Temperature Scarf: August (and bonus unicorn)

Temperature Scarf for August

BAM! There it is! I actually finished the month this morning, so perhaps a little cheaty but you won’t know if I don’t tell.. you.. ah. Damn. Anyway! One more day under 10 and as you can see at the end there, Spring is starting to Spring upon us so I can relegate the lavender to the Granny Squares bucket now as I don’t think I’ll be needing it again this year.

Scarf until the end of August

So long now! I mean the scarf is long, not that I want you to leave. I’d like to think my stitches are more even and all that, but I think they’re probably not. The edges are a lot less wonky for August though.

Now, it’s been almost a month since my last post and you’re probably all “Is that all you’ve been up to Lyn? Slack much?” to which I say “Mean.” I’ve been working on a few bits and bobs, some of which will end up here when they’re finished, and also making two more Unicorns.

Two Unicorns

Twinsies! These are off to their new homes tomorrow. As before, the pattern is by Woolhalla and the felt is from Winterwood Toys.

Last, but not least, here’s my 1 Second Everyday video for August which (like July’s video) is included here because it’s got a lot of crafting in it. Because that’s what I do that’s interesting.

I will hopefully be back with stuff to talk about before the September installment of the scarf, but I make no promises.

Temperature Scarf: July

Hey you guys! I finally got to break out my lavender yarn because we’ve had a day under 10 degrees. I know, exciting!
Temperature Scarf JulyWe also had the warmest July day ever, or in 40 years, or something. That’s the green there, it was 24 degrees. Overall though, much like June – pretty blue from day one. And also the random row lengths are becoming a genuine feature.

Scarf January to July

July however is less flabby than June, so that’s something. I’m still happy with the colours, they’ve matched the temperatures well. I maybe should have used the darker blue for 10-14, but if you think I’m frogging it now you can.. go away. Insane person you are!

The other thing I’ve been doing this month is beta testing the 1 Second Everyday app on Android. Not technically crafty as such, but there’s a bit of crafting in it, so here’s July, one second per day.

I’ve also made a pincushion, but I’m not showing it to you because my blanket stitch is terrible.

Temperature Scarf: Blue June

June Temperature Scarf

Oh hey Random Increases, welcome back! Sure is nice to see you again. Makes me feel at home. Anyway! June. Blue June. It stayed between 11 and 19 degrees for the whole month. This is maximum temperatures, of course. It surely did get under 10 a few times. Surely did (no idea where that came from, I’m just going to run with it). I’ll weave the ends in at some point maybe.

Scarf up until June

And the whole thing. Since we’re halfway through the year it’s about a half as long as it will be. Quite, quite long. I should be able to wear nothing but this scarf and still not violate any decency laws. It does look a bit … flabby at the June end. I don’t know how many increases ended up being done, but apparently it’s a few.

Now, if you’ve been here before you’ll  know that not terribly long ago I conquered The Granny Square (dun dun dunnnn). Since then I’ve pretty much not stopped, hauling out all the balls of yarn I had stashed away to throw them all together into a shawl. It’s not done yet, but here’s how it’s looking at the moment.

Granny Square ShawlThat row at the bottom needs sewing on, and I’ve a pile of grannies waiting to be sewn into rows. Although this was “designed” as a stash busting project, I have bought some more yarn in solid colours. Variegated yarn looks grand for a round, but two different kinds doesn’t look so hot to me – the form of the granny is lost in the random colours. So I’ve been limiting the variegated to one type per square. Of course, being me, I mostly only had variegated so I picked up some cheap solid colours at a discount shop. Also some more black. You can see in the photo the blacks are not entirely the same.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment – up to my eyeballs in yarn most of the time.

Our Heroine Conquers An Actual Pattern

As it’s the first of June (yes, already. I know – zoomy old year isn’t it?) it’s clearly time for me to show you the completed May section of the temperature scarf. Which I will now do.

Temperature Scarf for MayWith the exception of some pleasingly patterned days in the low to high 20s, May has been almost entirely between 15 and 19 degrees. The stitch marker I’m using to hold the last stitch is black, which despite knowing full well I’m using a black stitch marker does tend to make me say “millipede!” as they are all over the house at the moment. As much as I do love and adore insects, millipedes are not my favoured house guests. Quite apart from the smell of them, there’s the horrible moment of wandering barefoot through the house and feeling the squish of them underfoot. Blech.

