early november projects

mister winter circles

In two years, I feel like I have become a fairly accomplished crocheter. Complicated projects don’t scare me. I can read my stitches inside-out and upside-down. Learning to knit, for me, is completely different.

For a long time, I was too scared to try, especially intimidated by holding tools in both hands. Plus yarn. The idea still frightens the heck out of me until I actually start moving the yarn around with the tips. I’m not even remotely good at it yet. I can cast on, knit, purl, and awkwardly bind off. If I make even one mistake, I’m totally done and have to frog the whole thing and so I’ve only made swatches thus far. My next goal is to learn to read the knit, pick up a lost stitch, and unravel to a set point.

I am totally a continental knitter, sometimes called left-handed knitting or picking (as opposed to throwing). I think that it’s because I hold the fiber in my left hand when crocheting. If I had switched my yarn-holding hand when attempting to knit, it would have been just one more thing to think about while learning. And, learning I am… now and for quite some time in my future.

I have nearly enough motifs to begin crocheting together Mister Winter, which is Solveig Grimstad’s popular pattern, Flowers in the Snow. I made a mini version of this for my, ahem, cat last year. I really loved the design and decided to make a larger version for my sofa, in colors that remind me of winter in Sweden. I’m pretty firmly set on going with 192 squares. One of my favorite things about this design is that you don’t sew it together. The motifs are crocheted to one another. That said, I’m entirely ready to finish this puppy and get started on something new.

Like, maybe, knitting more than a swatch.

 

finished things

spring woods shawl

In late May and early June, I crocheted a bit.

My shawl-turned-scarf turned into a shawl after all. Post blocking, it measures 76” x 10”. I made the Autumn Around cowl for my friend. I also blocked this and both pieces bloomed nicely as they dried.

I have had an urge to make plant hangers. I did a simple 10-knot one (not pictured), but wanted something less simple that wasn’t full-on macrame. I crocheted one, which turned out extremely small, yet also very cute. I crocheted one more (also, not pictured), but haven’t finished off the strings.

autumn around cowl

yarn feeder

spring woods in progress

spring woods scarf

This weekend, I firmly decided to change the status of my shawl in progress to that of a scarf in progress. I had to be realistic about the fact that I don’t wear sleeveless clothing, and that’s what would have been most appropriate with this design as a shawl. So, I’m hustling to finish my Spring Woods scarf before the season ends.

more, lately

 rainbow afghan + sweet dreams pillow

This spring is so different from any that I’ve known for the past 20-plus years.

I haven’t been working in the garden at all, save for one day in March, when it was technically winter but felt like summer. I’m glad that I have a good many perennials, be it herbs or flowers or asparagus and rhubarb, to provide sustenance and beauty during this downtime. My tomato plugs arrive late next week. I have ordered many of the varieties from last year, as well as a few new-to-me heirlooms. Otherwise, I haven’t planted a thing and it sort of haunts me. I shall be sure to toss some seeds in the soil while establishing the tomato plants.

I haven’t completed (or started) too many projects around here. I made a beach tote. I like it better for linens.

The shawl is coming along slowly. I’m at over 60 motifs and I’m thinking that I might need 150 or so. I try not to think about that and just focus on one stitch at a time, as I did with the rainbow granny stripe afghan that I finished last spring. I finally took a somewhat proper photo of it, and I also snapped it with a granny stripe pillow that I fashioned this winter.

I hope to be back on track with gardening and basket weaving and crocheting and cooking and other household projects soon. There won’t be a lot of quantity with regards to activity, so I will be, as always, focusing on the quality.

totally square beach tote

lately, around here

bike basket form

weaving in various stages

garlic in the 'hood

prepping for seeds

seed-prepping manager, kin

for rent

lately, around here

 

 

today

spring woods

mother river antler basket detail

mother river antler basket

at home in february

day 17 :: last FO used

day 16 :: texture

day 13 :: inspiration indoors

day 15 :: a new skill

giddy up

day nine :: your hands

Whew. I got back on my horse with the picture project, A Month of Craft Photos. I’m almost caught up again. It is weird how day eight with the word prompt “challenging” proved, indeed, to be quite a challenge. Just a few more snaps… tomorrow.

It has been snowing and it’s so lovely outside. The sky and the ground have been the same color most of the day. Additionally, and sweetest, I have not a place in the world to go except for my favorite chair with its just-right foot stool. My husband is out of town for the week, and when that happens, on this first night I make a super-quick supper for myself so that I can crochet and watch something fluffy on television, with little action and no loud sounds.

experiments in crocheted ric rac

multicolor crocheted ric rac

Quite some time back I discovered a ric rac pattern on Ravelry and, last week, I decided to try it out on some varied fibers. I started with leftover pastels (DK yarn, F hook) from the rainbow granny stitch afghan and, simultaneously, I began another roll from a cheap 3-ply (C hook) that I bought solely because of its color when I saw it on vacation last summer. (Of note: The pattern was created by Kate Ulman and can be found on her blog.)

Since it would be difficult to trim the ric rac for edging purposes, it’s best off to know what size you need ahead of time. I hadn’t really planned to use it as a notion, opting instead to maybe hang them like banners or garlands, so I am crocheting very long rolls of it.

The multicolor pastel is 16+yards and the baby blue is 76 inches.

baby blue crocheted ric rac

new craft photo challenge

A Month of Craft Photos -- You In Action

I’m taking part in a February craft photo challenge called A Month of Craft Photos, which is described on Untangling-Knots’ blog or via the Flickr group, where I will be posting my entries. This one seems very doable for me as I generally craft in some form or another each day.

The first theme is ‘you in action’.

Both photos are of the ric rac that I am obsessively crocheting. I am at a point of unknown yardage.

(Edited to add: Links to pattern and other info HERE.)

multicolor crocheted ric rac