amour

I am so in love with those Amour Crochet hooks [made in Japan by Clover] that I asked a second set from Santa. And my wish came true! Thank you once again Helper Claudia!

The Amour hook can be purchased separately or as a set of 9 [from 2.25 (B) to 6 mm (J)].  There are not the cheapest but they are so comfy, smooth to use and very light [aluminium]. Each size comes in a unique fun color.

Amour
Amour
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shame on me

Being a perfectionist is not ideal.  And this time, I ran out of time and came too late.

Eighteen months ago, my darling Christy, after a fall from a jet ski causing her to loose consciousness for a few seconds and the thought that she suffered a concussion from the fall, had been in fact diagnosed with a nasty Glioblastoma.  The tumor spread in June and I was lucky to see my friend one last time at the end of July.  It was a massive surprise to see her coming out of the car and I thought that everyone was making her situation look far worse than it was!  At that moment I decided to make her a beanie to make sure she keeps her head with those tiny hair warm and cozy during the winter months.  I promised her husband that I would drop something at their frontdoor …

It took me some serious time to decide about the pattern.  Really? A beanie is a beanie, right?  Then I had to pick a color … nothing better than blue to match her eyes.  And I crochetted ferocely based on a just-discovered pattern that started from the base – with a rim – to the top.  I hadn’t realized how the top was going to be finished.  Once I did, it was not what I wanted.  So I blocked, stopped, complained and blahblahblah.  Thinking about finding another ending, many days went by.  I even took the projet with me on the road trip with the idea to finalized it … It came back home untouched.  And it was already November.  And it was really time for me to give my present.  Took me a few more days as I couldn’t get me in gear …

On Monday 11/16 evening, in my bed, I finally finished it [it was only a question of joining the top with yarn and a needle] and I was going to bring it to their frontdoor in the morning.  It had turned really nicely.  So why the wait?  Afraid?  Most likely.  Something in my subconscience probably didn’t want to finish it … Because when I woke up that Tuesday morning, I knew that she will never wear it.  She had crossed her finish line at 4 am on that same morning.  I had no courage to bring it as planned but did so in the evening …

Here is my hat for you, Christy.  I was made for you and nobody else.  And I can hear your compliments.

Christy's beanie
Christy’s beanieP

baby girl blanket for real

So you all read – or were supposed to – what happened to my first attempt. Typically me.

It took me a few days to reach a yarn shop and the first/closest place I came accross was Michaels.  Since now I know that I will crochet a blanket for a baby girl, I made a selection of yarn that will please a mini lady.

Don’t ask where my brain was but I got myself 4 skeins.  I soon realized that it was not going to give me a decent lenght so I didn’t waste any time and went back to the shop the day after.  Panic: all  the yarn had disappeared. After some digging, I found 4 extra skeins – all different lots – that I quickly added to my basket, looking over my shoulder to keep them safe … Did I mention that in front of my nose and almost from my hand, a lady snapped a skein????

  • Yarn: Loops & Threads Charisma | 100 m | 100% acrylic
  • Color: chocolate cupcake #21
  • Hook: recommended 8 mm but since my favorite series goes up to 6 mm, I will use my brown one.
  • Foundation chain was a of 104 st and I made about 87 rows.

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poncho mio

I finally spotted a poncho that I like and it is a CAL [crochet along] project with plenty of details and video tutorials.  [I love videos].  In order to play along with a CAL project, you will need to sign up and crochet per episode, following a weekly rythm so everyone has the chance to crochet what needs to be crochetted… Like a soap on the tele, you start your work then wait until the next episode is available to work further on your project. A pretty cool system that so far, I never managed to follow.

For a CAL, the author  often works with a sponsor but it doesn’t mean that you are obligated to follow suite.  Since I want to wear a poncho pronto, I will just get my yarn from a local shop.

The particular pattern has a few variations for the neck and the trim while the body is the same for all.  You will be building your poncho in 3 steps:

  • The neck with 2 options: turtle neck (it takes about a skein and a half to finish the turtle neck) or open neck
  • The body
  • The selection of 2 trims will allow you to personalize your work

Brittany is the creative designer behind the patterns at B.hooked Crochet Here is the link to this Fall Poncho that started earlier this month. While it is not my intention to plagia this wonderful author, I will urge you to use the link provided to work this very nice pattern.  And O glorious: the site is half English/half Dutch and there are videos/explanations for both left- and right handed!

At this time, I have no picture since I haven’t started the project.  There are pictures on the website.

The details

Any worsted (aran) weight yarn using 1 main color (5 skeins) and 4 accent colors (3 for color #1, 2 for color #2, 2 for color #3, 3 for color #4).  Add one skein in the color of your choice if you will be adding a fringe border.

They amount of skein mentioned above are those for  Stone Washed XL sold in skeins of 50 gram – 75 meter, using a 5 mm crochet hook.  You will need to adapt your quantities accordingly.

Brittany mentioned in her post that you will need approximately 1,400 yards (1,280 m) of yarn for your poncho, depending on which trim and neck options you choose.

quick lavette

Two in one night…  Well that is with a bedtime of 2.25 am and interrupted crochet sessions during the evening.  Those are what we call a “lavette” in Belgian French…. A dishcloth in English that is if you were wondering.

Each square is supposed to be 40 stitches wide (one got rounded up at 41) and so many rows of HDC to shape it into a square.  I started with a single crochet chainless foundation since that’s how far I ever went with this learning process.

