Saturday, September 1, 2007

Put a Fork in Me...

...I'm done with the Umbilical Cord Hats. I don't think I could knit another one if my life depended on it. I don't know how some people knit or crochet the same thing over and over again!

This one was knitted in Cascade 220 Tweed #7608. I added the flower to cover up a mysterious hole. I have no idea what happened.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Can You Date This Photo?

Me and my first car: a 1969 VW Beetle Convertible. August 1987. University of Arkansas at Monticello.

I wish I still had that car.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Plodding Along

Another Umbilical Cord Hat for charity:

One completed sleeve on the Easy Baby Cardigan:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Itty Bitty FO

Pattern: Umbilical Cord Hat from SnB
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool #021
Needles: Size 7 24-inch Addi Naturas
Modifications: None
Thoughts: Fast. Easy. Cute. Gauge came out to five spi rather than the called for four, but this is fine for a charity hat. You only really need five inches of I-cord for the top knot. I'm going to try to make several of these before the deadline.

I've also made progress on the Easy Baby Cardigan. More on that when I finish. Surely the sleeves will go quickly.

I'm trying to resist casting on for a Monkey. I started a DK-weight sock, but the larger needles seemed cumbersome after using twos for the baby socks. I bought some size two Sox Stix, and I'm chomping at the bit to use them on the Monkeys.

I realize that my posts lately have left a lot to be desired. My enthusiasm for blogging has waned since I joined Ravelry. It seems redundant for me to blog now because Ravelry accomplishes all that I intended for the blog to accomplish, and then some!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Introduction to Lace

  • Pattern: Cabled Lace Bookmark by Sivia Harding, 2007 Knitting Pattern-A-Day Calendar (The calendar has been a great disappointment, on the whole.)
  • Yarn: Claudia Handpainted Fingering Weight in Baby Girl (Look familiar?)
  • Needles: Size 5 Lantnern Moon DPNs
  • Modifications: None
What else can I say? Now I get the lace thing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Crochet Interlude

I haven't knitted a stitch in a week, and I'm having withdrawals! The reason being that I've been preparing for the beginning crochet class I began teaching last night. My preparation included making the Shelly scarf from CrochetMe. It will be our final class project.

Pattern: Shelly
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue (less than one skein)
Hook: K/6.5 mm
Modifications: 78 rows rather than 68, and it still could have been longer.
Easy. Fast. Inexpensive. Impressive looking for a beginning crocheter. Free pattern. Large hook. Met all of my criteria for a class project.


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Buttermilk Pound Cake

Earlier in the week, Alicia mentioned a Buttermilk Pound Cake recipe that I was inspired to try, and I finally had my chance this afternoon. I've been looking for a simple, delicious pound cake recipe that I can make with ingredients I have on hand. Since I usually have buttermilk for making our weekly pancake dinner, this recipe seemed to meet at least one of my criteria.

The cake WAS simple to make. It turned out beautifully after cooling fifteen rather than ten minutes, and the use of almond extract rather than lemon extract made it taste...

Mmmm... Exactly what I've been looking for!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

FO: Basic Baby Socks

  • Pattern: Basic Baby Socks by Theresa Gaffey (Pattern purchased at LYS. I could not find a web site for Ms. Gaffey.)
  • Yarn: Claudia Handpainted Fingering Weight in "Baby Girl"
  • Needles: Size 2 Brittany Birch DPNs
  • Modifications: Rather than have a turned down cuff, I knitted 18 rows of ribbing per Miriam Felton's baby sock pattern. (The Felton pattern is free from her online store. Go here to get the pattern.)
The pattern is excellent—extremely well-written, and I am pleased with the looks of the finished product, but they do look a little large for a newborn. I am sending them to the intended recipent today, so we'll see.

Once I got about halfway through the first sock I began to enjoy myself, but it may be some time before I attempt to knit an adult sock using fingering weight yarn. I just don't have that much knitting time at my disposal!

