Tag Archives: tami’s amis

FO Friday: Phoenix Sunset

Years ago, I was in a job I didn’t love which required me to travel to Phoenix for a conference.  After a long, dreary day under artificial, hotel conference room lighting, I stepped outside just in time to see a stunning sunset.

The beautiful browns, yellows, and oranges really lifted my spirit.  The colors were in contrast with the blues and purples I usually see in New York City sunsets.  I tucked that image away in my mind for a future project.

A few years later, Knit Picks was seeking designs for a collection that was heavily influenced by the same colors.  I matched my idea for that design with a really cool stitch pattern and submitted the design.  It wasn’t chosen for the collection, but Knit Picks provided me with yarn so that I could submit the pattern to their Independent Designer Partnership Program.

And thus, the Phoenix Sunset was born.

blog Phoenix Sunset 2

I used one skein each of City Tweed Aran/Heavy Worsted in three colors.

blog Phoenix Sunset 1

I crocheted it flat, so it could be worn as a scarf.  I decided to join the short edges to make a circle scarf/infinity cowl, since I tend to wear those more often.

blog Phoenix Sunset 3

It’s so cozy and we’re experiencing a cold spell.  It was pretty tough to mail away the sample to Knit Picks (so they can add it to their pattern collection).  This is definitely a project I’ll be excited to see again.  I love the ripples and the texture, as well as the colors (which work well with my winter coat).

The Phoenix Sunset pattern is now available for pre-order on Ravelry.  You can save 50% using the coupon code phoenix through Friday, February 7.  The completed pattern will be uploaded this weekend, and you’ll get an email/Ravelry message update if you’ve already ordered it.

blog Phoenix Sunset 4

The pattern uses chains, double crochets, increases, and decreases.  I’m including two photo tutorials – one for the front post cluster (the stitch creating those beautiful, textured v shapes) and one for the invisible seam if you want to make it into a cowl.

 

For more Finished Object Friday posts, visit Tami’s Amis.

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.

Temperatures are rising

The last several months have been a whirlwind.  As a result of constant activity at work, home, and in life, books languished in my Currently Reading shelf on Goodreads, crochet and knit projects stalled in my project bags, and over 100 blogs I follow sat unread in Feedly.  But recently, things have cleared up – I now have a new job, everyone’s health in my household seems to be improving, and I’ve been inspired to jump back into the creative world again.  (As a side note, I decided that it would be best to just wipe out the nearly 700 blog posts that were unread and start fresh.  So if I missed out on some significant event on your blog since July, I’m sorry!)

On that note, I’ve recently returned to my 2013 Temperature Scarf (free pattern here).  I had last worked on it in May, and it looked like this:

Temperature scarf through 2013-05-24.jpg

At that point, I had used all but one of the 7 yarns I had set aside for this project.  Over the weekend, I sat down and plotted the daily high temperatures from May 25 through November 15, and started crocheting.  I had a lot of fun, and remembered why I love this project to begin with.

Temperature scarf thru 2013-09-06

Yes, it is a little wonky, but between the different yarns and the five month lapse, what can you expect?  Besides, it’s nothing that a little blocking (and perhaps a border) won’t cure.

But you might have noticed something.

Temperature scarf thru 2013-09-06 from end

Yes, one colorway really is about half of the scarf.  It turns out that we had a relatively mild summer, and a relatively warm fall.  So the temperature range 75-87 degrees has been used way more than any other range.  My scarf is only current through September 6, but I have charted through November.  And there’s just no way I’ll have enough of this delightful skein to finish out the year.

Temperature scarf thru 2013-09-06 from beginning

So for now, I’ve put the scarf aside while I decide what to do next.  I could choose another yarn for that range, but I had worked so hard to only use stash yarns for this, and I don’t seem to have a compatible full skein of medium weight superwash wool in my stash.  Perhaps I’ll venture out on Small Business Saturday and buy another skein.  Or perhaps I should combine some color ranges?  With only about 45 days to go to the year, I can’t help but notice that I’ve used virtually none of these two skeins.

Temperature scarf yarns

On the left, I have madelinetosh tosh vintage in Cove, representing the high range of temperatures, and on the right I have Dream in Color Classy in Spring Tickle, representing the low range of temperatures.  What do you suggest?

