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3 Summer Crochet Projects (for cooler weather)

3 summer crochet projects - baby afghanI have 3 main crochet projects going on this summer. They are really for cooler weather, as explained below, but one is finished, one in process, and one with yarn ordered. I had previously thought of crocheting as a winter activity, partly because it involves sitting and partly because it sounded hot with all that yarn on my lap. However, I have found that is it good for my marriage, because

  1. it helps me relax on the couch next to dear husband (air conditioning involved), and
  2. it is a good time for a comparatively slow stitcher like me to work on something to wear in the winter. Thinking of only being able to wear something 12 months later is demotivating, but thinking I might be able to wear it in a few months helps keep me going.
Daughter graciously doing an impromptu modeling of the sweater (obviously back view).

Daughter graciously doing an impromptu modeling of the sweater (obviously back view).

The first project was a beautiful cardigan, my first attempt at a garment for me. Really, the first garment that really required accurate sizing, since hats and baby sweaters hardly count. It was a crochet cardigan pattern I purchased from Patternfish. I had some weird idea that a cardigan wouldn’t be too difficult. Alas, in spite of checking my gauge, it ended up quite large for me. Fortunately, it fits one of my daughters and she is happy with it. I don’t have enough experience to know if I just picked the wrong size on the pattern, but I do know my stitches looked somewhat looser than those in the pattern photo. And the arms were a bit long. The pattern photo also seems to hide the fact that the sleeves are quite flared. Overall, my finished cardigan was nicely shaped and I learned a lot, so although there was initial discouragement, I can now say it wasn’t a total loss and I can enjoy the finished product on my daughter. Most impressive to me is the fact that I actually finished it, since it was pretty intimidating. I think there is the possibility I may try that pattern again later, after I learn more about getting things to fit and have a few other garment successes under my belt.

You can see here just how flared the sleeves are.

You can see here just how flared the sleeves are.

For recovery, and to try a fun pattern in the new book A Year of Baby Afghans, Book 4 that I have recently purchased, I moved on to crocheting a non-size dependent baby afghan. I know I am technically supposed to check gauge for these, but it really doesn’t seem to matter. A dear daughter-in-law is obligingly having twins in December, so it is a good excuse to make two everything cute I can! This is the 4th baby afghan I have ever crocheted in my life, though I have crocheted enough other things that I would consider myself of intermediate skill in the general non-fitted category. This is the only pattern I have tried so far in this book, but I would say it is not a beginners book. I am now about a third of the way done with this project and am sooo happy with my little rows of tulips, which you should be able to see in the photo above. I will definitely be trying more of the projects in this book of cute patterns.

The next thing on my crochet list is what is being called a “crochet-a-long” on the Lion Brand blog. I ran across it on my twitter feed and decided it was the opportunity to “take the crochet class” that I have always wanted to. I was encouraged when Lion Brand responded to my retweet, too. I looked at the pattern and the blog and ordered the yarn❋. One major factor in my decision is that the blogs will be there long after the initial phase, thus everyone can proceed at their own pace. I went ahead and got the Lion Brand of yarn, because it seemed the easiest way to make sure I was doing the project correctly. Also, that size yarn is kind of hard to find. I did, however, order different colors, ordering ❋through Herrscherners website. I have ordered from the one other time recently and found their prices and selection just right for my budget and learning level. I’m not ready to put so much money into yarn until I know something is more likely to fit…. Another reason for ordering online: it has been difficult to find more than a few skeins of the same lot at the local stores, making it difficult to get enough yarn for a larger project that requires more of one color.

If I’m not half watching a movie or chatting with someone while crocheting, I’m listening to an audiobook. Sometimes I do both while eating my breakfast or lunch if I am alone. It’s boring to eat alone and I get impatient with chewing otherwise. I am still working on my sewing projects, but the crocheting is more portable. I can do it in the car and I can do it while listening to a story to help me fall asleep. I am so thrilled that I finally learned to crochet a few years ago!

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