Sunday, May 21, 2006

FO: Baby sweater done!

It hasn't been a great crochet week... the rest of life kind of got in the way. I did find a matching skein of yarn to finish the baby sweater and since I now had plenty of yarn (!) I made the matching hat as well. Here's the finished sweater with cute little bear buttons and the whole outfit modeled by my dd's doll "Big Baby".

Pattern: Absolutely Precious, by Denise Black in 24-Hour Crochet Projects ed by Rita Weiss.
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft 'Light Country Blue'

Monday, May 15, 2006

WIP Progress; FO - Seraphina

I've actually crocheted a bit last night. Here's what happened.

1. Absolutely Precious Baby Sweater - I ran out of yarn. I can't believe it, with just rows to go on the 2nd sleeve. That's what I get for stashbusting. I was using a slightly used 6oz skein of Caron Simply Soft Light Country Blue. The pattern calls for 6 oz for the small sweater AND the hat. I figured I had enough yarn for just the sweater. WRONG! When I first ran out last night I was thinking that I could probably pull out the sweater edging and use that for the sleeve and then redo the edging in some coordinating color. But now as I look at it I realize I have done only 7 of the 18 rows on the sleeve. The edging is a round of sc and a round of (sl st, ch1). I would hate to frog the edging and then discover I don't have enough yarn. Besides, what is an appropriate contrasting color for this? I think I had better hope the "no dye lot" yarn gods are on my side and go try to find a "matching" skein. Only thing is, I bought this yarn over 18 months ago.

2. Seraphina Shawl - I finished it last night! Woo hoo for me!! I decided to give this shawl to a person who is significantly shorter than I am. Hence, the shawl was basically done and I just needed to crochet a few more rows to finish the color striping pattern in the darkest blue. Then I edged it, weaved in all the ends, took photos, labeled, wrapped and gifted it to my ds's Kindergarten teacher this morning (in honor of Teacher Appreciation week - last week). So here it is.. done in Joann's Sensation Rainbow Boucle 'Dark Blues', with a 7.0mm Boye K hook.

3. Sideways Shell Baby Afghan - I started this last night instead of returning to the Drops Top as my dh had informed me over the weekend that a co-worker had just brought home their newly adopted baby. I went stashdiving and came up with a pound of this yarn - an acrylic, baby/sport weight, pastel variegated mill end. I thought this pattern would be quick & easy and so far I think it's working up nicely. Are the colors too feminine for a baby boy?

So... tomorrow I go on a yarn hunt. Today I'll try to whip up a baby blanket and then get back to the Drops Top.... Unfortunately, over 5 loads of unfolded laundry are calling my name first...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Latest yarn acquisition

See I'm not a yarn snob... I found some gorgeous soft acrylic the other day at AC Moore. This was the day that honest I only went in for birthday party supplies. I couldn't help myself this stuff is beautiful and on sale. The yarn is James C. Brett Marble, in colorway MT5, Granite (it has grey white, pink & purple). It's a DK weight yarn with 240yds/100g. I bought 10 skeins, hopefully enough for a sweater for me. What I didn't realize when I bought it was that it was a self striping yarn. I learned that after searching for more info and finding this. Mind you, that nice wide striping is showing up on a DOLL's sweater. Well I know from sock yarns that striping works best with a simple one stitch pattern (alternate rows of sc and esc does weird things to a stripe pattern!) So instead of finishing my baby sweater I spent too much of last night pattern hunting for this yarn. Why, when I have so many other things I need to finish first? Because I felt compelled! Maybe this sweater (modeled by the designer at CGOA Fashion show) from Susan Huxley's Today's Crochet.

