Knitting Obsession

My friend posted this on Facebook . . . I wish I could knit that fast, and pretty soon, my hair will be long enough to knit with. And this is why we have stashes of yarn!

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Aww! I am so touched!

So, I’ve been blogging for a while now, and not all of my posts have comments on them, so when someone comments, I’m happy, but imagine what I felt when I saw that Sanderella’s Crochet has my blog as one of the creative spirits she admires!

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Yup! Someone likes me! Yay!!

After I calmed myself down, I checked out Sanderella’s work, and she’s got some awesomely inspirational crochet herself. Go check her out!

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Learning Knit and Crochet

Have I told you how I learned to knit and crochet? If I have, well, you’re about to hear it again. We’ll blame it on a mental blip.

I learned to crochet when I was five years old. I was always very proud of this fact because outside of my family, it seemed that few knew the skill, certainly none of my friends. When I was five, back in the mid-seventies, my parent made extra money by making crochet cushions and capes. They would sell the finished products to a local TG&Y, a store similar to Rite Aid. To keep me busy, my mother put a crochet hook in my hands and gave me a ball of yarn. I remember starting with chains, and eventually learning a treble crochet. I totally skipped the single and double crochet stitches.

Every winter, I’d fiddle with yarn projects, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager, when I saw my aunt using two knitting needles that I actually made a garment. My aunt Gloria taught me how to knit one summer during the 80’s. I remember how popular knitted tops were. She was making extra money by knitting them for her neighbors. I bought purple yarn and got to work. I wish I had a picture of that blouse, but I don’t, and it’s long gone.

Vine Yoke Cardigan

Vine Yoke Cardigan

Since then, I’ve knitted mostly scarves, hats, and stoles, and I’ve crochet blankets and hats. I’ve got my eye on this sweater,  but I haven’t started on it yet. I’ve got the yarn all picked out, a lovely, soft blue yarn I picked up at Stitches West a few years ago. 

I’m not sure what’s stopping me, but maybe this month I’ll pick up the needles and give it a try.

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Crochet Shawlette

shawl closeup

Two years ago, at my first time at Stitches West, I bought two skeins of Helen Hamman 100% Superfine Alpaca in a nice deep red color. You know how being surrounded by yarn, either at your LYS or at a knitting and crochet conference makes you go a little nuts? You squeeze the skeins and maybe rub them on your cheek, and then you put them back, walk around a little only to come back and impulsively buy the yarn without having a specific project in mind? Well, that’s what happened to me. I had these two skeins for two years. Every once in a while, I’d pick them up and think, “One day I’ll find the perfect project for you.” But I’d end up working on something that required a different type of yarn instead.

HH yarn

Well, back in July, I saw a Lion’s Brand crochet pattern for a shawlette. I thought, “Finally! This is the project!” The shawlette itself is not  full-length shawl, but it’s perfect for a light spring day. You can drape it around your shoulders on a night out.

This is an easy project for a beginner, and if you have some experience with crochet, then it’ll be a super fast project that you can whip up in  a couple of days. A chart is included if you’re a visual person. I’d recommend using a thinner yarn. If lace weight intimidates you, then a DK weight would work. The yarn I used was a superfine, not really as thin as lace weight, but thinner than DK. And because it is pure alpaca, it is warm enough that I can wear it wrapped tighter around my neck in the winter.

I got so many compliments and a few requests for it when I wore it. This project is interesting enough to make again and again yet it’s simple enough that it’s done within days. I recommend using it if you want to make a quick gift for someone.

Here’s a picture of the shawlette as it dries. I blocked it by spraying it with a water bottle, laying flat on the floor on a clean towel. I used pins to define the edges, pulling each peak tight, then I let it dry. Once it was blocked, the shawlette has kept its shape even after I wore it several times.

closeup shawl

You can find the pattern here.

Bumpy’s Blankie

My friend is having her first baby after many years of heartache, and I was so excited for her that I decided to crochet his first blankie. She’s nicknamed him Bumpy, so I’ve decided to call this Bumpy’s Blankie.

2013-07-13 BB

Inspired by little woolie’s Mixed Stitch Blanket, and using the yarn I got from Deramores,  I created my own. I started with a granny stripe. I have to say that this blanket is for a little boy, but I felt the need to break up the blues and greens with the red/pinks. I think it looks good, no?

Chain 150 stitches.

1 row of dc.

1 row granny stripe. Then using the nine colors I chose, I did two rows each of the granny stripe, with the last row being all dc.

BB granny

Then I flipped the blanket over, and using the second color on the starting chain, I sc loosely across the row. Cut yarn, but do not turn work. Using new color, sc across.

BB single crochet

Notice that the sides seem to not add up, but when I counted my stitches, I had 150. This seemingly wonky side will be fixed when I block the blanket.

Next, I flipped the blanket over and did 1 row of sc, then 1 row of *dc 4, then front post double crochet. Repeat from * to the end. Repeat these two rows alternating color 3 times.

2013-07-13 bb1

 

Next, I used the Wave and Chevron Stitch I found on little woolie’s blog. I couldn’t read the pattern instructions from the picture in her blog, but I could see the chart very well. I just followed it.  Below is row 1 of the pattern.

2013-06-04 20.39.05

The sc 3tog part:
BB Wave & Cheveron Collage

The Wave and Chevron Stitch is bordered by a a row of sc in yellow. The next bit is something I found online also, but I didn’t keep track of where I found it.

Row 1 – dc.

Row 2 – ch 4, *skip next 2 st, dc 4 in next dc, ch 1, sk next 2 st, dc, ch 1. Repeat from *

Row 3 – ch 5, *dc 4 tog, ch 2, dc. Repeat

Rows 4 and 5 – dc with different color.

bbCollage

 

Next, I echoed the preceding patterns and ended with Crochet Geek’s Crochet Cluster V Stitch.  I put a dc border all around the blanket.

The yarn used: Stylecraft Special DK in the following colors: aster, pomegranate, saffron, turquoise, aspen, fondant, cloud blue, meadow, and sherbet.

What do you think? Think Bumpy will like it?

Now, if only I could get myself to the post office and mail it!

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