Posted in crochet, yarn

Crochet: the county-line dancing craft

One step forward, one step back.  Two steps forward, two steps back and then a big step to the left.

In many ways that’s crochet in a nutshell, you crochet up a row of chains just to realize a row or two later you somehow don’t have enough/have too many so you have to rip back (or if you’re lazy like me, add or subtract stitches through inc/dec).  And as it turns out the pretty alpaca I post about last time is basically crochet on hard mode.  It’s not proud mode because I’m not working with glorified dental floss, but it was definitely a headache at the beginning.  All those pretty, cushy chain plys that make up the yarn work up to a very confusing looking snarl.

What am I even looking at?!

That aside the colors are lovely together and it does work up to a very elastic fabric that has a nice textured look.  This is the finished headband using the Peace Leaf Headband pattern from Tawana’s Cute Crochet blog using HiKoo Yarn’s SimpliCria in red and sky.


I think it turned out lovely.  Do you know what it wasn’t?  The right size.  Because of the elasticity of the yarn and the fact that I was worried about making it too small I ended up making it too large!  Sure it’ll fit, but it’ll be loose and probably kind of annoying or uncomfortable.  So in the end, as I have so many time before, I find myself back at this stage.


I’m kind of grateful that I was able to frog the entire project though, on my foundation row it was looking like the stitches didn’t want to come apart and while I wouldn’t have lost much yarn, it’s really not a cheap yarn at $10/95 yrds per skein.  On the plus side once I figured out how to do the Spike Cluster Stitch it went very smoothly and was pretty darn fun, I really like the result too so I’ll keep it in mind for future embellishment, like maybe around a sock cuff or something.

I was also digging through my yarn yesterday and found this!


Looks like the perfect color to continue my tetris blanket.  Yeah, you thought I’d just stopped making that, didn’t you?  Well I haven’t.  I periodically add new squares to it using the yarns I’ve got hanging around, though I’m hoping I end up with enough to actually finish the blanket soon.  >.> I still need to find cyan yarn.

I’m also hoping to start that amigurumi a week project as well, or at least a crochet project a week.  We’ll see.

Posted in babbling, crochet, LYS, review, spinning, yarn

Brushes off the dust

Ok, I’m back!  I request a pass for missing out on posting pretty much anything last month, it was insanity.  If you’d like full details please see sqpegroundhole because I’m not going to whine about it here too.  Here is a place for happy things like the new friend I’ve made!

As a library worker you get to know hypothetical people through their holds and when people get a lot you get a decent idea of what the person is like.  I’d noticed a particular library patron getting a lot of yarn related materials and one day I lucked out in that our self check-out machine wasn’t working and she came up with a stack of books on spinning yarn.  I had to ask her about it and then we got into a lively discussion about spinning and she mentioned that she had a drop spindle, but was focusing on her wheel at the moment.  Then she suggested we meet up to spin together sometime!

So Tuesday night we met up to hang out at Felicitous, a delightful coffee shop near both of us that I highly recommend (it’s a bit pricey, but super cute, quirky and hilariously hipster).  She not only brought along her drop spindles, but her wheel as well!


It was beautiful and adorable, an Ashford Kiwi that qualifies as “inexpensive” which means it’s less than $400 dollars.  Ugh.   -_- Definitely not getting a spinning wheel anytime soon, I can tell you that.  What I will say is that those who spin tend to really love the Ashford wheels so if you’re going to get into spinning seriously an Ashford seems like a great investment.  In my, at the time, nonexistent experience it was pretty easy to work with.

I brought along some generic brown wool of indeterminate origin, but a nice staple length to practice on and she showed me what to do.  Over the course of a couple hours I spun my first single ply “yarn” on a wheel!  I’ve made “yarn” on my drop spindle and I have to admit this didn’t look too different, but it was lots of fun!  Then she let me use some old yarn she’d made as practice that was still hanging around on a bobbin to try plying on my drop spindle!


I’m ridiculously proud of the result because even though I know it’s not very good yarn, I still made it!  It’s not much and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I’m going to figure out something and I’ll post the result here.

I also picked up some beautiful baby alpaca last Friday from Criativity, a yarn store in Largo.  It’s luscious and springy and now I finally know what chain plying is because I’ve been seeing a bunch of yarn lately that looks like it’s a length of single crochet very tiny and that is chain plying, a yarn spinning technique. I’m going to work up two headbands (I hope I have enough, it was $10 a skein and the skeins are only 95 yards, ngh) for my sister and me.  She’ll be getting a teal headband with red accents, I’ll be getting a red headband with teal accents!


Aren’t the colors pretty?  I don’t even think the picture comes close to showing the loveliness.

The store was huge and lovely and sometime I’m going to go around to a bunch of yarn stores with structured rating criteria and I’m going to do a series of reviews of the stores in the larger Tampa Bay area, and yes this will include Sarasota and the St. Pete area because goodness knows there aren’t really any yarn stores in the Tampa area proper.

So despite some serious suck last month and continuing on, things aren’t all bad.  Also Felicitous makes a killer Chai Latte that I’ll definitely be having again.

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, design, spinning, yarn

The Best Laid Plans of procrastinators rarely get done

But even knowing that I’m a procrastinator and against my better judgement  I think I’m actually going to try out a game plan for July to get back on the creative wagon. It’s going to be a little complicated because I’ll be doing some traveling and a family vacation this month, but maybe having a schedule of sorts will ensure that I’ll actually get something done.

First off I’m going to be participating in the Ami-Along on Ravelry!  I like a number of the designers, but my financial situation is pretty sketchy so I’m not entirely sure how much I can participate with the purchased patterns, though I would really like to support some of these designers.  I think I’ll allot myself at least one purchased pattern, the trouble though is picking which one.  I’m kind of in love with the ridiculousness of cheezombie‘s Knitilus Nautilus, but it’s a knit pattern and while I want to learn to knit, I don’t think that’s the pattern to learn on as it’s a bit more complex than I think I want to start with.  I also really love Adorably Kawaii and definitely have plans to do her freebie patterns.

Setting aside the Ami-Along I’m going to start giving myself that Ami a week project I was considering from earlier.  Since I’m starting with a short week for July (i.e. I was too lazy to actually pick something before today) I’m going to focus on finishing up that MLP:FiM pattern I was supposed to finish two-to-three years ago.  >.>  After that I’ll just start working down my list of stuff I owe people and some of the designs I want to start working on.  I’ll probably map out what I’m working on for the next month so I have something I actually have to stand by.

In other news, the thing with the drop spindle I mentioned.  I’ve played around with it a bit, nothing big because I found out that A Good Yarn, an amazing store in Sarasota, is going to have a drop spindle class on August 1st!  They do have another one in July, but I won’t be able to make it due to scheduling issues.  So that means sometime with month I’m going to be sitting down my spindle before the class to film myself messing royally!  Yay!  I’ll probably also do some recording in the class if they allow it just to show any possible progress I’ve made.

I have finished up the first sleeve of the Prepster Jacket again, but that’s a boring picture so let’s end today with my cat trying to blend in with my plush collection.  Trust me, he’s fluffy enough to qualify.


Until next week!