Crafty Goals

And hello again!

How has summer been treating you?

Summers are always busy for us, with the kids off from school (and now it’s back-to-school planning and shopping) and soccer tournaments everywhere. ¬†But this year was unusually hectic, with an unexpected trip and a not-so-organized (them, not me!) soccer tournament across the country ūüė¶

I’m still in the doldrums and can’t get started on anything and I thought that I would have more time during the trips to work on yarny stuff – yeah, we know how that goes … ¬†I’ve been posting quick posts instead on Facebook and Instagram – yeah, the new technology for this year, thanks to Charisse – but sometimes, it’s good to sit and write a proper post, right?

On the one hand, the beach cover-up/top that I made last year made it to the beach! ¬†yaaayyy! ¬†It’s a bit big for me, but it doesn’t look bad here, does it?

And since I was surfing the world web forever looking for a crochet boho/bohemian skirt, I decided I was going to make one this year … did I write about this already? Anyways, I started this back in June, ripped most of it off because it was starting to taper, instead of flaring out, and now that it’s fixed and flaring nicely, I now have to decide on making it a drawstring waist or garter waist …

I should hurry up and finish it before summer is over, so I can use it ! ¬†Yes! ¬†this weekend! ¬†That’s the crafty goal!

What’s your crafty goal for the weekend?

Have a good weekend, all!

 

 

Summer Doldrums

Hello all!
Enjoying your summer?
Haven't played with yarn for a couple of weeks now, with everything going on …

I wound this up to start on a summer project … it's now in shambles again with starts and frogging and needs to be wound up again.

I was working on this on the flight to California … and that's how it's stayed since touchdown. Between the soccer games and drive arounds and walkabouts, it's been too late home and too tired to work on anything 😕

By the way, Tin says that this reminds him of 'old people colours'. Huh? 😲
No idea what 'old people' colours are … do you know?

Trying again this weekend to work on something …
have a good weekend, all!

Summer is Here! 

So you know what that means … beach! 

I was surfing again for more ideas for a beach cover-up, but I’m falling back to the ones that I found last year.  I usually go on a pattern obsession, until I get tired of the pattern, or I make a really nice piece from the pattern. Then it’s on to the next. ūüė¨

One thing I said I would do for this summer is a long skirt. So when I got the Ice yarn, I started on this. 


I was going to make another top, with the gradually changing colours. Then I changed my mind and decided the colour changes would look better on a skirt. 

So now, the waist (the white part) is about two inches wider than my waist, but I could always fix that with a drawstring or garter waist. 

And as usual, it started with a pattern, but now I’m just winging it with a combination of stitches. Looking like it’s getting narrower, so hoping that it will stretch after wet blocking it – wait, is that for the weaving projects? Either way, it’s going to be soaked and blocked after it’s done, so it can kind of fit me ūüėĎ


So that’s the project for the summer. I should be finishing this up soon, and will actually get to use it before summer is over. And I’m already looking for the next project  … maybe another beach top? ūüėĄ

What are you working on for the summer? 

Revived … African Violets¬†

I had already finished the African Violets, with one round only, which measured just about 5 feet across.  Not long or wide enough for a blanket, but just enough as a lapghan.

img_0697

 

But I was enjoying making these hexagons – even though they were a bit fiddly at times, so I set it aside. ¬†And then I ran out of the watercolours yarn or the dark purple or dark orchid yarn and couldn’t get out to the craft store to get more, so it was set aside again. ¬†You know how that goes ūüėČ

But I knew that I wanted to add another round of hexagons, to make it bigger.


 

And so it would come out of the project bag every once in a while, when a bug would hit me and all I wanted to do was make the middle circles, sort of like mindless crochet … That usually happens when I wanted to work with yarn, but none of the current WIPs call, or I can’t settle down enough to work on a WIP.

I ended up with more middle circles than I needed, so I had to start on the petals. ¬†But I haven’t unraveled the other middle circles … maybe I can use them again …

I thought the end was in sight … I had enough circles to make into small hexagons, which were then joined into bigger hexagons to make one big hexagon motif – makes sense?
And now this … Working late at night, my eyes tricked me, and instead of following the hexagon pattern around, I joined a big hexagon motif at the top and bottom …

So now, it’s more of a rectangle, instead of the flower motif …

The boys like it as a rectangle shape,  instead of the flower motif.  They said that the flower motif was not wide or big enough.  Maybe because of those odd corners around.  Even with this, Tin was asking why the ends were sticking out.

