Scraptastic Shawlette with Crochet Button

I love swaps, even though (more often than not) they come into conflict with my desire to downsize my stash.  I’ve been participating, on and off, in the International Scarf Swap on Ravelry.  Recently, I joined in their Stashbuster Swap, which seemed perfect for me.  I needed to make a scarf (broadly interpreted) with stash yarn for my partner, and send along some other fun goodies in the package.

My partner loves purples, pinks, and blues, and prefers shawlettes.  She also expressed a preference for natural fibers.  I dug through my yarn collection, and came up with these three skeins of Cascade Yarns that seemed right up her alley.

blog Cascade Yarns Collage

From left to right: Cascade Yarns Longwood in Lavender, and Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in Mystic Purple and Pacific (or Spruce?).

All three yarns are superwash wool, so I thought combining them would make for easy washing.  But the thicknesses of the yarns are slightly different (the Longwood is a bit thicker), so I used two different crochet hooks to get a consistent gauge throughout.

blog Swap Shawlette 1

After just a few rows, I loved the way it was coming along.  Since only the Longwood was a full skein, and the other two were partial skeins leftover from these two projects, I knew I would probably not have enough yarn for a full shawl.

blog Swap Shawlette 2

I ended up with a really cute shawlette, but I wanted to add something special to make it easier to close up around the neck.  The granny clusters create wonderful eyelets that can serve as buttonholes, and I decided to crochet my own button.

blog Swap Shawlette 3

It’s a great embellishment, and I didn’t have all the stress of trying to find a matching button for a shawlette in 3 different colors.

blog Swap Shawlette 4

You can see that it’s pretty easy to close, and of course, my swap partner can adjust the closure to make the shawlette a perfect fit around her neck or shoulders.

blog Swap Shawlette 5

I released the pattern for the Scraptastic Shawlette with Crochet Button last night, and you can download it on Ravelry, free through March with the coupon code NatCroMo14.  (You can also download my other four March crochet pattern releases for free this month using the same coupon code as part of my National Crochet Month celebration!)

I’m pretty excited that I kept my commitment of releasing a new pattern every week during (Inter)National Crochet Month, and I hope you are enjoying the patterns.

Edited to add: And, I forgot to mention that today is also the 3 year anniversary of the Underground Crafter blog! Welcome to any new readers, and thanks to my longtime readers for all your support!

Now, back to the part where swapping allows my stash to grow…

Here’s the swap package I received from my partner.

blog Stashbuster Swap

It’s incredible!  She is truly a packaging expert.  She folded the scarf she made me into the project bag she made (you can see it peaking out), and there was another skein of yarn in the mug!

blog Elann

So I finished off 3 skeins of yarn making the shawlette for her, and sent along an additional skein in the package.  She sent me 4 skeins, so I guess I’m right back where I started, in terms of stash.

Swap shawl detail

But now I have a beautiful scarf, knit in a lovely, (mostly) brown, natural fiber blend that I can wear throughout the spring!  The scarf I received, by the way, is the lovely Deep Purple Crescent Shaped Lace Shawlette or Scarf by Pam Jemelian. It’s super long, so I only took a picture of the edging detail. It’s very cozy!

Par Avion

Earlier this week, I came home to this.

Air mail from Canada

I hadn’t recently ordered anything from Canada, so I was puzzled.  However, upon turning it over, I discovered the customs form.

customs form

(In case you’re wondering, there’s almost nothing cooler than seeing the phrase “handknit socks” on a customs form when the temperatures are about 20 degrees below freezing.)

One of my favorite bloggers to follow is Lynn from Minding My Own Stitches.  I was first introduced to her blog when we were both regular participants in the original Year of Projects in 2011-2012.  We were two of the only bloggers who actually worked through a book rather than a series of patterns, though our approaches were quite different.  Also, we’re both members of Surmount the Stash, a group for those in dire need of stashbusting support.

Lynn is an avid sock knitter.  As you may recall, I’m not an avid sock knitter.  I do frequently fantasize about wearing hand knit socks, because they are so darned awesome.  (And I know this from experience, because I have also been the grateful recipient of a fabulous pair of hand knit socks from Underbaragarn on Ravelry, which you can see here.)

Once upon a time, after I lavished praise on one of her recently completed socks, Lynn mentioned she would knit me a pair.  Naturally, I jumped at the chance and instantly emailed her my address. (Or, as MC said when I tried to explain the situation: “So, basically you drove this woman crazy until she would send you a pair of socks to get you to leave her alone???”)  As soon as I saw the customs form, I knew the magic day had arrived.

Vorticity socks

Inside was a gorgeous pair of Vorticity Socks that Lynn knit in Twisted Top Cat by Wandering Cat Yarns, a stunning hand painted yarn by a dyer in her area.  Apparently, making these socks was quite an adventure (you can read about it on her blog here, here, here, and here), so I’m extra thrilled to be the recipient.

As if an amazing pair of socks in beautiful yarn wasn’t enough, Lynn also sent me some other goodies: some very pretty soaps, a foot lotion (so I don’t destroy those socks!), and some wool wash.

Swap goodies

And here is my picture with the socks on ( they fit fabulously, by the way).  I have renewed appreciation for the sock knitting bloggers of the world – feet are strangely hard to photograph!

Marie wearing Vorticity

Thank you, Lynn!

In other Year of Projects news, I’m still trying to come up with something awesome to make during the Ravellenic Games.  I didn’t want the stress of captaining a team, but I think I will offer up some prizes and a crochet/knit-a-long thread in my Ravelry group for anyone using one of my patterns during the games.

As for myself, it seems that whenever I have a ton of work, I develop a bad case of startitis.  Since I’ve recently had several big deadlines at work, I’ve starting thinking of launching an enormous undertaking by designing a whole lot of patterns for another year long knit-a-long for 2015.  I’m thinking that I should challenge myself to design and make samples for 7 designs during the Games.  I can’t tell if that’s a lot, or too little.  (Designing and making a sample for a small project in 2.5 days seems like a lot to me, but is it “a lot” in Olympic proportions?  Probably not.)

At the same time, I feel that I should be crocheting during the Games.  It’s pretty distressing to hear there won’t be a Team Crochet this year, and I want to do my part to support crochet.  And, of course, I can crochet much faster than I can knit.  So another idea would be to start/finish a bunch of crochet projects, like blankets, that would usually take a long time to complete.  Of course, big projects call for big amounts of yarn, which might lead me out into buying more.

Basically, as you can tell, I haven’t yet decided what to do during the Games.  Hopefully, by next Sunday, I’ll have a clearer idea!

Are you joining in the Ravellenic Games?

For more Year of Projects posts, visit this thread on Ravelry.

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.