The Year of the CALs: Autumn Jewels Wrap

2018 came and went … Projects were started and unraveled … more projects were started and put aside …

It was a chaotic year for me. I don’t know if I’ve settled down yet from the stresses and tensions of events early last year. But I do know that I needed to get back to crafting … and I’m hoping that there’ll be more time for that this year … Wait, let’s just make it a goal and say that I will make time for crafting this year.

I can’t even remember now what I was working on during the past year. I did take quick photos of some projects, and I did finish some items, so let’s start from there.

This past year was the Year of the CALs. After so many years of declaring intentions to join and participate in a CAL and downloading the patttern, this past year, I actually did join and stuck to it! Wow !

Maybe because last year was stressful, and the CALs gave me a purpose to sit and work on something. The weekly releases of the pattern probably did help in settling me down, in giving me something to work towards to, and following a pattern instead of trying to make up random stitches and counts probably helped a lot too ūüôā

And here’s the first one that I was actually excited to work on – the Autumn Jewels Wrap. Actually, I worked on this after the CAL was done, but I’m counting this as a CAL that I actually ‘joined’ ūüôā

Autumn Jewels Wrap

I got this yarn from a stash forum. And when I saw a pic of the Autumn Jewels Wrap, I knew that the yarn would be perfect for it. The colours weren’t jewel tones, but I liked the sparkly thread that ran through the yarn, so that can be the jewels part of the pattern ūüôā

The pattern is not hard, and neither the construction of the piece. I’ve made items in similar fashion, either by design or mistake ūüėģ

Decorative borders are always something that I’m at a loss to do, other than crochet evenly across the edges and then a couple of rows/rounds of single crochet. Maybe that’s something I should experiment with this year, and come up with a go-to border pattern that I can use in projects. It shouldn’t be that hard.

I really enjoyed working on this. The sparkly thread made this a little stiff, but it’s still drapey enough over the shoulders.

Blocked and drying in the sun

I’m on the lookout now for jewel-toned yarn to make another one, in a smoother yarn (maybe a wool/silk mix), and in a bigger size. Let’s see if I can get it done in time for autumn this year ūüôā

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Busco Gancho Lace

So … I signed up for a workshop on how to make the Busco Gancho Lace shawl. ¬†I think it’s more of a CAL, but a workshop sounds good too ūüôā ¬† The finished sample shawl was made in a beautiful colourway, but what I really wanted was the pattern for the shawl, but it was only available to the workshop participants. ¬†So I signed up … *sigh* ¬† It promises that it’s not an ordinary triangle shawl, and that there will be more to constructing the shape than just a regular triangle. ¬†So …

I know I have lace yarn somewhere in the boxes, but not in self-striping yarn, and I didn’t have time¬†to go through the boxes to search for it. ¬†Seeing¬†these SWTC Little Star yarn in the WIP bag, I frogged it and decided to use it for this workshop instead. I didn’t like how they were working up on the needles anyway, and I had only knitted four rows, so I didn’t feel so bad about frogging. ¬†Do you ever feel bad frogging a WIP?

We had to make two swatches Рone with a 3.0mm hook (top swatch), and another with a 3.5mm The swatches came out bigger than I thought.  I thought this Little Star was a fingering weight, even a light fingering weight, but these came out big.  Or perhaps I was using the wrong size hooks.

I had planned on using the red-orange to start off, and then eventually transition to the red-purple, when I ran out of yarn, because as usual, I only bought two hanks, and it looks like this shawl will take more than that, even if I crochet with a loose tension. It should work.

So that’s another CAL I’m working on … as if I don’t have enough to do already! ¬†But I think this will work up really quick … Stay tuned for an update next week!

The Year of the CALs Continues …

Last year, I ventured out of ‘solo’ crocheting and joined challenges and CALs. I completed two challenges, and 1/6 of two other CALs.

I think I’m addicted, because this year I signed up for three more CALs and a KAL this year. I have no idea why I did that, when I really should be working on finishing the other CALs. Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless …

After much internal debate, I signed up for the Jane Crowfoot’s 2014 Crochet Club. ¬†janiecrowfootOnce again, I was intrigued with her designs – this year it has a 60’s flair to it. ¬†I opted to just purchase the patterns, instead of the full kit, hoping to cut down on the costs. ¬†I thought that purchasing the yarn here locally would be much better, and I could choose my own colour palette. ¬†After going online to order the yarn, it did come out at a lower cost than if I purchased the kit, but not by much. ¬† Or maybe that’s because I added some extra balls in there … Anyway, the yarn arrived two weeks ago – and I haven’t had time to even open up the box. ¬†Suddenly, there are soccer tournaments to run – and the season hasn’t even started yet!

