Rain, Rain, Go Away …or Not

Rain on the deck
Rain on the deck

The forecast for the next forever is calling for rain, rain, and even more rain.  Did I mention that it’s going to rain?  I have no problem with rain normally, but something tells me that by the end of the week I am going to be sick of it.  Rain makes the flowers grow and helps replenish the water supply.  Remind me of this when my head is throbbing from a weather headache.

The dandelions in the yard are doing extremely well with the rain that has fallen.  The leaves are competing with their supermarket cousins and the bun sisters are loving it!  Even the plantain leaves are bigger than normal which is great.

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WIP Tuesday – A Bit of a Head Scratcher Today

Today’s blog post is a bit of a head scratcher.  Perhaps it’s the heat.  Perhaps it’s the sudden change in temperature from early March to late June.  It must be my brain melting.  That is the only explanation for it.

Deflated Mokona
“You don’t even look like a rabbit, Mokona.” “Oh, shut up.”

Mokona is doing her best impression of a rug this afternoon.

I’m struggling a bit today with finding an ongoing project to highlight for today’s WIP Tuesday so I turned to the Google machine to look for inspiration.  I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.

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Beginner Crochet Series – The Half-Double Crochet Stitch into the Chain

Today we are going to be making the half-double crochet stitch into the chain.  The half-double crochet is the next stitch in height after the single crochet.  There are several things to keep in mind when doing this stitch so please pay attention.

This is the stitch that you will probably be redoing the most as you crochet.  It’s not a difficult stitch, but pulling your hook through three loops at once can be a bit annoying.  This is when using your hook and fingers to work together is a necessity as well as learning to relax so your stitches are not tight.

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Keeping My Mind Occupied While I Crochet

Dimholt today
Dimholt today – Starting the lace panel

I try to keep my mind occupied while I crochet or spin.  Unless the crochet pattern is especially difficult, I need some form of entertainment or educational experience.  My mind has to be working or it wanders off somewhere and I loose my stitch count.

I’ve always liked mental activities, not physical ones. When I was in school, I hated gym class, but loved English and History. My ideal gym class would have been sitting in the bleachers reading a good book. Instead I had to move around and waste a precious forty-five minutes of my day doing activities I wasn’t very good at.

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Beginner Crochet Series – Moving on to the Second Row

Now that you have tackled the single crochet into the chain stitch row, you are ready to move onto the second row.  You are over the beginner crocheter’s hump.  The rest should be much easier.  Sure, you’ll have stitches that will make your eyes glaze over and your hair turn gray.  But doing the single crochet into the chain row is the hardest to learn because it’s awkward and fiddly.  So pat yourself on the back and get ready for the next adventure into the world of crochet.

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Thinking Outside the Box When You Crochet

The Starting Pile of Yarn
The Starting Pile of Yarn – Lion Brand Suede and Cascade Heathers

Thinking outside the box is important in crochet because it is a creative activity.  Whether you need to change the stitch count in a sweater because you aren’t the same shape as the designer or you forgot a double crochet several rows back, the ability to be flexible is important.  And I know designers hate to admit that they are humans sometimes (just kidding 🙂 ), they can and do make the occasional mistake.  Even a one word typo can throw you for a loop.

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WIP Tuesday – Continuing to Work on the Dimholt Shawl

Dimholt Shawl close up of stitches
Dimholt Shawl – close up of stitches

The sun is shining and the trees are sprouting their leaves while the lilac flowers are smelling wonderful.  I continued to work on the Dimholt Shawl while I was at the library this morning.  It’s going to be a slow process since the yarn is much thinner than what I normally use and there is so much of it in the cake.

I’m still loving how slowly the gradient is in this yarn.  It adds to the fun, but doesn’t do much for my impatience.  The photo to the right doesn’t show the last row of back post double crochets because  they are hidden underneath.  You’ll be able to see them when I start the next set of repeats.

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Beginner Crochet Series – The Single Crochet into the Chain Stitch, Part Two

Hello, everyone and welcome to this week’s lesson on making a single crochet into the back hump of a chain stitch.  Hopefully, you have been practicing your chain stitches as well as working on identifying the parts of each stitch.  This week we will be making our first of many single crochets.  If you want to review Part One, please click here.

Since you are going to be putting the first single crochets into your most recent chain stitches, they should be much easier to work with than the first chain stitches that your did when you first started.

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The “Sequin Diva Cowl” using the Muddy Rainbow Yarn

The Muddy Rainbow and the start of the cowl
The Muddy Rainbow and the start of the cowl

Have I told you how much I like the way my first dye project came out?  Well, if you missed all the other posts recently, let me tell you know that I really like the way the Muddy Rainbow looks.  Something this interesting needed an equally interesting pattern so I chose the “Sequin Diva Cowl” by Sara Sach of Posh Pooch Designs.

The Pattern

i really want to show off the gradient of this skein so the increase of a triangle wasn’t going to cut it.  I decided to go with the Sequin Diva Cowl because it has crazy “teeth”, but the stitch count remains the same across each row.

The gradient of the cowl so far
The gradient of the cowl so far

The pattern is an easy four row repeat.  I memorized the instructions quickly even though they are not written in convention terms.  Just keep in mind that you stop five stitches from the end on the same row you did the extra half double stitches and you’re all set.  My brain took a left turn somewhere as I was crocheting the third set and I had to frog to the beginning of the sequence.

I also altered the pattern and did five stitches less that the 35 per row because I’m not sure I would have had enough yarn.  With 166 yards my cowl may still be a little snug in the end, but it should be just fine.

How It’s Going So Far

I started with the chains this morning around 9ish and I had finished eight four row sequences by the time Mom showed up at 11:30.  I’ll get back to this project as soon as I am done publishing this post and  I expect that it will be completed early this evening.

The sharp contrast between the orange and the maroon
The sharp contrast between the orange and the maroon

Though the fiber is not next to skin soft, it is draping very nicely.  I imagine this would go well over a winter coat with a collar.  I just love the way the gradient goes from deep orange to dark maroon with brown, then to black and finally dark teal. My only concern is the sharp contrast from dark teal to deep orange when I sew the ends together.

Do  you have any projects you are working on today?  Let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to see what you are working on.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters