sexta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2011

Just popping in to say hello!

Hello my dear readers!

I'm back... working...

...or rather from before 9 to around 6...

Wouldn't it be fun if it were like this? (well... or maybe not... lol)

The truth is, I've been away for too long... and am not used to this routine anymore! So instead of this...


...I am now stuck with learning this...

...on my own and it seems like it's going to take... get there!

Please don't give up on me... I hope to have a little time to pop in this weekend, even though I will be going with the guys to the 

Thinking of you, Marjo, and all the girls and boys who have to fight this battle!


PS - thank you so much for your Award, Sam, I promise I'll get back to it soon!!!

quinta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2011

Guincho or Cornwall?

Hello! I hope you are all doing well :)

We all have a special place we dream of going someday... right? 

Let me tell you a (not really) secret... this is the place I've been dreaming of.

It's Cornwall, in the UK.

Maybe motivated by the countless romances I read of King Arthur and his Knights, Lady Morgan and the druids, the mists and the centuries old trees... I've been dreaming of this for a long time.

We do have some places that call out for me just as much--Guincho, near Sintra (not so far from Lisbon)

It even has the mists hoovering over it most of the time, with the sun shining through 

Or Porto Covo, further south...

When I started to make my Japanese Flower Scarf I noticed the color pattern resembled so much these colors I love in these places.  (Yes, it turned out to be a flower scarf instead of the granny square version... It was so much nicer!) 

The deep blue of the ocean, the teal / turquoise of the closer waters, the sand, the grass and even the darker stone cliffs

So that was the name I gave my scarf: the Cornwall scarf, but it could easily be the Guincho scarf as well

Over my bed cover... hmmm... can you tell how much I love these colors?! :)

This yarn is so wonderful to crochet with a 2 mm hook. 
It creates random patterns as the you go through the various shades in the yarn... And it becomes faster to make!  The Japanese flowers are wonderfully easy and nice to make! I even got to read while making them, a new, wonderfull book written by my dear junior high school friend Maria Cristina Becho, called "Cantos da Casa" (Corners of Home). 

I am not a fast crochetter.

 I work slowly, but this flower is so agreable  to make and the color changes are so pleasing to the eye that I made it in less than a week--that's amazing for me! The flowers are small, about the size of my palm, so I made a total of 54 flowers for this shawl, 12, 13, 14 and 15 flowers in each row.

This is me, modelling it over my t-shirt as it's still way too warm to wear anything else... and my favourite pin holding it in the front. 

I can't wait for it to get cooler to start wearing it!

Another project completed before I go back to work... I'm happy!

What are you working on? Any new ideas or patterns? I need to start something else now :)


quinta-feira, 15 de setembro de 2011

A bit of a busy bee...

Hello my dears!

Did you think I was away... again? 

No... just being a bit of a busy bee :)

Ok... let's see if I can bring you up to date (sort of, at least!)

Yesterday I went to the Junta Medica (sort of a medical board) who though I am fit to go back to work, after a few months on sick leave. That's great news, right? 

It means I'm off from all treatments and back to my controls--every 3 months--to make sure the Beast is gone for good and stays that way :) 

The bad news is I'll have less time for my girly things that have kept me busy and sane all these months... but now that I have found again my long lost love for crochet and knitting and all crafts alike I'm not letting them go!

In the mean time, here are some of the things I've been up to...

The leftover yarn... 

Well, I wasn't talking about big bundles of them, just teeny weeny bits of yarn you think you can do nothing of... 

How about some potholders (the right one was based on Alice's African Flower Potholder at Crochet with Raymond

Or some embelishments for a sweater / scarf (check out the scarf below) ?  

A pin cushion like these I think are so cute at Pontinhos Meus--I didn't get around to this yet but I will!

Anyway, after these I finished a few WIP's...

Remember Ana's handdyed yarn? Here's the finished result.

