Sunday, October 27, 2019

Stick Shift Crochet and Lap Dog Problems

I can't think of anything that brings me closer to tears than when my old dog - completely exhausted after a hard day in the field - limps away from her nice spot in front of the fire and comes over to where I'm sitting and puts her head in my lap, a paw over my knee, and closes her eyes, and goes back to sleep. I don't know what I've done to deserve that kind of friend. --Gene Hill
Week 3 of the Rozeta Crochet-a-Long (CAL)project went surprisingly without any major hitches. I didn't even have to rip back a single round.... well, I got away without ripping out a single round, anyway:

I discovered near the end of the last round that I had missed a stitch in the previous round, which meant ripping back a couple hundred stitches. I sat and stared at it for a while, then I remembered someone on the online CAL group mentioning they'd found a video for adding missing stitches in previous rows without ripping back. A quick Google search and a couple of minutes later, it was done. And I bet you can't even tell where I did it:

If you look carefully, you can see safety pins around the circumference, which I have been using as stitch markers for this project. I've never been able to use those plastic stitch markers successfully. They just keep snapping between my giant claw-like fingers. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but until I figure that out, safety pins it will have to be.

I'm also very glad that we're finished with the tapestry crochet method for the next few weeks. I'm really glad to have the opportunity to learn it, but I'd be lying if I said I was sad to give it a rest for a while. Tapestry crochet is sorta like learning to drive a manual stick shift: a lot of limbs are involved, and if you get it wrong you can stall quite dramatically. It should be nicknamed "stick shift crochet." At least, that's what I'm going to call it in my head. I think I've got the hang of it now, but I think my tension could be better. My final tapestry row was so tight in places that I really had to work to get my hook through some of the stitches. The next section will be my first foray into overlay crochet, which looks beautiful, but I have a feeling that will be another test for my tension. I think I better do some stretching and deep breathing in between rounds...

I suppose the only real challenge I've had so far during this project is finding a way to work on it with a small, cuddly dog on my lap. Ever since we came back from our holiday last month, I can't sit on the couch for any amount of time without him plopping himself on my lap. He was never this cuddly before. This is not such a bad problem to have in the grand scheme of things, but I'm not sure how I'm going to get this blanket done without having to unceremoniously dump this little dog off my lap:

We've had a couple of days of really beautiful sunny weather, so we took the opportunity to go out and get some sunshine today:

I also took the opportunity to bake two dozen fruit and bran muffins, which have been my go-to breakfast for the last little while. I usually eat one with a bowl of Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee each morning. I really like this recipe, except I use only half a cup of sugar and only half a cup each of dried cranberries and chopped dried apricots per dozen. I also add half a cup of sunflower seeds for some crunch. They're so good that even the hubby likes them, even after he looked dubiously at the bags of wheat bran I brought home from the supermarket. You can tell he still likes them by this photo. I was planning on getting a beautiful shot of two dozen muffins cooling... except one seems to have mysteriously disappeared:

Meanwhile, I've got a couple of days before the next set of instructions are published for this CAL. I still have my crochet linen stitch scarf on the go, but I am really craving a knitting project at the moment. I'm currently daydreaming about trying to squeeze a top or a vest out of these two skeins of  50/50 merino/silk fingering weight yarn. I think I can do it if I use a lacy stitch and the right size needles, but it'll take some experimentation. I'm not sure if it's a good idea for me to start another project at this stage because this blanket is at the stage when it's really growing to a larger size, but I think I might just wind these into cakes and tinker around a bit...

... just a soon as I can get out from under this dog. Puppy problems, hey? Have a good week!

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