Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holding hands

But not feeding ducks (ha ha!)

Actually I'm making the Mr. and Mrs. Claus hands and really enjoying it. They're surprisingly simple to make and one of the details that drew me to the pattern. I haven't managed yet to take a photo that captures the image I'd like, but the ones that came out in focus I'll share.

I ran out of yarn, using up all of the Bernat Satin Sport in Wine. I went out looking for it, knowing that when I bought it at Michael's it was the only skein they had. I was looking for sport or dk weight and still this was the only choice in the red range. It's been a nice choice, except that initially the skein had kind of a worn and manhandled look to it. If there had been any other available I would have bought that instead.
So I went to JoAnn's first, thinking that specifically the satin sport had been advertised in a recent flyer. Don't know for sure if it was or not, but all I could find was Bernat Satin in worsted. (I may never forgive them for rearranging the store in July!) Bordeaux appeared to be the exact same color was Satin sport Wine.

I went back to Michael's, where they scanned my yarn wrap and told me they should have had 1, then the clerk corrected herself and said 21. She called someone to help me look and I was a bit surprised where she looked for the overstock before declaring that they must have sold all of them today. I still think that sounds a bit far-fetched. Although it is a nice seasonal color. She went on to tell me that they get shipments on Tuesday and it might take a few days to get all the stock on the shelves, check back.

I figured I'd switch to the new yarn for pieces not yet crocheted. I even did an experiment with removing a single ply from the worsted yarn and crocheting the second of two identical parts in the modified yarn. The first had been done in unaltered worsted. I wanted to see whether it made a size difference (using the same hook for both). Removing a ply did seem to make the altered yarn about the same thickness as sport and I got the same wpi from it as well. Comparing the two finished items side by side (no photo to share yet as they all came out blurry) the size seemed the same. The difference was thickness - thicker yarn, thicker piece. It also made it feel a lot less pliable.

I think the full thickness of the worsted yarn is wholly appropriate to use in Mrs. Claus's dress. When I began the red portion of the dress in sport weight it seemed a bit airy to me. Actually that's the folded up bottom portion of the dress directly behind the hand on the right shown above. It's at about row 15 or so of 23. Oh - I did get a photo of that separately. I am enjoying the way the characters and their clothing are assembled. I suppose that may sound like a strange thing to say. Perhaps the construction is very standard for crocheting doll like figures. I can't recall whether I've ever crocheted similarly shaped and divided up items before. I guess there may be similarities to the knit Jack Frost I have yet to complete. He's on hold until I finish the things that need to ship out and arrive in time for Christmas.

I'm starting to get concerned that I may run out of the yarn in worsted weight as well. I understand what someone else told me yesterday that her patterns don't give yardage - well international wouldn't be yardage - meters that is, because she can't know what hook you used and what weight yarn. I still think it's kind of troubling to expect someone to guess. If it's going to take more than a skein or more than two skeins of yarn perhaps that really is something that should be known up front. Of course how is the designer to know what skeins I'm using, the meters are all different. I say do what everyone else does and write the pattern with amounts and names of yarn used and hooks or needles used. At least that gives everyone else a basis for comparison that you don't have when the pattern simply tells you to get the colors: red, white, fluffy white, black, dark gray, etc. I guess I should have been able to tell that so very much red would be required, but my skills just aren't there yet.

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