Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eeeeek!

Three weeks? I can't believe I haven't written a post in THREE SOLID WEEKS!

Well, to be fair, I have been very busy moving. The husbeast and I found a house to rent. An actual house! No more sharing walls/floors/ceilings! We now have a yard! And I can plant flowers and get a dog!!!!

And here are some more exclamation points!!!

If you couldn't tell, I'm pretty darn excited about the new place. :) The kitchen is a bit smaller than the one in our old place, but everything else more than makes up for it. We don't currently have any photos of the new place, mostly because it is a mess (yes, we're still working on unpacking and arranging everything). Buuut, when we do get everything put away and the place looking like we want it, I'll take allll kinds of photos to show it off. And I now have my own space for crafty goodness. Can you say yarn stash? I know I can. :D

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't Get Your Hopes Up...

Because this isn't a real update. I'm just dropping in to let all 2 of you know that I haven't just dropped right off the face of the planet.

Sorry about the big stretch between posts. Between finishing up my first pair of socks, finalizing a new place to live, working on an afghan, making an awesome scarf, working, eating, and sleeping, there hasn't been much time for bloggage. I promise I will take photos of my recently completed projects soon though!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pattern of the Day, 04-29-11

I was browsing recently added patterns on Ravelry, and happened across a fantastically inventive crochet pattern. Feast your eyes upon this crocheted pet harness:


How cool is that? I imagine it would work better for small dogs and cats than for large dogs, but you never know! What's the neatest pattern you've seen recently?


(Pattern available for free at http://luvs-2-knit.blogspot.com/2009/07/easy-dog-harness.html)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quick and Cozy Afghans Book Giveaway

SherryKnits over at For the Love of Yarn is doing a giveaway! She's holding a drawing, and the winner will receive a copy of the book "Quick and Cozy Afghans." To enter, become a follower of the For the Love of Yarn blog, then leave a comment on the giveaway post. I would go over there and enter, but I already own a copy of the book! The Lacy Blocks pattern is one of my particular favorites. It looks like it's made of blocks which are pieced together, but it's actually worked all in one piece (you'll be hearing more about this pattern from me in the future). At any rate, good luck to those of you who enter the contest!

SherryKnits's photo of the book.

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head...

It's been off and on rainy all week, and now it looks like we're going to have storms and rain for the next three or four days. We even had a tornado warning and some rotating cloud formations last night! Talk about scary!

At least this means I'll have some nice crocheting weather; maybe I'll get a significant amount of work done on that afghan I've been working on. :)

So, here's what it's going to look like around here for the next couple of days:


Sunday, April 17, 2011

No Blog for you!

For those of you who have somehow missed seeing the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld, you must watch this!

I have been woefully neglectful of this blog of late. I do have a couple of excuses for that- one, I get lazy sometimes. Two, I've been playing Mass Effect 2. Three, I made a new hat. Sorry I don't have photos today- I'll try to get them up soon!

I also have been looking for a new place. The Dearest Husband and I found a house for rent, the rent isn't exorbitant, and it should fit our needs until we're ready to buy our own home. Yay! We love our apartment. It's lovely and charming. The neighbors, however, are not. The new place is also significantly less expensive AND is all-electric (our gas bill can get really high in the winter- electric is usually significantly less expensive around here).

Anyhow, we shall soon return to our regularly scheduled program, and I promise to share photos of the hat and other current wips.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fishermen's Wool Rug

I must warn you. I have a pet peeve. It's less of a pet peeve, and more of a livestock peeve. It is HUGE. People, when you write something, please, please, for the love of all that is sacred, be sure you are using the correct word for the situation. A peak is an apex, the top of something. A peek is a brief glance at something. And to pique is to arouse (as in "pique your interest").

With that said, I'd like to pique your interest with a little peek at my current project one of my current projects:



This feels like it'll make a good rug. Maybe now I won't be tempted to toss this yarn off the highest mountain peak I can find.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April Showers Bring (Hopefully) May Flowers

We had a beautiful spring storm this morning. Steady rain, a little bit of light and noise, and then it cleared up for a pretty day. So, I decided to plant the rest of my flower seeds. :) Hopefully I'll have big bunches of bright flowers all summer long.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Market Bag Photos!

