Monday, September 25, 2006

A good day..

is one where I receive yarn, patterns and time to use them. Today!! In truth I did not actually crochet the specific yarn or patterns I received today, but I did have daylight crochet time.

My day (after losing the kids to their schools) began with a trip to the home of a fellow crocheter whom I met on one of my yahoo crochet groups. She offered me some old craft/needlework magazines if I wanted to come get them. Another crafter had given them to her after pulling out the patterns she wanted, in turn my friend Kris had sorted through them, taken some that interested her and was offering me the rest. Thanks Kris! So here's the loot... it will take some time to sort through, but there are definitely some intriguing items. (There are also some decidely 70's and 80's patterns...LOL). I managed to make this 74 mile round trip in the 2 hour window I had between dropping off my dd and being a lunchroom volunteer at ds's school.

I came home to discover a delivery of this gorgeous Sinfonia yarn I had ordered from Crafts etc. I've wanted to try Sinfonia ever since a few online friends began raving about it, but as I am more than 500 miles from Oklahoma (Hobby Lobby's rule about store placement) I hadn't had the chance....until Leah told me about Craft Etc (HL online store) and sent a link for free shipping. Thanks Leah! I fell in love with this lavender colorway and the rest, as they say, is history...

On top of all of this, I had two daytime crochet sessions today during my dd's speech session, and during ds's dentist appointment. All in all, a good yarning day!

Friday, September 22, 2006

WIP progress

I've actually been working on several projects at a time this week so I thought I'd do a WIP progress report.

1. Tennis Socks - sock-a-long at crochetsocks - I was very confused about whether or not this had started. Apparently it had and I just missed it. So, I finally started working on this. This is a top down pattern, so the beginning takes a fair amount of attention for the cuffs and the heel. Now that I have reached the foot I should be able to work on it more often - during my mindless crochet opportunities. The pattern is in Crocheted Socks by Janet Rehfeldt and Mary Jane Wood. I'm using Knit Picks Dancing sock yarn. It's a cotton, wool, nylon & elastic blend. It took a while to get used to crocheting with elastic. I had to drop to a 3.25mm hook to get gauge, but I'm hooking along fine now.

2. Matinee Swing Jacket - I'm making this with the gang at crochet-a-long. I'm using Bernat Soft Boucle in Shades of Blue, and a 6.5mm hook. I've just completed the back panel. After counting out the starting chain AND getting in that first row, this is great for mindless crochet opportunites - especially soccer games because I crochet boucle by feel!

3. Colinette yarns afghan kit - Last night I actually crocheted 4 rows more than this photo shows. My dh has been asking about it. I really want to get it finished soon. It's an easy pattern for TV watching, but not for carrying around as it changes colors almost every row.

4. Floral Fantasy Pullover - a CAL at Crochetville. I can't believe I actually started another CAL. But I just couldn't resist matching this yarn I had in stash with this project. And what better time to do it than when a bunch of people were wanting to do it too. I am using 2 strands of Sirdar Salsa DK - a merino wool/acrylic blend, in place of the super bulky mohair/acrylic blend, with a 7.00mm hook. I'm also joining the motifs as I crochet them. Here's the first two.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Beth Tank - modifications.

I love the Beth tank, I love the yarn (scroll down, bottom right photo), especially the Nantucket colorway, and I mostly like the way it turned out. What I hate is the way the straps keep falling off my shoulders. So, I made some changes. I tried to create a look that went with the original design. What do you think? Be honest, 'cause I'm not sure. Should the cross straps be wider, should there be more of them? I can't wear it without some sort of change.

Just so I put this down somewhere... let me write out what I did. The straps were easy. I added them after the fact, obviously. I skipped 3 rows above the back top edge, sl st the yarn to the left strap (WS) at the top of the 3rd row, **ch 29, sl st to right strap, sl st up strap edge to the top of the next row, turn. (RS) Ch1, dc in 2nd ch from strap (#28), *ch1, skip ch, dc in next ch*, repeat from * to * across ch 1 skip last ch sl st to top of row on left strap**. Sl st up left strap, skipping 3 rows, to top of 6th row, repeat from ** to **.
Sl st up left strap, skipping 3 rows, to top of 9th row, repeat from ** to **.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Floral Fantasy Pullover

Can you say sidetracked? OK, I really am working on my Tennis Socks, the sock-a-long at crochetsocks, and I started the crochet-a-long garment, the Matinee Swing Jacket (and I'll blog some progress later on today to prove it!) but as I was reading a post at Crochetville I was sucked into another project. Seriously it was like an epiphany! I had to live in the present and allow myself to listen to the crochet voice. This yarn and this pattern needed to be joined. I finally found a home for some yarn I wanted to use.

