J'ai passé le passé 30 days crocheting through the new Crochet Scarves book by Sharon Silverman for my stop on her book’s blog tour. J'ai gardé un journal tout le temps, l'ajout d'entrées chaque jour. Voici ce journal pour vous d'être un voyeur crochet …
Juillet 22, 2012 – Sharon Silverman’s New Book Arrives
I just received my review copy of Sharon Silverman’s Echarpes crochet: Fashions Fabulous – Diverses techniques, which has already started its blog tour. I was happy when Sharon reached out and asked me if I wanted to be a stop on the tour. It’s been awhile since I did a blog book tour (depuis Mars, when I interviewed Dora Ohrenstein about Custom Crochet Sweaters) and it’s actually been quite awhile since I looked at new crochet books.
Although I’ve received the book today, I won’t be doing my blog tour post until a month from now at the end of Sharon’s blog tour. I had requested this later date because I didn’t want my review of her book to conflict with my posts about my own new book, Crochet a sauvé ma vie. I wanted her book to shine on its own when it made its appearance here. So I have a month to figure out what to do for my post. That’s great because it means I have plenty of time to go through the book and enjoy it. But it also means that everyone else on the tour will already have had a lot to say.
So I’ve been thinking about how to make my post different, how to add something to the conversation that hasn’t already been said by the time the tour lands here. I thought about the usual things – a giveaway, a review, une interview. But there are some great stops on the tour that are going to do those things well. En fait, Marie over at Underground Crafter already interviewed Sharon about the book and Marie is the master of crocheter interviews. So I wanted to get creative. I thought about picking a project and writing a letter to that project after I’d worked it (similar to my letter to the first dress I ever crocheted). I thought about asking Sharon to do an image-only interview, an idea I would be thiefing from CraftyPod who just started that unique style of interviews and in fact has an interview with me posted today. And then I hit on it … for the next thirty days I will crochet what I can from Sharon’s new book and I’ll keep a daily diary of the experience to be posted on my date of the blog tour. So that’s what this is!
Juillet 23, 2012 – Finding My First Project
Okay so I’ve had a chance to flip through Sharon’s new book. It is a book of patterns for crochet scarves but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s a beginner’s crochet book. The patterns in this book all seem to be intermediate and advanced level patterns. Seven of the twenty one patterns are in Tunisian crochet, which is a technique I’ve not yet learned, and the others include some joining, stitches and styles that I haven’t practiced yet either. That makes sense since this book is designed to offer you the opportunity to practice new techniques in the comfortable space of a scarf project.
I actually had trouble finding my first project at first because I wanted to start with something easy. For me easy means that there aren’t many color changes or motifs (because I dislike end-weaving) and the stitch techniques are ones I’m familiar with. What looks simple at first glance proved to be more complex on closer examination. But I flipped through the book. I also looked over the visual index – thanks so much to Sharon for including this … I love when crochet books and magazines show all of the projects in thumbnails in one place.
So finally I chose my first project, Berry Sorbet, which is actually the second project in the book. Once I found it, I realized it’s actually the perfect project for me. It uses three main stitches: Caroline du Sud, bobbles and dtr. J'aime pompons. And lately I’ve been really intrigued by long stitches like the double treble. Plus Sharon had worked the whole scarf in the same color so I knew it would be one that would work fine without color changes.
I’m not going to be using the yarn that Sharon has used. C'est dommage, because she has selected a terrific range of yarns that look truly beautiful and fun to work with! Mais hélas, my budget is about as tight as it gets these days so I definitely have to work from stash. Sur le plan positif, this will give me a chance to play with yarn substitutions. I was just listening to a Fresh Stitches Podcast yesterday in which Stacey mentioned that crochet pattern designers take their time in choosing the right yarns for a project to make it look the way they want it to look. Bien sûr, Stacey encourages crocheters to play with their own yarn choices but she had highlighted a point I hadn’t thought about much lately, which is that the designer has already figured out what kind of yarn works best for the project. So I kind of have mixed feelings going into this because I intend to share photos of my work here in this diary and it will probably look a lot different from what’s in Sharon’s book because of my yarn substitutions. De l'autre côté, I think it’ll be fun to see what different yarn does to change the projects.
For this first project, I’m using a yarn that’s actually quite different from what Sharon has used. She used Blue Heron’s Egyptian Mercerized Cotton yarn in Blueberry color. C'est un 100% cotton in superfine weight. I’m going in a totally different direction and using Venice by HPKY dans “Light Gray” (which is really a sparkly silver). C'est 50% baby alpaca, 22% nylon, 7% mérinos et 21% polyester and its label says it is a bulky yarn although it looks a lot more like a worsted to me. Nous allons donc voir.
