Saturday, 28 August 2010

Yarn, Glorious Yarn!

I ordered this wonderful bundle of yarn online a few months ago. It is Paton's Smoothie - an acrylic, DK/8ply weight yarn that has a wonderful, silky feel to it. I absolutely love it so I was surprised to hear that it has been discontinued. Seems a shame, but the upside is that I could get it online for a great price! :-)

This yarn is for yet another project to add to my collection - and, yes, it's for yet another blanket! But this one is for a special ocassion, and that gives me the motivation to get on with it and get it DONE - all the way to the end - ASAP.

Well, things are crazy-busy here as usual, so I must dash, but I'll share more about this project soon as it has gone really well, and is - indeed - almost FINSIHED!!

Have a happy, hooky day,
Caz :)

P.S. I haven't forgotten about sharing my crochet top with you - the one that I wrote about here - but it's rather a long story and the post I've started writing is becoming quite complicated! I do tend to ramble... and over-think things! :-D but I will keep working at it, try and simplify what I've written and upload a post about it all soon. :-)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

More about the Local Show

At the end of June, our region had its annual local show. The show, as I mentioned in this post, is a bit like a local town fair: it showcases all the best the town has to offer: best cattle, best horses, best wood-chopping, best arts and crafts, best produce. And, of course, there's side-show alley, with its rides, dodgem cars, fun houses, laughing clowns, games of chance, and the quintessential ferris wheel. When you live in a small country community, with not much to do, it's always great fun to go along to the show.

These pics were taken from up atop said ferris wheel. As you can see, being a country show, it's a fairly small affair, and beyond the show grounds is a whole lot of ... well... nothing! Countryside, sugar cane fields, and - just out of shot of the photos - the small town of Proserpine.

In this photo (below), in the top left corner, you can see a building with a green roof. This building held the produce, cooking, school, photography, and art and craft displays.


the crochet blankets...

...all FIVE of them! (Told you it was a small show!)

See my Rainsong Blanket there? On the bottom shelf? :-) Nice! I feel like one-of-the-gang! :-)

I feel I must comment, though, to the way our work was displayed in comparison with other crafts, particularly the quilts. Now, no offence intended to all the quilters out there - it is a difficult and admirable craft, I'm sure. But the quilts are hung, on rods, up high, while the crochet blankets were left scrunched in a corner!

Okay, maybe they weren't scrunched, but you can see for yourselves how they were displayed:

And you can see, in the background of the photo above, the back of one of the quilts, hanging up as I've described. I wish I'd taken more photos of the quilts to help explain this more, but basically they were hanging up all around the pavilion.

Here is the winning "blankets and lap-rugs" crochet entry. It's made of those repeated motifs that are meant to look like a 3D cube. I like that 3D illusion stuff. There's a free pattern for a similar one here. I think this blanket would have looked a lot more 3D if it had been given a better display.

Does quilting really deserve more display space and admiration? Is it true that people see crochet as "the poor-man's craft", so lowly and easy that it only deserves a little corner? I'm just curious on your thoughts here. I think for the work involved in our blankets, they could have been displayed a little more generously.

But, regardless of how they were shown, it was nice to see my first-ever-completed blanket there, amongst them. I felt really chuffed. :-)

Oh, and here is a close-up of second prize. Very nice stitch-work:

Who knows, maybe I'll have some luck next year. I've already got some projects in mind! :-)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed your journey though our local, country show. It's only small, but it's always a lot of fun, and it feels good to be a part of it!

Till next time,
Caz :)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Rainsong Blanket - the stats

Finally, here are the details of my first-ever-completed blanket:

Name: Oliver's Rainsong Blanket
Pattern: Rock-a-bye Rainsong
Pattern source: "Best Crochet Afghans" by Leisure Arts
Hook size: 5mm
Yarn: Paton's Washed Haze Aran (10 ply/aran/worsted weight - I think?) in Steel, Dark Blue, and Mid Blue
Amount of yarn: 10 balls each of Dark Blue and Mid Blue, 11 balls of Steel (approx*)
That's 31 x 50 gram balls = 1550 grams (1.55 kg)
Dimensions: 92 cm x 181 cm
Number of stripes/rows: 76 stripes (152 rows)
Number of stitches: approx 21,000!
Date commenced: 29 December, 2009
Date completed: 21 June, 2010
My reflection: An easy pattern to follow and not difficult to do. The long double-crochet stitch makes things a bit more interesting. It did get boring at times, but I love the way it looks with the colours blending into each other; it was definitely worth all the effort in the end.

No luck at the annual local show, by the way. But that's okay - I wasn't really expecting anything (and the other entries were pretty good :-) ). It was just nice to see my work out on display.

And I love the fact that my son uses it on his bed every day, and when he feels sick or tired he drags it into the lounge room and curls up under it. That is far more important and endorsement enough for me! :-)

'til next time,
Caz :)

* My 10 lots of 3 would have been enough except... I went and made something else with the yarn when I was half-way through the blanket, didn't I? Did you see the slippers in an earlier post - the blue granny-square slippers? I made them for my Dad and used quite a bit of the "steel" shade. I now know that this was a VERY silly thing to do! I realised a couple of weeks ago that I was going to run out of that shade first and I ended up having to order 2 extra balls of that shade. So I'm afraid I can't tell you accurately how much yarn I have used! :-P

P.S. May I just add that it's lovely to finally find time to blog again? The past six weeks have been super-crazy at our place, with many visitors passing through, including a 1-year-old who was here for a few weeks. He kept us very busy and turned our lives upside down! I hope you haven't forgotten me and that someone is actually reading this! :-P I've missed blogging on here and chatting with you all and it feels so great to be back! :-)

See you soon.