Progress on the Test Pattern

This is my progress after several froggings and re-starts …

One set done, and the start of the next set.  I guess it’s not looking bad.  At least it looks like something now, and the piece is laying flat and you can actually see a pattern.

And because I was such an expert in starting the first set, I had a brilliant idea and started another … *sigh*  That’s why I have so many WIPs, with this impulsive starting of new projects because of many ideas.

I need to finish this though, by the time the test period is over.  There’s a couple in the group that have already finished their piece!  Have to catch up … hopefully this weekend …

Moo.com

This is a long over-due post.  I started it before the cards came in, then when I got the cards I forgot I had this post.  So here it is, and the 10% discount is still good!

Thanks to What I’m Up To Today, I finally got some business cards/gift tags ordered from Moo.com … plus a 10% discount!  yaaayy!!

These are for the charity/cause groups that I manage and coordinate.

Beware … they have other products that are too cute – like stickers!  I didn’t even think of that. I refrained from ordering those, but on hindsight, maybe I should have, since I won’t get a 10% discount if I do decide to get those later.  The discount is only available on your first purchase.  And for every person who clicks on the discount link here, and orders from them, I get some points to use towards the next purchase.  And when you order from them, you’ll get your own discount link to share with your friends and followers, and when they order, you’ll get your points … and so on.

So go over and have a look at their products … you’ll like them.

Testing Yarns

When scrolling on the forums I would sometimes see posts calling for testers for a new pattern, and after looking at it for two seconds, I would scroll on.  Until a couple of weeks ago, when I seriously considered signing up as a tester for the designer Frank O’Randle.  He’s the one with the ‘Rings of Change’ series.  After reading through his tester requirements, I filed it in the back of my mind.  I didn’t think that I would be able to dedicate any amount of time and work on what he designs, however much I would like to be a tester for his designs, which are all beautifully intricate, which is what I like.

And then came a call to test a shawl pattern … and just for the heck of it, I wrote in and ‘auditioned’ … and got accepted!  What??  I hadn’t done much crocheting recently, but I guess from what they saw on my previous projects were enough for them?  Hmmm ….

So, that of course set off a frenzy to look for the right yarn … fingering weight.  *sigh*  That means that it’ll take me a while to finish this, although crocheting with fingering weight isn’t so bad as knitting with fingering weight for me. And as luck would have it, the NJ Wool Walk was going on last weekend.  More trouble …

I had some free time over the weekend, but I purposely didn’t go to any of the LYS on the Wool Walk.  I’m trying to stick to the budget, see, and going to the yarn stores is not going to help me stick to the budget, right?  But, since I know I didn’t have 1,100 yards of fingering weight yarn in my stash, I had to go and get some, right?  *sigh* good thing Sunday was the last day, and I could only visit two LYS’s …

So, here’s what’s been added to the stash …

At Patricia’s Yarns, I came across Madeleine Tosh Light – fast becoming my new favourite yarn to work with. I thought I could use these for the test pattern shawl. Love that deep blue (Stargazer) …

At Yarndezvous, I came across sparkling yarn … This green I knew right away that I wanted to make a scarf/wrap with it … And maybe I already have the pattern for it …

These are other colours that caught my eye, and will probably end up as accessories as well … Although now that I see them laid out, they all link to each other nicely.  Subconsciously, my brain had already matched them up.  So … now … maybe I can use these for the test pattern … hmmm … 

And these?  Well, I just had to get these … they looked so yummy and creamy and fresh and springy … I have no idea what to make with these, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something …

  

And there goes my budget …

National Crochet Month 2015 … or Weaving

So … Can you believe that National Crochet Month came and went, and I didn’t start any major crochet projects, or worked on any crochet projects?  Well, I’ve made a hat or two, but I’m not counting that as major projects.  So maybe it’s good that they call it National Crafting Month now, instead of National Crochet Month … but I don’t recall when that changed from Crochet to Crafting …

What I’ve been working on instead is this … weaving on the loom.

I’m still on a weaving kick, with so many ideas running around my head on the colour combinations, or the patterns, even if it is just going to be plain squares again, and plain weaving.  For about a week, my fingers itched to try weaving with pick-up sticks, and maybe the Leno lace pattern, because I re-discovered the Shalimar Breathless DK and Homage yarn in the stash, and thought that maybe I could make a spring shawl with it … but I hadn’t finished what was on the loom, so I couldn’t start anything new … *sigh*

So the thought that maybe I should get another loom – maybe a 24-inch one this time – has entered my mind.  The 15-inch is a good size to work with, but I’ve also noticed that my finished products come out about an inch narrower, which is sort of an odd size width for me.  Like, it’s too wide for a scarf, but not wide enough for a shawl or a wrap, so I’ll have to make two panels and join together … *sigh*  Like I started this as a baby blanket and planned to make three three-foot panels and join together, but I forgot and warped about six-seven feet instead.  So now, maybe I should cut it into squares, trim the edges with crochet, then join together to make a baby blanket .. except I’m a little hesitant about cutting the finished woven product – will the resulting ends unravel, before I can add the crochet trim?

Since I realized that I can’t start another weaving project until I’ve finished what’s on the loom, then weaving WIPs isn’t possible then, with only one loom to work on.  Maybe that’s a good idea … We don’t want any more WIPs to add to the pile, right?