Juillet 24, 2012 – Berry Sorbet Scarf on the Hooks
Well I started Sharon’s Berry Sorbet Scarf last night and I’ve discovered two things: I like the pattern but I hate the yarn I chose. Truth be told, I knew that I didn’t like this yarn and had chosen it mostly because I had a lot of yardage and wanted to use it up. This is the yarn that I mistakenly bought at my LYS to complete my grands tapis de carrés de mamie. I didn’t like it then but thought it was the project. Nan, it’s the yarn. La chose est, there is really nothing at all wrong with this yarn and I can see why someone else might actually really enjoy working with. My main complaint is that it’s too furry. It sheds like the animals it came from and it has that fuzzy look to it. I love baby alpaca yarn but I tend to like the smoother variety. I also really dislike the color. Encore, there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s a silvery shade that should be pretty – but for some reason I’m not finding it appealing.
Cela dit, it kind of works okay for this scarf pattern now that I’ve gotten used to it. I made some dumb mistakes that I should have known better about. Par exemple, I looked at Sharon’s pattern to determine what size hook to use (H) but of course Sharon was working with a superfine cotton yarn and I’m not so what I really should have looked at was the yarn label. Or I could have used my own common sense and I would have chosen a K or even larger for this. La chose est, it’s a bulky yarn but it’s deceptive and looks like a smaller weight so I thought an H would work. Oh bien. I realized it about five rows in and could have frogged but I decided to go with it.
Jusqu'ici, I like the pattern. It consists of a chunk of rows of bobbles followed by a stretch of single crochet followed by a length of dtr so you get these really dense portions and then these really open portions. I especially like the bobble portion. I forgot how much I really love crocheting bobbles. I do keep doing something annoying and that’s doing a 3-stitch bobble instead of a 5-stitch bobble in some spaces. I know exactly what causes this – I’ve been crocheting way too many granny squares lately and my automatic action is the 3-stitch. I always catch it right away so it’s no big deal. Goes to show how crochet can get so automatic in your brain, bien que!
Sharon’s pattern is really clearly written and I’ve had no problems with it. There are also a lot of visuals – photos plus a large stitch diagram. I’m not really a visual person but since I’ve already learned the stitch repeat pattern I’ve been eyeing the stitch diagram as a I work to try to get a better grasp on diagrams. Le sien est très clair donc je pense que c'est un bon point intro de diagrammes pour moi.
Juillet 25, 2012 – Deux écharpes complet
Bien, non seulement ai-je pu finir ma version de la baie écharpe Sorbet mais en fait j'ai déjà commencé et terminé la Scarlet scintillant, qui est le troisième modèle dans le livre de Sharon. Il s'avère qu'il est en fait un modèle assez simple, conçu pour être travaillé jusqu'à rapide et facile. Je ne suis pas sûr de savoir comment je l'ai raté la première fois que j'ai regardé à travers le livre. Trop de bonté là me distraire, Je suppose. La version de Sharon est une version rouge brillant fait avec fil Glamour de Vanna. En fait, j'ai un peu de charme de Vanna ici, en bleu au lieu de rouge, mais pas assez pour faire une écharpe. Pour cette écharpe, Je suis allé avec mon go-to fil – Soie Bambou Paton. It worked just fine for this pattern.
Le foulard scintillant Scarlet est travaillé verticalement au lieu de haut en bas. Je vais toujours d'avant en arrière sur la méthode de fabrication d'une écharpe que je préfère. D'un côté, J'aime être en mesure de contrôler la longueur de l'écharpe que je travaille il, qui est plus facile fait avec une écharpe de haut en bas. Et je n'aime pas faire ce premier super longue chaîne de la fondation de la première ligne pour un foulard vertical. Mais une fois que le cadre est fait, Je crois que je préfère travailler à la verticale. Il vous donne la chance de travailler un peu plus stupidement à travers vos longues rangées. Cette écharpe était certainement celui qui a permis à la détente et c'est le modèle que j'ai besoin. C'est une variation sur une bande de mamie avec quelques dessins de la chaîne dans le centre. Il est assez. Il m'a fallu quelques heures pour travailler à travers elle, mais je l'ai fait en une seule séance (regarder de vieux épisodes de Numb3rs sur Netflix.)
