Have another book review, plus some pictures.

Hey, how about a book review to distract from the fact that I have 4 current projects going on and no willpower to complete them. In case anyone’s keeping track of them, they are:

  • The sweater. (Haven’t touched that other 10 inches in stockinette yet…)
  • A seed stitch cowl. (I did two rows today after forgetting about it for a few months, oops.)
  • The Dudester.. I ACTUALLY HAVE A PICTURE OF THAT. HERE YOU GO, LOOK AT THAT ASYMMETRY 
  • The Leyla Cowl. (Fantastic One-Skein wonders project, you can see an example of it here on Ravelry!)

That being said, let’s talk about the book I got the Leyla Cowl from:

Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects from Crocheters Around the World

edited by Judith Durant

Amazon Link

Amazon Description: Finally, a One-Skein Wonders book just for crocheters! Edie Eckman and Judith Durant offer 101 great crochet projects — from jewelry and scarves to bags, hats, dresses, and home dec items — that each use just one skein of yarn. Whatever your experience level, you’ll find something here to delight you!

Level: Some experience needed – the usual sc, hdc, dc things, plus the ability and knowledge to do more (like how to make a foundation double crochet or magic loop)

My Thoughts: So we’re already familiar with the fact that I have a lot of yarn. More often than not, I’ll need 2 skeins of something and end up using a whole skein, plus like a literal fucking whisper of the other skein. I’m sure that’s how this yarn stash problem started. I was really happy to find One-Skein Wonders at my local, awesome book store. Finally, something to do with yarn other than leave it in the Jeffrey Campbell shoe box to metaphorically die.

What I immediately liked about this book is that it arranged all the projects by yarn weight, the options being from thread to chunky and everything in between. I pretty much jumped myself to worsted and went from there, bookmarking projects of interest with my little sticky tabs. A good sign is that I have around 10 that jumped out instantly as “good idea, I’ll do that” while doing this.  The projects themselves vary a ton, with scarves/cowls, hats, gloves, purses, jewellery, socks (!!!), baby clothes/accessories, home decor, amigurumi, and even a blanket. With such variety, I’m already thinking of gift-giving situations so I can make a bunch of this stuff. Each project has a couple of clear pictures to show it, material/hook/gauge specifics, step-by-step instructions, as well as any special stitches needed and diagrams.

I picked the Leyla Cowl to start off with since I recently bought a new 5mm hook and had a ball of beautiful yarn that fit the yardage. I almost bailed on this book – as in almost shut the book and threw it across my room – when I saw that it required me to A) do a foundation double crochet and B) join in the round. Let me tell you about these things: I spent almost an entire weekend trying to learn FDC and could not. I also attempted to join in the round without twisting at least 20 times that same day as well. Something was just not computing for me. HOWEVER, One-Skein Wonders has a really, REALLY helpful appendix with a glossary that finally made FDC not look like gibberish. Nailed it. Also nifty: there’s an abbreviation chart as well, since I had no idea what FDC stood for to being with… (for those of you still here, you’re probably wondering how I even use a crochet hook or knitting needles, yes? I wonder sometimes too.)

I’m currently on the last set of rows for the cowl, and found the row-by-row instructions easy to read and simple. I should also add I started this last night, so if they were really vague and complication I probably would still be at the “FDC 80” part. 🙂 The diagram of what each row should look like was really helpful as well, and I notice that diagrams are pervasive in the book, so super great for visual learners that need that additional information.

My one beef with the book is that the way aforementioned blanket pattern calls for 1000+ yards of yarn, so I find that stretching the “One-Skein” part of the title just a little bit.

Overall though, this is a really cute book with a bunch of awesome, easy to make patterns that just might help you unload that leaning tower of yarn you’ve amassed.

The Illusion of Starting Early.

As far as the sweater saga goes, I probably won’t be updating much about it until the last stretch. There’s not much point in sharing row after row of suckinette stitch, as I’ve already clearly run out of barely humorous ways to describe it. So until I get to the part where I pretend I know how to sew, we’ll move onto other things.

I’m already pretending like Christmas gifts are a priority in my life. The sad truth is I’m just trying to decrease the amount of yarn I have lying around for ~~~future projects~~ well THE FUTURE IS NOW AND HERE I AM. So I started making this rather pleasant scarf known as “The Dudester” and it’s going well. I’m really digging the various textures the pattern gives, and it yarn I’ve picked for it it really durable. A problem I’ve had with this is that said yarn is chunky instead of worsted, so I omitted the last repeat for rows 3 and 4 and cast on 36 sts instead – as suggested by the pattern creator in the comments section. It almost worked except that I was left with 6 sts instead of 3 at the end of the third row. So with some imagination (read: don’t panic, never let your yarn see you panic) I just made it slightly asymmetrical. Pictures will follow later on, I’m trying to get better lighting with dark grey yarn, and I want it to be longer as well.

