Archive for the “hexagon blanket” Category

Since I finally finished the Hexagon Blanket and gave it to my friend - who, by the way, absolutely loves it - I gave myself a day off from responsibilities on Sunday and let myself spin as much as I wanted to. I've really missed the quiet meditation of spinning. This fibre is some merino pencil roving that I bought at last year's MD Sheep and Wool festival. Most of it drafts so smoothly, but there are some matted bits that I pull out as I find them. The sections that are dyed the darkest colour are harder to draft, for some reason.

So I've decided that I'm not making any more baby gifts when friends announce their pregnancies. It's not that I don't like to; I actually really like to make gifts for my friends! I had an especially good time with the hexagon blanket, because it was my first crochet project. I love giving gifts (more than I like receiving them, actually) and I love being recognized as a skilled fibre artist. I love that look of "oh, wow," when the box is opened.

What I don't love is working to deadlines. I never have. They make me stressed. I can't enjoy another project when I have a deadline project on the needles; I always feel as if I should be working on it and nothing else. So that's that - I might make things for babies again, but I won't be doing it to a deadline. If a particular pattern catches my eye I'll consider making it in a gender-neutral colour and save it for a future baby. Or I might crochet some toys just to learn how to do it, then give them as gifts.

I want to get back to knitting for myself. I want to work on my own projects and designs without feeling guilty that I'm taking time away from a deadlined gift project. Hopefully it won't be taken the wrong way. What does it say about me that I feel bad for saying I'm not going to make gifts as a default anymore? Just because I *can*, doesn't mean I *should*.

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The blanket is finally, finally finished! I crocheted like a madwoman through yesterday afternoon and into the night. This morning I worked the last edge of the border and did a crazy dance throughout the house shouting "It's done, it's done! I've done it!" And just in time, too - thanks to my incredible speed when I'm crocheting under pressure, I'll be able to give the blanket to friend Gwen at her "welcome baby" party this afternoon. Perhaps that was cutting it a little close, huh.

Now to apply that sort of dedication to the pink sweater...

I guess it's Caturday instead of Feline Friday, but here's your weekly dose of the Dangerous Duo. They've been very patiently waiting outside the door for me to finish up the hexagon blanket so I can go out into the hallway and pet them; I think they were disappointed when I pointed a camera at them instead.

The latest adventure of these crazy cats involved an obstacle course around the bedroom at 01:30 this morning. I'm not sure which cat it was, but one of them kicked over a none-too-steady laptop table when he leaped off it. The table fell into a standing lamp, which in turn fell onto our laundry basket and shattered. Phooey! I liked that lamp. Pirate-Husband and I weren't exactly thrilled to be cleaning up tiny shards of broken glass at that hour. I'll have to see if I can find a replacement glass for the lamp. Amazingly, the lightbulb didn't break!

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The management would like to apologize for the lack of content and especially for the lack of today's Feline Friday. The Pirate is busy crocheting as fast as she can, as the hexagon blanket's due date is suddenly tomorrow rather than Sunday.

(Not to mention, the cats wouldn't cooperate for the camera.)

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Eleven hexagons and one border left to make. Seven days left to do it.

Of course it's my own fault I'm so far behind, but still, grrr! Pirate-Husband suggested that I make it a small blanket, but honestly I think right now it's just too small to be good. Unless I make a really big border, and then it will be a long rectangular blanket instead of a square-ish one.

Each hex takes half an hour, if I work quickly and don't mess up. I don't know how long the border will take, but I imagine it will go pretty fast.

I really just want to get this thing done.

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I spent a good deal of the weekend knitting on the Pink Sweater for Thing Two, and came to the sad conclusion that I'm not going to have it done by Friday. I finished the first sleeve, but not the narrow strip that makes up the front side of the sweater. The second sleeve and front would take tonight and tomorrow evenings. And then I'd still have two lacy front panels to work, not to mention finding twenty tiny-size buttons... ugh. So I won't be giving them the sweaters this weekend, which had been my hope.

I have two weeks to finish the hexagon blanket I'm crocheting for Gwen's new baby, if I want to give it to them when I meet the baby for the first time. I think that's probably the right thing to do. I think I have fourteen or fifteen hexes left to work up, and then the border. It will take some effort and concentration but I am sure that if I put down the sweater and pick up the blanket, that I can get it done in time.

The problem with all this gift knitting is that I'm starting to dislike my favourite hobby, and that's really sad. I've committed to these projects and I will see them through, but then I might take a break...

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I have really missed knitting on a sock that I like. I like the yarn, I like my size 1 needles, I like knitting stockinette in the round, I like the stripes, I like everything related to this sock. I like that I know at exactly what point in the striping sequence I cast on for the cuff and when I started the heel, so that I'll be able to make the second sock perfectly match the first. Pirate-Husband tells me that I am working some kind of awesome magic to make striped socks line up, and I'm not going to disabuse him of the notion.

While I did get the ribbing done before departing for New York, I like that I knit the entire rest of the sock leg while chatting with my maternal grandmother about her early dates with my grandpa to jazz clubs in Manhattan. It sounds so romantic! She told me that she ordered a "claret lemonade" and now I'd like to try one, just to see what it tastes like. I looked up the recipe: four ounces of bordeaux, one ounce of simple syrup, and 3/4 ounce lemon juice. Hmmm. Could be interesting!

Last night I knit the heel flap and perhaps on my lunch break today I'll turn the heel. I like that I'm gentle enough with myself to recognize when I've sworn to something that isn't working for me, and to change it - in this case to let myself cast on for an enjoyable sock, even though I haven't finished previous projects. It's all good.

I like that the baby for whom I'm crocheting the hexagon blanket was born yesterday. Both mother and child are doing well. (And now I really must get back to finishing up that blanket!)

