Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Progress Report: Cabled Crochet Socks

I have recovered from the frogging incident. It's amazing what can happen if you use the right hook, the right pattern, and some beautiful hand-dyed sock yarn.

I don't think this multicolored yarn lends itself well to showing the cable pattern, but I love it anyway. Here's a close up - you might be able to see the cable in action.

And if this is any indication, these socks might actually fit when I'm done. (Do not attempt to adjust your monitor - I really am that pasty.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Project: Ohio Star Variant Quilt

Oh, what have I gotten myself into....

My major Christmas project has begun - and I'm going to need every bit of time I have between now and December to finish it.

The Ohio Star Variant Quilt is a crocheted quilt. It consists of many, many, many little crocheted squares that are joined together like pieces of a fabric quilt would be. The squares measure approximately 2 1/2" - aren't they cute?

Very cute, indeed. But how cute are 1200 of these little squares going to be?

Yes - I said 1200.

Here's the design:

Here are the colors I'm using:

Lion Brand's Wool-Ease in
  • Fisherman (instead of white)
  • Cranberry (instead of red)
  • Avocado (instead of blue)

I'm going to keep track of my progress on the side bar. As the photo shows above, I have 20 red squares and 5 green squares made - but I'm not counting a square as finished until I weave in the ends. I don't want to leave all the weaving until last - that would be wholly depressing to sit down and have to weave the ends of 1200 squares. So it's a bit of motivation to weave as I go so I can mark a square as being complete.

A bonus of this project is that the squares work up quickly and at this stage, it is very easy to work on this during my commute. Once I get to joining squares and finishing up the entire thing, then it will be a home based project. But right now - it's perfect for commuting.

If you're interested in making your own crocheted quilt, the Happy Yellow House has many other designs from which to choose.

Froggin' A!


I seems that it is my destiny with any kind of crocheted footwear that I must frog and redo the pattern multiple times before it works. It happened when I made 5 pairs of bunny slippers for my bridesmaids and Maid of Honor, and now it has happened with the cabled crochet socks.

I had to frog the first bit I had done because the gauge was wrong - too big of a hook. I'm now using the correct hook (#2) and I got to row 12 - and I have to frog it AGAIN. While my stitch count is correct, the sc increases are not on the ends, which makes for some interesting angles instead of oval perfection.

Oh well - I will get it fixed and I will make these socks!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

New Project: My First Socks

I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to ball up my STR (Socks That Rock) yarn and start the Cabled Crochet Socks.

I'm using the STR yarn I bought at MS&W from The Fold in "Fire On The Mountain". This yarn is soooo incredibly beautiful!!!

Here's a close up of what I believe will be the toe of the sock.

These will be my first pair of socks ever (that I've made, not that I've owned). It's also the first time I've ever used such a small hook (size 00). So far, it's going well - but I'm only on round 3. Keep your fingers crossed that my progress continues with only minimal, if any, frogging.

New Project: Basket Weave Scarf

I started this project in a fury - but that fury has subsided and I haven't done much with this for a few weeks. Oh well - it deserves a post anyway.

I'm using yarn I bought at MS&W at the Brooks Farm Yarn booth. Not sure of the exact color name, but the fiber is 60% Super Wash Wool / 20% Silk / 20% Viscose. The pattern is my own - just row upon row of basket weave stitch using a size F crochet hook.

Here are a couple of close up photos:

I'm pretty proud of myself with this project, not because it's complex or difficult. It's because I'm using the yarn I bought at this year's MS&W and I designed the scarf using the crochet books I got for my birthday and graduation.

What about the yarn I bought at last year's MS&W?

Well - I'm working on that. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is It The Weekend Yet???

The evening commute has royally sucked a$$ the past two days. Sean and I haven't gotten home until 8 pm - when we're supposed to be home by 7:20 pm.

And while one could argue that that is an additional 40 minutes of crocheting, that's not entirely true. I can't crochet when I'm standing in the waiting room with hundreds of other stranded commuters waiting for the train to get there.

Tomorrow better be different. The train better be on time and without mechanical difficulties. And if it isn't... nothing will come of it. You see, there's no accountability by MARC or Amtrak when the trains are late and the commuters suffer.

Methinks there will be a strongly worded letter to send to my Congressional representatives.

I updated the side bar to show my actual current projects versus the projects I hope to eventually do. It depressed me to see all these projects listed with 0% completion bars. An update on the basket weave scarf and the Ohio Star Variant crocheted quilt are coming.

I'm taking Friday off because I can. If you've got the leave, I say take it and enjoy it. Life's too short not to take a vacation day or two. Cheers!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Progress Report: Afghan of the Sandman

Finally - an update on this!

Please note: The colors of this photo are not true to the yarn. I couldn't seem to get the flash and natural lighting right to capture the soft pink color.

I've got almost 44 rows done - about 16 1/2 inches - though it should be more. There was a bit of a goof on my part. My hooks got mixed up and I did almost 10 rows with one hook size larger. I had to frog all that work. Very sad. As soon as I was done ripping it all out, I started crocheting it again, this time with the right hook. I was waiting for my flight at the time and I think the people watching me thought I was crazy. Why would she rip it out just to redo it??? Not because I wanted to!

