Thursday, September 25, 2008

Socks and more socks.

It's been a few days since I have updated. I've been crocheting constantly (which is kind silly because I'm supposed to be working on final projects for school, lol). But anyway, I just finished a pair of socks for my mother-in-law. The pattern is my own design loosely modeled from this pattern, which is an excellent pattern, but I don't enjoy knitting very well. So, I kind of took the basic idea and designed my own pattern. They look pretty cute, but I think I'm going to play with the pattern a bit so that it won't look quite so bulky. That's one of the downsides about crocheting socks, they tend to be a little bulky looking (and feeling). All in all though, I think the design worked pretty well. I used Paton's Grace in "Blush" for the socks and enjoyed the yarn a lot. I absolutely love cotton and cotton blends. Which is good, because I found out today...

I think I have discovered that I am allergic to wool. I'd never used wool before until today. I'd recently bought a bunch of different yarns to try and see what I thought of them. I'm not generally a big fan of wool anyway because it is so itchy, but I found out today that I have another reason not to like it. Among the yarn I purchased was a couple skeins of Cervina Calzetteria in the color Capri. It's 70% wool and 30% nylon. Itchy, but so pretty. I love the colors. Looking through my new copy of Crochet Today magazine, I found a really nifty sock pattern that I wanted to try(which I will talk about in a minute) and thought "This yarn would be excellent for this project." And it is; what I have so far is gorgeous...BUT I'm having adverse effects due to the wool. My hands were getting tingly and itchy, but I thought that could just be due to the itchiness of the wool, until I rubbed my eye...which is now red, itchy, and uncomfortable. Poo. So, I'm going to have to find another yarn for this project, which makes me sad because I really love the colors in this yarn and it's really nice to work with.

So about the pattern. The pattern is called "Step-by-Step Socks" and the designer is Amy O'Neill Houck and can be found in the Sept/Oct issue of Crochet Today. I love the pattern. It's very pretty, really simple and doesn't look bulky at all. I think I'm going to make a few pairs of these for the females on my Christmas list (including me...haha). I'm actually considering reworking my pink ribbon sock pattern to incorporate some of the things I am discovering through this pattern.

Well, that about brings you up to speed. Talk to you later!

On the hook: "Step-by-Step Socks" (that I have to find new yarn for *sad face*)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy, busy

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this morning and I decided that I just had to mention it in a blog post. If you don't already listen, you should check out YarnThing hosted by Marly. Marly seems like an awesome lady. She fun, quirky and has awesome tips and ideas asll well as gives you an introduction to some of the coolest designers out there. Listening to her show always bring a smile to my face and inspires me to keep on stitching. :D In fact, listening to her show has inspired me to start trying to get my own designs published. Anyway, enough gushing...on that anyway...

Wednesday night I just picked up a new book called The Crochet Bible by Sue Whiting. I LOVE it and just had to share it with you. It is a great beginner's book because it goes over all the basics. It is also a great book for more advanced crocheters like me to help give ideas for different stitches or to give a refresher on certain skills that you might not use on a daily basis. I've been reading it straight through and am coming up with a plethora of design ideas just by reading through it. I really enjoy it and think you should check it out right now.

I've just finished a couple more of my personal little projects. One of them was a paperback tote from a pattern that you can find here. I really enjoyed working on it and will borrow from the experience for another design that I am working on myself and will probably discuss at a later date. One thing I learned from this project that most crocheters/knitters will say "Well, duh!" to is that checking and double-checking gauge is a must! I haven't done this much in the past because gauge hasn't been a problem for me in the past. This time, though, I was using a new yarn that the pattern did not call for and it works up a little larger than regular worsted. So I wound up having to rip out a lot of work because of my silliness. I'll know for next time though. If I am going to be a proper designer, I need to take careful steps so that I will be saved a lot of extra work and heartache. Oh, btw, like my paper clip stitch markers? haha I love to improvise and they were the only thing I had handy at my office. They work really well actually. They stay put and are easy to remove. I'm actually thinking on using them again. I really liked the yarn I used. It's Lion Brand Chenille Prints in the color Paris. It's lots prettier than the picture really shows and is really soft. It would make a really nice, warm sweater.

