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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yarn Along...

Finished!   My first crocheted linen stitch scarf.   I love the effect of this very simple crochet stitch.  If you're a Ravelry member, a link to the pattern can be found on my Ravelry project page.



 In fact, I love it so much I started a second scarf immediately after finishing the first one:


The yarn is Loops & Threads Woolike.  It's a soft acrylic fingering-weight yarn, double stranded in these scarves - which makes for an easy self-fringe.  I may end up braiding the fringe on this second scarf.  I think that would be fun.

Check out other yarny creations this week at Ginny's Yarn Along.  
 
http://www.gsheller.com/2015/05/yarn-along-229.html
 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yarn Along...

Feeling the need to do something small after crocheting several blankets I started a Linen Stitch Scarf this week.



Using Loops & Threads Woolike, double-stranded I'm enjoying experimenting with a variety of color combinations.   This is an almost lace-weight yarn so even double-stranded it makes a lightweight, but warm scarf.  I know...it's a simple thing.  But I was craving doing something more free-flowing - just to see where it takes me.  So far I'm liking it.

Of course, there's still my Arrowhead Afghan in a basket waiting for me to get back to it.  With the cooler weather we're having this week, it's actually a perfect time to pick it back up and work on it.

But my little scarf is calling me..

Small Things blog hosts a weekly yarn-a-long that showcases many other yarny creations. Check out the latest.

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I'm glad to say I finished and put in yesterday's mail a blanket I've been crocheting for a dear friend who's husband passed recently.  Bob and Eileen were an "older" couple when my husband and I met them at church over a quarter of a century ago - at the tender and respective ages of 25 and 20.  My, how time flies.  We're now probably a decade older than they were when they first took us, and a group of other young adults, under their wings.  I know it's a trick the mind plays on a person, but those seem like such innocent and carefree days now.

While that was a season with its own trials, the memories are sweet indeed.  I hope Eileen feels like she has a yarny hug when she receives this blanket - and that sweet thoughts of days-gone-by, and prayers said by many today bring comfort to her.






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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yarn Along...

I'm almost finished with the blanket I'm crocheting for a friend.  I can't wait to get it in the mail to her.  Hopefully by the weekend!  Though the weekend appears to be a busy one, so I'd better make Monday my goal for sending it off.



I finished From the Kitchen of Half Truth and highly recommend it as a light fiction read for any female reader, teen through adult.

And I've decided to revisit The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  I started it during the weeks leading up to Easter and had to put it aside as I was finding myself in an almost too reflective place (following the death of a dear older friend).  But I've decided it would be good to pick it back up again. This translation is a rich and honest look at the Christian life and how we are to live.  The truths are simple and honest.  A very relatable translation written for modern readers, but with a touch of humor that crosses over from another time with truth and eloquent wit.  I highly recommend this for a devotional read. You'll be tempted to read this through (leaping from one reading right into the next), but I'm finding it is best savored slowly with time to contemplate between each sitting.


Visit Ginny's Yarn Along  and check out the variety of yarny creations others are working on.  Wander about the Small Things website and you'll, no doubt, be charmed by pictures of Ginny's family and her sweet way of telling about their lives.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yarn Along...

Yarn I had been waiting for came in over the weekend and I put aside the blanket I was working on to start a new one.  It's a blanket for a friend and that's all I can post about that for now. But here's a picture that shows some of the detail:


I think it's similar to a block-stitch pattern (made of triple crochets), but it's more delicate than any block pattern blanket I've seen.  What I especially love about this pattern is the beautiful finished edges it creates.  Curves along the top and bottom and those pretty points along the side.

The pattern was found in the book Weekend Afghans by Jean Leinhauser (ISBN:  0806964863).  This book is an oldy, with a collection of knit and crochet patterns, but I've marked at least 6 afghans I hope to make.  This is the second time I've made this one - I like it so much.

I'm using Deborah Norville's Everyday yarn in the color Orchid, and can I just gush for a minute about how wonderfully soft this acrylic yarn is?  Soft, soft, soft, soft soft!  It's also antipill and I can say (from another blanket I've made from this yarn) that it came out of the wash even softer than it went in, and looking amazing.  It may be too early to tell just how anti-pill this yarn is, but it did not fuzz.  At all.  It truly looked just like new after washing.  I hope to make many more things with this yarn.  Certainly anything that needs to be easy care, but also anything I might use acrylic for.

