Cakes for Wraps

Red Heart came out with colour-coordinated cakes for wraps, and the colours were looking good on the site. But when I saw it in person, this was the only one that I liked from the selections available in the yarn store.

With the good yardage in light fingering weight, I thought it would make for a good-sized shawl-wrap. I’ve always liked the almost-blanket size wraps, the ones that can wrap around you twice. Light-weight wraps work well for spring too.

This is the progress so far. I’m liking it, so we will keep on going 🙂

With the yarn being thin, it’s going to take a while to finish this in time for spring. And because winter and cold weather has just started here on the east coast, I’m still puling out wool yarn and working on winter items 😉

I’m quickly piling up WIPs again 🙂

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The Year of the CALs: Autumn Jewels Wrap

2018 came and went … Projects were started and unraveled … more projects were started and put aside …

It was a chaotic year for me. I don’t know if I’ve settled down yet from the stresses and tensions of events early last year. But I do know that I needed to get back to crafting … and I’m hoping that there’ll be more time for that this year … Wait, let’s just make it a goal and say that I will make time for crafting this year.

I can’t even remember now what I was working on during the past year. I did take quick photos of some projects, and I did finish some items, so let’s start from there.

This past year was the Year of the CALs. After so many years of declaring intentions to join and participate in a CAL and downloading the patttern, this past year, I actually did join and stuck to it! Wow !

Maybe because last year was stressful, and the CALs gave me a purpose to sit and work on something. The weekly releases of the pattern probably did help in settling me down, in giving me something to work towards to, and following a pattern instead of trying to make up random stitches and counts probably helped a lot too 🙂

And here’s the first one that I was actually excited to work on – the Autumn Jewels Wrap. Actually, I worked on this after the CAL was done, but I’m counting this as a CAL that I actually ‘joined’ 🙂

Autumn Jewels Wrap

I got this yarn from a stash forum. And when I saw a pic of the Autumn Jewels Wrap, I knew that the yarn would be perfect for it. The colours weren’t jewel tones, but I liked the sparkly thread that ran through the yarn, so that can be the jewels part of the pattern 🙂

The pattern is not hard, and neither the construction of the piece. I’ve made items in similar fashion, either by design or mistake 😮

Decorative borders are always something that I’m at a loss to do, other than crochet evenly across the edges and then a couple of rows/rounds of single crochet. Maybe that’s something I should experiment with this year, and come up with a go-to border pattern that I can use in projects. It shouldn’t be that hard.

I really enjoyed working on this. The sparkly thread made this a little stiff, but it’s still drapey enough over the shoulders.

Blocked and drying in the sun

I’m on the lookout now for jewel-toned yarn to make another one, in a smoother yarn (maybe a wool/silk mix), and in a bigger size. Let’s see if I can get it done in time for autumn this year 🙂

Summer Doldrums

Hello all!
Enjoying your summer?
Haven't played with yarn for a couple of weeks now, with everything going on …

I wound this up to start on a summer project … it's now in shambles again with starts and frogging and needs to be wound up again.

I was working on this on the flight to California … and that's how it's stayed since touchdown. Between the soccer games and drive arounds and walkabouts, it's been too late home and too tired to work on anything 😕

By the way, Tin says that this reminds him of 'old people colours'. Huh? 😲
No idea what 'old people' colours are … do you know?

Trying again this weekend to work on something …
have a good weekend, all!

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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hawaiian lace red

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 …

Purple Waves

After deciding on these colours to work with next, and keeping spring IMG_1669in mind, I excitedly warped the loom with the Noro Nobori.

The Noro Nobori is a chunky yarn, and is a cotton-wool-silk mix.  I say mix, and not blend, because the wool and silk is wrapped around the cotton strip, which is about a quarter inch wide.  I wanted to see what effect the variegated or self-striping yarn would have as the warp, and a solid colour as the weft.  It also ran thick and thin, so I thought that would add some more texture to the piece.

Then … this happened …. **gasp**

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First one thread snapped as I pulled … then another …  oh my …

The only good thing I can say to that is thankfully, it happened at the beginning, and I was only about an inch into weaving.

So I took it apart and off the loom, and this time used the purple Cascade Superwash as the warp.  The Noro will have to be used as the weft.  Yes, all those lengths of yarn were wound separately onto the shuttle, and woven in.  Yes, I had a million ends sticking out in the back *sigh*

But I was liking the effect of the white cotton showing up in between the wool and silk around it.  And one advantage of working with lengths of yarn?  I could choose the sequence of the colour changes and switch it around.  I did try to match the colours at the beginning and ends of the lengths, but after a while, I didn’t know what the original colour sequence was, so I just picked up one length when I was done and continued on with it, keeping as close as I could to a gradual change in colours.

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And the finished piece … it was a good size, about 7-ft long, and 10 inches wide.  I wanted it wider, but I didn’t have enough yarn to warp a full 15 inches.

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But the effect of the white cotton showing up intermittently through the colours is nice.  Plus, it covers up the spots where the tension went off, and the lines started to get wavy … the white pulls it all together as part of the pattern. Wasn’t that smart of the yarn?

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Next up is to learn how to hem-stitch the edge for the finishing.  Or I’m going to end up with fringes on all the scarves and runners and whatever else I work on.  I was going to do it here, but forgot in the excitement of finishing the weave.  I think you’re supposed to hemstitch while it’s still on the loom, not after you’ve taken it off, right?

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I haven’t wet-finished it yet, I’ll do that later.  Do we have to wet-finish all the pieces?  or only those that we think might need a little ‘fix’?   I don’t know if the Noro will fluff out.  The thick-thin texture didn’t really show up – maybe I was beating it too close together.  I should remember to leave about a quarter inch space in between the weft threads for the next time.  And if it doesn’t drape well to use as a scarf or wrap, then I’ll use it as a table runner.

The other ball of Noro Nobori is waiting for me.  I didn’t use it on this, because even though the tags said it was the same lot and colour number, there were more pinks to it than purples.  So that will be another piece – a scarf or wrap again, maybe wider, and a little more looser.  That’s okay … these are all experiments and practice … and practice makes perfect!