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Monday, June 18, 2007

Of Crochet and Knitting ... and Poles Apart

A long title for what is probablyWAS going to be a short blog post ...

I have 2 things I wanted to post here for TASDA members (if you don't know what it is, then you are not one ... but you are still welcome to read this post and use the info ... TASDA is a textile art group I am a member of - for the curious, and/or people near enough to Canberra to join and come along - there is a website at )

First ... something to listen to while you are here (hopefully it is already playing - if not you might have to click it or something, but you might not have noticed it playing yet because the first bit is quiet):

EDIT (a few weeks after originally posting this) - I moved the music - after accessing my blog at "dial up" speed the other day, I realised what a pain this music player is for those who have a slower connection (how quickly one forgets what things were like before getting broadband - lol) ... so the music is now playing here - - this is a blog I created when google took over blogger, but before we had to move our blogger blogs over to our google account ... now it is just sitting there doing nothing but being a spare blog - so it is the perfect place to put the music ... those who want to listen can open it up in a new browser/window/tab/whatever and leave it playing in the background while you read the rest of this blog ... or while you go and read/do something more interesting ... LOL

Even later (much later - it is now 2 years since I posted this!) edit: That blog now does have some stuff on it, but the B#%^$$& playlist thingy doesn't play that song any more ... I think it is because they no longer have permission from Pink Floyd (so not really the playlist site's fault I guess) ... so it now I have set it up to play some other stuff ... currently 2 Pink Floyd songs played by an orchestra (weird sounding, but kind of ok actually ... er ... they kind of fit rather well on a blog called "Huh?" lol) and another Pink Floyd one I am not sure who is playing it ... and also a couple other odd songs I like ... but that may change if I ever get around to going in and finding more stuff to stick on there ...
(in fact is is still chaging/being added to now ... seeing I am still messing around on there adding stuff and I am just about to hit the "publish" button on this and go and read some more e-mail while I listen to a few things I am finding and decide if I like them ... or whatever ... you still reading this? ... oh ... it probably doesn't make much sense any more ... I am kind of "thinking out loud" here ... lol)

I tried to put the music player in here, so it was just in this post, rather than on top of my blog ... but it didn't work there ... took half an hour of fiddling and finding something blogger told me I had to change before I could change my blog template (which is what I had to do to put the music thing in) ... so hopefully the song is playing now ... there is only one song on there (I might add more one day)

Yes ... I like this song ... and it just happens to be called "Poles Apart" - which is the theme for this year's TASDA exhibiton ... the theme is actually meant to be about polar ice caps and stuff, but as far as I know, anything to do with any meaning one sees in the title is fair go (my mind comes up with all sorts of stuff - poles apart = differences and/or separation, bi POLAR, icey poles? polarity? this song? anything with Poles and/or Apart in the title ... blue coloured fishing poles side by side but not touching? ... anything ice coloured? ... and I wonder how many personal versions of "Blue Poles" will be entered? LOL)

If the song does not play, and you want to hear it ... it is "Poles Apart" by Pink Floyd ... and I think I might paste a copy of the lyrics on the bottom of this blog post (there are copies of it on lots of those song lyrics sites that my kids visit so why not here too? lol) I am not sure how long the thing will work for even if it does now - things like music files etc on the www tend to come and go fairly quickly)

Anyway ... the other thing I wanted to put here was a pile of links to stuff about the "Magic Squares" (also known as mitred squares) that Janice is showing people how to crochet, and I am going to try and show people how to knit, for the meeting activity this month (in a few hours time - LOL).

I had not knitted these before ... I have not knitted very many other things either ... I learnt the basics of knitting and never seemed to get fast, so I just stuck to crochet because I far prefer that ;-)
but ... because Janice is running the activity and teaching the crochet ones, but also isn't a knitter, I said I would find some info about doing knitted ones, work out how to do them and then I could show any people who were knitters and not crocheters how to do the knitted version. So I found a few websites with patterns/instructions on them and had a bit of a play ... and came up with one version that actually turned out square and looked like it was supposed to, and that is easy to do and should be easy to show people.

