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!

Happy National Crochet Month !

It’s national crochet month !   yaaayyy !!

So it means I can crochet all day, every day, for a month !!  lol … I wish !

I usually start a crochet project to celebrate the month, but this year, I totally forgot about it until I saw mention of it on another blog.  *gasp!*

This is one of my most popular projects using the Nancy’s Waves pattern (available in Ravelry), from some years ago.  I saw it pop up on Pinterest, and only just found out that it’s been pinned over 2,000 times !!  I didn’t realize it’s been floating around out there!
Thanks, everybody !

 

 

So now, I’m in the hunt for a good project to start for the year.  Or maybe I should finish the crochet WIPs that I have …

This is my newest yarn obsession … the Shawl in a Ball from Lion Brand.  I’m trying out the metallic version in Prism.  So far, none of the patterns I’ve tried out has stayed on the hooks and needles, so I’m looking around for patterns again.  I’m toying with the idea to make another Nancy’s Waves with this yarn, but it may be a bit thin …

One project that has stayed on the hook is this … a circular top or vest, which is going to end up as a summer or beach cover-up.  As soon as I saw the Restful Rainbow colours in the Shawl in a Ball, I wanted it to be a beach cover-up.  I just have the last rows in a mesh stitch to finish up, and I’m done.  Somehow, I’m delaying on finishing it up, don’t know why. There’s a lot of experimentation still going on, since as usual, I’ve deviated from the pattern …. *sigh*


A few finished projects with the Caron Cakes … two ponchos in the same pattern, one to fit a child, and one to fit me.  Again, some adjustments made to the original pattern, but they’ve both turned out well, so it’s all good. The pattern is the Toasty Poncho from Red Heart, which is available on Ravelry.


Well then, I seem to be able to finish up projects after all !   lol  Sometimes with all the WIPs, it looks like I never finish anything!  It’s always good to get your projects together once in a while, just to see what you’ve done.

Have a good and safe weekend, everybody!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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 …

 

Crochet Unevenly

I thought I was done with this modified Baktus pattern scarf.  Vaguely, I remembered reading of a scarf pattern that was straight on one side, and the increase and decrease was on the other side.  As usual, miscalculating on the amount of yarn and the number of stitches, I finished the two balls of yarn that I had with a scarf that was more of a trapezoid than an obtuse triangle.  So I put it away …

Until I discovered two more balls stashed away in my ‘yarn for current WIPs’ that I had forgotten about !  You see why you need to organize your yarn, so that you know how much yarn you have for a project that you’re working on, or know where to look for more?  lol … Oh, and now I know what this yarn is … the first two didn’t have labels, so I didn’t know if I could find these selling anywhere.   These two balls had the labels folded and inserted in the middle of the wound-up balls.


Good …  I could use the two balls to knit a border around, making the scarf bigger and wider.  The stitches would be perpendicular to the body, but I figured that would be an interesting design instead.  hmmm … just noticed that I’m using a lot of geometry terms for this scarf …

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I got tired of picking up stitches, so I decided that I would just crochet the border around, instead of cramming all those stitches to knit on the circular needles.  Pattern instructions would usually say ‘crochet evenly around’.  Well, because of the thick and think strands, and the resulting thick and thin stitches, it didn’t feel that it was an even crocheting around.  I continued on, anyway, loosening and tightening the stitches as I went along.  Every once in a while, I would insert two single crochets in a loose stitch, so that the yarn wasn’t pulling across tightly with one single crochet, or too loose because it stretched too much.


So now, I have another finished scarf … yaaayy !  It is in some sort of triangle shape now, and the border edges are kind of rolling up  … but it’s so nice and soft and squishy …

 

Colours of Change

Back when I was just learning how to crochet, the moss stitch easily became my favourite stitch (both in crochet and knitting).  There were many projects with the moss stitch … an easy and relaxing stitch to get in the rhythm of crocheting.

One of my earlier moss stitch projects was a scarf, and it started out beautiful with the argyle effect.  After I attached the second skein, it didn’t continue the pattern.  I think it’s still tucked away in a storage box of WIPs.

Recently, the crochet moss stitch and planned pooling of colours has risen to the top of the crochet trends.  I had just gotten two hanks of the limited edition colours from Expression Fiber Arts, so I decided that I would try and get the argyle effect this time.

It started off well … there was actually an argyle/tartan effect coming out …

But it didn’t last long … not even when I attached the second hank …

I didn’t mind.  I liked the colours, and the effect.  And the colours were pooling, even if not the way that I wanted or expected it to.

And once it’s wrapped around your neck, it didn’t matter how the colour pooling patterns came out … It still looked good.

 

 

I’m hoping this colourway comes out again … I want to make it wider and longer.  Making it longer is no problem, but making it wider will change the patterns a bit … or a lot .. and I don’t want to frog this any more.  So it’s going to sit in my WIP bag until the colourway comes out again.  I can wait …