Earlier this year, out of the blue, I thought of kaleidoscopes

kaleidoscope-crochet-blanket-club-2014-391-c[ekm]300x146[ekm]and decided that I should come up with a kaleidoscope pattern to crochet. ¬†I ended up on Ravelry and Pinterest looking for kaleidoscope inspiration and stumbled upon the Kaleidoscope Crochet Blanket Club by Amanda Perkins instead. ¬†So I joined that too. ¬†The yarn arrived three weeks ago. ¬†I still haven’t wound the skeins into balls yet, and have not started on the first motif yet. ¬†There’s over 600 motifs to complete the blanket …

hexagon projectFrom the bucket list, a hexagon project has been on my mind for some time now, and was planning to start up one this year. ¬†I was thinking of using the African Flower pattern. ¬†But then I started browsing in Ravelry (which I shouldn’t have done) … because now I’ve come across The Hexagon Project¬†by Agrarian Artisan. ¬†This is by far the cheapest of the CALs – $1.71 for the patterns. ¬†There are no yarn purchases – unless you absolutely have to – but this yarn is coming from the stash. ¬†I’m going to have to dig through the stash again to look for yarn for this CAL ‚Ķ and for the KAL as well.

Halfway through knitting the first square, I didn’t like the colors I had chosen for the Sage Yarn KAL. ¬†So I’ve stopped knitting, and am now four weeks behind!! ¬†So it’s back to the stash for colors that I want to work with now ‚Ķ

I think my big projects are pretty much set for the year, with these CALs and KAL. ¬†In between I’ll be making hats, scarves, cowls for instant gratification or to fill in the time before the next pattern comes out … if I ever catch up with the patterns … *sigh*

Icy Snowflakes Finished

I arranged and rearranged the squares to fit the picture in my head …

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And at the end of all the arrangings, this is what it looked like:

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Hmmm … no, this is not what I had in mind. ¬†It didn’t come out as planned, the way I thought it would look …

But I wasn’t frogging it either to rearrange, because for some reason, I joined the squares going out from the middle. Not row by row. ¬†Don’t know why; guess I was just too excited about finally joining the squares together.

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In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have used blue to join those middle white squares; maybe use white instead, so there’s no outline around the squares. ¬†Maybe that’s what’s bothering me with this. ¬†I may frog it yet … or make another throw, in different colours … nah. ¬†I’ll just take better pictures of it next time; apologies for the quality of these photos, taken late at night because I couldn’t wait till the morning.

At least somebody is enjoying it …

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Crochet and a Book = Heaven

And we’re back!

Sorry, I didn’t get time to post a quick update before my absence, but we had to get through hectic weeks and then it was time to fly out. ¬†I even had a post ready on what WIPs/projects/yarn to pack, which obviously didn’t get posted in the rush.

In the end, since I was still inspired by my then-current project, I packed this with me on the plane, and between the waiting time to board and the flight, I was almost done by the time I arrived in Aruba.

brumbay cowl

It’s a pretty pattern, and only four rows to memorize for the pattern. ¬†It’s the Brumbay Scarf/Wrap pattern, and as usual, I was so excited about the yarn and a new pattern, that I didn’t think about the cast-on count – again! ¬†I don’t have enough yarn to make it a shawl, so it’ll have to be a cowl … unless I can work on the yarn budget and buy another two skeins of Drops Big Delight yarn!

After finishing the ball of yarn on this project, I moved on to the motifs.  Remember this?  The original Wool-Eater CAL from Sarah London, until I got side-tracked and started working with the chunky neons instead.  This was my take-along project while on the beach or by the pool.

motifs

And when I wanted to take a break from the crochet, I caught up with my reading as well. ¬†What bliss! ¬†I really didn’t know sometimes which I wanted to do first – crochet or read. ¬†It’s so rare that I actually have extended uninterrupted hours to do either one, that when I do get the chance, I don’t know what to do! ¬†LoL ¬†Do you have that problem too? ¬†Next time I might bring audio books, so I can do both at once.

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And that was how it went during the week that we were there. ¬†It also helped that we had limited wifi access, so that cut down on the time spent in front of a small screen. ¬†But really … who had time to stare at small screens when I could use it to read and crochet?

Now I’m going into withdrawal … no sun, sea, crochet, reading! ¬†It’s back to the real world now … *sigh*

Will post more pics soon, as I connect with blogland again … How has your summer been?

Frogging!!

Remember this?

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And this?

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I picked it up finally to work on the third and joining round to see if I could make some progress on it, and it just wouldn’t work out according to the pattern and the photos. ¬†I enlarged the photos to see if I could figure out why not, and had a sneaking suspicion that I had mis-read the pattern instructions.

So I went back to step one and read the instructions over, and sure enough … I was working too many stitches in the second round. ¬† Aaarrghhhh!!!

So now I’m frogging the second round, and working on it again, this time with the correct number of stitches. ¬†Guess I’m not making much progress with this CAL ūüė¶

Lesson learned …. maybe it’s worth making a complete set of the motif pattern, before working on so many motifs first.

Wool-Eater Motif CAL: Motif Towers

Long rides are good for churning out quick motifs like this one … well, as long as you’re not the one driving, that is!

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I was enjoying making these, until I remembered that there was another two rounds to complete the motif, and that maybe I should start working on those!

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So here’s my tower of motifs done so far. ¬†These are really bright colours, aren’t they? ¬†I don’t seem to notice how bright they are, until all put together like this.

I decided to play around with colour placement. ¬†This is why I can never work on a scrap project … eventually, my brain wants to arrange it in some kind of colour sequence, or pattern, or design …

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I still have to add the last round, which is the joining round. ¬†I’ll be doing that in soft white, or cream. ¬†That should work well to off-set these bright, neon colours. ¬†That’ll be for the next long ride …