FOF: Finished Object Friday

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An example of taking way too long to make something is this ducky blanket I sewed and crocheted last year.  A few hours in front of the television and a car ride to the coast was “all” it took to get the crochet border on, leaving me to wonder why did it take me 5 months between stitching two pieces of fabric together to get to the finished object. Of course I also can’t believe I just implied crocheting ~160″ of edging with size 10 crochet thread and a tiny steel hook measured in millimeters was quick.

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The timeline: I bought the fabric in 2006. I stitched the blanket together in April 2011. I quilted it together to guard against shifting in July and I crocheted the edging on it in September.

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And true to form I did a bit of swatching before diving into finishing the blanket.

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If you look closely you might notice that the edging changes a couple of times… better to test it out on this fabric scrap that the blanket.  I tried a triangular edge, and at least two different scallop sizes.

Oh yeah, and I made a test crochet thread project along the way (bonus finished object), earrings from Linda Permann’s book, Crochet Adorned.  I wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the crochet thread and steel hook before I attacked my blanket.

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February 10, 2012. Tags: , , . Crochet, Sewing. 3 comments.

Catching up

Two weeks ago at this time I was just beginning to get panicky about the state of my house since my family was due to arrive in the middle of the week.  I was also Ikea-izing my house.  I finally made it to Ikea for some bookcases.  We bought one basic, short Billy bookcase for the upstairs hallway.  That hallway is freakishly wide and so a thin bookcase works quite well there.  It also helps anchor a large framed photo that we finally hung on the wall.  We also bought a Traby unit to use as a buffet-type piece in the dining room.  Now some pretty servings bowls that did not fit in my cabinets and most of my cookbook collection are stored in that bookcase-like piece.

A nifty thing about Ikea: you can take your basic used alkaline batteries and compact florescent bulbs to Ikea for recycling.  They have some bins near the exit to collect those items.  This thrilled me because I knew you were not supposed to dispose either thing in the trash, but didn't know where to get rid of them (did I really have to hang onto such things for the annual county hazardous waste collection, that always ends up being scheduled on the Saturday that I am out of town?).  I know this doesn't help everyone as not everyone has reasonable access to an Ikea…

This morning we made very delicious blueberry pancakes.  I had a favorite pancake recipe, it is on page 426 of The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook (my book is the  Reader's Digest edition, copyright 1980).  I didn't even have to look the page number up, and barely need to look at the recipe.  I learned to cook using this cookbook and fantasized over the picture index as a kid.  But this recipe might just be replaced by the Light and Fluffy Pancakes from The New Best Recipe.

  This is the second time I've made TNBR's pancakes (with buttermilk).  And they are so so good, exactly as the title says, they are light and fluffy.  Today we added blueberries to the recipe (and they instruct to drop the blueberries onto the pancakes once you drop the batter onto the pan, not to stir them into the batter where they color it blue and all drop to the bottom–we actually did that before TNBR though).  To be fair to the TGHIC, I have never tried their buttermilk waffles pancake recipe on page 427 and it is very similar to TNBR's recipe.

I also mixed up a batch of Mexican Cocoa in a Jar this morning.  While I'm sure the layered look makes a better presentation, this wasn't a gift (and is currently stored in a covered pyrex bowl) so I didn't bother with the layers and went directly the to "dump in a bowl and stir" part of the directions.  FWIW, 1 1/2 discs of Ibarra makes about 3/4 cup chopped Ibarra.  Overall I'm happier with this cocoa than most of the 'add hot water' mixes I've bought in a store lately, but if you make this variation do no try to drink the last tablespoon in the mug since it is gritty.  I really wonder if the Ibarra is necessary at all and plan on mixing up a smaller batch with just powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon.  If anyone sees powdered milk that isn't "nonfat" please let me know.

Finally, I've been plugging away at the Dream Baby Granny Square Blanket and now have 17 squares finished (the goal is 48 squares).  My knitting projects are plagued by the "must sit down and concentrate on it" disease so I haven't made any progress there.  But I did start another pair of Fetching because I needed a car project.

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August 19, 2007. Tags: , , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

Granny Square Blanket

I found out one of my best friends was pregnant at the very beginning of 2005.  I knew I wanted to make her something, and at that time I was much more comfortable crocheting than knitting; finally can you ask for more notice a 8 months?  I settled on a granny square blanket that I had seen in a book.  I liked that it wasn't the usual granny square, it seemed more delicate than the square composed of many groupings of chain 3.  And the colors were great, vibrant reds, oranges, and pinks but we didn't know if she would have a boy or girl.  After plotting with her father over the phone and via email I settled on a yarn Plymouth Dream Baby DK (a soft microfiber acrylic) as well as a color scheme of blues, purples and teal (just like dad's hair!).  I started crocheting in March, the pattern calls for 48 squares plus a border.  I figured if I could manage one square a night for most nights I'd been done in no time. No problem.

