I should have a new shawl design to be released later this month. It is currently out being test knitted.
Winter's hand continues to have us in its grip. We did get a few sunny and snow free days after Christmas. This was a relief after so much bad weather. Sigh...it's back at it again. The forecast is for 3-6 inches of snow by Saturday morning. Early next week could bring an Arctic front with below zero temps and more snow. Alaska is generously sharing some of their bitter cold. Brr! I can't wait for spring and warmer temps. For now, I will have to content myself with looking at seed catalogs and putting together a seed order for our garden.
I've been on a use-up-the-scrap acrylic yarn binge and crocheting afghans. This has the added advantage of keeping my lap warm as it grows. :-) The one I am making now is from the January/February 09 issue of Crochet Today (pg. 26) called a Fireside Throw. It's a simple 3 row hexagon, join-as-you-go blanket. No sewing up to be done at the end. Though I did run into a problem---I could not get the third row to lay flat. It ruffled. :-( So I am doing one less dc in each space and shell in the third round than the pattern says. (Maybe I could have got it to work if I had gone up several hook sizes than recommended though this may well have made the rest of the hexagon too loose.)
The joining instructions are both written and charted. It took me some time to wrap my brain around them. After doing a few joins, I realized that I was getting unacceptably large gaps. (If you look closely at the picture in the magazine, you'll see what I mean. You don't want holes large enough to stick your big toe through! See my thumb waving through the gap in this pic?) My advice---skip the chains at the corners and work a sc into both neighboring corners before finishing the corner shell. (See how this method looks in this pic? Click if you'd like a closer look.) Also snug up your other sc joins. This makes a much more secure join at the corners with less of a gap. Otherwise, as heavy as this blanket will be, the joins will stretch making even bigger holes.
This is working up slowly as it takes time to choose colors for each round. I make a bunch of motifs with only 2 rounds, choose a color for the 3rd round, and then join a bunch at a time. (Please remember to tuck your yarn ends as you go. Believe me, you will be saying lots of bad words if you wait to do this at the end.)