I should also add that my favourite part of this was forgetting where I left off and becoming incredibly confused. Rather than yanking my needles out completely and having that terrifying row of 36 live stitches, I found a better (slightly saner) way of “frogging”. That’s also for another post coming soon! Plus PLUS that book review too!

So basically we’ve established that I have mentioned 3 actually interesting topic here but have failed to make better posts for them. At least I shared a pattern with you, at least you all have that now.

Give me a break, it’s standardized testing for my students and I have report cards and 50 weddings/wedding related events to go to. I’m happy I actually banged this thing out right now.

p.s. I’m thinking of starting the Beekeeper’s Quilt with all my leftover yarn. Huge endeavour, I know. It also would be the first pattern I’m paying for. I haven’t decided if I want the full puff effect, or to deal with flat hexagons. Anyone else doing this? Talk me though it, I know you’re out there fellow knitters/crocheters/bloggers.

Still Making a Sweater: Now with Filler!

So I’m still battling the sweater. At this point in time I’m two inches away from (temporarily) finishing row after row of suckingnette. On the plus side, I am now able to knit while reading, watching tv, and probably while sleeping IT’S THAT MONOTONOUS OF A STITCH. I took this photo on Friday to showcase my ~dazzling~ progress

I would also like to share that while working on it, a friend’s mother commented that I have “excellent tension” and it was probably the best comment I’ve ever received. I think by next week I’ll be ready to start my contrast colour on this!

In the meantime, I’ve been combating the mind-numbing chore of this sweater by engaging in other things, like starting a seed stitch cowl in multiple colours!

This was way easier than I assumed it would be, so long as I remember what row I’m on and to switch colours. I love the yarn as well… who would’ve thought DeSerres carries an awesome selection of yarn now?! (Hint: not me.)

I also grabbed some super bulky yarn because I’ve never used it before and made myself a really thick warm scarf. I thought I wouldn’t need to use it until next winter, but given that on this lovely spring April day we had 5cm of snow and it was a balmy -9C I actually took it for a spin!

image

 

And that’s my half-assed yarn update for today. I’ll leave you with what my entire “”””stash”””” looks like – yes I’m using my Litas box to store yarn and yes I really like neutral whites/creams/greys clearly.

image

 

How to properly destroy your soul while engaging in the yarned crafts.

I’m my biggest critic when it comes to making things. While you’re sitting there in awe wondering how this human took yarn and made a bunch of consecutive loops in it to form a perfect hat, I’m sitting there repulsed by my flimflam. Attaching things with yarn? Wow, way off. Did you even follow the pattern? Probably not, words are hard. So lately (and thanks to a lovely conversational thread on smash_club – will get into that later) I’ve taken to offering myself some scathing criticism to really up my yarn game. Some lovely gems I’ve mumbled to myself in the middle of a brioche stitch scarf that honestly makes my wrist hurt, a basketweave knit scarf that was frogged last night, and several crochet projects of varying importance:

“You call that a stockinette stitch? More like suckingette stitch.”

“Your purling has made me seriously consider hurling.”

“This is genuinely a thing of knitmares.”

“Double crochet? More like double fail.”

Since there is a huge time gap between what I wrote above and what I’m currently writing (two months later, I decide to blog moar) I’d like to update that I’m still very good at self-deprecating yarn crafting. Tonight, my start of making a sweater began with cautious optimism and was shortly followed with several froggings and a lot of, “what the fuck did I just do with this thing? Circulars? Actually, circuFAILS.”

It’s really got me thinking that the main purpose of this blog (yes, I’m changing it again) should be an online recording of all my knitting and crochet successes and losses. Because I really want to scream about not getting a pattern right. Or showcase my latest “nailed it” piece.

I hope you enjoy the crap I will be spewing on here from now on. 🙂

How even more terribly neglectful of me.

I mean, I’m incredibly good at updating my classroom blog to the point where parents approach me with, “You are so on top of your blog posts, I read it every night!” and all I want to tell them is, “Well my personal blog is in shambles, so you’re welcome.”

My knitting and crochet hobbies are limitless in bounds. Since October I’ve taken the plunge into the exciting and rewarding world of hats:

 

So this has given me some newfound confidence to up my knitting game and make a sweater soon: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2012/5/3/lauras-loop-cap-sleeve-lattice-top.html I look forward to getting circulars and cursing everything in sight.

I have a great next post that I promise I will actually post before 2015.