Agatha Christie Project, Yarn

Life, Yarn, Books, & 1,001 Subscribers

One of my current crochet projects, a winter blanket scarf, the Lost In Time pattern by Johanna Lindahl.

It’s been nearly 2 months since my last post and I have to say, not too much has been going on! Life here has revolved around school and activities for the littles, a new puppy, being sick, and lots of yarn.

There are only a few months left of school for the kiddies and it feels so weird that I’ll have a kid in Grade 1 next year. Can they please stop growing? I love that they still love to cuddle and snuggle with their mama so I’m taking all that I get now! My oldest gave me two kisses the other night before bed and my heart pretty much melted. And speaking of melting, spring came ridiculously early here – almost too early for me. If you know me, you’ll know I love fall and winter, so when spring comes I start to get irritated because I know summer is coming. I’m the opposite of most people, but I hate summer. Not only do we have tons of mosquitoes, but I also hate that feeling of being sticky the second you walk out the door. Heat and me do not mix.

This guy’s name is Dash, which we didn’t think through since our other Berner’s name is Cashe. Cashe and Dash sounds like some kind of credit loan business!

The winter has gone by with me being sick for most of it, just catching colds and flus every month it seems. I feel like my kids and I are just keeping the same cold, passing it back and forth every week since I can already feel the aches and headaches that come before getting stuffy and sneezy. When spring break rolled around, despite the fact that we were all sick, we decided to get a new puppy! We’ve had our other puppy for 6 months now and he loves to play, but our older dogs are only so so on his type of play, so we found another Bernese Mountain Dog who was living on a farm and we jumped at the chance to get him. He was about 5 months when we picked him up, two days into spring break, and he’s just adorable. So fluffy! He’s also huge, probably the same weight as our other Berner who’s about a year and a half older than him. But they both play together, which is great!

The Pathway Cowl by Hooked on Homemade Happiness, and a knit scarf from a KnitPicks tutorial on YouTube.

I’ve been playing with lots of yarn still, too, falling more and more in love with crocheting and trying new patterns that expand my skills. I also subscribed to a few crochet subscription boxes and bought my first hand-dyed skein which was kind of exciting. I have a crazy amount of projects on the go, and yet I recently decided that I want to really focus on knitting more. I’ve been off and on with knitting for years but I never really devote too much time for it, but I’m determined to figure it out! It’s been fun picking up my knitting needles again and finding tutorials online, though it’s hard to find beginner patterns that aren’t scarves, hats, or dishcloths. Not that I don’t like those things, but I want to try something different.

As far as reading goes, I promise I have been reading! I’m predicting that this year will be the year I read less than any other year, though. We’re about midway through April and I’m on my 11th book, which is so weird to think! In previous years I’ve read this much and more in just January! I really haven’t been following any book news or hype anywhere, I don’t know what any new releases are aside from the ones by favourite authors that I already have preordered, and I haven’t been buying any books aside from, again, the ones I had preordered. I have ordered some crochet and knitting books, but as far as other reading books go, nothing. Again, weird.

Currently, I’m reading some more Agatha Christie! I’ve been reading her Poirot series and decided to break from it with a standalone, reading Crooked House. I’m really loving her books so far and they seem to be the ones I gravitate towards. I also read the new Sophie Kinsella and I was a bit disappointed. I loved her book from a few years back, My Not So Perfect Life, and these past couple books haven’t been quite as good. I have a few other new releases on my bedside table and might start the newest Kelley Armstrong next since I love her Casey Duncan series.

And with my yarn stuff, I’m currently focusing on knitting a scarf, making a spring cowl from some hand-dyed yarn from Hooked on Homemade Happiness, and I plan to finish a virus blanket for my parents’ anniversary.

And lastly, this blog! I know I’ve been crap at updating it, but I’m hoping to do more – even if it’s a bit sporadic. A bit of news, though – I’ve hit 1,001 subscribers! It’s only taken 10 years, but it does feel kind of neat. I’m sure a lot of these subscribers are from a lot of my past content, but hopefully some stay around for what I’ve been posting lately.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this spring so far! Have you read anything good? Have you made anything? Let me know!

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Yarn

Crocheting the EASIEST slippers.

When I started to learn how to crochet, about 8 years ago or so, I wanted to make certain things. After tackling basic scarves and hats, I really wanted to make slippers but I just could never get the hang of the patterns for them since I was still a very, very basic crocheter.

Since I started crocheting more this year, I wanted to use up more of my current stash (which still doesn’t stop me from buying more yarn, by the way) and one type of yarn I have loads of is bulky, or #5. I looked up various bulky crochet patterns on Pinterest and found this pattern by Kristi Simpson and decided to give them a go. And let me tell you, this pattern is super easy and super fast! I crocheted off and on all afternoon and made myself two pairs.

I followed the pattern for my first pair, made with Loops & Threads Charisma Big! in Mulberry Bush and an H hook and while they were nice, I didn’t quite like the fit in the toes so I altered the pattern a bit for the first 14 rows:

