Thursday, September 3, 2015

June Scarf of the Month: Reversible Tracks 'n' Tread

  June's Scarf of the Month has an amazing reversible texture that resembles the tread of a tire on one side and tracks on the other. The Front- and Back-Diagonal Shell stitches worked together as a modified Zigzag stitch make a fabric that's thick and warm with a touch of open work. In honor of father's Day during the month of June, the Tracks 'n' Tread Scarf was designed for men. But I think it woud look lovely in a feminine color, too!

  The version I made was created with one skein in mind, but you could easily adjust the multiple and use a second skein to make a wider or longer scarf. Using the entire skein, mine came out to a finished size of 54" (135 cm) long by 5" (12.5 cm) wide. My Other Half assures me that this scarf is the perfect size for a guy, but I thought men would want a longer scarf. What do you think?

Skill level:

Worsted (4) weight yarn
-I used one skein of Caron United in Soft Grey Heather To make a longer/wider scarf, you will need an extra skein.
Crochet hook size J/10 - 6.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch markers (optional)
Yarn needle

In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
4 multiples in 5 rows

Pattern is written in muliples of 4 + 2.

Use stitch markers for marking turning chains and skipped stitches, if needed.

Chain three at beginning of rows counts as a double crochet.

Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Double crochet (dc)
Triple crochet (tr)

Back Diagonal Shell Stitch (BD shell) - Skip 3, triple crochet in the following st. Working behind stitch just made, make 3 dc in the second skipped stitch.

*For help with the original (classic) Back Diagonal Stitch, click here.

Front Diagonal Shell Stitch (FD shell) - Skip 3, triple crochet in the following st. Working in front of stitch just made, make 3 dc in the second skipped stitch.

*For help with the original (classic) Front Diagonal Stitch, click here.

Begin/beginning (beg)
Skip (sk)
Stitch (st)


To begin, ch 20.

Row 1:
Make tr in 7th ch from hook. Working behind tr, sk 1 chain behind, make 3 dc (1st BD shell made). Make 3 more BD shells across beg ch. Make 1 dc in the last ch. (4 BD shells, + 2 dc in row)

Row 2:
Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn. Make 4 FD shells across row. Make 1 dc in last st. (4 FD shells, + 2 dc in row)

Row 3:
Ch 3, turn. Make 4 BD shells across row. Make 1 dc in last st.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 to desired length. Example made from using entire skein has a total of 74 rows. (35 repeats, ending on Row 1. You can end on any row you like. It won't affect the pattern.)

Bind off, weave in ends.

  I love the reversible texture of this scarf! And because of that, I took a few more photos than I needed! They aren't the best but I don't want them to go to waste, so you might as well get a look at them. The following were all taken while I was playing to compare the texture of both sides:

*Hey everybody! I mentioned in a previous post that I don't like publishing my patterns from the tablet I'm now working on, but still lacking my pc, I did it anyways! Over two days, I think I've edited this post about twenty times - and I'm pretty sure I have it right. But this tablet messes with my eyes (and my typing skills), so please let me know if you notice any abbreviations that aren't correct so I can fix them! After two hours of sleep and too much coffee (no such thing!), my eyes are twitching and my brain is numb. I know the pattern itself has no errors, but I'm worried about those typos - The tablet often fills in whatever it wants instead of the abbreviation I'm trying to type. 

No Android, "tr" does not mean I want to type "tree". Also, I'm not talking about Washington, so dc doesn't have to be capitalized. But Android, why try to correct that if you're not going to use the proper punctuation? It's "D.C.". However, thanks for trying to help. And thanks, Readers, for putting up with me!

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Making a Decision

  I had hopes of using up my scraps of light blue on my Granny Scarf project, but I wasn't able to make it work. In the last post about this W.I.P. (work in progress), I was playing around with the scraps of yellow in my stash, but I couldn't find one I liked. And when I got that special surprise that ended my day of crochet, I felt a little defeated.

  Defeated, and also scared to go back into the room that box was in. I went back to the rest of my stash to search for that perfect-but-missing yellow. It's still missing, because I found something better instead:

  I didn't really want to use yellow. I don't like yellow. Well, okay, I tolerate yellow in small amounts, like with the center color. But I don't like yellow. So, blue!

  Not the blue I originally wanted to use, but maybe a better blue. I wanted to keep the colors of this scarf bright and cheery, so the thought never crossed my mind to try a deeper shade. When I came across this skein of darker blue, my mind told me "use it". But my eyes told me it didn't match.

...But my mind said "use it".

   ...And again my eyes told me it didn't match, even after I worked the whole round and bound off. I felt like I had made a mistake. I was disgusted with my decision. Disappointed that I jumped the gun and used the first thing I found, I walked away.

  And when I came back, my eyes had changed their minds. That blue actually complements the lighter colors quite nicely! And with only one final round of it, the bright and cheery tones weren't lost after all. My brain even backed up my eyes' opinions by telling me that lighter blue would have given it a washed-out look, anyways.

  And then Jump Steady gave his stamp of approval by sitting in the chair and nodding while I took photos. (He was really just falling asleep while sitting up, but, you know... Whatever makes me happy!) He further showed approval by distracting me from thinking about it again. He's showing his disapproval of July's Scarf of the Month by causing a disruption every time I work on it, so you can blame him for having to wait longer for this pattern! June's scarf still has to be published, too, so I bet that'll keep you distracted for a while!

  If all goes well and I get my pc back, you'll be seeing the free pattern by the end of the week (for June's; this one is for August). I don't like publishing my patterns from the tablet, because it's a pain to type on it, and I'm constantly making errors. So what if there's a little typo in a post like this? It's not that big of a deal, much as it still bothers me. But messing up one spot in a pattern could make a lot of angry people. So you'll have to wait just a little longer, okay? Until then...

Happy Crocheting!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Microsoft Has Me on My Knees

Hi, everybody!


Let's have one more smiley-face, shall we?


  This is my attempt at distracting myself from possible thoughts of murder. (LOL... Please don't call the cops, I won't actually kill anybody.) Today, you'll get to see a very angry side of me. I'm even going to do that one thing I promised to never do - use profanity. Mild profanity that might not be considered profanity at all to some, but more than others care to read, so I apologize in advance.


  Ooo, that feels better. Can I say it again? I'm sooooooo pissed off! Can I put it in red? I'm sooooooooo pissed off! I no longer have access to the blog through a pc. I no longer access to the photos of my W.I.P.'s that were meant for the blog. I no longer have access to my editing software for the photos I might take for future use. And I no longer have a working pc, period.

  Please, excuse me again while I yell a bit: MICROSOFT, YOU LIE! That notice that keeps popping up telling me my pc is ready for Windows 10 IS A LIE! No, it's not ready! I had to find that out from Microsoft Support after I tried to upgrade and it killed my pc!

  I do, however, now have a very expensive set of blinking Christmas lights. And a headache. And an almost uncontrollable desire to take up smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. And maybe do some drinking. And ANYTHING that's going to take my mind off the fact that MICROSOFT, YOU LIED TO ME!

  I really hate being lied to. It's my # 1 pet peeve. I would rather hear the harsh, horrible truth than be lied to. Because in the end, lies hurt more than some not-so-pretty honesty. So MICROSOFT, WHY DID YOU LIE TO ME?

Now, let's move on to my fun with customer support:

Me: My pc does nothing but go from a half-background with unusable icons to a black screen. Blink, blink, blink... Flash, flash, flash...

Customer Support (CS): Restart your pc.

Me: I can't, because the power button is missing and you can't click on anything, anyway.

CS: Can you see the Power icon?

Me: *face-palm* No, there's no power icon, and I can't click on anything anyways!

CS: Try restarting your pc.

Me: F-words. (Not really. Much as I wanted to, I don't get that nasty. I stayed calm and explained the situation again. But on the inside, every four-letter word combination in the book. And I might have made up a few more.)

CS: Can you open the internet browser so we can gain remote access?


CS: Can we have the model of your pc to check if it was compatable with the upgrade?

Me: What do you mean "check"? The icon that keeps annoying the - - - - out of me told me my pc was "ready to upgrade!", so what do you mean "check"?!

CS: Some pc manufacturer's don't have their drivers ready for the upgrade.

  Let's make a long story shorter. No, my pc's manufacturer's drivers weren't ready for the upgrade. So why did Microsoft keeping telling me my pc was ready? Why didn't Microsoft tell me that when I had to "reserve my copy"? Why didn't they tell me that when I had to "schedule my upgrade"? Let's continue with "fun with customer support":

CS: You'll have to access another pc to download the software and reinstall.

Me: I don't have access to another pc.

CS: Can you access another pc?

Me: *Open barrel, insert shell, snap it shut and cock the hammer...*

  They told me to try downloading the file on this stupid tablet, even though it needs 20 GB and the tablet has a total of 32. They told me it would take about an hour to download, and then I'd need to connect to the computer through USB. I asked them how downloading Windows 10 to put on the pc was going to fix the pc, when the pc isn't ready for the upgrade?

  They told me to just try it. And then I lost connection with customer service, and when I opened the page again, I was now # 29 in line. I made it to # 25 before AN ERROR OCCURRED. Shortly after that, the download failed.

I've had an unopened bottle of some kind of liquor - I think it's bourbon - in my cabinet for 4 years. I considered opening it at 7:15 in the morning. 

  So Microsoft now has me on my knees. Literally. I had to write this post while kneeling on the floor in front of this tablet, because the battery is only good for about an hour, and the power cord is only 24" long. And as I remain on my knees with customer support, I see my future slipping away.

  There's no way around it. I have to take the pc in to get it repaired. That means spend money. And ya'll want to know something I've been keeping secret? I'm getting married. Well, I was getting married. AFTER 10 YEARS OF BEING ENGAGED, I WAS FINALLY SUPPOSED TO GET MARRIED. 10. Freaking. Years. But I need to work to make money; I need the pc to work. I have to spend my getting-married money to fix the pc. After 10 FREAKING YEARS of being engaged and either not being able to save up enough money to get married or him backing out again, we were finally just going to have a quiet ceremony. Not even a dress or flowers. No bridesmaids. No reception. Just a nice, quiet ceremony so he could make me an "honest woman" after 10 FREAKING YEARS. Microsoft, I am soooo pissed off, and I really hate you right now. The support page crashed again. I'm # 58 now. 

I usually close with "Happy Crocheting". I still wish that - or happy "whatever it is you do" - for you today. No crocheting for me, though. I think I'm just gonna go cry for a little while. Why did I buy all that yarn to crochet for charity when I could have been using it to get married? I'm afraid I'll have to scrap the free pattterns for the Scarf of the Month and start selling some stuff.

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