Not quite there yet

Crochet BSJ

I’ve been busy over the past couple of days trying to fulfill a dream wish of mine. Converting the Baby Surprise Jacket to crochet. For my first attempt, I did a plain stitch for stitch translation from knit to crochet, replacing knit with single crochet.

Crochet BSJ

Quite early on I saw there was a problem, but I persisted and finished the piece. I’ve tried to pull it into shape, but as you can see, there are some problems. It appears the piece is too long and not wide enough.

Crochet BSJ

Obviously I shall have to rip it back, and redo it. It will involve some thinking. Namely, I need to make it such that the width of the two fronts equals the back (cast-on edge) minus the sleeve lengths (allowing for the button bands, of course). Also perhaps reduce the length of the back a bit so the fronts are squarer.

Something tells me that dreaded thing, a swatch, is imminent. Oh dear.

Random opinions

Someone on Crochetpartners linked to a hexagon bedspread at Elann, so I went over to look. It’s beautiful, but me and motifs and/or large patterns make a very bad combination. So I admired the pattern, and spent some time drooling over the yarn, before surfing over to look at the other free patterns at the site. I noticed most of the patterns are different from the last time I visited, which would have been quite some time ago, since I don’t recognise many of them. Here are some of my thoughts. (I am not pasting photos here because I’m uncertain of the legality of that, but with the handy Snap feature WordPress has, you should be able to hover on the links to see a teeny preview.)

First off, I’m delighted Elann doesn’t call everything which covers the torso a “sweater”. Maybe it’s an American thing? Somehow “sweater” conjures up winter and full-sleeved “woollens” (actually acrylic in India, but all yarn is wool here). So I always find it funny when patterns talk of “summer sweaters” (thank you, I sweat quite enough already without wearing sweaters in summer) and call bitsy sleeveless tops sweaters, including some made of cotton! I’ve seen every imaginable variation of a top being termed a sweater and it’s something I shall never get over, I’m afraid. (I’m funny like that.)

Ahem. Anyway, I had to scroll down quite a bit on the index page to find familiar patterns. So let’s talk about the unfamiliar ones. I know I just talked of sweating, but even that wouldn’t make me willing to wear this, I’m too prudish! I wouldn’t mind making it in a child size, though. The next one‘s nice, and this cardigan is interesting, too.

Whatever, though, I cannot like variegated yarns for wearables. And some of the patterns just appear to be the same one done in different colours (three varieties of the Pacific Waves shawl). But this cardigan is nice, this top is huh?! The shawls are lovely, but I seriously doubt I’ll ever make one (can you imagine me, The Slothful One™, making a garment that needed to be wet blocked every time it got damp?)

This pattern uses size 12mm and 10mm needles!!!

I always like looking at bags. The varieties of this wrap, not so much. I was too distracted by this model’s hair to look carefully at what she’s wearing. Oh, and Desi, this hat has a top similar to your Rangoli hat.

I shall remain heroically silent on the patterns using fancy/novelty yarns. Here ends my free unsolicited pattern review.

Block and Offset Shell stitch

Peggy, this is for you:

Block and Offset Shell stitch pattern (US terminology)

Multiple of 11 sts + 4 (add 2 for base chain)

Row 1 (right side) (actually I don’t see why this makes a difference, because the pattern is reversible) Skip 3ch (count as 1 dc), 1 dc into each of next 4 ch, *skip 2 ch, 5 dc into next ch, ch 2, skip 3ch, 1 dc into each of next 5 ch; rep from * to end, turn.

Row 2 Ch 3 (count as 1 dc), skip first st, 1 dc into each of next 4 sts, *skip 2 ch, 5 dc into next dc, ch 2, skip 4 dc, 1 dc into each of next 5 sts; rep from * to end, turn.

Rep Row 2 for as long as required.

Source: The Harmony Guides 300 Crochet Stitches, Volume 6

There you have it. Very easy to memorise.

What’s the protocol?

One of my commentors asked me for the instructions for the block and offset shell pattern I used in my blue blanket. It is from the Harmony Guides. What’s the legality or otherwise of posting the stitch instructions on the net? It isn’t a pattern, but a stitch pattern.

And here for the curious, are the front and back covers of the Southmaid booklet I made my last doily from.


As you can see, the Berka shells doily is on the back cover (framed). The one at the bottom is a larger version, which I didn’t make since I wasn’t confident I had the time to finish it and get it framed.

