Whatever!

What to muse about today?

November 15, 2013 ~ Mittens and a Scarf

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Thumb!

Last week or so, I finished Tegan’s mittens.  I used a pattern from Ravelry – a pattern using double pointed needles.  It was a bit different than the thumbless ones I did for Ashlin, but not too different, and the thumb bit seemed pretty straightforward.

As is usually with DPN’s, the beginning is a bit fiddly, but gets easier after a few rows.  By the time I got a bit of the wrist and lower palm done on the first one, I realized the pattern would be too big for my little girl, so I modified the pattern to be a bit smaller.  (I took a round out before dividing for the thumb, then did nine rounds for the thumb instead of 12, 13 rounds on the fingers instead of 20, one repeat of the decrease pattern for the little finger shaping).  Turned out perfect for the little hands.

Par for the course, I miscounted/misread how to divide the stitches off the needles for the thumb.  The second mitten has the proper alignment, so there isn’t a V on the palm.  I’m sure Teagan will never notice, though I won’t make the same mistake again.

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Kitchener Stitch

Another improvement over Ashlin’s mittens was figuring out how to do a proper Kitchener stitch! Woo woo!  I still have a bit of work to do with the tension at the start and end of the graft, but so much better than my first two attempts.

I’m going to work up another set of mittens – one for each girl – using yarn that match the hats I crocheted last year.  Mittens that I won’t mind them getting too wet or dirty while playing at day care.  These mittens, I’d like them to try to keep looking nice.




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V

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No V












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Scarf

I also made Teagan a scarf, mimicking the pattern of her hat – a row of purl stitches between a bunch of stockinette.  Initially, I had tried to do some double seed stitches on the edges, but they curled, and I didn’t like how they looked.  Then I tried regular seed stitch, and that still curled.  So, back to a simple garter border.  This curled a little bit, but with a little blocking, stayed flat.

I spent one night fringing both girls scarves.  Somehow that seems to be more annoying to do than weaving in ends though not quite as bad as sewing pieces together.

Eventually, I blocked everything.  Soaked all the hats, mittens and scarves in a pot then stretched them out on my make-shift blocking board.  I used my lace blocking wires to make nice, straight edges on the scarves.  No scallops here!  It was super easy pinning them this way, though threading the wires is a bit tedious.  The hats just had a minimum amount of shaping, as well as Ashlin’s mitts.  Teagan’s mittens, however, needed a bit more shaping.  I still need to weave in the ends on them, but they do look a lot nicer now.  All of them look nicer now.

When people ask if it’s worth blocking knit items –  and crochet – I say yes.  Just about everything I’ve blocked has looked better, more square, more lacy, more even, than before it was blocked, even if it was a light block.

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On Wires


I'm blockin' here!!!  Love my blocking wires! #knit #mittens #scarf #hat.

Blocking!

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October 15, 2013 ~ Like a Carousel

Teagan’s Hat

I finished Teagan’s hat today.  Yay! Me!

The yarn was picked out – by Teagan – months ago, before I had the skills to even attempt the hat.  I had fallen in love with this yarn – Adriafil Knitcol – it’s self striping!  I knew I had to find just the right pattern for it.  Thankfully, I found this lovely pattern on Ravelry and knew it would be great for Teagan.  And the yarn.  And it would give me another chance to work on my i-cord.  (For some reason I hadn’t gotten it to work before).

A few days prior, I had worked up a matching scarf using the same theme as the hat – knit a few rows then purl a row.

Scarf

I really don’t have a good picture of it yet – I still need to block it – but I’ll be sure to take some soon!

The hat was fun to knit up.  I needed to modify the pattern a bit to account for the thinner yarn and needles and my daughter’s larger than 3-year-old head.  For some reason, I have a jog, a loose stitch, where I change rounds, but I’ll figure that out soon enough.  She’s not going to notice!

As I was doing the decreases, I got to practice using the double-pointed needles.  They were very awkward feeling the first time I used them.  But this time it was a bit easier.

Shrinking… Shrinking…

I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  I needed to tink out a few rows this morning, to start the decrease rounds a bit earlier.  But the i-cord turned out pretty well, although I need to figure out how to cast off better, this was messier than I’d like.  But for a first success?  Just fine.

