Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I've Been Up To...

I've been a bad blogger again.

Let's see... What have I been doing (craftwise), since last time... ?

I tried knitting.

The casting-on part (long-tail cast-on) was ok, once I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, but the first row after that was awful. Trying to get the needles to do what I wanted-- ugh, it filled me with disgust, even though I tried to remember that when I first started crocheting, the crochet hook didn't immediately bend to my will, either. I think part of the problem may have been the yarn I was using. It was a partial skein I had only because it was bundled with some other yarn I wanted to buy at a thrift store. It was nasty, nasty stuff (and I use almost only acrylics when I crochet, so if I say it's nasty, you may believe me that it was). Scratchy, catchy, yuck. Next time-- assuming there is a next time-- I'll use something a little nicer, even if whatever I make is likely to turn out ugly because I'm a rank amateur.

I suppose I still would like to learn to knit, if it doesn't turn out to be too much of a pain to get the hang of it. The problem is that what I really want to knit is lacy fabric, and from what I gather, that's the type of thing that many even fairly seasoned knitters view with trepidation. I wonder how much of that is exaggerated-- or just people overestimating the difficulty of knitting lace / lace knitting-- or if it really is that much more difficult... I have a lot of confidence in the idea that if you want to do something badly enough, you can make it work, but I'm not sure if I do care that much. Especially when there are so many lacy things I could just crochet, instead. It's not exactly the same look, but it's beautiful in it own right. ...We'll see.


I crocheted a couple of lacy bookmarks, for gifts.

I think I have photos, somewhere. They're doily-esque, thread crochet items. The pattern is very similar (if not identical) to the one I used to make the Queen Anne's Lace scarves. (I love that pattern. So addictive!) If I do say so myself, it turns out just a beauifully in size 10 cotton as it does in worsted weight yarn.

Someday I'll probably get around to posting one of the photos over on Flickr. (I'm so, so far behind on photo uploads.)


I bought the makings for a handmade skirt. 

I hunted out a vintage, floral-patterned twin flat sheet at a thrift shop and some elastic at the craft store-- and I should have everything else I need to whip up an around-the-house skirt. (Actually, I should have enough for more than one skirt. Or maybe a pair of pajama/lounge pants.)

I've seen people write about doing this for years, but I've never been interested enough in wearing skirts to give it serious though. However, after buying a couple of skirts cheaply and finally wearing them this summer, I've had to admit that they are awfully cool and comfortable (for home, if nothing else), and so I decided to try making one myself.

The thought of elastic waistbands makes me wince, but that must just be some faded psychological scar from an ill-fitting garment of my past, because I have elastic-waisted pj pants and things today that are wonderfully comfortable. No reason why my homemade versions shouldn't also be a pleasure to wear!

I hope I won't end up looking too much like a flower-power hippie woman in my full, flowery skirt.


I crocheted some more dish clothes and scrubbers.

I even tried a few new patterns.  However, I found nothing I liked so well as the old favorite "spiral scrubbie" I've used in the past. I think I'll just stick with what I already know works, from now on.  


I (kind of sort of) finished my hexagon afghan.  (! ! !)

That's right! I’m finished! Or at least I’m counting this as finished, because the only thing left to do is weave in the (eleventy billion) loose ends. I don’t consider that crocheting. It’s just tidying. ;o) I’ll probably be working on that for quite some time, but that’s ok; it’s good TV-time, keep-you-hands-busy work.

I finished the border just today-- three rows of single crochet, then a final scalloped shell edging. I based the shell edging on the one Lucy used on her hexagon blanket. I couldn’t find a description/pattern of it, so I did my best to copy it based on how it looked. It’s essentially this, in US terms: sc, skip a stitch, 4 dc in next stitch, skip a stitch-- as many times as it takes to work your way around the afghan.

I’ll try to take (and post) photos soon. Woo! So excited to have finished this afghan! It was sheer pleasure to make, once I got the pattern straight.

--Oh, and I ended up deciding to “fill in the gaps” with KnittingNonni’s “half hexie” pattern. Though I didn’t really enjoy having to crochet that first border round into the half hexagons, I think it probably cut down on the edging work in the long run, and I like having the sides even. (The jagged edge can look nice, too, though. It was a tough choice.)

There will be photos, of course-- just not tonight. Soon, though!

...Now I get to start thinking about what my next crochet project will be. Maybe I'll have more than one going at a time...