Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CPAD and iGive, and yay for Barnes & Noble

Today, I caved and ordered the CPAD 2009 Calendar. I've had the CPAD Calendars for the past 2 years, and I'm not sure I've used a single pattern from them; I just like to have them. I enjoy the surprise of what the next pattern will be, and I guess in some way I am drawing inspiration from the different projects. And it helps that it was on sale for $7.49 on the web site for Barnes & Noble, where I have a membership (so an extra 10% off for me!). :)

Totally unrelated to crochet: I also ordered the complete Firefly box set from B&N, and yesterday, I bought Coldplay's latest CD at their store. I swear, I am addicted to that place.

In case you are wondering why I chose to order online from B&N and not Amazon, I do most of my online shopping through iGive.com (which I highly, highly recommend) so a percentage of the proceeds will be given to a charity of my choice (in my case, the ALS Association of Greater NY). B&N is currently giving double their usual percentage through iGive, so I think it was something like 3.2% instead of Amazon's 0.8%. Pretty good, eh? I do what I can.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Zen scarfy, holiday wishes, and random ramblings

Happy holidays!

My holiday cards didn't get sent out, as usual. I always start out with the best intentions, and then...nothing. I didn't even mean to send a lot of them, just a bunch to good friends. Oh well. :(

I frogged and re-started my Zen scarf today. I wasn't happy with the tightness of my gauge. It didn't look right to me, and my hands and shoulders were cramping, so I decided to loosen it up a little. I kept the same hook size but am coaching myself to crochet a little more loosely so my body doesn't hurt while I'm doing it. I think it looks much prettier now. I am really enjoying working with the purple Patons Brilliant, mainly because I just like to look at it! It's so shiny! I have about 5 skeins of it in light blue, too. Not sure what I'm going to do with that yet.

I would really like to make a Divine Hat next. Not with Patons Brilliant, though! Maybe with Simply Soft or something. We'll see if I get sidetracked or not. ;)

I finished my holiday gifts (well, all except 1, which I can't find the yarn for--how aggravating is that?! I know it's in my stash somewhere--or at least, in the apartment somewhere). I want to show off, but I can't until after they've been given to my friends, since of course I want them to be surprised.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's been a while...

Things got crazy with wedding planning, so I had to stop crocheting for quite a while. *gasp* Now that I've been married for a little over a month (yay!), it's definitely time to pick up the hooks again. (The wedding was FANTASTIC, by the way--and I am now married to the love of my life, which of course makes me very happy.)

I'm working on a few small holiday presents, which I'll have to keep secret for now. I am also working on a Zen scarf for myself in Patons Brilliant, in dark purple. I'm not so wild about the way the pattern's working out--I'm afraid I may be screwing up a little somewhere. It should still be pretty, though. I mean, how far wrong can I go with sparkly purple yarn?! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New yarn and other goodies from the LYS!

I was having a crummy day yesterday--the weather was bad, I was exhausted, and I found out during my lunch break that my favorite clothing store is going out of business. I needed a pick-me-up and had a little money to spend, so I took myself out to Flying Fingers after work.

What a good idea! :) I'd never been there before, and they were having a BIG sale. 50% off all yarn in the store, 75% off books, and old magazines for $2. I spent an hour and a half there, trying to figure out what I should get! It was a total kid-in-a-candy-store experience. So much gorgeous yarn that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford, and books that I could actually get for prices comparable to the ones on Amazon!

My haul:
*1 skein Colinette Chrysalis (so yummy! I think I'll make a hat out of it)
*1 skein Colinette Giotto (needs to be made into a scarf)
*6 skeins Wool in the Woods 100% rayon DK yarn (will probably become a sweater)
*Tahki Stacy Charles Crochet booklet with adorable Doris Chan bolero on the cover, and many other patterns for things I like (here's a pic of the cover--thanks, Doris, for letting me steal your Flickr photo!):
*Easy Beaded Crochet by Carol Meldrum
*Cool Crochet by Melissa Leapman
*Crochet Today! magazine, a back-issue from this year (May/June?)

