Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Saturday, October 01, 2005

On the Hook, off the Hook (or maybe in over my head?)

Only Time will tell, and lately he's not talking!

Wellll, "tomorrow" kinda came and went, and no, I wasn't sleeping that whole time! I've just been up to my eyeballs busy, and distracted, and, well, tired! And I've been battling - and losing - against my old arch-enemy: Time. I don't remember things being this hard when I was younger! Of course, it's really difficult to get much done when you consistently don't make it home until 9 or 10 pm, and then have to spend part of those precious few hours of "free" time preparing for the next grueling day, all the while obsessing - but not progressing - over the latest and most challenging project of your life! Ah well, and so it goes...

My current crochet obsession, one which has had me tied up in knots with anxiety (why do I do this to myself?!), is the shrug I talked my daughter into commissioning from me to wear with her bridesmaid's dress a little over two weeks from today. She had expressed some trepidation over wearing the dress alone, with it's strappy top - being a very well-endowed and heavy young woman, she tends to like to hide in her clothes, but there's nothing to hide in with this dress, lol! So I suggested that a shrug would probably do the trick, and a style immediately sprung to my mind's eye, and I offered to make it for her. She, not being too anxious to go on a shopping hunt, promptly agreed, putting dear old mom on the hot seat to perform!

I spent about a week tossing around ideas in my mind for the stitch pattern I would use, having already determined that I would use the "Fluffy Pink Shrug Schematics" so helpfully posted at my favorite crochet hangout, Crochetville. I finally decided on the spiderweb stitch from the Crochet Stitch Bible after trying it out, along with several other candidates. In the meantime, I hurriedly scrambled to finish up some small projects I had promised to other folks, to clear my schedule for concentrating on this one big one. I managed to make two of these little soap saver bags, one was for Phil who had requested it, the other was purchased by a guy I work with, he'd also requested one when he saw the original ones I'd made for the bathroom and kitchen swap.
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I love this pattern, it's very easy to do and the bag turns out really nice! This is the Chain Stitch Soap Saver, from Marlo's Crochet Corner. She also has a matching face cloth pattern, the two go very nicely together as a set and would make a good gift. I used this blue variegated cotton yarn from Lion Brand (I'm not sure, but it may have been discontinued as I got my supply out of clearance bins, good for my pocketbook but a shame otherwise!), which made it seem a bit more "manly". Both guys love it! I know Phil is using his, I took a peek into his shower to see it hanging in there, all filled up with his little pieces of soap, lol!

I also managed to finish up the shrug I made for myself using the Lion Boucle yarn and the pattern from the new Family Circle Easy Crochet magazine, which I posted about here last Tuesday.

I still have some other odds and ends wips waiting for their turn, which I will get to eventually, but on with the main project!

So, I had settled on my pattern stitch, and had decided to use the marvelously soft Lion Brand Microspun for this shrug. Isis's bridesmaid's dress is a deep, rich wine color, and after conferring with her it was decided the shrug would be done in black, which is a large girl's best friend of a color. In the Microspun, it has an almost velvety quality to it, with a nice sheen, very classy!

Okay, I'm a little fuzzy on the timeline here (that old battle fatigue setting in, heh!). I believe it was two weekends ago when I actually started to work on this, having made a modification to my original stitch pattern plan due to the fortuitous arrival of the latest Crochet Fantasy magazine - with an item made with a spider stitch pattern! Yes, it is the the ponchette which graces the front cover, and that version was actually much simpler to do than the one in the Crochet Stitch Bible, plus it had the added benefit of a nice framing stitch pattern seperating the webs which gave it a nice symmetrical look, so I decided to switch to that.

It took me some time to work out the stitch multiples calculation in order to modify the pattern from the magazine for my needs, and in the process I discovered that there was a definite error in the number of starting chains needed for the ponchette pattern, at least for the larger size. Although I can't verify with certainty that the error is the same for the smaller size (since I pretty much ignored that size while working out my calculations and crocheting my swatch), I would imagine that it could have the same error in it. If anyone attempts to make the ponchette pattern in the smaller size and comes up over or short at the end of your first (or, more probably, the third) row, you'll know. The larger size called for a starting chain of 84, which when worked would theoretically provide 6 spider stitch repeats across (which until I reviewed the pattern again while writing this little blurb, I had believed it to be 5 and had proceeded under that assumption. This actually means the pattern may be even MORE screwed up than I originally thought!). When the ponchette is assembled, the pattern becomes vertical, but I wanted mine to remain horizontal, so I wanted to double the width of the pattern (assuming the repeating pattern to be at 5, I wanted 10 which worked to my sizing specifications based on the gauge I got) and then work five repeats for the height of my starting rectangle for the shrug. With me?

In order to do that, I had to figure out what the stitch multiple was, since it wasn't given in the ponchette pattern. It took me awhile to determine that it was 14+6 (plus an additional 6 for the starting chain). Had I tried to just double the number of chains for the larger size (which was given as 84), I would have ended up with 6 extra chains at the end of my first row. and my pattern repeats would still not have worked out correctly. So, finally armed with the number of chains I needed to create to start my project (152), I charged forward with it! I got the base rectangle completed pretty quickly, considering how little time I've actually had to devote to any "leisure" activities lately, and conducted the first "fitting" with Isis that following Friday. I wanted to make sure it would be wide enough at the sleeve zone, and to determine how much I would have to sew up on each side to make the sleeves and provide a snug, but not too tight, fit across the back. We almost didn't get that crucial fitting done that day, as both of us were crazy-busy all day, but we managed to sneak off to the handicapped bathroom late in the day, where we could have the necessary privacy for her to remove her top while I did my fitting and marking of seam lines, lol!

Here is a shot of the base fabric.
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The spiderweb pattern provides a nice, lacy look to it, don't you think?

As I worked on it, I was thinking (I know I know - dangerous thing to be doing, lol!) about what kind of edging I wanted it to have, and how to dress it up more. This was, after all, to be worn at a wedding, and really should be fancier than your average sweater! So, I came up with the idea of adding beads to the design...

It just so happened that Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale on all their beads that particular week, and I ended up visiting 3 different stores several times over the course of the week, snapping up as many of the sizes and colors of beads for this project as I could get my hands on, not knowing exactly how many I would actually need. Of course, I did also buy some other colors/sizes because I couldn't resist them and I figured I'd be wanting to do other things with beads once this project's through! Here's a shot of the beads I grabbed primarily for the shrug:
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Now all I had to do was figure out how to get all those beads ONTO the shrug! I can't tell you how many hours of reading and browsing, experimenting, and just plain thinking I have invested into this part of the process! I'll save all those details for another time, since (obviously) while I'm sitting here writing about it, my project is not progressing, and it MUST! But I wanted to at least get this up here so people would know why I've been awol for so long. I owe people responses, and I'm hopelessly behind literally EVERYWHERE in my online world, and that's not gonna change until I get this project done. But hopefully I'll have some knockout pics to post when I reach the finish line. If I haven't lost my mind by then!

I sure don't know how to pick 'em easy! Guess I love challenges - or flirting with a potential nervous breakdown, lol!


  • At 5:18 PM, Blogger Wendy said…

    I watched a friend of mine crochet beads onto a wedding garter. First, she strung the beads onto the yarn she was using. She would reach up with the hook on the other side of one of the beads and then work the yarn, constantly moving the beads across the yarn as she was doing it. I hope this make sense. It looked pretty easy. I am sure you will have a lot of fun doing the beads and it will look gorgeous.

    ps...Bron has a finished spiderweb shawl on her blog, looks like yours

    See...told ya I am wordy, especially in real life. Thanks for visiting my blog.


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