If you're looking for a little distraction, you should head on over to the Designers Challenge group for the August Challenge.
This month you need to make a Toy Bird using less than one skein of yarn. Knit or Crochet - whichever you prefer. You could even do a little of both if you wanted to.
Now it sounds easy, doesn't it? But I found it super-duper hard to only work with the one skein. Because that essentially means ONLY ONE COLOUR can be used...
I guess you could go with a variegated yarn - but I didn't really have anything suitable in my stash.
So then I had grand plans for intricate stitch details to add interest to my bird. I was going to have these openly lacy wings with a layer of felt underneath, to really make the pattern jump out.
But as you can see, it didn't quite happen. In fact, you can't see any stitch detail in my bird - because I've used a technique called brushed crochet. You just crochet your piece as usual, then use a wire brush to fuzz up the surface.
The brush is nothing fancy. Mine is just a pet brush. I think I paid about $2 for it at one of those Cheapy Shops.
I love the effect the brushing has given. I wanted this little guy to look like a new little chick, all fuzzy and downy... and it has worked perfectly. Plus he is so soft!
I have to tell you though. This is not my first attempt at brushed crochet. I've tried twice before and been really unhappy with the results. Same brush, but different yarn. In the past I have tried it using Pure Wools, because I thought that they would be most successful - but they gave a pathetic result. This time I've used a 100% acrylic, and it's worked magnificently!