Monday, February 27, 2006

7th FO of 2006

One sock WIP is done!! I put the 2nd sock of this pair on hold when I started the crochet olympics. So, now that the torch has been extinguished.... Seriously, I really wanted to get some of these UFO sock pairs finished before I begin the felted bag project. This is from the Yahoo CAL gang. The pattern is the south-bay toe up sock with the "challenging" short-rowed heel. I modified it to include a fpdc/bpdc ribbed cuff. The yarn is Patons Kroy Sock Yarn 'Harris Tweed'.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More yarn!!!

My order from Knit Picks came today. I ordered their Wool of the Andes for some felting projects - a bag, some slippers, another bag. I have Hyacinth, Hush, Fog & Hollyberry (back row) and Winter Night, Asparagus, Mulled Wine & Tan (front row). I need to decide on which colors to use for the well traveled bag project. I was thinking about the front four colors.... any thoughts?

I really like this yarn. I have yarn ready to make a sweater for me in the Mulled Wine color. Pattern ideas anyone?
I've thought of Spring Crochet but I'd have to de-flare the sleeves, even taper them in rather than out I think. I've also thought about Kim Guzman's Jiffy Jacket, that one I'd want to add more buttons to. ( I just can't leave a pattern unaltered!!) I'll have to dig through some mags & books... don't see too much else online that appeals to me.

I also bought some more sock yarn (one must always buy enough for free shipping!!). It's a cotton, wool, nylon & elastic blend. This yarn is for my kids' socks, but for now it has found a home with my sock yarn stash. I'm psyched about crocheting more socks. The tweedy grey is for dh, the pinks and purples are for dd, the blues are for ds. There's a cool brown, gold, marron, charcoal multicolor that I'm going to stripe with charcoal for me! The grey & the black with neon splashes are for me too. Oh yeah, the yellow is for dd and for "gold toes" LOL!!

life after the olympics... WIPs & CALs

First, let me just say thanks to all at Crochetville, Yahoo Crochetolympics, Yahoo Crochet-a-long & Crochet Partners for all the support & encouragement during the olympics. (I know, that sounded like an Oscar's acceptance speech.) Seriously, you guys are great!! I'm really excited that the crochetolympics group is going to stay alive (albeit with a new, as yet undetermined, name). We're going to cheer ourselves along through monthly projects of our own choosing.

Now what's next for me.... I suppose I should consider a look in the WIP/UFO basket... There I'll find my navy cardigan & toddler cardigan as well as the high stylin' pillow. (These will probably remain untouched for now).

Then a look in my crochet bag will find 3 different pairs of socks all in various stages of completion. There's the Classic Ribbed Cable Sock which has one finished sock, 2nd sock not even started. I stopped this project to begin the South bay toe-up socks with the Yahoo crochet-a-long group. Here I have 1/2 of the 2nd sock finished, just about to start the dreaded short rowed heel. Of course I stopped this sock project to do my crochet olympics sweater. The 3rd sock in the bag is the one for the Yahoo Crochetsocks sock-a-long. We're doing the In your Shoes Ankle Socks from Crochet Me as a group. I'm a bit behind (just working on the ribbing so far) because of the crochet olympics, but I hope to catch up tonight & tomorrow and then post a picture. Since the third sock project is being done at group pace, I should be able to work on the other socks as well. I'm dying to wear them!!

Of couse, I need one more item on my plate. Soon I will be starting the Well traveled bag with the Yahoo CAL. I've wanted to do a felted bag for a while and I really like this pattern. I'm really enjoying working on projects with this group of hookers! I ordered a bunch of wool from KnitPicks, but I'm still not sure what colors to use. I thought it wouldn't arrive until next week (leaving me time for socks! LOL!) but it arrived this morning. Decisions Decisions!!

