Okay, finally here’s the Seraphina shawl (clickable):
I made it really big on purpose so it’d be warm and snuggly and all that. It’s about 36″ long and 72″ wide, and it took about 2½ or so skeins of RH Symphony (juniper).
Photo of the doilies, clickable for full-size…I just now came back and replaced the original photo with a somewhat better one, much less fuzzy and the colors are truer, but it’s also a little more washed-out looking than the last one, so the usual disclaimers about my photography skills apply. I went and checked, but it looks like Denise Augostine’s site is still offline (sigh!) so no link.
It feels like it’s been forever since I posted a finished item. Probably because it has. I got most of my mom’s doily finished at the doctor’s office yesterday, so I’m hoping to get it blocked and photographed and mailed within a few days (give or take, since I’m working a couple of twelve-hour shifts over the next few days so I supposed I need to cut myself a little slack).
Fortunately everyone in my family knows what a procrastinator I am, so nobody is likely to be surprised to be getting Christmas gifts halfway through January!
Last night I made some badly-needed coasters. Pattern: Super Absorbent Coasters, except I didn’t do the color inserts because that looked like more trouble than it was worth. Also did not make the case. I plan to make another four in a matching color. I got four coasters out of one ball of Bernat Handicrafter with a couple of yards of yarn left over, but my coasters were bigger than the 3 to 3½ inches the pattern listed, probably more like 4 to 4½ inches though I haven’t actually measured them.
I kinda guessed on hook size since either the pattern doesn’t specify one or I didn’t read it all that closely. There’s probably a 50% chance it was me; lately I’ve been suffering from the dread If Only You Had Read The Damn Pattern, You Would Not Be Having This Problem Syndrome. You wouldn’t believe what I did to a doily I’m working on the other night, resulting in my having to frog about three rounds, including one consisting of a jillion popcorns, and all because I did not actually read the directions, though at the time I was sure I had. Anyway, I just used an I hook because the yarn label called for a G, and I usually have to go up two hook sizes because I crochet tightly.
(Clickable for full-size. )
They’re better-looking in person than the photo, really. When I tried to arrange them on top of each other all fancy-like to take the picture they decided they wanted to curl up and look funky, but if I just set one down on a table it’ll lay flat.
I finally finished the comfort pack last night. I was watching TV and wanted to pick up something mindless, so I decided to finish sewing the buttons onto it seeing as it had been sitting around with only one button for ages. Then I figured I might as well sew the inner pack up, too, since I cut the fabric ages ago and it’s been waiting in my sewing box.
The final seam on the pack has An Issue; I need to re-sew it. It’s not leaking seeds or anything (do not believe that picture! Those seeds are ones that fell out while I was sewing and didn’t work their way out until I was about to take the picture!) but there’s about a quarter inch of fabric where I only caught one layer of the fabric, and about an inch or so before and after that spot where things are wonky and uneven. You can tell from looking at the photo. I plan to take another photo after I re-seam it and replace the one here because it looks awful.
What happened was that I didn’t pin that seam. Not sure what I was thinking, since I usually pin everything within an inch of its life while sewing, except that Don was fixing dinner and right when I finished filling the pack the biscuits came out of the oven and I became all addled with hunger and did a half-assed job. So that seam needs to be redone.
Anyway, photos. The pattern is Donna’s Comfort Pack, altered to make it longer and narrower, and the yarn is Sugar ’n’ Cream in cornflower blue.
See where I screwed up the seam? But really, it is not leaking seeds. Those seeds just kinda landed outside the seam while I was sewing. Addled from biscuits, remember? Also I don’t sew all that well. So I had a bit of a spill and was cleaning up stray seeds for the rest of the night it seemed like.
Anyway, will post a new photo of the pack after I get a chance to fix it.
Yay, I finished fringing! It started going much faster after Deneen was nice enough to point out that I was really going about things the hard way. I even think I don’t hate doing fringe anymore. Seriously, much much faster. The first half took two or three times as long to do as the second half. What Deneen suggested was wrapping the yarn around a video box and cutting around one end. Since I was already locked into a particular size, what I did (since I was cutting 14″ lengths) was just wrap it around my 7″ ruler instead, and it was so much easier after that.
