Wednesday, December 10, 2014

First Crochet Experience

Day 1

9:30 a.m.  I have to make three totoros for Willow's cousin Francie in three days.  I can do this.  Oooh, the amirigurumi one is so cute!  I want to make that!  I can kind of spin and kind of sew, surely I can kind of crochet!

9:45 a.m.  Okay, I don't have the exact right yarn, but if I hold this one double it'll work.

9:50 a.m. Uh.  It's kind of hard to pull two strands at a time through without getting confused.

10:15 a.m. How the heck do you know where the end of the round is???  I'm using a safety pin.

10:22 a.m. Even with the safety pin I can't really tell.

10:27 a.m. No seriously.

10:45 a.m. This sure uses up a lot of yarn.

11:10 a.m. I'm totally going to run out of yarn.  Dangit.  Also this thing is going to be HUGE.  This is just the top of the head.

11:11 a.m. Okay, new plan.  I'm going to make one totoro in three days, because that is more
realistic.  It will also be smaller.

12:09 p.m. Much better.  And much easier using only one strand of yarn!

Day 2

12:20 p.m. Uhoh.  This is taking a long time.  I might still run out of yarn--and that CANNOT HAPPEN.

2:00 p.m. OHMYGOD this is going to be the biggest totoro in all the land.

2:10 p.m. Oh duh.  This is his whole body not just his head.  WHEW.

Day 3

10:45 a.m. Crocheting uses different parts of the fingers than knitting does, and so my calluses are useless.  I'm getting a blister.  Wah.

12:00 p.m.  I still can't figure out where the end of round is, by the way.

Day 4

This is taking FOREVER.  I should have started this weeks ago.  I thought this was a one-day project, tops.  Time to wrap it up.

Day 5

Progress!  I have made an egg with eyes.


Day 6

It looks kinda freaky.  I'm just sayin'.

Day 7         Now it looks like a freaky bunny.  Maybe the tail and legs will help.

Day 8                Only sort of.                                                                                           

Well.  I am now SUPER COMFORTABLE with single crochet.  I have MASTERED single crochet, having made a nine-inch-tall totoro/freaky bunny.   Although I never really figured out how to tell where the round ended.

And here he is with his knit totoro family (you can see why I wanted to switch to crochet this time around.  They look a little worse for wear.  The cat really likes them, you see).


Oh well.  Merry Christmas, Francie!

Monday, November 24, 2014

First Lendrum-Spun!

It's BFL, and I feel I have done it a disservice.  There are a lot of those overspun, twisted things, and it's super thick/thin.  I had problems drafting evenly (obviously) and keeping my tension so that it pulled at the right speed, so that it wasn't getting overspun.

That said, I'm not too sad.  It was my first one, and it is still knitable, and while I don't love the twisty things, the thick/thin is kind of fun, even if I would prefer it if it was something intentional and controlled.  I ended up with 206 yards at 9 wpi.

My second one went so much better.  This is 4 oz of merino/tencel from The Sheep Shed, in "Winter."  I found it fairly difficult to draft, so I ended up pre-drafting the fiber out into a fan shape and then drafting from there.  I was still overspinning again if I wasn't careful, but I managed to keep that from happening nearly so often.  The fibers were quite strong, given the tencel, so I wanted it to have a fairly loose twist.

I ended up with 199 yards at 13 wpi.  It's a little thick/thin, unsurprisingly, but not nearly so much as the BFL, and so while according to my charts it's a sport weight, I'll probably end up using a US 6 or 7 needle, because it is so aerated, and I want to preserve that.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A. M. Rush

7:30  I wake up.  I have slept late, and it is a luxury, but it means that I have to do all the things in half an hour, because Willow needs to be out the door at 8:00.  Despite this, I go leisurely about my morning, making my coffee, admiring Willow's breakfast, watching Dave take his daily pictures of the kids to put on facebook (a strange pastime, but there you are).

7:45  It occurs to me that perhaps things should move along a little faster.  I request that Willow come with me to get dressed.

7:50  Willow finally comes with me to get dressed.

7:55  Willow is finally dressed.  This is a lengthy process involving much negotiation, and we finally settle on a purple dress with star pants.

7:56  I get dressed.  Well, I change my pajama pants for jeans, figuring my coat will hide my pajama top while I take her to school.

8:00  We get on shoes.  I holler to Dave for various emergency items, like quarters for Willow so she can buy things at the school farmer's market, all the while negotiating with Willow over which jacket, scarf, hat, and mittens she will wear today.  We don't have quarters readily available, so Dave has to dismantle Willow's piggy bank in order to get them.

8:05  We leave.  We walk partway up the block to the school before Willow says matter-of-factly, "Today is Everybody Wear Pink day.  Pink is for No Bullying."  I look down at her purple dress, aghast.  "Yes, it is pink day.  But you're not wearing pink.  It's the one day of your life you're not wearing pink."

8:06  We rush back in the door.  We holler at Dave to find pink clothes, stat.  We tear off Willow's carefully chosen hat, mittens, scarf and purple dress.  Dave comes back with a pink shirt and pink pants.  Willow refuses to wear anything that doesn't involve a dress or a skirt.  I send Dave back upstairs for a pink skirt.  There are clothes everywhere.  We get Willow dressed in the pink shirt with pink skirt and start to put her hat and mittens back on.  The scarf is refused because it isn't pink.

8:08  It occurs to me that RockNoodle wasn't wearing pink.  I send Dave back upstairs to find something pink of RockNoodle's, and I can bring it to her at school.  Dave is a bit winded by this point.

8:09  We run to school. 

8:10  I resolve to get up earlier tomorrow.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I have never made Willow a Halloween costume.  I'm not sure why--in the age of making ones' own bread and playdough and even yarn, you would think costumes would have been one of the first things I made.  But no.  In my defense, she has wanted to be things like a ladybug, and an owl, and then another owl.  These were all readily available at Target.

But when she asked if she could be Zita the Spacegirl for Halloween, I thought that perhaps it might be necessary to pull out the sewing machine.

And okay, so I've got her turned so you can't see how it bunches up at the bottom left-hand corner of the zee, and and I totally bought the cape, but she has not stopped being Zita ever since.  Though she hasn't worn the costume since an inconsiderate seagull pooped on it just as we set out on Halloween.