Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Do you speak American?

So then:

UK Past Participle: Got
US Past Participle: Gotten

UK Past Participle: Knitted
US Past Participle: Knit ("Name three places you've knit")

UK Past Participle: Spat
US Past Participle: Spit

I'm not about to launch off into some rant or start picking apart the different grammatical reasons why one nation does it one way and one does it another (after all, not only do I have lots of extremely attractive and intelligent US readers, I also know that we'll all be speaking American in 50 years so it doesn't really matter), it's merely something that I've wanted to note down for a while - ever since I started this blog, in fact, and kept reading blogs where someone has "knit" something. Not only does that sound entirely bizarre to me, it also leaves me puzzled as to why you American readers out there are happy to leave some past participles in the present tense (knit, spit, shit etc), but feel overwhelmed by the urge to make "got" look more past tensey. What's all that about?

Probably there's some logical explanation, something to do with the great vowel shift, or the state of the language when those religious extremists hopped on a boat to the new world, but really I just felt the urge to note it down.

I've also been known to sit down and list the entire weasel genus (ferret, stoat, pole cat, pine martin, otter, I could go on), the complete set of Greek gods along with their Roman equivalents, and all my best friends in order. It's only a matter of time before I start naming nuts.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Crochet Necklace

Just pottering about the internet looking for gadgets for girls stories when I came across this Crochet Necklace on Sensory Impact. I haven't really got anything to say about it, but for some reason I just can't help getting over-excited when I see something that's been crocheted. Not a great time for me when shopping right now, as you can probably imagine. Everything seems to be crocheted, so I spend my time flitting excitably about each shop, prattling like a fool about how I could probably make something similar given a year or so, while my friends slowly back away towards the door in the hope of making a run for it.

By the way, the reason I haven't been blogging lately is because I haven't made anything new for a while. But I've got a shrug on the go at the moment, so hopefully I'll get a chance to finish it off this weekend.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Making my own crochet pattern

Never let it be said that I don't try to run before I can walk. Fact is, I'm not much good at being a learner, which is why I tend to aim well above myself, often failing more often than I succeed. But, thankfully, this is only crochet, not some life or death situation, so failing really isn't a problem. It just means a few wasted hours of your life (all unpicked in seconds) and maybe a few soft, silent tears.

Since I was finding it impossible to match the free slouchy shrug pattern's gauge no matter which hook I used (turns out I'm not the only one - someone on Crafster said the same), I decided just to make a pattern up instead. I've got a baggy (knitted) shrug that I bought from Zara and, on inspection, it turned out to be a very simple rectangle-based shape stitched together. With that, and with the aid of the excellent Fluggy Pink Shrug Schematics on Crochetville, I dreamt up a pattern that I was convinced would work.

Only slight problem is, I think the lovely Rowan cotton I bought is just going to make it a bit too stiff. I got quite far up on arm before I decided that a softer, floppier yarn will work much better. It's a pain because buying online doesn't really give you an idea of what the wool will be like, but wool shops in London are very hard to come by - unless you want hand-dyed wool, spun by blind virgins in Wales, and then John Lewis can certainly help you. Lovely as that may be, if I buy enough of that to make a big slouchy jumper with, I'm going to be crocheting it out on the streets, with only a can of Gold Label and a dog on a bit of string for company.

PS. I like the little bit of sweater stitch I did at the cuffs end.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Crochet Pink Panta

First off, apologies for the pic - I seem to suffer from some sort of facial tic that causes me to stick my tongue out as soon as there's a camera pointing at me. I did take a load of tongue-free snaps, but they all made me look like I was about to sneeze, so this one was the best of a bad lot.

Second off, I don't actually know if this qualifies as a panta or not, but how could I resist the opportunity for that punnish post header? I decided to make this little headband thing the other night on a whim. I just chained till it was a little over-sized for my head (size 3mm crochet hook, I think), and did a row of double crochet (US sc) about 6 chains in (to make the fastening loop). Then I decided to do a row of half trebles (US hdc). For the bobble, I just made it up - slip stitched into the end of the headband and did a load of chains which I then kept knotting up until I had a nice big knot to act as a fastener.

I'm rather pleased with it - not least because it took about 5 seconds to create.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tank Top Alert

In case you were wondering where I got such awful taste from, you need wonder no more. This is a tank top that my mother made for my dad back in the day. Apologies to anyone currently being blinded by the combination of 70s tank toppery and parental bedspread, but she took the pic not me.

I feel like I've been sucked into clothes making against my will. I always said I'd only make bits of crap to fill up the flat and to foist on other people - tea pot cosies, blankets, and the odd hat - but suddenly I find myself making clothes. And now, staring at this mesmerising tank top, I'm beginning to think "hmm, looks relatively straightforward, maybe I'll pick the pattern up next time I'm home.."

I think there may be chemicals in the wool.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Cosy tea for me

Yes! There's a good chance that soon my tea pot may no longer feel the chill of cold air touching its delicate metal underparts. Well, if I ever get round to finishing this thing anyway.

I thought after all that tasteful clothes making it was time to do something nice and ugly again. If it's ugly and garish you can guarantee I'll like it. It's why I was a crap goth.

Anyway, it's not based on any one pattern. The stitch design is from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks and I've just made it big enough to fit my pot (I hope - past experience has taught me that I have brain damage where the successful measuring part of my brain should languish). I'll start reducing stitches somewhere near the top, and hopefully all will turn out well. If not, I'll just fob it off on an unsuspecting relative.