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Yaaaaasssss!

It only took me *cough* three years to complete the thing, but it’s done. I present to you, the Red Heart Pineapple Squares throw blanket. Ta-da!

The table it’s sitting on is a 4′ x 4′ square and you can see it overhangs.

My camera decided to make everything very yellow, so I had to tweak all the pics, which blew out the backgrounds. This yarn is a vibrant blue-teal in real life, technically Peacock.

I used the Red Heart With Love yarn instead of the Super Saver the pattern calls for. The With Love yarns are delightfully soft. I’m pretty sure it also altered my scale so I might have an overall slightly larger blanket. The pattern calls for 6 skeins @ 364y each, but the With Love has 315y. I believe I bought 8, but I can’t be sure anymore. I got all worried last year, when did the bulk of the work, that I wasn’t going to have enough, so I bought a lot of three skeins in a panic. I can tell that I have those three new and one original left over. Thankfully I love this color.

The pattern is listed as intermediate and I’d agree with that. It’s not really a pattern you can work while watching TV, since every round is different and there are different size clusters in different places in each round. That said, once you get the swing of things you do make the same thing 12 times.

I initially started this with some leftover yellow yarn from the Monster Slippers, as a test run. Making one (some errors included) wasn’t too bad. I think I got through my first peacock square without too many mishaps, but it took forever somehow and it was clear that I would not be finishing for Christmas. I also felt like it was a bit too complicated for my skill level. My next big project was a Virus Blanket, which was easier than the pineapples, but more complicated than other things I’d done. It was a good way to prep myself to get through this blanket.

Being a South paw crocheter has some special challenges. It’s not just a mirror image of normal instructions. Things don’t always work in reverse. There are a couple very simple edge stitches that I can’t even do. In the round it means you sometimes need to start in a slightly different place than instructed, like at the next stitch or motif over. It’s entirely possible that I missed something somewhere and if I made this pattern again I could start my rounds as instructed (even though I’ve made 13 if these squares…), but I find the need to start elsewhere pretty consistent over different in-the-round patterns.

What all this means is I have to rewrite the instructions. In this case I did so more than once (the forest year and the second). These aren’t really written for anyone else and don’t say things like where I start subsequent rounds, but it gives you an idea of what I need to do to get through a pattern. What I love are diagrams. If a pattern has one I hardly need to make any notes at all, just find my starting place.

Left to right: my notes on the original, half of my version 1 and both pages of version 2, with a diagram of the first 8 rounds.

Did I enjoy this project? Yes.

Would I make it again? Maybe, but not any time soon. I really don’t like to do the same thing over again. I prefer a challenge. I did actually make something else with pineapples last year, a shawl, so that was similar.

Would I change anything if I did make it again? Yes. I think I’d add another row of squares so it would be 4 x 4 instead of 3 x 4. That should be around 64″ x 64″ overall.

What did I dislike most? I hate sewing in ends and sewing together. That’s why I will probably never make anything with Granny squares. I think 12 squares is my minimum. That said, if I made this again, I might figure out how to crochet the squares together as I went instead of sewing them together at the end.

No, it hasn’t been blocked and I frankly don’t care.

Look at those pretty pineapples! (A thing I would never say if it was food!)

This is the fill in motif. You start with a magic ring, add clusters, then complete by crocheting the little motif into the available space.

This is the center of a four pineapple square. Looking at it now, it doesn’t look quite symmetrical. I might have goofed something up. I know there are a couple places where I have a 3dc cluster where a 4dc cluster should be and visa versa, but I didn’t notice any central motif errors while I was making them. C’est la vie!

All folded up and ready to give to my mom for Christmas!

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Quick make up and setting spray test for Halloween.

  • Black nails with matte top coat
  • Black mehron Paradise makeup
  • NYX matte finishing spray

Yes, it will be on my fingers and probably half way up my hands. We’ll see. So far the setting spray is definitely matte and not tacky now that it’s dry, except that I can feel there is something on my hand when I bend my fingers. Casually running my other hand over the made up area there is minimal to no transfer! Sweet.

Did you know they make matte top coat? New one on me.

I’ve seen people do some cool things with blackened fingers, but my version will be slap-dash, applied hurriedly between putting out all my lights and candy and the hordes of little monsters showing up demanding their due.

Creepy school girl a la Sabrina. Better keep my fingers off that white collar, just in case.

I love inventive crochet and knitting. By now we’ve all seen the kids’ stocking cap with attached lumberjack beard and the very cool crocheted Viking helmets. Love them.

This mom has been tackling Halloween via crochet. First she made a full suit crochet Predator costume, which was great! As a child of the 80s her other creation holds a special place in my heart – and yeah, of course he glows! Check out Slimer!

It sort of reminds me of the inchworm costume I insisted my mom make me when I was about 5 (only cooler, sorry Mom). I’d totally be Slimer for Halloween.

Slimer! Via Crochetverse via boingboing.

Check out the rest of the story on boingboing.

Check out Crochetverse’s website here.

Happy almost Halloween!