Temperature Scarf up to the end of May

And here’s the whole thing. I was quite right when I said it’d be wider again by the end of May, so go me. Practically a psychic, as it happens. I was planning to lay it out on the bench again, but today was damp and misty and I couldn’t be bothered going outside with a camera and endless scarf. Lazy, true, but at least I’d done all the weaving in of ends before I took the photo this time. Half a gold star?

Now, on to my terribly exciting crochet related news. One fundamental thing about my crochet is this: I cannot read patterns with any amount of ease. I can read them eventually and can just about manage an amigurumi doll as long as there’s nothing too fancy happening in the pattern, but overall I can stare at the pattern for an hour and be no closer to understanding what it is I’m supposed to be doing. Logically, I know “tr” means treble and “ch” means chain – logically, the pattern should be clear as a bell, but for whatever reason I just stare at these abbreviations and think “Why can’t anyone use their words??” (I have been known to write out entire patterns long hand just to get something done).

This brings us neatly to something which has baffled and confused me since I first picked up a crochet hook: The Granny Square. “The Granny Square?” you may be saying, “That most simple of crochet constructions, done in their dozens by people who aren’t even really paying attention because there’s something good on the telly?” to which I can only reply “Yes” because despite many many attempts, I always ended up with a sort of interesting knot rather than a nice granny square.

This was a source of annoyance for me. Well not really annoyance. Botheration? I mean it wasn’t ruining my life in any way, but every now and then I’d drag out a pattern and a hook and try try try again, adding to my Interesting Knot collection as I went. You see, there’s something solid and good about a granny square. Something sturdy, and maybe a little bit old fashioned. They put me in mind of many things, all of them comfortable and warm. We had for many years an afghan made of two giant granny squares. Obviously, they also remind me of my grandmother though that may be entirely due to the name of the things as I don’t recall her making any in my presence.

So with Winter leaping about the place and a yearning for something warm and snuggly, I discovered that I really, really wanted a granny square shawl. Something to throw around myself for walking the dogs or popping down to the shops, something old fashioned and a little bit daggy. And this, ladies and gents, is where we come to the triumph of my week. Are you ready? You might like to make a little drumroll sort of sound with your mouth.

Granny Square

Would you look at that thing? Those of you who’ve done 9 million of them will be saying “That’s nice dear” but it took me not one but two “How to crochet” books, each of which had a different pattern. The granny you see before you is a hodge podge of both patterns. Extensive editing of the book I’m more likely to keep (with a biro, thank you) has left me with a pattern I understand and which produces grannies with the minimum of brain ache. Okay so it’s a little bit wonky, but everything I do is really.

So now I can make that shawl for the Winter, and possibly even finish it during Winter, which is exciting. Apart from this square, which I think I’ll frame. With a little down light shining on it. In a humidity controlled room. Oh, and I’ll get one of those motion activated sound effect thingies so that every time I walk by, I get a small round of applause.

Temperature Scarf: April

Good news everyone! I’ve completely solved the “Random increases” problem I have. I’ve replaced it with random decreases.  Let’s pretend it was deliberate, to mark the shorter days of Autumn…

April Scarf

The photo makes the decreases look more drastic than they really are, but they’re still pretty obvious. Oh well, I tend to be a bit of a wonky person anyway so it’s no skin off my nose. Look in the middle! Our first “under 15” day of the year – exciting!

I’m running out of surfaces to stretch the whole thing out on for a photo. Today’s picture comes to you from the garden bench. By December I may need a basketball court.

Scarf To April I’m sure by the end of May it will be wide again. It’s just how I roll.

In other news, the Bottle Gardens are doing quite well – the Baby’s Tears are both growing cheerfully. One of the maiden hair ferns needed a repot as the string wasn’t touching the potting mix and the whole thing was drying out. It’s happier now I’ve added more string.

WIP: Temperature Scarf, March

I’m a little late to show you this, which is mean of me because I am fully aware you’ve been laying awake for the past couple of days, staring at the ceiling and wondering when, oh when would this update ever come?? Well, you can sleep soundly tonight because it’s very much here. Behold! March!
Temperature Scarf March

I was going to proudly exclaim that I had not done any random increases again this month, but looking at this photo I’m not entirely sure I didn’t. Also didn’t finish weaving in the ends, so once more I beg your forgiveness thank you kindly. Another record broken this month for most days over 30 or something. I’m not entirely sure as I was sitting under a wet towel, whimpering. It’s lovely and Autumny now though, cool nights and generally nice days. Well worth the wait.

