Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | April 2022

Hey all and welcome to a bit of a review of the previous month! Spring has officially sprung bringing with it a ton of rain and pollen. While I did really enjoy falling asleep to the steady rain this past month, I am not too thrilled with the pollen that is making me sneeze left and right. But, I will say overall this month has kept me busy in a really good way!

Reading

The first book I read this month was The War of the Poor by Èric Vuillard. I originally picked this book up because I read a book by the author in the past. While I really enjoyed the writing style of this book, I was not too keen on there not being footnotes or endnotes to support their nonfiction book. I will be honest though, I am not sure if the intention of this book was meant to be nonfiction as well so I decided to do a little digging. The reason I had the expectations of this book being nonfiction is due to it’s tags on goodreads; History, Nonfiction, French History, but on the publishers site is quoted as saying, “A dazzling piece of historical re-imaginingPan Macmillan. So, I feel like individuals are mislabeling this historical fiction novella as nonfiction, which is unfortunate. Obviously, this is no fault of the author by any means, but it does change how I see this novella. The writing was engaging to say the least. This was a topic I studied a lot during my time in University, but it was really interesting seeing it portrayed in this manner. Even though I read about this time in history I was not bored or felt like I was experiencing Déjà vu. I read it in two sittings and I only put it down the first time because I needed to get to sleep. Overall, I ended up giving the book 3 stars!

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

I completed two large projects this month, the first being a Ranunculus, my first wearable and I am actually quite proud of it. I ended up wearing it the day after I finished it! I can see why so many people love this pattern, it was a project I never hesitated to pick up and it worked up quite quickly. It had some new things I needed to learn, but I am always open to learn something new.

Ranunculus Sweater – Short Sleeves

The second big project I finished was my Saraya Shawl, which I plan on wearing to a friends wedding later this Spring. This pattern was written by Saysha Greene and was published in Worsted. It was a really fun knit that challenged me, but didn’t leave me burnt out.

Saraya Shawl

Life

This month I did a lot of fun things, especially since the weather started to warm up. I had a really lovely date with my boyfriend to celebrate our anniversary where we got to have a really delicious meal while enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors. Then we adventured to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoyed them while hanging out on a bench talking and people watching.

I also went on a few adventures with my friends. I went to the movies for the first time in YEARS, which was nice because no one else was there really. So the two of us were not holding back our reactions to the movie in the slight, it was funny because the few other people watching the movie did the same thing. Then, with another friend of mine we went yarn shop hopping, I ended up picking up yarn for a few projects I want to make this year. We ended up going to about 8 shops, the discounts were so good I could not resist. I would have bought this yarn anyway, just for later down the line. We also ended up getting takeout after all that shopping and the food was just AMAZING!

This month was really great, mainly because I was able to hangout and create some great memories with others. I really hope to have a few picnics with some of my other friends I need to catch up with in the upcoming months.

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

My First Time Properly Blocking

So, if you have been following me for any length in time you know my first love is reading and my second love is crochet and knitting. Well, I have a confession to make. I have never actually blocked anything…ever. The reason being I never thought there was a need for it with what I was making. That was until I made the Kari Shawl by Sari Nordlund. This pattern has a lot of simple details around the edges of the shawl, but I went to wear it and none of it was really visible so I made the decision to try and finally block something. If you want to read up on what blocking is etc. you can read a really great article by CocoKnits here: How to Block Your Knitting. I will say, I did not follow their tutorial, but they do a great job explaining the why. I did follow a tutorial though, I followed TL Yarn Crafts video.

Items Used

  • Dollar store basin
  • Soak in the scent Yuzu
  • T-pins
  • Blocking squares

How it Went

Shawl soaking in basin.

The first step was actually soaking the shawl in a basin with some water (not hot) with some of the soap. This was the nice and easy part, all I had to do was put it in and make sure it was fully under water and then walk away for 20 min. In Toni‘s video she was very adamant about not ringing out the material when taking it out of the water. She directs her viewers to gently squeeze the water out and then roll the piece in a towel and then squeeze it that way as well. This process was more involved, but still nothing over the top. At this point I was feeling very confident.

Shawl pinned on blocking squares.

Then came the pinning of the shawl. This was where I started to get aggregated. The reason I got aggravated is trying to make this shawl lay flat symmetrically because I have heard if it dries in the way it will look that way. So, I felt the pressure and I was going through this entire process so I wanted to make sure it was actually worth it. I feel like I did alright with this, but looking at this picture I can see I could have done better. I realized it is a lot harder to gauge when you are up close and doing it, it is kind of hard to see. Especially the down curves of the shawl since they are angled and my blocks don’t have lines in that manner. Now, the hardest part is waiting.

Shawl on hanger
Blocked gray cotton shawl

At the end of the process I have to say, I should really block things more often. It really helped the eyelet details open up as well as help even out all the stiches throughout. Since I am still pretty new to knitting, I still need to work on consistent tension, but wow, this really ended up helping! I know I am going to continue to do this process even though it sometimes takes a day or two for the item to completely dry because the end result is just wonderful!

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet Talk | January – March 2021

Hello and welcome to another crochet check in! The past few months I have taken on quite a few new projects and challenges when it comes to crochet and I wanted to take a moment to share the outcomes of these adventures. I know a bit ago I did a post detailing my crochet plans called, Crochet Talk | Upcoming Projects, I figured I should share an update!


The Projects

The first project I finished was a Crochet Kobo Cover. I used a pattern inspired by Melanie Ham called Easy Crochet Kindle Cover. I used Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend in the color Chai Latte with a 6.0 mm hook. I added a the optional strap and button as well as a fabric lining, the first time I have done either. It was a bit of a challenge doing the lining, but I think the next time I try it will be better.

The next few projects I made were Drawstring Pom Pom Bags designed by Knit Crochet Addict called Crochet Drawstring Pom Pom Bag, I left the pom poms off, not really my style, but it is cute! I used Wool Ease by Lion Brand in quite a few different colors because I made two for me a few for friends of mine. When making this I used the recommended hook size on the yarn to complete the project.


This next project was a basket called the Jessie Stash Basket by Toni Lipsey. To complete the project I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick Color Fisherman doubled up and used a 9.0 mm hook. I really loved how this book came out so much in this cream color! I even placed it on my nightstand to hold my current read and current crochet projects. It is very durable too because the yarn was doubled up. I really love Toni’s patterns and videos.

Next, I created a Highlander Twisted Shawl which was designed by Lilian for a friend of mine. I decided to use Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in the color Galaxy, which is a bit hard to see in the picture, but is a deep purple with sparkles here and there. I ended up using a 9.0 mm hook. On a great note, my friend loved it!

Following the shawl, I made another gift, but this one was a Snoopy Amigurumi plush by Amigurinos softies. I ended up using Big Twist Value Worsted Yarn in black and white and used the size down from recommended hook size for the yarn. What I loved about Amigurumi is you can change up the yarn size and hook size to make a larger or smaller plush. I am happy with how this one comes out and I really hope the person it is meant for will love it.


This month I made a lot of gifts for others, this time around I made an Outlander Cowl by Jamey from Dabbles & Babbles. I used Big Twist Sincerely Solids in the color Oatmeal Heather. I doubled up on the yarn and ended up using a size 10.0 mm hook. I really loved the texture of this scarf and really love how this came out. The person I made it for ended up wearing it all day when I gifted it to them.

This next project is for me, I ended up making myself the Crochet The Claire Shawl From Outlander by Selina Veronique
using Stylecraft Special Aran in Khaki (1) and Camel (4). I ended up using a size 6.0 mm (J) hook. I decided to use yellow and a green color instead of the green and black used in the show because I wanted to make it more spring-y.

The last project I finished in March was Beginner Felici Crochet Socks by Briana K Designs. I ended up using
Patons North America Kroy Socks yarn doubled up, I actually mixed the colors brown rose marl and
gray brown marl together and used a 4.5 mm hook. This was a project I was very much intimidated by, but so happy that I tried. Plus, I am really happy with how they came out.

What hobbies have you been filling your time with?

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