I need to find the pattern to see how many more rows I have to do. While I love how this is turning out, I'm getting bored with the process. There is so much beautiful MS&W yarn and new patterns to play with! But I won't start any major projects until this blanket is completed.

MS&W 2007: Post Script

As was chronicled in an earlier post, we watched the 1958 movie "Auntie Mame" starring Rosalind Russell. (NOT the Lucille Ball version! There is no argument that the Rosalind Russell is the superior version!)

In the movie, there's a part where Mame is getting ready to go fox hunting on horseback. Though she claimed to be an avid rider, she had never ridden a horse in her life. But - to impress her soon to be fiance and to shut up a meddling Southern bell - she got dressed and ready to ride. The particular scene that made me, the Queen, and Funky Duck burst out laughing was when Mame was posing for a photo.

She's got her leg up, sorta crossed over - like she's riding side saddle - and her hands are up as if she were holding the reigns. A very bizarre stance indeed. Quite humorous to watch - and even funnier to reenact.

I give you:

The Crocheting Commuter, The Queen of the Snow Cows, and Funky Duck
as Mame Dennis - Equestrian Extraordinaire!

And if you think this is funny, you should have seen the reactions of the other people at the train station. They thought we were out of our minds -- which we probably are. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2007 - A Fiber Tale

Once upon a time (May 5, 2007 to be exact), three lovely ladies made their way to the ever magical, ever fiberful, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

In the early morning, we arrived at the Howard County Fairgrounds. I wondered what the cops thought of all these fiber fanatics whose license plates showed they had driven far and wide to attend the festival.

We're here!!! (at 8:30 am)

Sean dropped us off at the back entrance, thus avoiding the parking clusterf*ck situation in the hay field parking lot. While I was extremely happy to have the Queen and Funky Duck come down for the festival, Sean was equally as happy. He was off the hook of accompanying me to the festival and he enjoyed his responsibility as chauffeur for the day.

As per the direction of the Queen, our first stop at the festival was The Fold booth. Good thing we did, as the line had already formed at 8:30 am.

Once the booth opened, it was actually an orderly process. Shoppers had time to look at all the yarn and no one was pushing. Once the yarn was selected, another line formed to pay. Passersby wondered why everyone was lined up in two lines while a few tried to cut in line. I don’t think any succeeded as those in line kept a keen eye out for such activities.

I think we must have waited in both lines for a total of 45 minutes. Was the waiting worth it?

HELL YA! Just look at the gorgeous yarn we bought!

And it was a good thing we started at The Fold. In the past, the booth has sold out the first day and in just hours. The same was true for this year…behold.

Here's the booth just before 9 am...

...and here's the booth just before 2 pm.

We continued through the barns at the festival. The crowds weren't too bad and for the most part, people were polite. It's just difficult to navigate your way through the booths along with lots of other people who are carrying big bags of yarn and fiber.

Two booths we wanted to see were listed in the program but they weren't at the festival. The Koigu booth and the Crochet Gypsy were no where to be found. And to echo the sentiments of some fellow crocheters over at Crochetville, crocheting was severely underrepresented at the festival. I may have to investigate how to enter one of the contests so I can try to win with a crocheted vs a knitted item.

We ate a fabulous lunch while we lounged in the shade of a tree. While we relaxed, we looked over our purchases. While the Queen was reading her new mittens pattern book, a small visitor stopped by to say hello.

After lunch we did some more shopping. At this point, the festival was quite crowded.

Here's the festival around 11:15 am.

And here it is just before 2 pm.

Some of the booths were overrun with people that you couldn't really look and compare yarns without getting in someones way or them getting in yours. We did have some success at the Brooks Farm booth, which will be a must-see at next year's festival as well.

After we had seen all the booths, we made our way over to to the herding dog exhibition. Here are some photos from that:

We were so shopped out and tired, we completely forgot about walking through the barns to see all the sheep. At least we saw some goats and alpacas near the vendors.

Hello, goat! Aren't you a cutie!

We called Sean to pick us up. We had time to get some ice cream and make a couple of last minute purchases. The weather started getting quite cool, so we were very happy when Sean arrived. He was so patient and even humored us when we would say "Feel this! Isn't it so soft?" or "Look at how beautiful this hand painted yarn is!" Oh, how I love that husband of mine.

Here's my haul from the festival:

From The Fold:
STR (Socks That Rock) yarn in "Fire On The Mountain" and "Crazy Lace Agate"

Who knows what I'll end up making with this since I don't knit socks. But I just couldn't pass up buying such beautiful, hand-dyed yarn.

From Pucker Brush Farm:
Off-white Mohair

The Queen had bought this yarn last year and after we got home, I had wished I had bought a hank, too. So when I saw it again this year, I had to have it. I envision this soft, beautiful yarn will become a lacy shawl.

