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progress: chevron blanket

It’s been hard to do much crafting lately.  I’ve been really busy with other important life stuff.  Some progress has been made on the king size chevron blanket though:

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I know it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

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Don’t know why I’m in such a crafting slump.  I just don’t feel like doing anything.  I’ll think ‘oh, it would be nice to work on that blanket or that shawl,’ but then I just… don’t.

Bleh.  Do you get in really long phases like this too?

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Aspen blanket: ta-da!

First I want to say a brief thank you to everyone across the world who commented on my last post.  I no longer feel so alone and afraid and have been brainstorming about things I can do to make a difference.  Your support and kindness are so much appreciated.

In knitting news, I finally finished my Aspen blanket and I LOVE it!  I started it in January but due to a yarn shortage I had to put it on hold for a while, but I got it back out a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed finishing it.

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It’s a great size and is nice and stretchy (which also makes it hard to take a good measurement).  I do kind of wish I’d just made up a similar pattern on my own because to me it turned out to be a very simple pattern for $6, but oh well.

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I used 24 skeins (2520 yds) of Garnstudio DROPS Andes (super bulky, 65% wool, 35% alpaca) in 0100 Ecru.  The pattern actually calls for 2 strands of bulky weight held together but 2 strands of the super bulky held together was fine.  Actually, even with the recommended needle size (US 50/25 mm) it still looked pretty loose, so I went down 2 needle sizes to US 19 (15 mm) and added 2 pattern repeats to make up for the change, and I like it much better.  I used the long-tail cast-on & Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind-off to keep things nice and elastic, and I slipped the first stitch of each row purl-wise to make a neater edge.

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One thing I really love about my blanket is that there are no knots in the entire thing.  I used the spit-splicing method to join new balls of yarn so that there wouldn’t be messy sections of sewn in ends.  Basically you just cut a couple of inches off of half of the plies (in my case, 1 ply, since the yarn itself was just 2 ply) on both the tail end of the current ball and the beginning of the new one you’re joining.  Then you dampen the ends with spit, wind the plies together, and rub it quickly between your hands or on a sturdy fabric.  It sounds gross (and kind of tastes gross and fuzzy), but there’s something about spit that works better than just plain water.  Essentially you’re felting the ends together (making an undetectable but very strong join), meaning that this method only works with yarn that has a high content of animal fiber.  Because it’s feltable, though, it has to be laid out to dry after washing, which will be fun (I have no idea where I will do that).  It will also be heavy, and it’s heavy already without being wet!

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All in all I’m very happy with this plush, toasty blanket!  I just have to be careful not to leave it lying around when I’m not using it, or the dog will likely lay on it and snag the yarn with her claws.  Maybe felting it in the wash just a little teensy bit might not be a bad idea.

Also, I got a haircut yesterday.  This week has been so terrible (on top of the election, I also immediately got sick afterward, and I was so despondent that I’m not sure the two aren’t unrelated), so I figured I’d pamper myself just a tad.  I love it.

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OK, that’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping by everyone, see you soon!

giganto blanket progress

It’s been over 2 months since I’ve shared an update on my Aspen blanket that I have lovingly dubbed “the blanket everyone wants” (well, they seemed to be all the rage this winter).  You hold the yarn double so I don’t know why I got an odd number of balls, but I’ve finished 16 balls of Garnstudio DROPS Andes in 0100 Ecru and this is what I have:

Not Your Average Crochet's Aspen Blanket

Far from my estimated 60″ wide, it’s about 45.  Granted, I wasn’t stretching it at all and I think it will grow over time, but still, I was off on that guess.  Also, I thought 16 balls might be enough to finish the blanket.  It is not.  It’s only about 36″ tall (again unstretched).  I MIGHT be OK if this was 2/3 of a blanket, meaning I might be happy if I ordered 7 more balls to go with my extra 1.  At $7.15 a ball, though, that’s $50.05 not counting S&H, and I just can’t do that right now.  That’ll put this blanket at over $150 worth of yarn.  I hate putting that much into one project because I’ll be so worried about it getting messed up that I might not use and enjoy it, but this was one of the cheapest super bulky yarns in wool that I could find.  Maybe I should keep blankets acrylic, but wool blankets are so much warmer!  Guess there are pros and cons to both.

Not Your Average Crochet's Aspen Blanket

I’m really sad but I guess this will have to go into hibernation mode for a while until I can get the yarn.  The plus side is that I still haven’t broken my New Year’s Resolution to not buy yarn (although when I do buy the yarn to finish this I’m not sure it’ll count against me, since it’s to finish a WIP that I thought I had enough yarn for).  Also, Chris and I both needed a pair of new shoes this month so unfortunately that has to take precedence over yarn, hehe.  We got Chris some new kitchen Crocs because his current ones are old and literally falling apart (they’re heavy duty Crocs made specifically for working in kitchens, without holes in the top and with extra tread on the bottom and padding on the inside), and I finally had to replace my Rainbows sandals after about 9 years of constant wear.