Pour en revenir à la Berry Sorbet … J'ai terminé que facilement. Le motif est facile à suivre. Je ne sais pas encore si je l'aime, mais c'est à cause de mon choix de fil, pas du motif. Je pense que ça va se développer sur moi. Un problème que je n'ai avec elle, qui remonte à toute cette verticale vs modèle top-down de foulards, est que les arêtes sont laissées brutes. Il n'est pas une bordure autour de l'écharpe et j'ai tendance à ne pas aimer ce. Vous ne remarquez pas quand vous travaillez un foulard à la verticale (ce n'est pas un problème du tout avec le motif scintillant Scarlet) mais c'est quelque chose que je remarque avec des foulards travaillé de haut en bas. J'ai pensé à l'ajout d'un sc ou frontière hdc tout autour de la chose, mais il s'avère que je n'ai pas eu assez de fil pour faire. Je ne vais certainement pas acheter plus d'un fil que je n'aime pas et je ne sais pas si je voudrais une frontière dans une couleur différente. Donc pour l'instant je vais le laisser tel quel, porter le foulard à quelques reprises et je vois ce que je pense plus tard. C'est une autre chose que j'aime à propos de crochet – vous pouvez toujours adapter et changer plus tard.
Il ya une chose que je tiens à souligner. Les directions de Sharon dans le livre, dont la finition en bloquant. Je ne bloque pas mon crochet. Je sais, Je sais … Je sais que toutes les bonnes raisons que vous devriez bloquer votre travail, surtout si le concepteur a prévu de cette façon lors de l'écriture du modèle. I rememer Linda Permann writing at one point something about how blocking is always the last step in the project and it makes no sense to go through all of the other steps and not that one. So I think blocking does make work look better and hang better and all of that. And I’ve seen lots of good instructions out there for blocking crochet. But I tried it once. I hated every minute. And I doubt I’ll do it again. This doesn’t have much to do with my craft and has everything to do with my general attitude towards clothes. I think I own an iron but it’s probably been ten years since I’ve used it. I frequently throw things labeled “dry clean only” into my washer and dryer. I cut care labels out of clothes without looking at them. I doubt see that changing anytime soon and I don’t see blocking my crochet anytime soon. La chose est, the Berry Sorbet pattern, at least as it’s been worked in my yarn, isn’t really rectangular when it’s not blocked. Certain rows in the pattern kind of cave in towards the center of the scarf and others bulge out. I don’t really like the look. And I’m pretty sure it could be fixed by proper blocking. But I may never know …
July 26th, 2012 – On Growth
Working through Sharon’s book is really challenging me to do more with crochet than I’ve done in awhile. I noticed this as I started to look for my next project in the book. I was really looking hard to see which of the next scarves would be easiest to accomplish, rather than which one I particularly liked or would be excited to work on. I seem to go through plateaus and peaks with my crochet in terms of taking on challenges – I’ll have a burst of challenging myself and then just plateau and want to do mindless crochet for awhile. That’s okay but I’ve been unchallenged for awhile and maybe it’s time to take this book on a journey to a peak.
Yesterday Cris over at Crochet avec Cris did a blog post about challenging yourself in life and in craft. She talked about embracing change and this immediately resonated with me. As scary as change is, and as much as I avoid it when I myself am feeling vulnerable, change is the only path to growth that I know of. I want my life to be filled with growth, l'expansion et de l'expérience et donc j'ai tendance générale à embrasser le changement. Mais comme je l'ai commenté sur son poste, J'ai réalisé que je n'ai pas fait que tant dans mon métier. Je pense que c'est bon à certains égards. Une embarcation est un endroit idéal pour se détendre et être à l'aise. Mais il peut aussi être un endroit idéal pour se remettre en question.
Le livre de Sharon me propose personnellement plusieurs opportunités de croissance. Il est à motifs travail, que j'évite toujours, ainsi que colorwork, qui J'ai aussi tendance à éviter. Il est dentelle manche à balai que je dis depuis toujours je peux essayer d'apprendre (ou ne peuvent pas). Et tunisien qui n'a pas vraiment m'intéressait avant, mais il représente un tiers des modèles dans le livre et je n'ai pas une bonne raison de ne pas l'apprendre, droit?
So I don’t know which pattern I’m going to tackle next. I’m eyeing the Holiday Dazzle because I think that’s going to be next easiest for me. But maybe I should challenge myself. I’ll settle down in a few hours for the night and will need to pick something before then …
Juillet 27, 2012 – Saving Yarn for “Someday”
I’m learning a lot about myself as a crocheter as I work my way through this 30-day challenge. Not only have I been avoiding challenges in my craft but I also am realizing that I’m guilty of doing something with yarn that I wouldn’t think I’d do – hoarding the good stuff for “someday”. I know a lot of people are like this about a lot of things but I’m not usually like this. I don’t save “a good dress” for a different day – I wear it today. I don’t look at a stack of books I’m planning to read and try to save the best for last. I’m very much an eat-dessert-first kind of person.
