Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hairpin Lace Project

I am embarking on my first hairpin lace project. Before I make the Lotus tank top, I thought I would try something a little less gauge sensitive. So I am going to make a shawl. This one, from StitchDiva Studios is free. That sounds like the right price for me! Especially for a first attempt. Being a good little crochet keener, I made a gauge swatch. Then the question arose, how, exactly does one measure gauge on this? I read through the Stitch Diva Studios and they, as always, had my back.

This is the wrong way to do it:
This is the right way:

(sorry about the flash photography. It was pouring rain and light was rather nonexistent)

I carefully counted the loops on both sides and found I was getting 9 loops to 1 inch. Which translates to 36 loops per 4 inches. Not the 40 I am supposed to be getting. I could go down a hook size, but this is using a 3.75mm hook and if I go smaller, I suspect I will have trouble with the size of the yarn vs the size of the hook. So instead, I will make fewer loops, that way the strips are the same length called for in the pattern. I did the math and will do 90% of the total loops asked for in the pattern.

Ready, set, LOOP!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Other "Creative" Endeavours

Occasionally I branch out of the usual knitting and sewing creative acts. This is what I did last weekend:

Yup, I gardened. Pulled a ton of grass out of this flowerbed. It was turning to turf! Gave myself sore muscles weeding that all out. Then I planted my standby-marigolds. This bed faces south, gets full sun until about 7pm and is dirt I have added over the years over top of sand. Which means very fast drainage. I need a plant that can survive those conditions and my black thumb. Or perhaps I should say lazy thumb. Every year I tell myself that I will weed regularly etc. That lasts about a month. . Then I pretty much ignore the flowers till the fall when it's time to clean up the flowerbed. I do occasional half-hearted weeding.

That means I need tough plants that can stand the conditions and neglect. Hence, marigolds. which I also like, so it's all good.

What have you planted?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Fear not! It is not all crochet all the time around here. I am still knitting. To whit, I am fixing the Mansocks. Hubby wanted them longer. One down, one to go!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Start Your Monday off Right

Some light entertainment to get your week kicked off on a good note:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fingernail Friday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Noragi Completed!

I have finished the neverending knit! I am so happy with it. I was afraid it would be boring in a solid colour, but instead I think it looks very sophisticated. I wore it today to fight off the chill of air conditioning on before it's season and felt very elegant.

To whit, Noragi is complete!

The sun was creating some very odd lighting, but here is a pic of the sleevesand another lseeve picture, just because I like the way the lighting was.This knit is very successful. I am completely happy with it.

Pattern: Noragi from the book Knit Kimono

Yarn: Tibet from Lana Grawitz

Mods: knit as per pattern except for neckband. Instead of knitting separately and seaming on, I picked up stitches and knit it on directly. I picked up one stitch for each ridge or 2 stitches along the sides and 1 stitch for each column of stitches across the top.

Now bring on the hairpin lace!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pill Filling Fun

High points from yesterday's work action:

1. We (as in the pharmacy) do not decide your deductible. There is no point asking "why your brother pays a lower deductible than me?" When I tell you to call the provider of said insurance cause it's their contract, that's what I mean. Not "negotiate with me what you'll pay"

2. I didn't fill the 3 things on your prescription cause you told me to fill 2 and to leave the orange one on file. So, when I get to the cash with your bag of completed scripts, don't ask why I didn't fill that one. Also, don't give me a run around about how you have it at home, when, eventually, you tell me you lost it and actually want it filled. I don't care why you need it. Just tell me you need it!

3. If you call in to fill your young daughter's prescriptions, at least know how many different pills she gets. Telling me to 'fill them all' is just an exercise in futility, since it means there will invariably be one missed or an extra one you don't want.

4. If you call and ask for what sounds like 'pravachol', please don't jsut say 'yes' when I tell you I can't find pravachol on your file. Furthermore, service will be quicker if, when I spell pravachol and you tell me no, that's not what you want, you go on to tell me what it IS you want. When I ask you to spell it (since I clearly can't understand your mumbling) please don't respond with " you know, it's on my file"!!!!! There are elevendy billionty things on your file. If you want me to randomly select one, I can do that, just say so. Don't argue with me when it's not what you wanted, though.

