Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year

Well, it's a new year. To be honest, I'm glad to be rid of 2010 and hope that 2011 will be a bit brighter for my family and friends. It seems that this last year was trying for everyone -- my Mom suffered a total of 7 strokes that has finally left her in a near coma, but at home with my Dad under home hospice care. One of my dear younger friends has been struggling with her sister's lymphoma and slow recovery. My DH is still getting weaker and experiencing more and more difficulty getting around. And everyone is suffering from the sluggish economy and high gas prices. Sigh!

I have been crocheting my little fingers off (well, not really) amidst all of this turmoil. I completed both sides of my lacy tunic, but without a way to properly block it, I haven't finished this wonderful project. I really need to block the pieces before I sew them together into a warm lacy cowl tunic. Then I made 9 Nubby Mitts for my co-workers holiday gifts, one basket weave, shell edging baby afghan for another co-worker, and warm, soft, fuzzy mittens for my younger friend in Dekalb. I also made Mukluk slippers for my soon-to-be granddaughter (who is going to be 2 years old in April) and men's wristers for my son and lacy wristers for his fiance.

Finally, my biggest project was making a Helmet Liner / Ski Mask for a friend of my older sister. Her son is stationed in Afghanistan and requested one of the liners. It was my opportunity to work with 100% wool, which I've avoided for years. Since this was a special order and going to a member of our military, I used Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool in dark brown. It contains lanolin and is waterproof as well as warm. I started with a pattern I found online by Ann B. but as I tend to do, I started making changes from the get-go. The pattern did not have any finished dimensions, and when I began the standard hat increases, I realized that the crown was going to be way too small. So I just keep increasing until the diameter of the crown reached 7 to 7 1/2 inches across (the difference is that wool tends to make the circle a hexagon where the stitches are increased. I measured 7 1/2 inches from a point to a point). The next change I made was at the opening for the eyes. I did one single crochet decrease in each side of the opening after 3 rows. This actually shaped the opening a little better than a slash. Finally, after crocheting 7 more inches from the eye opening, I found the halfway point in the front and back and worked more single crochet decreases so that the head tapered slightly to the neck. Since the pattern creates a full head with the yarn continuing down to cover the neck, I decided that the subtle shaping would help keep the warmth around the neck.

After all is said and done, I'm glad that I had the opportunity to make this liner, but I couldn't afford to make any more as the Fisherman's Wool was pretty expensive. Add to that the fact that I think I had a skin reaction to the wool (not certain, though), I think this is one charitable project I will pass up. Hats for cancer patients will continue to be my passion.

I hope this new year will bring you happiness, health and a wealth of fun projects!

P.S. For images of my recent projects, please visit my Photo Gallery page.


  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment on my blog. I would love to chat. I know a lot of people are very accepting of Skyler and his differences, I guess that's why I'm always caught off guard by the ones who aren't. Anyway, how was working with the wool, you said you had a reaction to it? I haven't worked with real wool, mostly just acrylic yarns and fashion yarn of various fibers. I think I'd worry about the wool being itchy.

  2. Azaera, I commented back on your Blog. Sorry it was late.