I've been on a bit of a knitting hiatus recently, as my left index finger started hurting. I think I'd been knitting a bit too enthusiastically on first the lace stole because it was on a deadline, and then my third Tubey sweater, purely because I'm excited about it, and want it finished! But my finger started hurting, and rather than push on and risk hurting it any more, I decided to switch to crochet for a while. Thank goodness for alternating crafts! I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't craft anything!
I've been making first of all the Etain Shrug by Aoibhe Ni Shuilleabhain, from the most recent Inside Crochet magazine. I loved that shrug as soon as I saw it, and started it pretty much when I got the magazine! It's finished, but I haven't got any photos of it yet, so I'll write an FO post about it later ;)
I'm also making the Beauty in Bloom Poncho by Rachel Geller (ravelry link) This is my first poncho, and I have no idea why I'm making a poncho. I just got the irrational and insatiably urge to make this project. I had a random black yarn on a cone in my stash that I'd found in a charity shop, so I started it :)
This pattern is very interesting. You make all the flowers first, then crochet the top of the meshy part, then join the flowers individually, then do the bottom mesh part. Joining the flowers needed super concentrating powers to follow the pattern and to do it correctly. I had to rip them out 3 times. Firstly because I hadn't read the instructions on how to position them and they were all at different angles. Then I got confused twice about where to join it all together. Luckily, there's a close-up picture of the flower on the pattern, so I used that to help me get the idea. The instructions are all written out, so it can be a little confusing, but charts kind of scare me, so I don't know if I'd have even started if it was in chart form. The instructions do make sense when you figure out what's happening, but it did require a lot of thinking on my part. I'm not used to all that joining of motifs anyway, so that lack of experience contributed to my confusion too :)
The way the mesh is joined at the end of each round is super clever! You can't see the join at all, it just looks like continuous, seamless mesh. I'm seriously loving this pattern :)
I'm looking forward to doing lots of mesh crochet this evening. It's repetitive and kind of mindless, so it's lots of fun :)