As for reading, I finished two knitting related books in the last week: Follow the Yarn (I’ll be a part of the blog tour on Friday, and will share an interview with author Reba Linker) and Sweater 101: How to Plan Sweaters That Fit… and Organize Your Knitting Life At the Same Time.  I’ll definitely have to write a separate post about Sweater 101 because it blew my mind!  I’m not sure which book from the shelf I’ll pick up next, but I have a little less than 7 weeks (and 15 books to go) to meet my goal of reading 65 books this year.  I guess I better get reading!

Don’t forget to check out more Work in Progress Wednesday posts at Tami’s Amis, and more Yarn Along posts at Small Things.

 

 

FO Friday: My Mountain Crochet Hat Designs

I’ve mentioned the My Mountain Hat Design Contest, sponsored by Schachenmayr in their My Mountain yarns, on the blog a few times before.  I finished two crochet designs in the past week, but didn’t have a chance to take pictures of both of them until last night.

Boston Teal & Sage Green

Boston in Teal and Sage Green.

This hat started out with these three skeins.  I wanted to make something that had post stitches in different colors to create a textured look.

My mountain 3 top

I love the star pattern at the top, and I’m very fond of how the sides worked out.

My Mountain 3 side smile

This was a nice yarn to work with.  Boston is described as a “24-ply ‘millifilli’ yarn.”

My Mountain 3 top outdoors

It has a soft feel, and it’s also plump so it’s great for a hat.  It seems to fill in all the airholes, if that makes sense.

My Mountain 3j

This was my attempt at a self portrait.  I cut off some of the hat, but I think I look extra cheerful in this one.

The other design used alternating shells to create… a statement piece.  I confess that I would probably not personally wear such bold colors, but I like how they look nonetheless!  This hat started with these two skeins: Bravo Big in Neon Pink and Lumio in lime.

Bravo Big hot pink & Lumio chartreuse

I wanted to emphasize the pink, since I had already used the green in another design, so I used treble crochets to make the pink shells a bit taller.

My Mountain 4 top.jpg

It was pretty difficult for me to capture the true colors of this hat in the twilight.

My Mountain 4 look up

This one has a snugger fit around the head and a pom pom.

My Mountain 4 side2

Have I mentioned how much I love my pom pom maker?

My Mountain 4 smile

I’m open to suggestions for names for either design!

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

FO Friday: Diamond Eye Beanie

Last week, I mentioned I was working on some designs for the My Mountain Hat Design contest using Schachenmayr‘s My Mountain line of yarns.  For my first submission, I used this skein of Bravo Big Color in Fire Print.

Bravo Big Color Fire Print

As many of my readers know, I’m a super slow knitter, so I knew the super bulky yarn would be perfect for a knit design.  I was actually able to finish the sample in a week’s time.

I wanted to make a unisex beanie because the color seemed perfect for men and women.  I also wanted to have an unusual traveling cable design, with something other than stockinette (or reverse stockinette) stitches inside of it, running up the center.  I decided to make the rest of the hat ribbed so it would be extra stretchy.  That way, it can be worn with a variety of hair styles without leading to “hat head.”

I named the pattern the Diamond Eye Beanie, and I made the sample in a men’s size (just to make sure there’d be enough yarn for a larger size).  I wrote the pattern to include a smaller, women’s size, too.

Unfortunately, MC wasn’t very excited about modeling a heavy hat in 80+ degree weather, so I took just one picture of him wearing it inside, protected by the air conditioning.

Unfortunately, MC wasn't very excited about modeling a heavy hat in 80 degree weather.

He was, however, happy to serve as my chief photographer, and snapped some great pictures of me wearing the beanie in front of Central Park on Sunday.

You can see it's a bit large for my head.

You can see it’s a bit large for my head.

Diamond Eye Beanie on Marie close up front1

I love the moss stitch (a.k.a. double seed stitch) detail in the center of the cable.  It’s a bit hard to see in the picture above because of the vibrant yarn color, but in person it’s more noticeable.

Diamond Eye Beanie close up cable

You can see the details of the cable and it’s center a little better in this closeup.

