Work in Progress Wednesdays: The Afghan

One of the things on The Plan is to finish my mom’s afghan. I started this afghan last August but that I promised her back in Christmas 2010.  So even though I haven’t been actually crocheting it for as long as I thought, it’s still a long time coming.

I know I don’t have a lot of yarnies on here so I won’t get into the technicalities of it. I will say it’s a really interesting pattern done with two strands held together and a really big hook (love those). I also love the way it’s coming out and want to have it all done already but it is a time consuming project. While many people who know me and watch me crochet tell me they’re amazed at my speed, I know compared to most regular crocheters I’m a total slow-poke. The pattern is complete when the little curly things and the little diamondy things (non-technical terms in case you were wondering) are done a total of four times so I’m not even halfway through yet. Also, now you’ll know how close I am to finishing it even if you don’t know anything about crocheting and you can nag me.

I don’t know that I will do a Work In Progress Wednesday update every week but I would like to do one when I’ve made some decent progress. So if you don’t see one for another month, please harass the hell out of me. It would be awesome to have this for her Mother’s Day present.

Are you making anything right now? Tell me!!

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WIP Pillow and some randomness

Just a quick post as I’m actually hooking something this week. I’m making my friend a throw pillow for her newly decorated room using a stitch I found in Vogue’s crochet Stitchionary. Pretty funky huh?

Daughter’s last day of Pre-K 4 was today. They had a cute musical show at school. She loves that stuff. She’s going to love her summer camp. Tomorrow, Eldest wraps up First Grade and summer begins. Next week, they start camp and I go on vacation. One whole week. I plan on cleaning up and cleaning out the house. The kids are also with their dad the next two weekends so it’s going to be a pretty awesome nice stretch. I keep thinking it’s Friday already.

Tonight I’m watching X-Men cause I’m majorly geeky like that.

I’ve got a bag of books that need to go to the used bookstore because there’s a growing list of books I want to own.

I can’t stop yawwwwwwwwwwwwwning.

WIP: This is the shawl that never ends…

This is the shawl that never ends. It goes on and on my friends. Some people (me) started knitting it not knowing what it was and now they’ll keep knitting it forever just because…

My very brief WIP Wednesday post. Yes, I’m still working on Mommy dearest’s way late for Mother’s Day shawl. I thought for sure I was kicking butt until right in the last section, it suddenly doubled the number of stitches in one row!

I was like “Whaaaaaaaaaaat!?!?” and the shawl was like “HAHA pwned!” and I cried a bit while trying not to get tears in the yarn.

For those of you coming over from Tami’s WIP Wednesdays: Welcome! Yarn is actually only a part of this blog of mine. You can read more content at my main page or check out the Top Posts in the sidebar that way —>

If you’d like to know more about me, you can check out my Re: Mutant Supermodel page.

For my “regulars”, I figured a “light” post would be welcomed by all after all the heavier stuff going on here lately. 😉

WIP Wednesday: The Mother’s Day that never ends

Of three planned Mother’s Day presents, two were finished and gifted on time– the Hi Five Towel and the Clapochet. I didn’t get one picture of either finished project. By the way, both recipients loved them. My mom wanted to steal my Aunt’s shawl I could tell. And my grandmother was excited about the towel matching her 1960’s bathroom. I might be able to snatch a photo of it in its new home in the case of the towel as I go there all of the time.

Aside from enjoying sharing these with fellow lovers of crafts, I actually really like seeing my projects on Ravelry because I’m encouraged by my progress. Also, it’s pretty easy to forget just how much you crochet in one year. Remember how I declared my intention to crochet eleven projects this year?

Ravelry says I’ve finished ten. That means this will be the eleventh project and my goal will be shattered to smithereens although not in as dramatic a fashion as the initial reading goal is getting.

Don’t look too hard now. The first section of “butterflies” “abstract lace”  towards the bottom is so embarassing. The color of the yarn isn’t exactly right either but it never is on these fancy devices is it?

This is a knitting project and it’s been a headache. I don’t know why but between Clapochet and this one, I’ve had major stitch count issues. I never thought I’d say this but after these projects, I’m seriously looking forward to something brainless and repetitive like the afghan I promised my Mom last Christmas…

I’m getting to the end of the shawl though. I’m about to commence row 73 of 82  and am in the sixth of seven sections plus the picot edging. It’s ok because I’m treating myself to Dreamfever: The Fever Series when it all gets to be too much (omg it’s so good- lots of sexiness in this one, heehee). And then it’s time to figure out when to purchase the yarn for the afghan because it hasn’t gone on sale at a great price in a very long time and that’s frustrating me incredibly much.

