Sunday, April 25, 2010


It's been one of those weeks--ya know the kind where not much gets done?  Now my body feels yucky.  My head is stuffed.  Even my face hurts.  Hope its not the start of a sinus infection (haven't had one of those in years).  Anyone want a used cold?

First the kids came down with a generic cough and cold, followed by a fever--thankfully that was brief.  Then I succumbed to the super-kid germs and now hubby has too.  I managed to get through the work week without taking a sick day (not that I have sick days, per se.  If I'm off, I lose a day's pay).  But my energy levels have been dangerously low all week.  Suffice to say that there has been little crafting at casa d'acrylic-girl.

Cold Comforts

To comfort me, I've got loads of herbal tea, tissues galore, good ol' Vicks Vapour Rub and Tylenol .  And I haven't forgotten the requisite chicken soup. And lots and lots of water.

Catch ya later when I'm feelin' better.  Right now I need a nap.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Still Crocheting

More Dishcloths

Still working on a few more dishcloths (similar to this  and this which I've already made).    Unfortunately I'm rapidly running out of cotton.  See the wee ball of cotton above?  That's all that's left.  No cotton in the house.

So I thought, why not get more and share the crochet love?  So to that end, I've ordered more worsted cotton (hopefully it arrives within the next 2 weeks).  My plan: make some placements with matching dishcloths, dishtowels and yes, a dishsoap apron too.  I'm hoping to gift them to my MIL.  Her birthday falls at the end of June, so I'm thinking I should have enough time.  And she's very appreciative of hand-crafted gifts as she is a fellow crafter.

Since I've returned to crochet, I've found my hook can affect my hands.  I do try to take frequent breaks.  Sometimes, though, the fault lies in the hook.  I prefer to use aluminum hooks over plastic (even in my knitting).  But the particular brand I use has a flat spot over the handle indicating hook size.

Then I came across a neat looking hook with a very wide handle. Clover manufacturers these Crochet-Lite hooks (but I couldn't find anything on their website. Perhaps they no longer make them, although I did find online suppliers). 
Close-Up of Hook

Originally I thought these hooks would be useful.  Sometimes I take my crochet along to work where I stitch away in the semi-darkness of the nap room.  As it turned out, the light bothered my eyes.  However, the handle has been a boom.  It is comfortable!  Check out the comparison pictured below.
Comparison of Various Hooks

I've read about other crocheters modifying their hooks to provide more comfort.  What do you do?  What about the knitters out there?  Any modifications made to make crafting more comfortable?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Seamy Side of Seams?

Corny title?  Perhaps.  Did you know that the word "seamy" originally referred to the inside of a sewn garment.  According to, it was a figurative phrase meaning the 

"least pleasant, worst," from seam (q.v.), the seamy side of a sewn garment being the less attractive, and thus typically turned in. The popularity of the fig. sense likely is due to its use by Shakespeare
Isn't that tidbit of knowledge interesting?  A term referring to the unpleasant look of seams is now synonymous with sordid and sleazy.

But history aside, seams are no doubt a pain--at least those of the knitted variety. But I've learned to deal with them and now feel at least a little confident about having to sew knitted pieces ( my current Bernat project will require seaming as well as the weaving-in of a zillion little ends, but that's another story).

A reader's comments reminded me that not too long ago, I too was scared of seams.  It took two toy projects for me to finally get over it.
Relaxing French Bear (aka Pierre)

I think I've recently shared this project (pictured above) not too long ago.  It's an older project from 2007-08.  He was made at the same time as another teddy bear (pictured below)
Aviator Bear (aka Daniel)

Both bears came from Debbie Bliss' book Teddy-Bears .  While many of Bliss' projects were cute, the bears and their outfits required many tiny pieces (suffice to say, I was not happy with all the itty bitty sewing).

The proverbial light blub finally went on when I watched a video on (there are probably lots of other videos on You-Tube too, but at the time Knitting-Help was my go-to website for instructional videos).

