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

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Post-Olympic Fever, or Basking in the Glow of the Afterburn

Well, it's been a few days now since I reached my goal of Olympic greatness - and many many thanks for all you wonderful cheerleaders, you really did keep me going even when I hit those snags! Especially you, Kimberly, with your pom poms at the ready! A special thank-you must go to Anna, who volunteered to coordinate it all and thus most likely was left with not enough time to participate herself, a sacrifice which has not gone un-noticed. Not to mention her generosity in ALSO providing a chance to win a real, bonafide PRIZE to all those who reached their finish lines on time - this was truly a sweet offering as well as a wonderful carrot to dangle before our glazed eyes as some of us may have begun faltering along the road to the gold!

Since I ended up with MORE than plenty of leftover yarn from my project, sometime in the very near future, I want to make a throw pillow to match my afghan. Once that is done, I will decide upon the fate of this set. As much as I'd love to keep it for myself, I have a very lengthy list of folks I have been wanting to gift, it will simply be a matter of deciding who this set wants to go live with. Or, perhaps, I can use it as a barter item in a trade with someone who has something I need and who would enjoy the set in return. All I know is that it can't remain here and stay intact - Meeps has a tendency to cozy up, heavily to these fuzzy kinds of blankets. It could be due to her being weaned suddenly and very early in her life (we rescued her from certain death by automobile when she was 3 weeks old - momma nowhere in sight while baby was stranded in the middle of a very busy road. At night! Fortunate for her that Phil has such incredibly good eyesight to have spotted her. But anyway, she developed this penchant for sucking on fuzzy towels and blankets at a very early age, and my Homespun is very susceptible to her sandpaper tongue! I had to stop her several times from "nursing" on my project while I was working on it, so I know it wouldn't last long if I were to drape it over a chair or on the bed.

Oh yes, one last little detail - the size of the finished item. It came in a tad smaller than the pattern dimensions, though in my opinion not enough to explain the fact that I used nowhere near the amount of both yarns called for in the materials list. I didn't even get around to measuring it until yesterday (that being Tuesday, in case I slip over the midnight mark before getting this posted, a likely possibility since I keep wandering off to do other things). Being made primarily of single crochet stitches (the stitches that comprise the pattern and texture were only a small percentage of the total in actuality), this is a very dense and warm blanket, measuring out to 46 inches wide by 53 inches long, unstretched. The pattern gave dimensions of 50 x 56 inches, and my gauge was pretty spot on, at least when I created my test swatch. The pattern had called for 36 oz of Homespun, or 1,110 yards, and 30 oz of the Jiffy, for a total of 1,350 yards of that yarn. I used approximately 25 oz of the Homespun (about 770 yards) and 25 oz (also) of the Jiffy (approximately 1,125 yards). That's quite a variance from the pattern, a bit on the unusual side - and I'm not generally known for stitching too tightly either. I'm not upset, however - much better to end up with too much yarn than to run out before finishing your project! You can always find other uses for the leftovers. Like I mentioned before, I intend to make a matching pillow with mine.

So, now that my big challenge is behind me, what next? My success with this challenge has gotten me pretty well revved up and I'd like to keep this momentum going! Well, Sara decided to keep the yahoo group open that she had started for this CAL. We are in the process of selecting a new name for the group, to reflect the shift in focus. It was decided that everyone did SO well when they set goals for themselves, and had the support of fellow crocheters to cheer them toward completing their goal, that it was decided that we could do this on a regular basis, albeit monthly. Considering that I can barely keep up with all of my other online activities (and have a life too, go figure), I had to think for awhile before deciding to stay with the group. Having an official place stocked with "support staff" to set goals toward project completions was too enticing for me to pass up, especially as I looked around at all the stash piled up in nearly every room of this little house! I felt that if I commit myself to a certain amount of achievements accomplished on a monthly basis, I might actually begin to scratch the surface of this stash and get the many things I've dreamed of making - made!