So it looks like I will continue with this shape. ¬†I’ll just add single crochet rounds for the border, and it should even out the sides and top a little bit, right? *sigh*

This is another project that I don’t want to end. ¬†At times I like this colour combination, specially when I see a picture of it. ¬†Other times, I think that this colour combination is too dark. ¬†Maybe I shouldn’t have used the dark brown to join the big motifs together, but that’s supposed to be branches, joining the flowers. ¬†Anyway … I’m almost done with this, as soon as I crochet a border wide enough. ¬†Next time, I’ll use brighter colours …

 

 

 

Mini Hats 

There was a call for preemie hats for an NICU, in one of my groups.  Ashley H was making goodie bags for the NICU in memory of her son, and she wanted to add  some hats to the bags. I put the call out to the group, and although she was only asking for 21 hats, I’m sure she’s going to get double that, because you know how generous crafters are with their yarn ūüėĀ

Not having made too many preemie hats, I thought this was a good in-between project, since I can’t seem to get settled on starting a project. And I found the perfect yarn in the stash … Sirdar Baby Bamboo!  I bought them from a detash group months ago. No idea what I was going to do with them, but I liked the colours … Powder Blue and Iris Blue. 

For the crochet hat – the one on the right – I just crocheted front post double crochet all the way around. That is a great stitch – it looks good, has enough texture, and the finished project stretches nicely, even if you crochet tight. For the knit hat, I decided to practice the Rick Rack Rib pattern. I had tried it a couple of times, but wasn’t seeing the pattern clearly. But with this yarn, the pattern showed up nicely. 

And here they are, all finished. For size comparison, they’re on top of a regular teen/adult small hat. The rick rack rib pattern needs to be knit back and forth. I tried to knit it in the round, but it didn’t work out. I’ve googled if it can be done in the round, but I didn’t find anything. So I knit a little rectangle, and then a decrease for the crown, and finished it off by seaming the two ends together. It’s turned out ok – still a few things to improve. I hope the joining isn’t too lumpy or hard for the babe heads. 

Oh! I was also practicing the double knit stitch for the brim. That also needs to be knit back and forth. Again, I didn’t find anything if it could be done in the round.  But this turned out ok. So next time I knit hats, I’ll use larger needles for the brims in double knit, and then the pattern. This is probably old news for the experienced knitters, but this is exciting new for me! ūüėÄ

This is what it looks like on the other side, so you know what it looks like. I think when learning a new stitch, it’s always helpful to see what both sides look like. Most tutorials only show the ‘right’ side of the stitch, and what the pattern looks like done the right way. That’s helpful too, but I also want to see what the ‘wrong’ side looks like, in case I’m still doing it wrong, and also just because I want to see it ūüė¨

Anyway … here’s the inside of the hats. The double knit brim looks the same as the front. The rick rack rib pattern looks like a loose garter stitch. The crochet fpdc looks like horizontal knit stitches. Cool, isn’t it? 

And there’s my preemie hats, ready to send off. 

On to the next projects! 

Revisiting the Bucket List

Several years ago, I made a bucket list of what I wanted to make. ¬†The original post came up as a related post, so I decided to see what I’ve actually done. ¬†I could actually strike some items off the list – wow!

So, revising the bucket list …¬†Here is what was on my original bucket lists, and how I’ve done …

1) ¬†Entrelac ‚Äď learn how to knit and crochet entrelac correctly – nope, not yet. ¬†I’m still doing the biased basketweave pattern. ¬†Will remain on the list.

2)  Granny Squares with a Zigzag Twist Рnope, not yet.  Will remain on the list.

3)  Apache Teardrops Рnope.  Having second thoughts on whether I still like this.

4)  A hexagon project РYes !!!  The African Violets !  I still want to add to it, to make it bigger.

cropped-img_7681.jpg

5) ¬†The Cathedral Rose Window Afghan ‚Äď Stained Glass Afghan ‚Äď Kaleidoscope Afghan – Nope. ¬†Will remain on the list.

