How long until I run out of needles?

Thursday, April 26, 2018
For a little while now, I have had a feeling that my WIP (Work In Progress) pile was starting to become a little ludicrous. I am concerned that I am approaching the point where I could soon be the unwitting star of a reality show. One day soon, my house will be stormed by a team of professional cleaners and psychiatrists who will ,give me troubled looks, and start demanding answers to impossible questions such as: "who is this for?", "what is it?" and, most most terrifying of all, "do you even have enough yarn to finish this?" (camera cuts to Louise, sitting on the floor, shaking her head and sobbing, "I don't know!").

My WIP situation has got to the point where I can't neatly stash all my projects in one place, they are crammed into pockets of available space, hidden from view, unloved and untouched. Despite this, I still want to cast on new projects but I've run into a problem familiar to most non-monogamous knitters, I've run out of project bags. One possible solution is to  make some new project bags, but something tells me that this is not the approach I should be taking (well not again, anyway).

Joking aside, I'm not feeling at all happy about this. However, sometimes, when I get overwhelmed, if I face the situation head on I discover that the problem isn't as bad as I thought and I was massively over-inflating everything. Something is telling me that I may be pushing my luck this time.

Item No. 1

Who is this for? my son
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? No. I don't think I do. I think, I need to frog it but with so much work done I'm struggling to commit to the rip.

Item No. 2 

What is it? Hair bow thingy
Who is this for? My daughter
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? Yes. All I have to do is block it and glue it to a barrette...I have no idea why I haven't done it.  

Item No. 3 & 4

What is it? Socks in different sizes (I'm counting this as two pairs)
Who is this for? The bigger pair will be for my son. I've no idea who the smaller pair are for.
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? Yes. Extreme second sock syndrome.

Item No. 5

What is it? Scrap Blanket.  Design by me.
Who is this for? Me
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? Yes. Kind of. It's complicated. It will be fine.

Item No. 6

What is it? Another creation from my brain. 
Who is this for? No idea.
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? I'm not really sure how this is going to look as a finished object.

Item No. 7

What is it? This
Who is this for? Me
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? Yes.

Item No. 8

What is it? A Shawl
Who is this for? no idea
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? yes but i need to figure out where I'm up to in the pattern.

Item No. 9

What is it? It appears to be a baby jacket
Who is this for? I have no idea. I'd completely forgotten about it. 
Do you even have enough yarn to finish this? Yes

Nine projects... That's worse than I thought.

Cute Project Bag

Sunday, April 8, 2018

This crochet project bag came about because a friend had a couple of pairs of cute vintage style bag handles, and kindly gave me a pair in return for suggesting a design for a crochet bag to suit them. The handles are available from Studio Mio if you like them! We decided to use t-shirt yarn for the project because it's fun and most of all, quick. I thought I'd just write a bit of a pattern of what we did.  I've not written patterns before so it is a bit longhand, but I did include a nice chart for you! It's a bit flexible, the height can be finished to whatever you prefer, or just when you run out of yarn.

The shaping of the bottom gives it a nicely rounded finish, it isn't flat - it gently curves out, and looks rather good when stuffed with say, another crochet project. 

Cute Project Bag Pattern

You will need a 12mm hook and a ball of Hoooked Zpaghetti. My ball was this one. These balls are 120m/850g, and a 'super chunky' yarn. I have to say t-shirt yarns vary greatly, if you use something different you may get different results.

This pattern uses UK terms! Have a look at the chart before you start!

Start by attaching yarn to your hook with a slip knot.

Round 1: Chain 18.

Round 2: Chain 2, then starting from the third stitch from your hook 17dc, 5dc into the first chain stitch from Round 1, 16dc, then 3dc into the ch you did your first dc. Slip stitch join to your starting ch2. {You should have 5 stitches in each end chain stitch - where the 2ch counts as a dc, and 16 stitches down each side}

Round 3: Chain 2, dc into the top of the ch2 from R3, dc into each stitch x18, 2dc into next stitch, dc into next stitch, 2dc into next stitch, then dc into each stitch x18, 2dc into next stitch, dc into next stitch. Slip stitch join to your starting ch2. {You should have 45 stitches plus the starting ch2 which counts as a dc}

Round 4: Chain 2, dc into each stitch x21, 2dc into next stitch, dc into each stitch x22, 2dc into next stitch. Slip stitch join to your starting ch2. {You should have 47 stitches plus the starting ch2 which counts as a dc}

Continue... From here on just dc into every stitch, working in the round like a spiral, without stepping up for each round. 

Handle: To join in the handle I continued until I had used my yarn up apart from a 30cm tail, then pulled back one entire round of the bag, until I was in the middle of an edge - ie. not middle of front or back. I placed the handle on the bag - centring it - to see which stitch would be the first stitch I would start the joining. You will need a smaller crochet hook to pull the yarn from back to front through the slot. Watch the video to see how I did it. It is just dc stitches, where I put the hook through the next stitch, pull the yarn through as normal, yo using yarn pulled through the handle slot, complete the stitch.

