Monday, May 4, 2009

Birthday Bolero

I received Blueprint Crochet by Robin Chachula. I have been busy making two of the projects in there. The first is the "Katie Bolero" I used some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, which I purchased from an awesome online yarn shop Sonny and Shear. After hearing wonders about blocking wires, and the suggestion that coated floral wire could be used as a substitute, I decided to give it a try. I used 16 gauge wire, it came in a pack of 12 at JoAnn's. Now the tips had some burrs on them, but they were easily sanded down by rubbing on the grout on our floor. The scratches are hardly noticeable, and the grout was a lot more convenient than the sidewalk. Using the wires made it so much easier to block. It was very easy to adjust to the correct size, only having to move a few pins instead of hundreds. Plus, I got straight edges where I wanted straight lines.

The project itself went quite smoothly. I tried it on after all the motifs were joined together. The fit looked good. I proceeded to follow the directions to change to a larger hook to do the edging. I did this, and then was disappointed with the fit. The larger hook made the edging too big for my body and gave it a sagging fit.

I let it sit for a couple of weeks and then on Saturday, I pulled it all out and redid the edging using the same size hook as the squares were made in, as well as reducing the number of chains from 6 to 5, and stitches in them from 5 to 4. These changes gave me a much closer fit, and I am very pleased with how it has turned out. I haven't purchased buttons yet, but I left a decent length of yarn on the inside panel for sewing them on. It is loosely woven in on the underside. In the meantime, I am closing it with a pin. When I followed the instructions as written I needed 3.1 skeins of yarn. After adjusting the band, I used less than 3, about 2.95 skeins.

The only other thing I would change on this if I were to do it again, is to turn at the beginning of round 6 and put the seam on the inside instead of on the outside. I realized this after I had already joined most of the motifs. You can't really tell on the last round because it is all sc, and I'd rather have had the ridge from the joined motifs inside instead of outstide.

The second project I am working on is the "Courtney Corset" using two strands of Misti Alpaca Lace held together. I hope to have the project done by the end of the month, so as to enter it in the County Fair. Right now I have the three top portions done, and I am trying to decide if I need to alter the sleeve, and how I would do that. Just a photo of the swatch.

Monday, March 16, 2009

March is National Crochet Month

I figured I better have at least one post during National Crochet Month. It will be a hodge podge with lots of updates on the projects that have been keeping me busy the last few months. First off is a belated post about the Christmas gift I received from my dear friend Amy, who currently lives in Australia. Two cute Christmas ornaments and a skein of beautifully dyed silk-merino yarn, and a hand carved wooden handled hook. The yarn is so soft, and so fun to touch, I have a couple of ideas on how to use it. The hook has been great for thread work. I finished up some other projects using yarn, so now I have been able to work on some of my thread projects. This hook has made the crocheting so quickly- I am getting spoiled. Here is the hook with my latest tapestry crochet project- a Jerusalem cross.
In this flat tapestry crochet, I am working in the back loop only on one row and then front loop only on the following row. This is my first tapestry crochet project using three colors at once, and it is going pretty well.
I finally finished my "Chevron Lace Cardigan" it is made with the llama yarn I received last year for my birthday. I decided on a slightly cropped length and 3/4 length sleeves based on hearing how llama yarn will stretch over time. I made a simple closure for the cardigan-two balls on a short chain, and a floppy five-petal flower in the center. It works by just pushing the balls through two holes in the stitches. This way I can have some flexibility in how I wear the cardigan- closed at the neck, or under the bust.I have also been working on and off on some socks using the "Origami Turkish Socks" pattern by Deb Burger in the CLF book. I am working on them simultaneously, doing 6 rows on one then six rows on the other.

I was recently able to get a photo of a washcloth I made last fall, adapted from a pattern in Crochtet! magazine. The background was crocheted first, and the cat done separately and then stitched on.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A new year

Sorry, I haven't posted too much recently. I can't believe it has been more than 2 months. Part of the reason is because I have worked on some sweaters for the kids- I designed the pattern, and have figured out how to size it. I am trying to decide what to do with it, so I can't show you any pictures of those yet.

A recap of completed crocheted projects from 2008-
Hats- Very Versatile Vertical x2
baby hats- too many to count
Driftwood cap from Interweave crochet 2008 x2
Basic dc beanies x 4
Child's hat
Santa baby hat

Scarves x2 (Driftwood cap and scarf)

Sweaters- Butterscotch cardigan for me (IC Spring 2008)

Eagle Pullover for DH (IC Winter 2007)

Sweaters for kids x4

Baby Bamboo sweater and pants

Tapestry Tortilla warmer for us

Infinity runner (IC Winter 2007)

Shell of Shells for me (Lily Chin Couture Crochet Workshop)

Too many baby washcloths (I don't know for sure but I'd say over 10)

Felted purses x4

Filet crochet market bag

Crochet doll

What's on the list for 2009? This month I've already completed a pair of socks- and a baby outfit for a friend. Troubador socks from IC spring 2008.

I am also working on a cardigan using the llama yarn I received as a birthday gift last year. I think I finally found a pattern that will work with it. I've tried a couple others so far, and while I love those patterns, they weren't right for that amount of yarn. More hats, sweaters, bags and socks are also on the agenda.

Oh, and my sister in law showed me how to make a center pull ball when hand winding. I absolutely love it!