Thursday, January 5, 2017

Alphabet afghan and Jayne hat

Temperature afghan put aside while waiting for yarn to arrive. I decided to use sport yarn and go the seed stitch / moss stitch/ linen stitch or whatever-you-want-to-call-it stitch way. I did start one with the shell pattern but after some thought and an error that would have made me rip back about half of it LOL I decided to change course. So... more on that as time goes.

For reference, here is how the shell stitch one began ... I had about twice this done when I realized I had made an error on one row. Since I already wasn't that happy with the color choices, particularly with the boysenberry which was thicker than the rest, I decided to rethink.

In the meantime, I have started another project. Okay, wait. Before you wonder why in the world I would start another project when I have like half a dozen already started, I have an excuse. a reason. ;-)

I went to Walmart to get some blue yarn for the temperature ghan, and maybe a few other colors so the yarn weight would be the same. As I happened upon the yarn section, there are these oh-so-cute little one ounce DIY skeins. I mean hundreds of skeins. 50 cents each. Could you resist? I think not. I didn't get all I WANTED to get but I got a good many. I was thinking at the time, maybe for the temperature afghan. 

So then I changed course on the temperature afghan and now I had all these little balls of yarn. The sensible thing to do would be to return them, of course. And that is what I planned to do - I had the receipt in the bag and everything, honest! - until I ran across the alphabet afghan pattern and thought I'll bet each letter doesn't take more than one ounce! :-) 

And I was right.  Notice on the aqua G square, I placed the leftover on top of the square. I don't think it's enough to make another letter, but combined with leftover from another square it probably would be.

I have several more of the peach (probably because I love the color peach) than any of the other colors and for some reason ended up with just a few pumpkin. That being the case, and not wanting to go buy more yarn, I decided on a "random" color scheme. We'll see how that works out. I'm good with patterns of color, but random is not my strong suit. 

In any case, it takes hardly any time to make one square. I did all of these last night plus almost finished H. And you know I love filet crochet so it's a pleasure to work on this one.

I still do have to finish the purple squares and eventually get back to my spider stitch lapghan. Since none of these have a deadline, I'm free to work on whichever one tickles me at the time. Right now, until I get the yarn, it's the alphabet.

Oh and I also was looking at this pattern for a Jayne hat (from the TV series Firefly). It's knitted but I was impressed with the figurings this gal did. A woman after my own heart. I enjoy doing all that figuring out before starting a project. This is not a new post and Firefly has been off the air for some time now. The Jayne hat is still popular though. FYI, according to this article the Jayne hat was created by Joss Whedon's favorite costume designer, Shawna Trpcic. Although the original is knitted, there are many crochet patterns out there too. Check out Ravelry if you're interested.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

more temperature afghan

I've been doing a lot of work in the planning stage of the temperature afghan.

The year I chose to start with is 2013. I am going to use the high temperature from each day. It would be neat to do one with the lows too but so much work. LOL Just how many afghans do we need, eh?

I got the temperature information from Wunderground for the year. I copied the two columns which show the day and the high temp for that day. I put that in Notepad, then copied to Microsoft Word. For some reason this makes everything double spaced and the date is on one line and the temp on another line. So ... I made them single spaced, then I put each temp on the proper line with the day. Yes, that was a lot of work. I could have just copied the two columns and put in Word directly and I did, in fact, try that but the columns came out inches apart and I couldn't figure out how to get them to hug. In any case, I wanted to print it all out for easier reference. So by putting the info into three columns, it went from 13 pages to 4. It worked for me. You may have a better method.

I knew that there would not be any highs lower than 30 so I started with 30 and checked each temperature to 100 to see how many there were so I could determine my colors for each category. Yes, this also took quite a while but I like that stuff. Details. Numbers. I am intrigued. LOL

Just to show you what I mean (and for future reference), here are the results. Remember these are the high temperatures for the year 2013, January to December. These numbers will help you to figure how much yarn to buy in each color. (Temperatures are in Fahrenheit)

45 (1) 
46 (4)
48 (2)
total 7 

51 (2)
52 (7)
53 (3)
54 (3)
55 (11)
57 (4)
59 (4)
total 34 

60 (6)
61 (4)
62 (3)
63 (5)
64 (13)  
66 (12)
68 (6)
69 (5)
total 54

70 (9)
71 (5)
72 (8)
73 (20)
75 (23) 
77 (11)
78 (10)
79 (7)
total 93

80 (4)
81 (8)
82 (25)
84 (13)
86 (14)
87 (11)
88 (16)
89 (13) 
total 104

90 (19)
91 (32) 
93 (14)
95 (6)
96 (2)
97 (1)  
total 74 

In this case there are six groups. However, three of those groups are very large and could be divided to give more variety in coloring.

After much hemming and hawing and thinking and changing around here are my final groupings with color.
40s ILTY Mixed Berry
50s RHWL Boysenberry
60-64 RHSS Blue
65-69 RHSS Delft Blue
70-72 RHSS Med Thyme73-75 RHSS Tea Leaf
76-79 Impeccable Fern
80-85 VC Mustard

86-89 RHSS Yellow
90-92 RHSS Pumpkin
93-97 RHSS Red

While that does still give me quite a large segment of mustard (50), yellow (54) and pumpkin (51), it allows me to go from the cool purple to the hot red. The Mixed Berry and Boysenberry are a little bit of a cheat. They should be more blue but the only blue purple I have is DK weight. However, it still shows the variation in temperature which is what it is meant to do.

The next step, if you want to do this, is to put the actual yarn color next to the line so you don't have to keep going back and forth to figure it out.

For example, 
Jan 2013
1  78  tea leaf
2  53  boysenberry

Of course you would use your own colors and grouping.

I haven't quite made up my mind about the pattern yet but will soon. The pattern and stitch or stitches you use will also impact how much yarn you need. I decided to go with yarns I knew I would be able to find easily should I run out before I'm done.

In the meantime I am still working on the purple square afghan. I am edging each square in green and then will put them together. I thought about using the join as you go, but decided against it. Who knows why. LOL That's just me.

I also still have a spider stitch lapghan that I started a while back and a hat using the Who scarf colors. I'm sure I'll get to them eventually.

I am also still coloring, which I enjoy when I can get to it. I received a new book for Christmas which I'm anxious to delve into and some new pens as well.

There you have it. What I've spent the past days working on. I will be doing the figuring for a second temperature ghan, if I survive this one. That one will be for last year, 2016.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, January 2, 2017

temperature afghan

For a while now, I've had in the back of my mind to do a temperature afghans. Well, the time has come. I've done some research and some figuring and have a few ideas of how I want to go about it.

Before I start, here are some links that might be useful if you want to embark on this mission as well.

Firstly, if you want to work on an afghan based on temperatures from a past year, have no fear. There is a way to do that. Consult Wunderground's history database. Choose custom and give the range of date from January 1 to December 31 of the year you've chosen. If you're going to work in the current year, then you just have to wait and see what temperature the day brings. :-)

Here are a few sites with information on temperature afghans. I'm sure there are many more, but these are the ones I consulted.

Michael Sellick's The Crochet Crowd

Margaret McClaren's Stitching in the Woods

Yarn Inspirations 

Each of these give pattern suggestions. Keep in mind, however, that if you are doing daily rows for a year, you will have 365 rows. That's a lot of rows. That is probably the reason it is said most people use single crochet for their afghans.

That said, I had a couple of other ideas for this afghan.

An afghan pattern noted on Facebook says that 9 rows = 4" in her pattern. If we take that as true for this particular pattern, then your afghan would be about 13 feet long. That's pretty long. That pattern is not in single crochet. However, I was looking at my own patterns and I have a similar shell pattern that is worked in columns. I think if one divides up the rows into four columns you could get a manageable size even with 365 rows. That will entail some figuring, however.

Here's what I'm thinking - and I have not done any actual swatches to verify yet. If I work 91 rows about 10" wide, four of those would give me a piece about 40-45" wide and the same length.

Another option I am considering is to use a seed stitch (also called moss stitch and linen stitch). I'm thinking probably three columns in that case and making them wider.

Years ago (2005 apparently), I made several afghans using the seed stitch option. This stitch is worked (sc, ch 1, sk 1). Then on the next row you work your sc into the chain space. It is a multiple of 2. Rows begin and end with a sc in my pattern.

Here's an example of one. It is a scrap afghan, NOT a temperature afghan.

In looking back at the pattern I wrote up, I do give possible number of rows as an option. This is using an I hook and worsted weight yarn.
160 rows = 40”
201 rows = 50”
250 rows = 62”
300 rows = 75”

I also noted that 9 rows = 2". If that works out to be true, then you could conceivably get an afghan about 81" long (almost 7 feet). That is long but much shorter than 13 feet! That is not even breaking it up into columns but working single column rows.

Given I can figure all the above out and decide on a pattern, the next step is colors.

The link above gives a temperature gauge and is available as a pdf file. You may or may not want to use the suggested colors. You  may also want to change the range of temperatures on the gauge depending on where you live and what temperatures you can expect to have throughout your year. Of course if you are working from a past year, you have all the data already so you can have a look and see what will work for you.

In my backyard we have a long period of hot temperatures. We can get cold here too, but it is generally for a short period of time and sporadic. The high is rarely very cold though the low can be. It should make for an interesting afghan though.

Your warmer colors are yellow, yellow-orange, orange, red-orange, red, and red-violet and everything in between those colors.

Your cooler colors are violet, blue-violet, blue, blue-green, green, and yellow-green and everything in between those colors.

I will talk more about my progress in the coming days.

Happy crocheting!