Done!

The afghan is finished! I'm trying not to be too judgmental, but I'm not in love with the way I mixed the hexagons. I'm probably the only one who will be dissatisfied with it, though, so I'm just going to stop being so nitpicky.

The afghan is finished! I’m trying not to be too judgmental, but I’m not in love with the way I mixed the hexagons. I’m probably the only one who will be dissatisfied with it, though, so I’m just going to stop being so nitpicky.

Many Irons in the Fire

The Butcher's scarf, a simple half-double crochet in green. Just waiting on the last skein to finish it up.

The Butcher’s scarf, a simple half-double crochet in green. Just waiting on the last skein to finish it up.

I'm now piecing this together, so it's very close to done.

I’m now piecing this together, so it’s very close to done.

This is not a great photo of the stripey afghan, but you can get the idea. It's going to be stripey and then charcoal gray.

This is not a great photo of the stripey afghan, but you can get the idea. It’s going to be stripey and then charcoal gray.

And then after this I have the yarn for an afghan for C and his wife. So, I guess I’m assuming it’s going to be cold and/or rainy for a bit more.

My Life, In One Picture

Also, just to give you some context, remember that I just finished the never-ending afghan February 1st. Which I started before Thanksgiving. Now, granted, I have been cooped up in the house all week, so I’m doing more crocheting than I might normally, but here it is February 20th and by lunch, I’ll be ready to piece this one together.

I won’t be piecing it together because I’m out of charcoal yarn and I’m not driving anywhere until it gets back above freezing. But I could.

And there was a lot of end tucking!

shug 3

Imagine It Better Mixed

I really love how this is turning out. Might need a little more green, but I think it's going to be really neat.

I really love how this is turning out. Might need a little more green, but I think it’s going to be really neat.

I got to see the edited version of the thing I broke myself writing this weekend. I think it’s really good. It makes me want an editor all the time.

Let’s Look at Cool Things Together!

Lesley Patterson-Marx is working on her illustration for The Wolf’s Bane. She’s got photos up at Instagram!

Here are some early sketches.

Here’s the final drawing.

Here’s some artsy stuff I don’t understand, though I love the orange glow.

And here’s a wall of prints.

Her picture illustrates the herbal of Mrs. Overton. Here’s a picture of Mrs. Overton, for comparison (I love everything about that portrait. The look in her eye that the painter captured just warms my heart.)

Seeing the Square

tails2

The other cool thing about this picture is that you can really see how a granny square, at least one of mine, comes together. I chained 4 and slip-stitched them together, then I chained three to make my first stitch of the round. That stitch tends to look just a little different than the other stitches. If you’re ever trying to figure out how something was crocheted, learning to identify that starting stitch can be really helpful. Here, in the red circle, you can see how that starting chain-3 stitch looks more like a braid than a twist. You can also sometimes tell up at the top, where the blue circle is, because it doesn’t seem to quite come together. But, depending on the yarn, this isn’t always true. The furrier yarn just southwest of the square we’re looking at hides its starting point almost completely.

The Afghan that Never Ends Comes Closer to Ending!

tails

All the squares are connected and the border is completed. All that’s left is to tuck all the ends on the connective tissue. I don’t know how long this might take. But I will say that it looks good. I have never made an afghan that appeared to be so simple but was such a pain in the ass. And I probably won’t again (though it is a good way to use up ends, so maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible to do it over a few years?). But it’s going to be really cool. I’m really proud of it.

Asked and Answered

I don’t know why it surprises me, but the answer to the question, “Why am I so grouchy and eating all these cookies?” is always the same.

Also, I only have one row, the border, and the row end tucking on the afghan left. So, I figure that’s another 10000000 days.

The Afghan that Never Ends Laughs in My Face

I was so excited that I was working on piecing the columns together. Done with the rows, all that’s left is the columns and the border and the end tucking. It sounds like a lot, but on a regular afghan, it’s nothing. There are fewer columns than rows, after all.

Last night, I worked while the guys watched wrestling. All night.

I got two columns done. Out of thirty. ARGH.

It looks cool, though.

