Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Living And Knitting Silicon Beach

Silicon Valley might have a longer history, but Silicon Beach is hot, hot, hot.   For the last three and a half years, the area has be command central for Clan Stewart.

 This was the beginning of my long scarf which is now named Silicon Beach.  Every day, the tech employees can be seen walking, biking, boarding and even driving around sporting neck wear that is wrapped and wrapped into a personal statement. 

Silly me.  I cast on twenty-nine gazillion stitches in lace weight and set out to knit a sideways scarf with one beaded edge.  Well.  The thing did end up long enough to wrap and twist and gather into an expression of the wearer - all 125.5 inches of the thing.  

This is what it looks like all scrunched up.  The Happy Fuzzy lace is in the verdigris colorway which is a natural complement to the copper beads.

There is no real pattern other than my desire to practice a new cast on edge - with a twist and the beads.

All in all, the result makes me happy and fits the vibe of Silicon Beach.

PS - yes, those are Mardi Gras beads under the scarf.  Feb. 9 is fast approaching!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cowloncho #2

Oh yes, I did it again.  Meet Lockroy - a cowloncho with a crochet body and knit sides.  I am really enjoying this "one rectangle, two seams" type of creation.

 After completing all the stitchery, Lockroy looked flat.  There was no pop even though the yarn textures and colors were complementary.  Just blah.

A quick dive into the button stash revealed four wood buttons that were perfect for embellishing the transitional bridge from crochet to knit.  There really are four buttons on this cowloncho.  The last one is on the back side at the bottom.

And aren't you glad that I spared the world a photo of my backside bottom?

The yarns are listed on this project page if you are interested in specifics.

The crochet body is a swath of esc (extented single crochet) interrupted near the edges with a line of fpedc (front post extended double crochet).  Those knitted side panels are pure silk - no fancy work needed to let the silk shine in simple stockinette.

Not much else to say except VOILA!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cowloncho: Part Cowl, Part Poncho

One skein of this.  One skein of that.  Put them together and what have you got?  A cowloncho!

I might be stuck in a groove.  A wonderfully happy groove of mixing yarns and skills.  Joining knit stitches with crochet work has always fascinated me.  Whether as a simple edge, dimensional embellishment or full blown mix it up throughout, I love making texture with stick and hook.

Lemaire Channel is my first cowloncho.  You can read about the yarns by clicking the link to the Ravelry project page.  The main body is knit at a loose gauge.  Then edges are crocheted on (can you say "sparkle yarn?").  A few strategic seams and the cowloncho is ready.

It can be worn as a simple cowl if the arm hole is ignored.

That armhole allows it to be a poncho that stays put. 

Use the armhole and scrunch up the rest like a cowl and you've got a cowloncho.

Those of you with eagle eyes will notice that it fits both me and she who crochets.  If you are more in the large or tall category, more than one ball of each yarn will be required.  

This made me so excited that I made another version with a crochet body and knit edges.  I'm thinking that I'll have to write up both patterns and let you make your own cowloncho. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Wonder of Blocking Crochet

She who crochets (aka Daughter #1) is at it again.  Another wrap is off the hook!  Place this one in the Well, don't that just stand up and shout bonjour y'all category because of the colorway.  This is Celestial Strings Berry Lemonade in DK weight.  And it is UV Reactive.  Ain't that fun.


Not much to look at and this would not make anyone happy.

It appears to be random blobs of color.

A little vinegar water.

A little soak.

Well placed blocking wires and sturdy pins opens up the stitchery and shows the grandeur of the work.

Once she adds a seam, that girl is going to be stylin'.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Blocking Tip

Warning:  not every project is appropriate for this technique.  Think before you block.

That final shawl for 2015 donating was giving me blocking fits.  Actually the issue was drying - or rather not drying on the time schedule I needed.  Yes, the knitting should not have been put off until the last minutes.  Lesson learned.

The drying issue was of my own making.  I picked up the "fold in half" tip from my daughter and lined every thing up.  The top garter edge wanted to be put on a blocking wire for straightness.  The bottom edge - the one with the mitered garter triangles was playing nice and behaving properly.  One wire plus some patting and mushing (technical blocking term) and I turned my back on the thing planning on just an hour of drying time. 

Guess what happens when you put wet wool - even superwash wool - on a towel that wicks away some of the water and then holds it nice and cool and wet?  Wet towel under two layers of damp wool does not dry as fast as you expect. 

NOTE:  Watched wet wool never dries. 

Remember that part about the bottom edge playing nice?  Well, it finally hit my thinking brain cell that I could suspend the wire across the knobs of an upper cabinet and let both sides dry.

Lickety split air drying.  No wonder my mother hung all the laundry out on a clothes line to dry.

Everything old is new again.