Monday, March 31, 2008

Second Go Round

So, since the first shawl was given away, I had to make another, of course! This one is also Dream In Color Smooshy, but this time the colorway is Nightwatch. In person the play of color reminds me a bit of carnival glass... Yes, that is the shawl spread out on the SNOW. Spring in New England. Gotta love it! Shown on red... It turned out just the perfect size!
And on off white for good measure! =-D

The "Breathtaking" shawl is now a ball of yarn again. I, however, plan to recreate it with some alpaca from the stash. We'll see how that one goes...

Speaking of alpaca, I've heard that it behaves like cotton (stretches and then stays there). Is that true?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Happy Ending

Once upon a time there was an adventurous crocheter who liked to read blogs. She came across this entry and just had to try the shawl. Having never made such a lacy item before, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. First she tried some Wool Ease from the stash.

Not so attractive. Now, of course she could have tried blocking but with only 30% wool content there was little hope.

Being one not to give up easily, a search was begun for the perfect yarn. She needed 450 yards and thought that wool would do the trick. It could be blocked smooth, unlike the Woolease. A little poking around in the LYS yielded the solution almost immediately: Midnight Derby in Smooshy from Dream in Color. She had never seen this yarn before. Lovely shades of blue, 450 yards, 100% merino, a perfect match! Within minutes the yarn was purchased, wound, and stitching begun. All was good until she realized the resulting piece was a mere 8 inches in depth.Could 8 inches really be blocked to a usable depth? Crossing her fingers (and asking her loyal blog readers to cross theirs) she blocked. She soaked, and yanked, and pinned until 8 inches became 16. And the most amazing lace, more beautiful than she anticipated, emerged.

(Many thanks to blogless Amanda for modeling)Want a closer look?

And the happiest part? The adventurous crocheter got to give it away to a friend who adored the finished piece. And several other yarnies were inspired to try making their own. The adventurous crocheter had always been told blocking was like magic. Now, a firm believer she is happily making plans for the next shawl. And so, they lived happily (and warmly) ever after... =-D

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cross Your Fingers

Any chance that this
might double in height when blocked to become a shawl rather than a scarf? It seems espins was able to do it. I've never tried to severely block anything before so I'm a bit anxious. Cross your fingers for me?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tikun Olum

There is a concept in Judaism known as Tikun Olum. Translated it means to repair or heal the world. In short, leave this a better place than you found it. Don't think you can make a difference? You can. EVERY act counts. It adds up folks!

I wanted to pass along efforts by two friends to make a difference - improve the world. Would you please consider lending a hand?

1) Want to help others and feed your love of fiber? Try: "Can Do". Heather designed this yarn from the colors of the "Can Do" web site. I've seen and handled this yarn in person. It is wonderfully squishy and the pictures just do not do it justice! Ten dollars of each skein goes to the charity.

2) Do you know someone whose life has been touched by MS? I bet you do. The author of this next effort, a good friend and fellow yarnie, faces this challenge. Also, my cousin has been waging his battle against this insidious disease for a good forty years. It is slowly stealing his life, but he fights to live to the fullest. Ericka of Armed with Pointy Sticks (the yarnie) is participating in the MS walk raising money to find a cure and has set a significant goal of $2,500. Read her story here and click to donate if you feel so moved.

One action, one step, one life at a time. Make a difference!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Happily Hooking

A simple front loop double crochet spiral that switches to hdc for the brim and finishes with single crochet to hide the join yields... This! Oh, worked with a size I Susan Bates hook in Lion Brand Pound of Love. I really like how this turned out. It is reversible so you can show the spiral and have a textured brim, or hide the spiral and have the raised lines show on the brim.
And while I was thinking spirals, I had to try this. It looks like it is worked in the round, but is actually done flat then gathered. I've given this a test run and it works beautifully in the bath with shower gel. Not too rough, fits well in the hand, and lots of suds!
I may have enough of this yarn left to make one more multicolor, but I've already moved on to using up some more cotton scraps. See?
This may be the perfect pattern. It is quick, uses little yarn, and works great.

