Getting a Project Started

Recently I pulled out a bag of yarn and said, I’m going to use up all of these cakes. I only had one skein or cake of each color. This limits what I can make from these as they were each multi-colored. Combining the colors was not really an option.

I decided I was going to design a bunch of scarves for a booklet. Now who wanted the product? Well a variety of people. A couple of nieces, a daughter, a couple of friends, a nephew all volunteered to take the end product.

These videos (and these are only my second set of videos so please be kind) show how to get started with a project.

Items needed for a crochet project
Getting started and yarn issues
The beginning chain – or foundation crochet
The beginning of the pattern

Now after I shot these videos, I realized I didn’t like the pattern I show so I made some changes. Okay a lot of changes. I did still start with a foundation single crochet (fsc) but the pattern was completely different.

Final Product

What to do with my weekend?

Is it the weekend yet?  This week feels like it has dragged on and on – maybe because of the two snow storms.  In my head, I’m starting my weekend to do list.  I have a list of projects to work on for publishing, crochet projects (gifts to get done soon), and household stuff to do. 

With four of my student workers graduating, I need to finish their gifts.  I am half done.  I’ve started the third one and am hoping to complete it this weekend.  Once those are done, I have two more afghans, a shawl, and two dresser scarves to finish.  Three of the five projects are started so first I’ll work on completing the started ones. 

I started the third project and designing is always trial and error.  I got the start of it, did a sequence of stitches – didn’t like so I tore them out.  I did that three times before I set the project aside.  The following night I started again, did a sequence, liked it but four rows into it, I wanted more variety so I changed it up a bit.  I thought – I’m going to end up tearing this out but as I experimented, I realized, I liked how it was turning out.  Design created – finally. 

At some point, I need to look at my tasks for publishing and start prioritizing them.  I’ve been crocheting a lot which means I’ve been creating my own designs.  I need to get them organized so I can the patterns published.  At the same time I have the next Wayfarer novel (Wayfarer War) to publish.  I’m doing my first reader event in November and I need to look at what I need to have on hand for that and start purchasing so I can spread the costs out over the next few months.

There is a lot of stuff rattling around in my head.  I’ve got two stories whispering to me.  I’m fairly certain they will go from whispering to screaming before too long.  There are other sequels I want to get written as well.  Summer is always a productive time for me for writing so I’m hoping to get a lot done by the end of August. 

For the weekend, I hope I can plow through some of my to do list.  It isn’t a pay week so we shouldn’t have a lot of errands.  I don’t have a lot of paperwork to go through for mom.  I don’t have a lot of my own paperwork so I’m hoping lots will be accomplished either in crocheting or publishing or both.  Hopefully both. 

Mother’s Day

It’s mother’s day and all my kids are out of state.  I’m okay with that.  For one thing, they were home last weekend.

Yesterday Ken and I went to a yarn shop Vicki discovered.  It was an interesting experience in that I was lucky to be able to get in the store.  There was a ramp leading up to the second floor and a locked door.  The ramp itself was damn scary as I could hear the boards moving as I rolled over each of them.  Ken ended up going in to ask if there was a way in.  Of course there was – up the ramp and through the locked door.  When we got there (finally) the ramp was about 4 inches below the door.  I couldn’t just roll into the building.  I had to get off my scooter and lift it up.  It’s a good thing I’m still mobile and not completely wheelchair bound.

The yarn shop was small but had a large selection as well as an interesting selection of gadgets.  However, the cost of the yarn was over the top.  I didn’t see anything under $5.75 and these were tiny skeins (probably about an ounce).  Some of the yarn was amazing but the cost ranged from the $5.75 to $40 (or more).  Most of it seemed to be specialized yarn but to me this is just too costly to spend money on.  I mean an afghan can sometimes take up to ten or more skeins.  That is a crazy amount of money to spend to make an afghan.

I did get a crochet hook with stuff on the handle.  It is supposed to help ergonomically with hand issues.  I bought one and I’ll try it.  If I like them and it helps with the cramping I can get I’ll think about getting a set.

Another thing I noticed was a ball holder.  Basically, the piece was two wooden plaques separated with a turntable.  In the center of the top one, a dowel was placed.  You place your skein on the dowel and then can pull from the outside.  It should (hopefully) prevent tangling of skeins.  They were asking $30 for one.

I like the idea a lot but not the cost.  Ken was with me so I asked – Can you make something like this?  His answer was sure.  He is making one this morning for me and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  He got the materials from Menards for $20 and will be able to make two for that cost.  If they work out nicely, I’ll be asking for some more.  Vicki will probably as well as she has been doing a lot of knitting.

There was one other gadget there which was essentially the same thing except without the turntable.  They had several skeins of yarn on a dowel which was in the center of a wooden plaque.  I could see how that would be useful when I’m working with multiple colors, I could put them all on the dowel and just pull the ends to crochet with.  I’m hoping I can talk Ken into making me one like that as well (though it being on a turntable would be nicer I think).

When I’m done with this blog I’ll be going back to crocheting.  Last night I listened to Promises in Death while I worked on Virginia’s afghan.  I got about twenty rows done on her afghan.  I sent her a picture and told her if she didn’t like it I could keep it.  I think if she had been closer, I would have gotten a smack.  It is turning out BEAUTIFULLY.

This morning I published one more crochet pattern.  I’ve had it done for a while but had to wait until after my niece’s wedding as it was her gift.  Soft Sunshine Afghan is now available on Smashwords and Amazon.

It’s been a busy Mother’s day and next is going to be more crocheting on Virginia’s afghan!

Easy Trivet Crochet Pattern

Last night I spent a bit of time working on a revamp of a pattern Vicki liked and I hated.  She likes the way it looks and I hated the pattern.  The end result – a new pattern written.  Ironically, I was all I don’t want a new phone.  I don’t need a smart phone and yet the smart phone helped me get to the point where I could publish this pattern.  I used the note app to write the pattern as I worked.  I used the camera to take pictures of the project.  It turned out nicely and will be available for sale on Amazon and Smashwords today.

This trivet is three dimensional so it cushions your hot pan from your table.  Quick and easy, bright and cheerful, this pattern offers an alternative to a hot pad and a way to use up scrap yarn.  Made with crochet cotton, it is durable, practical and pretty.

Go to my web site to check it out