So I began the Floral Fantasy Pullover. The yarn in the pattern is a super bulky mohair acrylic blend which makes a 7.5" Motif A with a J hook. Well my yarn is Sirdar Salsa DK - a merino wool/acrylic blend in yes DK weight. So I'm trying it with two strands of yarn. I think I can get it to work. The first motif swatch was a tad small just about 6 inches with a 6.0mm J hook. Using a K hook (which actually measures 7.0mm) I was able to get the square to just over 7.25". I think I'll live with that. The medium and the large size use the same number of motifs but the large size has larger side gussets. So, if necessary, I'll do the side gussets of the large! As someone at the 'ville suggested, I'm joining these motifs as I go on the last round - anything to decrease the number of ends is a good thing!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

FO: Crystal Lace Bolero

OK, as requested here I am modeling the bolero. My 6.5yo son is the photographer - hence the weird "what are doing?" expression on my face.

Crystal Lace Bolero - Finished!

I finished Robyn Chachula's Crystal Lace Bolero that I was working on with some friends at crochet-a-long. I wanted to use up some stash for this so I went with some basic acrylic in a dusty rose color. I used my Addi 4.5mm G hook (instead of the recommended 5.5mm hook) to get the gauge of a 4" square. The ribbing on the body.collar took forever and I think i may have put too much ribbing on the front - you'll see what I mean when I model if (after I shower & dress!) With out further ado... here she is!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Messenger bag ideas

My friends at Yahoo crochetchallenge want to do a bag CAL. So, instead of working on my own WIPs or cleaning my house or taking care of my poor sick ds (he's sleeping on the couch, I'm not ignoring him, honest) I am googling for bags... here's what i've found in no particular order

1. CrochetMe 'Brown Sugar Bag'
2. Aran sampler Tote - Aran sampler Tote - looks like we could continue one side for a flap to make a messenger bag (MB)
3. Bernat Army bag - we can change the yarn!
4. Cro-Bear's shoulder bag with flap.
5. LB Felted Diaper Bag - we could skip the bottle holders and again continue one side for a flap to make a messenger bag (MB)
6. Felted memo bag - Same designer as the Well traveled bag I made.
7. Aran cable tote - this is cool - although felting would be cool too

OK - my sickie ds woke up, I must go play nurse maid and clean up a bit before dinner.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Magazine conspiracy and Yarn score!!

Something good had to come out of my futile searches for magazines... it was, of course, yarn. I swear the crochet magazine companies are conspiring against me. First it was Crochet Today. I was a good fiber artist - in support of crochet publications, I dutifully, blindly, signed up in July for a subscription to this new magazine. It hit the stores in early August and I patiently waited. Others at Crochetville reported that there was a problem with the mailing labels and we subscribers should have our mag by the end of the month, so still I waited. It seemed this new magazine was in every store I walked into, I browsed, but always put it back. My subscription was coming. Then Interweave Crochet, my favorite crochet mag, was due out September 12th. Others reported buying it on the 8th so I began my hunt. On the 9th, I was at AC Moore, but no Interweave Crochet there. On the 11th, I went to Michael's, Borders, Barnes & Noble & Joann's. Nothing, nada, zilch, zippo. On the 12th, I went to my favorite LYS, "Yes we have some," they said, "they were in... the ones on the rack may have been sold... but there were more in back.... but we can't find them". To make matters worse, at every one of these stores, the premier issue of Crochet Today was there, taunting me.

So instead, I had to shop for yarn.

At AC Moore I bought the yarn for my husband's sweater. I'm making Jacob's sweater, designed by Peter Franzi, with my friends at crochet-a-long. I'll be using Red Heart worsted weight in Medium Spruce. Hopefully 8 skeins will be enough.

At Michael's I found the yarn for another crochet-a-long garment - the Matinee Swing Jacket from Lion Brand. I had a real problem using Homespun for a bolero once, so I decided to try Bernat Soft Boucle, in the Blue Shades colorway. The pattern calls for 5 skeins of homespun (185yds/skein). Four skeins with 255yd/skein should do it!

