_bobbin2.jpg


The skirt is progressing. After taking this photo, I threw in a lifeline and am now deciding how I want to work the chevrons into flat stitches. The key is not only making smooth transition from the zigzag to flat, but also adjusting the gauge which changes from 8 stitches per inch in chevron to 6 stitches per inch flat.

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And look, my garden gave me another bloom. I am pleased.

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Quite a few more buds have popped up and several look ready to burst open in the next day or two.

I don't know how obvious it is to you, but I think we have two different varieties of Cosmos here. The smaller flower actually has slightly different shaped petals than the bigger one. I may be totally wrong but since we dumped several different mixes of seeds here, I think it's possible.


And finally, I'll be posting an interview with Donna Druchanus at the end of the month. I'm day 23 of her blog tour. I'm about halfway through the book now and gathering my questions.

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I've worked with Donna before and am really looking forward to the interview. Expect lots of questions about the book and her travels and maybe some little tangents into her other interests. I just hope that I'm able to come up with questions she hasn't already answered a million times.


October 4, 2007

Getting there

Boy do I love life lines. I've used this one a couple times, but by Jove, I think I've got it. Some of the mishaps may have been caused by watching an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Man, that show is funny, and distracting.

Here's a closeup of the lifeline, subsequent filler stitches and Thea's paw.

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The vertical row of locking stitch markers indicated decrease rows. I really don't want a huge amount of cinching required to hold this skirt up. When you have a 10 inch difference between hips and waist, that can be a substantial amount of extra fabric.

Here's a view of the whole skirt so far. There's only one spot in the house that gets much natural light and it's where Thea and Panda's bed resides. They seem to find it curious that the spot also becomes my photo studio, some days.

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It's really easy to tell how far I've knit since I blocked the piece.

Tomorrow, I fly down to the greater San Fransisco area for a quick meet up with the owner of Stitch Diva Studios. We're finishing up another project together. That's all I can tell you for now, but I hope there'll be a sneak preview up in the near future.

October 10, 2007

Shoes that hurt with a brand new skirt

It was rainy most of this morning so I thought I'd only have crappy indoor shots to show you.

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Or pictures of the piece being blocked

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A closeup of the waistband facing might be interesting

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But we got a bit of sun and I was able to take some better shots.

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With a little help from my friends

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October 15, 2007

Giselle

I am so pleased to present my newest pattern, Giselle, which will be available exclusively through Stitch Diva Studios.

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The pattern is currently in the tech editing stage, in Donna Druchunas' capable hands. After that, it goes to layout and then the pattern will be available for order.

Jennifer asked me to model the garment so I met with her, near her home and we shot over two days. I have the first day's shoot up at my Flickr account. I'll have the second day's shoot, shortly in the same location. Check out a couple of the outtakes at the end of the set.

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The garment is modeled in three variations; an all knit version (orange), a knit and crochet version (red and silver-mo betta pictures to come) and a cropped version in knit and crochet (to come, in brown and teal.) However, the knitter can work any of the styles in a single color or in two colors and may work knit or crochet trim in any combination.

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This design is based on a piece I've called, The Wedding Cardi, which I knit for myself back in 2005, for a friend's wedding.

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It was knit in a discontinued yarn, and well before I had a firm grasp of pattern writing. I had it as set dressing for one of my episodes of Knitty Gritty and have continued to receive requests for a pattern, since. I hope that this ends up being a popular pattern. I'll let you know when it's available for purchase.

August 13, 2009

Making ourselves at home

The move into the new house took 4 days of solid, dirty, heavy, achy, seemingly endless work, but, compared to years where the weather has been in the triple digits and we've had flights of stairs to scale, this move was relatively easy. I'm not saying I want to have to lug a washer and dryer again, but it could definitely have been worse.

And really, when you are moving into your first home, everything is rosy colored and splendid.

I've taken this week off and am making slow progress getting things up from the garage and into their respective rooms, and when Leo gets home, he gets decidedly handy. There has been sawing and drilling and some hammering as needed.

Now that we are officially house-poor, it seemed only appropriate to make a big hearty batch of beef-lentil stew to keep our energy up and our food costs in order.

Stew Stew


This is the same recipe I blogged about a few months back, only I beefed (ha!) it up with some english short ribs and chuck, which I seared and then slow cooked for 4 hours. A great way to christen my huge new kitchen and a yummy versatile meal. Each day, we garnish it differently so we don't get bored.

And when we aren't eating, we're taking in the lovely views from our various decks.

Sunset

But my favorite view, today, is my new craft room. What a luxury!

My Craft Room
1. Enter the room, 2. The big stuff, 3. Yarn closet, 4. Shelves, 5. Closeup of pictures, 6. Buckets and books, 7. Dogs for scale, 8. Crochet corset
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Ok, that last picture isn't in my craft room, but it is a closeup of a piece I just finished crocheting.

Click on any of the text links to embiggen the little thumbnails.

To all of you who sent me congrats, thank you so much. Life is a little crazy right now, but I read and love each and every comment. Please don't take it personally if I haven't had a chance to reply.