I made another AC Moore yarn purchase that same day. Making the baby sweater and the Jiffy Jacket in Caron Simply Soft (and wearing the latter) has reminded me how much I love the feel of this yarn. And you can't argue that when it comes to kids - washable acrylic has its benefits! Anyway, I couldn't resist the Simply Soft navy (2 lbs) and dark grey (1 lb) mill ends that I found. I want to make my ds some pullover sweater vests. He loves them. Now I need to pattern hunt again! I have the Jenny King booklet of patterns For the Boyz but it calls for sportweight yarn for every pattern. I can probably adjust it for Simply Soft. Anyone seen any boys pullover vest patterns? Or V-neck sweaters that I can just leave off the sleeves?

I posted this Classic Elite 'Pink Tweed' yarn the other day and was planning on making a tank top for me, in spite of Abby's protests that all pink yarn is for her. Well, Abby won out. In part because I decided it might be a bit too bright for me, and in part because she's just too cute. She doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to use it to make the NY Yarns Caprice SunDress. I had to go back to my LYS to get some more yarn for this, and being economical I also went to return the extra skein of Svale leftover from the Sweet Pea cardigan. We arrived to a completely re-organized store and a 2nd floor full of sale items (mostly items that were discontinued or that they were not going to carry because the colors or the yarns didn't sell well). Off season yarns were 30% off and cottons were 25% off.

Well I fell in love with this Knit One Crochet Two yarn and, at 25% off, it was a bargain! It's called 2nd Time Cotton, made from recycled cotton, and is 75% cotton, 25% acrylic. It has 180yds/100 g. I like the colors. I bought 6 skeins of 'English Heather' the pink, green, dark & light gray multi and 4 skeins of 'Nantucket, the yellow, green, blue, gray multi. This yarn is for me!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Baby sweater progress

Oops... I knew this baby was coming, but I forgot. So I've dropped all other projects for the moment and hope to finish this later today... I'm flying solo with the kids this weekend though, so no promises! I love the pattern (source shown in this post) and although it's a pretty pattern I think with the Simply Soft Light Country Blue yarn it's definitely 'all-boy'. My dd and I found some cute teddy bear buttons at Joann's. I think they'll look great. So here's where I am so far - an armless sweater! The body is finished, I 'm supposed to start the sleeves next, then edging, then sew on buttons. But I just realized, before I finished off the body, that you reattach the yarn in the SAME spot to start the edging... so I started the edging first! Then sleeves, then buttons... uh oh, can I use white thread for the buttons?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May WIPs, PIGs & WIMs

April showers bring May flowers… and my May challenge list for Yahoo crochetchallenge. I found it really helpful to create the WIP, PIG & WIM list last month and I’d like to make it a regular monthly post (yes I know I’m running late this month!)

Sad to say only one item from the WIP list is being removed as an FO (finished object), but that’s because 1 PIG went from WIP to FO as did a WIM I didn’t even know I had last month when I made this list. (see April Challenge)

1. Seraphina Shawl - progress = 85%
2. Drops Design Top - progress = 14%
3. Absolutely Precious Baby sweater - progress = 10%
4. Navy blue cardigan - progress = 15%
5. Toddler cardigan - progress = 50%
6. "High-Stylin' Pillow" (Crochet calendar)- progress = 10%

1. Letter pillows "Y" & "X" from Woven-n-Spun
2. "Easy Ripple" Afghan
3. 63 squares Afghan - Aran
4. Spring Crochet Cardigan
5. 'Oxford Style' socks (Crocheted Socks!)- Bob
6. Felted Hook Case
7. Caprice Sundress
8. 'Alpine Meadow' hooded sweater

1. Summer tank for me
2. Granny Ripple Baby Afghan
3. Picot Cropped Cardigan
4. Cream Cotton Shrug
5. Bob's sweater Teal/black/gray
6. Alex's sweater - Green
7. Abby's sweater - grape chunky
8. Mittens & Hats
9. Abby's sweater - periwinkle
10. Abby's snow girl cardigan (Crochet! Jan '05)
11. Alex's sweater vest
12. Robyn’s Spider Shrug

Wow! What a list!

