Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Windflower doily

It's going smoothly on my test of the doily pattern...going much more smoothly than the previous one did. I'm working this in Cebelia's Horizon Blue:

10 Cebelia 799

I'm on round 22 (of 32), and I'll probably get another round (or two) done tonight. Work tomorrow, then off on Thursday, when I hope to finish the doily.

Okay, I jinxed it. The pattern got goofy at the end of round 22--a section was missing. At least I know enough to know there's a problem. I've e-mailed the designer, and I should get a reply before I get back to work on the doily Wednesday night.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Testing, testing...

I just e-mailed off an offer to test another doily for that designer...

Edited to add: She's sending me the pattern tonight or tomorrow, and I'll get started tomorrow (Monday) night. I'm thinking this Delft blue: 

10 Royale 0480 Delft 

But I'm open to suggestions. Take a look over here to see if there's something you like better. Pick any of the solid colors (so not the metallics and not the shaded); pick something with a name that starts with "10" (that's the thread size and almost everything is a 10). Make comments there on Flickr or over here. (Hers was done in cream--a pale, pale yellow. I want to do something different...)

Friday, July 27, 2007

A well-mannered little girl

Jacey has such good manners...even when her mom is forgetful.

The procedure around here is that I eat my Lean Cuisine, then let Jacey take a few licks at the tray, then let Sam polish it and lick until the embossed recycle logo vanishes from the bottom of the tray.

Tonight, I was engrossed in my LJ Friends page. I finished my Lean Cuisine and put the tray down, out of reach of the dogs. Jacey, lying quietly at my feet, just gave one of those little moans. You know. The kind you give when you see a chocolate dessert carried past you in a restaurant when you're on a diet.

She got her licks at the tray, and Sam is polishing now.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Shawl

I've frogged the shrug I hated so much, and I've started a shawl for me. This is a no-brainer: 30 sc across each row, repeat until you reach the desired length. It's a perfect project to take to the store to work on at my lunch break.

The shrug was awful (Can you say, "fuzzy strait-jacket"?), but the yarn was very nice: Lion Brand Homespun in Colonial:
Homespun Colonial

Baby Afghan...

The baby afghan I made for a friend's grandbaby-to-be has arrived safely at her house (thank you, USPS).

The fancy doily I made back in May was from a pineapple-pattern called "Exquisite," and I made the doily in cream-colored thread. I had already picked a cream-colored yarn for the baby afghan, and I stumbled on a pineapple-pattern for an afghan named "Exquisite"--it seemed meant-to-be:

Baby afghan

Update explanation

I have a blog on LiveJournal that has included craft-related posts. But that blog is locked as Friends-only, and those posts and comments are not visible to casual viewers such as the ones who visit me on www.ravelry.com. So I'm copying my old craft posts from LJ to my journal here on Bloglines, editing out personal/friends-only information, and backdating the entries here to match the entries on LiveJournal. From today on, I'll be posting craft-related posts simultaneously to my two blogs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This project is cursed...

In the past few days, I've finished up a baby afghan and a shawl (pictures later). I've gone back to working on the accursed greyhound table runner. I have 12 rows to go (plus the edging), and I haven't omitted any of the border checkerboard blocks. And, near as I can tell, I haven't misplaced any of the blocks, either. Fingers crossed, but it looks like third time might be the charm.

(Actually, it took three tries before I worked out a shawl I liked: this one isn't triangular, but is just a nice, long rectangle. But it seems to be taking multiple tries before I can get things to work out, lately.)

Oh, honestly! Talk about an accursed project: I took a break in typing this to take Sam and Jacey outside. When we came back in, Sam darted ahead to sniff around where I'd been working to see if I'd left anything for him to eat. (I hadn't.) When I came back into the living room, he jumped down from where he'd been on the sofa (he knows better than to sniff around at that end of the sofa) and ran back across the room so he could look all innocent...and he hooked the damned crochet thread with his collar and unraveled nearly half of the most recent, carefully counted row.