When Teagan noticed the hat on the island as she went in to dinner, she squealed!  Grabbed it up, plopped it on her head, and started dancing around the kitchen.  It was not easy getting a picture of her wearing it.  LOL!

Happy girl!

Happy Girl!

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This side?

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Silly girl

Now, to get her mittens done!  I hope I have enough yarn left over!

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May 31, 2013

ShawlFinally, I have time to write up some details about the shawl I made for my mom for Mother’s Day.  There is a bit of a back story… There was a co-worker who was in hospice after a long battle with cancer.  I was going to crochet up a quick lapgan or blanket for her, so got a pound skein of yarn.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough time, but still had the huge ball of yarn.  With Mother’s Day approaching, I switched gears to creating something for my mom.

I found the pattern on the Caron site, and although it was for a scarf, I thought it would make a lovely shawl.  Doubling the width made for a snuggly sized shawl.  Initially, I had an extra three stitches once I finished the foundation row.  It seems I cannot count properly.  Thankfully, I was able to undo the slip knot and unravel them without having to rip out that first row.

IMG_0198The pattern wasn’t too complicated, a four row repeat that had a rhythm to it, allowing me to work it up quickly, without needing to read the pattern every few stitches.

Another thing that was great about this project was that I finally “got” the stitch diagrams.  Up until this shawl, they were just pretty pictures, that really didn’t help me much at all.  Now, it’s a wonderful key.  There’s a clarity, where the written pattern may have been unclear, I can see exactly what to do thanks to the diagram.

As the shawl got longer and longer it became apparent that I would need to block it once I was done.  Most of the projects I’ve done really didn’t need blocking.  Stu’s scarf, the african flower baby blanket, for example.  I’ve never blocked anything as big as this would be.  Thanks to Google, I found a way to make a home made blocking board, so went and got some check material and some pins.

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One pound and a half of yarn later and I was done, and ready to block.  I set up the dining room table as my make-shift blocking board (towels under the check material, clamped to the edge of the table) and pinned the wet shawl down. I left it pinned to the table overnight, and probably should have left it another day, as it was still a bit damp, but I needed to wrap it up!  I had worked until just about the last minute.

Blocking really opened up the lace pattern, and squared it up.  It wasn’t much fun, but it was worth it.  I know that for Ashlin’s blanket, I will be blocking all the squares first before sewing them together, and the shawl I will be starting shortly, will also need to be blocked.

Anyway, My mom really liked her shawl, and I feel very proud of it too.  It was a learning experience, which is always a good thing.
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March 29, 2013

All done.  scarf knit garter stitch

All done!

All done!

I decided to end the scarf a bit short of what the pattern said.  I reached a point where the color stripes matched both ends.  Balance.  I will probably add some fringe on it before fall.  It is probably far from beautiful, but it’s my first knit project and it’s done!

The casting off wasn’t too difficult, once you get the trick of it.  The yarn tension was a bit problematic, this first run was definitely too tight.  I’ll need to keep that in mind next time.

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Edge

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March 24, 2013

20130324-194426.jpgLook how long it is!!

I have about a foot of scarf now, in garter stitch.  It’s going faster and becoming a bit more enjoyable, less work, less thought demanding.  Still not as natural feeling as crochet, but miles better than it was even three days ago.

I’m loving how squishy the knit is, how stretchy.  Crochet has give, usually, but nothing like this.  Or, it doesn’t feel quite as elastic as this garter stitch does.

Soon enough, I’ll start working on getting purl stitches down once this is done.  And maybe after a few crochet projects.  I also need to figure out how to work with circular needles so I can make a hat.  Teagan likes the yarn, though she’d prefer red.  I guess this will be Ashlin’s scarf and hat set.

 

 

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March 12, 2013

Progress!  #scarf #grannystripe #homespun by @lionbrandyarn

Do-Over

I learned a difficult lesson last night.  I had finished my scarf, sewn in the ends.  Done.  It was a bit shorter than it should have been, but I still had to do the hat, and needed to have yarn for that.  The hat I started yesterday at lunch and I finished last night.  Once done with that and the flower that goes with it, there was at least half a skein of yarn left over that I could use to lengthen the scarf.  Yay!  I looked at the scarf and couldn’t find the top end.

Oops.

