Sunday, January 27, 2013

WIP: Baby Blanket

It's always a tricky thing, choosing colours when you don't know if the wee one's a boy or a girl. Originally, I was going to go with cream, much like the original. (Check out the pattern, by One Little Rayndrop; it's simple, and beautiful in its simplicity.) But my yarn store only had 3 more balls of cream, so I bought those...and then 8 balls of Pier, a sea-foamy light blue.

My dimensions are bit off from those in the pattern since I don't have the patience to test for gauge. I used Rowan Pure Wool DK in Pier and a 6mm hook. (I don't have this size in my favourite brand with the comfy handle...I miss that handle!) I also decided to increase the number of rows from 53 to 55. Ok, I didn't decide anything. I miscounted, and then didn't want to rip out the last two rows. It took about 5 balls to finish, so I have 3 left over to play with.

One note on the pattern: It's not terribly specific on how to stitch the border once you get to the sides (i.e. the long part of the double crochets). I made each scallop (ch 3, 2 dc) into the post of each dc, and then slip stitched into the very next post and made the next scallop around that same post. Refer to the picture below; you'll see what I mean.

This blankie came together in 2 days or so. I started as soon as I got home from the shop and finished it off the next day. So today I'm showing you a work that is not in progress any more, but has rather progressed to the finish!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

I promised myself I would not buy fabric or yarn until after January's pay day. Well, yesterday was pay day. Got my budget all straightened out, and off to Wolsely I went. The store was packed, but I knew exactly what I wanted! Between pulling money from my gift budget (gotta make a gender-neutral baby blanket for an upcoming arrival), my hobby budget (all mine! all for me!), and a generous gift, I ended up with this:

The light blue in the bottom corner is destined to become the baby blanket, using this pattern. I love it for its texture and the ease with which it whips up. (Now there's some alliteration for your weekend.) The dark and light purples are going into a ripple blanket, as are the red and grey. And the heathered blue will finish off a lacy lap/baby blanket that I decided to make because all my projects were so dense, and I wanted a change. Oh, and the cream-coloured yarn is for another baby blanket. It would've been the gift, except that they only had 3 balls, and I needed 8.
So yes, I'm a wee bit giddy with delight. It's a good thing I had cash to spend, because I'm sure that with a card, I would've cleared them out of Rowan yarns. 'Tis a delight, that stuff is!
Now back I go to furiously crocheting up that light blue (technically known as 'Pier'). 14.5 rows done, only 38.5 (plus a border) to go!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Work in Progress

 Better late than never, right?

Yesterday, I was stuck out in the country (the other part of the country, not the part I live in) due to the weather. And today I'm stuck at home due to a stubborn cold. Which means crocheting time!

Payday has not yet arrived, so I had to begin a new blanket before finishing the other 2. (The rule is: no more yarn or fabric purchases till payday and budget are complete!) I decided 2 ripple blankets on-the-go are more than enough, and wanted to try something lacy, so this Bernat pattern fit the bill perfectly. And because it's so lacy, I might actually have sufficient yarn to finish it! (By the way, if you want to try the pattern, you'll have to register with the site to access it. It's free though.)

Because it's absolutely frigid outside (CBC says it's currently -25°C, and -37 °C with the windchill), the sun is shining beautifully. Time for a picture!

(And yes, this is another Rowan yarn. This time it's their felted tweed, 50% Merino, 25% Alpaca, and 25% viscose. Shade 165. I believe the name is 'Scree'.)

I often imagine what my projects could be used for, and I think this one would make a lovely photographer's prop. The neutral colour and the lovely neutral-colours-and-varied-textures-loving-soul swoons!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Work In Progress

I'm considering making Work In Progress posts a regular weekend feature. If this shows up again next weekend, you'll know how that idea panned out!

I just can't stay away from that Rowan yarn. It's gorgeous stuff. (And no, they don't pay me. They don't even know I exist.)

It's gonna be a baby blanket. The colours are a bit off in the picture; the red should be redder and the grey should be a bit deeper. I learned my lesson from the last ripple blanket I made and kept it a bit on the small side. I can always add borders if need be.

There's an excellent tutorial for rippling over on Ravelry by Attic 24. You can find it here.

I'll need to buy more yarn before this blankie gets finished, which means it won't be done before February. January is Frugal Month around here! (No, I'm not down to KD and soup cans. But a little figurative belt-tightening is a good thing now and then.)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Otava Baby Sprite Hat Pattern

I promised you the baby version, and here it is! Ain't she sweet? The wee point to the hat stands up quite well. I don't have any models handy, so you'll have to whip one up and see for yourself.

