Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shawls

I finished the Serafina I was crocheting in RHSS Aspen Print. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it and more than likely won't get one because I gave it to an elderly lady, a dear friend of mine, who was moving away from our church. She wouldn't have been back after this past Sunday morning and I only found out about it then and I wanted her to have something to remind her of me. I had been wearing the shawl with a skirt that morning, the ends tucked into the waistband. When church was over I removed it, folded it and gave it to her. She was so proud to have it and I was proud to give it to her. She's a crocheter too, gave me some yarn that I made Joseph his star blanket with and that was another reason I gave her the shawl, a thank you for the yarn. Just believe me when I say that it was a gorgeous shawl, you should try one in that colorway, it only took most of 3 skeins, I just kept crocheting till I was sure I didn't have enough yarn to do anther row.

I'm now working on finishing the Peace, Be Still Shawl but I have written the pattern down for anyone who would like to try it. It's very simple, based on the feather and fan pattern without the YO increases, using regular increases instead. With the texture of the yarn I'm using I don't need any complicated patterns, the yarn is the focus of the shawl. It's here if you want to look. Even though I'm not finished with the shawl I did take a picture of it still on the needles so you can see what it looks like. I think I got the wrong side of it but it's hard to tell with the texture of the yarn so I just let it be.

So why did I call it Peace, Be Still? Well, I'm using the Dark Blue from Joann Sensations Rainbow Boucle and the tonal look of it reminds me of an ocean, sea, lake. It also reminds me about the story of Jesus and how He merely spoke the words "Peace, Be Still" to a raging sea and the sea calmed down immediately. Anyway, no matter what yarn is used, whether it's JSRB or just a plain yarn, the pattern should look lovely.

I've also started a Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl in RH Plush-light sage. The RHP is very much like the JSRB in texture but the colors are not tonal, they're solid. Plus, the RHP is four strands where the JSRB is one strand. I think the RHP is a little softer because of this but the two are very similar, as well as similar in price. The RHP has a little larger color range than JSRB but the JSRB's four colors are gorgeous, I hope they eventually come out with more of them to give us a wider choice. I probably won't be buying either one all that much due to a tight budget but once in awhile as a treat is nice. I wish I could afford to get any yarn I wanted, then I could experiment with all those other yarns out there but I just can't. Maybe one day God will let me, who knows? But for now I'll be happy with what I can afford and at least I can still knit and crochet.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

One down, two more to go

I finished the baby Serafina for Joseph and I'm really tempted to make an adult sized one later on for me, it's so cuddly soft that it would be a dream to wear and light enough for this time of year. The pattern shows up really well on this yarn and I'm glad I was gifted with it. I've used Bernat Softee Baby before, for a pair of crochet socks, but this shawl is just dreamy in this pattern.




I'm working on another Serafina in RHSS Aspen Print, almost done and a knit one in my own wavy pattern in Joann's Sensations Rainbow Boucle Dark Blue. I really like the knit one and hope whoever gets it enjoys it. The yarn is very soft and while it's a bit of a pain to work with-all boucles are-I really don't mind it. We'll see if I still feel that way when I start trying to crochet with it, won't we?

Monday, March 20, 2006

One of the Rainbow Bouclé skeins wants to be...

A wrap of my own design. It's similar to feather and fan in that the pattern is wavy but I didn't use YOs in it, I didn't want the holes that they leave, I wasn't looking for a lacy shawl. I'll be putting the pattern up when the shawl is finished so that I can post a picture of it as well. I think it would be a nice pattern to do prayer shawls with for anyone who has a prayer shawl ministry.

The dark blue yarn is very pretty and in honor of that I'm going to call it Peace, Be Still prayer shawl. After I started working on it I got the feeling that it's for someone, I just don't know who yet so I've been praying about it as I knit and I'm sure whoever it is will come to me before I'm done.

Speaking of prayer shawl ministries, I feel led to begin one, I'm just not sure how to go about it. I've made a Serafina shawl and am working on another one plus this new pattern so if I keep it up I'll be shawl poor at my house. What better way to minister to someone in spiritual need than to give them a prayer shawl that you've prayed over specifically for them while making it?

I might need to contact some of the yarn people in my church and see how they feel about joining me on this, even if they don't want to make shawls they could probably donate some yarn and I can make shawls to distribute. I'm just not sure quite yet, I need to pray about this some more and make sure this is where God wants to use the knitting and crocheting abilities that he's blessed me with.