Diamond Eye Beanie on Marie side view

You could also wear the cable off center, but I tend to prefer symmetry.  (Boring, I know.)

Diamond Eye Beanie flat

Designers were asked to talk about our own version of My Mountain, “a goal that feels unattainable – right up until the moment you reach it.”  I’m proud to say that I’ve achieved a few of those type of goals in my lifetime – and have others planned for the future.

One that’s been on my mind lately was being the first person in my father’s family, and one of just a handful in my mom’s family (at that time), to graduate from college.  There were many times when that degree seemed really out of reach, but with persistence, faith, and hard work, I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree.  I’ve even gone on since to earn two Master’s degrees at night while working full time.  The best thing about achieving this goal is that now going to college and graduating is more common in my family, and my younger relatives don’t even see it as being unusual.

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

Climbing My Mountain

I recently learned about a great design contest via Ravelry.  The My Mountain Hat Design contest invites designers to create a hat that symbolizes My Mountain, “a goal that feels unattainable – right up until the moment you reach it,” using the Schachenmayr line of My Mountain yarns.  I loved the fun colors of the yarns, so I reached out to ask for some yarn to work with.  The company was nice enough to ask what colors I wanted to use, and I emailed back a bunch of choices (since you never know what’s in stock at a given time).  I was really surprised when they sent me the yarn to make four different hats!

Boston Teal & Sage Green

Schachenmayr Boston in Teal and Sage Green. I’m planning to crochet a hat with these.

Bravo Big hot pink & Lumio chartreuse

Schachenmayr Bravo Big in Neon Pink (top) and Schachenmayr Lumio in Chartreuse (bottom).

I’m still swatching with these – the colors are much more attractive than they appear in this photo!

Lumio Iris

Schachenmayr Lumio in Iris.

I’m completely intrigued by the glow in the dark-ness of the Lumio, and of course, that has made me want to design a hat that would look awesome in low light – lots of textures are needed!

My WIP for today is the first hat I started for this contest.

Bravo Big Color Fire Print

Schachenmayr Bravo Big Color in Fire Print.

Again, my camera didn’t do any justice to the reds and oranges in this skein.  I think it’s perfect for a simple, unisex design, which is what I’m working on.  Here’s my (unblocked) gauge swatch, which doesn’t even hint at all the action that will take place in this design :).

My mountain 1 swatch

As for reading, I’ve been on a bit of a tear of late, and am actually 2 books ahead of schedule (for once) on my Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge.  On the other hand, I put the The NRSV Daily Bible: Read, Meditate, and Pray Through the Entire Bible in 365 Days aside about three weeks ago.  I had been reading sections daily for about 6 weeks, but I decided to take a break due to a combination of the intense heat (making it tough to read this big book in bed) and the disturbing content.  If you have to ask what content is disturbing, I would probably reply by asking if you have ever read the Bible cover to cover!  But, in particular, since I’m reading it from a purely socio-historical perspective, and not a religious one, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the warfare that is going on in the Books of Moses.  I needed a little break before reading through Deuteronomy.

Right now, I’m reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch.  I’ve been reading more and more about self-publishing lately, since I’ve decided that 2014 is the year that I will finally complete the crochet book in my mind :).  I guess the book I want to write is really my mountain, and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to reach the summit!  So far, I’m finding APE well written and informative, and I like that it takes advantage of the ebook format by including many hyperlinks.

For more Works in Progress, visit Tami’s Amis.  For more Yarn Along posts, visit Small Things.

FO Friday: Seafoam Scarf

Some of my regular readers know that I love to participate in swaps.  There’s something fun about meeting a new fiber friend and who doesn’t love receiving a package in the mail?

Right now, I’m participating in the International Scarf Swap‘s Wishlist Swap.  The main idea is to choose a scarf pattern from your partner’s Ravelry favorites and make it!  This is a secret swap, so can’t tell you who the lucky recipient will be, but let’s just say this scarf has a long journey ahead of it.

First, I dug deep into my stash to see what I had on hand to match her favorite colors, and I happened to have one remaining skein of Cascade 220 Superwash in Pacific.

