Monday, September 27, 2010

Shawls, other gift ideas, and a Renaissance Tunic (?)

I am pretty close to being done with my first poncho. I just need to do the edging and the collar. I was hoping to finish it over the weekend, but I was too busy doing other fun stuff. Oops. ;) It looks like it might not be too large for my 4-yr-old niece, after all. Or at least, not too long. My gauge is weird. I thought it was right on, but it's not. 4 rows in the "block" stitch of the pattern is supposed to be 4"; in mine, it's more like a little over 3 1/4". Whoa. Guess I should switch to a P hook for the next ones? I'll see how this one ends up first.

I am totally waffling about which shawl to make for my grandmother. It's going to be a combination (95th!!!) birthday and Chanukah present, so it's got to be good! I wanted to make a Seraphina's Shawl for her, but it calls for a very large amount of yarn, which makes me worry about a few things. First of all, I only have 2 colors of Homespun in that quantity, and I don't think either of them would look great on her. Second, the shawl is huge, and she is tiny! She is under 5 feet tall and very petite. Third, it looks difficult!

I am also considering Doris Chan's All Shawl. This calls for less yarn and looks easier to make. However, I know my grandmother...She'd take one look and go "It has holes in it!" LOL. This is what she did when I gave her a Snuggly Scarf a few years ago, and the scarf is not particularly hole-y. But the shawl would be warm and cuddly anyway, so...probably a good option. I'd also like to make one of these for my mom for Chanukah, but I kind of doubt I'll have the time, what with all 3 girls' ponchos and a shawl for my grandma. I have been crocheting maybe an hour or so per day when I have time, and I'm not the world's fastest crocheter in the first place.

I am also considering this shawl, but it looks ridiculously easy and ridiculously boring. I have no problem with the pattern actually being easy, I just don't want it to look like it was!

Decisions, decisions. If anyone has any suggestions or opinions on this, please let me know.

I'd like to make something small-ish for my sister for Chanukah, too. I'm thinking about these Dorothea Dishtowels; then I could make it a gift for her and my brother-in-law, since I never know what to get for him. But again, I'll have to see if I have the time.

We went to a Renaissance Fair yesterday. Now I've decided that I really want to make one of these so I'll have a costume to wear to these things. It's for experienced-level crocheters, though. Ummm...Maybe I'd have it finished by Ren Fair 2012 if I started today? ;P Yeah, I think I'm being overly ambitious.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm back!

I've finally picked up my crochet habit again. Had to stop for a while (about a year!) due to chronic pain in my neck and shoulders. The pain is still there, but I finally got really sick of not having a creative outlet, and one day last week I found myself on Ravelry again and realized that I wanted to make Martha Stewart "Coming Home" ponchos for my little nieces out of all the Lion Homespun I still have... :)

I'm taking it easy this time around, only crocheting for an hour or less at a time. The first poncho is still coming along quickly, though. My little nieces are ages 3, 4, and 6; the ponchos are sized 2-4, 4-6, and 6-8. I started with a poncho for my 4-year-old niece, and I thought the size 4-6 one would work since, duh, kids grow. However, it seems to be turning out too big for her (and my gauge seems to be right on). I don't know if I should give it to her anyway (she'll grow into it), or give it to her 6-year-old sister instead...My little nieces (I keep calling them "little" because I also have another niece who's quite a bit older than they are) are, well, little. Not so big for their age groups.

If anyone's reading this, what would you do? Give it to the 4-year-old, or the 6-year-old? I'm going to see how the finished product turns out before I make a final decision on this, but any input would be much appreciated!

I've just spent a lot of time updating my queue on Ravelry. I've had to move all the clothing to the back of the line for now, because I've been doing Weight Watchers Online and losing weight! Hooray! I plan to lose about 13 more pounds, and I don't know exactly what size I'll be at that point, so I've got to hold off on making garments for myself.

I have to keep reminding myself to focus on GIFTS. Like, things that aren't for me! I'm such a selfish crocheter most of the time.

On top of the kids' ponchos, I'm hoping to make a shawl for my grandma, a poncho or shawl for my mom, and a bag for my sister. Whether I can get all of this done by Chanukah remains to be seen. I'd like to make some things for my friends, too, but I can get away with giving most of them belated gifts, and they'll still love me (I hope).

Old crochet project news: I am wearing my Abydos vest today for the first time in a while. It fits me again! I'd gained quite a bit of weight since making it, but now I've lost it and then some. It looks good, but the rayon chenille is shedding all over my black outfit. D'oh.

The Java Jammie gets A LOT of use. Here it is in its final form (sorry for the crappy cell phone photo):jammie

Aaaand I still haven't blocked my Queen Anne's Lace scarf. It's difficult to find time and space to block things. I'm hoping to do it this Saturday morning before we go out, because that way it'll have all day to dry.

And that's it for now. If you've read this far, please leave a comment and let me know that you're reading! It means a lot to me.