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Get Busy and Procrastinate

Christmas is fast approaching, and the get-together at which most of my "secret projects" need to be given is even sooner than that!  This is when I don't quite panic, but wonder why I didn't make myself finish things earlier.  Oh, and there's still a little shopping to do, too.  In stores.  With the crowded aisles and the unpleasant sensation that if someone else isn't in your way, you're in theirs.  *insert wild-eyed expression of dread here*


So, let's see... Before I allow myself to do fun stuff, like take and post photos or work on the projects that really interest me, at the moment, I have to attend to the following:

-- Finish crocheting tiny bits of two projects, stuff and stitch them together, and do a little embroidery.  Shouldn't take too long, but I do dislike the embroidery bit...And the stitching together, too, for that matter.

-- Start at least one similar project from scratch, after deciding what pattern to use and selecting yarn fro…

The Blog Entry that (Almost) Couldn't

This post has been "in-the-writing" for more than a month.  Probably time to just publish the silly thing.

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November-- It's officially yarn-craft season!  Well, yarn-craft season lasts all year, but there is something especially exciting about crocheting and knitting something when there's just beginning to be that snap in the air.  Of course, I think just about everything feels better in autumn.  The absolute best time of the year.

I have been steadily adding to my Ravely queue over the past several months.  So much for the resolution to pare it down!  Nope, I've been frequenting the "free patterns" forums, saving lots for later use-- and I find myself using the queue to remind myself of patterns I might want to make, rather than patterns I will definitely make, in such-and-such order.

There are some beauties in my queue, as well as some works in progress that I'd like to finish, but I may not get to them for a little while.  Christma…

A Few Photos

I actually took a few craft-related photos, earlier this week!  (It's hard to believe, I know.)

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A few doilies...



...including two of the same pattern. This is the Peony Doily, which is a free pattern. There are a few issues with the pattern, but nothing too bad, and it gives a pretty result. 

Then there's an Octoberfest doily:


I've made this one before, too, but I seem to have forgotten to take a photo before I gave it to my grandmother...

I blocked and photographed another doily at the same time as those, but it's a Christmas present, so it'll have to wait.  :o(

I think the two Peony Doilies are the first I've shared here that I made from my stash of Cébélia size 10.  I've had it for a while, now, but was waiting for "the right pattern"-- or to finally feel that I was accomplished enough to do it justice, somehow.  Then we had to plan for our trip, and my inner drama queen / worrywart / worst-case-scenario-ist thought-- what i…

Slowpoke

Originally, I'd planned to finish dealing with the backlog of existing photos before I set everything up and started taking new photos-- including pictures of more recent finished objects and works-in-progress.  The problem is that I'm being so slooooow in editing and sharing photos from our vacation (which we took, oh, back in July).

Well, one of these days I'll catch up.

In the meantime, here's one crochet photo I took right before our trip:


The pattern is "Pineapple Perfection" by Patricia Kristoffersen.   (And here's the project page on Ravelry.)  I made it as a gift for my mother-in-law, whom we visited on our recent vacation.

Right now, I have two "active" WIPs.  There's a crochet doily ("Under Glass" by Chantal Chevallier) and a knitted cowl ("Irish Mesh Cowl" by Jo Strong).

It's funny about cowls... When I first started seeing them on Ravelry, I thought they were kind of weird-looking. Ugly, even.  But I guess…

No Place Like Home

After our two-and-nearly-a-half-week vacation to Sweden (visiting my husband's family + sightseeing), we've returned home, safe and sound.  True, there are some lingering symptoms of jet lag.  (Gosh, I hate that long journey across the ocean. Not fun at all.)  Yes, the grass is in dire need of mowing, I still haven't put away the luggage, and the sudden return to this heat and humidity is a bit of a shock to the system-- but we're HOME.  However nice the vacation, there's no place like home.

I spent some time crocheting on vacation, but (as expected) I'd packed much more yarn and thread than I needed.  You-- or well, we, at least-- don't spend that much time just sitting around, on vacation.  And much of the time that you are sitting around, it's just not convenient or polite to be crocheting.  But anyway, I did get to crochet a little.  I finished a couple of small/medium-sized doilies and a market bag (all finished except for sewing on the embellishme…

Ack! July Already?!

I'm going into panic mode.  ...I sort of live right on the edge of panic mode, honestly.  It's way too easy to push me over that edge.  (What can I say?  I'm a worrywart who loves predictability and routine.)

