Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Are You Working On?

I seem to be in a bit of project upheaval mode right now.  I can not make up my mind up on what to work on.  When I do make up my mind I seem to be having a bit of a problem with the final outcome.  First there was the Yarn Bag that ended up felted, and is in the time out corner for not behaving.  I understand it was my fault it didn't turn out, but I am much to busy to go in time out.

 This weekend I spotted a free standing, crochet bowl on Pinterest.  I know, Pinterest is getting me in a lot of trouble.  I immediately made a few bowls of different sizes, with the extra yarn I had from the doomed Yarn Bag. 

 I had the best time trying to figure out increases and color combinations.

 I made three bowls, this is the smallest with a picot edge.

 I tried to follow the translated directions from this blog, Saaartje.  I ended up using about 3/4 cups of sugar, diluted in 1/2 cup boiling water.  I put the crochet in the very sticky solution, wrung out the excess, and plopped it over some bowls of the same size.  You are supposed to wait till it is very dry before removing, but I have to say mine were so sticky that this just didn't work.  I am wondering if I got something wrong in the translation (or my math skills which is extremely likely), or if the humidity in Florida just won't let this process work.  Sticky, sugary bowls are not ideal for Florida where bugs love to live in even the cleanest of homes.  Please notice the very clean tea cup in the picture!!!!

 So yesterday I washed out the sugar and I am letting these dry again.  I might try to spray a lot of starch on them to see if that works.

 What I am supposed to be working on is this Penny Arcade Coat from Caron.  You can find this on their website under look for sheep(ish) yarns and follow the path to the free patterns.  You have to be a member of this site to get the pattern, but all that involves is signing up.

 I have the back completed but spent some time yesterday ripping out the front.  I think the pattern sizing is wrong.  The crochet hook letter size and number size do not match up.  So you may want to go a bigger size.  You also have to decrease the needle size on the fronts as per the back directions to get the same number of pattern repeats before starting the arm decreases.  I learned all of this a bit late. I really like this yarn, it is lovely to work with especially as it is so reasonably priced.  With several Joann's and Micheal's coupons this whole coat cost me only $20.  I love that, now I have to get back to loving making it.

This is now my distraction.  The Crochet Circle Vest Shrug.  This is another Pinterest tease, I actually purchased this pattern, something I rarely do anymore with so many free, wonderful patterns out there.  I may have to start on this today. It simply keeps calling my name and won't let me have a moments peace. I think I need a project that is fast and that works.  Although there is no telling if I might screw this one up, too.  By the way my joins were lots better with the granny bowls, thanks for all your help in that area.

What are you working on?


serendipity said...

I think the spray starch sounds a better option. I've used it on linen before and it's very good. Hope the hurricane isn't causing you any trouble in Florida. It looks awful.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Your bowls are beautiful! Having lived in FL I am with you, I would not leave anything out with sugar on it.

The penny Arcade Jacket looks really cool. I love the softness of the Sheepish yarn, Very nice.

I love the Circle Vest shrug! I think it's going to be beautiful with the yarn you have picked out. Lovely, just lovely! :)

Wishing you and Max a wonderful day filled with many blessings :)

Kris said...

Tee-hee. I should do a WIP post too. I have my knitted dishcloths going on. And an unfinished blanket that needs to get finished. And two scarves in progress. We are so naughty!!
Love the bowls!
: ) Kris

Dee said...

Steve's blanket, a pair of Simply Skyp socks, and another Wingspan.

For starching your bowls, see if Publix has liquid starch. It works much better than the spray starch.

moonstruckcreations said...

Love all of your projects!

im working on some bits and pieces for an autumn swap I signed up for, so cant say too much just yet.

But I have signed up for a workshop to learn how to do zpaghetti, which apparently is a very large style crochet using yarn from recycled fabric.


Susanne said...

I hear ya! I am in a muddle myself, trying to figure out what to make, looking my eye balls out and doing the endless search. I have got this bug up my butt convincing me I need to crochet or knit up every inch of my yarn. I was going to make those cats Pammy Sue made in the past until I ran into trouble copying the pattern. That threw me into a tizzy and so I am on the search again for a blanket (like I need another one of these). Your bowls turned out cute and the colors are very pleasing to the eye. I can understand your troubles with finding the right stiffening agent. Try googling starches for yarn and see what you come up with. Maybe you'll find something that works for you.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Crafty in the Med said...

Hi there Mere,
Is that wool or acrylic yarn you've used for the bowls?
I've only used starch with cotton for bowls and its turned out fine but I've never tried sugar starch!!! Wouldn't work at all in this heat and the cat would be licking it all day too. I use old granny starch stuff that I buy in a packet and you add hot water. Ages since I've done any but it literally fossilizes your crochet if you use too much! Good though if you don't over do it.
Hope Max is feeling less stressed now and has accepted that yr son isn't around anymore!

keep well

Amanda :-)

PS: I'm making a poncho for my daughter at present and I'm rapidly getting tired of it. I'm also crocheting a kindle cover and a pebble as a gift.

by Teresa said...

Meredith.. I have the answer! You need to buy a bottle of "Stiffy". It's what I use to stiffen my crocheted heart ornaments! It's kind of like liquid plastic and will work perfect for bowls. I think you can get it at Michael's.

As for what I'm working on - it's that shawl like Pammy Sue made. I'm loving it!

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Grayseasailor said...

