Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back at home, but not so much in the game.

Wow, I have been a complete and total bum all week. I did the laundry on Monday and finished up my last trip project, but that is it. Meant to clean the house up a bit, did I do it? Nope. Meant to get my sister's March squares done, did I? Nope. Sigh. I will blame at least part of it on the cold I managed to come down with on our last day in Tennessee. I finally started feeling better (at least to the point where I didn't need to take any medicine) by Thursday, but by then I had just pretty much run out of steam. And now of course, my husband has what I had, so I am trying to take care of him and not catch it again. Whee. Also, yesterday was the first day of spring and it snowed here. What's up with that???? Sigh. Anyhoo. I decided to go ahead and keep up the lazy momentum through today--but tomorrow I am hitting "reset" and will hopefully get back in the normal swing of things.

The trip, however, was a total blast, despite being a bit tiring. We had fun with my husband's grandparents and with my dad and stepmother. The kiddo got ridiculously spoiled, and was, in return, ridiculously well behaved for all of the driving portions of the trip. I was, flatly, amazed. Also, I did manage to get a decent bit of crochet done.

Here was the inspiration for the Gir beanie I wanted to make:

Someone on Etsy is selling this. As you can see, the ears, tongue, and nose are felt, and the "stitching" details and pupils are painted on. I thought that I could probably make the whole thing using crochet, and here's what I came up with:

I am actually pretty proud of it--except for the fact that I feel that the green I ended up using, while a lime green, was way too light a shade. Though it does look much lighter in the picture than in person. I also got some craft wire to stick in the ears so they will stand up straight--though I haven't added them to the hat yet. I used Lion Brand's microspun yarn for this project (in lime and black) and was really pleased with that selection. (The eyes and tongue are just some spare Red Heart sport I had in my stash.)

The other project I took with me was a Bearghan (the pattern is available on Chris Simon's blog). I got all of the pieces made on the trip and when I got home they just needed to be assembled and a border added.

The pattern is pretty well set up so you can use whatever squares you want for the legs/paws and the tummy. So for my blanket I used the Pinwheel square by Chris Simon:

I actually really liked how this square turned out. I think I will definitely be saving this one to use in a full blanket in the future. It's got a really fun texture (achieved using front post double crochets on the left half of each side), and I am finding more and more that I really love patterns with a texture to them.

For the stomach I used Chris Simon's Eternal Braid pattern:

I couldn't get a good photograph of this one, but it has a little texture as well, and is the perfect pattern for a tummy. I do think I will probably only use it again if I make another Bearghan though. I found it a little bit annoying to make.

And here's the finished blanket:

The pieces between the arms and legs are half granny squares and the head is a special asymmetrical square, both are given in the pattern. For the border I did two rows of single crochet around and then did a row of shell stitch. His muzzle came out crooked and his head's a little big, but I think it gives him character and overall I am really happy with how this project came out. I hope my friend's baby enjoys it as well. I used Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice Baby yarn for this in Chocolate Cake and Lamb.

I know I had previously stated that when I got back from my trip I was going to finish up Yoshi and then settle in on my knitting, but then I looked at the calendar. I am still planning to do those, but first I have two more blankets to make. My stepsister is getting married on April 10, and I bought the yarn for her wedding blanket this week, so once I get my sister's March squares done, that is the project I will dig in to. I am going to use the Circles to Squares Afghan pattern for that blanket (available for free on Lion Brand's website).

I also got an invitation to a baby shower for a friend who is due in May--her shower is April 11. So as soon as I finish my sister's blanket, I will begin work on that one. I will be attempting the Tulip Throw, a pattern I have had for a long time but haven't yet tried, for this one.

So that's where I am at. I hope you are all well and having much warmer spring weather than I am! Have a wonderful week!

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