Anyway … here’s what I worked on during National (not)Crochet Month …

Special Olympics Scarf Project: Success for 2015 and On to 2016

The 2015 SO Scarf Project was a success!

–  11 out of 15 states completed …
– 11 colour combinations …
– 12 months later …
– 8,032 scarves, hats, headbands, earwarmers …
– Thousands of warm athletes …
The 2015 SO Scarf Project is done !

Well done, everybody!
Congratulations !

And now, on to the 2016 Scarf Project!

Eleven participating states have already announced their colours.  That gives us all enough time to meet their goal totals.  And as a bonus, most are also accepting winter wearables – hats, headbands, earwarmers, which are all quick, easy and portable projects.  I think we’re in good shape again for another successful year on the SO Scarf Project.

Please do also tell your other crafty friends about the project and join in the fun.  Updates can always be found here, or you can join our Facebook page – Knit and Crochet for a Cause – and the Ravelry group – Special Olympics State Scarf Project – for information and chat with other fellow crafters.

2016 KC4SO

Isn’t it exciting?

Purple Waves

After deciding on these colours to work with next, and keeping spring IMG_1669in mind, I excitedly warped the loom with the Noro Nobori.

The Noro Nobori is a chunky yarn, and is a cotton-wool-silk mix.  I say mix, and not blend, because the wool and silk is wrapped around the cotton strip, which is about a quarter inch wide.  I wanted to see what effect the variegated or self-striping yarn would have as the warp, and a solid colour as the weft.  It also ran thick and thin, so I thought that would add some more texture to the piece.

Then … this happened …. **gasp**

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First one thread snapped as I pulled … then another …  oh my …

The only good thing I can say to that is thankfully, it happened at the beginning, and I was only about an inch into weaving.

So I took it apart and off the loom, and this time used the purple Cascade Superwash as the warp.  The Noro will have to be used as the weft.  Yes, all those lengths of yarn were wound separately onto the shuttle, and woven in.  Yes, I had a million ends sticking out in the back *sigh*

But I was liking the effect of the white cotton showing up in between the wool and silk around it.  And one advantage of working with lengths of yarn?  I could choose the sequence of the colour changes and switch it around.  I did try to match the colours at the beginning and ends of the lengths, but after a while, I didn’t know what the original colour sequence was, so I just picked up one length when I was done and continued on with it, keeping as close as I could to a gradual change in colours.

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And the finished piece … it was a good size, about 7-ft long, and 10 inches wide.  I wanted it wider, but I didn’t have enough yarn to warp a full 15 inches.

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But the effect of the white cotton showing up intermittently through the colours is nice.  Plus, it covers up the spots where the tension went off, and the lines started to get wavy … the white pulls it all together as part of the pattern. Wasn’t that smart of the yarn?

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Next up is to learn how to hem-stitch the edge for the finishing.  Or I’m going to end up with fringes on all the scarves and runners and whatever else I work on.  I was going to do it here, but forgot in the excitement of finishing the weave.  I think you’re supposed to hemstitch while it’s still on the loom, not after you’ve taken it off, right?

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I haven’t wet-finished it yet, I’ll do that later.  Do we have to wet-finish all the pieces?  or only those that we think might need a little ‘fix’?   I don’t know if the Noro will fluff out.  The thick-thin texture didn’t really show up – maybe I was beating it too close together.  I should remember to leave about a quarter inch space in between the weft threads for the next time.  And if it doesn’t drape well to use as a scarf or wrap, then I’ll use it as a table runner.

The other ball of Noro Nobori is waiting for me.  I didn’t use it on this, because even though the tags said it was the same lot and colour number, there were more pinks to it than purples.  So that will be another piece – a scarf or wrap again, maybe wider, and a little more looser.  That’s okay … these are all experiments and practice … and practice makes perfect!

Pulling Towards Spring

What to make next?

When I am close to finishing off a piece on the loom, my thoughts turn to the next weaving project, and what new technique or colours I want to work with.  There were too many things I wanted to work on – and those knit and crochet WIPs were still in the back of my mind – you know, if I sat down to it like I’m doing with this weaving, it would probably have been done already, right?  But I was still on this weaving momentum …

These two purple balls of yarn had been sitting in the stash for some time now.  My sister wanted a purple cowl/wrap last year, but when I started to work on it, the colours and the patterns weren’t working for me.  (Yes, she did get her cowl, in a dark amethyst yarn instead).  So these were frogged and were waiting for a project to suit it.  I recently got the darker plum-looking balls beside it, thinking that I could combine the two.  Then there was this Noro Nobori hanks that were also sitting there.  Hmmm …

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Fresh off the red houndstooth scarf, I wanted to work on the pattern again, but this time with more than two colours.  It can be done, right?  And these are the colours that I came up with, and I was thinking that it would make a nice gradient scarf or wrap, if I had enough to make it wider, and if I can get the pattern right.  The last time I tried to make a gradient colours scarf, it didn’t work.  It still came out nice, but not what I was aiming for.  Then I came across one ball of Jojoland’s Rhythm, which would tie in all those colours, right?  Hmmmm …. that could work …

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In the end, I went with the purples, looking forward to the spring.  The other palette was more of autumn/fall, which I will still work on, because I like autumn colours, but these colours were pulling me toward spring.

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So purples it is …