Happy National Crochet Month (belated)!

Sorry this is delayed. National Crochet Month began March 1st. I had all these great ideas in my head of things I was going to do this year for NatCroMo.

And then?

Then medical issues got in the way. A quick overview (because I try not to discuss things other than crochet here) is that I got a kidney stone, was given a painkiller to deal with it, had a horrible reaction to the painkiller, and then due to the lack of sleep and the reaction to the medicine, sent myself into a minor flare with the fibromyalgia. I haven’t crocheted for a week.

I’m almost better now. The stones seem to have passed and now I’m back on the climb to get better. I’m not having the flare issues right now, just dealing with getting energy levels back to where cleaning the kitchen doesn’t wipe me out for three hours.

Anyway, on to other things….

Voting has ended for the 2009 Crochet Awards. Now begins the wait. Winners will be announced live on MaryBeth Temple’s Getting Loopy radio show (which can be found here) on Monday, March 16th at 9pm. It’s a great show to listen to anyway, but that night should be great. From what I hear, they’re trying to get all the winners to call in to accept their awards. There’s also a chat room for the show and that always gets lively. If you can’t listen live, you can download the show later from the website or from iTunes.

I have two large swatches that I need to finish to get out the door along with proposals. That will have to wait a bit longer, unfortunately, because along with an energy drop the fibromyalgia causes a bit of mind “fogginess” that makes it difficult to concentrate on writing. Really, this blog post is taking me a lot longer than normal. So I’m hoping I can get it done in time to get it out the door. If not, I may put them in the queue to self publish.

I’m not sure what’s on the slate for today. I’ve been instructed not to push and not to work on really anything. John is tentatively scheduled to head out to California next week so I need to be able to take care of myself while he’s gone. We had a good start today as I took the dog out for the first time in a few days. So, I’m getting there.

Swatches, a finished project, and progress

I’m sorry I was absent yesterday. I was fighting off something and ended up sleeping most of the day. Ugh. So today I have things to show you to make up for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

First off, let’s get to the swatches for the past couple of days:

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 19th
Stitch name: Shells in Line
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: The texture is created from the solid and void parts of the stitch. There are not any stitches that puff out.

Drape: It has pretty good drape with this hook and yarn.

Opacity: There are some openings in this stitch.

Comments / Thoughts: I like this stitch. It was easy and gives a nice finished look.

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 20th
Stitch name: Clusters on a Slant
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: Both the clusters and the somewhat raised doubles create a nice texture.

Drape: In this hook and yarn there is not a lot of drape, but it’s not cardboard either.

Opacity: There are openings on this swatch, but not a lot.

Comments / Thoughts: This swatch was small because it involved clusters. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I wasn’t feeling good yesterday. But, the stitch is a neat one and I might play with it again.

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 21st
Stitch name: Diamonds
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: This has a texture due to the openings in the stitches and the way the petals move forward a bit.

Drape: There is a decent amount of drape in this swatch.

Opacity: No, there are openings throughout the stitch.

Comments / Thoughts: This is an interesting and easy stitch. I think it would need a lot of blocking to get it to lay right, but I do like it.

I finished the baby hoodie (other than sewing buttons on) the other day. Here’s the final pic:

And here’s the sock I started Wednesday. It goes really quick and is pretty easy so far (I haven’t gotten to the heel yet, so we’ll see):

Okay, back to work to get a swatch ready to go out. Have a good weekend!

Not bad for a slow day

First today’s swatch:

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 18
Stitch name: Cute Clusters
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: A definite texture is evident in this stitch on the right side. The wrong side is actually very smooth.

Drape: There is very little drape in this stitch with this hook and yarn.

Opacity: Yes, this is a very opaque stitch.

Comments / Thoughts: I am not a fan of puffs/clusters/popcorns/whatever you want to call them. I’m not. That’s why this swatch is as small as it is. It’s still a neat stitch, but I don’t like doing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’ve not felt well today so it’s been slow going. I have managed to swatch for another design. I can show you closeups of what I’ve been working on the past couple of days.

