Saturday 29 May 2021

So, this Looping..

I actually have no idea what this method of creating a blanket is actually called. I’ve referred to it as Looping because that makes sense to me, and there’s nothing on the yarn label to suggest a method name.
It all started when I crocheted a baby blanket from a soft, fleecy, tactile and thick yarn. Quick to come together and not difficult. Perfect for me. My nephew and his partner are expecting a baby girl in July, so this was for them. Well technically it’s for the baby, but you know what I mean.
My sister was very taken with the soft, tactile yarn and whined that she wanted a lap blanket too. I directed her to the correct section of the Wool Warehouse website and told her that if she ordered the yarn, I’d crochet her a blanket. After all, it’s a nice thing to offer to do  - and it stopped her whining. 

Of course, it did not occur to me to exercise any erm, control over her choice, after all, I knew she was in the right section for the big balls of quick to crochet thick fleecy stuff. Trust her then, to stray. Less than a few days later, a big bag of balls of lovely bright multicoloured yarn arrived and, weird, it was loopy. Having tried and failed to teach her to crochet, I knew I wasn’t going to get much interest when I told her how strange it was and what a b**** it would be to crochet, I mean, how big was I going to have to make the stitches, and how on earth would I be able to distinguish them from the weird loops afterwards? I did a chain of about 25 very loose stitches and 2 rows of very loose crocheting later, had used a whole ball and had something that was a soft and tactile pile of mess, frankly. 

I had a word with the Sissy. She said something that amounted to ‘oh I don’t care how it looks, I just want a lovely soft blanket to sit under whilst I watch TV’. Which she thought let me off the (crochet) hook, but in fact, made it worse because I knew I couldn’t do it. And going on the sample piece, it would require about 300 balls. And they’re a tenner each. 
Now, in these circumstances, my procrastination gene would usually kick in and I would subconsciously set the whole thing aside to erm, well let’s say - think about. But the other of my big problems is an unfairly large share of the guilt gene. I worried that Sissy had spent a ridiculous amount of money on this yarn and that I wasn’t as capable as she thought. Or indeed that I’d led her to believe. I was noodling over this with a ball of the yarn in my lap when I noticed the two icons on the label that indicate no crochet and no knit. Duh, how had I missed that?  And what to do? Took the band off and was led to a You Tube vid that showed me how to loop the yarn together. 
Genius. No tools required, but a flat surface helps. Basically, lay a row of yarn above a row of yarn and pull the loops of the top row through the loops of the below row in an ‘under through and up’ technique.

It is easy. A bit tricky as the blanket grows in size because you have to be able to reach the top row and it really helps to keep it flat...turns out tension is an issue. But not as big an issue as not having the yarn flat too, and missing a loop. Makes a big hole, I can tell you. So I’m in the habit of checking every 20cms or so. Much easier to undo a short length than a million rows, believe me. It’s fascinating stuff. I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to cast off, but I’m miles off needing to know, so will save the you Tube search for nearer the time. It’s such a rabbit hole, isn’t it, You Tube. 
You need to maintain a persistent tension or you can see the rows changing, especially from the back; the er.....knots(?) are a tell tale and you can see it in the hang of the blanket too. This particular yarn is superbly random, but there are some lovely loopy single colour alternatives if you’re interested. But, um, don’t ask me to do another. 10 balls of this and it may be more than the yarn that’s a bit loopy. See what I did there? Yep, maybe expected, and I hate to disappoint.
I’d also like to point out that this isn’t a paid advertorial, it’s my real life happenings and I mention where the yarn came from to save you having to ask. 

Wednesday 26 May 2021

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 625

Whew! Last week was fun and I really appreciate that y’all were so ready to celebrate an anniversary a mere 24 weeks after we’d all done so much for the big 600. Some ATCs will still be in the postal system, winging their way. Be patient, it’ll be a lovely happy mail day!
Miss Dunnit was home for the weekend, first time since August, so I threw a load of stuff on to the desk and rolled the it out of the way; and haven’t looked at it till last night when I rolled it back into what will be it’s day lit temporary crossed my mind that I need to get a grip. 
Told you!  There’s my sexy pen case at right, and the whole draw of made cards because they’re easier to choose in daylight and having that particular draw storage unit in here as a temporary thing is pushing my luck in terms of taking up room. Then there’s the hastily tidied away bag of yarn. You have to understand that the desk has spent the last four days in its original position in my workroom. There is no natural light in there and we’re currently using it as a store room whilst we decorate and finish off the downstairs. So anything that need tidying away - yep, it just gets slung into the workroom. Nice multicoloured yarn in a pretty bag there; I’m making my sissy a lap blanket. Not crochet or knitting. Looping. I kid you not. I will do a show and tell later this week because it’s starting to look as if I know what I’m doing! And to prevent you falling into a coma because of a super long post, I will also do a separate gallery post to show you the beautiful ATCs I’ve received. So much to do! Join me in this part of my week please, as we push into the thirteenth year of checking on each other via the desk. 

Tuesday 18 May 2021

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 624 - 12 years in weeks

12 years in weeks. Twelve years. Good grief. Seriously, can you tell me where it all went? Mr Dunnit was moved to make remarks about how fast it’s gone and how well we’ve all held on. And do you know, I think that may be the thing, and that may the obvious thing but it is the thing. We’ve held on. And especially in the last fifteen months or so, when we rather needed to put a shape to the weeks. On here, on your own blogs, on messenger, zoom and by post, we’ve been hanging on with and for each other. And the amazing part of all of it is you. Your contributions make it and mean everything. So please don’t stop. 
Now then.
I’ve taken a picture at an angle that makes feel a bit sick, actually. And in the best traditions of full disclosure, you can see that I’ve run right into the deadline for this anniversary. 624. It’s a big number. It may not be a brilliant ingenious idea for an ATC, but I like the big number!

