Friday, May 17, 2013

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.

Blue Bunny

Duck

Duck

Also in the gift bag-- a set of three spiral-crochet balls.  They worked up very quickly!  I'd be interested to try making them in three colors instead of just two, but as I was in a hurry, I took the easy route, this time. 

Crochet Balls

And because I just wanted to try the pattern, I also crocheted her a sun hat.  The pattern's pretty cute-- and so easy-- but even though I decreased the size, I think it turned out too big for her.  Ah, well, it was only meant for as a "playing dress-up" hat, and she'll surely grow into it, eventually. 

Sunhat

Also in the "playing dress-up" category, I gave her a small scarf made of sparkly, fluffy novelty yarn-- something I'd made on the knitting loom a while back-- and a completely ridiculous braided yarn "wig" made of blue boucle.  I picked up the yarn quite some time ago-- a huge skein marked down to only a dollar because it had lost its label-- but hadn't found a single use for it.  This was the perfect way to use up some of it.  There's still some left, though, and I've already put it into a box with some other things destined for Goodwill.  Maybe someone else can use it.  It was either that or throw it away, and I hate to do that when there's really nothing wrong with it...

Here's Clarabel just after opening the package containing the duck (with the help of my mother):

Clarabel's 2nd Birthday

...And here she is holding two of the sprial balls, wearing that silly yarn wig:

Clarabel's 2nd Birthday


Thread Crochet--
I finished the thread crochet I was working on the last time I wrote, and I've even given a couple of doilies since then (to Mom, as part of her Mother's Day gift).  Now I'm working on a different thread crochet project.  It's one of those that is giving me emotional heartburn (or something), because I'm just not sure if it's going to lie flat when it's finished.  I've been torn between cutting my (possible) losses, ripping it back, and starting a different pattern-- or persevering and hoping for the best.  I guess I'm going to see it through.  If it refuses to lie flat even after blocking... Well, I have another ripply doily that it can keep company.  (g)  (Yes, I even use the ripply doily.  It's not given center stage, but in an out-of-the-way corner, no-one is likely to notice or care.)  Problem is, this is meant to be a gift, and I will not give a ripply doily as a gift... So I'll have to hope I'll still have enough time to make another.  Hm. 

In the meantime, here are photos of the "completed and given" doilies:

Little Doily #11

Summer Splendor

Starched & Stretched

The pink is "#11" of PK's 99 Little Doilies, and the blue is the lovely "Summer Splendor".


Crochet Shawl--
After all the unraveling I was doing there, for a while (still much to do!), I wanted to hurry up and turn some of the unraveled yarn into something.  There was a linen/cotton blend I thought might make an attractive rustic shawl in crochet.  So I looked through some patterns and found Isis (which is a beautiful pattern by Anastasia Roberts and currently offered for free on Ravelry).  So far, I'm following the pattern as written, not caring to experiment, as the designer encourages.  It's not at all difficult-- quite relaxing, in fact.  It would be even nicer if I didn't have trouble with my stitch count.  I went back at least a few rounds, trying to find my error, but I never could!  It's mysterious, because (not to brag) at this point-- and especially with so simple a pattern-- I should be capable of easily spotting mistakes in crochet.  In any case, I was able to fudge it, and I'm sure it won't be obvious.  I don't know when I'll ever wear it, but at least I'm having fun making it.  (No photos, yet.)


Mystery'ghan--
Visiting some discussion boards on Ravelry, I came across a Mystery'ghan CAL that's going to start later this month.  The designer and host is Julie Yeager.  Once the CAL's over, the pattern will be available for purchase, but participants in the CAL will get the "clues" to the pattern for free.  The hints mention that it'll be floral and modern, with different-sized motifs and an "interesting arrangement". If you're interested, check out this thread in the Julie Yeager Designs group.  It sounds like fun! 

I'm really curious to see what the afghan will look like.  It's not like I needed another project, but why not?  I'll use this as a way to make a dent in my stash of Caron Simply Soft.  I've been meaning to use some of it up.  I like certain aspects of the yarn, but it's just so different in size from the other acrylic worsted weights I have that it presents problems when I try to mix and match. 

Because I'm trying to stick with Simply Soft (or acrylics of similar weight) and want this to be a stash-only project (if at all possible), I'm somewhat limited in my selection-- but I still managed to come up with a few color schemes I liked.  I think this is the winner:

???/365 - Palette

(The cream is less yellowy than it looks in that photo, by the way.)

When I came back to look at that palette after a brief absence, it struck me that it looks like my mental image of "Indian" colors.  Warm, rich tones... slightly exotic... pinks, purples, and the orange-toned "persimmon" together with red and maroon.  I think it'll work.  If nothing else, they should go nicely with the floral theme.

The only problem is that now I'm more excited about this project (which I can't even start until the first clue is revealed) than I am about the projects I "need" to work on this weekend.  Such hardship!  ;o)