Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I have finally decided that the only way for winter weather to go away is if I put away my winter clothes. This past weekend I did a lot of laundry, in particular of my hand knits and many delicate store bought items. As you can see they have since taken over the floor space in my living room and now are dry enough to be stored in Rubbermaid bins for the warmer months ahead. Thank God!

My only fear are moths. As you all know I just moved into this house, and I'm not sure if I have them, but I heard that if you just throw some cedar chips or some dried lavendar satchets into the bin with the items, they should be hole-free when it is time to wear them again. Is this true? Please let me know.

As you can see I have also gotten bitten by the crochet bug. This is a giant granny square from what I understand. Lots of double crochets, chaining 3 or 5 or 6 stitches where appropriate. You get the idea (if you don't, well, ask a crocheter). At present, this blanket is good enough for a baby, but I really would like this to cover an adult body.

What has propelled me to learn this technique is the pure interest I have in granny squares. I have to admit that I'm not very fond of the look of simple crochet. But the more complex crochet is really cool to look at and I find granny squares to be aesthetically pleasing. I shared my love for granny squares with a co-worker of mine and she offered to teach me how to do them (BTW, she also knows how to spin, so guess who will be learning how to spin soon!)

Because I knew the basics of single and double crochet, I picked it up fast and 3 nights later I had made about 10 squares. I soon discovered that granny squares are perfect for knitters like myself with tons of odd balls that can't grow up to be anything on their own, but are too much to be thrown away. However, the prospect of sewing hundreds (well, maybe not hundreds, but close to it) of squares for a blanket didn't look as appealing as it once did before. So I got some other random balls and started this blanket.

The rainbow yarn is a throwback. 300 or so grams of lana sedificada ("silky wool" or "silk-like yarn" to be exact) from Buenos Aires. As far as I can tell, however, there is no wool or silk content in this thing at all. I think it's really all acrylic. But let me tell you, the acrylic in Argentina is nothing like the stuff we get here in North America. It is soft, easy to knit with, and comes in THOUSANDS of appealing colorways every season (again, if your interested in making Buenos Aires your next fiber trip destination, refer to my Yarn Heaven post I wrote some years back).

The neutral yarns I bought 3 months ago from Joann. It's by Bernat and it is 70% acrylic, 30% alpaca. I couldn't believe that Joann was selling yarn with natural fiber in it so I got 1 ball of each color. The yarn is not the best quality out there, but it is soft and good enough for my purposes. Besides, Joann seems to be stepping up their game in terms of different yarns these days. Not only are they selling cotton, but I saw some 100% wool yarns that would be perfect for felting, and even some yarn that had bamboo in it. Needless to say, I was rather impressed.

So back to the blanket. This is my first attempt at crocheting a blanket. Let me tell you, this was done so fast, that I'm thinking the next person that needs a baby blanket from me, will have it crochet because it can be done in 3 days (if you get a large hook, of course). The only draw back I see about crochet is that it uses WAY more yarn than knitting does, so projects may cost more money than usual. Still, the speed in which something is made is ridiculous and I find that rather charming.

Anyway, that's all for today. Tomorrow will be some WIP's, some FO's, and of course more of my intellectual banter.


Valerie said...

I agree on both counts -- crochet uses way more yarn than knitting, and crochet is SO fast. When I first learned to knit (I've crocheted since childhood, only knit for a couple of years) I was really disappointed at how slow it goes. I knit faster now, but nothing satisfies the need for speed like some crochet.

Nice colors on your afghan!

noblinknits said...

did it work? has the winter gone? we just had snow today. It always snows here in April but it's an unusual amount this time. My sister has just crocheted herself a cardigan and was really impressed about how fast it is.