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progress: chevron blanket

It’s been hard to do much crafting lately.  I’ve been really busy with other important life stuff.  Some progress has been made on the king size chevron blanket though:

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I know it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

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Don’t know why I’m in such a crafting slump.  I just don’t feel like doing anything.  I’ll think ‘oh, it would be nice to work on that blanket or that shawl,’ but then I just… don’t.

Bleh.  Do you get in really long phases like this too?

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giveaway winner & life without crafting

The winner has been notified & confirmed!  Congratulations to Meredith, the winner of my “Every Which Way Crochet Borders” giveaway!  I hope you love the book and get tons of use out of it!

If you’re disappointed that you didn’t win this go-round, subscribe to the blog so you can get notified of future giveaways!  I’ll also always announce my giveaways on my social media.

This is another bland post without photos because I have done absolutely NOTHING in the past month even closely related to crafting.  My fractured hand feels much better and while I can now go without wearing a brace (during the day, at least), I’ve been wary of trying to craft because I don’t want to strain anything from repetitive motion before stuff is really healed.  I should be grateful that I can finally open medicine bottles and write legibly, etc. but it is SO HARD not to be knitting or crocheting.

Strangely after 2 weeks of doing nothing I had no problem with going back to my Wing Chun class (during which the hand was broken); I just have to wear some secure hand wraps for a while and not use my right hand (which isn’t hard because there’s so much more to this style of kung fu than punching).  My classmates are aware and I trust them not to accidentally do any damage.

Surely I’ll be back to crafting soon — staying away is hard — but I think part of why I haven’t tried anything yet is because I know it’ll be really hard to take it easy and take breaks and stuff!  For now though, thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

“Every Which Way Crochet Borders” book review, bonus pattern, & giveaway!

everywhichwaycrochet

Hello everyone!  I was lucky enough to be chosen by Storey Publishing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to participate in a blog tour and review a copy of Edie Eckman’s new book (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  It’s called “Every Which Way Crochet Borders” and there will be a free border pattern and book giveaway below, so keep reading to learn about this really cool book!  Although the book was provided and the giveaway sponsored by Storey Publishing the opinions below are all my own.  Also, follow the rest of the blog tour for more chances to win the book by clicking here:

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review

OK so, there’s really a lot packed into this 218 page book, and it’s not just the 139 cool crochet borders.  Let’s dive in to some of the details!

One thing I often find lacking in patterns of crochet borders is that you’re left to figure out how to turn corners on your own, which can be incredibly frustrating and can frankly just turn me off to using the pattern at all.  Thankfully Edie Eckman has included great detail in her patterns,

each engineered to flow smoothly around the 90-degree corners that you’ll find on blankets, sweaters, washcloths, and other items.

Each beautiful pattern includes both written and charted instructions as well as any necessary additional information on stitches or other notes, and each pattern is tagged with categories for easy searching (categories include: reversible, wide, medium, narrow, undulating, straight, motifs, open/lacy, layered, fringy, and textured).

Before even getting to the patterns, however, there’s a very helpful section of the book called “Design Concepts” which really put this book a notch above other border books and patterns for me.  It gives a very helpful structured approach to choosing borders for your project based on some crochet principles, such as “Form Follows Function,” weighing borders that compliment vs. contrast with your item, recognizing the potential for the huge differences colors can make, understanding scale, and how to choose the right type of yarn for your projects.  Edie even includes advice and details on how to add borders to other types of fabric, which I found very useful.  And while her border patterns are written out with specific detail, Edie encourages customizing the borders in her book (such as widening borders or combining them), and she tells you how to do it with math that is really very straightforward and takes a lot of guesswork and frustration out of making the perfect border for your pattern.  It is so nice not to have to figure this out yourself!  If you’ve ever had to do this on your own you know that the struggle is real.  Wrapping up the “Design Concepts” section are some helpful tips on troubleshooting, starting and ending rounds smoothly, and even how to fudge stitch counts if necessary!

Man, I wish I’d had this when designing the As-We-Go Stripey Blanket!  The border would have been even cuter!  🙂

The borders themselves are cute and varied — there’s something sure to please everyone and go with just about any project.  Experiment and have fun making your own personalized crochet borders!

free border pattern just for you!

As I mentioned before, check out the other blogs on the blog tour to find not only more ways to win a copy of the book but also more free bonus patterns from the book itself!  For my readers I choose to share border #99 straight from the book itself so you can see how each pattern page is laid out!

