Crafty 2013 in Review

So … I had a brainwave as I browsed through Ravelry and Pinterest, and thinking of new projects to start and new stitches to experiment and try out … and reading everywhere of what went on in 2013 and what’s to happen in 2014.

Which got me thinking of what did I actually finish in 2013?  It didn’t seem like much.  I know I started up tons of projects, and there’s tons of WIPs in every room in the house.  But I must have finished some items, right?

So I looked through the blog , where I knew that I had posted on starting new projects, and looked through the photo archives.  So, here’s what I accomplished in 2013 …

This, the Red Waves Cowl, was (and still is), the most popular post of 2013, thanks to Pinterest.

This is my favourite, though.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning and knitting the Linen Stitch, although surprisingly, I haven’t made anything else with that stitch.  hmmm…. must remedy that this year.  I also love this colour combination, and that’s why knitting the Linen Stitch was so enjoyable.

And continuing with the cowl theme, here’s others that I finished making last year.  Yes, that yellow one is about 15 feet long …

My new yarn ‘discovery’ was Malabrigo, which remains a favourite to work with.

This year, I participated in a few crochet-a-longs and challenges.  No, I didn’t finish the crochet-a-longs (yet).  And I got tired of one afghan challenge, which I haven’t picked up again.  I might continue it this year.  But I did finish two!  yaaayy!!

And then, of course, hats.  Hats are my go-to quick projects, for instant gratification, to try out new yarns and colourways, to use up those scraps of yarn … and the finished product goes into the box for my personal cause – NYC Hats for Hope Initiative.  I was looking for a hat to represent the group, so these were the hat samples that I had whipped up.  It’s all crocheted – because I crochet faster than I knit, and it would have taken me forever to finish knitting a hat.  But I’m sure there’s a knitted equivalent to all these hat patterns.  They’re all basic stitches.

The only non-fiber related craft I tried this year was flower-dyeing.  They didn’t turn out too bad the first time.  I tried a second time, and they didn’t come out as nice as these.  😦   Maybe this year …

And there you have my crafty 2013.  Looks like a lot after all, when put together like this.  There were other finished objects that I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of before they were given away.  These aren’t as many as others that I’ve seen finish in a year.  That’s okay … I have all this year to make more …

Have a yarny and crafty year, everybody!

Advertisements

Poppy Fields

These were the colours that introduced me to Cascade Casablanca – Poppyfields.

20130608-183720.jpg

I’d had the yarn all wound up for some time now, and was looking for the ‘perfect’ pattern to use it with.  But no one pattern really inspired me, but I wanted to work with it and so I picked up the ball of  yarn when we had a mini roadtrip for one of the soccer games.   Do you ever feel that?  You just want to play with the yarn, even though you don’t know what you’ll make out of it.  Maybe that’s why I have so many WIPs …

My fingers eventually settled on a pattern – what I call the biased basketweave pattern, and I thought that it would show up the colour changes nicely.   The pattern is actually called ‘Not Entirely Entrelac’, which I’d found while browsing for a good beginner pattern to learn entrelac.  I still have to complete an entrelac project, but in the meantime, I use this.

I’ve been working on this during the work commutes as well – and I’ve had to frog a few lines now and then, as we go into the tunnel and I’m plunged into darkness in the middle of a row.  Why I never remember to turn on the overhead lights, I don’t know.

20130608-183702.jpg

I’m almost done with it.  I forgot that I had another skein, and didn’t make this wide enough for a cowl.  So maybe it’ll be a long scarf instead.   We’ll see where my mood takes me.

Reds Waves Cowl Finished

The Reds Waves Cowl, which I had started for National Crochet Month,  is finally done!

DS2_1493

I finished the Reds Waves Cowl past midnight over the weekend.  I couldn’t wait till the morning to take a photo, so I snapped one before I went to bed to see what and how it looked like.  So this is what it looked like, hanging from my neck.

20130416-172223.jpg

Here are better photos, taken in daylight.  It’s a little long for a wrap-around the neck cowl, and not long enough to twist twice around the neck. The width is long enough to cover your head, if needed, and I think that was the basis for my continuing to crochet it in these measurements.

DS2_1494

I was worrying a bit about the colour sequence when I had to start a new ball of yarn. There’s a slight shift in the colour changes, but not noticeable. I also tried to match the single crochets to the trebles above it, but there were times when it didn’t, even though the count was correct. So I just went ahead with the row. You may notice that the waves don’t match, if you look closely.

When joining the two ends together, I used the same single crochet in back loop only.   It added an extra ridge to the pattern stitch sequence, which I think doesn’t look too bad.

20130422-164240.jpg

Really pleased with the way this has turned out.  Now, if only my other ‘improvised and modified’ projects would work out so well!

The Downton Abbey Cowl

I finished watching the Downton Abbey marathon weeks ago, but I was enjoying knitting this pattern with the yarn so much, that I didn’t want to stop working on it.  But I couldn’t let it sit there for long, knowing that the end was in sight.  And so I picked it up again, and finally finished it off.

DS2_1476

I’m still loving those colours; my eyes are still drawn to it, each time I look at the cowl.  There was a slight shift in the colour sequence, as I started a new ball.  But you don’t really notice it, unless you’re sitting there scrutinizing each row.

