CountryMouse's Diary

Part 102

Rainbow swirly bar


Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 10:25pm: You can always find me here:

CountryMouse's Refuge

follow me at twitter

YouTube - Please visit CountryMouse's Music Channel

This is a song I wrote and recorded/video'd today. It's sorta what's been going on with me lately. Sorry about not hitting the low notes--I did when I rehearsed. Oh well! This is my fifth entry for the Bring the Song Challenge. Lyrics below the video.



Going Through The Motions

CH: Going through the motions
Doing what I should
Life feels so grey now
That you're lying in the wood

All of my life you were there
How do I go on from here?
I have my friends, family
Why do they seem far from me?

You wouldn't want this from me
Back into life I should be
It's hard to feel good ofttimes
Slogging through grey dismal climes.

Copyright © 2010 Joanna M. Phillips


Thin rainbow line

Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 4:50pm: I finally finished an easy-to-make shawl today (link to photos, etc. at the bottom of this incredibly long post). I have made shawls from this pattern seven times before! Why was it so hard this time?! Here is the saga, copied from CountryMouse's Refuge, in one big post:

November 13th: Fluffy shawl begun

Egads, the last time I crocheted anything was June 2009! The last thing I finished knitting was completed in October 2009. I think I drifted away from those pursuits when the ukulele came into my life!

Anyway, I still have TONS of yarn; and as it gets a bit chilly in here sometimes and it *is* autumn, some yarn I bought a couple years ago has been calling to me. Specifically Red Heart Light & Lofty, Pheasant multi-colour. It said, "Make a shawl! That's what you bought me for!"

I do have two really warm and snuggly shawls, but they are both made from Christmas yarns and look very Christmas-y. I do NOT want to rush the season by wearing either of those. The Pheasant multi-colour is tans and browns with a hint of olive and grey here and there. It's a textured bulky fluffy yarn which can be maddening to work with because you can't really see the stitches. But the warmth, ah the warmth!

Today I began making one of those Easiest Shawl Ever shawls. I've made several shawls from this pattern. It used to take me only an afternoon to make one of these before; but ever since I tried some amigurumi a couple years ago, my wrist has not been the same. Ouchie! So today I've only gotten a few rows done on the shawl. However this pattern surprises you, as you start at the wide end and keep decreasing on both ends every row. Before you know it, you're out of room to decrease and you're finished!

I wish I had done my foundation chain with an S hook. This shawl is done with a humongous Q hook. But I forgot my tendency to make my base/foundation chain too tight. I should have used a bigger hook for that chain, then switched back to the Q for the rest. So it's a little twisty and tight. Well, I am NOT going back to do it over! It is SO HARD to work that first row into the foundation chain, especially with this kind of impossible-to-see-what-you're-doing yarn! It will probably be all right when the shawl is finished. And if it's not, oh well! It's for me to wear around the house. :-)

November 14th: Shawl update (buy more yarn than you think you need!)

Eek! By the time I got onto the third skein (105 yards in each), I should've seen the end (literally) in sight. Because the pattern says the shawl was made with 220 yards of yarn, total.

But I think I was not decreasing as extremely as I should've been all along. So I'm fudging and hoping that I won't run out of yarn, as I bought this yarn a couple of years ago; and even though this colour has not been discontinued, there would be no way I'd get another skein from the same dye lot.

So I frogged back to the place where I'd joined the third skein and started doing extreme decreases on each end of each row. It's going to make it curve more to a point. Oh well. I'm not worried about the edges looking jagged or weird, as I'm going to add a trimming of Fun Fur anyway.

But if I truly do run out of yarn, I'm going to have to rip out (almost) the entire shawl and start over. I am NOT going to rip out the first row I did into the foundation chain, as working into a foundation chain, especially of fuzzy, hard-to-see-the-stitches-in-the-best-of-lighting-conditions yarn, is a beeotch.

November 15th: The latest in the Epic Shawl Adventure

ARGH! So I realized that the shawl I was making, even with fudging things and doing some extreme decreasing, was not going to work.

This morning I totally ripped it out (frogged it--you know, rip it, rip it). Then I did two things right: First: I used an S hook to make the foundation chain, which made it lie flat and made it easier to work stitches into it with the Q hook. Second: I made my foundation chain THE RIGHT LENGTH! I should make it about 62 inches for me, for this pattern. But I found I had made the original chain 70 inches long! That meant I was doing a LOT more stitches and running out of yarn more quickly.

What I did wrong: I did extreme decreasing right from the get-go. I got into the second ball (skein) and realized it was going to be a fairly short shawl. :-/

So then the second frogging happened. I ripped it back down to the first row worked into the foundation chain. This time I did normal decreasing. It *looks* like it will be okay, although this is not a stretchy fabric, and it's not even draping well, so now I wish I *had* made the foundation chain a little longer after all. The fabric from this yarn would probably be different if I were knitting it...but it would also take me longer to do.

All this wouldn't be a problem if I had excess yarn in this dye lot. So what I plan on doing, after I've finished the shawl is, if I have extra yarn left over, to double crochet around all the edges...or maybe two sides (not the top), to make it a bit bigger, before adding the Fun Fur trim (I do NOT like making fringe or tassels). I just want to be able to wrap up in it and be snuggly warm.

(did not work on or post about shawl on November 16th)

November 17th: Pheasant shawl finally finished!

No, I didn't rip it out again! But I did end up adding one row of half-double crochet to the top edge and two rows of double crochet to the other two sides. ::sigh:: Here are photos of the completed shawl and further details.

Thin rainbow line

Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 10:28am: My friend Tim is helping me sell (still/again) my vintage Martin mandolin, at a new low price, just in time for Black Friday! It would make a great present for you or someone else! I just know I'll never play it again, as I'm into ukuleles.

Here is the link to the ad on Craigslist. More info about the instrument is there.
(click the photos below to see them much larger)



2:34pm: It's sold! That was so quick!! W00t!

Sparkly line




Background by Backgrounds by Marie | Copper buttons by Jelane | All photos and videos copyright © Joanna M. Phillips 2010