A Tunisian Sampler

Being in no fit state to bake anything today or even ramble about science, I sat on the couch experimenting with some Tunisian Crochet. In Tunisian crochet, you pick up a row of stitches on to your (long) crochet hook and then cast them all off on the reverse pass of the row. By varying how you pick up the stitches, you can get a very different look.

Updated sampler pic

The product of my slow Sunday afternoon

Unfortunately, due to the experimental nature of the work and the fact that I only know the names of two stitch types (plain and purl), I’m at a loss as to the names of the other stitch variants (if indeed they have names). So, I’m asking anyone who might know the name of the various stitches to let me know what they are, thanks!

For those of you who don’t know about Tunisian (or Afghan) crochet at all, it’s a halfway between knitting and crochet and yet completely different to both. It’s an interesting one to learn, as you can get some unusual pieces from it. The internet has a wealth of resources if you’re looking to learn, or better yet, get some hands-on tutoring from your local yarn shop or hackerspace (Dublin folks can find me at craftnight in Tog).

 

edit: Thanks to @undermeoxter for some corrections

Science Hack Day and crocheted blood cells

At the beginning of the month (March 3rd and 4th to be precise), I had the pleasure of attending ScienceHackDay Dublin, which was a great big hackathon in the name of Science! A hackthon is basically a long session hacking away at your projects or your friends’ projects, think staying up stupid late to get a paper in for a deadline, except more fun and the project is of your own choosing.

The venue before the day starts

Just before science hackday starts, the network team are ready in their nest..... (Schro and VadimCK run a good network)

The event was very well organised, with food provided (including apple lattices for all!), and plenty of space to work. All internetworking sorts of things were well sorted too. After a few introductory project talks in the morning, people assembled off into groups to work on a variety of projects from programming to building hardware to visualise aurora. But wait, Tríona doesn’t do programming or building hardware, so what did she do for the 36 hour event?

A collection of crocheted cells and an antibody

Spot the phagocytosing granulocyte...

I did what I do best, and that’s Science (and crochet). So from about midday on the Saturday (I had chatting/networking to do before that) until 1am and from 10am on the Sunday till lunch, I crocheted various cells. I devised my own patterns for them, and tried very hard to document them, so I have one for the red cell and the lymphocyte, and I have half patterns for the antibody and neuron. I started the neutrophil pattern with good intentions, but X died when I went off to find jelly babies so I lost the (unsaved half-finished) pattern.

The red cell is the first pattern I did that day, and documented as I went along. I’ll put some more patterns up in the near future.

Red blood cell
dc = double crochet (that’s UK dc, a US sc)
dc2tog = double crochet 2 together, it’s a way of decreasing stitches (sc2tog for USians)
A magic circle is basically a loop you work into that can be tightened very tight to form a circle. Put two fingers together and wrap the yarn around them twice, then pick up a chain stitch as if these loops were your base stitch and work the rest of the row into the loops. When you get to the end of the first row, slipstitch to the first stitch and pull gently on the loops to work them tighter and tighter until you have no more hole, and that’s a magic disappearing circle!
Start each round with a single chain, this doesnt count as a stitch. Finish each round by slipstitching to the first dc of the round.
When you get to the end, leave at least a 30cm tail to bind off. I find I often have big gaps that a bit of darning can cover up. You’ll also have to put a stitch or two through the centre of the cell to pin the faces together in the characteristic biconcave shape.

  1. 12 dc into a magic circle
  2. 2 dc into each dc
  3. *2dc into next dc, 2dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc* repeated to end of round
  4. *1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, into next four dc, 2dc into next dc* repeated to end of round
  5. dc into each dc to end of round
  6. Repeat round 4
  7. *1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, into next four dc, dc2tog in next two dc* repeated to end of round
  8. Repeat round 5
  9. Repeat round 5
  10. *dc2tog in next two dc, dc2tog in next two dc, one dc in next dc* repeated to end of round
  11. At this point stuff the cell, remember, red cells have this biconcave disc shape, where the edges are thick and the middle is thin.
  12. dc2tog until no stitches left

Nerdy crochet on the internet!

So I was having an early-saturday-leisurely-nose-through-my-twitter-stream, and I came across this posted by @JenLucPiquant (follow her, she’s interesting).

Through this I found MsPremiseConclusion who has some deadly cool nerdy patterns (see here. My favouritest is the spaceshuttle with detachable parts. Gonna have to get around to making it!

On an unrelated craft note, say hello to sparky

Sparky

(before you think I’m totally amazing, it’s from a minicraft kit, I only assembled it).