Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's hip to be square (har har har)

Who even sang that song? I bet they're sorry now, since people are always quoting it whenever they reference a square and are trying to be cute. I wonder if they come across it on blogs like this one and roll their eyes. "Oh, that's SO clever, never heard that one before."

I decided I needed to understand the granny square concept. But I don't like most granny squares. They're holey and frankly, I can't understand how you could get warm under an afghan with holes the size of Texas. I like my blankets to be more solid. Little holes, ok. Big holes, not so much.

So after a little bit of looking, several failures, and an afternoon spent trading pictures with and asking stupid questions to my friend Cindy, I settled upon this pattern: I think I probably got there from Ravelry, but who knows at this point? Anyway. It took me a while, but I finally came up with a square that looked really freaking great:

I like that it's not super girly, it doesn't have any enormous cavities, and best of all, IT'S A SQUARE. *I* made a square. Actually, as of now I have made 11 squares. And I only have about 200 more to go to make the size afghan I want! :P This will be an ongoing project. Thankfully I ran out of white yarn so I had to move on to something else for a while. The whole thing won't be white though. I'm not trying to go all bridal or anything.

Making these squares (and all the ones I screwed up before this one) has given me some insight into how granny square patterns are made. I'm tossing around some ideas for new patterns in my head. We'll see if any of them come to fruition.

This bag is not what I thought it would be...

For my second project, I thought I should make a bag to keep all my yarn and stuff in so I would stop leaving it all over the house. Yarn gets messy. Also, it's verrrry tempting for curious fingers and they make spectacular knots. So I did some searching and found this pattern:  The bag is super cute, and since the website is called "Beginner Crochet Patterns," I knew I could handle it. I don't like brown, so I decided to use this pretty purple variegated yarn I'd bought when I got the kids some craft stuff. And then I got to work. At first it was going all right, but then I realized that there were ridges going in a spiral on my circle bottom. The lady's circle bottom didn't have any ridges. So I did some Googling and realized that I was going through the back loops only when I did my stitches, and I was supposed to go through both. So it all got frogged and I started again, the right way this time.

I swear to you that my bag is not Day-Glo. It's actually very soft and pretty. My iPod doesn't take great pictures when it's dark and I'm sitting under a lamp.

Anywho, I began to realize that this bag was not going to be nearly large enough to keep my yarn in. It's more like a little purse. I don't really carry purses, especially ones that don't close tightly at the top. But whatever, I got this far, might as well finish it, and I figured if nothing else I could use it to carry around my current project when I take it out of the house, since I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot of crocheting at the park when it gets warmer.

I got the sides of the bag done, and then started on the handle. Look how far I got!

See? Pretty colors. Not neon. And it was going along so well, and it was pretty easy. And then all my yarn got tangled up because that's how my life goes and I had to cut the knot apart, and now it's all in short pieces and I'm probably going to end up needing a second skein because it was already going to be cutting it close BEFORE the epic knot. So. This one is remaining unfinished for now. But I'm going to Walmart tomorrow, and that's where I got this yarn the first time. I'll get another skein and finish it up soon. But since I don't really like to follow patterns, I'm of course changing this one a bit. I probably won't add any flowers, or the bow on the handle, because I'm not a flowers and bows kind of girl. I'm just going to make the handle meet in the middle and join it flat, and then add an edging in dark purple. I mean seriously, can you see ME carrying around a bag with a bow on it? I think not.

Mah first project

I made this a while ago, but I'll go ahead and post it because really, it was the beginning of the downhill slide into chaos. :P

One day I went to ShopKo on a whim. I bought myself a crochet hook. I bought myself a ball of yarn. I looked up a tutorial on how to make a starting chain and do single crochet. And then I decided to make a scarf for Claire. Things were going pretty well at first, and I was making it like you would normally make a scarf, with my rows running along the short side and adding rows to make it longer. But since the yarn I bought was different colors (self-striping? variegated? I don't know) it was looking like blocks that weren't even at the edges:

Which is kind of ok, and would have been perfectly fine for a first crochet project. But I don't like blocky things. And it was a little too wide for her little neck, and not long enough. So I frogged the whole thing and decided to switch things up. I made my starting chain the length of the long side, and added rows to make it wider. That changed how the colors looked:

Which I liked a lot better. Experienced crocheters might notice that I was not in fact doing single crochet the correct way, since I was going through the back loops only instead of both. It made a cool texture though, and I didn't notice what I was doing wrong until I tried to make a bag and it looked nothing like the picture in the pattern I was using. Anyway. Here's the finished scarf:

I think it turned out pretty sweet! Claire loves it. I'd post a picture of her wearing it but she's at school and I know I'll forget later.

So this is what happens when you have no idea what you're doing and you decide to make something willy-nilly without a pattern or any concept of how to make what it is you're making. But it was a good learning process, and I think the finished product ended up pretty cool.

Going rogue! (Thank you Sarah Palin for ruining that phrase for everyone.)

I just started crocheting, what, three weeks ago? Maybe a month? And already I think I can go off-pattern. Or just forget the pattern altogether and just make something. Pattern shmattern. I cook the same way. Who needs a recipe? I'll just throw stuff in a pot and see what happens. What happens is usually fabulosity on a plate, so I'm good with that. Maybe it'll be the same with crochet! This method does not work with baking, since I don't know enough about the chemical process of baking to be able to go off on my own. Stuff doesn't rise right if you don't use the right ingredients. It's going to be similar with crochet, so I'm trying to learn more about the basics of shape and construction instead of just "I'm going to make this bag." Hopefully if I can learn how all the pieces work together, I won't have to worry so much about finding patterns to start off with.

So anyway, I decided to start this blog because a) I can't stop giggling about the notion that crocheters call themselves "hookers" and I wanna do it too, and b) because... um... I guess only the first reason. Since I snagged such a rocking address, I thought I should use it. I'm probably not just going to post about crochet, because let's face it, I'm slow at making things and also I would get bored with myself if all I ever talked about was yarn. Not that there's anything wrong with blogs dedicated to yarn work. I love and read several of those. That's just not my thing.

Later taters! Happy hooking!