WIP Weds ~ in which it is all Babette, all the time*

* not actually true… there has been other knitting; it’s just not being shown here today.

Babette progress

Remember last week, when I told you I was almost done with the Babette squares? Well, this week I have finished them!

Babette progress

Or, I have finished them if I counted correctly. If I discover while joining the squares that I mis-counted, I will make whatever squares I determine I’m missing as I get to the stage of joining it. I’m hoping that I won’t have to do that, though, because I counted multiple times and came up with the same number each time.

Babette progress

Now I need to determine a basic layout for these squares and then start joining them. I don’t want it to be too planned out, because that wasn’t the point of this blanket. However, I also don’t want it to be too random, or with my luck I’ll end up with two essentially matching squares right next to each other. The blanket does have you join the larger section in sections, if I remember correctly, and then you join the big sections together. So at the least I will clump the squares by section and then join them randomly from there. We’ll see. I may lay out the entire thing. I haven’t decided yet.

Babette progress

The cat, of course, thought I was providing her with toys.

Babette progress

It didn’t help that I haven’t woven in all the ends yet. (I won’t be weaving in all of the ends – one of the joys of crochet is that I can hide the bind-off tail when I join the squares. But I will need to weave in the starting ends, and I haven’t done all of those yet.) Still, it’s very exciting to have hit this point in the project!

Hoe you’re having a great week, too!

Nice Crispy Bacon

I promised you a bacon scarf FO post… and here it is! Yay!
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This scarf was one that a friend asked me to make him. He had asked me for a bacon scarf, so I found a few patterns that I could knit easily and showed them to him. However, I was looking on Ravelry, and so in addition to the ones I suggested, he saw a different pattern that he liked most because it LOOKED LIKE BACON.

So. Silly me, I decided I could make it for him, “no problem”. I guess, when you come to it, there technically wasn’t a problem, in that I did finish the scarf. (Though it was over a year after he asked for it.) But there were little problems. First, the pattern was not really a pattern, just a bacon chart. (A very well done bacon chart, mind you. It really does look like bacon when worked up.) Second, there’s no delineating mark between the edge of the bacon and the “no stitch” part. (There’s no excuse for that one. I don’t understand that part, and have to adjust my opinion of the value paid for the chart accordingly.) So once the pattern and the yarn was purchased, I still had to spend a bit of time marking the chart up to determine what was going to be worked and what was not.
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The third little problem was determining how to work the scarf. I had originally planned to knit it, because I greatly prefer knitted fabric to crocheted when it comes to clothing. (Yes, there are some exceptions. This was not one of them.) However, I really don’t like knitted intarsia, and also I wanted this to be a double-sided scarf. I didn’t want to carry fair-isle style floats on the back of the piece. So, the scarf had to be crocheted. Which meant I needed to learn how to do crochet intarsia. (Turns out it’s technically easy enough, but either you have to carry all the other yarns inside your work, or you have lots of little balls of yarn which make wonderful yarn spaghetti. I carried yarn inside the darker colors without a problem, but every time I carried the yarn inside the white yarn, it kinda showed through. So I had lots of ends. Fortunately crochet makes it really easy to hide ends.)
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The fourth (and final, thankfully) little problem was length. I wasn’t good enough at crochet intarsia (since I had just learned it) to know how long the resulting project would turn out. I had to go with a gauge that gave me a good fabric, and hope it would be long enough. Given the type of chart, making it longer wasn’t an option for me either, since I didn’t want to pause during the final third and spend weeks trying to work out more design that matched the style of the bacon I had just crocheted. So it ended up however long it ended up, which is long enough to be a scarf, but not long enough to tie around a neck.

Anyway, the final result is that I am pleased with how the bacon turned out, and I think my friend is also pleased with it, even though it isn’t exactly what he had in mind when he asked for it.
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SPECS:

PATTERN: Big Strip O’ Bacon
CHART DESIGNER: Regina Rioux
YARN: Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids (in Aran, Soft Rose, and Claret)
HOOK: US G (4.0 mm)
START/END DATES: August 9, 2014 – January 31, 2015 (though most of the crochet was done in January due to Christmas knitting)
MODS: Either none or lots, depending on what you call the chart prep-work.

