Posted in babbling, crochet, presents, Thoughts, yarn

The future of Otakraft

Happy New Year! Time to make up some new excuses for why I did practically nothing last year!  Hmmm, let’s try honesty, I was lazy and didn’t put in the effort.  Oh, except a shawl I was working on for my mother for Christmas, let me tell you how that went… Just not well at all.

I started it in September, put it down for a month (because I’m into messing myself up) so when I picked it up again I didn’t remember the pattern quite right.  I, of course, didn’t notice for some 10 odd rows, which was….so much, like a foot, maybe more, of row progress.  I ripped it back.  Now this yarn is an alpaca blend, so I’m sure you can guess how much it likes ripping back.  And this wasn’t the only frogging rodeo the yarn went on.  There were some occasional mistakes that were pulled back, but by the time you get to the place with the mistake (and it’s lace so it’s SUPER obvious), you’re pulling back an entire row. It’s physically painful for even non-crocheters to watch (Like seriously, it was funny the first time I pulled back a row in front of this teenager who’d watched me find a mistake.  He was horrified when I told him it would take about an hour to do back up). And I just keep messing up. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I just kept making really ridiculous counting mistakes that should have been.  Ripping back was getting harder and harder and then it happened, the continuous line of my lace weight yarn broke.  I tried to carry on, but it wasn’t the last time I was suffer another break. It just became too much and I knew I wouldn’t be able to salvage it for Christmas.

So ultimately I’m trashing the original yarn (more accurately ripping it back to figure out something else to do with it, because it was 40 damn dollars and I am poor) and I picked up a new skein of Freia Ombré Lace Weight, this time in Dirty Hippie.  I’ll be trying again for Mother’s Day this time instead of Christmas.

I have some other projects planned for this year, including some home improvement work like sewing curtains, a shower curtain, finishing up the hidden cat box I’ve been working on, and some other things.

I’ve gotten part of the hidden cat box done, I’ll probably make a couple posts with pictures of my progress until it’s finished.

I’m going to try and go back to updating weekly with projects I’m working on, but I’m also going to add in some reviews of products I’ve used.  I’m also working on the scripts for a crochet tutorial that I hope to upload to YouTube later this year.

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Posted in crochet, DIY, yarn

Putting off till tomorrow is asking to get bit in the butt

So back in March I believe, I started the Happy Hooker Prepster Jacket.  I liked the design, the pattern was pretty easy, and it was working up well.  Bad news: I realize halfway up the back that I’ve underestimated my size!  -_- Good news: I don’t have a finished sweater jacket that is too small to actually wear.  Bad news: I still had to rip back what I’d done of the back and start over.  So I frog and then do the back in the right size.

Prepster jacket back 

(I also did part of the left front!)

Prepster Jacket left front

More bad news:  I did both sleeves first in the original size so now they won’t match up properly and I have to rip them back and start over.  Worse news:  While I love the yarn I’m working with, Red Heart Boutique Treasure colorway Portrait, it’s a soft woolen yarn that’s fuzzy and makes beautiful stripes and is a bear to rip out.  It’s not mohair, but it definitely takes patience.

Prepster jacket sleeves frogging

(Update: I have finished frogging the sleeves and my fingers are so sore!  But I did get to play with my new ball winder to wind everything back up! XD)

Worst news: I worked on it really steadily for a while then I set it aside so I could work on another project and have managed to completely forget which hook I was using.  ARGH!  I don’t feel like swatching again so I think I’m going to just pick up the one I think I was using and start the sleeves as a stand-in.  I have to measure as I go anyway so I’ll just check the gauge then and make adjustments (i.e. frog EVERYTHING) as needed.  The best part is the project I set the jacket aside for was the shawl that I had to rip back last month because I messed up that pattern too.  I feel like I’m going more frogging than crochet lately. XD  Well, it’s all part of the progress and speaking of processes I’m taking up spinning!  I’ve decided on my first wool to try, I have the spindle, and I’ve got books.  So far I haven’t been able to even get it started, but when I actually make something, and it will be a horrible something I’m sure, I’ll make sure to post about my failure.

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, design

Shaping Shenanigans

Shaping sucks.

Not so much the action of shaping during crochet that, provided you have good, clear instructions can be quite pleasant because you see what you’re making start to emerge and that’s cool.  No, it’s figuring out the shaping of a new project that’s a royal pain in the patootie.  It all started with this unbearably awesome chain chomp cat bed on Pinterest.  I don’t have the building chops to make anything half so amazing, but it did make me want to crochet a chain chomp.

So I start looking into patterns.  Nothing feels quite right, some looked good to me but they all seemed to have their mouths closed and I really wanted one with the mouth open.  So I decided to tool around and try to figure out a pattern for myself (not a bad idea per se, but time consuming and potentially very frustrating).  I will fully admit that I looked up crochet Pacman patterns to get an idea of how to start the shaping, because I was originally at a complete loss.  I have two approaches I’m going to be trying and I started with the first last night.

The first effort was….well it went so poorly that I ripped it back out immediately and didn’t even bother with a pic of it.  My second effort was slightly better in that it was moving in the rightish direction.  Still came out looking like the chain chomp had an under-bite that would make King Charles II of Spain jealous.  Unfortunately I had fastened him off and hidden his ends so much that digging it all out again seemed like way too much effort.  So I moved on and now it’s a cat toy.

  
In this case the third time wasn’t a charm exactly, but it did look a whole hell of a lot better.  Still looks really awkward, partially because it’s not stuffed and hollow, more because it’s not quite a circle, it’s this really wonky shape that I’m not really sure what to do with.  Hmmm, well I did the thing where I wove in the ends here too, so I’m still not sure if I’m going to rescue the yarn, depends how I’m feeling tonight.

  
I also had to rip back the ENTIRE shawl I’d been doing because I realized that when I “fixed” a problem with the design I was setting myself up to make blocking it out to be an actual triangle difficult if not impossible.  So I’m back to triangle one on that project, but it does work up nicely.

  

Well, those are most of the projects I’ve been working on. When new and interesting things come up I’ll post more.