And just for fun...



So much for packing up some of my books... LOL

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pouf Finished Objects!

Lo, I have figured out the source of the crochet ADHD. My projects were too big! How do I know? I completed not one, but two projects on Sunday. I am on a roll.

The first is the "A Rose for Mother" bath pouf pattern I had heard about on Lime and Violet. One of the girls, Caron, is making a bunch of them as gifts. The picture (beautiful) and pattern (interesting) convinced me to give it a go. And, heck, after corralling the stash, I know exactly how much cotton I have that needs to be used!

Here's my first FO in ages. What do you think?

Talk about attention to detail. Look at how beautifully finished the underside of the pouf is. The entire pattern is like that.Another pic of the front in the correct positioning for use. I did try it out in the bath, but found the lather factor was low and it is a bit heavy and rough for my taste... However, all is not lost. I plan to use it as a pot scrubber. It should be perfect and look much nicer than the store bought one!

Then there is this...
It is the Winner Circle hat (purchased pattern). It is sort of a yarn version of a baseball cap that is a bit more feminine. I thought it might make a good Chemo Cap as it has some style and the yarn is softer than the cotton from which the caps are usually made. The pattern was even if the bill is a bit fussy and requires careful attention.

What am I working on now? Another Chemo Cap of course!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Crochet ADHD

WARNING - Long, picture heavy post ahead!
I swear I am suffering from crochet ADHD. How many completed projects do I have since my last post? Zero. How many more have I begun to stitch? Well, take a look...
First, was this experiment with some yarn I forgot was in my stash. The project it began as was frogged ages ago leaving this soft Caron yarn to languish. This chain flower pattern comes from the Join-As-You-Go book by Bobbie Matela that I picked up after making my first large afghan from squares. I figured that learning to join as I went would be a boon. This pattern, however, didn't meet my needs as there would be many ends and didn't work up as fast as I hoped. I'm not sure what to do with these four little joined flowers... any ideas?

Next, I turned to this afghan from the same book. Nice big squares. I loved how it looked with the first three rounds. However, it lost its sweetness and that nice soft edge when it reached round four. Frogged.

Now, this one I'm keeping. This is a shawl pattern from Melissa Leapman in the Afghans for All Seasons book that is also the source of the Pretty in Pink baby blanket. I am making it the size of a snuggle for the Snuggles Project by starting with 74 chains instead of over 250. It is about 15 inches across so I'll be making a rectangle instead of a square and adding some border. I considered frogging and restarting, but think I've done enough frogging lately!

Not pictured is a granny square snuggle I started in the darker Caron yarn which is staring at me from the coffee table.

So, what's that so far? Oh, yes, five projects.

Then there is the scarf I mentioned made from the Socks That Rock Harvest Moon yarn. That's six.
And a close up:

This offset fillet crochet stitch is just perfect with this yarn. It almost looks like feathers traveling in opposite directions. It is light and airy, but not so much so that it could not be wrapped for warmth. If my math skills do not deceive me, it will be about 6 1/2 feet long before blocking.

To these six projects, we add the wips which are many. Why is it that I cannot seem to keep my attention on just one project? Am I searching for something? Am I just destractible? What's the deal? I think I'll try to finish one of the snuggles and see if I can break this bad habit I seem to have developed. I can claim to have finished one thing, though.


SIX - 20 quart plastic containers

(One of cotton, one of fine fibers like alpaca, one of wool/wool blends, one of handpaints and finer stuff, one of acrylic baby yarns, and one of a variety of acrylics)

PLUS - This shelf

PLUS - (in the spirit of FULL disclosure)

These in the living room

All of the stash is now neatly packaged and sorted. Now I know why I was moved to work out of my stash so much lately. It is threatening to take over! How's your stash doing?