So there you have it, my WIP Wednesday project. What are you working on?

P.S. Unrelated to yarn, I saw this today and loved it– the swish of the skirt with the clomp of the boots. Hard to get an inconspicuous picture but I’m sure you get the idea.

Half Wip

Today is Wednesday. On this blog, that generally means I particpate in Tami’s WIP Wednesday and show you photos of my fantastic works in progress. I actually have two WIPs but only photographed one because I left the other at home and forgot to take photos of it before leaving the house. I am doing one knit project and one crochet project and frankly, we need a chat.

I mentioned Mother’s Day in my last WIP post as well as ambition and special yarn for special projects for special ladies. So, the yarn came in on Saturday which was exactly two days ahead of schedule which I took as a sign from the heavens that perhaps I’d been overly negative and doubtful and I was indeed meant to create those presents I’d fantasized over.

Not to mention over the weekend, my mother came and glimpsed the complete Hi-Five towel (wait until you see it) and was just gushing how amazing it’d be for Abuela… who was not the intended recipient. However, it turns out I will not be seeing the Intended Recipient on Mother’s Day after all or any time relatively soon. So, I scratched Intended Recipient off the gift list and found I now only had to make three more projects instead of the initially planned four.

Another sign from the heavens!

So it was I cast on Summer Flies. And ripped it back. And cast it on. And ripped it back. And did this over and over again for about six times total before I finally “got it”. Boy was I out of knitting shape. And even when I “got it” I didn’t really “get it” as evidenced by the first section of “Butterflies” which I now refer to as “Abstract Lace” instead.

This project was giving me a major headache. I had to pay major attention to what I was doing. I kept having too many stitches or too few stitches and I’m still pretty sure I am not doing certain stitches properly but my Stitch n Bitch book is nowhere to be found and there was no way in staplers I am ripping anything back at this point to fix a silly mistake. 

So then, in what seems to be an emerging pattern this week, divine entities once again intervened and made me take a break. I know you’re wondering how divinity can interfere with something like a knitting project so let me enlighten you– the divine beings took the page of the pattern I was working on and did who knows what to it. All I know is it was nestled in my project bag one moment and the next moment, it wasn’t. They didn’t even have the decency to turn it into Dove dark chocolate.

Now, keep in mind I have no internet at home or on my phone. I was stuck at home because Baby was sick. There was no way to keep working on the project. But I could not possibly stomach the idea of the Mother’s Day deadline slamming towards me and not working on someone’s gift.

So it was that I decided to begin hooking Clapochet. I was so excited about this project. It had that nice airy thing that I was looking for in a shawl and someone on the message boards assured me it was “actually super fast once you got the hang of it.” Apparently, I haven’t gotten the hang of it.

I did rows 12 and 13 at least four times and I still ended up with two few stitches which I just added to the end of the row because this pattern had frustrated the bubbles out of me! I reminded myself about those ladies that intentionally work at least one mistake into their handicrafts because they dare not attempt perfection and mock the gods or something like that. It turns out, you have to REALLY pay attention to what you’re doing when you’re working on Clapochet.

Oh sure, you think it’s a nice pattern to just zone out to but if you do, you will surely forget to chain one at the end of at least one treble or you’ll do two trebles in a chain space thinking one’s actually a treble. This pattern is stressing me the flowers out.

I have to count the end of each row and I’m not always where I need to be. Not to mention, I do have perfectionist tendencies and because, unlike knitting, I have no qualms ripping back crochet work it’s really hard to just plow ahead instead of going back a row or three to fix a mistake. No really, I did that. I ripped back three rows.

Ok two and two thirds, but if you round up….

I’m certainly not completely deterred from Mother’s Day handmade gifts but I’m back to last week’s wariness. It is especially helpful that I actually like the way Summer Flies is (mostly) coming out and I’m adoring my Clapochet even though I didn’t do what everyone else did and am using solid colored yarn. But the color is gorgeous and the yarn is so super duper soft. We’ll just have to see what else the gods have in store for me I guess.

WIP It Real Good

I crack myself up I tell you. I mean just look at that title! It’s been a long while since I last participated in Tami’s WIP Wednesdays and not because of a lack of crocheting. I figured my comeback required a witty title.

 Hey, did you know Mother’s Day is not this weekend but next weekend? Did you know I had major Mother’s Day gift-making plans? Did you notice the use of the past tense? After Ex finally paid a little bit more of the child support he owed, I scraped aside a piece of it and ordered some yarn for three Mother’s Day gifts and my best friend’s birthday gift. I don’t know if I’ll have the Mother’s Day gifts done by Mother’s Day but I’m going to try really hard. I’ve been working from the stash profusely, and plan on continuing in the tradition, but some projects just need their own yarn. So while I wait for the yarn to come in, I started the one Mother’s Day gift that is being worked from stash yarn, the Hi-Five Towel.