I searched and searched and finally found this pattern called Saroyan and as I read about it on Liz Abinante's blog it seemed to be the perfect pattern for this! It shows off beautifully the changes in color and it was just right for the amout of yarn I had (120gr, one skein)

The crochet flower I mentioned above seems to be the perfect finishing touch for it, with a little green button for the center (it took me forever to make this up... the patterns I found just didn't quite cut it!) I think I know just where this scarf is going to end up ;) (more on that later...)

Oh... and you liked the little cardigan underneath it?

That was a project finished a little while ago... Probably my most favorite cardigan :) I'll tell you more about it some other day...

Last but not least--the new yarn love is keeping my hands busy! But now I'm torn between the granny square scarf and a Japanese flower scarf... 

I'm sure you are all busy bees these days too... what have you been up to?


sexta-feira, 9 de setembro de 2011

I'm soooooooo in love!

This was not the post I had planned on doing today... I got sidetracked and uterly, completely, madly in love!

On my way home from a doctor's appointment in Lisbon I stopped by my usual yarn supplier. Half afraid, I must confess. She had ordered and had probably just received the new Fall / Winter yarns and I was scared. You know that feeling... happy, anxious, but really scared I would fall into temptation. I guess I should have just driven home... or not!!!!

Do you know Katia Yarns? Take a look at it... at your own risk!!! It's in several languages and has pictures of their pattern catalogues and yarns.

D. Julia, a sweet, dear lady who owns and runs the shop, said "Teresa, look what I've got here for you..." and my heart fell. 

A whole, entire magazine full of gorgeous patterns, a few of them with Granny Squares, actually 2 entire magazines (yes, BumbleBri, they had version of a sweater like the one you posted about today! Just 4 big squares, front, back and 2 folded in half for the 2 sleeves), the most gorgeous yarns... I'm doomed! 

D.Julia hadn't unpacked the new yarns yet and I was halfway torn between the desire to run off before she did and the wish to get my hands on some... But I stayed until there was nobody else in the store... then she smiled and said "I'm just as anxious as you, let's check it out!" and went inside my Aladin's cave to open some boxes (I would think I died and went to in heaven if I ever went in that back storage room... that's why I don't dare!)

Yeap... you figured it out... I came home with a few more balls of yarn... I didn't need but I was in love with!

She lent me the magazine (she sells them) so I wouldn't have to buy one and promised to save me some other yarns when she receives them, because she only got 3 of the shades of the one I wanted (Darling, a fingerling 60% merino / 40% poliamide thread that is sooooo yummy!)

Here are just a few of the ones I'm pretty sure I can't resist making... the cover one too, of course!

I bet I could get myself to wear a hat this year...

Black and grey and tons of awesome colors and feels

I got some yarn last year that would be awesome if I made it like this (with some leggings and high boots, of course! How comfy can you get?!)

It's warm here, around 30ºC (that is high 80's for those of you in Farenheit degrees) and it seems like the Summer is just arriving. Something tells me we're going to have a looooooong Summer and I won't get to wear anything warm that soon... but then that'll leave me with a lot more time to get my act in gear ;) even though it isn't as tempting to knit in hot weather!

Have you started your Autumn / Winter cuddly stuff yet...?
Hope you wave a wonderful weekend--while I control myself and continue to finish off the leftover yarns... I'll show you how next monday, hopefully!


quarta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2011

Leftover yarn

Hello my dear friends!

Like most of you, I hate leftover bits and bobs of yarn too... they make me want to buy more to make something else and to buy more yarn (because what I have isn't enough...) which really is not the point!

So... just hang in there a bit longer and I'll show you what's left of the 2 cushions :)

And make sure you check out MeMe Rose's version of the slanted edging, it's real nice!

Be back later :) have a wonderful wednesday!


sexta-feira, 2 de setembro de 2011

Slanted edging, anyone...?

I always feel flattered when someone asks how I made something in crochet--you know, I'm a self taught crochetter and knitter because I'm lefthanded and back when I was a child eager to learn (and most people thought using the left hand was not polite) nobody knew how to teach me otherwise.

So I'd position myself in front of the other person working and tried to copy their work from the reverse side--your right is actually my wrong!--and in the end it would come out exactly the same.

