From Bad to Worsted

So while I only intended to take a short break to deal with all the crazy that comes with the end of the year, it bizarrely turned into going completely off the grid.

At first it made sense, I had decided to re-do my cowl to get it just the way I liked, and there wasn’t much going on to post about. Then about a week or so after my last post, I went to get my leg checked – with my hopes up into the stratosphere about getting to hit the pool – can you see where this is going?

Yup, I’m still in the boot.

The bones healed beautifully, as did the joint, but it turns out that because of all of what was going on, they didn’t catch that I had some tendon damage and now, it’s all about rehabing that back up to shape – both to try and avoid surgery and to get my foot in shape enough to have surgery if I do end up needing it.

 

It was beyond frustrating and sent me back to the same desolate emotions-hellscape where I ended up when I was first injured. I realized that I was going to get to the end of the year that I hadn’t completed my fitness goals and what really hit me hard, is that I hadn’t completed much in the way of projects. There was other stuff going on in terms of dealing with PTSD and I just couldn’t snap out of the funk I was in.

 

This time I turned things around a bit more slowly. I came across this amazing picture from TheSweatyKnitter and discovered that it consistently made me smile. I’m not much one for pink, but this blanket looked like all the love in the world crocheted into one place that I saved a copy to my phone so that I could look at it when I was feeling low.

f_blanket1

About a week later, I watched a bunch of tutorials on granny squares and basically re-learned how to crochet.  In the space of a few minutes, I had a granny square! It felt amazing to finish something – it was a granny square, simple and delightful on its own. I took to making them to cheer me up, after panic attacks, to calm down after a nightmare or just when I got overwhelmed.  And best of all, I was doing this with the acrylic yarn I’m trying to use up. After a good thirteen squares, I had a sort of theme going and I decided to scrap the idea of knitting a blanket to learn different stitches, and just go for crocheting granny squares.

 

This turned into a treasure hunt of sorts. I tracked down every scrap of orange and grey I had and got to work. I think I cleared about a fifth of The Yarn Bin – and then I promptly ran out of yarn. The missus, who was super amped about this project, decided to take me to JoAnns to get black yarn to join up the squares and stitch a border on our way for a week in Monterey. And that’s where it hit me: I’m not insane. All the yarns I’d been working with were acrylic AND worsted weight but they were all different – and it wasn’t just me getting random yarns, we lined up 12 different kinds of Black worsted weight yarn – all the same material and they were all completely different in terms of thickness, actual weight, feel – everything. For this blanket it wasn’t a big deal – it is a scrap blanket and the differences make it all the more cozy but if I was working on something for which I needed a really consistent fabric, I’d be screwed. All the more reason not to stash and buy yarn as needed for the project – and to quintruple check that I get all the yarn I need in the first go because if 2015 has taught me anything is that things will sell out/get discontinued or end up with a lot of variation.

 

I know I should have probably blocked the squares before putting them together but that was a tall order while on vacation, so I just stitched them together, and added the border so that we could curl up with it tonight – because holy-climate change it’s cold here! Well for Oakland anyway. Nights have been in the low 30F…. *shivers*

I’m tempted to block it now but I’m not sure if that would do it any good…. What do you all think?

 

I’ve given myself a clean slate for 2016 in terms of projects because I’d like to go back to being a more one-project-at-a-time kind of crafter but I do have a goal of making my own tops so there is plenty on deck to blog about and this absolutely means I’m back 😀

 

Have a safe and wonderful – and safe time welcoming in the 2016! Hugs to you all!

 

 

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23 thoughts on “From Bad to Worsted

  1. Welcome back! I missed you 🙂 The only thing I’ve ever blocked that was knit / crocheted out of acrylic yarn was a shawl that had to be blocked. It’s a laborious project with something that big because regular blocking won’t do. You would need to steam block it. I have a post somewhere on my blog about how I did the shawl. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I love the colors! I’ll be dressing up in some warm clothes and heading to a friends house tonight. It’s awful chilly here too 🙂 Happy New Years!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy 2016!!!!
      I super missed you and the other fiber arts folk here, you’re super supportive and savvy 😀

      Your post on that gorgeous shawl is what inspired me to try my hand at blocking but since it is rather large and laborious, I think I’ll let this one be. Now I know to block each square at a time *before* I stitch them together.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to see you again. Sorry to hear about the setback. I understand all too well (as a mum) the frustrations of health expectations not being met. As the other Paula said, it would take a bit of effort to block the acrylic. I personally wouldn’t worry about that. I love granny squared afghans, and might learn to crochet one myself some day, so what I’m trying to say is, I love yours. Hope it keeps you warm in the new year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you’d like a buddy to crochet along with, just let me know! Afghans – and granny squares in general- are a lot of fun and I just learned that there are different styles to play around with 😀

      Thank you so much for the kind words and the advice. This is a pretty snuggly throw so I think I’ll leave well enough alone and just enjoy it.

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  3. Glad to hear from you again, I was actually wondering how you were doing the other day. And I agree with the other two here: don’t worry about blocking the afghan now. I actually had a few small throws I made before I even knew what blocking was and after they went through the wash a few times they have evened out on their own. Can’t wait to see more of your projects this coming year. Happy New Year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you as well 🙂

      I’d been wanting to blog for about a week before my last post, but I thought it would be fitting to end the 2015 on a high note and with a finished object. Now that I have a better idea of the pacing of my crafting – or more accurately a better idea of how to pace myself with projects, I think I’ll be able to get a lot more done, and that includes blogging!