The Afghan that Never Ends May Have an End. A Long Way Off.

I have nine rows left. Then I have to stitch together the columns and put a border on the whole thing. I won’t say “never again,” but “not any time soon.”

The AT&T building has expanded the fence further out into their yard. I had a moment this morning, stumbling through the dark, half asleep, when I came upon the new fence and I couldn’t make sense of where I was. I thought I was going to have to call the Butcher and tell him I was… but what?

Then I realized what had happened.

The Afghan that Never Ends Continues

Tails have been tucked and  connecting has begun. I have ten of my 40 rows now hooked together. Once those are done, I'll go back and connect them lengthwise. I'm crocheting them together in order to give the afghan some strength and stability considering all the different kinds of yarn at work. I still hate this afghan's guts, but it's already really cute. I think it's going to be awesome.

Tails have been tucked and connecting has begun. I have ten of my 40 rows now hooked together. Once those are done, I’ll go back and connect them lengthwise. I’m crocheting them together in order to give the afghan some strength and stability considering all the different kinds of yarn at work. I still hate this afghan’s guts, but it’s already really cute. I think it’s going to be awesome.

The Afghan that Never Ends

I am piecing it together. I can’t quite believe it.

Also, in my story, the narrator’s husband did such a dick thing that I’m kind of in awe. I’m having to take a break to decide if I’m going to leave it in or if my story is now on a totally different track.

I Started Crocheting It Not Knowing What It Was, Now I’ll Continue Crocheting It Forever Just Because…

It never ends, my friends. I can’t even tell if I’ve made an appreciable dent in the tails to be tucked. Worse, the Butcher bought me this awesome book of crochet patterns including the most excellent square I have ever seen. All I do is work on this afghan thinking about how, when I finish up, I can attempt that square.

I am never finishing. This afghan has no end.

tucked untucked

The Afghan of 1200 Squares

This picture was taken shortly before there were 1200 squares. I had to lay out all my clumps (of twelve squares each) to see how close I was to having a hundred clumps. I am, in this picture, 36 squares short. All 1200 squares now exist. I have moved on to the end-tucking portion of the squares, which will eventually be followed by the end-tucking portion of the seams. I have a hard time believing I will ever do another afghan like this, but I am curious to see how this one turns out.

1200 squares

Performance Art has to Have an Aesthetic Component, Right? Here’s Mine

The best part of this afghan, even though it makes it practically unwashable, is the different yarns I’m using on it and the different ways they look. Not just in color, but in texture:

Here's a lot of little squares in a bag. I don't think that anything in the afghan is actually that bright a yellowish green, but the iPhone camera does what the iPhone camera wants.

Here’s a lot of little squares in a bag. I don’t think that anything in the afghan is actually that bright a yellowish green, but the iPhone camera does what the iPhone camera wants.

This is a Japanese wool yarn I really like (though it's hella expensive) because each square is slightly different than the next. I doubt it's really hand-spun (it's not that expensive), but it definitely has that feel to it. It's two-ply yarn, so the variation comes from the change in colors of each ply being staggered. You can see here that we're moving from a green to a kind of coppery gold.

This is a Japanese wool yarn I really like (though it’s hella expensive) because each square is slightly different than the next. I doubt it’s really hand-spun (it’s not that expensive), but it definitely has that feel to it. It’s two-ply yarn, so the variation comes from the change in colors of each ply being staggered. You can see here that we’re moving from a green to a kind of coppery gold. It’s very rough. And that looks like a dog hair stuck to it.

I ended up with a few balls of yarn like this--oneply, barely twisted. Almost more like a good roving or a top, though it's acrylic. I like how shiny it is and how it has almost a jewelry chain appearance in the stitches.

I ended up with a few balls of yarn like this–one-ply, barely twisted. Almost more like a good roving or a top, though it’s acrylic. I like how shiny it is and how it has almost a jewelry chain appearance in the stitches.

This picture does not begin to do justice to how beautiful this yarn is. Basically, imagine the gold of a Renaissance angel's halo and that would appear to be what this yarn is made of.  It's also just one ply, but it's got a pretty substantial twist. That twist makes the stitches stand out a lot more than the previous yarn.