Et encore, as I’m going to choosen yarn for these projects, I’m purposefully avoiding all of the yarn in my stash that I really like. I want to save it for a better project, a different day, something more special, some time when I may need it more. This is silly. I’m not in any danger of running out of yarn, good or not-as-good, anytime soon. And I’m a firm believer that it’s great to get rid of things because it opens the door to let in new things – yarn included. Et d'ailleurs, this is crochet, which is easy to take apart, so if I do regret using the yarn and want to use it for something else later I can always frog. But nevertheless, I’m hoarding the good stuff.
And because I only have some yarn I want to use now, I’m having to base my next couple of projects and the yarn type and yardage I have. I narrowed it down for the next project to either using up my Green Rowan DK weight wool or the Crespo bamboo/ hemp blend from Yarns of Italy that I’ve had for awhile and wanted to try but wasn’t sure what it could be used for. So I started looking through Sharon’s book for a good project for either of those. Je pense que je vais utiliser la laine, soit pour le Dazzle vacances dont j'ai parlé avant ou pour une écharpe tressée qui est dans le livre. Mais parce que je voulais me lancer un défi plus difficile avec un motif, J'ai décidé de mettre cela de côté et trouver un projet pour Crespo. J'ai choisi Changing Tides, un modèle de foulard qui est travaillé de haut en bas en deux couleurs. J'ai assez Crespo pour faire l'une des couleurs. En fait, je ne sais pas encore ce que je vais utiliser pour le prochain. Le schéma commence par la première 22 lignes de la même couleur alors j'ai décidé de simplement faire les la nuit dernière et décider sur un second fil de demain.
Je n'ai pas beaucoup à dire sur le modèle encore. Il est difficile … not in the sense of being difficult but in the sense of requiring some serious focus from me. I made a few mistakes and had to frog back and figure out where I’d gone wrong. Par exemple, the scarf is worked with floating blocks on some row, which is a technique I’ve never learned before. Basically it means that there are points in the row where you do a bunch of chains and then work that as a new row for awhile to create a shape that you eventually reattach to the row you were originally working on. It took me a minute to get the hang of that. Sharon’s instructions were clear but I wasn’t getting it. She has photos and charts but looking at those just confused me more – qui n'a rien à voir avec Sharon, car d'après ce que je peux dire à la fois la photo et la carte sont claires – et tout à voir avec le fait que je suis pas du tout un apprenant visuel. Une fois que vous y aller, bien que, l'essentiel du motif est une répétition de trois points de la ligne (plus ou moins) juste avec quelques changements de couleur si après je m'étais le coup de lui le premier morceau fait dans Crespo s'est très vite.
Je pense que Crespo va travailler pour cette écharpe en ce sens que ce sera un peu similaire à ce que l'écharpe de Sharon ressemble. Crespo est un mélange bambou / chanvre en poids de sport et la couleur que j'ai est bleu. Sharon utilise un coton de poids DK / mélange acrylique et l'une des couleurs dans son ensemble est également bleu. Comme pour le fil, Je ne suis pas sûr de Crespo. I was initially excited about it because bamboo brings a softness to yarn but there’s definitely a lot of the roughness from the hemp in this blend and I’m not used to that. The yarn is kind of … I don’t know the word. Splitty but not in the sense of the ply splitting apart. Ou “velu” except it’s not soft. Basically little threads come off here and there. I think this yarn would work great for some projects (possibly even some in my roundup of ideas for chanvre crochet) but I don’t know if it was the best choice for a scarf. Nous verrons.
Juillet 28, 2012 – Stretch It Out!
So I’ve been working on this Changing Tides scarf and as that has been happening I’ve been experiencing something really interesting. Once I’d finally learned the three-row stitch pattern repeat, the scarf was very meditative to work. That doesn’t mean that it was enjoyable per se. If you’ve ever meditated or done yoga, you know that it’s all about moments of bliss interspersed with moments of adversity. The idea in yoga is that you stretch yourself beyond a point of comfort but not past your limits and then breathe through the pain to make yourself more flexible. Your mind goes through a fascinating process of looking at itself during this time. It’s satisfying and fulfilling but not necessarily enjoyable.
That is exactly what is happening to me every single time that I reach one of the rows of “floating blocks” in this pattern (which is once evey third row). J'ai apprécié l'apprentissage de cette technique. Maîtriser dans ces premières lignes était stimulant et amusant. Mais une fois que je suis aller et eu la technique vers le bas, J'ai réalisé que je n'aimais pas ça. J'aime l'effet de quoi il ressemble et pense que c'est une technique de crochet vraiment cool. Mais le processus réel de prise de chacun des blocs flottants est ennuyeux. Je ne peux pas définir exactement pourquoi il en est. Je pensais constamment à la cinquantaine de premières lignes de l'écharpe.
