Friday, November 05, 2010

Alas, from a snowflake to a frog

Falling Snowflakes Crochet Scarf
Where I am: After getting to the end of row 2, I am back at the beginning of row 2. Considering that row 2 is along 201 sc's and it involves doing "fans" which consist of several dc and sc and ch, it's a long way back. Can you say "rippit"?
How it's going: I'm trying to stay chipper. As I approached the end of the row, I started to get nervous, as I always do, wondering and hoping that everything would work out just right. But no, it wasn't meant to be. A few stitches from the end I realized that I would run out of sc from row 1. I somehow managed to use up one more sc along the way than I should have. And where was that sc, you ask? It was in the first fan, at the beginning of the row. I thought that maybe I could fake it and not have to rip. But wisely I counted the number of fans and compared with what the pattern called for (thank goodness the pattern says how many there should be). Even with one more fan, I would only have 21 in row 2 when 22 were called for. What the heck was going on? Well, I did think the fans looks a little asymmetrical and thought that odd. When the instructions at the end of the fan say "slip st in next sc" what I'm pretty sure they mean is "slip st in sc at end of fan where ch 3 is done to begin 2nd level of fan." I can see how it would be hard to specify which sc, but next sc is definitely not it. Perhaps a diagram would have been useful here.
Thoughts so far: Well, it's a quick project, theoretically, so I'm saddened but not devastated by the frogging. I just hope that when I get to the end of row 2 again there are 22 fans. My husband still thinks it will be pretty.

Exercising went no where today. I just couldn't drag my sorry butt out of bed this morning. It didn't help that I knew I had to get to work earlier than usual today and couldn't be late. That meant I would have to do a shorter workout so I just shortened it to nothing. And I couldn't even bike to work because it was raining. I'd ordinarily bike in the rain but it's cold and I need to get a rain suit so I can keep my clothes dry. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Today I was tired. The thought of buying dinner briefly crossed my mind, but one of the big advantages of having a meal plan is that it puts me in the state of mind to cook what I've planned to cook. So pasta night it is!
The sauce was very basic: a can of tomatoes, 1/2 an onion, olive oil, dried basil (I thought we had some fresh in the fridge, but alas, we had used it all), salt, and pepper. I didn't think it would be great but it was actually kind of tasty.
A little fresh Parmesan and it was ready to eat. Fresh Parmesan cheese is the only way to go! That dry stuff in a shaky tube is saw dust in comparison.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Snowflake scarf, domestimication, and the rest of my day


Crafts are always a nice way to start things off. Last night I began working on the 12 Weeks of Christmas patterns sent out by Red Heart. I can't actually figure out how to sign up for the patterns myself but my dear friend, Slayermel, is being kind enough to pass them on to me so I don't have to remember to check the web site. They're all free crochet patterns available on the Coats & Clark web site. The pattern for week 5 has already been sent out, but anal me has to start at #1.

Week 1: Falling Snowflakes Crochet Scarf
Yarn I'm using: Bernat Ice Christmas, worsted weight, acrylic
Hook I'm using: J/6.00mm as recommended in the pattern, I didn't bother checking gauge, it's a scarf, how much can gauge matter?
Where I am: After chaining 203 times (whew, and I didn't even miscount, but I double checked the number of chains before getting started), I went to bed last night near the end of row 2. That doesn't sound far, but the rows are loooong and the whole project is 3 rows and a round.
How it's going: Not bad. after completing the 3rd "fan" I realized I screwed up a bit. I originally put the 1st sc of the fan (after the dc's and turn) in the slip stitch not the first dc! So watch out for that. It was a minor frogging incident and then I got right back on track. But I must say, the white yarn with sparkle makes it really difficult to see the stitches. I think they were bang on designating this as an intermediate pattern. A beginner might find the instructions a bit confusing and if they choose white there could be issues with stitch placement.
Thoughts so far: My husband thinks it will be pretty.


Today was all about getting back to P90x. I'm not following any set plan from the program any more, just using the workouts in general 'cause I think they're great!

Morning workout: P90x Legs and Back, ~60 min
Other exercise: biking to and from work, I'm lucky to have a bike lane on my route, one of the few in Toronto, ~15-20 min each way


I have been inspired to improve my efforts to take care of my home and myself by the book "Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st-Century Household," compiled by Jennifer McKnight Trontz.
Home Economics: Vintage Advice for the 21st-Century Household

I picked it up at the Spadina House Museum. Spadina House is beside Casa Loma. It isn't as imposing an exterior, but it is a waaaay better museum. School children should be brought to Spadina House instead of Casa Loma, there's more history to learn there.

But I digress. The book offers great tips that may be from a while back in a different age but are still applicable. It also highlights the fact that home economics is actually an essential topic. It should be required school learning and it should be taught properly. When I took home ec in school all we did was cook and sew. But it's so much more: budgeting, managing a household, cleaning tips, decorating, proper care of household items, etc.

So, I'm trying to be more domestimicated. It's going okay. I'm planning meals on Sundays for the week, that takes the stress out of dinner. I always panicked about dinner, since I am NOT a cook. Knowing what I need to make in advance takes away the stress.

Tonight, we had tacos. Fiesta time! They were yummy.

Then after dinner, dishes. It helps to do stuff right away.

And now that I've bored everyone, I'm leaving.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ridged and Waffle Dishcloths

I love making dishcloths. They make for short and satisfying projects that have a purpose at home or make a great gift. I'm putting these two dishcloths in the same post because the patterns were together on the Bernat web site, and you can find the file here.

This is the ridged dishcloth:

And here's a close-up of the stitches:

Now for the waffle dishcloth:

And the close-up of the stitches:

Both were very easy to make. I found that to get the right gauge I had to switch to a smaller hook for the waffle dishcloth.

  • "G" hook for the ridged dishcloth, "F" hook for the waffle dishcloth
  • worsted weight cotton, I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Ultrasoft in Summerset

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Egg Coaster

Here is a project I did sometime last year. It's a crocheted egg coaster. The pattern is from the Crochet Pattern-a-Day 2006 Calendar.

This was another fun and really quick project. I think it's really cute, but I'm still trying to decide if anyone would want a set of them as a gift. Any thoughts?

  • Size "G" crochet hook
  • White worsted weight acrylic yarn, I used Phentex
  • Yellow worsted weight acrylic yarn, I used Bernat Super Value

Cupcake Pincushion

I was in desperate need of a pincushion, so imagine my delight when I came across this pattern for a crocheted cupcake pincushion (I know, I need to get out more). Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get a good picture of it so I've got two shots to highlight different things.

This first one shows the colours that were used and gives a good shot of the "paper" base:

This second one shows the shape of the "icing" top better:

It was a really quick and fun project. Aside from being a nice pin cushion, I think it would make a great birthday gift. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn and a size "E" hook, but I just used some worsted weight yarn and a size "G" or "F" hook, I can't remember which I used. My cupcake is 3.5" tall.

  • "G" or "F" crochet hook
  • Purple worsted weight acrylic yarn, I used Bernat Super Value
  • White worsted weight acrylic yarn, I used Phentex
  • Red bead for the "cherry" topper
  • Fibre fill