New blanket

Ripple blanket – here’s the pattern

Just finished my new blanket. Took me less than a week – yarn I needed arrived on Wednesday and the whole thing was done on Sunday. Pretty quick.

I should probably start at the beginning.

Some time ago there was a sale on DROPS yarns (very nice stuff in general) and I bought some random balls in colours that seemed interesting. “Andes” was one of these and finally I made a cowl/scarf thing out of it. Which was a total failure, because the outcome was way too thick and stiff. Probably I used a hook some sizes too small. Well.

So this week I undid it and added some cream Andes to it as a contrast, took a 8mm hook and hooked a round ripple blanket. In three days (was kind of busy on Saturday). After work only.

So, here’s the outcome. Photographed inside, no natural light, so colours are a bit wrong, but it’s, in general, somewhat purple-ish. It’s 130 cm in diameter (from point to point) and it covers my new armchair quite nicely :)

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Coloured pencils – reprise

After 2 years of school, we’ve tried out and discarded multiple brands of pencils, crayons, felt pens and all manner of writing implements. The goal is to find the brand that will deliver pencils that are:

  • soft
  • easy to sharpen
  • easy on the hands
  • possibly EU-made
  • available in nice, strong colours

For the “place of origin” I’ve disqualified immediately ASTRA (Polish brand, but everything made in PRC), Maped (simply made in PRC) and several other brands, including all cartoon-branded Disney stuff. The same reason.

What is left that we haven’t tried last year?

Lyra Osiris. These some in 6, 12 and 24 packs, short and long versions and also an aquarell option. I’ve simply bought the standard 24-pack and we’re really happy with them. The colour is vivid, the leads are soft, triangle shape makes it much easier to grip. Also, they are made in Germany. All around – yay! :)

Histar Supercolour. They were added to something else, a gift from family. No idea of country of origin and I can’t manage to google them, which is weird. 6-sided, good colours, slightly harder than comfortable. Good backup set.

Z─Öbozaurus TOMA. Name means “Tooth-o-saurus”. Supposedly bite-resistant and slightly bendable (but definitely will break if you try hard enough). Really good colours, but lead slightly hard. Ok for drawing, not that good for filling in bigger areas. Made in Poland (hopefully). Non-wood cover made from resin. No splinters when broken.

BIC Conte Evolution. Big mistake. Also break-resistant (or so they say, they apparently haven’t tested this on 8-yr olds). The drawing is a PAIN. Colours theoretically very nice, but not much is left on the paper. Apparently in the pursue of bendable leads they lost the point of pencils actually drawing. The same goes, sadly, for their normal pencils. They all behave as if they were slipping on the surface, instead of “catching” on it and leaving a trace. A grownup will focus and find the right angle to make use of them. A kid will give up.

Staedtler Erasable. This was one of the best buys of last months. Coloured pencils you can erase? Perfect :) Wood from managed forests (a plus), really rich colours, reinforces against breaking (no idea if it works or not). Earasability is good, some ghost of a colour is left, but it depends on how hard you pressed when drawing. Good for bigger surfaces and, of course, for anyone who has some problems with stability and needs to erase this or that. Con: 6-sided.

Lyra Groove Slim. Very good choice. Grooves for easier grip, triangle shape, really good colours. These were used up to stubs before I even noticed. Will buy again. Soft, thick lead, really nice colours. Leaves thick trace of colour on paper, no need to press.

Lakeland round pencils. I found only one stub of these in our “leftovers” drawer (tiny drawer for pencil stubs – too short to use them comfortably, too long to just throw away). Means he used up a 12-pack before I even noticed it. Soft lead, but not the softest in this review. Nice coverage of the surface. If they made triangles, we’d go back to them.

So, finally? Lyra. I think the triangle shape and options offered win this time. Will buy more Lyra for the 3rd grade.


Blue Glass Pendant

Rich blue, silver-lined glass coin wrapped in copper wire with dark gold Miyuki square beads.


Light Green Glass Pendant

Puffed coin of light green lampwork, silver-filled glass, wrapped in copper wire, plus a small, heart-stamped ring of copper-colored metal.


Brown Lampwork Glass Pendant in Copper

On my holiday visit to my parents I got some little craft shopping done and bought a few very pretty lampwork glass puffed coins in nice, rich colors. All well matching with copper wire and dark copper/gold beads.
The beads are Miyuki square “dark gold” and wires are 0,8mm and 0,3mm.


Green and crystal “water” bracelet

A multi-strand bracelet of crystal-clear round beads and green/gray-tinted glass pearls.
I feel it resembles a stream, mostly transparent, but with just a touch of green in it.