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

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bloggity blog blog

Okay, so it's been a bit difficult lately for me to keep things up to date here on this blog. I have things going on in my life that I don't much feel like discussing here - I prefer to reserve this space for focusing primarily on my crafty interests, at least for now, and while I have certainly NOT stopped crocheting or otherwise maintaining my crafting activities, I have been finding myself with not as much to report as far as accomplishments. So far, anyway. Of course, by the time I'm done with this little session, I may find much reason to dispute that statement. I know I can chatter on about the many things I WANT to accomplish, but to be honest, I'd rather be off actually accomplishing them, sitting here yakking on about it doesn't get that done! However, I've decided to go ahead anyway, as lately I've been finding it difficult to get mentally organized about exactly what I DO want to do and getting things started. Maybe if I take some time to talk about it, I can finally get my projects prioritized in my mind.

It started with my attempt to draw up a list of the challenges I wanted to tackle for June, for the yahoo-group I belong to for help in keeping on track, the Crochet Challenge group. This is the group that was started during the Crochet Olympic event, and when it was over, it was decided that the concept of having a place to discuss our ongoing projects with mutual encouragement provided would help us all to accomplish more of our crocheting goals. I had hesitated about joining in at first, because I already belonged to many other groups as well as my moderating duties on Crochetville. I wasn't sure I could handle it. But I have ended up receiving more out of this little group in the way of encouragement, commiseration when projects have gone wrong, and a lifting of my spirits through the camaraderie and just good fun that it provides, led by the dynamic gals Sara and Norah. This group of gals has helped me to keep on going, and I've managed to get several projects completed with their encouragement. I can't think of a more fun place to hang out!

But anyway, back to June, and my attempt to draw up that list... Because of other weightier matters on my mind, I found it difficult to get focused, and so I went stash-diving, through both the yarn stash and the pattern stash, looking for inspiration. What I got instead was overwhelmed! I had some general ideas of what I wanted to make this month, mainly some shrugs and boleros to wear over my tank tops. I promptly got hit over the head with more options than I could possibly dream of. Then came the dilemma of selecting the right yarns for these projects, further complicated by the fact that there were certain yarns in my stash that I was dying to use. And that included my custom-combined threads, which I created the beginning of this month. So, in addition to trying to come up with yarns to match some of the patterns I wanted to do, I now also needed to come up with patterns to match the yarns I wanted to use! With all of these possibilities tantalizing me, I went into overload and my productivity screeched to a halt. Instead of creating that bolero of my dreams, I found myself endlessly drooling and dreaming over patterns and petting and rearranging yarn! Finally I pulled myself together a little bit and began preparing some of my materials for use, starting with the threads. Having found it nearly impossible to work with them on those large cardboard tubes they come wrapped around, I have been busily working on winding as many of them as possible into smaller, more compact balls which will hopefully be easier to pull my working supply from. Having learned the hard way that thread (and laceweight yarn) can NOT be used as a center-pull, I have these small cakes (as my winder creates them) parked around deflated t-paper tubes and will work them from the outside in. My plan was to wind as many as possible so I wouldn't have any delays in starting projects when the muse hits - all I have to do is grab my supplies and dive right in!

After the spectacular results I had obtained with the scarf I made for skater, one of my first winding projects involved combining more #10 thread with that wonderful rayon multicolor strand I was loaded with. I had a few balls of the double-strand Aunt Lydia in a red/burgundy, and so I started by winding those with a strand of the rayon, and was thrilled with my result. But I only had a total of 600 yards of the stuff and had notions of making a summer top and matching jacket or bolero/shrug with it. In my stash, I had several individual balls of the red and burgundy threads, these from Caron and with a generous 500 yards each and so I proceeded to wind up several balls of these - more than enough, I believe, to make my twinset and probably a few other things as well. And that was in addition to the original double-strand, which, however, was not a close enough match to use in the same garment. While I was at it, I also began winding up all of the remaining blue thread I had on hand with the rayon, and grabbed some balls of yellow too while I was at it. I was picturing at this point, something made with these primary colors in a motif pattern, which I think could be a real knockout! I have not settled on anything yet, but the thread is wound and ready to go! Here are a couple of shots of my fancy thread inventory (and this is only a part of it!):

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So, I am still mulling in my mind exactly what I want to create with all of this lovely thread. The only thing I know for certain is that it will be wearables!

