Archive | August 2013

First-Day Beret

Today is the first day of school, and I’m wearing my recently completed First-Day Beret. I hope it has made a good first impression! I am also showing off my new haircut!

first day beret me side first day beret me front

first day beret flat top first day beret flat side

The Pattern: This pattern is called All-Day Beret. I cleverly changed the name to reflect that I made it with the intention of wearing it on the first day of classes. I used the recommended size needles after nearly finishing it on smaller needles and then frogging it when I discovered it was more beanie than beret. The zig-zaggy, holey stitch pattern is AWESOME and makes this pattern a real keeper.  Unfortunately the size of the beret is far from awesome. It’s huge! It has great slouch, but it’s very long. Having shorter hair now probably doesn’t help, either. The pattern says over 9″ and that’s what I did. Not a good idea! I decided to fold up the brim and sew it in place, which eliminates an inch from the hat. Probably a tiny bit too slouchy, but a huge help. It definitely makes the brim less attractive, however.

The Yarn: I used Red Heart Super Saver in Bright Yellow. I had nearly a full skein from only using tiny bits for Lulu’s Outfits and I probably used about half of what I had for this hat. Definitely not very much! I’m quickly learning that Super Saver has a great place in amigurumi but maybe not so much in accessories and garments. I still think it performed better in a knit hat than the Sugar Cone Skully Hat I crocheted recently. A softer yarn might have made a more delicate hat.

What’s next for me: I’m making slow and steady (mostly just slow) progress on my Tuesday Night Cowl. I’m excited to work on it again tomorrow! Now that I’m back in school full-time (not to mention my part-time job and my full-time boyfriend…), yarn might be taking the back seat again. My New Year’s resolution was to spend more time knitting/crocheting in public, so I will be bringing my recently-cast-on Diamond Leaf Cowl to campus often.

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Frogged Slipper Cowl

It only took me two days to finish my Frogged Slipper Cowl! I’m on such a knitting roll!

frogged slipper cowl flat frogged slipper cowl me

The Pattern: The pattern is called Side-stepping Cowl and I found it in my 2013 Knitting Calendar. It was from January and I must have missed it back then, because when I was flipping through old days it stood out to me. I’m glad I caught it! I really liked making this cowl. The side-stepping stitch pattern is very simple and actually stands out. Maybe not to anyone but a knitter, but that’s okay! I think I’d have added more “height” to it (it’s 6″ wide/tall/whatever, which is around what it’s supposed to be) for a more scrunched up look. My cowl is a bit longer because I used the same needles but used a worsted yarn instead of a DK yarn. Maybe the extra length calls for extra width! My only complaint with this problem is the edging. It’s not the same on top and bottom and I don’t understand why. It doesn’t even look very good. I think I’d keep it simpler and just purl a row or two before diving right into the pattern. You don’t need much.

The Yarn: This is the interesting thing about this project. This cowl is made entirely (I had to start using yarn that had never been anything but a ball of yarn over half way into the bind off round) from yarn that used to be a slipper. It’s Loops & Threads Impeccable (one of the big skeins!) in Seaside Ombre. I frogged the slipper and made it again with fresh yarn (read about that whole drama here), so I had two little skeins of yarn that screamed, “I used to be a slipper!” So I turned them into this cowl. I think it was kind of fun to recycle the yarn and pay tribute to what it used to be. Plus, this colorway really worked well with the side-stepping stitch pattern. Such a nice yarn. And I still have more left!

What’s next for me: I haven’t finished my First-Day Beret and I start school in a week! Ahhh! I have to really kick ass there! And Tuesday is coming around the corner, so I’ll work on my Tuesday Night Cowl this week too. When I finish the beret, I’ll probably make more cowls until they drive me crazy. 🙂

Flower Choker

In one day, I made myself a Flower Choker. I just love starting and finishing a project in the same day!

 flower choker me

Excuse my terrible roots. I’m waiting to do my hair until just before school starts, to ensure I’m looking my best for the first day.

flower choker neck

 

The Pattern: I got this knitting flower pattern from my 2013 Knitting Calendar. It was featured in May but at that point, I was on my yarn hiatus due to school and then immediately scrambling to finish my WIPs after that ended. So I’m finally getting around to it now. It was a pretty quick knit. I started it in the morning but the extreme number of increases in order to create the coil effect made my work very tight and hurt my hands, so I had to put it aside. I used size 2 needles, but maybe should have done something bigger to help with the tightness. I picked it up later and finished it, but didn’t know what to do with it. I had a crocheted flower that I like to put in my hair, but I didn’t think this flower looked flower-y enough to stand alone like that. The photo featured in my calendar has a woman wearing it around a beaded necklace, and I was inspired. I decided a green necklace would make the flower look more flower-y by representing a stem. I first started to knit an i-cord, but then realized I really liked the layered look of the necklace in the photo. I wanted something thinner so I could have three, so I made three crochet chains (with a C/2 hook) in different lengths. I staggered them, but I didn’t like the way the flower laid there and looked very random, adding too much weight to the floppy chains. I played around with it and decided I’d rather have the chains equal length and tight around my neck so that the flower was flat on my neck. I think it looked better that way. I tied the chains around a jump ring and a clasp (taking lots of precautions not to twist the chains around one another) and tied the flower around the chains. I’m pretty pleased with what I did with my flower, especially considering that I made this simple accessory in one day. I think it shows off my knitting (which I love) in a more sophisticated way.