January 14, 2011

Perspective

Yesterday was one of those days; those days that ensure I won't be a dog horder in the near future. Rainy weather and long working hours have left me making excuses not to walk Darwin as much as I should. When you have a young herding dog and you decide to skimp on walks and training you might as well batten down the hatches and prepare for the storm because you are about to see what 25 lbs of super smart and endlessly energetic has in store for you.

Darwin Socializing_03
Being cute is a survival mechanism

It was a rough day but today is already better, we've left our minor setbacks behind us and braved the downpours for a a nice long and positive walk. A little perspective (and a good nap) is usually all I need to get past a particularly bad day. I mean really, look at this lot.

Darwin's First Trip to Mt. Hood_29
Cute, non? Cute, oui!

In the same way, our other stresses in life can seem overwhelming. With one of us out of work for nearly a year now and the economy showing few signs of life, it's easy to get caught up in the uncertainty and doubt and fear. We could let the setbacks and rejections cripple us but we try to keep perspective. We have our bad days and sleepless nights but we try to remember that we have so much even if it feels like we are teetering on the edge. When I heard a friend and her son had lost their partner and father, respectively, my heart just broke. It's one of those moments where the only thing I can think to do is hug everyone in the house and tell them how important they are to me. The dogs mostly just wag and hope for a cookie. That's good enough for me.

I know that nothing can ever bring back this wonderful man my friend and her son lost and no small gesture can change that pain left behind, but perhaps it was as therapeutic for me as anything, to make them each a small gift with empathy for their terrible situation. I guess, on some level, I feel like the time I spent on each was time I was reminded to value the people I do have in my life; forget my petty concerns and endeavor to be as honest and caring as I can while time still allows me to do so.

Handspun Shrug_10
Handspun Grafton Batt crocheted side to side. Trimmed in knitted handspun optim

And maybe, if you'll indulge me a bit longer, you can find someone you love, human, dog, cat or other, and let them know you love them for no reason at all except that you do, even if they drive you up the walls sometimes or always leave a mess. Chances are, they overlook a few of your shortcomings as well and love you equally.

Lil_Monster07
Monster crocheted with DK weigh merino, with knit socks and scarf worked in sock yarn

December 26, 2005

If you happen to be my boss, please go away

I think the likelihood that my boss comes to my blog is slim to nil, she's the director of a department in a world renowned company, I'm sure she has more important things to do, but better safe than sorry.

See her rather belated Christmas present after the bump

Continue reading "If you happen to be my boss, please go away" »

April 12, 2006

That Cami I mentioned

Here's a preview of the camisole (ok, it's more of a tank, but I think camisole sounds better) that I plan to pair with the cardigan.

There will be no ruffles here, just stockinette and crochet. I think the horizontal lines will play nicely against the sweeping hem of the cardigan and the clean look of the crochet will tone down the effect of the ruffle a bit. The nice thing is that this piece is comfortable and wearable enough to be layered with other pieces. The straps are wide enough to hide a bra strap and the fabric has stretch so it hugs the body without being too constricting.


Here's a detail shot of the neckline. It could do with a bit of blocking. It's just three rows of single crochet, the last row I decrease every 9th and 10th stitch, so that it will sit flat.

Obviously, I still have one arm and the hem left to do, but it’s been a very quick piece to pull together overall.

May 18, 2007

Six times the motify goodness

Well, Lily is on temporary time out. I don't like the look of the raglan decreases. They just come in too far and it looks off. I need to rip back to the base of the armsceye and reconfigure for either a much less angled raglan or a set in sleeve....what to do, what to do.

In the mean time, the motifs have become a mindless delight.

Six lovely motifs, half of which were completed in the last 24 hours.

No dogs were embarrassed in the course of photographing these pictures.

Thea is making herself quite at home. She sat by our feet last night and made cuteness at us.

Wouldn't you pet that little head?

May 15, 2007

Konichiwa Crochet

I'm almost always a guest, never a host. Our home is small and lacking in furniture and it's not just anyone I'd subject to a single small (very small) bathroom shared between three adults. But when Julia said she'd be in town for work, I vacuumed up the dog hair and gave the tub an extra scrub. We had us a guest in town!

Recently, Julia has decided to learn crochet in earnest and her enthusiasm is infectious. On a recommendation we found our way to a huge Japanese market replete with...wait for it...a Japanese BOOK STORE. Great googily moogily! Their selection of crochet books was small but packed full of goodness.

There may have also been some shopping at a couple LYSs and the opportunity to meet a really great blogger and designer. Have yarn, will craft, and there was no dearth of that. In the 3 days that Julia and I spent together, not a single solitary picture was taken until the third and final day. Luckily for you, it was the most photogenic day of the lot.

Early that day, we packed the car up for a trip to Horsetail falls. If you read my non-crafty posts, you may remember our last visit, not too long ago.

The day was perfect for hiking. It was a little cool, but not so much as to require substantial outerwear. The sun was out but shaded by some light and poofy clouds. Didn't we agree they were Stradivarius clouds or were they igneous, Julia?

