Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Terrible trouble with photos today

I had an awful shock when I checked my blog this morning: none of my photos were showing up! I know they usually do, so I was a bit perplexed at this. Thankfully, they turned up this afternoon. I'd really like to know where they went: did they have a vacation and fly off to Tahiti? Goodness knows I'd like to go to Bora Bora ...

Meanwhile I'm all packed for my trip in one carry on bag, which does include a very tightly wrapped and bagged tutu/tuille-petticoat! It's very impressive that it squishes down so much... And my skirt, silk shirt and other dress are all packed as well. Phew!

No photos of the petticoat, possibly at all. It's not pretty in the slightest, it's quite messy, but when I tried it on this evening with the skirt, it was doing its job ;-)

I can't wait to get back to some normality on the blog, after the last few weeks of sewing and unpicking and sewing and cutting etc etc. Let's see some crochet, please? I promise :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Morning commute

I have an hour long morning & afternoon commute in a car (as opposed to a train or bus). It's mostly (80%) on a freeway or quiet country road, so it's not a hard commute, which would be an hour to travel 15kms in traffic. Yuck!

I usually don't drive either: I carpool with my boss and he usually drives. Which means I have a lovely hour or so each day to work on craft. Somedays this is eaten up with discussion or I just zone out. But I try to do some crochet in the car every day, whether it's a new square to show on here (which there hasn't been for at least 10 days now, since my life has been eaten up with making a certain skirt...) or working on my project-to-finish: the green blanket. I normally get at least one hexagon made a trip to add to that rug.

A few years ago I commuted on the train down to Melbourne, which was more like an hour and 20 minutes. I'd snooze of a morning some days, but I did manage to completely crochet a baby blanket on the trip, over a few weeks. I used to cross-stitch a bit too: that was good, because it tends to be neat and tidy, but not good for mornings, if one's not quite awake... :D

Do you crochet or sew on the way to work?

Monday, February 27, 2012


A nice plain dishcloth. It's an asset! Incredibly reusable, you can throw it in the washing machine and POOF! Ready to use it again!

Work it in double or half triple to give it enough density so it doesn't turn into a HoleyCloth ;-) And use a cotton, or a cotton with a small percenage of polyester.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My little pin mousey turned punk rocker

Isn't she cute!?! I got her at Clegs down in Melbourne. I love that store :)

I like having this little mousey nearby, whether I'm crocheting or stitching: it's handy to stick my needles in. If I'm crocheting a block,sureI don't need her. But if I'm sewing some together, then I've got a wool needle handy and even if it doesn't feel that sharp, if I lose it on the floor, it wont be me that steps on it: it'll be the Mr!!

With all the sewing I've been doing this weekend, this little mousey has been right next to me. She's got a safety pin pinned to her ear at the moment, so she's gone all Punk on me ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This skirt ate my Saturday!!

This skirt has eaten my Saturday!!

I'm not a particularly faster sewer, and I wanted to do a good job, so it's taken me most of today to sew it up.

I was up to inserting the zip when I took these photos around 3-4 hours ago. And it totally took me 2 hours to put it in place. It was my first zip, I think. O.M.G. I need to take a class on finishing!!

I'm really pleased with how the pleats at the front have turned out. They've still got their tacking on them, but I'm thinking of tacking the closed to this dept by a few neatly placed stitches on the inside of the inverted box pleats.

I'm also stoked at how the waistband ended up so neat! Look at thaaaaat :D

The edge of it where the zip's been placed is a bit of a disaster though! LOL.

Hopefully back to crochet tomorrow!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spot-Sampler Rug, 2nd square!

Today the second square in our 25-square Spot-Sampler was released!

Apparently the rug is called "Krista Lap Rug". Huh, who knew!

The instructions can be found at the Spotlight Facebook page, or Here, which is a pdf document!

How's everyone going? Anyone actually crocheting-along?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Woot! Another row :)

Woot! Another row added tonight! I've got three rows going on now. :)

Working on the actual skirt tomorrow. We should also have another square for the Spot-Sampler rug tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Workin' workin'

Workin' on the blanket :)

Did a few squares on the commute, but can't seem to sew it together right tonight. Have undone it twice, so I started making another square.

So! It's a SALLY night!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lap rug coming together

One lap rug, on promise!

So, this is the rug coming together!

Made a few squares today to go with it, but my main focus after work today has definitely been the trial skirt I've been putting together. I think that the sizing is right (although I'd feel a bit more comfy if the band were roomier, but it should be in a week or so). Ahhh sewing at home...

Anyway, I like how the joining looks, for the rug that is.

It looks quite raised where it's joined, but it's not actually, and this should flatten out a bit more with time in any case.

