Saturday, July 31, 2010

"L" is for

Love. Have you seen the love in this lion video?! This is truly amazing (best have a box of tissues handy):

Did you cry? I did, and I do every time I watch that thrill of recognition where Christian runs to greet them after years of separation....

I am truly amazed that love can exist in the animal kingdom. We tend to think of animals as somehow lesser species, yet they are capable of so much!

As knitting goes, well, we all know that L is for Lace! And here is a great link to
Eunny Jang's tutorial series Woo hoo, I've now broken the lace barrier, and am looking forward to my next project! I still have to pick up the Mananita project and finish it. And NOW I have such a better grasp of lace. Wheeeee!

And speaking of Lace Love, I love
this great doily scarf Such a great idea, and a beautiful use for lace that would otherwise moulder in a drawer.

And...if you want to see some glorious and amazing crochet lace clothing, you should go to Antonina K's Flickr account and surf her designs. They are amazing! I am completely in love with this one (photo used with permission):

Whoa. That is some serious lace crochet! I'm floored.

Originally written 1/10/09...hope the linkies still work :)
(I think that is my favorite online video ever)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Old Posts

Not a very exciting title, I know, but I have a ton of partially written posts from last 2-3 years. I'm taking the salient parts and distilling them down. So this might seem a bit random....

First, some of you may not yet have seen the cool video of EXTREME KNITTING by Rachel John, so here it is:

(Start it at the 5 minute mark to see the actual knitting)

Makes my size 50 needles look small!!!

Here's the best 'word of the day': omphaloskepsis. Ha ha haaaaaaaaa! Right. (Whodathunk there was a word for that?!)

S is for Seed saving! (Articles about this on that link.) I've never tried any of them to tell you the truth, but I've heard that saving tomato seeds involves rotting the fruit until it falls apart, then rinsing and drying the seeds. Sounds kinda messy, but what the heck? Worth a little dirty work to have the same yummy harvest the next year....

S is for Slipcover: check out this pattern to cover a run-of-the-mill plastic lawn chair! If you go to Ravelry you can see someone who is knitting cabled and lace and striped versions of this. I love it :)

Quilting is a fav pastime I used to indulge in a lot. I found a link to free block-of-the-month sites for people who like to quilt. I no longer do much quilting, but that may change again, who knows?!

And last but most random: BOTTLED WATER COOKING
For some reason, I just remembered all the uses to which I would put a bottle of carbonated water. I always used to keep a bottle of carbonated water on hand. These are some of our favorite recipes:

HOMEMADE SODA: My favorite use for sparkling water, when my kids were little, was to make our own homemade sodas for lunch. We would choose our favorite fruit juice, then mix it in a 2:1 ratio with sparkling water for a yummy fruit soda. No preservatives or colors, etc. Very healthy 'spritzer'.

AIM'S POP-ROCKS POTATOES: Here's a really fun recipe for people with children or grandchildren. This is something I came up with when we were living in a place where we would only drink bottled water. One time, I was making dinner, and realized we were getting low on the drinking water. I did not want to use the drinking water up for cooking if I could avoid it, so instead of regular water in the instant mashed potatoes, I substituted bottled sparkling water I had on hand.

The result was very interesting. My family and I were entertained by the sound of the snap, crackle, pop of the mashed potatoes all throughout dinner! They taste the same, but actually make noise on your plate! My kids and DH were highly amused by this invention :)

I tried making Jello with this sparkling water too, but it didn't make much difference in the end product (I know that they have a version of this recipe on the box nowadays).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lace all Over

New washcloths for us, thick and soft cotton, in granny-style! These are awesome, I love this pattern, they whip up in less than 2 hours each. I used dishcloth weight cottons from my stash and a size G hook. Only mods I made were on round 8: I made the two center clusters on each side in 2-hdc (instead of the 3-hdc clusters) to eliminate the bulk when it is "gathered" in rnd 9.

I have been busy making lace. Can't seem to stop lately :)

It is my stress release at this time of ongoing loss in my life. There are some amazing lace creations out there, so I'm inspired to spend every free moment crocheting, and it is a mindful process that I love.

This is a daffodil doily I messed up:

Of course, I don't care, that just makes it unique.

It was supposed to be a six-sided doily, with each flower having 6 petals, but somehow only one of my flowers had 6 petals, the rest had 5!!! I like how old-fashioned this appears.

I am madly working on Ferosah Harald's Turtle Doves doily in filet crochet. I am nearly 50% done.

Yesterday, I finally finished the tape-lace part of my first Bruges style doily, from Yoko Suzuki's Book "Laceworks". In case you don't know what Bruges crochet is, there are instructions here and here, and a cool video tutorial here! Somewhat challenging in my opinion, and next time I make a Bruges design, I'll start with a finished center and build the tape lace outside it. I'm thinking that might be easier.

I also made her Thistle design, which is finished and blocked:

Here is a pic of my patriotic doily blocked, I did promise that last post!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

Independence Day, my favorite!

I love this holiday, it has always meant family, swimming, cookouts and summer. My grampa's B-day was the 4th, but he passed last in memory of him, I made this 4th of July Doily (it's unblocked in that photo). The pattern is from OrientalMom's crochet Holiday doily collection on Ebay.

Lace-mania: I have made a doily a week since my stay-cation in early June! Just before that, I made a pineapple lace curtain panel for my kitchen window--we just had the pear tree chopped down, so we really needed privacy and a bit of a screen for the brightness!

Next, I made a snowflake doily from one of my Japanese books:

Then, my own Shabby Chic! An Elizabeth Hiddleson design from book #6, quite the ordeal this one was:

I ran out of thread on the body of the doily, and since the thread was leftover from probably 10 years ago, I just looked for something in my stash of similar weight. But the color was off...

so I decided to overdye the doily before adding the flowers.

Not wanting to run to the store for dye, I used a concentrated coffee/tea mixture with vinegar for the mordant, then nuked it until it was steaming, and rinsed it until the water ran clear.

Before and After Dying

I blocked and dried it, then started making the flowers! Wheew, but quite happy with the results :)

I really like how the "dye" took differently to the different colors, it makes it look more "shabby"!

Last week I finished this daisy doily, from an old issue of Magic Crochet magazine. It was supposed to be a sunflower, but I don't have those colors, so I used what I had.

The stinking orange bled when it was put in hot water, but luckily I saw this right away and was able to rinse only the orange part until it ran clear. But if you look real close, you can see where it bled into the cream color (grrr).

After that episode, I tested the dark blue and red for my Independence Day Doily, and was very happy they were colorfast in hot water. I always wash my laces in hot water, and sometimes even throw them in the dryer. I like when they shrink up as much as they me crazy!

Til next time!
Happy knitting and crocheting!

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