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!

 

 

2018 SO Scarf Project Starts

We’re done with the 2017 Special Olympics Scarf Project !

Not sure if all the participating states reached their goals, but if they didn’t, hopefully they came close to it.  It seemed to be a slow year for our groups this year.  There are the perennial favourite states, who have no problem reaching their goals.  And then there’s the other states who struggle to reach their goal 😦

Now we’re off and running with the 2018 Scarf Project, with six state programs already announcing their colours !  Yaaayyy !!  Hopefully that means that these states will be done, or halfway to their goal by the time other states announce their colours in the late summer.

So, here’s an early start to the 2018 Scarf Project … Complete info and details can always be found on the 2018 SO Scarf Project page.  Check back every now and then – maybe your state program will join this year!

 

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 ….

img_2854

 

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.

women-in-focus

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.