I spent about as much money as I wanted to, but I am so tempted to go back. When the heck else will I ever be able to afford handpainted Colinette yarn and other such goodies? (I mean, there's always ebay, but then I can't really see the gorgeousness of the yarn and I definitely can't touch it! And I'd have to pay shipping. Boo.) Sales like that don't come along too often. Then again, I don't want to get myself into toooo much financial trouble. Dilemmas, dilemmas!

There's also this gorgeous pima cotton yarn that I fell somewhat in love with--so tempting. *sigh*

I am still working away on my Cupcake. It's hard for me to get myself to do much at a time, though--it is such a boring pattern!! I'm sure it will come out looking cute as hell, but so many rows of plain ol' hdc. Yawwwn.

I think I will start on my Giotto scarf later. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Plum Gulf Shores hat

Plum Gulf Shores hat
Originally uploaded by saintlex
Here's my latest creation, in Caron Simply Soft Brites yarn in Rose Violet. This one looks pretty good on me, though maybe I should've gone up a hook size.

Also, this hat goes with my fall-weight and winter coats, and with my Snuggly Scarf. Yay! I will definitely be wearing it when the weather gets chilly.

I am not even going to show this one to my mother. :P Not unless she sees me wearing it in the fall, anyway. And by then, it will be too late for her to discourage me. Muahahahaa.

Still workin' on the Moldy Cupcake. ;) It's coming along slowly, since I have been distracted by the hat and by other things I've had to do.

I've ordered some Caron Spa yarn, which is 25% bamboo, with the intention of crocheting myself a Somnambulista (the cute little nightie in Doris Chan's "Everyday Crochet"). That will be a big project for me. The pattern is done in some very expensive 100% bamboo yarn...I don't have that kind of a budget. In fact, I am pretty firm with myself about not spending more to make a crocheted garment than I would spend to buy that article of clothing, and I buy pretty inexpensive clothing. I spent roughly $25 on the yarn (ordered from Joann.com), and that was about right for me.

The other plus about Caron Spa is that it's machine washable. Much as I would love 100% bamboo yarn, I'd probably have to hand wash it, or at least not throw it in the drier.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gulf Shores take 2, and a Cupcake (yum!)

After some discussion with friends, I've decided that perhaps my Gulf Shores hat would indeed be better off as a child's hat, so I'm going to frog some of it and make it the right size for one of my nieces. (Of course, then I will have to make hats for the other 2 nieces and my nephew--good thing these are fall-weight hats! I'm not the world's fastest crocheter!) ;D

I'm still offended by my mother's complete lack of tact, but...not much I can do about that. I did tell her how I felt, though.

Thanks to all who replied to my last post. :)

I have started making a Cupcake top from Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker. I'm making it with a 40.5" bust. This is another one that's sized oddly for me. The bust measurement is a teensy bit too big for me, but the next size down (either 36" or 37", can't remember which) would have WAY too much negative ease, especially for a "holey" top. I'm hoping my finished top won't look baggy. I definitely don't want it too tight, though.

Anyway, I'm only a few rows in, and hope to get some more done at tonight's KUTI meeting. There should be at least 1 other person there this time--hooray!! I am looking forward to it. I'm using Reynolds Saucy Sport in a really pretty green for my Cupcake (which I've nicknamed "Wheat-free Cupcake of Doom" on Ravelry). I mean, of course it's wheat-free, or I wouldn't be able to eat it! Uhhh...yeah. ;P

I also considered calling it the Moldy Cupcake, but the green is just too pretty for that!

Had a really nice picnic lunch with a friend today. It is gorgeous outside, and Wednesday is the farmers market here, so we got some good fruit and other goodies.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gulf Shores hat - finished 7-12-08

Here's my Gulf Shores. I was very happy with it, until I showed it to my mother. She was like, "That's beautiful! Is it a baby hat?" When I said "No, it's for me," she said "For YOU?!" She looked totally appalled. Then I put it on, and she just sat there looking stunned and couldn't find anything nice to say.

I showed her the Abydos, too, and she didn't really say anything nice about it either!

