Embroidered Floral Necklaces

Still catching up on finished projects! These three necklaces were from a kit that had been in my stash for a while, and I wanted something tiny and colourful after finishing up last year’s year-long constellation embroidery project.

Three necklace-sized embroideries of flowers.

I probably won’t wear them as necklaces. They’re small enough but a bit heavy and long, and honestly I mostly just wear shawls around my neck now. But they make lovely Christmas ornaments so I’ll probably put some loops on them and enjoy them that way instead.

I had some trouble getting the focus right because Hatch really wanted to help, including lying down on the blanket I was using as a photo backdrop:

Constellation Embroidery

Last year, I decided to do this constellation embroidery sampler from Kiriki press as a year-long project, doing each zodiac constellation as it came up in the year and occasionally doing the other non-zodiac ones. (It took me a bit more than a year because I didn’t see any point in rushing during December when I had a bunch of other projects on the go — I should really start year-long projects in Februrary or something!)

I used gold metallic thread in place of the gold coloured thread that came with the kit. It looks great in person but it’s finicky and doesn’t show up as anything fancy in photos. But it looks great in my office, promise!

I got to use my favourite lazy finishing technique: cut a circle out of cardboard using the inner hoop as a template. Flip the edges of the fabric into the hoop, then squish the cardboard in. Done! Perfect for things that are going to hang and not be touched much (unlike the necklace embroideries, that need both stitching and glue).

What ever happened with those book reviews?

Last summer, I had a moment where I put my book reviews on here. The first book post explains why:

I’ve been taking pictures of my library returns pile and doing little reviews in the captions of my Instagram, which is fun for sharing what I’m reading right now with my mom and friends but it’s not searchable or easy to find later, and Instagram is notorious for mystifying and often racist moderation policies so I worry that I should keep stuff I might want later in places I own. I tried cutting/pasting the reviews on Mastadon but the size limit is too short and half my pictures won’t upload without manually editing them. And I tried using LibraryThing but it’s a lot of work to add each book and cut/paste so I haven’t been consistent there yet either.

But then I stopped, so I just wanted to make a note about what happened.

We decided to up the post limit on Mastodon and I’ve gotten used to resizing photos on my phone, so my book reviews are going there (and sometimes still Instagram and Librarything) for now. I didn’t love how copying the reviews here weekly meant most of my posts here seemed to be about book reviews. Most of my crafts take a least a month to complete , but I read around 4-6 new kid books and 1-3 adult/young adult books or graphic novels per week so it doesn’t take much to overwhelm this blog.

I really love it when other people have monthly round up blog posts of what they’re crafting and what they’ve read on their blogs, so maybe I’ll see if I can manage something like that eventually.

Right now, though, blogging is hard to fit into my schedule and honestly more people read my stuff on Mastodon than here anyhow. So if you want to see new book reviews from me, go to https://social.afront.org/@terri — you don’t have to sign up for anything, and you can even add it into your rss feed reader or whatever. My husband owns afront.org so it’s not going anywhere and if you know me and want an account invite, let me know.

Some projects for my kid: heart, good bear, egg

A few kid presents I made so far in 2023:

Heart Amigurumi

Two small amigurumi hearts in pink and red.
A set of two amigurumi (crocheted) hearts.

Made these for my kid around Valentine’s day (although we don’t really celebrate that one).

Ravelry project link: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/terriko/heart-amigurumi

Good Bear

A small knitted bear wearing a green hat, green jacket, beige sweater (only barely visible) and blue pants.
A small knitted bear wearing a green hat, green jacket, beige sweater (only barely visible) and blue pants.

This is a Susan B Anderson pattern with a kit from her store (Barrett Wool Co.). I love these kits: they’re well designed and have carefully thought out techniques. I didn’t love this thinner version of the yarn as much as I liked the thick one I used for the giraffe I did — it’s very rustic in a good way, but a bit more finicky and less squishy in the smaller size — but it was still well suited for the task. Kiddo has named him “Green Bear” for now, a name with much honour since it is his favourite colour. He chose the buttons, which are a ladybug and a plane. I’m so glad I have a stash of kid buttons for this sort of thing since he loves digging through them to choose some for each of these animals. I went really lazy and used the plastic cotter pins used on the card to also attach them to the bear.

Easter Egg

A knitted easter egg featuring a colourwork motif with lines and diamonds.
A knitted easter egg featuring a colourwork motif with lines and diamonds.

This one is from a pattern by Stacey Lewis, the designer who makes all the baubles I highly enjoyed in November/December 2022. (They’re just so satisfying and quick!) She knits it with a plastic egg as insert, which looks less lumpy, but my kid *loves* playing catch with soft things so I turned it into a bean bag.

The Dread Pirate Kid dyed the white/yellow/blue contrast yarn. It looks so good! And it checks off a 2023 fiber goal: using our hand dyed yarn!

2023 Rose City Yarn Crawl MCAL – Hekataion

The local yarn crawl always has two mystery-a-longs: one for crocheters and one for knitters. I decided to do the crochet one this year, largely because the designer seemed interesting and had some good designs in her portfolio.

A crochet shawl in progress featuring three moons (two crescents with a full moon in the centre).  A copy of the audiobook "The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart" is in front of the piece, and a narwhal themed bag is behind it.
Mystery Crochet center panel in progress, featuring a three moon motif.

Although you can see from the photo above, I mostly crochet with audiobooks (and Dragon with the Chocolate Heart was lovely), this was simple enough that I was able to read a physical book as well. And boy did I need to: there was a *lot* of single crochet and counting. Boring! But it did make for some striking results.

Finished version of the Hekataion shawl done in red and white.  it features three moons (crescent, full, other crescent) in the centre panel, with long triangular "wings" to either side with a few stripes and tassels on the tips.
Finished Hekataion shawl

My gauge loosened up considerably while crocheting this, which was good for my hands but made the shape a little weird. Thankfully, it was a very forgiving design since you sew the two side triangles onto the center panel at the end, and the seams sit over my shoulders in such a way that they’re not particularly noticeable when worn even though that’s where the gauge change would be most visible.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to crochet this if it weren’t a mystery since I’m not really into giant moon motifs *or* giant piles of single crochet. As a *mystery* it was decidedly non-mysterious. The first clue and last clue make the same wings, and the design was pretty apparent from clue 2 so 3-4 weren’t much of a mystery either. Despite my worries about the sheer amount of flat crochet, I managed to do it without making my wrists sore, but it took some intentional choices and resting to make that work.

Complaints aside: I enjoyed learning to do crochet intarsia colourwork to make the moons, and it was a striking piece to wear out to the one shop we visited this year. And technically I met a 2023 fiber goal because I bought the pattern before 2023 but since it only came out in December it only barely counts. I think I’ll go back to my policy of waiting until clue 2 spoilers are available before deciding if it’s worth doing the mystery-a-longs next year, but it was neat to do it as intended this year, and I got to use up most of three balls from my stash!