I knitted a couple of samples to take to the meeting, then I decided that seeing I am also likely to end up helping people with the crochet ones - maybe I had better actually do a crochet one myself! ... it kind of went a bit odd (I think it was mostly because I used too big a hook) so I undid it - but it gave me a weird idea of something to make using the technique (same mitreing method but not squares - I like to take a "normal" technique/pattern for something and change it until it is totally mangled beyond recognition ;-) so 2 hours later I had a totally useless crochet object that I can't decide if it is a hexagonal crochet bowl or a hexagonal beret to fit someone with a head the size of a cat! LOL
(if I remember/have time in the next day or so, I might edit this post sneak a photo into here ... if not I will put it up in a later post)

Anyway ... here are a few useful links: an interesting rug - with patterns for small and large size squares in stocking stitch childs skirt, but has basic pattern for mitred square as part of it. hat and mittens set, but has a basic pattern half way down the page. - mitred squares afghan pattern stocking stitch - this is the pattern that worked for me, and that I have used for the samples I am taking to the meeting. ... the page has the mitred square bag on the top and a whole heap of other knitting patterns under it. - this is the same as the one above - except it has more than one colour ... but the basic pattern is what I ended up doing ... this one might be better to print than the other one. - another page on the same site - how to work another square onto the first one. - a blog post about them, with yet another way of explaining the same method that I used for mine. (down the page a fair bit) instructions on how to knit groups of 4 squares without having to join them (halfway down a very long page, but if you are lucky this link might take you to the right part of the page when it loads) - pattern for a baby hat using mitred squares and - another person's instructions for doing mitred squares and joining them.

Most of these patterns seem to be stocking stitch or similar, and one even says garter stitch does not work ... but some of the patterns are in garter stitch ... I tried doing one in stocking stitch (with knit and purl rows) and mine was NOT square ... but the garter stitch one (all knit rows) worked out fine! There were a few versions of each of those too ... some with stuff like k1 pssso etc that I was not even sure I knew how to do - LOL but it did say that it was decreacing by 2 stitches and at least one pattern said to knit 2 together twice (dec 2) in the middle of the row ... same effect just a different way to do it (probably with a slightly different look - might be a matter of what you know how to do and/or what works best for you/the yarn/needles and/or what you want the finished square to look like ...

What I did was to cast on an even number of stitches, knit a row and then knit half of that number, minus 2 - and knit those 2 together, then the next 2 ... then knit to the end (which should be the same number as you did on the other end of the row) then the next row is just knit each stitch then the next row you knit 1 less than the last time and then knit 2 together twice and knit to the end ... and keep going in that pattern - knit one row then do the 2 decreaces in the next ... until you get down to decreacing 4 stitches to 2 ... then knit those 2 together and finish off (... or not, if you are going to pick up stitches down the side and work another square onto it)

Hmmm ... for some reason I can't seem to find any patterns for patchwork crochet ... ok for me because I can work those sort of things out in crochet ... lets hope you lot paid attention to Janice when she explained it ... and if any non tasda members need to know ... it is the same sort of idea as the knitting - crochet crochet a chain, and then a row, as long a 2 sides of the square you want to make and decreace a couple of stitches in the middle of each row ...

eeek! where did my evening go?!


oh yeah - before I go - the lyrics for that song ...

"Poles Apart" - Pink Floyd

Did you was all going to go so wrong for you
And did you see it was all going to be so right for me
Why did we tell you then
You were always the golden boy then
And that you'd never lose that light in your eyes

Hey you...did you ever realise what you'd become
And did you see that it wasn't only me you were running from
Did you know all the time but it never bothered you anyway
Leading the blind while I stared out the steel in your eyes

The rain fell slow, down on all the roofs of uncertainty
I thought of you and the years and all the sadness fell away from me
And did you know...

I never thought that you'd lose that light in your eyes

Saturday, June 02, 2007


There are not enough hours in each day ...

eek! look how late it is already, and I am still in here mucking around with this (and posting stuff on ) instead of finding my sewing room under the mess and working out what I am going to enter in the Canberra Quilters exhibition this year ... entries are due in just under 2 weeks time, and as usual - I have not even started anything yet ... LOL

hmmmm ... I wonder if that clock will show the right time once I publish this post? (it does have a thing to choose the right time zone ... and it looked right on the page I got the html code from ... but I am typing this just after 4pm and when I preview this post the clock says it is just after 6! ... oh well ... if it doesn't work it doesn't work - that is what often happens when you put stupid free junk on your web page/blog/etc ... lol)

btw ... talking about time - I never seem to get time to answer people's comments on my blog posts ... but I DO read them ... and I often go to the link to their blog and sometimes I leave a comment there ... LOL
but - I did just put a comment on my own blog - an answer to a question about how I made that big black bag ... when I work out how to find an extra 50 hours in each day, I might get around to doing some more of that sort of patchwork and take some photos and post some "how I did it" photos on here ... but don't get too eager - it could take a while ... pigs might fly first ... LOL