The part of the fringe that came from the end of the last ball was a little kinked up at first, but I’ve been coaxing it to be straight and it’s relaxed a bunch. I know I saw a thread about that on Crochetville a while back; I should dig it up and see what it said in there.
I love how this shawl turned out. It’s sooo comfy, and I didn’t finish it a moment too soon either because it’s chilly (54°, which is 30° colder than the day before yesterday) and drizzly outside today, and I am all wrapped up in my nice warm shawl. Happy happy happy.
Am I overly critical of myself, or do I always look like a dork in photos? No, wait, I don’t think I want to hear the answer to that… :D
I’ve got a much better photo of the scarf now. I think I may be getting somewhere with the photo quality. (Or maybe this one’s a fluke.) I seem to have managed to get everything more or less right here, good lighting, background that isn’t almost the same color as the item (it’s the long-sleeved button-up shirt I keep wadded up in my backpack/purse for emergencies LOL), managed not to jolt the camera in mid-photo and blur everything. I’m all proud here.
I used almost exactly two balls of Microspun that I had in the stash. I’ve been seriously dedicated to using up the stash lately seeing as we’re not well-off to begin with and the price of gas is making yarn buying expeditions an impossibility. But I have a decent stash that’ll keep me going for a while. It’s definitely not huge, but it’s enough to keep me busy for a while.
Anyway. I was talking about the scarf, right? When I started getting toward the end of the second ball, I dithered a bit about whether to leave enough to edge it or just make the scarf as long as possible. I decided the edges were neat enough for my liking (could be better, but reasonably neat) and went with having a longer scarf. It’s really cuddly and nice, almost makes me wish for chilly weather. Almost, but not quite, because I just can’t bring myself to wish away these nice 75-80° days we’re having here…
Ugh. I’m printing out application forms for patient assistance programs to see if we can cut down on some of the some $250 to $300 a month we spend on prescriptions (no insurance). Filling out these forms makes me wildy anxious. I don’t know why, whether it’s the complicated process and the fact that I have to come up with different proofs of our income for five different applications, the fact that I’m being confronted with how little money we make, or what. I had to take a break from it because I was getting panicky. Like break-out-the-xanax panicky. In the interest of not freaking out completely, I’m posting here to try to distract myself.
So. Photo. I still don’t have all the sensation back in my finger, though it’s been a little better every day, so I’ve been scrounging around the stash and my patterns for things I can make with a J hook or bigger. (Even for a J hook, which is what I did this with, I’m having to put a pencil cushion around it to keep it off that finger.) And I found most of a ball of Lion Brand Incredible (color is autumn leaves) and made this scarf/belt pattern with it.
(Clickable. I’ve trying to remember to post thumbnails instead of full-size photos, with mixed results.)
I am so completely in doily withdrawal, but I figure don’t dare do anything with thread until I have all the feeling back in that finger or it’ll likely just go all numb again.
Over the weekend I was trying to avoid crocheting while I waited for the feeling to come back in my finger (it’s getting there, probably about 80% better now). But I just couldn’t. I had to crochet something. So I played around with hooks for a while to see how I hold different hooks. The steel hooks and the smaller yarn hooks, through about size G or H, all hit right across the numb spot on my ring finger. But my big hooks, around size L or M and bigger, didn’t even touch the fingertip. And there was much rejoicing while I sat around trying to decide what to make.
Eventually I decided to make a basket. I’ve had this basket pattern printed out for eons but have never gotten around to trying it. And I had four balls of this hemp/wool blend yarn that’s a little weird to work with. It tends to vary from thick to thin and back again so I’ve had a hard time finding a use for it, but it was $1 per 4-oz ball, and how can you turn down yarn that only costs a dollar? So I decided it would probably do fine for a basket. I used four strands instead of the six the pattern called for and a size P hook instead of a Q but otherwise mostly followed the pattern for the small basket. When I make another one I’ll probably use an N hook; it’s tight enough to stand up on its own but could stand to be a touch tighter.
First, a bit of advice for any of you using Gallery for your photos: Never, ever, ever try to edit the description text of one photo while you’re uploading another photo. I just did that, and the text for the one photo got attached to the new photo and vice versa. No amount of re-editing could fix it, and I had to delete them both and start over. (Grr.)
