what are you reading?

Today is Read Across America Day!  To celebrate, I’m sharing the books that I’m into right now.

First up is “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys.  It’s a short novel from the perspective of the mad wife in “Jane Eyre,” and it’s very interesting.  The back of the book says: “Set in the Caribbean, its heroine is Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into Marriage to the prideful Rochester.  In this best-selling novel, Rhys portrays a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.”

Read Across America Day - what are you reading?Next on my list is “Longbourn” by Jo Baker.  This novel is similar to the one above in that it adds to an already existing novel, but in this case it’s a new view of “Pride and Prejudice.”  Focusing on the servants in the Bennet household, it gives a refreshing perspective to Regency England.

Read Across America Day - what are you reading?

My dad got me both of those books and I’m loving them (thanks Dad!).  I’m also listening to an audiobook as I knit/crochet/surf the Internet: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”  I know that’s not very new for me — I’ve read and/or listened to it a gazillion times — but it never gets old or less magical!

So what are you reading on this Read Across America Day?  People in countries besides America, I’m asking you, too!  :-)

 

Gentille cowl ta-da!

My busy hands have completed a new project: the Gentille cowl!  Available for about $5.74 on Ravelry (click here), this pattern makes a great one-skein wonder!

"Gentille" cowl - a wearable knitted piece with great drape!

The yarn used was awfully hard to photograph properly, even in natural light, but if you’re wanting a pretty accurate representation of color, check the source: KnitPicks Hawthorne in Ladd’s Addition.  It’s essentially a blend of dark blues and purples with a pop of hot pink that has a tail end of bright orange.  Less brown than in my pictures here.  I think it’s gorgeous, but that’s not the only thing about this yarn I love: it may be 80% wool but it’s not scratchy at all, even after a whole day’s wear; it blocked beautifully; the drape is perfect.  This is my favorite yarn of the year so far, for sure.

Gentille cowl draped on a chairAs you can sort of see, there are two “sections” to this pattern: a garter stitch section and a lacy chevron section.  That constitutes 1 pattern repeat, and my 357 yd skein was perfect for 4 repeats total.  Here are closeups of the two “sections:”

Gentille cowl - garter stitch sectionGentille cowl - lacy chevron sectionI like the way the bright pinks/oranges make a sort of zig/zag pattern throughout.  This is called “pooling,” right?  Well, I really like the way it pooled here (I know sometimes it can be a mess)!

In conclusion, even though the pattern was pretty easy to remember, I don’t regret paying for it — I’m sure I’ll use it again someday.  This pattern mixed the mindless garter stitch with interesting [but not difficult] chevrons, and it looks more complicated than it actually was!  This is the sort of pattern you could churn out in a week for a gift, and I think anybody would love to receive one, don’t you?

Well, that’s all for today, but this isn’t the last you’ll see of the Gentille cowl!  Look out for a special knitting tip coming up soon!  As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

everything you need to know about knitting & crocheting tools/extras

Two weeks ago I posted “everything you need to know about crochet hooks” and last week we learned “everything you need to know about knitting needles.” This info is also from 2011 and is permanently available in the menu bar but I thought it worth revisiting!

List of extras for knitting and crocheting

stitch markers

Stitch markers have been unnecessary in every crochet pattern I’ve ever attempted — a scrap piece of yarn marks your spot just as well and doesn’t cost you extra.  They’re much more useful in knitting, at least for me.  They do make markers that look like jewelry if you just want to look pretty, like the glass beaded ones in the tin above.

needles

OK so you do need sewing needles to sew the ends of your yarn into your project.  Just make sure you find some with big enough eyes for your yarn.  The big ones are called tapestry needles.  If you want to get organized you can get a metal magnetic tin for your needles and stitch markers, as seen above.

scissors

Duh.

measuring tape

A cute one is always fun, like the Cath Kidston retractable one above.

needle/hook sizer

Useful if all of your needles or hooks aren’t clearly marked with their size.  The Susan Bates one above is also good for checking knitting gauge!

thread cutter pendants

These thread cutters hang from a necklace so can be kept with you at all times, and they’re very handy.  I totally had to get one because it’s more convenient than digging around for my scissors, and it’s just awesome!  Even works on thicker yarns.  I got the Clover brand.