This is the one that I finished yesterday. Yes, it’s blurred. Yes, it’s only a portion of it, so while you may recognize a stitch, you don’t know exactly what it’s going to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

This has been today’s work. I’m pleased with it. I’ll likely finish it tomorrow.

My new plan is to hit the post office on Fridays. When I’m not tight against a deadline it works well. Saves on gas and let’s me do my errands at one time.

I am almost done with the baby sweater. All I have left to do is to sew on the other sleeve and then do the edging. I just couldn’t stay up any later last night to finish it. So that’s the plan now that work is over.

That’s it from me, time to get that sweater finished so I can move on to something else. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of pictures!

Let’s get the swatches out of the way first. ๐Ÿ™‚ After that will be some projects in progress and new sock yarn and a neat thing I found at Cracker Barrel on Saturday.

All swatches are from 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 13
Stitch name: Chain Link
Hook used: J / 6.0 mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: The solid areas have a subtle texture and the openings have an obvious texture.

Drape: Due to the open and solid areas, there is an interesting drape.

Opacity: Nope

Comments / Thoughts: This was an easy pattern to work as I got going. It has an interesting look and I like it.

Date: March 14
Stitch name: Niches
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: This stitch has a combo of a smooth texture through the main areas with a puffier texture in the spots with the crossed trebles.

Drape: This has a bit of drape.

Opacity: With this hook, it has some opacity. However, there are openings in the crossed treble sections.

Comments / Thoughts: I LOVE this stitch. It looks just as neat from the back (second pic) as it does from the front. I have a lot of ideas swirling for this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Date: March 15
Stitch name: Kernels
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: This has a subtle texture due to the stitch. It’s not seen as much as it’s felt.

Drape: There is some drape with this hook and yarn.

Opacity: This stitch is opaque.

Comments / Thoughts: I liked this stitch. It was quick and easy to do.

Date: March 16
Stitch name: Alternating Single Crochet
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: This stitch creates a bit of a texture.

Drape: This stitch does create a decent amount of drape.

Opacity: This stitch is opaque in this hook/yarn combo.

Comments / Thoughts: If you’ve seen my patterns for the two dishtowels, you’ll see that I already like this stitch. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like it in the stripe pattern that this stitch pattern called for.

Date: March 17
Stitch name: Irish Fans
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight yarn

Texture: This stitch has a subtle texture.

Drape: There is a bit of drape with this stitch.

Opacity: There are some holes in this stitch, but it is opaque enough to use for a garment with maybe a lining.

Comments / Thoughts: This was a neat take on a shell/fan pattern. I liked it.

Okay, on to other things.

Friday I went to Fiber Arts with Dani and Margarita and got some Tofutsies sock yarn. Here it is!

Mind that bit wrapped back around it. I was swatching with it at Dani’s house before I left. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday, we had lunch at Cracker Barrel. While wandering through the store after lunch, we found some animal Pez dispensers. We were looking through them ’cause John has a friend who collects the dispensers. He wanted to find a monkey for his friend. Well, I found this little gem and he got it for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a sheep! ๐Ÿ™‚ He now resides in my purse. I need to attach him to my keys.

And finally, some projects:

Here’s the baby sweater. I’ve got most of the pieces done (working on the hood) and then need to assemble (blech), and do edgings.

And here’s the sock now that it’s started over. I love the way the color is wrapping around the leg.

Okay, time to get to work for me. I have another swatch almost ready to go, I just need to write up the proposal and put together the package to go out. ๐Ÿ™‚ The goal is to get it done this week. I’m trying not to think about the one that went out the door on Friday. ๐Ÿ™‚

A beautiful day and work to do

Let’s start with today’s swatch:

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 11th
Stitch name: Puffy Blocks
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: This block has a really interesting texture. The puffy blocks are not typical puff stitches. I really like the texture.

