Waiting Rooms

Waiting Rooms

I love keeping projects on hand, in rare cases of waiting and being able to practice patience it is so nice having something ready to pull out and zone out with. The newest iphone update includes ‘Screen Time’ monitoring, and I was only slightly horrified to see how many hours a day I was staring at my phone. Yarn over screens any day.

While in a waiting room yesterday a woman came out of nowhere to ask what I was making (a triangle shawl/wrap, but it is too small currently for that to make sense). She followed up with a “Look what I’m making!” and pulled an adorable hand stitch quilt in progress – which, showing all my quilting ignorance, I had no idea could be a mobile project! It is the 9th quilt she has made this year for her friend’s grandchildren, “my friends are populating the world, and thats fine, it keeps my hands full too.”

She told me she crochets, knits, quilts, and has tried machine knitting but it bored her. She told me crocheting and knitting were created by fishermen to make nets, and each fisherman family had specific stitches they’d use on sweaters to help identify bodies that washed up on shore. Sounds creatively morbid, right? “Well, they didn’t have phones back then, honey.”

My increasingly new favorite person sat down next to me and pulled out an envelope of 4x6s, flipping through her crocheted blankets, her knitted sweaters, her sewed American Girl doll dresses. She has made over 300 American Girl outfits, including outfits to match the entire cast of Star Trek (I would love to see the cross section of American Girl doll collectors and Star Trek fans, by the way). When I told her I was impressed she said “When you get as old as I am, you need things to occupy all the time you’ve lived.”

I didn’t get much crocheting done, but if I didn’t have it with me the lady with wild hair and a New Zealand t-shirt wouldn’t have sat next to me. I would have missed out on a crafty history lesson and the opportunity to see a crafter’s personal photo album. Crafter camaraderie is one of my favorite parts of learning new things, and I hope those Star Trek American Girl dolls are making someone very happy.

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Seeing blankets in use

Seeing blankets in use

My sister and niece visited this week, and they brought the blanket I made for her baby shower with them.

I was looking at the blanket and chiding myself for unwoven ends and for the sewing between the fox faces coming undone, for uneven stitches and things I think I could do better now, two years later.

Then my niece picked up the blanket and burrito’d herself in it, she inch-wormed across the floor, stretching and kicking the blanket out from beneath her.

Just like done is better than perfect, a blanket getting used is better than a blanket staying pristine.

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Pattern: MyCrochetStories
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft

Cypress Textiles Seafoam Blanket

Cypress Textiles Seafoam Blanket

These last few months have been sloooooowww.

It has been a ridiculously hot summer, which doesn’t bode well for unfinished blankets. I’ve had wrist pains that I’ve been working on with stretches. I’ve had mountains of excuses and plans dragging me out of the house and a million other reasons not to go back to my yarn.

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Luckily for me, pattern testing for the incomparable Cypress Textile will always draw me back to crocheting. Rachele’s patterns are so well thought out. She is a master of eye tricks and patterns that look complex, but her talent for writing makes the inconceivable simple. I also need to mention her gorgeous color choices before I can finish raving about her crochet wizardry. The blues and greens of this blanket are some of my favorite shades, and the very reason I signed on to test this pattern.

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Scheepjes Stone Washed is absolutely gorgeous. The depth of the color and sturdiness of the yarn made this blanket a joy to crochet, even when I wasn’t in crocheting moods. Stone Washed comes in perfectly portable skeins, just over 170 yards in each. This blanket is made of ever-expanding motifs, making it perfect to tote along to doctors appointments and car rides (my favorite crochet question is when working with motifs – “That little thing is going to be a blanket???” You have to start somewhere!). Just watch this thing grow!

While this pattern isn’t available yet, go browse through Cypress Textile’s impressive catalog for inspiration and to see crocheting at its most artistic form.

Hating a pattern, loving the product

Hating a pattern, loving the product

Have you ever made something and hated it every step of the way? That has been my experience for the last 5 weeks trying to make my sister a birthday present crop top. This is the Lazy Days of Summer Top, something I have ogled for years on Ravelry.

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For whatever reason, every step of the pattern was a confusing mess – I read things wrong, the pattern was blasé and unhelpful, no stitch counts, anything.

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I can see a glaringly obvious mistake in this picture – but that is part of the fun of progress pictures, right?

I really do love the top! I love the Mirasol Nuna yarn, the color Campfire which is gorgeous. I love the shape of the sleeves, even if they made no sense while I was making them. The rising sun half circle makes me excited for summer and for the fun I know my sister will have wearing it. But 100% never again.

There isn’t many things in life as uplifting as a pattern coming together perfectly, yarn matching beautifully and your vision coming to reality.

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Although, to be fair, I’m only 6 rows in…

First, the pattern: the Goldenrod Sweater by Eleven Handmade. A cute sweater using puff stitches and featured in the most glorious gold color? I was immediately smitten.

Second, the yarn.

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Still drooling

The variegated yarn is from a Michigan indie dyer – Iron Wheel Farms.
It magically matches up to Malabrigo’s Teal Feather, and these skeins have been sitting on my shelf for about a month before I said WIPs be damn, it is time for another project.

So the first six rows have been thrilling – hopefully this feeling will carry through the rest of the sweater!

Lucky Violet Top Update

Lucky Violet Top Update

I am so elated with how this color block lace top is coming together.

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I cannot get over the colors together – I am already a sucker for golden mustard colors, but this baby pink and gray are a perfectly delicate match.

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This older shot is just to show how pretty the stitch works with this perfect yarn. While a thinner weight, the yarn feels sturdy. It feels like it is working up to be a long-lasting garment.