I have taken photos of my completed market bag! True to form, I completely forgot to take more in-progress shots for a photo tutorial. However, I'm making two more of these, one in Hot Blue and the other in Soft Ecru, both colors in Lily Sugar n' Cream yarn (man, I love that stuff!). Hot blue is the same color I used as the blue in those adorable chrysanthemum dishcloths. So, now on to what you really want to see:



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ruh-roh

I'm a terrible terrible terrible person. I punked out on Knitting and Crochet Blog Week about halfway through. Sorry folks! I might try to finish up the posting prompts next week- we'll see. At any rate, I have actually been doing SOMETHING with my time. All the time I would have otherwise spent blogging got allocated to actual crochet. That's right folks, I've been hookin' all week. I finished up my market bag, and have gotten some more work done on the wedding afghan I've got in the works. I really really really want to share photos of the afghan. I'm dying to share photos of the afghan. But I can't. the afghan itself is not a surprise, but the color and pattern are. So no pics for you until Katie gets her afghan.

In other news, I frogged that scallop scarf. It makes me sad, because it was halfway done. All that work was wasted. But I don't think I was going to make any more progress on that particular piece. That yarn was even difficult to frog back. It just does not want to cooperate, no matter what I do. I'm planning on double-stranding it and using it to make a rug. I'd like to make one with loops, and I was inspired by this rug over at Teens with Yarn. Obviously, my rug will be all in natural colored wool, and I'll probably keep the loops smaller. Hopefully this project will turn out to be more satisfying than the scarf. (I would keep my fingers crossed, but that makes it hard to crochet.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tidy mind, tidy stitches.


Today's topic revolves around the topic of organization:

"How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry."

I have to admit, I love the idea of my home being organized. Neat. Tidy, even. I want to have cables neatly tucked away behind electronics, every item hidden away out of sight or neatly and attractively displayed. You know, a place for everything, everything in it's place, that whole bag. The truth is a little closer to the complete opposite. Electronics cables are so wild they seem to have a life of their own, clutter breeds in the nooks and corners, and dust accumulates at an alarming rate. I'm a wip, though, and so is my house. I'm working on it.

In this vein, I recently made the effort to corral the evergrowing pile of yarn that threatened to engulf the living room. Dearest Husband had been hinting for a while that it might be nice to be able to walk across the living room without tripping over my yarn. Being the wonderful wife that I am, I indulged him and corralled most of my yarn to a corner of the living room with some plastic containers. I would love to have a glass-fronted cabinet for my yarns and fabrics, but alas, my budget weeps at the thought. The containers do a great job though. The ones I found are 15 quart clear Sterilite container with snap handles. The size is perfect- I don't have to dig through a giant tub to find what I'm looking for. And since the containers are clear, I know what's in them before I even open them up. All in all, they're pretty good for the purpose.





I also have a pretty basket, which I keep some overflow and yarn that I know I'll be using soon. I really like this basket because it's pretty and because it was part of a wedding gift from a couple of awesome friends. :) The little roll of fabric is part of a liner I'm planning on sewing for it- I just haven't gotten around to it yet.



As far as my hooks and notions go, I have this bright blue pop-top container. I got this thing at Michael's for a grand total of $2. It holds my crochet hooks, yarn needles, and some of those snappy little hair barrettes (which I slip in the working loop of a project to keep things from unraveling).




See? Snappy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1UP


Today's challenge:
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year.

This time last year, I would have considered myself a beginner/beginner-intermediate crocheter. Even though I have known the basics of crochet since I was a child, it wasn't until I started blogging that I really immersed myself in the craft. If this blog isn't good for a single other thing, I'm grateful that writing it has inspired me to learn new techniques and try new things.

Today I'd say I'm a pretty firm "intermediate" crocheter. I've learned a lot about deciphering patterns and charts (especially from that dratted Market Bag I'm working on). I've learned interesting new techniques such as the magic ring (or adjustable ring, or whatever you prefer to call it), as well as stitches I hadn't used before. I've discovered some luxury yarns I love, but haven't yet reached the level of "yarn snob" (and I hope I never do!). Oh, and I've actually managed to finish more projects in the past year than I had in the previous five years combined. I count that as some serious growth.

