You see, I haven't been doing much crocheting, which is mainly what this site is about. Well, that and other fiber arts, but mainly about crocheting. The reason I haven't blogged is because, well for me, January and February are just those tortuous months you have to get through to get to the kind of okay month of March, which then leads to April, which opens the door to warmer weather and summer and summer is when I thrive. November and December, you have the holidays coming up, so it's kind of like you have something to look forward to, but then January hits you (well, it does me) like a ton of bricks. I shouldn't be complaining, compared the past few years, it's been mild. For me, it's always cold. I wear those cute little "texting gloves" (what all the boutiques are calling hand warmers or wrist warmers now), layer my clothing, wear wool socks with Uggs and dream of summertime.
Now, with that being said, this post can go on. Technically, I HAVE been crocheting, but it's very slow as I found out this year that I have issues with big hooks and bulky yarn, especially when it's doubled. I learned in November, when just using Wool Ease Bulky to make my winter hat pattern and had shooting pains and sudden swelling in my hand and wrist. I wore a wrist brace for a week, used Voltaren gel and it basically knocked me out of commission. I then made another, same thing happened so I focused my time on other crafty endeavors. I also made that felted hat, but it was with a standard hook and didn't bother me as much. So, here I am, I have a swap project to send out and the person picked my Felted Carry-All Crocheted Tote. The original one was done using Knit Picks WOA Bulky, but I had stash yarn of Lambs Pride Bulky and those were the colors she preferred, so I am going with that, however, it is a bit bulkier than the WOA and I wondered if I needed to double it, but I always stick to the pattern, so I did. It's killing my wrist (which now has arthritis, as well as left shoulder, right knee and neck-oh the joys of aging). I can only do little bits at a time, however did make my swap partner (she doesn't know) something else also using a smaller hook and finer yarn without any issues as an apology for taking so long. So my big hook/bulky yarn days are over once this bag is done. I did sketch out a pattern design for Knit Picks using their new Brava line, but haven't started it, but it's finally figured out and should be smooth sailing once I get started.
So what have I been doing? Not much craft wise, but between my husband and I, we've been cooking like mad and I finally gained the 15 lbs I was told I had to or they wanted me to drink Ensure. I also have become addicted to Words with Friends on my i-Pad, as well as Pinterest.
While going through some pins people did, I stumbled across that cork mat. The one I figured I would never get to until the Chi-Town cowl was made (which will be, but guilt over the tote is only allowing me that crochet-wise). My girlfriend whipped up her cork mat within a few weeks of finding it, made it using fishing line (no metal, no corrosion) and is using it. Meanwhile, I had that bag of corks staring at me since November. To make this project you need a drill press, something I don't have and don't know what else I would use it for, but my friend had it and she graciously allowed me to play last week. I arrived with my DSW bag of corks only to find out I needed about 100 more to make the large mat, I had 100 corks, so I probably will be making either hot pads, or perhaps a small mat, perfect for the camper, but more than likely it'll be a large hot pad. I received most of the corks from someone who worked banquets and if I like this project, will have to contact either wineries or perhaps even buy corks off of e-Bay, because even though the Trader Joe's in Princeton carries wine now (Two buck Chuck, although it's $3 and up here), I would never collect enough corks to make that mat. My friend had been saving wine corks for years (and yes, I noticed lots of people started saving them for various DIY projects), so I don't expect to be able to just have someone hand me 200 corks). I could also use the metal wire, as the original mat had, since it won't be getting wet, but I haven't decided yet and may use some La Espiga Nylon I have here. However the drilling part is done. First up, the pattern design. I am not as visual as my friend, we were both playing around and she whipped it up in about two seconds as I was still trying to figure out how to keep the sides even and have a woven look.