Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blocking Comparison

I worked up two beaded bracelets yesterday, using No. 10 crochet thread.  One of the issues I've noted with projects like this is the tendency for the finished item to twist, so I make it a practise to block them, even though they are so small.

I happened to also be experimenting with blocking baskets using a stiffener I've never tried before.  Epsom salts, dissolved in water.  It was recommended by someone who used it to stiffen snowflake Christmas ornaments.  Basically, Epsom salts are dissolved into hot water until the water is saturated (no more will dissolve into it), then the items are soaked in the water and pinned out, like the usual wet blocking.

Having mixed up enough to soak several larger items in it, I was left with a bowl full of dissolved Epsom salts, and I didn't want to waste it.  So when I made the bracelets and was ready to block them, I wet one with water, as usual, while the other got a quick dip in the Epsom salt saturated water.

This is what they looked like, after drying overnight.

Visually, there is no difference.  The top one (a slightly wider bracelet) is the one blocked with Epsom salts, the bottom one with plan water.

The water one is much softer.  After unpinning them, the water one also retracted slightly in length.  It also was more likely to twist around itself, though nowhere near as much as it did before blocking.

Here, you can see that the Epsom salt soaked on is slightly stiffer and keeps its shape more when the bracelet is folded in half.  I was somewhat concerned that it would be somewhat scratchy, as well, but it isn't at all.

The Epsom salt bracelet was MUCH easier to put on one handed.  That slight stiffness made putting the toggle through the loop so much easier.  In the plain water blocked on, the loop tended to get easily pushed away while trying to get the toggle through.  It was also harder to put it on without twisting the bracelet.

Overall, I think I prefer the Epsom salt soaked bracelet.  The only thing I would change in the future is to not stretch it out as much when pinning it down.  I'm used to it bouncing back again slightly, like the plain water blocked one did.  With the Epsom salt one, the length it's pinned to it the length you get!  So it's a bit longer than I intended it to be.  Still, I would definitely recommend using it for blocking jewelry items, or anything that would normally be starched to hold its shape.

Until next time;

Get Crafting! :-)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

By Request

My daughter asked me to make a carafe cozie for her, so she can use it for hot drinks and not burn her hand.

So this is what I came up with. 

The yarn is Aunt Lydia's "Denim" Quick Crochet. 75% cotton, 25% acrylic.  I used a 4.25mm hook.  The cozie is a sort of sampler of stitches working with a base of 40 stitches around.  I wanted to get some texture in there, to make it less likely to slip in the hand.

I've got it blocking on the carafe itself. It should be dry by morning.  I think my daughter will like it. ☺

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Big Changes

Things have been very quiet on this blog for the last while.  For those of you who have stuck around, thanks for your patience!

There have been a lot of big changes in the Get Crafting! household.  Not least of which is a move to another province.  We now live in my childhood home on the family farm!  The house is smaller and laid out completely different from our previous home and, to make it even more complex, we're having to pack away most of my parents' belongings to put into storage while unpacking our own belongings.  It took a month just to get Internet hooked up!  It will be some months before we will be done, but we've at least reached the point where we have what we need to function on a daily basis.

My office/craft room is now in what used to be my bedroom.  It's the smallest room in the house, not counting the bathroom, so that will change a lot of what I can do.  Especially since there are only two electrical outlets in the room.  I've got the "office" part set up, but the "craft room" part will be a while longer.  I've unpacked my inventory, so I hope to be able to get some good photos and start putting things in my Etsy shop again.

There is lots of work to do, but I try to take time out to do something that can be started and finished quickly, like crocheting a hat.  Being able to finish something is very encouraging!

There are some pretty nice tradeoffs in moving from downtown city living to the boonies, such as having deer come by and visit!

As we get settled in, I look forward to being able to share more here again.

Until then, don't forget to Get Crafting!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

On my hook... Planned colour pooling interrupted

I decided to give planned colour pooling a try.  After attempting with a few different yarns that didn't work, I settled on using Caron Simply Soft Stripes in Jersey Shore.  The resulting project is very wide and will likely end up being a large lap blanket.  I've just started on the fourth skein, and will likely use twelve in total.

Whenever I settle to work on it, Freya decides she needs to cuddle.   She makes it quite difficult to work at times!  It's nice when she's settled like in the photo below, but usually she is walking back and forth across my chest.

She makes it very challenging!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Crochet Rope Basket... with cat

Some time ago, I had picked up several pieces of glow in the dark rope that I found at a rather strange discount superstore in my city, with the thought of crocheting with it.  In the end, I decided against doing it, partly because it seemed a waste to do that with something that is intended to be exposed to light and glow in the dark.  Too much of the rope would be hidden in the twists and loops.

Instead, I decided to use it to make a rope basket.  I found instructions online that I used as a guide, crocheting the coiled rope in place with white cotton crochet thread and a 3.00mm hook. 

A little while ago, I finished it.  It's a bit wonky, and there are things I would do different, but that's okay.  I've got two more lengths of the same rope remaining and will likely use them to make a larger version.

It doesn't seem to glow very well, but perhaps it just hasn't had enough exposure to bright enough light, yet.  I'll have to test it out better, another time.

After showing it to my husband, he suggested I get a picture of it by our cat, Freya. So I did.  She was curled up on the spare bed with her boy, Finnigan.  Finn ignored it completely.

My husband also predicted that she would immediately try and go into the basket.

He was right, of course.

She does this with pretty much everything.  Even the case for my glucometer.

I love our crazy cats.

As for the basket, I am quite happy with it and will definitely work up another one.  I will probably do another oval, though I haven't decided if I will make handles like this again, or make one with a lid.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A bit of an update, plus a teaser

So things are quiet here on the blog, which means that things are busy out in real life!

There are a few things in the works.  Among them is that I will be working towards getting my domain name and a web host to move away from blogger.  Not a big hurry on that right now, though, as those real life things still need to be taken care of.  One of those is to replace our van, which has died a glorious death, but only after getting me safely home.  I already miss my Lulubelle!  We depended on that vehicle a lot.  Unfortunately, getting a replacement we can afford has turned out to be more difficult than expected.  We need to stick with getting a van, as we need something that can fit all four of us, plus his walker, and it tall enough for him to get up into.  A smaller vehicle is much more painful for him to get into and sit in.

Enter my wonderful daughter.  She has been focusing on her art online a lot more.  She's started up a Patreon account, her new web comic, Borrowed Bones, is now live, and she is still taking commissions.

She has told me that all proceeds from her commissions will go towards acquiring another van.

You can see her rates, with samples, here.

You can also follow her tumblr posts here.

You can also get her art printed onto various things at her Redbubble shop.  I've got "All Sun Dappled" on a tote bag and phone cover, and I just love the quality of the products, as well as how well her art looks on it.  My younger daughter got "Darkening the Stars" on a phone case and "The Prophet" on a tank top.

Meanwhile, here is a sneak peak at one of my newest hats, which will go onto my Etsy shop, Treasures Down the Road, as soon as I can take some decent photos ready. The photo does not do justice to how incredibly sparkling it is!  And so comfortable to wear, too!

I'm working on another one that's going to be even more sparkling, with metallic strands and sequins.  It's going to be awesome!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Crochet Christmas Stocking number four.

The last stocking; my own.  I went with just double crochet this time, but tried a different type of heel; an afterthought heel.  I created an opening for the heel, then went back after the rest was done.  Not entirely sure I did it right, but I like the technique.

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