Monday, October 23, 2006

Sweet Procrastination

So, it's been awhile, though I'll honestly say it seems like I posted just yesterday. Where the time goes I'll never know, though I suspect the small people in our house are feasting off of it. Let's play catch-up shall we?

Sweet is not so sweet to me right now, though I've finished it as far as I can for the moment:

Yes, lesson learned. Antique mirrors are not made for picture taking...will try to have the hubby take a live shot soon so you can see it better. Love how it's shaped, was just hoping for sleeves and find myself a tad yarn short. I started sleeves, decreasing gradually and got to about the elbow of one before confirming just how woefully short that shortage willl be. Am currently contemplating the benefits of either leaving it as is for spring or girding my will for a foray to the LYS in search of contrasting cotton for the wide-ish sleeves I'm picturing. Am thinking brown to play off the dark tones, but maybe a blue would make it not so glaring?

With this out my window, I suspect the sleeves will win:

Yes, I know it's Minnesota, but heck, it hasn't snowed much before the New Year since I was little. OK, that's a wee exaggeration, but seriously, it's been more like 50 in December the last few years. Snow before Halloween is just not on, not on at all. So that kind of shocked me back to reality. There are only so many days left until the holidays are upon us, so I decided to put "sweet" on hold and start tackling my list. I popped these off last week with some left-overs from other projects...

Great teacher gifts. The scarf in front is the "one skein" from the Happy Hooker. That pattern has fast become a favorite, it looks great with all sorts of yarn and works up super fast, though I do use a bigger hook tham they call for to make it obnoxiously long. The one in back is done with thick and thin wool and a Q hook...basicly a hdc mesh so it's super simple but has good texture and drape.
Went on a road trip over the weekend, so had lots of time to hook:
The brown in back is the Fat Bottom Bag, again from HH. I'm working it in Lion Suede for a silent auction. The handles are bamboo, should be very fall-ish and striking. Am working it with a J hook and am burning through yarn though, need a third skein to finish it off. The lavendar bits are pieces for a childrens cardi out of Crochet for Tots (hmmm, spelled that with an "i" first time around...perhaps something to think on there... ;) ). Destined for my neice in Florida, so I'm working it in Cestari DK, which is 80% cotton, 20% wool. I l.o.v.e. working with this yarn, would make everything with it if I could. It's yummy. She's from southern China, so the colors should be very striking on her. The turquoise is the start of a bag for my SIL, making it on the fly, should be interesting. I'm imagining a slouch bag with various textures. The yarn is one of the JoAnn "sensations" line...Cossetta I believe. It's a wool acrylic blend that has a shimmery bit worked through.

WOW, does it feel good to be breezing through some stuff. Frogging the sweet sweater over and over was really affecting my outlook I think.

Other things in the pipe include a throw for the hubbie that complained I didn't make him one when I did everyone else last year...I was making him a baby damn it, wasn't that enough?!?! So, I'm playing make-up this year and doing something manly that will just be his. Hope to have it finished by our's #10 and that would be nice I think. So sappy, but here's a physical manifestation of my love...ugh, he may vomit. Pics of that next time about....the throw, not the vomit.

Also hope to make my mom a wrap, my sis some type of bag, the MIL a hat/scarf combo (love the textured one in the new Crochet Today...looks like it would work up quick, but the result seems elaborate...that may be it if I can find something luxe to work it the core, I'm lazy), hopefully will have time for a blanket for #1 based on the garden scarf from HH, need something for the baby and have a host of snowflakes, mini stockings and cup cozies to make for friends as well. OOF, that seems like a ton. Better get going...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sweeter than sweet

OK, I have to admit, I've been slacking on the "sweet" project, but look what I did instead!