Oh, I finished the scarf design I was working on. I think it turned out nicely and the Lion Brand Color Waves in Sunset Red was an awesome choice for it(haha I sound like I am doing a commercial for Lion Brand. That's twice I've mentioned their yarn. I really do like other yarns...honest). It's really pretty. Now I just need some testers for the pattern before I try to sell it anywhere. I will probably get on the forums at Ravelry and see if anyone is interested.

Anyway, that's all I have for now. I'm so psyched about finding Ravelry and getting connected with all these nifty designers and other crafters. I've got a TON of ideas floating around. I think my head will explode soon if I don't get some of these out onto paper and into yarn. Until next time, back to the hooks!

On the Hook: Going to try to figure out how to convert a knit pattern into a crochet pattern for a pair of socks for my mother-in-law...but's a secret.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lion Brand Crochet Along - Part 3: Finished!

So I finally finished my afghan...

I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out. It's nice and warm and will be a nice addition to my future nursery. I had a lot of fun doing this project and it was neat connecting with other crocheters and seeing their progress. This was my first CAL and I really enjoyed it. I specifically liked the interaction with the other crocheters. This project also helped me to get into the world of crochet, because I am now on ravelry and etsy and am learning more about the crochet world every day.

I think the pattern is worth doing again, however I will definitely add different blocks next time. I'm actually tossing around ideas in my head for my own sampler afghan and the ideas that others gave for this project will help me develop that design. I'm excited about crochet again and I'm going to try my hand as a designer. I'm hoping that I can be successful with the ideas I have. Later on, I'll post some more about some of the designs that I am working with.

On the Hooks: New scarf design I am working out with Lion Brand Color Waves.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lion Brand Crochet Along part 2

As an update on how the afghan is doing, I've gotten 4 panels down now and only have 1 more panel plus the border to do. It is turning out to be a pretty blanket. I think it will be great to have for future little ones. I think if I do this pattern again, I will incorporate a few more different types of blocks just to break up the monotony of it all. I may replace Block 1 entirely because I think there are a lot more exciting and better looking stitches than just the single crochet ribbing. I am crocheting the blocks together which I like better than the whipstitch method (it's much faster for one reason), but the way I am doing it it leaves a seam on the backside of the work that doesn't look real nice. I'll have to see if there is a way to join the blocks by crochet and NOT have that seam. All in all though, I think this is a project worth repeating. It is fast, simple, and would make a great last minute gift.

In other news, I just received a box full of nifty new yarns for me to try. I've ordered a few different ones that I have not had the chance to try yet to expand my knowledge of yarn. I'm excited to get to play with these new types of yarn.

I think the next few projects that I tackle will be a couple of cute amigurumi animals (because I have recently been sucked into the world of amigurumi) and I also have a few patterns that I have scrabbling around in my head that are just dying to get out on paper and into yarn. There are also various Christmas presents that are crying for attention. I'm so excited to be graduating in December because this means that I will have all this extra time to work on all these nifty projects.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lion Brand Crochet Along

About a week back, I joined a crochet along hosted by Lion Brand. We are doing a sampler afghan. So far I've had fun doing it. I have three and one half columns done for a total of 20 blocks. I spent the last couple days in Maine as a chaperone for a church teen retreat and that gave me a lot of time to work on my squares.
I'm not following the pattern to the letter (but what type of crocheter would I be if I did?).  I'm using a K hook as opposed to the P called for in the pattern.  I am also using Bernat Softee Baby yarn in Mint.  I love the softness of this yarn.  I've used it in a few different colors to make me a couple pairs of warm socks to wear in the winter.  I'm enjoying the project so far and am anxious to see what the afghan will look like when it is finished.  You can check out my progress on my new ravelry account under the name WenP.

First post!

This is a start of a brand new blog.  I hope to use this blog to chronicle my endeavors in the crochet world.  Some knitting and other crafts may find their way into these posts, but since crochet is my first love, this will mostly be dedicated to crochet.  There are a few things that I am working on right now that I would love to share with you, though I think I will save that for another post.  For now, welcome to my blog!