Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Future project: Lion Brand's Fall Crochet-Along

A while ago I signed up to receive the "Weekly Stitch" e-mails from Lion Brand Yarn.  They give excerpts of some articles (one that was really funny was about school subjects being related to yarn and knitting called A-B-C-K-2-P-2 by Franklin Habit).  There are sales, and they always highlight some of their free patterns available on their website.  Also, there are links to what's on their blog, the Lion Brand Notebook.  There's more to the e-mails than that, but you get the idea.

It was in one of these e-mails that I first read about the Crochet-Alongs that Lion Brand holds.  Now, I'm not really one for group crochetings or knittings or readings or anything where I have to go along with the crowd, but I took a look at the projects.  One was a shrug - nah... I'm not fond of shrugs.  Another was a top-down jacket.  That one had potential, but it was striped (horizontally - ugh!) and only went to the waist.  The sleeves were to the elbow which is a nice length.  The third one... it was also a jacket, but it was long, had sleeves just past the elbows, and had pockets.  It looked loose, whereas the other jacket looked kind of rigid.  It looked like there were stripes, but they were more subtle than the other jacket, and stripes can be omitted.  The texture of the jacket would give visual interest, so a solid or variegated yarn would work just fine.

In short, I was enamored with this jacket and would make it no matter what.  It was just a matter of when.  I voted (along with over 20,000 other people), and the one I liked loved won!

 Isn't it purdy?

Click on the picture to be taken to the announcement post with all the relevant links and stuff.

Still, I wasn't sure if I was keen on doing a Crochet-Along.  When would I be able to afford the yarn, and would I have the time?

My birthday is this week, and in the mail came a Michaels gift card from Steve's parents that would more than cover the cost of the yarn.  Thanks, Mama and Papa!

The pattern calls for the new Unique yarn in a number of colors along with some stripes of Vanna's Choice yarn.  Some people asked about what yarn to use if they don't want stripes, and they recommended using Vanna's Choice.  Unique is a chunky yarn, and Vanna's Choice is a worsted weight - slightly thinner than Unique.  What I found interesting is that the pattern calls for different weights of yarns to be used in different rows.  That's typically not done.  I decided to use all Vanna's Choice, so the resulting jacket should be a little lacier, which is exactly what I want.  Perfect for chilly Loose Bead Society meetings or movie theaters.

Yes, the Vanna from Vanna's Choice is Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune.  She is quite the knitter and crocheter and has books of patterns as well as yarns named after her.  I have her Vanna's Afghans A to Z: 52 Crochet Favorites.  I haven't made anything from it yet, but there's one in there with cats on it, so it's only a matter of time.

The last thing I needed was a partner in crime.  Mom and John were over on Sunday, and I told them about the Crochet-Along and showed them the picture.  I thought it would be neat if Mom and I could crochet the same jacket at the same time.  She's going to be in the hospital for three weeks pretty soon for cancer treatment, and I thought it would be fun for us to Skype and show our progress.  It took some convincing because Mom has never crocheted a sweater before, but she gave in after only a little guilt-tripping.  So she couldn't back out, I showed her the yarns recommended for crocheting it without the stripes, and once she picked one, we ordered it from the JoAnn website to be shipped here (since she won't be home this week for medical procedures, either).  Hopefully the yarn will come before she goes in the hospital.  She'll be in Chicago, and I'm in Milwaukee, so I won't be able to just run it over.

Now that I've gotten Mom roped in I needed to get my own yarn.  JoAnn's had a sale on Vanna's Choice for $2.99 a skein (normally $3.99).  I saw a Michaels ad online that had it on sale for the same price.  They unfortunately don't have online ordering, so I called a store near last night's chilly Loose Bead Society meeting, but they only had 5 skeins of the color I wanted.  Other stores in the area have it, and I was pleased that there's no dye lot, meaning I can get the yarn from any store at any time, and it should all match.

Dye lot is a funny thing.  You would think that they would determine that "3R 1G 4B" would be the formula for a particular color and that would be the color forever and ever (amen).  However, I have seen some vast differences in colors for the same yarn (I can't say "exact same yarn" like I want to because it bugs Steve. :::grin:::).  I've seen this in scrapbook paper and beads, too.  What you need to do is buy at least as much as you need for your project at the same time to make sure it all matches.  If you're at the store buying the yarn, check the dye lot on each skein before throwing it into the cart.  Better safe than ACK! There's a big dark stripe right over my BOOBS!  How did that HAPPEN?!?

