Friday, August 31, 2007

More Yarn-i-ness!

It's been a busy week in the non-yarn sense, so I haven't gotten as much knitting & crocheting done as I hoped. But I am about halfway finished with the final quarter of my Vegan Sari purse, so that should be getting sewed together real soon, then I can knit the handle and line it, so I can take it with me to The Clearing next Saturday. I'll post pix when all the pieces are complete and sewed into one.

I tried to work on my shrawl a bit every day. I've got about 15 inches done. You can barely see the first row with the eyelash crocheted in. The only problem is that the pattern said I could make the whole t
hing with 500 yds. of worsted and 500 yds. of mohair, plus assorted shorter quantities of novelty yarn. Maybe somebody could, but it turns out I can't. I used up the first 250 yd. skein of the worsted at about 14 1/2 inches; I have to crochet to about 60 inches for it to cover my wingspan. I don't think I've done something wrong. When I hold it up my stitches, and the holes between them, look like the picture in the book. Maybe there's a typo and should read 1500 yds. of worsted, etc. It's not a real problem; I think it will be lovely and I'm definitely not frogging it to start over and try again. It's a shrawl, people, not a sock.

Remember last week when I was all panicky about not having enough
Vegan sari yarn to finish my purse so I frantically ordered more? And remember when I posted saying it had come but was so not the same color? Here is the proof: the picture on the left is the new yarn, the picture on the right is the old stuff. Not even close. It never occurred to me to ask them if they had green, red & yellow yarn. Ah, well, live and learn. I will have enough yarn to complete the purse with the original skeins, even if I have to make the handle a bit shorter than the pattern specifies, and now I'll have 400 g. of it to make something else. Or for someone else to make something of. Ann?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Very Yarn-y Day

Ooh, I had so much fun today! I got to talk to both my kids this morning and I always like that. Then I spent the rest of the day, between laundry loads and noveling, either crocheting or knitting. I decided yesterday that I wanted a new shawl or some sort of wrap to take to The Clearing in two weeks. I bought a book called Crochet Squared by Marsha A. Polk that is filled with shawl & poncho and shrug & shawl hybrids made with big hooks and multiple strands of yarn she calls Ponshawls and Shrawls. They're right up my alley with their bright colors, interesting yarns, and simple patterns. I picked one out, dug through my stash, got my biggest hook, and started the dreaded foundation chain. I know I said I like bright colors but I chose black and gray so my shrawl goes with everything. It's hard to see in the picture but the main part is black Red Heart Soft Yarn worsted and charcoal Red Heart Symphony mohair. I crocheted two inches then picked up Lion Brand Incredible ribbon yarn in Accent On Black which is black and silver variegated, and crocheted with all three for another two inches. Then I dropped the ribbon and will crochet for ten inches with just the worsted and mohair. In the section after that I plan to pick up Bernat Boa yarn in Raven which looks like muppet eyelashes (excellent description, Abby!) for a couple inches, then another ten inches of the worsted and mohair. After that, I'll keep going and end with the reverse order so each side matches. Once you have the rectangle finished and all ends woven in, you fold it in half and sew a bit of the ends to make armholes, so it's a shawl that's a bit like a shrug. I can't wait to finish it and see how it turns out.

In between laundry loads and shrawl crocheting, I managed to finish the third quarter of my Vegan sari purse. One more piece to go, then I sew it together, knit the handle, line it, and it's done. Yippee! They don't look the same size when they're side by side, but when I stack them up they match, so I'm good. Plus I figure the variations in the yarn will make up for any, um, flexible measuring during construction.

My arms ache.

Twilight Zone (or at least the suburbs of it)

David & Ann, there was something I meant to tell you guys when we spoke this morning but forgot. Here it is--Dad reminded me to get a couple lottery tickets when I was out and about on Friday. I did and when I put them in the clip on the fridge I noticed that on both of them the Powerball was 19. Drat. We figure that lowers our odds of getting a winner, so when I was at Copps yesterday getting groceries I stopped at the service desk and asked for a quick pick with any other Powerball but 19. The young lady behind the counter punched the machine, looked at the ticket and then at me in fear or shock. I thought she was joking with me--then I looked at the ticket. Yep, 19 again. Guess what the Powerball was in last night's drawing. 19! We had two additional matching numbers on one ticket but only the Powerball on the other two. Not the giant millions but kind of weird and freaky, don't you think?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Okay, I lied.

So there I was knitting away on the second quarter of my Vegan purse, and I got closer and closer to the time to bind off, and still the first skein wasn't ending. I bound off and still have a little piece of the first skein left to start the third quarter. See the little ball perched between the purse parts? That's what's left of the first 200 g. skein. So I ordered 2 more skeins in a panic the other day that it turns out I won't need to finish the purse. Oops. It's a good thing that the yarn is lumpy and kind of freeform because between Wednesday and today 7 1/2 inches got a little longer--must be all the rain we've had.

