Thursday, February 24, 2011


The textural blocks that construct Wrap Me Up by Chris de Longpr√© are still on the needles.  Time is not on my side and I fear that it will many a week until completion.  OH - but the things that happen within this pattern certainly do keep up the interest level.

Witness the texture of these sections. 

The larger section near the bottom of the photo is a series of stockinette vs seed that creates repeating blocks.   That was a fun and very fast knit.  The majority of stitches are being held for the future.  At present the stitch pattern on the needles is a criss-cross that requires action on both sides.

Do a slip, k, psso increase on the right side.

Do a p2tog with increase on the wrong side.

Love it.   

I tried really hard to capture a good photo of the stitches. But, it just didn't work out.   Up close and in person, this portion is my second favorite thus far.  The beaded section is still my favorite.

Given that the weather gurus keep telling me that a major winter experience is headed this way, I plan on holding up and making major progress with the knitting this weekend.   Perhaps I shall even sew the sleeves into the pullover which I don't plan to wear until April, thus making it extremely difficult to get it finished. 

If I sew in sleeves, then the only thing on the needles will be this scarf.    

Me thinks a bit of stash diving is in order.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Where Is The Yarn?

A very quick note as I am traveling in Texas. Where is the yarn? This is my second full day here and so far I am the only person in this downtown major city center sporting a hand made work of art. I thought for sure that the mist this morning would bring out a cowl or two. Perhaps even a sparkling sock or appropriate head covering.

But, alas, I am the lone knitter upholding the sticks and string on these busy blocks of busy people.

Worry not. I am representing US well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Double Double - Again and Again

The Totally Tam has become a total favorite.  Let me count the ways:

It is a fast crochet.  This one took an afternoon and two hours the next day.  There is counting involved; this is not exactly mindless dark movie crocheting. Dark yarn and the light of day and voila!

It fits!  The pattern has two versions - labeled male and female - which have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the number of rounds and type of band for the forehead.  Apparently the only difference between the male and female version is the band, or lack there of, as the finishing.

Increases are worked from the top center circle.  So, if you have done this string and hook thing before or have done the string and sticks thing before, it will be rockin' easy to make this pattern from any yarn weight by working the increase  rounds as established until the circumference of your crochet work fits the intended head.  Does not matter if that head is baby size or Shaq size - - it will work.

On this, the female version, the band makes the tam wearable in several different ways.  Almost every way that I jammed it down, the tam still looked good.   I didn't always look my best.  But the tam looked marvelous.

Crochet is thick which equals warm.  This is not a skate boarding beanie for the beach.  Well, at least it isn't when worked with warm string.  

Even my self proclaimed Goddess daughter likes this.  So, if an aging mama and a hip young twenty-something both love the same pattern, that says a lot!  

I left the tam on the coffee table and the non-goddess, by the book, Excel loving, organized wonder of a daughter said, "Wow.  That's interesting."  AND - get this - she has picked up a hook after more than a decade of delving into digital spreadsheets and marketing materials with the goal of making Bert a new blanket.    No wonder I have a smile! 

While stash diving for her return to crochet, I found the remains of a commissioned cardigan and hooked on for another tam.  This is Ultra Alpaca.    

I can see making this pattern again and again because it works for everyone.  I plan to stash up a few for gifting throughout the year.

Reminder:  Totally Tam from Crochet! magazine.  Check it out on Ravelry here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Double Double - No Toil, No Trouble

A few hours and here it is!

It being headgear from the pattern Totally Tam by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby and recently showing up in the January 2011 issue of Crochet!

The pattern has versions for both women and men.  But that is neither here nor there and really does not matter.

I have always enjoyed using post stitches.  And I especially love the way the front post and back post double crochet grows in wedges from the center of this tam.  This is the feminine version which has a band (hiding underneath this work of geometry) so that the "tam" can actually be worn as a beret.

Crochet has come a very long way since the days when the granny square could be used to make everything from baby booties to the kitchen wash cloth to the rug at the back door.  To be sure, there is nothing wrong with the granny square.  It does have uses.   Other crochet stitches have their use as well.   And using those basic twists of yarn in more updated ways results is something that your granny might not wear!

This tam is so quick, so simple and so unique that I already plan to use up a major portion of the worsted stash making these for the whole family.  Call it a jump start on next Christmas if you will, but something so delightful deserves a reprise.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bead Up

The ever changing scarf has several bead sections.  Not over the top blingness.   Just subtle enhancement that injects little surprises every now and then.  Since the whole point of the pattern is texture beside texture flowing into texture, it seems appropriate to bead with a texture change that is not in opposition to what is already happening, but rather offers a respite that at the same time respects the theme of the whole.

I think these beads are just perfect.  And, as the Noro happened, the light background of the beads fell appropriately on a change of the Silk Garden.

Such serendipitous occurrences thrill me. 

The beads are added via the crochet hook method.  The online video world is filled with great examples.  So, if this method of beading is not in your skill set, search out a tutorial or read about it in a forgotten book lingering in your personal library.

Do you notice what came after the beading?  Sixty-one rows of stockinette.  Such is life.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just When It Gets Boring. . .

In addition to the boring forever stockinette, there is another project on a different needle.  This one does not have a chance to become boring.  Just when it develops a hint of becoming so - from repetition of the same thing over and over - the pattern changes stitches and direction.    A little bit of this and then Presto! It is time to do something else.  

The pattern is Wrap Me Up by Chris de Longpr√©.  I am working in Noro Silk Garden Sock.  The pattern is a modular sampler type that was originally designed to be worked in worsted for a large snuggle wrap.  The option for a scarf out of sock yarn appeared after the original pattern. 

I am only on Block 6.  I love how the shades of the Noro meander through each module.  Yes, I did consider something much more colorful - possibly in my favored teal, jade or merlot color ways.   This more subtle color selection was made because recently I purchased beads that want to be the star.  And, when placed sparingly on this piece, the beads will play the staring role and the Noro shall be relegated to second fiddle.  Well, maybe the Noro will be the supporting cast.  Kinda hard to envision any Noro ever being second fiddle.

The Silk Garden Sock is working up to my liking on a #3 needle.    A new knitter recently asked me if anyone ever makes actual socks out of this 'sock' yarn.  That I have never seen done and, indeed, can't imagine a gusset out of the stuff let alone a sock that inserts into a shoe.   But it is great - superb - tres marvelous - for wearable art.

Onward with the knitting.   Miles of boring stockinette on the spring top interrupted by miles of changing stitches on the scarf.   Life is good.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Please Fingers,

Please, fingers, knit faster.  This endless knit, knit, knit, over and over and around and around is just about to take my sanity over the edge.

Please fingers, at least work fast enough to get to another exciting part - like binding off and working on the back.  At least then you can purl a row between the endless knit.

Please fingers, find a way to remember the thrill of that lace bit that you worked to start the endless unbroken body of stockinette.   There is more lace to be worked.  Please remember that joy and work faster.
Please fingers, hear the beat of the heart that wants this process OVER.   Me wants the short sleeve lace edged project done and on the body.

Please fingers, please.   Knit faster.