“The time has come,” Gossy said, “to write of many crafts.”
“Which crafts, Gossy?”
“Miao. Miao. Miao.”
“You’re no help.”
Since I last posted here in August 2015, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve done much. Aside from a set of baby presents (hat, booties, cardigan – all basic patterns I’ve posted about before) and a big squishy red scarf for myself (pattern here), little has been completed.
But that’s because, as of a few days ago, here’s what the top row of my Ravelry project page looked like:
See all those projects above 95%? Three of them just needed to be blocked and have their loose ends sewn in. Instead of writer’s block, a state of being I’m getting frustratingly used to living in, I had blocker’s block.
Gossy was no help so instead I posted a picture of the three unblocked shawls to instagram. Something about that helped me feel more accountable about finishing.
And this lovely HUGE lace shawl is blocking on the futon behind me as I type.
The gradient baby blanket needs to be machine laundered and dried (to test its durability before giving it to someone with a newborn and no time for the nonsense of handwash delicates). I think there are a few ends to sew in there too.
And the granny cardigan? I guess maybe that’s what I’ll pick up next if this bout of completionism continues.
Want to help me keep accountable for another project, one that’s been languishing even longer?
Next up – finishing that huge granny square blanket. I have the yarn. The ends are all sewn in. I think there’s no way to do a systematic color progression with ordered chaos of 144 totally different squares. My idea now is to dump them all into a huge bag, mix them around a bit, and work them together drawing them out one at a time. No system, just ordered chaos. It could work!
Back in February, I spent a few days with my grandparents while my grandma had surgery. Not knowing how many days I’d be away for, I filled most of my small suitcase with clothes (winter clothes take up so much room!) and just grabbed a ball of lace weight wool and a size 0 hook to fill in the cracks and fill up hospital waiting time. I’ve used this yarn twice before in shawls, it’s perfectly lovely and I still have 1000+ yards of it. Previous projects: Internet Friend Shawl & Mother’s Day Scarf
I think all of us imagined a long afternoon of sitting about quietly at the hospital waiting for Grandma to come out of anesthetic. Perfect time to start a pretty project that starts with the tedious first instruction: Chain 386+1.
However, we soon learned that nothing keeps my Grandma down, not even major surgery, and she was sitting up and chatting with us within an hour of coming out of the OR. She came home first thing the next morning. No long hours of waiting for her and us!
Still determined to get a little crochet done, I began on my chain, trying my best to keep track of the count while nurses came in to check on her, chat, and read out numbers on her blood pressure or weight or age. (The nurse that didn’t check her chart at first to see her age, and then afterwards inadvertently exclaimed “Holy crap, you’re old!” because she thought Grandma was a good 10 years younger than her actual age was a hilarious moment.) All well and good, but I kept losing track of my count.
My aunt and uncle soon got into the game, calling out numbers at random periodically to throw me off.
Finally I decided that even if I was 20 or so chains short, it wouldn’t make a huge difference, and set about making the first row of single crochets back along the chain. It took a long time.
Eventually I was able to start the lace. By the time I left Michigan a few days later, I was three rows into the pattern. Each row took over an hour, but that’s lace weight and a small hook for you, right?
But I began to realize that something was really wrong. It just seemed so big… maybe instead of undercounting, I’d made too many chains at the beginning?
I checked the pattern to see if it could give me any insight into how far off I was. It says that the first row should have 35 pattern repeats total.
How many pattern repeats do I have?
How far off does that put me?
The pattern repeat is 11 chains. 49*11= 539.
I’m off by 153 chains. That’s impressively wrong!
So that’s why I’ve called this a shawl, not a scarf. And renamed it to be an autumn shawl, rather than summer. I’m making decent progress, but there’s no way it will be finished this season.
Oh well, at least I know I have enough yarn! And that it will be really pretty whenever it is I eventually finish it!
Pattern: Quinty Shrug
It’s been a long time since I’ve visited any crochet blogs, including my own. I’m a little behind on sharing completed projects, but the truth is that there haven’t been all that many to speak of. I’ve only just recently picked my hook and yarn up again after a long break.