DS2_1480

I really like how the pattern – the knit linen stitch – really worked well with the yarn and the colours.  I’m sure that any other variegated yarn will work well with the stitch, but I do think that long colour changes works better than short colour changes.  The beauty of the yarn and the colours will be highlighted, as it did here.  I’m thinking that short colour changes will result in choppy pattern changes, but I could be wrong; I’ll have to start on one and see how it goes.

DS2_1463

The finished length, even though joined at the ends, was still a good four feet long (which meant around eight to nine  feet long, if it hadn’t been joined).  It’s enough to twist loosely around the neck twice, without feeling choked up.   I don’t mind it long, actually, it’s an extra layer to keep me warm in front since I always feel cold.

I do find the wool a little scratchy, probably from the mohair?  So it’s not that soft against the skin, but it’s tolerable.

DS2_1466

I’m enjoying wearing it, for these last days of cold weather.  Next year I can wear it for longer periods … unless someone begs it off from me!

Reds Waves

Progress made on my project for National Crochet Month, which I had posted about earlier.

I finished the first ball of Cascade Casablanca Reds, and am winding up the second hank.  I think I’m going to call this my Reds Waves Cowl.  I know, I know … another cowl.  But it’s too wide (about 14 inches) and too short (about four feet) for a scarf.

20130314-110539.jpg
I was lucky that I hit on the correct number of stitches, and the colour changes are aligning themselves up nicely 🙂   I say lucky, because I just started chaining, and when I liked the length, I stopped and started on the pattern.  I was already imagining it as horizontal wave pattern, with a diagonal colour change, which I thought would look good.  But this is good too.

20130314-110546.jpg

Now I’m trying to decide if I should just continue the colour sequence, or start from the beginning of the row with whatever colour the new ball of yarn starts with …

Downton Abbey Marathon Cowl

I had read so much about the show, ‘Downton Abbey’ on PBS, and the knits and costumes, so I had to go and check it out.  Settling down to watch from the beginning – it started from two years ago – I also picked up the Casablanca Cascade yarn that I had finished winding up and started a new project.  As if I needed another WIP lying around the house …

After a couple hours of knitting, this is how much I got done … maybe an inch and a half wide.  I really wanted to try the Linen Stitch again, and this time, I resolved to do it the proper way … whatever way that is.

20130226-154258.jpg

So I casted on about 400 stitches.  I say ‘about’ because again I lost count.  And because it was another cowl, the pattern stitch was slightly modified again.  There’s no purl here; I just go round and round in the following pattern:  k1, sl1 wyif *
*Edited – It’s just the two stitches, repeated throughout, knitting in the round continuously.  Just make sure that the k1 stitch is above the sl1 stitch from the row below; and the sl1 stitch is above the k1 stitch from the row below.  

For this pattern to work continuously, the stitches cast on must be an odd number.  If you end up with an even number, then just knit two together, to reduce it, and continue on.

This is what the pattern and stitches looks like, close-up.  The tension is a little tight, I think.  but I was liking the effect of the variegated colours.

20130226-154310.jpg

Two seasons and three days later …

20130226-154332.jpg

Another three inches added, and I’m almost done with the first ball of yarn.  A second ball should bring it to about seven inches wide, which shouldn’t be too bad.

20130226-154346.jpg

My tension is still a little tight; I tried to loosen up a bit, so that the stitches would show up better.  But I’m really liking this effect.  I have plans to make another one, this time using two different solid-coloured yarn.  That should make the ‘v’ in the pattern stand out more.

20130226-154355.jpg

Oh, and the only knits I’ve seen in ‘Downton Abbey’ is Daisy sitting at the kitchen table knitting, and wearing a tam while out in town (which I thought look crocheted), and vintage crocheted tablecloths.  There’s lots of beautiful embroidery, and of course there’s lots of woolen clothing.  Maybe I just didn’t see it, I was busy knitting.  But do go and watch it.  I still have Season 3 to go … maybe I’ll finish this by the last episode too 🙂

All Wound Up

Well, since I started to wind up the Pendragon yarn for my Sunset Scarf, I ended up having too much fun, and so I took out all the other hanks to wind up into balls.

This is Cascade Casablanca.  I wound up the first hank I pulled up by hand, and got tired.  It was a lot of yarn!

20130211-215832.jpg

So I took out the manual (again) winder to wind up the other two hanks.  It wasn’t too bad; although there was too much yarn and it wouldn’t stay on the winder, so I just took it off and wound the remaining yards around the ball.

20130211-215846.jpg

As I looked at the balls, I remembered that the Casablanca Poppy was so similar to yarn that I had before.  The Cascade Casablanca Poppy shades are a little deeper and darker, but they seem to be the same colour palette.  hmmmm … my eyes or my brains certainly pick out the same or similar colours, don’t they?

20130211-215909.jpg

And so I kept on spinning, pulling out those hanks of yarn that I had purchased but didn’t have time to wind up before I went travelling last year.  There’s more hanks to wind up, but I can start with these.

20130211-215932.jpg

Now I can start looking for patterns to go with these yarns, maybe try some new stitches …