I finished.

Actually, I finished a few days ago, but I literally haven’t had time to make a post in DAYS. It’s just ridiculous. But I’m off work tonight, I’m off tomorrow, and I finally have some time to relax!!!

Anyway, the first big piece of news is…

My peppermint blanket is DONE!!!!

pepp-blanket-edit

(Image obviously edited for privacy, in case you thought my face is actually a crudely scribbled smiley face.)

I know it looks a bit silly like this but it’s nearly impossible to show a hexagon blanket properly. Like you literally can’t hold it up correctly in order to show its shape. Believe me, I tried a million different strategies.

Isn’t it beautiful? I know I’m bragging a little, but I’m really impressed with it! The peppermints actually look pretty realistic, it’s obvious what they’re supposed to be. And the border is adorable! It’s this weird technique of doing chain segments but weaving one color around another.

In the end, my final thoughts on this blanket are positive. I think I’d do it again, just not right away.

It took me probably 30+ hours, not including the border.

The cost was maybe $25ish, I don’t remember how many skeins I bought but it was probably about 3 red and 4 white. Definitely cost-effective! Oh, and the pattern was just 5 bucks which is absolutely worth it.

All in all, if I have a few months off, I’d be happy to do this again!

 

Since then I’ve just been working on my kaftan. I think I’ve shown you guys this before, but it was probably way back at the beginning. Let me show you where I am on it as of a night or two ago:

kaftan-2

The kitten model always has to be part of every picture I take…actually, he has to be part of everything I do in general. In fact he’s sitting on my lap right now, yelling at me because I’m not cuddling him enough, or correctly, or something. I don’t even know.

Anyway, the kaftan is nearly done! I only have 9 more rows to go! But I’m out of yarn, and I need to wait for payday to get the final ball because this week was my student loan payment and that’s literally the amount of my paycheck, so…yeah.

Check out the neat stripes in the yarn, though! I really like it. It worked out that there was always 3-4 rows of the peach/orange and then a stripe of the other colors. I like how it’s kind of organized and neat but also it definitely gives the hippie vibe I was wanting with this kaftan.

I’m dying to wear it in about a week once I can buy the last ball!

I think that’s about all the news to share for now. I’m going to get back to snuggling my kitty and watching my husband play Skyrim while I wait for my turn to play. Have a great weekend everyone!

Why do you crochet?

Or knit, or do whatever craft it is that you do.

For me, it’s mostly for stress. I crochet because otherwise I think way too much–am I going to get fired, my husband must be mad at me because he hasn’t spoken in the past 5 minutes (he doesn’t talk much at all but that doesn’t stop my insecure anxiety brain), the cats aren’t making any noise so are they dead?

This whole train of thought gets ANNOYING. So I’ve discovered that when I have yarn in my hands, it’s much calmer! My hands are busy and so is my brain. I’m the type of person who can’t just watch something on TV, I have to be fiddling with my hands. Coloring, or doing a word puzzle, or playing an app on my phone.

All of those strategies were awesome too, but I didn’t have anything to show for them at the end. But with crocheting…I watch several hours of a good show on Netflix, and at the end I have a hat! Or a wrap, or a baby blanket, or currently a colorful hippie kaftan.

Do you know what a kaftan is? I didn’t before tonight, and now I’m making one. Another benefit to this hobby, I’m learning new things!

I bought two balls of Hobby Lobby’s “Urban Chic” DK yarn because I’ve been drooling over it literally for months, and my husband said I could buy ten bucks of yarn today when I needed to run in for yarn needles. I figured it was the best opportunity to finally try this Urban Chic stuff, and it’s totally awesome.

Look, it’s so pretty!

urban-chic

I’d actually been wanting a different colorway that’s gray with I think orange and yellow streaks, but this one called to me and I’m glad I went with it for this project.

Then I couldn’t decide what to make with it…until I stumbled upon this gorgeous pattern called “Glamour Kaftan” from Red Heart. It’s supposed to be made with their Glamour yarn (obviously), the one with sequins in it, but I’m not the type to follow rules so I’m trying it with Urban Chic.

