Saturday, December 30, 2017

Pink (and Gold) Things

Hi people! As of this moment, as of right now, I do not have a single work-in-progress. I have supplies, and ideas, and if we have a huge blizzard that shuts down the city for a month and I can't get to work for weeks 😉 I will not be bored a lick. I have finished the things. So now you get to see them.

First up is a baby blanket. I started this at the beginning of July when I had a few long-distance car rides to get through (as a passenger, of course). It's knit just like a grandmother's dishcloth, but every eighth row you purl, and get a little bit of texture.

This yarn was originally for a shawl, then I tried to make it be a sweater. Then I decided on a baby blanket. I simply used half the yarn, then decreased. I have a teeny bit left over, just enough for some pretty pink roses or something.

The yarn is Scheepjes Stone Washed in Rose Quartz. It's an 80/20 cotton and acrylic blend, which seems perfect for a soft blanket. Except I neglected to check the care instructions. It's machine washable, but you're not supposed to tumble dry it. It's a lay-flat. Not the most convenient thing for a blankie, so I'm wondering if anyone has put this yarn in the dryer and what befell it. Otherwise, it's a perfect little blanket, finishing at about one yard square.

Next. I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with the Little Box of Crochet. I had ordered a few in the spring, but never made the projects as they didn't really appeal to me, so I cancelled the subscription. I still followed the account on Instagram, though, so when they post a box that looks particularly enticing I grab one (and then cancel again--I'm sure they love me).

This one was for a couple of Christmas baubles. I made one--

--and thought "I do not love this and I don't want to carry on." I'm not the best crocheter of things that aren't flat, so I frustrate easily (especially when I don't think the pattern is particularly clear or well-written). So I went for the star ornament that also came in the little pattern booklet.

This was OK, except the edges wanted to curl like a bad perm. I did an extra round of gold to try and get it to flatten, but that didn't help. So I ran a length of thin floral wire through the back of the stitches to help its posture a bit and it worked just fine. I'm glad I didn't make a half dozen out of the gate, because I don't think my fingers could have handled any more wire.

So now what? I had these cute little bits of yarn left, and was done with the pattern booklet. So I knitted some little hearts.

I ditched the pattern I had found as I kept thinking "WHYYYYY would anyone do it this way?"  So I told myself "Bee, you are not dumb, and you're a decent knitter. Figure out a better way." So I did. The pink has some slight wobbles due to figuring out what I wanted, but the peach was better, and then even better with the gold. Since Valentine's Day is in about six weeks, let me know if you'd like a tutorial (warning: there are DPNs, and a bit of kitchener stitch, but the rest is basically knits and purls).

I then had some bits of yarn left over that weren't enough for much more. Every year, my grandma insists on sending us each a bit of money for Christmas (no matter how much we protest). So I've used mine in recent years to buy a little crafty thing--one year I bought a flower loom, last year I bought a potholder loom. This year, I used coupons and bought all the sizes of pom-pom makers that Clover offers (except the gigantic one for which I cannot foresee a use). So I tested them out on these.

Seeing as this yarn is actually a mercerized cotton, it took some coaxing to get them to fluff a bit, but they'll be cute for package ties or adorning a gifted bottle of spirits or something like that. I want to try out different fibers to see which gives the best appearance (and since pom-poms are as cute and enduring as polka dots, I don't see at all how one can ever have too many).

So that's not a bad little bit of Christmas-movie-watching crafts and finishes. Plus I've now got a cute little heart pattern out of it. And hearts are one of my favorite motifs, and I love pink and red, and blah blah blah you know where I'm going with this.

I'm happy to have finished all of my projects, as well as all the little tasks I set for myself at the beginning of my Christmas break from work. I love getting things done. Does anyone else feel some kind of emotional release upon doing so?

Anywhodle, we've got just a little bit of time left in this old year, so I'm going to go decide which project will be the first of the new year.


  1. A friend who owned a clothing store told me that cotton sweaters and the like say lay flat to dry, because the maker doesn't want to be responsible if your sweater shrinks. She advocated throwing them into a cool dryer to dry, because in her experience, a more common problem with cotton knits was stretching.
    I would be tempted to wash your blanket and dry it in a cool dryer. Give it a bit of a stretch before you put it in and dry it with a couple of towels. I bet it comes out fine.
    Your Christmas ornaments are great. Congratulations on having no UFO's.

  2. Lovely projects!! Atcually, you'd be surprised how many Euro people don't have a tumble dryer (very very bad for the environment, the buggers!!) here, so not being allowed to tumble dry something is not much of an issue. In theory, I think a cold/cool drying couldn't hurt, but because of the fluffy structure of Stonewashed, maybe tuck it into a pillowcase to protect the fibre.

    1. Yes, it is nice and fluffy so that might be the thing--I'll try the pillowcase and the cool dryer, and cross my fingers for good measure.

  3. A big yes to the knitted heart tute. Today I tried knitting again and I've managed to improve a bit. I still don't know what's a dpn or a kitchener stitch but I'm willing to give the tute a try. Plus I'm getting pretty good with knits and purls. I should get a pom pom maker. I try making with a cardboard and it looks weird.

  4. That blanket looks really cozy! And perfectly pink! I love the little knitted hearts... a much better use for the yarn than the ornament covers or stars, I think.

  5. wow, I am in awe! Can't believe you've finished all the projects. Want me to send you some of my wips? I have hundreds!



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