2013 Scarf So FarHere it is in all it’s glory. I’ve just measured it, and it’s a scrap under 94cm, so if you average that over the year with complicated maths all over the place (multiplication!) it should end up approaching 3.75 meters, if not slightly longer (since months have different numbers of days and I can’t be bothered doing quite so much mathing).

I’m also working on a cross stitch cushion cover, which is not destined to cover a cushion at all. I bought one with a frog on it not long ago and it turns out to be the perfect size to re-cover a small stool in the loungeroom that needs some TLC. Rather than giving up my lovely frog, I ordered a sort of floral thingy in earthy tones, and once it’s done I might even show it to you.

 

WIP: Temperature Scarf, February

This is not the highest volume blog on the internet now is it? Oh well, I might make 20 posts by Christmas. I did intend to post during February, but as it turns out the heat was constant and unrelenting, so most of my spare time was spent laying in bed thinking “I hate this”. I did do some cross stitch, which is a WIP post for another day. I also managed to keep up with the Temperature Scarf, hooray! I just finished the last row for February a little while ago, so here it is hot off the hook:
February Section of the Temperature ScarfI seem to have overcome my random increases problem (not that it was a problem, it was a feature). I also got most of the ends tidied away this time before I took the photo. The month started promisingly cold, but the over 30 degree days won out in the end (that’s orange). Apparently Melbourne broke some kind of “Days Over 30 Degrees In February” this year, so yay. You can’t see it, but I typed that yay in an extremely deadpan way.

I’m very happy that my month divider rows came out exactly as I hoped they would, breaking the months with a neat little line of cream. Now for the scarf in full, which you will need to click on to see in all it’s glory (but you don’t have to, I won’t know if you don’t and I wouldn’t judge you even if I did know).

Scarf for Jan and FebLook at that row of blue in there being a big old weather tease.  And look how much neater February looks compared to January, crochet wise. The intended border at the end of the year should hide those wibbly bits, but if not no worries. I’m the one who’s wearing it and I don’t mind a bit of a wibble.

Temperature Scarf – January

Something completely amazing and unexpected has happened! I actually finished the month on this scarf on the last day of the month! I know right? I wasn’t expecting to still be doing it either. Considering the vast number of unfinished projects lurking around me in this house it would not be out of character for me to say “Eh, I’ll do it later” and then never ever touch it again. However, I still have 11 months to go …

tempscarfjan

And here ’tis. Overall quite a mild month, mostly in the 20s (green is low 20s, yellow is high 20s) but with a couple of really crappy hot days scattered about the place. You may notice that there appears to be random increases. These, you may think, are “mistakes”. I’ll have you know they are actually “features”, celebrating the handmade nature of the… okay yeah I have a problem with random increases. No matter how careful I am, I always seem to toss a couple in here and there.

You may also notice, if you saw the earlier progress post, that the scarf seems to have become narrower. On around the 21st of January I decided it was actually far too wide and frogged the lot to start over. It was a bit drastic, but on the other hand I thought it was easier to change my mind on the width 21 days in than 210 days in. I’m happy I did, I like this width a lot better.

Although the original idea for this scarf calls for three rows between the months, I wanted something a little more subtle to break the months up. For this reason I’ve done two rows of single crochet which will show as one narrow band of cream.

I’d like to pretend also that all the ends are woven in nice and tidy – which I did intend to do before I showed you the scarf but as it turns out I didn’t get around to doing them all. Some I’ve done, some I haven’t.

endseverywhere

I just folded them under the scarf to take the picture. I’m so sorry. Can you forgive my deception?

WIP: Temperature Scarf Catch Up

The yarn for my temperature scarf arrived a few days ago and I’m overall pretty happy with my selection. Of course one of the problems with buying online is that the colours are never quite what they appear. With the exception of the dark red, the others are pretty much as I thought they’d be.

A row of delicious yarn.