There is SO MUCH TO DO in a limited time frame.  There's just no way it'll all get done.  I'm reconciled to that.  Hey, I knew even when I was making those massive to-do lists, months ago, that it wouldn't all get done.  It never does.  But now I'm down to making lists of what must be done, and I'm starting to panic that that won't happen, either!  (Note: My idea of what "must" be done includes lots of things that... don't really have to get done.  Such is My Way.)

Anyway, crafts.  I am working on things now and then, because-- doggone it!-- if I don't have some craft time, I'll cease to function at all.

So--
The floral mysteryghan?  It's on hold.  I haven't even considered working on last Friday's clue.  I…

Clue #4 and Nervous Nellie

The next clue for Julie Yeager's Mysteryghan is out, so here are my (not so wonderful) photos of Clue #4:





They were fun to make-- especially the first two styles of flower.   I made a mistake on the ones in the top photo, using two colors for the textural rounds where I was supposed to use just one-- but no-one looking at the finished blanket "in person" will ever know that.

I tried laying out all the squares I've finished so far (as I'd seen some people do on the spoiler thread on Ravelry).  It's not as easy as you'd think to get them laid out in an even rectangle or square!  Eventually, I gave up and more-or-less copied another person's layout. (g)


I'm curious to see how they really are meant to be arranged... I'm pretty sure I'll want to either add more squares or an extra-wide border to my blanket.  Since I'm using thinner yarn than recommended (Simply Soft/Pound of Love instead of Vanna's Choice), my blanket will come out sma…

Mysteryghan, Etc.

Mysteryghan Update:
I'm all finished (ends even woven in) and ready for the next clue, which is due out tomorrow.

Clue #3 ("Happy Flower") was for four larger squares.  Slightly trickier to crochet than the other clues, so far.  Here's one of the squares... (There are photos of the others on the project page.)


I guess I won't post photos of Clue #4 here, yet, since the next clue's not out.  There are photos on the Ravelry project page, though.  :o)


Old-Fashioned Sampler:
I posted a few photos last week of squares crocheted for the sampler.  Here are a few more:




The photos turned out kind of ugly, I'm afraid.  Next time I'll have to make sure there's better natural lighting.  (I just don't feel like bothering much about photos, lately.  Funny how those things go in phases, because there are other times that I love taking photos!  I'm really more of a "nature photographer" than an "arts and crafts photographer", though...)


Italian Cross

Italian Cross, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Lemon Stripe

Lemon Stripe, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Big Round

Big Round, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

This one turned out wobbly, but I think it'll straighten out after afghan assembly.

Mysteryghan - Clue #2

The 3rd clue for Julie Yeager's 2013 Mysteryghan is officially available, so I'll share the photos of my squares for last week's clue, "Blooming Pair".

To make the loopy flowers a little bigger (to match the other square in the clue), I substituted trc for dc in the second round.  (It was one of a handful of suggestions from Julie Yeager herself.)  It seemed to do the trick, and the squares are all roughly the same size.  :o)


When I finished stitching my final "bumpy flower", I realized with some surprise that I'd used the dark red/maroon twice on the "petals" sections.  Oops.  Well, it's not a big deal.  I've been winging it on color distribution, anyway, and I'm sure it'll look fine when they're all mixed together.  (...I assume they'll be mixed up somewhat.  We'll see by the end of the month!)



Even though I chose these colors mainly because I wanted to clear out my stash of Simply Soft, and the colors sort of…

Afghan Progress

Isn't this always the way?  I'm here to report on afghan progress-- but not the afghan that you're probably thinking about.  No, the Cheerful Afghan is still snoozing away in a corner, somewhere, undisturbed for weeks.  Meanwhile, I've been working on two other afghans.  (And I won't even pretend to be ashamed of myself.  It's my hobby, and I'll have a million WIP if I want to! ;o))


Mysteryghan:
I'm keeping up, so far.  Earlier this week, I finished weaving the ends of the squares for the second clue-- and the next one is due out tomorrow (though Julie released both the other clues a day early, so I'll be checking this afternoon, just in case). 

Here's a photo of the completed first clue, "Little Bitties":


Aren't they cute? They were fun to make, too. I won't post photos of the second set on the blog, yet, but if you're curious, you can see them on the project page.

I'm liking how the colors are working together, but …

Another Doily

144/365 - Doily, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr. ...also for Granny's birthday.

I wasn't totally thrilled with how this one blocked out, but it's ok... and once you put something on it, it's almost impossible to see incongruities, imho.

A Doily

Doily, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr. ...made for my maternal grandmother's birthday last month. :o)

Playing Possum

Yarn made from possum fur...
I've seen it mentioned once or twice before, but somehow I manage to forget, so each time feels like the first... That sensation of disbelief. 