  • The pattern originally starts with chaining two, but I made a magic circle instead.
  • First, you are to crochet 10 double crochets, then slip stitch together, and then increasing with two double crochets in each stitch to total 20 stitches by the end of the second round. After this, here is what I did (making sure not to start my double crochets in the slip stitch:
    • Round 3: Ch 2, dc in each stitch. (20 sts)
    • Round 4: Ch 2, dc in the next 10 stitches, increase in the next stitch, dc in the next 9 stitches, and ss to join. (21 sts)
    • Round 5: Ch 2, dc in each stitch. Ss to join. (21 sts)
    • Round 6: Ch 2, dc in the next 10 stitches, increase in the next stitch, dc in the next 10 stitches, and ss to join. (22 sts)
    • Round 7: Ch 2, dc in each stitch. Ss to join. (22 sts)
    • Round 8: Ch 2, dc in the next 11 stitches, increase in the next stitch, dc in the next 10 stitches, and ss to join. (23 sts)
    • Round 9: Ch 2, dc in each stitch. Ss to join. (23 sts)
    • Round 10: Ch 2, dc in the next 9 stitches, increase in the next stitch, dc in the next 5 stitches, increase in the next stitch, dc in the next 7 stitches. Ss to join. (25 sts)
    • Round 11: Ch 2, dc in each stitch. Ss to join. (25 sts)

And after that I followed Kristi’s pattern until the finishing. She does a shell stitch around and I decided to alternate FPDC and BPDC two times around to make a ribbed finish. The second pair I made used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Tonal in Buttercup and Burnt Orange, also with an H hook.

The way I did my second set of slippers, the yellow and orange ones, made a really nice, fitted slipper, whereas the original pattern is a little more loose in the toe section. I prefer fitted.

If you’ve been crocheting for a while and want to try your hand at making some slippers, I highly recommend Kristi’s pattern (with or without my changes). It can easily be altered for smaller or bigger feet (these fit my feet which are a size 9). It’s so simple and so clever and well worth figuring out. I think they would make great Christmas gifts!

Be sure to follow THIS LINK to get Kristi’s pattern, which also includes a very helpful video.

Are you a crocheter? Is there something that you have always wanted to make but the patterns always seem to boggle your mind? 

Yarn

Winter Crocheting (A.K.A. It’s really, really cold.)

Hey guys!

It has been a long time since I posted last, mainly because I wasn’t sure what to write about. I hope your new year is going great so far; as for mine, I’ve been doing some reading, some LEGO building, some TV watching, and getting back into crocheting and other yarn things.

I last crocheted about two years ago. I remember I had been doing a lot of Christmas gifts and I asked my mom to bring me back some yarn from the United States because we didn’t get it here. I finally picked up that yarn to make something this year. So go me!

I don’t know why I suddenly got the urge to crochet; possibly it’s because of the little crochet kits my brother-in-law gave my kids for Christmas. My oldest one got a Safari animal kit and the littlest a Disney princess kit. I’ve never really been great at making amigurumi figures but the kids were begging me to make them one of the figures, so I made a lion for the oldest and a Cinderella for the littlest. Making them made me realize that I needed to brush up on my crocheting and since the kids were showing an interest in me making things, I thought it was about time I brought out my yarn and hooks and started making things again.

Since then I’ve made a few things and haven’t been able to stop! Here are a few things I’ve made so far:

Loom hook grips using rainbow loom elastics. I even made one for my H crochet hook! Pattern from Loom A Hat.
Some ADORABLE little loom-knit kitties. The orange one was my first one and it’s probably the best. The blue one was the last one I made and it looks a little like Yoda. I really need to learn to stitch better. Pattern from Loom A Hat.
This is the first pattern that I’ve ever bought online and I absolutely love it. The size for this one is 4, which is the size my daughter wears, but it fits really big, even with the proper gauge. I made another one in the size 2 and it fits her perfectly. Pattern by Deni Sharpe.

And on my hook right now are a few Valentine’s Day stuffies for the kids, which I’ll share when they’re done; a blanket for a friend’s new baby; and some really easy loom-knit tube socks. On a mission to organize my yarn and yarn crafting supplies, I also found about 5 blankets I was making and never finished, plus the squares for a few corner-to-corner blankets I started a few years ago. I also found some half-done projects which I had to frog since I wasn’t very good at keeping a pattern with a project and for the life of me couldn’t remember what the heck I was making!

I’ve been getting more into loom-knitting and Tunisian crochet and have bought a few books on crochet, Tunisian crochet, and knitting, along with a few little fun kits to practice more amigumuri for the kids.

Let’s just say I am absolutely hooked! I first started crocheting in 2011 and finally feel like I have the hang on how to do it. This year I’ve learned a few things:

  1. Always print out a pattern when making something! If the internet goes down or if the project gets set aside, the pattern will still be there.
  2. Stitch markers aren’t just for marking certain points in a project; they also come in handy when sewing amigumuri and other stuffed projects together. I found that when I eyeball things, it doesn’t go well.
  3. Ballpoint pins are great for marking where eyes should go on a project.
  4. Tunisian crochet is ridiculously fun.
  5. Crocheting in a continuous round goes much more smoothly when putting a stitch marker on the last stitch of a row – this might be why my other amigurumi projects have never quite looked picture perfect.
  6. Count, count, count! In the past I’ve fudged around with rows when I screw up my counting, but I’m realizing that frogging parts of projects or starting over can be invaluable to getting a project right.
  7. Just keep trying! I’m not perfect at any of these crafts, but it’s so much fun finding projects and attempting to make them. I get lots of practice, learn new skills, and maybe learn new techniques to make things run more smoothly.
  8. And lastly, organization is a LIFE SAVER. Before this week, I had been keeping all my yarn in various bins in the basement. I had hooks in a drawer, scissors and stitch markers … somewhere, and various books and magazines just piled up together. Once I finally went through and organized things I was able to see what yarns I had to work with (a lot of worsted, bulky, and some DK and one jumbo yarn) and I could what tools I had available, be it needles, hooks, or looms, as well as the other accessories that go with the craft.

So I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be sharing more of my crochet and other yarn-projects here as I go. I’ve always loved learning about other peoples’ journeys when they start new things so hopefully I can document my progress here as I go!