Friday, May 30, 2008

bamboo revisited

Yesterday I had a few minutes to wait for someone, so with great glee I pulled out my capelet to crochet. However, it's time to start a new color, and the next yarn is a very drapey gorgeous slippery rayon.

It came in a skein, not a ball. I unfurled it to attempt to start using it anyway, but it was so slippery and sloopy that it immediately became clear: this was not going to work. Better to wait until I got home and wound it into a ball. (Why didn't I think of that before packing it in my bag? Stupid stupid!)
So, thwarted were my noble intentions to concentrate on that capelet until I finish it, and I was left to consider which other project might make a good diversion while waiting for my lunch companions. The skew scarf was at home, but I rediscovered the fabulous purple bamboo. Remember this?

It's still a swatch; I half-forgot about it, to tell the truth. When I left off, I was working on some single crochet with a small hook and not enjoying it at all. When I picked it up again yesterday, though, it was love all over again.

The big flippy parts in the first picture are (right to left) hdc and dc using an 8 mm hook (L). Then I did a row of sc, a row of V-stitch, and a row of twice as many V-stitches. I wanted the end to be very ruffley, and it is, but it would be nice if it was also more scallopy or pointy or something. The small stitches in the second picture are sc and then, for the last few rows, sc through the closest loop only. I forget if that's considered the back or the front loop, and when I flipped it over to do another row, I still used the closest loop. For this part I was's where we find out that I'm really not that acquainted with my metal hooks...I think it was a 4 mm and then a 5 mm. (Note to self in case I put this project down for another month and forget: it was the lavender one and then the dark blue one.) I know this is standard issue crochet for most normal crocheters, but it's the first time since my very first learning-to-crochet swatch that I've used a hook smaller than 9 mm. When I was first learning to crochet, I stumbled upon Quick Crochet Huge Hooks at the local public library, totally loved it and adopted its approach to crochet, and never looked back. It's the book that showed me that you don't have to be all anal-retentive and have a perfect plan for all of your crochet projects. You can just kind of pick yarn that looks good together and figure out a hook and stitch(es) that work, and make it up as you go along! This also saved me from feeling compelled to buy every ball of the discontinued yarns I've fallen in love with--when you can mix yarns and wing it, even just a single ball is perfectly valid and useful, and it's really not necessary to buy up the entire dye lot. Of course, I embraced this philosophy with great exuberance, buying one or two of everything on sale that I liked--thus the yarny insulation covering the walls of my guest room. And of course using huge hooks lets you finish things much more quickly, which is exciting and cool. However, for this particular project, non-see-through will be a good thing, at least for the chest parts of the top, so a small hook it is. I hope I actually get to make this top before the summer is over--it's going to be so awesome!

No comments: