Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Crocheting & Quilting

The doily has been done for several days, but remains unblocked.  I think it may need a bigger surface than the foam insulation board I normally use for blocking.  (Another largish doily has also been hanging around the house for over two years, waiting.)  There's a new system I want to try for blocking larger items, but since it's new, there's a tendency to stall... Maybe sometime this week...

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After finishing the doily, I picked up the Catherine Wheel scarf again.  It was slow going at first.  That yarn (Premier Serenity Sock Weight) can be splitty.  It's giving me less trouble now, but I'm not sure whether that first bit was different from the rest or I've just gotten better at dealing with it.

I had to refamiliarize myself with the pattern.  I skipped right to the chart, missing some notes jotted on an earlier page of the print-out-- notes in which I described some slight alterations to the pattern.  The changes were important enough that I had to rip back a hard-won row or two.  But things seem to be on the right track, now!  Smooth sailing.  

I knew before I started that it wasn't going to be a real duplicate of Moonstitches' Rhubarb Scarf, but looking at it now, I see that the colors are really completely different from those in the "inspiration scarf".  Also, it looks like the original yarn had shorter color repeats than I made-- and much more subtle transitions and variations in color...

If I wanted to try again for a closer copy, I'd keep one colorway much more pastel or neutral than the other.  One would be a cooler color palette with soft blues and greens and creamy beige, the other all warm shades of scarlet, rust, and brown.  The palette in my own yarn is all over the place and brings to mind a bowl of Froot Loops... or Willy Wonka's Bottle Caps candy (g) more than an earthy bundle of rhubarb!  Ah, well, I'm sure it'll still be warm and cozy, even if the colors are ca-razy.  ;o)

Crochet Scarf

I'm about halfway through the yarn dyed for this project.  (I'll need to dye one more ball for the edging, I think. It doesn't have to match perfectly, and I'm thinking of just choosing one color-- maybe pink or purple.) 

I've started thinking of making this into a cowl instead of a scarf.  Technically, it's long enough to be a cowl right now.  I could make a second cowl from the other two balls of yarn.  The problem is that I'm not sure who I'd give it to... Would anyone (that I know) other than myself want such a kooky, colorful cowl?  Nah, I think it'll work better as either a scarf or a looong cowl.  The cowl vs. scarf decision can wait until later.

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Last entry, there was a crochet book in one of the photos. While looking through that book for a good rose pattern (for the doily), I was reminded of some of this particular book's shortcomings:

Very Useful Key...

Oops.  Someone forgot to replace the placeholder text with real definitions for the symbols!  Fortunately there's also a written pattern, so unless that's also messed up, it should be possible to crochet the pattern.  Still, it's not very professional.  (I guess I never got around to "reviewing" that book... Maybe sometime soon.)

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Quilt Kit (from Mom)

I've started working on the string quilt kit Mom put together for me!

There are no photos of the progress, but I'm in the middle of sewing a handful of string blocks.  I'm sure my sewing could be better, but it's a scrappy-style quilt, so it doesn't have to be perfect-- and I'm enjoying it!  Admiring all the different prints and colors... The soothing process of pinning, sewing, and pressing... (Well, sewing isn't always soothing, because I tend to have a lead foot!  Need to work on slowing down and getting my lines straighter.)  Watching the blocks come together... It's fun!

I don't see any elaborate quilts in my immediate future, but down the road, you never know...  When I first started crocheting, I never realized how absorbing it could be, either. 

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Quilting and working on the scarf/cowl should keep me busy for a while, but there's also a secret project on the horizon... Maybe a few of them.  I'm trying to keep my holiday crafting to a minimum this year, but there always seems to be something that you feel you need to make or do. 

Then there's the yard.  All summer, I excused myself from dealing with most yard work in the heat and humidity by making lists of the things I would do when the cooler weather arrived.  Now it's pleasant outside again, which means it's time to start making good on my promises.  *GULP*

First up is pulling the last round of summer weeds (mainly gripeweed, my mortal enemy) and planting the pots and pots of daylilies we started from seed earlier in the year.  Also, it's time to move some things into the garage in advance of freezing lows.  We placed a shelving unit in front of the south-facing garage window, where I hope the tender plants will get enough sunlight to stay happy. 

The colder weather is expected here by Thursday night, so it's time to get crackin'!