Sunday, August 6, 2017

A week of randomness...

On one hand it's been a quiet week.  Nothing exciting.  On the other hand it's been a week full of distraction.

The week started out with the discovery of a water leak and a couple of days of having a plumber here -- first to diagnose the problem, then to do what we all hoped was an easy fix.  A week later we're realizing the leak is still there.  What makes the leak hard to diagnose is that it's likely in a pipe that is buried in a cement floor in the basement - an expensive and messy proposition to fix because cement will need to be busted through to make the repair.

I'll spare you the details, but with our family room somewhat in disarray (because an entire closet of games and other various stored items had to be emptied out), and a house project bigger than me staring me in the face every day, I've found life this week to be...  well...  a bit distracting.

Which meant I was a prime candidate for "see shiny new crochet project (on Ravelry), make shiny new crochet project!"

And I did!

First, I finished the All Shawl by Doris Chan:

The yarn is Lion Brand Heartland in the colorway Olympic.  I'd bought bunches of this yarn once upon a time thinking the color was gorgeous, but for some reason once I had it home I couldn't imagine what I'd actually make with it.

Being committed right now to working from stash as much as possible, I went stash diving.  I think this was a great project for this yarn.  It makes a drapey fabric, and isn't this lacy border pretty?

With that finished, I decided to give Planned Color Pooling a try for a  Learn Something New CAL on Ravelry...  I'd never (intentionally) done this before, so now seemed as a good a time as any to try.

Following Glamour 4 You's technique, at first I thought this technique maybe wasn't as hard as I had imagined.  I got to work and the first two repeats of the color pooling pattern looked pretty consistent:


But then, the argyle pattern started getting smaller:


And then this weird teeny argyle repeat happened (twice):


And then the pattern opened up again - to start the whole thing all over, presumably:

Not wanting to be defeated, and honestly feeling somewhat hooked on the technique, I searched for other helps and found a variety of resources.  Some people say consistent tension is important, some say counting the stitches per color is more important that tension.

I tried again, using Marly Bird's technique of neither counting the stitches, nor worrying about tension, but rather watching how the pattern moves.  This technique seemed more my style, but I found it too difficult to actually see the pattern moving as I was working it.  It's one thing to see the pattern clearly "moving" when you lay it down and step back from the fabric, or looking at a photograph.  But distinguishing just how the stitches are moving as you work each row isn't so simple when it's right in front of one's face.  Maybe this is easy for some people, but I found it extremely difficult.

After trying this technique a couple of different ways, I decided I needed to give the whole thing a rest.  I was mentally exhausted, and I don't care what anyone says - this is not easy.   Addictive, yes. Easy?  No.  Even Marly Bird admits that while it's addicting, people who've had success with planned color pooling will have frustrations at some point - because variegated yarns are all different.  And even the same colorway made in different dyelots may behave differently from one another.  I just don't know how much I want to do this if frustration is a given.

Exhausted and feeling the need to soothe my weary brain, I decided to start a ripple blanket I've been meaning to do for over a month now:

This is baby blanket sized and I'm enjoying the colors.  The ripple stripes are going to be random sizes for (what I hope is) a modern look.  This is another project made totally from stash and since I have more of the Seafoam (blue/green) color, the blanket will feature larger sections of that; the white and charcoal gray figuring in in such a way that I can make good use of what I have and hopefully finish those colors up as the blanket finishes.   It's an easy project that I imagine will be finished shortly.

And now I start a new week where once again, the first thing on the docket Monday morning is calling the plumber.  It's a good thing I like this plumber.  I'd just rather not have to see him so often (I don't think I mentioned we discovered this plumber when we had to have a new water heater installed earlier in the summer).   We've had our fill of water woes this year.

To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry!







14 comments:

  1. The shawl is stunning. I love the lace edging. I can see how the planned pooling could get frustrating. The ripple will be the perfect mindless project while uour house is being torn up to find a leak. Hope it gets found soon.

