Friday, December 13, 2013

Woolly Thoughts

Woolly Thought # 1: Many thanks to Astri for her Chevron Infinity Scarf Week, which inspired one of my in-progress Christmas makes:

Hdc ripple - working in the front loop only gives a lovely texture to this classic stitch pattern.

The yarn, which looks like a winter sunset, is (yarn purists should look away now) Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable. Yes, it's acrylic - destined for a highly allergic friend. Which leads me to...

Woolly Thought # 2: While reading reviews of the above yarn, I came across a reference to vegan yarn. It left me wondering: if you don't use animal fibres, what do you use when you need to make something warm? Why not use the gently-harvested hair or fleece of kindly-reared, responsibly-bred critters? Vegan readers, feel free to weigh in on this one.

Woolly Thought # 3: Why hasn't someone invented a satisfying left-leaning crochet decrease? One that doesn't leave a gap when subjected to tension? Knitters, count yourselves lucky here - crochet badly needs an ssk. (This Woolly Thought sprang from some technical difficulties with the top-down mitts pictured below.)

Woolly Thought # 4: I've designed some simple mitts to go with the ripple cowl. Should I embroider an initial on them, do you think, or leave them as they are? Advice is respectfully solicited.

Woolly Thought # 5: Why does Christmas-making inspiration tarry until late November/early December? Why doesn't it hit me in July, when I have more time to work out gift ideas?

I swore to myself that this year I would NOT new-design any crochet gifts for Christmas. I would work from existing patterns only. I would start early, finish early, and ship early. Yet here I am, frantically stitching away, and nothing has been shipped yet. (Don't even ask how many projects are stacked up behind this one and due by Christmas. I blame it on the tardy inspiration.)

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This concludes our Woolly Thoughts.

I will leave you with a lovely Woolly Quote from Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther:
"Susan," said Mrs. Miniver, "where did that knitting come from? I swear you didn't have any on you a minute ago. I believe you materialize bits of knitting out of thin air, the way conjurers do with lighted cigarettes."
"No," said Susan, "they grow out of my fingertips, like a thread out of a spider. As a matter of fact, my whole inside is made of wool."
I feel just like Susan right now. :)

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P.S. My dad recently suffered a severe fall, resulting in concussion and bleeding into the brain (though the bleeding has stopped, thank God). As a result, he's been having some very woolly thoughts of his own. Your prayers would be much appreciated.

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  1. Oh, our parents and their falls! And they are so fragile. Not anything like our wee ones who bounce right back so quickly. Hope your dad will recover real soon. He is in my thoughts. And great question about vegan yarn. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  2. Your dad is in our prayers also. My wooly thoughts are still somewhat waterlogged at this point, but I'll be drying out soon, I hope. :)

  3. I love your wooly thoughts. All the best to your father.

  4. Lovely yarn. I would either embroider a tiny initial near the cuff or leave them as they are. That's just me though.

  5. Thanks so much for making the time to visit my Thanksgiving post, Sue. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos...Mt. Hood is an amazing subject!

    WT#1: The RH yarn is a wonderful blend of colors!!!
    WT#2: "Vegan" is not yet in my list of standards for desirable yarn :-)
    WT#3: Somehow I think you will solve this mysterious question!
    WT#4: I think they are perfect as initial needed.
    WT#5: Tardy inspiration.... That's it! You are brilliant!!

    I love the quote.
    I am praying for wisdom, strength, healing, and comfort for you and yours ...especially for you and your dad. xx

  6. Re decreasing, it is not so very long ago that most knitters always used k2tog to decrease and kfb to increase so perhaps as crochet develops as a wearable art more unusual and specialist stitches will develop. I haven't experimented but would crossing the stitches work?
    Just think ourselves lucky that are increases are
    more satisfactory and easier than knitted ones.
    I don't think vegans would use anything coming from an animal no matter how kindly it was collected. I think some of the nicer manmade yarns and brushed cottons leave them not too cold at winter!

  7. Great colours for your new Chevron scarf! It's looking really good. I love the Mrs. Miniver quotation! Since I often have a lot of yarn mess around my home, when I get up from sitting, I sometimes seem to bring a strand of yarn with me on my foot! My grandson said once: "Look, your yarn is following you around again"! Hihi! Golly, I can't even seem to prepare a meal without it!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. P.S.
    I made a typo above, so deleted the message as no other way of correcting it!
    So sorry to hear about your dad and I will be sending positive thoughts his way.

