Thursday, September 28, 2006

More sweetness!

More news on the Sweet CAL front. Dug out my beading stash and made myself some smart new stitch markers to replace the paperclips I've been using for way too long. Sterling wire with freshwater pearls. Ain't they cute? Slid on and off nicely too.

I want to say a few words about my yarn as the babe cut my last post short of the details. It's Araucania Yarns' Pehuen in "color 4". Great blues and browns. Hand dyed 100% cotton, nicely nubby but still s.o.f.t. Absolutely love how it's working up. It was clear as soon as I started swatching that there would be no trouble with color pooling, it's all very random and color repeats are very short. Played around with a few stitches, but since it's a textured yarn, it doesn't make sense to use anything fancy, so struck upon the extended sc as the winner and it's making a nicely uniform fabric that's not overly bulky. Almost did hdc before i realized the subtle banding goes in directions this bod definitely does NOT need more attention drawn to.

This was my first attempt, following the original template:

Wanted the neckline more open so frogged it and have redone it using Skamama's deeper neck and BINGO, lovin' it. Thank you Julie. Hasn't had a chance for it's photo-op though, so will hopefully be a bit further along by the time you see it. My neck's looking a bit more square-ish than the others though. Am hoping there's not more frogging in my future.

I didn't know how I was going to do with a sort of detailed project with all that's going on right now, but it's actually nice to have something engrossing to take me away. There's a tag for you, "Crochet, take me away."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sweet anticipation

My very first CAL starts tomorrow! (OK, I really wrote this over the weekend, but was having trouble with the pictures, so it's going up now....and no, the button does NOT work cause I don't know how to do that...)

OK, I know, how is that am I not CAL-ing like crazy?

Oh so very many reasons. I simply can't handle working on one thing at a time, always have 500 projects going at once, and with 3 kids just haven't had the time to be checking in regularly with forums and blogs and the universe in general...all things needed for a CAL to be of use.

With #s 1 & 2 in school regularly, and #3 hopefully sleeping at some point a.m. and p.m. (a girl can dream, right?), I'm hoping this works.

Really, really, really hoping it works because I have another confession to make...I've never made a garment for moi before either. (Yes, the Cinnabar coat is in the works, but that's following the pattern and hopefully on it's way to turning out fab.)

Why? Because I HATE SEAMING. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I pretty much rework most patterns to involve little to no seaming. If I could institute one universal crochet pattern rule it would be for everything to be worked as continuously as possible, cause I'm lazy and hate the seaming.

So, imagine my delight when I saw
this in the Fall issue of Crochet Me.

YEAH! (and quite the coincidence as I had just been listening to teh Cast-On episode with Franklin Habit talking about the percentages sweater from

Here's the yarn...more on swatching and the stitch markers I'm making tomorrow.

(and BTW, also finished up the chunky sweater for #2 and am working on a poncho for #1...nothing like love in the form of yarn! more on these later...)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yarn therapy.

OK, when you have kids, you know it's not all sunshine and rainbows. But every once in awhile something happens that hits you like a punch in the guts, and it did for us yesterday.

#1 is 12 days into Kindergarten. We had dropped #2 off at preschool and were playing a name game on the way to her school...who in the car could name the most kids in her class. Adding #3's spontaneous 7 month old comments in and things were a little goofy. Until #1 says a name and follows up with "He's the one that hurts me." Then with further questioning goes on to describe a nauseating tale of playground bullying. Remember, I was driving. It's a miracle we're all still alive.

So, you can imagine what kind of day yesterday was. We got to school and I pulled the teacher aside, she's very concerned and we set a time to meet after school. Great. Now how to get through the day when I'm sobbing the whole way home? Alternating between crying and feeling like I'm going to vomit, it's clear things are not going to proceed as usual, my brain is just whirling and I need to shut it down or I'll be a raving lunatic by 3:30. I'd be grabbing #1 and running as far and as fast as I can.