I Am Groot!

This was possibly my most popular handmade Christmas gift for 2014:

A crocheted Baby Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy)! If you go by the likes on Facebook, this is better than any of the lace shawls I have ever knit.

I have to admit, he is very cool. And he was pretty easy to make. The hardest part was working on him only when Mr. Wyrm wasn’t anywhere around so that he wouldn’t see Groot until Christmas Day. (It worked, but it was nerve-wracking at times. I didn’t always see his “coming home” texts until he’d nearly arrived.)

The designer did a great job on this one, both on the finished project and in her explanations of what to do. Anyone who wants a Baby Groot (and can crochet) should be able to make their own with a minimum of fuss.

I needle-felted him into his pot, the same way that I learned to make pin cushions. It worked for me, and looks pretty reasonable, too. I didn’t buy any specific “dirt-colored” wool, though, just used what I had on hand.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Baby Groot
DESIGNER: Twinkie Chan
YARN: KnitPicks Palette in Doe and Bark (held together) for the brown, and in Peapod (one strand) for the leaves
HOOK: US H (5.0 mm) for the brown, and US F (3.75 mm) for the leaves
START/END DATES: October 28 – December 7, 2014
MODS: none, unless you count the needle-felting him into the pot part

FO Friday: Lip Balm Cozies

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “Who needs a lip balm cozy?”

Well, the answer might be you. Especially if you lose yours on as regular a basis as I do.

In any case, I didn’t make these intending to keep them. I made them as gifts, and since the recipients were all fans of Disney parks, having easy access to lip balm is a great idea. Which is why I put them all on carabiners so they could clip onto belts, bags, you name it.

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I thought they were a really cute idea, and the pattern was available free! (Even better.) They crocheted up really quickly, and the pattern was super easy to memorize. Also, I suppose you could modify them if you wanted to, but I found that just using different crochet thread was sufficient to keep me interested while making them.

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SPECS: (and a link to my Ravelry project page)

PATTERN: Crochet Lip Balm Cozy
DESIGNER: Michele Gaylor
YARN: crochet thread, really, and a huge variety of colors (the thread itself was by JP Coats, and South Maid, as far as I can remember)
HOOK: size C (2.75 mm)
START/END DATES: August 30, 2013 – September 23, 2013
MODS: I made the loop a little longer than specified, otherwise none

WIP Weds ~ Babette

So for a while now I’ve been thinking about how best to join my Babette squares together to make the finished blanket. What I really wanted to do was crochet them together with black yarn to create a border around each square. I wasn’t sure this would work the way I had intended, so I decided to test it and see.

Babette Joining test

This is the result.

Each of the black lines is a row of single crochet, and it does have a raised texture. Many of the suggestions I read said to have the raised line on the back, but that wasn’t what I wanted. In addition to creating a bump on the back, that wouldn’t add much in the way of a black border between the squares.

The one thing I didn’t do before joining these squares was to block them all to size. I’m not sure that having them all exactly the right size matters all that much to me… I can always tug them a little as needed when I’m joining them, right? I didn’t have any issues when putting these few together, so I think I’ll be fine. Especially since I really don’t want to block all those teeny tiny 2-round squares.

Babette close-up

Well, I’m also not done crocheting them yet. I still have quite a few of the smaller squares left before I get to that point. However, I’m pretty pleased with how this is looking so far, and the test was successful. So onward I go! Progress!

WiP Weds: Babette

I have been doing some knitting this week, but I have also been crocheting. Namely, I’ve been working on the Babette blanket.

Here are some new squares that you haven’t seen yet:

4-25 Babette Squares 1

Up until this past week, I was going to use only cool colors with a hint of pink thrown in for my color scheme. However, I started looking at the squares I have already made, and thinking about my friend Dorien’s comment that this needs some orange yarn, and you know what? I decided she’s right. It did need orange.

So I pulled out some leftover Spunky Eclectic yarn from a pair of socks I made some time ago, and added that to the mix. It really makes all the difference in the world.

4-25 Babette Squares 2

I do want to keep the orange to an accent color, which should make it pop more, but I think this will really make the blanket shine. I can’t wait to have it finished and see what the end result is! It’s going to be a while, though… there are still a LOT of squares I need to make.