Tuesday, April 28, 2009

WIP Update - April

I just realized that I haven't blogged in quite some time so I decided to give you a little update on my current WIPs, except for two projects which warrant their own posts, the bathing suit cover up and the Outta Sight.

I've made a little progress on my socks since last I posted about them. I reached the heel and made the turn but it seems I need to add a few stitches for it to be the right girth for that part of my foot. This will require a little froging and some alteration to the pattern which I hope I can remember/recreate on the second sock. There will be some trial and error and ripping out of rows so I've put it aside for now until I feel like dealing with it. I am SOOO loving the yarn though.

My granny square blanket is coming along nicely. I've got one more skein of aran and then I think I will end it. It's not quite big enough yet to be a throw (maybe by the time I'm finished?) but it's the perfect size for my son who has pretty much claimed it as his own from the beginning anyway.

I'm still searching for a good pattern to use with the yarn I got for my birthday. It's some very fuzzy purple yarn (and white as well) and you know how I feel about the fuzzy novelty yarns. I really love the finished product but working with them is a pain in the ass. I could easily make a blanket and be done with it but I've really got my heart set on some kind of wearable like a little toddler dress or cardigan. I'm pretty sure I will be using this yarn for my cousin's daughter. Hopefully I will find a good pattern soon. I've got my eye on a couple of things but I'm not sure if I will be able to see the stitches well enough to get through it with the fuzzy yarn. Maybe I will just buy some other yarn and make the dress I"m looking at. But the dilema of the purple fuzzy yarn use remains.

Still looking for glasses for my MC Frontalot doll as well as thinking of props to make for him. Haven't picked him up in a while but he should be finished by the end of this year, in time for Front's birthday. Am I a creepy stalker fan or what?

My scrap ripple is still coming along. I add every little bit of yarn that I have at the end of a project. I'm really excited about how this is going to look when it's finished and it will be very special to me because every color of yarn is going to bring up a memory of the project I did and the person I made that project for. It will be the first and only afghan I've made for myself. But I must admit, I have been considering making some afghans for my grandmothers and I do have some gift cards to Joann's from my birthday so some big projects could be in my near future.

I've got a couple more near-future projects in mind but I won't speak of those just yet.

Outta Chocolate

A few days ago I started the Outta Sight by Doris Chan from the book Everyday Crochet. When I hit row two of this project I messed up and had to put it away for a while because my son was completely distracting me. But I sat down to tackle it again today and got all the way down past the join at the armpit and it was all easy going. I will be working in the pattern repeat for most of the rest of the jacket, with an increase here and there. I really love the way Doris Chan's patterns are written. Once you have done a few rows you just "get" what she's doing and the rest just flies by. And her top down seamless construction is a total godsend to me because I also hate seaming with a passion. I would say that I can already see myself making this jacket again but there are so many other wonderful Doris Chan patterns out there on my to do list that I will be realistic and say it will be a while before I get around to doing this in fading shades of green as I originally planned.

I've wanted to make this for some time and I planned to do it in shades like the one in the book. But I was at the store and picked up a few skeins of Caron Simply Soft Eco in Chocolate. I completely forgot to get shades of green or blue like I had planned for this project all along. But when I got home I decided to go ahead and make it with the brown because that would match more of my clothes anyway and I couldn't wait to start it to be quite honest. I'm really excited about the way it's turning out! I plan to make it long sleeved and possibly add a hood.

The picture below is how far I got with my first skein...

I'm having to use a K hook to obtain gauge and that's a little upsetting to me. I know it shouldn't matter but it just seems like too big a hook to use with the yarn I'm using. It hasn't been as upsetting to work with as I expected at first but I still sometimes wish my gauge wasn't always smaller than the pattern. I guess I just crochet tight and have to get used to it. In any event, it's turning out wonderfully and I think once it's done and blocked and put against a solid color shirt it will look wonderful. I really like this yarn, wish it came in more colors.

Beach, Here I Come

I finished my bathing suit cover up a few days ago. Haven't had time to post about it until now. It ended up being just a tiny bit tight across the back and shoulders but I think it will stretch enough to compensate for that. Other that the little mistake I pointed out in the original blog post, it all went off without a hitch. I really like the length and I used the entire cone of cotton so it was a happy destashing moment. This was made using one cone of Peaches & Creme cotton in White and a J hook. Yes, eventually I suppose there will be pictures of me wearing this with a bathing suit but for right now I'm holding off on that, haha.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bathing Suit Cover Up

I'm really making progress on my bathing suit cover up. The pattern is Long Crocheted Cardigan from DROPS Design. I've got the entire back piece finished and have started one side. This picture is from this morning when the back was almost complete.

Now let's play spot the error. Yes, I've already messed up. But I noticed it too late (just after taking this picture) and didn't want to frog seven rows back to fix it. You see the two rows of open squares just below the top section of chain loops? There should only be one row of open squares, like the first two pattern repeats below. I accidentally repeated the squares section befeore going on to the chain loops. But this is a happy mistake! When I finished the back it turns out that this mistake was exactly in the middle so everything is still symetrical AND it adds a little length which is always good in my book. I just have to remember to add that little mistake into the two side panels as I'm making them and everything will be fine and no one will ever know. Except you guys.

Granny Square Blankets

I have always steered clear of granny squares. Sure, it was one of the first things I ever learned to crochet and you can make anything with a granny square. Blankets, slippers, shirts, purses, pillows. But for a long time the granny square meant old, tired, cliched crochet to me and I was determined to do anything but. One of the main complaints I had against granny squares was the memory of cuddling up in an afghan that my grandmother made, being so warm and comfy until my big toe popped out of one of the many holes. And being a sufferer of OCPD I simply could not stand that. I much prefer a full, flat fabric of crochet with no holes, especialy when it comes to things that will be near my toes.

