Tying knots

Granny pillow cover

Here’s those granny squares I have been working on. I’m trying to use up the last little bits of yarn from the ripple blanket, so why not make a matching pillow cover? This will be the front, with fabric for the back of the pillow case. All the squares are done and joined, but I still need to weave in the ends (most tedious of work, I avoid it) and crochet a border around it before sewing it to fabric.

I’ve also been working on a blanket for Peanut’s bed. He’s still in his crib for now, but I want his bed, once he transitions there, to have a thick and warm blanket to go on top of the covers, or as a layer between sheets and quilt (there’s another project I’m working on, a quilt for the bed). So I’ve been steadily making him a blanket, using three colors of yarn together and a size N (10 mm) hook. It’s chunky and heavy and warm.

Peanut's blanket

It’s about a third done, as I want it to be about six feet long. It’s as wide as a twin-sized mattress. I’m using Berroco Vintage yarn because it’s machine washable, and let’s face it, this blanket will probably need a lot of washing over the years being on a boy’s bed. I’m doing the simplest stitch of them all, single crochet, because I want the blanket to hold up well and be warm. I’m letting the colors add the beauty. It’s taking a lot of yarn, which I am only buying three yarn cakes at a time to go easy on the pocketbook, but I’m hoping it’s a blanket Peanut will treasure for a long time, so it’s worth it. I’m adding a row or two a day, just enjoying the process. I hope to have it ready for Christmas.

Peanut's blanket closeup

Ripples

Started working on another baby/lap blanket. It’s already pretty much gorgeous. I’m using Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran yarn in eight different colors.

Ripples in progressIsn’t it just lovely so far? I’m using an H (5 mm) hook and Lucy from Attic 24’s ripple pattern. Is there anyone in crochetland who doesn’t just adore Attic 24? I just ogle at her photos and beautiful crochet projects. Crochet porn!

Anyway, I’m hoping to sell this blanket. Haven’t decided yet whether or not to start an Etsy page, or to just try to sell in some local stores or at local craft fairs. I’ve been chatting with a friend of mine who’s a wicked good knitter about going in together for craft fairs so we can split the cost of the booth. We think we’d be pretty successful because we’ve both got a good eye for color. But I worry about getting what I want for my work. I bought the eight skeins of yarn on sale for $7 (normally they’re $10.50). So just my cost of materials alone is $56. And I like to at least pay myself a little for my time and effort (well, actually, I’d like to pay myself so I can afford to go buy more yarn for my next project). I think I’ll ask $125-$150 for this blanket when it’s done (which is paying myself about $3 an hour, by the way), but the question remains, can I get it? I suppose if it doesn’t sell I have a lovely lap blanket for myself. I’m also trying to make a bunch of baby hats/women’s hats to sell, and perhaps some garlands and mobiles.

More ripplesIn other news, I picked up a little bag to hold my hooks, scissors, stitch markers, and tapestry needles last time I was at the yarn store. I’ve been on the hunt for something for a while to corral my hooks. I’d pinned a number of crochet hook book patterns, but I think I like this little drawstring bag better. It was made locally and I love the fabric the lady used for my home state.

MT hook bagAnd now I’ll leave you with a little glimpse of heaven:

Basket of yarn

Sunny days are here again

You know you live in the Northwest when, on those fleetingly rare winter days when the clouds part and the sun shines, your initial response isn’t, “Oh hey, it’s finally sunny. I can stop being depressed now!”, but rather, “Why is it so bright in here? What is THAT?” Funny how quickly this Colorado-born and raised girl, who like all folks from her native state, craved sunshine (Colorado gets about 300 days of sunshine a year) has turned into a dyed-in-the-wool Montanan, who blinks in surprise on sunny winter days. Funny cloud-locked responses aside, I am more than happy to welcome the sun today. It’s just lovely to sit in the warm, bright patch next to the glass sliding door and crochet. And ignore the work I’m supposed to be doing. And crochet.

J blanket halfway

I’m working on a blanket for the Peanut. I showed a picture of it a few days ago in my “Yarn Therapy” post. The blanket is about halfway done after a week’s worth of work. I’m using a herringbone crochet stitch with a pattern of my own devising. You can find a great tutorial here for the stitch. It’s a very easy stitch, and right now I’m totally OK with mindless finger movements so I can concentrate on other things. It’s also a very tight, dense stitch, which I like for the warmth factor.

WEB 1-27-13 herringbone half double crochet

I’m using Berroco yarn, from the Vintage line. It’s nice yarn, soft and easy to work with. Though acrylic yarn is cheaper, I don’t like the way it feels sliding across my fingers as I crochet. Is that weird? There needs to be some wool in yarn for it to be, I don’t know, real.

We’re all finally recovering from the depths of illness over the past week. After three different doctors appointments spread out over the week and a chest x-ray, the doc finally diagnosed the Peanut with bronchitis. Which doesn’t surprise me in the least. I get bronchitis myself nearly every year. A round of antibiotics and every-four-hours treatments with a nebulizer, Peanut has rebounded and is finally back to being my smiley guy. A smiley guy who doesn’t mind sharing my husband’s lap with our cat, Pele.

Lap sharing

 

Had to get out of the sick house this weekend and found myself at my favorite local antique/consignment store. It is truly fabulous in there. And being friends with the owner and therefore getting discounts always helps. I was on the hunt for some chairs for the brewery. We ordered new barstools, but we have one low table and wanted some eclectic chairs. I searched high and low at the local thrift stores and was frankly disgusted to find that the thrift stores all wanted about $35 a chair for rickety sticks that would likely collapse if you looked at them wrong. So I ponied up another $20 bucks a chair and got some solid, nice chairs. They don’t match, but we wanted something “found” and eclectic anyway to go with the rustic theme in the brewery. So, three chairs down and one to go.

And of course, since that antique store is my very favorite, I couldn’t get out the door without picking up some personal things. (Did I mention that I only allow myself in that antique store about twice a year for that very reason?) I found a darling and sturdy teal blue child’s chair for the Peanut. It’s still big, obviously, but I look forward to him growing into it and enjoying his own little chair. It will go great with a little activity table in a year or two. Oh, and here’s the blanket I’m working on again draped over the chair.

Blanket and blue chair

 

Also found the flannel shirt my husband is wearing in the picture above. It’s a vintage Pendleton shirt, made in the U.S.! Sadly a lot of Pendleton’s stuff has been moved to manufacturing overseas. But this shirt, for a lot cheaper than a new one made in China, looked like it would fit so I snapped it up. And Big Country likes it a lot. My final purchases were a crochet doily and crochet table runner. I couldn’t believe how cheaply she was selling them (sssshh don’t tell her that!). The doily was $3 and the table runner $8. I could work on a table runner like that for WEEKS. And I sure as hell wouldn’t charge a measly 8 bucks for it!

Crochet runner

Isn’t it great? Fits perfectly on “Peanut’s shelf.” (This bookshelf, which is ancient and fabulous, used to be full of books and whatnot, but Peanut would always get into it and make a giant mess. So we cleared it out and put some toys in it for him. Someday it’ll have books in it again.)

So, despite a really stuffy nose, a cough, and a rough night’s sleep last night, I’m feeling a lot more at peace with things than I was last week. I guess sometimes you just have to let things do. Drink some coffee. Crochet. Read a book. And speaking of books… I’m reading a really special one right now that isn’t even published yet! I’ll share it in my next post.