Leo was doggy wrangler for the day. It's no small feat to keep two dogs from intertwining on leash especially when one of them is just a pup. They were each other's yin and yang. Panda would duck every time someone would try to pet her. She wanted nothing more than solitude from everyone she didn't know. Thea, on the other hand, wanted to jump all over every person and dog we passed (and there were many people celebrating Mother's day by hiking on these beautiful trails). Between these two extremes was our handsome hero, dragging one girl ahead and holding another back. Me thinks we have some more training to do.

On the drive home, I crocheted from my new Japanese crochet book. This little wonder is chock full of sweet motifs. While the book is all in Japanese, everything is charted which makes them delightful to use. The yarn? My lovely peachy Merino/viscose handspun, from Chameleon Colorworks. The viscose gives a subtle sheen and the brilliant dyeing gives depth to the simple colorway. When you see the yarn, it's clear the spinning is average, at best, but the fiber was so beautiful to start with that I can't help but be proud of the final product.

Blocked, the finished pieces look like snowflakes.
What am I going to do with them? Perhaps a doggy babushka.

Perhaps not.
I have more — what's the word — sane ideas. I don't have enough yardage to do a whole garment in this yarn (unless I want to go particularly scantily clad) but it could be paired with another handspun or store bought yarn in some creative way. All that is still in deliberation.

After our long hike and short ride home, I took a marathon nap and then arose with ample time to join Julia at Lake Park for a photo shoot. I'll leave those pictures for her to post. Instead, check out the fresh batch of ducky goodness from the same outing.

They can give me avian flu, any old day. I just want to scoop them up and snuggle them.

And now, Julia is back at home with all her fur balls. And all that's left is the now deflated air mattress where she was set up. Thea payed homage to Miss Tuna in Julia's absence. I think that's Thea's way of saying she was glad to meet her.

It was a great weekend and I hope there will be more like it soon. And someday, we'll own a house with more than one bathroom and a proper spare bedroom. I'm dreamin' big, baby.

August 30, 2007

Is she a bad dog or am I a slow learner

I'm guessing it's the latter.

Over and over again, I obviously need to be reminded that Thea is not Panda and probably won't ever be. In my nearly 6 years with Panda, I can think of only a couple of items she has destroyed before she learned that she could only have things that had been explicitly given to her, everything else was off limits. Brilliant, I know. We were spoiled.

Thea, she is loving and sweet and cute in so very many ways. But there are times.

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And while her handy work does take your attention away from some of the clutter, I'm not sure it does so in a very aesthetically pleasing sort of way. Luckily, it was nothing important.

That was 3 weeks ago. Except for an odd incident when I found her giving a hex wrench a taste, she's been as close to angelic as she's capable of being. Then, on Monday, Leo and I came home from dinner to this...


Brace yourself.

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Since I last posted about this skirt, I've probably put another 6 hours into it and all that work has been handily undone.

The Inox needle and clover stitch markers are destroyed. She seemed to mainly be interested in those and not the skirt itself. There are only one or two breaks in the yarn and areas where she has pulled out short sections of rows, repeatedly, down several inches, but not across the whole round. It salvageable but it'll be some time before I'm back to where I was.

I think the hardest thing is that my momentum for this piece has been (hopefully temporarily) quashed. A few hundred stitches, worked in stockinette chevron does not for exciting knitting make.

But just when I think I might actually be able to hold a grudge, she goes and makes cute at me again.

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I'm such a sucker.

August 14, 2007

Hey, how about some knitting and crocheting?

I've been posting a lot of dog photos lately, mostly because I can't post much else, but look. I have crafting!

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Remember those motifs I crocheted? I have been playing around with how to use them. I knew I didn't have enough of the motif yarn to make a whole garment, but I realized that the September Glow Cotswold and Silk yarn I spun, would look nice with the muted peach color of the motifs.

I think I want to make this into a skirt. I have quite a bit more of the Cotswold, that I can spin. I've played around with knitting and crocheting the skirt portion. Right now, the motifs are joined in such a way that they make a natural chevron, which is great for this subtly variegated yarn. I tried crocheting the skirt, but I wanted it to be a little softer and drapier, so I switched to knit instead.

It's actually really hard for me to post a this point, because I'm not totally sure I love it and I might very well rip the whole darn thing out if I'm not satisfied with the results, still, so far, it looks good enough that I feel I can share.

And aren't I doing well, not a doggy in sight.

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Urm, well, yes, Thea did sneak her paw into that shot. You can see her little goth pinkie nail. But we aren't looking at puppies in this post, we're looking at handspun yarn working up into a skirt.

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*Sigh* I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. I mean, come on, that's funny, people. Even if you hate dogs. Plus, I think the color really brings out the pathetic expression plastered on Panda's face. Don't you agree?

August 31, 2007

It's ALIVE

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The yarn was broken in two places and all the knitting had to be ripped, but the skirt has been revived and I've even knit a few rows.