Yes, that is one of many, many batches of silky, home-made apple-y goodness. Still warm from the pot cinnamon applesauce. We did the annual family outing to the orchard last weekend then it was freakishly warm for a MN fall last week (maybe where you are 80 is normal for October, but so not here...we're getting some glorious fall colors though.), so the project was delayed until things cooled off. Every year I make and freeze quarts and quarts of applesauce, because WOW does it bear almost no resemblance to what comes in the jar from the supermarket. Fresh from the pot it has been known to make me moan with pleasure. And the beauty of the thing is how very simple it is. You should really try it.

OK, on to the sweater. This was the progress I had made before said trip to the orchard. Sorry it's so blurry, but I can't get a pic taken in the mirror to turn out any other way it seems.

At this point, I had new skeins (working 2 at once, alternating rows with this handpainted stuff to try to even out the tone), and you can't tell from this pic, but there was a brown in one of them that is much more intense than in the other skeins. Knowing I am going to need every inch or yarn I have (9 skeins at 133yds each), had to take a break to mull that over. Have since resumed, and worked through those skeins and added 2 more, and I think I can live with this. The yarn is just all different and it's just going to add to the character of the sweater. After the bust, I switched from a J to an I, and it's shaping up well, a bit formed, but not too clingy. I'm just holding my breath at this point to see if I'll actually have enough for sleeves...please, please, please, I want sleeves!

Monday, October 02, 2006

"Crochet!"...a tale of redemption

Passing our house on a glorious day such as today, so glorious as to cause windows all over the state of MN to be thrown wide in hopes of catching every fair fall breeze passing, if the timing was just right, you may very well have heard the anguished cry of "WHY, oh why did I do this to myself AGAIN?!?!?"

And yes, you would have known that I once again committed the folly of purchasing the newest issue of "Crochet!".

Time and time again I've fallen into their trap, and time and again I've sadly lived to sorely regret it.

In hopes of staying out of the land of negativity, I'll just say I hope to some day learn that it's dear editors and I just don't see eye to eye...or perhaps that should be hook to hook. The styling, the yarn, the patterns tend just to not be to my taste.

Apparently today is not the day for that though, since I scooped it up, along with the latest Family Circle Easy Crochet, in a fit of crochet madness while perusing the local Barnes & Noble in search of the Oct/Nov Crochet Today.

Got home and while flipping the pages was again mentally berating myself for my folly when I stopped in shock. An article, and actual article I wanted to read. I started flipping pages faster, and there was another one, and a pattern I actually wanted to try out, sans fluffy edging, and another I could tweek to my liking I think. WOW. Guess this is what happens when we in the great white north get 2 successive days over 80 in October...

Here's the scoop:
  • Designing from a different angle, part 2 covers vertical-row construction and utilizing short row shaping...not just for knitting any more it appears. (though if you've made the driving gloves from Happy Hooker you've already done it.)
  • From Batt to Beautiful talks about taking wool roving or batt and making it crochet-able without spinning...can't wait to try this.
  • the red holiday duster pattern is the one I'm imagining without the foo-foo edging (so not me) and in a nice natural wolly-ness for winter. Merino would be lovely.
  • there are a couple of other sweater-y things I think I can adapt to suit my more "mature" mommy figure (can we stop with the crop tops yet???). want to try that tunic sans high fun furry neck and edges.
  • and just yesterday, whilst proclaiming my love for wooly wormhead's latest hat-y creation aloud (ooohh and just was there to get the link and there's a note about a new online crochet zine?????? crochet insider, check it out!), was thinking about making a hat with earflaps that turned into a scarf and "bing" here it is today in "Crochet!".
So, they've got me again. You can lay money on me nabbing the next one in hopes that such heights will prove self-perpetuating. AGH.

Liking the FC Easy Crochet too...nothing revolutionary, as everything is definitely "easy" in terms of construction, but some things I hadn't thought of doing before...and a great fulled plaid table runner I can't wait to make into a bag!

Now that I've reworked the top of my sweet sweater 3 times, am hoping to make more progress and have some more pictures to share couple of days hopefully.