Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pot(holder)head

I have gone on a potholder- and dish scrubber-making spree.  I don't think I've crocheted anything else since my last post.  Just potholders and scrubbers.  This is partly because I want to add to my stash of retro crochet potholders (which I will hang behind the stove as "useful décor") and partly because I can whip out a potholder/dish scrubber quickly and easily, without feeling that I'm straying too far from my Big Projects.  Guilt-free variety! ;o)

Some of them are kind of crazy, and they don't all "go" together very well, but that's the good thing about potholders-- they're easy to swap around... and they're useful, even if they aren't all perfect.  (I probably definitely wouldn't have chosen some of those colors, if I could've used any colors I wanted, but I was trying to use up my stash of cotton scraps and reclaimed cotton from thrift-store sweaters.  So, frugality and practicality trump my druthers.  As so often happens! (g))

Scrubbers


Potholders


Potholders


(There are a few more photos on my Flickr photostream, and the particulars of the patterns I used are available in my Ravelry projects.)

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I've used another of the polymer clay-covered crochet hooks since my last post.  I think they're growing on me.  (I've used the G hook for several little projects, and I think I like it better than the covered H hook.  It's not as pretty, but it's smoother-- especially in the thumb-rest area.  I may go back and re-sand/buff the H hook...)

However-- I did notice something that could be a drawback-- a least, if you cover the hook's thumb-rest, as I did.  I sometimes push the thumb-rest into the space where I'm crocheting, using it to widen a too-tight spot.  It's not that often that I need to do that, but sometimes that little extra width comes in handy.  Performing the same maneuver with a covered hook isn't quite the same, but it may still be possible, depending on how the cover tapers. 

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I had a (small) Amazon gift-card and some birthday money to use, so I decided to treat myself to a couple of books of granny square designs.  Ever since I got my Kindle, I find that I really prefer reading "regular" books in digital format, when possible, but for craft books, there's nothing like having the actual book in hand.  (You want to see them in color, for one thing, and my Kindle is black-and-white only.)

The only problem was that one of the books I ordered was temporarily out of stock, and it "usually ships in 1 to 3 months" (and they've now changed it to "temporarily out of stock").   ...Gah.  I went ahead and ordered, hoping that maybe it would ship faster than expected.  Besides, even if it really takes one to three months for them to fulfill the order, I'd have to wait that long, anyway, before they got it back in stock and updated the listing.

I love the fact that I can choose from so many titles without even leaving the comfort of my computer chair-- but it I hate waiting for things to ship to me.  (Especially when the estimated delivery date is a month or two into the future-- which may be overly optimistic!)  On the other hand, I don't even know if the "local" (20-30-minute drive) bookstores would have this book in stock, either.  (Seems like it's out of stock almost everywhere, and I needed to use that gift-card...)

Guess I'll just wait.  It's not like I don't have enough projects already in queue to keep me busy for another few months.  (g)

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Speaking of the overflowing queue...

A few months ago (or so?), I took a free pattern slip from the local Michaels craft store.  It was for a knitted afghan named (oh so creatively) "Aran and Lace Afghan".  (Dear designers, please choose a fairly unusual or unique name for your designs.  It makes them so much more memorable and easier to locate online.)

I never thought I'd be tempted to knit an afghan (I'm so much faster at crocheting and I love crochet afghans, so why not leave the knitting for smaller-scale projects?)-- but here I am, tempted.  Thing is, I'd like to hear other (more experienced) knitters' opinions of this pattern, first.  Is it riddled with errors?  Is it difficult beyond my current abilities?  Will it take me five years to complete?  Usually, a quick search on Ravelry reveals at least a couple of people working on a pattern, but this time, I can't find it in the database at all.

I'll just keep it in the back of my mind, I guess. This probably isn't the time of year to begin knitting a big, all-in-one-piece blanket, anyway.  Motif-based (or thread) projects are my friends in hot weather.  ;o)

Oh, and here's a link to the pattern, in case anyone is interested:  Aran and Lace Afghan.