Coaster #9: Amanda Whorl

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, “Amanda Whorl,” p. 123

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

This one came out pretty big for a coaster, so I guess I have another doily/trivet. I suspected that it would be too big from the beginning, but I couldn’t not make it because the construction was so interesting & different from all my other coasters. I love how this came out, but it was actually kind of tedious to make since each wedge was exactly the same. On most of these coasters, each round has been different enough to keep my interest.

My vacation ends tomorrow, but I’m going to try to cram in one last fairly simple coaster, so I can end up with a set of eight plus two doily/trivet things. No bonus picture today, because I’ve gotta run if I’m going to get this (and my last-night-in-town carousing) done by tomorrow!

Coaster #8: Viola

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, “Viola,” p. 56.

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

This one was super fun. I’d say it’s been the funnest so far. The spike stitches are easy and cool-looking, and the pattern is ultimately very intuitive. Plus it came out pretty perfectly coaster-sized, which is more than I can say for some of these other misfits. It’s actually made by crocheting a normal flat single-crochet circle for four rounds, and then you start the fancy stuff.

I apologize, but I don’t have a bonus picture for you today. I spent all day yesterday at the Further show (Bob Weir & Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead) at Coney Island, and while there were a jillion crazy things that one might have taken a picture of, (a) I didn’t have my camera and (b) most people wouldn’t appreciate having their picture taken in the state most of those folks were in. So you’ll just have to use your imaginations. 🙂

Coaster #7: Ridged Hexagon II

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, “Ridged Hexagon II,” p. 140

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

This one was minorly confusing, in that what the pattern calls “Dc/rb” (double crochet around the back of the post) is in fact what I know as double crocheting around the front of the post. Also, I’m not convinced that that’s what they even did in the sample, because the sample looks significantly different from my finished product. But I don’t care, because the finished product looks cool and is probably one of the most coastery coasters I’ve crocheted so far, in terms of appropriate size and lack of holes.

Yesterday I was in the West Village for the beginning of NYC Pride Weekend, on a rooftop across the street from the Stonewall Inn where there were periodic dance parties blocking traffic in the street — but tragically, I’d left my camera at home. So your bonus picture today is just the back of this coaster, but it looks pretty viable and my mom actually prefers it to the front of the coaster. And it’s kinda pride-appropriate:

Coaster #6: Frozen Star

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, “Frozen Star,” p. 68.

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

Sorry for the dim, crappy picture, but it’s threatening to storm here. And I really want it to, because I miss thunderstorms like hell when I’m on the west coast, and because it was 96 frigging degrees out today with a million percent humidity, and a storm would break the heat. Anyway, this pattern came out nice, but it also came out huge for a coaster, despite the fact that I left out round 5 (of 6 — it would have been more of the green stuff. I guess it could be a trivet? Or a thing to put a wine bottle on? Or a really large coaster. Again I made the color changes on my own; the pattern is written for all one color. And again I complain that this book says nothing at all about gauge or size. I’m okay at estimating, but apparently not okay enough. This was easier than it looks, so I succeeded at my goal of crocheting something not as annoying as yesterday. Tomorrow’s goal is to crochet something that is actually coaster sized. Aim low and you won’t be disappointed, my friends.

Today’s bonus picture is a sleeping puppy:

This is of course my family’s dog who I knit that sweater for last winter. Awww.

Coaster #5: Tunisia Flower

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, “Tunisia Flower,” p.187

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

This one was a serious pain in the butt. It took me two days, but in my defense, my crocheting time was cut into yesterday by a visit to the nature center that I used to go to as a kid (they still have an iguana! but not the same iguana) and a frisbee game. And furthermore, I had to rip out and redo several parts of this for several different reasons. The directions are confusing at a few different points, and I also changed my mind a few times about the colors. The directions tell you to turn at the end of round 5, which seemed either wrong or insane, so I just didn’t do it. And the directions for round 6 seemed to be putting the points of my petals off center, so I just ignored them and put the points in the right spot. I also added the yellow round (the original pattern was just two-colored), and I left off the last round, because it was already plenty large for a coaster. And I ironed it to make it flat.