Je peux vous citer des choses, Je suppose – par exemple, il ya une maladresse de transformer partiellement le travail pour chaque bloc flottant qui n'est tout simplement pas agréable – mais je ne peux pas vraiment définir exactement. Il n'ya rien de mal ou difficile ou mauvais sur les blocs. Et une fois que chaque rangée de blocs est fait, je suis un peu content que je les ai. But I spend that whole row working to get those blocks done because I want them to be over with. (Let me say here that I am so glad that this scarf is worked top to bottom and not vertically because I only have to do three floating blocks per row before moving on to another stitch. Bien sûr, it repeats frequently, but I think this is much more enjoyable than if I had to work a whole vertical row in this technique.
So after about fifty or so rows of this scarf, I realized that it didn’t matter why I didn’t like the floating blocks. In yoga, I do not analyze why I am disliking a particular pose. I do the pose. I try to quiet my “monkey mind” and breathe into the pose. Finalement, the pose comes to an end. In most yoga classes, the pose comes back again before the class is over and I go through the same thing. En fin, I have stretched myself both physically and mentally by doing something that was uncomfortable. And that is how I see this floating blocks thing. I don’t have a reason to dislike the blocks and I like how they look when they are done and I don’t need to analyze every single part of why. I need to move through the row and revisit the row and move through the row and revisit the row. It’s crochet as spiritual practice.
Juillet 29, 2012 – Pleasant Pattern
No big revelations today as I continue working on the Changing Tides scarf. Writing about my experience every day has definitely made me more conscious of the whole process of crochet. I think this is a great exercise! But it doesn’t mean I’ll have some profound crochet insight every time I pick up the hook.
What I’ve noticed today is that I really like the Changing Tides scarf pattern (even though I don’t like working those floating blocks rows!) and the reason is because I like how Sharon’s color-changing choices. I often take multi-color patterns and work them in a single color instead (because I hate changing colors and weaving in ends) and I’m so glad that I didn’t do that with this one because the scarf would have looked fine but I wouldn’t have had the same appreciation for the pattern. The color changes are simple enough, just alternating between A and B, but the number of rows of each differs from change to change and I really like the effect.
I actually have to manipulate this a little bit because of my yarn choice. I have enough of the Crespo that I started with for it to serve as color A throughout the whole scarf. Cependant, I decided to use the Tivoli J'ai (100% cotton sportweight also from Yarns of Italy) as Color B. The problem is that I have two different variegated colors of this yarn (both beautiful – J'ai vraiment, really love the color blends they do on this yarn) and not enough of either one to make up all of Color B. So I’m using two different colors for Color B in this pattern and because the number of rows of each color change are different I’ve had to make some decisions about the best way to do that. I’ve decided to use one of the Tivoli colors for the first two and last one of the “Color B” rows and the other Tivoli for the middle rows of “Color B”. Hopefully I’ll like how it turns out!
Juillet 30, 2012 – Oh those ends
I finished the Changing Tides Scarf and I think I’m actually really happy with it. But I guess I shouldn’t say that I finished because I still have the ends to weave in. This is the reason that I often work in monochrome – fewer ends to weave in if there are no color changes! As I said before, I think the color changes are really what make this scarf pattern work great, bien que. And there aren’t THAT many. But I admit I’m dreading it.
There are lots of ways to join colors and weave in ends. I’ve found the easiest and strongest hold for me is to create a knot to join colors, leaving a 4″ – 6″ tail of each yarn color. Then I take a needle and weave those tails into the work. The problem is, this weaving is basically sewing, à mon avis. That’s a problem because I hate sewing. I wish I liked it. Je fais vraiment. But I don’t. I’ve tried many variations on sewing and never like it.
So now the scarf is sitting there and I don’t want to weave in the ends. A task for a different day.
Juillet 31, 2012 – Adventures in Mohair
Last night I decided to get started on a new crochet scarf from the book. Pourquoi, oh pourquoi, did I choose the one that’s made in mohair? I’ve worked with mohair before and concluded that I don’t like it. Bien sûr, I do love the soft plush feel of it. But I mentioned the other day that I prefer smooth yarns to fuzzy yarns and mohair is about as fuzzy as it gets. Mohair is so fuzzy that I always feel like a miniature cat crawled inside my nostrils when I work with it.
Et encore, I chose the mohair scarf. There were two reasons, neither of them good ones. One was that the pattern looked easy. As I’m increasingly learner, I’m a lazy crocheter who wants to work mindlessly on patterns that require no challenges of mine. I don’t intellectually want this but apparently I must emotionally want this because it’s my “aller à”. Et deuxième, I had enough yardage of some mohair I don’t want anymore so it seemed like a great time to use it up.
