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I can't figure out how to bookmark things and Google can't find it because it doesn't exist anymore. But it's my favorite potholder pattern, so I'm putting the link here.

V-stitch potholder pattern

And again

Apr. 3rd, 2014 05:40 pm
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I'm very tired; still carrying sleep debt from Monday. I had gone to be early last night to try to catch up, but since I got four phone calls during the course of the night from my new baker this didn't help as much as I would have liked. (First call was a little after 10 pm, last was around 4 am.) This is part of the training of new bakers; most of them go through a period where they feel nervous about what they are doing and I take pains to let them know that I'm available for them if they need help. It's part of my job, but it isn't helping me sleep.

My Ink Drop for April arrived today, and I'm feeling a bit mixed about it. Three of them are in the yellow/orange range, which is my least favorite part of the spectrum. I have some faint hope that the PR Shoreline Gold really is more golden than orange, but I'm not liking the looks of the Diamine Coral at all. Oh, well, you put your money down and you take your chances. I have one more month of Ink Drop and then I'll decide if it is entertaining enough to keep up.

Last night I went hunting crochet hooks, and confirmed something that I already knew: you can't get a 7mm crochet hook at your local big-box craft store. For reasons unknown to me, crochet hooks in the US go from 6.5mm (size K) to 8mm (size L) with nothing in the 1.5mm gap between. I haven't decided yet what to do about this, though pleading emails to my non-American friends are not out of the question.
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Earlier this week I got a new book of crochet patterns, and was really pleased by the designs it had. Not only were they lovely to look at, a number of them looked like things I could actually wear. Thursday I made a list of projects I was interested in and what weight of yarn they required and this morning I went through my yarn stash to see if I had anything I could use.

This ended up being an extended search because I always manage to block from my memory how large my yarn stash is until I need to sort through it. However, I did come up with a selection of possibilities. Since I wasn't going to get anything useful done Saturday (my brain has settled into night baking mode this week, which means it doesn't work when the sun is up) so I grabbed a skein of bulky yarn and started on a scarf. It's not a winter-type of scarf, it's the spring kind of scarf that keeps your neck warm when the day is a tad chilly. To my delight I managed to get the entire thing done in one afternoon! It came out looking nice, as well. I'm now wondering what it would look like in a different yarn--one of the things I like about crochet is how the yarn used will completely change the look of a project.

So I'm happy with my book purchase, and now I have a box of yarn in my living room waiting for me to do more crocheting. Somehow I need to squeeze this in with writing and studying Latin, because I really do enjoy it.
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
Monday I finally got my laptop to the repair shop to have it looked at. Wednesday I found out it would take about $1800 to fix, and that was assuming they could even find parts for a laptop that old. I'm not happy with this at all, but there isn't much I can do expect start thinking hard about what I want in a new(ish) computer and what I'm willing to pay for. I would like to stay with an Apple product, as I like their design philosophy but I'm aware that Windows machines are generally cheaper and at my current level of use most Macs are overpowered for me. On the other hand, I loathe MS Word, which at work keeps trying to force me to do things with the text I don't want it to do.

Also, Wednesday I went in to start training a new bread baker and found the bakery in a state of mid-level catastrophe. Not happy about that, either. I ended up doing the whole training shift with the new baker, then sending her home and staying myself to do some day-baking tasks. Ended up getting to bed sometime around 6 am, then getting up at 10 am so that I could use Lincoln's pathetically inconvenient bus system to get to my 1:30 pm Food Manager retraining session. At this point, I will be doing tonight's night of training having had four hours of sleep and one meal today. (I wish I worked somewhere where dedication was respected, but I suppose it could be argued that if I were competent in the first place these situations would not come up.)

In happier news, yesterday my new crochet book arrived and I got to look at it today. I am loving a lot of the designs and I've marked two in particular to try really soon. This weekend I need to go through my yarn stash and see if I have anything I can use for these projects; with as much yarn as I have already I'd really rather not buy more.
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
About two weeks ago I started crocheting a new purse. There's nothing wrong with any of my existing crocheted purses; I just felt the urge to design something, and purses are one of my favorite design objects. They are small enough that I can try a new technique or yarn without committing myself to something needing a lot of time or money, and they are always useful: I like having a variety of colors and sizes of purses to choose from.

Unfortunately, I think this project is not going to be a success. I've gotten halfway through the purse body and it has significant problems: it's turning out larger than I intended, I don't have enough yarn to finish it as I envisioned, and the gauge is too loose. The gauge problem is doubly annoying because I had chosen a hook one size smaller than was recommended specifically to get a nice tight fabric for the body. As it stands I would have to line it to keep my pens and rosary from slipping out, but I don't think even a stiff lining would cure its extreme floppiness.

