Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Believe the magic

I want to doff my hat to the most brilliant person in the world. The person who picked up a crochet hook and some cotton yarn and did this:

Crocheted a chain (this one is about 40 stitches). 
Then worked single chains up one side and without working any increases, single crocheted down the other side. 

Then kept working around, single crocheting in the back loop of each stitch like this:
And then kept working around and around
Until both sides met
And finally sewed it closed and created an oven mitt. 
That's either bloody brilliant or it's magic. 

By the way, I also finished the 2 Doctor Who scarves I was knitting for my friend's kids for Christmas. One is 12 feet and the other about 14 but they'll stretch. So blinking adorable! I lived doing then so much that I've got the yarn to do one for myself now!!
If you're interested in making your own, you can find the recommended yarns and pattern to match the originals, visit www.doctorwhoscarf.com. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I have a new category (or at least a new name for the category) of projects that I like to call lurkers. 

If you're in a corporate environment, it's likely that you participate in a certain number of conference calls. Lurkers are what we call those who join calls but don't announce themselves, usually trying to catch someone off guard. 

The same can be said of internet discussion groups of someone who follows the discussions but rarely or never participates. 

My lurker project has been an argyle vest that has been laying around a while waiting on duplicate stitches and the decision about whether it will be a sweater or a vest. 

I finally made it come out into the open the other day and finished the dup stitches. 
The next decisions were to be a vest or to be a sweater. I'm not really a vest-y sort of person but I think it's finally convinced me. 
Vest it is. 

I need to work in the final ends and I haven't actually stitched the sides because I wanted to make those decisions but I also want to do some side shaping because it did end up a little too wide. I'm also, I think, going to felt it ever so slightly. 

I used the size needles recommended on the yarn band but the stitches are a little too open for my liking. I think I can fix that with some minor felting. (It's Galway yarn - which I love - so I'll have to be careful. It's a good felting yarn.)

And the lurker is no more a lurker but a full participant in the wardrobe. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Winter. Need sweaters.

It's definitely winter in Central IL and with the winter is the realization that I need a new batch of sweaters. 

Here's one I started earlier...
On the left is the front that I need to duplicate stitch and on the right is the back that I just finished stitching. 

I'm anxious to see how this is going to come together since I need to make some decisions about whether it's going to be a long sleeve sweater or a vest-type garment but I love the cheery colors and I love the argyle thing so I think it's going to be a very happy whatever it turns out to be. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Can I just say a few words about finishing?

How a project is finished, of course, depends on whether the project is knitted, crocheted, tatted, etc. Crochet? Easy peasy. Knitting? Even with color work pieces, I don't mind. I even kind of enjoy that process. Tatted?  Ahhhh, this is another story and a big reason I need to learn a new technique. When working in a larger piece (in this case a doily for a friend at work), at the end if each round you have to work in the finishing threads. Into tight knots. Each one. Seperately. Every one. Tight. Knots. 

I finished the work but not the doily. It's kind of like winning the battle but not the war. The challenge is to get a needle with an eye large enough for your thread (DMC size 30) that will fit through the aforementioned knots. 

Now some people would stop and work them in as they go. But not me.  Nooooooo....I leave them to the end, me. Now I have this beautiful doily that can't be called finished until I sit for the better part of an evening working in ends. 

There is a technique used in bobbin lace where you can work in a loop that will allow you to easily pull the ends through when you're finished. That's next because however annoying the set up is, there's no way it beats this. 

But I'm happy with the finished doily and the finished crocheted doily that just needs a good press, both for ladies at work who asked for them. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sometimes it just works

Several weeks ago I visited the Myers House in St Louis and found a cute little pattern for a stole. I didn't particularly care for the yarn it called for plus I was in the midst of spinning a yarn I hoped would work for it. 
While I was on vacation, I cast on. Bit before I could cast on, I realized I didn't have the size needles it called for. Also I didn't think the yarn was quite as chunky as what it called for. Sooooo...I improvised. 

I had size 8 needles (2 sizes smaller than what it called for) and the yarn fit the needles so I increased the cast on by about 10% roughly and started knitting. It was knit from the top down so I made sure the # of stitches did what it was supposed to do and kept knitting. 

It was an easy stockinette/reverse stockinette stitch pattern with the increases coming every 2 sections. And because of the smaller needles/smaller yarn, I added a couple of sections until I got this:
Pretty much just what the pattern calls for. It has the little pass-thru ties at the front and came out pretty perfectly. 

Oh, yeah, I also did an i-cord bind off to make sure it was a pretty edge and that it would bunch up. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

All the way around

I've completed my first year in my house and now I can finally relax a little. I've just finished and hung the final curtain. 

I love this lace pattern and the nod to Scotland it gives to my home but I was surprised at how fast it worked up after I got serious about getting it finished. 

Now for the tour of curtains:

Just what I envisioned. Ahhhh....good times. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Finale - Curtains

Now that I've got the transom curtain done, I just have one final curtain to finish. It's for this window. 

When I first moved in, I was all gung-ho to get all the curtains made and I completed a knitted single curtain, a crocheted single curtain and a double crocheted curtain. I purposely didn't do one for this window because I had the pretty stained glass there. 

But later I decided I did want one and thought I need to even things out with a knitted one. Crochet goes much faster for this sort of thing but I didn't want the other knitted curtain to get feel all alone. 

So I cast on one if my favorite lace patterns, a thistle pattern. I got part way through before other things took it's place but I'm now back at it and determined to get it done. 

I'm almost through the first pattern repeat but will need to do another one to get the length I need. But it's a pretty easy pattern and goes pretty fast when I actually manage to work on it. I'm a little disappointed that the knitting fairies didn't make a little more progress while it was sitting on the side but what'cha gonna do?

Just have to finish it myself, I guess.