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/loveknitting.com 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.