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And lest you all think I hold any sort of grudge towards Thea, fear not. I could never be mad at her for my own poor planning. I do, however, love to give you all a good laugh, and I suspect that you all find Panda's guilty conscience even more humorous than Thea's mischievousness. If we could harvest just their best traits, we'd have one perfectly balanced pup and enough left over parts for one entirely neurotic dog.

September 3, 2007

Lovely long weekend

Leo and I have put this labor day weekend to good use, if I do say so myself. Since we are renting a house, it's always a struggle to decide how much time and money we should invest in beautification of our humble abode. It's a great little place, but after years of being rented, there's a lot that has gone neglected. This is not the loving little first home, it was originally built to be, but a way point in the lives of folks like Leo and me. Still, never one to shy away from a little hard work, Leo has decided we should get things tidied up, so on Saturday and Monday, we shoveled, we weeded, we hauled masses of toppled brick and we planted a little flower garden that we hope we'll stick around long enough to see bloom once, and only once, before buying our own home. But Sunday, we put aside our shovels and spades and seeds and bulbs and packed up our car for a trip to Manzanita Beach.

On the way, we listened to Harry Potter and I got in a little knitting.

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This skirt remains my one mindless piece of knitting, that I can plug away on when I don't want to have to worry about row counters and lace patterns and other distractions.

We were expecting some serious crowds at the beach, and places like Cannon Beach and Hug Point, were, indeed, crowded, but Manzanita proved to be an ideal spot. While there were many people, we never felt crowded or cramped.

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The girls had a wonderful time and Thea is really starting to come into her own. Slowly, Thea is building her recall and we are able to keep her off leash for longer without incident. She's still so filled with social excitement that I wouldn't trust her implicitly, the way I do Panda, but she's proving to be a wonderful little girl.

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After a quick stop over at Blue Heron to pick up some provisions, we went back to Manzanita and set up camp. We are currently conducting reconnaissance in preparation for a bigger excursion with our friends; Erica and Larry and Jackie and her pup Tulip.

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Leo is in charge of setting up the fire.

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I am in charge of proving that pups will do almost anything for salami.

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Thea was a little scared of the fire at first. Can you see her hiding behind the log?

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But she came around after a little while.

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We attempted to take a family portrait, by way of self timer.

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Twas not so successful.

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And as the sun set and the air got a little cooler, my ample tush proved excellent insulation for the not-so-little one.

See more pictures over at Flickr.

September 11, 2007

Hola, El Matchador

You know how I said that spinning puts Thea to sleep? Well, that seemed as good an excuse as any to spend some quality time with El Matchador.

At first, I thought I'd just spin up enough of my Cotswold to have a skein ready when I run out on my skirt.

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But once I plied the yarn and skeined it, I had, what appeared to be, a relatively small amount of fiber remaining, so I figured, what the heck, I'll spin up the rest.

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The result is a skein that is 297 yards long and a second skein that is 217 yards long. Added to the 225 yards I already have, I have a total of [insert calculator here] 739 yards. That should be plenty to finish the piece.

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Thea helped me with the photoshoot. It's nice that we can have both an out of focus AND poorly lit image. She's really an artiste.

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I'm not going to do another whole round up of the yarn, since I've already done one here and it's the same, only different, or whatever. I will say that I continue to really enjoy spinning this yarn. It is well prepared, with only a little bit of vegetable matter and the colors are gorgeous.

In my next post, I start doing the spinning equivalent to making a gauge swatch. Good girl, Marnie, here's a cookie.


Quick question, would anyone out there be interested in some very basic tips for using Photoshop to adjust color and exposure in an image? I'm no expert and I sort of wonder if anyone who can afford Photoshop, already knows it well enough, not to need any help, but if folks are interested, I'd be happy to do a tutorial. Just leave a comment with your thoughts.

September 22, 2007

Assessing the skirt progress

It seemed about time to move the skirt to some waste yarn and see how it's coming along. I have mixed feelings

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Things I like:
  • The crochet: I think the motifs are cute and hang nicely.
  • The colors: While I don't usually buy these colors for myself, I think they are lovely and the colors compliment each other nicely.
  • The chevrons: Who doesn't like chevron? It breaks up the horizontal nature of the subtly variegated yarn.


skirt_blocking.jpg

Things I don't like:


  • Yarn choice: I feel like the main yarn should be a little drapier. I don't feel there's enough weight to the piece to pull off the effect I'm envisioning

  • Skirts: I don't wear skirts. What the hell am I thinking?

  • Shape: Would a-line instead of straight have been better?

I'll probably finish the piece, just to see how it comes out, but I'm starting to think there may have been a better project for these yarns.

On the plus side, I should have 300 or more yards of the main yarn leftover when I'm done. What will I do with it? I dunno. I'll have it nonetheless.


I've been spinning bits of the Corriedale, here and there. It's been quite relaxing and mindless.

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I'm annoyed, though, with my Woolee Winder. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it really upsets my sense of balance that it doesn't load the yarn evenly. Some of it appears to be that the whorls from Schacht aren't perfectly machined. There's an ever so slight gap, but I'm realizing that it's not enough to account for the severity of the imbalance.