Update: See the end of the post for more on dye lots.

I went to Michaels last night after the chilly Loose Bead Society meeting with my friend Amy (who drove), and the yarn was not on sale.  I was perplexed, but Amy checked it out while I was in the hook aisle trying to find the elusive "O" hook (one bigger than the "N" hook the pattern calls for because I crochet tightly).  Turns out there is no "O" hook, so I'll have to use the "P" hook I think I already have.  The sale starts next week, so I bought 1 (one) skein using my 40% off coupon.  That will keep me busy for a little bit, and I'll either buy more next week when it's on sale or keep getting one at a time using 40% off coupons to save 40 cents or so on each skein off of next week's sale price.  Anything to milk that gift card!

Are you ready to see the color?  It's going to be a HUGE surprise...

Purple Mist!

I looked at other colors.  Really, I did.  I wanted a variegated yarn, so that limited the choices.  I decided I don't want anything too dark (I have a lot of that) or too bright (which just doesn't work for me), so the choices were even more limited.  Browns and tangerines are right out (shudder), so I was left with Denim Mist, Rose Mist, Seaspray Mist (light green), and Purple Mist.  It had to be purple.  Of course.

If I do it again I'll choose a different color.  Really... I will!

Mom chose Vanilla Twist:

That should be pretty!

When I was looking at the yarn in the store it looked positively rope-like to me.  Much thicker than I expected a worsted weight to be.  Later, I realized that the last few projects I've knitted (including the train baby hat) have been with sock (super fine) yarn.  Worsted weight is marked as a "4", and the sock yarn is marked as a "1".

Here are the two yarns next to each other:

I'm going to have quite an adjustment to make when I start working on the jacket!

As for the time I was concerned about having, my summer season is winding down.  I have a few more farmers markets to go to, but those don't need any more preparation at this point.  I've decided that daytime should be spent on the business (writing blogs and designing and bookkeeping and stuff like that) and at night I can knit or crochet or do nothing.  We'll see how that works out.

Now that I'm in, I will be posting periodic updates to my progress.  I may wait until Mom gets her yarn.  If anyone else wants to join in, I'd love to post pictures of your progress, too!  E-mail me at traci@creative-pursuits.biz and let me know you'll be crocheting along.

If you're on Ravelry (my name is taotte there - look me up!), there's a group for discussions and updates on this Crochet-Along.  It can be found here.  I'll be bopping in there from time to time to see how other folks are doing.

Yes, I'm aware I still have that damnable hooded cardigan to finish, but that will take forever.  Yes, I'm aware that it will take forever if I never knit on it, but that's a topic for another day.

Update:  I knew it was too good to be true.  There is a dye lot on the Purple Mist Vanna's Choice yarn.

Steve and I had to drop off my car at an auto body shop because some nimrod scraped along the driver's side while I was blissfully unaware in the grocery store.  Both doors have scratches and minor dents, and it's quite possible that it'll rust if it's not fixed.  I'm doing all the follow-up stuff to get it reported, and hopefully the culprit will be found (there's a tape at the grocery store) and will pay up so I will get my $500 deductible back.  Anyway - we were near another Michaels store, so I thought we'd use the 40% off coupon on Steve's phone to get another skein of yarn.  I was quite surprised (and dismayed) that there were dye lots listed on all of the skeins there (except for the two that were missing labels, of course).  There were 4-5 dye lots represented, and some had a more bold variegation than others.  I tried to remember what I had at home, and we picked one of the bold ones.

There is a very slight difference - the one on the bottom is a little bolder - but I don't think it'll be too noticeable.  The problem is that they only had about five skeins of this dye lot or others that looked close enough.  I'm going to need 16 skeins total.  My dreams of picking up a skein here and there as I needed it have unraveled like a badly crocheted sweater.  The only thing I can do is to go back next week when the yarn is on sale and pick up as many skeins as look right and hope that I can find more later.  I'll keep you posted!

No comments:

Post a Comment