Through the Years

Charisse told me that she could see the evolution of my knitting and crochet … from the first projects she got, to the current ones I’m working on.

I had forgotten some of these experiments, which she gladly took in … From the simple beanies and patterns, to the present and hopefully more advanced stitches.  I must say that the quality, choices and diversity of the yarns available in the market has also improved over the years.

So, here’s a time capsule of my projects that Charisse has accumulated.  She even sent me pics of those that I didn’t have one of, because in the beginning, I didn’t think to take pictures of what I made.

My first beanies … yikes!  look at those joining lines!

 

These were my first beanies … plain, simple, single or double crochet.  I used the colours of the yarn to make the patterns, rather than the stitches.

That’s when variegated and self-striping yarn became a favourite … I could use any stitch, and didn’t have to think about colour changes, or cutting and joining.

Simple, basic stitches still looks good to me, and my fingers automatically start a hat with those stitches.

 

 

 

 

img_2853  More hat experiments, adding the raised stitches and front and back post stitches.  More experimentation with different fibers as well – that orange and pink hat is a polar-tec hat.

I was also coming out of my knitting comfort zone more … That cowl is basic knit and purl, but there was a ssk in there *gasp*

That cowl looks warm and cozy, and that pattern might be just the one I can use to work with new yarn …

 

 

 

This was the first hat that I successfully free-winged, knitting from the bottom up, to the decrease to the top.  Somehow, my stitches were the right number, my decrease was even, and the close at the top was good.  Then I crocheted the scarf … I didn’t know if my luck would hold out and I would get a good knitted scarf.

 

That cowl … Another experiment with the front and back post stitch, but I used a bulky yarn.  We joked that it could also be used as a skirt.

 

That cowl looks so warm and cozy!   Looks like a basic knit ribbed stitch, and I let the yarn do all the wrok.

 

Another basic beanie, and a super-bulky cowl.  I was trying to recreate an ‘Outlander’ scarf, but ended up with another pattern.

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An off-the-shoulder wrap, done in bulky yarn.  The original pattern was for fingering weight, but I was too impatient to finish 400 yds of yarn … I used a bulky yarn instead.  It’s a nice pattern, and perhaps one day I’ll make one in fingering weight yarn ….

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Ahhh … the year of the braided earwarmers.  I still have two that I use, and they’re coming in very handy during these cold days.  The cowl was knit by the swimming pool when I was in Goma, DRC a couple of years ago.  It’s knit with big and small needles, in an alternate lace and solid pattern.  That was one of the few times that I was inspired to follow a pattern and actually stick to it, for the whole pattern – no tweaking, no changing a stitch.

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I also started making capelets and ponchos, which had always been on the to-do list.

 

And my current pattern obsession – the Poncho Capelet (you can read about it here).  I’ve got three other WIPs of the same pattern, different yarn :o)   I need to finish them before winter is done!

 

This is a modified Baktus pattern scarf, using bamboo yarn (you can read about it here).  I wasn’t sure at first how it would come out, with the thick and thin yarn, but it came out nice and really soft.  Now I’m thinking of getting more of the yarn and making another one for me.


And that’s the evolution of my knitting and crocheting.  Do I still make mistakes?  Yes.   And I still tweak the pattern when I get lost in the pattern … or miscount …  But I’ve come out of my comfort zone, and venturing out to more ‘advanced’ patterns.

And maybe someday I’ll try knitting socks !  lol

Happy knitting and crocheting, everyone!

 

 

 

 

2017 SO Scarf Project: The Last Four

And suddenly, we’re down to the last four states in the last two weeks of the 2017 Special Olympics Scarf Project.

Alaska, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Washington.

All have deadlines at the end of the month.

If you are able to – and can knit or crochet fast 🙂 – there’s still time to whip up a scarf or earwarmer and send it on to them.

Complete info can be found on this 2017 SO Scarf Project.

Thanks to all who helped and supported this cause.

 

Weaving for a Better Life

I was in this area years ago, but was not interested in weaving yet – only the finished product.  I was gifted a beautiful jacket, purchased tablecloth sets, a lapghan, drawn by the vibrant colours and patterns.

Now I want to go back there and spend some time watching and learning what they do. They spin and dye their own yarn, and weave the cloth.

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https://www.linktv.org/shows/women-in-focus/the-art-of-weaving-textiles-for-a-better-life

I wish there was more footage of the actual weaving, but the message they bring as well is important – as tourists interested in purchasing a ‘souvenir’, we shouldn’t haggle it down to the cheapest price.  This is, after all, their livelihood, and as they said, they will never go beyond poverty if we are paying for less.

And what about all the discussions I see on the knit and crochet forums, the indignant posts about how their handmade items are worth the price, and therefore should not be questioned or counter-offered with a lower price?  So why do we shortchange the makers of those handcrafted souvenirs that we come across in our travels?

Are they not also worth the time and price?

 

2017 Special Olympics Scarf Project

The 2017 Special Olympics Scarf Project is in full swing.

Actually, we’re nearing the end of the project for some participating states, with about four states holding their winter games soon.  But don’t worry – there’s still another 12 participating states that you can knit and crochet items for.

For a full list of participating states and what they need, go to the 2017 SO Scarf Project page. 

In the meantime, be inspired by the items made by our Facebook and Ravelry group members.

 

Your Hobby is Action …

This popped up on my Facebook feed … and I immediately thought of yarn stashes.  Ok, so my yarn stash, specifically, and am I really collecting, or just accumulating?

” Your Hobby is Action, Not Accumulation “

But when I buy yarn, I’m not buying yarn to add to a collection, but to add to the ‘To-Be-Used’ pile to use for the ‘To-Try-This-Pattern’ list …

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But I totally see where you cross over the line of accumulating, and not enough of the action, and you don’t even realize it.  
I wrote before that I felt that I’ve ‘graduated’ to the next level of yarn fibers … that I was ready to try new patterns that would mean a different set of fibers and yarn weights to use, if I wanted my finished projects to look like the photos in the patterns.
I’m moving away from the acrylics – not completely, but I do notice when I don’t feel the excitement of buying yarn because it came in a new colour.  I feel that excitement now more for the wool-based yarn, and the colours and combinations  I’m drawn to are mostly in the fingering and lace weights.  img_0517
I’m okay with fingering weights … I still think twice about working with lace weights.  It takes forever to finish project!  Not to mention how easy they tangle up when I frog …
Although I did recently purchase a Malabrigo lace weight yarn (the light grey-blue cake at the bottom of the picture).  When and what I do with it is a different story.
So … a new period of accumulation … errr action .. starts – I’m stocking up now on the wool yarn, and in different weights too.  And there will be an effort made in more action in using up the accumulation … There you go .. I already have a crafty resolution for the new year, even before the new year has started …

What To Do …

My fingers are looking for something to do …

Yes, I have WIPs I can work on … but they’re not calling to me.  I have lots of ideas in my head on what to work on … but I can’t settle down long enough to start on them.

So I just picked up hook and yarn and started a granny square …

It’s the easiest thing to do, right?

So this is what it looks like at the moment – a bit washed out, but the lighting was kind of dark, so I had to lighten up the photo a bit.

Don’t know if I will continue with this, or if I’ll change my mind and make it into something else instead …

For more inspiration, I took out the stray hanks of yarn that I purchased from a destash group on Facebook … I decided it was time for a winding party …

 

 

All done … and ideas are running through my head again … So now, what to do?

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This just means that I have to look for patterns to experiment on …