24 November 2008

I have come to a conclusion...

The following is an announcement from the Society of Lazy Designers.

"The reason I like designing stuff over following other people's patterns is that when I design, I don't have to do a swatch."

20 November 2008

Craft-related injuries

We've all had them, right?
You accidentally stand on an up-turned pin cushion in socks,
Sit with knitting needles in your pocket,
Yarn-burn from holding tension too tight,
But the most common injury must be RSI, Repetitive Strain Injury. We all know it; that dull ache in a joint that tells you you really should stop making that shawl right now or you're in for trouble. We all battle through with the type of justification that would make a three-year-old seems silly "Just going to finish this line..." "I just want to see what a full leaf pattern looks like in this yarn..." "If I stop know I won't remember where I am in the pattern".

The next morning, you're searching, one-handed for a sling; or some sort of tape to buddy your sore, strained finger to the one beside it; or you've got a hot water bottle perched on your shoulder.

And still your fingers twitch. They remember the glee they had felt playing for hour after hour with that gorgeous yarn. And they want more.

This happened to me. Again.

And I'm only about an inch into the sock pattern that caused it.
Death by knitting? I'm starting to wonder how there aren't more cases each year...

It's not as bad as the time I managed to seriously pull a series of ligaments in my right shoulder from one, small session of hand-carding. The physiotherpaist I saw about it said she hadn't seen so injured a shoulder in ages, and she volunteers at all the local sports events, and is a Gealic Football team's on-site doctor.

Go me!?

In other news, Dizzy Hat is coming along well.
Arm warmers are all but done,
and I have a plan for the Swallow's Tale Pixie Scarf.

15 November 2008

It is done.

Well, here it is, ladies and gents.

After much spinning:

And much plying:

After intensive crochet:

I present, the Beyond The Sea hat:

13 November 2008


I had a moment of pure glee yesterday. I went from super-grump-work-lady to happy-fairy-glee-girl in about the amount of time it takes to check your email. I sold a pattern on etsy!

It's given me a forward momentum that last night lead to me starting a new hat when I should have been tucked up in bed. Still, I love how it's turning out; the yarn is quite thin, and I'm using a small hook, so it looks and feel very dainty; the dusky, misty blue of the kid mohair looks really pretty in daylight when contrasted against the raspberry red.

I still don't know what shape it will end up, but I'm going to stay away from the average beanie shape. I'm looking to make something with a little more "poof" to it, maybe a beret, or a snood-type hat.

10 November 2008

Ah, fudge!

There comes a day in every crafty lady's life when hooks, needles and fibre just aren't enough to nourish the soul. There comes a moment in the pattern of time when a person realises is won't be possible to give everyone she knows a hand-made present for Christmas.

That moment happened to me this weekend. Epiphany, moment of truth.

And in this moment I decided how I was going to garnish my presents this year; novelty-shaped fudge pieces. So, I tried my paw at it.

All went great for a while. Using this recipe, converted to European measurements, I made a good stab at playing with sugar and chocolate. Course, the conversion still kept with the US penchant for volume over mass, so I had to measure out my butter in mls, instead of grammes or ounces. I suspect this was my undoing; instead of delicious, creamy chocolate fudge, I got delicious, creamy chocolate fudge sauce.

Still, it was awesome on ice-cream, so all was not lost!

Next time, I'll try and use a recipe designed for the European brain. I may have better luck with this, or this. I should stop searching for sweet recipes now.

Butter Fudge

Chocolate Candy

Turkish Delight.

Also, the Beyond The Sea hat is done, complete! I've got the pattern written out and I'm just waiting for a fair-weather weekend day for photo-taking activities. Once I have that sorted, I can make the pattern available on Ravelry. Wonderful!

06 November 2008

Etsy Peasy

Well, I did it. I put my first ever item on sale on etsy.com The photo quality isn't great, but that's because I did it myself. Hopefully, this weekend I'll be able to rope a better photographer than me into helping me, in exchange for home-made chocolate fudge.

Homespun, silken crochet flowers. I know there is a demand out there for this sort of item, so with luck I'll get to sell these three little pretties. It's just a test, really. If they do sell I'll feel confident enough to fill up my listings with other flowers, other colours, set of flowers and that sort of thing. Who knows where it might go from there!

05 November 2008

Just when you think you're the bee's knees...

...life steals your socks!

I remember once, years ago when I was a wee lass, scampering across a ploughed field. I remember marveling - rather narcissistically - at how well my ankles were suited to this type of travel. I recall thinking that all those non-country kids in my class at school would be lost trying to get across such an uneven field. To prove my point I skipped and hopped to the next furrow as gracefully - in my mind - as a fairy ballerina. I know you can see what happened next... The furrow crumbled beneath me and I tottled unceremoniously off balance, and landed on my ass, with my hand in a big, sludgey, mucky puddle.

I'm sure that's the moment I learnt about both humility and irony.

So, it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me this morning, while crocheting on the bus, feeling like everyone must be marvelling at my ability to conjure little flower shapes out of nothing but a slip of metal and some string when, with a flourish I cast off. It was my undoing.

Pinga-ling ting-bing! The crochet hook went flying across the bus floor.

Yep. Humility. Sometimes I need a bit of a reminder...

03 November 2008

Somewhere... beyond the sea...

So, The Knitting and Stitching Show 2008 in the RDS, Dublin was great. I stepped into the hall and the smell that greeted me was wolly, silky and incredibly fluffy. I went in knowing full well that I may end up coming out with light pockets and a bulging bag, so the fact that I bought a good lump of beautiful silk roving, two balls of lovely yarn from my new favourite shop This is Knit, a skirt and having attended a very charming lesson on spinning with silk, did not leave me reeling any more than expected.

I'm sure the shock will hit me when my Visa bill comes in, but it's not as if I spend money on tonnes of drink, or have an unhealthy addiction to gossip magazines, so I think I should be allowed to splurge now and then on crafts. I'm writing it all off as "Christmas Present Shopping", anyway. I'm giving it all away, so I don't have stash-guilt.

My sister's Beyond the Sea hat is coming along nicely. I have affixed the top to it and
added some shape. All I need now is to add a small, not-overly-fancy motif to the side and I'll have a finished piece. "Somewhere Beyond The Sea" hasn't stopped ringing around in my head, either. Luckily, it's not annoying me at all... yet.

01 November 2008

Beyond The Sea Hat

Yep, its name keeps changing. I hope my sister likes this. She has a thing for kookie hats and I hope I'll eventually get this pattern available, too... unless I eat it first! I'm proud of the wavy look, though, and I think it goes very nicely with the turquoise/blue of the homespun.


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