I went with Cleckheaton because I like their wool generally, and also because Cleckheaton is so much fun to say. Try it, I’ll wait. See? Cleckheaton. Lovely. I also got some cream to do the month breaks and eventual border with. Once I had the colours to hand, I was able to make a proper sort of Project Notes page in my Project Notebook (which is new. Before this it was just A Notebook)

Temperature List

I’ve gone in blocks of 4 degrees for the temperatures, with “Plus 40” and “Under 9” as a single colour. I did have “5 – 9” but then realised we don’t generally get under 5 as a high, so I’m going on the basis that we won’t this year either. If we go over 45 I’ll find some black or something to indicate my extreme sadness about the incredible heat.

I started out doing just single crochet, but I found it was a bit patchy and I like a nice bold stripe, so now I’m doing double. This means I will have an incredibly long scarf, and also that I may not have purchased enough yarn. We shall see! I’ll show you what I’m up to so far, having caught up today. There’s at least one glaring error in here, so just.. you know. Don’t look at the error. Ta.

Scarf

That’s up till today. It’s quite wide, but my finishing up plans (which I should write down as it’s 11 and a half months away and I will forget) involve a rolled edge, so it won’t work out quite so wide, but will be very very long.

As an aside, because I am self taught in crochet (what do you mean you could tell?) my left hand does all the moving my right hand should do, while my right hand just sits there most of the time, not doing much. It is for this reason I try to avoid crocheting in public, because people always notice and ask about it. The simple fact is that’s how I got crochet to work in the first place, and it’s turned out to be a hard habit to break!

Lazy Summer Days

How awesome am I to open a brand new blog and then cease to post after three entries? Pretty damn awesome! I have the most best excuses though, and they are two. The first is the heat, which as usual has sucked the creativity right out of my face via my more than ample nose. No matter how determined I am to do anything in a given day, it never happens if the temperature climbs too high. The house I’m in does have air-con, in a patchy sort of way, which is just not enough to overrule the Summer. The second excuse is that I reactivated my World of Warcraft account, fool that I am.

However! I come to you with news of a planned project. A knitting friend of mine on Plurk (hello Selana!) linked a nifty looking project – A “My Year in Temperatures” scarf. For those who can’t be bothered clicking, the basic idea is that you select colours to represent temperature ranges, and every day you add a row to your scarf of the relevant colour. Kris, the lady who owns the blog where the idea is, has chosen colours for a range of temperatures from -40°C to +30°C, however being as I am in Melbourne, I have been able to select a much smaller colour range as our seasonal highs and lows don’t cover such a wide spread. While I’m waiting for my yarn to arrive (I know the idea works best on scrap or left over balls, but I don’t have enough of a colour range as I tend to buy just red. Or sometimes brown), I am keeping track of the top temperatures and reminding myself to do so with a sticker on my monitor:

Temperature List

Eagle eyed guests, or those who do a lot of snail mailing, will note that is the border end of a strip of stamps. My top tip for today is using them for tiny reminder notes as they stick easily and peel off later. And yes I totally did watermark an image no one in their right mind would steal.

I think this project has captured my imagination for a couple of reasons. The first is simply timing – Selana linked to it a couple of days ago, while the years high temperatures were still easily available on the web. If it’d been June, I probably would have tucked it away and then forgotten about it. The other reason is that I love stripes, I think stripes are the most best awesome things (although polka dots are also terribly awesome). Finally, I like the idea of having a year long project that can’t be rushed. The yarn should be here soon, and then I’ll get the opening days done and be on my way! Huzzah!

In other crafty news, about a week ago I was thinking random thoughts about things unrelated to much and I suddenly remembered that the wooden chest under the window is no longer full of my mother’s eccentric hat collection – it’s full of Craft Stash!

stash

On the top you can see a frog I did to check the colour palette of a piece of software I have since lost. Underneath that? All manner of kits, threads, patterns and other bits and bobs including a latch hook cushion front kit. Being as I’m on a bit of a stash bust this year (do pretend, now you’ve read that, that I didn’t mention buying yarn a paragraph ago. Thanks), I am diving in with this small, sweet kit:
Dragon Fly BroochIt’s beaded stitching done on a heavy cardboard backing instead of fabric, for use as a brooch. I have no recollection of buying it, but it does seem like something I’d buy…

So stay tuned, because there’s a cool change coming tomorrow and I might actually do something!