No one has yet told me what a Berka shell is! Is Berka a name?

Blue? Turquoise?

Something. Another FO.Blue blanket

In an effort to finish things and see what can be gifted/mailed away before we move, I finished this blanket. As usual, here are the details:

Yarn: I’ve been told it is Lion Brand Woolease, by Cordelia, who gave it to me. (I think it might be the discontinued sportweight variety). I used three full skeins (with about 3 yards left over).

Hook: Clover Soft Touch F/4.00mm

Pattern: Pattern stitch for Block and Offset Shells from Harmony Guides. Mindless. Reversible but not upside-downable, because the top of the pattern scallops. Also, I didn’t do an edging. It didn’t appear to be necessary. (Plus I was too lazy to try and figure out how to unscallop the scallops for edging). So the baby gets a sorta symmetric pattern. Do you think he’ll care?

Time: I began this a month ago, but obviously it goes much faster than that. Around a week would be plenty.

Size: 41″ square (should be good for a toddler, right? And please, no one tell me it’s too hole-y)

Extra: #1 Quick and easy.

Up close and personal with the pattern stitch:

Blue baby blanket

The pattern is a multiple of 11 + 4 (plus 2 for the base chain). I made a mistake in the starting chain, but recovered by adding dcs (US) a la filet crochet. Now I need to pop it into the wash before packaging it. It’s been washed. Also, the same friend for whom this is intended tells me her next baby will also be a boy. How boring. I’m thinking I shall make something else for that baby too, and mail it to aunty (her mom) to take with her when she goes to the US. Might save on postage!

Yet another book binge


Almost all are granny square patterns and I seriously doubt I’ll ever make any of them, but why look a sale book in the mouth?


This book has some non-granny square patterns, but ditto ditto.Designer Knitting

Then this book full of “designer knitting” (how unexpected!) which again ditto ditto, but might serve as good swap/Bookmooch fodder.

But this booklet, which I’m hoping will be very useful, as it covers a wiiiiiiiide range of sizes from 9 mos to size#50 in seamless raglans. It sounds too good to be true. It only gives instructions for worsted weight and sportweight, which means I might have to do serious swatching before ever using the patterns, but you never know! It covers both cardigans and pullovers. You work out your gauge and choose your size from a table and plug in the values that the table gives you into a pattern format, and hey presto, you have your pattern! What could be simpler? Only Rs 10.

One booklet on plastic canvas cat things, one for “full figure” sweaters (I haven’t got there yet, but the rate I’m going, I should reach there pretty fast), another with two patterns for men, and one for larger sizes, each at about Rs 5 or 10. A good haul, might serve again for swap/mooch fodder.

Also a fair amount of British mystery writing. Just finished PD James’ Unnatural Causes, and am in the middle of her Shroud for a Nightingale. A couple of Martha Grimes (she’s American but writes with a Brit detective) and one Ruth Rendell, I think. A nice haul from a book sale at YMCA Secunderabad.

Also in Hyderabad, I managed to finish my first Anthony Berkeley Richard Sheringham and the Vane Case (not too impressed with it, seemed laboured somehow, without the ease of the BWW*). And my first Priscilla Masters, Endangering Innocents. Much better, maybe you have to be female to write the good stuff. In this particular genre anyway. Not very uplifting, though. I think I prefer older victims. Both from the British Council Library.

My train reading on the way to Hyderabad (since the baby sweater only needed sewing and seaming) was this book:


I picked it up at Crossword and it was a good read, but after finishing I was wondering if perhaps it counts as (oh the horror) “chick fiction”? Interesting, but it was the end that raised my doubts on its classification. Too M&B-ish. Not that I haven’t read my fair share of those (and still will, given a chance) but not if I have to buy it for Rs 415! 4 strangers are named in a will by another stranger and they spend the book trying to discover why. I’m thinking I’ll use this to try for my first-ever exchange at a bookstore.

So, about 4 or 5 books in a week. That’s my usual speed (I spent a large part of one day at an annaprasana (first solid food feeding) for the niece of my last post, and another running some errands including the book sale and checking out the new Fiat Palio Stile with my sister). Would that be your usual speed too? Or do you think I lose something by devouring the tomes at such a hectic pace? (Sort of like yo-yo dieting, feast and famine).

Come on, I want to hear what you think.

*BWW = British Women Writers