My Wing Chun lessons are going great — we got to stay about 20 minutes extra last time and our teacher taught us the first 5 steps of the wooden dummy form, which was really cool.  I’ve been trying to practice at home on a wall but it has corners, which hurt my arms, and it doesn’t have arms for me to practice blocks.  I’ve looked at practice dummies but even the ones made with PVC are over $500.  Why does everything from yarn to shoes to practice equipment have to be so expensive?  Ugh.

Sorry, I’m a bit grumpy, so I’ll sign off for now, but I do appreciate you stopping by!  I have plenty of other WIPs going too so hopefully I’ll see you soon with updates on those, or maybe something even cooler!

WIP update

Soooooooo many WIPs!  Please tell me you do this too.

I’ve frogged the Sugarfrost scarf:

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I got about 5x farther but it was still so slow…

Too much tiny knitting and it would take WAY too long for my patience (which gets tried plenty at work).  Not sure what to make with the yarn, though.  Still working slowly but surely on the Fino cowl:

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I’ve gotten about 60% done now though

 

Also started a cool looking cabled hat but it called for small needles and chunky yarn and just hurt my hands too much so I frogged it, too; maybe I’ll start over in a worsted weight yarn instead.  My Harry Potter knit scarves are still the same, kinda hibernating, but whenever I get to it I’ll post the pattern.  I’ve just resigned myself to laziness for this:

Harry Potter knit scarf

My Citrus Stripe Blanket is also hibernating, although it’s looking pretty cool:

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Dunno if I ever even got around to sharing my Wolf River sweater I started a few months ago.  It’s cool but the yarn I ordered was the yarn the pattern called for and it’s not near as soft as I would like.  Stalled out on my Lutz Jump hat, too.  And the Venetian Carnival cowl I didn’t share because it was originally gonna be a Christmas gift got replaced with another knitted gift and is now sitting around, almost done, waiting for me to put buttons on it and block it (it was a cool make but it would’ve been cooler if I’d doubled the length so it could be wrapped around twice, but then I wouldn’t have had the yarn to start the Fino cowl mentioned above).  A couple of other things are hibernating, too (my Paulie cardigan & my Weasley sweater)…

I’m also working on two versions of two individual patterns I’m writing (4 items total), which I’ve super been into as evidenced by the Anthropologie Inspired Hat, the Not Your Granny’s Granny Square Clutch, and the Thai Crochet Cowl, all of which are pretty recent releases.  The new patterns are also crocheted cowls (cowls are THE BEST) but that’s all I’ll say for now.  I’ve got ideas for more patterns to write, too, after those, so it should be a fun year.

The things I’m actually working on actively now are the Aspen blanket and my Chunky Circle Scarf #5:

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Heaping them on my ottoman keeps them in view so I’m constantly reminded to work on them, but they’re super fun so it’s not like it’s a chore.  I’m gonna start a Chunky Circle Scarf #6 soon, too — both 5 and 6 are for coworkers who’ve requested them (so I’m still not really breaking my resolutions because they’re paying for the yarn).

Whew!  That was a bit of an eye opener, just typing that all up.  How many WIPs do you have going right now?

giganto blanket: begin!

So far I’m keeping to my resolutions: I haven’t bought any more yarn, I’ve been working on those crochet patterns, and I’ve got a few projects going.  I’d like to share one in particular with you, my ASPEN Blanket by Go-Girl Knitting (which I’m affectionately calling The Blanket Everyone Wants, because ecru/cream colored chunky-knit cabled blankets are EVERYWHERE right now, everyone really does seem to want one)!  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

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It’s probably going to be about 60″ wide (hard to tell yet) and I’ve got 17 balls of Garnstudio DROPS Andes in 0100 Ecru (Super Bulky, 65% wool, 35% alpaca) so I’ll keep going until I run out!

I’m loving my progress so far and I know I’ll love the blanket when I’m done, but I’ve got a couple of qualms.  Let me make you a list!

  • The pattern is $6 but it turns out to be a really simple pattern that repeats, and it all fits on a plain 1 pg PDF.  A little expensive for what you get, methinks, especially considering the next 2 points…
  • The pattern calls for US 50 needles but many of the projects already made on Ravelry used US 35/36 needles because the 50s made the blanket too loose (even though the yarn is held double throughout).  I therefore started with my US 36 needles but it was STILL too loose, so I frogged and went down to a US 19.
  • Because of the needle size changes I made, I also had to adjust the pattern to keep the width of the blanket about the same, so I added 2 of the pattern repeats, making the CO jump from 72 to 106.

On the positive side, it’s working up fairly quickly and it’s still soft and plushy!  I used the long-tailed cast-on for a neat-looking but stretchy bottom edge, I’m slipping the 1st st of each row purl-wise for neater side edges, and I think I’m going to try to make the yarn joins as invisible as possible by “spit-splicing,” which I learned about via YouTube video (yes, it is what it sounds like it is).

So far I’m really enjoying it, and I’ll probably update with photos on Instagram in between updates here, if you’re interested in finding me there!

Well, that’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!

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