Monday, July 27, 2015

"Billowy Delight" Finished (and Current WIPs)

In an effort to continue whittling down my WIP list, I began knitting on the Billowy Clouds of Alpaca scarf again.  In a relatively short time, it was done!

The pattern is Billowy Delight by Aimee Alexander.
The yarn is Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in "Wonderland Heather".

I love the look of the finished pattern-- and even my own humble version, with its uneven tension, is pretty and romantic and "billowy" and puts me in mind of sea breezes and the beach in general.

It's not a difficult pattern, either, from a technical standpoint.  However, worked in laceweight, it sometimes seems to go on for-ev-er (or at least it did for me).  It's simple and repetitive enough to make it a good candidate for a TV project-- however, the few times that I made a mistake, it was a pain to fix them!  (Probably wouldn't have made them if I hadn't been watching/listening to something else at the same time, but mental distraction was a sanity-preservation necessity.)  There weren't too many mistakes, but considering how long it took to fix some of them, there were enough!

This scarf would be faster and easier to make in a heavier weight yarn-- but a big part of what makes the scarf beautiful seems to be its airiness and light-as-a-feather look.  If you scale up the yarn too much, you'll lose that breezy feeling.  It might still be lovely, but in a different way.

I'd recommend the pattern and I might even make it again, myself.  Someday.  Not. Now.  (Those rows of purling get tiring after a while.)

Here are a few photos.  I haven't blocked it (yet), though that would probably help even out a few spots.  There's a particularly messy row or two where the needle was during those long months of inactivity.  Still, all caveats aside, I like the result.

"Billowy Delight" Scarf

"Billowy Delight" Scarf

"Billowy Delight" Scarf

"Billowy Delight" Scarf

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I've resisted the temptation to join one of the MCALs.

Then I resisted the temptation to start another sampler afghan.  I think I will make another samplerghan in the not-too-distant future, but for now, there are just too many other projects I should finish, first.

So here's another item from the UFO list.  This one's from way back in the beginning of 2012-- the year of the Mayan apocalypse, you remember. ;o)

This is an Elizabeth Hiddleson pattern by the name of "Pretty Baby".  

"Pretty Baby" Doily in Progress

I'm about to start round 23 of 32, so there's still a way to go.  The last couple of rounds haven't been bad, though, which is a relief.  I had the impression that this pattern was in some way tricky or difficult to understand, which was part of the reason I'd been reluctant to bring it out of hibernation.

I'm not crazy about the thread.  It's Circulo Clea in white.  It's not bad, but it's not as smooth as a lot of the mercerized cotton thread I've used.  I prefer the higher sheen of other threads for doily-making.  On the bright side, I recall that the price per yard was good, and the yardage per ball is great (1000 meters or 1094 yards).  I just wouldn't use it for a once-in-a-lifetime heirloom-quality doily-- just in case.  I may be mistaken, but it doesn't look like it would hold up as well as some of the shinier, higher-plied threads. 

- - - - - - -

Luna kept showing a little too much interest in those string blocks I had arranged on the craft room floor, so it was time to go ahead and sew them together and get them up out of reach.  That has gone much more smoothly than I expected.  (I'm still a little intimidated about joining blocks.)

String Quilt in Progress

I've joined the blocks into strips and am in the process of pressing the seams open.

Pressing seams open is a part of quilting that I find boring, and if I think I can get away with it, I prefer to just press them to one side or the other.  It's especially annoying when you go to the trouble of opening the seams, only for them to accidentally end up skewed to one side, anyway, when you sew the next step.  I've just been shrugging and leaving them that way, when that happens.  I imagine a True Quilter would unpick the stitches and fix that kind of thing. ;o)  Nope.  "Not I!" said the lazy quilter.  If it adds bulk, I'm ok with that.  Bulk it on up, I say.  (g)  That adds space for trapped air, rendering my quilt even warmer.  (Right?)  Bulky is better-- so on and so forth.

So the quilt is slowly progressing-- but because I have to be back in the craft room to work on it, it's still a back-burner project.  The regular evening project is the doily.  


It's good to have a crochet project on the go, again.  I feel at loose ends without some sort of yarn project to fiddle with in the evenings.  And though I enjoy knitting, too (when it's going well and I'm not repairing a mistake), I generally find crochet more soothing.  The repetition.  The rhythm.  The flow of yarn (or thread) winding its way through fingers...

Ahhhh.... Serenity now! ;o)