I'm on the brink of another big milestone in my quest to crochet awesomeness- writing a pattern. I have never before written a pattern. Two years ago, I'd never even used one (most of the projects I did were just plain, flat pieces like scarves and small blankets). Pretty soon I will embark on my pattern-writing journey. Hopefully I'll manage to turn out a written pattern that works for other people! It's one thing to have a set of directions in your head, but another thing entirely to translate those into written instructions that others will understand and be able to use.

I also have plans to create a textured yarn painting of my own design. I'm not sure yet whether it will be round or rectangular or square, what yarn I will use, or any of that. What I am sure of is that I have a striking image in my mind, and a burning desire to translate that into yarn so I can share the beauty with everyone around me.

In short, I have grown by leaps and bounds in my crochet skills, knowledge, and ambition over the past year, and I sincerely hope I can accomplish the same over the next 12 months.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Yarn of Two Tails...


No, wait, that isn't right...
A Tale of Yarn Cities?
No, that's not quite right either...
A Tale of Two Yarns!! That's the proper title for today's 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Challenge, courtesy of Eskimimi Knits:
"Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them."
A big part of my crochet habit DOES happen to revolve around yarn. I derive a great deal of joy from the entire process, and that begins with selecting a yarn. Sometimes I buy a yarn without a project in mind, simply because it's a nice yarn that happens to be on sale. Sometimes I pick a yarn out for a project and just end up tickled pink with how it turns out. And sometimes, oh there's that fateful occasion when I purchase a yarn for a particular purpose, and it turns out that the yarn is not only terrible for that purpose, it's just plain terrible.

Join me, if you will, in the craft store. There are racks and racks and racks of yarn, and you're looking to try something new. So you touch everything. Yes, when I go yarn shopping I become a child. I cannot keep my hands off the yarn. I have to touch every ball of yarn in the store twice before I can figure out what I want. And I come across a wool yarn. It's fairly inexpensive for the amount, and it feels like your average, everyday wool in the skein. So I purchase enough for a project, bring it home, and start working.

It's like a short-lived love affair that leaves you bitter and tired and sad and angry, all at the same time. At first, I was happy with how everything was going. The yarn was okay, and I loved the pattern. Then, I started to notice little things. Like how the yarn didn't want to hold its twist, and how it split every third stitch, forcing me to mutter unladylike things as I pulled out the split stitch so I could work it properly. Then I got halfway through and realized that I love the pattern but LOATHE the substrate. This yarn is horrendous. I'm at the point where I want to frog the whole project and just make a rug with this awful stuff, because that is the only thing on this planet that it is good for. If you read this blog regularly, you may have already figured out that I am referring to Lion Brand's Fishermen's Wool Yarn. That stuff is just plain awful, and isn't nearly worth the price paid for it. So if anyone was looking forward to seeing how my Scallop Scarf turns out in the end, don't hold your breath. This is probably the last you'll see of it:


On a slightly more positive note, I have a yarn in my stash that I Adore. That's right: adore-with-a-capital-A. This stuff is so soft you'd think it was spun out of clouds and unicorn farts (you're welcome for the mental image). It's KnitPicks Andean Treasure in Sapphire Heather:


That's 100% baby alpaca fiber, dyed a luscious deep heathered blue. Again (say it with me now): I Adore this yarn. My problem is that I purchased it with no idea of what I wanted to make with it. Now that I have it, I can't just use any old pattern for it. No! It has to be something just as special as this yarn. Since I have a few other irons in the fire so far as my crochet goes, I'll have to hold off on using this yarn until I happen across juuuust the right pattern for it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Market Bag Progress

I've gotten about halfway through the body of the market bag. It looks kind of weird right now, but I'm hoping that if I persevere, it will turn out right in the end. A note for those who would like to try this pattern- pay very VERY close attention to where the ends of your rows are. You may want to mark them, just to be sure. It can also be difficult to find your place again if you lose track of which row you're on in the two-row repeat, because they only differ at the beginning and the end of the rows. Since they're so similar, it's hard to keep track of which one you're on unless you've been paying close attention to it.