Finishing: Once both handles are attached, I use sc stitches to fade out the last few stitches around to the start of the next handle, then use a large yarn needle to sew in the end.

This is how I attached the handles:

Michelle's 2018 Project List

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
I'm not sure I can really call it 'The 2018 Project List', as I'm pretty bad at observing dates with my own to-do lists. It'll be around about that.

I was pretty happy with what I managed to get done last year, I think this sort of list helps me get at least a minimum amount of projects complete, and also lets me stop saying to myself over and over again, 'Now what was it I wanted to make next?'. I started this list in early January, honest, Louise you were there! And as it's now April (um...) I have actually finished some of the items on the list already. Which is a good thing, because summer and I don't get on, the heat makes me very unproductive.

So here goes...

1. Teahouse wrap, using the Elenna yarn I bought from Spotlight. I had bought this yarn to do a c2c aztec inspired graphic cushion, but my enthusiasm for that idea evaporated. Maybe because I just don't want mustard in the living room? I'm still keen to have a crack at a c2c project. FINISHED!

2. Whirl shawl/wrap/cowl thing! I impulse purchased a Scheepjes whirl, because why wouldn't you, and now I need to find a project for it, or make up a pattern, because after 3 triangular shawls I need to do something different this time. Pattern in the works!

3. A simple tote bag using the WATG Mixtape that my yarn fairy godmother found and sent to me.

4. Hotel of Bees shawl. Yes. Hmm. I do love it, but this is sort of low priority. Plus I don't have the yarn for it yet.

5. Black granny cocoon cardigan. I've been picturing this one for quite a while now, I even know which yarn I want to use, it's a Katia cotton merino blend. I know! What?! Wool?! Yep, I tried on the sample knit in Sew and Tell in Berry and it didn't itch, so I'm going for it. I think it'll be only for the coolest of days though.

6. Pull apart my granny square tee and redo. Turns out square tops aren't the right proportion for me. I'm looking forward to coming up with my own design for this one.

He's chosen the bottom right one, with the puffy dot centre.
7. Green hexie blanket for youngest. I'll have to check in with him before actual yarn purchasing in case he's changed his mind again. I really want to do this one, but need to buy yarn. Probably Paintbox cotton aran so I can get the right shade of green.

In the midnight garden WIP
8. In the midnight garden blanket - this is a WIP from last year, it's due for xmas 2018, which does seem ages away but time flies so I need to get a move on with this!

9. Black beanie for eldest - need to buy yarn, but have a plan for that. It'll be WATG Shiny Happy Cotton in black, should only need one ball.

10. Space invaders cushion for eldest bed.

11. Bag with the round handles a friend gave me. Still sorting out what pattern to go for with this one.

12. I really want to do a mini granny blanket, neon centres and black. It's bugging me.

13. Finish the two tone squares cushion front. Aargh! I don't want 13 in the list so what else can I add... FINISHED!

Proof! It's done!
14. Sofa throw - this is for someone else, it'll be chunky, but might not be chunky yarn as such, maybe multiple threads held together, because it needs to be cotton. I'm thinking French Navy Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton for this one.

That was the core list, it'll change, I'll add to it. Might not get all things done. The next few things are more nebulous, haven't quite made 'project status' yet:

  • Things for the school fete handmade stall.
  • Decorative things for the house - garlands (eg. star, snowflake, fall leaves),  paper chains, wall hangings, either using chunky crochet chains or pompoms, not sure yet...
The problem with any list is as soon as you get it down it starts to morph, it's already taken so long to write this down that it changed in the writing!

14 months

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
I've been starting to plan (yes it's March, to be fair I started in January!) my project list for this year, but before I shared that I wanted to look back on how things went last year. 14 months ago I wrote my 2017 Project List. So no one needs to go hunting around for it, it looked a little like this:

  1. Black bag
  2. Green beanie
  3. Blanket for brother (In the midnight garden)
  4. A big grey cowl (own design)
  5. A red cowl for a friend
  6. Sofa throw for mum
  7. Blanket based on our landscape around here, using Attic 24 Moorlands pattern
  8. Flax jumpers for boys
  9. Sofa throw - Helen
  10. Sofa throw - Amanda

Other wish list items:

  • Oversized wrap cardigan for me
  • Garlands and paper chains
  • Xmas baubles
  • Cushions
  • Pouf
  • Baskets
  • Rugs
  • A SFMGS cowl
  • Neon and black mini granny blanket
  • Hexie blanket

While I veered wildly away from my list at times I've surprised myself by completing quite a few things since writing that list. Note I say 'since writing the list', not 'in 2017'. Yes I'm totally cheating, so there. Here is what I finished:

  1. Charity granny squares
  2. Green bag
  3. Green beanie
  4. Big grey cowl
  5. Easy grey cowl
  6. Neutral bunting
  7. Rainbow paperchain
  8. Blue loopy mesh cowl
  9. White loopy mesh cowl
  10. Two tone cushion front
  11. Sofa throw for Mum (Tidal Blanket)
  12. Schlanket
  13. Two cake granny ripple baby blanket
  14. Linen granny tee
  15. 6 metres of grey, black and white bunting
  16. 4x baubles
  17. 2x t-shirt yarn bags for teacher gifts
  18. 5x lovebomb bookmarks for teacher gifts
  19. Teahouse wrap
  20. Joe's scarf
  21. Sunday shawl


All in all I'm pretty happy with that, now I look back and can see what I actually finished! Now to actually finish planning the next year/10/12/14 months...

