2012 Year in Review: Frog Fest!

I’m not the type of crocheter (or knitter) who feels the need to complete every project I start.  Sometimes I start a project for stress relief, other times I make a bad yarn choice, and then there are times when the project just isn’t really something I want to work on anymore.

Today, I’m celebrating all those creations that actually made it as far as into my Ravelry projects but were later unraveled.  While I actually unraveled 12 projects in 2012 (freaky, huh?), I’m just going to talk about the three most significant ones today.

If you followed my second Year of Projects posts, you may remember that I was working on my first pair of knit socks.

I started these during the Ravellenic Games, hoping that would be the push I needed to actually get excited about making knitted socks.  I love looking at other people’s knit socks and I love wearing hand-knit socks, but something about actually knitting socks never seemed all that appealing to me.

I think I’ll stick with crochet socks.  I’m not all that comfortable knitting with small needles or with lightweight yarn and I just don’t feel committed to spending the amount of time needed to knit a single pair of socks.

Another learning experience was the slip stitch scarf I started for the Red Scarf Project.  Vashti Braha‘s newsletters got me very excited about using more slip stitches in my projects.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really think this one through.

Let’s just say that the combination of not so great quality acrylic yarn, watching a movie while crocheting, and slip stitches is not a good one.  I decided to unravel this, along with a Christmas stocking I made last year (in red wool)…

…and give slip stitch crochet another try in wool in 2013.


I think the addition of this hook I found at a shop near my job, which looks like a pjoning hook, will also help to make the stitches more even.

And finally, there’s the Pineapple Doily Shawl I started.

Several students in my crochet class were working on it, and I decided to start one, too.  I don’t usually work on projects with my students (besides a little swatch I make in class), and this experience hasn’t encouraged me to make it a habit.

I inherited this yarn from my grandmother and I eventually want to make it into something special for my mom.  So far, the perfect project for this yarn hasn’t revealed itself.


Do you unravel projects, do you always finish what you start, or do you abandon projects that aren’t working out?

In between

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I am at that weird place in between projects and I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do next.  The temperature finally cooled down and I finished the Bruges lace scarf I was making for my friend (more details coming on Friday).

I’ve made some progress on my Pineapple Doily Shawl since my last update, but I think I’m going to hibernate it until the fall.

My Pineapple Doily Shawl so far.

I started making this along with my crochet class, and since we have the summer off, I will probably put it aside until the class starts again in September.  I have two students who didn’t finish their shawls and still want to work on it, so it seems like a fun CAL for us to do in class.

I’m really just starting the pineapples.

As for my cabled beanie project, I decided that I really didn’t like any of the stitches I swatched.

It’s back to the beginning with this project.

I’ve been thinking of trying a stitch pattern from my newest cable book, Power Cables by Lily Chin.

And I’m still trying out different motifs for the bedspread I’m planning to make for my mom’s milestone birthday in February.

This is motif 14 from one of my Japanese stitch guides, Lace Crochet Best Pattern 238.

So as you can see, I don’t have anything that I’m really working on right now.  I think the heat over the weekend and the humidity has also made me less interested in crocheting some big project.  Hopefully, I’ll have something more to share next week.

I did manage to do a lot of reading over the weekend, and I finished The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.  (I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, but didn’t write a review yet.  I’m excited to hear there will be a third installment in this series.)  MC and I saw an interesting show on H.G. Wells (part of the Prophets of Science Fiction series on the Science Channel), so I decided to pick up an H.G. Wells book next. I’ve already read The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man, so I borrowed The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories from the New York Public Library.  I’m looking forward to reading his short stories.

For more Works in Progress, visit Tami’s Amis.  For more Yarn Along posts, visit Small Things.

Photographic evidence

I’m still working on two of the same projects since my last Work in Progress Wednesday and Yarn Along post.  My version of the Pineapple Doily Shawl by Laura Garsten seemed to be coming along quite well.  I was working on it during the commute back and forth to my Saturday crochet class.  But when I took it out of the bag to take pictures for today’s post…

I noticed a bit of an oopsie.

At some point, I seem to have turned in the middle of a row, and made two more rows on one side.  (In the picture, the right side.)  Since I’ll be pulling out a few rows, I’m not actually as far along as I thought I was.  Sigh.

The sample for my secret project in Inca Eco for Galler Yarns is moving along nicely.