Green cotton yarn

Something about this yarn made me have to buy it. Was it the color? The texture? The combination of both? I don't know. But I just love it. And I'm guessing that it, too, will become a summer shawl.

From Brooks Farm Yarn:
60% Super Wash Wool / 20% Silk / 20% Viscose

The tag didn't have a color name and the photo doesn't do justice to the loveliness of this yarn. I've already started a project using it - a basket weave scarf. Details on that in a future post.

That evening, Sean was out at a baseball game while we ladies ate pierogies, drank some cold amber beverages, and watched one of my all time favorite movies, Auntie Mame. I started winding balls of yarn from the hanks I bought, the Queen did some spinning, and Funky Duck started her dragon scarf. It was a wonderful and relaxing evening.

In the morning, we had a breakfast worthy of royalty. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, NY bagels, OJ, and coffee. I had also cut up strawberries and cantaloupe but completely forgot to put them out. D'oh!

Suddenly, it was time to drive the girls to the train station for their return trip to NYC. None of us wanted the weekend to end - how it had flown by so quickly. Hugs and air kisses goodbye and poof! The weekend had ended.

There are already plans for next year's festival. The accommodations will be upgraded as Sean and I will be in our new condo and I have already contacted KMP to let her know to plan to join us. Behold - the power of yarn!

Here's what the fridge looked like after the weekend. There was suddenly room for milk and OJ.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Because Blogger is acting up, the last 45 minutes I spent working on my MS&W entry has been lost to the blogosphere.


Will try to post about MS&W once I have the patience to deal with re-writing and linking the entire thing all over again.

In the meantime, I leave you with this...


PS: FU Blogger!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Quick Update

Oh, what a wonderful weekend it was at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!

The Queen and Funky Duck came down and we had a blast!! We ate too much food and bought too much yarn, but it was so much fun!!! I've got photos of the festival and of the fabulous fiber I bought, but I have yet to upload them. I have more details to share, and I also need to update on my current projects and add the new one I just started with yarn I bought at MS&W. But alas and alack, this thing called "work" keeps getting in the way. I hope to have more details and photos posted tonight.

I also wish that I could find a job where I got paid to crochet!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Happy Birthday (and Graduation) to Me!

Yes, it's a bit early for gifts as my birthday and commencement are in the middle of May. But given this upcoming weekend, my absolutely wonderful husband gave me my presents today. How great it is that he encourages my addiction. :)

The Crochet Stitch Bible

300 Crochet Stitches
(The Harmony Guides V. 6)

220 More Crochet Stitches
(The Harmony Guides V. 7)

200 Crochet Blocks

At first glance, these books look AWESOME!! I'm a bit overwhelmed at all the crochet knowledge now at my fingertips. If I didn't have stuff to prepare for the weekend, I may hunker down in my chaise and read, read, read.

Oh, but I have been busy...

Just take a look at what the weekend has in store besides yarn...

Take care, Beer in there.

As the Queen so aptly put it, a weekend full of yarn, friends and beer is a great weekend indeed!

I'd also like to add the little song:

"If you're Irish and you know it, drink some beer!
If you're pretending to be Irish, drink some beer!
If you're Irish and you know it, and your pasty skin does show it,
Even if you're not Irish, pretend you are, and drink some beer!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Welcome to Wednesday

You know it's been a long week when you have a panic attack on the train because you think it's only Tuesday though it feels like it should be Friday. If you're lucky like me, your wonderful husband calms your fears by assuring you that it is indeed Wednesday and that you have Friday off from work. Only 2 days to go...

Crocheting Commuter Sighted!

On my train ride on Monday, Metro was packed and I was standing in the middle of the car. I noticed a woman sitting near to me had a big bag of yarn and was knitting. I thought she was knitting from her hand movements but then I noticed there was only one needle - in fact, it was a hook. Ah, a fellow commuter who crochets - how nice!

But I was taken aback at the way she was wielding her hook - very different from mine. Her hooked hand did most of the movements. When I crochet I use both and my non-hooked hand does most of the yarn wrapping. Perhaps I can investigate this different technique further to see if I like it.


My t-shirts have arrived just in time, too though I'm not sure which one I'll end up wearing. The rumors are strong that Queenie and perhaps FunkyDuck are coming down after all. Oh, that would be glorious! All that yarn, beer and pierogies! And perhaps Domino's pizza, too!

Spring has Sprung

I'm taking a class this week and I'm away from my office. While I can't check my email as often as I'm used to, a good thing is that I am forced to take a lunch (like now). Yesterday, I ate lunch outside and had a chance to do some crocheting in the sun. Spring is here - the vibrant colors, the warm weather, the smell of newly cut grass. It was lovely.

Sadly not everyday is like that. Like today - I'm inside writing this and catching up on emails. Oh well - the weather this weekend is looking warm (not hot) and no rain. I'll enjoy more then anyways.

New Projects

I've started another new project (check the side bar) but I don't have time to go into all the details now. There's no rush, really, because this project is going to take a loooooooooong time.

If you don't hear from me before MS&W, know that I'll have plenty to post about next week (and photos, too!).