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Monday, 2 March 2015

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Moody Rec-tangles Cowl

Last week I wanted to knit a cowl based on a simple geometric form but randomly and as I felt in that moment that it should be. That's why I called this the moody rec-tangles cowl.

Instead of alternating rectangles in direction and size I felt like knitting rectangles inside rectangles, maybe like small life projects within the big ones?

Part of the stitches were knitted as columns with no changes at all, meaning projects that would take a lifetime or two to achieve or projects that will never be undertaken.

The small rectangles were different in length and width and I decided- as I knitted every row- whether if to let them grow or finish them. Some of them could be accomplished projects and others- maybe the smallest ones- the ones left behind.

I also wanted my small rectangles to be unaligned to represent the passage of time in which you have several projects running- tangled- at the same time and some of them are finished while others kept going. C'est la vie!


¡Oh! One more thing. There are 2 or 3 mistakes in the cowl. When I noticed the first one it was a couple of rows behind. Firstly I was tempted to fix it- that's what I always do when I crochet or knit other projects-  but then decided not to do so. We make mistakes in real life, don't we? Sometimes we can rectify and sometimes we cannot. Sometimes we want to do so and sometimes we don't.
In my opinion, we have to remember our mistakes in order to learn and progress, that's why I left the wrong stitches in my cowl.

Anyway, it has been a good thinking exercise (maybe too deep for me, haha!). Slow but worth it.

As always I appreciate very much your comments and if you have worked on a- let's say- art therapy project I'd love to read about your experience.

That's all for today which is no small thing.
Catch you next Sunday!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Saint Valentine leg warmers for Blythe

My leg warmers patterns for Saint Valentine.
I was going to post another ILI cowl that I knitted last week but I changed my mind and decided to make a couple of leg warmers designs for my Blythe ( it must be that, in the end, I like to work under pressure). I didn't have much time so they're quite simple.

Firstly I made a few measurements of Berta's calf so that I could use any stitch, and these are the results:

  • Wider part of the calf: 14 mm diameter ~ 45 cm circumference.
  • Ankle: 7 mm diameter ~ 22 mm circumference. I will round it to 25 mm for an easier fit.
  • Length from ankle to just above the "calf muscle": 40 mm.

Now we need to choose between a cylinder and a truncated cone. That is, we can either crochet a rectangle- which would be the easiest option- and sew it or a trapezium for a more anatomical shape.

Basic shapes for the leg warmers.

Let's see the rectangle option: once we choose the type of stitch, we need to crochet a gauge to calculate the number of stitches and rows required.

I crocheted two patterns, one in sc ribbing and the other one in hdc ribbing stitch.

For the sc ribbing rectangle I made a gauge of 5 cm X 2.5 cm with 0 or lace yarn and a 1.5 mm hook ( yes, I know I should have made a 10X10 gauge but it was going to take me ages, too lazy). It gave me 5 sts/cm and 25 rows for 4.5 cm, thus I had to crochet 21 chs for 20 sc and 25 rows.

How beautiful are the mini-hearts!
As for the wider ribbing rectangle, I needed 22 chs for 20 hdc and 14 rows ( if I use a higher stitch I will need less rows to reach the 4.5 cm target).

Mini-hearts in different sizes.
For another type of stitch I would have to make a gauge and calculate the number of stitches and rows required to crochet a rectangle with these specific measurements.

Should I like my leg warmers to be longer, I would add more stitches to my foundation chain accordingly to the desired length.

Oh! I have crocheted tiny hearts to celebrate Saint Valentine but they can also be flowers, bows,  pom-poms, letters, equations...

I haven't had time to write down understandable patterns. When I write them for myself they have tons of my own abbreviations and they are a bit messy.

So would you do me a favour and tell me which one you like the most? I will post the most liked pattern next week, promiss.

Note: the trapezium pattern will have to wait because I have too many WIPs.

Happy Valentines!

That's all for today which is no small thing.
Catch you next weekend!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Adventures and misfortunes of a crocheter in a cruise- VII

Saturday 7th of September:

Today we are going back to Madrid. There is a strike- not sure if it's because of the air controllers or the airport personnel. Our flight has been delayed for more than 4 hours and we thought it would be positive after all if we could stay one more day in Venice.

Nah! No luck today. We finally take off almost 5 hours late.

We are exhausted, it's late and we just want to eat something and go to sleep.
Tomorrow in the afternoon we will take the train back to Malaga.
  • Hours of crocheting: 0.
  • Sea sickness pills: 4.