Here's what I've got done so far:




As I get more done, I'll take photos and share them! Hopefully I'll be able to use them to put together a tutorial for those of you who would like to make this bag, but find the original pattern too confusing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Journey of Milk

I am a crocheter and a crafter, but I also have an education in agriculture. There is one big thing that bothers me about the state of our society in the United States: very few people really know where their food comes from and how it gets on their plates. Instead of bemoaning that fact, I present you with a couple of videos about how milk gets from the farm to your fridge. I really hope you find these interesting, and if you have questions about how food is produced in the U.S., please ask!! I'll do my best to provide you with accurate answers.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Hippity, Hoppity, Easter's on its Way


Here's a little eye candy for everyone:





Wouldn't this make the greatest easter basket ever? I'm going to have to keep this pattern for when I have kids. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Am I Doing?

Remember that cute green market bag from Bernat? I'm making one in Sugar n' Cream Mod Ombre- it's a bright ombre with white, blue, green, and yellow. Perfect for spring, if you ask me. :) I read over the pattern today, and I have to say, I was incredibly confused. This is a terribly written pattern. Nowhere does it mention that you are crocheting the bag from the top on one side to the top on the other, in a sort of boat shape, then crocheting the handle on top. It's kind of weird. But I'm up for it. Why? It's just that cute. Thankfully, I had the good sense to see what folks on Ravelry had to say about it, otherwise I don't know if I would have figured out how the heck I was supposed to get a bag from that pattern. It really does look like the pattern was never tested. >_<

In other news, I have plans to make a free-form sort of design for a round afghan. I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while. Inspired by the February landscape and a poem I had written a while back, I dreamed it up on my way home from work one day. I'm going to sketch it out sometime in the next few days. Keep an eye out for that! I'm really excited about this project, and will keep you all updated on its progress. :)


...
.......
Hmmmm.
I feel like I've forgotten something...
............

OH!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
In honor of this happy occasion, I present you with this adorable shamrock garland:





And a couple of interesting quotes on the Emerald Isle and her people:

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
- Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish)


"It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody."
- Brendan Behan


"The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad. For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad."
- G.K. Chesterton


"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."
- Winston Churchill

 
 
 

Monday, March 14, 2011

This little piggy went to the market...

The recent warm weather has got me thinking of spring. Not only will the weather improve, but the local farmer's market will come out of hiding. Just the thought of the farmer's market has me excited. Local raw honey, music, produce, meat, flowers, and everybody and their brother brings a dog. And what does a stylish young woman take to the market? A market bag, of course! Here are a few designs I particularly like:


I like this design from Lion Brand because it looks roomy and sturdy. I think it'd look great in monochromatic stripes- shades of blue or green (my two favorite colors) or even shades of bright, sunny yellow or orange (they're growing on me).






I love the look of this bag from Bernat. There's also a knit version, for you multitalented crafters out there. I think it has just the right balance of openwork (for stretch) and solid stitches around the edge for a sturdy foundation. And I just love the shape- it deviates a little from the traditional tote or market bag shape.




And there's always this great vintage string bag. It's super-portable, and looks like you could just about fit the Eiffel Tower in there, if you had half a mind to. Plus, I bet it would work up in a snap.




And then there's this modern version of a string bag, worked in worsted weight yarn:




 Which pattern do you like best? My favorite is the cute green one. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Busy, busy, busy.

I have been very busy lately. What with starting a new afghan for a dear friend's wedding (I really really want to post photos, but I can't until after I've given the FO to the wonderful couple!), making another Poke Ball hat, and scrambling to get the house spic n' span for our landlord to show it tomorrow, I've had little time for blogging. I do have something neat to share with you today. A little while back, my husband gave me a copy of Amazing Crochet Lace: New Fashions Inspired by Old-Fashioned Lace.


I have to say, there are a couple of patterns in there that I think are pretty ugly, but it's the same with almost any pattern book you buy. At any rate, there are several patterns in here that I'm just dying to try out, if only I had the time. I definitely want to make the Chrysanthemum shawl on the cover of the book. There's also a skirt pattern and a shawl/wrap pattern utilizing pineapples, which I adore but have never crocheted. And there is a pattern for a gorgeous floral lace robe. So I think I'm pretty well set as far as potential projects go this year. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yarnbombers, unite!

