Encore, Etsy, Comfort and Drops for fun combinations

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Starting a new blog has a way of making me feel old.

All these selections, uploads and decisions to make, how to change this that or the other, what’s free, what’s not…it can be quite confusing. I understand why people hire someone to do this for them.

But, here I am, writing at last, after spending the past two hours getting the basics in place. As I learn more about how to use WordPress, perhaps I can make this blog a little easier on the eye.

I want to talk about a variety of things here, no restrictions, no parameters. Just an expression of who I am, what I like to do, and how I see the world. I’ll have a few things to sell here and there, but mainly I’d like to talk about what I’ve made, what I’m making, etc…

Now, to begin…

After a long humid summer itchy with mosquitoes, fall has finally arrived. Today is cool and rainy. The two kittens were playing most of the morning, sometimes inside, sometimes outside. A joy to watch. Playful. Now, sleepy. One is curled on a pile of blankets behind me. The other, outside on her blankie, which is just an old fleece shirt I folded and set on a chair. I’ve got the windows open to let in the cool and have a somewhat cropped view of two gargantuan fern plants, a section of gorgeous deep red mums not yet fully opened, and a few arms of a Christmas cactus, all greenery for the front porch. We have enjoyed these plants – and more – immensely this year. Autumn has been my favorite season all my life, but it pains me to see the flowers fading and know the glory of their blossoms is nearly done. I also wonder where I will house all these plants during winter. It will be a challenge.

Onto the making of things…

The photo collage above shows pictures of the cozy I just finished for my French press. Is it a frozy? Either way, it will keep my hot beverages a bit hotter this winter…and add some delightful color. This was a quickie project made from remnants leftover from a shawl, which I’ll talk about below. For the “frozy” I first tried alternating single and half double crochet, but it was too static and boring. Then I tried a granny square flower, but didn’t like that either, mainly because of the color distribution. Then I tried this very simple square I’d seen a yarnie friend do out of the same yarn, but a different colorway. This one worked. You can find the pattern here. Looking at the pattern title, I guess it’s actually a rectangle. I missed that last night. I was going for a square, but the rectangle was the best choice, so I didn’t argue with the pattern as I watched it form. Two of them covered the French press nicely, with a few sc rows to join as well as a border. Four loops and buttons sealed the deal. I used yarn to stitch on the buttons. I wrapped the thread twice around the base of the button to raise it up so the loops would fit under them easily, as you would do when sewing buttons on a jacket. I love how it turned out.

The yarn for this project and the shawl was Encore Worsted Colorspun, Sangria (#7655) by Plymouth Yarn Company which I purchased from my local yarn store. It’s a 75% acrylic 25% wool yarn I had eyeballed for nearly a year. When I saw the shawl pattern, I decided to try it. You can find the pattern for this buttoned crocheted shawl on Etsy. I used the better part of four skeins at 200 yards per skein and a size 8mm hook.

*It’s raining more now. Did the sky borrow this water from a pond? Because it smells like fish.*

I like this shawl, although I liked it better made out of a solid like the model garment in the yarn store. I have to say I’m not crazy about all the yellow in this colorway, or the kind of ho-hum, mottled design it turned out. I’ve made other projects out of Colorspun before, and loved them. Like my frozy, those items were made with cluster stitches, so the individual colors in the variegated yarn each have their say. Using single crochet, the colors merely run together, although the striping effect is nice. The truth is, I just don’t like a lot of yellow and with this pattern it kind of washes me out. But it could be perfect for someone with different coloring. Maybe I will sell it to a friend or give it as a gift. Maybe I’ll sell it and donate the proceeds to a local horse rescue operation. I like the sound of that.

Selling…one of the reasons for sharing my work. I have too many things. Lately I’ve thought about the oldtimers, my grandparents, when I was growing up. Their houses were so tidy, rooms so sparse. Just simple furniture with simple coverings and bare wooden floors. I never saw their houses cluttered with too many things. Everything had its place and was put away when not in use. Not like my house. Always cluttered. Everything in its temporary place, until I feel like organizing again. I find myself thinking I need more space. But, really, I need fewer things.

Looking at the other Colorspun selections, I see another color I’d like to try: Concord Sunset. I’m a sucker for purple. And variegated.

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Onto another finished project…

I’m rather proud of this skirt. Made out of sock yarn and using a 3.5 mm hook, it took forever. But, the pattern was fun once I got down to the more intricate rows. It’s my own take on a Drops pattern called Lady Lace. If I remember correctly, I made the top longer than the pattern. I also crocheted a tube for the tie. I love this skirt. I have yet to wear it. The yarn is Comfort sock yarn by Berroco. The color is Stewart Island.

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I have another skirt planned, also from Drops and also out of Comfort sock yarn, but in English Garden, a mix of purple and red and a touch of black. Like Lady Lace, the other pattern,  Autumn Swing, will probably take me a while. But, I shall enjoy every moment.

As a side note, my Lady Lace skirt won me a blue ribbon at the county fair this year. It was a nice nod but, really, it deserved a purple (superior.) Overall, it was a disappointing awarding of ribbons at the fair this year. I didn’t win a single purple, although I had a few blues and reds. I blame it on being judged by a knitter. But, don’t get me started.

I think this is plenty for a first post. I’m hungry and tired of being on the computer. Time to make a salad and do something else.

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