While I'm listing things... WIMS that are almost PIGS...
1. The kids are begging for their socks. As soon as the sock WIPS are done I must make them some socks. Sock yarn I have!! Just have to decide which pattern will adapt well for little feet.
2. I have wool yarn for a sweater for dh. Need to find a pattern.
3. I have wool yarn for a sweater for me. Need to decide on a pattern.

Well, kids are sleeping, dh is traveling and I must go grab some sock yarn & a hook!!

Friday, February 24, 2006

olympic progress, day 15

I'm finished!!!!!!!!!!!! I may have had my doubts late, late, last night (early this morning) when I thought the bumpy sleeves looked hideous, but, all olympic yarn-letes have moments of self doubt. After spending most of today being depressed about my failed sweater and periodically searching & seeking online for better ways to seam my "stair-step" sleeve edges, I tried it on again tonight (this time without the bulky shirt underneath), while explaining to my dh just how awful it looked & how depressed I was about it.... Well, let's just say he thought I was nuts. So I looked in the mirror and looks great, I should go weave in all these ends and sew on my buttons. (Yes, I went out and bought thread today!!) I think the bulky shirt accentuated the bumpy spots on the sleeve underside (note to self, don't wear sweater with bulky shirt). As my dh pointed out the scallop look of the sleeve is only visible if I hold my arms out perpendicular to my body AND point them out to I guess my neurosis was getting the best of me in the wee hours of Friday morning.

So.... drum roll please... here is my submission for the judges review... (tilted photos courtesy of my 6yo ds)
A little blocking will follow to help flatten the buttonhole edges.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

olympic progress, day 14

All but buttons!! I need sewing thread!! How silly is that, I'm sidelined by lack of thread!! Pale yellow just wasn't in my thread repertoire. I'll post a photo in the morning...after a photographer awakens or I find the energy to set up a tripod!!'s the photo that is causing my mental anguish...LOL!!! Can't you see the bumpy sleeves? AHG!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

olympic progress, day 13

A lot was accomplished today around here, very little of it had anything to do with this sweater... My house was definitely suffering from olympic-induced neglect. So the day before the kids ran out of clean underwear (hey, I could have waited until the day after!!) I did many, many, many loads of laundry. I found the floors in, then vacuumed & dusted all but 2 rooms in this house. All while "entertaining" my kids!!

Isn't this supposed to be a crochet blog? OK.. you said you wanted me to model my sweater.... well my photographers are all asleep & I don't feel like setting up a tripod, but my digital camera has this neat self-portrait setting... hold at arms reach and shoot! Ta Daa!! Here's my bright pink bust wearing the body of my pale yellow cardigan, sans sleeves. (I wasn't planning on modeling when I got dressed this morning!!) I managed to sew the top and side seams tonight and I did the edging on the right front panel (where the buttons will go). Next I do the left front edging with button holes, then the neck line edging and last but not least I figure out how to attach the sleeves and seam the sleeves. And oh yeah, add my lovely buttons My prediction.... Thursday with buttons....maybe....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

olympic progress, day 12

I finished the 2nd sleeve AND I found my buttons!! Lots of sewing awaits me tomorrow, and edging and sewing and more vacuuming and laundry (UGH!), but the actual main crocheting part is complete and I love my buttons! So here's the 2nd sleeve (hopefully you think it looks just like the first one!!). And here's all the panels & sleeves laid out together (with my wonderful buttons!).... it's starting to look like a sweater!!
So my button story....I headed off to my LYS after my kids' piano & music classes. I had 4 different sales people helping me find buttons!! One friendly fellow was rather disappointed that I didn't want frog or flower or mushroom buttons - nothing alive. I'm so boring!!
Anyway, we looked at several. I kept drifting back to the rack of silver buttons and then the LYS owner found these. I think they're perfect. The square shape & openwork design match the sweater stitch. I love it! (Did I mention I'm happy with my buttons?)