Pacific

My partner had a great wishlist filled with all of these beautiful knit and crochet scarf, cowl, and shawl patterns.  I decided to make Ali Green‘s Seafoam Scarf because it looked simple enough to remember the pattern repeats without being boring enough to put me to sleep.

Seafoam progress 2013-07-05

For me, this was a quick knit.  I finished it in just 4 days (including a holiday and a weekend, but remember I’m a slow knitter).

Seafoam scarf blockingThis was something that definitely needed blocking to open up those dropped stitches.

Seafoam scarf long

I secretly hoped it might get a bit longer after blocking.  After all, it’s just a one skein scarf.  But my partner mentioned she sometimes wears scarves in the summer, and this seems perfect for that.

Seafoam scarf detail after blocking

I debated adding a button.  I like to have buttons on short scarves, but I didn’t find one that seemed to be asking to pair up with this scarf.

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

Nativity

Growing up, I was fascinated with the Nativity scene my maternal grandmother would set up during the Christmas season, and I remember being eager to place the baby Jesus into the manger after midnight on Christmas Eve.  That Nativity set was the one physical object that I most associated with the holidays during childhood, and since I first saw crocheted Nativity scenes, I’ve thought about making one for my mother.  I bought Carolyn Christmas‘s Amigurumi Nativity pattern in paper form a while back, but never had the time (or the right yarn on hand) to make it.

At the beginning of the year, I started planning to make the set.  I definitely don’t have much in the way of “flesh tone” yarns in my stash, so I appealed to the folks in the Surmount the Stash group on Ravelry.  The generous mamajulia stepped forward to send me some yarn she had leftover from a project, thus helping me avoid a trip to Michael’s that might result in a stash explosion.

The last few weeks have been tough for me, so over the long weekend I wanted to pick up simple that I could make without too much thought.  The Amigurumi Nativity seemed like the perfect project, but of course, I couldn’t locate the pattern.  I searched high and low and finally gave up and was ready to order another copy.  And that’s when I learned that it’s now available as a Ravelry download.  I’m a longtime fan of Carolyn’s work, and I’m always happy to support another independent designer, so I bought the pattern on Rav, added it to my Kindle Fire, and set to work.

My first three heads (perhaps for Mary, Joseph, and the Angel).
The first three heads (perhaps for Mary, Joseph, and the Angel).

I plan to vary the skin tone for the three Wise Men, so my amigurumi version will be similar to my grandmother’s set.  This is officially my first holiday project for 2013.  (Last year at this time, I was just beginning my holiday crafting list, so I feel like I’m on pace for this year, too.)

I also made some progress on my temperature scarf.  I have one row for each day of 2013 through May 24th.

Temperature scarf through 2013-05-24.jpg

I’ve used all but one color now, and it is really interesting to watch the scarf unfold.

As for reading, I’m about a third of the way through American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I was on the waiting list at the New York Public Library for a while.  I don’t really know what I expected, but I’m enjoying it so far.

And, back in March, MC and I watched The Bible miniseries, and that got us talking about the actual Bible.  I’ve never read it in its entirety, and since – regardless of your faith and religious beliefs – it’s such a significant work in the development of Western civilization, I decided that I should actually read it all the way through.  After a little bit of research, I bought The NRSV Daily Bible: Read, Meditate, and Pray Through the Entire Bible in 365 Days last week.  Although it is tempting to read more at each setting, I decided to follow the book’s pacing.  It has been interesting to read the Bible in these little snippets, and I think I’ll probably remember each section better since I’ll have more time between readings to reflect.

For more Work in Progress Wednesday posts, visit Tami’s Amis.  For more Yarn Along posts, visit Small Things.

FO Friday: Brooklyn’s Baby Blanket

Way back in February, I learned my cousin had a newborn daughter via Facebook.  Her name is Brooklyn. (Yes, like me, my cousin was born in Brooklyn, but he hasn’t lived there for about 20 years).

I decided to make her a baby blanket using some stash yarn.  I started with the motif from Frankie Brown‘s Jelly Mould Blanket and some leftover Red Heart Super Saver in Candy Print, but I ran out of yarn after 14 squares.  The stiffness of the yarn was the perfect pairing with this pattern.

Jelly Moulds through 2013-02-06

Since I didn’t have another complementary color in my stash, I thought it would be the perfect time to use my 20% off coupon to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  Once at the shop, I decided I wanted to go in a new direction, and instead of choosing more pink, I picked up three skeins of Vanna’s Choice in greens.  (I was feeling a bit spring-like at the time.)  Vanna’s Choice is much softer than the Red Heart, so it wasn’t as suited for the 3D shape of the Jelly Mould motif.

Jelly Mould and African Flower

At around the same time, Barbara from Made in K-Town released her African Flower Square Tutorial, and I decided to make 14 African Flower squares.  I had to make some adjustments, of course, to get the motifs to be the same size.

African Flower

And then, for good measure, I decided to make 14 (modified versions) of Ellen Gormley‘s Sunny Spread motifs.

Sunny Spread Row

I used a stash skein of Caron One Pound in white for all the borders, and joined each of the motifs in rows of 7.

Brooklyn Baby Blanket

I had a bit of a tough time taking pictures (thank you Central Park, for serving as a backdrop!), but I really like how the blanket came out.  It’s about 32 inches square, and I used about 990 yards of yarn (including about 530 yards of stash yarn!).

Brooklyn baby blanket folded

The whole project was much more improvised than my baby blankets usually are.  I guess you could say that the motifs came about organically.  And I used different techniques for joining the squares together to form rows, which helped to even out the slight differences in sizes.  I also used two different methods for joining the rows together (the green join is a very decorative v-stitch join, and the white join is a chain join).  These joins were inspired by ones I found in Robyn Chachula‘s Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia.

Brooklyn baby blanket 2

I think this means that my next blanket may be a bit more spontaneous!

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

FO Friday: Pineapples for Everyone Shawl & CAL winners

It’s been three months since I last participated in FO Friday, and it is great to be back!  This FO is actually quite a few weeks old, but I haven’t shared these pictures yet on my blog.

This is my second version of my Pineapples for Everyone Shawl pattern.  I made it during the crochet-along back in February and March.

Pineapples for Everyone striped

Once again, I must credit MC with taking beautiful pictures.  These were taken on a Sunday afternoon, when we took a stroll outside of the Ziegfield Theater.

Pineapples for everyone striped 3

I used Galler Yarns Inca Eco in Denim and Raspberry.  I had a lot of fun making this striped version.  I like the contrast between the two colors.

And there were many other really great versions made during the CAL!  These fourteen were completed during the CAL and entered into the giveaway.

Blacky67

Blacky67‘s Glamorous Pineapples

yarnpumpkin pineapples for everyone shawl

yarnpumpkin‘s Pineapples for Everyone Shawl

yarnpumpkin Pineapples for Everyone

yarnpumpkin‘s Pineapples for Everyone Shawl

vibeskat purple pineapples shawl

vibeskat‘s Purple Pineapples Shawl

donnaknitsdolls pineapples for everyone 5 for 13

donnaknitsdolls‘s Pineapples for Everyone 5 for 13

ramhist pineapples for everyone

ramhist‘s Pineapples for Everyone

izybit pineapples for everyone shawl cal

izybit‘s Pineapples for Everyone Shawl CAL

bjclark63 pineapples for everyone shawl

bjclark63‘s Pineapples for Everyone Shawl

abhall76

abhall76‘s Pineapples for Everyone Shawl

jaye-yarns

jaye-yarns‘s Pineapple Blues

shhshh

shhshh‘s Pineapples for Everyone CAL

cherublace

cherublace‘s Pineapples for Everyone

Adele from South Africa

Adele from South Africa’s version

Aria Swiftwind

Aria’s version

It’s great to see the different versions and how the choice of yarn, or the degree to which you block the edges, or the number of repeats can create so many looks.

Without further ado, according to Random.org, the winner of the CAL giveaway is #3…

Nancy L. Drew, also known as yarnpumpkin from Stitchin’ and Stuff!

She is the winner of several skeins of yarn, courtesy of Galler Yarns, and crochet hooks courtesy of Skacel Collection!  Thanks to everyone who participated.  I will be announcing the next crochet-a-long soon.

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis!