Because clearly I didn't already have enough WIPs, I've started a new crochet afghan project!
This project is something I've been thinking about for a little while, but I was spurred into action by a couple of things.
First, my husband has just started getting into a craft of his own (casting pieces in plaster and building small-scale models of castles and other structures), and he wanted to be able to use the same room I've used for polymer clay and storing all our craft supplies. While tidying and clearing up some space for him, I was "reminded" of the large plastic bin of ~shudder~ novelty yarn hiding in the closet. (Ok, I'd never really forgotten it, and I felt guilty about it whenever I saw it.)
Second, that meme I've been posting about lately has a question asking you to talk about and post photos of your stash.
Those two things together-- being reminded of my stash and being asked about it-- has shamed me into finally doing something about some of it. (If it's part of a WIP, it's no longer stash, right? So I don't "have" to photograph it as part of my stash, surely.)
So, I have quite a bit of novelty yarn. What to do with it?
Set aside a few skeins for a project or two I have in mind, but what else?
A little of it was given to me, but I bought almost all of it on clearance (99 cents a skein) at big box craft stores-- most of it before I knew how to crochet... before I realized how much I was going to not want to crochet (or knit) with it. (But I wrote about that just a few days ago.)
I've seen some zig-zag afghans with occasional stripes of fuzzy yarn, and I like that look, but knowing how hard it is to see where to put the crochet hook with fuzzy, eyelashy yarn, I really wanted something easier than even a zig-zag / chevron afghan. (Also, I need to use up a lot of novelty yarn, so intermittent stripes of fuzz isn't going to do it.)
In the end, I settled for straight stripes-- the Vintage Vertical Stripes afghan (though in my version, the stripes are horizontal). I'm going to use a smooth black worsted weight acrylic yarn throughout (though possibly not in every single row). I think that'll give it some extra stability for the more finicky yarns and also act as a unifying force, color-wise.
I've decided to just ignore the care instructions for the different yarns. I hope I won't need to wash this blanket very often, but when I do, I'll use the gentle cycle with cold water and low heat in the dryer-- and just hope for the best. I think it'll be ok.
I'm using a large hook-- size K. That, and holding a plain acrylic with the fuzzy yarn, and the fact that (once you get past the first row) you're crocheting into spaces between double crochet stitches, rather than into the tops of the stitches-- should all combine to make this project very easy. (I hope.)
I've crocheted a few rows, and so far, it's going well. It does tend to buckle a bit at times, which probably means I'm using the wrong hook or something, but I'm just going to ignore that. (It evens out somewhat with a little pulling and adjusting, anyway, and maybe washing will help.) It's destined to be an odd-looking blanket, no matter what.