Archive for February, 2009

A Quick Promo

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Crochet Liberation Front are inviting you to vote for your favourite crochet designers, books, podcasts and more of 2008. There’s a blog post with all the contenders, and then the survey itself. I’ve voted, but I amn’t going to tell you how you should, just that I suggest you do, if you’ve enjoyed crochet at all over the past year.

Even if somehow your only exposure to crochet was through this blog, well I’ve referred to the Getting Loopy podcast a couple of times (mostly when I won stuff, admittedly), and that’s a contender. And of course my Freeform Game from last year’s (Inter)National Crochet Month is in the CLF First Ever Book, and that’s in the running too, so you do know about some of the competitors. Ravelry members can see far more.

So go vote!

PS Yes, I will be doing a second edition of the Freeform Game this March. Coming soon!

A Shawl in Eight Days

Sunday, 22 February 2009

There are a whole stack of books to catch up on, but I’m still engrossed in the shawl that’s been taking most of my non-working time recently. Last June I began working on Tracey’s Mystery Shawl, and for a variety of reasons it never got finished, largely because the yarn was annoying me in its slipperiness, and then because I mislaid the whole project.

Then in January I told you that my brother had given me the yarn for another shawl. I held off from beginning it until I’d got my latest assignment handed in. That was on Tuesday nearly two weeks ago, and then I slept away the evening. On Wednesday I printed out the full pattern and charts for this shawl (I had considered a few, and may well make some of the other contenders some time, but wanted to finally make this one), and took it, my bag of yarn, and some assorted hooks to the knitting etc group after work.

Now the pattern suggested lace weight yarn, and I had worsted, so obviously the suggested hook size would be no use at all. I started off, then, with my nice bamboo 6.5mm, but after 7 rows it was a bit stiff and solid, rather than nice and lacy, like I wanted. So, with group encouragement, I began again, on the second ball of the main colour, with my plastic 8mm hook, consoling myself that I could always begin with that, and then go buy myself a nice 8mm hook. But it still wasn’t giving quite the desired effect, so I pulled out my wooden 10mm for ball number three, and that’s the one that did it. From right to left, here are the three swatches:
3 swatches
Besides the laciness, the other advantage of the larger hook is sheer speed, and by the time I got home that night I had a decent sized collar:
collar sized grey shawl
Over the next week working away at this shawl was my commuting activity, and seeing as I commute 2-3 hours per weekday, that adds up pretty quickly. I didn’t take any more pictures until the following week’s meet-up (so this past Wednesday), by the end of which I had finished the main colour, and had a real shawl, if an unfinished one:
worn shawl
And then next morning on the way to work I did the blue border:
finished shawl
I wore it this Shabbos, appreciated its warmth, and got a couple of nice compliments, and now I’m thinking about making Tracey’s next shawl too… (She’s publishing the clues during March, as NatCroMo again. Watch this space for a new NatCroMo Freeform game as well.)

I’m planning on blocking it this week.

Snow Day!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snowy back balcony

You can’t see the flurries, but it’s actually still snowing quite hard. I’m off work (can’t get there unless I walk for hours, and it’s closed now), so can do some masters work. This is a whole lot of snow for London, and apparently it’s only going to get worse later.

10. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I’m rereading this and its sequel, as I just got the third in what is now apparently going to be more than a trilogy. It’s better than I remembered, but what I’m actually noticing now is how much Paolini’s writing had improved by the second book! Still, I haven’t finished so amn’t reviewing that one yet.

Eragon is the story of one boy’s adventures with his dragon, in a situation where the known world is rearranging itself around them, whereas the second opens up to what else is happening in that world. It’s a romp, where time passes but is largely skipped over from one adventure to the next. (I have no problem with that – I prefer it to pretending time doesn’t need to pass.)