Originally posted: 24th-Jul-2007 12:12 am

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dog hazard...

I'm on the sofa, crocheting away while I watch Pride and Prejudice (Garson & Olivier) and now The Importance of Being Earnest. Sam, after sleeping on the floor for a while, decided to get up on the sofa to sleep. I went to unwind some more yarn and discovered that Sam was sleeping on it--and he refused to move. So I had to slide my hand around under him, then peel his 65 pounds off the sofa so I could retrieve my yarn.

In other news: I got my invitation to www.ravelry.com, where I'm KathyInGeorgia. (They don't allow hyphens or underscores in screen names, and KFInGeorgia or KFinGeorgia looks a bit strange to me.) I'll be having fun over there...

Originally posted: 21st-Jul-2007 10:18 pm

The dwarf and the elf are killing me!

I'm sitting here, carefully counting my stitches as I crochet while The Return of the King plays in the DVD player. But as I'm counting, Gimli and Legolas are in the background, counting their enemies as they dispatch them. 

There's one too many sets of numbers in the air...

Originally posted: 21st-Jul-2007 12:49 pm

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gorgeous doilies, a shawl

I'm envious as all-get-out. Go here and click on any one of those five sets. Just look at those gorgeous things! Yeah, they're pretty when you click on the individual photos, but the array in thumbnail view is stunning! I wish I had (a) her courage where color use is concerned, and (b) enough time to produce work like that. And talent, too. Some of these feature very difficult techniques.

I haven't yet ripped out the filet-crochet-gone-wrong. I'll probably give it another try, when I will rip out rows 5 and 6 and redo and hope for better results. Meanwhile, I'm working on a shawl, making up the pattern as I go. (It's more-or-less a triangle. As long as it has more-or-less three points, how wrong can I go?)

Originally posted: 19th-Jul-2007 09:06 pm

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Crochet rant redux

And if it goes wrong again, I'm just going to make a donation to SEGA and call it done. Some things aren't worth the trouble...

Working my way back across the table runner, got to the end of row 6...and spotted an error at the beginning of row 5: I skipped the filled block in the checkerboard-type border. This is exactly the same error I made before, and it's fake-able, but it's infuriating; fixing it properly means ripping out rows 6 and 5--with no guarantee that I won't make exactly the same error again. What's really infuriating is that I've been carefully checking my rows to make sure all the blocks were present--and they have been--but haven't spotted when a block is present but not properly filled.

Where's my damned checkbook...?

Originally posted: 18th-Jul-2007 12:20 pm

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A crochet rant*

My life is relatively stress-free right now (I refuse to think about work on my day off), and my biggest problem today is crochet-related. So welcome to my complaint about something that holds no major ranking in the problems of the universe. Sometimes it's nice to have trivial problems.

I'm working on a table runner that I plan to donate to SEGA for sale at their fall festival. (I'm not doing another life-sized greyhound--I'm not that crazy.) I'm making the table runner using a thread that is cotton with a metallic accent. This stuff is tricky to work with: just the pressure of your fingers as you hold the thread to work can force the thread to untwist a bit; the longer you work, the more you untwist, and the more you force one section to untwist the more another section of the thread twists back to compensate. Thus, you wind up with a handful of twisty thread, and every stitch makes it worse...unless, of course, you can force yourself to hold the thread loosely--which is not as easy as it sounds.

The table runner is in what's known as filet crochet (both those -et endings are pronounced -ay: filay crochay). In filet crochet, you have a grid, and the design is caused by filling in some of the squares on the grid. When you work a long series of filled-in squares, it's easy to get off track a bit, since every square on your grid actually is three stitches, and if you get off by just one stitch, you can screw up how many open squares ought to grow back out of the solid patch. This isn't necessarily a problem, unless your design has a border that consists of alternating open and filled squares like a checkerboard--yeah, a border like this pattern has.

