Friday, February 22, 2008

Silly Me

The other day I thought I'd wander into my LYS to see if they had the yarn to make one of the sweaters from Easy to Crochet Cute Clothes for Kids: A Gorgeous Collection Of 25 Quick And Easy Designs. It was just a scouting mission mind you.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, the co-worker who is due in July does not yet know if the baby will be a boy or girl. I figured I would scout out the yarn possibilities and be ready when the gender became known. Good plan right? Silly me.
The Rowan used for the sample as was a) cotton and b) calling for a really tiny (by my standards) hook. I wanted to get a gander at it. See what colors were available or what other yarn options I might have. Oh, wait, I should show you the sweater. Here it is:Isn't this the cutest? I love the flower motifs across the bottom that provide a little challenge and visual interest. The rest of the stitching looks really straight forward...double crochet with some eyelets. I'm probably going to replace the tie with a girly button. Why?
Yup. I'm doing it in blue (my other choice was a green, but I didn't like the shade). I'm thinking the sweater is so sweet and obviously feminine that no one seeing a baby in this would mistake her for a boy. But, just to drive the point home, I'll look for a cute girly button (or two or three) for closure.
It was a scouting mission. Just to check out the yarn possibilities. So, why did I buy? Yarn price $6.99 on sale for $4.00 a skein. That's about 43% off the original price. A baby gift for $12.00? SOLD! Now, the only question is will this be for my co-worker or some future little cutie?
Lastly, here's another swatch. Being on vacation has given me some time to play around with stitch patterns - as you may have noticed. I love the pattern, but not with this yarn (STR Harvest Moon). It doesn't do the pattern or the yarn justice.

I can see this in a solid or semi-solid looking stunning.

Next Up:

The perfect pattern for the STR that is already 18 inches or so into becoming a scarf!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feline Fancy

First, an apology. I was going to tell you the LYS story, but the pictures I took seem to be missing. I'll take some more and get back to you next post...

Those of you who have read for a while know that I make blankets for the Snuggles Project. Whenever the mood strikes, there is an appreciable amount of yarn left over from a project, or I have an orphan skein there is likely to be a snuggle created.

This one was inspired by a skein of Moda Dea Fashionista in Berry Red that I received at the Chain Link Conference held in Manchester, NH last summer. I have to say this stuff was wonderful to work with. Not too slippery with a nice feel and sheen. It is a good foil for the Salvation Army grey my sister snagged for dirt cheap a while back. The resulting blanket is nice and cooshy for some little animal to curl up on while it awaits adoption.

It turns out I had a bit of yarn left over. Not one to waste it, I plied my hook and turned the left overs into cat toys for the ones that live in my home.

This was good timing as the old one's really need to be circular filed. They can only hold up to kitty claws for just so long before they have been loved to an unrecognizable frayed blob!

Peneenah lost no time in checking out the red one.

Not long after I snapped this picture, she pulled so hard that I lost hold of the end. Needless to say she took advantage of my slip up and bolted for the bedroom with her prize. She was having a grand time in the next room if the sounds of running and rolling around are any indication.

After about ten minutes I noticed it had gotten quiet. Glancing up I found Peneenah returning the toy to me. She set it down right next to my hand on the couch, looked up expectantly, then plaintively meowed until I picked up the toy to play. She has no trouble communicating her desires, does she?Last bit for today is another swatch of that scarf pattern. I like how the colors played in the groupings, but this worsted yarn resulted in too stiff a fabric. If I go up in hook size the holes between the clusters get too big to be asthetically pleasing. So, I will be making a call to the yarn store where I bought the pattern today to find out what yarn the sample was worked in. I may have to cave and buy some as I don't seem to have much in the way of DK in my stash!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Swatches 2, New Projects 0

I realize I said I wouldn't work on the DROPS scarf until the shawl was done. Sorry, I couldn't resist trying the pattern to see what it looked like in real life. The pattern picture was so small it was hard to see.So here it is. The pattern was easy once I took the Danish which had been translated into English with British crochet terms and converted that to American terms. Thank goodness for diagrams! Anyway, do I like the pattern? Yes. Do I love it? Not so much. I was hoping it would have a lacier look. Of course you realize that I am now on a search for a wonderful lace pattern... (But, I'll work on the shawl in the mean time. I've already started skein #2.)

Swatch #2 - This simple scarf pattern called for DK weight yarn. I tried it in fingering and discovered it really needs the heft of the heavier yarn to make the pattern stand out. I'll be stash diving later today to see what I might have on hand that is wool.

