Getting it out in public

Made you look!

Nothing beats the look a teenager gives you when she encounters her mum’s friend sitting in the park in full view of actual people with her crochet out. This is worsened when said friend (me), acknowledges her existence and creates a universal link between the teenager and the act of crocheting. Nothing says middle aged and middle class like a bit of crochet in the park.

But crochet I did, because blanket project #2 is underway and it’s a colourful one too. This is a pram blanket and as such is using all the bright colours needed for the baby to gaze at in their newborn fuzzy eyed way.

20130529-202958.jpg

Interestingly, the blocks of colour aren’t as fiddly as the thisisnevergonnaend blanket with its change of colour for every round and I’m planning on a 6×7 block with edging so it’s not as big either. I have decided though that I need to do something other than granny squares for the next project as I’m becoming slightly unhinged when two similar colours are joined too closely….

What said teenager probably doesn’t know yet is that eventually, when she becomes old and decrepit and nearly dead like us ancient people in their 30s, she’s going to need an outlet for her stress. Something monotonous but creative which makes everything else go away for a few hours. I knit or crochet, her mum runs, LSH rides his bike over muddy hills. It’s what stops us from listing you kids on eBay, or crying in public places, or allowing the inner monologues to become very offensive outer monologues. It’s our ‘thing’. And I’m not ashamed to get it out in public.

Advertisements

Crochet related injuries

Whilst the kids were playing happily in the sun yesterday, I made it my mission to finish off the thisisnevergonnaend blanket. If I’m honest, this is the first proper crochet blanket I’ve finished – not too bad having learnt to crochet from YouTube last summer.

It turns out that the final 6 squares plus edging took most of the day and evening and I went to bed rather crispy (at least I’m obsessive about the kids wearing sunscreen). And some up with having pulled the muscles in my right arm!

So, last night out came the coconut oil and I slathered myself in it. Total cure for sunburn – this morning I’m still a bit pink, but another day of coconut oil and I’ll be less cooked. (It’s brilliant stuff and works on kitchen burns too for those less adapt to being a home buddy).

So, that combined with some ibuprofen for the arm this morning and I’m pulled together enough to say awww she likes it!

20130528-072204.jpg

Reverse Engineering a Frog… Tastes like chicken!

20130405-082436.jpg

A couple of days ago I posted about some knitted frogs I’d seen on etsy. Sadly the listing for the pattern had expired (PDF files have a maximum quantity how?), so I decided to reverse engineer my frog from the photo.

This entailed a trip to Hobbycraft for supplies, which ended up with us buying the girls a mega sized cardboard box (this is another post for later!). Supplies were:

Two tones of DK yarn (or wool for my fellow British chums)
A French knitting dolly with 4 pins
A set of 5 DP 4mm needles (I already had these, but am listing them in case you don’t)
Eye protection for when you invariably try to stab yourself in the eyeball when using the DPNs because working with five pointy sticks requires skill and coordination (neither of which I possess)

So… We start off with using the dolly to make two long bits for legs and then crocheting some toes by picking up a stitch at the bottom, ch6, tc into the third stitch from the hook, dc two down, dc into the bottom then repeat.

20130404-181921.jpg

Once you have two legs, cast on 3 on a DPN. Pick up a stitch from the top of a leg, cast on 3. Pick up a stitch from the top of the other leg, cast on 8. You now have enough stitches for 4 on each DPN and the fifth for knitting. Knit 3 rounds.

On the 4th round increase a stitch on the middle stitch of each DPN and repeat this until you have 12 stitches on each DPN.

20130404-182544.jpg

At this point it may look like you’re knitting inside out. That’s ok. When it’s long enough, just use the legs to pull it through.

If you find that your round is twisted, the only solution is frogging. Ripit ripit and start again 😉

Now is the fun/boring bit. Either stick with plain green or use the other shade to make patterns for approximately 24 rounds (ish. Hey, it’s your frog!)

20130404-182954.jpg

Then it’s time to decrease. Do this by knitting the centre 2 stitches together on each DPN for 5 rounds.

This is where I took some poetic license.To make the face, you need a bit that sticks out, so I figured the heel of a sock does that… To do this, I transferred half of the stitches onto one DPN which left me working on just three.

On these front stitches (should be 14) I knitted across 14, then turned and pulled 14. Then knitted across to the penultimate stitch and turned and did the same purlwise. This continued until I had 4 stitches left. Then I used the same pattern but increased the number of stitches knitted (or purled) until I had knitted the whole 14 again.

20130404-185723.jpg

After that, his head was finished off by knitting in the round again decreasing every 4 stitches, then 3, then 2… You get the idea.

Once his head is done, you can stuff him from the hole that was created in the poor creature’s bum when you started knitting. Once stuffed, use a darning needle to sew this up and give his legs some direction.

20130404-185950.jpg

Next he needs some eyes and arms. And this is where the French knitting dolly comes back out. The eyes are rounds which are sewn onto his head, and the arms are shorter versions of his feet.

20130404-190123.jpg

And you can finish his little froggy face with a couple of buttons for eyes.

20130405-082459.jpg

(In the end I decided that his face was too “pointy”, so I actually used a darning needle to sew his face down. This brutal bit of facial surgery made him look a lot friendlier)