(After viewing the photo again, I think I'll block the socks first before I send them on.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Progress Report

Slow and steady progress...

I have completed one baby sock, and I am halfway through the ribbing on the second one. I actually enjoyed knitting the second half of the sock, but I still can't imagine knitting a pair of adult-sized socks in fingering weight yarn!

I have about three inches of stockinette left on the body of the baby cardigan. I'm expecting the sleeves to go more quickly sans purling. (I hope I am not disappointed!)

And I am moving along on the ripple blanket. I work on this primarly during our Friday night video watching time. At the rate I'm going, I should be done in a couple of months. However, it is more likely that as I near the end, I will be motivated to finish it, and I will kick the crocheting in high gear.

Despite all of this activity, I'm trying to resist the urge to cast on for a pair of socks for myself!

NH Knitting Mama Contest

NH Knitting Mama is having a contest. She has designed an adorable knitted bag called "Mandy's Candy Bag" and has posted the pattern on her blog for free. Check out the pattern and related contest details here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ravelry and The Truth

One of the things about Ravelry, if you embrace it and take advantage of all of its features, is that it lays the truth before you. You can no longer live in ignorance as to how much yarn, needles, and patterns are at your disposal. My own personal assessment follows:
  • I have 33 different yarns entered in my stash. This does not include my stash of Mission Falls 1824 Wool, my cotton dishcloth yarn, nor a variety of crochet project yarns and remnants that have been collected in a giant Ziploc bag.
  • I have the yarn, needles or hooks, and patterns to complete at least ten projects.
  • I have the yarn and patterns to complete at least six additional projects. I'm just in need of more needles, primarily circulars.
At the rate at which I complete projects, I have more than enough supplies to keep me occupied for at least two years. The realization has been sobering for me, and I have accepted that what I intend to be an enjoyable hobby that I can use to bless others through handmade gifts often morphs into an unhealthy obsession. I had gone so far as to commander the guest room for yarn and supplies storage with the view of making my own "studio," as I often see mentioned in fiber blogs. I have selfishly used my family's resources, both financial and otherwise, for my own ends, and I am sorry for it.

My confession here is BY NO MEANS and indictment upon anyone else. Everyone's circumstances are different. I have been convicted only about my own behavior and attitudes, and as a result, I have made and will continue to make some changes.
  1. I relocated the majority of my supplies to my bedroom (The remainder is in the guest room closet.), and rather than expanding my supplies and related materials (i.e. books, magazines, patterns, etc.), I intend to maintain what is for me a reasonable accumulation.
  2. I do not intend to buy any more yarn in the near future, with one exception: yarn for Christmas stockings for my children.
  3. I will use the resources I currently have available to make as many Christmas and birthday gifts as possible.
  4. If I do come into some "mad money" I will use it to purchase the needles I need to complete the projects for which I currently have yarn and patterns but no needles.
  5. I will use the time I spend on the Internet in knitting- and crochet-related activities more judiciously. I have already scaled back my online time considerably in the past week.
  6. I will maintain a record of my purchases.

This post is for my own benefit so that I can revisit my goals as needed. It is not self-flagellation. I have learned an important lesson, and, so far, I am happy with the results.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Surprise... Rip-it! Rip-it!

The evening before we left to go to the beach, I got ten rows into my BSJ, and I realized that my gauge was way too tight. Clearly a gauge swatch knitted with Clover Takumi Bamboo straights does not indicate the size you will need in Addi Natura circulars, even when you are NOT knitting in the round! I had to quit because I was knitting the newborn size, and I didn't want it to be too small. I do not have the next size needles, and I can't afford to order any more right now, so the only thing to do was to begin a project for which I had the yarn and the needles: Knitting Pure and Simple's Easy Baby Cardigan, a free pattern. It is going very well. Several hours on the road along with a couple of rainy afternoons, and I am ready to divide for the sleeves.

