Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Approved By Kitties and Coris

Despite the two unfinished projects lingering in my yarn cubby, mocking me, I have actually been making some progress on the yarncraft front.

There is, first and foremost, this beautiful item:

Hearth and Home by Cori 2011.

Pattern: Irish Afghan by Nancy Sheck (available in Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs)
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Buff Fleck (15 skeins)
Hook: I (5.5 mm)

Here is a closer look at the pattern:

Bobbles, bobbles, everywhere!

This pattern was not hard, but it was time consuming, and it rather involved paying more attention than I like on such a large project. Still. Holy cow, worth it. I was almost sad to have to give it away, but not really. I mean, yes, I will probably never make this pattern again (at least not in a blanket, although I think it could be adapted for a really nifty vest). It is possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever crocheted. But how can I be sad that it went to a home where it is already loved this much?

It has clearly gone to a good home. For those wondering, this was a wedding present for my youngest brother-in-law and his new wife, who were married the weekend before last. (As far as I can tell, they seem to like it too.)

The pattern itself wasn't difficult, like I said, it just took a lot of time. This is primarily because the whole thing is basically single crochet all the way across. It was a row of single crochet, then a row of embellishment on the right side of the blanket, then single crochet, then embellishment, and so on. All of those bobbles and front post single crochets and puff-stitches don't add anything to the actual length of the thing. I will note I made two modifications to the finishing of the blanket. Well, three. First off, it called for twenty-four pattern repeats. I think maybe I had sixteen or eighteen, but it was definitely long enough. I also modified the border, just doing two rows of single crochet around instead of the one row of single crochet and then switch to a larger hook for a fiddly bit. Lastly, the pattern called for fringe, and I don't do fringe. (Unless I am making a reproduction of something specific, as in a scarf from a movie or show.) As it was, I barely had enough yarn to finish and I bought three more skeins than the pattern called for. I swear my gauge was right on, but I still didn't come out with the same amount of yarn required by the actual pattern. Sigh. Oh well, such is life. I had enough to finish the blanket I was making, and that's the important thing.

After I finished that I made some pretty decent progress on that project that I wanted to finish by the start of December, though I am still nowhere near finished with it. Sigh. The problem is that it is a scarf and it is knitted. Apparently knitted scarves are my kryptonite. I can get in about a week of working on them diligently and then I have to just put it somewhere that I can't see it for a while. I get bored, I get annoyed, I get distracted. I go buy more yarn when my closet is already overflowing with the stuff...yeah. I had to set it aside when the month started in order to begin a Christmas gift. I was feeling pretty badly about that, until I realized that the recipient's birthday is early next year, but still a few months away. So. New goal. That will be her birthday present. I will work on it for a week or two in between bigger projects, or as a break from things I need a break on, and hopefully it will get done in time. Then, I will ask you all to kindly shoot me the next time I say I want to knit a scarf. (Except for when I finally get around to making myself that Gryffindor scarf....)

The Christmas gift is, thankfully, crocheted and is already working up quite nicely (as I write this I am about 3/4 done with it). The pattern seems simple but has a really nifty little catch to the primary seam. I am using a wonderful yarn, and it calls for a blessedly huge hook. I seriously almost cried tears of joy when I saw that the pattern called for a size K hook, I kid you not.

So that's where I am on the crafting front. Things are looking optimistic (unless you happen to be my poor KAL sweater, which is still only about half of a back--but it will get finished one day, I swear, hopefully before it gets too warm to wear it again).

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