Monday, December 04, 2006

October & November report!

Somehow with Halloween, my son's birthday and Thanksgiving I never posted a report for October - so instead here's a 2 month progress report...

My plan for October was to "whip some WIPs" and start some new CALs. These included 3 WIPs (Floral Fantasy Pullover CAL, Tennis Sock CAL, and Colinette afghan kit) and 2 new CALs (Felted Memo Bag CAL with crochet challenge and Jacob's sweater CAL with crochet-a-long) and if possible to start on vests for the kids.

My plan for November was to "whip the WIPs" I never got to in October and start some the CALs that I never started. These included 2 WIPs (Floral Fantasy Pullover CAL, Colinette afghan kit, and dh's socks) and Jacob's sweater CAL with crochet-a-long (start date 10/25, LOL!)

So here's what really happened:

1. The Floral Fantasy Pullover CAL at Crochetville began October looking like this. By months end it looked like this but then remained unassembled for several weeks. Finally in a post-Thanksgiving push, I finished my version, complete with all the usual pattern modifications. My dd has already claimed the unused collar as a scarf! Status = 100% complete.

2. Tennis Sock CAL - I have no motivation for summer socks right now. Officially shoved to UFO status until Spring.

3. Colinette afghan kit - I did manage to get a few more rows in on this one. New photos will appear soon. Status = 35% complete.

4. Felted memo bag - Yahoo crochetchallenge bag CAL. I grabbed a hook and began this on 10/16 using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Hyacinth, Hollyberry and Fog, and a K hook. Here it is as a new WIP, again crocheted but not sewn, and finally pre- and post-felting. All done in about a week in October! It still needs the strap added. Status = 99% complete.

5. Peter's Jacob sweater - a CAL at Yahoo crochet-a-long using RH Medium Spruce. This was finally officially started on 10/25. I started it on 12/2.

Sidetracks in October included
6. Dot's little ditty bags - I started these on a whim for my twin 9yo nieces birthday , and sent them off with appropriate "9yo girl stuff" inside them. I used RH 'Dark orchid' and 'Light Fuschia' with a 5.0mm H hook. Status = 100% complete.

7. Fur-trimmed poncho and beret - I made these two sets for a friend of my dd and her big sister. Status = 100% complete.

8. Pink perfection vest - except Abby chose white. I started this in mid-October and finished it within the week. Status = 100% complete.

9. 'Oxford Style' socks (Crocheted Socks!) - In an attempt to appease my dh (and because I really want to make these for him, but don't tell!), I started his socks using my 3.25mm Addi E hook and Patons Kroy Socks in 'Windsor Tweed' with Silja in 'dark charcoal' for contrasting cuff, heel and toe. Status = 25% complete.

Sidetracks in November included three more projects:
10. Baby It's Cold Outside - another Crochetville CAL enveloped me...that and Abby needed a fall jacket! I had some Antique Homespun and a skein of beautiful dark silver gray Simply Soft for trim. So it was a stashbuster finished in just a few days!! Status = 100% complete.

11. Fall into Fall Vest - from Kimane designs for Alex using Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage. I started this in early November and finished it within the month, not quite in time for his birthday, but almost. Status = 100% complete.

12. Prayer/Healing Shawl - an impromptu stashbuster (Barrington Homespun - leftover from the ponchos) for my ds' teacher's aide who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. I used this Lion Brand pattern (made in one direction though, not out from the center in 2 directions). I was in such a rush to give it to her, I forgot to take a picture... oops! Status = 100% complete.

All in all, a prodcutive two months!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Westminster fibers: more yarn!!

Thanks to a post from Nancy at Crochet Partners I heard about this fantastic yarn sale at Westminster Fibers. They are the distributors for Gedifra, Jaeger, Rowan & Nashua Handknits yarns. Apparently they are closing the NH warehouse and moving to North Carolina. According to them this was a sale not to be repeated, ever. It was amazing. I didn't have as much of a plan in my head as I did for the JCA yarn sale, thus I'm actually thinking I may not have purchased enough yardage of certain yarns for adult sweater projects. This of course would mean my kids get more things! (Since all but one are machine washable, it's certainly possible). Anyway, here's the loot...

Schachenmayr nomotta 'Micro' - 100% microfiber, 160 yd/50g, 6st/inch. I have 10 skeins (1600 yds) of this pretty blue multi. It looks like 3 ply twist of light, medium & dark blue. I currently have no thoughts for this sportweight yarn, just couldn't resist it at $1/skein.

Jaeger 'Aqua' - 100% mercerized cotton, 115yd/50g, 5.5st/inch, $1.50/skein. I have 20 skeins (2300 yds) of this soft navy cotton. My first thought is some version of the the Sassy Shells Tank from Crochet Magazine July 2006 issue.