I finally finished the thread version of Jess’s Winged Hair Kerchief that I’ve been working on for a while. Photos:
And from the front, not that you can see much of it due to the angle:
It’s me, standing in front of a block wall! Kinda like a mug shot, only with a cute hair accessory! (I’m at work, hence the block wall background.)
I just kept on going with the pattern until it was big enough. The only thing I changed was the last bit of edging around the front, which I changed to hdc because I decided it would look better since everything was so tiny to begin with. I chained about 99 for the ties. Started to slip stitch back up the chain to make it more substantial but decided not to. I probably should have, since the ties are pretty thin and a little hard to get hold of. I might attach more thread on and slip stitch down the chains after all to make them thicker.
Tip for making bullion stitches: I got lots of practice with these since there were so many more than in the first one I did in ww yarn. My major trouble with them was getting the hook through, and I found a trick to it. (Aside from wrapping the yarn loosely enough, which is of course crucial to the process.) If the hook gets stuck partway through, try twirling it a bit. I started doing that and they went so much easier after that. A bit of twirling and the hook would free up and slide right through.
The other main thing I’ve been working on lately is Marvie’s Purse with No Name. I’ve been through the desert with a purse with no name… Er. Sorry. That made that song run through my head. (Or does the purse have a name now and I haven’t caught on?) I’m very nearly done, but I got stuck on the handles and needed to put it down for a bit, so I spent a few days playing with tatting and finishing up the kerchief.
Right now I can’t feel the tip of my left ring finger. By “tip” I mean most of the entire end of the finger from the last joint on. While I was finishing the kerchief last night, toward the end I noticed that fingertip getting a little bit tingly, but I ignored it because I really wanted to finish. Then when I was done I realized it all numb. I’m left-handed and hold the hook knife-style, and picking up a hook to check, the numbest part is right where the hook rests against that finger. It’s got to be from the pressure or something; doing that last bit of edging took some work since I was working into tight bits.
At the time I figured it’d be better by morning. It wasn’t—it’s just as numb today. I am slightly freaked out by this. I figure I’ve just pinched a nerve or something and it’ll get better over a few days, but it’s still a bit disturbing. And strangely enough it’s practically all I can notice. You’d think that with it being numb I wouldn’t notice it, but I keep noticing it because it feels wrong.
I finished this a couple of days ago but just took it off the blocking board last night. I have got to get my new big piece of cardboard set up with the doily blocking template on it. I have the hardest time making doilies come out round doing it freehand.
I experimented with blocking on this one. Lori mentioned after I posted about using some 300 or so pins on the last one that she hardly uses any, just around the edges, and then not long after that I saw a post of Julie’s at Crochetville where she talked about starting out pinning in the middle and taking out the middle pins after moving to the outer parts.
When I read that, light dawned on marble head and I realized that I don’t necessarily have to leave all those pins in the middle once I’ve got the outside done. Also this one didn’t ruffle as much as the Prairie Star did, so I think even doing it my old way I probably would’ve only used about a hundred or so LOL. Anyway, I tried taking out the middle ones after I’d gotten things stretched out further toward the edge, and in the end I just had a circle of pins around the outside edge. I think it came out okay though I can totally see some places where it isn’t quite round (hence the need for the blocking pattern).
So maybe I won’t need a million billion pins when I get around to blocking the Pineapple Squares Thing.
I kept wondering why sometimes my photos come out with a reddish cast like this one did (it’s white, actually), and I finally realized that all the ones that came out that way were taken under compact fluorescent lighting. Regular fluorescents don’t seem to do it, and neither do incandescents. This camera is soooo picky.
The thread hair kerchief (the one that looked like split pea soup in the photo I posted last week because I took it under the light with the compact fluorescents in it) is coming along nicely. I think it needs about four or so more rows, then the edging. I really like the one I made out of worsted weight cotton, so I’ll be really happy to have this one done, too.
I’m growing out my bangs, so I’ve been trying to come up with creative ways not to have my hair hanging in my face. So I’ve got the headbands I made a while back, and now these kerchiefs for some variety. I checked yesterday after I got out of the shower, and my bangs are now down to somewhere around my mouth. That’s when it’s wet, though; it’s probably somewhere around the middle of my nose once it dries and curls up. It’s looking like I’ve got another six months or so to go before I have the option of not wearing something to hold it back all the time.