Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day Four: Where are they now?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

I made the scarf above for a friend for Christmas, but I have yet to send it to her because... well... I'm lazy plus I wanted to send her a care package full of stuff, but I'm having issues getting the rest of that stuff together. Also, I have some of her books and DVDs I want to send back to her too - which I better do soon before everything gets lost in my upcoming move :P

These were for a friend's baby, and I have no idea if she's using it or not since I haven't seen her since January. I'm leaning towards guessing that it does get used, but only if the baby is playing around on the floor - the little kiddo radiates heat like no tomorrow, and is just miserable if she gets too hot, so I doubt she gets wrapped up too much.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day Three: Tidy mind, tidy stitches (part 1)

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? 

There is no rhyme or reason to my yarn wrangling. I tried to keep it organized at first, and then we moved, and now we're looking at another move, and the cats love attacking the bags and climbing onto shelves where the bins were stored and knocking the bins over, so now it's just scattered about the apartment. 

I have a Haunted Mansion tote that is home to my current project and the yarns needed for it that stays next to my love seat. The new Harry Potter scarf that I'm working on for a coworker is kept in a plastic bag next to the tote because there isn't enough room in the tote for it right now (The baby blanket has gotten huge!) and the yarn for my cowl is kept in the same area. 

The stuff I ordered from knit picks is currently buried in one of those 5 gallon plastic storage bins that I meant to use for my fabric. Some other yarn is kept in a plastic bag in the hall closet, and the rest of the yarn (including my yarn hair falls that I made for Bats Day one year and never wore again because they shed so much) is kept in a smaller bin that was in the bedroom closet, but the cats have knocked it down from the shelf it was on so many times that it just sits on the floor now because I got tired of putting it back up there. 

And that's all the places I can think of that my yarn might be hiding. I will post pictures later because I didn't have time to last night...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day Two: Skill + 1UP

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I'd have to say that my crochet skills have improved a bit, but it's been one baby step at a time. Let's see, this time last year I was mainly crocheting scarves because I wanted to work on getting the yarn tension and all of that right (This was using that hell yarn, Lion Brand Homespun, I complained about yesterday) After I moved in June, I started being a little braver and began to crochet granny squares - which are a bit weird to adjust to, because you're crocheting in the round and not in rows (but I still refer to each new round as a row) However, they're not that hard so I don't consider that a big jump in my crocheting edification. 

The real challenge and learning experiences came around December: A friend was knitting a Harry Potter scarf for her boyfriend, and I decided I wanted to try to crochet one. However, all the patterns I found just couldn't give that knit look that I wanted unless it was an actual knitting pattern - and while I knew I could learn to knit, I didn't want to just yet because I already had enough on my crafting plate. Eventually I found the tunisian crochet scarf pattern and gave that a shot. It confused the hell out of me at first, and many youtube videos were consulted, but after a couple of rows it turned out to be pretty easy. 

Then one day, when taking a break from the scarf, I decided to follow my first pattern and made my friend a amigurumi chuthululululu. That was the first project I've ever had to scrap and start over again; I had been reading the instructions, but didn't really understand them so I created this amigurumi body that wasn't an ovalish shape like in the pictures, but kinda leaned to one side because I had done all my increases and decreases in the back. The cats now use that as a cat toy, and my next attempt turned out much better because I took my time and if I had a question about something I looked it up. (said chuthululu has yet to be finished though because I didn't have any stuffing for the longest time, and now that I do I just haven't had the time to sit down and work on it)

So, yeah, I've only made two advances in crocheting this year. I expect I probably won't make any advances at all next year because I kinda like just crocheting scarves, cowls, and blankets and I have no real urge to try anything else at the moment.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day One: A Tale of Two Yarns.

This week is Knitting and Crochet Blog week, so every day I'll be discussing various topics that have been pre-decided by the people who run this event (A full list of the topics can be found here) Today the prompt is to choose two yarns in my stash of yarn and discuss what I love and hate about them.

(The above yarn is not a picture of yarn from my actual stash. I forgot to take a picture so I just borrowed this one from the internet :P)

My go-to yarn lately is Caron Simply soft. It's one of the best buys out there for name brand yarn - a skein is usually 6 oz and you can get it at Walmart, Joann's, or Michael's for around $3 when Vanna's Choice is only 3 oz (give or take a bit) and is usually around $4 - and it really lives up to it's name! It's probably one of the softer big name yarns out there, Lion Brand Wool-ease or Jiffy, Red Heart, and Vanna's Choice just feel so rough on the skin after working with Simply Soft. In fact, now that I think about it, I think it's even softer than most of the baby weight yarns on the market!

The only downside to Caron Simply soft is that there aren't as many colors as available as you can find in some of the other brands. I have another baby blanket I would like to make using a tartan pattern that I found, but the colors I want to use that would match my friend's tartan just aren't available. Also, the closer you get to the end of the skien, the more the yarn begins to split.