So glad you washed out the sugar, Meredith :)
Well, I have a merino blanket started on circular needles, a merino hat on another set of needles., a sock on another circular needle, a dishcloth, and I want to knit a tomato and crochet a pumpkin and a basket and...then there is the crochet patchwork blanket...oh my
In a basket on top of a bookshelf I have the first sweater I started that has been in timeout for years waiting for me to frog it ... Oh my...
xxx from Gracie

minaandme said...

I really like the bowls! The colors are great :) Hopefully you'll find a way to get them to stiffen up properly. It's no fun to just have one WIP because you never know what you'll be in the mood to work on! I think it's totally reasonable to have multiple projects. Hurrah for variety! I've currently got a sock and an arm warmer on the needles and just finishing up a crochet hat. Good luck with your current projects (especially that circle vest, I look forward to seeing that one!).

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Your bowls are pretty. I'm not sure the sugar mixture will work on that kind of yarn. It's usually used on cotton thread. But then again, I read about someone else who tried the mixture and they found it sticky, too. I imagine environment might have something to do with it. Here today is sooooooooooooooo humid! Like a sauna. I think if you use two yarns together when you crochet, it will be firmer and your bowl will stand on its own.

Good luck with your other projects. I like that shrug. Since going back to school this past week, I haven't worked on a dang thing.

Thanks for the perspiration stain tip. Best wishes, Tammy

becktovintage said...

Ohh I like the bowls so much. And I like the sugar idea. I will try it for my crochet necklaces..
Thank you very much..
Best wishes...

Shari said...

Hey girl...I just finished posting a little something about making headbands. A friend of mine bought a cute little dress for her 4yr old daughter and wanted a cute headband to match or I came up with a sunflower headband. It came out so cute that I thought I would share with everyone...check it out if you have time. Thank goodness you washed the bowls before the ants came to Happy Hour! Try out what Teresa works! Still hanging in there due to the far so good in my area! They did close the schools just in case, but now it's been down graded to just a tropical storm..we might only get some wind and rain...feel so sorry for the ones who didn't leave New Orleans...they got it bad.And Mississippi! Shari ")

Mrs. Micawber said...

Hope you find a good stiffening alternative! I've used sugar water and also diluted glue, but only on small cotton crochet snowflakes and stars.

What a fun batch of projects you're working on. I like that Penny Arcade coat. The Joann's and Michael's near us have gotten rid of a lot of my favourite yarns - Stitch Nation Washable Ewe and Full O'Sheep, and NaturallyCaron Country. Very frustrating!

I'm working on a baby hat design, a baby blanket design, and trying to come up with a satisfying crochet baby sock or bootee (my nephew's wife is about to give birth, hence the all the baby stuff). Also a shawl which I hope to submit to a magazine. I think there are a few other projects bouncing around in my head but they haven't made it to my hands yet. :)

Hope you don't get too hurricanized where you are.

delia hornbook said...

Wow those bowls look gorgeous love your colour choice i hope the spray statch works for you. Such a cute idea even if they dont stand up alone you could use them to maybe cover a fruit bowl well the larger one ;-) Im just working on my vintage sheet patchwork at the moment although im itching to get my crochet hook out again and learn a different stitch. dee xx

Teresa said...

How about trying some Mod Podge? I've read (somewhere in blogland!) it works :)
Yes, I'm still around and always reading your posts and Claudia, even if I'm not in a blogging mood these days ;)
As to my projects... on my 4th shawl now! And itching to try stitching some fabric hexagons.
Stay well, my dear friend :)xxx

steph said...

I saw something on Pinterest about stiffening with sugar--and could think of nothing but ROACHES! YUK. Hope you find an alternative for stiffening---those bowls are just beautiful!!!

Pooch said...

You just validated me and I thank you! I have a couple of vests that are almost finished. Don't know why I'm taking care of those projects! My "main" --until yesterday-- project is a prayer shawl. But, yesterday while visiting the blog of little woolie, I was taken with her colorful blankets. You guessed it! I joined her CAL for very practical reasons, to use leftover baby yarn. In a display of great restraint, I decided to make a baby blanket rather than a full size one.

So I'm feeling better about all of that after reading your post and seeing your pretty-pretty projects. The coat and vest are so lovely. What a joy you'll have in wearing them!


Corrie B said...

I use plain old hairspray! May you could try that? But I would do a test piece first as it may react with your yarn and it would be tragic if the colours ran or something similar. They are beautiful anyway! :)

roseredshoes said...

Your bowls look great! I was going to suggest watered down pva glue, or liquid starch. I've done sugar water stiffening, years ago, but it was on a thread item. I was worried about ants too, but it was never a problem (my mum still has that bowl!)

Rattling On said...

Have a read here, I would try the white glue (PVA in the UK)option, but obviously it's permanent!

kathy b said...

I am a huge ENcore fan. I love your vest plans.

THe bowls and the sugar stuff fascinate me Mere. Who knew???

I am woking on the baby blanket squares. I thought I knit alot more of them.....but I guess I was busy taking pictures and looking for bears and deer on the roads !

lindsi said...

the penny arcade coat looks cozy, i'd love to see a picture when you've finished it!

Hindustanka said...

oh wow! i love those lunch tin covers!!! i can use my granny square obsession for this now :) thanks for sharing the idea! i also simply love the vest, gorgeous looking.
(thanks for joining my blog:))

Christina said...

Ooooo.... Thanks for distracting me with that circle vest, too! You have loads of good things happening over here!