The CTH Supersock DK will be used for...socks. I have the needles for those. If only the budget would allow ordering three sizes of needles for every project: the size called for, one size larger, and one size smaller! I still hope to make a BSJ one day, but for now, I intend to make every effort possible to knit with the yarn, needles, and patterns I currently have on hand. Ahem...

Upon returning home, there were some goodies in the mail.

There's no place like home!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another WIP: Baby Surprise Jacket

The BSJ is in progress! And, as I predicted, my aversion to circular needles ended with my using the right kind: Addi Natura. GO AND GET YOU SOME! (I ordered mine from here.)

The intended recipient of the baby socks will be getting diapers instead. I have a another friend who is having a girl in September. I should be able to get the baby socks done by then! The project is going fine, but I am not very enthusiastic about it right now.

Tomorrow morning, the family and I are off to the beach, so I won't post for a least a week. In the meantime, happy knitting and crocheting!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Donut, Anyone?

To encourage people, I often bake for them. However, what to do to encourage a friend who is dieting? Crochet her a donut! (Of course, I hope it doesn't send her running to the donut shop as my husband predicted it might!)

Pattern: Donut Pincushion
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool
Hook: H

I've never made anything like this before. It was a quick (less than two hours) and fun project.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fun with Fingering Weight Yarn

I got through the heel flap on my baby socks this evening. This is my first time to knit with fingering weight yarn, and I don't know if I will be able to make it through a pair of adult-sized socks knitted with sock yarn. I am glad to see there are excellent alternatives!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Coming Out of Hibernation

At Ravelry, you can classify projects that you have put on hold as "hibernating." My Classic Ripple Blanket from Melissa Leapman's Cozy Crochet has been in hibernation for some months now, but it emerged from the cave yesterday after I completed my rug, resuming its status as my movie-watching project.

If only I could be so inspired to finish the Irish Hiking Scarf...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

FO: Crocheted Throw Rug

Pattern: Throw Rug from Crochet Today (December 2006/January 2007 issue); Pattern by Drew Emborsky.
Yarn: Moda Dea Tweedle Dee in Cinnamon, Sahara, and Sagebrush
Hook: K Susan Bates aluminum
Modifications: Three extra rows of green to meet the specified dimensions and to make the bands of color uniform. (Was there an error in the pattern as printed?)

This was a pleasant project, and I am pleased with the final result. If I had known how much yarn would be left over, I would have made the rug bigger. The yarn is not great, but I didn't really mind it either. It is rather lightweight. I suppose this is due to the added acrylic. Some time in the future, I would like to try this basic design in wool (Lamb's Pride Bulky?) using more colors.

Note to anyone who may be interested in making this rug: Before adding the edging, it may appear that the rug will not lay flat. The edging helps to accomplish this.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Knitting Fever...

...has hit chez Kathryn Estelle.

Number One: I finished the second sock in my first pair. I'm thankful AL talked me into it. They are nice and warm on this girl whose feet tend to be cold. I highly recommend the pattern for first-time sock knitters. See previous post for pattern info.

Number Two: The bug has bit to knit the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I bought the pattern on Saturday during a visit to one of my favorite yarn stores, and upon reading through the pattern, I realized that I have the perfect yarn in my stash: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK in "Old Rose." Unfortunately, I didn't realize I needed circular needles. They are not required, but they were strongly recommended here. (Thank the Lord for Ravelry!) I went ahead and knit a swatch on straight needles to check my gague (Of course.), to see if I liked the yarn (I did.), and to see if I can handle the garter stitch (I can.). I have not thus far been a fan of garter stitch, but one of the things I like about all of the BSJs I've been seeing is that they are often knitted in handpainted sock yarns, which makes for a very attractive FO. My gague swatch also showed me that I need to downsize my needles, so upon gathering all of this information, I placed an order for some size 4, 24-inch Addi Natura circular needles.