Sunday 8th of September

We spend the time before departing to Malaga with the Wonder-Grandpas, talking about the experience.

We've enjoyed every minute, visited 4 countries and 2 continents.

It's been too short, we want more but what I'm sure of is that it's been a great time and we will remember this experience forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you Wonder-Grandpas.
Ah! I've almost finished the capelet on the train. It's been by far the most productive time. I only have to crochet the neck.

Well, I'm happy because I've learned that trips are for enjoying them, specially with your family, for learning about other places, other Earth beings and, if you have spare time, crochet a little bit but without any pressure. 

As for the yarns, well, I now have the perfect excuse to go back to Istanbul (hi, hi, hi!).
I hope that you've enjoyed this amazing saga (haha). Thank you very much for reading me...whatever I write.
  • Hours of crocheting: 3. Hurray!

Final note: I've been suffering from sea sickness for more than a week since we came back to Malaga. I've googled it and found out that you can suffer it for days, weeks and even moths after the trip. Fortunately it's been a few days for me.
In spite of the sea sickness it's been worth it and I would do it again given the chance.
Next time, who knows where!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

My auto-present, another ILI pattern

Yes, I'm lazy and didn't want to label the pic in English. It says "my auto-present".

It always happens the same. I tell myself "OK, sweetheart (yes, I call myself sweetheart because one needs to love and encourage oneself) you need to knit or crochet something for you.

So I choose my yarn, a pattern and decide to make, i.e., a cowl. I wear it for several days until someone compliments my creation. Then I feel the urgent need to give it away and find myself going back to square one.

I know that you- knitter/crocheter Earth being- have been in the same situation. I think that is must have to do with a sort of an addictive positive energy that giving away something that you made, provides and I'm pretty sure that this is good for the karma.

This is just what happened to me last Christmas. When I came back to Malaga it was still warm so I forgot about my newly crocheted cowl that I had been wearing in Madrid and that I gave to one of my sisters. But a few days ago the weather suddenly changed: freezing cold winds and high humidity made me want to wear my...cowl...oh,oh!...I don't have it anymore, bagger! I needed something then and quickly!

I found this yarn at the...super store!! It is unusual for a Spanish super store to sell yarns (actually, this is the first time that I see such a thing in my whole life) so I was delightfully surprised- a mini-stand full of Red Heart balls. Are they making a research to introduce yarns as a new product? Cannot imagine the offers: buy two balls of yarn and get a bag of oranges for free, yippee!

Anyway, I was curious about this brand. I've seen it a zillion times but, as far as I know, they don't sell them here in Spain so this was an opportunity to try them out. The yarn that I chose was a little bit expensive for an acrylic but I decided to buy 2 balls in the colour that you see and another two in aubergine.

As for the pattern I went for a simple lace one from Purl Avenue, fairly quick to work with and very pretty for my likes.

And here it is! A light but warm cowl that I plan to wear a lot. Or at least that's what I think. Bets are allowed...
Please, do bet and tell me about your experience. Do you make any garment for you? Do you keep it for yourself?

That's all for today which is no small thing.
Catch you next Sunday!

My entropy generators

Picture from this site.

What does entropy have to do with knitting or crocheting?
Well, I’ll tell you.

Entropy is- let’s say- a measurement of the chaos or disorder of a system. The entropy of the Universe is constantly increasing, biological systems tend to entropy, etc.

Now, what happens is that my entropy generators- aka Little Romulan and Mrs. Soft Kitty- are both in the middle of a “teenagerish” burst and the entropy of our micro-universe is increasing exponentially. Therefore, my crocheting/knitting nano-universe is doing the same.

I’ve been delaying the inevitable: improving my poor blog-shop, writing down the patterns of the Flexi-Shooees as well as other patterns that I had written down in pieces of paper, make an inventory of my yarns and organise them again and…an endless list.

I am an organised person. In fact, sometimes I can be very rigid and now I’m overcome by this new situation. The time that I have left to work is very limited in comparison to the vast amount of time that I have to spend every day in trying to go back to a rational organisation of our space. Thus I have an uncountable number of tasks incomplete and growing.

The conclusion is that I have decided to take it easy and slowly complete my ToDo list and if I have to skip a Sunday post (as i did last weekend) or postpone it for another day, so be it.

Now, questions: Do you also have entropy generators in your life? How do you manage?