5. Dude calls and says he wants some stuff delivered. Then he goes on to say "mouthwash.." I cut him off and ask if it is non-prescription stuff. He says yes. I give him to the front shop. Who then bounce it back to me. Because he needs a pharmacist to write down his refill numbers. That is a surefire way to get your script bumped to the bottom of the pile. You see, the normal flow is tech takes number, fills it, hands it to me and then I check it. When you give me the number, it messes up workflow and everybody has to wait longer while I stop what I am doing and trot back with the request ask the tech where in her workflow she is and then slot it in. It pisses me off if you interrupt me for this. If it is a busy day, as today was since it is the day after a stat holiday, I won't ask the tech. I will put it at the bottom of a rather substantial to-do pile. It also implies that you think you are better than all the other customers since you will only give your numbers to the pharmacist. It does not endear you to me. Trust me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Special Terminology

Every activity seems to have it's own language. Knitters have stash, ufo's,wip. frogs etc.

Yesterday the hubby was watching baseball. Out of the blue he says "....and he gets a golden sombrero"

I had to ask. Sounds like it would be a good thing, right? Or possibly sexy. Nope. It's when a player strikes out 4 times in a game. The round sombrero equals a big zero. I asked why they don't call that a goose egg? Apparently that term is already in use to describe a scoreboard with zeros. Oops, my bad. A 'regular' sombrero is striking out 3 times in a game.

A pitcher with a rubber arm recovers from the rigors of the game rapidly. A player who hits a can of corn has actually hit a very high pop-fly. I suppose hitting an actual can of corn would be messy.

I have got to say that the terminology of baseball is very weird. How do they come up with some of that? I mean, can of corn?????

Glad I don'twatch the game myself. i'd be horribly confused. What with the looking out for hats and food items....

Monday, May 18, 2009

First Real Crochet

I got to the part in the Happy Hooker book where you start to make swatches and things that look like crochet. I am having fun with this, as it's the lacy effect crochet gives that I covet.

The rectangular swatch is 'v stitch'. The flower is ,well, a flower from the flower scarf in the book. I think I cast on the wrong number of stitches for the flower, as I had 6 spaces and not 8, but it is still a recognizable flower. (perhaps I shouldn't have had 2 Woody's vodka coolers before I attempted this) I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt at one.

As a little teaser of things to come, the crochet swatches are being nicely posed on the back of my Neverending Noragi. I have seamed it! I have woven in ends! I am now picking up stitches and knitting the neckband. Which means, the Neverending Noragi may actually end. I'm so excited..........time for another vodka cooler perhaps?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fingernail Friday

It's that time again! Fingernailsssssssssss........

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Edged Hairpin Lace

I put an edge on my HPL swatch.

I did a single loop edge at the botton right and then changed to 2 loops together after that and along the top edge I did 2 twisted loops as an edge. Next, multiple swatches together!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hairpin Lace Experiment Continues

Pagan wants to know what I'm doing with the sticks and string and stuff.

div>First, I made a couple of strips of hairpin lace, honey.

Then I went to StitchDiva studios' website to see what a cable join is. Then I did it. That is the right side. Here is the wrong side. As you can see, there IS a right and wrong side. The wrong side join is much flatter with the cable join than it is with the single crochet join.

Next experiment, Pagan, will be making an edge on my HPL.

Yes, honey, I know where the kitty treats are.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The hairpin lace project has sparked my interest in crochet. So, upon the advice of Yarn Crawl I bought the book "Happy Hooker" by Deb Stoller. I have been crocheting along with the book and have so far made 2 swatches.

They aren't perfect as I have found that sometimes what I think they mean is not what they actually mean. Which is what i discover when I move on to the next step in the book. Then I get an epiphany "OOOOH, That's what they meant..."


Monday, May 11, 2009

Dyeing with Coffee

A while back I mentioned that I thought it was interesting that you could dye yarn with coffee. This weekend I decided to try it. I had some yarn in the stash that would suit:

So I skeined it up,And prewetted it with just plain old water.While the yarn was wetting itself (heh), Iboiled the coffee grounds for 15 minutes.Then I strained out the grounds, washed the pot and put the brown liquid thus obtained back into the pot. Then I put the yarn in and put the whole thing back on the stove. I proceeded to boil it for 15 minutes and then I dumped it out into a colander.

Then I rinsed it in progressively colder water. The dye kept running so I decided to put a 'glug' (not very scientific, I know) into the rinse water. That seemed to do it and the dye stopped running. Or maybe it would have stopped anyway. I don't know, really.