In the meantime, there have been several patterns I have been itching and dying to make. Thanks to my generous daughter, I am the proud owner of the new Crochet pattern collection from Takhi Stacy Charles (not to mention their knockout knit pattern book that led me to the crochet collection, with that bell-sleeve top featured on the cover being the honey that drew this bee in! It is patterns like this that provides my primary motivation for learning to knit!), and there are several items I've been raring to go on as soon as I can figure out what yarns to use. It would be great if I could use their yarn, that Cotton Classic is very yummy, but budget says "NO!", and so we go rooting around in our (fortunately) substantial stash, a broke gal's best friend. Then there were a couple of patterns that Berroco provided that hit my hot button (hard), again causing me to stash-dive for a more economical substitute to their VERY expensive but luscious yarns (believe me, if I could afford it, I wouldn't hesitate to spend the money for these high-end yarns. They are sooo worth it!). I am still contemplating the stash for Celia and Stephie (this knit/crochet combo shrug is on my very short shortlist to make, and that includes finishing learning enough knitting so I can make it! I know I could probably do it all in crochet, but I'd much rather make it as written as it would be less bulky, and I do love a challenge.), but I got lucky with Maple when I determined that my stash of Incredible ribbon yarn from Lion Brand would work for this pattern, and I had more than enough in the colorway Copper Penny. I am near completion on this project, believe it or not, though technically behind schedule with it. The edging is taking me forever, mainly because I can't seem to sit with it for more than about 15 minutes at a stretch, thanks to the old ADHD I seem to be suffering from lately. I have a round and a half to go yet for the body, then the sleeves and the sash before I can finally announce completion. Here's my latest WIP shot of it, taken just last night:

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When I couldn't stay focused on Maple, I decided to start another shorter project. This was a triangular filet rose kerchief, a piece of headgear I am seriously in need of now that summer is here and I drive with windows wide open (no a/c). I need this to protect from having to re-nickname myself "goldi-tangle-locks", my hair does not need much encouragement to become totally unruly and unmanageable! I had some nice DMC Senso in metallic gold (yet another segue here, I seem to be full of them today! I had purchased several balls of this yarn on the 40% coupon plan over a period of several months and from 3 different Hobby Lobby stores, trying to build up enough for a tank top. Unfortunately, I did not notice until I had finally reached my quantity goal that I had two different kinds of this color! It is the gold metallic, and half of my stash has a gold foil metallic thread wound with the cotton and the other half is a clear rainbow lurex thread - drat! So, no tank from this yarn, only small things.) and had snagged the pattern from the About.com website, here. I was eager to give this a go as it would be my first attempt at filet crochet.

The pattern was very easy to follow and worked up very quickly, but it became apparent to me early on that there were some problems with it. Despite that, I stubbornly kept at it until I had finished the graphed triangle, and then I frogged it after taking this pic:

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I found that there were 2 errors with this pattern. The first, and (to my mind) the most glaring was instructing to use a size 3 steel hook! Although it was a tad difficult working the #3 thread with the #3 hook, it wasn't impossible, but what I ended up with was a doll-sized kerchief! After frogging it, I switched off to an E hook (a D is also considered a size 3 but not the same size 3 as the steel one in my set! I was worried that the D would produce a size that would also be too small, which is why I chose to use the E). I completed the graphed portion of the project last night and took another pic:

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Quite a difference, eh?

The other error I found in the pattern is one you should definitely remember if you decide to save this pattern to try yourself, as it will throw your pattern off: After making your chain of 92, you are instructed to make the first dc in the 8th chain from hook. This is incorrect. It should be the 6th chain, otherwise you will come up one mesh short on the row.

Even using an E hook, this scarf is still a bit too small for my needs, so when I do the finishing round on the edges, I plan to add something extra, to make it bigger. But I now feel confident in tackling other filet patterns, although I won't try my hand at a significantly more complex one unless I have my brain on straight. Which unfortunately doesn't seem to be too often lately...

Well, these two patterns were still not enough to keep me fully engaged, and so I jumped onto yet another pattern I had been dying to get started on - the Short & Sweet shrug from the SnB Happy Hooker book, which I had gotten from my library (yes, I want this book! There are several patterns in here I want to make. If it turns out well, I will probably want to make a few more of this one, however. I am making this first one out of Lion Cotton in the color Seaspray. As of last night, here's my progress on this project:

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I have since managed to reach the point where I am starting on the right front piece - would have been further along, but I got a bit confused about the fastening off of the back piece and then reattaching to start the right front and had to stop and think about it for awhile.

So, these 3 are my currently active projects, am hoping to wrap them all up within the next couple of days, and then it's back to contemplating all my other choices and picking among them!

Since this is yet another book-length post, I will wrap it up for now. At least now you know that I'm not just idly sitting on my empty hands!

1 Comments:

  • At 8:52 AM, Blogger angelfire said…

    wonderful thread colors...I am sure whatever you make will be gorgeous.

     

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