Finished Object - socks

Sunday, February 25, 2018
My favourite gifts are those of yarn. If I am really honest, birthdays and Christmases that don't include a yarn surprise are a little disappointing. I know I'm awful for confessing that but it is true. I am also very fortunate in that many of my family know that I'm obsessed with yarny goodness and, while they may not understand the appeal, they are happy to give me my fix.

One of my suppliers is my MIL, she's the one who purchased the the greenest green which became my favourite shawly thing ever. 

Following on from that massive success she gifted me with this little beauty.

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't my favourite yarn. I know that its amazing quality and from a well renowned yarn producer but those colours?! Should they ever go together? Let's just say it wasn't love at first sight and I felt like a terrible person for not loving it (I didn't tell her that I didn't like it and she doesn't read the blog!). Besides the colour, the other issue was that it only weighs 50gms which isn't quite enough to make a decent shawl or pair of socks. 

Unable to let myself give the yarn away, I stored it with the rest of my stash and let it marinade until its future became clear. 

Then I came across  Leanne Cretains "A twist of Lime" My original plan was to use the left over contrast yarn from my Greenest Merman but the Bendigo Woollen mills Luxury 4ply yarn does not contain any nylon, which means that it would wear out quickly on the toe and heel. 

So, instead, I used some left over nameless sock yarn for the harder wearing areas, the Luxury 4ply on the cuff,  and the crazy gift yarn for the leg and foot. 

As I started to knit the first leg, I was amazed to see that the colour was pooling in the most amazing twists around my foot. I was wrong, it wasn't hideous at all, it was lovely. 

I'm quite happy to be proven wrong and now I have a fantastic pair of socks. 

A promising start

Monday, October 30, 2017

Well it was a promising start, but now, I'm not so sure. Actually I feel rather disinclined to finish this project. It all started well. I bought the yarn from Spotlight whilst visiting Louise, and holiday yarn is the best. It was chunky and 50% cotton, the colours were nice. I pictured a two-tone square project, and big geometric design, a squishy cushion for the sofa. I enjoyed the process of trying to alter all the square patterns I'd seen to try to minimise the gaps. I'd always seen this as a cushion project, and didn't want to see the insert through the design. I tried the more continuous method for this type of square but didn't like the effect of having the second row be sort of 'wrong side' looking stitches.

Look how nice and square those squares look, I was probably thinking to myself. 

The squares turned out to be pretty big. It'd be a pretty big cushion, 60cm square. That will look huge in our living room! Not quite big enough for a floor cushion, although I could do it square sided.

Look how wobbly it is now. The squares are super puffy, I think there's too many stitches. There's definitely something not right with the square design. Or if there's not, then I should have blocked each square individually, because I can see when I go to block it now I'll have to be careful not to pull apart the intersections, and put 4 pins in there to hold the corners together. I feel very meh about the whole thing. It's been sitting waiting to block since mid-August. I might block it. And buy the fabric required to turn it into a cushion, and sew it up. Or I might put it in a bag and just consider it unfinished for a while, and move on and hopefully finish some things I feel quite good about to bolster my confidence again!

The forgotten one

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It's been another year where great chunks of time whistle past and then it's September. I guess being in moving-house-limbo for 6 months didn't help. As it turns out, I keep forgetting that I even did this little project, TWICE, and I think I shared a photo of the second one I did in blue for my mother in law, but never the photos of the white one I did for me. I loved this thing it was like wearing a puffy neck cloud. I loved it so much it died already, stretched, pilled and probably in need of a wash. Then we moved and now I'm not even sure where it is. One day I'll have a look for it and see if it can be revived.

I had been playing around with all these cowl ideas, some quite close to the neck with more of a stitch-sampler design, then trying them on and realising they just didn't suit me. They didn't suit me or they way I wanted to wear something warm around my neck. I get cold, then hot, I need to be able to adjust, and layer. I also realised for me, simpler is best.

And do you know, can't even remember the specifics of making it now. It was awfully simple though, I'm sure you can see how it was done. It started with a chain, joined it, then it was up with a couple of chain stitches, over with one, then - probably a double crochet? - over with a chain, and so on. When you do the next round, join to the top of the double crochet, from memory, then chain 2 or 3, and on it goes. Took two balls of that Panda chunky yarn to do this, was left with almost nothing, which I like because I'm not keen on scraps.

Yeah, so not keen on modelling!
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