Has anyone else who has a Woolee Winder seen this and if so, is there a way to fix it?

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Oh and Thea had her stitches taken out and has been taking full advantage of the ensuing belly rubs.

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She's such a little floozy.

October 4, 2007

Getting there

Boy do I love life lines. I've used this one a couple times, but by Jove, I think I've got it. Some of the mishaps may have been caused by watching an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Man, that show is funny, and distracting.

Here's a closeup of the lifeline, subsequent filler stitches and Thea's paw.

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The vertical row of locking stitch markers indicated decrease rows. I really don't want a huge amount of cinching required to hold this skirt up. When you have a 10 inch difference between hips and waist, that can be a substantial amount of extra fabric.

Here's a view of the whole skirt so far. There's only one spot in the house that gets much natural light and it's where Thea and Panda's bed resides. They seem to find it curious that the spot also becomes my photo studio, some days.

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It's really easy to tell how far I've knit since I blocked the piece.

Tomorrow, I fly down to the greater San Fransisco area for a quick meet up with the owner of Stitch Diva Studios. We're finishing up another project together. That's all I can tell you for now, but I hope there'll be a sneak preview up in the near future.

October 2, 2007

Fine tuning

A little while back, I posted this picture and lamented that my WooLee Winder wasn't filling evenly.

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Well, June came through with a most excellent suggestion. If I twist the traveling loop so that it is angled towards the smaller end, it will shift everything in that direction, resulting in a more even feed.

It's going to take some fine tuning, but I'm definitely seeing improvement.

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The skirt is progressing. After taking this photo, I threw in a lifeline and am now deciding how I want to work the chevrons into flat stitches. The key is not only making smooth transition from the zigzag to flat, but also adjusting the gauge which changes from 8 stitches per inch in chevron to 6 stitches per inch flat.

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And look, my garden gave me another bloom. I am pleased.

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Quite a few more buds have popped up and several look ready to burst open in the next day or two.

I don't know how obvious it is to you, but I think we have two different varieties of Cosmos here. The smaller flower actually has slightly different shaped petals than the bigger one. I may be totally wrong but since we dumped several different mixes of seeds here, I think it's possible.


And finally, I'll be posting an interview with Donna Druchanus at the end of the month. I'm day 23 of her blog tour. I'm about halfway through the book now and gathering my questions.

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I've worked with Donna before and am really looking forward to the interview. Expect lots of questions about the book and her travels and maybe some little tangents into her other interests. I just hope that I'm able to come up with questions she hasn't already answered a million times.

October 10, 2007

Shoes that hurt with a brand new skirt

It was rainy most of this morning so I thought I'd only have crappy indoor shots to show you.

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Or pictures of the piece being blocked

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A closeup of the waistband facing might be interesting

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But we got a bit of sun and I was able to take some better shots.

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With a little help from my friends

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October 15, 2007

Giselle

I am so pleased to present my newest pattern, Giselle, which will be available exclusively through Stitch Diva Studios.

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The pattern is currently in the tech editing stage, in Donna Druchunas' capable hands. After that, it goes to layout and then the pattern will be available for order.

Jennifer asked me to model the garment so I met with her, near her home and we shot over two days. I have the first day's shoot up at my Flickr account. I'll have the second day's shoot, shortly in the same location. Check out a couple of the outtakes at the end of the set.

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The garment is modeled in three variations; an all knit version (orange), a knit and crochet version (red and silver-mo betta pictures to come) and a cropped version in knit and crochet (to come, in brown and teal.) However, the knitter can work any of the styles in a single color or in two colors and may work knit or crochet trim in any combination.

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This design is based on a piece I've called, The Wedding Cardi, which I knit for myself back in 2005, for a friend's wedding.

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It was knit in a discontinued yarn, and well before I had a firm grasp of pattern writing. I had it as set dressing for one of my episodes of Knitty Gritty and have continued to receive requests for a pattern, since. I hope that this ends up being a popular pattern. I'll let you know when it's available for purchase.

August 13, 2009

Making ourselves at home

The move into the new house took 4 days of solid, dirty, heavy, achy, seemingly endless work, but, compared to years where the weather has been in the triple digits and we've had flights of stairs to scale, this move was relatively easy. I'm not saying I want to have to lug a washer and dryer again, but it could definitely have been worse.

And really, when you are moving into your first home, everything is rosy colored and splendid.

I've taken this week off and am making slow progress getting things up from the garage and into their respective rooms, and when Leo gets home, he gets decidedly handy. There has been sawing and drilling and some hammering as needed.

Now that we are officially house-poor, it seemed only appropriate to make a big hearty batch of beef-lentil stew to keep our energy up and our food costs in order.

Stew Stew


This is the same recipe I blogged about a few months back, only I beefed (ha!) it up with some english short ribs and chuck, which I seared and then slow cooked for 4 hours. A great way to christen my huge new kitchen and a yummy versatile meal. Each day, we garnish it differently so we don't get bored.