In late August, I finished this shrug as belated birthday present for my mom. I didn’t mail it until late September, which means my mom got it as a VERY belated birthday gift.
I made this shrug out of recycled yarn from my friend Janelle’s old sweater, which I wrote about ages ago. The color is perfect for my mom, but the yarn was too thick, so the most fiddly part about the whole project was separating the two ply yarn into single strands to get the weight I needed. It was worth it!
Quinty is a great pattern. The only thing I changed about it was to add a little extra length to the sleeves by repeating the set up rows a second time before starting the lace. I like the effect enough that I’ll probably do the same the next time I make the pattern. And yes, there will certainly be a next time, if not many next times. I’m really happy with it and I hope my mom can find a use for it!
You’ll notice I’m wearing a brace on my left wrist in the above photos. In mid August, I finally went to my school’s clinic to be seen about some pain, weakness, and tingling in my pinky, ring, and middle fingers that I’d been dealing with on and off since June. The initial diagnosis by a young GP was carpal tunnel, which made no sense to me because my thumb wasn’t bothering me at all. I dutifully wore that brace for ~3 weeks, including while I slept, before going in to get a second opinion from the school’s sports medicine physician because it wasn’t really helping.
Turns out the problem wasn’t in my wrist at all, but in my elbow. Somehow, I’ve ended up with a condition called Golfer’s Elbow. It’s not clear what caused it. I have a different brace now, a small one to wear below my elbow that’s surprisingly comfortable and helpful.
Knowing to ice my elbow instead of my wrist has helped a lot too. I still wear the wrist brace when I sleep, but at my follow up appointment 2 weeks ago, I was told that I can begin tapering off both braces now that the tendon is showing signs of recovery. For now, I’m being very conservative about giving up the brace, as well as being conservative about how much crochet I indulge in. I spend all my days at a keyboard right now and no amount of stretching is able to make my wrists totally ache-free.
There are a couple things I’m still working on, of course, because totally eliminating crochet from my life would make me even more stressed than I already am with school. I hope to share them with you soon!
My dear friend Sara married my other dear friend Jan earlier this month. In late May, Sara invited me to her bachelorette party, which included a lingerie party.
Now, for my friend Janelle’s bachelorette party in 2010, I made some horrendous looking crochet lingerie as a joke gift for her. Hilariously, she actually tried them on over her clothing and encouraged me to take ridiculous pictures of her at the party. Janelle, if you’re reading this, please, please tell me they got “lost” in your move last year, if not long before that.
I jokingly mentioned those pieces to Sara and she got really excited about attractive crochet swimsuits and lingerie she’d seen in photos. Well then. Certainly worth another try!
I think I did better this time around!
As I gushed before, Geoui is a great pattern, it’s fun to work up, and the result is a sweet little scarf. I also love the color of the yarn. I think it looks pretty good with my own coloring, which means it should look great on my mom too!
Two nights ago over dinner, Sara chided me on announcing my finished shawl and then not sharing any pictures. Sorry, I was incredibly distracted by giggling over those crochet snuggie pictures.
Another perfect pattern by my friend YuLian, but with problems introduced by yours truly.
So, before I get into how thoroughly I messed this up, let me say that the pattern is flawless and definitely worth purchasing. As soon as I feel I’ve caught up with my works-in-progress, I’m going to properly start another one of these shawls.
Geoui is one of those patterns that definitely lives up to the descriptor “potato-chippy,” which I’ve heard crafters use to describe projects where, at the end of each row, you think, “Oh, I can do just one more…”
Worked side to side, the lace edging works up really quickly, and the sections of plain double crochet race on by.
Which is how I got myself into trouble. I assumed, not looking carefully, that I had four balls of yarn in the same color. Seven edge motifs in, I realized that there were only two skeins, and that the second skein was a partial one. Augh! And the yarn is SO NICE…
I went ahead and “finished” the shawl, making it into an asymmetric paisley boteh, but I think it’s too weird to send off as a gift to the Raveler who sent me all that yarn for my acrylic granny square blanket.
I added some metal buttons and it’s now an interesting looking cowl, but it’s not really my style.
Anyone think it’s the perfect addition to their wardrobe?