Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello September, Elise Shawl #2

Happy September everyone!  I love September it reminds me of school starting, new notebooks, pens and pencils and Fall.  I still dream of September being this way.  Here in my household school started two weeks ago, and it is really hot and humid, no trace of Fall here.  I can dream though, come October I am expecting a change in temperature and maybe walking to the mailbox barefoot without burning my feet on the hot concrete.

I have been busy this week, have you?  And now am loving this long weekend where I can pa-doodle around getting things done.  There has been lots of planting and mulching.  I got completely drenched yesterday morning while finishing this project.  The sky was blue when I went out but it quickly turned into rain and lots of thunder.

I made another trip to Hobby Lobby for more fabric and foam.

I recovered five chairs yesterday with foam and fabric.  I think they turned out pretty nice.  I will have to say my hand hurts from squeezing that staple gun.  The chairs did not have foam on them before, really what is wrong with me?  I sat down on one this morning with my tea and the morning paper and it was so nice and cushy, much nicer and softer for my behind.  Five chairs recovered for under $40, I love that.

This is the unblocked version of my second Elise Shawl.  
I am not feeling the love for this one like I did for my first one.  Why might you ask?  Well let me tell you.

It is all about yarn choice.  Not every yarn you think is going to work in a project, does.  When you  have a sneaky suspicion that it isn't going to work out, you are usually right.  I used the beautiful sock yarn gifted to my from my friend Maggie.  This is Socks that Rock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  It is a beautiful yarn, yarn that probably makes your hand knit socks rock.  It just doesn't make your crochet shawl rock.

The yarn is wound differently, it feels different in your hands while you are using it, not soft and yummy, more utilitarian, which I would want for socks, just not for this.  Yet knowing this, I kept crocheting thinking it might all work out in the end with a good soaking in wool wash.

I also think I underestimated superwash merino.  When you soak it this stuff has a memory and it kind of likes to go right back where it was, even with stretching.  Again, great for socks, not so great for a shawl.  So I ended up having to block it by steaming with an iron.  It did not block near as nicely as I had hoped.  It is more of a shawlette,  not near as wide or long enough for a shawl, and after using 405 yards of yarn (I had 2 yards left over at the finish line) it should be.

I am going to give it to a friend who is off for a short trip up north.  She will enjoy it and she will never know that I think it should be softer and a bit more yummy.

Don't let looks decieve you it looks lovely on Caroline the Dress Form, it just doesn't feel like it should, or look like I had hoped.

Two weeks ago I picked up this skirt at Target, it was on clearance for $9.  I brought it home and washed it and it shrank, well no big surprise there.  So I thought about it for a while and decided to try and see what I could do about it.  I crocheted this border on it and now it works.  The border is from the book, Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman.  It was a fun, quick project, and cheap as I had the yarn in my stash.

Can you see this little baby?  She was running around in my backyard with her sibling.  I tried to get a picture of both of them, they were nursing from their Mom, but by the time I got my camera this is all I got.  Look at those little white dots, perfect I'd say.

Hope you are having a great weekend, a great long weekend if you are in the Untied States.


kathyinozarks said...

I know your friend will love the shawl-but I know what ya mean-wrong yarn for a project-I love your new skirt-what a soft touch with the crochet at the hemline-I like that.
cute little baby-we haven't seen the little one for awhile now that came in the back yard with her mom.
hope you have a wonderful labor day-still can't believe it is really september already-lol Kathy

Anonymous said...

The shawl LOOKS lovely. I had some STR and really didn't like it. I trades with someone that liked it.

Lucky photo with the fawn. SOOO cute!

kathy b said...


I LOVE the shawl. Sorry if it didnt behave for you
I LOVE the baby deer!!!!
and Your skirt fix is perfect. Now I want to see YOU wearing it!!! its lovely with the border.

Rose Red said...

Another Elise already! Amazing! I am sorry you aren't feeling the love for it though. I love STR, but I've only ever knit with it, not crochet. I think you are right about super wash yarn though, it's probably not as good for lace as regular yarn.

Deer in your backyard! So exotic!

Betsy said...

I agree with the other comments. The shawls looks lovely, but you know what it feels like, not me. You did a great save with the skirt and the chair looks beautiful too. You are a busy lady. :-)
I'm so NOT ready for fall. I don't want the summer to end. We're having so much fun at the lake this year. Swimming and boating today, followed by singing round the campfire. Fun times!

linda said...

Hello and happy September Meredith, I tend to cling to September because I know that this will be the last month where we may have warm weather in chilly old England after that it's down hill all the way haha. The shawl is lovely! beautiful colours and I'm sure it will be loved by your friend. Well done on the chair make over they look very smart and how lovely to have baby Deer in your garden! so sweet. :)

Faith said...