Once in a while I would come across a pattern using granny squares that I thought I might like to make but it was never enough to really spark me into action. Until I saw a really pretty blanket made with shades of colors radiating out from the center. I can't find the link to it now but I really had the urge to make one as soon as I saw it. I happened to be finishing up my Horrendously Green Jacket at the time and I had four shades of green yarn leftover that would be perfect for a blanket like this.

The truth is, when I saw this blanket I got the itch to make one and make one fast. My in-laws were visiting about the time I saw this and they brought me two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn in "Disco" which is black, purple, and teal. I wasn't quite finished with my Horrendously Green Jacket and I couldn't wait to start this project so I started it with the Disco Homespun. Two skeins of this yarn should be just enough to make a little blanket for my son who has practically claimed it as his own once he saw me making it. So the Disco blanket will be for my son. I am almost halfway through with the yarn I have. Here is a picture of that one, sorry it's so dark.

Once I finished my Horrendously Green Jacket, I began another granny square blanket using the leftover yarn from that. I started with a small ball of black Red Heart Super Saver that I had from a long time ago. Next I added the remains of the Red Heart in Dark Sage, Med Thyme, Light Sage, and Frosty Green. I've run out of yarn now so I'll be going to the store soon to get more because it's not very big.

I am enjoying making these blankets and I think they will have many happy years of use. But I also think that once I've finished these, I will probably have had my fill of granny squares for a while.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What Is This Hill You Speak Of?

Well, this is it. I am officially 30 years old today. Time to break out the black balloons and novelty walking cane with mirror and horn. I really don't feel as bad about it as I thought I would. I've been 29 for a year and 28 for the year before that and I always just rounded up to 30 when thinking about myself and my goals in life anyway. I mean, what's the difference really between 29 and 31? Not much.

I think I have gone through more in the last three years than I have ever before in my life. Hell, I may have gone through more in the last three years than a lot of people will ever go through. There's been birth, there's been death, there's been stresses placed on careers, relationships, living situations. It has not been an easy three years, I will promise you that. But the important thing is that I have survived and I'm still hanging on, even if for no other reason than I belive I am owed some good to happen in my life and I'll be damned if I'm going to give up before I get it!

In all seriousness, the last six months have been very uplifting for me. It seems that things are finally turning around for me and I am positive about the future. I am welcoming 30 with open arms. When I think about this milestone, I am reminded of my mother who turned 28, then turned 29, then turned 28 again and continued to be 28 for the rest of her birthdays. Every year she would say she was 28 and no one would disagree. I wish she had the opportunity to fool us many more times. But because of her and how strong and beautiful and perfect she was, I am strong enough to face 30 with a smile on my face and be proud of what I have done and optimistic about my future. I am 30 years old today and my life is only beginning.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Summer Troubles

A few days ago I am at a birthday party talking to my cousin. She tells me of the fun she had with her children at Surf N Swim last year and invites me to come along with her once the weather heats up. My son is two years old and has never been in a pool so this year would be a great time to introduce him to the water. I tell her I will come along and just like that my thoughts have turned to summer. I am now in a panic - I have to start getting ready! I haven't been in a bathing suit in about three years. I am, and have always been, pale as a blank sheet of paper. Since the last time I put on a bathing suit I have both given birth to a child and began a love affair with beer. Not to mention the fact that tomorrow I turn 30! Needless to say my tummy is not the flat little thing it used to be.

I have inherrited several bathing suits from my mother and simultaneously I became her exact size so I am pretty sure I will have a suit to wear. What I will look like in that suit is anyone's guess. I'm pretty sure as soon as my birthday celebratory drinking is over, it will be time for me to cut back and maybe start doing some sit ups. I refuse to spend money on a tanning machine so everyone at Surf N Swim will just have to avert their eyes to my awesome paleness but I will at least attempt to do something about my beer belly.

As an act of precaution I have decided to crochet myself a bathing suit cover up. I bought a cone of white cotton yarn last night and picked out a really cute pattern. I am forcing myself to finish another project before I begin this one but I have had an acute case of startitis lately and cannot guarantee that I won't give in and just start it. Besides, it's almost my birthday and I'm working on two blankets (winter much?) versus a bathing suit cover up. What would be more likely to be used and needed at present? You see how I'm rationalizing this to myself? You know this means I will probably start it tonight and forget the blankets. It's ok, things get done eventually around here.

As far as the pattern goes, I think it will work well in white cotton. It has a knitted button band but I was planning on dropping that part off even before I saw it was knitted (and I can't knit). I will probably do a few rows of single crochet instead and I'm not sure yet whether I will be adding buttons or just let it hang open. I'll have to look through my vintage button box and see if anything fits the bill. I'm excited. It's so much fun to find a project that looks like fun to make and will also be useful. Living in Texas I don't get much opportunity to use the shawls, scarves, and fingerless gloves that I find so much fun to make but a bathing suit cover up will be a practical way to show off my skills and have a garment that is unique, not to mention distracting people from my beer belly! Pictures to come soon. Of the started project, not the beer belly.

Hello Kitty Purse

I finished the Hello Kitty Purse for my cousin's daughter. I think it turned out well although I wish I had left room at the top for a flap to close the purse. I got rid of a couple balls of pink hand me down yarn during this project and I always enjoy charted intarsia. I hand sewed the lining instead of using my sewing machine since it wasn't that big and I totally fail at sewing machine use anyway. The only matching fabric I had was a very fuzzy pink novelty fabric that seemed to shed a lot while I was putting it together. Maybe not the best lining for a little girl who likes to keep chicken nuggets in her purse but hey, I had to use what I had on hand.