On a Roll with Beach Cover-Ups

It’s summer, and once again my thoughts run towards crocheting a beach coverup.  Never mind that I already had patterns saved from last year, and I did start, but it didn’t come out looking right, so it was set aside for another time.  I browsed through Pinterest, Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy, Facebook, and clicked on websites leading me to other websites … And then came back to square one.

Cover-up Number One:  I only have two hanks of this bright multi-colour yarn, so I thought it would make a nice beach cover up.  The pattern is from Yarnspirations – Beachy Keen Cover Up, and I figure that the two hanks should be enough.  I showed it to Just, and he said he didn’t like it … said the colours were ‘too fruity’.  Huh??  ‘Fruity’?   I looked at it again.  It’s just for the beach, I thought, nothing fancy.  Somehow, that gave me second thoughts and it was set aside …

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Beach Cover-up Number Two:  I picked up another WIP, started since last year.  This started out as a shawl/wrap, and also to practice that yo, k2 together stitch (which I thought was the brioche stitch, but it isn’t).  After using up two hanks, my brain said that it was too lacy for a shawl/wrap, and since I had beach cover-ups on my mind, I thought maybe I should convert it to one instead.  I only had basic sewing, way back when, but I suddenly remembered the basics of garment construction, etc.  So, since it was almost a rectangle, I folded the short end about 10 inches over, joined the sides together to form sleeves, and voila!  a lacy, long shrug!  I used the other hank to knit around the edges and sides, to widen the side panels and for the border, continuing in the same pattern. See those solid strips?  When I lost count of the yo, k2 tog, I would just knit 3-4 rows of garter stitch and start over.   It’s turned out okay, so here I am testing it out at the beach.

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Beach Cover-up Number Three:  And somewhere, somehow, something clicked in my brain … And I decided to try the Whimsical Duster with the KnitPicks Felici Sunset colours.  The pattern called for worsted weight, but since I was working with fingering/sock yarn, I had to make adjustments … and miscalculated … After a couple of froggings, it finally looked like it was the right measurements and gauge, etc.


Another miscalculation on the length and how finished items can stretch … I stopped crocheting when it was about knee-length, then added the borders.  Since the stitches were looking bulky and twisted, I decided to give it a quick soak and gently squeezing out the water, then laid it to dry … It’s looking rather long, I thought.

Sure enough, when I tried it on again after it was dried, the length was now down to my ankles … *sigh* … No, I am not frogging that to adjust the length.

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And encouraged that I actually finished with two usable cover-ups, I’m now planning a third, in different colours … and a tunic-style one … I have to be careful now that I don’t get too ambitious … But hey!  if I don’t finish before the summer trip, I could always finish it while on the beach and then just slip it on, right?  Right!

How’s your summer going?

 

 

Busco Gancho Lace

So … I signed up for a workshop on how to make the Busco Gancho Lace shawl.  I think it’s more of a CAL, but a workshop sounds good too 🙂   The finished sample shawl was made in a beautiful colourway, but what I really wanted was the pattern for the shawl, but it was only available to the workshop participants.  So I signed up … *sigh*   It promises that it’s not an ordinary triangle shawl, and that there will be more to constructing the shape than just a regular triangle.  So …

I know I have lace yarn somewhere in the boxes, but not in self-striping yarn, and I didn’t have time to go through the boxes to search for it.  Seeing these SWTC Little Star yarn in the WIP bag, I frogged it and decided to use it for this workshop instead. I didn’t like how they were working up on the needles anyway, and I had only knitted four rows, so I didn’t feel so bad about frogging.  Do you ever feel bad frogging a WIP?

We had to make two swatches – one with a 3.0mm hook (top swatch), and another with a 3.5mm The swatches came out bigger than I thought.  I thought this Little Star was a fingering weight, even a light fingering weight, but these came out big.  Or perhaps I was using the wrong size hooks.

I had planned on using the red-orange to start off, and then eventually transition to the red-purple, when I ran out of yarn, because as usual, I only bought two hanks, and it looks like this shawl will take more than that, even if I crochet with a loose tension. It should work.

So that’s another CAL I’m working on … as if I don’t have enough to do already!  But I think this will work up really quick … Stay tuned for an update next week!

Hawaiian Lace

I made the deadline!!

Cutting it close, but I knew that I would be staying up late during the weekend and would get a lot done.  Anyways … here’s the finished shawl … blocked and cleaned up, and modeled by Charisse!

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I used a portable steamer to block this.  The yarn, SWTC Pure, was 100% soysilk, and I didn’t want to risk soaking it, and then squeezing or accidentally wringing too hard and pull it out of shape.  I laid it out on the bed on top of two beach towels (those were the only ones big enough for this).  I held the steamer about an inch off the top, and gently pulled and flattened it into shape while steaming.  After a last pull to even out, I left it drying for a couple of hours.

It’s a nice and easy pattern, good for beginners, and even though the middle – mesh – part seemed to take ages to finish, it looks good.  Even Tin says the mesh part looks complicated, so you know it looks good.  It’s light and airy, and big enough to wrap around you, without it feeling heavy, even if you throw the ends over your shoulders for a tighter wrap,.

The pattern is available on Ravelry – Hawaiian Lace.  Go and check it out.