And so, I have set my choices for the March challenge. There was no need for lengthy thought on this first one, which is one I'd already been committed to, with a deadline that is fast rushing up on me (so I'd better get crackin' on it!), and that would be my project for the purse/tote swap over at Crochetville. I have a felted tote planned - it will be my first - and after browsing several different tote patterns, both felted and not, I may end up just loosely following a pattern and mostly just winging it. I did make a test piece, a small envelope type bag, from the same materials I will be using for the tote, and felted it to see what I could expect from these materials, so I think I'm pretty much ready to go with this project. I just gotta get started on it and go!

Now, I didn't get started on it yet today, as I'd hoped - I managed to get myself distracted with a million and one other things, but crochet-wise it was due to finishing up a square I had started yesterday. And that leads me right into my second goal for March. Ironically enough, I have to make an adjustment on this goal even before I got a chance to post it here, though I will have to adjust it on the group database as well. Several weeks ago, the crochet dude had posted a request for 12 inch squares for the Heartmade Blessings comfortghan projects. Apparently they've been getting overwhelmed with requests for these afghans and are a bit short on squares. I've been wanting to do this for some time now but had been held back by my blessed slowness. I'm hoping my Olympic exercise will have helped me to speed things up, crochetwise, so that I can accomplish much more than I've managed to so far since I picked those hooks back up a year and a half ago. For some reason, squares have been a real challenge for me, leaving me feeling rather stupid to be having such difficulty with such a basic project. My plan, however, was to pledge 10 squares to the dude. A little while ago, I was catching up with the postings on another yahoo crochet group I belong to that has a charity drive each month along with a 24 hour crochet chat session on the third weekend of the month. For March, it happens to be the very same Heartmade Blessings - they are asking for pledges of 12 inch squares! So, I think I will go ahead and increase my goal from 10 to 20 squares for the month of March, and see if I can exceed that! This will hopefully also help me to begin reducing some of my acrylic stash. I knew I'd been collecting those 12 inch square patterns for a reason!

Of course, I won't be able to start working on the square challenge until after I get my tote done. Many people like to work on multiple projects at a time, but I've found that for the most part, I have to focus and concentrate on one specific project if I hope to get it done in a reasonable amount of time - I don't do well if I jump from one thing to another and then back again. Which is why I decided to finish the square I'd started yesterday before starting on the tote. But at least I can happily report that I am going into this March challenge with TWO out of the twenty squares I have committed myself to make! I kinda like being able to start a bit ahead of the game!

Depending on how I'm doing with my squares, and on how busy other commitments in the non-crafty areas of my life are (it's shaping up to be a very busy month for me), I am also going to try and get at least another 4 rows done on Iris, my laceweight Seraphina (adding this: hunting the link for my last mention of Iris, I found only the original "new project" post with pic. We are due for an update shot, be on the lookout!). I had started that project way back at the end of October (corrected: it was actually first week of November) but haven't worked on it with the focus and commitment I needed to get it to the finish line, and it still has a long way to go. I'm estimating somewhere around 40 more rows are needed to finish it, and I'm planning to fringe this one. So, if I can, I will try to get 4 rows in, and maybe I'll commit to completing it in April.

Not surprisingly, I have managed to reach way past the midnight hour into the wee hours of the new day. In some fairness to myself, though, I did start this several hours ago and then wandered off and got busy with something else; came back and wrote for awhile and then repeated the process. Often, that's how my messages end up getting so large! I also suffer from the written version of gabbiness that my daughter has verbally! I could go on and on forever! I do have other things to talk about, but I will save them since it is so late - and I'm still (perhaps foolishly) hoping to at least get started on my tote tonight before I have to head to bed (uhm, was that a whine? Okay, maybe it was. I hate to sleep lately, though - too much to do, not enough time for me to get it all accomplished. Sleep robs me of that precious time, so I tend to push the envelope a bit. But that's got to end soon, gotta get used to being on a "regular" schedule again soon, in preparation for working a job).

More tomorrow - including some pics I want to share!

2 Comments:

  • At 3:56 AM, Blogger Kimberly said…

    I'll put the pom-poms away into storage.....ready of course to be pulled out for the next cheering round!

     
  • At 10:00 PM, Blogger sara said…

    hi goldi.............i love your sense of humor

     

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