The yarn did indeed take up dye from this experimental attempt.

I was expecting it to be more chocolatey in colour. Instead, it's more of a sand colour. The descriptor that springs to mind is "the colour of soldiers' desert fatigues". That is, however, quite a mouthful. So "sand" it is.

Next time, if I do this again, I would put some vinegar in the prewetting soak and let it sit in the dye bath for longer than 15 minutes.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Are you Crafty?

The other day, a lady at the grocery store saw my recycled t-shirt grocery bags and said to me "that's clever!". So, I started paying attention to the bags that everyone else was bringing to the various stores I went to and I realized something. Mine were the only recycled/handmade/crafted bags I had seen! I had somehow assumed that people would make their own bags. Since I did.

This made me think about how there is a tendency for everyone to think that everyone else lives their life the same way as they do. I am a crafty kind of person, I think. I knit, I do HPL(!), I do a spot of sewing now and again. Then I thought about my friends and acquaintances. They all do crafty stuff too. They sew, or scrapbook, or bead, or knit....the list goes on.

Since I like to craft, it is no wonder that the people I choose to spend time with also have a similar bent. However, the rest of the world is NOT all crafty-type people. I know. It was a shocking revelation to me too. How can they go through life and not feel the need to create something with their own hands?

In other news...Look..KITTY!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hairpin Lace, Joined

I joined the 2 strips of hairpin lace I made yesterday.
The first hurdle was that the 2 strips were not the same length.
So I went to the Stitch Diva website and followed instructions to carefully unravel the extra loops. So here is a picture of the right side of my 2 joined strips, right side:

and wrong side:There is a noticeable ridge on the wrong side. I imagine that if I used thinner yarn (this is worsted weight) that would be minimized. now to make another strip or 2 and join them. Apparently, HPL has a bit of a slant to it, so it is important to join multiple strips in a way to minimize that. But Iwill need more strips to do that!

Overall,, the joining was quite easy. This was the simplest join. Just a basic single crocheting of 2 loops at a time. I will have to practice some of the other variations and perhaps try a free pattern to practice the techniques to get different patterns in the lace.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hairpin Lace/Crochet

Just to make my life easier, I'm going to call this HPL from now on. I have enough trouble typing things out properly, why complicate my life unneccesarily? Yesterday I picked up a HPL loom at my LYS. Naturally I had to try it out.

My first attempt did not have very even tension, as you can see. Attempt #2 was significantly better. I also took a hint from Stitch Diva Studios and put in a guide line, so I would know which loop was which when I crochet them together. Which I will probably attempt tonight. This is very easy to do so far and works up very fast. Hopefully attaching the strips to each other is just as easy. Fingers crossed!


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Found It!

I made a foray into my LYS and found a hairpin lace loom! An inexpensive one by Susan Bates. This is exactly what I wanted for a trial run of lace-making.

I found the following on the interwebz and thought it matched my symptoms nicely:

The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, or even electronically. This virus is called Weekly Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues or anyone else via any means whatsoever-DO NOT TOUCH IT!!! This virus will wipe out your private life entirely. If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises.Take two good friends to the nearest liquor store and purchase one or both antidotes-Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Reebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.Now I know many of you hate work and have probably gotten this e-mail but they left out my favorite anti-WORK cure Virtual Overload Destroying Kinesis Agent(VODKA).


Monday, May 04, 2009

Wicked I-Want Startitis

I am slogging away on the Neverending Noragi. Another 7 inches to go on the sleeves. And then the fun of seaming it. I will spare you another brown blob picture. Just look at the last Noragi post and imagine it a bit longer. Naturally, whilst I am slogging, my mind wanders. What to knit next? I could pick up one of my ufo's I suppose. But wait, Yarn Crawl did a post on broomstick lace and hairpin lace. Which led me to Stitch Diva Studios, which then led to me seeing this

Do I do the dress? The top? Oh the agony of decision.

Wait, have I ever done hairpin lace you ask? Nope. It's a variation on crochet. Which I can do. Kinda. Hopefully I can master this. Cause I want that top, at the very least.

First, I have to find/make a hairpin lace loom. I'm hoping my LYS can help with this. Otherwise I will have to order one on line. We'll see I guess.


Friday, May 01, 2009

Water CAt