Number Three: While I wait for my new needles to arrive in the mail, I will cast on for Theresa Gaffey's Basic Baby Sock. I'm using some lovely Claudia Handpainted yarn from The Loopy Ewe that I purchased using the gift certificate AL gave me for my birthday. (One hank in "Baby Girl" and one hank in "Baby Boy.") I cannot find a link to a web site for Ms. Gaffey nor (in my brief search) did I find a link to this specific pattern. I bought the pattern during a recent visit to my other favorite yarn store.

Number Four: I have made progress on the crocheted rug. I hope to finish it this week.

Number Five: I started a charity baby hat, but my gague was off, so I frogged it. I'll either begin again on smaller needles, or I'm thinking of using another pattern. I'll mull on this for a bit.

Now, off to do the laundry. Believe it or not, the housework is getting done around here!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Coming to a Decision

Since I let go of the idea earlier this week of making a mitered square whatever, I've been comtemplating what to do with my modest stash of 1824 Wool. To make a ripple blanket, I would have to a aquire more yarn, and that I do no want to do. What can I do with what I have? Granny squares? Too many ends to weave in. A child's striped sweater? Too many ends to weave in.

Let me rephrase the question: What can I do with one ball of 1824 Wool? Baby hat. Baby socks. Child's hat. Child's socks. Mittens. You see where I'm headed here? During the past year, I have intended on two separate occasions to make items for charity, and I have failed to follow through. It won't happen again. Afghans for Afghans has posted on their site that they need baby hats and socks for a Kabul hospital, and they anticipate collecting the items in September, which gives me plenty of time to make some items for the current drive. In fact, I'm willing to share my stash with anyone committed to using the yarn to the same end. AL? Just let me know, and I'll be glad to share.

Hang the socks! (For now.) I'm off to cast on for a hat! I get to use my Lantern Moon size 7 DPNs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I received my invitation for Ravelry last week, and I have been working a little bit here and there as I have time to set up my notebook. My stash has been recorded as have several of my recent projects. I love the fact that the yarns in my stash are linked to projects other Ravelers are working on or have completed, making it much easier to answer the question: What to do with THIS yarn?!

New WIP: Crocheted Throw Rug

I've had the yarn for this project for some time. I was just waiting for the inspiration to begin. It's a throw rug crocheted in the round. The pattern is from the Dec '06/Jan '07 issue of Crochet Today. I'm using the yarn called for in the colors called for: Moda Dea Tweedle Dee in Cinnamon Twist, Sahara, and Sagebrush. Size J hook.

You see... I'm not a total yarn snob. I like this yarn just fine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Over It

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted. Life has been a whirlwind: swimming lessons, VBS, house guests... Much to distract me from my hobbies.

Last Saturday (6/9), AL and I got together to work on squares for the Larger Than Life Bag. I made a mistake in my choice of yarn. The square looks fine, but I'm so over this project now after making ONLY ONE square. Perhaps if I had the unlimited resources necessary to buy the Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe the pattern calls for I would be more motivated, but right now, I'm just trying to figure out how to unload umpteen balls of Sugar and Cream. Perhaps I will have a drawing.

In the meantime, I made some progress on my sock (while watching this movie), and I made a wash cloth for a belated end-of-year teacher gift. For the body of the cloth, I used the stitch pattern in Alicia Paulson's Tiramisu Baby Blanket. I intended to use the edging as well, but when I got to that part, I was away from my pattern so I got off track. I just went with an old standby. (The handmade soap was made by a friend, and it can be purchased here.)

I've also been thinking about resuming work on the Classic Ripple Blanket or possibly making more miters. I. Just. Need. More. Time.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Another FO!

  • Pattern: "Cozy Kerchief" from Cozy Crochet (I call it my "Granny Shawl.")
  • Yarn: Misti Cotton (83% Peruvian Pima Cotton, 17% Silk) in black
  • Hook: Size G aluminum
  • Modifications: The pattern is written for a small scarf, but I just kept going until I ran out of yarn.
  • What I learned: (1) When it comes to wraps, I prefer a stole. Not because I have "Jemima Puddle Duck Syndrome," but because a rectangle shawl provides more coverage for the wearer, which is ultimately a more efficient use of yarn. (2) Misti Cotton produces a great deal of lint. Keep a roller handy at all times.