row counter ring

These are so handy!  Mine is handmade by a woman on Etsy (click here for more info).

wire yarn stranding guide

This ring is specifically for when you are knitting with more than 1 color/ball of yarn at once.  It helps keep the tangles at bay and can be found cheap.

beads (not pictured)

It can be fun to add beads to your crocheted work, but unless the pattern calls for it, I’d stay away from beading!  When you’re crocheting you have to put all your beads for the project on the yarn before you start, because there’s no way to add them as you go along (unless you tie them on with sewing thread or something, but who wants to do that?).  That means you have to count EXACTLY how many beads you will need and TRIPLE check that you’ve put that number of beads on the yarn before starting.

help a study learn more about knitters and crocheters!

help researchers learn more about knitters and crocheters!

Hey everyone! There’s a facebook group that has some interesting research going on about knitters and crocheters. I really want to participate and thought maybe you would, too! Here’s what was sent to me:

“Would you like to participate in the Woolly Wellbeing Research project?
This would contribute to a PhD study into the ways women share their knit and crochet online. Do you post to ask for advice or to show images of what you have made? Does it help you manage feeling lonely or to connect with other crafter-friends? Lots of these questions will be the topic of posts as we share together.
To take part, you’ll need to read the Participant Information document in ‘Files’ and then complete a consent form on the pinned post at the top of the page, just so I know you are informed about the project and how your posts could be used. This is a closed group and all posts are confidential between group members. All material will be made anonymous in writing up research.
Just search for ‘Woolly Wellbeing Research Group’ [on Facebook] or click to connect.
Feel free to share!”

Fibi the Fox – ta-da!

Hello everyone!  Today Fibi the Fox was completed, and it’s time to share her with you!

Fibi the Fox - crocheted amigurumi fox

If you ignore the quantities of dog hair that grace the cushion (that stuff NEVER comes all the way off!!!), Fibi turned out well.  The pattern is available for sale over on Ravelry for about $6.39, if you want to check it out!

Fibi the Fox - crocheted by NotYourAverageCrochet

I used KnitPicks Palette yarn for the body, and a scrap of Cascade Heritage Paints for the scarf.  The arms are a bit long, but that’s because the gauge is looser than the gauge of the body (that’s what happens when you lay a project aside for a while, I guess).

Fibi the Fox - crocheted amigurumi darling fox!This actually took a while to do — amigurumi in general does, I find, because of how tight you have to crochet and all of the nooks and crannies and sewing together of parts.  It’s worth it though!

That’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you’re enjoying the “everything you need to know about _______” posts (knitting needles & crochet hooks)– there’s one more coming up soon!

 

giveaway!

It’s February, and what better way is there to share the spirit of Valentine’s Day than having a giveaway?  I couldn’t think of one.  I love you guys!

giveaway on NotYourAverageCrochet.com!

WHAT THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:

  • 1 pack of 6 Susan Bates aluminum crochet hooks in the following sizes: F-5 (3.75mm), G-6 (4.0mm), H-8 (5.0mm), I-9 (5.5mm), J-10 (6.0mm), and K-10.5 (6.55mm)
  • 1 100g skein of sport weight yarn (100% Merino Wool) in the shade Burnt Terracotta, hand-dyed by the lovely ladies at DyeForYarn

The hooks are my favorite brand of the aluminum variety, hands down.  The yarn retails at $22.67 USD and is VERY soft.  Click here for my previous review of one of DyeForWool’s other yarns.

giveaway prize on notyouraveragecrochet

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The giveaway starts today and runs through the end of March 9, 2015 EST and the winner will be drawn randomly on March 10, 2015.  The winner will receive an email alerting them to their win, and they must respond with their full name and shipping address within 24 hours of the email being sent or else another winner will be drawn.  The giveaway is open to all countries.

To enter, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Follow this blog (via WordPress, Bloglovin’, or email).
  2. Re-blog this post (or share on another social media platform if you don’t have a blog).  Multiple entries can be earned if you share on multiple platforms.
  3. Leave a comment on this post including the following information: a) how you follow this blog  b) the links to your re-blogged post and any of your shares on other social media platforms.

If all three of these have not been met, you will not be entered.

Please keep in mind that if you are a new commenter I will have to verify your comment before it will appear, but you are entered so please do not comment twice.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

-Hannah