Cro-Crazy

A couple years ago, I started doing an epic stash bust in preparation for my adventure.  I was determined to par down my stash to what I actually wanted, needed, realistically would use.  (This purge incited a panic attack in some of my yarn-hoarding cohorts, who quickly became the instigators in the yarn stores.  Having one who works for a dyer sure didn’t aide in this endeavor, either.)

Upon our arrival in Colorado, I unpacked several boxes of yarn, and one box of UFOs.  The UFOs sadly remain relatively untouched.  And, as my knitting time remains somewhat sparse, opening any of the other boxes has been a rare occurrence.  What I have managed to make has all been pulled from stash and was primarily destined for friends.  Two of those projects are still on the needles, but I’ve reached an “I’m too bored to go on” state with them.

And then, I found this crochet-a-long that captured my attention and I have been hooked (ba-dum-ching!)  Sorry, that was a terrible, yet irresistible, pun.

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I keep going around and around, curious about the next color change and texture.  I really ought to be working on the two projects I have to ship out for friends.  I really should.

Let me just pour another tot of whiskey, sit in the sunshine, and get right on that.

NaKniSweMo Day 22: Blocking and Bleeding

My back has been hurting for a couple weeks now, and the pain has only been getting worse.  At first, it was fairly manageable and easy to dismiss.  I’m always sore – this program is hard.  Over the last few days, it felt like something was sliding around a bit, and the pain became sharper.  I needed to slow down.  I’ve been pushing myself so hard, hell bent on taking advantage of every opportunity presented to me so that when I launch my career at the end of this program, I will have more knowledge and technique to pull from and a better foundation to build my acts.  The downside is that I haven’t left time for rest.  Friday I decided to sit out and observe class rather than participate physically.  And today, instead of going to the workshop I had signed up for, I stayed home (and had quality time with Ellette, which is fantastic), and I blocked my NaKniSweMo sweater.

 

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In total, 57342 stitches were knit.  I tried it on before throwing it in the water, and it fit just about the way I had intended, and I hoped the bath would help ease the areas that needed to be stretched.  When I pulled it out of the water, the body of the sweater started expanding.  I squished the water from it and held it to my torso briefly – I had somehow made a dress.

And then I noticed the sleeve.

I knew I was taking a chance by knitting a white sleeve, but I didn’t really consider it to be a problem.  I had worked with all of these yarns before.  But this time, the hot water and the purple decided to have a quarrel in the tub, and the purple bled onto the sleeve.  I tried to rinse it out with cold water, but it just wouldn’t work.  I’ll try another quick rinse when it’s dry, but fear my sweater may bear the curse of Sweaty Smurf in the underarm.

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While the sweater is drying rather conspicuously in my bedroom, and I am trying not to pay attention to the imperfections, I have picked up the sock hat I am making for a good friend of mine.

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It currently measures 52 inches in length, and when it is complete will be about 6.5 or 7 feet.  It’s a simple little pattern and uses up a lot of my odds and ends.  It’s the perfect mindless project right now.

Maybe I’m Addicted

That little shrug is probably the quickest thing I’ve ever crocheted.  Once I understood the lace chart, it flew by so fast I think I got yarn burn on my wrapping finger.  I’m entirely enchanted by the lace edging, which is exactly why I was drawn to this pattern.  It’s easier than it looks (it also desperately needs a blocking, so hang on to your opinions until the after-blocking photo shoot.)  The only thing hampering my flow was trying to watch a show with my family while I worked on it.  I can knit and look elsewhere with ease – stare out a window while churning out miles of stockinette, or chatting happily away as my fingers deftly creating ribbing.  But crochet – the yarnovers and chains and there are so many holes to put your hook through – eyes on the prize the entire way.

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I think this will be a perfect project for the plane to Austin on Thursday, but this time in my size.  This morning I dug through my fingering weight skeins and tried to select the perfect one.  I kept getting drawn to this skein of Aracauna in fuschia and gray.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be so excited for the finished item that I complete it before I even leave for the airport?

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That’s ok, though.  Ellette asked for a shrug also, and I have the perfect yarn for hers.

A Bit of Lace

I found a gorgeous crochet lace shrug pattern on Ravelry last week.  I mean, this thing was jaw dropping.  And everyone I’ve showed it to since agrees that it is fairly stunning.  Of these people, Caitlin agreed, and even asked for one.  This makes me happy, because Caitlin has been watching Ellette for some of my training days, and asked for no payment other than hand knits.  The hand knits she wanted – socks.

