Crochet

Ava Finally Got Her Afghan! No I didn’t send it to Australia! My beautiful Sister in Law brought her family over to see the States and visit us!  Would you just look at this beautiful little girl?  Isn’t she precious?!?!

 

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Saw a cute pattern for a baby blanket and knew I had to make it.  It was kind of a flatter popcorn stitch, great texture, and I knew the exact yarn I’d use…just needed a baby to make it for.

Well, lo and behold my boss announced he’s going to be a grandpa, and the project was off and running.

I started the instructions, which had me yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, insert hook, yarn over pull through, then yarn over and pull through all the loops on the hook.  EVERY SINGLE STITCH was a pain in the derrier.  The YO loops were so tight, even though I’d made them as loose as possible, I couldn’t get the head of the hook through!  I got about 20 “clusters” in and was on the verge of tears.  Suddenly it dawned on me that popcorn clusters are made differently, and that by simply making half the loops of a popcorn cluster (4 instead of 7, so sue me, my math isn’t great), I’d have semi flat popcorn clusters, without the terrible frustration.

And viola!

10269464_10152377938684854_742813755124901239_nIt came out perfect.  I yo, insert hook, yo, drawn through two loops on hook, yo, insert hook, yo, draw through two, then one last time, YO, Insert Hook, YO, draw through two. Until I have 4 loops on hook, then YO and draw through all four loops on hook. Viola! half popcorns.

Looks great!

 

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So…every now and then I think I should try knitting, and I give it a go.  And the same thing happens.  I get about this far:

Doesn’t look horrible…but…

It’s not a bad first (hundredth) attempt at knitting.  But inevitably the same thing happens.  I drop stitches. Or in the case of this scarf, I drop ALL the stitches.  The knitting needle slipped out and fell down the couch cushions.  Whoops!  I pulled out the stitches and started over, determined to knit a scarf.  I got about 10 rows into it and gave up (the second thing that inevitably happens when I decide to try to knit).

I share this with you to make you feel better about yourself.  Learn through my mistakes.  Or something like that.  Don’t do what I do.  I think the title of my autobiography will be “How not to be.”  That about sums up my knitting advice.  I’ll keep trying though.

What I am good at is crochet.  Except when the dog chews up the project I’m working on because she is bored, or vengeful, or both.

That was the case with this project which I had finished several months ago:

 

Can’t see the teeth marks!

I was so disgusted by her betrayal (how could she!) that I shoved the damaged afghan into a bag and ignored it for a long time.  Until I finally could stand to look at it again, pulled it out and repaired it.  Can’t even see the teeth marks on it now! Heehee

My husband complained that I hadn’t updated SewMessy in a while. I said it was because I hadn’t made any projects.  He pointed out that I was completely wrong.  Don’t ya love when your husband does that? Yeah, me neither.  But unfortunately he was right.

Turns out I worked on a fair few projects in my absence from blogging.

Here’s a neck wrap in process that was a gift for my great friend, Sheri.  I didn’t have a pattern, but saw a neck wrap on Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and decided that one in sparkle yarn was a necessity.  I wish I had a picture of Sheri wearing it.  Maybe before the winter is behind us she’ll send us one.

Lacy and sparkly = Awesome

 

I also crocheted an afghan for my Grandson for Christmas.  Usually I do a lot more gifts by hand, but this year I was overwhelmed with school and work. Well here is the zigzag afghan in progress, and in use.  Also didn’t have a pattern for this one, just winged it and lucked out.

 

So that’s about it for crochet projects in the last couple of

months.  I’ll keep working on the knitting but don’t hold your breath!

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I finished it, now I just need to send it to Australia!  Here’s the finished afghan

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So, my first post really underscores the entire premise of this blog.  A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law announced she was pregnant with child number two. Great! I’m on it! I’ll start the obligatory-new-baby-afghan NOW and it’ll be ready by the time the baby comes (unlike last time when baby number one received his blanket over a year after he came). OMG I’m so friggin’s smart!

“Baby Number Two,” Ava, just turned two.  My chaos settled to a manageable level (sometimes it flares up, I know you understand this), and I went looking for Ava’s afghan to finish.  It’s a pretty pattern, filet crochet hearts in pink and mauve, with black sashing.  I wanted something that would work for her for a long time.  So I mosey-ed into my sewing room cum piano room, cum son’s homework room, cum dog kennel room, cum junk depository, and went to the general location where I believed it to be. Nothing.  Well, not nothing. Tons of OTHER crap, but not the afghan. If memory served, it was nearly done. All that was waiting was putting edging around the main blocks, washing and blocking, and shipping it over to Australia (where my niece lives, not randomly sending stuff across the globe for kicks).  Frustrated, I tore through everything in the room looking for the afghan.  No luck.

Aha! Suddenly I remembered doing a purge and taking a bunch of Rubbermaid bins full of yarn, fabric, etc. out to the shed.  And by taking, I mean, “Had hubby take,” just so we’re clear.

Tore the shed apart (found a lot of cool stuff!) but no afghan.  Aha, again! It must be in the attic, where the rest of the Rubbermaid bins of yarn are!  Tore the attic apart. No afghan.

I searched my guest room, my office/sewing room/etc once again, then twice, then re-searched the shed and attic.  I called on St. Anthony to intercede on my behalf, then I finally resigned myself to REMAKING THE AFGHAN.  Gulp.  This was after about a month of searching in my spare time (which is minimal, of course).  With the pattern book in hand, I opted for a totally different design.  Hubs asked why not remake it exactly.  Good point…here’s why: If I find the afghan, I can either give it to Ava later as a gift, and not have it be a duplicate, or I can use it for another baby. Ava’s a toddler now, so I was doing something less baby-ish.

The colors I picked were identical to the original, though, and I needed more yarn. So during an excursion to the eye dr, I swung by Walmart (next door), and checked out their yarn selection.  Instead, I kept coming back to their sewing machine collection.  I liked the Brother SE400, and kept eyeing it for another project that I started 6 months ago, but was procrastinating on.  I spent so much time there, I never made it to the yarn, had to rush to my appointment, and so began my new afghan with the three skeins I did have.

As Murphy take-ith away, so does he give-ith.  Of course, I knew once I gave up looking I’d find it. I just figured it would be around the time I finished my second afghan.  As luck would have it, I found it (by accident) in the coat closet, (cause of course that’s where I would have put it, duh!), before I had even finished the first granny square! Yay!

Now, my memory is a little off, ‘cause yes the blocks were done, and it was mostly assembled, but there was still a great deal of work to be done.

First of all, I did three strips of four blocks.  One of the strips was only partially crocheted to the body of the afghan. I had stopped about ¼ of the way down the seam. Second, because this is pink and black and mauve, when you edge the lighter color with black, the vertical edges of the blocks look AWFUL. I mean, downright nasty.  Even with a fairly straight vertical edge to begin with!  So, I had first edged the block in the original color, giving black a really nice straight base.

Here you can see the nice even edge, and the more “wavy” original vertical edges of the original block.

All these years of crocheting (like 30 maybe?), and I just hit this issue?  I just realized how to make the vertical edges look decent?  Can you say “Slack”? I knew you could!

Ok, so what were we talking about? Oh yes, the afghan that was lost then found.  Ava will be married by the time I finish this darn thing. But when I do finish it, this afghan will be beautiful, and I’ll hate saying goodbye!

 

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