Road Trip Scarf

I went on a road trip from my home in northern Illinois to the mountains in Colorado this past August. With over 30 hours of driving round trip, and me in the passenger seat the whole time, I made my Road Trip Scarf.

The Pattern: Never-ending Scarf from The Florida Crochet Garden. I made a few changes: I used hook size H and added an extra two clusters to the width to compensate for the smaller hook. I made it longer than suggested, and it came out to be about 66 inches long. The pattern was really easy to learn, memorize, and then churn out mindlessly for a few hours. It probably took me only 6-8 hours to finish this scarf (don’t worry, I had plenty of other things to do on my road trip!). It was almost too easy! But I would highly recommend this pattern for gifting – it looks great and works up very quickly.

The Yarn: I used Lion Brand Amazing in Mesa. I thought the colors looked like the rock formations in the mountains. Its a really nice soft yarn with very pretty colors. The wool blend makes it surprisingly warm. Perhaps I should have picked something else to use when crocheting in August, but I couldn’t pass up on the colors! I used three balls.

What’s next for me: I like to bring a pillow when I go to the movies (they have those super fancy recliners at my local theater), so I am making a movie-theater-popcorn pillow. I’m really just winging the pattern, so it might take me some time to make something I like in the end.

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Crochet Lab Glassware

Last night I finished my Crochet Lab Glassware! I made a volumetric flask, beaker, and Erlenmeyer flask (left to right). They make a cute little glassware family 🙂

crochet-lab-glassware

The Pattern: Earl Lenmeyer the Flask from Crafty Shanna. I made the Erlenmeyer (blue guy) exactly as written in her pattern. I made the pattern up as I went along (frogging a few times of course!) for the other two. I used fabric stiffener on the bottom of all three so that they stand up easily, and it really helped.

The Yarn: I used Red Heart Super Saver in a few different colors. I had to buy more white, but all the other colors I had on hand. A pretty good stashbuster 🙂

What’s next for me: I genuinely do not know.  This never happens to me!

Plarn Water Bottle Bag

Today I’m going to the Wisconsin State Fair! It’s a really fun day of eating fried foods, strolling around the various product vendors, and seeing cool shows (like pig races and dog dock diving!). Since there are so many different food vendors throughout the fair, many of them sell a novelty drink cup that you can fill at any participating stands. This way, you can get refills throughout the fairgrounds without the need to return to a central location. It’s a great program. My family goes to the WI State Fair every year, and we usually get two of these cups to pass around throughout the day. With this in mind, I wanted to make a bag that I could use to carry the cup easily (allowing two hands to be used while eating a giant blooming onion.. or fried oreos!!).

I was simultaneously inspired by a tutorial  on how to make “plarn.” My apartment complex doesn’t permit plastic bags in their recycling bins, so I usually collect a massive amount of them and then bring them to my mom’s to recycle there. It’s pretty silly, hauling bags around, but I could never just throw them away. So when I saw Repeat Crafter Me’s Plarn Tutorial, I knew I had to make something. Thus, the two ideas collided and I made my Plarn Water Bottle Bag (two of them, actually!).

plarn bag full

plarn bag zoom

The Pattern: I didn’t follow a pattern. I used a K hook (that’s what Repeat Crafter Me used with her plarn). I started with a basic crochet circle, then kept going in the round until it was the height I wanted. For the strap, I made a foundation single crochet strip until I had the right length, then single crocheted back around. It only took me a few hours to make each bag (I made two).

The Yarn: All the plarn! I made this giant ball using 50 bags from Mariano’s and ending up using most of it (maybe 45?) to make my two bags. Plarn was pretty cool to work with. It was fun to make – I probably spent more time making the yarn than I did working with it! It can be a little stiff and certainly doesn’t give me that “Oooo, I love the feel of yarn in my hands” feeling I love about knitting/crochet, but it’s really rewarding knowing that I turned regular plastic bags into something totally different and totally cool! A great summer project!

plarn ball

What’s Next for Me: I’m taking a trip to the mountains of Colorado with my boyfriend later this month. We are driving there, which is something like 15+ hours of driving (each way!) from my home in northern Illinois. As he will be doing much of the driving, I plan on spending the bulk of the car ride crocheting in the passenger seat. I’ve got an infinity scarf pattern picked out that I’m going to make using Lion Brand Amazing in Mesa so that the colors compliment the scenery.

 

Drop Stitch Cowl

Last week I finished my Drop Stitch Cowl.

The Pattern: This was a free pattern from Red Heart Yarns. It was very simple to follow and easy to memorize; I did the bulk of the work on this cowl on a long car ride! It spent several months on my needles, but only took 10-20 hours to complete. It has great drape, and I think it looks very cute. I would definitely recommend this pattern.

The Yarn: I used leftover Loops and Threads Impeccable in Neapolitan from a leftover project. I had the perfect amount, so it was a great stash-buster! I used size 9 needles.

What’s next for me: At my apartment complex, the big recycling dumpster says “No plastics bags.” So we collect them for weeks/months and then bring them to my mom when we visit, so she can recycle them for us. It’s silly, but I couldn’t imagine throwing them in the trash! So I think my next project is to make something out of plastic bag yarn! I saw this tutorial from Repeat Crafter Me on how to turn plastic bags into “plarn” and I was inspired. I’ll probably make a bag out of it, but I have plenty of time to decide; It will take me a few weeks just to make the yarn!

Cabled Throw

Just in time for my boyfriend’s birthday, I completed the Cabled Throw I’ve been making for him. I started in December, and he has waited patiently for 6 months (even during the months when it was neglected so I could knit other gifts).

