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!

 

 

 

 

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Four Seasons Cowl

I know I’ve posted about this WIP before, but I’ve now named this my Four Seasons Cowl.  I had four lone skeins, and in colourways that were close to the seasons.  So Four Seasons Cowl it is.

I always wanted to knit the linen stitch again, after my first try – the Downton Abbey Cowl – some years ago.  This is how far I’ve got and coming along nicely.   I like how the colours play against each other and make up patterns as the piece progresses.  And these colourways are playing out nicely, don’t you think?  Hmm … looks like watercolours in this photo …

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This is Fall and Winter.  Technically, it was still fall/autumn (before 21/22 December) when I started, so this part is the fall/autumn. It’s got the oranges and purples.

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Winter is the darker blues/greens/purplish hank.  Although it doesn’t represent our winter weather this year.  It’s been unseasonably warm, and even though we’ve had a blizzard and snowstorm, it’s still not as bad as in previous years.  I shouldn’t complain … I really don’t want winter to stay too long.

And I started on Spring, with the bright colours.  Yes, we’re a little ahead of the seasons, but then I’ll be finished in time to use this for spring, right?

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Hoping to start on Summer soon … maybe this weekend … but I already have the 5-Panel blanket on the weekend project list … and the African Violets … *sigh* … we’ll see how it goes …  

What’s on your hooks and needles this weekend?

Happy Weekend all !

 

 

All the Colours

I started a fifth panel over the weekend.  The boys said they wanted it wider so that they can wrap themselves around it 🙂 while they roll around on the floor in the living room. And here’s what I came up with for the fifth panel … I added orange …

Panel 5

Don’t know why, but now that I lay it all out side by side, it changed the colour tones of the panels a bit, didn’t it?  I’m sure it’ll all look ‘together’ when I finish joining them together, but when seen separately like this, it looks a little out of place.

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And as I brooded over the colours and the placements, I realized something … This is almost the same colours as my Happy Scarf ….

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… and the Tapestry Blanket!

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… the Augusta Shawl …

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And the current knitting WIP is along the same colours …

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Hmmm … this seems to be my go-to colours!

Or maybe if when in doubt, then throw-in-all-the-colours scheme?  lol

 

 

 

Snowed-In Show and Tell

Well … after being cooped up inside because of the Blizzard 2016, I made the most of that time by catching up on projects … starting new ones … or just playing with yarn.

So here’s what I was able to work on this past weekend.

I finished the second panel for the blanket ….
… and started on the third panel.

The second panel came out shorter than the first panel, so there’s going definitely going to be some sewing, cutting and adjustments when putting the panels together.   

And seeing the finished width, before wet-finishing, I think I’m going to need a fourth panel so that it covers at least a single or twin bed.  Maybe a fifth …

 

The Double-layered Braided Cowl is the latest trend going around the crochet forums.  I had seen the pattern on my newsfeed, and it was the first time that I wanted to pick up hook and yarn and make one right now, instead of just saving the pattern for a later day.  So, after the initial fiddling about, I came up with a cowl, an experimental earwarmer with three braids, and an experimental earwarmer with chunky yarn!  How about that!

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Oh, wait … so now I have a set of earwarmer, hat, and neckwarmer/cowl in the same chunky yarn!

I’m adding this in, although I finished this a couple of weeks ago.  The Granny Shrug – I can’t find where I got this from, but if you google the Granny Shrug, you’ll get to the website.  It’s basically a big granny, then fold it in half to form a rectangle.  Then sew about 20 inches of one edge, which will form the sleeves.  I added a cuff to the sleeve, to make it longer.  I ran out of the black yarn, so I added the purple to finish it.  I could have stopped with the black, but then it would reach just by the waist, and I wanted it longish.  On the other hand, making it that big turned out to be a bit over-sized for me – it fits my colleague perfectly, though, as she’s taller and bigger than I am.  So now I want to make a smaller one that will fit me better, but long enough as well.

So that’s my show and tell for the Blizzard projects.

What did you work on?

 

 

 

 

 

Catching Up …

Whew!  Just realized I haven’t posted in a while on this blog!

So here’s hoping you had a good end-of-year holiday season and all the best for the new year!

I was travelling for work, and wifi was spotty too.  I also thought that I would be able to work on WIPs or start a new one, but surprisingly, I didn’t get a chance to do that either.  It was late nights and weekends too, so I was catching up on sleep instead!

There was that one night when I was so stressed out at work, I took12313705_939416949446589_2516362218822365726_n out all the yarn I brought with me, and just played with them.  I tried to start something, but my mind wouldn’t settle down, so I just sat on the bed and wound up the hanks into balls.  That was enough to settle my brain.  I’ll keep that in mind for the next time I’m frazzled – just sit and wind yarn into balls.   It had a calming and relaxing effect, just to keep winding yarn into a ball.  Try it the next time you’re stressed.

