Thursday, April 9, 2009

More crochet, of course.

Coming back to work after a four day weekend is often more trouble than the mini-break was worth. I’ve been playing catch up all week which means that by the time I get home, all I want to do is pop in a movie, crochet and let my mind relax.

I think I’m about halfway finished with the ugly blanket although since I don’t know exactly when the yarn will run out, I can’t actually know how far along I am. Most of my skeins are getting pretty hollow which is awesome. Also, I found some gray and black yarn in my stash while cleaning so I can add that to the blanket. Maybe I’ll use it to crochet a border around the whole thing. Won’t that just be hideous?

All this crocheting has had two unexpected consequences. First, I get terrible tension headaches because of my crafty endeavors and crochet is usually one of the worst culprits. Even though I’ve decided that crafting is worth the pain in most cases, I’ve actually considered giving up crochet because the headaches I get the next day are really severe and often last for days. The interesting thing is that I’ve been crocheting so much lately that, for some unknown reason, I’m no longer getting crochet headaches…at least not headaches that can be, without a doubt, attributed to crocheting. Hopefully this headache-free crocheting will last but if it doesn’t, I just got a new prescription that works really well…so either way, I’m happy.

The second unexpected consequence of all this crocheting is that it makes me want to crochet more. Usually I get sick of a project by now but I really do love crochet and I’m not sure I’ll ever get sick of it.

I really want a new project that is not a scarf. As much as I loathe crochet blankets (the scratchy, ugly ones of my past haunt me to this day), there really are some beautiful blankets out there these days. As you can see, I’m really interested in ripple blankets and I’m not sure how long I can hold off making one. I’ve also done a bit of online yarn scouting and I might possibly have settled on Cascade 220. It’s wool and, I’m told by gardenymph that it’s nice to work with.

After a little searching, I just found an independently owned yarn store not far from here that carries it. I think I might stop by today to check it out. Perhaps a ripple quilt will be in my future sooner than I expected...

A question for you yarny types: do you have a favorite yarn? If you do, what is it and what sorts of things do you make with it?

7 comments:

  1. 220 is a good workhorse yarn, but we aware that it's 100% wool, so if you want to wash your blenket in a washing machine, you might have problems. 220 also comes in a "superwash" (wool that's been treated to be machine-washable). I've never used it myself, but you can probably run a quick Google search to see what people experience after washing it. Knitpicks.com also usually has some nice, sturdy yarns (wool, superwash wool, and other fibers) at reasonable prices; I bought from them a lot when I first began knitting.

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  2. Thanks Ivy, that's definitely something to think about. I'm a little frustrated when it comes to choosing yarn. Cotton fades, wool felts and is often scratchy, acrylic feels yucky...I don't really know what to chose for a blanket that will need to be washed eventually.

    Then there is the cost. A blanket takes so much yarn! I can't afford nice expensive yarn nor do I want to end up with a cheap, scratchy blanket after all that work. So many variables. It drives me nuts. :)

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  3. Sorry for the headaches. Terrible that they are brought on by something you love. Have you had your eyes checked? Makes me wonder if you are squinting to see the stitches or directions.

    You shouldn't have to suffer so for your art!

    No advice on the yard as I have managed to fight off that addiction (so far). But I am having a great time with your Bento Box tutorial - I KNEW there was a better way to construct that thing!

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  4. Hi Jenny! Squinting...I wish it were that simple. :) I only get headaches on my right side which makes sense since I'm right-handed.

    I get headaches when I use my sewing machine for a long time, when I have a big rotary cutting session and when I iron for a long time. I try to give my right arm a break but it's not easy to remember to do things with my left hand.

    I really wish I didn't have to suffer but I'd rather live with the headaches than to live without my hobbies. Also, I really should try to do things in moderation. Instead of a two hour rotary cutting session, I could mix up my sewing tasks and only cut a little bit at a time. But, I’m a tad obsessive so I forget to do this…

    I'm happy to hear you like my bento block tutorial. I love figuring out quilting shortcuts. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  5. Have you considered blended yarns? 100% cotton would be heavy for a crocheted blanket, but a cotton/acrylic would be lighter and easier to care for. Or wool/acrylic, or wool/cotton, or cotton/wool ... The wool blends aren't as likely to felt in the dryer, either.
    Also, there are a lot of 100% acrylics that don't have that 'plasticy' feeling, & they're soft and easy to work with. And, um, cheap. But they're still acrylic, so ...

    You've made me want to work on my own blanket now!

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  6. I would try just about anything right now. :)

    I don't care what it is so long as it's soft, smooth and comes in bright, fun colors. Do you know of such a mystery yarn?

    What blanket are you working on? Do you have pictures on flickr?

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  7. Oh, my blanket is just this old slipshod thing. The Ugliest Blanket In The World. I haven't actually worked on it for months, but I suddenly want to do it today ...

    If you're okay with acrylic (which has a zillion saturated colors), 'Red Heart Soft Yarn' is the softest I know of (used for this), but reports say it might fuzz in the wash. If not, try online - Knit Picks has reasonable prices & a lot of variety. And their colors are always brighter than they are on the computer screen, I find :)

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