Gedifra 'Cotton Merino' - 52% Merino wool, 48% cotton, 110yd/50g, 4.25st/inch. This pretty purple yarn (top in photo) was so soft I just had to buy 20 skeins (2200 yds) and at $1/skein it didn't even hurt a bit! One possibility is Crochet Me Purple Haze, but this calls for DK, so I'll have to check guage etc.

Gedifra 'Wellness' - 60% cotton, 40% acrylic, 121yd/50g, 4.5st/inch, $1.50/skein. I have 10 skeins each (1210 yds) of 2 colorways (white and a pale dusty rose) of this soft cotton yarn (center in photo). These are most likely headed toward some more summer tops... yet to be determined. I think I'll have to go search out some more Drops Tops! With the limited yardage, however, I may consider some sort of spring cardigan for Abby instead.

Gedifra 'Florida' - 50% cotton, 50% acrylic, 143yd/50g, 6st/inch, $1/skein. I have 10 skeins (1430 yds) of this darker, dusty rose yarn. It is also wonderfully soft, and is itching to become something..... maybe some sort of spring cardigan for me...

Classic Yarn 'Soft Tweed' - 56% wool, 20% viscose, 14% polyamide, 10% silk, 87yd/50g, 3st/inch, $1/skein. I have 10 skeins (870 yds) of this luscious yarn in a purple/white tweed (top left). I grabbed it at last minute, when I touched it and decided it was a steal that was calling to me for Abby. Of course it is the one yarn that's not machine washable! Nonetheless, I see a warm sweater in her future...perhaps a few sizes up when she wears less of her food!

Rowan '4 ply soft' - 100% Merino wool 191yd/50g, 7st/inch, $2/skein. I have 20 skeins (3820 yds) of this beautiful light blue fingering weight yarn (top right). It is incredibly soft, and I think will surplant previous yarn possibilities and become that Spring Green cardigan from Annie's Attic also called Lacy Diamonds. That would take 2400 yds. That leaves another 1400 yds for a kid-sized vest or sweater.

Regia '6 ply Tweed' - 70% wool, 25% polyamide, 5% viscose, 137yd/50g, 5.5st/inch, $1.5/skein. I have 10 skeins (1370 yds) each of the green tweed and the grey tweed (bottom left and center). I grabbed this yarn thinking it was thin sock yarn, and while it could be used for heavy socks, it's not fingering weight yarn. So... now I'm thinking it could be used for some vests or sweaters in Jenny King's For the Boyz pattern booklet.

Jaeger 'Matchmaker Merino DK' - 100% Merino wool, 131yd/50g, 5.5st/inch, $1.75/skein. I have 10 skeins (1310 yds) of this muted olive green yarn (bottom right). I think there will be enough to make a vest for my dh from Jenny King's For the Boyz pattern booklet.

So there it is, all 18690 yds of it! Oh yeah one more thing... another book for the shelf! I own her 2nd Aran sweater book, but I didn't have the first. Now I do!

FO: Floral Fantasy Pullover

The Floral Fantasy Pullover is a CAL at Crochetville. I definitely tweaked this pattern a bit by the time I had finished it. I changed the yarn, the hook size, the method of joining motifs, and the edging stitch. I ended up dropping the flared sleeves (no motif B) and skipping the collar entirely.
Yarn & Hook: I used 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. The sweater is made with motifs to be joined at the end. The super bulky recommended yarn makes a 7.5" Motif A with a J hook. Using a K hook (which actually measures 7.0mm) I was able to get the square to just over 7.25". I decided to go with that and use the shoulder and side gussets of the large size (instead of medium).
Joining: As someone at the 'ville suggested, I used a "join-as-you-go" method for assembling these motifs - anything to decrease the number of ends is a good thing!
Edging: With my 2 strands of yarn the 5 dc scallop edging was just too heavy and forced the sleeves (even without the larger motif B) to flare too much for my liking. Instead I simply put 3 sc in each loop to add a little weight to the sleeve ends and sweater bottom edge.
Sleeves: I used 2 motif A instead of the larger motif B at the end of each sleeve. I also modified the underarm gusset so that I began it at the middle of the 2nd motif, crocheted toward the underarm (joining to the side gusset), turned and then crocheted a 2nd sleeve gusset row from the underarm toward the cuff. On the 2nd side of the sleeve, I used this 2nd sleeve gusset row to seam the sleeve.
Collar: Try as I may I just couldn't get 4 motifs (particularly my slightly smaller motifs) to form a collar and lay nicely as the picture shows. I decided to just leave off the collar and added a few rows of arch stitch to tighten up the neck opening. I realize now that I didn't put the edging on the collar. I think it would be too heavy.
In the end this sweater fits a bit too tightly on me for my liking. In 2006 I regained about 15 of the 50 lbs I lost in 2005. I'll model it after I lose that 15!