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?

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FO Pledge

I pledge to actually finish some projects this week since I am on vacation.

I pledge to finish the following projects this week:

  • Black Stitch Sampler Backpack – I just finished the crochet and only need to sew it up now.
  • Share a Square Squares – There’s one face that needs to be embroidered on, a few ends woven in, and they need to be steamed. Then I just need to mail them. I pledge that this will happen tomorrow.
  • Hooded Jacked AKA De La Soul Jacket – I need to weave in the ends and sew it up. I would say “just need to” weave in the ends, but there’s like a million of them.
  • Sergio’s Turtleneck – I finished the back a month and a half ago. This is a boring project in all DC, but I could probably finish in a day if I could pay attention long enough.
  • My Turtleneck – I was so psyched to start on this and couldn’t get a hold of the pattern fast enough. I had to order a hard copy snail mail -gasp, say it isn’t so- and of course by the time it arrived, my enthusiasm had dwindled. I have a whopping 6 inches of the back done. I would actually like to get through this before it’s too hot to wear it. It uses one of the yarn colors from the Hooded Jacket, so if I finish that I would wear this with it.
  • Ewing’s Thomas the Train Blanket – I have 7 more rows of light blue, then the border, and need to weave in a zillion ends. Being that officially this was his “Christmas” present, I pledge to finish it this week.
  • Grandma’s Polar Bear – Another “Christmas” present. I just need to embroider the face and sew him up. Really, he’s stalled since December, really? Ridiculous.

I figured if I published my pledge I had a better chance of holding myself accountable.

I would say I pledge to finish them before starting new ones, but that would just be a lie. Did I mention I just bought yarn for 4 new projects last week? I couldn’t help it. They’re going to come out so cool.

Hooded Jacket CAL AKA The De La Soul Jacket

It wasn’t until I started working on it that I realized I remembered this jacket from high school. I distinctly remember Damien and Jamar wearing this jacket in the high school courtyard. It’s the De La Soul jacket from the Three Feet High and Rising days… but I don’t really want to wear the De La Soul jacket, so I’m making a few changes.

I’m making the hooded jacket along with a bunch of other people as part of the Hooded Jacket Crochet-a-long on Ravelry. I’ve been having a great time with it and the crochetalong part has really pushed me to think through the project and come up with some great ideas for modification possibilities. I’ve loved seeing what others are coming with on this one. Some have been super cute.

Hooded Jacket Schematic

Hooded Jacket Size 14 Schematic - Click to Enlarge

The “vintage” pattern is available for free through the Jolly Plum blog. The first thing I realized was that the schematic was nowhere and I really needed it so I drew it up for size 14.

Having the schematic helped me out more than I thought it would as I started planning my stripes. I decided to only go with 3 colors after putting together tons of gorgeous bright color combos only to later remember I would be wearing this in public and the days of Cross Colors had come and gone. While some do have the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as their end goal, I do not. After making my Snow Day Bag, I loved the colors and yarn so much I decided to use the same ones for this project too… and it was on sale at Michaels again.

Planning out the stripes was a lot harder than I realized. I wanted wider stripes in the center and thinner ones on the sides to give the illusion of skinny. In retrospect the skinny stripes in the pattern would have been fine for the entire pattern if that was the main goal, but I do like how the graduated stripe width looks. I was right around gauge with my H hook, so after drawing out the schematic I broke it into rows based on 2.75 rows per inch. After figuring out that I wanted stripes to go from 6 rows down to 2 rows at the sides, the first stripe issue I came across was matching the shoulders. It wasn’t too hard, but it did change my original plan. After the hood was done, I realized I hadn’t matched stripes from the hood to my neckline. This I’m letting go for now. The stripe police will not come after me… I pretty sure of it. The sleeves were redone three times before I was happy with the color pattern and stripe widths on them. I ended up realizing it would look best with the center sleeve stripe matching the center side stripe.

This is where I currently am:

Striped Hoodie Almost Done

Striped Hoodie Almost Done

Striped Hoodie Flat

Striped Hoodie Flat looks like the Schematic who would have guessed

Hopefully I’ll finish this weekend. Part of the CAL is that it does feel like a race.

After seeing the challenges some others faced… yarn shortages, body shape needs… it really got me thinking about what modifications could be done with this pattern to create a great modified garment.

Vest Option:
It makes a great vest. If you have broad shoulders, just leave off the sleeves. If like me, you have more sloped shoulders, the shoulders would need to be 6-8 rows shorter, but you would still need that width in the chest, so maybe a graduated decrease instead of the squared drop to the armhole that the pattern has. I also think the armhole would need to be a little deeper for a vest.

Painted Crochet Option:
Being that the pattern is written for two strands of yarn held together throughout, I think this would make a great candidate for painted crochet to create your own ombre effect, similar to the Snow Day Bag.

Shorter Option:
The one I’m making definitely fits me more like a cardigan than a jacket. I’m thinking of doing another to hit mid hip instead of mid thigh. At gauge, knocking off 77 stitches from the starting chain should be about right.

Longer Technicolor Dreamcoat Option:
This could easily be elongated for the full technicolor dreamcoat look, just know the starting chain will probably hit mid thigh and add on another foot or two to each side, 77-114 more stitches additional to the starting chain.

Short Sleeve Option:

NittyNora's Gorgeous Cap Sleeve Hoodie

Someone ran out of yarn and did a cap sleeve with a one button closure instead of a belt and turned the pockets so the stripes were horizontal. It came out super cute.

Side Slits to Accommodate Hips:
It’s very easy to figure out where the side center is, it’s between the 4 rows of armhole shaping. A side slit is a simple way to accommodative larger hips. For the third row of the armhole shaping, along the bottom, make about 30 stitches not connected to row 2 of armhole shaping.

This is definitely my favorite CAL at the moment and has helped to keep me focused on actually finishing this project instead of abandoning it for the next shiny thing to come along. If you want to take a shot at it, come on over and join the fun. We’d love to see what you do with it.

P.S. I was completely unsuccessful when searching for a picture of anyone in De La Soul wearing this jacket so it is possible I am completely imagining it… but I swear I’m not.

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.

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