Short wrist warmers

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And yet another WiP finished 🙂

Started these in January last year, shortly after I learned nalbinding. They were pretty much done, until I decided to knit an edge on the front. Got tired of knitting with black mohair (very hard to see and keep track of stitches, and nearly impossible to unravel) and put them aside for a while. And that while became a very long while 😛

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Last night I did the two rounds that were left on one and knitted all of the other edge as well, and I stitched them up this morning. It didn’t take more than an hour in total. I picked up 29 sts for the edge, increased to 42 sts, knit about four rounds, did a round with holes, and then another six rounds. Folded the knitting inwards and stitched along the edge. So nice and comfy 🙂

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The black stitches on the wrist edge were really supposed to be the other way around, facing outwards, as it were, but I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. So this is how it went. (Someone said YouTube tutorial? Oh well, next time 😛 )

Needle binding

So I’ve learned nalbinding 🙂 The Scandinavian spelling is nålebinding, which means needle binding. Not sure what to call it, really. I think the most common spelling in English is ‘nalbinding’, but I’m tempted to use the Scandinavian word, being Norwegian and all…

A friend showed me the basic technique last Saturday, when we were gathered for a pre-New Year’s Eve dinner. And this is what I did:

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I managed a fair first row, bit then I messed up the join and the second round was all wrong. I had no idea what I’d done, and neither did my friend. I didn’t try again for a couple of days, and on Tuesday my friend left town. I don’t have a nalbinding needle of my own, and they’re really hard to find around here, so I figured that was that.

But now, a few days and a million YouTube videos later, I have made this:

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I didn’t plan on making a wristwarmer, I really wanted to make a bag or something, but this is what happened. Don’t know if I’ll make another, because this was my first try and I don’t think I’ll be able to repeat it, mistakes and all.

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As you can see from this picture, the beginning (green) is very loose and uneven. The first rounds will usually be looser than the rest, but not this much… I found my tension eventually, and by the end of the gray part I was making pretty even stitches. Still not without mistakes, though…

I’m using a large yarn needle as a substitute, but it’s not completely blunt, and my thumb is now really sore. I need a proper needle before my thumbnail falls off… Tomorrow’s my birthday, and on my wish list is, of course, a nalbinding needle. The museum where I work has bone needles, they are pretty expensive, but it’s the only place I know that has them. I could find some online, but with shipping costs it would be more or less the same price.

After the first project was done I picked a new color and started experimenting some more, changing the number of loops I worked and where I picked up stitches. The result is this thing:

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Just a test, I do not intend to use it for anything. I really like how much firmer the fabric becomes when you work two loops at a time instead of just one, like I was taught. It takes longer, because you need more stitches.

With nalbinding you work with relatively short lengths of yarn, and when you run out you have to attach a new length. You’re not supposed to tie the ends (some think knots are a huge no-no), so the best way is to splice the ends together by felting.

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Not particularly easy, though. Takes a bit of time, but perhaps it doesn’t really take more time than weaving in the ends afterwards. Plus you get to use the whole length, so it saves yarn, too 🙂

Wristwarmers with hairpin lace

Third project for the Ravellenic Games 😀

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Entered in the Mitten Medley event 🙂 Wristwarmers are allowed as long as they have thumb hole (they need to cover the palm and not just the wrist).

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I was looking around on the web for cool things to do with hairpin lace, and I came across some cool wristwarmers on a blog. Sadly the woman didn’t have a pattern for hers (I asked), but I managed to make a similar pair anyway.

They are made with one strip of hairpin lace and the gray parts are crocheted out from the strip on both sides and then sewn together.

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Finally I added an edge on the front to make them a little bit longer (and more colorful). Nice and comfy 🙂

Flu & crochet…

In spite of my great plans of finishing projects I have done very little since my last post. I’ve been sick since I had the swineflu vaccine on Wednesday. Although I feel better now my shoulder is still pretty sore from the shot, and I have no energy to do much crafting. I have found that when I’m sick amigurumi takes too much concentrating and is harder on my hands than “regular” crochet, so I’ve mostly been making granny squares. The purple wrist warmers are finished, though, and the purple granny square bag was felted along with them. All the other bags are crocheted, just need to be felted 🙂
I hate what the flash does to the colors, but there’s very little light in our apartment and daylight is pretty hard to come by these days, so without it the pictures would just be a big blur :/
The groundhog has grown a little (the front legs are made but not yet attached), but I’ve fallen a bit behind on the secret crochet-along, which is now almost over. I have only managed to do the first four parts (head, hat, legs & body):
Not very happy with the girl’s backside, it’s butt-ugly (pun intended), so I was kind of hoping for a dress that would cover up her “cellulites”, but she’s going to have a snowflake dress, so I guess I’ll only have to show her from the front when she’s finished :p Instead of working more on the amis I’ve started the Block-a-month cal on Ravelry, and these are the squares I’ve made so far:
The bottom squares are the 6 inch Little Dahlia square pattern for January. They aren’t anywhere near 6 inches, though, more like 4. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, I use the hook size (5mm) and yarn weight that the pattern recommends, but they just come out too small. The top squares are made from this pattern from last year’s crochet-along (March), and even though the pattern suggested the same yarn weight and hook as the first, they actually would be bigger, so I had to make some changes to get them the same size. *sigh* I don’t get it… Anyway, as long as I can stick to the same size I guess I’ll be okay 🙂 And again, the flash messes with the colors. That yellow-looking color is actually green…

Ten thousand projects!

Well, it certainly feels like it sometimes… In addition to the two (possibly three) crochet-alongs, I have several other projects going, all of which I hope to finish before school starts for real next week.
I’ve actually been working these color pencil holders since since Christmas, from a pattern by Amber Jolly (bought on Etsy, A. Jolly Shop). The red one is crocheted with double strands of yarn and a 4mm hook. What’s strange is that I started the red one first, but only the blue is finished… The blue pencil is crocheted with thinner yarn and 3.75mm hook, and is perfect for crochet hooks 🙂 I made a few changes in the pattern and stiffened the pencil with a cardboard roll (the ones in the middle of toilet paper or kitchen paper towels).
The next project I need to finish are these knitted wristwarmers for my mother. She used to have a similar pair, but she lost them, so now I’m making her new ones for her birthday. They only need to be felted, but I plan to make an owlet keychain in matching colors, so the present isn’t ready to send just yet.
I crocheted this little bag to keep my RPG dice in, but it’s too small for me, since it only holds one standard set of 7. The pattern is added to my other blog 🙂 Please contact me if you find any errors, I had some trouble making this up (I’m not used to joining rounds of single crochet), even though I believe the pattern should be correct.
Finally I’ve been exploring the world of granny squares again 🙂 I wanted to make a bigger bag for my dice, and I came up with a pattern, which is now also posted on my pattern blog, along with a tutorial for a basic granny square. The bags are really simple, if you know how to make granny squares you can do this without a pattern, but I have written it down anyway 🙂 A lady on Ravelry commented on these bags and said she’d use them as soap bags, which of course gave me a new idea… Maybe, if I find the time and the money later this semester, I’ll give soap-making a try. I mean, if I could make my own soap and sell them in these bags… They would be great as gifts, too 🙂
After the first two granny square bags I decided to make some in pure wool for felting. The colors are inspired by the Warhammer roleplaying game, where there are eight different schools of magic with corresponding colors (life/green, death/purple, shadow/gray, amber/brown, sky/blue, fire/orange, alchemy/gold, light/white). That means eight bags, five of which are now made (the blue is not on the picture). I have only felted one of them, though, I want to wash them separately in case the colors bleed. I will probably add photos as the bags are finished 🙂