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99

The Stitches & Notes section is very helpful for those who haven’t tried the Solomon’s Knot stitch before.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Notes

As mentioned above, each pattern is tagged with specific categories.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Tags

The photo and written pattern are clear and concise.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Written Pattern

And the charted pattern is easy to read, with repeated sections highlighted.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Chart

Excerpted from Every Which Way Crochet Borders © 2017 by Edith L. Eckman. Photography by John Polak. Chart by Karen Manthey.  Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

giveaway

And now for the giveaway part!  This particular giveaway is open only to US residents (but any of the other giveaways I hold are open worldwide).  A lucky winner will receive their own free copy of Edie Eckman’s “Every Which Way Crochet Borders,” and all you have to do is comment below with your name and the State you live in (one entry per person please)!  Winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator on Saturday, Feb. 25.  If chosen you will receive an email from me requesting your mailing address; make sure you check your inboxes because after 24 hours I will draw again if I receive no response!  Winner will be announced as soon as one has been confirmed!  Good luck everyone!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

ow.

I managed to break a bone in my hand.  I did not go to the doctor for 6 days because although my hand was quite swollen and bruised I thought I just pulled a muscle or sprained my wrist. I’ve never broken bones before, so I didn’t know what it would feel like/what to expect.  I decided though (after much urging from pretty much everyone) that since it is my right hand and I do so many activities with my hands that I should probably go get it checked out, because I would not want to mess up future knitting and crocheting, music playing, martial arts, calligraphy, etc.

The doctors did an X-ray and I could see where the metacarpal that connects to my pinky was messed up; a little chunk came completely off right at the base where it connects to my wrist. It was a little late then to do much about it other than wear a splint for a few days (I took good care of it for the first 6 days even though I didn’t think it was as bad as it turned out to be), and I’ve been wearing various braces and Ace bandages pretty much nonstop ever since.

How did I break a bone in my hand, you might ask?  Well, it was completely my fault; it was during a kung fu class and I threw a bad punch. Since I didn’t think it was serious though I finished the class, which probably wasn’t good for my hand.  I haven’t been back to class since because I needed to let my bone heal a little bit, and to be honest I am a little embarrassed. I will have to wear a brace during class for another few weeks at least and it will definitely get in the way, but my Sifu told me that I shouldn’t let it stop me from coming because we would find things that I could work on.  I think I am going to go tonight. I’m feeling a bit reclusive which is probably my anxiety and depression and I kind of just want to stay home, but I know that going to class again will be good for me. I’ll just have to be careful about my hand, that’s all.

Needless to say this means that I have not been doing a whole lot of knitting or crocheting. I did actually attempt to knit some on the third or fourth day before I went to the doctor, and while it didn’t exactly hurt it was slow and just wasn’t working. It’s been maddening not to be able to go to my kung fu class or to knit or crochet or practice calligraphy or play musical instruments. I’ve been sitting around the house doing a whole lot of TV watching and not much else. I don’t think I’m really even supposed to be typing so I’m using the dictation feature on my computer to put this text in, and I’ve been having to do the same at work with all of my paperwork, which has been frustrating.

Luckily, the doctor said that bones usually take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to heal, which is faster than I expected, although it still kind of sucks. He also said that it could potentially still feel bad for a while after that, but I’m not too worried about that. It doesn’t hurt at all when I’m just resting or even moving around, it just hurts when I try to use it to pick up stuff or open doors (occasionally I will forget that it is broken and start to do something like that, only to immediately stop).

So yeah, that’s what’s been going on with me. Sorry there weren’t any pictures in this post.  I will have a really good post up on Sunday however, which just might involve a giveaway, so stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

pattern release: quick & simple granny shawl!

The Quick & Simple Granny Shawl pattern has been tested and is ready to go!  Read about & download the free PDF below.

Quick & Simple Granny Shawl

DIFFICULTY:

Easy/beginner

SIZE:

56” (142 cm) wingspan before blocking, 68” (173 cm) wingspan after blocking (but adjustable to your liking by just adding or subtracting rows)

MATERIALS:

  • 6 skeins of Lion Brand Landscapes (New Aran) in colorway 204 Desert Spring (pictured above) or 882 yards (807 m) of an aran weight yarn of your choice
  • 6.0 mm/US J hook
  • Finishing items: scissors, tapestry needle, blocking pins & mats

GAUGE:

Gauge is not important, just crochet until the shawl is the size you want!

NOTES:

  • Blocking is not required, it is up to your personal preference
  • Keep in mind that adjusting the size will also change the required amount of yarn
  • The other pictured example below uses a DK weight yarn, King Cole Riot, with the 6.0 mm/US J hook for a lacier feel; this is a great example of how you can customize the pattern to your liking!
  • Pattern testing & the King Cole Riot example were done by the lovely Claire, owner of the blog Mollie & Claire. Thank you Claire!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE PDF!

Quick & Simple Granny Shawl

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