12 Apr

On Creativity, Productivity and a Ripple Afghan

I like to have several projects going at once. Preferably, different types of projects: something on the sewing machine, something to do by hand, something that requires deep thought, something totally brainless. I can’t move linearly from start to finish on one thing and then go to the next. I suspect most people are like this. That way, I have something creative to do no matter what the circumstances. That’s also why I don’t feel too bad when I drop one thing to pick up something new and shiny.

My mom was just here for a visit, and to help me out, and my dad spent time with us during the winter break. I did not do any art quilting during either of their visits. I did very little crafting as well. My head just wasn’t into it. That’s not to say that it wasn’t worth having them here to “help me out.” Other things get done. My dad fixed a furniture problem that I though was going to be big, but he made it small. He fixed a broken sprinkler too. Those count for peace of mind. My mom was in my corner versus the kids. I hadn’t really realized how nice it is to have someone on my side when it comes to chores and homework, but it makes a huge difference.

So, with Spring Break, my mom’s visit, and a long weekend, there hasn’t been much deep thinking art around here. No worries — the kids will be back in school Monday and I will have lots of alone time. Meanwhile, the Ripple Afghan is the perfect mindless thing to work on with kids and guests around. In fact, it’s downright addictive. As soon as I’m done with this post, Ripple and I are going out to the lanai.

Some Ripple details:

Jan pointed me to Attic24’s perfectly timed Neat Ripple Pattern. It is exactly the waves I wanted, and it comes with great step by step photos, perfect for people like me who haven’t picked up a crochet hook in 30 years! My specific yarn needs were that it come in lots of browns and a good orangey orange, that it be washable, and that it be cheap. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Baby Cashmerino yarn that seems so popular for this project on sale and I wasn’t prepared to pay full price.

I visited one yarn store on the island, but they just didn’t have the selection I needed. In the end, I ordered online from Kaleidescope Yarns and was very happy with their customer service. This will probably make yarn purists cringe, but I ended up buying Plymouth Yarns’ Encore, a worsted weight 75% Acrylic/25% wool blend. It came in a good range of colors, is washable, and costs half as much as the other yarns I was looking at. I chose worsted weight over DK because I hoped it’s thickness would make the project go faster (not having crocheted in 30 years, I wasn’t sure how committed I’d be). I may regret this heavier yarn when the blanket is done, but as Gerrie said, I’ll have the blanket much longer than I expect to be living in Hawai’i. Funny thing is, the cream color is back ordered, but as I’ve been working away, I feel like I need to add cream and soon. I checked Plymouth Yarns’ site to see if there were any local retailers and sure enough, the other yarn shop on the island carries it. Should have gone there first. I can’t go until Tuesday though, so I’ll have to pace my crocheting until then.

I didn’t really believe other Ripple bloggers when they said they just couldn’t stop, but it’s true! You just have to keep going to see what the next stripe will add. One hiccup was a crisis of confidence last night. The blanket was looking more 70s and less contemporary and I suspect it’s because some of my yarns are a little heathered (or maybe it’s all the brown). I considered removing the heathered yarns, and making all my lights the cream, but then I thought about all the blankets in the Flickr pool that I like and I definitely think more color is better. So, I’ll keep going. If I get to the cream and it doesn’t help, then I’m prepared to rip out lots of stripes. This afghan really does go easily enough that I don’t think I’ll mind.

7 thoughts on “On Creativity, Productivity and a Ripple Afghan

  1. What’s wrong with the 70s? Heh! Want to see some of my 70s crafts – you will not worry any longer about looking too 70s. I have never been able to crochet, except to do edging on knitted baby sweaters.

  2. I still have an afghan (not a ripple one) that my cousin’s grandmother gave me. She had only one grand child so she made afghans for all of the rest of us too! She did lots of ripple afghans and I know a couple of them are still in use. I had her do my in grey, black and white. I still like it – 30 years later!

  3. Finishing things kind of makes me sad. A good book, an involved project, a tedious craft. You finish, and *poof*, quite a let-down.

    That’s why I like “shiney & new”. It avoids the sadness.

    It’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


  4. I think the longer we ‘craft’ the more we get the idea of having a number of different projects on the go at the same time — crochet is usually my preference for travel or lazy days (sick days) sewing and quilting when I have time and energy, sometimes a bit of journal making or paper collage stuff just cause I happen to have the paint and glue stick handy… And each gives a different way for the brain to work and think… I did a HUGE ripple – finished it about this time last spring – it is a bit heavy but looks pretty good on the bed.

  5. Hello Kristin, few months ago i found your blog and i saw the Suesse Sac Tutorial and i liked a lot. Now i followed your instructions and i made some but i changed few things, i made them for my daugthers birthday as party goods. Thanks for sharing this with all the people. If you want to see them i piblished in my blog.
    Sorry for my english.
    I like your blog a lot.

  6. Just so you all know — the kids are wonderful. Kristin and Mr. Incredible are, well, incredible parents. It is fun to visit them.

  7. Thanks for posting the link to Attic24’s pattern, I’ve splurged on yarn – mainly because I was bored and wanted to stick to my “no fabric this year pledge” and now I have the perfect pattern for me to take on holiday with the in-laws (yes, again!)

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