Friday, May 10, 2019

Baby Babbles, Washcloths

I finished the towel based on Baby Babbles from Learn to Make Monk’s Cloth Afghans by Marilyn T. Magly.

I also crocheted 2 washcloths based on pattern #27 designed by Darla Sims from Leisure Arts' The Big Book of Dishcloths.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Plum Granny Ripple

I finished crocheting the Plum Granny Ripple afghan by the late Janie Herrin.

As always, taking a photo of a large item like an afghan was a challenge. I ended up standing on my couch and leaning as far back against the wall as I could. I don't know how I'm going to photograph afghans and quilts once I get rid of the couch (which is happening soon, I hope).

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Dish Sponges

In my efforts to help out the environment by replacing as many disposible items with reusable items as is practical, I've been on a quest to find good reusable dish sponge.

I've been using these for a while. The scrubby side is made from a plastic fabric with raised white plastic dots.

The back is terry cloth, fiber content unknown.

These can be washed in the washing machine, but as you can see above, the plastic fabric splits and has to be mended. Also, the plastic foam sponge inside does break down over time and eventually these need to be thrown out, adding more plastic to the landfill. Also, the white dots fall off in the washing machine or while I'm doing the dishes, sending microplastics into the water system. Altogether, these are not an ideal solution.

Thinking about this recently, I realized that the scrubby side doesn't actually do that good a job of scrubbing. I've essentially been washing my dishes with cloth. And, since I'm good about rinsing my dishes right away and setting them to soak in soapy water, I don't actually need to scrub them. So, I decided to try my hand at creating my own dish sponges out of some sort of fabric.

Using one of my existing dish sponges as a guide for size, I crocheted a rectangle that when folded up would be the desired thickness, folded it in thirds, and then crocheted the edges together.

The first sponge in that image demonstrates why one should always make a gauge swatch: even though my foundation chain was the same length as the old dish sponge, by the time I got through crocheting my rectangle it had grown quite a bit! I used the oversized sponge as my gauge swatch, adjusted my stitch and row counts, and made 3 more sponges, this time the right size. I used hdcs to make the rectangle because they work up fast and make a nice pattern on their own.

I just used one of these to do the dishes, and it did the job just fine. There was even an unexpected advantage: it was much easier to rinse the soap out and wring out the sponge than with the old model.

As a final note, I can never wring out my dish sponge without thinking about this episode of Frasier:

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Bright Feathers

I finally finished stitching Bright Feathers.  I designed this before I learned to quilt.  I had tried to learn how to quilt but hadn't had much success.  I still loved the designs, however, so to get around my lack of quilting skills I started translating traditional quilt patterns into cross stitch.  This is one of those.  I'll probably rework the other designs as quilt patterns at some point.  I'm planning to do some actual quilting on this when I make it into a wall hanging.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Granny Square Poncho

Lately, I've been curling up in front of the computer under an old cotton blanket, which is cozy, but kind of a pain since I have to keep readjusting it and clutching the front of it closed. So, I decided to make a cotton poncho. No pattern, I just grabbed some cotton yarn from my stash, decided on a color palette, and got to work. I crocheted granny squares in the shape of a poncho using a join-as-you-go method and added borders. The color placement was completely random. I made a few mistakes in the joinings, but I couldn't be bothered to rip back and fix them once I discovered them.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fat Kat Tuesday

I finished Fat Kat Tuesday, a Mini-Kats™ design by Linda Connors of Calico Crossroads®, adapted from the artwork of Kathleen Kelly of Kats by Kelly™.

In future, when I'm making wallhangings and other items that won't get a lot of wear, I'm going to go back to doing a single binding rather than the double/French binding that I did on this one. The double binding is difficult to fold so that it doesn't stick out at the corners, especially when using a heavier fabric like the black that I'm using for these Kats. The single binding looks better.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Orphans & Scraps

I finally finished quilting and binding my interpretation of Orphans & Scraps, a sew-along by Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts. I actually finished it on Apr. 27, but I'm only just now getting around to blogging about it. I used Pam's instructions for the blocks, but chose my own fabrics and designed my own setting.

I'm rather disappointed in these photos. The colors are much more vibrant in real life, and this quilt is not as wonky as these photos make it look! Oh well, I'm a needleworker, not a photographer. [/McCoy] It is a bit wonky, however. This was one of my earlier projects, and I wasn't as good at piecing as I am now. I also used a double layer of batting since I'd bought some cheap batting that was so thin in places that I could see my hand through it. Furthermore, I wasn't that experienced at quilting when I started quilting this project. Still, I'm fairly happy with how it turned out.