Monday, September 21

Stage 4 Complete

Well, I finally received instructions for Stage 4 of the Mystery CAL scarf and have completed that segment. I think it turned out correctly, but I also think I'm going to pull it all back out and remake the entire motif (because, stage 4 does indeed complete the motif) before I continue on to make the remaining motifs required for this segment of the CAL. I think, if you take a look at the motif closely you can see where it's not quite symmetrical, the picots on one side don't really match up to the picots on the other, and they're supposed to. I know the beauty of crochet is that it is hand made, so nothing is ever going to be exactly the same, and while I understand that, I also think that they could a little more closely resemble each other. Besides, by pulling it out and restarting it I think it will give me a more complete idea of how to make the entire motif in one step, rather than in the 4 steps it was broken up into during the learning process. Isn't it amazing how we're just never satisfied?
I think this picture gives a much better indication of the true color of the yarn I'm working with. Isn't it just the yummiest color? The CAL instructor has given us 2 weeks to finish up with this section of the CAL before he's going to post the next segment. The reason for this is to give all 270 members who signed on for this venture time to finish the first 2/3 of the project, which is two strips of this motif repeated 23 times to make 2 separate strips with 24 motifs. Apparently for the next portion we are going to learn some sort of lace motif that will be placed between these two strips to complete the entire project. I think it's going to be gorgeous once finished, and of course, once I get a strip complete I'll be posting pictures for you all to see.

I learned recently that my daughter has decided to do something really special for her 21st birthday. She's planning a trip to Amsterdam to celebrate this monumental event in her life. I am both pleased and puzzled by this choice. I like that she wants to go abroad and possibly get an idea of how other cultures live, and how attitudes in Europe are so different than in America. I am aware that a short week in a foreign country isn't quite the length of time necessary to get a real idea of how another culture lives and thinks, but I'm hoping some of it will come through for her. Of course, first we'll have to get through the fog of intoxication that I'm sure she'll stay in throughout the trip, since marijuana, or more correctly in Amsterdam, hashish, is legal (and most likely the entire reason for her decision to go there in particular). I'm a bit puzzled though by this decision since she and her husband don't have enough gathered together in life yet to even have gotten themselves into a place to live, being still dependent upon the kindness and tolerance of friends and family members to put them up for a time here and there. I suppose being transient like they are makes it much easier to pick up and go wherever they choose at a moments notice, but it also has to make life more stressful and less fulfilling. But I have to keep reminding myself that people's values are their own, and not necessarily mine, or anyone else's. I can't help thinking though that one of the first things a person should be focusing on is getting someplace, some space, they can call their own. Their little spot, their safe place, place of refuge. I don't know, maybe that is entirely my own frame of reference, and my own idea of how life should be operating, but then again, I see more people following down that road than taking the other, and enough people following that course that I suspect it isn't just "my" take on how life should be functioning, or how one should be functioning in life.

Now, I have almost completed the Openwork Shawl I posted pictures of last time, and once complete I'll make sure I show it off. I'm using Caron's Simply Soft acrylic yarn for this first one, with intentions of making at least two more in varied yarns to see how differently they look and drape when made with different materials. The Simply Soft is working up nicely, it's a lovely shade of green called Soft Sage and it does make the piece what it is I believe.

I'm trying to get these things completed and then considering switching off to make some smaller projects, small purses, hair accessories, things like that because a friend and myself have booked a booth for a craft fair in November and my friend keeps telling me we need some items to sell that aren't so large, and expensive, as the shawls and she seems to think if we have some middle of the road items that we'll sell them quickly, for there are people who will be attending who can't quite come up with the money for larger items and they'd probably spend if there were items that were more in their price range. I suppose she's referring to children, and young adults/teens who have limited resources and would be more apt to purchase an item in the 2 to 10 dollar range than one that cost considerably more. While I can concede this, I also have to say I think most of the people who will be attending this craft fair are going to be adults who will have no problem purchasing the larger items and that if we focus so much on smaller items we might be losing out on sales we could make with larger items. I'm willing to give this a shot though, just to see what happens. Since this is our first year with this craft fair I'm curious to see what does sell, what appeals to people and I'm thinking that learning this will give us a better idea of what items to focus on for next years fair. I am also thinking I'd like to have a great amount of shawls put together for spring, and try to market them to the finer shops here in town for sale at Derby time. I think that shawls and stoles and even shrugs will appeal to the crowds that come into town for the Derby, and this being a once a year event, if our items go over well this year we'll have a better opportunity of selling in the following years. I also tend to think we'll be able to sell the items for more because of the out of town crowds who will be coming in, and because of the nature of the event. It's a time of year when people are partying and having a good time. Money is flowing and I think people will have no problem purchasing once they get into town and see our lovely items. Heh, guess I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one.

Since we had such a cool summer it seems that everyone is predicting we'll have an even cooler winter, in fact, a cold cold winter so I've been trying to decide if I want to make at least one of my dogs a sweater for the cold weather. My smaller dog likes wearing clothing. Not sure about the larger one as I've never tried to put anything on him. But, him being 10 and pretty settled in his ways I am more apt to believe he'd fight something new like a sweater being put on him. So, I'm thinking perhaps he'd enjoy and appreciate a pet bed to snuggle up in on those cold days. I'm also thinking well...then I'll get the opportunity to try several new things as I'm working up items for the animals. I will get to work with wool yet again, something I don't do much of, by crocheting a dog sweater for Honey the beagle. I can experiment with T-shirt yarn crochet by making a pet bed for Baby the older and try out fabric strip crocheting by making a pet bed for Honey the younger. Heh, nothing like feeding your desire to experiment while pleasing your pets at the same time.

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