Those who know me well know that I have an unfortunate ability to find the ugliest fish-shaped ceramic items that stores have to offer, and they're always on ridiculous sale, and I always buy them. Don and I were in Tuesday Morning on Tuesday afternoon and I found this "lovely" fish candy dish for only $5. I had to have it. It's a bit hard to see but the top of the fish is sort of cut off and there's a shallow depression that a couple of handfuls of M&Ms fit into nicely. I know it's ugly, but that's kind of the reason I like it. The young guy who checked me out said he was glad I was buying it because he was considering buying it himself because it was so ugly. I'm glad I'm not the only one who buys ugly marine-themed items out of pity. (Ann, remember the pitcher? And the teapot? And the... well, you get the idea.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One Quarter of a Purse, Dishcloths & Fish

Ever since I bought that sari silk yarn last spring I have been wanting to knit a purse from the pattern I found on the Frabjous Fibers website. In fact, that purse pattern is the reason I wanted to learn to knit. Every once in a while, I pull out the pattern and stroke the picture and squint at the directions dreaming of the day when I will have enough knitting practice to tackle it. Last Sunday, I did it again--pulled out the pattern and drooled over it. But this time I took the time to carefully read the instructions. Lo and behold, all of the stitches required were ones I have been perfecting by knitting fishies! *happy dance* So I pulled out the box of Himalayan yarn to select the perfect skeins to make it with. Surprising even myself, I chose the 2 skeins of Vegan (cotton & rayon) for its autumn colors, for my first stab at this purse pattern. (I figure I'll make a winter purse from the silk, next-ish.) Last night I finished the first piece of the purse. Look at how pretty it is! The only problem is that this quarter took way more than one-fourth of the 400 g. the pattern called for. I had to order more. Poor me! (Beware, Ann--choose the pattern wisely for your silk purse or you won't be able to finish it before you come home in Oct. and I share some of my eBay swag. I used Hermi's pattern and got a purse from the amount I sent you.)

I also spent some time crocheting up the SnC Stripes dishcloths Mom gave me. And of course I had to buy the Lime colorway, so I made even more. Imagine that there are 2 of each in this picture because I already shared with Mom.

And I knitted some fishes too. Love the Pogo colorway. It reminds me of my favorite Stoplight Parrotfish.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fishies, some Sweater & a Dishcloth

I decided this week to give in to my love of variegated yarns and fill in with solids later. I confess, I bought 2 more skeins of Red Heart Strata on Sunday. I'm a sucker for the colors. Cool, huh?

I got through the first pattern section of my crocheted sweater. The next row will start the pattern above the flat sections to make it look like basketweav
e. It's slow going when I have so many other projects in progress, but with my short attention span I need lots to keep me occupied.

Mom stopped over yesterday afternoon bearing yarn-gifts! She saw a star-shaped dishcloth pattern in a catalo
g that had gazillions of colors of SnC and fell prey to the "free pattern with yarn purchase" lure. She picked out a couple of skeins and got the package the other day. She very nicely brought it to me. Good ol' Mom, so generous, so selfless. Hmmm, funny that the pattern will make 2 cloths per skein. Could it be that she was hoping to trick me into crocheting the cloths and then I would keep one for me and give one to her? Mwah-ha-ha, Mom, not so fast! You can't trick me. I was planning to give you one of each anyway. So there. *ahem* I'm okay. Cute dishcloth, though, and very quick.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Cutest Baby Hat

Some long-time dive shop customers have been trying to have a baby for the last few years and on Thursday we got a birth announcement. Welcome to the world, Gabrielle Katherine! I thought she needed a hat, so I crocheted her one. Now I have to figure out a time I can go and take it to her. Actually the hat is just an excuse to go smell that new baby smell and get to snuggle her for a minute or two, everyone knows that's the only reason you give baby gifts.

I was looking for something quick and satisfying to make earlier this week so I cast on a K
en's Dulaan Hat, a Yarn Harlot pattern. It's only 32 stitches on size 17 needles and is laughably easy, even for a beginner. I felt very smug and accomplished until I came to the part about making an I-cord. I looked it up on the internet and just got confused. Anyone able to explain it to me? Help! Maybe I'll take some knitting lessons in the fall.

I made 3 fish this week but the picture I took was awful. I'll try again tomorrow. I keep finding more variegated yarns to "fish" with. This has got to stop. And I am not making fish with the Noro I got at 40% off from Monterey Yarns. Don't know what I'll do with it but not fish.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Different WIPs & more Fish

I finished the Dishcloth KAL (it is a dolphin; I was right) and then got tired of fishing all week and boring you with different colored fish so I looked around for something quick to accomplish. So I dug out the Yarn Harlot's pattern for Ken's Dulaan Hat and cast it on. It's only 30 stitches and just over 15 rows so it'll go fast. Patti at my LYS helped me figure out the pattern for my crocheted sweater so I can get moving on that, but it's a long-term project. I bought a skein of yarn from her because she won't let me pay her for her help so I cast on a fish with it. And there are the 4 finished fishies from this week so far. I do love the colors of that Red Heart Strata; the blues and greens are so ocean-y looking.

Friday, August 3, 2007

WIPs & Fish

This has been a busy week, yarn-wise. I fished at every opportunity, finishing 6 more for my school. I know it only looks like 5 but there's a dark red one between the mango and pink ones. Notice the blue and green fish. It's made with Red Heart Strata in Splash. I was looking for a bluish turquoise to kind of brighten up my mix and found this not really self-striping yarn, more like self-patterning yarn. I like the color, dislike the texture, but, hey, it was cheap. I do like the color--a lot.

On to the WIPs. I am actually caught up with the Dishcloth KAL for once. I think I know what it is, but I'm not going to say in case I'm wrong. Yeah, yeah, I know that's a cop out, but I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone knitting along. I consider I'm being selfless, not a chicken.

And last, but certainly not least, I started my first crocheted sweater. I ordered Tuscan Tan Wolina, a wool & linen blend, from
Herrschners on my daughter's advice (thanks, Ann) and finally finished the foundation row of 91 dc in a chain. Ninety-one! Well, we all know I'm no sylph, but it seemed like a lot. I will concede that the sweater fit is listed as oversize. (I feel a bit better now.) The ribbing is made by doing alternating front post double crochet and back post double crochet, something I had never done or seen done, but I found some excellent instructions on Crochet Me and gave it a shot. Easy as pie. I think I've got two more rows of ribbing to go before I start on the back of the sweater body. Should be fun. More later!