King Size Doily

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Last week I’ve managed to finalise the revision of my last work project in the 2016/2017 season. It’s official: I’m on holidays until late September! It’s both good and bad news: good because who am I to complain at having three months off to gather my strength before the new year of work begins, right? Especially that as usually, autumn is going to be very intense and stressful. But it’s also bad because it’s unpaid holiday time of course. Well, unless I manage to catch a short-term contract for the summer, but to be honest, it won’t be so easy. So at least at the moment it looks that I’m going to have a lot of time for crochet and knitting, because most likely we’re not going anywhere for holidays except maybe some weekend excursions to the Irish countryside. I have many ideas for my summer projects which include a jumper for the Boyfriend and a knitted dress for me. And doilies!

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Falling leaves

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I’ve been knitting a lot recently. After my Morning Glory cardigan, I finished a sleeveless top which still needs to be blocked before I can take some photos and write about it (spoiler: I’m really not sure what to think about it). I have a lot of free time now, since my work is less intense these days, but it also keeps me at home as I have to be close to the PC most of the time. This, of course, is a perfect crafting situation 🙂

After all this knitting I felt the sudden need to crochet something. And it was a brilliant opportunity to clear up my cotton stash a little. I have a lot of cotton yarn that I’d bought long ago for amigurumi, and then I focused on other projects and never crocheted those toys. I also really needed new coasters and cotton yarn is perfect for that.

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Quick projects

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Last days have been keeping me busy with work, so my crochet and knitting projects were easy and fast, not to distract me too much.

In practice, it means two more pair of socks, this time one pair for my Dad (his birthday is soon so I have an excuse to knit them for him) in black and white, and one pair for my Nephew, mostly in blue. Both are, again, knitted with Drops Fabel (have enough of it for 3 pairs more) and based on Ann Budd’s basic socks patterns. I can’t believe I actually consider knitting socks “easy”, but in case of this basic pattern it really is, once I understood how it works and what exactly needs to be done.

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Troublemaker

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I have mixed feelings when it comes to doilies. I appreciate their beauty and all the delicate, subtle details. I have no idea how can anyone write a doily pattern – I think it requires some mad skills, experience, patience, and amazing visual imagination. At the same time, I don’t really like the vintage ‘granny’ style associated with doilies and I don’t have much use for them at my home. This is actually strange because I don’t mind the ‘old-fashioned’ look of granny squares and I really like my Bavarian stitch cushion, but somehow doilies seem different, I think they really require special environment. Even the only doily I’ve crocheted so far is grey not to look so classic. Thinking about it, I have maybe one friend who actually likes this type of vintage home decor and would certainly appreciate some hand-made doilies in her living room and they would suit it – all the others prefer more modern style too. All of that means that I need to think hard before deciding to crochet a doily: is it really something that would be used? Or would it just stay in the closet without any purpose?

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Back to crochet: fan pattern gloves

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I’ve been taking a bit of a break break from any crafts recently. Partly because of work, and partly because I’ve been busy planning the trip to Poland around Easter, buying and setting up the new working area for me in the apartment (finally! no more working at the kitchen table, yay!) and generally trying to figure out the plan for the rest of the year. Some things are still not certain, like my boyfriend’s employment once his current contract is over, so it’s a bit of transition time for us, which has been keeping my attention away from my hooks or needles. The only crafty thing I made is a pair of gloves for Mum – crochet this time.

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Amber

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I mentioned in the past that I’m not a fan of crochet clothing. Crochet is great for home decor, accessories, doilies and so on, but most of the sweaters or dresses I’ve seen look just… not quite right to me. Especially considering that crochet is not yarn efficient at all, usually the cost of yarn combined with the look of the finished project is just not worth it for me.

Having said that, I found a few patterns worth giving them a try. One of them was Amber jumper, a free Drops pattern. Mesh clothes are not my thing, but this jumper is made with cotton and has this nice summer look that convinced me to give it a try. It made me think about the summer evenings, when it’s too hot for a real sweater, but not hot enough to stay in short sleeves only. Plus the cotton yarn it calls for is very cheap, so there was not much risk in crocheting it.

OK, so I’m not a fan of crochet clothes, not a fan of mesh, and also – not a fan of this kind of yellow (the only yellow I like on me is pale banana shade in small amounts). And yet not only did I decide to crochet it, but I bought exactly the same colour as in the pattern. I don’t know, I just thought about this jumper as about a summer piece of clothing, something to wear on holiday, away from the everyday life… and so I wanted it to look different too.

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Merino lace shawl

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m really hopeful that this is going to be a good year, or at least better than 2016 – and I wish the same to everyone. If it’s true that the first days of the year are a prophecy for the rest of it, then I’m lucky, because in the first week of January I finished the project that made me really happy. It’s based on the Izumi pattern by Bernadette Ambergen. If you don’t know Bernadette’s patterns and you like shawls as much as I do, you need to check her other designs – they’re wonderful. I’m definitely planning to crochet at least two other in the future!

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Happy Holidays!

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Scrat from Ice Age has his acorn, so he is as happy as a squirrel can be. And I’d like to wish such true happiness to all the visitors to my little blog. It’s wonderful to have you here.

For me, this year it’s only me, my boyfriend and the cats. I miss my family, and I’d like to be with them now, but in a way I am. Polish Christmas is magic – and I mean it literally. All the traditions of this time have roots hundreds of years ago in the pagan past, in the folk beliefs in magic, demons and contact with the spirits of our ancestors. Even the meals are symbols, based on specific ingredients and different from anything else we eat during the year. Not to mention beliefs like the one that says all the house and farm animals can speak today at midnight 😉

Since I am not a follower of any religion, to me this time is about that: connection with those who were before me. There is something so comforting about this continuity and the fact that we still do something that they used to do years ago.

So whatever you celebrate, I wish you a happy, peaceful and unforgettable time… and perhaps many new wonderful crafting projects 😉

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Doilies and more

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After dealing with all the gift making, I decided to have a go at crocheting a doily. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, since I’d tried crocheting with lace yarn before and I hadn’t enjoyed it. But I know why now: wrong hook (not sturdy enough, feeling a little flexible in my fingers) and wrong yarn (mohair lace – not good for beginners!).

I chose the pattern which seemed rather simple, yet lovely: Penelope doily by Grace Faeron. I used 1,25 mm crochet hook – a good, solid one this time, which made crocheting really easy and pleasant – and crochet thread no 10. The thread is gray, for two reasons: I didn’t want the typical  traditional white doily, and I wanted it to suit my kitchen table, which is made of glass and steel. The only worry I had with this colour was that it might look dirty – you know, like white things look sometimes after many years in use. But in the end I don’t think it does, and I’m happy with my choice. Crocheting it was fast and enjoyable, the pattern is very well explained, the thread is smooth and sturdy. I ordered the blocking mat on ebay, but since it’s still not delivered, I blocked the doily on the bed instead to open up the lace – and I like the result!

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Hats and scarfs

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As my quest to crochet all the Christmas gifts this year continues, I’m feeling stuck in the world of manly hats and scarfs. These projects tend to be fast and easy, but sometimes… sometimes they’re anything but that. But let’s start from the beginning.

Men in my life, who are going to receive gifts from me this Christmas, include my boyfriend, my dad, my brother and my nephew. And at least two of them are difficult… I can never figure out what to give them so that they really like it. Those are my dad and my boyfriend. I don’t think it’s a coincident that they are both mathematicians too? 😉

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