Tag Archives: patons yarns

Frantic Holiday Crafting: Finish 2

This is the second project I finished since I challenged myself to finish a project every two days in December.

OB hat

I crocheted this hat last night.  It’s for a friend of mine who bought one of my crocheted hats at a craft fair a few years ago.  We went to Smiley’s to shop for this yarn a few weeks ago.  She wanted a remake of the hat using black and grey yarn, and I held three strands of Patons Shetland Chunky together to make it.  It’s super cozy and made with a small brim, just as she requested.  I didn’t weave in the ends, though, because I’m not sure about the size and since she commissioned it, I want it to fit exactly as she wants.  (She lost the original before she could measure the circumference, and described the fit ans not too snug and not too loose.)  The next step is to schedule a fitting.

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

2012 Year in Review: Frog Fest!

I’m not the type of crocheter (or knitter) who feels the need to complete every project I start.  Sometimes I start a project for stress relief, other times I make a bad yarn choice, and then there are times when the project just isn’t really something I want to work on anymore.

Today, I’m celebrating all those creations that actually made it as far as into my Ravelry projects but were later unraveled.  While I actually unraveled 12 projects in 2012 (freaky, huh?), I’m just going to talk about the three most significant ones today.

If you followed my second Year of Projects posts, you may remember that I was working on my first pair of knit socks.

I started these during the Ravellenic Games, hoping that would be the push I needed to actually get excited about making knitted socks.  I love looking at other people’s knit socks and I love wearing hand-knit socks, but something about actually knitting socks never seemed all that appealing to me.

I think I’ll stick with crochet socks.  I’m not all that comfortable knitting with small needles or with lightweight yarn and I just don’t feel committed to spending the amount of time needed to knit a single pair of socks.

Another learning experience was the slip stitch scarf I started for the Red Scarf Project.  Vashti Braha‘s newsletters got me very excited about using more slip stitches in my projects.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really think this one through.

Let’s just say that the combination of not so great quality acrylic yarn, watching a movie while crocheting, and slip stitches is not a good one.  I decided to unravel this, along with a Christmas stocking I made last year (in red wool)…

…and give slip stitch crochet another try in wool in 2013.

 

I think the addition of this hook I found at a shop near my job, which looks like a pjoning hook, will also help to make the stitches more even.

And finally, there’s the Pineapple Doily Shawl I started.

Several students in my crochet class were working on it, and I decided to start one, too.  I don’t usually work on projects with my students (besides a little swatch I make in class), and this experience hasn’t encouraged me to make it a habit.

I inherited this yarn from my grandmother and I eventually want to make it into something special for my mom.  So far, the perfect project for this yarn hasn’t revealed itself.

 

Do you unravel projects, do you always finish what you start, or do you abandon projects that aren’t working out?

Good news!

This past week, I’ve gotten great news on several different fronts, and I really wanted to share the excitement with my readers!

New Patterns

On Tuesday, two of my designs were released in new pattern books: Quick and Simple Crochet Scarves: 9 Designs from Up-and-Coming Designers! and Quick and Simple Crochet Hats: 8 Designs from Up-and-Coming Designers!  I have one design in each book.  You can buy the books through Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores or online.  The interesting thing about this book series is that it features indie designers and the designers retain the rights to sell the patterns individually online.

© F+W Media (Photos by Corrie Shaffeld of 1326 Studios)

The Wide Ripple Scarf is one of my first self-published patterns.  I made this version using just over two skeins of Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Periwinkle.  I love the long length, and you may have noticed that I’m a big fan of ripples.

I designed the Twisted Cable Hat because I love the look of mini cables and twisted stitches.  My version was made with just over one skein of Patons Classic Wool in Leaf Green.  It is super warm and thick because of the way it is crocheted.  I haven’t decided yet when I’ll offer a PDF version of this pattern.

Kollabora also published another one of the secret projects I made for their display at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago.

(C) Kollabora. The pattern is actually crocheted even though the model is holding knitting needles ;).

The Lattice Shell Tunic is available as a free pattern on their website.  (Side note: The schematic hasn’t been uploaded yet, so if you’re getting started on the project, let me know and I can email it to you.)  The small is a great one skein project using a jumbo skein of Kollabora’s Nora’s Pantry yarn, which is a soft alpaca.