So I spent a few hours on the pattern. I will say that I really like the design in the pattern which is kind of an ever-enlarging fan stitch that is worked on both sides of the foundation chain for a symmetrical pattern. Sharon did a good job here.
Cependant, at some point, I realized that I’d made some error in the previous row. I think this was caused first by the fact that it was hard to see my stitches amidst the fuzziness of the yarn and second to the fact that I was watching TV while crocheting and I got a little lost in the show. The problem is that mohair is almost impossible to rip back when you make errors. I tried and failed. So instead I just had to kind of cheat the pattern a little bit. It was easy to see from Sharon’s instructions what it was supposed to look like so I just worked to make that happen. I’m happy with how it looks, overall, although since it’s fuzzy it’s not my favorite look. Now we’ll have to see if I can make the second half match the first half that I messed up!
Août 1, 2012 – Or not mohair?
You know what’s funny? It turns out that the yarn I thought was mohair that I’m trying to use up by working Sharon’s mohair pattern isn’t even mohair. It’s Knit Picks Suri Dream and it looks like fuzzy mohair so I thought that’s what it was but it’s actually a blend of suri alpaca and wool. Bizarre.
Je suis effectivement très curieux maintenant essayer de faire le foulard à l'aide du fil de mohair que Sharon recommande qui est un mélange de mohair et nylon. Je me demande si l'ajout de nylon, il serait un mohair plus facile de travailler avec? L'écharpe de Sharon semble magnifique et dentelle et ouvert sur la photo alors que le mien ressemble actuellement à une grosse boule de duvet. Je ne vais pas acheter de nouveaux fils en ce moment mais je vais faire une note à moi-même de vérifier que les fils et essayer le modèle à l'avenir.
Août 2, 2012 – Une journée pas de crochet
Je fais du crochet la plupart des jours. Mais je pense qu'aujourd'hui va être un de ces jours où je ne me sens pas comme pour une raison quelconque.
Last night I went to go work on the other half of the mohair scarf and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then I decided to start the basketweave because that’s a stitch I love but the yarn I was working with, which should have been nice and easy (it’s a DK weight wool) was giving me some troubles, being splitty and annoying. So I gave up quickly.
I don’t feel like tackling either of those right now or figuring out a third project, which suggests to me that it’s time for a break!
Août 3, 2012 – Weaving in ends
Still undecided about what project I want to start so I just went ahead and wove in all the ends that were left on what I’d already made. Not very eventful, Je sais!
Août 4, 2012 – Basketweave
Bien, I went back to my default and started working on something I knew. Instead of tackling something tougher I returned to the basketweave stitch scarf. I switched yarns since the one that I tried first wasn’t working for me. I used a plush purple worsted weight yarn that is such a pleasure to work with. (It’s Gedifra Extra Soft Merino Grande that I’d picked up from Bluebird Yarn in Sausalito last year and never used.) It just feels … bouncy!
Sharon’s scarf is worked top down in basketweave stitch. It’s a fairly narrow scarf, which I think was an interesting choice. This stitch is really thick and warm and I always think of working something like that on a wide bulky scarf that you can just completely snuggle up into. En fait, since I’m familiar with the stitch I thought about varying away from the pattern and making it twice as wide. (I always want to do my own thing!) But I decided I’m going to trust Sharon on this one and just work it like the pattern says.
It’s a meditative stitch but I can’t totally zone out because I do sometimes lose my place. Je ne peux, bien sûr, just count my rows to find my place again, but I’m finding that it’s best if I put something a little mindless on the TV and then count while I watch. I’m already about halfway done with the scarf so this one will go quick.
Août 5, 2012 – To fringe or not to fringe
As predicted, the scarf finished up quickly, mostly because it’s an easy stitch pattern and also because I already knew the stitch so I was super comfortable with it. I really liked that the pattern has a crochet edging around it. Not only does this give you a more finished look but it also allowed me to just crochet right over the few ends that there were so I don’t have to worry about weaving them in. And I ended up liking the narrowness of the scarf even though it’s not what I would have originally thought to do. I also like that the number of blocks across is an uneven number – it makes for a nice texture that isn’t quite as cookie cutter as if they basketweave was done in an even number across.
This scarf has some fringe on it and I’m undecided about whether or not I like that part. I seem to go through phases with fringe – putting it on everything for awhile and then feeling over it for awhile. I haven’t been in a fringe phase but I added this fringe, mostly because it’s different from other fringe I’ve done (it’s a crocheted fringe, not just yarn ends). It’s a boxy fringe but that kind of works with the basketweave. So I guess I don’t have a real opinion either way on it yet. I’m eager to go wear the scarf, bien que, because I love the stitch and the color I ended up with!
