Crochet Heavy

I was crocheting on the plane. Just a little. It strikes me that I’m also wearing the brown shirt I made recently… whoo!

Couldn’t crochet too much due to my girl’s incredible excitement over flying. I don’t know if she genuinely loves it or if she pretends to be happy to cover up her nerves. She always feels nauseous before a flight, which I suspect has to do with anxiety rather than anything else. She took a few photos and was quite impressed with the results.

Best thing about my mum’s house? Not having to do much of anything. It’s nice. I’ve finished my Christmas gifts. I’m on a crochet kick at the moment. Mum bought me a set of crochet hooks from Spotlight, marked down to $17.50 (with the VIP card) from $25.

 They are actually pretty darn nice. There are a bunch of sizes, the small ones, that I just don’t have. They are so smooth! And I love that they are in a little zip-up pouch like that.

I’m working on my Relaxed Ramie hat.

I’ve only started on it last night, so I’m pretty happy with the progress. I’ve finished the crown increases, so yay! But I’m concerned that it’s just gonna be way too small – if that is the case I’m going to give it to a little baby I know.

My portable purse project is a Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf.

The pattern is very easy to remember, I’ve made this one before and it looks fabulous once it’s been blocked out with more pins than I care to think about.

The yarn is just a Moda Vera from Spotlight, 100% acrylic. I can’t remember the name of it, I got it so long ago. It’s a little plasticky, but not too bad. The colours are so vibrant and fun! I have two people in mind to receive it as a gift, but we shall see who deserves it more.

It is the perfect purse project. I zip it into a inner bag, it is small and portable and the pattern is easily memorised.

We’re going on a summer holiday

In order to get prepared for my month-long holiday at Mummy’s house I need to have adequate knitting planned, especially considering that the last time I stayed there for ten days I managed to finish the majority of an Apres Surf Hoodie and my brother’s xmas present (which is just waiting on magnets to finish it).  You tend to get a lot done when you stay up until three a.m. knitting and watching your mother’s boxed set of Buffy DVDs. I was close to the end of the fourth season, so there’s still plenty to go and I have every intention of watching the Angel DVDs too.

I plan on taking the materials for a few projects, and there is the comfort of a Spotlight within easy reach (geographically if not fiscally).

So, projects.

 This should be a fairly mindless crocheting project. I have some cotton left from another project, but it is DK rather than sport-weight, so I’ll have to adjust the pattern on the fly. I also have some multicoloured slubby yarn that I must have gotten when I was around 10 years old or something! I’m going to use that for the flower, since there isn’t enough for a whole hat.

I’m going to make the Butterfly Dress by Jennie Atkinson. I have Romantic Style: Knits And Crochet to Wear or Display which has so many beautiful things. See: Never Ending Dressing Gown. I’m using Moda Vera Kid Mohair Blend in black and grey, but I will need to buy some beads. The pattern is available as an individual download on ravelry.

I’m also going to make another Sweetieheart Singlet (which is my own pattern and available as a free download on ravelry) in a bigger size and using Cleckheaton Bamboo in a light blue colourway. The kid loves this shirt and she’s nearly grown out of the pink one. This is a priority because it’s supposed to be part of her Christmas present.

 

I am also going to make a pullover out of Katia Spray in the multicoloured colourway. I can’t find a pattern that does exactly what I want.  I’d like a sloppy 80s style off-the-shoulder jobbie, so I’m going to make my own pattern using four rectangles.

Sun hat – for my head.

So, it’s summer time and in order to keep my Goth-pale complexion as Goth-pale as it is, I need a hat.

  1.  I don’t want to spend monies on a hat
  2.  I am incredibly specific in my  hat requirements.
  3.  I like making stuff.

My hat must be very broad-brimmed to keep the sun off my face, pretty and not make my head hot.

Here are the contenders.

A free vintage crochet pattern with matching gloves! Hmmm…

A paid pattern. Better sun coverage, and knitted. Also more recent, but therefore probably better instructions.

Free, translated from Japanese, crochet. Doesn’t meet the requirements for non-hot head but would be easy to fold up and put in my bag.

This hat is pretty much perfect, but also expensive. I think you might get more than just the one pattern, but I do not have the disposable income for it at the moment. *sigh*

Very similar to the Relax Ramie hat, also by Peirrot and therefore an English translation of a Japanese pattern. The body is done in crochet and the ribbon in knitting so it’s a bit more versatile. Also FREE!

I shall mull some more… Damn this decision making process.

 

Closely approaching success!

The lace sweater from Sandra Knit Trends has been completed, ends woven in and over-dyed.

Here’s a before and after shot, except the left is the after and the right is the before… because I like to be different. Apparently I have reversed the order in my cutlery drawer as well. I wasn’t aware that I was bucking some kind of societal dictate about arranging cutlery in drawers until one of my friends asked me why I put them away “wrong”. I told her it was my small way of rebelling against cultural norms.

I’m pleased with the result, especially knowing that it will fade with wear.

Here’s me looking awkward. Mmmm… sexy. I’ll be honest, I don’t like the sleeves. They are too close fitting. In fact, even though the fit is good – it’s too tight for my liking. However, cotton is infamous for stretching which will serve me well in this case.

Is that a weave?

Before I model the over-dyed lace sweater from the previous post, I need to complete the finishing process by weaving in the ends.

The most commonly used method is the regular weaving in. This is the way most people are taught to finish up and usually it’s the way that people think of when they are figuring it out on their  own.  I usually prefer to work in the ends as I go along, and where I can I will generally use the overlap method, which means that you will work five to seven stitches with the old yarn and new yarn held together. Perfect when you are doing rows and rows of stockinette in the same colour. You could also use a split-slice join, but that will only work with feltable yarns.

If you are joining different colours, there are a couple of methods to work in the ends as you go. There is the work intensive Russian Join, or the back-join which is very similar. Sock-Pr0n has a great pictorial tutorial that shows the overcast method that is brilliant when you change colours and can’t use the method above. It basically encapsulates the loose ends as you knit by wrapping the working end around the loose end. Which makes no sense as I write it but will become clear if you follow the link. It’s a bit tricky to get your head around, so I only use it if it’s absolutely necessary. Sometimes it helps if you see the same thing explained a different way, so here’s another article at TECHknits.

Once the ends have been worked in, it’s time to snip. The length of yarn you leave will depend on the composition of the yarn. Woolly and feltable yarns can be cut off quite close to the fabric as the will felt with wear and washing and become very secure. More slippery yarns may work themselves out from the fabric over time, as will smooth yarns. It is recommended to leave a longer hanging yarn so that it won’t work itself loose. There is also the option of using a small amount of non-water soluble glue, like superglue, to make something like a little ball on the end of the yarn so that it can’t pull through. It’s also a great idea to pop a little glue on the ends of yarn that may unravel with time.