It’s adorable so far, check it out:

kaftan-1

See? Really open and meshy, it’s going to be so light and drapey and colorful! It almost appears to have some sparkle, I swear that’s not actually there but I’m pleasantly surprised that it looks that way.

I’ll leave it at that, I need to go to bed before work in the morning…yep, Sunday morning and I have to work instead of the yarn and coffee life like so many of you get to experience. Just drink a cup for me, ok?

Anyway, I got a bit off topic, but please let me know why you chose your hobby and what keeps you going?

 

Perseverance

Just over a month ago, a friend of a friend of my mother-in-law posted a picture on Facebook of this gorgeous blanket made of circles that look like the classic peppermint candies. You know, these things?

candy

(Obviously not my pic, I’m not that good at photography.)

Anyway, she showed this picture and excitedly said something along the lines of “Oh, if only I knew anyone who could make a blanket like this!”

And my mother-in-law is a total Facebook addict. So of course she saw it. And she immediately told that friend “Hey, my daughter-in-law crochets! She’d be happy to make you one!” and group-messaged me and that friend on Facebook so we could talk about pricing.

I looked up the pattern and bought it because even if this didn’t go through, I maybe would want to make myself one someday. I learned that it’s a big-ass hexagon, and it’s composed of 61 peppermint pieces that you join together as you go. Yep, SIXTY-ONE pieces.

I did not want to take on such a giant project when I’m crumbling under stress at work and at home and just UGH life sucks right now, but I do like money. So I estimated what I would charge based on yarn and time (although I underestimated the time), and I then upped that price by a little bit, sure she would say “ok thanks I’ll think about it” like they all do…because everyone assumes a custom crochet blanket must cost the same as buying a blanket at Target.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic. I sent her a message detailing how long it would take me, and my slightly-inflated price. Her answer?

“Sounds great!”

Well, shit. I had one last chance to back out, but then I remembered that I do like money…and need it, of course. Plus I crochet every day anyway, so why not make a nice repetitive blanket with that time?

I agreed, and got half down as a deposit because when people back out on giant stuff like blankets it’s REALLY hard to re-sell them. I absolutely recommend this strategy if you’re selling stuff. It gives you the cash to buy the yarn and a bit of a safety net when they change their minds.

So I bought the yarn, and got started.

beginning-peppermint

Hey, this isn’t so bad! I got three done the first day, and at this rate I’ll be done in just 3 weeks! Which I think is the time I actually told her it would take, but she told me there was no rush, luckily.

It turns out that yeah, on a day off it’s not hard to make 3 pieces. Even 4 on a really good day! But on a day when you work 9 hours or more? And have to do some chores when you get home? And maybe you don’t want to crochet for hours every single day? It’s much harder. Several days I only got one finished. Several days I didn’t make any at all. The progress definitely suffers when this happens, and suddenly I was coming up on a month with only 40-some pieces made.

This is the blanket today, a month and 4 days after I agreed to make it:

almost-done

So close, and yet so far. I think I’m at 55 pieces done. This pic may be from a few days ago, I don’t even remember anymore. The fifties are all blurring together at this point. I might have ten left, or thirty, or only two. I have absolutely lost my mind.

If you want to make one of these, THINK VERY HARD ABOUT IT. Yes, each piece is fairly quick. Takes me about 30 minutes once I really get going. But do you really have an hour a day to devote to just this project? Because if you do, it’ll still take a MONTH. And that’s if you have the time and you can keep up a steady pace. When I’m also handling household stuff or talking with my husband, it can take me an hour to make one. If you want it done faster, you’ll need to put in two hours or more.

I mean, I’m not trying to scare anyone away or insult the pattern. It’s a wonderfully creative pattern and I’m sure the finished item will be lovely and hopefully appreciated by its owner. I just 100% did not really understand what I was getting into. I want others to be more prepared!