I’ll let you know when I finish the sample and the freebie pattern is published.

As for reading, I just started Halfway Human by  Carolyn Ives Gilman last night.  There was some promotion back in April and it was a free Kindle book at that time.  The description of it as feminist sci fi intrigued me.  I have really been missing the strong female perspective coupled with great writing since my favorite sci fi author, Octavia Butler, died in 2006.  I don’t have an opinion on the book yet since I’m only partway through the first chapter, but I have high hopes!

For more Work in Progress Wednesday posts, visit Tami’s Amis.  For more Yarn Along posts, visit Small Things.

A secret, an unraveling, and a hiatus

There’s a fair amount of similarity between last week’s WIP Wednesday/Yarn Along post and today’s post.

I took a break from the Pineapple Doily Shawl since I didn’t take it on vacation with me and then promptly forgot to bring it to class with me on Saturday to work on along with my students.

It still looks like this.

My cabled hat has seemingly travelled backwards in time, going from this last Wednesday afternoon…

(That’s me enjoying the sunshine on my vacation.)

… to this yesterday.

If you are/were a fan of the show Seinfeld,  you may remember this scene from “The Muffin Tops” episode.

That pretty well sums up what happened to my hat.  I noticed an irregularity a few rows down and started ripping back.  And then, one thing led to another, and I was casting on again.  I’m not too stressed about it, though, because this is part of my Holiday Stashdown Challenge to make my winter holiday gifts slowly throughout the year rather than frantically in December.

And, finally, I’ve started a new secret project.

A tiny detail from my secret project.

This is a sample for a freebie pattern I’m working on for Galler Yarns in Inca Eco.  I’m having a lot of fun with this one, so I’m looking forward to unveiling it soon.

On the reading side of things, I finished Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain last night.  I really enjoyed it and want to thank Evelyn from Project: Stash and Stacey from FreshStitches for introducing me to the book.  I’m taking a short pause as I contemplate what I’d like to read next.


For more WIP Wednesday posts, visit Tami’s Amis.  For more Yarn Along posts, visit Small Things.


I had two crafty coincidences this week.

On Saturday, several students in my crochet class started on the Pineapple Doily Shawl by Laura Garsten.  I first heard about this pattern on the Crochet Chat Podcast and several of my students decided to give it a try.  Usually, I don’t make a project with the class (or I’d have even more WIPs than I do now), but I was inspired to try one along with them.  So I jumped into my stash to find worsted weight yarn and there was only one type that I had in enough supply.

Hirten-Tweed, imported from West Germany (!).

When my grandmother was in the hospital in 2007, right up until the last few days of her life, she was knitting a sweater in this yarn.  One of my aunts kept the partial sweater, and I took the (many) remaining balls of the Hirten-Tweed yarn.  I thought this would be a good fit for the project.  But here’s the weird part.  When I was looking on the label, I saw that it was imported by Joseph Galler, Inc. — the same small yarn importer I’ve been working with since last year.  When I told my mom about this on Mother’s Day, she said, “I like that story.”  I think my grandmother would have, too.

Since this was the only “fancy yarn” in my grandmother’s collection, I was wondering how it came into her hands.  Well, according to a tag on one of the balls, it was on sale at Woolworth’s for 2 for $1 (with a retail price of $1.29).  I can only imagine how old this yarn is, but it is pretty awesome.

The pineapple doily shawl so far.

This was as far as I was able to get in class on Saturday and with another hour or so on Sunday.  I didn’t bring it on the trip with me since I plan to bring it to class again on Saturday.

The other coincidence involves a different project.  I recently had two crochet designs accepted into a pattern booklet series that will be distributed by Joann Fabric and published by F+W Media.  Unlike most publications I’ve been involved with, there are no restrictions from the publisher about sharing information about the project before publication, so I can tell you this story now :).

One of the designs is my Wide Ripple Scarf pattern.  I’m working on a new sample in a different yarn, Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe.  There were limited color options when I went yarn shopping, but I was happy to find several skeins in Periwinkle.  I decided to work on this project during my trip, and when I got to Pendle Hill, guess what color my bedspread is?

What are the odds?

Those are my crafty coincidences for the week.

If you’re looking for moral support for advanced holiday crafting, you might want to check out my Holiday Stashdown Challenge.

For more WIP Wednesday posts, visit Tami’s Amis.