Get #3 down for a nap, grab my iPod (loaded with back episodes of Cast-On and Craft-Lit) and head to my corner. Only, my chair is covered with pieces of the Cinnabar coat...cannot fathom trying to count rows and keep track of increases and decreases, so I set it aside and dive into my stash. And here's what came out:

I found some yummy, happy balls of Portofino cotton blends...Souffle (the green) and Paper (the blue) and went to town making a mindless boxy sweater for #2. You know, the kind you work all in one piece, with just a slit for the neck? I'm using hhdc and am really happy with the texture and how the colors are going together. The souffle yarn is a nubby 2 ply, and the paper is basically the same yarn with a paper-ish tape twisted in, making that tweedy effect when it's worked up. Both are soft and everything is nice and drapey. And, yes, I am changing balls mid-row. Guess I was not in the mood for neat and orderly, but with the bold colors and clean design it's working. I think this was plopped down WS up, the RS is much neater. It's going to be darling. This is where I got to yesterday, so of course it's now another UFO, but with the state of my mommy brain, I'll probably polish it off yet today, tomorrow latest, working to the dimensions of one of his favorite shirts, plus some for growth.

Something about the yarn and the rhythmic motions was calming. I always say it's like meditation for me...or maybe just escapism? Either or, yesterday the act of making was just perfect. I was doing something and my brain was calm...hmmm, maybe Brenda's voice and Pride and Predjudice had a bit to contribute to that picture too, but it worked. It got me through without obsessing every minute, the time passed....and I could still drive to pick her up at the end of the day, which I so wouldn't have if my sudden desire to dive into the liquor cabinet had won out.

Lots of questions, calls and a teacher conference later, I'm still very heartsick. I don't know what the answers are. Heck, I don't even think I know what all the issues and options are right now. I do know I'm sad, and I do know I need to feel like I'm taking care of my kids. For now, while I feel so helpless and out of control, what I can do is literally wrap them in my love. My guess is my stash diving isn't done and I'll be popping out other sweaters, hats, mittens, booties, animals and whatever with abandon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Everyone wants the crochet!?!?!?!

Short post today as the babe is cutting a monster tooth, but had to jot down my shock and awe before it fades.

Finally got together with a group of knitty friends this morning. It was a part of a larger moms support group I belong to...a new effort on my part to develop a yarny community of mine own. There were several knitters and several new knitters and a few lapsed knit and crocheters picking things up again...and several knit wannabes. Or so they thought.

After goggling the now completed back of my Cinnabar coat (pic above...oops, below in previous post) and approriating my Interweave Crochet, I was awash in demands to teach them to crochet.

Shock and awe, I tell you. S.h.o.c.k. and f***-in' awe.

I have never, ever, ever been crocheting with a group and had knitters be impressed with what I was doing, much less want to learn. And never, ever, ever, never ever have I had people wanting to learn to knit turn away from the needles and happily sit hooking chains, slip stitches and sc instead.

That Cinnabar coat is one hell of a pattern.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Stepping into the confessional...


I'm Dawn, and I have a problem.

I'm crochet-compulsive.

No, stop laughing.

Really, I am.

It started last year when I found myself unintentionally preggo with #3. Way out of control and in denial, I picked up the hooks again and haven't been able to put them down. There's way too much yarn stashed behind the chair in the bedroom, and many, many "works in progress" hiding behind the chair in the living room. And yet, I asked for yarn for my birthday...and my mom complied, gifting me with the ability to buy enough Cascade Eco Yarn to make me the Cinnabar Coat from the latest Interweave Crochet. That's it in the pic. Yummy cocoa brown, thick and warm enough for what MN has in store, I hope. Looking at it makes me want to go touch it, and hear the mellow click of the bamboo hook on my wedding ring.

Seriously, I'm a junkie.

I'm also attempting to make my way at home full time with 3 small people 5 and under, 2 english bulldogs, 1 newly transformed teeny-tiny leopard frog, 1 apparently obstinant tadpole and 1 husband all under my charge.

As you can imagine, the fabric of my life is not exactly compatible with my drive to crochet and crochet and crochet and crochet.

There's not much sleep, and many nights frustratingly spent laying awake thinking about yarn and hooks and yarn and projects and yarn and stitches and yarn. And the whole time I'm laying there not believing I'm not sleeping because I'm thinking about crocheting stuff.

Chaotic, brain melting days spent trying to hold even one of the 5 million things I should be remembering in my head as the baby cries because his new teeth hurt, while trying to make dinner and find a lost blankie and explain just why it isn't such a good idea to feed the grow-a-frog the dead bugs found amongst the dust-bunnies under the couch.

Gee, wonder why I ache for nap time and the hour at the end of the day I can pop in my ear buds, escape into a podcast and make row after row of neat stitches?

OK, so maybe it's not such a mystery.

But still, that's what this is all about.