I must add that this took place in front of some friends of the family, who also couldn't muster up anything nice to say.

I usually feel that my mom has very good taste, so I am feeling really hurt by this, especially on top of the fact that I got NO compliments (apart from the one I had to fish for) when I wore my Abydos the other day. I feel like I must suck at this. I mean, I know my crocheting skills are OK, but now that I've branched out into things other than scarves and potholders, no one seems to like any of it except my Ravelry peeps--and as much as I trust their judgment and feel flattered by their compliments, the lack of in-person compliments makes me feel like crap. :*(

Has anyone else had something like this happen? Please tell me I'm not the only one...

I think I am going to stop showing my mother any of my crochet projects.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

wearing the Abydos, and working on a hat

I wore my Abydos to work today, and the only compliment I got was one I had to totally fish for (which wound up being along the lines of, "It's nice"). Not even a peep from the friend I had lunch with. And here I thought my Abydos was pretty striking. People confuse me.

I have a ton of projects on the back burner right now. I've had a frustrating week, so tonight, I decided to start on a Gulf Shores hat. It was a good choice for instant gratification! It's coming along quite nicely. I'm using Lily Sugar 'N Cream, in the Shaded Denim colorway. I will take a pic of my progress tomorrow if I get a chance.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

ARGHHHH crochet frustration

When I last left off, I'd had to frog my Sweetie Pie cami and couldn't work on the Farpoint Topper because I was waiting to find out how I could make it fit me right. Well, I must add to that my night of further crochet mishaps:

1) I tried to start a crochet vest (pattern from Lion Brand) with purple Lion Chenille yarn, of which I had only the 2 skeins necessary for the pattern. I started it, but then decided to make a gauge swatch using the other skein, just to check to see if I was on the mark. I'm lucky I did, because I could not find the end of the second skein. No idea what's going on there, but it seems to be un-usable. :( So, no purple chenille vest.

2) I started the Light and Lacy, another one by Doris Chan, from the July/August '08 issue of Crochet Today magazine. I got to the 8th row, where the instructions said "sk in next ch-1 space and hdc." Whoa. Double-take. Does this mean to skip the ch-1 space and hdc? Is it a typo, and am I supposed to sc instead of sk? Is there some other hidden meaning there?


I give up. (It's bedtime, anyway. Maybe it'll all make sense in the morning...or something...) ;)

Abydos pic

Abydos - DONE
Originally uploaded by saintlex
Here it is! :) I plan to get my fiance to take a pic of me wearing it soon. A few more pictures can be found here, but since I took them myself, I couldn't get the whole thing into the picture while I was wearing it. Still, they'll give you some idea of what it looks like on, if you're curious.

I am frustrated with the Sweetie Pie cami. I did the first 2 or 3 rows, only to discover that it was twisted and that I didn't count right for my starting chain. It took an awfully long time to get even that far along. I'm not sure I'm up for starting over yet. I think I'll work on something else for a bit. I really want to make a Farpoint Topper. Here's the Farpoint, modeled by Doris Chan:

Hope she doesn't mind my using her image here! She is the designer, after all. (The Farpoint is also in "Amazing Crochet Lace.") I want to use Lion Incredible in Autumn Leaves, which is the way the one in the book (not the one pictured here, which is Doris's own) was made.

I can't get started on it just yet, though. I am waiting to hear from Ms. Chan on the Ravelry forums, to find out if I can make it a little bigger somehow. My bust measurement is almost exactly the finished bust measurement of the Topper, which would make it too snug for my taste. I was going to just make it and pray that it would fit right, but then someone else on Ravelry asked a similar question, so I jumped right in. :) It is SO COOL to be able to ask Doris questions about her patterns. She rocks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Abydos=DONE! :)

The Abydos has been blocked and is drying as I type this. YAY! My first finished garment! I feel so good about that. I can't wait to wear it. The pattern was so easy once I got the hang of it, that now I feel like making them for a few more people. Hmmm.

