Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Off the Hook: Lattice Scarf

Just took two days of crocheting to finish this scarf. The pattern is Deborah Hedges' "Crocheted Lattice Scarf", a pattern that is one of my favorites. After row one to set up the stitches, row two is repeated until you get the length you want or you run out of yarn. The pattern is so easy I've even crocheted a scarf while riding (not driving, of course) in a car.  So it's a good pattern when you just need something mindless to work on. 

I bought the pattern leaflet in 2009 at a local yarn shop that closed a few years later. So I have no way of providing a link to pattern in this post. I checked to see if Hedges has some patterns on Ravelry; she does, but not this one. 

I used 2 skeins of Loops & Threads' "Twirl" in colorway "Clowns." The fiber is 60% polyester and 40% acrylic. Each strand has 2 colors so the tweedy, striping effect is simply the work of the yarn.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

2017 North Carolina State Fair Entries: Baby Sweaters

I entered two baby sweaters in this year's State Fair, a crocheted one (which won an honorable mention ribbon) and a knitted one (no ribbon for that one).

Crocheted Baby Sweater

The pattern is Sylvie Damey's "Dancing Poppies Mini Bolero" from Crochet One-Skein Wonders (ed, by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman, Storey Publishing, 2013, pp. 180-81). I left off the edging of poppies called for in the pattern. (Wonder if I'd gotten a greater than an honorable mention ribbon if I had put them on?)

The yarn is Plymouth Yarn's "Jelli Beenz" in red; it's a blend of 75% acrylic and 25% wool yarn.

Back view:

Knitted Baby Sweater

The pattern for this sweater is Lisa Chemery's "Entrechat Shrug" from One-Skein Wonders for Babies (ed. by Judith Durant, Storey Publishing, 2015, pp. 65-7). 

The yarn is Ornaghi Filati Punto Su Punto's "Bla Bla Bla", a blend of 60% merino wool and 40% acrylic in color number 603.

Back view of the shrug featuring a little peplum.

2017 North Carolina State Fair Winners: Tea Towel Edgings

This year I had two entries for edgings attached to tea towels, one crocheted and one knitted. Both won 2nd place ribbons.

Crocheted Edging

The fabric l used for the crocheted entry was designer Lilyoake's "Watercolor Tea Set" in cobalt blue from Spoonflower. The fabric is Spoonflower's Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra which is 55% linen and 45% natural cotton. I bought this about a year ago along with two other designs which I plan to make into tea towels in future Fair entries. 

The filet crochet design echoes the teapots and teacups in the printed design. The thread is a white size 10 crochet cotton. The pattern can be found in various Pinterest posts (here's one place), but I haven't been able to track down the original source of the pattern. I find that is one of the most aggravating aspects of Pinterest: few posters link back to the source of the photos they pin. If you look at the pattern, you'll notice that I omitted the scalloped edge, opting instead to make the piece rectangular.

Knitted Edging

For this towel I used a ready-made cotton tea towel that I bought at Ten Thousand Villages where I work as a volunteer. This design has been very popular this year in the store. It's made by the CRC Craft Resource Center, a fair trade organization in India.

The pattern is "Fern Leaf" from 150 Knitted Trims by Lesley Stanfield (St. Martin's Griffin, 2007, p. 90). 

I used a vintage thread, Corticelli Mercerized Cordonet, in size 3, color number 356 ecru. 

It's a very stiff thread and required some very firm blocking.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

2017 North Carolina State Fair Winners: Tatting Entries

This year I had two tatted entries in the Home Furnishings category: a tatted edging on a pillowcase (2nd place ribbon) and a mounted tatted piece (3rd place ribbon).

Pillowcase Edging

The pattern for the pillowcase edging is Mary Konior's "Bo Peep" (Tatting with Visual Patterns, Lacis, 2002, pp. 32-3). The thread is Altin Basak in colorway number 324 (which I understand is a discontinued color) The thread is a little thinner than size 20 although the label says "50"--not close to what is a size 50 in other brands. The color looks a lot lighter in the photos, but it is closer to a della robbia blue in hue. As I've done in the past, before I sewed on the edging I opened up the pillowcase hem. That way all the edging's "tails" can be hidden inside the hem when it's resewn. It gives a much neater and professional finish to the piece.

Close-up of the edging

Tatted Holiday Tree

This little tree is mounted on a metal stand that I painted with black enamel. The pattern is adapted from a pattern in Tatting Lace by Sumi Fujishige (2005, p. 26). Her pattern calls for tatting two trees that will form a 3-dimensional piece; I only tatted one for a flat 2-dimensional tree.

The threads are all size 20: DMC Cebelia (green tree, no. 699), Lizbeth (gold stars, no. 611), and Flora (brown trunk, no. 226). Small gold glass beads are at the top of the tree, and the beads on the tree branches are white glass with red stripes for a candy-cane effect. Everything is mounted on silver paper. The piece works up very quickly and could also be mounted on  a Christmas card or photocopied to use the design for multiple cards.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 North Carolina State Fair Winners: Biscotti

The 2017 North Carolina State Fair opened this week and my daughter and I checked out my entries to see if had I won any ribbons. I wasn't expecting as many ribbons this year, but, nevertheless, I did win several ribbons. (I also had some "also-rans" which I will describe in a separate posting.)

My only 1st place award was not in a fiber craft at all. For the 2nd year, I entered the biscotti competition and beat my last year's 2nd place win with a blue ribbon this year. I baked the Butter-Pecan Biscotti recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

The recipe called for butterscotch bits along with toasted, chopped pecans, and, to increase the buttery flavor, I used Lorann Professional Kitchen's Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion instead of regular vanilla extract. 

Oh my, these were tasty and I will be making them again.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

NC State Fair Update

If you've wondered why I haven't posted anything for several weeks, it's because I've been busy working on my North Carolina State Fair entries. Crazy me, I registered 11 fiber-related entries this year. This morning I finished the last of 9 out of the 11. Of the 2 that I'm not entering, one, a filet crochet table runner, is larger than the rules require (I should have read the rules more closely on that one), and the other (a tatted edging on a handkerchief) is because I just ran out of the time and momentum to finish it (maybe I should start on next year's entries next month 😊). Even though I'm retired apparently I still can't stop creating pressure and stress for myself by setting strict deadlines and then procrastinating until the last minute.

I'll be dropping everything off tomorrow morning, and then spending the rest of the day baking my 2 cookie entries.

I'll post photos of everything after October 10th, the day entries are judged, and then photos of any ribbon winners I might have. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Another shawl made from one skein of yarn I bought at the 2017 Carolina Fiber Fest. The yarn is hand-dyed 100% superwash merino wool in 1-ply fingering weight from Iria Yarn Company out of Raleigh, NC. The colorway is "Boho."

The pattern is "Close to You" by Justyna Lorkowska. It's available as a free download on Ravelry at