And when we aren't eating, we're taking in the lovely views from our various decks.

Sunset

But my favorite view, today, is my new craft room. What a luxury!

My Craft Room
1. Enter the room, 2. The big stuff, 3. Yarn closet, 4. Shelves, 5. Closeup of pictures, 6. Buckets and books, 7. Dogs for scale, 8. Crochet corset
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Ok, that last picture isn't in my craft room, but it is a closeup of a piece I just finished crocheting.

Click on any of the text links to embiggen the little thumbnails.

To all of you who sent me congrats, thank you so much. Life is a little crazy right now, but I read and love each and every comment. Please don't take it personally if I haven't had a chance to reply.

January 14, 2011

Perspective

Yesterday was one of those days; those days that ensure I won't be a dog horder in the near future. Rainy weather and long working hours have left me making excuses not to walk Darwin as much as I should. When you have a young herding dog and you decide to skimp on walks and training you might as well batten down the hatches and prepare for the storm because you are about to see what 25 lbs of super smart and endlessly energetic has in store for you.

Darwin Socializing_03
Being cute is a survival mechanism

It was a rough day but today is already better, we've left our minor setbacks behind us and braved the downpours for a a nice long and positive walk. A little perspective (and a good nap) is usually all I need to get past a particularly bad day. I mean really, look at this lot.

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Cute, non? Cute, oui!

In the same way, our other stresses in life can seem overwhelming. With one of us out of work for nearly a year now and the economy showing few signs of life, it's easy to get caught up in the uncertainty and doubt and fear. We could let the setbacks and rejections cripple us but we try to keep perspective. We have our bad days and sleepless nights but we try to remember that we have so much even if it feels like we are teetering on the edge. When I heard a friend and her son had lost their partner and father, respectively, my heart just broke. It's one of those moments where the only thing I can think to do is hug everyone in the house and tell them how important they are to me. The dogs mostly just wag and hope for a cookie. That's good enough for me.

I know that nothing can ever bring back this wonderful man my friend and her son lost and no small gesture can change that pain left behind, but perhaps it was as therapeutic for me as anything, to make them each a small gift with empathy for their terrible situation. I guess, on some level, I feel like the time I spent on each was time I was reminded to value the people I do have in my life; forget my petty concerns and endeavor to be as honest and caring as I can while time still allows me to do so.

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Handspun Grafton Batt crocheted side to side. Trimmed in knitted handspun optim

And maybe, if you'll indulge me a bit longer, you can find someone you love, human, dog, cat or other, and let them know you love them for no reason at all except that you do, even if they drive you up the walls sometimes or always leave a mess. Chances are, they overlook a few of your shortcomings as well and love you equally.

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Monster crocheted with DK weigh merino, with knit socks and scarf worked in sock yarn

July 10, 2013

Aasha

Aasha
Check out the racing stripe

I'm excited to announce that my first serious self published crochet pattern is available now. Aasha starts with a long chain from which the border is worked and then the main pattern is worked into the same foundation chain, up to the neck, decreasing periodically to form the half circle shape.

The pattern has both charted and written out instructions. The charts are available both as a complete stand alone chart and broken out row by row with the previous rows faded and the rows yet to come, hidden from view, so you can see exactly what needs to be worked without any clutter. I hope people will find this format easy to use and make the pattern more accessible to people who are nervous about taking on a crochet project.

Pattern Pages

To find out more about the pattern, check out my pattern page, or head on over to Ravelry.

It's worth mentioning that I fell in love with this deep lavander-gray colorway from Madeline Tosh, when I saw it, but it wasn't until I saw the name for it, Composition Book Gray, that it ended up in my shopping basked. How great is that name? This piece would work up well in almost any nearly solid color. Since the motifs are so big, I think they look best when the color contrasts against what's underneath. My fish-belly white skin was happy to oblige, there.

For those of you who are just here for the pooch content, here's a little photo bombing from the beasties. So helpful!

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July 1, 2013

Voulez-vous crochet avec moi?

I am not clever enough to come up with that headline, on my own. It's on a magnet I have stuck to the side of my desk. I can't remember who gave it to me because I'm pretty much the worst, but if you want your own, you can get it here.

This year marks a decade of designing, for me, and in that time, I've created nearly one hundred patterns, and only three of them are exclusively crochet. They all predate my efforts to standardize and make my patterns professional so I'm not going to give myself much credit for those. 

But here's the thing, I love crocheting, always have. Up until about a decade ago, I never really knit more than swatches. I still have a few of the afghans I made, back when I worked during the summer in my college's computer lab. I could crank out a twin size blanket in a couple weeks, with all my free time. The only limitation was how many balls of Red Heart Super Saver I could afford. This was back when you either used AOL or had some sort of unix based interface to check your email, so the computer labs were primarily for typing and printing reports. I had a lot of free time.

Anyway, this is my long and rambling way to say that I have finally gotten around to designing a crochet pattern and it's with the tech editor now, so I hope to be able to release it in the next few weeks, presuming the pattern isn't a hot mess. This photo is pretty much useless. The lighting is too harsh, and it's too busy to see anything but I kind of dig the butt shadow of the lace border and Thea's adorable monkey face, so I cropped in on that for your sneak peek.