Août 6, 2012 – Sticking with simple
I’ve started another scarf that’s a really easy one for me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Why am I choosing the easy patterns? What benefit do I get from that? One thought that comes to mind is that I’ve been pretty stressed out lately. I put my new book, Crochet a sauvé ma vie, out onto the market and it’s more stress-inducing than I expected. Ne vous méprenez pas – I’m super excited about it and the response to it has been very positive. But there’s something about taking your creative work that you’ve been so carefully constructing for over a year and getting it out there in front of people. Even if you know that some will like it and some will hate it it’s stressful to see what the reactions are going to be.
So I think maybe by the time it gets to the end of the day I just want to really zone out and do something totally comforting. Il s'agissait, après tout, how crochet helped to heal me in the first place. So while I really want to tackle some of the more difficult new-to-me techniques in Sharon’s book I think maybe the timing hasn’t been right for that for me. Not that there’s a big risk in tackling a new crochet techniques – it’s a nice safe way to try new things and put yourself out there in a secure way – but it doesn’t offer the same relaxing satisfaction of just crafting something easier by beautiful and comfortable.
The funny thing is that when I first looked at Sharon’s book I couldn’t find any “facile” patterns but I seem to keep finding yet another one that’s easy enough for me to do!
Août 7, 2012 – Finishing Curly Sunflowers
Curly Sunflowers is Sharon’s name for the crochet pattern I’ve been working on. It’s called that because of the unique yarn that she uses which is a bulky curly cotton yarn. I chose to work with a bulky wool boucle that has the same type of curly effect. Both the yarn I used and the one she used are variegated but hers looks to have long color changes whereas mine’s more of a short mixture of many colors. (I know there are names for these different types of multi-color yarn but I can’t think of the right terms!) So Sharon’s version has more pops of color and a cool color pattern whereas mine just kind of has an ombre look to the whole scarf.
Mine is also a lot shorter than Sharon’s pattern called for because I only had one skein of the yarn in my stash – and no label so I don’t even know how many yards I had – and was only about to work about four feet of scarf instead of the six-ish that hers is. But despite those differences, I’m happy with this scarf. It’s warm and fuzzy, I like the pattern, it was a simple stitch repeat that was really easy and enjoyable to work. All in all a good project. Perhaps not uber-challenging, but good and with an end product I like.
Plus, I finally learned the right way to cut lots of fringe! I’d always cut each single piece of fringe one at a time, measuring it against the last one I cut, and Sharon’s book showed me the right shortcut to stop doing it that way.
Août 8, 2012 – What to do with the mohair?
Bien, it’s time to start in on the next project. I’ve made five of the scarves in Sharon’s book so far. En fait, five and a half. I still have that mohair pile sitting here. I am debating whether or not to go ahead and finish the other half. D'un côté, it would complete the pattern and make the scarf symmetrical (as much as you can even tell in this fuzzy yarn) and it would use up the last ball of this yarn that I don’t really like, so it would make sense to finish it. De l'autre côté, I don’t have any excitement about working the other half of the project just because I don’t like the yarn – no fault of Sharon’s since I’m not using the yarn she suggests for this pattern! – and the scarf looks fine enough as a super skinny scarf. Since it was worked vertically instead of top-down I could just keep it how it is. Undecided today.
Août 9, 2012 – Beginning Broomstick Lace
I decided to challenge myself a little bit with a new technique and decided to tackle the one broomstick lace pattern in Sharon’s book. I admit I only felt pressured to do this because I’ve been keeping this diary that’s kind of shown me that I don’t challenge myself enough these days. But I’m so glad that I did. It turns out that broomstick lace is super easy to get used to. Like I expected, it’s a little bit tedious. Basically you pull up one loop at a time for the broomstick rows and stick the loop on a “broomstick” (in my case, the back end of a large plastic Q hook). I had shyed away from broomstick lace, malgré penser que c'est vraiment beau, parce que je me sentais comme faisant partie serait un peu ennuyeux. C'est certainement un peu bizarre pour s'y habituer et ce n'est certainement pas aussi simple que de travailler lignes simples simples de points de crochet de base, mais ce n'est pas si mal que ça et le look est bien la peine. Le motif de Sharon est vraiment bon pour obtenir les bases de ce nouveau point bas. C'est un motif simple qui ressemble vraiment jolie, et dans l'ensemble je suis super content d'avoir abordé ce un.