It's not uncommon to see opossums (which we call just "possums") around here, foraging for food in the woods or as roadkill.  Are the Australian or Kiwi possums this yarn is coming from much different from the ones we have in North America?  I really don't know.  Our "possums" are wild, scary-looking creatures with beady eyes, claws, and needle-like teeth.  I have a very hard time thinking of them as a cuddly source of yarn.  Now, maybe possum yarn is wonderfully soft.  I wouldn't know.  Certainly it could be fun to tell people, when they comment on an article of clothing, that it's made from possum fur.  (And then to watch as they struggle to cover an expression of horror or disgust with one of polite interest.) 

All that said, when I first learned that people made yarn fr…

Doilies & Mysteries -- But No Photos!

Thread Crochet--
Well, I finished the doily that I thought might end up rippling, then started another (smaller) one that I thought would behave better.  And wouldn't you know it, that one gave me more trouble than the first one!  It was fine until one of the last few rounds, at which point I began to have serious doubts.  I managed to get them both blocked, but I won't be making those patterns again!


No Progress--
There's no progress to report on the Cheerful Afghan, the Isis shawl, the cotton basket, or any of my hibernating projects.  I need to gear myself up for a "finishing spree".  Scratching a few off things off my hibernating/in-progress list would feel awfully nice...


Mysteryghan--
I mentioned the Mysteryghan CAL Julie Yeager is hosting in my last post.  I've been working on the first clue, ("Little Bitties", released earlier this week), and I'm about halfway done.  It's fun, and I really like the looks of the pieces, so far.  (I love…

Checking In Again

Progress reports, anyone?  ;o)

Cheerful Afghan--
It's in a rut.  I did put in a few more rounds on the Crocodile Flower block, but I've yet to finish it.  I only need one more block, I believe, and then it will be time to think about joining.  The fact that it's starting to feel summery outside probably has something to do with the stall-out.


Cotton Basket--
Put into "Time Out", a.k.a. out of sight, out of mind.  That thing was hurting my hand(s) to crochet, so to tell the truth, I'm not eager to pick it back up.  But I will, one of these days, because I want to see it finished.


Gifts for my Niece--
The secret projects I mentioned last time were gifts for my niece's 2nd birthday.  I made her a little amigurumi bunny and a duck.  She seemed to really like them, which made it worth the discomfort of making them.  (g)  I don't enjoy making amigurumi, but they're just so darn cute that I can't resist the occasional temptation.







Also in the gift bag--…

Amigurmi

100/365 - Crochet Project, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr. A bunny in the making...

The Stack

The Stack Grows, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr. At a stand-still...

Thread Crochet

86/365 - Thread Crochet, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Slow-Poking Along

Time to pop in for a brief update post!

Cheerful Afghan--
No real progress since last time.  I've started a block-- the Crocodile Flower square-- but I set it aside "for a moment" and just haven't been able to work up the enthusiasm to pick it back up, again.  In fact, I've gone so far as the carry the basket of yarn and WIP out of the living room and into the craft room.  This is a Big Deal. (g)  If a WIP is no longer in the living room, it is officially in hibernation mode.  Someday I'll get the urge to finish the afghan, but for now, it's not even on the back burner; it's cooled off, packed up, and in the back of the fridge, hidden behind the pickles and baking soda.  Fortunately, yarny works-in-progress don't spoil and turn into moldy science experiments.  ;o)


Unraveling Sweaters--
After unraveling those wool sweaters (see last entry), I thought I was taking a break from sweater deconstruction.  However, the unraveling bug bit again, and I found…

Project Updates

It's been a while!
Since my last entry, I've worked a few more squares for the "Be of Good Cheer" Samplerghan.



Sunflower Square. (from 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet)
I enjoyed crocheting this one (another square from one of the new books on my shelves), but I actually prefer it in the colors shown the book.  It needed several more rounds to bring it up to 12 inches.  Simple "granny rounds" did the trick.




Veronica's Rose. (freebie online)
This one was quick, easy, and fun to crochet.  That said, I'm not 100% sure I love the results of my first round of petals.  Not sure if I did something wrong... or what... but it's only just "ok".




Happy Hearts (freebie online)
This will be the last "heart"-themed block for this afghan.  Of the heart blocks I made, I think I'm least satisfied with this one.  The hearts seem to get lost in the pattern, somehow.  Outlining each one in a contrasting color yarn (slip stitches, maybe?) might help,…