Monday, February 20, 2006

olympic progress, day 11

This sleeve seems to be moving along a bit faster than the first one. I'm up to about 40 rows tonight, sleep is calling my name. I will finish this sleeve tomorrow night. My house is in desperate need of attention... a vacuuming, dusting, cleaning marathon awaits me in the morning!! I hope to check out some buttons tommorrow afternoon at my LYS. I'm not sure what type of buttons I'm looking for yet. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

olympic progress, day 10

Yes! I finished a sleeve. Boy that took a bit longer than I expected. You can see through the sleeve that I haven't woven in my ends yet...
I actually did start on the 2nd sleeve as well tonight - about 10 rows completed. If I finish the 2nd sleeve by Tuesday, that will leave the rest of the week for the dreaded assembly and edging. Why dreaded? I'm just not sure the best way to do this. Except for the shoulders, all of the seams will be joining dc posts to ch3. Is there a nice clean way to do this?
OK, there's only 7 days left, and I'm starting to worry. Why? Because I just realized that crochet olympics and school vacation week overlap! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, a lot. I just hadn't factored vacation week into my olympic schedule. Final assembly with urchins underfoot should prove interesting, to say the least!! And buttons.... aagghh!! I still need to find buttons! I think the pressure of these Olympic games is getting to me!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

olympic progress, day 9

Day 8 saw only about 10 rows of the first sleeve completed.... then I paid attention to my family a bit more than I have been the past week... then I slept!!

Day 9 saw me try like crazy to finish this sleeve, but with all the increases the rows keep getting longer!! I got through row 39 or 40. I have one more increase at row 44 then 7 or 8 more rows before the decreases begin! I will do this tomorrow!!

The sleeve seems like it will be a bit looser than I thought (from the pattern photo), but I can live with that. Thankfully, after re-reading the pattern a zillion times I finally understand the decreases and therefore now understand how the sleeve attaches!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

olympic progress, day 7

Yes!! I finished the left front panel tonight!! Here's the front panels together, the left panel alone, and then the front panels on top of the back....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cars, crochet & olympics, day6

Yay me!! I made some great progress on this sweater today thanks to my car needing it's 75K maintenance. In Volvo's awesome playroom, my kids played nicely together, mostly, and I sat in the adjacent lounge and crocheted for 2 hrs! Of course, I had to get up about 10 times for the requisite, "please be nice", "please share", "a little quieter please" etc., but I didn't have to feel guilty about not doing laundry, making dinner, and all those other wonderful chores of life that usually prevent daytime crochet for me! I managed to finish the right front panel. I did have to frog a bit when I started the neck shaping in the armhole, but thankfully I caught it on the 2nd row! Tonight, back home, I cranked out the first 25 rows of the left front panel. This is the first sweater I've made with "inset" sleeves. I've been reading and re-reading the scant pattern instructions and frankly I'm stumped about assembly. Time to go read through some other sweater patterns in hopes of understanding how these pieces fit together! If that fails, I know the people at Drops Design have ( and actually reply to ) their pattern help e-mail. Maybe I'll go pull out my a couple of sweater books I have and read myself to sleep!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Socks & Crochet Olympics, day 5

Well, I actually crocheted a few other things today. I felt compelled to check in with the 3 different sock project WIPs. Number One is the classic ribbed sock from "Crocheted Socks" - one sock is completed and I started a round for the 2nd cuff. Number Two is the Southbay toe-up sock from my Yahoo crochet-a-long group - I did several rounds of this today at the bus stop and during my ds's piano lesson. It's now fast approaching the heel (AGHH!!!!). Number Three is the Crochet Me Ankle sock from my Yahoo Crochetsocks group. I officially did the swatch using Patons Kroy Sock yarn "Vista Sea" and my Addi Turbo 3.5mm E hook. Stitch gauge was dead on, 5 st per inch. Row gauge is probably closer to 5.5 -6 per inch instead of 5.... but I can work with that!