The color range of Deborah Norville's Everyday yarn is decent and the price is great if you get it on sale (I've never paid more than $3.00/skein).  In case anyone is familiar with Willow Wash, this is a very comparable yarn.  In fact, having both in my stash I have plans to combine colors from both Willow Wash and the Everyday yarn in a project and I'm sure I won't be able to tell the difference between the feel of the yarns.  I'll officially report on that once I actually try it.  ;^)  To tell the truth, I've wondered if the same mill creates both of these yarns - they are so similar.  Would appreciate any information about that if anyone knows.

I am still enjoying reading From the Kitchen of Half Truth, but have also been perusing some crochet pattern books this week.  I went on a binge and checked out a bunch from the library recently,  Not that I needed any more ideas, but the eye candy is wonderful.

Check out (and join, if you like) the other yarn along posts at Small Things where Ginny hosts this weekly yarny extravaganza.  The talent of knitters and crocheters who participate is inspiring.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yarn Along...

Browsing the web and casually looking for like-minded folks who are pursuing creative endeavors (particularly yarny endeavors), I came upon Small Things' Yarn Along.  A bunch of talented yarn lovers link up to Ginny's weekly Yarn-Along and share what they're knitting or crocheting.   And what they are reading.  Terrific!  Two of my favorite things.

I'm currently crocheting an Arrowhead Striped Blanket. The pattern is from Yarnspirations.com. And one of the books I'm reading is From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin.


First the blanket:
I'm really liking how simple the pattern is, yet it produces a lovely arrow-shaped stitch (that, frankly, doesn't betray its simplicity). I used yarns from my stash (Vanna's Choice in the colors, Taupe and Linen, and Lion Brand's Heartland yarn in Grand Canyon).  I do like how these colors are working together - even though I can't manage to even edit a picture close to the true colors (it actually has some yellow tone to it).  Oddly, enough, that crochet hook is exactly that color of gold. 


A note on the yarn: I needed to buy some additional Heartland yarn and I found some at my local Walmart. It sells for 3.99/skein. At first glance that is a bargain compared to the 5.99 it sells for at Hobby Lobby (though when I bought it there, I'm sure I used a 40% off coupon). Well, once I started crocheting with the Walmart Heartland, it became apparent that the $5.99 skein and the $3.99 skein were not equal.

I haven't separated out the plied strands to see exactly where the difference happens (whether it's in the number of strands, or the thickness of each ply), but it is clear that the Walmart Heartland is, overall, thinner and maybe more splitty than the Hobby Lobby Heartland I had in my stash. It's not obvious in the finished project, but it is obvious in the crocheting and in the size of the skein after crocheting the same number of rows from the two different skeins. It's not enough to cause me to return the rest of the Walmart yarn, but I'll probably think twice before buying it again.  From here on out, I'll likely choose to purchase the $5.99 skeins when they go on sale or I have a coupon (which makes it a bargain), and skip the $3.99 skeins that only look like a bargain.

Back to the pattern:  While it's labeled an Intermediate pattern, I honestly think if a person can crochet double and triple crochet stitches, they can do this.  

The front of the blanket (see the fun arrows?)  I love the texture!



And on the back there's a sort of grid pattern.  Because these are behind the slanted triple crochet stitch, the effect is almost like a bobble.  Almost a bobble, but not quite.  I really like the back, too, for its textural effect.
 

Honestly, the only really difficult part of following this pattern is remembering which side of the blanket I'm working on. Not that that's particularly hard (as you can see, the front and the back look completely different from each other), but it's such no-brainer of a stitch (once I got it down) I sometimes forget which side I'm working on and it can be a row or two before I catch the mistake. Argh!  I don't know how many times I've caught an arrow on the back and had to rip out a row or more.  I started this blanket a week and a half ago, and I'm sure I'd have been nearly finished by now if I didn't keep doing that. Sigh. I must pay closer attention.  Or at least check each row carefully before proceeding to the next.

And the book?  I'm about 1/3 of the way through it, and to tell you the truth...I didn't think I was going to like this when I first started reading it.   It starts out with just a bunch of silliness that sounds like a child's make-believe story.  Not what I was looking for.  But it didn't take reading much beyond the first chapter before I was hooked.  And realized that the silliness and even feeling frustrated by it are important.  So don't let it put you off.  Meg goes home to help care for her dying mother (who, at times, seems more alive than anyone) and Meg's nonsensical past begins to take on a new charm.  And I'm beginning to believe all that nonsense at the beginning may all come clear before the story is fully told.   Honestly, when I sit myself down, it's hard to decide whether to read or crochet!  Again, I'm only part-way through the book, but so far I think I recommend it as an interesting read.