      I haven’t put the throw through the wash yet, but you’re a total genius for mentioning that. My mom crochets all the time and never blocks and all her throws and finished objects turn out okay. Good call! I feel less guilty about enjoying it as is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny, I was thinking of you only yesterday when I contemplated a new soap batch! And I wondered then if WordPress had deleted you from my reader when it had a mood, as it sometimes does, and made a mental note to check today. But there you are! 🙂 sorry to hear about the health trials, that sucks, but truly love the blankie! I love granny squares and recently started a hexie version to look like a grandmothers flower garden quilt (hopefully)…best wishes for a FANTASTIC 2016! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m loving the blankie and 2016 thus far.
      What kind of soap are you kicking off the new year with? I haven’t been able to make some since it’s a bit cumbersome on crutches but it should only be about another month or so according to my physical therapist and then I can get to it!

      I’ve seen a couple of granny hexagon blankets and I might have to give that a whirl after I’m done with making a throw pillow for my couch. I just discovered solid granny squares and another scrapdown project was born 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you’ll be back at it soon, crutches must be such a pain. I haven’t got around to starting the soap yet but the intention is there lol…I usually do olive and coconut oil…looking forward to more blanket updates! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s my go-to soap as well 🙂 Though I think I’ll try some calendula infused almond oil with it next time. Crutches aren’t fun, but I’m really loving the new muscle definition on my arms so I can’t hate them – I might even be getting good at getting around in them, which does show how long I’ve been on them but also makes me kinda proud.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! It’s SO good to be back to hang out with you guys! I totally missed you but as I mentioned in another reply above, I really wanted to come back with a finished project so that I could prove to myself that I had it in my to finish something before the end of 2015. What I learned from this is that where there is craft mojo, life mojo is soon to follow. So good thing I have a bunch of tops to knit in 2016 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Together again! I’m glad your back and that you have exciting plans. Tops? Tops! I cannot wait to see. 🙂 Your blanket looks great, I get the whole gratification thing too, they really add up quickly! I watched an episode of Sherlock Holmes last night (my first one ever) and it made me think of you. A new slate sounds like a good way to go because undoubtedly some of your previously planned projects are just so last year. ugh, I’ve been wanting to say that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where is the Wins-The-Internet button one here?! 😀
      You’ve inspired me to frog and wind up all the yarn in my project bin for a more literal clean slate – and got to feel good about doing some organizing. I’m kind of scared of these tops, but my current tops aren’t getting any newer looking so it’s time to get to knitting!
      But not before I take up a new sock pattern. I’m so excited!!!
      Which Sherlock Holmes did you watch? BBC? Granada Series? I’m dying of curiosity.
      I finally watched the Great British Bake Off and LOVED IT! You were right! It’s the best thing ever 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad you like it! Nadia’s facial expressions are priceless! I watched the BBC one with Benedict Cumberbach, it was the last of the series though so I was a bit confused. It is so annoying that bbc iplayer doesn’t save them so I couldn’t watch the previous ones! Tut. Yet, it does have every episode ever of the great British bake off… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes! I was really hoping she’d win but over all I’m happy she made it so far 🙂

          Sherlock is really awesome – especially the first season, I think the whole thing is on Netflix and if that’s not your jam, you could get the episodes on Amazon for not too much money. If you’d like to see the Endeavor series (also BBC), I have all the episodes thus far – fair warning though, it ends in a cliff hanger and I eagerly await the next season 🙂

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  6. Good to “read” you again! I hope that foot thing heals quickly.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to enjoy making blankets out of acrylic yarn! As for the yarn weight, it’s amazing how different brands claim different things, isn’t it? A DK in one brand can be discerningly thinner than another brand’s DK. Although, if you think about it, shoe companies do the same, bra companies as well, etc…

    Finally, blocking: did you end up doing it? I reckon it would definitely change stitch definition, but not size (acrylic doesn’t stretch like wool); it would still be very worthwhile if it made it more even, I think.

    Happy 2016 to you and your wife! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Happy 2016 to you and your sweetie 😀

      I’m really stoked about the blanket – it’s weird that I’d never made one before but that stops now! I think I’ll make it a winter tradition 🙂

      The yarn weight thing is simultaneously bumming me out – clothes and shoes are already hard enough! – and cheering me up. I had a couple of projects I tried to make and it took ages to figure out that the yarn was just wrong. I have an important gift to make so hopefully, I can get the right kind of DK today since I need to have it done soon.

      I never ended up blocking, it seemed more trouble than it was worth, especially since I’ve been told by not a few knitters that everything will come out in the wash so to speak 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay for winter traditions! 😀
        Isn’t it interesting how not all yarn of the same weight is going to be the right one for a certain project?
        Yes, washing will take the blocking right out of the fibre, which is why I’m always in awe of the people who hand knit jumpers and always have the patience to shape them back up… Will I ever? 😳

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The yarn weights are mind boggling! I just spent half an hour in a yarn store trying to deal with all the different Worsteds and DK’s…. In the end I just chose the nicest color and texture and will base my decision for my project on that. Weirdos, it isn’t like it’s hard to standardize this – but I’ve been saying that about clothing for years so maybe it is…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Clothing, shoes, yarn… I guess in the end it’s all human error 😀 I’ve a few yarn samples to choose from to order and start dyeing, and the same weight has visibly different thicknesses!

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