Finally, I settled down with my Olympic cardigan after the kids went to sleep. I did manage to get up to the armhole inset on the right front panel...not much more than that, but it will have to do. I'm hopeful that I'll get some daytime crocheting in tomorrow. I have a car service appointment tomorrow afternoon. The Volvo dealership has a great soundproof glass walled playroom adjacent to the waiting area. My kids LOVE going there to play, and I can sit & crochet guilt-free!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Crochet Olympics, day 4

No weekend "home-court" advantage today, so progress definitely slowed. I began the right front panel of the cardigan today and have about 20 rows completed. I know my stitch height was shorter the first few rows of the back so I was working row by row to make sure row heights were matching. Armhole inset begins at row 34... hopefully I can get there and beyond tomorrow!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Olympic progress, day 3

Woo Hoo!! I finished the back of the sweater!! I was able to get quite a bit done today with the blizzard conditions outside. The kids were amazing, playing happily together all day, while dh plowed the driveway 3 times and I sat and crocheted in front of the fire. (I did get up and feed people...3 times, not counting snacks!!) Anyway, back to a regular crochet day tomorrow (a few stitches stolen at the bus stop etc) . For now I get to sleep, feeling pretty good about what I've done so far!

Olympic Progress, Day 2

I had a pretty good crochet day...even managed to get a few stitches in at a birthday party this afternoon. I did get a fair amount done this evening. I'm a row or 2 short of the shoulder inset (I had hoped to get that far), but I did finish the first skein (so I had better be 1/7th of the way done or I'm in trouble!!)

Friday, February 10, 2006 1

Not quite as much as I had hoped...but not too bad for a few hours work. It's definitely been a little slow because of the untwisting yarn problem. I love the feel of this yarn and I noticed that if I actually crocheted uninterrupted for a bit, I would get in a groove and hook without splitting the yarn. But how often is that going to happen? LOL! ANyway, I'm off to bed to rest my eyes, my wrist and my shoulders!!

and they're off....

the olympic hookers that is... I was able to start a little bit while playing Ziggity with my ds during dd's speech therapy. I was able to do my starting chain and first row of sc for the back of my sweater (and I think I even won one game... he's 6, but smart as a whip!)

Anyway, I'll be back with a progress post later tonight!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Classic Ribbed Cable Sock #1

Since the socks might not get done tomorrow before the Olympics start, I thought I'd "show off" my other "half-pair" of socks. Here's the Classic Ribbed Cable sock I started a few posts back. It's from The Crocheted Socks book, made with Swizzle sock yarn. I think the instep could have been a bit larger - looks a little holey by that yellow stripe. Oh well, it feels great!! I stopped this sock to start the toe-up one with the Yahoo CAL gang. Now they both might have to wait until after the Olympics to have a partner.

One more thing... I got a really cool e-mail via CP tonight from Mary Jane Wood (co-author, with Janet Rehfeldt, of Crocheted Socks). I commented on CP that I only figured out the short-rowed heel because of the wonderful pattern details in their book. She wrote to say she was glad the book was so helpful AND to say my socks were gorgeous!!

Does yarn have a direction?

I know yarn can be twisted either clockwise or counterclockwise. But I'm talking about whether you pull from the inside or outside of a skein. I've heard various people cite various online sources about there being a direction to yarn... that the twist of the yarn requires you to work with it from one end and not the other... that working from the wrong end both feels rougher and causes the yarn to untwist and therefore split easier...Does this make sense to anyone out there? Is this fact or fiction? If it's fact how does one determine the right direction?
Why do I ask? Because my Crochet Olympic project is using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I've never used this yarn before... many recommended it... it feels wonderful. I just did my swatch and hit the gauge dead on, both stitch and row count are perfect with the first size hook I chose (Addi 3.5mm E hook). On one hand I'm psyched. On the other, I'm not so psyched. The yarn was unraveling as I crocheted, so while I liked the overall look of the swatch, upon closer inspection I didn't like the way some stitches had nice twisted yarn and some had unraveled plies...
so... I'm perplexed! Any thoughts?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I've had a few questions about crochet-a-longs (CALs).... so here are some details. I belong to 3 right now.

