Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WIP Wednesday June 29th

Today's Work In Progress is a very l-o-n-g project--my crochet learning curve. Talk about something continually in progress! I guess I would consider myself an intermediate level crocheter--I can read patterns and charts, I can do alot of stitches beyond the basics, I've tried some techniques like Tunisian and mosaic crochet. On the other hand, I've never made something where fit was crucial, and I've tended to stick with "ordinary" yarns. So, the Crocus Bud scarf that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago was my very first project with sock yarn. Last I showed you it was being blocked:


And here it is all done!

Close up:

I really like it, but I noticed something when I put in on--it wasn't holding the block. The scarf was getting longer and narrower instead of staying in the nice open lacy pattern. I thought maybe it was just the weight of the yarn, the pattern calls for lace weight where mine is in sock weight. Or maybe I needed blocking wires instead of pinning it out. Or maybe I hadn't let it dry thoroughly when I blocked it. So I blocked it again, and let it dry for about 3 days, but still the same thing. So I asked around on Ravelry and learned a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff I didn't know about sock yarn! For instance, many sock yarns are a blend of wool and nylon, which helps the yarn "spring back" into shape better after it's stretched. That's a desirable property in a sock, right? But not so much in a lacy scarf. Dug out the label for my yarn--75% merino, 25% nylon. Eureka! There's my issue.

One raveler gave me a lot of helpful info to consider:

"More than anything, spring back has to do with quite a few factors and can’t necessarily be applied the same way to each and every yarn. Those factors are: nylon content; natural fiber content (is it superwash wool? is it low crimp fiber that will hold a block great, like cashmere, alpaca, llama, cotton? is it a toothier wool, like shetland, as opposed to a high micron count like merino? does the yarn have a high twist, lots of bounce, or low twist, little or no bounce?); manmade fiber content, other than nylon (rayons like bamboo block really well, acrylics can be “killed” with a steam block, but it has to be done very carefully so as not to melt the acrylic); and how the blocking is done."

Other helpful things I learned:

1. Sock yarn is generally "fingering weight", but a fingering weight yarn might not be sock yarn. Sock yarn is usually blended to be well-suited to socks (doh!), like my yarn with 25% nylon.

2. Many sock yarns are made with superwash wool, which can behave quite differently than other wools when you get it wet to block it, it has a tendency to grow alot but shrinks back when it dries.

I may try to steam block my scarf, or I may just frog a few rows to shorten it, since it's a bit long as is. Definitely was a learning experience for me! And I'll know a bit more going into my next "fancy yarn" project.

Be sure to head over to Tami's Amis for more great WIP Wednesday

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WIP Wednesday June 22nd

This Work In Progress Wednesday is sponsored by......


Yes, summer vacation is FINALLY in progress here! Today was the last day of school, and I confess I am feeling a bit nostalgic. I walked Miss G home from school for the very last time. The last time we will ever walk home from school together, since next year she will take a bus to middle school--sniffle sniffle! Last Friday was the 5th grade closing ceremony, and it was so sweet. Then last night was the 8th grade closing ceremony for The Teenager, and "sweet" wouldn't exactly be the word I'd choose to describe it! There's a WHOLE lot of change that goes on between 5th grade and 8th grade! And speaking of changes:

Miss G, on her first day of kindergarten:


Miss G, at the end of 5th grade:


The Teenager, on her first day of kindergarten:


The Teenager, on her way to the 8th grade dance last night:


Ummm, wow. Where did those kids COME from?

In other news, I've got nothing new on the hook but I finished my prayer shawl and my scarf this week! I'll show them off on Friday. Now I'm trying to decide what to start next--gee, maybe I should peruse my huge Ravelry queue, ya think?

Hope you all are having a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WIP Wednesday, June 15th

Woo hoo, I actually have something to show this week! Did you know that Saturday was Worldwide Knit and Crochet in Public Day? So I went out and crocheted in public! My yarn playgroup always has an event for WWKCIPD, in fact the first time I met these lovely folks was two years ago at this event. We had a great time and got alot of nice attention from passersby. I forgot to take photos though, darn it--I was too busy FINALLY starting on my Crocus Bud scarf. Last month I showed you the shawl pattern and my swatch here. Well, thanks to crocheting in public on Saturday and a couple of long meetings at work this week, I've got it done already and it is blocking as I type!

I think I'm going to love it.


Couldn't get the whole thing in one picture, it's about 6 feet long:


Like my fancy blocking mats? Yeah, beach towels. Whatever.

I've also done six squares so far in June for Knit-a-Square. I don't think I'm ever going to finish up this purple yarn!


Other than that I have been enjoying our FABULOUS weather this week, what a welcome break from the 100-degree stuff we've had recently. Oh, and I found an almost-new gas grill for $35 at a yard sale on Saturday! Ours is all rusted out and we were looking at new ones so this was quite the score.

If you'd like to participate in WIP Wednesday on your blog, head on over to Tami's Ami's and join the fun!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thankful Thursday June 2nd

Such an easy choice today for Thankful Thursday!

Happy Anniversary to the most amazing husband. I can't believe we've been married for TWENTY-SEVEN years! We're not possibly that old. But then again, I look at these young people and think "who in the heck ARE they?"

June 2, 1984:



I love you sweetheart!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WIP Wednesday June 1

Holy crap, it's June already! And to be honest, the only thing I'm working on this week is keeping cool. We've been having a spiffy heat wave since Sunday, today was a bit cooler as it only got to 94 instead of 97 or 98! Tonight we are supposed to get some thunderstorms, I'm looking forward to a little relief.

So that's it, nothing to see here but a woman trying not to melt into a puddle. Oh, here's a good idea: