No, no it's not but it does seem to be all I blog about at the moment! I'm sure that will change at some point but at the moment it's all I have to blog about :)
So what am I crocheting at the moment? Coasters and table mats, or place mats or pot thingies or trivets or whatever they are called, I'm not sure. I got the pattern from one of the three great crochet books I have out from the library - Simple Crocheting (or Simple Crochet or Crochet Workshop as it's also known by - why three different titles?!) by Erika Knight. The other two are Creative Makers: Simple Crochet and Knot's Itoami Plants, which I'll hopefully get around to saying something about soon. Anyways, I'm really enjoying Simple Crocheting and will definitely be getting it for myself, it has a great assortment of actually useful projects and was quite popular at knitting/crochet group last week when I took it along.
They're done in cotton yarn and there are three motifs to do all up. This is the first time I've used cotton and it's just some cheapy stuff I picked up from Spotlight so I suspect possibly not the easiest stuff to work with. Much less forgiving than wool, but I love how defined the pattern looks with it. I have to say I had some problems with the patterns, I ended up having to improvise several times and change things around to get them to work. I don't know if that's me as a beginner or the patterns themselves or what. For example I had to remove one chain between clusters on the last round of the grey one because it wasn't laying flat. I didn't do one round on the pink because it just didn't sit nicely - but they both look fine in the book's examples. Maybe it's the yarn? I also really struggled with the way the patterns started new rounds, it just seemed to be really awkward and I was left with ugly thick bits and wonky-looking areas. It also does a lot of stitches into the top of dc (or tc in British terms) which I found almost impossible to get to look nice. In the end I tried to work into chain spaces where I could and slip stitched into spaces to start and it just went more smoothly. Is that a style thing maybe? I suspect my lack of experience. Anyways, the result is worth any minor quibbles! And thank god for You Tube when it came time for the dc5tog on the green ice crystal, there's nothing in the book about how to do it, but just google your problem and some nice and talented person has made a video for you that solves everything.
Funnily, I had done a couple before I realised I was supposed to be doing them with the yarn doubled, so I ended up with big and small versions! The big grey one is about 18cm across and the little one is 11cm.
It's a totally different effect with doubled yarn. The little coasters are delicate and sweet, the thicker ones lose the pattern a bit, but have a nice solidity to them, the pink begonia wheel especially (that's my favourite pattern by far). I tried repeatedly to make puff stitches in the first round of the big grey wagon wheel as per the pattern, but just couldn't make anything that looked halfway decent. There weren't actually any directions for puff stitches in the pattern, so I went from a puff stitch in another project, which was fine in the single yarn, and when that didn't work for the double I tried less loops until I just gave up and did dc clusters instead. Again, yarn maybe? I'm going to get some good cotton and make some more over the holidays.
I'm looking forward to trying a few more projects from the book because they really are lovely, although I'm not 100% confident that I won't run in to pattern issues like I did with this one. Still, if it comes out in the end you can't complain too much can you?