Here is your bonus photo for today, which is not going to win any photography awards:

This is St. Marks’ Church in the East Village, home of the Poetry Project, which has been sponsoring experimental poetry for decades and decades. I was there on Monday for the memorial reading for Leslie Scalapino, one of the first poets whose work made me realize that what I wanted to do with my life was study experimental poetry — she was also one of the two poets that I wrote my undergraduate honors thesis on. The reading was great; it was very interesting to hear how other notable poets (such as Charles Bernstein, Susan Howe, and Rodrigo Toscano) interpreted Scalapino’s work, and it was heartening to feel the force of the community behind such a marginalized genre of literature.

Tomorrow, I have resolved to make a coaster that will be significantly less annoying. Wish me luck!

Coaster #4: Russian Square

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, p. 86, “Russian Square.”

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

I love the way this one came out; it may be my favorite so far. The color scheme makes it look more Native American than Russian, in my opinion. The texturing is done by crocheting around the fronts and backs of the posts on certain stitches, a technique I learned when I was doing the Freeform Crochet-Along earlier this spring. I didn’t make a coaster yesterday because we had big Father’s Day things going on — my cousin Patrick who lives in China was in town with his daughter; I’d never met him, and my mom hadn’t seen him since the late 1970s. I guess that’s what happens when you move to China. Their visit was delightful, but we totally forgot to take pictures.

Your bonus picture, therefore, is just a family photo of all four coasters I’ve made so far. I had to iron this one before I showed it to you, because the crocheting-around-the-post made it really bumpy at first. So I ironed everybody, and here they are, all blocked and everything:

Hooray for pretty coasters!

Coaster #3: Prairie Motif

Pattern: Crochet Stitch Motifs by Erika Knight, p. 164, “Prairie Motif,” rounds 1 – 4.

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic

Hook: 3.25 mm

I left off the last round of this one because it was already plenty big for a coaster after four rounds — which is kind of a shame, because the last round was supposed to be yellow again and would have made this look even cooler. These motifs do vary in size quite a bit, and the book doesn’t really give you any way of knowing how big something is going to turn out to be — the samples are worked in a variety of yarn weights, which you can sort of tell by eyeballing them, but I do wish there had been some written indication of this. (Such as a note in the pattern of the yarn weight and finished size, so that I could have some way of guessing how big they’ll turn out with my yarn.)

In ridiculous knitting news, yesterday I was drunk at Barnes & Noble at like 10:30 at night (it happens sometimes), and nearly made two ill-advised knitting purchases, but I managed to talk myself out of Nancy Bush’s classic Knitted Lace of Estonia, figuring that I could probably get it used online if I really wanted it. What I did drunkenly purchase was Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume Five: Lace Knitting, which I’d been lusting after since it hit the stands a few weeks ago. The Barnes & Noble at my local New Jersey mall has very cleverly situated their knitting books directly opposite their graphic novels, so my nerdy male friends and I successfully amused ourselves for half an hour or so before the movie started. I’m imagining a world where I use this book to start doing some designing in lace, but, you know, I also have a dissertation to write — so we’ll see.

Here are today’s bonus pictures:

This is the brand-new, just-planted sunken English rose garden at Deep Cut Park, one of the more remarkable parks around here. Actually, the Monmouth County Park system is phenomenal; I didn’t realize how rare & wonderful all our amazing parks are until I moved away. This particular park is on the grounds of what used to be a mansion belonging to notable mobster Vito Genovese, but it “mysteriously” burned down right around the time that the cops were going to come for him, so the county seized the land and converted its wonderful gardens into a park. For my entire childhood, though, this sunken area with the stone walls was just a bunch of grass. A few months ago the county finally got the resources together to reconstruct Genovese’s original rose garden from aerial photos (almost certainly taken by the police!), and the new garden just opened a week or so ago. My dad and I are guessing that all those little bushes are going to grow up and be trimmed into square hedges, and the whole effect will be positively Alice-in-Wonderlandish.

The garden is great, and it’s really cool that they were able to reconstruct it, but I can’t help but laugh at what New Jersey considers history worth preserving. I mean, it’s not like they’re Martha Washington’s roses, or Eleanor Roosevelt’s. They’re the roses of Vito frigging Genovese, notorious drug lord, murderer, and leader of the Genovese crime family — and that’s pretty damn funny.