Crochet

Tunisian Times Two

Ta da! My first Tunisian Crochet projects-The (not so) Silk Spa Cloth (done in Catania Cotton).   First I crocheted the green, and although my Susan Bates was an H, I was crocheting too tightly. So I switched to the Boye which (somewhat irrationally) feels bigger to me.

I prefer the final product with the second washcloth (off white).  Looser, better feeling in your hand, and much easier to block.  And yes, I know that this would have all been predictive had I swatched for gauge.  But hey,  that’s not how I roll…anyway, practice makes perfect, right?

Next, I’m moving onto  three color Tunisian with the same pattern. Redundancy is ok when you’re learning.

What are you working on this weekend?

Crochet

Totally Tunisian

Two more tunisian stitches, and I’m still impressed with and enthusiastic about my Craftsy class!

It really has been enjoyable.  Jennifer gives clear instruction, and the ability to pause, rewind, and take notes timed to the video feed contributes to a pretty satisfying learning experience.

So here’s my Silk Spa Cloth (also known as Project #1) as of last night.

It’s a little mushed looking because it’s been quickly and furiously pressed in order to take the picture.  It originally looked like this.

I’m crocheting fairly tightly and the result is a stubborn curling, similar to knitting…

Not that I knit…

The wash cloth is made up of three different Tunisian stitches.  1) The Tunisian Simple Stitch 2) The Tunisian Knit Stitch and 3) The Tunisian Reverse Stitch.

And I hate to sound like a rube, but the Knit stitch really does look like knitting!  Very cool.

I finished the stitching tonight.  Now it’s time for lesson number three – how to bind off your work.  Don’t you love learning new things?

Crochet

Behold, Tunisian Simple Stitch!

Behold the the product of my first module from Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian crochet class on Craftsy.  It’s called the Tunisian Simple Stitch.  It’s completed by front and back passes with your hook.  This picture was taken  after the “front pass” for simple stitch and you’ll note obvious similarities to knitting since all of our stitches are still on the hook.

Not that I knit.

I’m using Afghan crochet hooks that I picked up at an estate sale  a year or so ago.  I started with the Boye Cro Hook – size H.

And it just felt too thick for me.  My stitches seemed looser than what I was seeing in the video.  So I posted a question as to whether my using a decades old Afghan hook was the best plan.  I’ll get back to you on the response.  But in the meantime, you’ll note I switched from the blue Boye Cro Hook

To a lovely pink Susan Bates #8 of the same style.  Now you know and I know that the letter-to-number conversion means my #8 hook is also an H.  And yet, it’s visibly smaller.  (I know you can’t really tell in this picture, but trust me, it is)

Which just confirms that I’m a Bates girl (no offense to Boye).  The hook change seemed to bring my stitches more in sync with those from the video.

And speaking of the video, I’ve only completed the first lesson, but so far the learning methodology is solid.  Jennifer Hansen is very knowledgeable and she’s taking the time to cover the questions a newby has with the process-like pointing out where you’re likely to drop stitches at the end of the row.

The first project for the class is a Silk Spa Cloth-the ecru in the background of this pic

Predictably, I’m using Catania cotton instead of silk.  Jennifer recommended bamboo as a close 2nd choice for the silk.  I’m just not ready to use the pricier fibers while I’m learning.

Overall, so far so good with my new Craftsy geekery.  Onto Lesson number two!

Crochet

Geekery of the Crafty Kind

 

So I’ve been stalking Craftsy.  A relatively new site that offers an increasingly broad array of online crafts coursework.  There are sewing classes, quilting, knitting, crochet, beadwork, and several others-all taught by prominent artists within their field.  They frequently offer discounted deals on classes they’re introducing or highlighting.  I’ve considered several, but didn’t bite the bullet until they posted Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian Crochet.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know I wanted to learn Tunisian.  And yet I found myself clicking to purchase.  Go figure.  There have been a lot of cute Tunisian projects in magazines lately.  And I’m pretty excited to be trying a new learning medium.  Is that geeky?  Yes, it’s pretty geeky.  I’m cool with that.

Part of the sales hook for Craftsy is that once you’ve purchased the class, you can take it as many times as you want, whenever you want.  There are several projects of increasing complexity for coursework, and my plan is to  post my progress as well as feedback on the class and curriculum.

So now I’m going to dig my afghan hook out of what will probably be the last giant tupperware tub in the far corner of my storage area.  I’m going to make a very icy bourbon and coke (because it’s Friday night, I’m a grown up and I can). Then I’m going to sneak away and leave my husband entertaining my six year old and his buddy during their first big sleepover, and begin my class!  Yes, I know.  It’s wrong on so many levels.  To tell the truth, if I find the stinking hook, I’ll be ahead of the game.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Chicken Mission

A Plethora of Poultry: The Desk Reference Edition

So I’ve been quasi-obsessed by the chickens.  I know it and you know it.  Given my track record, no one should be surprised that I’ve been reading and googling incessantly. It’s probably time to give a recap of the great resources I’ve found and utilized.  Maybe in the process, it will give me closure and I’ll be able to bring the chicken mania to a more reasonable level of engagement.

I started with Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow

This book was epic.  It provided me with more detailed information on the care of poultry than I could absorb. I waded through it, but I felt like I needed something a little more streamlined to get me off the ground.

So I downloaded The Working Chicken by Anna Hess.

This is a succinct well-organized e-book available for your Kindle through Amazon.  It cost .99 and was a great read.  I felt like between the two, I had a good basic overview (Hess), as well as a desk reference (Damerow) that I would be able to go back to when needed.

So I moved onto magazines, which is very much my MO.  Of course, first there’s the mothership…It does not disappointment.

Then Hobby Farms Annual Poultry Issue

Then Chickens…Hobby Farms’ “Essential Poultry Publication”

And of course, there’s the litany that is my Chicken Blog Roll…

Many of the following blogs a present a staggering array of detailed (sometimes graphic) information that poultry keepers need to know.  They are passionate about their flocks and their posts demonstrate intense connections with the animals they keep.

ADozenGirlz, The Chicken Chick

Fresh Eggs Daily

Lessons Learned from the Flock

Tilly’s Nest

The Tangled Nest

Eggs and Chickens

For the Love of Chickens

HenCam

My Pet Chicken

Backyard Chickens

There are a ton of resources out there, and the enthusiasts are true enthusiasts.  Many of the blogs I’ve highlighted are absolutely beautiful, and the bloggers have brought chicken keeping to the level of art.

If you have an interest, enjoy! I certainly have.