Monday, April 23, 2007

Quick Update
I am still working on a MaM afghan to enter in the county fair circuit this year. It has 13 strips and I am on #12. This pattern is so pretty but at this point I just want to finish the strips so I can move on to the assembly. It is put together w/rev sc which is ok. I've done it enough that it's not a problem. However, when done w/a contrasting color, like the pattern calls for, it just stops at the end of the strip and looks unfinished. So am debating whether #1) to do the rev sc all the way around the perimeter in the contrasting color or #2) do the joining in the same dark purple of the afghan. I had also thought about doing a dc row all the way around the afghan in the back loops and then do a row of rev sc in the front loops. However, I need to get this project finished, so I can move on to the next. Those fair deadlines are getting closer!
Blog Refinements
I have wanted to put progress bars on my blog to keep track of my different projects for the fair this year, and then for the holidays. A couple of the folks from CP sent me links to do this, but I have to say, I don't think the instructions w/either site are very clear. The one site has premade bars that you can download and install. But once I download it I don't have a clue as to how to get it on my blog. I can save it to my computer, but that doesn't do me much good. If anyone knows what to do, please let me know. Sometimes I feel like such an incompetent when it comes to this computer stuff.
Margaret is coming!
Margaret and I have been friends for 25+ years and we now live on opposite coasts of this great land. She is in Florida and I am in California. She and I have done craft things together forever. Crocheting, plaster painting, punch embroidery, the list goes on. I miss her. But she is coming for a visit in May and we were on the phone yesterday talking about what we are going to do while she is here. #1)-Visiting and catching up #2) Crochet-we are planning to go to Peter's Crochet Soiree in Emeryville on Sat and then on Sunday we are planning to go to Antioch to drop of my entries for the Contra Costa County Fair. #3) She is bringing me some Omega Sinfonia to try out. She is going to Hobby Lobby this week so she can do that for me. (I'm sure it's a real sacrifice for her to go there, lol) And we are going to work on some projects together. Miss that! We used to sit and watch tv and work on whatever was on our plate at the time. Counting the days til she gets here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another Irritant
This has been one of those weeks! First there was the issue w/the sweater, not enuf yarn. Well, I ordered new yarn, so while waiting, decided to start an afghan. This is for Penny's TV room, so the colors are shades of purple. Didn't have enuf of either color, so knew I was going to have to get more of both the variegated and the dark violet. No problem. Good old Red Heart no dye lot yarn. Always have these colors at Michaels. I'm looking all over the place for the variegated Artist Print and don't see it. Finally find it, but it doesn't look right. So instead of buying 3, I only got 1. When I got home I put it up against what I already have and it doesn't look the same. The yarn I have has kind of a sheen to it and the new yarn is dull flat finish. Exact same name and color number. Go figure! Since I'm doing this afghan in strips, I can alternate the strips and it probably won't make much difference, but so disappointing.
One of the things that has been getting my goat recently is you can't buy sport weight, sock or fingering yarn in regular stores anymore. You either have to go to a LYS (if you are lucky enuf to have one) or order on-line (and you can't feel it first). It's even hard to find DK in anything other than baby colors. They're ok for babies, but some of us need more color!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

