Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Whew! That was a long round! It took me five and a half hours to do Row 49! Here's the progress shot so far, after 49 rows and 34.5 hours.

As you can see, it was a very labor-intensive row. Each little loop has 15 double crochets in it. I got very tired of counting to 15. The thread is so fine that if I forgot to count as I was crocheting, it was easier to take out the stitches in that loop and start over, because the stitches are too small and crowded together to count easily. I'm very glad to have this row done. The rest of the doily should go relatively quickly.

In the comments from the last post, Elayne asked what I plan to do with this and if crocheting this small hurts my fingertips. Well, I probably will frame this doily. I haven't framed any of the others I've done, but this one took so long and is so fine that I think I will. I want to have it on display but I would be slightly miffed if it got stained or a broken thread (...though I'm really very very pleased with the thread I'm using. It's Coats Machine Quilting and Crafts mercerized Egyptian cotton, size #50. It's very strong, perfectly evenly spun with no lumps, and has a soft sheen. Very nice...) so I'm thinking under glass is the way to go. Especially with a toddler in the house.

As for hurting finger tips, it really hasn't been a problem. I get a callus on the side of the tip of my left middle finger, where I push the needle to get it to go through the existing stitch, but I don't really push that hard. The only pain I get from crocheting with fine thread is "The Claw," which is from crocheting too long at a stretch. My whole left hand (thread holding hand) gets very sore and stiff from keeping tension on the thread. The finer the thread, the harder it is to hold. This occurs mainly when I haven't crocheted for a while and the muscles in my hand are out of shape. Thankfully, The Claw only appears for a few days and then disappears. I went to sleep with a cold pack on my hand the first couple nights I was working on the doily, but after about 6 hours of working on it, I had toughened up so my hand doesn't hurt any more. The appearance of The Claw is entirely my own fault, for not taking enough breaks.

I'd also like to mention that I don't normally keep track of how many hours I work on a project. I usually just enjoy the process and don't worry how long it takes. But for this one, I wanted to know. It's a special project, and besides, everyone always asks me how long fine-thread-crochet pieces take to make. This way, I can tell them. (But here's a secret... crocheting with fine thread doesn't take any longer than crocheting with thicker thread! It just takes some getting used to and gives a smaller product. Don't tell!)

I'll leave you with some pretty pictures from my garden. First we have hydrangeas.

A mophead variety in the back yard. It has lovely lavender-pinky-blue flowers that get more pink as they open.

A lacecap variety in the front yard. Very pretty sapphire blue flowers that turn lavender as they open.

Next is a Shasta daisy variety called "Crazy Daisy." I think you can see why. Hilarious ragged flowers. Sort of like a daisy on drugs.

Lastly is something very pretty, but I'm not sure what it is. Sort of Ranunculus-looking, but I could be wrong. The flowers stand about three feet high, and the leaves are a mound about a foot high, with some extending up the flower stems. You can sort of see them in the background. They are deeply lobed and jagged. If anyone recognizes this, please let me know!


Liz said...

Wow, Sue. That really is impressive, and it keeps getting more so.

I can name that plant!! It's Trollius or Globeflower. Absolutely right that it's in the Ranunculaceae. We had one at our old house and loved it. I don't think they're hardy in our "pocket".

Elayne said...

Liz is right on. Impressive it is! I've another question, I know that you are using sewing thread that is about a 50 but would you please share the name/brand of the thread.

The flowers are feeling heavy competition from the beauty of your masterpiece.