I've put it aside for now to think about what else I could turn it into. If nothing occurs to me I'll just rip out all my stitches and rewind the yarn. Annoying, but these things happen when you aren't working from a published pattern with the prescribed yarn.


Feb. 20th, 2011 10:32 pm
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Yesterday I finished the scarf/shawl/thing I was working on. It wasn't quite as wide as I wanted, but when you are out of yarn, you are out of yarn. It was, however, just right for layering under my coat and covering the open section near my neck, so I am content. If later I decide I really need it wider, I think I could take some fine white fuzzy yarn and add a border to it. That is one of the things I really like about crochet; its modularity means you can go back and make changes to a 'finished' piece.

Today I started a new project: a bag to carry my stainless-steel lunch box in. I considered starting an embroidery project, but there is nothing I immediately need to have embroidered and I have been wanting a lunch-bag for awhile. There are no patterns for something like this, so I am designing as I go. Today I got the oval base made; next will be doing the rounds that form the walls. I want to make it tall enough to hold the lunch box and an apple, so I am thinking it will be about 6". I am doing it in Homespun, which is not my favorite thing to crochet (pity, as it comes in some really nice color schemes) but it is thick so it will help keep the lunch within cold.

Eventually I will need to figure out how I want the handles and closures to work. There are a couple of possibilities, but certain styles of handle make certain closures impossible. I have several inches of wall to make before I need to make a final decision, however.
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
As I mentioned before I wore my embroidered shirt to work this week, and one of my co-workers took some photos of it for me. Last night I got them posted on my deviantART account, so interested parties can go look at them. They are not the best photos ever, I will warn you, but neither of us knew the first thing about how to photograph embroidery for display and I didn't want to use up any more of her time than I was. They still make me happy, because the close-ups do give an idea of the color scheme and stitches I chose.

I've gone back to some of my crochet projects while I think of what I want to embroider next. Clothing is nice because then I get to see (and show it off) more, but that requires considering which clothes are suitable for embroidery and then finding a good design for it. Switching crafts between projects will give me time to consider such things while still messing with lovely textiles. I should pick up and finish one of the several snoods I have started, but instead I'm racing to finish a capelet/scarf thing that will be nice to throw over my shoulders this spring.
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I had a good weekend, but then any weekend that starts with keilbasa and gooseberry pie for breakfast is going to have something going for it. I don't normally have pie for breakfast (no, really) but I had a whole pie to eat and I had decided to be methodical about it eating it before it went bad. I'd ordered the pie from the deli's supplier on a whim; I had never had gooseberry pie and I was very curious as to what it tasted like and if it was good. I ramble like a rose. )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I really, really don't want to go to work today.

Last Friday, just as I was getting ready to go home, my new part-time day person called and quit. He was extremely apologetic about it--it was due to (summarizing heavily here) a family emergency--but the outcome is that I am back to being critically shorthanded on no notice. I had been planning to use this week to catch up on all the manager-type things I'd been letting slide because I've been so busy doing production, and now I'm going to be short on production again. *gloom*

On the lighter side, this weekend as I was finishing my morning tea I was cruising Crochet Pattern Central and I found the Best. Afghan. Ever. : The Settlers of Catan'ghan. Complete with sheep! I'll never make one because I have the crochet version of ADD, but it still makes me smile in gamer joy to know that someone else thought of this.
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I received my copy of the Lion Brand Yarn e-newsletter today and among its featured patterns were--I kid you not--Barack Obama and John McCain crocheted finger puppets. In case any of you think that I'm imaginative enough to come up with this on my own, here are the links:
Barack Obama
John McCain

I think they are both kind of cute, but I have a low threshold for crochet cuteness. I'm not planning on making them, however--too much yarn to buy. Though I suppose I could go stash-diving for their clothes, and just get the yarns I need for the skin tones. Hmmm.....
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Tonight on Climbing the Third Stair: Nancy attempts to make friends with the 'Insert Image' function! And then goes on to post photos of indeterminate quality, featuring her latest crocheted purse! You were warned. )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I am feeling blue tonight. I wish I had a specific reason for it, but while there are things that I'm roiling over tonight those same things existed yesterday and I was quite upbeat then. And some of the things I'm roiling over are probably insignificant, which only makes me feel worse about the situation. I'm so inept I can't even mope right.

However, something good did happen to me and I'm going to make myself write it up.

Those of my readers with good memories for abjectly useless trivia will remember that I am working on some projects for our store art show. Early on I realized that one of my possible pieces, IRHC, was going to require a lot of green yarn. And not a lot of one color of green yarn, but a little bit of a lot of different colors of green yarn.

This presented me with a problem, because my yarn stash is virtually devoid of green yarn. I don't mind green as a color (unlike say, orange, which only looks good on citrus fruits and certain flowers), but I rarely wear it. Never have. Sometimes I'll run across a forest-green or sage-green garment that I like, but in the main greens do nothing for me, and if I'm not going to wear a color I have little use in crocheting with it. Until now.

So, I needed green yarn. The obvious solution to this was to make pitiful noises in the direction of my friend Pam, who both crochets and loves green. I figured she must have some odds and ends of random green that I could use. She agreed to look, and in the meantime I continued to brainstorm. And thus today when my path took me past a thrift store I naturally went into examine their craft supply section.

The actual yarn selection was as bad as I had feared, BUT--there was an untouched needlepoint kit on the shelf with NINE--count them, NINE different colors of green yarn in it. For only $1.99! There were a number of other colors of yarn as well, making it a bargain all around.

None of the papers inside the package state what the yarn is made of, but they refer to it as "Persian" and Persian is usually made of wool. I figure that sometime I'll do a match test on it to confirm, but to my hand it does seem like a wool. So, I have green yarn! Wool green yarn!

So you see, I'm not totally sunk in woe.

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Somewhere in London there is someplace called the Hayward Gallery, and until August 17th it will be presenting an exhibition of the Institute for Figuring's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. Details at the IFF website here. I don't think I have to belabor how entirely cool this is, as this is an assembly of things that are Hyperbolic, Crocheted, and A Coral Reef, all at the same time. You can't beat that with a Q-hook.


Jun. 8th, 2008 10:37 pm
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Later this summer the store I work at will be sponsoring an art show, with all of the art being produced by staff members. Friday before I left I added my name to the "intends to participate" list.

I have mixed feelings about this. Read more... )
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Lest someone (like, say, myself) think that absolutely nothing is going right in my life, let it be noted here that today I found my bamboo I hook. It had gone missing sometime last summer, much to my despair--none of the local craft chains carry bamboo hooks at all, and the local trendy yarn shop didn't carry the I size. They could special order it for me, but given that the store is way the heck south of where I live, I wasn't in hurry to do that.

So, anyway, I was on the bus working on a wrap top that may or may not become part of the Hanbok of Cultural Appropriation and the bag that held my yarn fell out of my lap and when I looked down there was a bamboo hook sticking out of the skein. My first thought was something along the lines of, "hey, that can't be my H hook" because I was at that moment using the H hook. Note that I am nothing if not observant. I picked up the yarn and there, arising out of my Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool like Aphrodite from the foam of the sea, was my bamboo I hook. Modified rapture!

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
OK, fine--you guys get all the cool sweater patterns and about a thousand knitting books for every crochet book that gets published and whenever someone sees me crocheting in a public place they want to know what I'm knitting--

But crocheters can make their very own coral reefs. So, there.


May. 27th, 2007 10:33 pm
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Since this is a three-day weekend for me I decided that I would take one day to do nothing in particular, and today was that day. I didn't set my alarm clock and ended up sleeping in until nine. Then I got up, made a pot of tea and spent the morning mostly drinking tea and reading crochet websites. Crochet Me magazine has a very nice primer on the effect of hook size on fabric drape that includes [geek alert] multiple swatches tested out on an improvised model of a human shoulder.[/geek alert]

Around noon I decided I should do something involving food. I had picked up a pound of new potatoes (none of them bigger than a marble) and some green beans at the farmer's market yesterday, so lunch was built around them. I boiled a cup or so of the potatoes until tender, drained them, then put them back in the pot with some butter and black pepper and warmed them until the water was all gone and the butter sizzled. While that was cooking I washed and stemmed a double-handful of green beans and chopped up some onion. I sauteed the onion in a mixture of butter and oil, then tossed in the beans and chopped fresh rosemary. Mmmm. In the interests of getting in some protein I scrambled some eggs with some of my lemon basil. I think it could have used some more basil--at the beginning of the growing season I'm always a little timid with fresh herbs. Still, it was a good lunch.

After laying around reading for awhile I got dressed in some old clothes and did some garden stuff. I garden more as a hobby than as a means of getting flowers and vegetables (they are a bonus to the activity), so this didn't count as work. Then I took a shower and got dressed in fresh clothes and went to church. "Church" in this case was the 6 pm mass at Cathedral, which is my usual option when I'm feeling really lazy on Sunday morning. Which tends to be often--sometimes I think that the only thing keeping me attending mass at my parish church is that I really can't abide the Cathedral Folk Choir, who almost always provides the music for the Sunday evening mass.

