Sunday, February 28, 2010

4 AM already!?!

Friday night I got work putting the first ruffle on the Ruffles all Around afghan. It's a lot of stitches as it's 6 rounds wide. I was going like gangbusters and would've kept going but it was 4am and I had to pour beer for a 9pm Syracuse basketball game that night. If it wasn't for the beer pouring I may have stayed up all night.

1st ruffle

I went with Caron's Pounder in Denim. It's a heathered blue and at first I wasn't sure if I'd like the "faded" look of it. It's growing on me. I just hope I end up pleased with it. It stinks to put so many hours into something to feel so so about it. I'm hoping to work on it when I get off here for a bit.

And in all my loserness. I keep thinking of starting even more projects. This time it's a shawl. Liz wanted me to make her a poncho. I'd rather make something that's a bit "fancier". I thought about making her a shrug but there are some really pretty shawls out there. Besides it's less fitting so not as fussy and I'm not sure I'm ready for sleeves yet. So far I've held off on it but I'm not sure how long I can last before I give in.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Critiquing Myself

I know the creator is usually the hardest critic when it comes to a project. Well I'm no exception. Taking pictures for the last post left me feeling less then great about some projects. Mostly it's the Midnight Brites afghan squares. They are so messy and all different sizes! My stitch consistency has improved immensely since last summer. Part of me wants to start the project all over. Part of me doesn't want to waste all that work. But can I really give away something I'm not ok with? I could just throw together the squares I have and make something to use around here.

To a point it's happening to the Tree of Life afghan too. My front post stitches are getting consistent and better looking as I've gone on. That leaves me looking at the beginning of the afghan with distaste and having to prevent myself from ripping out what I've done already. :o)

I have to wonder if I'll ever be content with the quality of my work. Will I always find something wrong? That blaring mistake that only I can see? Or will I get experienced enough with practice to do the quality of work I want to hold myself to? I think that's one of the reasons why I haven't tried any wearable projects. I'm not confident enough in the quality of my work. Although with the grandbaby coming soon, the wearable category of crocheting is becoming more and more enticing. Guess that means I better get cranking out projects so I can practice.

I'm such a loser!

I have all the projects mentioned in the last post. So what do I do? I start another one! I decided to put away the Tree of Life afghan for a bit. Actually I decided the original one I started wasn't too bad after all and put them both away. I'm not sure I want to do that much work for a present for a couple that aren't that close to me (although I love them to death). So I decided to start an all white ripple blanket using this pattern and some Caron Simply Soft mill ends. The only modifications I'm making are that there are 10 stitches between mountains and valleys instead of 6. I'm also working in the BLO (back loops only) so it'll have a ridged design to it. I ended up starting it and Frogging it 3 times before I ok with it.


Yesterday I worked on a square of the Jackson square blanket but didn't finish it. I'm not sure why I get so far into a project and it loses it's favor with me. I know that if I'd just finish it, I could stop thinking about it. I have enough in life to think about without an UFO (unfinished object) niggling in the back of my head all the time.

LOL! I decided to take some pictures of my projects to liven this place up. I seem to have misplaced the baggie with the Jackson square squares in it. GRRRRR! Not finding the bag of squares led to a mild rant about my missing baby afghan book. Michelle mentioned her book pile by the toybox. I told her there weren't any books there, so she looked. I was right. That led me to wonder if maybe someone had taken the books into the library. Sure enough! There was a diaper box with books in them, including my baby afghan book! YIPEEE!!! I thumbed through book for a few minutes and then ventured into the kitchen. Next thing I knew I was cleaning spackling off the putty knife that the girls used yesterday. Before I knew it I was spackling the walls all around me. And here I am again an hour later with hardly any pictures taken. And I wonder why nothing ever gets done around here.

Back again, I decided to get the pictures done and in the process found the missing bag of squares! So I think I'll try to get some UFOs done this weekend. Then work on the white ripple. I may even get into my room to organize my stash. And if I really get industrious I may do some reclaiming the yarn from my piles of sweaters and such. I'm hoping my yarn winder speeds that process up.

Jackson Square Afghan - have completed... 8 purple (sc squares), 7 Turquoise (hdc squares), 4.5 Sunshine (sc,dc square). Need to finish... 7 magenta (dc squares), 1 Turquoise, 2.5 Sunshine.


Midnight Brites squares - I had them stacked neatly in a cool pattern but Sean came by and messed them up before I could take any pictures.
Completed... 44 yellow, 22 blue, 29 green, 2 magenta. Need to finish... 22 blue, 15 green, 42 magenta, 44 purple and 44 orange


Tree of Life Afghan...

