UFO Update

While there was a long time I wasn’t posting here, I was still crocheting. I got a new job in March and it got really demanding this summer so I spent any free time crocheting and held off on the blogging.

I thought I’d update what happened regarding the FO Pledge I made back in February. That would be… not that much.

Thomas the Train Blanket

Thomas the Train Blanket

After my son started frequently asking when I was going to finish his Thomas the Train blanket I “gave” him as a Christmas present, I finally wove in a zillion ends and added the border. It actually didn’t take that long. I figured I should finish it before he didn’t like Thomas anymore.

As I posted here, I finished and sent the squares to Share A Square months ago.

As for the rest… uhhhh…. well…. they’re still in their unfinished object state. My grandmother is still asking for her polar bear. I purchased lining fabric for the backpack… but still haven’t completed it. I frogged my turtleneck after realizing I am not the size I fooled myself into believe I was. My husband’s sweater is still just the back of a sweater. My hooded jacket still has a few more ends left to weave in and is waiting to be sewed up. And of course, several more UFOs can now be sighted throughout my apartment.

P.S. I have started designing a new series of Rainbow items recently. The first Rainbow pillow pattern will be posted later this week. Why complete old things when there are so many new things to be made?

A Chainless Beginning: Thoughts on Foundation Single Crochet

It took me a while to figure it out, as in several months from when I first tried it on the Starling Handbag, but I am now a convert and a believer. The foundation crochet stitches are the way to go when starting a crochet piece. It beats a starting chain handsdown. It’s the only way to get stretch in your entire piece (super important in clothing) and helps prevent curling (after blocking).

I finally figured out what the foundation stitch actually is. It’s just the regular crochet stitch… Single Crochet, Half Double, Double, Triple… with one extra step. It’s just like you’re working upside down and adding the chain as you go.

  • For the very beginning you Chain 2 for SC, 2 or 3 for HDC, 3 for DC, 4 for TC
  • You start off like a regular stitch, yarn over if it’s anything other than single crochet and don’t yarn over for single crochet, then insert your hook through two loops (like a regular stitch) *for the first stitch, insert your hook in the first chain furthest from your hook.
  • pull up a loop (like a regular stitch)
  • then yarn over and pull through one loop (this is the ONLY change from a regular stitch)
  • then finish your stitch like you normally would: for SC and HDC ¬†yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook, for DC, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook, then yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook, for TC, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops, and yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook
  • You are now an expert in foundation crochet stitches.

There’s a great photo tutorial and video by futuregirl on Foundation Single Crochet that you can view on her blog. I think I watched the video 50 times while I was trying to start the Starling Handbag (which happens to be a great simple bag project and the purse I use everyday). In retrospect, starting that bag with a chain and regular single crochet stitches would have been fine.

Abbreviations for the foundation stitches:
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet
FHDC: Foudnation Half Double Crochet
FDC: Foundation Double Crochet
FTC: Foundation Triple Crochet

What’s a CAL?

So I’m in all these CAL groups (crochet-a-longs) on Ravelry. A bunch of people crocheting the same pattern (usually free) at the same time. You all talk about the pattern, yarn choice, ask questions, show your progress, get ideas from each other… it’s a lot fun and can get you more excited about your project. In my case, it can help to get me to focus on actually finishing a project as opposed to wandering off to a new one and ending up with yet another WIP (work in progress) or UFO (unfinished object) (depending on how you look at it).

Of course I’m behind in my CALs, especially the ones where I’m expected to finish something every month. I’m not sure if the Block a Month CAL is going to get me an afghan at the end of the year. At the rate I’m going I’m still thinking about making January’s squares.

Some of the others have really got my creative juices flowing and have pushed me to try new techniques like surface crochet and beaded crochet. I’ve made some very cool things as a result.

I’m currently part of the following Crochetalongs:

Some I’m much more active in than others… really gotta get going on my squares… Some I just plan on participating in sometime in the uncommitted future.

If you crochet, probably more so if you want to start crocheting and need some friends to help you out, you should find a CAL that you’re interested in and join the fun! You may just end up with a very cool FO (finished object) that you’d never thought of making.

Snow Day Bag

Snow Day Bag

For days coworkers had planned on not going to work as the word “Snow” was mentioned more and more in the weather forecast. “I’m not doing what I did last time,” they all said. Reflecting on the monstrous post-Christmas NY shutdown and my whereabouts, I knew what I needed to do. Buy more yarn. Last time I was stuck at my parent’s place in Long Island with only scraps of what remained from Christmas presents I had to finish right before (or right after) I gave them. The same thing would not happen to me twice. Snow was in the air and I was going to Michaels.

With memories of the multi-day event that the monster snow storm was, I had to buy enough yarn for at least 3-4 projects… you know, just in case. Yarn for one bag I’d been dying to try… and the bag of the month… and a scarf… and another scarf… and another scarf… who knew how long we’d be stuck inside this time. It took my entire lunch hour, but it proved to be a lunch hour well spent when I picked up my son after work to find out they had already announced school would be closed the next day. Yes!

Snow Day Bag DetailThe next morning we awoke to… SNOW! Which was cleared up a few hours later. No school meant no work so no matter, it was time to get working on the Snow Day Bag. Two strands of Paton’s Classic Wool in hand, I flew through the bag. Working with the yarn was great and I was surprised I hadn’t tried it before.

Unfortunately, I had also woken up to… a sick kid. That did mean, my Snow Day Bag could be finished on the Sick Day. The bag went really quickly and I’m loving how it came out. The next one I make I want to felt. When’s the snow coming next?

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