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!

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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.   
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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 !

 

 

October Frogging

Gasp!!

It’s October already! Wasn’t it just September? It was in the back of my mind everyday that I had to post something, but then … what?

There was other stuff to do … we had a full house, with guests coming in and out … illness in the family …

I stepped out the front door one morning and was met with a cool breeze in my face … and I had a brief panic attack.  It hit me that the cold winds were blowing in soon and that we were in September already and that I had to really get started working on the winter items …

In a frenzy, I pulled out yarn and WIPs and started working on something … anything …

I was going good on this WIP, then ran out of yarn …. So now it’s still a WIP, sitting in my project bag … Can’t decide yet whether to buy another skein of the yarn, or just frog the last row …

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My sister asked for a scarf/cowl in purple and I found this nice Malabrigo Jacinto … started a brioche pattern with it, lost my concentration and then it wasn’t looking right any more, and the sides not coming out straight.  I’ve frogged it and rewound the skeins, and they’re waiting for me for my next inspiration.

 

I finally found the RH Black Light colour, and started to make a hat.  It started out well, then the crown wouldn’t shape down, and it ended up so big, it was bigger than a chef’s hat … That too was frogged … waiting for the next inspiration.

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Maybe I should take a break for now … get a good night’s sleep … Then maybe the patterns will fall into place and they’ll turn out right …

What do you think?

Good weekend, all.

 

A Tad Too Long

Hmmmm … Remember this post?

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I should have known that when it was starting to bunch up that it means there’s too many stitches on the needles and that it would be longer than I thought.

This is how it turned out …

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It’s about seven feet long.  And if it wasn’t knitted in the round, it would be about 14-15 feet long.  No wonder it took so long to finish !!

Now I want to make a Dr. Who scarf … but I have to figure out what to do with this first.

The New Year’s Eve Scarf

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The Malabrigo SM Gold – I was so excited with the colours and started another scarf while I was travelling, right after I finished the brioche scarf.  I finished it a week later, and then I didn’t like it. This is what it looked like the first time.

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I didn’t like it because it was too long and skinny – it was down below my knees! As usual, I casted on too many stitches underestimated how much the project will fluff out once you start knitting.

And so I frogged it, and started another scarf, in the basketweave on the bias pattern (or the Not Entirely Entrelac pattern).

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As I was finishing up, I decided that I wanted to make it into a cowl instead. So I had to do little bit of figuring out on how to join the zig-zag ends together.

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Instead of decreasing on both ends, I knitted two blocks on one end, and decreased one block on the opposite end, so that both sides would line up with the pattern.

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I think I did okay – that’s the join there, after I’d matched up the blocks. It’s a little puckered, but with use and wear, it’ll settle in.   I also slip-stitched around the edges, to make them a little firmer, and the points a little pointier.

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This is what the other side looks like, after a crochet slip-stitch join.

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And another scarf finished just in time for New Year’s Eve … and it was freezing cold weather outside.

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And I’m really enjoying working with Malabrigo yarn.

Finishing up the Old Year

A new year has began. I hope you all had a good holiday season, and wish you all the best for a safe, healthy and happy new year. In between all the travelling and work and other to-do lists, I didn’t quite get to posting much on this blog with my WIPs. But I have been busy with my WIPs and … I actually finished some of them before the old year was done! How about that! And so, here’s the first of what I got done in the last few weeks of the old year.

The Malabrigo brioche scarf in Loro Baranquerro … it’s turned out nice. Even my boys have been wearing it around the house.

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I think they like the softness of the yarn.

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Or maybe it was the colours.

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I’m not even teasing them about wearing it around the house … Maybe they’ll wear it outside too!

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Up in the Air Again

Well, I’m off flying again, this time to Uganda, Africa. And of course I had to pack way too many WIPa with me.

Remember the Malabrigo loro baranquerro yarn that I had started to work with?

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Well, I frogged that because it was starting to curl at the sides, and wouldn’t lay flat. It was rolling up into a tube, which I didn’t like. I thought I had read somewhere that if it was alternate knit and purl on the sides that it would lay flat. But it didn’t.

This is what it looks like now. The pattern I’m flowing said it was a brioche stitch but I’m not sure it looks like other brioche stitches I had seen. Maybe a variation?

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So, this one lays flat, which is good. And with these long flights, I might actually finish this before I reach Entebbe. Too bad it’s the dry and hot season there, so I won’t be able to use it.
It’ll have to wait till I get back to the US and cold weather.