First of all, before I start telling you about this other project, you all, but especially the sock yarn addicts, need to run out and get some Crystal Palace Panda Silk. It's the bomb. Light and soft and fabulous colors. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way...
I mentioned the Crochet Chocolate Top from Moda Dea that I've been working on. Not bad, huh? The picture quality isn't the greatest, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, this photo doesn't really show the things about the pattern I really like. The main stitch is a single crochet/double crochet combination that I initially thought was a misprint, but it's really attractive and makes a pretty solid fabric. I'm making it in Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton, which is wonderful to work with. So fluffy.
Unfortunately, I fear the yarn is unwittingly contributing to a common crochet complaint: The fabric is pretty stiff. Or as some knitters would say, bulletproof. The yarn is worsted, just as the pattern calls for, but I think the incredible loft (which I love, don't get me wrong) of the Blue Sky makes it thicker than the Moda Dea yarn the pattern was designed for.
However, so far I'm still liking this enough that I'm sticking with it. I've decided if the thickness makes it too heavy for the warmer months, I'll just make the sleeves longer and make it a winter sweater. I'm not sure what I'll think of the sleeve construction, which appears to be drop, but I'll work with it. I definitely like the pattern enough to take the yarn companies' free patterns a little more seriously. I know many will look down their noses at that, but with the shortage of high-end crochet patterns, we have to get creative.
One more thing about the Blue Sky: I'd love to crochet a bathrobe out of it. It would probably be prohibitively expensive and not the most sensible use for such wonderful yarn, but it sure would be fun!