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 on Ravelry.

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.