At Joann's I found nothing that caught my eye, but I more than made up for that when I hit the 25% off sale loft at my LYS, Ewe'll Love It. I grabbed some cotton yarns that I'll save for some summer or spring projects and some wool yarn that I need to make into something,! I bought 7 hanks of Classic Elite 'Imagine'. It's DK weight, 53% cotton, 47% rayon, with 93 yd/50g. I just love this colorway. Since it's Dry Clean Only (oops) this will have to be for me, not Abby!

Next I found some more Knit One Crochet Too '2nd Time Cotton' in a gorgeous deep red and purple colorway called Borealis. This is a worsted weight yarn, 75% cotton, 25% acrylic, 180yd/100g. I have 5 hanks of this gorgeous yarn. I fell in love with the colors and bought all they had. It is cotton but the color kind of says fall to me... hmm...maybe it's not for next summer...

Last was this scrumptious 'Lana de Oro' yarn from Cascade Yarns. The Tweed version of this yarn is 45% Superfine Alpaca, 45% Peruvuan Highland wool and 10% Donegal (tweed). It's a super soft, luxurious-feeling worsted weight yarn with 110yd/50g. I have 7 skeins of the maroon tweed and one skein of the charcoal tweed. I want to make something for me, with a charcoal edge, but with the limited yardage, it may become a sweater for Abby.

By the way, on the 13th, my magazine luck began to change. Crochet! arrived in the mail, and my LYS called me. They found more Interweave Crochet and they are holding one for me. I'll get it on Friday when my son has piano lessons (next door). Then today, the 14th, I called the publisher of Crochet Today. They have no record of my subscription (even though I have a confirmation e-mail) and will sign me up now at the price being offered now ($3.00 less than the intro price in July) and I should receive it within 2 weeks. I guess I shouldn't have been waiting so patiently!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

September WIPs/PIGs/WIMs/UFOs

It's time for the monthly review of all the crochet items on my lists and in my head. What shall I do next? I find it's nice to see it all down in writing so I can reassess each month and decide what to put on my monthly challenge list for Yahoo crochetchallenge. I've decided to add a new category - UFO. UFOs are simply unfinished objects. These differ from WIPs in that I am NOT currently wokring on them. They sit in a basket, in a corner, untouched and unloved. The rest of the acronyms are defined in my April list.

1. Navy blue cardigan - progress = 15%
2. Toddler cardigan - progress = 50%
3. "High-Stylin' Pillow" (Crochet calendar)- progress = 10%

1. Colinette yarns afghan kit - progress = 25%.
2. Robyn's Crystal Lace Bolero - progress= 85% at crochet-a-long
3. Tennis Socks - sock-a-long at crochetsocks - just begun...
4. Matinee Swing Jacket - Bernat Soft Boucle - just begun... at crochet-a-long

1. Drops 68-15 Summer cardigan - swatched, but will wait for next Spring/Summer.
2. "Easy Ripple" Afghan - Sage Mary, spruce green, beige, black
3. 63 squares Afghan - Aran
4. Peter's Jacob sweater at crochet-a-long - RH Med Spruce.
5. Spring Crochet Cardigan - Wool of Andes Dusty Rose
6. 'Oxford Style' socks (Crocheted Socks!)- Bob
8. 'Alpine Meadow' hooded sweater - a fall MUST! Wool-Ease
9. Marble yarn sweater for me - Todays Crochet pattern
10. Twyla Cardigan - swatched in Sirdar flamingo, but still not sure about the yarn choice

1. Letter pillows "Y" & "X" from Woven-n-Spun
2. Alex's sweater - Navy, Lt Country Blue & Gray Simply Soft
3. Picot Cropped Cardigan
4. Drops Safran Tank - never found the right yarn, maybe next summer
5. Bob's Vest Teal/black/gray
6. Alex's sweater - Green Simply Soft
7. Abby's sweater - grape chunky
8. Mittens & Hats
9. Abby's sweater - periwinkle RH Kids - Just Right pattern
10. Abby's snow girl cardigan (Crochet! Jan '05)
11. Alex's sweater vest - Green Simply Soft
12. Robyn’s Spider Shrug

I love getting this all written out to look at. OK – for September…I want to whip some WIPs - the Crystal Lace Bolero at at crochet-a-long, the elusive sock-a-long CAL at crochetsocks, and hopefully the swing jacket at crochet-a-long as well. In between all this I'll keep working on the Colinette afghan.