I started the Sweetie Pie cami. I decided not to use the G hook, but to try the E after all, since the yarn is stretchy. I am a little curious about it, since I am only on row 2 and it appears to be HUGE. I think it must shrink somehow (maybe with the post stitches in the next row?)--if it doesn't, I will be really confused.

I am mildly annoyed that the knitting/crochet Meetup group I belong to, which is called "The (Insert Name of City Where I Live) Knitting Meetup Group," meets in my city every other week and in another town on the alternate weeks. The alternate location in the other town is a good 20-30 minutes away from where I live. Convenient? No. On its own, that wouldn't make it inconvenient enough for me not to go; but when you add the fact that I don't get off work until 6 PM and would have to go home and eat dinner first since I have a gazillion dietary restrictions, I'd wind up getting there too late. I don't like to stay at these things past 8 or 9, and I'm not about to drive for 20-30 minutes to stay at a place for an hour, then drive home, then walk back from my car in the dark. (There's no available, affordable parking at my apartment building, so my car "lives" at a municipal garage 10 minutes away.)

Whatever...If it's convenient for others, that's fine. It just irks me that my city's NAME is in the title of the group, and yet we can't meet here every week. I am probably just being anal. Wouldn't be the first time. ;P

I should also add that I wouldn't be whining about this if not for the fact that I tried to go to the meetup last week, on a week when we were supposed to meet at the location in my city, and no one else showed. Nobody's fault, I know...but it sucked.

I am done complaining now, I promise! Sorry about the rant.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Abydos: almost done!

My Abydos is now down to my hips. I'm done with the length. I've done the edging on the neck and 1 arm hole; not sure if I'll do the other arm hole before going to bed, or if I'll leave it for tomorrow. After that, I'll just have to weave in the ends and block it.

I'm a little nervous about blocking, having never blocked anything before. Not exactly sure how I'll go about doing it. I had looked into that a while back, and decided that I'd pin the piece to be blocked to a towel on my bed and spray it with water; but now I'm not sure about that. I don't want to give my bed any chance to grow mold. Ick. Maybe if I use 2 towels, the bed won't actually get wet? :-/

Hey readers, any preferred blocking methods?

Got to correspond with some friends today on Ravelry. It was fun. :) Also, my Abydos-in-progress has been marked as a favorite by 2 people! I feel so flattered.

A friend (and bridesmaid) of mine has just returned from a long stay in Israel. Very, very happy she's home (although now she is thinking about moving, but not as far away as Israel, thank goodness!). ;)

Maybe tomorrow I will start working on that Sweetie Pie cami during my lunch break. The pattern calls for an E hook--knowing me, that means a G. Seriously, I think I could only ever use an E hook for fingering weight yarn. I don't ever feel like I'm crocheting that tightly, but I guess that's what I do. *shrug*

I am dying to start using that Bernat Cool Crochet yarn--the Amethyst colorway is so pretty!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Abydos vest (WIP), modeled by me

It's now the length of the "short version," before blocking. I'm making it longer, though (hopefully tunic-length). :)

So happy with it!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

happy Abydos-ing, Ravelry, and Patons Grace

I am now as far along with the Abydos as I was with the other one that I had to abandon due to too-small gauge (I haven't actually frogged it yet, though I will when I need the yarn). It's so funny to me that it took me almost two weeks to get to this point to begin with, but after starting over, it took me about 2 days to get back to the same point (with the right gauge)!

Anyway, so far, so good. I've tried it on, and the gauge is just right with the J hook. And so far, it looks adorable. :) I am very happy. I'm also very proud of myself for starting up again right away, before I had a chance to get too discouraged and abandon it.

Spent some time on Ravelry today, updating my library of books and magazines. It's so much fun to see what patterns others have used, and what the results have been. No, I'm not really having the most eventful 4th of July weekend, at least not where anything but crochet is concerned. ;) That's fine by me. I hope you're all having a good weekend!