Oh, and I picked that green because I painted one of my kitchen walls in that same color … Before turning opting for grey.  And secondly, my grand-mama made them in white … Which means that I would have to bleach them on regular basis   Not my thing.

The details

  • yarn – 100% cotton “I love this cotton” from Hobby Lobby (skein of 100 gr.).
  • color #100 Bright citrus
  • hook – 5 mmProcessed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

unyarnmissible

You get what you get … You pay less, you get cheap.   I got the same at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, not once but multiple times. And I can no longer keep quiet. While those companies offer a wide variety of attractive yarns in pretty colors, the quality is poor and there are knots!  I understand that quality is price-based but … knots… ????  The picture shows a knot in a brand new skein from Loops & Threads distributed by Michaels Stores.   Glad I discovered the Russion joint to minimize this uncontournable default.

*Lot 7299*
*Lot 7299*

the magic of chainless

Calling it magic. While surfing my favorite book, I found this interesting feature: the chainless foundation single crochet (page 152).  And since then, I am smitten by this new [for me] way of starting your project. A bit more time-consuming than just doing a foundation chain since you “double” the work as you got to create your first row. Yes, you got it right: it’s a foundation-chain/first-row combo.  Certainly easier to point your crochet in the right stitch while embracing row 2.

The only caveat is that it doesn’t forgive irregularities.  If you don’t crochet perfectly the same way, stitch after stitch, you will get an irregular bord.  And it’s okay [I hate it] because your admirers will notice that a real human did it…

To master this magic, I found some additional help with this video from Made with love by Glama.  There are many other videos out there but this one was an easy find, simple and clear [for my brain that is].

The magic can be used also for double crochet. Here is a good explanatory video from Crochet Geek this time.

crochet on the go

plum chutney scarf

This was a speedy project and it would have taken less time if I hadn’t worked until 4.34 am on the first ‘evening’ … The morning after, I proudly showed my art to my dear son – I was more than half way – and he immediately noticed the mistakes.   Darn.  The pattern is a chain mesh, pretty easy to realize. Well… that is if you pay attention!  All you need to do is to work by block of 2 rows: for row 2,  you end up with a ch 2, dc in last st and for row 3, you sc in 3rd ch of t-ch … Obviously, I kept ending one way for a few rows, then changed along the way.  This created an ugly zig-zag on the edges.  So 70 cm of yarn got rolled back around the skein.  I hate mistakes.

The next night, the scarf was done.  To avoid any distraction, I created 2 cards – in different colors to catch my exhausted eyes,  that I kept flipping recto/verso after each row … The result is amazing if I may say so myself.

This super bulky, soft, chenille-style yarn, available in a range of stylish shades, all very tempting, was the perfect choice for this scarf.  It was though but I selected ‘plum chutney’, a mixture of brown, pink, olive-green and burgundy…. perfect Christmas present for my super duper sis-in-law!

More details:

  • Bernat Blanket yarn 100% polyester thus machine washable and dryable.
  • The skein weight is 10.5 oz. / 300 g
  • Purchased at Michaels at probably $9.99 unless it was discounted at the time
  • I used the recommended 8-mm  hook size
  • Stitches: chain mesh – foundation: 20 (multiple of 4 sts) + 2 (pattern on page 137 of my favorite book).

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cheat sheets

the art of frogging

Frogging is a slang word used within the industry to nicely explain that you have made a mistake and that you need to unravel your stitches back to the point before it all went wrong.  Nothing to do with the amphibiens except perhaps that for some [I have other unpleasant words coming to my mind], that frustrating action, is making them “rip-it, rip-it, rip-it” apart.  And this rhymes with “ribbit, ribbit, ribbit’ …

And guess what?  I am the Star of Frogging.  Does it make me a frog?  Nope. But I know someone nicknamed frog. Poor thing.

So here is my real-life experience example of frogging (video).  This was a 70-cm long frogging [frigging] experience. Don’t be afraid to turn on the volume because I kept it all to myself!

Claudia

 

don’t we hate it?

This will tell you who I am… My project was going to be a beanie hat for a friend of mine with cancer   I picked the color – turquoise – and since I had worked that pattern a few times, it was going to be a quick delivery.  Hell no!  First of all, I couldn’t find the instructions!  Secondly, I struggled with the magic ring.  So surfing online trying to put my hands on the pattern and a good magic ring video, I stumbled on this darling hat that I joked about on Facebook.  Well, the joke was that I was too young of a crocheteuse to jump into such a complicated design.  But this “cuello con capucha de osito a crochet” was sooo cute!

And here I am: frustrated with my initial project, I decided to take a detour of my idea and start this new hat. [my friend will get her hat, don’t worry!].

I love challenges but this one… The tutorial was in Spanish!!  [I am French speaking so the crochet in English is plenty enough] But I so wanted to do this!  You should see me going from the video, to a transaltion website trying to decode the stitches and get whatever this guapa was saying.  I soon realized that it was too much time consuming and scrollling down her YouTube page for more details, I suddenly got all the written explanations and a subtitled video!  Madre Mia!

Unfortunately that didn’t end my misery…  Look at my picture and you will understand why!!!  And this is the third time it happens  to me.  Si Señora!

Feel free to give me some advice otherwise I will have to learn Spanish for real!  Hopefully Helena will read this…