May 2017 Recap

May is my favorite month of the year! It was a rainy May, but that means New England has exploded with green. I’ve been enjoying spending relaxing hours out on our newly renovated (almost done) deck, usually with a crochet hook in hand.

I did pretty well this month on the goal of finishing things I’ve started and not letting any projects stall. I did get sucked in to one unplanned project — another Crochet-a-Long (CAL), but more about that below.

Finished Objects

Shin-yu for Sylvia

My friend Sylvia and I almost share a birthday — hers is the 8th and mine is the 9th. I planned a little surprise party for her at AG Natick (with her daughter and granddaughter and three of our mutual friends) and we had a great time, complete with birthday cake and goodie bags! Sylvia’s a knitter, so I knew she’d like the Shin-yu, and I finished it the night before the party. I really like the colors in this magenta hand-dyed yarn from my LYS — perfect for this pattern!

#CrochetGirlGang CAL “Oh Fudge!”

I finally finished the second #CrochetGirlGang CAL blanket that I started at the beginning of November. I did the join and the border just like the gray background one and I’m very happy with it. It’s being put to good use on our family room couch.

Whispers Around the Bases

My original plan was to finish the whole Around the Bases pattern (by ChiChi Allen) for this blanket (which is Helen Shrimpton’s Whispers from the Past CAL parts 1 & 2 for the center square). I even ordered one more skein of each of the six colors. But then I got to the first round of Inning 9 and it just finished it off so nicely, I decided the colors were perfect for a baby blanket (baby TBD) and it was just the right size. With the remaining yarn, I’ll make one of Heidi Bear’s Happypotomuses, and I’ll still have enough to make a practice Sophie’s Garden. I wanted to finish the Around the Bases pattern because I was enjoying it so much, but heck, I could add the last 7 Innings I didn’t do to the Sophie’s Garden and have another beautiful baby blanket if I want!

New Projects

Stardust Melodies CAL, Prelude and Melody

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There are so many tempting CALs going on right now! Atlanticus, Heart of Friendship, Moogly CAL, Nuts About Squares…  I considered but resisted them all. I had noticed when designer Polly Plum posted a few months ago about making square patterns that were all about texture, and I thought her examples were pretty, but I had no plans for another CAL. The things that made me decide to do this one were:

  1. The designs are really clever and they’re not like other things I’ve done. When Polly published the first free pattern, I decided to try it with left-over yarn just because I wanted to learn the technique and I found it was not hard and it was very effective.
  2. She will have videos for all of the squares which I really enjoy.
  3. I realized this would be a good use for the Red Heart With Love yarn that I splurged on in February when I had the 70% off Joann’s coupons. I bought that without a clear idea of a project in mind which is always dangerous!
  4. Each square is one color, so very few ends to weave in.
  5. There is a join-as-you-go option using a technique that looked pretty that I hadn’t tried before, so no sewing up this time.
  6. It’s a CAL which is a really fun, motivating way to do a project.
  7. This will make a good Xmas gift for Sue & family because the colors should go passingly well with her TV room colors. And I’ve got enough yarn for two throws, so I can do one (the “Prelude”) to practice so the second (the “Melody”) will turn out nice for a gift.

So, not just one new WIP, but two! Yes, I am a little crazy. (And several of those other CALs are now in my Ravelry Favorites to keep in mind for the future.) Two each of five (out of 24) are done. The CAL will wrap up in August and I’ll try to keep up. (Each square takes me about 2 hours, so that’s 8 hours per week.)

Shin-yu Scarf for Me

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I have started this so I’ll have a portable project to take with me on my Charleston trip to work on in airports and airplanes. I didn’t want to be messing with the fiddly bits while traveling (foundation sc, ugh!), so I did the first few rows and it’s now packed, ready to go.

Works In Progress

Scrappy Hydrangea Blanket

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I’m liking how this is coming out more than I thought I would! Since I was placing a Wool Warehouse order anyway, I ordered the three new colors of Stylecraft Special DK (Mushroom, Vintage Peach, and Buttermilk) that Lucy used in her blanket, so I’m throwing the first two into the mix also. My Hydrangea is quite the mish mash, but a pretty mish mash!

I had originally planned to finish this in May but starting a new CAL and finishing the #CrochetGirlGang CAL and Whispers Around the Bases blankets made that a little impractical. Hopefully, this will be my finished blanket for June, which would mean seven finished blankets in the first six months of the year. (Wow!)

Red Velvet Tunisian Entrelac

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This project is cursed. It’s coming along slowly but I made an egregious mistake at the end of last month (which you can see in April’s Recap post if you look closely) and I had to rip out several rounds of squares. Sigh. I redid those and I am now part-way into the second (of four) Caron Cakes. This is just an “as I have time” blanket that I work on on the go, so no hurry. I did the math yesterday and I will have enough yarn to get to round 19 before squaring off, which means this should work out to about 4′ square.

State of the Stash

The original plan was no stash building except maybe for the remaining yarn I need for the Delft blanket. I failed. Here’s the haul:

  • Wool Warehouse Order
    • Remaining 5 skeins for Delft blanket (3 Lobelia, 2 Stone).
    • 6 skeins for WAtB: Saffron, Shrimp, Pomegranate, Bluebell, Aspen, Violet.
    • Three new colors of SDK (Mushroom ,Vintage Peach, Buttermilk), to make yarn pegs to have a complete set again, and to use for Hydrangea & Happypotomus.
    • “Sophie’s Universe” book, just because.
  • Deramores Order
    • Rosslyn Blanket – Sacred Wisdom Yarn Pack (14 skeins of Stylecraft Special DK in White, Pistachio, Emperor, Violet, Wisteria). Too pretty! Perfect for G for Xmas. I love Helen Shrimpton designs and couldn’t resist when she announced this, though it won’t be published until June. (Still under $30 with shipping.)
  • Joann’s
    • 1 skein of Red Heart With Love in Eggshell (50% off) for Stardust Melodies. (I still need to buy one more but will use another coupon and not make a special trip.)
  • Rodney’s
    • This is a used bookstore in Cambridge where I found a cute “bunny bowl” to keep my crochet supplies organized by my chair in the family room, and two 50g balls of a pretty Jaeger Odessa yarn for who-knows-what. You can see the bunny bowl in my Shin-yu picture above.

So, I was “bad” this month but it’s all lovely, reasonably priced, and all cataloged in Ravelry.

Goals for June, 2017

  1. Finish the Hydrangea Blanket.
  2. Finish the Shin-Yu scarf for me. 
  3. Keep up with the Stardust Melodies CAL, Prelude and Melody.
    • Is this possible given all my trips this month?
    • If I start to get behind, keep doing both sequentially and don’t worry about catching up.
  4. Make progress on the RVTE.
    • Take this on second business trip to New Orleans?
    • Finish the second cake if possible.
  5. Start the Happypotomus.
    • I’m looking forward to learning how to make the African Flower hexagon and to making my first stuffie!
  6. Start the Grandma Nora blanket from the Creative Crochet Workshop Crochet A Block 2017 pattern. This will use some of my Aran yarn left-overs, so first I must gather together what I have and make a plan. (I know I want to use black for the “background” and join color so it is reminiscent of one of my Grandma’s blankets that I remember from my childhood.)
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