more bread, two WIPs and and FO

I am really getting into this bread thing. I made a  batch of the Oat Flour Bread dough, also from Artisan Bread, a few days ago. The recipe said to make it in loaf form but I wanted a round loaf. I'm not sure it turned that well. The crust was good but the crumb wasn't great.

I may not have cooked it long enough. I'm still getting the hang of this. Today I made the rest of it into two loaves (which were only 1 lb of dough each instead of 1.5, for some reason, so they are on the small side). I haven't cut them yet, but the look nice.

I also made a batch of the light whole wheat dough because I realized that I am blazing through the inherited white flour but haven't touched the whole wheat. I think after this one I will try the 100% whole wheat bread which has honey and milk in it and sounds yummy.

On the subject of knitting (and crochet), I finished a toy crocheted grocery bag for a friend of Stefan's. (We got her some wooden food for her birthday so I made the bag for her to carry it.)

I finished to top of the mermaid costume that I'm making for the little sister of the recipient of the previous mermaid costume. I finished the tail portion of the bottom but I think I've twisted the cast-on stitches for the rest of the skirt so I'm going to have to go back a bit. Boo.

mermaid topmermaid tail

Rill is still waiting for sleeves or for the body to be blocked, or both.

Last weekend Purlescence had a sale on Rowan Revive, which I have been wanting to try. It was 50% off! I could not resist. I have 12 balls of it, close to 1500 yds of DK weight yarn. I'm thinking about another cardigan. We'll see if I can finish this one first, or maybe one of the two cotton tops that I have knit that need ends weaving in!

And on a totally random subjsect: one of our silkworms made it through his/her lifecycle and the kids named him/her Silkie. Sorry the photo is blurry.

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bleeding dye, broken hooks and socks

Last year I dyed some yarn. This week I tried to use it. I knew I was going to have to wash the item afterwards because the yarn never rinsed clear but I didn't realize just how much I was going to have to wash it. I washed it in the sink with textile detergent (the Dharma version of Synthrapol) then I soaked it in vinegar and washed it in the machine with hot water and the textile detergent. It's still bleeding. On everything. I'm very frustrated. Dyers out there, any suggestions on setting this crap? It's procion fiber reactive dye on a cotton/rayon yarn. It's frustrating because I think the color is pretty and I loved how it looked in this pattern (the darkside cowl – Rav link).

Another frustrating thing happened when I was crocheting a baby sea turtle for Stefan.

Cute, right? Yes, but this happened.

Sigh. I have to say I'm not having much luck with the Kollage square needles and hooks. I have an I and J hook that are solid wood and work very well but this one, clearly, has issues. Or had. I glued it with Erik's model epoxy (my go to, must stay glued, glue) and it seems to be holding so now I can make the legs for that little guy. Then Niels wants the robot from the cover there.

Last, but very much not least, a pair of socks in the self-patterning cotton sock yarn I got at Sock Summit.

This picture is from a few days ago, I'm almost to the heel already. I was making the Upstream architechture from Cat Bordhi's book but I decided that I'd rather have the increases on the foot so I'm flipping it over and making it a Foxglove sock instead. Gotta love Cat's genius socks. And they aren't even bleeding or broken!

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*blink* *blink*

Where have I been! It's been more than a month since my last post. Sorry about that. Although, in my defense, that last post was written the day after school ended for Niels, so things have been off-schedule, in good ways and bad challenging ways.

What have I been working on? Well, I crocheted a coaster because I couldn't resist a ball of Sugar n Cream Stripes at JoAnn.

Then I crocheted a boy in a dinosaur suit for a girl who likes dinosaurs.

dino boydino boydino boy

And after that I crocheted a seahorse for Stefan because he fell in love with my friend Linda's unfinished project of the same.

charly seahorsestefan named him Watery

I'm working on another one, this time in a thinner yarn so it can be the "baby" for Niels, by specific request. Right now it's just a head, though.

And just today I gave my friend Victoria a mitered square towel (an Excellent Lady Gift according to the Mason-Dixon Knitting book where I got the pattern). I guess that means Victoria is a Lady, or I am, or possibly both.

Apparently, I've mostly been crocheting. Okay there is also some knitting going on. The pucker sweater is growing but I've hit the wall with it for some reason. My Hempstream is still on time out for not going together smoothly, somehow. Also, I coordinated and knit some of a blanket for the aforementioned Linda the pattern for which I submitted to Knitty. I got a rejection email a couple of days ago which I actually found to be very unexpected. I thought they would like it. I need to pick myself up, brush myself off and get the pattern together in PDF form to sell on Ravelry instead, I think. I am working on some other gift knitting but I can't talk about it, or post photos, for obvious reasons.

The other knitting related thing that happened was that I gave my mother my February Lady Sweater. I just didn't like the way it looked on me. I don't like having to fasten my cardigans all the way to the top so a cardigan that only fastens at the top is just not a good plan for me. I'm not sure now why I thought it was. I got swept up in the February Lady Sweater excitement, I suppose.