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I've been carrying the second Stripey Striped Sock with me almost wherever I go, but almost never working on it. However, I'm not allowing myself to cast on for any new socks until I finish this one. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Rien. I have ten stripes completed and 42 to go (if I count the heel as three stripes, which I am, even though it's not striped, because it will take longer than two stripes). Last night I put two stripes on while I was waiting for bread to rise, and I'll do another stripe or two on my lunch break today. It's not the greatest traveling sock ever, but it's what I have and so I will work on it. I am determined. I will not start any new socks until this one is done.

In fact, I have a plan to refrain from starting any new projects until all my current projects are done, excepting the Pink One's Sweater, because that's not really a new project so much as it is the other half of the Sweaters for Twin Niecelets project, and that's one of the things that I'm on a deadline for. The twins are expected in the end of March, now. I'd better hurry.

The other night I took out all my sock yarns under the pretense of airing out the tote and moving the bag of cedar shavings around. I don't expect the cedar to really keep any bugs away, but it does make the yarn smell nice. Just looking at the pile of yarn was enough to give me inspiration and motivation to get going on the works in progress. I really want to start something new!

"Starting something new" is one reason I'm really enjoying working on the hexagon blanket. If I concentrate, I can work up a hexagon in just half an hour. Each new hex feels a little bit like starting a new project, but then I get to watch the blanket grow by leaps and bounds. There are 23 hexagons done, 16 to go, and then an edging which will probably be made up of a few stripes of single crochet. I don't think I'll use all seven colours; that might be overkill. We'll see when I get to that point.

The Purple One's Sweater has just a little more of the body to knit, and then two lace panels to work up. It goes quickly when I sit down to work on it, but so far I think the best knitting time I've gotten on this project was on an Amtrak. Maybe I need to take another train ride so I can get it done faster...

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The thought of sewing up a million (okay, 39) hexagons after crocheting them all had me a little... what's the word? Not "nervous", not "anxious". Not "unhappy". What about "dreading"? Yes, I was dreading the idea of connecting up all the hexagons, whether I sewed or crocheted them together. So I decided to just attach them as I finished each one, thereby dooming the project to complete importability but also making it a lot easier on myself, at least mentally.

I'd solved the problems of potential duplicate hexagons and under- or over-utilizing one colour or another by making up a chart (which is completely filled in now, and looks delightfully random even though it's not entirely), and attaching as I go takes care of the problem of having to find one of thirty-nine hexes in a giant pile to crochet into the right place.

It takes much less thinking to follow along with the chart. I'm enjoying the "much less thinking" right now as my brain seems to have taken a vacation. We're very slowly getting used to life without Aubrey, but I'm still grieving and I know that's affecting my thinking processes, so simplifying my work as much as possible is definitely a good thing for the moment.

Twelve! Twelve hexes, ha ha ha haaa!

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Aubrey M. Tinyfierce lost her fight with FIP yesterday. In the end, her fierce was just too tiny for a disease which is inevitably fatal. To say that we'll miss her terribly is an understatement. At least for now, her picture will stay in the banner of my Etsy shop, which should be opening for business in the next couple of months. If I can't do it to support her any more, I can still do it in her memory - and to build up a fund for Floyd T. Underfoot, should he happen to get sick. Right now we're grateful that he's healthy as a horse, sleek and energetic.

Friend Stef came over yesterday to keep me company and help distract me from thinking about Aubrey too much. I showed her the Winterlude Hat (tm) which I'd blocked over a perfectly-sized ceramic bowl1, and she fell in love with its awesomeness. Then, because she has more sewing experience than I do, she helped me pin the fleece lining for the hat. It went much more smoothly for having an extra pair of hands involved. We had a good time chatting about craftsy things while I began sewing it up. I'm so close to being done with it and I can't wait to try it out when I get to Canada in a week and a half.

While I've got the sewing box out, I need to sew the magnet-snaps into Michael's Fleeps. And on the subject of projects which are really, really close to completion, I'm within a few stripes of the toe on the second Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Jaywalker. I've been working on it here and there while I wait for things like car maintenance and allergy shots. The other day I pulled it out to knit a few stripes and was actually surprised to discover that it's almost finished!

I didn't get much done on the blanket this past weekend, but I plan to work a couple of hexagons in tonight. And soon, if I'm feeling tired of crochet and want to get back to knitting, I can start on the pink and purple sweaters for the twin niecelets.

1. Which shall be my hat-blocking bowl forevermore, when it's not serving its usual role as a fruit dish.

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For the Hexagon Blanket, I'm using this tutorial from Attic24. It is so clearly written, and has clear close-up pictures that so perfectly illustrate how the stitches go, that I've had no problem at all figuring out what I'm doing. The Ravelry entry for the pattern is here, in case you'd like to see the other thousand blankets that people have made. They are gorgeous!

One of the things that I'm really enjoying about crocheting a baby blanket is the riot of colours. Okay, so I didn't choose the most riotous of colours, and I only have seven to work with as opposed to the rainbow that you see over at Attic24. (She takes marvelous pictures, doesn't she?)

Originally, I hadn't planned to plan. I figured I'd just make each hexagon as I went along, and try not to get two similar ones too close together. However, I am at heart a planning sort of person, and so I made up this rough and imperfect diagram in Photoshop. Also, I am convinced that I will colour myself into a corner if I have no plan. And I want to make this blanket with no two hexes identical. Well, maybe two that are the same, so that when the baby gets a little older, he can have fun trying to find which two are alike! I've gotten a good start on colouring in the chart already, but I'm going to leave the uncoloured one up here and just show the progress on the blanket as it goes along.

I may also be unable to resist making a neater diagram for potential future blankets. This crocheting thing is pretty awesome indeed.

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