    • I reached my FO goal! As of this moment, I have only two WIPs: the Classic Ripple from Cozy Crochet and the Irish Hiking Scarf. I will probably not resume the ripple until cool weather returns. I don't think I can handle that much Wool-Ease Thick and Quick piled in my lap during the summer months. As for the scarf, I keep hoping to be inspired to knock it out but I'm just not feeling it. Even several hours riding in the car with nothing else to work on couldn't motivate me to complete it.

      I will cast on for the other sock ASAP, and I plan to begin the Larger Than Life Bag soon. However, I want also to begin another knitting project. Should I resume mitering? Or should I make on of these? I have some yarn in the stash that would work beautifully, I think. (I am committed to knitting from the stash right now.)

      FO: Baby Tiger Ripple

      Over the past several days, I traveled more than 1500 miles by car with my family, which afforded me plenty of time to finish the Baby Tiger Ripple Blanket I have been working on for months. I was also motivated by the fact that a visit to the recipient's home was included in the trip, so I wanted to finish the blanket to avoid having to ship it!

      • Pattern: Soft Waves from 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns by Jan Eaton
      • Yarn: Blue Sky Dyed Cotton in Poppy and Indigo
      • Hook: Size I
      • Modifications: I included a border of two rows of single crochet.
      • What I learned: I do not like weaving in ends. The task of "weaving in" is not the problem. What I don't like is the potential for all of that yarn to unravel. I would like to try a round ripple some day, but I think that I may use a hand painted yarn rather than changing colors. Perhaps three skeins of STR heavy weight would do for a baby size round ripple?

      Wednesday, May 30, 2007


      I have succumbed. Supplies for the Larger Than Life Bag...

      I decided to use cotton to make it extra sturdy. The fabric for the lining is corduroy. I paid only 1.99 per yard!

      But first, more FOs.

      Sunday, May 27, 2007

      First Completed Sock

      Pattern: "Starter Stockinette" from Knit Socks!
      Yarn: Cascade 220 The Heathers #2449
      Needles: Brittany Birch Size 5 DPNs
      Modifications: None (As if...)

      This is my third attempt at a sock. My first attempt was the "Class Sock" from Sensational Knitted Socks. Then I tried an Ann Norling children's sock pattern. I kept getting hung up on the heel flap: the pearl bumps would end up on the outside rather than the inside. My friend AL recommended I try the pattern from Knit Socks! because the directions are step-by-step and very specific. Finally, a successful result!

      At present, I do not intend to knit the mate to this sock. First, I undertook this project as a learning exercise for knitting socks. And second, worsted weight yarn makes for a very thick sock. I don't know that I would get much use for heavy wool socks where I live. However, I now feel confident to embark upon my next sock project: the Campfire Socks from Cider soon as I complete a few more WIPs.

      Update 6/5/07: AL, who has a new blog, talked me into knitting the other sock. I hope to cast on later today.

      Wednesday, May 23, 2007

      Twenty Years Ago Yesterday

      Last night, as I was turning off the computer, it occurred to me that it was the twenty year anniversary of my high school graduation. If someone had told me then that in twenty years I would be a stay-at-home mom with two small children, and that I would be knitting and crocheting in my "spare" time, I would have told them they were crazy. There's a lot to be said for getting older.

      I spent a few hours in the car yesterday (as a passenger, of course) and was able to make some progress on my sock. The end is in sight! My knitting and crocheting have lately been hampered somewhat by my being engrossed in reading Drums of Autumn, the fourth Outlander series book. I've had to remind myself lately that I knit and crochet for fun and that there is no need for me to put pressure on myself. It's hard being Type A.