After that it's sweater time... Peter's Jacob sweater is next at CAL. That will take a while. I want to make a vest for Alex, maybe the navy & grey sweater for Alex, a vest for Bob, sweaters for me & Abby too... wah so many things to make and so little time! Time to start hooking!

August challenge report

In August I had hoped to finish the Beth tank for me, work on the Crystal Lace Bolero that I'm moderating at crochet-a-long, start the elusive sock-a-long CAL at crochetsocks and keep working on the Colinette aghan. August was a little insane around here. It can be summed up with this picture - taken in my driveway on August 3rd. Everyone is fine, but doctors, insurance companies etc, took a lot of our time. OK, back to crochet...let's see how I did. I'm a few "days" late in posting this of course, but I'll be honest and report what I did IN August.

1. Beth tank from Berroco - progress= 100%. I made a bit of progress on August 2nd on the drive home from NY after finishing the Drops Top, and in spite of the insanity of August this was completed!!
2. Robyn's Crystal Lace Bolero - progress= 85% I'm moderating this over at crochet-a-long. I actually got quite a bit of this done. As you can see in the progress photo the square motifs are all assembled and I am slowly but surely working on all the ribbing. The wide ribbing around the collar and whole body requires one to pay attention as to whether you are on a straight edge an inside corner like in the neck or outside corners like the center front. It has been frogged more than a few times in September!
3. Socks - the apparently started sock-a-long at crochetsocks. Progress = 5%. This is entirely NOT my fault. Somehow, in spite of being a moderator on this, I missed that the sock-a-long had actually started. I did swatches, helped others work through their swatch issues and waited patiently for the green light. Instead I read a post saying "how come no one is posting on their progress?" So I'm 'fused, again! Anyway, the pattern in 'Tennis Socks' in the Crochet Socks book. I have my yarn - Knit Picks Dancing, I've swatched and I've even done one of the cuffs. It's a bit tricky working with the elastic yarn. Pictures in September.
4. Colinette yarns afghan kit - progress = 25%. This was my birthday surprise from dh. The kit pattern is for a wave-like ripple afghan (3'x4'). I'm using a K hook and the gorgeous yarn hanks shown in my birthday post. I honestly haven't touched this in a month... more on this in September.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A yarn poll!!!

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Crystal Lace Bolero progress

I've been working on Robyn Chachula's Crystal Lace Bolero with some friends at crochet-a-long. Robyn used Berroco Softwist, but I wanted to use up some stash for this so I went with some basic acrylic in a dusty rose color. I'm using my Addi 4.5mm G hook (instead of the recommended 5.5mm hook to get the gauge of a 4" square. I'm horrible about weaving in ends as I crochet - partly because I hate doing it and partly because I'm usually crocheting on the go and stopping to pull out a needle just isn't convenient or safe! So I ended up with a pile of squares with the ends hanging out!

Instead of dealing with the ends, I went right to assembly. Some of the gang at CAL were mentioning having some trouble so I wanted to try the assembly so I could help. Right, nothing to do with avoiding the dreaded needle!

Robyn is an architectual engineer. I like the way her mind works (or at least the way I perceive it to be working when she designs). I'm a math geek too. I love the way this assembly process makes the square motifs just blend in to the final garment. You can see in this picture showing the back partially assembled that the top squares are already "lost" in the garment. I just love it!

I still haven't touched those ends! But here's the bolero with all the motifs assembled and all the other joining loops added. Now all that remains is adding the arm and neck/body cuffs and of course those blasted dreaded ends!

Friday, September 01, 2006

More crochet in a minute - but first some polls

Your Linguistic Profile:
60% Yankee
20% General American English
10% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

You Are 88% Happy
It's unlikely that you know anyone happier than you.You know how to be happy, no matter what life throws at you.

Your Stress Level is: 27%
You are slightly prone to stress, but generally you keep it under control.
You know how to relax and take things as they come, even when your worlds seems to be falling apart.
Occasionally, you do let yourself get stressed out, but you snap out of it pretty quickly.

You Are 22% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

You Are Boston

Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.

Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block