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Not sure how many of you crochet, and of those who do, I'm not sure how many of you like shawls, but if you happen to fall into both of those categories, hopefully you'll like this pattern. It was a nice change of pace to work in crochet. It has its own challenges (and boy does it eat yarn) but, then again, I've always loved crafting for the challenges. And if you don't crochet, and/or hate shawls, hopefully you at least enjoy the doggy portion of today's post.

I'll be interested to see how well a crochet shawl does. I've heard it said that there are more crocheters than knitters but that the former are less likely to buy patterns than the latter. If you have some insight, either way, I would love to get your thoughts in the comments. I'll definitely design more if the demand is there.

July 10, 2014

Phosphene

Yesterday, I released a new crochet pattern, Phosphene. This crochet shawl is worked as individual motifs that are joined as you go. Since it's worked in lace weight yarn, it's a great project for these hot summer months.

And since it's made of a series of motifs, you can adapt it to almost any size or shape from a cowl to a blanket, depending on how you assemble the pieces and the yarn and hook you choose.

Like my other crochet shawl design, Aasha, I've included both charts and written out instructions. You'll find the entire motif charted on one page and round-by-round written and charted instructions, on another.

I hope this will make the patterns easier to follow and suitable even for crocheters who aren't comfortable with American crochet terminology. Though, if you are interested in converting the American terms to British or Scandinavian terminology, there's a helpful chart at the end of this page.

If you are interested in seeing more pictures and getting more details about this pattern, you can view it on Ravelry, and here on my site.

July 12, 2014

Charting crochet motifs in Illustrator

Some of us designers over in Ravelry, have been talking about charting crochet patterns. I think many of us who enjoy crochet, really appreciate charted designs. Not only can you see what is going on, but they are fairly well understood regardless of language. Crochet charts pose some unique challenges that knitting charts generally do not. While knitting is suspended from a cord or needle, making each row straight, while you are working it, crochet stitches grow organically from a single point and then tether to the previous row at any point the designer indicates. That means that you cannot simple set up a grid and build your chart. Each stitch may be a different height and width, or clustered together at the base or top, and all of that needs to be carefully crafted in the chart to make it clear what the crocheter needs to do next.

Definitely check out that thread for other tutorials, tips, and discussions, if this topic interests you.

There's certainly no single correct way to make charts, but it can be helpful to see how other people do theirs. Below is a rough take on how I do my own charts. This is a motif-style chart, but many of the steps would be applicable to flat rows, as well.

I lowered my monitor resolution to make everything on my screen bigger, but you'll still probably want to watch this in full screen. If you can't see the embedded video here, here's the link to youtube. And if you want to play around with the finished Illustrator file, I demoed in this video, you can download it here.

October 31, 2014

Precipice Shawl and Cowl

There's clearly something in the air. Dyers are making beautiful gradient kits and knitters and crocheters are scooping them up. Why? Because they are beautiful, of course. The good folks at Pigeonroof Studios gave me some of their Mini-Skein Sets, a few months back and I've been swatching and ripping and mulling things over, trying to find the right project for them. I ended up settling on a crochet fan motif. The scalloped stitch pattern helps the gradient pattern to blend between colors, making the ombre affect even more pronounce, though I really feel it could be just as fun to mix up the order of the skeins, alternating darks and lights, for a different effect.

I started with a cowl, which uses only one, 240-yard/6-color Mini-Skein Set. It can be easily finished in a weekend, making it a great option for the gift-giving season. The stitch pattern is a simple 4-row repeat, and the buttons fasten into the existing openings created by the pattern.

But if you can get your hands on 4 or more Mini-Skein Sets (or a little under 1000 yards of the yarn of your choosing) you will have more than enough for a dramatic shawl.

The stitch pattern is only slightly more complicated, to form the triangular shape and it's edged with a surprisingly simple little border. While the pattern is written for 4 Mini-Skein Sets, you can really adapt it for whatever yardage you have, just work until you cannot work another full row in the current color, and switch to the next.

As with my other crochet patterns, all the stitch patterns are fully charted and include row-by-row instructions as well. US Crochet terms are used throughout, but the symbols should be standard for anyone who routinely works from crochet chart. For more on UK and US crochet terms, you can visit this page.

If you are interested in purchasing the cowl, the shawl or both, they are available individually and as a set. I'm also offering all three of my crochet shawl patterns and the cowl as a set. If you've already purchased either of my crochet shawl patterns, you can simply purchase the other items, individually, and the discount will be given, automatically.

Find out more about the pieces and purchase them individually or as a set using the following links;

Precipice Shawl

Precipice Cowl

Precipice Shawl and Cowl set

Crochet Collection

 

November 15, 2014

2014 Gift-A-Long

Last year, a few designers organized a mass gift-a-long in which any designer could participate and offer up their patterns for 25% off for a limited time. It was, I would say, a huge success, both for crafters and designers. Well, the gift-a-long is back and bigger and better. I'm really impressed with all the work the mods have done and they've drummed up a ton of great prizes that participating knitters and crocheters can win.

