Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hand Health

So I'm still icing and resting my hands. They are feeling much better, although if I could give up moving books around at work, they would feel even better! Interestingly, I found a thread over at the Crochet Liberation Front group on Ravelry about crochet related injuries and crocheting with pre-existing injuries. A lot of the posts discuss changing how you hold your hook, yarn, and project to protect the hands. I actually never think to do this, but once I am back in action, I would like to look at experimenting a bit. Even more interesting to me, though, was this link to a page with hand exercises and stretches. I find that stretching (when I am diligent about doing it) is the best antidote to any muscle pain. So I am adding some of the hand stretches to my regime. I hope this all works, because it's not easy to give up stitching entirely. I'm starting to get antsy to get back to work!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise!

I got a very pleasant surprise last Wednesday morning. I have been working away diligently on my mobius shawl (pattern by Doris Chan in Amazing Crochet Lace), and I took the time to measure it last week. It was long enough. I was so pleased! So I finished the crocheting and wove in the ends. Yesterday, I had time to block it and seam it, and I was able to wear it to crochet guild today. Dee was kind enough to take some pictures of me. (Dee, I hope you don't mind that I cropped one rather severely. I just thought it would show up the stitch pattern better.)

I started this shawl in January 2007. I used the yarn the pattern called for, Ritratto by S. Charles. I only used 2 skeins, though, so now I have an extra skein which will probably become a scarf one of these days. The shawl is very warm, despite being lacy, and very comfortable to wear. So all in all, I am very pleased with this FO.

Unfortunately, this is probably going to be the last crocheted FO for a little while. My left hand is sore. I think I did something to it a couple of weeks ago at work, but crocheting just keeps aggravating whatever the problem is. I may be able to work a little bit at Eva's shawl, because it is so lightweight, but that's going to be about it this week. So I am going to take some time to read Hooked on Murder, maybe knit a little bit (which doesn't seem to be so hard on my hand), and play on Ravelry. I'll drop in if I have something to post about, but otherwise I won't be posting during the coming week. This is actually good timing, because I have plans for every night for the next 6 days, so I probably wouldn't be getting much crafting done anyways. Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Summer of Squares - RIP?

I have just realized that suddenly it's mid-May already, and I need to give some thought to reviving Summer of Squares. I have to admit, though, that I really don't see myself spending this summer making afghan squares. Homespun Helpers isn't pushing squares this year. I have stacks of squares upstairs in my yarn room that need to be sewn into blankets before I make any more. And I'm also concerned that group blogs aren't as successful as they used to be, because of Ravelry. I'm not at all sure I'm ready to take on the task of moderating a Ravelry group at the moment. So I'm leaning towards letting Summer of Squares die a quiet death, unless someone would like to take the idea and run with it, with my blessing. Any thoughts?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hooked on Murder

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! What with getting ready for the big day, and entertaining the moms yesterday, I didn't have a lot of time for crafting this weekend. I have put a few more rows on the new ripple afghan, and thanks to Dee, I finally seem to be past my problem row on Eva's shawl, so I was able to put a few more rows on that project as well. But no FOs from this weekend. Hopefully, next weekend I will have time to actually finish something. I just have to decide what.

There is much excitement right now about a new murder mystery with a crochet theme that has recently been published called Hooked on Murder. Dee has organized a book discussion group on Ravelry, and as soon as the book comes in to the library, I intend to start reading it so that I can participate intelligently. In the meantime, I actually did some reading last night to try to finish up the mystery I am currently reading. It's the most recent book in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear called An Incomplete Revenge. I really enjoy this series, and this book is just as enjoyable as the earlier titles.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Post Apocalyptic Thinking

So not much crafting going on the last couple of days, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future and how to survive it. There's been an amusing thread over on Ravelry (in the Remnants forum, if you want to go find it) about forming a post apocalyptic commune and what skills could everyone bring to it. I should add that they are referring to a zombie apocalypse, although at some point an apocalypse is an apocalypse. I have been very impressed with the skill sets some people have (although I do suspect that there has been some resume padding going on in some of the posts). I don't feel like I have many skills with which to survive an apocalypse, but my dh keeps pointing out that I can keep people warm with my knitting and crocheting and that I know how to extract information out of books. I'm skeptical about how useful that last skill will be, however. What with my training as both an historian and a librarian, I will be ideally suited to maintaining the memory of a culture that no longer exists, and not much else. Happily, I married a man with a much more practical skill set, so as long as I stick with him, I should be just fine.

The only real problem with all this thinking about the apocalypse is that it is making me want to buy and hoard more yarn. I mean, what happens if the sheep don't survive? I need to have yarn ready to go if I am going to keep people warm in the commune. But then I remember the 105 miles of yarn already in the stash, and I realize that I am already well provisioned, at least as far as yarn goes.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rippling Again!

This is what's been amusing me this week:
After the walk on Sunday, I was tired. I decided that I wanted some "comfort crocheting" to work on (you know, like comfort food but without the calories). Then, over at the Stash Knitdown on Ravelry, we got a surprise challenge for May - work those acrylics. Well, you never have to ask me twice to use acrylic yarn! So I decided to get off my duff and start on my dh's ripple afghan, since he picked out the colors about a month ago and since it's still cool enough here in CT to work on an afghan. This is one repeat of the colors, and I'm just starting on the second repeat. I chose the colors randomly until I had used each one once, and now I will just continue to repeat them in this order. I did go up to a J hook for this afghan, and I am happier with the feel of the fabric.

It feels so good to be rippling again! I didn't realize how much I had missed it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Successful MS Walk!

[Here's what I intended to post yesterday morning, until something went bad and I was unable to add the pictures to the text. Oh well, better late than never, right?!]

Well, I'm still a little tired this morning, but I am very happy with how the walk went yesterday. I am very proud of my team, too. I don't have a final tally, but I think we raised approximately $700 for MS research. I really wasn't sure how much we could raise, so we far exceeded my expectations!

Here's what it looked like as we started out on our walk.

And here's me with my crocheting.
(The weather was cold and damp, hence the frizzy hair!) Crocheting while walking was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. With so many people and dogs around, I had to keep one eye on the people around me and one eye on my crocheting. So it was slow going, but I persevered.

And here's a better shot of what I was crocheting on my walk.
It's a scarf I started with some Plymouth Wildflower DK from stash. I am using the Crows Feet pattern from Darla Sims' 280 Crochet Shell Patterns book. What can I say - a cotton blend and a lacy pattern. 2 stash knitdown challenges in one project!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Water Bottle Holders...

...are ready for their close-up!
I finished the 3rd one yesterday morning. I used another 118 yards, so I have to update my April totals. (I knew I should have waited!) My grand total of yardage used for April is 2,108 yards. Wow! I feel really motivated to keep going right now, and really get my stash under control. I just need to get focused on a couple of projects, and look out for my May totals!