Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finishing Spree

I'm going on a finishing spree (applies only to projects I can finish relatively quickly and easily-- not to projects that have substantial amounts of work yet to be done).  It's about time; some of these UFOs have been hanging around for months.

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First up was the Celtic Cables Neckwarmer, which technically may not be completely finished, yet, since I'm seriously considering adding a very small, unobtrusive crochet border.  Maybe.  (Oh, and I've yet to weave in the two yarn ends.  I hate weaving ends into knitting even more than into crochet, because I'm not confident about how to do it properly.)

Celtic Cables Neckwarmer

I decided from the beginning to omit the buttons (and thus the buttonholes and ribbing) in favor of a shawl pin or stick of some kind, so that made it easier to finish. (g) On the other hand, I ended up knitting seven pattern repeats-- more than usual. Since my neckwarmer will be adjustable (no fixed-in-place buttons and buttonholes), and because I don’t have a long, thin, elegant, swan-like neck ;o), this just seemed practical and more comfortable to me.

Celtic Cables Neckwarmer

The yarn was a bit itchy on my neck when I held it on for size, but then again, it’s not really wool weather right now. Maybe it’ll be more acceptable in wintertime. If not, at least it was a learning experience! I learned how to cable without a cable needle (and that I prefer that method for projects like this one)-- and I learned that I can make complicated-looking knitted cables.  Another lesson: Cables take a lot of time for me to make, but that they’re worth the extra effort, because they are Fancy. ;o)  D.V., this will not be my last encounter with fancy cables.

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Second UFO to FO-- the Prairie Star Motif Pillow.

Prairie Star Motif Pillow, Side 1

I may have mentioned before that I don't enjoy crocheting pillow sides together?  Well, I still don't. It's nice having the pillow finished and useable, but somehow the construction part isn't very pleasant.  It's more awkward than regular crocheting-- even almost painful at times, with the bulk of the pillow constantly in the way.  Anyway, it's done!

I single crocheted the two sides together around the cushion-- sc through both loops for sturdiness-- using the same color as I used to hdc around the separate motifs and for joining.  Then, for the finishing touch, I added a modest edging (still in the same beige yarn I used for joining)-- #25 from Edie Eckman’s wonderful Around the Corner Crochet Borders. Simple but pretty and ruffly.

Once it was done, I put it on the couch-- and when I looked at it later on, I thought, "Oh.  I didn't realize until just now how... beige it is."  Heh.  Yeah, if you use lots of beige in a cushion cover, it's liable to look somewhat beige-ish, when all is said and done.  Well, I was trying to use up some of my less-inspiring scraps and skeins while still keeping near the colors in the room's decor, and it does that...  And beige is harder-wearing than white or even cream, so I'll just be happy with my Very Beige-ish Cushion.   I'm certain I'll be glad it's beige and not stark, crisp white, sooner or later-- when it gets something spilled on it, for instance.

Prairie Star Motif Pillow, Side 2

Also:  That small pillow beside the new one is the ugly duckling of my hand-made cushions.  It's not the pattern's fault; it's the colors I chose, I think...  Anyway, every time I look at it, I think that it belongs in some 1970s horror flick.  That's what it makes me think of.  Probably ought to just get rid of it, but I doubt I will. Maybe one of the dogs would like it... (g)

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Next up... I'm not sure.  There's the small secret project that's 99.5% done (all but the worst, most persnickety bits)... The crocheted mesh bag that just needs a reinforcement at the top and a strap or two... And the knitted pincushion / doo-dad holder that needs sewing together.

WIP:  Knitted Pincushion

WIP:  Crochet Mesh Bag

Once I get those three wrapped up, I'll feel better about starting a new project.  I've been thinking about this one for a while... the Reversible Cabled Brioche Stitch Scarf.  But I've never done brioche before, so I'm a little intimidated.  (Apparently it's one of those patterns where if you drop a stitch you're out of luck, so lifelines are required.  I can do lifelines, but just reading that puts a pall on my ardor... (g))  On the other hand, the similarly named Reversible Cabled Scarf looks a lot like it (imho), but doesn't use the brioche stitch, so far as I can tell.

Next New Knitting Project?

I'll probably try the one with brioche-- at least give it a try-- if only because I like saying "brioche".  ;o)  Ooh la la!  It brings back memories of high school French class... Gah!  What have I done?  Opened Pandora's box!   Begone, you memories of high school awkwardness!  Back!  Back into the dimmest, most spider-webby recesses of my mind!   ...Whew.  Should've seen that coming...   (Okay, maybe I exaggerate, but I'm not one of those unfortunates who look back on high school as the best life had to offer. (g))