Twinkly Orange and Purple

And we’re back!

Can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve been able to post on anything here.  Summer started, and everything suddenly started happening …

I had to take an office trip out of the country at the last minute and of course, that threw all the schedules off.  I did remember to pack two WIPs – one of which I frogged – and extra yarn, needles, hooks …

Since I’ve been back, I haven’t exactly been inspired to knit and crochet either.  I got some new yarn, and with ideas bubbling in my head of the projects that I wanted to work on, somehow, it didn’t work out.  After I started knitting or crocheting ten rows, it wasn’t looking right so I’ve been frogging more than working on anything.  I’m just working on finishing a WIP now.

One thing that I did finish before the trip was this Busco Gancho Lace shawl.  I finished it in time for the trip and used it throughout, and got many compliments on it 🙂  I haven’t seen the pattern released yet, so I’ll update this if and when it is released by the designer.

The yarn is SWTC Little Star in two colourways, and the sparkle in the yarn reminds me of twinkling stars.

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Here’s what it looks like during blocking.  Since then, I haven’t been able to take any photos of the shawl after blocking, but you can see from these that the pattern makes for a nice drape.  I’ m already planning to make several in different colourways … soon as I get my cro-jo back …

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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 …

Progress on the Test Pattern

This is my progress after several froggings and re-starts …

One set done, and the start of the next set.  I guess it’s not looking bad.  At least it looks like something now, and the piece is laying flat and you can actually see a pattern.

And because I was such an expert in starting the first set, I had a brilliant idea and started another … *sigh*  That’s why I have so many WIPs, with this impulsive starting of new projects because of many ideas.

I need to finish this though, by the time the test period is over.  There’s a couple in the group that have already finished their piece!  Have to catch up … hopefully this weekend …

Testing Yarns

When scrolling on the forums I would sometimes see posts calling for testers for a new pattern, and after looking at it for two seconds, I would scroll on.  Until a couple of weeks ago, when I seriously considered signing up as a tester for the designer Frank O’Randle.  He’s the one with the ‘Rings of Change’ series.  After reading through his tester requirements, I filed it in the back of my mind.  I didn’t think that I would be able to dedicate any amount of time and work on what he designs, however much I would like to be a tester for his designs, which are all beautifully intricate, which is what I like.

And then came a call to test a shawl pattern … and just for the heck of it, I wrote in and ‘auditioned’ … and got accepted!  What??  I hadn’t done much crocheting recently, but I guess from what they saw on my previous projects were enough for them?  Hmmm ….

So, that of course set off a frenzy to look for the right yarn … fingering weight.  *sigh*  That means that it’ll take me a while to finish this, although crocheting with fingering weight isn’t so bad as knitting with fingering weight for me. And as luck would have it, the NJ Wool Walk was going on last weekend.  More trouble …

I had some free time over the weekend, but I purposely didn’t go to any of the LYS on the Wool Walk.  I’m trying to stick to the budget, see, and going to the yarn stores is not going to help me stick to the budget, right?  But, since I know I didn’t have 1,100 yards of fingering weight yarn in my stash, I had to go and get some, right?  *sigh* good thing Sunday was the last day, and I could only visit two LYS’s …

So, here’s what’s been added to the stash …

At Patricia’s Yarns, I came across Madeleine Tosh Light – fast becoming my new favourite yarn to work with. I thought I could use these for the test pattern shawl. Love that deep blue (Stargazer) …

At Yarndezvous, I came across sparkling yarn … This green I knew right away that I wanted to make a scarf/wrap with it … And maybe I already have the pattern for it …

These are other colours that caught my eye, and will probably end up as accessories as well … Although now that I see them laid out, they all link to each other nicely.  Subconsciously, my brain had already matched them up.  So … now … maybe I can use these for the test pattern … hmmm … 

And these?  Well, I just had to get these … they looked so yummy and creamy and fresh and springy … I have no idea what to make with these, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something …

  

And there goes my budget …

Finishing Off 2014

I thought I would write a post on whatever creative things I accomplished in the last year.  I know I didn’t make much this year, but it is good to gather everything together and see how much you’ve done.  Try it.  You’ll be surprised to see just how many things that you did get done in the last year.

Of course, I didn’t get to start on anything that was on my bucket list (except for the hexagon project).  So we’re trying for that again this year.

The staple … hats!  I finally figured out the slouchy look for the hats … These are actually variations of patterns that I tried to follow, and in the end, I just decided to wing it instead of following the pattern, because the hat wasn’t turning out what I expected it to be.

And more hats!  Here’s some of the ones made for my personal charity/cause – NYC Hats for Hope Initiative. As usual, there’s more which I didn’t take photos of.

I made my first amigurumi/toy – the minion.  I said I was going to make another one, this time with two eyes.  I still haven’t started on that.  Making amigurumis and toys still does not appeal to me … I have no problem with working on the individual parts … sewing and assembling them together kills me.  The hat wasn’t too bad.  That one has two eyes – although you can’t see it from this angle.

The other cause I work on – the Special Olympics Scarf Project.  Here’s some items that I made for some of the states.  Every year I say that I will make one item for each participating state.  Haven’t succeeded yet, but there’s always next year!

The shawls … wraps … scarves … my go-to projects.  My obsession pattern this year was the Augusta Shawl.  Here’s different versions of the pattern, using different yarn weights, etc.

Oh – another obsession pattern – the Bowtie Pi Shawl (available in Ravelry).  I plan on making more of these, with various yarns.

I couldn’t figure out why my shawl was coming out with a curved neckline, instead of a straight edge as shown in the photos with the pattern.  Then I remembered … Fibonacci.  Instead of following the same number of row repeats as the pattern, I had used the Fibonacci series for my row repeats instead.  So I think that’s why the neckline curved in so deep, like this.  I like it better like this, anyhow.  The shawl drapes better over the shoulders, than a straight edge.

And I was on a fringes roll as well.  I like fringes but I usually don’t add fringes because I think that they use up a lot of yarn … but then again, knitting or crocheting a piece takes up a lot of yarn too … and fringes do make a shawl or wrap look really pretty, doesn’t it?

My one big project this year – the African Violets Afghan, in memory of my aunt who passed away last year.  This is as far as I got with it, and it’s a good size lapghan.  I wanted to add another round, so that it can also be used as a bed cover.  So that’s something I’ll be working on some more this year.

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And there you have my accomplishments from the last year.  Nothing much, nothing spectacular.  I know that it’s more of the same from last year, but until I have another incentive to make amigurumis and toys, I’m afraid there’ll be more of this for the coming year.  Oh yes … I still want to make that hooded cape … and that beach coverup … I should start now … while it’s still freezing cold outside … then it’ll be ready for summer!

Three-Colourway Fringes

I know this was published before – there are comments from others two months ago.  Somehow, it was unpublished – no idea how that happened!   So here it is again.

A shawl/wrap made with three colourways of Lion Brand Amazing yarn.  As usual, I didn’t buy enough of the yarn, and when I went back to the store to purchase, I bought the wrong colourway.  You may notice it .. or maybe not.

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When it was big enough, I stopped adding rows to the shawl.  But there was something missing.  I was on a fringes roll at that time, so I decided to add fringes to the ends.  Guess what?  I didn’t have enough yarn again.  Since this was already late in the evening to run out to the store again, I dug through the stash again, and came up with another LB Amazing yarn, but in a different colourway.  No matter, I said.  This is for the fringes only, and the colourway was similar enough to those used previously.  So I added the fringes.

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Doesn’t look bad with three colourways, does it?

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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