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Angelarae Knits: February 2012

Angelarae Knits

...and Crochets

My Photo
Location: Raleigh, NC, United States

Hello! Welcome to my Blog! I live and enjoy the fibery crafts here, in Raleigh, NC with my husband and 5 children! I love to share patterns, tips, and recipes along with my spinning from time to time. I hope you'll enjoy your time here and stick around a bit!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Putting It Together

For my Pinterest Challenge, I have been working on the squircle squares, as promised.   The appeal of this Pin, for me, was the decorative edging.  It's called a 'flat braid join' and is achieved by crocheting all the needed squares, or squircles, in this case, and joining them at the same time the edging is applied.  There are a couple of rough You Tube video tutorials that gave me a vague idea of how to accomplish this join. I am happy with the actual join, but am working on the best way to continue adding squares and edging. It is a work in progress, still...

I really like the colors and Emma went into my 'yarn trunk' and pulled out a few more. So I guess whatever this project becomes, will be  hers. No surprise!:0)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not Necessarily Yarn

I had a busy day today, which included grocery shopping.  I have lately been making an effort to eliminate the bad kinds of fat from my diet, trying to stick with olive oil, real butter, and avocado oil. So, when I tried to find a mayo that didn't have canola or soybean oil, I had a difficult time.  Even the olive oil mayo's had canola or soybean oils in them.  So, I decided to make my own.  I found a good recipe here.  Thanks, Alton.  And, I am happy with the results.  Looks like actual mayonnaise, doesn't it?
The recipe calls for safflower or corn oil, but I used olive, instead, and it tastes fine. 
I plan to make ranch dressing with the majority of this, and save the rest for sandwiches.  At least this way, I know exactly what is in it.  No names of products I cannot pronounce and have no idea what they

Here is the yarn for my Bucket List Project, mostly Super Saver solids. The white is called Soft White. I prefer it to bright white.

And here's my first Squircle, which looked deceptively small in the project photos.  But, actually, mine measures 6" x 6", and that's going down two hook sizes to a US size H8.  I like them, though. Not sure what I am going to make with them.  Any suggestions?

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinterest Challenge

Saw this great idea at the Trendy Treehouse blog. I am going to do this for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.  Should be fun. Details and rules for the challenge are here, along with this nifty button. Mosey on over to my Pinterest Bucket List to see the ideas I'd like to try.  This will be my first project, Squircles!  You can find this pattern here, in case you'd like to give them a try.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Where Did The Time Go?

Indeed...where did it go?  I realize that my time management skills have not been very good.  I have never been able to accomplish as much as I would like to.  It is something I have realized in working with FlyLady.  I believe it has something to do with my attitude towards tasks that need to be done.  Some I am enthusiastic about, and some, I am not.  I could spend hours spinning or knitting, but accomplish little else. Some might call this a balance issue.  Some time spent on cleaning, some time spent on exercising, some spent on socializing, not too much on any one thing.  I think this is probably a very common problem nowadays. It seems that the more convenience and gadgets we add to our lives, the more we try to squeeze into it.  It can become very difficult to slow down.  It is for me, anyway. 
I have learned, however, that a few minutes here and there do not only add up, but add a great deal of quality and, dare I say, Peace to my life.  I can tackle a cluttered area of my house for 15 minutes at a time and whip it into shape with no problem.  Some areas may require several 15 minute blocks, but they get done eventually.
In her book 'Respect The Spindle,' Abby Franquemont discusses production spinning with a drop spindle and the mechanics of getting more done.  In order to improve your time spinning,. it is helpful to break the act of spinning down into four parts, and time yourself while performing each one: set the spindle in motion, spin a length of yarn, wind onto spindle, and secure the yarn.  She points out that eliminating a few seconds of time from each step can yield a significant increase in yardage. She writes:

"Saving seconds here and there may not seem like much, but they can really add up.  Using the example of our four basic steps and an average time of 103 seconds, a spinner could complete those steps about 35 times in an hour.   If that sequence produces 1 yard of yarn, that's 35 yards in an hour."

She goes on to demonstrate that shaving of a total of 17 seconds, divided over these 4 steps yields an increase to 42 yards per hour.  That's nothing to sneeze at.  So by implication, shaving off a few minutes or, yes, even seconds, of time from tasks and chores during our day, we can greatly increase what we accomplish.
And the thing is, I keep getting the same message from different places. I recently noticed one of my Ravelry friends has something like 400 + projects. When I asked how she knits that fast, she simply said, "A few minutes here and there all add up."
So it comes down to efficiency, wouldn't you say?  Efficiency means skillfulness in avoiding wasted time and effort.
So thanks, Abby and thanks Bruinmom99.  I expect to have all this spun up by next week;->

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Bad Puppies

dog, puppy, pet, mixed breed
I have two little Chihuahua/Shih-tzu mix puppies named Brody and Julliette.  They are Brother and Sister, believe it or not. I know they look cute and all, but they are baaaad puppies.  They have learned to dig under the back yard fence and escape to the wide open reaches of our suburban neighborhood.  Little stinkers....so, in order to keep them in the yard, I have learned to spin on my drop spindle whilst I stand at the back door and make sure they stay in the yard.  Just look at them. You know they are wondering when I will look away.....not happening los pequenos malos!

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Simple Shapes Can Mean Elegant Design

Here is my progress on Simple Crochet Shrug.  I have to tell you; despite complaints I've heard about the difficulties in working with Homespun and the snide remarks regarding 'plastic' yarns, I am enjoying this project immensely. Truly, it is nothing more than a rectangle, seamed at the sides. But the finished project is very pretty, indeed, and I intend to embellish with a large, artsy-fartsy button.  The colorway for this project is 'Prarie' and I love it.  Looking on Ravelry, I can see that Homespun is in 20,632 stashes and used in 29,653 projects.  'Nuf said.  Here are some other projects that are simple rectangles.  The next one is a pattern I have seen in several shops, using Plymouth Yarns Alpaca Grande.  It looks circular in nature, but is also a rectangle, seamed at the sides: Knit 2, Purl 2 rib for so many inches, K1, P1 rib, and then back to knit 2, purl 2 rib.  Seam at the sides leaving maybe 7 inches or so for the armholes, and done.
Right? I haven't seen the pattern. I am guessing.

Simple, yet elegant. And the same look can be accomplished in either knit or crochet. But what about both knit and crochet? Check this one out!
Source: etsy.com via Angela on Pinterest                                                                                                         
I just love to see projects using both knitting and crochet. This one is so lovely. Now I am pretty sure this is a seamed, embellished rectangle. But, I am only eyeballing this. I haven't seen the pattern. This is from Berniolies Designs on Etsy. Check out her shop.  She has some beautiful patterns. I believe this one is $5.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Vintage Crochet

Isn't this little guy so cute? We visited Dunn, NC the other day, to put flowers on my Brother's grave. Many of my family members are buried there.  A couple of my Aunts and various cousins still live there, so we stopped to visit my Aunt Jackie on our way home.  I saw this in her bathroom and just had to snap a picture.  It is a toilet paper roll cover. It is fairly old, mid 70's, I believe.  The poor guy is close to losing an eye, but it isn't often I get to see a piece like this, as old as it is and still functioning. Cool.

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