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Eye of the Emerald Mandala

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  This mandala would look great in lots of color combinations, but I wanted to celebrate my Irish roots by creating something for upcoming St.Patty's Day. A skein of "Paddy Green" found in the stash seemed to be the perfect tribute. The emerald tone of the green inspired lace like the facets of a gemstone, and the picot edging is a little nod towards Irish lace... But much easier to work than most Irish lace!   The picot stitches of round 20 stick up and make some neat texture around the edges of the mandala. However, if you would like them to sit flat to avoid an accidental drink spill when a cup gets placed on the bumpy round (because we know that would never  happen, right?), just push them down between chain spaces when blocking. You could also work a chain-2 picot for a less pointy version. Check out the pattern for the matching mini mandala!  They make a great compliment to the large mandala whether you're using it as an art piece or a table set.

Blog Maintenance

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  Have you ever wanted to change something that works just fine the way that it is? I received some tips about making the blog more user-friendly and took the advice. Although I didn't like the new settings, it did seem to be more successful for a short time. Then I noticed my ad revenue drop from almost-nothing to completely-nothing, and now I know why...   Blogger/Google had notified me about some "mobile usability issues" after making those changes, so I've been working hard at fixing that instead of creating new content. One might assume this is the reason for losing viewers, but it is not. I can still pull in a decent amount of views without publishing new content thanks to other sites that link to my patterns. (BIG THANKS to all of them!)   While fixing the "mobile usability issues", it seemed logical to do that work from my phone. It's not easy for me to work from a tiny glowing rectangle that is full of distractions. It was frustrating, but I fin

The Impostor

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  Working with Mainstays acrylic yarn resulted in a negative review before I was finished working on this pattern. ( You can read that review here if you missed it.) I was aware it didn't perfectly match Red Heart Super Saver. I knew to not expect much from a Walmart brand acrylic yarn. What I didn't know was how the smallest difference in gauge would make this project much harder than it needed to be.      Let's just start with quality... Do you see the "seam" running up the body of the character? Well, it's not really a seam. That is the tail from starting new yarn after joining the legs, and I worked over it as I always do. The beginning of my rounds on the other side don't show as much. So why didn't I sew the backpack to this side to cover the flaw? Because the other side is riddled with a bunch of snags from the yarn splitting as I worked.   I already knew this wouldn't be great, but since some adjustments in the pattern were still needed I

When Mistakes Don't Matter

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  Alternate title for this post:  Crazy Doesn't Begin to Describe Me.   Oh, what have I gone and done now? I should start by explaining that although my state of "mental breakdown" over this project is more satire than serious... It is a fact that I'm questioning my sanity after beginning another  (right, ANOTHER) one of my "giant plarn" projects. And before we move on to the actual subject, I'd like to provide the link to the last giant plarn project that still isn't finished :  Link to the proof that I'm nuts...   I mean, I can't even get my camera settings right... I took half a dozen pictures of my new pile of giant plarn while trying to figure out why the photos are so dark. Uh, maybe it's because the photo is in black and white?  I can't remember to turn off a monochrome filter, what business do I have starting another  giant plarn project when I already have one on the hook?    So there's all that, plus more: This project w

Trying New Yarn: A Mainstays Review

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  Well, I've been "forced" into creating a new crochet pattern ( not really ) and that would have been a fine and dandy situation if only I had the right color of PINK ( yuck ) in my stash... And since the pandemic seems to have reduced the stock of everything to almost nothing, I was forced to take my search for the color PINK ( gross ) to the Walmart yarn aisle ( even grosser ). And the only color of PINK ( icky ) they had was in a yarn I have yet to try, despite the low price: Mainstays 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn. I'm not done with the project, but this yarn has already earned itself a review...    I suppose I should add a disclaimer that I don't hate this yarn just because it's PINK ( eww ), but that does help me feel better about my negative opinion. Also, secondary disclaimer: Since I can't get my good camera to work right, I thought I'd try the phone camera. It was a bad idea.   The first feel of a skein of Mainstays acrylic isn't bad.

United Yarn Fails

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  Is it possible to be extremely proud of finishing a project while at the same time being immensely disappointed in the final results? Yes... Yes, it is, and you'll soon see why. Caron United yarn is now a discontinued product, so I won't have to warn you to not buy it. But for those of us with leftovers in the yarn stash, here's a warning on what not  to make with United:   Isn't that such a lovely afghan? I started and finished it while we were still living at Dad's, but never got around to sharing it here. Being there with the Big Huge Afghan  on the couch made me think I'd need my own version of a big blanket for my house. I knew there was a whole lot of the same kind of yarn in complimentary colors in my stash, but I doubted I could make the same pattern work with so many of the United scraps I had leftover from making blankets. So I got to work on something new and...   Oh. Oh no. Forget about my  afghan... The blankets that were made to help create the W

Working on Working

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  Hi! Crazy Lady here, back with more problems again ... Insomnia has been hitting me harder than ever, so I should apologize ahead of time for... Well, most of this, I suppose. When I do sleep, it never lasts more than two hours. It's been this way for over a month (two; three?) now. My brain is in a constant fog, and I find it harder to concentrate with each day that passes. Which is NOT  going to help me with any of the mess I've uncovered:    Yay, my pattern notebooks have been found! They were misplaced in the move, and I've been hoping to find them so I could get back to work on some completed patterns that have yet to make it here. Since I had some things to do on the blog anyway, I thought I'd start typing them up. (Maybe a bad idea to do any work... Anybody remember the time I deleted the blog's background ?) What I thought would be a simple task turned out to be a bad idea, indeed.   The patterns in one of my lost notebooks were created whi

Floor Pouf WIP

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  A hoard of plastic grocery bags has already started piling up in the new house. I absolutely refuse  to let an entire closet get packed full of bags again! (Well, it was only the bottom-half of the closet...) A sane person would probably go dump them in the recycling container at the grocery store. But of course, I chose to punish myself by beginning a massive  plarn project:   It doesn't look so daunting sitting there all by itself in a picture, but this one has turned out to be a monster. A long-envisioned project, I always knew this plarn floor pouf was going to be a big job. That's why it had always been a "long-envisioned" project instead of an "already-started" or "finally finished" project! Why, oh why do I do these things to myself? I should have known better.   I'm creating a bit of a color pattern by using 15 grey bags, then one black bag. And I'm being serious about it, replacing broken pieces along the way so I can