This picture does not begin to do justice to how beautiful this yarn is. Basically, imagine the gold of a Renaissance angel’s halo and that would appear to be what this yarn is made of. It’s also just one ply, but it’s got a pretty substantial twist. That twist makes the stitches stand out a lot more than the previous yarn. This is my favorite yarn of the bunch, just because the color is so amazing. The white yarn that’s holding it together–my old Kool-aid dying yarn, remains one of my favorites for its awesome twists, which you can see here.

Math is Not My Strong Suite

Remember that fond day when I thought I was halfway done with the endurance-test afghan and I was somewhat befuddled by it? But still proud and excited because I was almost done?

Yesterday afternoon, I stood with my piles of squares spread out on my bed and my calculator in-hand and I was like “The number I think I need is not the number that will make up a whole afghan.” And yet, I just could not figure out how to unfuck my thinking.

So, here’s the problem. I have my squares bundled into bundles of twelve. I want my afghan to be 36 squares wide by 48 squares tall (each square being just shy of two inches wide)–or three bundles by four bundles. So, how many bundles do I need to make?

My first guess was twelve. Much to my own pride, I realized that this was wrong, even before I spread the squares out on my bed.

But then I had been telling myself that, what I need is four bundles high, thirty six bundles across. And, well, I had thirty-six bundles–score one for me.

I make my post.

And then, all day, I’m like–this just cannot be right. It’s not enough squares. Even spread out on my bed, it’s not enough squares. But I can’t figure out how I’m fucking up. For the longest time.

And then I realize, I have forgotten to multiply. I don’t need 36 bundles–I need 4×36 bundles. I am only a quarter done.

I had a feeling of both extreme disappointment and extreme relief.

There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you have the wrong answer but not knowing where the flaw in your thinking is to fix it.

An Afghan of My Least Favorite Things

I’m making an afghan that is 90% end-tucking, which, as we all know, is my least favorite part of afghan making. But I am dying to try this and see how it ends up. I’m making tiny granny squares–just the first round, so about an inch across–and then I’m going to tuck a million ends and join the squares all together. By my estimate, to make it the size I want, I will need almost four thousand squares.

I’m not sure if this means this is solely an afghan or if we’ve moved into performance art territory.

The Bear Hat

I have to get some pictures! It’s delightful, just as it is, in pieces. But tomorrow, my goal–after I get my oil changed–is to find a tapestry needle with an eye big enough for the yarn. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I’m going to get it together. But I’m kind of delighted with the problem! And I’m going to pick out buttons for the eyes.

And take pictures, because you all are going to laugh! It’s just really delightful. The ears, even now, are the greatest thing ever. But man, it’s going to be hot as all get out. In both senses of the word. Ha ha ha. Okay, mostly just in the “heavy wool” sense.

Satisfying

Making this bear hat is more satisfying than I suspected. I may switch to hats for a while. I may have pictures later.

Bear Hats a Go Go

I need to sew together my new baby hat, but I have to do that in strong light, so I was waiting until this weekend. Meanwhile, I’ve started on the hat for Sam (or, if I put it on the Butcher and it’s a little small, the hat for my mom!) It appears I was right and buying bulky yarn and going up a few hook sizes are going to let me pretty much use the pattern as written and get an adult hat. The biggest challenge with the hat is going to be finding a tapestry needle with a hole big enough to take the yarn and then finding buttons with the holes big enough to fit the needle. I’m going to end up at Joann’s with a long strand of this yarn.

I’ll take some pictures as I get further along. I really love the color of the yarn. It’d be a nice hat even if it wasn’t a bear.

Oh, I do have a picture of that, though.

bear hat early stages

I would have liked a hook one size bigger than what I have here, but I don’t own one. The only thing I have bigger is the enormous. I’d be worried about how dense it is, except that both people who are getting one live in the Midwest.

Anyway, that’s the main color (thought it might look a little more pink in the photo than it does in real life) and the color under it is the ear, nose, and border color.