Ok, I’m going to go back to piece 56 now. I’m sooooooo close…but yet not really. And the first clue was released today for my first crochet-along, can’t I do that instead?

Please, learn from my torment and think before you start!

Patience

This morning, I went to Hobby Lobby.

Scratch that…WE went to Hobby Lobby. I’m not allowed to go to craft/yarn stores by myself because it’s just a fact that I’ll impulse-buy hundreds of dollars of yarn and other goodies. So we both went to Hobby Lobby this morning, and I saw something.

One of their store brands, Yarn Bee, has what I think is a new yarn. It’s called “Soft & Sleek”, plus the package advertises that it’s “Low-Pill Fiber” which I guess is cool but weird to put on the front of the label. I’m 90% sure that it’s their answer to Vanna’s Choice–a regular medium-weight worsted yarn but squishy and kind of on the thicker side of worsted.

I am obsessed with Vanna’s Choice, but my local Hobby Lobby doesn’t have all that many colors. I was excited to hear about all their new shades recently but I haven’t gotten to try a single one. Life is hard. So if they’re coming out with their own version of Vanna’s, then hell yeah I’m going to support it! Maybe they’ll have a better color selection.

Anyway, it just so happens that I was there to buy some yarn for a crochet-along that I’m starting tomorrow. It’s for a mystery accessory item, I’m thinking probably a wrap or something along those lines. I’m super white and have brown hair, so I look best in jewel tones…I chose this GORGEOUS cranberry wine shade. I literally can’t wait to make something.

Check it out:

soft-sleek

Super beautiful, right? I’ve caught myself looking up patterns for it about 5 times already. I know the CAL starts tomorrow, but that’s not right now! Plus I work 9 hours tomorrow so really I won’t get to truly start it until Wednesday, and that’s a whole two days away!

It’s killing me. But I only had to buy this yarn today because the last yarn I already bought for this CAL mysteriously disappeared to another project…it wasn’t the right color for my skin anyway.

I made a gorgeous wrap out of the first yarn but I’ll never wear it because it’s a brighter teal and that just doesn’t work on me. I’ll give it to someone for Christmas. See? It all worked out! I have a Christmas present made already AND I got to pick a better color!

I didn’t have much to share beyond that, I just wanted the rest of you to feel my pain on leaving a new yarn alone for even 48 hours. Let me know if you’ve used this one and if you liked it!

Yarn and chaos

Pretty much sums up my life. Let me see if I can explain a little better for the rest of you…

Hi! I’m Abby. I’m a crocheter, I’m extremely obsessed. Since my mom taught me a few years ago I don’t think I’ve gone more than 24 hours without crocheting something…and that leads to a lot of chaos when you also work 40+ hours a week and have a marriage to maintain. We’ve had our troubles but we’re happy and waiting to try for kids in a couple years.

We’re currently living in very-very-southern Texas and desperately wanting to move back up to the Midwest (saving every penny!) in the next couple of years. So for now I’m suffering through 90 degree weather in freaking October and dreaming of sweaters, scarves, hats…this is the life of a crocheter living in the wrong part of the country.

My goals for life are…

  1. Two kids. I want three, my husband wants 1, so we’re compromising on 2.
  2. Writing my own crochet patterns! I’ve done one scarf without a pattern but it was a really simple stitch so I’m not going to call it a real “pattern”. I want to make a sweater someday.
  3. Moving to Michigan to be near my parents again. I haven’t seen them in 2 years and that was only for a weekend.

I think that’s about all you need to know for now. To really show you who I am, here are a few of my favorite creations over the past couple of months. There’s so much more I want to show but…

  1. You have to put up with me for a long time so there’s a lot more time to show you more.
  2. I have to ease in to revealing the real extent of my obsession.
  3. I switched phones a few months back and don’t know how to transfer the pictures. I’m not a tech-savvy person.

Alright, that should be good for an introduction. I hope to be back soon to show you progress on all the things I’m currently working on!