Bernat Worsted Aran

Caron Pounder, off white

Both side by side

Ruffles all Around
Ruffles all around baby afghan

Sean had to get in on the picture taking action

Monday, February 22, 2010

I got my Christmas present!!!!

I asked for a manual yarn winder for Christmas. My mom thought she was doing me a favor and bought me an electric one. I tried to wind some yarn and immediately disliked it. Any little tension on the yarn and the machine stopped winding. You could hear the winder skipping over the gears. It sounded like it was about to break. When I took the cake off the fell apart because it was so loosely wound. Not what I wanted. I checked online for info on the machine, figuring I did something wrong. I found that my complaint was a common one. So I called my mom and asked if she'd mind if I returned the electric one and got a manual winder instead. She didn't have a problem with it. I was bummed to find that no stores carried the manual winder, I'd have to order it online. Unfortunately finances were tight and I ended up using the refunded money for groceries. I vowed I'd buy myself the manual winder when our tax return came. Well it came and I ordered it from Joann's using a 50% off coupon. The savings allowed me to also order a bamboo handle "N" crochet hook, a 14" "G" Double end crochet hook, and a 40" "H" circular crochet hook.

The post office delivered my package on Friday!!! I immediately started using it and wound at least 50 cakes. By the end of the night I was totally stuffed up from the yarn dust all day but I had fun. It was hard to stop!

Now I have to finish up some projects so I can start playing with my new needles. I already have a crochet on the double pattern book and am eyeing some future projects.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So what's on the hook right now?

I'm got the Jackson Square Blanket about 75% done. I have all the double crochet squares to do and one or two of the other stitches to do. I ran out of yarn when doing the last squares of some of the stitches. Looking at the squares sitting in the gallon baggie I realized...I made the blanket in Mardi Gras colors! Purple, gold, and turquoise. I'm hoping adding the magenta will change that perspective I have.

I've put it aside to work on the Ruffles All Around baby blanket. I have 70 of 73 rows done of the main body. I should be finishing the last 3 rows up tonight. One slight problem though...I can't find the book the pattern is in!!!! So that means I have no idea what to do next. I've looked and looked. I'm hoping I just didn't look well enough and it's not a case of someone threw it away in a mass cleaning fit. It's a $24 book that I bought with a 40% off coupon and the $25 gift card to AC Moore that Pat gave me for Christmas.

Next in line is the Tree of Life Afghan. It's to be a shower gift for a couple getting married in May. It can be a difficult project to work on here since you need to pay attention to your stitch count. There's not much time around here when I'm not multitasking while crocheting and stitch counting suffers when mutlitasking. I started the project with Bernat's Worsted Aran. Wasn't too pleased with the yellowness of the Aran. The yarn also wasn't looking quite like I thought it should. I debated on whether to FROG it (rip it it...ribbit..get it?) or not. Decided I was too far into it to waste all that time so kept it. Then I went to buy more of the yarn, since the 2 skeins I had wouldn't be enough. The store had the Bernat worsted, just not in Aran. GRRRR! So I put it up for a week or so to work on the two blankets above. Lo and Behold...AC Moore had Caron's one pounders for $5 this week! That clinched it. I was giving up on the Bernats and restarting with Caron's off white. I worked on it one day, got up to row 14 of the tree pattern and am liking it much better.

The last afghan is one I started quite a while ago. I pull out it every once in a while when I need something simple to do. It's based on the Midnight Brites afghan at Mary Maxim. I'd have to count the squares to figure out how far I am. I know I've done more then I actually own right now. I've found some laying amongst the dust bunnies (and fur balls) when sweeping. They were too far gone so I've thrown them away. Since I don't have a pattern for it, I've had to guess as to the hook size and such. I'm thinking now that I used a too small hook. I started making squares with an I hook but thought they looked too big. So moved down to a G hook. So it might be a bit more lapghan/baby size then bed size. I might try to do this with an I hook at a later time but will keep going with the G hook now.

I'm on the verge of trying to do a flannelghan. On Thursday I took Michelle to a store and ran into AC Moore to pass the time. With Caron pounders at only $5, it seemed like a good time to buy the yarn for it since it takes 5-7lbs. I filled the cart and then stook there looking at it and rationalizing. I rationalized my way into putting every skein back and walked out of there without spending a dime. I figured I had enough projects and my yarn stash is large enough for me to keep busy for a while.

Here we go

I finally decided that I wanted a place to write about my crafting. There are times (like right now) when I don't feel like I can talk too much about what's going on at the house but want to talk about my projects. I feel guilty that I'm clogging up my family blog with tons about my projects. So that now I don't have to. I can share all my projects, ideas, WIP reports, and such guilt free! If I eventually let it family blog will still be there and I can let this go. But right now I feel like I have to do this...for me.