I like this photo of it too :D

Monday, February 20, 2012

Busy bee

So, the weekend just past saw me being a busy bee, working on the Spot-Sampler Rug's first square, and my skirt's muslin (aka, draft) for the black tie event, and I've been working on my friend's rug! Remember this one?

Well, I started putting it together this last weekend, to (a) see how much yarn is used binding it together, and (b) how many squares I have left to go.

I steamed and blocked 56 squares! Think I need another 20 or so.

I wasn't happy with how I'd sewn together my last rug, a while ago (my last few have been one piece baby blankets), so I went looking for a different way to sew my hexagons together. Jan Eaton has several suggestions in her two books, but I've gone with this one:

"BunnyMummy-Jacquie"'s method for sewing granny blocks together.

She catches the back loops of the edges of the squares together and whip-stitches them.

(picture from Jacquie's blog)

See? Creates a nice pattern of inner edging.

I'm two rows down, and more than likely 11 or so to go :D

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spot-Sampler Rug: 1/25

OK! So yesterday I talked about my choice of yarn. Today is how my block turned out!

One nicely sized, plain Granny Square :)

I'm happy with It and how it turned out.

I used my 4.5mm hook, working withing Spotlight's suggestion of using the middle hook in your set of three.

The others I'm using are: (left) my green 4mm, (middle) the white 4.5mm & (right) my favourite brown 5mm hook.

The size of the finished square should be approximately 22cm.

Mine, is not. As you can see, mine is around 16mm, a full 1/3 smaller. Which is fine by me! My rug will be around 1 meter wide, instead of the 1.5meter that Spotlight quote as the finished rug size.

So! That's the first square!

The rest of the weekend has seen me draft out a few versions of a skirt I'm making for a black tie wedding reception I'm unexpectedly going to in 2 weeks! The pattern seems to be a petite pattern, since the sizing is smaller than I was expecting, so my first version was out by about 2.5-3". Whoops! Am drafting out another!

I've also been working on sewing up the big rug project that was partially the starting reason for this blog! I wsn't sure how far through it I was, and how much yarn I was going to need to put it together, so I'm sewing up what I've competed to get a good idea.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spot-Sampler yarn choice!

So, yesterday Spotlight put up the first block for the Spot-Sampler rug!

It's a traditional granny square! It's a good first block, and as they point out, it's a good square to make sure your others match it's size.

But before we get going, we need to sort out what yarn to use.

I did a research trip to Spotlight yesterday (need to get yarn, duh, but I also needed to decide whether I could be stupid enough to try and make an outfit for a Black Tie wedding I'm going to in 2 weeks. Apparently I am :D) and compared yarns. The 'Moda Vera' Pure Wool is a good choice. It's only $3/ball & Spotlight have a 20% off yarns special, so the $75 it was worth you could pick up for $60, which is pretty good. I decided to go for something else, since I needed to buy material for a tea-length skirt as well, so had a look around. I found this:

This is the 'Moda Vera' Marvel range, which is 100% acrylic. It's VERY soft in this 5ply version that I bought. It also comes in an 8ply & 12ply, and in at least 8 different colours. I'd almost say between 10-12 colours, but I didn't actually count!

Now, it's a 5ply, which you can see. What's the difference?

The green yarn is an 8ply & the blue is the Marvel 5ply. Both as worked with a 4mm hook. Can you see the difference?

Just the ply makes a difference in the size, even using the same hook.

The top left square is worked with a 4mm hook, the bottom right with a 5mm hook, and the right square with a 6mm hook. (For the record here, the 6mm is just about the closest to correct sizing for this project, if that's what I was aiming for.)

BIG size difference bewteen the 5mm & 6mm hook, isn't there. It's more than likely proportional, but it looks a lot different.

The pattern calls for 3 different hooks, which at first glance (the list of equipment & supplies we needed towork the project) looked like it was just a personal decision on what size you wanted to use. But apparently some of the blocks are going to be worked in a different hook, which will be interesting.

So, what have I ended up deciding on? Well, I bought 5 balls of the Marvel in a really nice light denim (looks more aqua in the photos), which at $3.50/ball was only $17.50 all up, with 20% went down to $14, which worked into my budget. Since it's a 5ply, I had to go down in my hook size. Using a 6mm as the smallest out of the three wasn't really an option, since it's already a pretty loose weave. I don't actually HAVE a 5.5mm hook *gasp!!* so I've gone down to a 4mm, a 4,5mm and a 5mm hook for my choices.

We'll see how it works tomorrow!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Block #28: Colourful Popcorn Flower

From Eaton's...

Block #8: Popcorn Flower.

I did this block earlier in the week, and it just looked so plain. It's name is flower! How could it just be all one colour?

So, this is what I came up with.

