A tale of two tops

So, I got these three skeins of Lion Brand Cotton (about 220 yards each) as a CLBFX package from Joanne. Since it was in natural colour, any dishcloths I work up will not be too dashing, obviously. So I hit upon the brilliant idea of making myself that top I’ve been promising myself for ages now.

I also happened to win a bunch of crochet magazines and pattern books in a Crochet Partners recycling contest, and one of them was the June 1989 issue of Magic Crochet, that had a nice top pattern.

This was my first time working with a pattern from Magic Crochet and I’m impressed at the amount of instructions they fit into 2 pages. This included a full view photo of the finished object, introductory written instructions, a schematic for the entire garment, a symbol chart for the pattern and a symbol legend as well. Wow.

In addition, the pattern was fairly easy to grasp and do and worked up quite quickly. So I went as far as this:

Crochet top from June 1989 Magic Crochet

That’s quite far, wouldn’t you say? The cotton is soft and the pattern easy. B U T. The yarn doesn’t have a sheen (naturally) and I have a feeling it will be too heavy. I always feel crocheted wearables will be too heavy. So I am going to frog this. Perhaps I have miles of vanilla-coloured dishclothes ahead of me. Whatever.

Here’s a close up of the pattern. Very nice.

Crochet top from June 1989 Magic Crochet

So I went to cheer myself up at my usual haunt (the thread wholesaler) and came home with six balls of this for Rs 330:

Green knitting cotton

Nice, no? This is “knitting cotton” by Madura Coats, a nice mercerised cotton thread which is about size 10 or bedspread weight, I think. I hope it will be enough for a top for me. I am trying to make up my own pattern and am starting from the sleeve. This is how far I have come:

Green top sleeve

As you can see, I am borrowing the crossed dc pattern from the Magic Crochet design. But perhaps not the bobbles. They might look like pilling. Let’s see how far I get with this one.

I don’t usually show “in-progress” pictures of my work. There’s always a first time, right?

ETA: Deneen pointed me in the direction of Bron’s blog, where Bron has courageously ;) come out and said it out loud: crochet wearables are usually can be heavy and bulky! As Cordelia and I were describing it a few weeks ago, it is like chain mail!

Plastic canvas kitsch

So here it is, my first plastic canvas FO. An eyeglass case for my aunt. The mountains of itchy acrylic I have came in very useful without any depletion.

Eyeglass case cubic view

Eyeglass case standing up

Eyeglass case

No, don’t rub your eyes. The pictures are blurry. I lined it with ordinary 2 x 2 blouse piece cloth and fabric glue. Still too lazy to sew. :(

Yay India!

The buzz in knitting circles in recent weeks has been about the new interchangeable needles introduced by Knitpicks. While I was trolling the Web for info on which brand to choose, all the fora (forums) were agog with these needles, metal rather than the resin of the Denise set that I finally decided to ask for (a friend has promised me she’s getting them for me). I found a review today and guess what! The metal parts are Made in India. That’s really good. Despite knowing they will never be sold here, I can still feel happy someone in India is making something for themselves. Really. More power to them.
Although these are cheaper than the Boye Needlemaster, I still find them expensive (you try multiplying something by 47 especially when it’s “just a hobby”). I didn’t want the Boye because I’m not particularly fond of their metal crochet hooks. I find them heavy, the colours garish and the finishing is a bit odd (they have ridges on the backs).

Pony hooks might be bland, but I like them. They have a smooth finish and they’re not nearly as heavy as the Boyes.

Now I just have to sit on my hands and wait till I get the Denises. I sincerely hope they’re worth the expense (they must be in $$, but Rs?)

RAOK

I got two RAOKs in the mail today, from fairy godmothers at Crochetville. The first was this:

Holidays in July

A yarn guide which doubles as a thimble! Now I must get off my seat and finish that I-cord that was poking through my finger. This was from a FGM, Kimberly, in Massachusetts.

Next, Karla sent me a whole bunch of crochet/knit/other craft patterns. The picture I took of those was too blurry, sorry! But there was also a cute knitting-themed greeting card with a sweet message from Karla inside, and a bookmark.

Woohoo! Thank you both, FGMs! :mrgreen:

Treasure found

I went booksaling (new word!) today and turned the place upside down looking for crafty books. And I was well rewarded with this (Rs 75):

knittingwithout.jpg

Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Wasn’t that a lucky find?! I hope to be putting some of the techniques into use in a few weeks’ time. This is the original 1971 edition. There’s a slight tear on the dustcover, but I shall apply tape. I understand it is a bit of a classic.

I also found this book on needlepoint/plastic canvas (Rs 150). It’s been a long time since I learnt a new craft.

2439608-0-m.jpg

Needlepoint on Plastic Canvas by Elisabeth Brenner De Nitto. This must be the cover, because my copy is missing its dust jacket. Hopefully I’ll have fun. I have a pack of A4-sized sheets of plastic canvas hidden in a cupboard. I resisted buying a book on Macrame. I was strong.

In non crafty buys, I got a couple of books with cats in them. The sale was purportedly of surplus books from US libraries. I had a nice haul last year. The man promised to look up more books for me and asked me to go in next week. I am not that hopeful actually.

Censorship

This is the first time I’m living with censorship (I was too young to appreciate it properly the earlier time) and I’m not liking it much. Technologically challenged people in the government have decided that all of the blogs at blogspot.com and typepad.com are to be blocked. I cannot also access any geocities.com site. Either that or the ISPs here do not have the wherewithal (brains) to ban subdomains rather than entire domains. Luddites. What next, the printing press? How about cellphones? The radio. No, that is controlled anyway. Bah.

On a happy note, I can use http://www.pkblogs.com to access any blogs on blogspot.com, but not the others. Also, I cannot comment on those blogs.

There isn’t a word to express how I feel. :x

Does anyone know how I can read typepad.com blogs? Google’s cache is usually a couple of days old. Webarchive.org isn’t current either.

Problem reading blogs

I am not able to read some of my regular blogs, including Nonaknits, The Crochet Dude, Karla, Ruth…I see their updated posts in Bloglines, but when I click on them for the full version or to comment, nothing! I get error messages. Is this happening to anyone else? Surely something can’t be wrong with Blogspot, Typepad all at the same time? I am able to access http://www.blogger.com and http://www.typepad.com, but not the blogs themselves. Very frustrating. Please someone tell me if there’s something I can do. I use an Apple and Firefox and haven’t knowingly changed any settings.