I haven't had many editing clients recently. I don't know if fewer people are publishing patterns because fewer people are buying patterns because the economy sucks or if everyone else is as swept up in summer as I am. I'm hoping it's the latter so that in the fall when the kids are back in school maybe I'll have more to do. Time will tell, I suppose!

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elder god for the younger son

I got out my copy of Creepy Cute Crochet to look for instructions on how to make the general body shape I wanted for the Mystery Animal. Stefan had other ideas, though. Stefan said he wanted "the green guy", otherwise known as Cthulhu. Luckily, he's a lot more friendly looking in a small crochet version.

Obviously, he needs eyes. I didn't have the right sized safety eyes so I figured I'd find something after he was finished. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble embroidering them on. I might take a page from Janice's book and get some felt.

The part that amuses me about all of this is that Cthulu (yes, without the second H) was Erik's screen name on the MUD where we met so I feel connected to that name. Stefan still calls this "that green guy" though, which is super cute. Also, he doesn't seem at all bothered by That Green Guy's lack of eyes.

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dishcloth mania continues

I'm not sure why I'm so into dishcloths right now, but I am. I think it's the practically instant gratification, especially when they are crocheted. In any case, I have finished three more since my last post.

dish cloth mania!dish cloth mania!dish cloth mania!

The green and white and blue and white yarns are Lily Sugar n Cream stripes and I really like they way they both turned out in these dishcloths. That spiral cloth on the right is a neat pattern but mine doesn't lay flat, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. It could simply be too tight since I have a G and an I but no H hook, and that's the size suggested by the pattern. These three total to 182 more yards of yarn used which brings my usage total to 530, which means that I am now free to go to Purlescence and get that one ball of sock yarn to make my niece's socks. Whew! I can pick up a size H hook while I'm there.

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airplane crochet and the quest for dutch yarn

I opted to crochet on the a irplane rather than knit. I kept hearing horror stories about kntting being confiscated, plus crochet is easier to stop in the middle. I made most of a totally utilitarian dishcloth, I only needed to look up how to do crab stitch once we got here.

dishcloth I made on the plane

I also started the Stitch Diva Studios Broomstick Lace Jacket. I didn't get very far, it was hard to see in the airplane light. It's a bit bigger now.

the beginning of my broomstick lace

Yesterday I located two stores that sell yarn in Haarlem, but neither was open. One will be open tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have something to report!

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operation washcloth

I was possessed by the washcloth urge on Sunday, as I often seem to be. I crocheted two of the Practically Hyperbolic Dishcloth while at Boba, and promptly gave them to Anabel for her girls. The wee one was interested in it while I was making it so I thought it might entertain her while Anabel got to knit. That worked for a few minutes. (Ravelry Project Details)

wiggly washcloths 1 and 2wiggly wash cloth 3another wiggly washcloth

Then yesterday I made a broomstick lace dishcloth. I have the Crochet Broomstick Lace Jacket pattern and I had no idea how to do broomstick lace, so I figured this would be good practice. I was pleasantly surprised by how the colors stacked up in the lace. (Ravelry Project Details)

broomstick lace washclothclose up

I have to say, that's a pretty cool technique. I look forward to trying it in the jacket. It's super fast too, of course.

The fourth hyperbolic dishcloth finished that ball of Sugar n Cream and I went eagerly to my Ravelry stash page to delete it and reduce my stash yardage. I hadn't entered it. Don't you hate when that happens?

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I made Stefan a pig for his birthday (Ravelry project details). I wanted to finish it in time for his party which had a loose animal theme, but I wasn't fast enough. He really likes it and Niels, my mother and one of Niels' friends have all requested pigs of their own.

stefan meets the pigpig butthi pig

I also made Nada Nother Bunny Buddy last week for my cousin's wife, who is pregnant (Ravelry project details). I'm hoping that it got there on time for the baby shower yesterday, so now I can post it, since she reads this blog.

Hi NadaNada Nother Bunny!

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lace doily

My mother and aunt have asked me a couple of times if I will be making crocheted lace doilies like their aunt Sophie used to make. They both get a very nostalgic look in their eye when they ask me so when Anabel had a copy of At Home With Crochet that she was giving away, I decided to give the cover doily a try. Appropriately, it's a tulip motif doily, tulips being "typical Dutch" as they say. I think the hook I used was a bit too small but I'm happy with how it turned out anyway. I may try it again with a larger hook. For now, I'm making one of the other patterns in the book, a quick lacy coaster.

9/29/07not as bad as it looksstreeeetchmotiffinished doily

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I take it back…

I'm not really knitting. I've been crocheting like crazy. I think it's an addiction at this point. In the past two days I have made two more wash cloths, one in the lacy pattern again and one that is technically a granny square, I think.

still another crocheted clothyet another cloth...a growing pile

Today, I made a fried egg and started a starghan as a baby blanket for the baby of a very dear friend of mine. I have been thinking about said friend and his baby almost non-stop and wishing I were nearby to give them actual tangible help, like dinner, or folding laundry, or something. Instead I keep talking to my friend and hoping that my words lift him up as much as a nice big lasagne would. My words will now be followed by a lovely start shaped baby blanket!

sizzle, sizzlethe birth of a star

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