I like it a LOT more. It actually looks like a flower now :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The "Spot-Sampler" rug!

OK. I've decided to call the rug that Spotlight are doing as a crochet-along on their Spotlight Facebook page as... The Spot-Sampler Rug!

Yeah, daggy ;-)

Spotlight posted what we need to complete the rug.

Hi everyone, in advance of the project sheet going up tomorrow, here's what you'll need:
• 25 x 50g balls ‘Moda Vera’ Pure Wool 8ply
• 6.00mm, 6.50mm, 7.00mm crochet hooks
• Scissors
• Yarn needle, pins, tape measure
• Stitch markers, wool clamps


Except that it needs 25 balls of a wool yarn.

I get that. It will sit in a certain way, be of a good weight. It's a yarn that Spotlight specifically carries, and it should be affordable. But if it's even just $5/ball, that's $125. Now, I don't have the spare money for that with 1 days notice, so I'll go a different route ;)

The 'Moda Vera' Pure Wool is in 50g balls, and is approximately 80 meters long. 80 x 25 = 2000. So we need 2000 meters of yarn to work this project. So let's work it out!

Now, they also suggest that the yarn be worked with a 6mm, 6.5mm or 7mm hook. So it's going to be a "light and airy" piece, since the Moda Vera yarn is usually worked in a 4mm or 5mm I believe. I don't work a lot of pieces in a hook of that size, so I'm thinking of using a 5mm hook.

Patons 'Big Baby 4ply' is a much lighter weight yarn. It's also acrylic. It's 100g, and approximately 420mtrs. So you would only need 5 balls of this. It also retails for around $4/ball. So, $20 a bit better?

However, it is a MUCH different yarn. With a 4mm hook, it is going to be a lighter, lacier blanket. It will also end up being about half the size, perhaps a
good size for a cot, or a baby blanket. The original size should work out for more a single bed size.

So, I'm going to go have a look at some yarns tomorrow and make a decision. Of course, one can always buy the yarn as you go with the project. The thing you'd have to worry about with that is that you would more than likely end up with balls of yarn from different dye lots, which can end up looking slightly different in colour.

Anyway, if you can afford it (the Moda Vera yarn may only end up being $3/ball, which would only end up being $75) go with what they suggest! But I'm going to go with a yarn I can (a) afford, and (b) work with in a smaller hook ;-)

Also, what are wool clamps?!? Research!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A project!! Hosted by Spotlight on Facebook!

Over on the Spotlight Facebook page, they're about to launch what amounts to a Crochet-along!!

And just LOOK at the project!!

What a great one! And it's made up out of 25 individual SQUARES!! I can think of nothing better than to do this project on the blog :)

This is what they said about it:

"We are delighted to bring you a project that will make you smile whilst crocheting for the next 25 weeks and for many years to come. It combines different crochet stitches to make a gorgeous looking blanket, perfect for the bedroom or as a decorative piece for your living room. Join our journey on the Block of the week and let us know how your masterpiece is coming along. First block will be available this Friday."

So, every Friday, they're putting up a new square on their Facebook page and I'll come on here & link to it. Then a few days later, I'll pop up my individual square!

I am SO EXCITED!! Now, to figure out if I'm going to use some Patons Big Baby yarn that I already have, or whether I need to go get some more - maybe from Spotlight!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Block #27: Popcorn Flower

From Eaton's...

Block #8: Popcorn Flower.

Popcorn, yet another new "pop" stitch.

You can also see that I haven't blocked this square, by the way the edges are all curled up.

This might work well as an accent square in a rug!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Free Bag patterns from Crochet Me

For the last week, I've shown you 7 different suggestions on how you can modify the one square block pattern, by changing the colours of yarn.

Yesterday I mentioned a bag pattern that you can make with your Willow squares.

And today, I provide the link :)

6 Free Crochet Bag Patterns fromCrochet Me. You just have to enter your email address.

Crochet Me has some absolutely FANTASTIC free patterns, and puts some together in little eBooks as well.

I need to make this bag :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Block #26: Willow v7

This really has been a full week of this block. I could have kept going too, but I'll stop after this.

Block #189 version7 (from Eaton's), and I can call this one nothing other than "JingleBells". Took a look in my yarn bucket yesterday and couldn't resist these colours. Even though we've just HAD xmas!!

Now, there's a really nice free bag pattern made up of these squares that's floating out Interweave Crochet's site Crochet Me. I actually want to make it myself, since I have so many of these squares floating around!

Used the 8-ply acrylic yarn, with a 4.5mm hook. The red yarn is so much thicker & coarser than the very-light beige-grey colour, it's like it's a different yarn.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Block #25: Willow v6

From Eaton's ...

Version 6 of Block #189.

