Saturday, November 29, 2008

Destashing and crochet trials

I'm such a terrible blogger! The adage that the longer you leave it between entries, the harder it is to find anything at all to blog about is so true! I've been storing up things that I've been meaning to write about for the last few weeks but somehow never quite got round to it. Maybe this could be a very early New Years resolution, although I'm not really prone to making them!

One of my favourite co-workers decided quit a few weeks ago for various reasons, and today was her last day. I wanted to gift her something handmade as a sort of goodbye-working-with-you (we'll definitely be keeping in touch, so it's not so much a goodbye present), so started on the DROPS pleated bag rather last minute.

last minite bag by you.

I do really like the pattern, and it certainly knits up very quickly (I managed to knit up about 90% of it in a few hours on Thursday night) but things have stalled. There's just something I'm not too sure about, but I can't quite put my finger on what. I really like the pattern and the pleats, which makes me think I'm feeling hesitant about the yarn. I had a rummage through my stash in an effort to some yarn that was heavy enough for a quick knit in a Jules friendly colour, and came across a few balls of some random oddment/remnant yarn that I remember picking up in a few different colours at the Grainger market a few years back for a crazy low price. I'm pretty sure it's a wool blend, possibly even 100% wool based on the fact that I managed to experimentally felt a strand of it, but it's low grade and not too soft. I made a moebious scarf with some of the pink stuff when I first brought it home, but wouldn't knit another garment with it, it's just too rough. Which is why I thought it'd be a good choice for a bag, so I swatched and happily started knitting row after row of stocking stitch. I stubbornly ignored that annoying little voice of knitting wisdom that kept piping up to tell me that my gauge was too tight and the fabric was too stiff to be pretty and carried on regardless, foolishly thinking that all my qualms would be quashed (that's quite fun to say) once the bottom of the bag was seamed, thus getting rid of that weird flared out curled up look that was reminiscent of some crazed skirt and which was really annoying me. Now, with only an inch to go to completion progress has stalled as I have grudgingly admitted that the voice of knitting wisdom was right. The bag is now sitting in a sorry (stiff) heap at the bottom of the bed awaiting frogging and reknitting. Even though it only took a few hours to knit up the majority of the pattern, the prospect of frogging all those stitches just pulls at my heart! Maybe I'll work myself up to it tomorrow night. Think that on my second attempt I'll do a provisional cast on so that I can graft the bottom seam rather than sew it, as seaming is my most hated activity.

Instead, I started work on a yarn flower that I'll attach to a brooch back to fix to the eventual bag that Jules could detach and use as a cute little pin as well if she wanted. I knew I'd seen a pattern in a book somewhere, but could only find a crochet flower pattern in my pre-work morning frenzy. Now, it's been a looong while since I picked up a crochet needles in any other capacity than to rework or pick up dropped knit stitches, so I had to give myself a quick crash course in crochet. It really didn't work. I do want to become better at crochet, but at the moment I'm quite happy to crochet straight up and down scarves thank you very much! Crochet flowers will have to wait until another day. Luckily I found a nice easy knit pattern for knit flowers when I got home from work, and things are working out well. If only I'd found it this morning the boy wouldn't have had to put up with my potty mouthed outbursts and crochet induced strops!

Work on the wedding afghan has stalled also, after a more promising start. I was quite excited to see the trees develop, and they are very pretty, but there's really not been much progress of late. After the 40th row I got a little tired of the frequent little twists, which is silly really as there's not long to go before the first tree section is finished and I can try to get to grips with the flower pattern instead! To be honest, I don't particularly like the flower pattern, but I think I'll stick with it and see how it looks, mostly because I'm too lazy to hunt around for a substitute stitch!

tree of life wedding afghan by you.

My WIP pile has grown quite considerably lately, with 8 projects on the needles! I really must try to actually finish some things before trying to start anything else. Think I'll start by finishing the bag and flower. Small beginnings and all :)
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