Otava Baby Sprite Hat Pattern

This pattern was developed for a baby using a 4mm (G/6) hook and 2 colours of Rowan pure wool dk 50g/125m. I used less than 1 ball of each colour for this hat.

Special stitch instructions:
A long sc happens when you insert your hook into the space below the one you would normally use when beginning a stitch. Here's a good YouTube tutorial.

With colour 1 (I like to start and end with the darkest colour):

Rnd 1: Chain 2. 6 sc in second loop from hook. Join to first sc with a slip stitch.
Rnd 2: Ch 2. (This does not count as an hdc.) 1 hdc in each sc around. Join to first hdc. Always join at the end of each round. (6 hdc)
Rnd 3: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (9 hdc)

At this point, you can either continue with colour 1 (for a solid hat) or switch to colour 2 (for a striped hat). Because my stripes are narrow, I’m not cutting my yarn. I’m just pulling in a loop of colour 2. Later I’ll drop that yarn and pick up the hanging colour 1 yarn. Make sure that as you continue to crochet with your new colour, you leave the old colour hanging to the back (or inside) of your work. If you prefer another method of switching colours, that should work fine too.

Rnd 4: (with colour 2) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (9hdc)
Rnd 5: Ch 2. I hdc in each hdc around. (9 hdc)
Rnd 6: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (You will end with 1 hdc.) (13 hdc)

Rnd 7: (pick up colour 1) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (13 hdc)
Rnd 8: repeat rnd 7.
Rnd 9: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (You will end with 1 hdc.) (19 hdc)

Rnd 10: (pick up colour 2) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (19 hdc)
Rnd 11: repeat rnd 10.
Rnd 12: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (You will end with 1 hdc.) (28 hdc)

Rnd 13: (pick up colour 1) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (28 hdc)
Rnd 14: repeat rnd 13.
Rnd 15: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (You will end with 2 hdc.) (42 hdc)

Rnd 16: (pick up colour 2) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (42 hdc)
Rnd 17: Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (42 hdc)
Rnd 18: repeat rnd 17.

Rnd 19: (pick up colour 1) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (42 hdc)
Rnd 20: repeat rnd 19.
Rnd 21: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (56 hdc)

Rnd 22: (pick up colour 2) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (56 hdc)
Rnd 23: repeat rnd 22.
Rnd 24: Ch 2. 1 hdc, 1 hdc, 1 hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around. (70 hdc)

Rnd 25: (pick up colour 2) Ch 2. 1 hdc in each hdc around. (70 hdc)
Rnds 26-30: repeat rnd 25. Continue to change colours every 3 rounds.

Rnd 31: (pick up colour 1) Ch 1. 1 hdc in each hdc. (70 hdc)
Rnd 32: (pick up colour 2) Ch 1. 1 sc in each hdc. (70 sc)
Rnd 33: repeat rnd 32.

Rnd 34: (pick up colour 1) Ch 1. 1 sc in each sc. Alternate 1 regular sc and 1 long sc around. (70 sc)
Rnd 35: Ch 1. 1 sc in each sc. (70 sc)

Weave in and trim all loose ends.
This pattern is for personal use only. Please do not sell the pattern or anything you make with this pattern. Thank you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Project

To ring in the new year, I decided to sew. I was going to be sensible and finish off a project...but as I dug through fabric and batting, I came across a jelly roll that I'd forgotten about.

And I wanted to do something fiddly with it, so I chopped the entire thing into 2-1/2" squares and started pinwheeling. And pinwheeling. And pinwheeling. Nothing like going all out!

It wasn't entirely random. I organized the fabrics by colour and by pattern. Then I came up with a handy-dandy chart to make sure I got as many different combinations going as possible. I figured I'd use the extra bits in a border of some kind.

There will be enough pinwheels to arrange them in a 12 x 12 square, with a few left over. Which is good, because there are one or two in there that don't deserve to see the light of day. Let's just call them learning experiences and leave it at that.

And the learning continues. It's easier to sew into a fat seam than to start on it. Clunking noises mean stop the presses. The start/stop button is faaabulous for chain piecing. The machine likes to pull a bit to the left when it starts up.

I'm thinking this one will need sashing (is that the term?) between the pinwheels. I want it to be fun , and maybe even busy, but not crazy/overwhelming. Whaddaya think?