It’s always fun to see your designs published, but there was other great news this week…

 

Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

I’ll be teaching two classes at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March, and my mom and I have decided to make it a weekend road trip!  I’m really looking forward to spending a few days out of town with my mom.  I booked the hotel this week and am already thinking about what to pack.  (Can you tell I don’t travel much??)  I’ve been wanting to check out Pittsburgh for a while, so this is a great opportunity.   And, since my mom is driving us up, we’ll have a car to get around town with, too.

Knitting Cables 101 (left) and Bruges Lace Basics (right).

If you’re in the area (or are planning a road trip, like me), I’d love to see you at either of my classes: Knitting Cables 101 on Saturday morning or the Bruges Lace Basics Stitch Sampler on Sunday afternoon.  Also, if you have any Pittsburgh tourist suggestions, let me know!

But wait, there’s more good news!

 

Press Pass

 

I was granted a press pass to Vogue Knitting Live in New York City!  You may remember that I went last year and had a lot of fun.  I later interviewed two vendors I met in the Marketplace: Liz Cooper from Seabury Organizers (here) and Vivian Osborne from Arctic Qiviut (here).  I’m thrilled to be able to spend three days focused on yarn in my home town.  I’m looking forward to blogging and Tweeting from the event!

Awesome Crochet Blog Award

And as if I hadn’t already had enough excitement for the week, yesterday I learned that I won the 2012 Awesome Crochet Blog Award for Best Interviews from Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence!

When I won the award last year, I was thrilled, but this year I’m even more excited.  It may not be evident, but I put a lot of work into my interviews – probably more time than for any other type of post.  But (even without these two awesome awards!!) it is completely worth it because I learn so much from the interviewees and I’ve been able to “meet” some of my crochet heroes by contacting them for an interview.

When I started blogging, I naively thought interviews would be a good way to have content on days when I didn’t know what to blog about.  You know how they say that ignorance is bliss?  If I would have known then what I know now about interviewing, I might have never started ;).  About half of the people I contact may never respond while others may be interested but aren’t available to answer the questions for months because their schedules are so tight.  Each interview can require hours of research before I even write the questions – everything from reading the interviewee’s books to searching the web for information about their background.  Once the interview answers are returned, taking the time to organize the pictures and links for the posts, as well as editing out typos and adding in my own comments, adds in another hour or two.  I feel so honored that Kathryn would highlight my interviews again this year, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed them.  You can find all my interviews here.  (I’m also planning a recap of my favorite interviews from this year later this month.)

This has been an amazing week for me, and I hope yours has gone just as well!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 26

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

After a few weeks without anything interesting report, I’m happy to say I finished two holiday projects.

I made this crescent shawl using stash yarn and one of the buttons I inherited from my grandmother.  The pattern is Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench (also available as a free Ravelry download).  I probably would have made it larger if I made it for myself, but at this size it was a perfect storm project.

 

 

I made this ripple scarf entirely from scrap yarn, too.  I got a lot of crafting done last week since I was at home from work for three days due to the storm, and then had a four hour round trip commute on Thursday and Friday.

Now I seem to be back on track with my holiday crafting, and hopefully I can keep up the momentum.  I’m hopeful about completing the rest of my holiday projects before my personal deadline of November 18.  I also bought larger cards for my snowflake project, so I hope to have a few cards ready in time for the winter holidays.

The Finished List! (~2,450 yds from stash)

1) Cabled hat for Dad – Cascade 220 Superwash (from stash) ~220 yds – A Hat Fit for a Fella pattern by Shana Kreikemeier

2) Cabled hat for JP – Malabrigo Rios (from stash) ~145 yds – my own design

3) Bruges lace scarf for OB – madelinetosh tosh sport (purchased at Knitty City for this project) – 270 yds – Sparkling Wave Scarf pattern by Tatyana Mirer

4) Ribbed beanie for cousin PR – Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 122 yds – my own design

5) Stuffed toy for little cousin, CJ – Caron One Pound in black and white (from stash) – 210 yds - Lala the Panda by Stacey Trock
6) Ribbed beanie for cousin MR - Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 129 yds – my own design

7) Bruges lace scarf for my friend, JS – Bitsy Knits Squoosh (from stash) – 270 yds – my own design

8 ) Bruges lace infinity scarf/cowl for one of the ladies in my dad’s family –Austermann Step (from stash) – 276 yds – my own design

9) Bruges lace scarf in boucle yarn for another one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Bernat Soft Boucle (from stash) – 204 yds – my own design