Août 10, 2012 – Manche à balai continue
Je continue à travailler ce balai fichu de dentelle et de continuer à en profiter. J'avais reçu un paquet de mon père d'un tas de fil qu'il a rencontré lors d'une vente de garage pour super pas cher et j'ai choisi un écheveau de ce travail pour cette écharpe. Il a une belle couleur vieux rose. (Une autre raison pour laquelle j'aime balai est que la beauté de la conception signifie que vous pouvez avoir une écharpe magnifique vraiment détaillées, même si vous utilisez une seule couleur et vous savez que je déteste couleurs changeantes!) Le fil n'a pas une étiquette sur elle, mais je pense que c'est un certain type de acrylique plus. Ce n'est pas très doux, type de gratte. D'une manière qui le rend pas aussi amusant de travailler avec, mais dans un sens, je sorte de pense que c'était un excellent choix pour balai à apprendre en raison de la rigidité de la forme qu'il détient vraiment bien. When you work this technique you create a bunch of loops in a row and then slide them off your “broomstick” and they need to hold shape while you work through them so it helps that this yarn easily holds shape. I actually think that the Crespo hemp blend yarn I used a couple of weeks ago for another scarf in this book might be really good for broomstick for this reason.
Août 11, 2012 – Finishing Broomstick
It took me a little longer to finish the broomstick lace scarf, hours wise, than some of the other scarves. I think that’s partially because the technique does take a bit longer but mostly because adjusting to the new technique slowed me down. By the end of the pattern I really felt like I’d gotten the hang of this technique and I feel so glad that I tried it! The scarf looks really pretty. It has fringe on it and I’m still having mixed feelings about fringe right now but that’s neither here nor there. The pattern itself is a keeper. I definitely plan to make more items in different yarn styles to practice this new stitch.
Août 12, 2012 – Quiet on the crochet front
A no-crochet day. It happens sometimes.
Août 13, 2012 – Quick and Easy
I don’t actually have too many patterns left in Sharon’s book that aren’t Tunisian crochet and I don’t have the tools to do Tunisian yet. I should walk myself over to the LYS and see if they have any but I haven’t done that yet. There is one filet crochet scarf in the book and I’ve never done that before. It would definitely be a challenge since it means working from a graph, which I’m terrible at, but I can’t say I’m all that excited about graph work.
I decided to do the holiday dazzle scarf that I’d identified early on as an easy pattern for me. The package of yarn my dad sent had some sparkly blue yarn in the same weight as what Sharon used so I dug in. It’s a short scarf and less than ten rows wide and it has a pattern repeat that makes up most of the scarf so it was super quick. If I ever need an immediate gift for someone, this would be a good pattern to use! It’s really cute, trop!
Août 19, 2012 – Almost A Week Away from Crochet
Oddly I actually haven’t crocheted anything new this entire time. The week just flew by. A friend of mine is in town so I’ve been busy with her, had some other late nights and some various plans with people, hosted a dinner party last night … That took up a lot of my free time. And when I was home, I was working to catch up on blog and book promotion stuff rather than just sitting around crocheting. I also admit I’ve really had a tough time deciding which scarf to tackle next. I do love that each of Sharon’s scarves offers the opportunity to learn and practice something new but that isn’t always appealing at the end of the day.
I decided last night that I’ll probably do the filet crochet scarf next. That’s tough for me because reading charts is not something I enjoy at all, but I think it’d be a good skill to practice. I went to go pick a yarn for it, bien que, and I just felt really indecisive and decided to play iPod games instead of crocheting. (Je suis un “with Friends” game fan). So maybe I’ll start that tonight. It’s weird to have this fallow period with my crochet!
Août 20, 2012 – Filet!
Je l'ai fait! I figured out the filet crochet pattern. I have to admit that there were quite a few false starts. I am so wordy that a visual approach to a pattern is just difficult for me. But once I mastered it, thanks to the different images and word instructions in Sharon’s pattern, I figured out that it wasn’t all that hard. I’ve only done three repeats of the pattern so I don’t have much of a scarf yet. And I admit that filet crochet probably isn’t going to be something I’m going to do a lot of in the future. But I feel really proud of accomplishing it! I think I’m going to leave off with this diary here, on a high note. I’ll save the Tunisian and the other half of that mohair scarf for some other day, proud to have accomplished all I did this month! Thanks Sharon!
Reminder: This Post was Part of a Blog Tour
Visit some of the other posts that were already stops on this tour:
- Marie à Crafter métro interviewed Sharon about the book. Elle est le maître d'interviews de crochet de sorte que vous verrez beaucoup de bonté, il.
- Doris Chan a fait de son avis et au don livre.
- Styled by Kristin did a cadeau.
- Modeknit shared her criteria for a good crochet pattern and explains that Sharon’s patterns fit that criteria.
- GoCrochet did a review and giveaway.
- CrochetByFaye shared a book review.
- Les mains dans les Delight has a review and giveaway.
- Crochetville offers a review.