    As for an initial on the mittens. Well, better without really, unless they're for a child. You could put 'L' and 'R' just for fun! I've sewn a little different coloured decoration on my own fingerless gloves so I know the left from the right!

  10. I'm definitely with you on the Pre-christmas inspiration thing, I have got too many things to do, a big list of things that I'm too scared to look at and I keep reading peoples blogs and thinking....ooooh, I could do that. Love the quote too..... On your recommendation I am reading Daddy Long Legs and thoroughly enjoying it at the end of the day before bed, only problem is I can only keep my eyes open for about one page!

    Sue, I will be praying for your Dad, I'm sorry to hear of his fall....i pray that you and your family will know God's presence so near and that he will be your steadfast rock.x

  11. On the leaning stitches, my friend was talking about this only a few days ago, and she used something, I must ask was some sort of split stitch or something....see I really should listen harder!

  12. I love your scarf colours and I also love the 'woolly quote' - like Sandra above, I too keep unintentionally carrying bits of wool around and find them everywhere, yes, even in the 'smallest room in the house'!
    I don't think initials are necessary on the mitts, they're beautiful as they are!
    So sorry to hear about your Dad's misfortune - my thoughts and prayers are winging their way to him and you. Warm hugs, Joy xo

  13. Sending prayers for your Dad Sue I hope he makes a complete and speedy recovery, love your woolly makes and your woolly thoughts, I fear I am the same I leave everything to the last minute, but my reason is simple, I do not get into festive spirit mode until two weeks before Christmas and although I am always full of good intentions, I can't bring myself to make things way in advance, I know I should...:)

  14. Prayers for your Dad in transit Sue. I do hope he makes a speedy recovery :)

    I love that Mrs Miniver quote. Somewhere I have a draft post of literary knitting quotes including that one ... it'll see the light of day eventually.

    This year I decided I would knit nothing more complicated than wash cloths and mitts for Christmas, and I've stuck to it ... such a relief not to have the Christmas wips stacked up. Good luck with yours x

  15. Sue, I am so sorry about your Dad, I will send you both positive thoughts as I know this has to be weighing heavily on you.

    I wish I was Susan and had knitting or crochet flowing out of my fingertips. It would make life a lot easier.

    I am almost done with my Christmas creating, but as for all the other gifts, and wrapping I am not even close.


  16. Will be sending prayers his way. I've always said the worse part of getting older is that our family gets even older.

  17. Best wishes and lots of hope to your dad. I'd leave the mitts as they are, lovely. And, yes, to the 'why not' summer thoughts - I'm currently battling with a bag for my mum and have some serious unpicking to do. Juliex

  18. So sorry about your dad, I do hope he improves soon. The knitting is beautiful, such lovely yarn. I'm allergic to wool, so I look for pretty things like this. I was a vegan for 25 years, and always used cotton instead.

  19. Prayers being said for your dad. I hope he heals up quickly and well.

    The Chevron Scarf is lovely. Once upon a time I would have had that reaction to acrylic, but it really DOES have it's place. I made Steve's big blankie with acrylic. I can't imagine the care an afghan that large, made in wool, would take. I don't think my washer could handle it. It cleans the acrylic with ease.

  20. Prayers for your Dad.

    The chevron scarf is a beauty. I like the mitts the way they are. I have mailed all the packages that need to be sent out and they have all been delivered, (This is so not like me). I just have one project to finish making.....and I will get it done. ;)

  21. Lovely projects, both of them. And the yarn looks delicious :-)

  22. Sorry to hear about your Dad. Knowing my propensity for stumbling, I can relate. I hope he is recovering and doing well now. I love the scarf and I like the mitts just as they are.

  23. I just saw a great pattern for Unforgettable yarn on the blog, crochet in color. Never heard of it until then, and then, I saw it yesterday in WalMart! It's lovely!
    I will be praying for your Dad. xx
    Take care.

  24. So sorry about your father Sue. I'll be thinking of you and your family. You've all been through a lot and I hope all gets better.

    Thank you so much for the link to my blog. The yarn and the pretty scarf are certainly unforgettable. Love the front loop look!

    Take care, Sue.


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