I'll be offering the patterns pictured below (also here) in this year's gift-a-long. Per the GAL rules, ebooks/collections aren't permitted, only individual pattern downloads, and there is a limit to the number of patterns we could offer this year, so I've picked the patterns where the discount will go the farthest. I mean, how many people really need 25% off a $3 pattern, right?

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But don't stop at my shop, because there are so many great patterns on sale. Some helpful links:

  • The Gift-A-Long group is here
  • Participating designers and their eligible designs can be found here.
  • Find out about prizes here.
  • What to see blog posts about the GAL? Check out this thread.

I hope you'll take some time to look around, share links with your fellow crafters and, if it's in your budget, support some independent designers while getting a great discount. As always, if you have any questions or problems with purchasing my patterns, don't hesitate to contact me.

December 3, 2015

Twist Collective Winter 2015 Edition

I hope you've all seen the Winter 2015 Twist Collective that went live a couple weeks ago. My designs for the edition, is featured in the "I think I'll stay home" shoot which might as well be called the "Marnie's life if she were better dressed" shoot because I'm a shameless homebody who spends most of her time in her pajamas. In fact, I'm writing this post from the comfort of my big red robe and fuzzy slipper boots, right now. And, as is my wont to do, I'm sipping tea from my favorite mug that is nearly as big as my head.

See, I'm just like the shoot only, sllliiiightly less well dressed. Don't you agree?

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The shawl is a modified half-circle design, featuring just enough beads to add a little weight and drape. I love beads, but I find they slow me down when I'm working so I prefer to use them sparingly. I chose a deep aubergine shade to pop against the lilac color of the shawl, though I think gray or silver would be a really nice alternative option, for a subtler effect.

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While I include instructions for a standard knitted picot bind-off, the sample is shown with my suggested bind-off. It's worked with a crochet hook using very simple crochet stitches and some pre-strung beads. I love this option for lace because the bind-off basically cannot be worked too tightly to block the piece out well.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but blocking lace shawls is one of my favorite parts of the shawl-designing process. It seems like magic; turning a crumpled mass of fabric into something airy, orderly and filled with unexpected detail. Twisted stitches, beads and nupps all pop and yarnovers and decreases scallop the edges in subtle or dramatic ways. But a tight bind-off can ruin the effect and knitters often can't tell how loose the bind-off needs to be until the piece is ready to be blocked. By then, hundreds of stitches may have been bound off, the yarn has been cut and ends woven in. It can be pretty disheartening.

The crochet method joins a small number of live stitches together with loops of single-crochet chains that provide more-than adequate flexibility to block out the shawl as aggressively or lightly as desired and unlike a too-loose standard bind-off, the edge is neat and tidy no matter how lightly the shawl is blocked.

Not a crocheter but willing to give it a try? The pattern includes a tutorial but if you want more detail, I've got an article for that.

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Crochet really is my first crafting love and this season, I take you through the basics of holding the hook and yarn, and working all the basic stitches. Crochet is knitting's best friend and knowing how to do both will open new finishing and embellishing options for your projects and designs. It may take a little time to get comfortable with it, but crochet is a great tool to have in your arsenal. If you've never crocheted before, I hope you'll give it a try and if you just need a refresher, I hope the article will get you back on track. I even point you to some existing Twist patterns that already feature some crochet. You won't lack for projects to put your crochet skills to work.

And lastly, I have a companion article to last season's article on Tubular Cast-Ons.

tubular_intro_swatches01.jpg

Just as a tubular cast-on gives those edges a professional finish, a tubular bind-offs produce flexible and attractive edges that elevate the quality of the work to a more professional level. Learn to work a standard tubular bind-off and how to adjust the bind-off for knit-two, purl-two edgings like ribbing and moss stitch.

I feel so fortunate to be a part of Twist Collective each season and I never cease to be impressed with the great articles and designs my fellow contributors bring to each edition. Even if you don't like my additions to the edition, I hope you'll flip through the magazine, read the articles and browse the shop.

November 23, 2016

2016 Gift-A-Long

A few years back, I participated in the Gift-A-Long and I'm doing it again this year. For those of you who aren't familiar the organizers describe it like this:

"The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. From November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2016 at midnight US EST there will be fun games, contests, and 8 KAL/CALs that will help you get your holiday knitting done with companionship and fun! From November 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm US EST to November 30th at 11:59pm US EST tons of indie designers will be discounting between 5 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Use coupon code: giftalong2016. You can read all about the details in this post: click here or on the FAQ page in our group pages."

My eligible patterns are shown in the graphic above and are viewable in my GAL bundle on ravelry. To get all the details and join in the fun, check out the Ravelry Group. You'll find pinterest boards of all eligible patterns from all the designers as well as details about prizes.

 

 

About crochet

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Marnie, speak! Good girl. in the crochet category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

create along is the previous category.

darwin is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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