Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year

Holidays have come and gone. Hope you had a wonderful time, not too rushed.

Much knitting happened during my break but nothing that I felt I could get a handle on. No work at all on the Danish sweater. For some reason I’m caught with that one and am finding it hard to get working on it. I’ve gotten past the armholes and much of the back section but will need to wait for new inspiration to get it finished.

I got most of a new Miser’s Purse done but went and run out thread. I thought 2 balls would be more than enough but since the flat side was done in single crochet, it took a lot more than I thought it would. But I love the way the pattern came out. I have a book with Celtic cross stitch patterns and found this one which was just the right size to repeat for each side of the bag. It actually ended up being a really easy pattern to work this way, it just takes lots of thread! The only challenge with it is that when you crochet with beads, the beads are on the side that sits away from you so you can’t see the pattern developing. I had to stop quite often to make sure I was counting the pattern correctly. Although I did have to rip out a little, I did alright with it and was more than pleased with the way it came out. Moving into the middle of bag, I tried to do a graduated increase into the double trebles and then a graduated decrease into the round side of the bag in order to have a nice flow from one side of the bag to the other. The last one I did was a bit more choppy so I wanted to smooth that out and make that middle part long enough to balance both ends. I decided to just do a spiral sort of pattern for the round section as it seemed to balance the geometric design of the other end without having too much trouble decreasing down for the end. I tried to use the silver rings I have for the closures but somehow the silver just didn’t look right. Of course, that meant a trip to the bead store to see what I could find! And I did find these lovely doughnuts made out of a seed (sorry, can’t remember what the seeds are called) and which were died almost exactly the same purply blue of the seed beads. How often does that happen for it to match like that?!

Another project I’m on the final lap with is the Scottish-inspired Shetland-style shawl. I’ve done a bit of corner cutting on this version because I decided to use this one as a jumping off place for the final pattern. I wasn’t too happy with the stockinette corners and I want to make sure the thistle leaf pattern I used for the border works like I wanted it to. I was also not totally happy with the way the Saltire middle came out so I’ve decided not to invest the time of knitting off the stitches with a knitted edging until I get the other elements worked out. So I’m going to crochet off the edge and do a little improvised edging like that. I’ll be more than happy to use it that way and then I can use what I’ve learned with this one on getting the final pattern worked out and done. The middle and the edging went really pretty quickly so I’m excited to get everything worked out and make the real version.

Anyway, once I get the edging finished, I’ll block it and get a picture posted so you can get an idea of what it will look like. I’ll also do a little bit to explain what I did so you can see how really uncomplicated this is – it’s certainly one of those minimum effort, maximum impact patterns. It’s not really hard at all but it looks very intricate and impressive.