The Pattern: This is based off of Cable Comfort / Sutter’s Mill Throw, a free pattern from Lion Brand. I used the pattern described by raveler KonaSF so that I could knit the blanket all in one piece (the original pattern is made in strips and sewn together at the end). I further modified her pattern slightly by making the cables on row 11, 31, 51, 71, etc (I don’t quite understand how KonaSF is doing it, but I think it’s 11, 33, 55, 77+). The pattern is easy to follow/memorize and knitting it all in one piece is fantastic. It’s true that it gets a bit heavy – the plastic connector for my needles popped out halfway, thank goodness for super glue – but you get to snuggle under it while you’re working on it. 😉 My only qualm with this pattern is the lack of symmetry – one side has a garter strip just before the edge and the other side doesn’t. I would definitely want to correct that before making another or recommending the pattern.

The Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky in True Grey. This yarn is amazing. If you need a chunky yarn for a blanket, you have to consider it. It’s got an amazing softness and squishiness – exactly what I want in a chunky yarn. I used 15 balls to make a blanket that’s just under 5×6 feet. I will definitely use this yarn again. I used size 13 circulars and completed 10 cable repeats.

What’s Next for Me: Just before starting this blanket, I started a cowl and barely made a dent in it. So I’ve got to pick that up and get it done. After that, I don’t really know. It’s always a weird feeling to have completed a project that’s been a major focus for so long. Like – Who am I? What is my purpose now??

Barrington Baby Set

Today I’m going to a baby shower. One of my coworkers is having her first child (a son) due in June. She recently bought a house in Barrington, Illinois, which is known for being a very wealthy area. So I thought – what do I get for this newborn baby boy who already has everything (like a nine bedroom home!!)? Handmade gifts of course! So I made for him what I like to call my Barrington Baby Set. This is my first baby project, which I consider to be a major milestone for any knitter.

barrington baby bootiesbarrington baby setbarrinton baby set wrapped

The Pattern: I used Little Babbity Baby Set from Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Day Blog. I made the newborn size (on the right) and then I improvised to make a larger “baby” size (on the left). I was worried that the newborn size would be too small, and he would grow out of it so quickly that it wouldn’t get much use. So I decided to make a larger set that he can one day grow into. I think this was a wise choice, since I’m so unfamiliar with baby clothes myself, and the internet seems to be pretty all over the place about what the hat circumference of babies of various ages should be. By making two sizes, I’ve covered all my bases. I modified the pattern in other ways as well – I cut down on the garter portion of the hat, used smaller needles on the booties, and I knit everything in the round. Knitting in the round was a really good idea. I made a practice bootie (in scrap yarn) following the pattern exactly, and my seam was absolutely hideous (sewing is always a mess for me!). It was simple enough to modify, and the results were well worth it. I’d definitely recommend this pattern either way.

The Yarn: I used Bernat Baby Softee in Baby Denim Marl. I think the colorway is great – baby yarns can be too bright sometimes, so the marl effect makes for a much more relaxed color scheme. I had attempted to use a cotton yarn (I read in a magazine that lightweight cotton is good for summer babies) but I didn’t like the feel or look of it. Acrylic is always a good choice! I didn’t even use half the ball. Baby knits are so fast and fun!

What’s next for me: I’m almost done with the blanket I’ve been knitting for my boyfriend since December (I warned him it would take about 6 months!). I’m so excited to complete it!

Norwegian Cabled Pillow

Recently I completed my Norwegian Cabled Pillow for one of my close friends’ birthday.

The Pattern: Originally written in Norwegian, I had to translate FlettePute so that I could create this pillow. I’m pretty sure I followed it precisely. My gauge actually turned out to be a little larger than the pattern, so I did add several more cable repeats to produce an 18 by 18 inch square at the end. It was kind of a surprise… I thought my pillow was a nice looking 16×16 square. But then I seamed up the openings, thinking I was all done, and wound up with a very rectangular pillow on a very square pillow form. As it turned out, I wasn’t able to anticipate the “relaxed shape” of the cables very well. As shown below, I really had to take the pillow off the needles (right image) before I could predict the shape. I probably would have used smaller needles or modified the pattern to produce a smaller pillow, by 18×18 is satisfactory. I have included my pattern at the bottom of this post.

The Yarn: I used Lion Brand Jiffy in White (three balls). It’s a soft, brushed yarn, and I think it feels very luxurious. It’s listed as bulky weight, but it completely feels worsted to me. I would definitely use this again, but probably not for a project requiring bulky yarn. I wanted to make this pillow in pink, but I couldn’t find anything that was sufficiently “pastel pink” and not too “baby pink.” I decided that white was a safe choice for matching perfectly with any decor.

What’s Next for Me: I still have a giant blanket on my needles that I’m making for my boyfriend. It has been waiting patiently while I work on gifts for other people, but now it’s its turn!

 

Norwegian Cabled Pillow

Needles: Size 7, 29″ circular knitting needles

Yarn: 4 balls of Lion Brand Jiffy in White

Size: 18″ by 18″

Pattern: 

Long tail cast on 160 stitches.

Rounds 1-7: *Knit 2, purl 2, knit 8, purl 2, knit 2* 10 times

Round 8: *Knit 2, purl 2, slip 4 stitches purlwise onto cable needle and hold in front, knit 4, knit 4 from cable needle, purl 2, knit 2* 10 times

Rounds 9-96: Repeat 8 round pattern 11 more times (for a total of 12 cable twists).

Rounds 97- 103: Repeat rounds 1-7 one last time.

Bind off using kitchener stitch.

Insert pillow and seam cast on edge shut.