Christmas is coming!
Ok, so this is going to look like a copy from another post I’ve made previously because of how much frogging I’ve had to do lately. The two projects I’ve been carrying around are the Prepster Jacket and my Diana Shawl. I just switch off working between them and have made some nice, measurable progress.
Apologies for bad picture quality and framing, I took these on the fly at a cafe when I had access to wifi.
I think I’m going to have to set them aside one of these evenings though because while I do like that I just get to work on them and I can watch a movie or talk while working on them, I’d like some instant gratification and nothing gives instant gratification like amis! Besides I have that back log I have to work through and I haven’t even really started it and the year’s pretty much half over. If I actually want to finish my UFOs, make a few Christmas presents, finish my Amigurumi line, AND open an etsy shop that actually has things to sell I’m really going to need to kick it into high gear!
I think I’m going to set a goal of an amigurumi a week unless I’m working from scratch designing something and then I’ll give myself a bit more leeway. I still really want to do the Mendell Palace dolls and fully intend to along with making some variations on the MLP:FiM design I’m working on. I’d really like to at least make up a pattern for boy ponies.
I do have some bad news to report. The Upcycle Trading Company I like so much might not be around for much longer, the original owner is moving to New York and I’m not entirely sure about it’s future. It’s found a more or less permanent home in the Ybor Daily Market which seems to be primarily a coffee shop, but also seems to be a pop-up shop location for various local vendors and craftspeople. There are still things available to buy and I did luck out on my last visit when I managed to snag this really nice roving. I’m not sure how many ounces it is, what the fiber content is, or who made it, but I can tell you that I’ve decided on a colorway name: Cotton Candy because it absolutely looks like cotton candy.
Next time I’m in I’ll ask what the fate of Upcycle is and if they’re planning on keeping it open I might start volunteering some time to straighten things out, they were kind of a horrible jumbled mess last I was there. Oh, they do have a cool program which is you can fill a particular sized bag and pay a flat rate for it: small is $5, medium is $15, and large is $25 and trust me the bags get pretty big and if you’re good with packing you could fit a LOT in there.
Well, until I actually have the amigurumi schedule underway my only real progress has been the aforementioned reworks, though keep your eyes open because I might have the first episode of Rome Improvement up soon featuring me absolutely failing at spinning yarn with a drop spindle!
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.
(I also did part of the 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.
(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.
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.
Ok, on the subject of radio silence I have a really good explanation: I spent the better part of March moving (which was a mess) into an apartment with a host of problems all its own. Add to this that my phone was stolen recently so I’m actually completely out of a computer and a camera at home for the moment, though at this point I’m going to have to suck it up and do something about it. If you’d like a more complete version of events check out my other blog, especially Reel Big Fish Everything Sucks and Home row key smashing.
During this time though I haven’t been totally slacker. I’ve finished two more skeins of squares for my tetris blanket, they’re really starting to add up. I still need to make the blue and cyan squares but I’ll have to dig through my yarn to find it, most of it’s pretty jumbled from the move.
I’ve also completed the body of the shawl I was working on, I just need to select a yarn for the border and figure out where the pattern went. >.> Also I need to block it because it’s curling something fierce, but I can’t decide if I should finish it first or block it now before adding the border.
The MLP:FiM pattern is actually in the final stages of completion, I just have to work out the back legs and it will be done! I’ve already gotten to work on my sister’s long promised Fluttershy. The line from hock to knee is the tricky bit I’m still working on.
I’ve also started work on the Prepster Jacket from The Happy Hooker, I’ve got one sleeve and I’m working on the other right now.
In other news, because of some design differences in my current place, my cat box doesn’t fit beside my toilet anymore. I bought a trunk a good while ago to make a hidden cat box from, but haven’t gotten around to it. The fact that my cat’s litter box is hanging out right in front of my door (one of the few non-carpeted places in my apartment) should be pretty good impetus to actually convert the trunk that’s been sitting empty for a good long while. I’m also thinking about finally getting around to making a craft closet for myself. I don’t just want a place to store things, I wanted to build a crafting space into the closet itself and intended to have a shelf at working height inside and a small table I could swing out in an L-shape for extra space. I have design ideas, but not a lot of experience in the area so I think I’ll invest in a fairly inexpensive used armoire for my first try.
When I actually have some way to record what I’m planning on doing and can get around to it (I have a other problems I need to take care of first), I’ll definitely update things with pictures.