All better!
Saturday's depression has passed. I went to my LYS and got some different yarn for the sweater. The nice thing about a LYS is they can and will order things for you. The yarn I chose is a sock yarn in varigated colors of blue, green, purple, from light to dark shades. I think it will be great for this sweater. However, they had to order 4 skeins for me. And they were able to get the same dye lot! How lucky is that? Should have the yarn within the week.
So, since I have to wait for the yarn, I pulled out another WIW (work in waiting) and started an afghan that I purchased the supplies for probably a year ago. Shades of purple for Penny. So far, looks pretty good, but since we changed the pattern from the original choice, will have to go get more yarn. Fortunately, it is Red Heart no dye lot stuff and Michaels has it all the time. Checked yesterday, just in case.
I have recently been working with more high end yarns for my last couple of projects, and I really noticed a difference when I went back to the old stand-by Red Heart. Thank goodness that it softens up after it is washed. It is like crocheting sandpaper.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Knit to Crochet
Went to bed depressed last night, and it just got worse this morning. I have spent every evening this last week trying to convert a knitted miter square to a crochet miter square for a sweater I want to make. I did it 3 or 4 times using some scrap yarn to get the look I want. Now I have done it 4 times using the yarn I want to use for the sweater. Last nite I frogged the diamond to measure the yardage. I don't have enough of the intended yarn to make this sweater. Talk about raining on my parade. This morning I am going over the whole thing again, thinking there must be something that can be done to salvage this project as planned, and it just gets worse. I am not a knitter, so reading the pattern is a little tricky for me ( Kitty made my sample square). But, even though my diamond is the same size as hers, it is not big enough for the pattern. So, by the time I increase the size, I really won't have enough yarn.
I know you're thinking, buy more yarn. Easier said than done! I bought the yarn at Stitches West from Newtons Country Yarns thinking that 1200 yds would be plenty for anything I might want to do. How wrong I was! In this particular yarn, it will take approx 2000 yds, or maybe more, after I fix the size of the square.
And then we get to the issue of the yarn. My intended yarn is 60% cashmere/40%merino from Italy. It is 3 strands of different colors.So soft and beautiful! But the knit pattern recommends using cotton, linen, rayon or blend for draping, and states that wool doesn't drape well. I think my sample drapes great, but that is the difference in using worsted weight and fine weight yarn. But it still doesn't solve my problem of not enough. Oh well, There is always a solution. This one probably means buying a different yarn, but I have been picturing this sweater in this yarn for weeks.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Awesome Blossom
Well, here it is. Isn't this the cutest thing? It's from the book 100 Crochet Projects that I received for my birthday. I'm wearing it Saturday to an Easter Egg hunt, hosted by my landlord and his wife. I haven't washed it yet, so am thinking the "petals" will probably relax some after washing.

Diamond Patch Sweater
I fell in love with this sweater found at but it's knitted, and even tho I can knit, I don't like to. When I read the designer's bio on Annie's Attics' site, I noticed that she had started out crocheting and switched to knit later. So, I emailed Jill, and asked if she has a crocheted version of this sweater and she replied that she did not currently, even tho she had thought about it. I asked if there are good schematics with the knitted pattern, and she said yes. So, I ordered the pattern, plus 2 more, all mitered squares. Jill said she would be interested to know how my conversion comes out.
One pattern was a bribe for my friend Kitty, who does knit. Penny and I picked out a pattern for her, and when we saw her, asked her which one she wanted, she could have her pick of two. She picked the one we had picked for her. We're good!
I asked her to knit a square for me according to the pattern and size that I needed. She used a worsted weight cotton blend yarn. So now I am trying to duplicate the look and feel of her square.
My first couple of attempts are done in Lustresheen left over from a sweater I made my daughter for Xmas. Kinda have the idea now, so last night sat down and worked out the math for each row. Who knew in high school that all that math would come in handy for crochet? By the time I worked it out, it had solved a couple of problems that I was having, but it was too late to start another square. My j-o-b is interfering with my creative juices right now. Trying to keep really good notes, and mark my swatches as I go so I'll know what I'm doing later.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Wishes do come True!
Wow! The wish list paid off. I got home Friday evening and Penny handed me a "big" envelope. Couldn't figure out what it could be as I haven't ordered anything lately, and it was definitely bigger than a friendship square or bookmark. It was 100 Crochet Projects by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. I was so excited! I have had this book on my wish list for a long time and my friend Margaret sent it to me for my birthday. When I called her to thank her she was disappointed that it got to me in 2 days from Florida to California. Since my birthday isn't until Friday, she was planning on it getting here a little closer to the date. It's OK, Margaret, I love it!
In fact, I have already made one project from it, The Awesome Blossom hat that I am wearing to an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. My landlord and his wife do this huge "do" for Easter every year, that mostly centers on the egg hunt on over an acre of pasture next to their house. This year they are adding the Easter hat contest for the adults. Finishes up with a great potluck luncheon. Should be fun! I'll let you know how the hat does.