Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hook & Needle News

The Crochet Crowd Mystery CAL (Crochet-A-Long) is not turning out as I had hoped. So far anyway. But it is a mystery, and it certainly looks like one, so I'll just have to wait and see how it turns out. We started with a basic granny square, all one colour of yarn, which is not ugly, but it is kind of boring.

Fortunately, I was using a variegated yarn, so it wasn't quite so boring. In Week 2, we added an X to the granny square.
And I thought, "Oh, that's different." For week 3, we added one round each with the remaining two colours. First with colour C:
Is it supposed to be that sloppy-looking? Because no matter how neatly and evenly I try to make my stitches, it still comes out looking unkempt. By this time, I'm beginning to lose my motivation. I have a hard time being enthusiastic about working on something that I consider ugly. Besides, baby Seth has been born and I really need to focus on getting his afghan finished. So I decided to set this CAL aside to get the Bobble afghan done. That way I can see where the clues are taking the CAL and decide if I want to actually complete the afghan. I'm not a quitter, but I also don't believe in wasting my time making something I'm not enjoying. 
I finished Clue 3 on one square just so that I could share a picture of it:
I have christened this 'Frankensquare' (as in Frankenstein) because to me it's an ugly monstrosity. Well, maybe that's being too harsh, but it is incredibly weird and funky. One of my friends is working on the KAL (Knit-A-Long) and the KAL is totally different from the CAL. Her squares are looking great and when she saw what the CAL is looking like, she commented that she's glad she's doing the knitted one. 
I actually considered working on the knitted one as well. I haven't knitted in years. I only ever finished one sweater. I started other projects, but life got in the way. But I wasn't sure if I was ready for a whole afghan project, especially one that might be a little challenging to an inexpert knitter. But as I rummaged around in my hook and needle drawer to see if I had the needles required for the KAL, I thought to myself that I'd better get back into knitting or get rid of all of those needles. In addition to the ones I had purchased when I started knitting years ago, I have since acquired more through a yard sale purchase or somewhere that I don't recall. As I was considering different yarns and different projects, I found that Red Heart is offering a free cowl pattern each month this year. January's was a crocheted cowl and February's is knitted. I'm not sure if they're going to alternate all year between knitting and crocheting, but I figured a cowl is a small enough project to use to get back into knitting. And I decided to do all 12 cowls. Initially, I thought, "What would anyone do with 12 cowls?" I'm not into selling my work and I'm not such a fashionista that I think I need to own 12 cowls. But I do have 5 sisters, a sister-in-law, one aunt that's still living, and 3 nieces. That leaves one for me and one for my dear friend Neva, the friend that moved to BC last October. So guess what everyone is getting for Christmas? I don't always get all of these people gifts. It depends on if I have time and money. But I like a challenge and doing a cowl a month sounds like a fun challenge. I will probably get bogged down part way through the year and might not get them finished, but I'll give it a try. Since my sewing studio is a long way from being finished, I have to have an alternate creative outlet to quilting. Crocheting and knitting fits the bill because I can do that almost anywhere. I have ordered the yarn for the first two cowls and the circular knitting needle that I need for the knitted one. I also placed a second order which I will discuss shortly. The merchant I ordered from has good selection and prices, but I definitely am not impressed with their customer service. So I'm pondering whether or not they will get any further orders from me. 
While on the facebook page for the Mystery CAL/KAL, someone mentioned another CAL, Sophie's Universe and shared the Crafty Crochet Community facebook page. Wow!!! Just check out these links. This is such an awesome, beautiful afghan that I had to join in. So that was my second yarn order. It's supposed to arrive Tuesday. And I can hardly wait! (Oddly enough, the cowl yarn order, which was placed about a week prior, won't arrive till Thursday). I really need to get the Bobble afghan finished so that I can start in on Sophie.
And here's the bobble afghan:
It's about 32 inches long right now and I need to get it to 45" before it's ready for the border. So, I've still got quite a way's to go, especially since this afghan progresses slowly. Here's a close up:

It's an attractive afghan, but I don't ever want to use this yarn or this pattern again. Although I will probably have some yarn left over that I will likely use in some of my Bavarian crochet and crocodile stitch projects that call for 3 weight yarn. And on the subject of Bavarian crochet, I'm nearly half-finished this scarf:
Selection of 3 weight yarn is limited in my town, and that's why I ended up with "baby colours." Actually, yarn selection of any sort is limited to a meagre collection at the local Walmart. And it's an hour's drive to the nearest Michael's. That's why I'm more likely to order online. But I'm not always that patient. When I want yarn, I tend to want it NOW! LOL.
I've actually managed to add a couple of rows to the Christmas Tree skirt I'm working on. It now measures 39" across at the points or about 35" midway between points. I'm not sure how big I'm aiming for - maybe until I run out of yarn?

And when I finally get it big enough, I'll add some poinsettias and/or holly and probably a border of the variegated red/white/green yarn that I have. It's a pretty low stress project. You can't really tell from this picture, but there's a bit of sparkle to this yarn.
Hidden away somewhere is a zippered cardigan that I haven't worked on in a few years. I should get that out and finish it as well.