And since that’s my pattern obsession for now, I’m going to continue and finish this other one I started at the same time as the red one … remember this?  I’ll probably take my time doing this .. This one is a bit fiddly to work with …

Red Houndstooth

I was itching to try a different pattern now.  Plain weaving is still fascinating to me, as I watch the colours take shape and the patterns emerge.  But I wanted to try something different, and the houndstooth pattern is always something that I’m trying to recreate in knitting and crochet. By the way, knitting and crocheting have taken a back seat for now – can you believe that?  It’s been all weaving for the last month!  Anyway …

So I warped the loom with Red Heart Soft in black and red.

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It started out great!  The pattern was showing up nicely, and I was really enjoying the weaving.  And then … something happened to the tension … again … and the pattern kind of got flattened or stretched out …

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*sigh* I need to work more on how to get this tension even throughout the piece.  Maybe it’s in the way I’m winding the yarn?  The boys liked it – they were more concerned with the ends that needed to be cleaned up, and didn’t see anything wrong with the pattern – that’s good, right?

I like my first try with this pattern.  This didn’t shrink too much, and even though it’s six inches wide, I’m finding it a bit skinny, so I’ll make it wider next time.

Already planning the next colors …

Fancy Diamond Fringe Stole

Ok, here’s the cleaned up and completed lacy stole.

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The pattern is the Long Lace Stole pattern.  And after many frogged WIPs, I finally found a pattern for this Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn in Winery.  Sometimes, you don’t need a complicated pattern; a simple pattern will do.

I don’t do fringes much, and I wasn’t planning on adding any once done.  In my head, they use up a lot of yarn (and they do), and I normally don’t buy more than three skeins of the same colour, unless I have a particular project in mind.  But after I finished crocheting this on the plane one hour before we landed, it looked like it did need the fringes at the ends.

I would normally tie that second knot right up by the border/edge, securing it in place.  This time, I tied the knot about an inch below the edge.

After I finished, there was still a good length of the fringe left.  Not wanting to waste so much yarn when trimming it, I tied another row of knots one inch below the first set, taking two strands from the left and two strands from the right, resulting in a diamond pattern.

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I was liking how it looked, so I continued on.

Here’s how it looks like, when worn (as modeled by Charisse).

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I didn’t block it; maybe I will, at a later date.  Right now, it’s done just in time for this cold weather blowing in!

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Hooking to Relax

How do I know when I’m stressed out and anxious?

Because I just want to sit and play with yarn … crochet … knit … go through the stash … several skeins of yarn out so that I can work on several ideas at once, if that’s possible … start on the CALs and KALs …

It’s been a hectic and stressful week … late nights and early mornings. Hubby has left on a business trip … for one year … oh, that’s not a business trip anymore … ok, it’s a work assignment. We’ll see each other every three or four months, but the stressful days leading up to his departure has suddenly caught up to me. You know that feeling when some kind of weight is suddenly off your shoulders, and you’re left with a feeling that you need to do something? anything? Well, that was it for me.

I had been planning to start something new for National Crochet Month, but haven’t gotten around to it. So I think I’m just going to start small first, and eventually get inspired for the project for National Crochet Month.

So, I picked up hook and yarn, and was determined to relax … make something, anything, and create. And this is what I have come up … earwarmers for the Special Olympics Scarf Project.

Red and White for SO Arkansas.

Black and Yellow for SO Tennessee

I’m on a roll … and I’ve got ideas scrambling around inside my head.  I just can’t crochet fast enough to finish one and start on another idea … I think I’m in one of those frenzy zones, when I have to crochet something before the energy and the adrenaline runs out and when it does, working on projects slows down … 

Am I relaxed yet?  Nope …  my brain just flashed another design idea and my fingers are itching to pick up hook and yarn again …

How WIPs are Born

Remember my WIP from this post? After I finished one ball, it turned out too short for a scarf, and even with joining ends together for a cowl, it was too narrow. So it was frogged and put away *sigh*

But then I saw the Augusta Shawl and wanted to make one. I decided that it was the time for this yarn – Drops Big Delight, in Sunrise – to be made into something, because every time I saw the wound up ball, my fingers itched to make something with those gorgeous colours.

I started this on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Two days later, I had used up the two balls, and this is how big it got.

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*sigh* Still not big enough for a shawl. I will have to order another ball or two, to make the shawl a decent size so that it can wrap around me.  I went online to order, and they only had one ball in stock.  Not sure how much bigger that will make this, but I ordered it, anyway.

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But I was still enjoying the pattern, so I picked up Lorna’s Laces Honour in PlayTime, and started another one. Not sure if I’m liking that colourplay, but I’m not frogging anymore.

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And after using up both hanks of Lorna’s Laces, it also was not wide enough. I’ve looked everywhere to see if I can get another hank of PlayTime, but apparently it was a special colourway for Craftsy, and no longer available. *sigh*  So, what do I do now?  Maybe it’ll just have to be a scarf, not a shawl.

I start another one, this time in Lion Brand’s Amazing in Aurora.

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I know that I have this yarn in the stash somewhere, and if I need another ball, it should be easy enough to find one. So this won’t stay a WIP for too long … we hope …

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Hopeless, aren’t I?

And that’s how WIPs are born.