Wednesday, October 28, 2009

hook + cloth

Hello, lovely Internet (and real life) friends. Thank you for the comments on my granny pillow. Here's the one I'm working on now.

One side is done, and I started the other side today. Crochet is fast; I guess it's all the holes. It's fast, and it's glorious. I'm using the basic granny square pattern at Purl Bee.

I have some wrist pain; so the type of crochet hook I use makes a difference. I'd been loving the Clover Soft Touch hooks, pricey though they are compared to the old-fashioned all-metal kind, but then I needed a size 7. I hopped around to Hobby Lobby and found a 7 in Susan Bates Bamboo Handle hooks. The next day I went back for an 8 and a 9 because I like the SB Bamboo Handle even more than I like the Clovers (and I've always preferred the throat on SB hooks). The handle is longer, giving my hand a resting place. They're more ergonomic. I don't grip as hard to hold on to the hook, which means I can crochet longer. The SB's are priced well, too. Check out these reviews.

In other making news this week, I did up some curtains. I'd been living with mini-blinds for nearly a year because I didn't want to spend the money on fabric, but the other day I couldn't take it anymore. I remembered some drop-cloth curtains I'd seen somewhere a while back, and decided that would be my most reasonable option.

I wanted tone and texture, and drop cloth delivers for less than 10 bucks a panel. They don't call it the poor man's linen for nothing. I washed the panels, hemmed them, and voila. I also spray painted the Ikea curtain rods because this particular rod only comes in black and gray.

Here are some nifty instructions for working with drop cloth. And look at some of the cool things you can make with it. The upholstered chairs are my favorite.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

granny up

October already? 2009 nearly gone? No way.

Before 2010 knocks on the door, I want to blow the cobwebs off this here blog. The weather in Houston can finally be described as something other than south hell, and the yarn, the fabric, the painting, the camera -- all the happy pursuits -- are calling, along with a new interest or two.

Dear Ellen wooed me into upping my crochet game. I have to make some version of the amazing white-bordered afghan you see in her post; so I buckled down and learned to make a decent granny square this week. I used this pattern, which is wonderful. I started by making a pillow cover for practice and quick satisfaction.

It took me many days to decide what colors to use. In the end I threw up my hands and made it reversible, because I couldn't decide whether I wanted a warm or a cool palette. Now I can flip the pillow at whim, which is nice.

Ellen has been right all these years: Granny squares are the building blocks of fashion. And they're an absolute blast to make. I'm going to do another pillow cover while I plan my afghan.

My couch is a place holder. I got it from a junkie in Montrose. I've considered what his drug of choice might be, and I decided it's crystal meth, because the guy was pretty scabalicious when I met him. The couch was dirt cheap, though, and it's not in bad shape for its age (probably it was made in the '60s). I've got it covered because I wanted a change of pace (it's green), and I usually have more pillows on it so it doesn't look like an amorphous brown ghost.

The painting behind the couch is the first one I did. I wanted an orange wall, but knew I'd never paint it because I'm way too lazy to paint it back when I move. My love of orange resulted in what I call "The Big Orange Machine." Schmin calls it "Saturn"; so technically it's "Saturn: The Big Orange Machine." (Please don't tell us we're not clever.) It's also an ode to Mark Rothko, my current favorite painter.

One of the many things I enjoy about living here is that this house isn't at all precious. There's no crown molding, no hardwood floors, no built-ins -- nothing that could be considered an architectural feature. Not that these things wouldn't be nice (especially the floors), but here I feel free to display the end results of my impetuous (read: half-baked) bouts of creativity.