Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Off the Needles: Scarf with Colorful Tufts

Continuing to work through my stash of odd balls of yarn, I made this scarf out of one ball of Premier Yarns' "Flowers" in colorway "Spring Bouquet." The yarn is a mix of 88% acrylic and 12% wool. The colorful tufts are carried along on a separate strand that is wound around the thicker strand. I'm not sure why I only bought one skein; maybe it was to just try it out to see if I'd like it in a project.


I knitted the piece in a simple K1P1 rib until I ran out of yarn. I'm disappointed that the scarf came out a lot smaller than I'd hoped. The finished size is 5.5" by 28.5"...too small for an adult-size scarf. I'll probably put it in the charity projects collection in the hope that some child will love wearing it.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pink Pussycat Hats

In preparation for the Women's March in Raleigh on January 20, I've been knitting pink pussycat hats for my sister, daughter, and me.

The yarn is just some odd balls of acrylic that I had on hand. The labels were long gone, but I suspect the solid pink might be a Bernat brand yarn that I bought for charity knitting.




And I'm pretty sure the pink ombre is a James C. Brett's "Marble" yarn, but I don't know what colorway it is. 



Since this was meant to be a quickie project, I didn't want to use a pattern that required much work. After searching through Ravelry, I found Louise Santa Ana's free pattern, "Pussy Hat in the Round", which requires no sewing other than weaving in yarn tails and a 3-needle bind off. There are quite a few pink pussycat hat patterns on the Web, but I don't think you'd find a simpler, quicker one to knit up. And it doesn't take much yarn; in fact, I got 2 hats from the the full skein of the James C. Brett yarn. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Off the Hook: 1st Project of 2018 Finished

Wow. has it gotten cold here in central North Carolina this week. I want to be completely bundled up from head to toe when I go out, so I crocheted this hat this week. The pattern is one I used for two berets I made for my daughter in past years. It's "Phannie", a free pattern from the Berroco yarn company.



 I used a bit over one skein of Universal Yarn's 100% acrylic yarn "Patchwork" in colorway Granite #204. I hate scratchy directly on my skin, so I like this yarn because it's soft and squishy and not itchy at all. I make the single-crochet rows that form the headband a bit wider than the pattern calls for so that I could pull the hat down over my ears when it's bitter cold outside.


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.