Yarnbombing is the act of knitting or crocheting on or around an item in public, such as a light pole or statue. I recently discovered this on my walk home from work:


It's hard to tell from the photo, but those are shells crocheted around the cord of a payphone. I now see this every day while walking home from work, and it never fails to make me smile.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Technique of the Week: The One Ring

Okay, so it's not THAT "One Ring", but I like to think of it as the One Ring of working in the round. Especially if you get frustrated at the hole left in the middle of your hat/motif/afghan/you name it with other methods. I recently tried this when making the button for the font of my Poké Ball hat, and I love it!

You can find great photo and video tutorials all over the web, but I think these two from PlanetJune are excellent. She's posted a right-handed tutorial, and a left-handed version as well!

Here's a little peek at her tutorial:


If you love in-the-round projects, but hate that little hole that's left in the center, you should definitely learn and use this technique!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gotta Catch 'Em All!

A friend of mine recently asked me to create a hat for her to look like a Poké Ball. For those of you unfamiliar with the game of Pokémon, it's a fun little game that I grew up with, and it has expanded into a cute game empire. In-game, you use devices called Poké Balls to capture adorable creatures and force them to fight one another so they can gain experience, grow, and evolve. See? It's loads of fun. For lovers of the game, the basic Poké Ball has evolved into an iconic representation of all the things they enjoy about the world of Pokémon.

It looks kind of like this: 



So on Saturday I took a little trip to Michael's and picked up some Loops and Threads Charisma yarn in red, white, and black. I'm so proud of myself for beginning and finishing the hat in the same day! It is worked entirely in HDC, and is my own pattern. I'll post the pattern once I work out variations for different sizes. :)

Til then, enjoy the pretty photos!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

 Today makes exactly one year since my very first blog post! So to the two readers that aren't married or related to me, thanks for coming along for the ride! I love hearing back from you, and I'm glad to know that someone actually wants to read what I have to write. But enough of the sentimental junk, it's time to party! :)


Oh, what's that? I forgot to announce the giveaway winner? Well then, let's all give susansmoaks a hearty congratulations! She's won the set of three adorable handmade chrysanthemum dishcloths. Susansmoaks, please email me your mailing address so that I may get these to you posthaste!

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to stop by my little corner of the blogosphere! I really appreciate all the encouraging comments. Feel free to stop in and say hi any time! I'd love to chat with you. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ravel-wha?

Yes. I have finally joined ravelry. It's a good thing. I'd been holding off because I didn't want to create yet another account for yet another site. But once I got in there and checked things out? I'm glad I did. I found some good tips on a pattern I've been having difficulty with, and now I can go back and fix it. I also like all the tools for chronicling your work.

So if you're on Ravelry, look me up! Let's be friends. :)

In other news, my in-laws are visiting today. I'll get to see my adorable baby niece again! I don't think I've seen her since Thanksgiving. Sheesh!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Giveaways Galore!

Hey folks!

There seem to be giveaways everywhere right now.

Holly Days Closet is giving away an adorable indoor snowball fight set. All you have to do is go leave a comment on the giveaway post by March 4. And seriously, if I don't win, I'm gonna need the pattern. It's just that cute!

You should also check out some of the toys she has made. They look like they'd be great for toy drives and such!

And while you're at it, don't forget to check out my giveaway! If you haven't already commented on my giveaway post, then 1.) you are crazy, and 2.) get your butt over there and do it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I can quit any time I want.

I'm not addicted. I can quit any time I want. I don't hoard yarn in the closet. Or behind the couch. Or under the bed. Not I.

Well, okay, maybe a little. But I can quit ANY TIME I WANT.

I'm sure the rest of you crocheters and knitters out there have similar issues with yarn storage, right? As evidence of my lack of a yarn addiction, I submit this snippet of a conversation between the Dearest Husband and me:

Dearest Husband: You should think about designing your own patterns.
Nancy: I have. It just takes more time than I have right now.Plus it would mean I'd have to get new yarn to do up the pattern in, and I have enough yarn for now.
Dearest Husband: Did I hear that right? You? Enough yarn?
Nancy: Oh, shut up.

One of these days, DH, one of these days.


Oh, and don't forget to check out Sunday's post for a chance to win a set of three handmade dishcloths!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Can you dig it? [Closed]

Why, yes, that title is a fairly obscure movie reference. In any case, I sure hope you can dig this:


 
 

 
Because if you can, you might just be able to win them! Unbenownst to many, my blogiversary happens to be this week! Friday, February 25th will make exactly one year since my very first blog post. In celebration, I am doing two things. One, I'm giving away this set of three adorable flower-shaped dishcloths. Two, I'm eating cake. Or baklava. Or chocolate. But I'm definitely consuming delicious sweet treats. :)

In order to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post before midnight, EST February 24. On February 25, I will randomly choose a winner using the list randomizer from random.org. Feel free to comment as much as you like, but remember that only one comment will count as an entry. Good luck!

Update: The contest closed on Friday, February 25th. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning...

Oh, what a beautiful day.
I've got a beautiful feeeeeelin',
Everythin's goin' my way.

Yes, that's from "Oklahoma". Yes, it IS a glorious day here in Kentucky, and yes, I do have a beautiful feeling that everything's going my way.

This morning I sat out on my porch and crocheted for two solid hours in the sunlight. It was wonderful. And the fact that it's February in Kentucky and I was doing that? Downright miraculous.

I made a fair amount of progress on my scallop scarf in those two hours, two. It's now about 30 inches long. Halfway there!

Now it's time to go do some laundry and clean house a bit until Dearest Husband gets off work. Oh, I had forgotten to tell you! He was recently promoted! That's right, no more night shifts for us. He'll never have a weekend off unless he requests it, but I think I can live with that since we're both working days now. It's nice to actually see him once in a while! :)

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool Yarn

A couple of weeks ago I was in Michael's (which I really do not visit very often), and I happened across a yarn I hadn't seen before- Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool. It seemed like a fairly decent buy for the quantity, so I filed it away in the back of my mind for future projects. This past weekend, I went back to Michael's to pick up some Sugar 'n Cream yarn, and decided to give the Fishermen's Wool a spin.

Image from lionbrand.com



First, the positives. This yarn comes in a huge roll. It's 8oz/227g/465 yds of wool yarn. It was about $10 at Michael's, but list price is $10.99. And I'm sure you could find it on sale from time to time. The sheer amount per package is nice, because it means fewer joins in your projects. It's also available in 6 different colors. Annnd, that's about all I have to say on the positive side of things.

Overall, I am not incredibly impressed. Those six colors are all cream, brown, or mixtures thereof. The yarn is finicky to work with- it keeps untwisting on me while I crochet, and then my hook catches the untwisted strands as I work the stitches. It's also a bit scratchy; I suspect it's mostly noils (short fibers which are left behind after combing the wool). I have not finished a project with it yet, so it may soften up a bit after it's been washed, but I can't imagine that I would make a huge amount of difference. Plus, I found a few black fibers in the yarn. Admittedly, this isn't incredibly uncommon for wool, but I really don't want visible black specks in my cream-colored project. It's just unsightly.

After doing a bit of math, I figured out that I can get more, higher quality wool yarn for about the same price. KnitPicks Wool of the Andes worsted weight (in solid colors) is about $10 for 250g/550yds (that's five 50g balls of yarn). while Fishermen's Wool is about $10 ($10.99, list price) for 227g/465yd. I have a bunch of WotA which I'm planning on using in an afghan, and I have worked up a few granny squares in it. In my opinion, it is softer, of higher quality, and works up better. It also comes in a ton of different colors and is less expensive per yard than Fishermen's Wool.

Fishermen's Wool is not the worst yarn, but I know there are better values out there. In short, I'm pretty certain I won't be purchasing this yarn again.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chrysanthemum Dishcloth

After I got home from a strenuous day of yarn shopping this past Saturday, I needed to sit down and relax a bit. Since I know of nothing more relaxing than crochet, I worked on this adorable Chrysanthemum Dishcloth (pattern from www.sugarncream.com):

 
 
  

You should be able to get about three centers or three edges out of one ball of yarn. One caveat- the Sugar n' Cream ombre colors have less yardage per ball, so you won't quite get three out of one of them. (Thanks for the tip, Larissa!)