We all make mistakes and learning something new can be challenging.  Perhaps I can share something I've gleaned from my knitting heroes (Maggie Righetti and the Yarn Harlot): it's only yarn.  So don't be scared. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Little R and R

So to soothe my rattled brain and replenish my spirits, I picked up the latest copy of Knit Simple's Spring/Summer edition (now that I know where to find it in town).
Cover Showing Ruffle Trim Tank

There are a few cardigans, but the one below is my fave.  I like its swingy design.
Swing Cardigan

It looks like its knit in one piece from the top down, but is in fact worked in pieces.  Thankfully I've gotten over my fear of seaming (although it's not my favorite thing to do, but it's better than weaving in ends).

While cardigans are my fave garment to make, I also enjoy making tank tops. I think it's the simple construction and the lack of sleeves; in other words, it's usually a quick project.  And this issue has no shortage of tanks.  Lots of cute options, including the pretty pink tank on the cover.

Lace Rib Shell

Lace Dress

The orange item above is actually a dress, but it should be easy to shorten it, thereby making it a tank.

I must say that Knit Simple has tried to improve their website.  I noticed they now have additional photos of their projects on their website (the feature is called "Close Up").  The more pictures, the better!  Different views can help a knitter decide if a particular item will suit her body type.  Also, additional photos can offer a better view of details.  My only "complaint" is that it would be helpful to see the clothing item on a real person (but that's asking for too much, isn't it?).

By the way, my crocuses are in full bloom! 

Lovin' the wonderful splash of colour amidst the faded, dried-up remains of last year's bounty.  How's your weekend?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oh the Pain . . .

Yeah, I finally mustered the strength to tackle my taxes.  Perhaps using a computer tax program or HR Block could make life a little easier.  Used both at some point in the past.  Never got me any further ahead--save for the retention of brain cells.
Tax Stuff

Suffice to say that my head hurts a little (must be from the minor brain implosion).  Honestly, why does it have to be so darn convoluted (and sadly, I know the answer to that question)?  Time for a much needed break!  A cookie and some fresh air will do me some good--followed by copius amounts of knitting and/or crocheting.

Later  (when my brain doesn't ache so much) :S

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pretty Colours

So with the long weekend, you'd think I'd be more productive with my time . . . not so much.  Not too much knitting (and I had such high hopes).  The weather has been incredible (as in forget spring; it feels like summer!).  So we've been outdoors as much as possible ('cuz I have a feelin' it ain't gonna last).  We puttered 'round outside, cleaning off the deck, preparing the BBQ and clearing debris from the garden beds.

And much to my surprise, there was a bevy of activity in my wee garden.  My crocuses are ready to bloom--almost a month ahead of schedule!
First Crocuses

Other things are growing too: the bleeding hearts and hostas have begun sprouting, the dianthus are showing signs of life and so are the sliver beacons and aurea.
Creeping Aurea Showing New Growth

It all seems a wee bit early . . . not that I'm complaining.  I'm loving all the sunshine and warmth.  It's a welcome change from the dreary days of cold winter.

And of course, in anticipation of Easter we coloured eggs with the kids.  We usually use one of those kits sold in the grocery store.
A Bevy of Pastel-Coloured Goodness

I'm not much for wearing pastels, but I do love how the soft colours compliment each other.  Aren't they pretty?
Close-Up of Easter Eggs

The kids look forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny who always drops off a few things: some chocolate eggs, perhaps a book, a craft kit or an outdoor toy.  I look forward to a quiet and relaxing day, hanging out with all my guys.  
Bunny Friends

Hope your holiday weekend is shaping up to be a good one!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Not Quite A Pair . . .

Yeah, that second sock is growing--bit by bit.  I only get to work on it at naptime and lunch--so maybe 15-30 min at most--if I'm lucky.  I'll fess up that there have been a few days when I've spent all of 5-10 min and that's it.  So it is amazing that I've accomplished as much as I have.
Second Sock In-Progress

Actually my sock is further ahead than what you see.  I've already picked up stitches for the gusset and am diligently working the decreases.  I'll get 'er done--maybe by end of April?  Hey, it's possible.

My evenings are spent working on another big project for Bernat in the evenings (I like making the big stuff, especially clothing for me).  Actually, I just finished another project that you can check out at Bernat Yarns (I know.  It's a shameless plug **blushes**).

Hope your weekend is full of crafty goodness.  Mine will be.  :)
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