 

The Yarn: I used leftover Caron Simply Soft in Real Red for the flower and Key Lime for the necklace. I had both of these yarns from my Crocheted Flower (I ditched the stem concept) so both skeins are nearly whole. And still are! Hardly a good project for stash busting, but good to make when you already have the colors on hand. I really enjoy this yarn. It’s smooth and silky, and the texture is a little twisty.

 

What’s next for me: I’m still on a stash-busting journey full of cowls and hats. I started stitching a Tuesday Night Cowl which I’ll only work on on Tuesdays. Sounds fun!! Right now, I have five or six project bags with yarn and pattern all picked out. I’m pretty sure I’m getting ahead of myself, but at least I’ll keep myself busy for a few months!

Knit Cabled Belt

I finished my Knit Cabled Belt! I hadn’t even expected to finish it today because I can’t wear it with most of my summer clothes, so I was sort of putting it off. But it works up faster than I thought, and I was done in no time!

 knit cabled belt me

knit cabled belt flat knit cabled belt wip

 

The Pattern: This pattern is from the Designer One Skein Wonders book I got for Christmas last year (I made the Loop Through Scarf when I first got it). It’s a really nice pattern. I like the cables because they’re classic and simple, and I like the edges because they look so neat and clean. My only modification was to sew the cast-on edge around the buckle and leave the bind-off edge to be seen. The pattern suggests the opposite but my bind-off edge is neater and looks better. I would have probably shortened the project. I followed the length suggestion to work with my waist measurement, but had to double over a good two or three inches when sewing which only adds bulk, right at one side of the buckle. Not very attractive, but tolerable.

The Yarn: I used Red Heart Super Saver in Cafe Latte of which I had nearly a full skein leftover from my Lulu the Pig outfits. I used up a bit, but not as much as I’d have liked to for this stash-busting project. I used around half. It’s not a very deep brown, which I know I’d have liked a lot more (ah, the woes of trying to use up your stash before buying more yarn!), but it looks like it will go with a lot of things. It’s perfect for my pumpkin colored dress (which looks more red than orange in the first photo…) and other fall-colored clothes. The texture of the yarn works well for this pattern. It doesn’t split and it need not be soft to make a hearty belt. It lets the cable pattern shine really well. I’d definitely recommend this yarn for anyone making this belt.

What’s next for me: Since it seems I’m jumping right into fall/back-to-school accessories, I’m eyeing a lot of knit cowl patterns. I’ll be finishing my First-Day Beret before the first day of school (I’m waiting for some new needles to arrive in the mail because it was coming out too small and I want it to be PERFECT) so expect to see that soon!!

Sugar Cone Skully Hat

Yesterday I started, and then proceeded to finish, my Sugar Cone Skully Hat.

sugar cone skully hat front sugar cone skully hat side view sugar cone skully hat flat

The Pattern: This comes from Julie King’s blog, Gleeful Things, and is a pattern of the same name as my project. It’s a pretty solid pattern. The stitch pattern is so simple and easy that the hat can be worked up quickly. My hat only took me a few hours. It’s definitely a “shortcut” kind of pattern and I think I should have picked something a bit more intricate. A great pattern if you’re on a tight schedule, though. And it’s always a confidence boost to crank out a quick project! The pattern has an error (row four does not have an increase on the first repeat) but the pattern is simple enough such that any beginner crocheter could spot it and correct it. Since I modified my fourth row (increasing less frequently to correct for a larger gauge), it didn’t matter a lick to me. The pattern doesn’t say to turn after rounds are joined, but out of sheer habit I turned a good number of them. I’m not sure which, but I know I made the mistake more than once! I imagine that changes the look of the hat, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!!

The Yarn: I used Red Heart Super Saver in Amethyst. I had a ton left over from my Lulu in Tokyo outfit (I bought a huge skein and only used it on her tiny obi) so I really wanted to use some up. Unfortunately, the holiness of this pattern means that it doesn’t use up much. I still have lots of other projects to make in order to use up this yarn! I don’t think it was a great choice for this pattern. It’s awfully stiff and doesn’t have good drape, which is essential for this hat. I think something lighter and smoother would have been much better.

What’s next for me: I want to use up more RHSS and make a hat to wear on my first day of school (it’ll still be to summery to wear most kinds of knit garments, but I’m dying to wear something hand knit). Summer is coming to a close, so it’s time to get cracking on those back to school projects!! I’m hoping to get in some hats and cowls in these few weeks.