OK – for May… I want to complete the first 3 WIPs and the hooks case I finally figured out (but didn’t start) in April. I’d love to jump in to the Sundress for Abby, but realistically…. I think not. The Drops Top we’re doing at Yahoo crochet-a-long is a slow going pattern! Once again, Bob may get his socks started (always need a small travel project), but probably not!.

Time to start hooking!

On my hook already...

I know I haven't done my May list but I had to jump in on 2 projects.

The first is the Drops Design Top we're doing at Yahoo crochet-a-long. I'm moderating this CAL, we started on May 1st so I had get going on it in spite of birthday mayhem. I've done 5 rows of flowers so far and am almost finished the first ball of yarn. Here's a close-up of the cursed beautiful bobble flowers. Now that I get them, they're not too bad. There's just a million of them!! We'll get there. I know we can do this!!

Second, my dh left for work this morning after telling me his boss' wife had her baby - a boy. ( I knew she was expecting, but I forgot). So, I went stashdiving and pattern diving and came up with this... 'Absolutely Prescious' from "24 hour Crochet Projects" by Rita Weiss using Caron Simply Soft in Light Country Blue. I started this during dd's speech therapy today. It should work up pretty quickly.

OK seriously this time the next post will be the May list!

April challenge report... 10 days late

My dd turned 4 on Monday and I had 17 kids & 8 Moms here for lunch. So, that's my excuse for not blogging for the past 10 days or so... But, the birthday's over and I need to blog and figure out my WIP status...

So first my challenge list from April over at Yahoo crochet challenge. The list included the Jiffy Jacket, the Seraphina Shawl, the lacy shell poncho for my dd, a felted hook case, and the Spring Crochet cardigan for me which (as I posted back in April) was replaced with the Sweet Pea Cardigan for my dd.

So it's accountability time....(drum roll please!)

The Jiffy Jacket is 100% done, including buttons purchased and sewn on! This was made with Caron Simply Soft 'Dark Sage' and an Brittany 5.5mm I hook. I'll get dh to take a picture with me wearing it and add that to this post tonight. (OK, it took me 3 days to get the photo posted. I forgot to catch my dh to take the photo before he left for a business trip this morning so my 6.5yo ds is behind the camera! He stands on the staircase to get tall enough. I think he's a step too high this time, oh well!)

Abby's lacy shell birthday poncho is 100% done, including the modifications I made yesterday after she tried it on. I added 3 rows of sc to the neckline, decreasing every 12 sc in the 2nd round and every 10 sc in the 3rd round. It was falling off her shoulders and bothering her without this extra neckline (not to mention bringing to mind a style I don't want to see on my 4 year old!). I also made this longer than the pattern shows, 9 rows of shells instead of 6 for my tall girl! This was made with Lilac acrylic mill end and a 6.5mm hook.

Abby's Spring Pea Cardigan is also 100% done. I'm really proud of this one. Of course she smiles and treasures everything I make her, but even I think this one is worth treasuring! It's made with Dale of Norway Svale yarn using my Addi 4.0mm F hook.

Now for confession time, these unfinished WIPs will be bumped to May...
the Seraphina still needs a few more rows. I wouldn't know how many, I have seen it in weeks... Last I saw it, it looked about like this. This is using Joann's Sensation Rainbow Boucle 'Dark Blues' and a 7.0mm K hook.

Finally the felted hook case, well.... I did figure out how big it should be... seriously, planning out the pattern took a little more work than I anticipated. I knew the "pattern" was more of an example than a true pattern, and of course, everyone has different sized & different number of hooks... Anyway, I think I have the schematics worked out. Mine will be made in one piece from side to side, with the width decreasing to the exclude the upper and lower flaps at the fold points. It will have 4 sections, folding in on each side and then again in the middle. It will have 4 top flaps to fold down over the hooks, and 4 bottom flaps that will be sewn in place with hook slots before felting. I've also found the necessary left over wool to use for this project.

So that's April. Next post... thoughts for May.