I just got a great deal on 10 skeins of Patons Grace in Ruby on ebay. Under $20. I couldn't pass it up, even though my wallet may think I should have. ;) I keep seeing all these nice patterns in Patons Grace--although of course, now that I've ordered it, I can't remember what they are! Heehee. I'm sure Ravelry will help me figure that out when the time comes.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Abydos, take 3

OK, I started over again. This time, I had to use a J hook to get the gauge right--I'd been using an H hook before. Meep. Looks good so far, though. At least, it seems to look more like others' finished Abydos vests. Yay!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Abydos (WIP)

Abydos (WIP)
Originally uploaded by saintlex
I'm starting to think maybe I should've made the size Large after all. I know myself, and I generally don't wear things as tight as this is going to be.


On second thought...I think my gauge is off. Uh-oh. But I don't want to start over again! Arghhhh.

Monday, June 30, 2008

a weekend without crochet, and new yarrrrrn

I went away for the weekend, and I brought my Abydos vest with me expecting to have a little time to crochet, but that didn't happen. Oh well. I had a great weekend. :) Saw a very small piece of PA Dutch Country, then went to see family (also in PA). My fiance was supposed to come with me, but he got sick, so I went by myself. I'm still recuperating from the drive home, but it was worth it.

The yarn for my Sweetie Pie cami has arrived! Bernat Cool Crochet in Amethyst. Purple is my favorite color, but I've come to realize that I don't crochet much in purple. Must remedy that!

I will finish the Abydos vest first, though. I'm really looking forward to having a wearable FO. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday shopping spree :)

Today was yarn shopping day. A friend cancelled on our lunch date, and since lunch around here is expensive and I'd brought a back-up yogurt to work just in case, I decided to use my lunch money to get some new yarny goodness.

First, I went to Michael's in search of some Bernat Cool Crochet with which to make my Sweetie Pie Cami. They didn't have any. Boohoo. They did, however, have Patons Brilliant in Blue Shimmer on CLEARANCE for $1/skein! No labels, so I don't have any dye lot info, but I'll live dangerously. ;) It was a good find.

Then, I ordered my Bernat Cool Crochet in Amethyst from Amazon.com. Had to pay $5 shipping, but...whatever. Still within the lunch fund. Heheh.

Looking at my apartment, most people would probably say that I need more yarn like I need a hole in the head. But they'd be wrong! Don't you agree? I barely have any sport or DK weight yarn, so of course I needed to get some. Besides, most of the yarn I have is great for crocheting winter stuff, but not good for summer. I have about 10 tons of Lion Homespun, in particular. I am sure it will not go to waste--I just don't feel like spending my summer making winter-weight sweaters. ;)

I do have some nice Berroco Cotton Twist yarn that I need to use, but it's worsted weight, so I'll have to find a good summer project (preferably something wearable) that uses worsted-weight cotton yarn. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Abydos progress, and more

I have now finished the top back part and the straps of the Abydos vest, and am getting close to the Joining Row. I am really excited about this, since it looks like I may actually be able to finish this project without losing patience!

Also, I crocheted a swatch in the yarn I'm using, and handwashed it. I was nervous about things I'd heard/read about MCY yarns. The yarn I'm currently using, however, did not bleed dye AT ALL. Even I wasn't expecting it to be quite that good. YAY! I have other yarns from MCY that may turn out to be problematic, but it looks like I'm safe with this one. What a relief.

I am really glad to be getting such a warm welcome back from my crochet blogger friends. I felt bad for being away for so long, but I guess it's not too unusual for real life to interfere for a while now and then. :) I am glad to be back in Crochet Blog Land.

I've also been spending quite a bit of time on Ravelry. Too much fun. I may join a CAL (Crochet-Along, for readers who may not know the terminology) on there for a cute camisole--I think the pattern is called "Sweetie"? I'm blanking on the author's name at the moment. Anyway, the author made it with Bernat Cool Crochet. I'm thinking I may pick up a few skeins of it as a treat for myself, since it's not expensive and I only need 4 skeins for my size. Anyway, I'm not sure what other yarn I would use for this project, out of the yarns I already have.

