It’s true. As I said in my last post, I don’t stand still, although I do spend plenty of time on the couch, not idle by any means. So many breakthroughs in textiles over the last year, and not enough time to make notes of it all. Here’s a detailed roundup! And there were so many more…
My First Knit
…that I teased to in the Textile post, turned into this wardrobe staple the Turquoise Cowl, and gave me the confidence to tackle so much more.
Pattern: Very Gifted Cowl
Yarn: 2 skeins Katia Cotton Merino in Turquoise (yadayada)
I wanted to make something for my mom. I wanted something in blues, and something for someone who has wool allergies. I chose this yarn because its palette reminded me of a shirt I thought I remembered her wearing, and it’s a cotton viscose blend. It cascaded into so much more for me in my first lace-work shawl. I learned how important it can be to go backwards in order to move forwards.
Pattern: Rising Sun
Yarn: 1 skein ea Araucania Yarns Alumco (Mapuche word for ‘a reflection on the water”) in Aqua Pura and Florida Blues, hand painted cotton viscose blend
In the category of need to snap a completed pic, the Cobalt Kerchief, was a quick crochet; and one of the only crochet projects I’ve completed ‘recently.’ Reminded that the different techniques (crochet vs. knit) use different hand positions, which stretch different muscles. One of the reasons I took up these hobbies was to give myself ‘exercises’ for my hands that spend too much of the day on the keyboard.
I love this blue. I thought this might be a yarn for my mom at the time, until I found the one above.
Pattern: Lost in Time
Yarn: 1 skein Madeline Tosh Hand Dyed Yarns DK Twist in Fathom, and two small, partial skeins from Cat Mountain Fiber Arts Fusion 500 Worsted in Black & Tan
Wood Nymph Poncho
Continuing in the category of need to get a better pic…
I’ve added beaded Turkey Feathers to this, and you can tell that the large photo on the left is blown out by the sun (tried to color correct it). Most of the time, I think it looks more in the cooler, blue-gray tones you see from the original skeins on the right, matching the iridescence of the dark turkey feathers..
Pattern: Syncopated Stardust Cowl
As Sarah, the pattern’s designer, mentions straight off the bat, this is more of a recipe than a pattern. I didn’t have continuous, variegated yarn, so I made the stitch changes when I felt like it (usually about half way through one of the skeins). I also had just finished my first lace-work shawl so threw a couple of lace openings into some of the fluffy rows. I made up a pattern for the next to the last row that looks like a chain. I also knew I wanted to add some leaves and found this Kudzu shawl for inspiration. I didn’t do a good job of integrating the leaves into the recipe; so there is a bit of a weird gap in the pattern on the front of my poncho, less noticeable now that I’ve added the turkey feathers.
Yarn: Cat Mountain Fiber Arts Fusion 800 Fingering in Wood Nymph
I loved working with Cat Mountain’s Fusion yarns! Includes some neat specialty textures I might not normally have bought on their own.
My first pair of socks! So proud. And comfy. Looking forward to wearing these, which are the most recent project to come off the needles (days old).
I’ve sold and worn some great socks working in Outdoor Retail a good part of my life. These days I find they constrict more than I like, especially around my calves. Looking forward to testing out hand/custom-made. Certain there will be no turning back.
These and a quick scarf with scraps to learn about cables (and inspire imagining about stranding/color-work/tweed); were ‘test’ projects for something about to be cast on…read on to see what’s on the needles.
Sock pattern: By the Seine River
Yarn: 1 skein Araucani Yarns Huasco Sock in Capuchinbird, hand-painted superwash wool blend (yadayada)
Scarf pattern: Cable Scarf
Yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool from Amazon and an array of scrap colors
Many good friends were gifted with children last year. I took it as a great opportunity to have fun crocheting on a smaller and more adorable scale. When the first couple said they were calling the unknown child their ‘little Bear,’ I had the great idea to add bear ears to the newborn pattern I’d found. And when another two couples announced their conceptions, a trout theme and dog/wild thing were natural inspiration that fit the families.
Pattern: The Parker Crochet Diaper Cover – Additional links to the entire set can be found there as well.
Ears, paw pads and tail were crocheted ad hoc and attached.
For the trout applique, I found a photograph already grid-ed in a google image search. I kinda just free-form crocheted starting at the top of the tail, working down and then running around the perimeter a few times with solid blue. Eyes, mouth and fin embellishments were added embroidery style.
Yarn: Approx. 2 skeins per newborn set Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool Prints (bear & dog), or 1 skein Berroco Comfort Yarn in Antipasto (trout); embroidery floss (trout applique)
This is my beach skirt because I started crocheting it on my first trip to Santa Rosa Beach and got to wear it completed the following year in a return visit. While I usually wear it with a short, nude slip (bought specifically for this skirt), I imagine wearing it as a quick bikini cover-up (if I were somewhere warm enough for bikinis).
It has a tie to cinch the waist and also has buttons down the back. I need to take more photos. I exercised a fair amount of patience when the skirt sat finished for a month or more, waiting to find the perfect buttons. yarn Durango did not disappoint. They are beautiful orange ovals that match the yarn with carved filigree to give them some style and texture.
