Category Archives: Crafting

Welcome Back, French Press

Coffee - now Pretty AND Piping Hot to the last drop.

So, a long, long, time ago, in an unfortunate table clearing incident, our dear French Press got hidden behind the copious amounts of crap kitchen appliances that clutter my countertop. Found a week later, and rather green, I never could get the screen clean enough to stomach brewing coffee in it again. I went to every coffee shop and kitchen store in town. Everyone carries replacement glass inserts, but no screens. Well, I finally broke down and bought one over the interwebs – shipping was almost as much as the screen, but together still less than a new press.

So, to celebrate the French Press’s return to service, this morning we used it to make a pot of Stumptown Coffee, and enjoyed it with broiled figs and crostini spread with marscapone, and I made it a sweater. Lamb’s Pride Bulky in a seed stitch for the base with buttons and crocheted flowers (also Lamb’s Pride, but Worsted Weight). I like the fuzzy halo from the mohair in the yarn. It makes it look old-fashioned, like my pictures, because I am not a quick enough knitter to have finished this while there was still natural light around.

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Granny Square Sampler

Look!  All the blocks fit perfectly on my coffee table!

I’ve been working on this sampler on and off for a couple years. It’s all granny squares from Jan Eaton’s book – 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match. I am not a fan of the back and forth blocks, but I love the granny squares. After making my brother an afghan, I decided to make a bunch of them into “sampler” so I could see how they looked for future blanket planning. These were all crocheted with some crazy bright scrap acrylic I have lying around from stuffed animal experimenting. I didn’t do every granny block in the book, but they’re the ones I liked the best, and all different.

I’ve started sashing them together, which has proven to be the hardest part! First, my choice of cheapish acrylic yarn (I believe it’s mostly Caron Super Soft and TLC, but all the bands are long gone) has left me with a poor color selection for joining. Black drowned the purple ones completely. White/Cream was… ick. So, I went with grey. The only greys at the craft store looked about the color of sweat shirt material. I was hoping for something in the pewter to charcoal range, but no luck. On the bright side, the sweat shirt grey looks more silvery now that it’s against the colors.

Next challenge is making them all square up. Apparently, I do not have mad gauge skills. They’re all different sizes – some so alarmingly that I actually went back and re-checked the pattern to be sure I didn’t add stitches! Hoping that a run through the wash after it’s all put together will magically only shrink up the too big ones. Ha. In the meantime it’s a lot of counting edge stitches and planning skips when joining them.

More pics when I’m done with the border!

So, I promised Craftiness…

When I started the blog, I was mostly “funemployed” (as a friend so aptly named it) and had time on my hands. Hence the big garden, and lots of cheap zucchini.

No one wanted to interview me, probably because my education didn’t quite match what I was doing, and my accounting experience was all in a field that uses proprietary software, and was hurting in a big way due to the economic ick. So, I figured classes to get me up to speed were in order. A Post-Bacc accounting certificate should do it. Signed myself up for a full course load and Murphy waved his wand and I had a full time job again, and full time classes. So, as you can see, crafting has fallen by The Wayside for the moment.

The Wayside, by the way, is my daily commute, which, at an hour to an hour and a half on the train each way offers some pretty good crafting time when I’m not having to finish homework up that I procrastinated on instead. Currently I am crocheting a commissioned red fox, who isn’t looking foxy-enough yet for posting. But, since at Thanksgiving we got to meet the sweet little 7 week old that the earlier promised but not posted craftiness was for, and she now has her Chicken Viking Hat, I can post it here without spoiling any surprises…

This is the fabled chicken viking hat with minor drumstick alteration on my part. I had to increase the length of the drumstick because mine ended up too stubby, and I made up my own crocheted “feet” instead of knitting them. It’s pretty cute on the pumpkin, but WAY cuter on the babe!