So now, remember to add an asterisk to your name if you’re linking to join in the ATC swap. The postcard idea has actually been quite difficult for some, so here’s the thing: send an ATC without a postcard. No one will mind and it won’t matter. Link on, Deskers - who knows what every week for the next twelve years will reveal!

Wednesday 12 May 2021

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 623

Seriously, this past week has overtaken me completely. I’ve been out out, I’ve done 6ft socialising, I’ve been cold. I’ve been caught in the rain and I managed one more afternoon of fence painting. My desk has not been so active. 
There is one of the wallpaper samples unrolled. I was going to cover a book and was utterly distracted by something. On top is a sheet of the ATC backs that Mary Ann has designed for next week’s anniversary swap. At some point this week I’m fairly confident that I will have at least stuck these backs to ATC size fronts. They may not be started or indeed finished fronts, but at least they will be closer to being finished than they are at the mo! It’s not that I’ve totally lost my mojo, it’s more that there’s been so much else to do. Emerging from lockdown is causing a little more out and about and it’s the end of April, which in this house means four tax returns and a VAT quarter. My life, it’s all glamour! And then.....a real thing happened. A last minute, not much notice visit from Lunch Lady Jan and her groom. It was so so good to see them. We chatted a lot. It’s been over a year and you could easily have been able to tell if you’d been able to join us. I only hope that your reunions are as much fun and as lovely. What a tonic. And talking of tonics, without panic or pressure, remember that your ATC and postcard are needed for next week? So, would you like to show your desk and the work in progress? Ooh, thanks very much.

Wednesday 5 May 2021

What’s on Your Workdesk? Wednesday 622

Theres a post here about the ATC anniversary postcard swap thing. Sylvia asked about the rules regarding decorating envelopes. As far as I can tell, for post in and to the UK, as long as the address and particularly the post code are clear and legible, then there’s no problem with decoration. I browsed the Royal Mail website and can’t find any particular directions about it at all. 
Now then, to the desk. 
Unusually for me, I have to admit to having done absolutely nothing this week. I’ve moved the LO I was working on and slung the rolled up wallpaper sample pieces on my desk. I’m going to use them for GKW. There’s a little (4 x 4) box of Origami paper at the front too. Found whilst clearing out a cupboard. Unused. Destined to remain unused by me, but certainly not destined to spend another few years in a dark cupboard! There is intent on the desk...a pile of ATC size blanks. I’ll definitely make a bunch up, just not sure yet on the what or the when part! The sun is streaming in, the blind is down to prevent over exposure etc. I should add that the wind is so strong it’s taken small branches off the hawthorn and the rain is ridiculous. May. Sheesh. Anyway, crack on lovely Deskers, show us your stuff, it’s very necessary. Thank you. 

Tuesday 4 May 2021

So, the ATC thing...

So, for WOYWW week 624, we’ve planned a little occasion, to mark 12 years of desking. We’re going to send an ATC and a postcard to a fellow desker. This post will explain how that fellow desker is chosen. 
First of all, some words from our sponsor - 
Marking WOYWW12 is entirely voluntary. If you don’t want to, for any reason, you don’t need to, nor do you need to explain yourself. This includes a reluctance to join in because of any potential C19 virus transition by post; don’t worry about it, just choose not to take part. Please take postal costs into consideration before you commit. Postage isn’t cheap and if you can’t manage it this month, please don’t. We’re as happy to see your arty products online, believe me.

The ATC part: you need only make one ATC, no particular theme. Please note on the back that it’s for WOYWWs 12th anniversary. You will only have one official recipient. However, lots of Deskers make a bunch of ATCs and offer to send them to anyone that would like to ask for one. As you visit the desks, so you’ll see who is offering. 

Now, the postcard part: I thought it would be fun to see something of where you live. If you can’t find a postcard, you could make one; draw paint sketch photo...or, you could forgive yourself and just send the ATC. 

Moody local skies. Taken last Friday through the car windscreen. In a traffic queue of course. 
That’s what locals think of when you mention Stonehenge: traffic.

How it works:
When you join the link list on Wednesday 19th, if you want to take part in the swap, please add an asterisk * to your name when you enter into the Mr Linky fields.
It’s easy to forget. If you want to add an asterisk * to your name this week and leave it until the 19th, it would not be a problem, we’ll only take any notice of it on Wednesday 19th.
If you forget on the day, link yourself up again. (You can’t delete your original link, but I shall try to be on hand to do that in a timely way where necessary.) This will mean that the number you end up at on the list will change. 
Now, concentrate:  The person below you displaying an asterisk * on the link list becomes your recipient. Visit them, ask for their postal address and commit to sending as soon as you can. The last person on the list with an asterisk* will send to the first person on the list. The satisfaction in that being a circle of friends does me no end of good. 

Lots of us link at the same time every week, and therefore you will already have a good idea about who you’ll send your art to. Could you consider mixing it up a bit and posting at an entirely different time? Up to you, of course. I realise that along with having to add an asterisk * to your name, posting at a different time might be a reach. Would be for me. I was going to suggest a different way to find a recipient but frankly, it all gets over organised and the fun starts running away from it.

So that’s it. Please question me if you need further explanation. I’m trying to keep it simple and straightforward, but am aware of my ability to use twenty words when two will do!