Friday, January 20, 2012

By Leaps and Bounds

I had forgotten how fast crochet goes.

And how greedily it consumes yarn.

I had some reservations about this pattern.  They were confirmed when The Princess looked at the first four squares and opined that they looked like they came from two different projects.  True enough, the pattern alternates predominately green squares with predominately rose ones. While it seemed a good idea when I chose the pattern, looking at the first four squares? Well, maybe not. 

We also discovered that some of the colors just do not play well together.  In fact, some of them need to be kept on opposite sides of the playground, or at least have a fence between them. The navy and the slightly brighter blue there in the foreground are the worst offenders.  Since they really needed to be separated, and I really needed all the squares to match, I've added an additional row of single crochet in the arbtrary color of my choice to every square. Which, of course, means I have to adjust the pattern for the final two rows, the ones that square the circles.

Then we devised a Plan. Rather than repeating the same four squares until we had enough for the blanket, we would opt for a freer, more eclectic approach. Each square will continue to contain the main color - the navy, although that may not make it as the background color -- and the two neutrals as written up in the pattern.  The other colors would be movable. I drew up a list of the colors from A to H as I had assigned them for the first four squares, then set up seven more series where I successively bumped each color down. So A became B, B became C and so on, skipping when the color choice was navy, taupe or oatmeal.  

I think I'm going to like it.

And did I mention that crochet is fast?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Something New

I fully expected to have already posted about a finished red sweater, but it's not (how's that for a mix of tenses?).  Finished, that is. I had decided on the buttons (the slightly larger not-so-shiny ones).  It was all bound off. I did one last try on and had to face some sad and sorry music.  Think Dead March in Saul kind of sad and sorry, with that whole cadence of slow inevitability thing going on. 

I want the collar to be deeper. A good thing, insofar as it means I'll probably use up all of the red yarn instead of having a useless half-skein or so left over.  It's just that this particular decision means more than simply un-binding-off. I need to shift the button holes.  I also need to keep the various stitch markers in place, which means no frogging. I have to undo stitch by stitch.  It's resting comfortably on my dining room table, half-way through the tinking process, until I get up the intestinal fortitude to finish the job.

Fortunately, winter has arrived in the Midwest big-time and I've decided what I really need to do is start an afghan.  Lately The Princess and I have stopped enjoying shoving the stash around and started to feel annoyed and embarrassed by it.  A knitted afghan could make a bit of a dent in it. I've added a couple to my Ravelry queue, downloaded a couple more, and stored some in my Ravelry library.

Then,  I rememberd one thing and figured out another.  I already have an afghan started, and crochet uses up a lot more yarn than knitting.

I need to track down three more skeins of the red, one of the blue on top of the pile, and the rest of the navy. Then I need to decide on one more color.  We're talking 30 skeins of Cascade 220 here. If I pull this off, I almost won't feel like I have to sneak yarn in here in the dead of night.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


Still stuck on the button thing.  DianeH's comment was right on target. No single button came out ahead of any other. I'm on my own.  

I have at least narrowed down my choices, though.

Neither button calls for a large button hole. Which means so I can go ahead and do the math for yo/K2tog eyelets instead of the more tedious one-row buttonhole. 

Well, at least I'll be able to finish the knitting part.

Friday, January 06, 2012


There was red knitting in the Daisy bag.  It is the red sweater.  For lack of any other inspiration, I've been knitting away at it pretty much exclusively.  Odd, since I won't need a Christmas Sweater for almost a year from now, but there. Like I said. Lack of any other inspiration.  All this monogamous knitting has, however, brought me up against design issues. For example:

Seed stitch, 1x1 rib, 2x2 rib or garter stitch for cuffs, waistband, neckband and front bands?

Decision made.

Plain cuffs or something a little different?

Decision made.

Neck band, shawl collar, pointed collar?

Decision made. By the bye, did you know that if you're working in garter stitch, you don't need to pick up the wrap together with the knit stitch? Neither did I.

All those issues settled, yet here I sit, seven rows of garter stitch and a bind-off away from a finished sweater. It's the whole button thing.

Button, button, I've got too many buttons.  I foresee a fashion consultation with The Princess and Their Father tonight.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Annual Gloat

I do have real knitting to write bout, but first , there's the obligatory "Eat Your Hearts Out/Look What I Got" post.

First of all, I forgot to tell you all about St, Nicholas this year.  You'll have to take the chocolate Santa and peppermint stick as given.

The yarn is Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere in Anya's Garden and the pattern is the Anne Shawl by Schaefer yarns.  The thing is, on the website, the yarn looked red and blue and brownish gold. In real life, it's purple and green and brown.  I see charity knitting in my future.

Then, someone must  have heard my dismay at not getting any knitting presents last year, because this year, while they were few, they were choice.

A skein of Prism Yarns  in  .  A gift certificate to my favorite yarn store. And a knitting bag.

That knitting bag is a Daisy Bag by Offhand Designs, who were going to close when the designer/owner moved out of the country, is back, at least on a limited basis.  I've been longing for one of these bags ever since I bought one for the Princess.  I have eyed them at Stitches Midwest.  I've bookmarked them at Dreamweaver Yarns and the Offhand Designs website.  I've handled, explored, turned them inside out at Knitche.  I just couldn't ever settle on one.

Thank heavens for Christmas and sisters, or I'd still be without one. Now that I have one, though, I'm thinking about another.  There's that gift certificate, you know.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Looking Back

I'm taking a leaf out of Wooly Headed's blog this year and for the year end/beginning post, here's 2011 in review by way of the first line of each post for each month I posted.

January: It's astonishing how difficult it is to concentrate when you know water is dripping from your kitchen ceiling and has been since Monday evening.

February: We, like a wide swath of the country, have gone all white and buried, like a Currier & Ives print. It seems then particularly appropriate to tell you about our second Christmas.

March: I think I might be playing hooky.

April: This will never do. 

May: Well, while others try to track down the poem from last post (yeah, good luck with that), I'll  take you all back in time to the Green Shawl.

Then there was a lot of empty space.

August: It was a big day.

Then I disappeared again.

November: So says Eeyore in Disney's Winnie the Pooh.

December: Here's the part where I cast about for someone else to blame.

So. There you have it. Happy New Year.

From our house to yours.