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, July 08, 2006

July update, so far

Sometimes I find it really hard to write, to communicate, and I'm in one of those phases right now. I know I owe several people a response, but please be patient with me. I need to work my way past this current phase and then it will become easier for me. In the meantime, I will try to keep you up to date on my crafting activities. They may be moving slowly - more slowly than I'd like, but at least steadily. I know it may seem like I'm being over-hard on myself as far as my crafty productiveness goes, but keep in mind that I do have a LOT of time available to engage in it, and have been doing little else to excuse my slowness. I've just been... well, slow at everything, and it bugs me when that happens! I know what I'm capable of and I'm not operating at full efficiency right now, so that's where I'm coming from when I complain of my own tardiness. But I appreciate the words of encouragement nontheless!

I ended up spending part of the holiday weekend babysitting Bella, my little furry four-footed "grand-daughter" and I took that opportunity to get Short 'n Sweet wrapped up. I also grabbed the chance to get some shots of me modeling it as well as my infamous pineapple shawl - my previous modeled shot not being as good as I would have liked.

I'm having some major issues with my computer and it is pure luck that it has given me access in order to post this message (and my pics), but I don't know how long my luck will hold out. I have some major maintenance to do on this thing - the dreaded "format C:" and rebuild everything from scratch, but with an upgraded version of Windows that I hope will help to solve some of my problems with this thing, as well as make certain features I am hoping to use accessible to me. In the process of preparing for this upgrade, I have run into one roadblock after the other, with several times having my computer become completely non-functioning, while trying to back up all my important files. It certainly hasn't helped my anxiety levels to have these things happening, let me tell you! So I am going to try and keep this short.

Maple remains on hold for now, minus a sleeve edging and a sash as well as an attempt at an ingenious solution to the floppy ruffled neckline. I guess you could say I'm dragging my feet on that, but I haven't put it away - it sits on the couch glaringly balefully at me every time I sit down to work on something else. Sooner or later I'll cave in and pick it up again...

I was, for the most part, rather unspecific when I listed out my June challenges, and most of the things I started in June have been completed, except for Maple. So I guess I could consider June to have been a successful month, even though nearly nothing actually got finished before the end of the month itself. But I won't quibble over such minor details! I wrapped up Short n' Sweet on July 2, and completed Seasprite on the 3rd - after deciding that scarf length was the best after all. Here are a few pics of both:

Short n' Sweet, front (head deliberately cropped out - I looked atrocious!)
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I made this with Lion Cotton in Seaspray, and while it looks very nice, it is a bit on the bulky side. Still, it does fit nicely. I couldn't resist starting another one using that marvelous textured (but still thin) cotton that I made the pineapple shawl from, and it's looking mighty pretty so far.

Seasprite, modeled over a blouse so you can see the length. This is the front view:
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And the back:
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I can say with total certainty that this is one very cuddly scarf, and I know it is going to be seeing a lot of action, as it is also quite warm, not to mention awfully pretty! It took just a little bit over one ball of the Featherwisp yarn to produce this little lovely, so I still have nearly two full balls of it for something else, yet to be determined.

So, I am currently working on another Short 'n Sweet, as mentioned above. I am partway through the left front piece already and hope to be joining the fronts and back soon, at which point I will have to decide how long I wish to make it. I made my first SnS a bit longer than the pattern, though I did not lengthen the sleeves. I have modified this one to allow for larger armholes as I noticed they were a bit too snug for me on the first (I did this by adding one whole shell sequence to each piece, as if I were doing a large, although I am still following the instructions for the medium size, which I am, just not in arm circumference). I may leave this one a little shorter but make longer sleeves, perhaps 3/4 length, we'll see when I get to that point. I will say this is one of the things I really like about this pattern is it's versatility as far as changing the length of the jacket and/or the sleeves goes, and it's actually a pattern that goes pretty quickly too, especially now that I've figured out how to get those additional stitches in on the front pieces without tying on a separate little piece of yarn, with resulting extra ends to deal with!