One is a fun group that spun off from CP and formed a Yahoo! group aptly called crochet-a-long This group has many different CALs - squares, doilies, garments, toys, etc. This is where I did the Chanson en Crochet Capelet and the South bay toe-up socks.

I also recently joined another Yahoo! group called crochetsocks which is about to start up a sock-a-long shortly.

A great place to find CALs is crochetville. I'm involved in the crochet olympics there. This is a little different from a traditional CAL in that everyone is making something different during the 16 days of the Winter Olympics. My project is detailed in an earlier post. Tons of other CALs are available at crochetville's CAL forum .

Laundry, dinner and the central vac are all calling to me. Central Vac is going to win since I'm not sure which urchin turned it on...

Sock-a-long #1

So the Yahoo crochet-a-long decided it's second garment (after the capelet) would be socks! We're using the southbay toe-up socks which use a short row heel (my first like this). The heel has proven to be a bit of a challenge for the lot of us but we've persevered and I have a sock (not two, mind you... but one and a toe of the 2nd!!) My yarn, Patons Kroy Socks 'Harris Tweed' will nicely hide all imperfections so it's pretty much impossible to even see the heel. I also change the top of the sock by adding a rib with a few rows of fpdc/bpdc to make it stay up better.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl Yarn Sale

I hit my LYS for their Superbowl Yarn Sale (40% off). I dropped my dh & kids off at the fastfood/play place for lunch. I got to the store 10 minutes before the doors opened and found 40 people in front of me waiting to get in. After agreeing to the rules (treat yarn & staff with respect at all times!) we were given a shopping bag and allowed to enter. In search of yarn for my Crochet Olympics Drops Design sweater, I went straight for the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (bottom 2 bins under the sock yarn). I knelt on the floor and dug through the bins... what color could I find with 7 same-dye lot skeins... New Age teal 5 of one dye lot and 1 of another... a royal blue.... Victorian Pink.... I finally decided on 'Banana' a pale yellow. This whole time sock yarn has been falling on my head, so I raised my attention a bit higher and come out with 3 skeins of Swizzle sock yarn, 2 skeins of light purple (special request from my dd), 4 skeins of light gray, a lone cool multi (maroon, grey, black, gold) and another lone charcoal gray to mix with it. I worked my way around the store to the Cascade 220 and respectfully dug through the bins to find 8 skeins of a dark teal for a sweater for dh. Finally at the checkout I grabbed Addi turbo B and C hooks and made it out the door in just over an hour.
Now I can begin my Olympic training by playing with a gauge swatch.....
Also, so I won't be distracted from the sweater once the Olympics begin, I want to finish the ribbed sock I mentioned in an earlier post as well as the socks from my Yahoo CAL sock-a-long..... "what Yahoo sock-a-long?" .... I see I need another post!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Crochet Olympics

I think I may have gotten in over my head on this one... I read about the crochet Olympics at Crochetville and I jumped in head first!! It's modeled after the Knitting Olympics at that Yarnharlot started. Basically you choose a project that you start at the Opening ceremonies and complete before or during the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. The details for the crochet olympics are here.

Anyway, I joined crochetville (another forum to swallow me up!) and their olympics and began the hunt for a sweater to crochet for me. So I chose this cardigan. I love the look, and the color.... but I always do blue so I might try a different color. It will definitely be a challenge for me because I'm not used to a pattern without row by row instructions...

Now I have to figure out the yarn. I calls for Garnstudio MUSKAT (100% mercerized Egyptian Cotton) but it also lists some alternates Garnstudio BOMULL-LIN (53% cotton, 47% linen), or Garnstudio KARISMA SUPERWASH (100% superwash wool). I was leaning more toward the wool. Of course my LYS doesn't carry Garnstudio so now I have to try to figure out a substitute and then I'll be off to my LYS during their superbowl sale hoping they have what I want in the quantity I want.... Crocheting is not supposed to be stressful!! I think I'm off to ask the gang at CP for some help.