Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 12: Complete. Finally!

Well, I did it. I finally finished round 12 of the Monsterpiece Doily. It took a lot of perseverance on my behalf to get through it. I'm really glad I'm finished with this round. I'm so tired of cream coloured thread. I'm glad I get to use a different colour for a while. I haven't done much else besides tatting since my last post. I've done some crochet, but nothing I can share right now. Hopefully soon though. I'm not going to bore you with a really long post, though hopefully I'll make progress on the next round much quicker and can post more often again.

Not much to say here. Here is the doily as of Friday afternoon:

I looked back through my blog and realized it has taken me about four months to finish this round. That did include a short hiatus, but that is a long time. I'm also pretty sure I will be coming up to the one year mark soon too. That is, of course, when I first started this monster of a doily. While I'm by no means in the homestretch yet, I think I can see the end on the horizon. I have started the next round, but that was mainly to test my written notes. Thread stats: Manuela no. 20 colour #a055. Oh, and the doily is 20 inches in diameter. I remembered to measure it.

That's about it for now. I recently transferred to a new department at work which has partly affected my crafting times. I now have a few shifts per week that start as early as 5 am. That takes some time to get used to. I have a day off tomorrow, so I'll probably go downtown and catch Pokemon by the river. Yeah, I joined that bandwagon too! I'll try and get some tatting in as well. Till next time.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 12 & Some Crochet

Man, this round is taking forever. I feel like I should be done tatting it, but I'm only about half way around. I have, however, taken a few breaks from tatting, so that is probably a big part of why I'm not done with this round. I went on a camping trip last weekend with my dad, his girlfriend and my brother so I didn't get any tatting done then. The doily isn't exactly a portable item anymore, and I didn't want to risk it getting damaged, dirty or smokey smelling. I took the socks I've been slowly working on and some crochet projects. I ended up working on the crochet projects. As it happens, I continued working on crochet projects for most of this past week. I also discovered a new crochet technique which I'll hopefully get to.

Not really much to say about the Monsterpiece Doily.

As you can see, I am almost halfway around the doily. As I said, it's taking forever to complete. On the plus side, I have the pattern memorized for the most part so I don't have to constantly look at my written notes now. Since I'm waiting for a book arrive, I hope to continue working on the doily. Thread stats: Manuela no. 20 colour #a055.

On the crochet front, I managed to finish or almost finish several projects. The first is a cycling cap. It looked kinda cool, but I don't know if I will actually wear it though.

This isn't quite finished. I need to stop at a fabric store to get some interfacing to stiffen the brim. If/when I get to that point, I'll share a photo of it being worn. I used some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash yarn in Camel Heather. The pattern is on Ravelry/ by Emma of Steel and Stitch.

The next item are crocheted Beer Cozies.

I don't know if it was me or what, but pattern didn't quite work for me. The cozy on the left is made as the pattern is written, using two strands of worsted weight cotton yarn and a 4 mm hook. It is way too big. I may wrong, but I don't think the size of beer/pop cans differs significantly between the US and Canada. The can I used is 355 ml which is equal to 12 ounces, which I think is a standard can size. The cozy on the right is made following the pattern with an extra row using one strand of cotton yarn and a 3.5 mm hook. It fits the cans perfectly, though it is not as thick as the other one. I'll probably have another go at this pattern later, as I do like it and it would make great guy friendly gifts. I used Bernat Cot'n Corn yarn for the cozy on the left and Bernat Handicrafter yarn for the blue one. The pattern is by Pan and can be found on Crafty here.

The last crochet item is more of a sneak peek of more to come.

Yes, they are coasters, but its how they are made that is special. They were made using the technique of "Hard Crochet". That is, using specific yarns and a very specific hook size (2.75 mm) to create a crocheted fabric that is stiff and can hold its shape without the used of stiffeners. The coaster on the left isn't quite right, as my gauge was out, and the coaster isn't as stiff as it should be. The one on the right is in the right gauge range. Both coasters were made using Red Heart Super Saver yarn. The technique comes from the book Hard Crochet by Mark Dittrick. You can see the book on Amazon here. I came across the book accidentally-I think Amazon actually suggested it to me. I'll go into more detail another time, but if you are curious and want to learn more, Sandy Marie of Mom's Crochet has been working on modernizing the technique. You can find her hard crochet tutorial here. She has several patterns available using the technique, including the coasters above, and you will see another one of her designs once I get the yarn. I also have many ideas for this technique too and will of course try some of the patterns from the book when it arrives. Stay tuned.