That might be one of the reasons I've been loathe to sell anything I make, God doesn't want me to sell it, he wants me to give it away. If that's the case then He will provide a way for me to get the yarn I need to do this ministry.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's here!!

My Joann's yarn came just a few minutes ago! I was hoping it would, the tracking info said it reached my local post office on Monday. Gregg and Jen also got the afghan my mom was telling me about but I didn't open that one, I value my life too much ;)

These skeins of yarn are huge! And really soft too. I hope it works up as soft as it feels, I'm putting it aside, out of sight for now, until I get some other projects finished so I can take my time playing with it. I'm going to go to my LYS and see about getting a plastic hook since they like to crochet yarn like this better than aluminum hooks do, the aluminum hook likes to hang up in yarn like this.

The colors I picked out are really pretty too, the greens look just like I imagined, I have a skirt in that color and I think I'm going to make me a shawl out of one of the greens to go with it. Not sure yet what I'm going to do with the rest of it but I'm sure it'll tell me what it wants to be soon enough.

Just to give you some perspective, I took a pic of our toy pomeranian with 3 skeins of the yarn, I have 2 of each color:

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Anyway, wish me happy hooking, I hope I finish some of these projects soon since I can't wait to try out my Joann's yarn.

The Bernat Softee Baby told me what it wanted to be

Well, not literally, wouldn't want people thinking that I think my yarn speaks to me. In a way it does, if it doesn't want to be what I'm trying to make it to be then for some reason I can't get the pattern right to save my life.

Case: I've been trying to do a knit feather and fan afghan out of this yarn and about the time I think I get it right I still have it wrong. I've never frogged something so much in my life!

Anyway, I've started Joseph a Serafina Shawl. I'm using an H hook and it's looking very nice. After one false start (cause I still have to read the instructions for the first couple of rows) it's going along really well, a lot better than the knit afghan.

A shawl for a little boy? All babies look adorable wrapped in a shawl and this one will be mint green with the silver thread running through it and be light enough to use just about anytime.

I'm still determined to knit a feather and fan afghan, I just have to get the yarn that tells me it wants to be knit ;)

Leftover Serafina

I wanted to try the Serafina shawl pattern before using my Rainbow Bouclé so I decided to try it with some yarn leftover from other projects.

This is what I got, I still have all those yarn ends to work in but that's all.:

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It wraps around me pretty well but it's not quite as big as my black pineapple shawl. I might make the next one a little bit bigger, I have two more skeins to work with, I'm doing it in RHSS Aspen Print and it's looking really nice. It'll be a nice lighter weight one for this time of year.

Now if my Rainbow yarn would just come in I can try it with that.

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's finally finished

I finally finished my other roses afghan that the lady ordered, as soon as I can get some money I'll be sending it on to her but in the mean time, here's a pic:

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I think it turned out really nice and now I can pick and choose which of my other WIPs I want to do since none of them are special orders and just things I wanted to do.

No more special orders for awhile unless it's a really special order or it's a quickie project, I think.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Serafina update

I think I can understand how The Crochet Dude could make one of these in about 3 hours, It works up very quickly once you get the four row repeat down. It'll still probably take me longer simply because I'm doing most of the work while babysitting my grandson and crocheting while he sleeps.

The first one I started is going to be very colorful, I'm using up leftover WW scraps so there's no telling what it will look like when I'm through. It'll probably be a bit too busy for folks who like things understated but I do like bright colors and varigateds so I'll probably just keep it for myself, it was just a practice one to see how the pattern goes while I'm waiting on my Rainbow Bouclé to arrive, it was sent out yesterday.

I also started another one in a RHSS varigated called Aspen Print and it's going to look really fabulous when it's finished. I think I'll give it to the lady who liked my pineapple shawl so she can have one too. I bought 3 skeins of it and I think I might need only two of them, we'll see, this shawl doesn't take nearly as much yarn as you think, I can see why you could get two of them out of one Rainbow Bouclé skein, depending on how big you make them.

The best thing about this pattern is you decide what yarn you want to use, what hook size you want to use and how big you want to make it. I'd like to try another one in a lightweight yarn to have for Spring/Fall or cool summer nights. It'll be awhile on that though, I think I'm going to finish some of my WIPs before starting anything new, I only have three more rounds on the roses to finish then it's on to the other things.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Serafina

I think I'm going to use one of the skeins of Joann's Sensations Rainbow Bouclé that I ordered and make this shawl. It's here , very simple and easy, once you get the 4 row repeat down, mine is coming along very nicely.