      Saturday, May 19, 2007


      As there is very little knitting and crocheting going on at chez Kathryn Estelle, I thought I'd post a photo I took yesterday that I particularly like: eggs from my friend Debbie's hens. Aren't they lovely?

      Monday, May 14, 2007

      Bows and Arrows Stole

      Pattern: Bows and Arrows Stole by Dot Matthews
      Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Pink-a-boo
      Hook size: Susan Bates K
      Modifications: None

      One of the reasons I got so far behind on my projects is that I devoted the month of March to making this stole to wear with a pink dress I bought to wear to a family wedding. The dress is short-sleeved, and I tend to get cold in the air conditioning, so I was inspired to make a wrap. I looked at the patterns at Crochet Pattern Central and chose this one—even before I realized I had yarn in my stash that I could use! I really enjoyed the project and love how it turned out. Thank you, Dot, for a great pattern.

      Thursday, May 3, 2007

      FO Quest

      For the past several days, I have been feeling very anxoius to finish the many projects I have in the works, primarly because I am eager to begin new ones. It seems like every day I have the urge to cast on for another project (Yesterday, it was the linen hand towels from MDK.) However, I know better than to start any more projects when I have so many already in the works. Here is list of my current works in progress:
      1. Classic Ripple Blanket from Cozy Crochet (Started Fall 2006. Haven't worked on it in months.)
      2. Irish Hiking Scarf (Started December 2006) (See photo, above.)
      3. Soft Waves Ripple Baby Blanket, a.k.a. Baby Tiger Ripple (Started February 2007)
      4. Starter Stockinette Sock from Knit Socks! (Started March 2007)
      5. Crocheted Triangle Shawl (Started April 2007)
      And of course, there is the ongoing knitting of miters, which has progressed not at all in recent days.

      Part of the problem is that I have all of these crochet projects in the works, but now I am very eager to just knit. Takin the "Oops" Class increased my confidence considerably, and I'm ready to try more challenging knitting projects.

      My plan, for now, is to concentrate on the Baby Tiger Ripple (The recipient was born last Friday!), the sock, and the shawl. We'll see how it goes.

      Wednesday, May 2, 2007

      Art Appreciation

      I was at an air show this past weekend when I spotted a young girl carrying around a granny square afgan. A friend volunteered for me to borrow her camera, so I asked to take a photo of the afgan. The girl told me that her grandmother had made it for her, and although you can't see it in the photo, the girl's name is embroidred on the bottom. My friend, who observed from a distance, thought it was a quilt rather than an afghan. Wow.

      Monday, April 23, 2007

      Miter Update

      My mitering has been on hold for more than a week. Last weekend, as I neared the end of my third miter, I realized there were too many stitches on the needle, so something wasn't right. Even after frogging back a bit, I couldn't figure out the problem, so I decided to take it with me to the Oops Class I would be attending the following Saturday at Main Street Yarns in Watkinsville, Georgia.

      Well, the Oops Class was this past Saturday, and it was great! I feel so much more confident as a knitter now. I learned how to recognize and to fix a number of mistakes and how to prevent them in the first place. In addition, my instructor had knitted her own mitered square blanket last summer, so I was able to confer with an expert on the problem with my miter.

      We thought we figured out the problem, and we frogged back several sections, but when I got to the end again as I knitted on the (three hour) drive home, the stitch count still wasn't right. It's okay though, because I decided just to frog the square in the interest of my new plan.

      After checking out the Cotton Classic at the yarn shop, I decided that I prefer knitting with the Mission Falls 1824 Wool. Since I can't afford to purchase a blanket's supply of 1824 Wool at one time, I'm going to pick up balls in colors I like as I can afford them and accumlulate miters over time until I have enough to make a throw. Above is a photo of the colors I bought on Saturday. I can't wait to cast on for a miter using the blue and brown yarn!