Happy September! I feel a bit excited about the prospect of Autumn, I'm not sure why, as our house gets really cold, but I think I'm still fooled into liking the idea of Autumn somehow!

You have been busy, I love your chairs, what pretty fabric. I know what you mean about using yarn intended for something else, sock yarn tends to be a bit more robust doesn't it. I still think your Elise shawl is very pretty.

Joy said...

Ah yes, Meredith, I know what you're saying about your lovely shawl - it takes me back to that cardi that I ripped out! Such a pity and a hard lesson too!
Pretty border you've put on the skirt, and such a cute and lovely little fawn.
You really are doing well with your chairs, and at such reasonable cost too!
Hugs to you,
Joy xo

Denise Briese said...

The shawl is gorgeous! I know how you feel about not feeling the love. I want it to be cool for god sake!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Awww the little fawns are so adorable. :)

I know what you mean about yarns not always working out the way you want them to. That always seems to happen to me, too. But I do think your shawl is lovely, and I am sure your friend will adore it. :)

Love the skirt, you are so clever. It's really cute.

Wishing you a lovely holiday dear friend.

Lynne said...

Your chairs turned out great! And how did you finish another shawl already? I hear what you're saying about the yarn. I can see why you chose to use it though, the colors are very pretty.
I'm making a chevron scarf right now, and it's screaming "blanket" at me, yet I keep going, trying to make it work. Who am I kidding?

Enjoy the holiday!

Teresa said...

You sue have been busy! The colors in the shawl are beutiful! I bet your friend will love it. Don't try to type with a puppy on your lap. Too squarmy today, he hit someting and all the typing got tiny. Off to fix that. lol. Guess she will never be a typing assistant!

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Long weekend here too, glad to hear that you are enjoying it. And you are getting a lot of labor accomplished, such pretties, soft hand or not.


ColourMeCrochet said...

Your chairs look gorgeous, a job well done.
I also like the colour of your new shawl, but I know how you feel if your not happy yourself. My daughter Amie bought some yarn for me to make a shawl with for her. She'd found a couple on Ravelry but when I showed her yours, that was the one she wanted. She fell,in love with it, so every thing else was put on hold this week while working on Amie/Merediths shawl :)
Dear Bambi, looks so cute, would love to have seen his mum as well.
Hope you had an enjoyable relaxing weekend.

Take care
Sally xxx

Astri said...

The shawl is exquisite!

What a great idea for the Target me ideas since I like wearing my skirts a little longer now. ;-) I have that book. Which border did you use?

Jennifer said...

That's too bad about the shawl. The yarn is really pretty though. I love those colors. I think your skirt idea was great! It looks really cute and it's functional, win-win. :)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Well, from where I am sitting, the shawl is lovely. But I know what you mean about the feel of it. All yarns are so different. I made one shawl and hate the yarn I used so have never worn it. Still looking for just that right one to make another. You went to town on those chairs. We bought old wooden chairs when our local Indian antique shop was going out of business. I wouldn't want to do anything permanent to them as they don't come with cushions, but certainly need something to make the tush a little more comfy. Not that we sit at the dining table much. Usually only when we have guests. Work is busy, busy here. Weather is so so so humid! Drenching! I'm looking forward to a change in the temps too. Yusef is in Colorado and he said that he will not miss the weather in Kuwait at all. It is cool and crisp where he is. Just wait til true winter weather arrives. He might be singing a different tune. Ha! Either that, or he will totally fall in love. We'll wait and see. Glad you had a long weekend to poot around. Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week. Tammy

moonstruckcreations said...

Your shawl looks great to me!
Hope the weather feels more like fall for you soon.


Ladybird Diaries said...

I really love what you have done with the little skirt! It looks so pretty with the crochet border.
M x

Susanne said...

I think the shawl looks wonderful. You are too hard on yourself! The chair project looks good too. Once you got started you took off like wild fire on that. Sweet baby, the fawn. We occasionally have deer but I have never seen any with their young. You got a nice photo. Love what you did with the skirt.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

elns said...

Great post! You are so right about matching the yarn with a pattern. I just have to say, the shawl looks magnificent and will make a great gift for sure. The picture of the little dear, deer... was a smile I needed in the middle of the day.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

You're spot on about the importance of having the right yarn for the job in hand, in fact it's one of the defences I employ when someone suggests I have too much yarn stashed ... I point out that I need plenty to choose from to be sure to choose right ;)

Vicki Boster said...

Well I think we've all been there with projects we just couldn't love--- but -- it really does look beautiful. Even though you don't love it-- your friend will.

Those chairs are absolutely gorgeous! I couldn't do that if I had too!!

You are always so busy- so many projects---


Sue Pinner said...

Gorgeous shawl....cute deer always the way by the time you get the camera...the scene has changed lol
Hugs x