Now, we’ve already established that I’m not really a sock knitter.  I’ve made socks, for sure.  I want to try everything, but I don’t really like making socks.  I’d much rather shave my fingertips off or inflict silk burn on my spine than spend tedious hours churning out a pair of the knee high socks she covets.  And it made me feel like a terrible friend.  I should just suck it up and make her a pair of socks or two.  Instead, I’ve been hinting at other possible projects – scarves, arm warmers, etc.  So, when she asked for this, out of yarn she had previously purchased (for socks), I was ecstatic, and started as soon as I could.

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The pattern is not particularly difficult, it’s just not well written.  Following the charts is making more sense than the written instructions, which is saying something because me and crochet charts have a long and bitter history.  But, once I got over the fact that the designer and mathematics must have had an equally long and bitter history because the numbers just weren’t adding up, I was flying through the pattern. (And I ask here humbly that you forgo the “I-Told-You-So’s” if it turns out that I’m just an idiot who cannot add)

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I’m finished with the back and one armhole, which leaves one more arm and the neck edging, and it’s done!  Super easy, maybe 5 hours of work so far.  I’m going to wind another ball of fingering weight and take it on the plane on Thursday so I can work on one for myself in Austin.

Oh Bleeding Yarn!

Dear Eyes Wide Open,

You sure opened my eyes.  I was so excited to make you – I loved the openness of the fabric, and the idea of pairing it with a camisole or over my leotards this summer.  I was excited to use up so much yarn, and how quickly, too!  I really enjoyed everything about making you.

And then I found the pattern error.  And, it wasn’t a clear pattern error where I understood a simple miscount.  This would dictate the plunge of the neckline.  And I messaged the designer, and haven’t heard back from her.  I know this isn’t your fault.  These things happen.  And seeing as I am the second person ever to attempt your construction, I kind of figured there would be some sort of issue.  I can deal with a pattern error.

But then! I decided to block the pieces I have so far – the sleeves and the back.  And…well…. How could you?

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I realize part of this is my error in yarn choice, but I did not anticipate the amount of bleeding that would take place when you were submerged.  When I first pulled out of the bath and gave you a towel stomp, the white had flecks of hideous denim blue throughout.  I thought I could rinse it out, so I plunged you in the water again.  This time, the white turned entirely dusty pale blue.

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I would almost be ok with this, except the white at the shoulders is still splotchy.

Combine this with the pattern error, and the temptation to put you in the corner is, well, overwhelming.  I loved you, I don’t understand how you could betray me this way.   I wanted so much to be wrapped up in your fibers, to welcome summer together.  And now…I would look like blue spat up on me.  And how can I trust that your delicate dye won’t rub off on the layers underneath?

I’ve been searching for an answer, and trying to understand what your motivation could be.  But I’m completely in the dark.

Please, open my eyes.

Sincerely yours,

Pixie

Can You Tell?

This sweater has really been giving me the run around.  Or rather, the yarn itself has been rather uncooperative.  It was a gift from a friend who was stashbusting.  Those kinds of gifts can be amazing (for instance, same friend just sent me a bag of yarn, and it was more lovely than I could have imagined!).  This gift was a wonderful gift; it is that some of the balls had been knit, and therefore were caked without ball bands.  I know what the yarn is, and roughly what color, just not always which dye lot.

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So this sweater has been a bit of cobbling together what I think is all the same yarn, realizing I don’t quite have enough and trying to piece together other yarns for it.  This is the back of the sweater, and therefore what the main body will look like.

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I bring up the color thing because the shoulders are white.  They are white because I ran out of the blue ball in the very last row.  When I attached the next ball, I realized that it was ever so slightly paler than the previous, and crocheting a whole row would have been awkward.  So, the white was thrown in to distract you from the color difference.

Can you tell?

The last three balls of blue I have are also a tad mismatched.  Two are the slightly lighter shade of blue, and one is the same blue as the front.  Do you think a shade difference between front and back would be noticeable?

Vacant Expression

I’m still working on this sweater, expecting it to be bigger every time I pull it out of the bag, even though I don’t work on it except for the 1 hour lunch break I have Monday thru Friday.  In the evenings and on the weekends I’ve been working on a different summer sweater – a new pattern that I’m really excited about.  This one, though – with the rows and rows of blue ripples – just sits there mocking me with it’s “Eyes Wide Open.”

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Granted, I have been spending a lot of my evenings with a similarly blank expression.  Something about my life right now is exhausting me to the core.  I had enough energy to get very upset about the state of cleanliness (or lack of) in my apartment last night, and then realized that the mess is all mine and I can’t get mad at other people for it.  My jam-packed schedule is also entirely my fault, and complaining about it doesn’t get me sympathy, just smirks.

Tonight, I hope to blast the music, clean the house, work on my hula hoop routine for this weekend’s performance, and knock out a bit more of this sweater before collapsing in my bed.  If I can get even one thing crossed off that list, I’ll feel successful.  Check back later for either “Pixie’s Mischievous Meltdown” or “I Deserve a Gold Star.”

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