In addition to this new Short n' Sweet, I am also working on a doily, the Spider Web Doily by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which can be found here. Other than switching from a size 9 hook up to a 7, I am doing very well at following the instructions which can, at times, be a bit, uhm, different from what I'm used to. It's actually a pretty easy little pattern and is also working up quite fast, considering how often I keep jumping between it and SnS due to my restless inability to concentrate on any one thing for more than a few minutes at a time. I've completed 17 rounds out of the 22 and anticipate completing this in a few days, if all goes well. I had to switch to the larger size hook because I almost immediately split and tore the thread with the smaller one. Mine will be in Ecru, from Caron.

I just now realized that I failed to take a picture of my second completed dishcloth, which I also finished up on the 4th of July weekend marathon crochet session. I'll try to remedy that the next time I'm doing a photo-shoot. I had started on #3 but had to frog the dang thing today when I realized I hadn't made my chain long enough and was going to end up with a cloth that was far too small for my liking. This will be the third cloth made in the same easy pattern, which I found here. I must say I find it rather funny that she states this pattern makes a "loose, thinner dishcloth", and that her pattern is 28 stitches wide. For me, I guess I'm working a tighter stitch (I'm using the same size hook as called for in the pattern) since mine is nowhere near "loose" or "thin", and I found 28 stitches to not be wide enough for me, as I like my cloths to be larger than 7 inches square, so I added an additional 4 chains to the starting chain called for in the pattern, and I am also working a sc edging all the way around the cloth to finish it up (wow, how's that for one heck of a run-on sentence?!). Still, these are nice little portable projects for me to carry around and keep my hands busy when I'm feeling a tad anxious (which could also account for the tighter stitches). As far as what I will do with them, I'll just have to wait and see how many I end up with before I decide. I have a LOT of cotton, and the agoraphobia I seem to be saddled with creates a lot of anxious moments lately.

I have several other projects waiting in the wings, so to speak, which I will probably consider starting soon. I have a couple of baby blankets I'd like to make as well as a few baby outfits, and some summer tops for me. Which ones get picked up first is wholly dependent on what mood I'm in when I reach into the stash for the supplies, but I will be putting them all on my July challenges list and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, I'll get back in the mood to make some squares again soon too. Oh yes, and I plan to continue working on my knitting lessons. I'm trying to wrap up my current practice piece so I can move on to learning increasing and decreasing, which is the next (and most important to me) lesson to master. I'm hoping that once I learn that, I will be able to tackle Steffie, since (other than the increasing and decreasing) the knitting part of it doesn't look like it would be too hard to do, and I really like the style of this particular pattern.

Okay, one last time for the pineapple shawl. My daughter didn't even tell me it was laying on the ground as I spread it out
behind me! This picture gives you the best idea just how large this shawl is:
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And here's a shot of me wrapped in it (the act of wrapping it around my body gets it off the ground, fortunately), and yes, again, I've cropped my head out. It was not a picture-worthy day for my face. Lucky for me, it was a relatively cool day, as this is one very warm shawl!
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One last thing before I post this and go. Jackie, you wanted to know what pattern I used for my filet head scarf, I guess I forgot to include the link. Here it is: Triangle Scarf With Rose Just remember, in the instructions for Row 1, you want to put your first stitch in the 6th chain from hook, not the 8th as stated. That was an error I found when I worked this pattern. Also, ignore the word "steel" when selecting your hook size. A size 3 steel hook is far far too small and you will end up with a doll-sized scarf if you use it (as I did!). This is still a pretty small sized scarf when worked with a C hook and #3 thread, so you may want to try a larger size hook or otherwise adjust the pattern if you'd like it larger.

To everyone who has left comments - thanks! To those waiting on a reply from me, please be patient, I'll get to you as soon as I can. Hopefully I will be able to get this posted without any problems! Until my next update...