Lulu in Hawaii

I have finished the final outfit for Lulu: Lulu in Hawaii!

lulu in hawaii

 

The Pattern: This is from the July/August 2013 issue of Crochet Today! I made some decent modifications. I added extra grass to her skirt and kept it long. I made the bikini straps shorter and decreased the space between the cups (I have nothing else to call them haha). I also made ties for the bikini instead of using a button. I made the crown and the bracelets, but didn’t want the necklace or the anklets as they take away from the skirt and top (and frankly who needs that much). All those flours were a lot of work (32 of them!) but they do wonders for the completed look of this outfit. Overall, it’s definitely a cute one! It’s pretty different than most of the others, since it doesn’t have a dress or shorts or anything) but it’s also a lot easier.

This is the last in the series of outfits for this cat-turned-pig, and I’m pretty bittersweet about it. Every outfit has presented its own set of challenges and I did my best to modify and learn. I think these patterns have taught me a lot. I can embroider, make pom poms, sew better, and modify patterns better. I know that on the outside, it might seem like a bunch of weird outfits for a little stuffed animal, but it’s an amazing crochet regimen that’s expanded my abilities. In my eyes, Lulu’s outfits are no different than a stitch sampler blanket or a bunch of acting exercises. They have given me great practice and I am undoubtedly a better crocheter for it.

 

The Yarn: I’ve been using Red Heart Super Saver for all of these outfits. This one uses Cherry Red, Bright Yellow, Spring Green, and Light Blue, which are almost exactly what the pattern calls for. It’s been really great to have all the colors on hand for every outfit since they repeat a lot. These patterns have definitely made RHSS my go-to yarn. It has such solid, straight-forward colors and an equally essential yarn weight. I feel like as long as I have a handful of skeins of RHSS laying around, I’m always prepared.

 

What’s next for me: Being my last Lulu, my crochet plans have opened up greatly. And since I’m now done with this issue of Crochet Today! and don’t have the next, the world is my oyster. And by that, I mean the internet is my oyster. I’m still hoping to use up a lot of yarn before buying more, so I’ll be making whatever the yarn tells me. Who knows where I’ll go!

 

Brian’s Slipper Socks Update

Just to recap, I made a pair of slipper socks for my boyfriend, Brian and the day after I gave them to him, he dumped me! (You can read about it here) I was so upset, I angrily frogged one that very morning. That afternoon, I began to frog the other one and then got very teary and nostalgic.

brians slipper socks frogged

Looking back at our relationship, I realized that I really did love him and he gave me many wonderful memories. It wasn’t fair of me to be angry if he didn’t feel the same way about me. I was being petty and bitter, and that’s not me. I decided to remake the slippers as a sort of parting gift. Like, “thanks for all that we’ve done together and all that you’ve done for me.” He deserved them, even if we weren’t going to be together.

brians slipper socks remade

With the assumption that I’d never see these slippers again, I added a tag to ensure they’d be thoroughly credited, where ever they wind up. I chose the one that said “crocheted with love” so that Brian would not forget our relationship and he’d see his slipper socks and think about all our good memories like I had done. I really did put a lot of love into these slippers.

brians slipper socks tag

When Brian and I met to “weave in the loose ends” of our relationship, he came with flowers and an apology. I won’t get into details, but it was definitely an impulse breakup and I think he realized it soon after. We are still working things out, but I anticipate seeing Brian and his slipper socks in my life.

This project has turned out to be a crazy one. I put a lot of time into them the first time around and still more after that. A lot of time has been spent on these slipper socks, but it hasn’t been in vain. Here’s what I learned from this crazy experience:

  1. Think before you frog. Impulse frogging turned out to be a big mistake for me and I really should have let the project sit before I took scissors to it.
  2. I can make a slipper sock in four hours. I should really become the slipper sock queen or something. I have the pattern memorized by now, I think.
  3. The slipper is a lot easier to attach to the sole if you add extra rows to the foot length. I originally followed the pattern exactly and then worried they were too small. When I was reworking them, I decided to add some extra length for a better fit, and it really sewing them to the soles easier. Each side of the sole has 47 holes (not counting the front one and the back one) and the number of rows on each side of the slipper is just over 40. Add a few more rows and the numbers look more in your favor.
  4. You can make three slipper socks out of a ball of Loops & Thread Impeccable Big and still have enough yarn to make a fourth. I used fresh yarn from the skein instead of the curled up frogged stuff when remaking my frogged slipper, and the amount of yarn left in the skein was still more than the amount of frogged yarn. Probably not the greatest thing I’ve learned but if you want to make you and a friend matching slippers…
  5. Boy are boys. They are going to say they don’t want to be with you and then change their minds in a flash. Faster than you can make a slipper, even. I’m just glad my first reaction was to frog some slippers and not to go skydiving or key his car.