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    1. Thank you, Marsha. The ripple blanket is nearly mindless - and soothing to work on. I'm nearly finished with the one pictures above and am thinking of making another one. Plumber comes on Tuesday - we'll see how much "soothing" I need this week.

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  2. I love the All Shawl - I made one using one of the long colour change yarns but I think yours looks better being all the one colour. I have some Heartland in my stash - can you tell me how many balls you needed please? I tried planned pooling once but it did my head in so I frogged it and used the yarn for something else. (easy way out eh). The ripple blanket colours are pretty and very modern looking - will look forward to seeing it when finished. Good luck with your plumbing issues.

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    1. I used nearly 4 complete skeins of LB Heartland yarn with a K (and then J) sized hook (I lost track of the hook size and picked up a J about half way through and finished it off with that). Bigger hook size is better, IMO, for working this shawl.

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  3. Great job stash busting! The shawl is gorgeous, and the yarn looks fantastic. I need to switch out my stashbusting from making so many dishcloths to something pretty like that.
    I am so glad to get an honest review of the planned colour pooling. I had seen the idea and added it to the 'try' list, but now I think I will do something else!
    Hope your leak fix ends up being a bit better than you expect. Good trades-people are gems, but you are right, we don't really want to see them that often!
    Happy days,
    Jenn

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    1. Good to hear from you, Jenn - one of my stashbusting buddies. :) It is gratifying to make something large enough to actually see the stash being busted, but small enough that I can fairly quickly see the results of a finished project.

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  4. that shawl is so pretty! :) oh dear, what a stressful thing, that unfound leak :( I hope it is fixed as painlessly as possible!!!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Hopefully, it's fixed as I write this. :) Other than being expensive, it has been a fairly painless issue. Fortunately, it never became an emergency situation. I have been very thankful for that.

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  5. Tell me about it! It's been over a year going on 2 with my porch leak so I am right there with you girlfriend! At least it's a porch(me) and a basement (you) and not our bedrooms! I hope they are able to fix your problem soon...I think mine is chronic! I'm about ready to tell them to just rip off the porch and be done with it once and for all!
    Your shawl is beautiful and you really got a lot done this week! I love the color and as for your argyle...I would just go for it even with the smaller triangles....the effect is still the same...gorgeous! Ripples always remind me of my Aunt who made them all the time. I think she got kits from Hershner or Lee Wards and I rarely saw her work on any other type. I think it was one she could just pick up and had memorized. You just can't beat a ripple and yours is lovely especially with your color choices...as always! I hope the leak issue gets resolved faster than mine! Have a great week!

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    1. Oh Sandra... I thought of you and your mysterious roof leak when I realized I had to call the plumber back. Now, this afternoon (after about 5 hours of work and a lot of noise) the leak appears to be fixed, new cement is poured and a call is in to a contractor friend to see if he'd like the small job of finishing off the closet floor. It should be the simplest of fixes at this point to finish it off and then I can get to work cleaning, organizing, culling stuff that we don't need to store, and putting my house back together. :)

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  6. Well, yes, when the going gets tough the tough get knitting - I love your shawl, and I am sorry about the persistent leak. Ack - the 'joys' of homeownership - not. I am so impressed with your planned pooling. I would like to learn that too. (off to add to my list of things to do.)

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    1. lol. That should be my motto. Only for me it would be "the tough get crocheting".

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  7. Hi Becki :)) The shawl and the blanket look really great! And congrats on trying something new this week. Just looking at that pattern got me mentally exhausted lol, I don't think I'm ready for something like that quite yet though. Ribbing challenges me! :) I hope you got the plumbing all sorted out...it's hard for me to trust trades-people, but only because I have so little knowledge, they can basically tell me anything and I believe them.

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  8. Not that I wish any more house trauma on you, but you have been wonderfully productive while it's been going on! I love the shawl and your pooling experiment is brilliant, even with the smaller repeats.

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