I studied it, tugging at stitches, looking for the woven in end, the right spot to snip to unravel the edging to lengthen it the proper way.  Eventually, I thought I found it, picked up the scissors and cut.  As I worked the stitch out, it seemed to take more work than it should have.  After a bit, it came.  And along with it the starting chain.

Crap!

I guessed the wrong end.  Stitches don’t unravel well from the wrong side.  I had to snip the other side and unravel it from there, but there was no way to just do the border, I had to do it all.  I have no idea how to fix work from the foundation.  I’m sure there’s a way.  But I ended up frogging it all.  The scarf will work up quickly, again.  And I don’t have many projects queued, so… Do over!

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January 8, 2013

Foundation granny stripe  #crochet #scarf

Foundation

My dad’s present was a Granny Stripe scarf.  And I wanted to do a scarf from the long side, not short as I had done with Teagan’s and Stu’s.  I had never done a Granny Square, so figured starting with a stripe, something with very few corners might not be a bad idea.

I modified the pattern from Attic 24, I didn’t want an afghan, but liked the idea of learning the stitch, and thought it would be easy to adapt into a scarf.  What do I know? :D

I counted out a chain using the required multiplier for the stitch.  First row on the chain was a single crochet.  Easy.  I love how the chain and single crochet curl up.  Both girls hats have ties that were curled, when I made them…  but they’ve long been tugged out.

It was moving to the first row of the Granny Stripe motif that was a problem… Or rather, I found the problem.  I can’t count.

Kaaaaaaaaahhhhhhnnnnn!  #crochet

Counting issues

Oops! Off by two stitches.  My chain was two stitches short.  And with a single crochet in each stitch, I didn’t realize until I started doing the clusters.  Oh well.  At least it wasn’t too long of a scarf.

The edge may need some help. #crochet #scarf #grannystripe

Colors

By the time I got to the second color, I was enjoying myself. Very much.  A quick stitch that isn’t too complicated, but still fun.

Getting there! #crochet #grannystripe #scarf #present

Half way

Third color, middle.  I decided to have the color pattern reverse, work from the center.

To fringe or not to #fringe #crochet #grannystripe #scarf

Just before fringe

I used the three colors of the scarf in each knot of the fringe.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a picture of the scarf completely finished…  Maybe I’ll get a picture one of the times I go home. I think my dad liked it…  if he doesn’t, Stu did :D

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January 7, 2013

New colors

Christmas presents to be!

Two of the crochet projects I made as presents were a hat for my sister and a scarf for my mom.  Over Thanksgiving, my sister joked that if I made her a hat, she would wear it.  So, I made her a hat!

After much googling, I eventually found a pattern that I liked, and thought she would too.  All the yarn I had picked out for my sister was not as thick as this pattern calls for, so I needed to increase the stitch counts, and play with the number of rounds.  After much trying on my head for size, I got an “adult” size, and one I thought would fit her head.

It's a hat!  Really!  #crochet #hat #flower

Hat with flower accent

 

While searching for a pattern I thought she would like, I came across an interesting way to accent a hat – to make interchangeable flowers, or accents.  I chose a button that would be small enough to button an accent flower over, but not too big.

As long as the center chain is about 6 stitches round, it should fit over the button.  I made three flowers, using different colors from the ones I had selected for her “pallet,” wine red with grays.

#crochet #hat with changeable #flower #accent.

Hat with flowers

 

The scarf I did for my mom was done with the colors I had picked out for her.  Purples.  The stitch is a stacked shell, from one of the books that a co-worker lent me when they pushed me to start crocheting.

Once I got the hang of the stitch, the scarf worked up easily and quickly.  It’s a bit of a yarn eater, so I actually ran out of yarn before finishing.  NOT fun at all.  Then I couldn’t find the purple I needed at the local stores.  Waiting to get to the big store where I got the original skein gave me the time to get the hat and another project finished, so, I guess it was a good thing.  Knowing how much yarn I’ll need is something that will come with practice.  I knew I had enough for one of my mom’s presents, but not the two combined.

Yesterday, when we met up in the city to celebrate Three Kings day (without telling Teagan!), my mom was wearing her scarf.  Made me feel great!

