I’ve made more progress on the Attic 24 Granny Stripe afghan. It’s going a lot faster than the Coast Ripples blanket, mainly because I’m crocheting clusters of three double crochet, rather than two hundred-something double crochets per row. It’s been a lot of fun to change colors and see the contrasting stripes emerge, but oh man, do those tail ends kill me.
I’m obsessed with crocheted blankets right now. Shortly after I finished the Coast Ripples afghan, I started the Attic 24 Granny Stripe blanket. For this particular project, I like having a predetermined sequence of colors to follow. I enjoy not having to think at all about which color goes well with what, and it’s fun to see the big picture unfold in a paint-by-numbers sort of way.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time daydreaming about making another granny square afghan, especially after seeing Rosina’s lovely blanket on Zeens and Roger. Then I have to remind myself that a) I’m trying to be more disciplined about having less WIPs, b) I don’t enjoy weaving in tail ends, and c) a blanket made entirely of granny squares would mean a shit ton of tail ends and heartache. The last granny square afghan that I made still has half its tail ends hanging out.
Anyway, so there’s all that, and then another part of me wants to just start casting on for a new pair of socks.
I finally, finally finished my Coast Ripple afghan. I actually completed the border a few days ago, but only got around to taking a decent photo today because the sun finally came out.
It had been overcast and gray around here the last few days, which was actually okay with me. I had this nice large blanket to keep me warm.
Can you believe that I have not yet started any new projects in 2016? I’ve been doggedly sticking to this Coast Ripple blanket, following the pattern’s sequence of colors exactly and crocheting a few stitches and a few rows at a time. I’m trying to tame my crafter’s attention deficit disorder (which I know is technically not a real thing and I shouldn’t be throwing that diagnosis around– bad psychologist!– but still). Anyway, this whole afghan has been an exercise in commitment.
Right now it’s almost 6 feet long with about ten more rows to go and a border to add. I asked Sean (who is 6’1″) to get in the photo so that I could show some sense of scale.
Also, I thought that a picture with an actual person in it would look a lot better than the first photo that I took.
I’m hoping to get this thing finished by the end of the week. After all, I have been working on this thing all year.
My cough went away, my energy returned, and today we were finally able to take my Christmas gift out for a spin on the Black Hill Trail.
It was a lot of fun.
I even forgot that I was wearing a dorky bike helmet.
It was good to get some healthy outdoor exercise again.
Maybe tomorrow we’ll hit the bike park at sunrise while the teenagers are still in bed and all the little kids are still waiting for mom and dad.
A week ago today, it was newly 2016 and I could barely walk up the stairs in my house without getting winded. I’d come down with a viral infection the day after Christmas, and there was pretty much nothing for me to do except rest and wait it out. I had hoped to finish the Coastal Ripples afghan by New Year’s Day, but the virus had me so tired that I only managed to crochet a few rows in the last two weeks of 2015.
I went back to work on Wednesday the 6th. It poured rain for most of the day, so there weren’t that many inmates out on the yard and my first day back at the prison turned out to be relatively uneventful. The rest of the week was just as rainy and unremarkable (which is the way you want your work day at a prison to be, anyway). The low amount of stress was exactly what I needed to start getting back on track for 2016.
I decided I won’t be posting an entry a day this time around. I challenged myself to do that last year and it was certainly an exercise in creativity, but there were days when I was really stretched thin and posting a blog entry was just one more thing to check off the list. I don’t want to feel like keeping this blog is a chore that I have to do. So this year I’m focusing more on quality rather than quantity– fewer posts, but with no bullshit phoning-it-in filler content.
Back in December of 2014, when I started seriously thinking about creating a new blog and was trying to come up with a name for it, I kept getting stuck on “365 Days Handmade…” Handmade what? Socks? Sweaters? Afghans? Napkins? Quilts? Table runners? I knew I wanted to emphasize the idea of making things by hand, of being creative and doing something creative every day. The problem was that I didn’t want to narrow it down to just one thing.
I asked Sean what he thought, and he said, “Why don’t you just call it 365 Days Handmade? Because every day is what you make of it. Three hundred sixty-five days, handmade.”
So there you have it, the philosophy behind my blog. I kept meaning to explain how 365 Days Handmade came to be, and it only took me 374 days to get around to it.
I got home late from work tonight, and then I had to write out a grocery list, go to the supermarket, shop for food, come home, put away the groceries, and make dinner. Poor Sean is sick with the same bug that I had a few days ago, but he is trying to be tough and not take any pills like I did. Dinner was comfort food of homemade mashed potatoes, peas and corn, and fried chicken that I purchased from the supermarket deli. By the time we finished eating and I tidied the kitchen to a reasonable state, it was 8:30 PM, half an hour away from my bedtime. I still had to write today’s blog post.
I sat and stared at the computer for a little bit, typed up a few words, read what I wrote, and then deleted the whole thing.
“I got nothing,” I told Sean, who was stretched out on the couch with a book. “Day 364 out of 365, and I got nothing.”
Sean laughed. “That should be your blog post,” he said.
I picked up my phone and scrolled through recent photos in the gallery. I came across this one. I thought it would be the perfect one to share with you tonight, on the second to last day of this year in which I made the commitment to post a blog entry every day for 365 days.
I go back to work tomorrow. I’m feeling better today than yesterday, and I managed to crochet a few more stitches on the afghan. So that’s progress.
I’m bummed that I was down with a virus for the majority of my Christmas break. The good news, though, is that I only have to work two days this week. Friday is a state holiday (New Year’s Day?!!!), and Monday is my regular day off. Hopefully, I’ll be a lot healthier and stronger then.