6) ¬†Kitchener stitch and seamless grafting – nope. ¬†I’ve sort of figured out a way to join seamlessly, but this will remain on the list.

7) ¬†A lacy beach coverup – yes ! ¬† Here’s the post ¬†and another one, if you want to read all about it.¬† ¬†And one already in progress ūüôā


8) ¬†A fine-lace/fingering weight project. Yes! ¬†I’ve worked more and more with fingering weight yarn. ¬†I do have hanks of lace in the stash, but haven’t started anything with that yet. ¬†And while this is not quite a fine lace project, there is ‘lace’ in the title – does that count? ¬†Hawaiian Lace and Busco Gancho Lace¬†


9) ¬†A Japanese pattern ‚Äď any pattern. ¬†Nope – will remain on the list.

10)  A woven blanket made with the Cricket loom.  Yes !!  And am planning on starting another one, before I forget how to use the loom and weave.  This 5-panel blanket had me woven out, after I finished working on it.

5-panel blanket


11) ¬†Mandala Crochet Coat¬†– nope. ¬†But will definitely remain on the list, since I’m drawing a lot of mandalas, anyway. ¬†One of those designs will end up as a coat, since I now have the basics on how to crochet a coat or jacket ūüôā ¬†¬†Oh yes, although not a mandala, I did crochet¬†two coats last year! ¬†Yaaayyy!!

 

Not originally on the list, but I added ponchos to my mental list, even though I think at some point I said I wasn’t going to make those.


Surprisingly, I don’t have any new major thing to add … Just more ideas to make the same things with different yarns or patterns, like the coat, beach cover-ups, and woven blankets.

But the year is young … something may come up yet! ¬†ūüôā

Do you have a crafty bucket list?  How are you doing with it?

 

 

 

 

Pistachio Top

You may have seen this … I posted this on a couple of the crochet forums, and got several requests for the pattern. ¬†So while it’s still fresh in my mind, I’m writing it out.

pistachio finished

I didn’t follow any patterns for this … I kept seeing the pictures on Pinterest and Ravelry, etc of a nice, soft, comfy-looking, sweater with wide sleeves (paid pattern), ¬†so I decided to have a go with my own version. ¬†All respect to the designer of the paid pattern, but the photo inspired me to try my own version. ¬†Besides, I’ve been wanting to play with this Caron Cakes Pistachio since I bought it, but I actually held back until I cut down on some of the WIPs lying around ūüėČ ¬†See how good I was? ¬†:o)

So here is how I made this.   This is basically two rectangles, joined together at the top and bottom.  Bear in mind that this was all experimentation and lots of frogging took place.  Because of the yarn, I chose to crochet this length-wise, so that the stripes would be horizontal in the finished product, instead of vertical.  I was thinking that the colour changes would not be so noticeable.  To determine the length, I just started chaining, and then measured against my outstretched arms, from left wrist to right wrist.  To determine the width, I just measured myself from shoulder to waist, and crocheted rows until it measured the width that I liked.  The rectangles are crocheted from the bottom up.

img_1779
This was made with worsted weight (4) yarn, and using an H/5.0mm hook.

First panel

Set-up row:  Chain 200.  Turn.
Row 1:  ch 3; dc in next stitch and all stitches across.
(Ribbed portion)
Row 2:  ch 1; fpdc in first dc below; bpdc in next dc; fpdc in next dc.  Continue in pattern across to last stitch.  Turn.
Row 3:  ch 1; bpdc in first dc below; fpdc in next dc; bpdc in next dc.  Continue in pattern across to last stitch.  Turn.
Rows 4 Р6:  Repeat rows 2 and 3

From here on, I made a fpdc/bpdc border on both ends of the panel, with the pattern in the middle. ¬†This is referred to as ‘FPDC/BPDC border’ in the pattern.

FPDC/BPDC border:  (consisting of four stitches at beginning and end of the panel, resulting in a ribbed border).
When starting a row (FPDC/BPDC border start):  ch 1; fp/bp dc into the first dc; bp/fp dc in the second dc; fp/bp dc in the third dc; bp/fp dc in the fourth dc.

