Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Bad Case of …

This week I have been suffering from a bad case of … 'Start-itis'!

Three new crochet project beginnings. From left to right: Purple tie/belt for Belcarra Cardigan, WIP project bag in stripey yellow, red and green sock yarn, lime green baby blanket in DK acrylic.
Three projects started all at the same time!

It is quite uncharacteristic of me to start many projects on the same day because I usually focus on one thing at a time. 

Occasionally I might have a second project to take out and about with me if the first is not so portable. This week I had a little bit of a project frenzy, making a start on a number of things all at once! 

Today I will show you the first three.

1. Lime green baby blanket.  

I have had the yarn for this blanket stashed away for over a year but was busy with more urgent activities so it sat patiently waiting in its box for ages!

If all goes well, I expect to have the blanket done by the end of February or early March.  I want to pay careful attention to this project as I have special plans for it. 

The blanket is definitely a "home project" as it is going to be too big to cart around. More importantly, my special plans will demand precision in my crochet technique; I will tackle this blanket when I have a quiet space and sharp mind.

Therefore, I need another project for those foggy times, when the powers of concentration evade me; when simple straight crochet serves to soothe my restless frustration.  My answer is: 

2. An accessory for my Belcarra cardigan–a simple belt tie

Strip of purple ribbing made by working double crochet stitches into the back loop of each row. The beginning short edge  tapers to a point along one edge. The organza carry bag is red with gold Chinese characters on it with a gold thread drawstring closure.
Double crochet stitches worked evenly into back loops
create a stretchy ribbed belt tie.
The red organza drawstring bag with gold Chinese characters on it
is just big enough to hold a small skein's work and crochet hook.

Made of simple double crochet ribbing, with tapered ends, this one is designed by me and a great way to use up those partial skein leftovers of the purple cardigan yarn.  The belt will be useful for adding shape to the waistline or holding the cardigan closed on breezy days.

In case you are wondering, yes, I have finished the cardigan but am waiting for good conditions to model it for you! If you don't mind being patient, I would like to wait until I have completed the belt.

I am not sure that the width is right and I don't know exactly how long it will be. I will just keep on crocheting until it tells me it is long enough. If I don't like the result, it is easily undone to try something else. That's what I love about crochet–mistakes are easy to undo with minimal waste!

Working even is great for locations with potential interruptions or distractions; easy for crocheting on 'auto-pilot' in front of the tv or at an event or with company; but in certain circumstances it can be mind-numbingly boring!

Sometimes I want something more intellectually engaging to do while out and about to pass the time in waiting rooms or to distract myself from pain while in hospital etc.

Remember when I was packing for hospital? My pre-prepared project packs were still sitting in my crochet basket waiting for attention, looking lonely, calling to me, "Please make me!" until at last I succumbed.

3. WIP Project Bag by Janet Brani 

This pattern appears in the book Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects from Crocheters Around the World (Storey, 2013) from which there are plenty of portable crochet projects to choose.

My daughter liked the look of this backpack style bag and asked me to make it for her. To avoid purchasing new yarn, I allocated colourful stripey sock yarn from the stash.

This pattern has the best of both worlds–small and simple to take along, but with a stitch variation to reduce boredom. Once the base has been shaped, the rest of the bag is worked in even rounds until it reaches the required length.  The pattern uses a 'split stitch' which gives a slightly different pattern and texture to straight double crochets worked in the round.

It still requires a bit of attention when inserting the hook, but the even rounds mean that it is easy to find my place again if I get interrupted or need to rip back.

4. More in the queue?

It is enjoyable to have a choice of projects on the go. After being a fairly 'monogamous' crocheter for a while, it makes a pleasant and exhilarating change. It is tempting to take my hooks to some more yarn that has been allocated for specific projects but still waiting for a start.

A scarf and a pair of fingerless mitts are eager to be next.

Do you like to have multiple projects in progress 
or are you a one-project-at-a-time devotee?

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"WIP Project Bag: Progress Photos At Last!", 17 September 2015: 
Explains the 'split stitch' and the first of three stages of the WIP Project Bag. 

"Home from Hospital", 19 December 2014:
Shows the chosen hospital projects pre-packed and ready to start.