That's it for now. I'll try and post a few photos from my camping trip in my next post. I got a pretty bad sunburn which I'm still nursing. Till next time.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 12 & The Desert Tee

Sorry for the delay in posting, again. Life keeps getting in the way lately. I managed to finish the Egyptian Desert Tee Back before last weekend, and got a good start on round 12 of The Monsterpiece Doily. I got hardly anything done last weekend as I had said would happen. I volunteered at my city's Pride Parade and Community Fair for part of Friday and all day Saturday. Sunday was spent resting. I had an awesome time. I met lots of new people, and I think the experience helped with my anxiety a bit. The whole experience has got me wanting to get out and do more. I spent most of yesterday and today cleaning and de-cluttering, as I seem to have acquired a lot of stuff I don't need anymore that is taking up too much valuable room.

I got a good start on round 12 of the Monsterpiece Doily. It's definitely going much slower now. But that makes sense, so I'll just have to go along with it.

Those scallops really increase the length of the row, don't they? As you can see, I'm 1/5 the way around the doily. It's not too difficult a row to tat, but the stitch counts do take a bit of time to memorize. I can see why Jane E. adjusted the stitch counts and eliminated a lot of extra picots. I find myself referring to my written version many times, just to be safe. Thread stats: Manuela no. 20 colour #a055.

I ended up not stopping knitting when I reached to point to shape the armholes, as I had initially planned. Before I knew it, I had finished it.

In case anyone is wondering, this isn't blocked yet. It will be much wider when it is blocked. The particular pattern I am using, Mistake Stitch, is a rib pattern and is stretchy and form fitting. And the pink yarn seen at the shoulders are just waste yarn stitch holders. I get to do a three-needle bind off to join the front and back together. I haven't started the front yet. I'm going to work on the Monsterpiece Doily for awhile. The yarn is Knit Picks Lindy Chain in the colour "Linen".

That's about it for now. If all goes well, I'm going to keep working on the doily until I finish round 12. Till next time. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Just Checking In

I haven't disappeared. I just haven't done much since my last post. As I had said, I kept knitting after my last post. After I got back from my weekend away, I did start the next round of the Monsterpiece Doily. I didn't get very far. I made pretty good progress on my knitted t-shirt and I decided I should keep working on that at least until I get to the point I have to start shaping the armholes. I'm about two inches or so from that point. I would probably be finished if I didn't develop a head cold early last week. Between the cold and some stupid shifts at work, I didn't really feel like working on much of anything. I did work on some chainmaille for myself and a little bit of knitting but that was about it.

Hopefully I'll get the knitting completed to a convenient point where I can stop. Then I hope to continue working on the Monsterpiece Doily. I don't know how much I'll get done next week, as there is a lot happening. I'm also doing some volunteer work next Friday/Saturday so I know I won't get anything done then. Till next time.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tatting Hiatus 2016: What I Have Been Up To, Part 2 Crochet

As promised, here is part two of my post about what I have been up to while not working on the Monsterpiece Doily. This is about the crocheted projects I have been working on. For the record, these were done a few weeks ago when I started my short break from tatting. I've been working on knitting projects this week, and will hopefully continue to do so until the end of the weekend.

The first couple of crocheted projects are, of course slippers. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I go through a lot of slippers as I don't really care for socks, and I'm not a fan of bare foot.

I'm trying to move out of my colour comfort zone with these. The top pair, the ones I'm currently wearing, are made using Lion Brand Fun Fur in the "Tropical" colourway. I don't need to say that I used Lion Brand "Red" Fun Fur for the second pair. Both used Patons Classic Wool in red. If you're new to my blog, these slippers are made using two strands of wool yarn and one strand of fur or eyelash yarn together. The finished slippers are felted or fulled in the washing machine to shrink them and make them all warm and comfy. I love making these!

These next two projects are part of my Mom's Mother's Day present. I will be giving them to her this weekend. Mother's Day was last Sunday here in North America.

The first project is a crocheted cactus and succulent garden. It utilized patterns from June Gilbank from her shop PlanetJune.  She has two collections of four different cacti each and two more collections of four succulents each. If you buy all four, you can mix and match between 16 plants. She also a large and small pot pattern in each collection to make your own customized garden. This was pretty easy to follow and lots of fun to make. I won't link to the collections directly in case the links stop working but they are in the Flowers and Plants part of the crochet pattern section. The link to June's shop is above.

