Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The Adventures of Treenah (complete)

Treenah is finished! And what a journey it was. Before I get into the long saga, let me just say that I love this scarf, and the pattern! Thank you to Megan Marshall for creating such a great pattern!

First, the pictures.

This is the yarn I tried to do it in at first. I've spoken a little about it already in this post, and my difficulties with crochet in this post. Once I got over my initial difficulties with crochet (although I'm still having trouble with gauge in general), the actual making of the scarf went by really fast. However, this happened:

That's supposed to be the same dyelot. Yup. So as those were the only two balls I had of that yarn, I gave up totally sick of it, ripped it out, and started again with another yarn. I was not going to let this scarf beat me! After that, it took only a few days to finish.

And here's me wearing it (indoors with a t-shirt on :)

And here's my wig head wearing it:

The yarn I used was a random acrylic from my stash, but it opened and flattened out nicely after washing it and laying it out flat. I made the middle part a bit longer, because of the way I like to wear scarves, and only 'cast on' (however you say that in crochet-speak) 33 (stitches) because of my gauge. This was again what I would call a DK weight yarn, but I'm learning that there are apparantly two different types of DK, and this would probably be called worsted in America.

It's really warm and lovely to wear, and I'm very happy with this scarf. I would definitely make it again, and may well do :)

Monday, 14 April 2008

Still working on the WIPs

I'm getting further along in my 3 projects. Stargazer just needs to be blocked and sewed, but I'm procrastinating. I don't know why. But I'm NOT letting myself cast on another sweater till its finished. Otherwise it'll sit there for ages till the next one needs sewed too. I know what I'm like :)

My garter stitch shawl is now 42" along the top. It still needs more though. I'm not even counting how many stitches I have cos it'll depress me. One row now takes AGES, but it's good for watching subtitled Japanese series with. I've been watching Egao no Hosuko and At Home Dad - I have to admit, I have a somewhat serious crush on Abe Hiroshi - swoon!

And I'm halfway through Treenah! It's actually really fast once you get going, and the lace pattern is quite easy to remember. I went up a hook size at the lace part, to make it more drapey, and also to widen it, cos the lace pulls in more than the treble crochet. It's still a little thinner, so when I make this again (which I think I will, defintely, it's such a great pattern!), I might make the middle part thinner then increase the stitch count at the lace part. This picture is of the first half blocking out, cos I wanted to see how it blocked. I'm using a 80% acrylic, 20% wool yarn, cos I didn't read the pattern properly before I bought it, and didn't realise it would need blocked. It blocks out fine with just wet blocking though, although maybe one day I'll iron it out or something. It doesn't really need it though. The only thing was that it was hard to stretch out and I'm not sure if it'll stay stretched. A wool yarn would probably be easier to stretch and stay blocked.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Crochet is hard :(

So, I've done all the main knitting for Stargazer, all I need to do is make the band round the middle and sew it all up. But after all that stocking stitch, I just couldn't face sewing as well, so I did some more on Treenah. The new way of crocheting seems to be coming a little easier now, it actually feels weird when I pick up the yarn my old way, like it feels missing from around my little finger. So that's a good sign. But my gauge is way off. And not in a normal way either (really, if I have to have a problem, it has to be a weird problem!) My stitch count is less than the pattern, so for that I should use a smaller hook, but my row gauge is more than the pattern, so for that I should be using a bigger hook to compensate. Sigh. I think I'll try with a bigger hook, and maybe omit a pattern repeat.

Just a thought - is my yarn too big maybe? I'm using what is a normal DK weight yarn for here (Scotland in general) but maybe DK is slightly different for American yarns (cos you know, nothing could possibly be the same in both countries!) Hee, can you tell I'm a bit annoyed?

I really want to make this scarf. I'm going to try use the other ball of this yarn that I have with a bigger hook and see what it's like. If I decide it looks better then this will be the fourth time I retry this, but I don't care. I want my Treenah! It's getting to be a bit of a vendetta now, me against crochet. But I will win. And Treenah shall be my prize! (mad cackle) :)

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Catching Up

Arg, again it's been ages since I updated this page. I think Ravelry's killing my blog :( I've been surfing that site obsessedly, gathering patterns for my queue (over 600!), and generally just hanging out there. I've got a total case of startitis as well, so maybe that's got something to do with my overall mood, where I don't have the concentration to do any more than sit and look at billions of pattern.

So first of all, an FO!

Pattern: Wabenschal
Yarn: Rennie pure wool in purple. I got this off of ebay as part of a test order to see what a shop was like, and this was my test project for the yarn (but don't tell my mum that, cos I gave it to her). It turned out really good, and blocked really well. The difference after blocking was amazing.

And, that's the only FO. All the other things I've been working on are still WIPs.

This is a garter stitch shawl I cast on cos I wanted something really brainless. It's not even normal shawl construction, it's just casting on 3 sts, then increasing at each end every other row. It's good for working on when I'm watching something. I'm about 2/3 of the way done, and I think I'm going to add embriodery afterwards to make it more interesting, maybe some flowers so it'll be all springlike. This project is good cos it's using up a thin yellow yarn that I got from a charity shop, and would probably not use for anything else cos of the colour.

I'm learning how to crochet properly at last! I taught myself off of some obscure instructions on the web a while ago, and recently bought Stitch and Bitch: The Happy Hooker, which is brilliant! Even though it showed me that I was doing it wrong :( I was going under only one loop of the row below, where I should have been going under both, so mine was more like ribbing. Also, I was throwing the yarn round like I do when I'm knitting. Probably not a big thing, and it probably doesn't matter to the finished product, but I wanted to be doing it right, so I'm changing. My 'beginning' project for this new crochet is Treenah, from the 1st edition of the Inside Loop. This pattern is good for me cos it starts off with a lot of treble crochet, so I get time to practice before the lace. And that tiny little bit in the picture? That took me 3 rippings and 2 hours of solid work just on that little bit (ie not including the time spent on the bits that got ripped) Crochet is harder than it looks!

And finally, I'm making Stargazer, from Magknits. I'm using some random red 100% wool I got off ebay ages ago. I was kind of saving it up for some imaginary intricate cabled sweater that I could never find a decent pattern for. I just couldn't find what was in my head, and couldn't be bothered spending the time to design it. Then I looked on ravelry and saw other people's versions of Stargazer, and one of them had a black border. I saw that, and thought that a black border would go well with red, and started making it :) I've modified the width of the top rectangles, so that it would meet the body rectangles under my bust, instead of in the middle of it. I'm in the middle of the last rectangle now, then I just need to join them all together. Making such big rectangles is hard going, but I'm so excited at the thought of having this top, it's not too hard to force myself to keep going.

So, I should be kept busy with all of that, but I still find myself wanting to cast on more projects. Ravelry is just tempting me far too much!