Pattern: Blue Dream
Yarn: 1 skein ea Theodora’s Pearls Auxanometer bamboo in Terracotta, Copper and Blueberry
Tree Cookie Deco
For name tags during the program, children and adults are encouraged to wear ‘tree cookies.’ Upon orientation, you’re invited to decorate your cookie. My drawing inspiration was lacking that day.
After reading a review and purchasing Sasha Kagan’s book, Crochet Inspiration, I played with several projects using embroidery floss. On a whim (memories of decorating my name tag at Governor’s School in pogs), I attached the rose and a violet (on the back) and have received many compliments from young & old alike.
The Vintage Sweater
My second knit project was an ‘oversized’ sweater that was even more odd when I subbed acrylic for alpaca and learned about textures, suppleness and that not every thread is created equal. My hubby ‘affectionately’ calls it my mumu.
You won’t see pics of the mumu here; but it meant the next sweater I tried to tackle better be more fitted. This ‘vintage’ sweater was just the ticket. Don’t look too close at this pic either, it’s from positioning and pinning the darts in the shoulders. While I like the overall style of this sweater, the shoulders still turned out kind of pointy.
This was my first pattern knitted from a chart. My mom’s an excellent seamstress, and it reminded me of the pattern pieces I’d see her cut out and assemble. It felt empowering knowing I could take any traditional pattern and possibly construct and assemble the pieces from a simple ball of yarn and some needles.
Pattern: Bella Paquita
Yarn: 1 skein Downtown Abbey yarn collection in Matthew, and 3 skeins Berroco Vintage in Black Currant
I originally bought the Downtown Abbey yarn online at Amazon to make a hat for my husband. The color turned out to not be the tone I wanted to use for him, so I put it back into my stash until I found the Vintage yarn and sweater pattern that complimented it very well.
On the Needles
More socks! Well, actually, Stockings! The Flicker Socks above were a ‘test’ project to get familiar with the basics of sock making. That was a top down pattern. Now I’ve started these toe up stockings.
I should have enough yarn to knit it all in blue (Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky), but also got enough to do the shorts that match in a complimentary purple (Dewberry) should I choose. I really wanted to do contrasting purple cables on blue shorts, but haven’t come up with a good way to do the color-work. Colorwork’s a whole ‘nother new area for me to explore in a different project(s) ’cause I’ve got a new book for inspiration, Alterknit; and hubby picked out a yarn that’s screaming BEEs!
Seashore Eclipse Shawl
I think I started knitting this in August 2017. Right after I finished the Wood Nymph Poncho. I had bought the Queensland Uluru yarn in Aurora Borealis and Sargasso thinking I would make the Sling Shawl I’d seen featured at my local store. Then I started pattern hunting and thought I might gift it as a nursing cover-up to the mama I’d given the trout newborn set. At the rate it’s being worked, I’ll be lucky if that now-7-month-old isn’t in school by the time I finish it! The circular portion went pretty quick. I threw some random beads & turquoise stones in there.
I was knitting it through the Solar Eclipse and the devastating hurricanes that tore through Houston & Puerto Rico, thus the name. I found the Diamond of the Island border design as I was finishing up the circular portion, which some had remarked reminded them of a sea shell. In hindsight, I wish I’d maybe tried a smaller needle size just for the border to perhaps make it a little less airy. While I didn’t understand knitted on/off borders, I started by trying to knit it separately, thinking I would attach it later. Change in course again, and decided to knit it on as I bound the project off, as it was intended.
In November, I got really frustrated trying to knit through this pattern. Lace knitting takes a totally different level of concentration than some other things; and distractions in my head made this a very difficult project to work on. I set it down for a few months and have recently picked it back up. It’s still slow going, but I seem to be in a better groove where I understand the pattern better. I can see my mistakes in my progression, hey that’s what makes it even more beautiful—and I’m most likely to be the only one who notices.
I also got lucky and found the last ball of the matching yarn at my local store on a return visit, so no need to worry about running out before I’m done. Another thing I would have considered changing is doing the border in a solid color to highlight the lacework more. Now that I have spent so much time with it, I believe it will take at least a few turns through my wardrobe before I consider passing it along.
Feathers & Leaf Crochet
When it comes to yarn-craft, so far, I stay focused and complete most projects I set myself to. These are two that are sitting in the TBD pile… The feathers are based off of this blanket and crocheted using Nako Arya Ebruli in Electric Blue. I thought I was going to attach them together in a scarf shape. I can look at them now and consider using them as an applique or embellishment for something else. A sweater yoke, perhaps? With how my skills have developed since I started them, I kind of want these to be knitted at a looser gauge, now too.
This leaf is also a pattern from the book Crochet Inspiration and using embroidery thread. It should have a border row around it that also forms the stem. Again, grandiose ideas to make several leaves for some sort of fabric, attaching them together while bordering.
Too many other projects have taken priority, so those sit for now.
My favorite thing about my adventure through these crafts is learning and trying something new, experimenting. Endless possibilities lay ahead, bundled in a little ball.