The second project is a crocheted Primrose, another one of June's patterns. For some reason the colours are not quite right in the photos. The primrose flowers are a dusty rose. This was also pretty easy to crochet. If you haven't seen June's patterns before, she make mostly amigurumi style animals and plants/flowers. I love her designs and have purchased a number of them. Most are stuck in my to be crocheted list for one reason or another. Most, I think, need eyes purchased in order to make them and I just haven't done it yet. Hopefully I will get them crocheted.

That's about it for now. Since I posted twice in less than a week, I probably won't post again for a week or two. Unless something important happens or I get a lot done. Anyway, till next time.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tatting Hiatus 2016: What I've Been Working On, Part 1 Knitting

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to take a short break from tatting, specifically tatting on the Monsterpiece Doily. I guess I might still do some tatting, but I have many other non-tatting projects I want to work on first. I've been working on both knitting and crochet projects since I last posted. Instead of making one long post, I will post it in two parts. This first one will just be about the two knitting projects that I have been alternating between and that I will probably keep working on for the next week. I'll try to post the second part, the crochet projects later in the week as I will be away over the weekend.

The first project is probably going to take me awhile to complete.

It's a t-shirt style garment. It's called the Egyptian Desert Tee from the magazine Knitting Traditions Spring 2015. I'm using Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn in the colour Linen to knit it. Lindy Chain is a linen/cotton blend yarn. I chose it because the recommended yarn, Louet Euroflax, would have cost me close to $200 to buy the required amount. I really can't afford that, considering I would still have to knit it after receiving the yarn. The Euroflax yarn is a 100% linen yarn which would be nice to use if it wasn't so expensive. Lindy Chain is 70% Linen and much more affordable. I think I paid about $50 for it. It isn't an exact match though. It is a little finer so I will have to try to factor that in as I'm knitting. I'm using the recommend needles, and it seems to be working. It might be a bit on the open or lacey side, but it still looks very much like the photo in the magazine. You can see a closeup of the fabric in the middle photo. The model in magazine is wearing the tee over top of another shirt, so I don't think the laceyness will be a problem if I did the same thing. If anyone is curious, the tee is made using the Mistake Stitch Rib pattern which looks really cool and easy. I'm going to be working on this for a while, so don't expect to see any update on this any time soon.

The next knitting project is going a little faster. Though, not that fast since I'm using sock yarn.

I started another pair of socks. This time using actual sock yarn and really fine needles.Well they are US 1 (2.5mm) needles, but that is still pretty small. I'm using Patons Kroy Socks yarn in "Route 66". I'm really loving how these are turning out. They look so complicated, but it's not me it's the yarn. I guess this is a self-striping yarn, but it looks like I'm changing colours like a boss, and maybe even throwing in some Fair Isle colour work for good measure. You may have also notice my new knitting needles I am using in both this and the Egyptian Desert Tee above. They are Knit Picks new Majestic interchangeable and fixed circular needles. They're a gorgeous mix of dark purple, blue and green laminated wood with black cables. I've been avoiding wooden interchangeable needles, but I really like these. I bought a few tips, cables, and the fixed circulars for socks. I really needed them! I also bought a case to hold all my interchangeable needles and most of my required odds and ends. I'll have to share a few photos later as I need to retake one of them.

That's about it for now. Like I said above, I plan on working on these two projects for the next week or so. I'll have to write out the next row of the Monsterpiece doily. I will hopefully start working on it again next week. Till then, I'm enjoying my break! Till next time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Monsterpiece Doily: Round 11 Complete!

Well, I finally finished the last scallop of round 11 this morning. I am very happy to have it finished, as I really didn't care for these last two rounds. Between the two rounds, there were over 40 ends that had to be dealt with. Since I used Magic Threads for most of them it sounds worse than it is. I have one end that needs to be sewn in. The Magic Thread broke when I tried pulling it. I'm going to say that it was probably my fault, as I forgot to replace it. I usually replace the MTs every 2-3 uses since I find they weaken from use pretty quickly. Anyway, here is the doily:

Hopefully its obvious, I used my regular camera to take the picture. My iPhone just wasn't doing the doily justice; it's too big now. The doily, not my phone. For anyone who's curious, the doily measures approximately 18 inches (45.72 cm) in diameter, tip of scallop to tip of scallop. I know I keep saying it, but I think I really should block it before continuing on. I am looking forward to the next round, but I think I will take a week or two break from it. I still have several knitting and crocheting projects I'd like to finish. Thread stats: Manuela size 20 in colour #a022.

That's it for now. My next post probably will not have any tatting in it, but I think that's OK. I'm sure you guys might want a change too. Till next time.