Here is a vintage Kenmore buttonhole attachment I received recently, complete with original case, instruction book and metal templates. Also included were some extra templates in their own case and a second instruction book.

In the case, left to right, the plate that covers your feed dogs if you don’t have a lever to drop them, templates, a thumb screw (above the snap) and the buttonholer itself

I haven’t tried my new attachment yet, but I’m pretty excited about it. It appears to be the one that was intended for my Kenmore 1752, which is my everyday machine.

The unit and case are in quite nice shape, showing only usual wear. It has 9 templates total (one is in the unit). Sizes range from 3/8″ to 15/16″ and come in straight and “keyhole” patterns. It is possible to create holes longer than 15/16″ by stopping the stitching before it creates the end keyhole or bar and moving your fabric, but that does take practice. My Griest version also has an eyelet template.

I much prefer the keyhole templates, which leave more room for the shank of the button to sit in. Instead of creating a bar at the far end during stitching, the threads continue around in a curved keyhole shape. Overall, the nicest thing about these old attachments is that they leave a little more space between the side stitches of the hole and you are less likely to slice through some of threads when opening the hole.

There are several types of buttonholer attachment: for low shank, slant, straight stitch, zigzag stitch and presumably for high shank as well. The height of the shank and straight/zigzag are independent elements, so that makes for quite a few options. It’s also worth noting that some brands fit multiple brand machines. Griest and Singer fit Kenmores and probably other machines as well. I believe I use a Type 1 on my Kenmore 1752 and numbered types go through at least 5.

Using these attachments does take some practice and it does take a little longer to make each hole, but the results are stronger and far more attractive buttonholes when compared with modern versions.

Bogart and Bacall image restoration (1946): https://www.instagram.com/p/BcPuLxKFpmS/

As someone who loves history and participates in historical reenactment it’s a little disappointing to see many historical images. They feel drained of color, lessened, like they aren’t quite real. (Do people with color blindness feel the same way?)

I’ve seen a fair number of well colorized photos in recent years. That colorization does a lot to make the images feel more present, realistic and relatable. It brings them to life even more than black and white moving images.

Now that I’ve seen the colorized images of Mario Unger on Instagram (via BoingBoing) I’m not sure how I thought the others were so good. His images are simply stunning and full of life. I love seeing Billy Holiday mid performance, as if I was right there. There’s Ford, a group of Romani, turn off the century street scenes and Civil War soldiers, Freud, Che and a very young Frida Kahlo. And the image of this young woman, which I find particularly compelling:

View this post on Instagram

L. E. Jerome, by C. M. Bell, ca 1900

A post shared by Mario Unger (@ungermario) on

More of the bad, the unfortunate, and the downright funny, this time in 70s women’s patterns.

See my previous posts:

  1. Horror Stash part 1, or Bad Men’s 70s and 80s Sewing Patterns
  2. Horror Stash part 2, it Bad Women’s 80s Sewing Patterns

These are mostly just funny thanks to proportion, styling and/or fabric choices. Enjoy!

Looks like an 80s pattern, but it’s from the late 70s. I just don’t get the drawstring at hip level, let alone 2 of them on the red one. Can you imagine how it would look if it rode up?

Hello 70s! Double knit polyester! Front zip jumpsuit! Bonus gold boots! Stylish!

Here’s a 70s version of a Little House on the Prairie top. Not that I couldn’t use it to make a shirt for Renaissance Faire.

This one is deeply boring. I have two copies! Someone wrote on the other one that it was 4 inches too large. What does that say about standard ease at the time? Sheesh.

This one is sort of ethnic. Reminds me of a Folkware Pattern. Looks horrible in red and really the pleating at the stomach is not very flattering, especially as a top.

Look at the length of their legs! Silly. The floral choice is terrible.

Honestly this one makes me smile. Not that I’d wear it or anything! These pants are the basis for the 30s Beach Pajamas, however.

More of the bad, the unfortunate, and the downright funny, this time in 80s women’s patterns.

See my previous post, Horror Stash part 1, or Bad Men’s 70s and 80s Sewing Patterns.

Say hello to a Cathleen Turner look alike in clothes that don’t fit at all. How does that shirt stay in place and not end up sliding off her shoulder? How much fabric is in those pants? And let’s not forget big hair.

The only good thing I have to say is that I could see this as the basis for an early teens dress. Note Robin bow at the waist. How sweet.

It does have pockets going for it.

Again, this could be used as the basis for some previous era garment. The way it is, however, it looks childish. That collar!

Speaking of childish… But it’s sorta cute as a romper. I hate rompers.

This is just one of several Little House on the Prarie-esque patterns I have. High necks, pouf sleeves and ruffles! Others remind me of Dynasty. Funny thing though, I think I can use that square bodice front for the 30s Beach Pajamas I’m working on.

This one is just sad and shapeless. I didn’t know they were making house dresses for younger women in the 80s. Looks half way OK with a belt. And there’s that hair again.

Here’s a bonus bad early 90s pattern. It’s just boring and shameless. The funny thing is that I somehow have 4 copies. And they came from two sources. I also have at least 5 other ones that are basically identical.

Next up, bad patterns of the 70s!

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