Drape: It’s not super drapy, but with this stitch, it provides some structure. It’s not a piece of cardboard, either. It’s got some drape, just not a lot. But I don’t think you’d want drape with this stitch.

Opacity: While the picture in the calendar shows it as a solid stitch, my swatch has some holes. I think if I went down in a hook I’d have a more solid fabric.

Comments / Thoughts: I have never done a stitch like this. It was neat and really easy. I like how it looks in person and the way it feels.

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Don’t worry, after National Crochet Month, swatches will land at the bottom of the entry, not right up at the top! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night John and I went to dinner and I can now add crocheting at Village Inn as one of the strange places I’ve crocheted. I’m sure we were a sight to the 2 older couples who got sat next to us. John was doing the crossword puzzle and I was working on a sock while we waited for food. We were still chatting and such, but we’ve found that we handle waiting for food better if we’re busy, too.

As soon as I get back in from taking the dog out I’m going to go work on one of my design ideas from yesterday. The first one I worked on will work and looks good so far. But it will have to wait until tomorrow. I had to order yarn to go with what I had on hand. And it’s coming tomorrow. The other idea I bought yarn yesterday for, so I can get right on that. Both of these will be for submissions. While the wait time is incredibly long on those (compared to self-publishing), I do need to get my name out there a bit more.

Okay, off to take the dog for a walk and then get back to work. Have a good Tuesday!

Back into the swing of things

First, let’s do today’s swatch:

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 10th
Stitch name: Shells on Parade
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted Weight Acrylic

Texture: This has a subtle texture due to the Back Loop stitching.

Drape: It has good drape in WW with a J hook. Drape could easily be adjusted with yarn and hook size choices.

Opacity: This is a rather opaque stitch.

Comments / Thoughts: I like this variation on shells. It is a really neat stitch and I like the texture from it.

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In other news, I’ve finally shook my lack of motivation with crochet. I’m working on a submission piece. I have another one I want to work on after this. I feel good about them both. I wish I could show you, but on the one I’m working on now, even an extreme closeup would be too easy to figure out. And showing pics is a big no no in the publishing world. Even Ravelry is a dangerous place to show things in the works (if it’s a submission piece) because while it’s still invite only, there are a lot of people in the publication world on there. So that’s why there’s always fun pics in my spots for submission pieces. ๐Ÿ™‚ It allows me to put a spot in there if I need to keep track of things, but keeps things top secret. My new plan is to wait until it’s published and then enter the info. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now that I’m way more organized it’s easier to just keep the details in the pattern itself.

Today I go to pick up my items from the Strawberry Festival. I’m still waiting on pics from Kerry of my stuff up in the display. When I get home I will take pics of the items with my ribbons.

I’ve started on a sweater for a former coworker. I’m using a pre-published pattern so I have time to just relax and not have to work and do math. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a hoodie pattern from Bernat. I like it. I’m making it in Softee Baby which I love.

I also need to go to the bank today on my way home from the pickup. I’ve got a teaching check to deposit and hopefully the money from the ribbons. ๐Ÿ™‚

John and I had a good talk yesterday about how things are going for me. He made a very good point. I’m already operating in the black and I’ve only been at this for less than a year. Now, I’m not a whole lot in the black, but I’m keeping my head above water. While I’m not expecting to get rich doing this (I am being practical), I would like to make a bit of a profit. But he said he’s really proud of me. I’m about to be published in a magazine, I’ve sold my own patterns, I’ve taught lessons both in and out of the store, and people are starting to recognize my work and appreciate it. Sometimes it takes John pointing out to me what I’ve done for me to pull my head up out of the yarn long enough to look at things. So yeah, I’m doing pretty well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, back to work. I’d like to get this swatch done and ready to go by Wednesday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend swatches

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 8th
Stitch name: Hole in the Wall
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted Weight acrylic

Texture: There is a texture created by the open and closed spaces.

Drape: Thanks to the openings there is quite a bit of drape.

Opacity: Nope. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments / Thoughts: I like this one and I may do another swatch later in a lighter fiber that will give it a much different look.