My Rainbow Bouclé has just been shipped so I'm doing a practice shawl with some RHSS leftovers from other projects, trying to change colors at the beginning of a pattern repeat but I might not always be able to do that, depends on how much of the color I'm working with is there. This shawl will probably turn out very colorful since most of the leftovers will be from an afghan I've been working on called Rose in Bloom-I did the roses in 6 different colors, plus the two colors of green I used in the squares.

Anyway, I'll keep you all up to date on how it's going. I still don't see how the Dude did his in three hours. While it does work up pretty fast, I'm sure it'll take me longer than three hours total, if I add up just the time I work on it. We all work at our own pace so it'll get done when it gets done, just like all my other WIPs.

Another Pineapple Shawl

I started myself another Pineapple Shawl

For those who haven't heard, when you use yarn, a big hook and this doily pattern, you get a beautiful, comfortable shawl that's really warm. The last two I made were made from LB Homespun and the shawls turned out soft and comfy but it also takes about 5-6 skeins of it to do one, depending on your hook size and that can get on the expensive side when you have a tight budget like I do.

This one I'm making out of RHSS in Amethyst. I know there are a lot of yarn snobs out there who turn their noses up at RH, I don't. I know it's on the scratchy side and a little rough but if you wash your project and use fabric softener-liquid or dryer sheets-your project will be soft. I'm hoping to only use two skeins for the shawl but we'll see, I bought 3 of a pretty varigated to make one for a friend of mine who borrowed my Homespun one Sunday and liked it. She can't afford Homespun either and I can't at this time so I found a varigated in SS that should make a shawl that will go with just about anything she wears.

Anyway, we'll see how they turn out, they don't take too long to do, maybe a couple of evenings hard work.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It worked

I knit the afghan out according to the way I wrote it out and my stitch count remained constant. I have no idea who wrote those other three patterns out but they must have had the same math teacher because every single one of them would end up the same way-with more stitches on your needles than you cast on.

I'm also going ahead with the one I was doing the sample on-it will make a lovely wrap and I know just who to give it to.

Boy, I have so much stuff on needles and hooks I don't think I'll ever come out from under it but it's so much fun getting back into something I put down so many years ago.

I will put them all down though, so I can finish the roses I've been talking about so much-I'm on the borders now. I couldn't work on it today because the next color I need is at the house and I'm not so I'll just bring it with me tomorrow when I take over for Gregg's mom when she has to go to work-she's going to watch Joseph while I clean my swimming pools. I should be done before noon and she has to go to work at 2 so that'll be just right.

I'll also be cooking dinner too, I'm making this. I saw it and thought it looked interesting so I'll put it together before I leave Gregg's and by the time I get ready to cook it should be ready to be cooked. I'm not sure what I'll make to go with it but I need to have it ready when they all get home, we're going to church to have a practice time with some of the teens-we're doing a special program early Sunday morning so Friday and Saturday are reserved for practice.

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sometimes written directions can be so wonked

I've been trying to find a pattern called Sea of Tranquility, which also seems to go by Feather and Fan. No matter what it's name, every site I've found with directions has been so wonked that I'm surprised anyone can knit this pattern. If you follow these patterns exactly as written you will end up with more stitches on your needles than you started off with and that's not supposed to happen, you're supposed to get a wavy pattern without adding stitches.

Try this dishcloth for example.

With the feather and fan pattern you're supposed to end up with the same number of stitches on your needle that you started with after doing Row 6 of the pattern row which is:

Row 6: K3, *(K2 tog) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 3 times, rep from * to last 3 sts K3


If you follow that row to the letter, on each pattern repeat of that row you will end up with 3 more stitches on your needle. Anyone with any math sense knows that if you want to end up with the same number of stitches on your needle then for every YO increase you put in your pattern you should also have a corresponding dec. In this line of the pattern you have 6 YO inc in each pattern repeat and only 3 dec. That line should read:

Row 6: K3, (K2 tog) 3 times, *(yo, K1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 6 times, rep from * to last 9 sts (K2tog) 3 times, K 3.


This way, you have symmetry-by splitting the first (K2tog)6 times your project would be symmetrical.

The other two patterns I came across were for afghans and were similarly wonked, I even tried the baby afghan one and ended up with almost 200 stitches on my needles when I was only supposed to have 159.

I'm working on a pattern very similar, with minor differences, that I will be posting to my Pattern Blog very soon. If I write it right then even a beginner knitter should be able to follow it.