Hmmm, bit stumped as to what to name this one. "Tan Melody" or something. Maybe "Mid-Summer Paddock": around here, all the grass is burnt & bleached dry at this time of year, and the earth just south of where I live is a beautiful rich loamy red-brown. The colours are just a bit off in this photo, but to me, this square has a reddy-brown darker colour, a light beige in the middle & a tan, which is much darker in the photo.

This is a different yarn. A 100% angora Italian blend. I made a king-sized throw rug in this once. This one square reminded me how irritating I find this particular yarn to crochet with.


This is the block in better light. You can see the difference I was talking about. Hopefully!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Block #24: Willow v5

From Eaton's "200 Crochet Blocks..."

Block #189v5: 'Willow'

This one's entitled "Flowering Gum"

I did think of "Pink & Grey Galah" but then I used a green instead of another pink.. I might have to do a series of squares based on Australian bird life...


Worked in Sirdar Baby yarn, 4mm hook.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Block #23: Willow v4

From Eaton's...

Block #192: "Willow" version 4.

Eaton only demonstrates 4 different versions of Willow, and I can tell you now that my ersions are completely different from hers: I don't have her yarn colours.

This one is called "Peony". It's crocheted in Sirdar Baby yarn with a 4mm hook. I love to work with this yarn: it's so soft & easy to work with.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Block #22: Willow v3

From Eaton's...

Block #191: "Willow", version 3.

I was thinking of 'Reverse Denim' but now I'm just thinking something overly pretentious like 'Storm Clearing in the Evening.' *laugh* how about 'Early Night'. ;-)

I like this version of these same three yarns than the previous block, 'Denim'. I think the dark blue as the centre & outside edge works well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Block #21: Willow v2

From Eaton's...

Block #190: Willow v2

This one I can't think of a better name than "Denim".

I think this would work put together as a purse or satchel of some kind.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Block #20: Willow

From Eaton's...

Block #189: "Willow"

I love this block. In my PILE of unfinished blocks that I popped up yesterday, is about 7 of these blocks.

There's four colour options of this block in Eaton's book: #189 - 192.

So this week, I'm doing this block in a number of colour variations.

This one I'm calling Rose Blush.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

This weekend I...

Looked at my box of yarn & bits, and tipped it upside down...


Oh goodness me...

Back to this one. This is an ENTIRE pile of worked squares. Finished, & unfinished. No one project is finished out of this ENTIRE pile!

This is one of the reasons for this blog. I need to find a way to make sure that when I start a project, I finish it!

This is a lot of yarn. I am 100% positive there are other people out there with FAR more yarn, but this doesn't show you the other, smaller, pile of the other side of the "bucket drawer" where it's all kept. Or the big basket that is on the floor that holds... this amount again. SIGH. I love it all! Some are remnants left over from other projects. Some have been bought to practice different squares on, like the squares I'm showing you in this blog. Most of this will be used for that. Other have been bought with a project in mind, but which never came to fruition.

In other news, we moved around the furniture in our tiny flat today, which makes it feel yet better! It always does :) and joy of joys, I FOUND MY 5mm HOOK! Haha two days after I caved and bought another. Oh well! I have my favourite back, and a new one :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My NEW 5mm hook!

Here it is!

Isn't it nice? It's the same brand as my 6mm, which I enjoy using, although not as much as my Addi hooks.however, I'll have to send away for an Addi hook, and my local shop carries Pony hooks.

And it's so pretty!

Look at pressed bamboo wooden grain! *happy sigh* I must admit, there's a lot that's asthetically pleasing about this hook :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

My missing crochet hook!

It's getting kind of silly now. I was working on a piece in my 5mm hook, and it's been put aside, because I can't find my hook!

I may have made a detour today, and stopped into my local yarn store to see if they had a replacement Addi 5mm hook, but they didn't. They just had the Addi circluar needles, and it seemed like their Click system.

I'll be ordering one online and getting it sent out.

I did however pick up a new bamboo Pony 5mm needle, so I'll have one extra 5mm so their doesn't happen again! I'll take a picture of it tomorrow & put it up. I may have also found a neat replacement hook bag...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blocks to match

Here are some blocks that might look good together:

These go well, because they're both stripes.

The tiny squares are a nice accent square.

Here they are against the half&half square.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Addi crochet hooks #5mm...

May I direct your attention to the following picture, specifically the hook on the far right...

Oh Addi crochet hook 5mm, with your dark brown colouring, where are you??

Since taking this picture, I have managed to misplace my beloved 5mm hook. The ONLY one I don't have a second of. It was my first Addi hook I bought. My first crochet hook, I believe. I'm very saddened by its loss.

I have written to my friend Janette at Yarns Galore to see if she might still have one.