Had to put away the #crochet #scarf. Ran out of yarn :(

Purple shells

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January 5, 2013

Just picked up yarn for a #sandyhook #scarf

Donated Yarn

Friday I dropped off the scarf that I crocheted for a student from Sandy Hook.  Some generous person or company donated green and white yarn for knitters and crocheters to make scarves, to make something comforting and snuggly.

I wasn’t sure at first what to do.  It was almost like the simple scarf was too big a task.  Friends made a few suggestions, one being a scarf with pockets on the ends.  Then I found a pattern to make the scarf look like an alligator.

Just about half done with #crochet #angel stitch #scarf  for #sandyhook. Thanks to donated yarn from #knitnewhaven

Half Way There

I kept going Google image searches looking for something that really called to me.  Eventually I found this pattern.  A stitch called an Angel Stitch.  Perfect.

It’s a variation of a puff stitch, one I hadn’t done before.  I printed out the directions and took my yarn up with me at Christmas.  By then, I was just about  finished all the pressing projects and could devote a bit of time to this one.  I could not work out the stitch from the printed instructions at all.  I kept trying, doing a few rows, but they never worked.  Again, and again, I would pull out the stitches.  It was so frustrating not to understand the words.  I knew what she was describing, but my stitches didn’t look like her images.

Weaving in the tails on my #angel stitch #scarf for #sandyhook.

Sewing in Ends

Eventually, I was able to watch the video she had made, and was finally able to get the stitch to look right.  I still think I have an extra yarn over after drawing up a loop, but that’s not really important, is it?  The final outcome looked right – like little angels with halos.

Even with changing yarn, it worked up pretty quickly.  Well, once you got a hang of drawing the hook through eight loops without dropping any or catching any stray threads.  I enjoyed working the scarf.  Each color band was a different width, keeping track of the second half was a little challenge, but not as bad as it could have been.  I just ticked off each band as I finished the rows it needed.

A little bit of weaving in the ends and it was done.  I followed the pattern’s creator and didn’t put a fringe on, though there was a little bird on my shoulder questioning if I should do something to “finish” it more formally than just tying off.

Dropped off the#crochet #scarf in #angel #stitch for #sandyhook today

Angel Stitch for Sandy Hook

Anyway.  Here it is all done, lying on the car seat as I was sitting in the car right in front of the store where they are collecting the scarves.  A lovely store, and one I would love to visit again.  They are doing a “Lunch and Learn” to to squares for an afghan, one square a day and then at the end, how to assemble them all.  I wish I worked closer!

As I was ready to pull away, I noticed that the tree in front was yarn bombed!  With Christmas decorations!  Totally cool!

#yarn #bomb out front

Yarn Bomb!

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November 17, 2012

Tea with a Ripple

Tea with a Ripple

Look!  It’s Teagan, hamming it up in her bed, with her blanket.  And the side rail is also off.  She’s such a big girl.  And very happy with her blanket.

Last night, I finished another crochet project, one for Christmas.  It was a scarf, which tends to be something that can be worked fast.  I chose a Granny Stripe for the pattern!  It’s a fun pattern, looking a bit like a chunky block motif.  Similar to the well-known square, but in a line.

Chain

I counted the stitches for the base chain carefully, making a tick mark every time I hit ten stitches.  I added the right multiple for a bit more length (it is worked in threes).  But somehow, I must have miscounted.  Of course, I didn’t find this out until the third row in the pattern.  The first row is the chain, then there’s a row of single crochet, then you start the double crochet clusters of three stitches.  I got all the way to the end and look!   Gah.  So annoying!

Kaaaaahhhhhhnnnnn!!

At least it wasn’t a blanket!  Eventually, I’ll be able to do a foundation row and not need to rip it out.

Second time, second color!

I really had fun doing my two rows of double crochet clusters, and the scarf was looking pretty nice.  Switching to the second color really helped emphasize the pattern, and also pulled me a bit further along the rabbit hole that people seem to find themselves in with this pattern.

Third color, muah ha ha ha!

I really was impressed with how quickly the stitch went, how fast I was able to crochet the scarf.  Even switching colors wasn’t complicated, though I have some tails to weave in, if I decide not to fringe the scarf…

Reverse!!

To fringe or not to fringe…

I still need to block the scarf, but I may not fringe it… what do you think?

I’m pretty sure I’ll end up doing a blanket with this stitch, Attic 24 had an awesome edging to her blanket, I’m eager to try that too!

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