11 July 2014

Hooked on crochet

J. & P. Coats "Knit-cro-sheen" 250 yds

I suppose it was inevitable. Especially with how taken I've been with crochet lately. And I blame a project I've been working on at Effiloché, but this week I've been really taken with this crochet doily I've been working on.

Considering how much I love working on knitted lace, this really should be no surprise. But making doilies isn't really something I've ever explored much, or even thought of making.

The white doily, made with fine crochet cotton & tiny hook on the top of a well polished antique table is the pinnacle of grandmotherliness for me. It's exactly the sort of thing you'd find at my great-grandmother's apartment, along with the porcelain figurines and complete set of collectible porcelain teacups, all inside an antique glass case in the dining room.

Doily time

The associations I have with doilies is probably the sort of association most people have with granny square blankets, maybe. For the record, great-grandma preferred rippled crocheted afghans to granny squares, and if something were made from scraps, you'd never know it. Her version of "home made" projects were properly tailored, double-breasted peacoats & matching over-trousers for all the children, grand children & great-grand children which, I'm told, were sometimes made from old overcoats.

What was I talking about? Doilies. Right. So I've seen my share of aged, once white doilies in my time that it's not something I would consider having on my dresser or sideboard (I'm not big on porcelain figures or china teacups either). I think mostly because I'm not a big knick-knack kind of person, although I'm sure part of it is the association with old stuff (though usually I'm quite the fan of old things). I guess doilies get a bad rap, and now that I've been working on one, I'm not sure why. Hooking this doily has been satisfying the same part of me that lace knitting usually does.

And I often joke that I'm a cranky old lady anyways.

5 July 2014

Speaking of Hexies

This is an epic project. There is no way that this wasn't going to take years of work. And here we are in the 5th year of English paper piecing this project.

It grows slowly. A little section at a time. It gets picked up and worked on a bit here and there over the year. And it keeps going.

Working on the layout

When preparing the randomized layout for the latest section, I snapped some pics. I always have to take a reference picture of the layout because inevitably I get the hexagons out of order somehow while I'm piecing them together (every time!).

For reference

The Stats!

Hexagon size: 0.875 inch a side
(It's a weird size measured like this, when I was picking a size, I was measuring the diameter across from flat side to flat side).

Finished Quilt Width: 83 inches (55 columns of hexes)

Finished Quilt Length: 106 inches (81 rows of hexes)

Which gives a GRAND TOTAL of 4384 hexagons

This diagram shows the current progress. Not counting the hexagons in the current piece I'm working on, there are 2,005 hexagons pieced in this top this far. That makes this top 45.7% done.

My floor is too small

This quilt is getting kind of impressive looking, taking over my studio floorspace.

3 July 2014

Not Another Laceweight

Hey, so I guess I forgot to talk about this yarn I made? I think I mentioned it over here but never elaborated huh?

Gobbler Loose

Well I followed the advice I'd read in The Intentional Spinner about changing wheel ratios & using a higher tension to effectively change yarn weights, and it seemed to work out pretty well. At first I was consciously trying to pull out more fibre as I was drafting, but even when I settled into mindless-zombie-drafting, it still worked out to be bigger yarn. Crazy stuff, I know!

Prepped for spinning

This is also the first of my Hello Yarn fibre stash that I have spun and the first time that I've spun Cheviot too. It has a pleasing crunchiness to it as I spun. It's hard for me to articulate, but I found it an enjoyable spin.

First half spun

As I'm still on my previously mentioned WOOLEN FOREVER, WORSTED NEVER! kick at the moment, I treated this top differently than my previous go to method. I started by dividing the top in half (I even weighed both halves to be sure they were close to even), and then pulled out staple length poufs from one end & spun them from the fold.

Singles in progress

Not laceweight

I ended up with long sections of each colour. But as I didn't do any compensation to be sure colours would line up, this yarn turned out very barber pole-y as a result. It's fine by me. My only plan for this bump of fibre was for a larger gauge of yarn, and that's what I got.

Finished Skein

2-ply
'Gobbler' by Hello Yarn
Fibre Club for October 2012
100% Cheviot Top
Woolen spun from the fold
Start Date: May 14, 2014
End Date: June 11, 2014