10) Self-striping Bruges lace scarf for another one of the ladies in my dad’s family – Red Heart Boutique Eclipse (from stash) – 170 yds – my own design

11) Christmas stocking for grandpa – lots and lots of white and red yarn – 193 yards from stash and 113 yards of Craft Smart Value Solids bought from Michaels for this project – I used this pattern for assembly and 17 different hexagon designs

12) Scarf for Dad’s partnerBernat Lana, Cascade 220, Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool, and Tahki Yarns Donegal Tweed (from stash) – 299 yds – my own design, available as part of the Ripple Mania crochet-a-long

13) Crescent shawl for one of the ladies in my dad’s familyCascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool (from stash) – 212 yds – Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench

The “Still to Make” List

1) My Uncle M – A hat.  Since I made my dad’s partner a scarf, the yarn I was planning to use for the hat is available to make something for my uncle.

The Maybe List

1) CG, my BFF from high school - I’m not as worried about time for this one, since we usually don’t meet until after the holidays anyway.  I would still like to make something with this yarn that I bought with her in mind.

2-3 ) My sister and my mom - I’m at the point where I may not make anything for these lovely ladies.  I made my sister a bedspread last year (ok, I finished it in March, but it was for Christmas, 2011!) and I’m working on a bedspread for my mom’s birthday in February.  If I have time, I think I’ll make house slippers or finish this shawl for my mom.

3) MC, my special guy – If I have time, I’ll make him a pair of house slippers or a new hat since he has pretty well worn out the one I made him a few years ago.

How is your holiday crafting going?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge – Week 2

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting. You can read more details here.)

I’ve reached the point in life where I’m feeling overwhelmed by stuff.  This might be due to the fact that we’re living in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City, or it might be because I’ve been trying to live more minimally.  Although I’ve reduced my stash by one full 60 quart plastic tub so far this year, I still have quite a few yarns with no intended purpose that I’m putting into the maybe list for gifts.

From left to right: Dream in Color in Spring Tickle, Malabrigo Rios in Glazed Carrot (in progress as a hat for JP), Malabrigo Rios in Primavera, and Dream in Color in Happy Forest.
Ron by Nude Ewe.
Back to front: Bitsy Knits Aquamarine and mystery colorway.
Nancy's Hair by No Two Snowflakes.
Emerald Forest by A Stash Addict.

 

Joseph Galler, Inc. Hirten-Tweed, a vintage yarn from my grandmother's stash that's being made into the Pineapple Doily Shawl by Laura Garsten.
LB Collection Superwash Merino in Cayenne and Spring Leaf.

Other yarns that aren’t pictured include:

I also found a pair of Slipper Soles in my sister’s size.  Since I have fewer skeins that I’d like to use for holiday gifts than people on my gift list, I’m sure I will end up buying yarn at some point.  But for now, this will give me a great start.
I read a great post by FreshStitches yesterday about using the stash feature on Ravelry, so my plan for the next week is to try and link up some of these yarns with patterns and project ideas.
I will mention here that I had a super awesome post written, but I lost everything.  This is the best re-write I could muster after midnight.
Tell us all about the yarns you plan to use or buy for the Holiday Stashdown Challenge in the comments, and share links to your posts with us!
If you need some inspiration for a Holiday Stashdown Challenge post for next week, here’s the prompt for Tuesday, 5/29:
Now that you’ve sized up the yarn in your stash and the people on your gift list, what types of projects do you plan to make?  Are you making the same type of (or the same exact) project for multiple people, or does everyone get something unique?  Do you have lofty project goals for everyone on your list, or do you make small gifts with love?  Tell us more about your project ideas!

FO Friday – Little things

I have two small finished projects to share today.

I finished these yoga socks on Saturday.  Way back in December, I started making my very own yarn stash club kits as part of my efforts to Surmount the Stash along with Revelations of a Delusional Knitter.  I really wanted to find something to do with a skein of Patons Stretch Socks and Pam Daley‘s yoga socks pattern (available at KnitPicks) seemed like it would be a great match.

I made these in my mom and sister's size...
since they both love yoga.

 

Unfortunately, that means these socks are too small for me, so you’ll just have to imagine how they’ll look on feet.

I was getting really nervous towards the end, because it looked like I might run out of yarn and I really didn’t want to buy more just to finish a few rows.  Luckily, I was able to finish the socks with one skein.

Less than two yards remaining!
Stitch detail.

These worked up so quickly that I didn’t even get to take progress pictures.  As you know, I don’t usually follow other people’s patterns, but I was (relatively) faithful to this one and would recommend it.  I will definitely be making another pair with a different sock yarn from my stash.

 

My other project to share is my plaid woven crochet clutch.  Unlike the socks, which were a four day project, this piece of plaid has been around since I took a class with Jenny King at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio last October.  I last shared progress pictures on Sunday, and then I finished this off later that day.

Closed, with the button from my grandmother's collection.

 

With the flap open.

I’m glad that I finally learned to make plaid crochet so that the woven strands look nice and plump… but… I don’t really imagine myself using woven crochet much.  There are just too many ends to weave in.  Perhaps if I was Scottish (or had a close friend who was very proud of their Scottish heritage), I would want to make a tartan in crochet form to share with the world.  Alternatively, if I loved fringe, I would make a ton of plaid afghans with fringe and never worry about weaving in ends.

I plan to use this clutch as a gift pouch.  The jury is still out on whether I will pick up the other piece of mesh from the class, weave in 22 chain strands and their ends, and then transform it into something useful.

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

F.O. Friday and I Love Yarn Day!

Happy Friday everyone!  I’ve been thinking for a while about how to celebrate I Love Yarn Day, since I first read about it on the Craft Yarn Council website.  The CYC has several suggestions about what to do to celebrate (and several projects from famous designers, too!).

My post for today is a celebration of my favorite yarns and also about yarncrafting for charity.  If you have been crocheting or knitting for any amount of time, you have probably found that we yarncrafters are a generous lot.  I even have some Finished Objects to share, in the form of charity crochet projects.

My Favorite Yarns

My current favorites are Cascade Eco Duo, Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love, Dream in Color Classy, Patons Classic Wool, and Spud and Chloe Sweater.

Top (from left to right): Eco Duo, Alpaca Love. Bottom (from left to right): Classy, Classic Wool (ombre) with Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool (solid), Sweater.

Cascade Eco Duo

Like most of the yarns on my list, I discovered this super soft yarn in my LYS, Knitty City.  As the name implies, Cascade Eco Duo is an eco-friendly yarn made of undyed baby alpaca (70%) and undyed Merino wool (30%).  Since it is undyed, it is offered in a relatively limited range of colors (mostly browns, blacks, whites – very gender neutral) and it is marled.  The softness is incredible and it is really nice to work with.  There is a kind of self-striping effect with most of the colors.  The one drawback for me is that it isn’t machine washable, and since I hate handwashing, I only use this yarn for small accessories.

Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love

This is my favorite big box store yarn. Alpaca Love is also a wool (80%) and alpaca (20%) blend.  I love the feel of the yarn – a great combination of softness with firmness.  It comes in some very fun coordinated colors.  This yarn is very affordable (especially when purchased at Michaels using a coupon!).  The drawbacks for me are the handwashing issue again, and the limited color range.  I usually get around the handwashing issue by felting projects made with this yarn :).

Dream in Color Classy

Dream in Color Classy is another great yarn that I first tried out at Knitty City.  This yarn has recently made several appearances on the blog (in my crocodile stitch project and my yarn haul post).  Classy is a 100% superwash Merino wool yarn that is spun and hand dyed in the U.S.  The colors are variegated and are really fabulous.  The only drawback here for me is the cost, which means that I have to save it for slightly more special occasions.  At least there are 250 yards in each skein, which makes me feel a little less guilty when splurging!

Patons Classic Wool

Patons Classic Wool is another big box store yarn.  It is 100% wool and it is available in a great variety of colors, including both solids and ombres.  (A few colors are also available as tweeds.)  The  solids have 210 yards in each skein and are reasonably priced.  It isn’t the softest wool I’ve felt, but it isn’t scratchy, either.  It is a great, firm, workhorse yarn which doesn’t split.  The only real drawback for me is that it isn’t machine washable.

Spud and Chloe Sweater

Sweater is probably the yarn in this group that I’ve worked with the most.  It is a blend of 55% superwash wool and 45% organic cotton.  I also found it at Knitty City :) about a year ago.  I first picked up a skein of Turtle for a design submission which wasn’t accepted.  I loved the yarn so much that I submitted two more designs with it, which were both accepted.  The first was my Sunshine Blanket, published in the August, 2011 issue of Inside Crochet.  I am also in the middle of a top secret project using these colors for Cooperative Press‘s Fresh Designs Crochet (Kids) book, which should be published in 2012.  I honestly can’t think of any drawbacks to this yarn: the colors are great, it is machine washable, and it feels nice :).

You may have noticed that all of these yarns are worsted weight – yes, I am one of those American yarncrafters that prefers a heavier weight yarn!  You may have also noticed that all of these yarns are made with natural fibers.  I am by no means a “yarn snob” – I work with Red Heart Super Saver, too.  But recently, I have really tried to limit my purchasing of acrylic yarn.  I just don’t feel comfortable buying a yarn made from crude oil anymore.  This is my own personal choice as part of changes I’ve made in my life to be more environmentally conscious.  On the other hand, I can’t just let the existing acrylic yarn in my stash go to waste (that’s  not too eco-friendly either), and so that is where some of my charity crafting and experiments with freeform crochet come into play.

Charity Crafting

One great way to use up your stash while finding a home for some of your creations is through charity crafting.  I especially like to make items for infants and pets (because they are fast and cute, and because my very own special cat was adopted from the Humane Society).

I was inspired by the phrase “Think globally.  Act locally.” and decided to make up a list of local NYC charities that accept handmade donations.  I checked in with all of these organizations, and the list is current as of October, 2011.

Snuggles Project sites:

  • ASPCA, the first humane organization in the Western hemisphere, has a wishlist of donated items for their Manhattan adoption center which includes handmade bedding or toys.  Items can be dropped off during regular adoption hours.
  • Bideawee, the oldest no-kill animal humane organization in the U.S., welcomes Snuggles in any size for cats and dogs in its adoption center.  These can be delivered in person, or mailed to the attention of Lauren Bonanno at the Manhattan location.
  • S.A.V.E., a pet rescue organization in Queens, is looking for small or medium sized bedding.  Email the organization at savepetNY@aol.com to arrange pick up.

Knits for Infants is looking for hats, booties, sweaters, and blankets in soft, machine washable yarns for newborns and infants being treated at the North Central Bronx Hospital.  Having worked in the health care industry in the Bronx for years, I can say that families served by this hospital would really benefit from the donations.  They also accept yarn donations (no novelty yarns or “scratchy” yarns like Red Heart Super Saver, please).

For those of you who live in the U.S. outside of New York, some great organizations you might consider donating to are one of the organizations listed on the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation website (Oglala Sioux Tribe families and elders), Knit Your Bit through the National WW II Museum (scarves for veterans) and  The Red Scarf Project through Foster Care to Success (scarves for foster care students in college).  Internationally, you can find a participating animal shelter/pet rescue organization that accepts handmade donations through the Snuggles Project.  Of course, this is just a small sampling of organizations, and there are many more out there!

Finished Objects


Today, I’m showing off some of the projects that I’m donating to charity for I Love Yarn Day.

Six scarves for Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi, Inc. (LOWO).
Two scarves, a hat, and mittens for toddlers via Knits for Infants. I have two other hats in the works, too.
This is a close up of my snuggle for Bideawee. I plan to make a few more using scrap yarn (I doubt the doggies are too concerned about the colors).

My post yesterday was a reflection on my craft goals for the year, and I’m thinking that when I update them, I will add some charity crafting goals.  I used to donate a lot of projects to charity, and I would like to make more crocheted donations in the coming months.

For more finished objects, don’t forget to stop by Tami’s Amis!

A Final Word on Awesome Yarn

A few weeks ago, I won a giveaway from Danielle at A Stash Addicts Ramblings for my choice of sock yarn from her Jane & Michael Etsy shop.  This lovely skein arrived yesterday, just in time for I Love Yarn Day!

The colorway is called Emerald Forest.

 

(On a side note, I remember being totally confused by The Emerald Forest as a kid, since I was, of course, way too young to have any real sense of what the film was about!)

There's a good chance that this may eventually transform itself into a gift for my mom.

Thanks, Danielle!

To find more blogs participating in Blogtoberfest 2011, visit Tinnie Girl.  For Blogtoberfest 2011 giveaways, visit Curly Pops.

Reminders:

  • You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, October 19 to enter the giveaway for Val Pierce‘s Knitted Mug Hugs (Twenty to Make) by visiting this post.
  • If you want to learn to crochet or improve your skills, you can still join in on my Crochet 101 crochet-a-long.  For details, read this post.