      Thursday, April 19, 2007

      First Foray into Thread Crochet

      I made my first attempt to crochet with thread last weekend, and it turned out pretty well, I think. I used Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Thread and an F hook to crochet the "Eastern Star" in the Spring 2007 Interweave Crochet. The pattern is included for embellishing a sweater, and while I have no interest in crocheting the sweater featured, it occured to me that I could crochet the flowers and leaves and applique them to the plain, inexpensive jean jacket I use in the spring and summer for when I get too cold from the air conditioning.

      I have had virtually no interest in thread crochet up until now. And I still can't imagine enjoying working with materials smaller than size three thread and an F hook. However, the idea of adorning pillowcases and towels with pretty crocheted trims is beginning to appeal to me.

      Monday, April 16, 2007

      Rippling Along

      I joined The No End in Sight Ripple Along. I have been a fan of rippling for some time. I crochetd my first baby ripple afgan (white and blue) more than a year ago, and I made another (light blue and navy blue) last summer. Both were made using Bernat Softee Chunky, and I used the open ripple pattern and the closed ripple pattern, respectively, from Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet.

      I have another ripple afgan in progress that has been put aside for now. It is the Classic Ripple Blanket from Cozy Crochet. I'm using the Wool Ease Thick & Quick called for, but I'm using different colors. More on this with photos when I resume working on it.

      I am currently crocheting a soft waves (from 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns) ripple baby afgan for my brother's new baby using Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton. The orange (Poppy) and blue (Indigo) colors were selected becuase my brother is a basketball coach, and these are his team colors. I didn't think about it until later, but his team is the tigers, which makes the ripple stripes especially appropriate.

      When I finish the "Baby Tiger Ripple," I want to begin working on a more colorful, full-size afgan. I've especially admired the ones I've seen made from Caron Simply Soft Brites. Of course, I'd also like to try a round ripple. Decisions. Decisions.

      On Dishcloths

      My appreciation of dishcloths came some months into my fiber hobbies. In fact, I used to be quite a snob, thinking why in the world would anyone want to crochet or knit a dishcloth? Several months into my new crocheting hobby, I had reached a point where I was discouraged because I had not had any recent successes, so I posted to that effect at Crochetville. I remember only one response. Someone suggested I crochet a dishcloth. I dismissed the suggestion immediately, and moved on.

      Many moths later, after learning to knit, I became familiar with Mason-Dixon Knitting and I acquired their book. I had read enough to know that a scarf was not necessarily the best project to begin knitting, and these ballband dishcloths seemed to be all the rage, so why not? My first two knitted items were MDK ballband dishcloths. I finally got it. Quick, easy, almost instant gratification, not to mention useful. What's not to like?

      I have since crocheted several dishcloths, and I actually prefer crocheting them, as it doesn't seem to be as hard on my hands as knitting with cotton "string," as my friend, AL, calls it. Pictured above are three dishcloths crocheted from leftover Peaches and Creme cotton that I made for AL. Below is a photo of my MDK ballband dishcloths.

      Friday, April 13, 2007

      Flower Power

      I went on a crocheted flower binge recently. One evening, I printed a bunch of flower patterns from Crochet Pattern Central and the Lion Brand web site. Then a few days later, I started with the flower pattern in Cozy Crochet, and then I worked through the stack of patterns I had printed. The photo above displays some of my efforts.

      I used scrap yarn, and interestingly, even when crocheting flowers, yarn quality affected the enjoyment factor and the outcome for me. My favorite flowers are the ones I made with Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes and Dyed Cotton and Missions Falls 1824 Wool.

      I had never crochetd a flower before, and I can't remember what inspired me, but crocheting flowers is a great instant gratification project. Plus, after I crocheted the flowers, it occured to me that I had a couple of hats that could use adornment. Then green one was an early crochet project that I had set aside because it lacked something. With the big pink flower, I love it! The read hat is a simple K2P2 hat I knitted for my son that turned out to be too small. However, with the addition of a crocheted flower, it is perfect for my little girl.

      I now have a big glass jar for yarn scraps and crocheted flowers. I'm thinking of eventally making a wreath for my daughter's room.