Dinner was simpler than lunch: broiled sausage from a local grocery that makes their own, broccoli and onion braised with dried thyme, and sourdough bread. Also, lemon balm wine, which was today's experiment in cooking. I took three nice sprigs of lemon balm, put them in the bottle of my half-sized carafe and poured some white wine in to cover. Then I put it aside to chill for awhile. The result was a wine with a very delicate lemon balm flavor to it--I really couldn't detect it while I was eating, but in finishing off a glass afterwards I could taste it clearly. Lemon balm has a pronounced lemon scent, but the flavor is like lemon mixed with fresh-cut grass--it might be an acquired taste, but I like it.

After dinner I read some more, then decided to post here. I'll go to bed soon, after setting my alarm for tomorrow--I have lots to do before I go to work on Tuesday. But today was a good day.
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This morning I was wandering around Crochet Pattern Central (allegedly looking for baby stuff, but really just goofing off) and I came across Joyful Dancer, a site that has crochet patterns for belly dancers. This made me smile, because it reminded me of something cool that had happened at a Gencon a few years ago.

That Gencon the management had arranged for some band that did folky/sf/fantasy stuff to set up in the con's public spaces to entertain the passers-by, and I had sat down to eat my lunch and enjoy the music. After a few minutes a troop of belly dancers wandered by. They stopped, listened for a moment, dropped their bags in a nearby corner and started to dance. I'd never seen a troop that close and the grace and dexterity of those women was amazing. The crowd was delighted, and fortunately so was the band. After the first song ended the band's leader consulted with the dancers to see what kind of rhythms worked best for dancing, and the the band proceeded to play the songs they had that suited the dancers best.

The dancers were only able to stay for about 10 minutes (they were, in fact, on their way to a scheduled performance) but it was one of the coolest ten minutes of that Gencon.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I came across this link last month but never got around to posting it.
A hand-knitted tank cozy.

I am totally enchanted by this--I've described it to a friend as a kind of metaphor for my soul. Sure, it's knit, not crocheted, but all things being equal crochet uses a third more yarn which makes knitting the choice of fashion-conscious warlords on a budget.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Life started an upswing Friday morning. I called the Startran office and--will wonders ever cease?--THEY HAD MY HAT! I was so happy! I'll be stopping by their office on my way to work this morning to pick it up.

Friday night and most of Saturday day I dedicated to getting my most recent L5R fiction done. I had hoped to get it done long before then, but writing courtly fiction is like trying to push string. Arrg. But I got the job done, and Fred came through with a really fast turn-around on his edits, and it went up on the AEG forum that afternoon. ( Battle Lines for the curious--[livejournal.com profile] cassandra_e, I'm looking at you ;-) )

I then got dressed and went shopping for clothes. I had reached the point where I desperately needed more pants, and Lane Bryant was having a sale this weekend. I really like LB because most of their pants come in petite lengths, and I like not having to hem stuff up. Alas, the big thing this year seems to be 'boot length', which translates into 'you must be wearing boots with five inch heels in order to wear this'. For pity's sake people, I need to work in these clothes! After trying on an armload of stuff I finally found two pairs of jeans at a rational length.

Since I was there and spending I also grabbed some underwear, a pair of earrings and a matching necklace. LB's other great virtue is that almost all of their earrings are nickle-free and they don't assume that their clientel is entirely made up of junior high girls, so they carry styles I would actually wear. I love earrings and wore them all the time in my high school and undergrad days, but gradually stopped wearing them because my earlobes started burning and itching. A few years ago I encountered the concept of non-allergenic earrings, and have since been slowly refurbishing my earring collection.

A lot of my old collection I've given away because they aren't styles that work for me. Some went to various charity thrift stores, but I gifted my skull/bone/rose/etc ones to one of my almost-twenty employees. (The look on her face was priceless: "You used to wear these?" "Uh, yeah. Back in the day.") The remainder I've been converting over to non-allergenic wire. I had originally given up on my post earrings (which bummed me out, because I have a pair given to me by a long-deceased family friend), but I have a jewelry-making friend who says that it's possible and not too difficult to change them also. But that is a project that will wait for after Christmas.

Sunday two new people showed up at the yarn art meeting, wanting to learn how to crochet. I did the bulk of the teaching, because Pam (the other crocheter in our little group) is a lefty and was afraid of confusing them. We got as far as the single crochet stitch and they both seemed happy, so I guess I'm doing ok as a crochet teacher. But I've decided I need to go through all my books and bookmark the pictures of how to hold the hook and yarn. There are various ways of doing it, and if my way doesn't work for them I want to show them that they have options.

The clock on the wall says it's time to get ready for work. More later, perhaps.


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