Yarn Along: Soothing stitching

For various reasons, my stress levels are rather high at the moment, and at home, what I mostly want to do is curl up on the sofa under a quilt and with my crochet blanket. I’ve finished the first clue in the Scheepjes CAL* (the sixth clue will be out soon, so, you know, only a bit behind…) and while I’m not keen on the second square pattern as it’s fiddly to make, I’m ploughing onwards so I can get to the third, which looks lovely. Blanket squares are very soothing for a stressed-out brain, I find.

As we were going to be out and about all weekend, but in company, I dug out a very simple WIP that I’d put into hibernation.

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This is my second Verdant shawl, this time in Crannog, a discontinued yarn from The Yarn Yard. When I put it away, it was because I was getting a bit bored with the stitching. Technically it’s a 4 row repeat, but really you just follow the stitches until you get to the corners, where you work an increase. It’s an easy make, and I think I was finding it a bit dull now the rows are longer.

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But having worked on it all weekend, I’m in love again. The yarn is simply wonderful, and in the bright sunshine that we’ve had over the last few days, the tiny variegations have really shone out. The pattern is great when I’ve got a lot on my mind, just enough to force me to engage, but not so much that if my mind wanders I go disastrously wrong. It also helps that the weather here in the UK has suddenly turned cold and I have a renewed urge to make warm, woolly shawls rather than light and lacy ones.

Speaking of warm and woolly…

Mitts cuff

I’ve never done much crochet colourwork before, and had a heck of a time trying to get gauge. Eventually, I gave in and just went with a size that would fit comfortably around my wrist, which means my 2.2mm hook is getting its first ever outing. I’m getting the hang of changing yarns – in crochet, you have to do this on the last pull-through of the stitch, and there has been much pulling-out of stitches to put this right. But it’s coming on, and I love the colours. The floats are working fine, despite my early scepticism. I’ve done tapestry crochet before, where the unused yarn is trapped inside the stitches, but never tried carrying the yarn along the back as you would in knitting. So far, so good.

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The yarn is Colinette’s Jitterbug, and the pink was formerly my Hitchhiker scarf. I had planned to press on with it, despite not liking the pattern, but I eventually decided that was daft. Why knit something you don’t like, when you could be making something you love? I feel much better now it’s not hanging around my neck any more (er…you know what I mean!), and I think I’m going to love these mitts! They’re from Inside Crochet 58 – details on Ravelry here.

I’m joining up with Ginny for the Yarn Along this week, and I actually have a book on the go.

Carthage

Not a cheerful read, I’ll grant you, but I love ancient history, and as someone who studied the Roman Republic, the history of Carthage is a fascinating counterpoint. The only trouble I’m having is that I think I’ve heard this reader on another, jauntier audiobook, so I’m struggling to hear it seriously. Also, the book starts with a disturbingly cheerful jingle considering the subject matter, and an advert declaring this part of a series of ‘self-improvement’ books. Which I suppose it is, but it feels strange to hear it declared with such a positive air! The reader sounds as though he should be reading “A history of clowns in a America” or “My life as a cowboy: a novel” not serious history. On the other hand, the book itself has great reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, so I’m hoping I’ll get my ear in soon and start to enjoy it more.

*As I possibly should have done at the start, I just read the FAQs for the CAL. It’s a good job I haven’t been joining in with the group, because I am definitely not using the correct yarn, and I am certainly not using the right hook. It’s supposed to be a 3mm. I’m using 4.5mm. And I crochet loosely. I suspect my blanket may end up a little bigger than intended…

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20 thoughts on “Yarn Along: Soothing stitching

  1. colorwork with crochet!?!? I can’t imagine! It’s lovely. (I’m in the midst of knitting colorwork and finding it the challenge it always is for me….I don’t do it enough, I guess.)

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    1. Normally, colourwork in crochet is tapestry work, which comes out incredibly stiff. Good for bags, less so for mittens. Stranding the yarn seems to be working fine for now – we’ll see what happens once I’ve got more than a cuff!

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  2. I had the same thought as woolythymes (above)–colorwork with crochet?!!! Wow, you go, girl! That’s impressive. Too bad about the voice of the reader for your audiobook…that would be frustrating and then funny, too, which would be hard to square with the seriousness of the text!

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    1. Heh, I don’t think it’s much harder than colourwork in knitting, and given my knitting skills (minimal) it’s actually easier for me!

      I’m sticking it out with the audiobook, but I am glad it’s a free one from the library. The reader just sounds too jovial and homely to be talking about one ancient civilisation trying to destroy another!

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  3. That is a neat looking pattern. Is there room on that couch for me too? All I want to do is sit and snuggle with a blanket and knit a bit. Darn stress!

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  4. I’ve been trying to get that book read for over a year! I love ancient history and just haven’t been able to dedicate the time to it.

    Your crocheting is wonderful, and I really think your color choices are lovely.

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    1. It doesn’t sound like it would be a relaxng thing to read – much easier having it read to me – but it’s very interesting!

      Thanks 🙂 I bought these yarns together years ago, so it’s great to finally get to use them together!

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    1. Thanks 🙂 Colourwork is a bit of a faff but much fun.

      Crannog is a wonderful yarn – I stalk other people’s stashes from time to time, as it’s so hard to get hold of now!

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  5. I love your little note at the bottom…it’s alright not to use specifically what a pattern calls for, it’s creative 🙂 I hope it continues to soothe you! Also very intrigued by crochet colorwork, I’ve never seen it before and yours is turning out quite brilliant!

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    1. I almost never use the right yarn for a pattern, as I tend to buy yarn then choose a pattern rather than the other way around. But it’s the first ‘sponsored’ CAL I’ve done even peripherally, so I found it interesting that people using the ‘wrong’ yarn weren’t allowed to talk about it!

      Colourwork is great fun, and much the same in crochet as knitting. I love these colours so much, the mitten is flying along!

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