Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Chain That Links

Wheeee!  Progress has been made on linking together the first two strips of the teeny tiny crochet.

I can't wait to see what all five strips will look like. 

And, for right now, that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One Down, More To Go

Happiness abounds!  The Mock Hairpin Wrap is fast work when I have time to work on it.  The wrap is worked in strips that are joined as you go.  Already, I have one strip completed and am half way through the second. 

Don't get all worried over the rumpled look.  First, this strip has not been blocked.  What you might notice is that the edge appears to be a whole heap of twisted loops.  And you'd be correct in your assessment.

The center spine has chain loops on either side of the center.  Then those loops are twisted or joined in a unique pattern that causes the spine - that was crocheted straight - to curve gently down the whole length. 

I love it.  Never in my thinking could I have figured this out.  But now I've seen first hand how to manipulate the piece and it has me intrigued.  Frankly, it is so logical that it is almost too simple. 

So, one down and four more to go.  That's a whole lot of happiness from a great summer (non-wool) project!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Double Duty Bag

Vacation took me away for a bit, but I'm back.  There is still much to be accomplished on the WIP pile.  Long term projects (as in over two weeks to finish) tend to zap my yarn mojo.  Thus, I was forced - for creative reasons as well as instant gratification - to whip up a two day project.

It was time to start a new knit & crochet-a-long for ESSS.  I was a May no show due to vacation, but I can redeem myself in June and encourage the members to participate.  This market bag project provided an opportunity to become a double duty bag by also serving as a sample for my upcoming teaching of embroidery at The Knitting Tree, LA.

Fellow yarn-a-holics, I present to you my interpretation of the Provence market bag. . . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring Has Sprung In Abundance

The slowness of winter is definitely over.  What hath Spring wrought?  An almost over abundance of work.  And that is just fine.

Here is the two day bolero with flutter sleeves in all of its glory.  Hopefully the owner is OK with me trying it on.  Based on how it floats loosely on me, it should be exactly her size.

It was a fast knit due to the gauge.  The concept of a top down open front bolero or cardigan is nothing new.  I'm so please with this result that I might actually write down the increase pattern with a slight change to how the flutter sleeves are finished off.  Whew!  Glad this got done even if it was on rush time.

In the midst of making the commission bolero, I needed the help of a body.  That meant interrupting she who crochets.  As it happened, she was in the midst of  pattern testing  for Leo.  

Seems that this whole busy Spring work mode is spreading to every fiber artist I know.  Leo's new scarf pattern is a cute crochet.  Stay tuned for it to be available via his website.

And then came the most exciting part.  Writing class notes for a new Embroidery on Knit or Crochet class being offered at The Knitting Tree, LA.  I really enjoy teaching and it is a good feeling to get back to watching others learn something new.

It looks like the Embroidery class will be followed by teaching my NightStar shawl.  If you are interested in either the embroidery or NightStar, get in touch with the good folks at TKTLA.

Being busy is like work.  But it is all still yarn, and I do love a good yarn.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Busy Working & One Fowl Thing

It is barely mid morning and already a break is needed.  What am I up to today?  Here is a rundown:

Got tired of waiting for the yarn to arrive so I started this Mama Wrap(yarn arrived in less than a week; sometimes I am impatient)

Yarn arrived so I had to get busy with a different hook.  My version will be called Crazy.

 I'll be teaching next month and had to make a sample for a new class.  (yes, handouts and tips and additional samples must be completed;  yikes)

Then someone called and was looking for a special summer bolero (naturally, it is needed quickly;  is two days fast enough?)

And as these things tend to happen, in the middle of it all, I had to stop and reprint business cards because there was not even one left for tagging the new class sample.  A photo of a business card is not very exciting; I spared you staring at that and am letting you get the first look at the class.

My mood is not the fowl thing.  It is this guy who came walking though during my hour of calm and reminded me to chill out. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Every Last Bit--The Scrappy Neckpiece

One crocheted Convergence Top named Destin-y, one necklace of beads and shell and bits should be all that three balls of yarn can give.  But not the Noro Silk Garden Sock.  After staring at the remaining  wad of yarn, it was clear that more could be accomplished.

Behold the neck piece that shall be named Scrappy.  Knitting on the fly with no pattern sometimes yields a fun result and this is no exception.

The recipe is simple.

Scraps of yarn all in the same weight.
Knitting needles 4-6 sizes larger than the ball band recommends.  Lost the band?  Go with a US 9 for sock; try a US 10.5 or 11 for DK.

Cast on 3 stitches
Row 1- K1, kf&b, k across
Repeat for 2-3 inches.  This makes a nice point.
Row 2-  K1, kf&b, k across to last 2 stitches, kf&b, k1
Repeat this for 2-3 inches.  Increasing on both edges changes the slope of the piece.
Lace Row-  Next row is lacy and adds depth.  Do not increase on this row.  Work each stitch as a twisted drop:  insert as if to knit, wrap yarn around both needles then wrap yarn around right needle and off.  Ugly loops appear at each stitch.  Hang in there.
After lace Row-  k across (no increases)
Repeat Row 2 for 2-3 inches
Repeat Lace Row and After lace Row
Row 3-  k1, kf&b 2 times, knit to last 3 stitches, kf&b two times, k
Repeat until just enough yarn remains to Bind Off  loosely or use a stretchy BO.
NOTE:  add in lace rows anytime.  These add depth.

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Showtime

The new Destin-y Convergence top is almost worn out!  Last week was filled with opportunities to share this latest success with yarny friends.

First, there was the posting on Ravelry followed by the first official wearing to the Wednesday gathering at The Knitting Tree, LA.  Next up was a grand showing at the Riverside Knitting Guild where Master knitters abound.  Those ladies sure do know how to gush over masterful crochet.  Yes, I am flattered when anyone admires my work.  I am humbled when those more skilled than me say a kind word or two.

Then came email photos to certain friends who couldn't believe that this is less than 4 weeks of work. And there is still one more group meeting where I can show off this top and the little necklace that goes with it.

The big excitement is that  in just a few short days, this summer tee will finally get to showtime at the big event - - vacation.

I just love Destin-y and having the time to make it all happen.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Fine Line

The crochet muse led a group of us on a path of Convergence.  If you are looking for a great experience, give this summer top a try.  Yes, there are miles (or yards?) of double crochet, but the opportunity to practice short rows makes it worth the effort.

There are opposing thoughts on using Noro - this being the Silk Garden Sock.  Some force the color to fall into a preferred sequence.  Some just let it flow and follow a "come what may" attitude.  When it comes to longish color repeats I fall into the middle.  I let the color and the inevitable knots guide almost all of this top.

The only time I forced color was at the top of the shoulders.  The back shoulders are both steel blue to grey, but not matchy matchy.  The fronts are the bright blue to steel blue shades.

When it came to seaming, I remembered that crochet gets seamed from the wrong side.  This pattern of short rows and double crochet makes matching seams so simple.  Even without prior blocking of both pieces, it was easy.

Here is that same seam, all finished and showing its public side.  One part of me still cringes over the non matching shades.  But the other part of me is thrilled that the crochet Goddess of Serendipity somehow guided the plain sections to be so close to blended.

So what's next?  A blocking and drying and then comes the wearing and comparing my final product to that of the rest of the CAL participants.  I know that each will look different.  I am positive that each will be perfect!