Friday, January 25, 2008

A Shrug and an Ugh!

I started this shrug for my friend Rebecca last fall. I bought the yarn at an overstock sale at a yarn store in MN (the new owners were clearing out lots of odd balls of yarn.) There was enough to make something, but what..... I found a stitch pattern in my Crochet Stitch Bible by Barnden. I used 1 ball each for the scallops, and 1 ball each for the honeycomb mesh. I was just over halfway done after about 2 weeks. I didn't bring it with me to MN, but started working on it again after returning in January. I even tried blocking it (that sort of worked). It was sort of neat to see in Lily Chin's Couture Crochet Workshop, which I received over Christmas, a dress and shawl with scallops out of a very similar peach color.

And now the Ugh!!! I started this project last summer. Ruthie Marks had a welcome mat out of twine in her Geometrics book. I bought some sisal rope from a big box home improvement store, and a giant hook (P) from my craft store. I kept the rope and project outside on our patio. I could only work about 2 rows a day because it would tear up my fingers and also hurt my forearms because it was so stiff. I finally got the mesh done, and even a few rounds of the dragon curves. Then the wildfires came, and deposited lots of ash and soot and particulates all over the patio and my rug. Yuk! Now the rain has come, and this is what it looks like now. It is sitting on top of the spool of rope so maybe I just need to cut it and try again???

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My first felted bag

Well I finally finished my first felted bag. Ta da? It turned out nice, but I've learned a few things for next time.
1) My machine doesn't let me peek in at anything once it has started. For some reason I thought I had been able to in the past, but alas, I cannot. What does this mean? It felted a bit more than I wanted it to, and the opening is a bit narrower than I had hoped.

2) Crochet stitches shrink more in height than they do in width. This means that the proportions of the bag are a little off. I thought that I had read somewhere (must have been wrong) that the stitches felt more widthwise than lengthwise, so I made the bag with that in mind.

Here is the pre-felting photo.

Here is the post-felting shot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter hats

I made several hats this winter. First was the "Strawberry Frozen Yogurt" hat & mittens for #2 Here is the finished set alone. Made out of alpaca from the Alpaca Yarn Co., exactly 1 skein each color. I also made "Cookies & Cream" hat & mittens for myself. I used the Fibonacci sequence for the stripes, from the center 8-5-3-2-1-1. The hat was made with alpaca and misti alpaca. I bought the yarn this summer. I started it this fall using front post double crochet stitches, which make it look nice, but eat up way too much yarn. So I had to frog it and start all over again using just plain dc after I got to MN. I then bought the yarn (Araucania Nature Wool) for the mittens when I got there. I thought that the browns matched a little better than they do, but I guess they are close enough. I just worked a few rounds at a time, and tried the mittens on. I worked from both ends of the skein so that I wouldn't forget what I did with from one mitten to the other. They worked pretty well, except when it was windy. A single crochet stitch would have probably been better.

Here's the hat/scarf I designed for my mom. I used Jo Sharp Cashmere, silk, wool blend for the light purple and Cascade 220 wool for the dark purple.

I also made the following hat for my dad out of Tivoli's Aran Luxury Tweed that my sister-in-law brought back from Ireland.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Felted Placemats

For my first attempt at felting, I thought I'd try something simple. Placemats are rectangles, and it doesn't matter how big they are exactly. Above are the prefelted shots, below are the pics post felting. They were 120 stitches wide, and done with dc Rows are made up of stripes of 3,6,3,6,4,1,4,6,3,6,3. I used the same colors, just rotated them through between the two placemats. They felted more along their height and less along their width, so that they are a little wider than normal, but still functional. The edges ruffled a bit. I suppose I could have placed something heavy on them to prevent this. But they are super soft. I used Patons Classic Wool Merino, 5 skeins.

Monday, January 7, 2008


We had a mini-dishcloth swap in our meetup group last fall. Here is the awsome cloth that my swap partner Jennifer made for me. I love the tumbling blocks design, and it is so soft. The photo doesn't do it justice.
My grandma gave me lots of her stash of yarn from her plastic needlepoint canvas projects. I will use a good portion of it for squares for the Wildfire Blanket project. She also got a lot of crochet thread from a friend, so now I have lots of beautiful thread complementing the other threads in my stash. I better start working on more tiny projects. Just waiting for it to arrive. There was too much yarn & thread to bring back on the plane with us. So when it gets here, it will almost be like Christmas all over.
I have also received the new Interweave Crochet magazine for winter. I'm looking forward to making some of the items in there. I also got Lily Chin's Couture Crochet Workshop, and am excited to attempt some of the patterns in there, as well as use her ideas to adapt patterns to fit myself. One of her ideas about turning chains at the end of the row, is similar to something that I came up with on my own when I worked on my dischcloth. I use one less chain than recommended for a typical turning chain/1st stitch of row, and then make the correct stitch in the first stitch of the row. She says to just make an elongated chain st, to bring it up to height, and then do the correct first stitch in the row. This eliminates the gap and frustration of trying to work into a chain on the next row. Of course this will mean a trip to the yarn store.....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Some of what I have been working on

I promised to share some of the items I made for Christmas gifts. I have most of the photos on the computer now. (Some still need to be uploaded, some gifts still need to be made.) I made lots of washcloths, a scarf, 2 hats, a wine bottle bag, a market bag, a FBB, 2 placemats for felting and tiny flower pins as Christmas gifts. I also made 4 baby hats, a hat and mittens for myself, 2 pairs of mittens for the kids, and a Hat/scarf combo for my mom. Most of the washcloths were out of mercerized cotton, some were just out of plain cotton. I made several Ms, a couple of Zs, an L and a P. The P didn't turn out quite as I had hoped, but the others looked pretty good. I also made several hearts and one bell washcloth.
These are the pins I've worked so long on. Made from thread that belonged to my Great-Grandma and my Great Aunt.

Here is one of the placemats pre-felting. You'll need to stop by later to see the photos of the felted project.
I still have all of my Christmas cards to mail out- the only ones that have been delivered are those that were hand delivered, so it may be a while before I get back to regular posts.