Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My new code name and why you want to know it

For the last three Tuesdays I've been talking about the Colorfully Modern Cardigan that I'm crocheting.  It's the Lion Brand Fall 2013 Crochet-Along, and I've been having a lot of fun making it knowing that there's a bunch of people doing it at the same time.  If you've missed my posts (and pictures of Frisco, our kitten), click here and read from bottom up.  If you don't read from bottom up, you'll wonder why the sweater keeps getting smaller.

The one thing I have not enjoyed is finding the yarn.  I have ranted about the dreaded dye lot and how for the yarn I've chosen there seems to be two factions: high variegation contrast and low variegation contrast.  I have gone to four Michaels in the area, and I've gotten confused on who had what, especially if I've purchased all high contrast balls from them.

Last week I had a doctor's visit (a routine visit - nothing to worry about!), so since I'm lazy I like to group errands, I decided to call the Michaels closest to the doctor's office to see if they had the yarn.  I talked with Kris, and we tried to figure out if they had high or low contrast, and she said it seemed pretty high.  I decided to take a chance and check it out.  I brought along a wad of yarn so I could compare.

I was pleasantly surprised when all 5 balls belonged to the right faction.  One of them didn't have a wrapper, and I was curious if it was the same amount of yarn as the other balls.  It just looked smaller, but that could have been because Vanna White's face wasn't staring out at me.

Someone located Kris for me, and I have to say she looked stunning in a Halloween-themed hat.  It was a little thing, jauntily perched on her head, and I declared it was adorable and must be a fascinator (here are images of other fascinators).

We chatted about the yarn and about the Crochet-Along, and I gave her my card in case she wanted to read my blog and see pictures of the cardigan and of Frisco.  Hi, Kris!  If you're reading this, please send me a picture of you in that fascinator at traci@creative-pursuits.biz, and I'll post it here.

I asked about the wrapper-less yarn and if it was a full ball.  She said it should be, but she could take 10% off for damaged goods just in case.  I thought that was great, and she called up to the cashier, Amanda, to ask her to take the discount off.  She said it was Vanna's Choice purple.  "Well, purple mist, but you don't really need to know that."  Kris's little aside was just like something I would say!

I wandered around a little bit more then went up to check out.  I walked up to the cashier and asked if she was Amanda.  She said she was, and I said, "I am Purple Mist."  Then I laughed and said, "That sounds like a code name!"  Amanda agreed, and we decided that Purple Mist would now be my code name.

Since I seem to be prone to daydreams lately, I had one where I was a super hero called Purple Mist.  I carried a spritzer of lavender essential oil, and I sprayed bad guys with it so they'd calm down and stop being all mean and villainous.  I also envisioned myself being a lot slimmer so I wouldn't look like an eggplant in my purple spandex outfit.

There's no sense having a code name if it's not good for anything, so I am instituting a new discount program:
  • Anyone coming to any of my shows (craft shows or bead shows) who calls me "Purple Mist" or works "Purple Mist" into conversation (for example, "Did you see the purple mist in last night's sunset?") will get 20% off their purchase.
  • If you take a class with me where I'm selling supplies, the same thing applies.  I really didn't mean for that rhyme; that seems to happen all the time.  I can't take 20% off of class fees or kits, but I can on extra purchases.
  • Also, there is a coupon code on Etsy, PURPLEMIST, which can be used for 20% off anything in my store.
This discount program and Etsy coupon code is good until my 100th birthday, 8/22/2071.  If I happen to live that long, I'm sure by that point I'll just give you the stuff to get it out of my house.  Don't wait until then, though - all the good stuff will be gone.

Crochet-Along update:

Since I last updated you, I have finished the back and crocheted the two pocket linings, and I've started on the left front panel.

This left front has been a bit of a trial.  First I crocheted far too loosely, and after three rows I determined it was huge.  Ripped it out and started it again really tight.  I loosened up as I went, and after about ten rows it looked like an isosceles trapezoid (upside down from the one pictured here), and I ripped it out again.  The third time was the charm, but I am a little concerned it's going to be too big.

I then added the pocket where it was supposed to be, but then I ended up ripping it out and adding it lower.  Since I'm very short, I didn't want the cardigan to be as long as they suggested.  It would have ended up down to my knees, which is not a good look for me.  So after I added the pocket and did ten more rows, I decided that the pocket would probably be up by my ribs, which is also not a good look for me ("You kids get offa my lawn and stop throwing Cognac bottles in it!" Yes, we recently picked up many pieces of Cognac bottle from our yard.).  I ripped out the ten rows after the pocket and another six or so rows before re-adding the pocket.

Fortunately I've been taking copious notes in the pattern using knitCompanion (if you missed my review of that app, check it out here) so for the right front and for subsequent sweaters I know just what to do.

A bunch of people on the Ravelry discussion group expressed concern about the pockets.  They were having all sorts of trouble with them, so I got concerned that I would have problems, too.  I had this vision in my head of me trying to crochet into air to have a gap where the pocket was, and how on earth was I to do that?  There was nothing in the instructions or in Lion Brand's blog post discussing the pocket that explained how to crochet into air for 17 stitches.  It didn't say to chain 17 stitches then pick up on the other side and crochet into that 17-stitch chain on the next row.  Nothing like that.  I assumed that there would be a gap up and down where the pocket was.  Left-to-right: no problem.  Up-and-down: air.  I knew I was crocheting on the pocket lining but just couldn't figure out what to do after that.

After I took some time to think about it, I felt utterly stupid.  When joining the pocket you crochet the front panel for 10 stitches then crochet across the pocket lining (skipping the first and last stitches of the lining so there's overlap).  Then you skip 17 stitches of the front panel and crochet the remaining stitches on the other side of the front panel.  There are two join points - one at either end of the pocket lining.  For subsequent rows, you just keep crocheting.  The gap in the front panel is the opening to the pocket, and by crocheting on top of the pocket lining, that becomes the front panel.  The only tricky thing was adding the ribbing in the right place, but I didn't have any problems with that.  The rest of the pocket is sewn on after everything is done.

Everything's easy once you know how, huh?

I tried to get Frisco to demonstrate the pocket, but he was being uncooperative.

I stopped trying after he pulled on a few loops of the pocket opening.  Oops!  I guess I won't do that again.  Fortunately the loops weren't very big.

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