Who can resist a new project when you already have several on hook? Certainly not me! What’s on hook right now? I’m glad you asked! First we have the traditional Buds on Stems, the motif tunic, and the shades of peach hexagon motif wrap. All are a joy, none are done. I keep working at them, though, so someday.
What made it into the finished pile? Those mittens with the motif embellishments? Those are finished. The ends are woven and everything! It’s very exciting. The linen wrap is all stitched. I talked about finishing that project in last week’s post. Now for the ends.
I’ve been weaving ten ends every evening. Given that this had over 100 to start, it was going to take some time. Last night, despite wanting nothing more than the meditative solace of moving yarn around with a hook, I wove 10 ends! This despite driving six hours to get half way across the state and back. My parents are doing well, thanks for asking. It was nice to see them. Despite this, it was a long day after which I wanted to just sit and crochet. But no. I made myself weave those ends. Look how dutiful I was! I should get extra credit for this somewhere. I’m going to give myself a sticker for diligence and perseverance. With a quiet demerit for masochism.
All of this end weaving time has given me space to critique my project. What do I like? What don’t I like? What really should have been done differently? In the interest of documenting my learning experience, here are my conclusions.
What I like:
I like the way I handled colors. I really wondered about how often to change colors and how to make it look intentional instead of like I just dropped in one color after another as weird, ever decreasing color blocks. I really thought that would look like I wasn’t trying. I alighted on doing the two row, two row change after reading about how to weave the ends. This was one of the points I was worried about, but the divide and conquer end weaving scheme seemed to give me some leeway to attempt color changes. It worked, at least I’m happy with it, so success!
I like the drape and opened of the project. I know linen is naturally a drapey material, so I was not overly worried about this being stiff. Despite that, I went with a large hook for the yarn size-4.5 mm for fingering weight yarn. This worked. Interestingly, working this as crochet so that the S plied yarn unplied a bit as I went has resulted in the unpredictable. The unplying, or physical, and possibly spiritual, undoing of the yarn as I am amusing myself by thinking of it, has made the chains in the flower loops look a bit more filled out and less like the sharp chains that I might have gotten from a single ply yarn. So that made me really happy. All of this makes the wrap liquid drapey and beautiful.
The ease of the increase was a happy thing to find. I didn’t quite like the rate of the increase-I wish it was a little wider as it went-but I do not think the pattern would take well to internal shaping to make that happen and there isn’t much more to do at the edges. So there’s that. I tried to sort this with a border that would get wider as it went up the side, but it looked weird. So ease of increase, yes! Rate of increase, hmmm.
I absolutely loved how quickly this worked up and how easy the pattern was to remember. Those are both very nice when one insists on having too many projects going at the same time.
What I didn’t like:
Linen yarn. Or maybe it’s just the darn plied stuff. This was not a fun yarn to work with in terms of the yarn splitting and being difficult. Should one try it for the experience? Yes. Will I make something from the ends I have left and the hank I did not use? Yes. Will I buy more plied linen? No. Just no. These ends are terrible and slippery and I fear they will unravel just to torment me. I think I need to work in the happy, fuzzy yarns I normally do.
Weaving the ends. I said it. I stand by it while at the same time remembering that they are the price of excellence. Sometimes we can despise that which brings delight.
What I would change if I did it again:
The damn yarn. Just say no to plied linen. I will admit, quietly so the other projects do not hear, that I have started another of these wraps. This one I am doing in two strands of two ply, s twist, lace weight, silk and alpaca. You know what the ends are going to do? Stay put. I love that. To sleep well at night, I need to know that ends are not just silently and sneakily working themselves back out. It makes me feel like the laws of my personal crochet universe are working.
I think I would start with less stitches in the first row. I thought it looked anemic in the linen yarn, so I started with four chains and worked three flower loops. In the new design, I started with two chains and worked one flower loop. This did cause a slight change in the number of turning chains needed to make each row make sense early on, but I worked it out and only had to frog once. That’s a good project in my book.
The hook size needed adjustment for the new project. Despite the two strands of lace weight, I dropped the hook size to a 3.5 mm. That is working well.
So much for that project. On to the next project!
I had a cake of color transitioning yarn that I have been moving around and thinking about for the better part of nine months. I finally decided to make it into a cowl. I started it last week and it’s coming along nicely. I’ll write it up more next week, but for now it is my fast moving project and I like that.