Phew! What a relief!
In a short while, another post: my auto-present.

I know… from “too little” to “too much”.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Adventures and misfortunes of a crocheter in a cruise-VI

Thursday 5th of September

Yes, yes, it is marihuana. You'll see...

Today we stay on board as we are navigating to Dubrovnik. No hurries, no pressure. We are going to explore this floating mini-city.

It's a huge ship and it's got everything. Actually, we could stay on board for the whole cruise without getting bored, dozens of activities, a thousand ways to get lost- as it happened when trying to find our restaurant- shopping (well wonder-Grandpas have already done it for us and they bought some souvenirs), workshops...

Little Romulan has joined the Kids Club and today is pizza day. You can imagine his level of dirtiness after the master class, can't you?

Mrs. Soft Kitty has made new friends and is "missing in action".

And what about Mc and I? Well, first thing in the morning we've found an invitation that has been slipped under the door last night. It's a "private" cocktail with the Captain invitation. Oh, oh, what a nice guy, don't you think?

Tonight, black tie dinner again. We leave the children with Wonder-Grandpas and head off to the cocktail. Oh, wow! There is a huge queue for the picture with the Great Captain Rafaello, yet again. We better drink cava to breve another picture with him... No, not enough cava in the boat for a second round of pictures with him.
After a couple of cavas we go to meet the family at the restaurant for dinner.

I'm not sure if I've already talk to you about our waiter. The fist two dinners he was a very serious and apparently very reserved guy but we've found out that he is a very nice man, a pretty good singer and he's got a particular sense of humour- we've ordered risotto as our first course and when he comes back-after serving our dishes- he offers a small pot to my mother in law, asking at the same time " Madame, marihuana?".

You should see her face, haha! Eyes wide open, dropped jaw... She slowly opens the pot to discover that its content is just grated Parmesan cheese.

He is brilliant! Our bellies hurt after half an hour of continuous laughs and I think that he is a little bit annoyed by now. I'm not sure if he knows that we are not laughing at him but because of what he has said...poor guy!

We are exhausted after all the laughing so we go back straight to our cabin. Tomorrow, our last excursion: Dubrovnik.
  • Hours of excursion: 0.
  • Hours of siesta: 1.5.
  • Hours of crocheting: 0. Yes, zero! I haven't even touched my hook!
  • Sea sickness pills: 4.
Friday 6th of September

Overview of Dubrovnik.

Our excursion to Dubrovnik is going to be an easy-going one.
We can see from our ship many detached houses,- almost all of them with a vegetable garden- scattered all over sheer hills.

We reach the town centre and from the square, we can see a beautiful fortified castle that was built on a hill by the sea.

We decide to wander though the streets and after a while we end up in a densely wooded public park with amazing views of the sea, the shore and the castle. We let the children explore the park-forest while we take some pictures.

Fortified castle.
On our way back we observe that some of the buildings still have bullet holes, a sad static and silent memory of the war.

Suddenly the children begin to run to a souvenir shop, they are hungry so it's time to go back to the ship.

Today you can still see the bullet impacts on some facades.

We have our lunch at 4 in the afternoon and go straight to the water-slide. The children haven't had the opportunity to try it and today is the last day in which they can do it.
A transparent part of it shoots out over the edge of the ship and it looks promising.
I'm the chicken of the family so I go to the deck under the transparent part of the water-slide and lie down on a sun-bed ready to take pictures of them.

From the distance I'm unable to distinguish my children from others and as they slide very quickly I take pictures of everybody. The memory of my mobile is almost full and I'm just about to stand up when I see a thin pale body attached to a blonde haired head. Little Romulan is trying to slide sitting on his bottom. I begin to try and catch his attention and explain to him with signs to lie down and cross his arms over his chest to regain speed but he doesn't see me. Finally- maybe I'm telepathic after all- he does it and slides down.
On the contrary, Mrs. Soft Kitty slides so quickly that I shot like mad hoping that at least one picture is good.

Before dinner I crochet a couple of rows but I'm not in the mood. I think that I'm sad because the cruise is almost over. Tomorrow we will return to Venice but only to go directly to the airport to take our flight back to Madrid.

Maybe we should lock ourselves in the cabin and ask them for another round.
  • Hours of excursion: 3.
  • Hours of siesta: 0.
  • Hours of crocheting: 0.333.
  • Sea sickness pills: 4. Today our little creatures have bough several unauthorised souvenirs taking advantage of my sickness on solid ground.

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