 When MeMe Rose asked how this edging was done I thought it was a good opportunity to help out! Everybody comes up with such gorgeous projects, I'm glad my simple ones can be of use and inspiration :)

I'm sorry if I don't use the right terms, aside from being lefthanded I'm still a bit at a loss with the terminology in English :) so I'll try to show you instead...

This was the itty bitty sample I made for the baby blanket tutorial--ripped the last row appart and  made a single row of short stitch instead.

 With a different color yarn to make it stand out more, I attached it to the corner stitch and made 3 chains (you can either use a different color or just continue with the one you're working with)

...then skip 2 or 3 stitches (depending on how flat or frilly you want it to be... I find myself  using 3 stitch intervals most of the time, alternating with 2 stitches whenever I feel it's becoming too taut) and make a double stitch. You get a triangular shape and you'll be using this double stitch as the basis for the little sideways square on the edge.

 Make 3 more chains and crochet 3 double crochets on the slanted one. There's your first slanted square...

When you finish it you'll be making another one that is going to attach 2 or 3 stitches further, creating another triangle union. See?

Keep going all the way to the end of this side--to the corner stitch again. You may find you don't have the right amount of stitches (I do, as I'm not one to follow patterns too closely!) so then just ajust the distance by increasing or decreasing a stitch between the "legs" of the triangle.

Now the corner...I've tried this several ways, but the one that seems to work best for me is to make a small skip (just 2 stitches) before and after the corner, and just work exactly the same way you've been doing, as if it were round.

 It looks roundish here, see? But then the sample is merely 5inches long so it's difficult to get very square... And you can see the back side of the cushion with the same edging.

Just keep working, all the way around (looking a bit pointier here...)

 Until you reach the end of the road and poke into the last / first hole of the border. You want this to look  perfect, right?

So here's how I do it--it doesn't mean you can't join differently, but this worked out perfectly for me. 

I just make the 3 chains (that correspond to the 1st double stitch) and 2 double stitches instead of 3, and bind on that little corner up there so that this first "leg" of the edging triangle makes up for the missing double stitch.
There you go... all set to bind off and tuck in the tails!

Now... that was easy enough, wasn't it? Please let me know if this helped at all... and if you have trouble understanding my very unprofessional instructions, please yell out!

Have a wonderful weekend (it's going to be a rainy one here, it seems...)

quinta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2011

Cushion duo ta-dahhh!!!

Hello again  :)

Last night it rained cats and dogs--I do love that expression! Does anyone actually use it or is it just something we learn in school...?--and we had promises of a nasty day for today, lots more rain and hail storms all over the country. What a way to go, August!

The first day of September woke up yucky... I could hear the boat horns on the river as the day broke and decided it was too grey to get out so soon (still at home, as you can see...) but when I called it quits and opened the shades the sun was shinning yeahhhhhhh!!! Just perfect to take a few pictures to show off my latest productions :)  The two cushions are ready!

They started out by being one--front and back--and then I decided I would need at least another one for the sofa and split it in 2... that's when I called out for your help, remember?

The front...
...the former back...
...and the new back for both, made out of some former baby curtains...
Joined together by making a blanket edging on the fabric (is that what it's called?) and then a small crochet edging in a matching color, pink on one and white on the other.

Do you like them?
And now... of course I needed a new WIP...

So this beauty 

...just arrived at the right moment! Hand dyed by Ana Cerveira, who has the blog Mãos de Sapo e Pés de Pato (Frog hands and Duck's feet :) ) a Portuguese girl who dyes yarn and wool for spinning and has the most beautiful yarns and rovings you can imagine--hop on over to pay her a visit, I just noticed she has some new beauties available! And they come wrapped in red tissue paper with these little cards and a nice word (she also takes custom orders, I believe)

A mixture of summer and autumn shades that make me all warm inside...
 I can't wait to start to knit a new scarf! Or cowl... or... whatever it is, it will make me happy! I'm all set to welcome the crispier weather :)

So... what are your current projects?


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