By August of that year (when the baby was due) I had managed to crochet 5 squares plus one center. 

And then I found out about all of the other handmade (crocheted, knitted, quilted) blankets my friend had received (when the project was fresh in my mind it was a chance I wanted to take, once the project stalled that was yet another reason to not pick it up).  I went out and bought a bunch of cute outfits for S when she was born instead.  However I did get a chance to fix a few runs in one of S's crocheted blankets 🙂

I'm not sure who I will give this baby blanket to when I finish.  The pattern's finished measurements are supposed to be 20" by 26" which is very small even for baby blanket standards.  Maybe it will become S's doll blanket.  Maybe it will be a blanket for a potential sibling of S's.  Or maybe I will just keep it (sorry).  I like granny square blankets, I particularly like this blanket, even if it isn't quite as awe inspiring as the Koigu granny square blanket that was in an issue of Interweave Crochet (22 skeins, oh my!).

Anyway, the Dream Baby Granny Square blanket is my August UFO challenge.  I doubt I will finish it in August, but I sure hope I get more squares crocheted than at my last attempt.  I had to do a new gauge swatch though since I couldn't remember what hook I was using.  So far I've managed to crochet two more squares, though one doesn't count since I messed up the color order on it.

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August 3, 2007. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

In Bloom bag from SnB:HH

Another finished object.  I'm being pretty good about getting various WiP done, but that doesn't stop me from mentally planning more projects.

In July we took a little trip and I found a use for my extra skein of Cascade 220 Superwash (I bought two just in case for a hat).  Plus the advantage to crochet on a plane is that I only have one loop to keep track of if security makes me give up my hook.  I think this project ended up using about 3/4 of the skein (I weighed the leftovers but that was back in July).  It would have been a very quick project had I not set it aside for 3, or is that 4 months.  I got about 3/4 done during my plane ride to, and finished the last 1/4 in the car during our sight-seeing.

I finally lined it last week with white with pink polk-a-dots fabric and decided I wanted to put a zipper in (so I used a yellow zipper I had in my fabric stash.  I recently saw a version of this bag at a LYS where they put a dowel (or was it a flat stick) in the bottom to help keep the shape and sewing two magnets into the lining for a closure.  The crochet on its own is definitely too flimsy for much so I used heavy fusible interfacing on the lining.  Sewing the lining with zipper in was a bit of a PITA, the worst part was the section where I folded down the extra zipper lenght, I suspect the proper zipper length would make it much easier. 


It was also the first successful project I've done entirely from the yarn stash (the pink and orange yarns in the flower were also leftovers from another project).  Think pink polk-a-dot fabric was a recently acquired, straight to stash purchase, I found it with a bag of remnant 1/4 yards for $2 (I got three, all nice, 1/4 yard pieces).

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November 9, 2006. Tags: , . Thoughts. 1 comment.

Finished Object: Boucle Wrap

1) I am not feeling very creative with titles.
2) I clearly have a thing for these colors, this is the second object with these colors, and I am currently coveting a Manos del Uruguay yarn with similar colors.
3) I'm sorry this is the closest to a good picture as I could get for this wrap.
4) Despite sitting, I feel like I'm leaning they way you do when climbing up a steep hill (which might explain number 1 and 3).

Way back in 2003 ago my dear friend M (I have many dear friends named M_______ but if she is reading this she'll know) sent me a goody package including the Better Homes & Garden's Simply Creative Crochet premier issue.  This issue taught me how to make granny squares and overall just got me out of my single crochet rut. 

However this might be my first finished object from a pattern in it.  I started the pattern in either February 2005 or February 2006 (I suspect 2005), finished my first skein and realized that it was crocked, so I ripped the whole thing out and started over, at a much slower pace.  Then it got warm and I got distracted.  I finally picked it up again last month and buzzed through the second and third skein (made some mistakes that are mostly hidden by the border).

Yarn: Bernat Soft Boucle, 3 skeins (5 oz each; I had 1.8 oz left over)
Hook: K/10.5
Finished size: 17.5 inches by 62 inches
Pattern: Soft Boucle Shawl (apparently the pattern author also wasn't feeling very creative with her/his titles)

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October 30, 2006. Tags: , . Crochet, former Vox Blog. Leave a comment.