Monday, October 11, 2010

What's in My Crochet Bag - Bowl Edition

So, remember when I talked about stiffening - way back here? And, remember where I asked, oh so casually if anyone had ever stiffened anything heavier than thread and everyone totally ignored that question? Well, it wasn't so casual.

You see, this bowl that I made would not turn out with thread. My gauge was correct and my size was working out, but no matter how I did it, my stitches seemed too loopy and loose. And when I used a smaller hook to tighten up the stitches, the gauge got wonky. It was tres frustrating.

So, I got out some nice cotton sport weight and tried again. And it turned out perfect. Perfect stitches, perfect gauge, perfect finished size. But the whole bowl I was stressing the stiffening part. What if it made everything feel gross? What if my head exploded from the unnecessary stress? What if I finished the whole thing, stiffened it and had to throw it away?

So, Friday while working from home, since it was nice and sunshiney out, I took my breaks thusly:
This is my punchbowl on drugs. No, actually it's my punchbowl covered with tin foil and then with my floppy, soon to be bowl draped over the top. The tin foil is so that the bowl won't stick to my punch bowl.

After trying really hard to follow the directions and "paint" the stiffener on with my hands, I gave up, squirted and squished. This worked muuuuch better. The only downside to this whole experiment is that I used the entire bottle of stiffener and will need more for snowflakes.

This is the bowl with the stiffener worked in re-draped. You know how I can tell. Because of the white spots where I dripped stiffener on the deck. Soo glad I did this outside.

Gratuitous bottom of the bowl shot. I love this thing!

Finished bowl. Do me a favor, okay? Just ignore the terrible light as I took this at 6 a.m. and also ignore the junk on my kitchen table in the background. We are not heathens and normally there is plenty of room for eating on the table, but I was sick all weekend and the house went to hell. It brought back postcards.
All in all the experiment was a success. I am going to line the bowl with dark green tissue paper and fill it with chocolates and voila - Christmas present for under $5. Assuming I can find chocolates for under $3. And really, the yarn for this did indeed cost $2 once upon a time, but it's really yarn that I overbought for another project, so it's kinda free. Can't beat that.

The pattern is here. Yarn is Lily Sugar and Cream in Wine. Other than my before mentioned trauma over weight, I made no changes and I love the finished project. I will say that my bowl turned out big. The circumfrence is only a tiny bit off, but it's way taller than expected. I think that if I had kept with the thread and dialed down the hook size, it would have been fine. I love this, though. It's got presence!


Orlandel said...

Beautiful!! To make it easier - and use less stiffener next time - put the stiffener in a zip lock bag, put in the 'creation', zip closed, and knead the stiffener through the yarn. When it's all saturated, drape it over the bowl. Less stiffener on your hands - and the deck....

Joni said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! Way to go on figuring it out! I didn't ignore your question about stiffener... Although I have been known to crochet things a time or two (wait a minute, wasn't it YOU who taught me to crochet???), I've never even heard of stiffening things... That opens up a whole new world of useful things one can make with crochet! Must investigate further. Or maybe you could do a whole series for us newbies! Hint, hint...

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Beautiful!!! And for the record, I didn't ignore your stiffy-stuff question, I just had no idea. I think it has been proven that I am completely craptastic at making anything homemade other than food. I am an utter failure as a craftswoman.

Jessi said...

Mom - Great call on the ziploc bag. You rock.

Joni - Sure, I guess I could do some mini-lesson type things. Maybe after Christmas.

Jenn - Oh, I knew you all didn't really ignore me. I was just kidding. And perhaps you just haven't discovered your crafty gift yet. I think everyone has one.