(The above yarn is not a picture of yarn from my actual stash. I forgot to take a picture so I just borrowed this one from the internet :P)

I have a love/hate relationship with Lion Brand Homespun. I love the colors, I love how soft it is (I'm big on texture when it comes to yarn, if it's not soft, I'm not going near it) but OMIGOD is Homespun a bitch to crochet with! The first scarf I ever made was out of Homepun in Lagoon. It was a gorgeous blue that I couldn't turn away from, but the yarn is a loosely woven bulky boucle type yarn, so the fibers begin to blend in with each other and you're not really sure if your hook is actually going where it should be going and then you'll accidentally end up splitting the yarn on the row you just did and then if you try to unravel it it snaps and breaks on you. 

And yet, I keep buying it to make scarves out of it. I must be a glutton for punishment. 

It's back...

After a week off, the Meatlocker Monday feature is back... this time our man is Gerard Butler:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In which the cats try to help... or distract... me

Due to the inclement weather this weekend I was able to get another round of stripes done on the baby blanket for my friend, and I'm about halfway through the first stripe on my other friends scarf. As for my cowl, well, that's stagnant for the moment since I'm nearly out of yarn for it. I'll be getting more for it this weekend. 

Now for a dose of cute: 

This is Murphy McCatnus... He likes to play fetch with his mouse. 

Apparently I did not throw the mouse fast enough for him, so he decided to remind me that it was there...

And then he brought it back after it was thrown. Good job Murphy McCatnus.

Monday, March 21, 2011

No update of any consequence today...

There was a work outing - so there is no meatlocker Monday updates. Things will be back to normal next week though :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three... Ha ha ha...

I went to Contessa's house this weekend to help her finish her bodice (which you can see here) but I didn't feel like bringing the baby blanket in progress with me, and since I need to get more yarn for the cowl I didn't want to bring that either (even though I learned this weekend that Contessa has a Joann's dangerously close to her house... so that could've been fixed) So, since I promised a coworker a Harry Potter scarf, I brought my Tunisian crochet hooks along with the yarn I'd bought for him and got started on that.

So that means I am now working on three projects at once. 

I feel a bit like a liar right now; I mean, just a few weeks ago I claimed that I could only do one thing at a time when it comes to fiber arts. Apparently I was wrong about my abilities. 

On other fronts the Southern California Renaissance Faire is getting ready to start in about 4 more weeks. I had been commissioned by two different people to make bodices for them, and I had planned to take plenty of pictures of the process so I could post a 'how to do it' series of blogs, but unfortunately I have not heard from either person regarding the commissions (they hadn't paid me, I hadn't invested in fabric yet, so no harm no foul) However a coworker is requesting that I make a new chemise for her in this one particular style I dreamed up, so may I will post a 'how to' blog on that.

Ciao for now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I would never suggest doing this...

Last night I found myself nodding off while I was crocheting. I would fall asleep and then wake up a moment later to find that my hands had still continued working. Thankfully nothing was messed up, but still, such a very weird and freaky sensation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Very Special Meatlocker...

In honor of St. Paddy's day later this week, I am making this Meatlocker Monday post all about the Irish boys.

And here's a couple of honorary Irish boys for good measure:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In which I finally post that update about the cowl...

For the cowl I started last week I am using the Convertable Cowl pattern from The Crimson Owl. It's pretty easy, except I had to make mine a bit bigger - like 70 to 80 stitches long instead of 55 - and I keep loosing track of how many stitches I've done (and that's even with using the County app I found on the android market) However, the cowl is staying the same basic shape as I progress, so I must not be that far off from the original stitch count.

My only complaint about the pattern is that she says to chain two before doing a row of double crochet, and to chain 1 before doing a row of half double crochet - per what my Mom taught me, and the handy dandy little Red Heart 'Teach Yourself Crochet' guide I bought when I decided to pick up crocheting again, you are supposed to chain three before starting a row of double crochet and chain 2 before doing a row of half double crochet. As a result the first stitch in those rows looks wonky, and it's a bit tight when you're trying to join the rounds together.

I'm using Lion Brand Homespun in Noveau - it's a pain in the butt to crochet with because it's so fluffy that the stitches will occasionally blend in with each other, but it has such amazing colors in it; brown fades into a turquoise blue, which fades into a purple color, which fades into a green. The pictures don't do it justice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In which I am a lemming...

A friend (Contessa over at Writing, Yarn, Pucks, and Diapers) just posted up about how she is going to be participating in the second annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. I think I shall have to give it a go as well.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Monday again...

... and you know what that means: Meatlocker time!

This week it's time for something a little bit different - instead of the normal actors, I'm featuring a wrestler this week. Slowly, over the past few years, I've become a fan of WWE wrestling. There are a lot of good looking men on that show, but the hottest one out there right now (in my humble opinion) is Wade Barrett. He's tall, he's dark, he's handsome, he's got an accent, and he's a bad boy. What more could a girl ask for?

(I have more I could post, but I don't want our other men to get jealous...)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Well, I've never done this before...

Currently I am working on two projects at once: the baby blanket, and now I'm also working on a cowl. Our cold weather this weekend pointed out that a scarf was simply not enough to keep me warm in addition to my jacket, and I don't wear hats, so I need something I can wear around my neck to keep it warm and be able to pull up to cover my head if it starts to rain or I get tired of the wind messing up my hair. A cowl should do the trick.

More details tomorrow - when I am not as sleepy.