So I fought the twisting threads. I compensated quite neatly for a mistake I made (and noticed two rows later): I left a square open when it should have been filled, but I was able to fill it in with a bit of thread I attached especially for the purpose (and the "fix" was perfect and unnoticeable). But I came out of the solid greyhound part with one fewer squares than I was supposed to have, and I had no neat way to grow a new square. And when I unraveled back to where I had made the open-square error--figuring if I had to rip stuff out, I might as well fix that error, too--I still didn't have the right number of stitches. And I wasn't really happy with the beginning chain of the piece (sometimes the chain is really loose; often your border will cover the foundation chain, but not in this piece). And while the overall piece was the right width, it was too short--stitches weren't standing tall enough. (That probably would have been corrected by blocking, but still, that was just one more thing wrong with the piece...)

So I ripped out back to the beginning: 25 of 29 rows were done, and it was close to 18 hours of work (some work Sunday, and I've worked at least 12 hours today). I'm going to give this one more try--keeping a really loose grip on the thread, and using tons of stitch markers (every tenth grid square, for crying out loud) and moving the stitch markers on every row so I can make sure from row to row that I have the proper number of stitches.

And if it goes wrong again, I'm just going to make a cash donation to SEGA and call it done. Some things aren't worth the trouble...

*I know I called this a rant, but I can't work up the energy--or anger--for a proper rant. Let's just call this a complaint.

Originally posted: 17th-Jul-2007 10:05 pm

Friday, July 13, 2007

Where have we seen this before?

The recent picture, taken in Augusta, Georgia:

Look familiar?


Where will Mom sleep?

Yes, we've arrived safely. Some of us are sleeping off the ride.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Need some good kitchen help?

Jacey is available.

When she hears your microwave timer go off, she will run to the kitchen to supervise you as you remove your dinner (not hers!) from the microwave.

If, by chance, you've gone stone deaf--or if you're just a bit busy and don't immediately leap to your feet when the timer goes off--Jacey will come back from the kitchen and stand over you--whining and fussing--until you go to the kitchen to get your dinner (not hers!). Then she will follow you back to wherever you sit to eat dinner (me, in the living room), and watch you eat every bite. And then she'll follow you back to the kitchen when you take the empty dish.

And if you should be so uncoordinated as to spill the tiniest drop of your dinner (not hers!), she'll clean it up, even if it means licking every square inch of carpet within four or five feet of the spill.

And she'll do all this while absent-mindedly burping her own dinner...

Monday, July 9, 2007

The blocked, finished doily

Summer's Blush

I need to practice my blocking skills. It's hard to block round--and especially oval--doilies and keep them symmetrical. (I do have a blocking board marked in circles, but the circles wouldn't have been a huge help...and the board was too small for this piece, which wound up measuring about 15 by 13.) Also, I probably should reblock the leafy insides of this and stretch the clusters properly.

That will have to wait for another time. I was working on a baby afghan when this testing opportunity arose, and I want to get back to the afghan. (I'd like to get it finished this week...then take something else--something smaller--with me to Augusta for the weekend.)

Originally posted: 9th-Jul-2007 10:02 am

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Summer's Blush doily

I'm all kinds of excited here. I get to test a new pattern for a terrific doily designer over on Crochetville. Woo hoo!

Originally posted: 5th-Jul-2007 09:56 am

Monday, July 2, 2007


The afghans are finished.

That's Big

They measure about 50 by 77 inches. Precisely folded, one will just fit inside an office file-storage box. So now I just need to wrap the two boxes.

It just fits

The camera wouldn't cooperate on the large picture of Daniel's afghan, but it was the same stripe pattern as Ashley's:


The colors are still (perpetually) off in the photos: the blue in Daniel's afghan is darker, and the teal in Ashley's afghan is greener.

And, just because I like doing the numbers: each afghan was something in excess of 29396 stitches.

Originally posted: 2nd-Jul-2007 03:32 pm

An announcement...


Pictures, measurements, details, etc., should be posted later today. I'm going to bed now.

Originally posted: 2nd-Jul-2007 01:17 am