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 9th
Stitch name: Puff Balls
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted Weight acrylic

Texture: The puff stitches make this swatch have a bumpy texture on the front and a smooth texture on the back.

Drape: The combo of puffs and doubles gives this a decent drape.

Opacity: There are holes between the doubles and puffs so there is no opacity.

Comments / Thoughts: While I am not a fan of puff stitches, this was a neat stitch pattern and the puffs weren’t too bad. I like the openings around the stitches.

Swatch of the day

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 7th
Stitch name: Little Baskets
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: There is a definite texture to this stitch. It is also very thick and warm.

Drape: Not a lot of drape due to the thickness of this stitch. Perhaps with a larger hook/smaller yarn combo there might be more drape.

Opacity: This is very thick and creates an almost double layered stitch. So it is very opaque.

Comments / Thoughts: It was a bit fiddly to do at first, but I do like this stitch. It’s very warm and very thick and would likely make an awesome blanket.

My crochet plan for today is to take my sock with me to go meet with Kerry. I’m leaving here in a bit and will likely beat her there, so I’ll crochet in the parking lot while I’m waiting. ๐Ÿ™‚ When I get home I need to work on another project and get it uploaded. I also need to start working on things for submissions.

Proof of one of the strangest places I’ve ever crocheted…

That is me crocheting in line at Epcot for Soarin’. Yes, it was that dark. Yes, I am crocheting a sock (the CGOA CAL one) and yes, that yarn is dark, too. You’d think I’d have been smart enough to start working on it with the light up E hook I have. Then I could have seen my stitches a bit better. What that picture doesn’t show is that I had to rip back a round and work with extra yarn dangling until I got almost to the point of getting on the ride. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m working on the swatch of the day now and will likely have it posted later today. I’ve got to get ready soon to go meet Kerry for lunch. We’re meeting at a decent half way point for us both and at our favorite lunch spot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Storms coming so I’m hoping I can get there and back before it hits here. Then Diane should be coming out to start her first ever crochet project. ๐Ÿ™‚

A finished project, a started project, and a couple of swatches

Completed project:

Project Linus blanket. Made from stash yarn. I think it turned out awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Pattern is the Newbie Shell pattern from the Project Linus website.

Started project:

CGOA CAL socks. Pattern is Miniclustered Lace socks from the book Crocheted Socks! So far it’s coming along well. I did most of what you see while on the way to Disney and while at Disney on Tuesday. Coming soon, a pic of me standing in line at Soarin’ crocheting in the dark. Yarn is a fancy sock yarn that a Secret Santa gave me at Christmas time. It’s yummy.

Swatch time:

I missed yesterday’s swatch due to recovering from the Disney trip (I knew I would thanks to the fibromyalgia…any fun times always are balanced with a payment). So here are two swatches…yesterday’s and today’s.

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 5th
Stitch name: Filling Stitch
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: The texture is subtle. It’s not seen unless you look closely but it can be felt.

Drape: Due to the double crochets there is quite a bit of drape.

Opacity: Even with the double crochets, there is a good amount of opacity. I would still wear something underneath if this was in the body of a garment, though.

Comments / Thoughts: I switched to ch2 instead of ch3 for the turning chains and that worked much better for me.

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 6th
Stitch name: Hexagons
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted Weight acrylic

Texture: The main texture is created through the open and closed areas of the swatch.

Drape: This has a lot of drape due to the openings.

Opacity: No. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments / Thoughts: This stitch is adorable. It looks like bows in the open spaces. It’s really simple, too, and would be a quick stitch to do. I like it a lot.

That’s all from me today. I’ve been out most of the day hanging out with a former coworker. I was supposed to get her started on her first crochet project today but she got busy when we got back to the station so we didn’t have time. She’s going to come by tomorrow and I’ll get her going on it. She’s thinking of joining CGOA too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay! I’m doing my part to fuel the revolution! Hook salute! ๐Ÿ™‚

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