As you know I’ve been prepping my afghans for the Royal Hobart Show. I submitted both the Sophie’s Universe blanket and the Summer CAL blanket last Friday, and promptly forgot about them. On Wednesday afternoon I received a picture message from my father, who had gone out to the show to look at livestock. He knew that my afghans were there somewhere and he went on a hunt through the pavillions until he found the homecraft section. Not only had my Sophie’s Universe won its section, but it had also won most outstanding exhibit, and was ‘pride of place’ in the Cabinet of Excellence! WOAH. I was in shock. Unfortunately my Summer CAL blanket did not place in its section, but hey, I figure I can live with that since Sophie has cleaned up the best awards in the show! Happy days!
There is nothing worse than spending the whole time you are crocheting worrying about something else that you should really be doing instead. Now that my exams are finished (YAAAAAAY!) I have six months of guilt-free crochet ahead of me, and man it feels good!
This weekend I put a thing dark purple border around my Summer CAL blanket, and blocked it again. My dad saw it yesterday when he came over to watch the Bathurst 1000, and has told me to enter it into the Royal Hobart Show along with my Sophie’s Universe Blanket. I’m still undecided. Going by the reactions of friends and family, I suspect the Summer CAL may have a better chance at placing than my poor Sophie (which I love more). I think it’s liked better simply because of the dramatic colour changes, while my Sophie is more subtle and intricate. I have just under a week to decide, so we shall see!
Now that I’ve officially finished the Summer CAL blanket, I decided to get my Rings of Change WIP out of the cupboard and work on that for a bit. It may sound strange but I’ve missed working with a 4mm hook, and since I’m using varigated yarn there are hardly any pesky ends to weave in. Nice and straightforward. I like it.
I spent most of the weekend on the couch crocheting – a very lazy, enjoyable couple of days! Firstly I used my new blocking pins for the first time to block my Sophie’s Universe blanket that I finished back in May. It was pretty square already and I’ve been using it unblocked for months, but I needed to officially straighten it up so I can enter it into the Royal Hobart Show in two weeks. This was actually the first time I’d seen it all flat on the floor, and I had to climb up onto furniture in order to take some photos of the whole thing.
I decided to crochet another slouchy. This was my second attempt, since the first was crocheted in acrylic and thus pretty stiff and not slouchy-like. I used some beautiful hand dyed merino in order to get a softer result, and bought a pattern from Ravelry, which can be found here. I loved using this yarn, however the finished product was more like a beanie than a slouchy as it was too small to actually ‘slouch’ on your head. I guess it doesn’t help that I have a rather large head, but if I try this pattern again I will make some pattern repeats to make it longer. The pattern was lovely and simple though, and recommend (if you want a beanie!).
I then spent the rest of the weekend working on my Spectrum blanket, which is actually the Summer CAL blanket by Amanda Perkins. After spending hours and hours and hours and hours (and did I mention hours?) weaving in ends and starting to stitch the squares together (in different colours so that the joins would be invisible – resulting in MORE ends to weave in argh) I’ve decided the next large project I work on will be in ONE colour so that I don’t have all those frustrating ends! The blanket is looking good though, and I’ll be very happy with it once it’s finally finished and blocked.
FINALLY! I crocheted the last stitch on my CAL on Sunday night, and I almost got a bit teary! It’s been an epic adventure, and I’m SO happy with the finish product! While I haven’t blocked it for the final time (my dogs have been inside at night and they don’t have any manners when it comes to stepping around things), it’s now draping casually over my bookcase in my office at work, centre stage. I’m so pleased with myself for keeping at it and finishing it off – I usually don’t have the patience for this scale of project, but I’m proud I did it!
On another note, I’ve been busily making cotton coasters of various colours and patterns to give to my boss’s wife who owns a salon here in Hobart. I originally gave them a set of coasters for Christmas, and since then she’s been using them in the salon and has been getting a lot of comments and queries about them. I gave her a couple of sets to display late last week, and they’ve sold already and I have new orders coming in….so now I’m happy I’m crocheting for money (and good money at that, Hobartians sure like to pay for quality, can’t complain with that!) I’m stressed out trying to keep up with demand as well as fitting in time to crochet my usual projects. Busy times! I’ve asked my sister to crochet some coasters too and send them to me, to try and keep up with demand. This way it will help her out as she is in a worse financial situation than me at the moment, and give her something to do with her hooks 🙂
I’ve gotten back into my Sophie (Sophie’s Universe CAL 2015) and have been working on it as much as I could over the weekend. I’m only one part behind now, very exciting! During the last couple of parts I had begun to think that my colours were way too out there, and that I either had too many or it was just too busy. However now that it has the green butterfly border to it, it has calmed right down, and that large amount of green links the rest of the blanket together – in my opinion anyway 🙂 Can’t wait to see the finished product. If I did another Sophie, I would probably do it all in one varigated yarn – those Sophie’s look really interesting and I’d like to do one at some point for the bed.
I’ve finally finished part four, and I’m now working on part five which came out on Sunday. The last part took quite a bit of brain power – which I lack in the evenings after work – so there was a bit of frogging involved! I got there in the end though, and I’m still enjoying the pattern and the yummy colours.