When finishing a row (FPDC/BPDC border finish):   crochet the pattern until the last four stitches remain.  On the fourth from the last stitch, fp/bp dc in the stitch; continue the pattern to the end of the row.
Row 7:  (filet stitch) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
*Ch 1; skip next dc; dc in next.*   Repeat * to * until the last four stitches.
fpdc in next st; bpdc in next st; fpdc in next dc; bpdc in next. (FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 8:  (staggered filet stitch) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
dc in ch-1 sp; *ch 1; dc in ch-1 sp.*  Repeat * to * until the last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 9:  (crossed dc row) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
Skip first ch-1 space;  dc in next ch-1 space; dc in skipped dc.  (Crossed dc made).  Continue across, until the last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 10:  Repeat Row 7 and 8 (filet stitch)

Row 12:  (solid row) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
dc in next dc; dc in ch-1 space.  Repeat across to last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish)  Turn.

Row 13:  (v-stitch) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
skip first dc; v-stitch in next dc.  Repeat across to last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 14:  Repeat Rows 7 and 8. (filet stitch)
Row 15:  Repeat Row 9 (crossed dc)
Row 16:  repeat Row 13 (v-stitch)
Row 17:  repeat Row 12 (solid row)

Continue with the pattern, or add your favourite stitch, remembering to finish and end with the FPDC/BPDC border.
When you have crocheted about 26 rows or width desired, finish with Row 12 (solid row).  Fasten off.

pistachio2

Second panel:  follow instructions as for first panel.

Form shoulders:
When you have completed two panels, stretch or block lightly.  With two sides facing each other and starting from the end of the panel, measure 15 inches from the end for the left shoulder.  Place marker into both stitches.  Repeat for right shoulder.

Fold the rectangles in half, and make sure that both sides are symmetrical, and that there is enough space for a neckline.

Attach yarn to first stitch at end of panel, and sew left shoulder together, with slip stitch or whip stitch through both loops.  Fasten off.
Repeat for right shoulder.

Form bottom edge:
Measure 12 inches from the end for the left side.  Place marker into both stitches.  Repeat for right side.

Fold the rectangles in half, and make sure that both sides are symmetrical, and there is enough space for waist or hips.

Attach yarn to first stitch at end of panel, and sew left side together, starting from the first stitch at end of the panel, with slip stitch or whip stitch through both loops.  Fasten off.
Repeat for right shoulder.

Finishing:
For the neckline:  Attach yarn to one of the dc on one of the joining sides.
Round 1:  Ch 1, and continue the FP/BP DC pattern around.
Round 2:  ch 1, fp/bp dc two together (decrease).  Continue pattern to the next shoulder join.  fp/bp dc two together (decrease).  Continue pattern, sl st to first fp/bp dc.
Round 3:  ch 1, fp/bp dc in first stitch.  Continue pattern around.  Sl st to first fp/bp dc.
Round 4:  repeat round 2.
Round 5:  repeat Round 3.
Fasten off.

At this stage, the neckline is a wide, boat-style opening.
If you prefer a narrower neck opening, then repeat the decrease twice, and finish with a row of fpdc/bpdc with no decrease.

For the bottom edge:  turn the piece upside down.  Attach yarn to one of the dc on the sides.  Ch 1, and continue the FP/BP DC pattern around.  Crochet 5 rows around, or to desired length.

Weave in ends.  Stretch or block slightly.

Here is what the finished piece looks like, laid flat.

pistachio flat

You can see the two rectangles in the middle part, with the FP/BP DC border on the ends.  The neckline is on the top and the bottom waistline, with the 5-6 rows of ribbed FPDC/BPDC border pattern.
Depending on your preference, you can increase or decrease rows, so that you have a higher/narrower neckline and waist. ¬†Hope you’re all understanding what I mean, my vocabulary isn’t working well today ūüė¶

Please note – this pattern has not been tested by anybody else, and these are my notes on what I did. ¬†If you are going to crochet less than or more than 200 stitches, then you may need to adjust the pattern slightly. ¬†You may need to adjust anyway, from the pattern above, but hopefully not too much. ¬†If you have an extra stitch or two at the end of the row that will not complete the pattern, just dc into the remaining stitch(es) before the FP/BP DC border. ¬†That’s what I did, and it’s not noticeable, anyway ūüėČ

If you have any questions, just let me know, and I’ll try my best to re-construct what I did, so I can answer your questions ūüôā

Good luck and have fun!