On the flight back home, there was an 11-hour stretch for the last leg.  11 hours !!  Wow – definitely I was going to have time to work on something then.  The flight was delayed on departure, so while sitting in the waiting lounge, I took out yarn and needles and casted on with that purple-orange-blue-red yarn.  I wanted to work on the linen stitch again, and thought that maybe it would work with the variegated yarn.

I also thought that I could practice the continental (picking) method with this stitch.  I was beginning to see the extra motions that I made when using the ‘throwing’ method.  For the linen stitch, the continental method works well.  There is less motion/movement than if I was holding the yarn with the right hand.  And 11 hours was more than enough time to practise the continental method – I was all thumbs, fingers, and tangled yarn when I started.

I wasn’t too happy with the colour combination once it was on the needles.  Maybe the colour changes were not long enough.  Or maybe the wrong gauge.  Anyway, I decided to continue with it.  I only had one ball of this colour, and the other three balls were also lone balls.  So I decided to use all four balls in the cowl, and make it a cowl for all seasons.

This is how far I’ve got.  I’m on the third ball, and it’s just about six inches wide.  Hopefully when it’s done that it’ll be a good size width.  Because, you know – as usual, I didn’t count how many stitches I cast on, and didn’t do any kind of math to figure out how much yarn I had to work with so that I can at least have a finished item that doesn’t look like it ran out of yarn that’s why it’s such an odd size!  lol

Now that it’s all together, the orange-blue-purple combination doesn’t really look so bad, does it?  hmmm …

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I don’t mind the orange-purple combo …

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Maybe that blue-orange combo will grow on me …

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cowls into Capelets

My first finished products of the year – capelets !

I have been wanting to make a hooded cape for the winter.  I looked everywhere for the right pattern, and found it in the Long Hooded Cape, from Maggie Weldon.  Then, it was to look for the right yarn.  I had yarn in the stash, which I thought would be enough for the cape, but upon pulling it out, I wasn’t too sure about the colours again.  It was variegated, and although with long colour changes, I wasn’t sure about how it would look when worked up.  Since I couldn’t picture the finished product in my mind, I put it aside for the time being.

Looking through a magazine – the Crochet! Magazine 70+ Gifts in 1-2-3 – I came across a pattern for a cowl that looked easy enough and quick to work up.  I had just bought Isaac Mizrahi’s yarn – the Carlyle in Astoria – a beautiful, soft black yarn, speckled with red and silver metallic thread.  I thought the cowl would look good with that yarn.  Of course, that was not the yarn called for in the pattern, but I kept the same stitch count – and came out with a cowl capelet instead.

And it did come out nice – after I had frogged it twice, because the first time, I kept increasing the stitches, and it was coming out lopsided, and the second time was because I ran out of yarn …

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Charisse kindly modeled – hmmm… we forgot to take a picture with the neck a little loosened, so that it would drape down, like a cowl neck.  Maybe next time.

I had wanted to make this a little wider too.  On hindsight, I should have made it shorter, so that it could be wider – I had frogged it once already, anyhow, and starting over for a second time.  But I didn’t think of that until almost the end, and I didn’t want to frog for a third time.  I went back to Michael’s, specially to purchase more of the yarn … and they didn’t have any more on the shelf.  They were just starting to restock, but I couldn’t wait there all day, and I couldn’t return again any time soon.  So I went wandering up and down the aisles to have a look, and found Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, in Starlight.

So I purchased that instead, and started another capelet.  Since this was super-bulky yarn, I started out with 15 less chains than the original pattern.  It came out really nice and thick, and warm.  I tested this by going out in below-freezing weather, wearing a thick sweater and this over the sweater.  I was out only for short periods at a time, but it kept me warm – and without the hassle of a thick jacket or coat.  Here’s Shree modeling the thick capelet.  The neck part didn’t fall and drape soft enough for a cowl, but it was still doable.  We folded it over instead, which gave it another look.

Both Shree and Charisse went home with the capelets – my belated Christmas gifts to them.

And I’m still left with making one for myself …

Purples Columns

A flash of inspiration and it’s finally working out ….

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My sister had asked for a purple cowl, so I had started to make one, with a beautiful Malabrigo Jacinto.   
20131004-135232.jpgBut I didn’t like how it was turning out, so it was frogged and the yarn rewound for another inspiration. 

Then I found a Cascade Italian Plum … a deeper purple, which is actually more to my sister’s liking.   

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And then of course the search for the right pattern for it.  I wanted a bit of a lacy effect, because I found it too dark for dense stitches.  I ended up with a variation of the brioche stitch.  Casting on an odd number (I casted on 35 for this cowl), I just knitted one, yo, k2 together all the way to the end.  Knit the last two stitches together.  Turn, and repeat the same row.  That’s it.

I thought that the rows would produce a honeycomb-like effect, but it came out as columns instead.  It wasn’t looking bad, anyway, so I’m continuing with the pattern.  This has come out with a nubby effect, which has a nice feel to it, so I’m imagining that would feel nice as well when worn around your neck.

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And lessons learned as well … the right size needle for the yarn weight and type does make a difference.  And it helps that the pattern suits the yarn as well.

Happy knitting, all !