I've been thinking a lot about things I want to crochet. There are so many! I hope I don't get myself completely overwhelmed! One thing I'd really like to make is Doris Chan's "Somnambulista." It's a little nightie from her second book, Everyday Crochet. It is so cute...and my goal is to make it in a cream color, for my wedding night. *blush* ;) I have time, though. The wedding is November 2.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Abydos vest, take 2

I was able to get in touch with Doris Chan via Ravelry to ask her for suggestions regarding my size problem with the vest (being between the Medium and the Large). She gave me instructions for making the Medium a little bigger! Hooray!!! :) ♥ I am so grateful. She has since posted the instructions, along with instructions for some other sizes that weren't in Amazing Crochet Lace, in her blog. Go Doris!

I had to start the vest over, since I'd initially started making the size Large. I've only done the first 2 rows on my Medium vest now, but I know most of the rest of it will go fairly quickly if I keep at it, since the pattern is an easy one.

I'm a little bit worried about the yarn I'm using, since it's from Mystical Creation Yarns, which, as it turns out, is now out of business under some pretty weird-sounding circumstances. Loads of people have complained about bleeding dye with their yarns. The Sweet Pickle colorway that I'm using is fairly light colored, so I'm not as worried about bleeding dye as I would be with darker MCY yarn; but I am a little concerned about what may happen after the garment is washed. When I get a chance, I will make up a swatch and try washing it. I really hope it'll still be OK. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

I'm going to a folk festival today, and I'm seriously debating bringing my crochet with me. ;) I don't really want to carry it around, but how much fun would it be to work on it while listening to good live music?! Hmmmm. I guess I'll go for it.

It's supposed to rain today...Hopefully I won't have to find out about the bleeding dye that way! Meep. I will bring plastic bags to protect the yarn.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

my progress on the Abydos so far

WIP - Abydos Vest
Originally uploaded by saintlex
Not too much progress, as you can see. ;) I'm mainly posting this to show the yarn and the colorway. Pretty, eh? And I just realized it will go nicely with a tank top I bought the other day, which is a slightly lighter pink. That is, if this vest will look right over tank tops...Don't know if it'll come out too big for that. *shrug* We'll see! :)

Abydos vest

Last night, I started working on the Abydos Vest from Amazing Crochet Lace by Doris Chan. (Picture at left ganked from Doris' Flickr photostream!) I am very excited about it. It took me a long time to figure out what yarn to use, but I finally decided on Rayon Chenille from Mystical Creations Yarn. I then had to wind it, which was difficult. I had to abandon the first skein because it got too tangled, even with being around the backs of 2 chairs. *sigh* Still have 3 skeins, though (2 of which have now been successfully wound).

It's a tricky yarn to work with, since it breaks somewhat easily. I accidentally broke a strand while frogging a stitch, which was annoying. Is this the way chenille generally behaves, or is MCY just talented like that? ;) Anyway, I'm not too worried about that, as long as it doesn't break while I'm wearing it!

I'm a little worried about the vest measurements. The bust measurements for this pattern are 40" bust for Medium, and 46" bust for Large. Seeing as how my bust measurement is 39.5", I wasn't about to make the Medium--a vest that's practically the same size as my bust wouldn't really fit over any of my shirts, far as I know. But I'm afraid the Large will be too big for me. We'll see what happens, though! If I decide to make this fairly long (and if I have enough yarn for that), at least it will fit over my hips.

If I like the way this turns out and want a smaller one, I can make a size Medium in the short version and use a stretchier yarn. I think that would work?

Friday, June 20, 2008


It's been a really long time since I last posted here. For that matter, it's been an extremely long time since I crocheted anything. There's been so much going on! Between getting married later this year, trying to buy a co-op with my fiance, and loads of other things, I haven't had the energy even when I've had the time. I've started feeling inspired again lately, though (mainly because I know that if I don't use a lot of my yarn by the time I move, I may have to sell or get rid of it! Noooo!).

I am very excited about finding Doris Chan's blog. I love her designs. Haven't made any of them yet, but I have loads of her patterns, so it may be time to get started!

Edited to add: I did start making the Anisette Vest a while back, but I didn't finish it because A) I didn't have time, and B) I didn't have enough yarn in the colorway I wanted to use. Oops.