This swatch did not go gently to the frog pond. I pulled out the yarn winder so that I would have a nice neat cake when I put the yarn back into the stash. Merrily I wound the yarn running it through my fingers to put some tension on it. No prob. Watching TV and cranking away. No problem that is until POP went the cake. Yes, folks it popped right off the winder and flew across the living room! I was laughing so hard I couldn't get up at first to save it from the cats who came running to participate in this new game of yarn toss. Rest assured the yarn was rescued from its potential relegation to cat toydome. The yarn now safely rests in the stash once again. =-D

Next up:

I thought I could go into my LYS and come away empty handed. What was I thinking?!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Progress and Decisions

The shawl in Sereknity's Mums yarn continues to grow and I'm loving it more and more the bigger it gets. (Sorry the pic isn't very stylish. I'm at the library and trying to keep the reference librarian from noticing I'm taking pictures...she might not like it!) Unfortunately, for the shawl I am being taunted and tempted by new projects! For example, I found this one while blog reading:

I love the look of the lace. It is a bit heavy looking as pictured, but in a thinner yarn I think it would be absolutely delicious! I've resolved that I will not work on this one until the shawl is done as they will likely be in the same weight yarn. If I am going to have more than one project on the go at a time, I like there to be some variety. That way I can switch off and not feel like I'm still doing the same project, but just in a different color yarn!

Then I found out this week that one of the girls at work is pregnant and due in July. I cannot decide what to make because I recently found a few temptations! Here's the first:

The baby blanket shown here is very clever. The lead edge is a series of granny squares that look like flowers. You then pick up the edge stitches and do a standard ripple using an ombre so that it looks like you changed colors in the body when you did not. After making the squares it seems like it would go very quickly. I made this co-worker a blanket for her first baby about a year and a half ago. So, I may make this blanket OR I might pick something from here:

The sweaters in this book are just wonderful! The construction is a step up from ones I've made in the past, but they use an all over stitch pattern for the most part. Many of the designs will work for a boy or a girl by just changing the color. Of course there are a few too-cute-for-words sweaters for girls only. The one I most want to make is short sleeved, cotton, and has flower lace along the bottom edge. Perfect for a July baby if it is a girl or what? On that topic, I'm waiting to hear. We'll know in the next few weeks. That will leave me plenty of time to make either... (or both?)

Lastly, if you are wondering about the Pretty in Pink baby blanket I started a while back, it is history. I couldn't bear to frog it and am pleased as punch that Caroline is willing to take it off my hands and finish it. I think it will be blanket number seven for her. When that woman finds a pattern she likes, there is no stopping her! Thanks Caroline! May the blankie find a good home when it is done.

One last note to wish you a Happy President's Day Weekend. Enjoy and happy stitching!

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Shawl update #1:

I'm out of yarn. This was not unexpected, but I had hoped that it would be big enough to be useable just over the shoulders. Now the dilemma. The shawl is big enough that I can tell the proportions do work for me; so it would be worth trying to get a yarn to extend the shawl. That and now that it is so much bigger, I now know I would actually wear it as bright as it is.
So, since this yarn is over a year old and a hand dye, there is no chance of getting another skein that will match. However, do you think if I asked Amy, and sent her the shawl, that she might be able to make a coordinating solid? I considered black and scrapped that idea right away as too severe... Should I just let it go? Any ideas folks?

Shawl update #2:
New shawl! I purchased this incredible yarn in November from Sereknity. No sooner had it been posted to Etsy than I grabbed it. One of those gotta have situations. I learned my lesson with the breathtaking. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Just BUY IT before it is gone.

It has been staring at me from the stash. Now that I made the first shawl it seemed a perfect match ...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

WIP Pics

O.K. So, the pics are not the best, but you will get the idea. First up, the "Am I Crazy?" Shawl.A little closer...Believe it or not the contrast between the colors is more significant than in these pictures!Here's the baby blanket I started. It is a bit stalled due to how many times I messed up the center stitch which I am supposed to restart here. Also, I got a bit distracted by the shawl above!
And last, but not least the cashmere scarf that was so perfect for the pattern it didn't even need to be blocked!

And for good measure...
The Recipe For Gigi

3 parts Love
2 parts Cleverness
1 part Playfulness

Splash of Slyness

Finish off with an olive

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I May Be Crazy

but I cannot help myself!

A while back I fell in love with this:

It is appropriately named "Breathtaking" There are so many colors and gradations! Each color exists in a bright which fades into a softer shade: orange, yellow, pink, purple, blue/grey, and black.

The problem was I had no idea what I would ever do with it. I loved it so much that the image from the web site became the wallpaper on my computer while I decided what to do. I waffled. I hemmed and hawed. Eventually, I gave in. Then I discovered...all the skeins had been sold! WAAH! But, all was not lost; with some help from Gina I got a skein.

I've admired it for many months. And at long last it is on the hook:

Yes, this is the crazy part. This shawl is what I am making with the yarn. (pics to follow) It is a festival of colors. It is bold. I'm not sure I have the courage to wear it! Yet, I am going to persevere as I'll only know if it is a go when it is done and I can play with wearing it. In the mean time I'll enjoy the process and hope.

Yup, definitely crazy.