Trials and Triumphs with Crochet

As you are probably aware, I’ve been on a crocheting kick for about six months or so. It’s nice to take a break sometimes, even though I’m still a knitter in my mind! I did finally finish the rug or afghan I’ve been working on and wanted to focus on what I learned from my first mosaic crochet project.

Finished product — only took two months!

First, I love mosaic crochet, as long as it’s in the round. Doing it back and forth requires cutting the yarn on every row. Nope. That’s not gonna happen. I look forward to trying something else, maybe a little less chaotic, in the future. I always like techniques where you gradually build up a pattern, because wanting to see how it comes out keeps me going. That’s why I like fair isle knitting, mitered squares, entrelac, and lace.

Edging

Second, I’m happy with the sturdy fabric I ended up with, because it can be used in more than one way. So, I’ll consider this one a triumph.

It is a good pet comforter.

Third, the negatives. I ended up having to use two shades of black (one actually charcoal gray) and in my zeal to make the project a little larger chose accent colors without enough contrast. Oh, and the yarn with the long self stripes should have been managed in a more disciplined fashion. There are a few awkward bits of color in there. Nonetheless, it’s a cheerful thing.

See how some look black and some have splotches. Not ideal.

Now for the trials. I didn’t have a new project set out for an immediate start (I want to do a temperature blanket using mitered squares for high and low temperatures of the day but haven’t picked yarn or colors – I made a small one for the Tempestry project a few years ago but seem to have neglected to upload it to Ravelry). What I did have was some organic cotton yarn that had been sitting in its original box for many years, probably close to 30 now. It popped up when unpacking stuff from my old house and was nagging me.

So, I thought to myself, hey, I want curtains in the tack room. I could make curtains out of this rustic-looking stuff. All I have to do is wind it up, find a pattern, and go. I could do filet crochet! It’s a thing that gradually builds up a design and is lots of fun (it uses a mesh to make images).

This photo is from the excellent Interweave article linked above.

Yeah, right. There aren’t as many filet crochet patterns out there as I had hoped, and of course my ancient books full of patterns are still packed up. I also think I searched when I was sleepy. But that’s okay, I eventually found a free design of a crow, which fits rather well, since the Hermits’ Rest has a murder that I enjoy watching often.

Oh, if only mine ended up looking even vaguely like this, I’d be happy.

I was ready to go! However, that lovely Rowan California Cotton that has a lot going for it is not lovely to wind up.

See, it’s ll natural.

I put the first hank on the swift and started to wind it. That was an absolute disaster. The hanks are rather large, so the swift ended up very high. It simply would not wind, even if I tried to lower the yarn with my hand. I ended up having a real mess to rescue the first hank that included cutting it in half and dealing with oh so many knotty areas.

Sad little balls of yarn

Luckily I’m creative and have helpful family members to give me ideas. I ended up dragging my aluminum step ladder into the office and attaching the ball winder to it. Ta da! The heights worked out much better.

It’s working!

I’m pretty sure I wound the rest of the skeins of yarn in less time than I did the first one. That was a little frustrating.

Here you can see the ladder better, and evidence of my love of clutter.

Then I started to do my project. Of course, I had to add to it. There are now checkerboards on the ends, which look all right, I guess. I also decided to crochet the crow from end to end rather than from bottom to top as was suggested. I think that means my crow will be a bit more squished and look more like a robin or something, due to filet crochet squares not being actually square.

The right side shows the branch beginning. Yeah, not so great.

Well, I’m the only person who will care, since very few people go into the tack room other than me. Maybe it will be a tablecloth instead. It turns out the thing’s pretty big. Most filet crochet is done with crochet cotton, not DK weight yarn, you see. I have a feeling I’ll be trying something else to fulfill my filet crochet itch, a project that makes me appear more competent!

Let’s hope I have enough yarn.

PS: Just to let you faithful readers know, I have come up with some ideas to make the blog more interesting again, so stay tuned. I will get my blogging mojo back!

I Finished Something but You Can’t See It

Just kidding. I can’t help that the Camo Blanket is practically invisible! It makes me invisible, too!

I’m not here

I think it came out the way we intended it to. Kathleen says the colors look better than she feared they would, and I was impressed that I used almost all the green. I guessed well on how many squares I could make.

Carlton is dubious.

I like how the zigzag join looks braided. It looks nice on the back, too. And I think the border adds a little interest. I didn’t want to do anything girly for the edging, since its recipient is a manly boy.

It’s pretty big but not too big I hope. It should be good for naps and sitting under on cold hunting trips and alligator killing expeditions! Or watching TV. Whatever the toddler wants to do.

A toddler blanket!

I sure hope the recipient doesn’t read Facebook or blogs yet! This is his Christmas present! I have enough of the brown to maybe make him a camouflage hat, too.

It makes a nice background for a finished manicure, too.

Now to finish off my other project. It’s nice to have a rest day. Tomorrow it should cool off and I’ll make the horses do fun stuff again.

Um. Let’s Crochet Stuff

Home life has me so upset and sad that I don’t want to talk about it. So, hey, I finished my giant ripple blanket made of leftover Mandala yarn. Yay.

It’s big. It’s random.

I enjoyed this humongous project so much. It kept me company driving to and from California and was just plain restful and fun. Literally all I did was alternate among three varieties of Mandala tarn (cheap).

It looks like a Missoni print.

As I worked on it Lee fell in love. He asked if he could use it as his winter blanket on his “bed” (a recliner next to our actual bed). I said that was fine. I can make something else for the tack room!

It’s long.

Because he wants it to tuck under his feet, I made it extra long. It was already wider than a normal afghan, so he liked that. I enjoyed the project, so it was fine to keep going. After I was done, I put a single crochet border around it, and all was well. I think Lee likes it.

My precious spouse.

I have a project lined up for Kathleen, but I’m waiting on the yarn she chose to arrive. So I’m making a really fun ruana kind of thing I saw on a Noro magazine. I’m using some cheap stuff that’s lying around, but maybe I’ll make another one in the right yarn later.

It’s this, only with the wrong yarn.

The yarn I’m using is Tex Heart Unforgettable. I have no idea why I bought it. But I’m gonna make some triangles! It’s fun and takes my mind off Kathleen going back to the hospital.

Similar colors.

Hug your loved ones and friends.

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