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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Japanese Crochet

I've been busily working away on Project 2, which is turning out quite differently than I thought it would... 


I decided to knit the waist ribbing, then start crocheting from there on up. Now comes the challenge of armholes. 

But what does this have to do with Japanese crochet you ask?  Well, in an initial effort to find a lacy-er pattern for the body, I kept coming across some Japanese tops and sweaters and ended up ordering three books directly from Japan on eBay!  Now I don't think I'm breaking the rules -- I'm not supposed to be buying more yarn; I didn't say anything about not buying books :-).  Besides, I have a lot of DK weight yarn, and I have a feeling that these books are going to help me use it up. 

Mom also is reminding me that I owe her a vest (thankfully, she is slowly but surely recovering, and that memory sure is intact!) so reviving that plan is probably going to be Project 3. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Moultrie Slouch Hat (Project 1)

The slouch hat is done, and the pattern has been posted on Ravelry!  I ended up designing and making it during jury duty and figured the least I could do is name it after the courthouse (actually the courthouse is named for former Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie).


I think it turned out pretty nice!  It works up so fast because the yarn is thick and I used an I hook.  I got to have some fun with a technique I recently learned -- how to make rows or rounds of half double crochet look like knitting (the burgundy band of "knitting" on the hat).  I've just posted a new video on YouTube demonstrating the technique.

Ok, so an update on Project 2 -- the yarn I chose is thicker than the original top, so I'm having to experiment with how I want to work the crochet part, but the knitted ribbing at the waist turned out great!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Project 2 is Underway!

But wait, you ask, what happened with Project 1?!  It is done, I just need to finalize the pattern and get it posted :-).  So, in the mean time, I want to keep things going.  Of course I'm trying to decide which one of the million ideas in my head I want to get started on.  I've been wanting to get into garment making as well as combining crochet with some knit, and this top of Mom's from way back when is my inspiration because I'd really love an updated version that's my own:



Now, to go pick out yarn that I already have...

I'm thinking this beautiful Rowan Softknit Cotton.  I've got 5 balls of it (who buys just 5 balls, what was I thinking?!  Mmmm, and different colors too.  I guess it was for a long-forgotten project).  Hopefully I will have enough or be able to hunt down some more. 


Ok, now I guess I should do a knit swatch and a crochet swatch to start figuring all of this out!  Oooo, I'm getting excited.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Project 1 -- Slouch Hat

Ok, I feel like I'm already cheating, but my first project in the year of making is a slouch hat for Looped Yarns Works for an intermediate crochet class and shop sample. A hat is a great next project for the beginner crocheter who's feeling comfortable making square and oblong things and is ready to learn how to work in the round. 

I'm using Cascade Yarns Cloud yarn because it's thick and works up fast; it's braided rather than plied so it's great for crocheting; and the colors and texture is just awesome for the fall. 


I haven't quite decided the hook to use (I'm leaning towards an H because I like a denser fabric, but an I is an option too), and I'm also deciding what techniques in addition to just working in the round I want to teach.  What's interesting about working in the round is that you can either not turn or turn at the end of each round, so I think I might play around with that technique in this hat. Ok, off to creating I go!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Year of Making

I've got a new friend on Facebook, and I've noticed in a number of her recent posts that she's got project pictures with the hashtag "yearofmaking".  She's also made references to using up her stash and resorting to dying her existing yarn because she has vowed not to buy any new yarn (I'm assuming for a year or until it's all used up).  She really got me thinking about the huge stash of yarn that I have and how I really should be doing something with it!

Thus, I am starting a Year of Making of my own.  From August 15, 2014 to August 15, 2015, I am going to try to use up as much of my existing yarn as possible.  I also want to use this time to learn some new techniques.  I hope to still keep designing my own patterns, but I also think it would be great if I actually use some of all of these crochet books and magazines I own to make some of the patterns that I bought them for in the first place.  Knitting might also have to factor in here somehow too.

So, who's with me?!  I plan on posting my progress on my Facebook page, and I really hope you'll join me and post as well.  I hope to start blogging on a regular basis again to share our experiences during this time, but the best laid plans...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Baby Bolero in the Nick of Time

I actually have had a chance to sit and crochet!  The motivator was a birthday party for a sweet little one-year old :-).  I decided to make the bolero in Sue Whiting's Easy to Crochet Cute Clothes For Kids. Amazon's got the book at a great price, please see my affiliated link below.

Here's the finished product!

 


There are some really nice projects in her book, and, after reading a few times, the instructions made sense :-). I've got another baby party coming up, so let's see what else I come up with!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Intricacies

Loving all of the intricate crochet designs for the summer!  I've been pouring over the Summer 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet magazine and could happily make things just from that issue for a long time to come.  Vogue Knitting also has a special 2014 collector's crochet issue out right now with some really amazing lacework and a chevron dress that is on my list of someday projects.  

Also, speaking of lace, I'm seeing a lot of it used in garments and accessories for the summer.  Lots of crocheters find lace making a bit intimidating, but I think some of the new patterns out there give lace a modern look and utilize it in a way that is challenging but doable.  

I just found a fun white jacket for the summer that has a pale pinkish melon colored lining, so I'm thinking about using Claudia Hand Painted Yarns' MiMi Melon linen yarn, maybe combined with a white or offwhite yarn to make a coordinating top.  It's been a while since I made anything for myself so it might be time to take advantage of my yarn stash and all these beautiful summer patterns!