I love it. I want to make myself several of these especially after reading Donna Freedman’s post, “In praise of the rag bag.” In it she mentions how one paper towel roll has lasted her a couple of years (no typo). Well, I thought that was amazing and after my own paper towel ran out, I left it unrefilled, challenging myself to use more rags and towels. So, I’m working on this towel for a gift to an aunt and really wishing it was mine. Look at the pattern! Look at the colors! My kitchen is so beige and boring a brilliant splash of color like this would be awesome. Not to mention it has that awesome texture any good scrubbing fabric requires.

Do you know what else delights me about this project? First of all, it’s easy-peasy. You can crochet this in your sleep, I think. It’s the kind of pattern where you don’t need to count stitches because it is visually obvious where things go. It’s like building blocks– stack, stack, stack. I love patterns like this. Second of all, the hook matches the yarn. I love it when that happens, it’s serendipity!

As for things that aren’t of the yarn variety, you may have noticed the blog looks a bit different. I’ve been paying extra attention to it and jazzing it up where I can. Bear with me as I play some more and please feel free to give me some feedback. Also,  I can assure you I am very much working on devouring these amazing chocolate cupcakes with butterscotch frosting I was up until past midnight last night making. They are amazing. I mean, really, these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made and possibly ever eaten. The recipe comes from the book, “At Home with Magnolia” and I searched everywhere to see if it was released online but did not find it which makes me sad because I want you to make them too and fulfill your wildest cupcake fantasies. I borrowed the book from the library but will definitely be adding this recipe to my binder of tried and true classics.

WIP Wednesday: Doll Parts

Here’s what I’m working on right now crochet-wise. If you like this sort of thing, Tami’s got more.

Ok I have to admit, every time I take out the head I think of Fraggle Rock.

I’m taking my time with these toys, not because they’re fidgety or fussy but just because I’m sort of enjoying being leisurely about the whole thing and sort of meticulous too. I don’t know if you can tell, but I ran out of the skin tone yarn I used for the head and neck and the arms are in a different tone. I don’t think it’s a huge deal and I doubt my daughter will care much. I actually plan on doing something fun with the legs so we’ll see how that all plays out soon. I also realized the other day I still have pieces to do on the other panda but all in due time. Like I said, no rush and it’s fun to just sort of pick them up and do a little bit and yet it looks like a lot. That’s one of the huge perks to amigurumi– just a few short rows and you’ve got a huge portion of your project done!

The other thing is I’m reading like mad. I finished The Red Pyramid and started on Soulless. Soulless and Hornet’s Nest were tied at my last comment count so I decided to go with who got the votes first and it was Soulless. Besides it lets me postpone Hornet’s Nest just a little bit longer. I’m having loads of fun with Soulless. Just eighty pages in and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to recommend this to lots of friends. My biggest problem with it is I find myself constantly craving tea and biscuits and I don’t even partake of that usually! I’m also fiending for a bustle and parasol.

Oh, another thing I’ve been working on is the house of course. I’ve mentioned it so many times before but over the weekend I did the linen closet and I now I have two big bags the Veterans are coming to pick up tomorrow. I sort of want to declare my Home Office done as well but… it’s not entirely there yet. It also keeps getting messy too easy so I have to troubleshoot that and get it smoother. Almost though, I can feel it! The Playroom/Laundry Room is also ALMOST there though I’m still scratching my head over a few things.

I got good news today and I guess it’s worth mentioning because my finances are definitely a Work in Progress. It looks like I’m getting a tax refund after all and it’s a very good amount that I was not counting on at all. I don’t know when it’ll come in or anything like that just yet but I did get the paperwork and I’m really extremely overwhelmed with shock and relief. I’m definitely fighting tooth and nail the extreme desire to round up my kids and scream “We’re going to Disney World!” but that money has more important uses right now and besides I want a trip to Disney funded the right way. I paid a CPA to do it and in my case it’s well worth it. BTW, I’ve sent almost $3,000 in payments towards my debt so far this year. I have a little sidebar tracking my goal of $11,000 in debt payments this year. I might raise it in a couple of months when everything smooths out and I have a better idea of what to expect money-wise.

No break for me today, Ex isn’t taking the kids as scheduled. He’s claiming work is way too demanding and keeping him too late. Eldest actually looked a bit disappointed when I let them know which, honestly, surprised me half a second. Children are such interesting creatures.

Ok yes, I actually had a mini cry when I saw I was getting a refund. There, I admitted it.