"Library Haul", 9 December 2014:
Introduces the Crochet One-Skein Wonders book, including publication details.

"Packing for Hospital", 7 December 2014:
Discusses possible projects to pack for a hospital stay.

"Design Characteristics of an Easy Pattern", 28 August 2014:
Provides details of the Belcarra Cardigan pattern with lots of links and references.


  1. Dear Jodie, thank you for your encouraging and warm words you left on my blog. Yes, you are definitely right, we too often judge people by their productiveness, how much they are doing, producing, managing. But we ignore the fact that people are not able to be physically productive all the time. Time to rest, physically and mentally is a very important and precious instrument to keep us in good health. I am not surprised by the hight number of people suffering burnout or depression. Most people seem to have lost the ability to balance activity and rest.
    Back to crochet: I am definitely a multiple-projects-crocheter. I could never only have one project in my basket. I need something big, something small, something easy, something difficult, maybe also something very colourful or something plain-coloured. The problem is that it always takes so much time to finish something because I have so many things to do. But I know that I will never change, having just one project on my hook would bore me tremendously. I am curious how your projects will come along. The yarn you've chosen looks very nice. Have a nice evening, VIola

    1. Hi Viola, thank you for taking time to write. Crochet is really helpful for resting the body and mind. I agree with you that it is good to have a variety of projects for different moods etc. I don't know about you, but when I have a bunch of WIPs, somehow they all seem to finish within days of each other. It's a strange feeling to have had a number of projects around, only to suddenly have none! Does that ever happen to you? I seem to be most productive when I mix my activities up. It is great that you have found what works for you so that you can enjoy your crochet without boredom. I hope you are feeling much better very soon and will be thinking of you in the coming weeks. I hope there is something simple to be done to aid your recovery. Hugs, Jodie

  2. Your projects all look so lovely! I am particularly excited about that stunning green baby blanket :) Hopefully next time you can tell us about the pattern?

    My brain prefers me to be a one-project person, as finishing one thing before starting the next is easier on my anxiety. However, I am getting a bit better at having more than one (2? or 3?) project on the go, especially if it is something that has logical break points; i.e. the Sophie's Universe CAL I have to wait until the next part of the pattern is released, my animals I can finish the pieces and have them all bagged up with eyes and tail ready to join. I am very irritated with Stylecraft at the moment though - I have a new pixel afghan pattern all mapped out, but there is a stock problem with three of the colours that I need! My window for getting that done while I'm not busy with orders is slipping away, quite annoying!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Sorry I was short on the pattern details, I have been short on time and energy recently. The blanket will be a variation on Candi Jensen's "Farm Fresh" blanket:
      There is nothing worse than having a delay in a project and nothing to do. That is a good reason for crocheting multiple projects at once.
      How do you cope with the pressure of orders? Does that ever affect your health? I hope you will get some time for yourself to attend to your pixel afghan. Good luck with getting the right colours. Take care :-)

  3. As Michelle I am rather excited about the green blanket! Thanks for the pattern link - I will certainly look it up! :-) So many blankets I need to make this year...

    Take care

    1. Hehehehe Anne! "So many blankets... so little time" [anguish and torment] ;-)
      Now is a great time to start blankets so they are ready to use when the cooler months arrive.
      Having said that, I have a confession to make in my next blog entry!
      Don't worry, I won't keep you in suspense for long. I hope this week finds life a little easier and happier for you. xx

    2. Cooler months in Australia, that is! Come to think of it, right now is probably also a good time to start blankets in the northern hemisphere too; keeping cosy under a blanket-in-progress while in the midst of winter is an attractive thought.
      In short, make blankets! All year round! :-)

    3. Hehe, that is true! German house have very good heating and insulation though. It can become rather hot under a blanket...

      Confession time! Can't wait! Hopefully something good!

    4. Yep, confession is here:

  4. I love all your projects but I laughed SO hard about your comment on being a monogamous crocheter. I guess that makes me one polyamorous crafting-hussy because not only do I always have multiple WIPs lying around I'm also always trying out new crafts as well. Haha!

  5. Hahahahaha you "polyamorous crafting-hussy", you!!! (love it!) :-D