Since I bought 6 colors of cotton and wanted to make 6 potholders each of which requires two sides, I made 12 "halves," 2 in each of the 6 colors. Now comes the fun part: assembly! I don't want any two to be the same so I'm going to randomly pick a front and back and then use a third color for the details and to crochet the two sides together . . . stay tuned to see how they turn out!
Yes that's right. Craft store cotton. I can't remember the last time I worked with this stuff but on Sunday I found myself at an AC Moore putting colors together to make . . .
. . . wait for it . . .
. . . potholders.
It's all Minty's fault. Her recent post with the potholders she made for the Potholder Swap 2010 set off something inside me and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I feel like I'm regressing to my childhood, which was filled with lots of crochet and lots of potholder-making, but I'm also having a ton of fun! I've already gotten my first "what are you, in 7th grade?" comment from the peanut gallery and I expect at least a few more of those (along with a few "what, you're slumming now?" type comments) but so be it. I actually do need potholders for the kitchen and I haven't done a swap in far too long, so I'm doing it. Judge me if you will, but if not, join in! There isn't much time left but crochet goes so fast you can probably make it if you start now . . .
Above is what I have so far, so just about 1 potholder (of 5) done. I'm using this Chickadee Potholder pattern from Lion Brand (annoying that they now make you log in to see their free patterns) but I've upsized it slightly to fit the 6" minimum for the swap. The yarn is Lily Sugar n' Cream and I'm using an H crochet hook.
I always forget how fast crochet is until I start doing it again! I can make one of these pieces in less than half an hour if I'm not distracted. Which means I should be able to make the deadline as long as I stay focused. My plan is actually to make 6 potholders so I can keep one for myself . . . but they're using so little yarn that I may end up making myself a few extra in other patterns just to use this stuff up. I definitely do NOT need craft cotton sitting in my stash! (there, how's that for fiber snob?)
I did rip out the scarf!
Last night, when I got to the last few yards of yarn, I tried the scarf on and immediately knew I absolutely could not wear it. It was MUCH too short, and at that short length, ridiculously too wide. I just couldn't deal with having such a terrible project on my hands after hours and hours of work; In the end the compulsive side of me won out. It turns out I'd rather spend twice as much time to get the project done right than just make due with a bad FO. Good to know!
As it happens, I was also wrong about the Kureyon not bothering me as long as I crochet it instead of knitting it. My entire arm was throbbing yesterday and I kept thinking it was due the crappy weather we were having. THEN I picked up the scarf again and immediately realized what was making my arm hurt from shoulder to fingers! Turns out I squish my right shoulder way up when crocheting, no wonder my arm was killing me. I spent yesterday's crochet time trying to concentrate on better crochet form and making smaller motions, and so far it seems to be working. Too bad I now have the same amount of work ahead of me as I do behind me on this scarf!
In the interest of not having a post with no photo, here's my favorite shot of Arnold to date:
Oh, and I'm making asparagus risotto tonight . . . stay tuned!
Yep, you read that right, crochet scarf. On Saturday I got a very clear picture in my head of this exact scarf knit out of this exact color of Kureyon Sock, which I've had sitting in my stash ever since the yarn came out. I found out recently that I can't knit with this stuff, it cramps up my hands within minutes (aside: so much for hoping the CTS release surgery was going to allow me to knit all fibers without pain!), but unfortunately I already owned several skeins when I realized this. The good news is it turns out I can crochet with it just fine!
After a few rows of this soothing (and slightly boring) stitch I remembered what specifically I like better about knitting: I can do it without looking down! With crochet I have to look at least a little to see where the hook needs to go, whereas with knitting the next stitch only has one place to go so I can do it by feel alone. After working on this scarf for about a day, I've gotten my crochet groove back enough that I now only need to look down a tiny bit, but it's still way more than I need to look in order to knit (unless I'm working cables or something, obviously!).
I'm starting to worry I'm going to run out of yarn before this scarf is long enough to use, though . . . there's so much yardage in a ball of Kureyon Sock that I thought I could get a really wide scarf out of it, but I guess I forgot about the "crochet takes more yarn than knitting" rule! There's no way I'm ripping it all out to start over, I wonder how much I can get it to stretch with a good block?
So last week I had a dinner date with Lidia, my ex-coworker from String. I met her at the store, and of course had to take a look around at all the new stuff . . . and I literally squealed when I saw this little crochet flower scarf kit:
(anyone else notice the typo in the title?)
It looks cute enough from the front, but wait until you see the back!
How could I possibly resist all those tiny skeins of cashmere!?!?! There was no way it wasn't coming home with me.
I was so captivated and excited I didn't even read the details on this thing . . . so I was kind of shocked to open it and realize I had just bought a crochet kit using laceweight yarn! I had never really seen the laceweight version of Artyarns' cashmere, so when I saw this I assumed it was the worsted weight . . . I probably would still have bought it if I had known this fact, but I wouldn't have gotten such a shock when I started winding the little skeins! This is the "Pastels" version of this kit (it apparently also comes in a Jewel Tones, although I've never seen it) and the colors are gorgeous. This picture really does them no justice whatsoever. They're all tone-on-tone solids, but some of the colors have more variegation than others. Together they positively sing!
I have done one row of flowers so far:
(this shot is much better for color)
But I have to say, this isn't easy. The yarn is SO thin, and cashmere is SO delicate, and you change color after every round . . . it's a very fiddly project. To put it mildly. And this is gonna take a long time.
And frankly, as is the case with most of Artyarns' patterns I've ever read, this pattern is poorly-written and hard to understand. I am an experienced crocheter so I figured it out, but I probably could have done just as well working from a picture as I did working from their instructions. And their explanation of how to do the color changes and how to order the different motifs leaves much to be desired, too. I find it much more annoying to have badly-explained instructions than to just have it say "change colors randomly as it pleases you" -- even though writting the latter is less instruction, at least it is crystal clear!
In any case, I've decided to do the color changes in order from left to right as they are presented in the chart (if you buy this you'll know what I mean), just so I don't have to think about not repeating colors and hopefully don't run out of any color too soon. Although I have no faith in this system assuring me I won't run out, it at least lets me keep going without second-guessing every color choice . . . and if I'm going to follow someone else's design I would like to worry/think as little as possible, thank-you-very-much.
So if this completely mixed-bag review has made you want one for yourself, here's what I know about the kit: It is brand new and apparently only a few shops have it now, so I appologize if posting this drives you as crazy with desire but you end up unable to get your hands on one . . . I believe String is supposed to get more in soon, but I know I bought the last one they had last week!