We've been having a cold winter, by our standards-- and it's still only January, so who knows what the next month or two might bring?! Perfect weather for indoor crafting!
(...Though I actually do really need to get outside and work in the garden before spring sneaks up on us again... Never mind. Back to thoughts of cozy craft-time...)
I have been working on the Mittens of Doom, a.k.a. the hedgehog mittens I started making for my youngest sister over a year ago and still haven't finished. I'm on the first thumb, after which all I have to do is embroider the faces and make and attach the fuzzy Fun Fur-style "spines". (Have I mentioned that I loathe embroidering faces and swore off Fun Fur years ago?) So, while there's still plenty to do on that project, I've been allowing myself to work on a couple of other crafty projects. ...Mainly because my hands hate knitting that acrylic yarn and I just needed a break from them.
The first new project is... another doily.
Because I really need more doilies, don'tcha know? It's not like I'm already running out of places to put them and have actually started doubling them up (layering them) in a few places... :o/ I don't even know many people who'd be likely to appreciate them as gifts, modern style being what it is-- and the thought of trying to sell them is not appealing, at the moment.
...But I love making them, and I have a thread stash, so I'll just keep on making them, as long as they're fun to make! It's no worse than people who collect shoes or purses or comic books or whatever else.
Anyway, this new one is "Orion", another Grace Fearon pattern.
I'm using a solid thread this time-- Aunt Lydia's size 10 in "Orchid Pink".
The pattern actually calls for a larger hook than I'm using, but I was settled into my seat when I noticed and was just that lazy that I refused to get up again. (Shocking, isn't it?) I think it'll work out, because many others have used this size hook (1.75mm), but if I were to do it again, I'd probably try a larger one, just to see if it made any difference. It seems like you have to work into ch-1 spaces and the tops of popcorn stitches a lot in this pattern, and that might possibly have been easier if I'd used the larger hook.
Lots more to do on this one, but I'm not in any hurry.
The second project was of the short and sweet variety.
We have a small bucket that we use to corral the dogs' rubber fetching balls, and I wanted to make a mat to go under it, to protect the furniture.
I searched Ravelry for mandala patterns, found one that struck my fancy, pulled out the scrap bag, and went to town (figuratively speaking).
The pattern is intended to make a pot holder, so you usually make two rounds and crochet them together for extra thickness, but for my purposes, a single thickness was sufficient. As I crocheted, I realized that I liked the way my mat looked and didn't want to work the stitches that outline the "petals", so I left that off, too.
The yarn is just leftover acrylic scraps. They wouldn't be ideal for a pot holder (not as nice/safe as cotton or wool, certainly), but for a toy bucket mat, they're perfectly fine.
I had so much fun choosing colors from the bag and just crocheting effortlessly and joyfully (compared to fussing with knitting fiddly thumbs or squinting at the invisible tops of popcorn stitches)! This little project has brought home to me that it may be time to work on joining that granny square afghan-- sooner rather than later.
I do feel pangs of guilt about those mittens, so maybe I'll make a deal with myself. Finish those and then I can work on the afghan. (...Can I wait that long? Maybe better to say "finish the thumbs and you can start on the afghan"...)
Why can't knitting boring mittens be as much fun as crocheting mandalas? Or at least as easy? ;o)
Useful mini-project done!