Well, I was originally planning to work on an afghan in the Susan's Easy Ripple Afghan pattern, but from looking at everyone's photos here on the site of their Soft Waves ripples, I decided the other day to order a copy of Jan Eaton's book (which happened to be on sale at the web site I was browsing at the time). And happily (shockingly) it arrived Saturday, so I got started trying to see if I could do it -- here it is next to my Easy Ripple swatch:
Considering that's only the third bit of crocheting I've ever done (and the largest), and I have recently mastered the advanced technique of "actually reading the pattern all the way through before starting," I was feeling pretty slick about it. So I picked up my "real" yarn (which I got about two weeks ago), put on a DVD and started stitching. I chained 219 (216 +3) for a 150 cm wide 'ghan (at least, according to my swatch; we'll see how reality works out). Fortunately, the swatch served to work out pretty much all the kinks I had with the pattern (once I figured out I stopped coming up short of stitches when I actually did the 2 dc at the end of the row...), and so in six rows of afghan crocheted in front of the TV, no major mistakes. Yet. Yay. :)
There's only one problem...
The colors I picked, which I thought would look so nice ... kinda look like I am crocheting Independence Day bunting. (I also have a skein of violet, but I didn't make it that far today.) Yikes. On the bright side, though (?!), I underestimated how much yarn I am going to need. On the Easy Ripple afghan pattern, it said 36 ounces, which is about what I bought. I have 7 6oz skeins, three of which have good-sized dents in them which make me think I'm only going to get 8 to 10 rows per skein. With my gauge, 2 rows measure 2.5 cm or 1 inch (which is really convenient, may I just note), so that's 87.5 cm/35 inches... aka "way too short." So, I guess I need to buy more yarn. Which will let me choose more colors, since I'm not really scared of the color changes anymore. So, at least I can ditch the "crocheted just for the presidential debates!" look, hopefully.
And one amusing side note: I have bad wrists due to both typing professionally and a bad break on one side a few years ago (plus a bad wrench on the other), and so I can really only do certain things for a limited amount of time before they start being painful. It seems that crochet aggravates my hands differently than knitting, so that means -- if my hands get tired of knitting, I can just start crocheting, and vice versa. Hah. I win! :-)
Oh, and just because he snuck into the photo above, apparently using his supernatural knowledge that, somewhere, a picture was being taken (a picture with NO CATS!) - in case you missed him, my cat, Tiger: