All the Shawls

I’m taking a little shawl breather before I start the next round of sweaters!  Finished one for mom, finished one for me and the next one is on the needles already!

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First up, the Corona Shawl, a free crochet pattern from Universal Yarns.  I had fun with this one, despite never really getting  accustomed to the pattern.  Unlike the knitting I do, there were lots of different stitches and the patterning changed nearly every row.  This has definitely given me the confidence to crochet more complicated shawls but I will be looking for charted designs in the future.

I took lots of detail pictures with future crocheters in mind.  In the absence of charts, having Ravelry’s database of photos was incredibly helpful.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala.  It’s surprisingly nice for highly affordable acrylic.  The softness is great and the colors are super.  My one complaint though…I wish I could block it.  I’m missing the crispness I could give all these details in a nice, natural wool.  That said, I’m glad it’s crochet and not knit.  I don’t think knit lace would be as forgiving without a blocking.  Ultimately, I think I lucked into this pattern and yarn combo being a winner!  And, as my dentist says, it’s better to be lucky than good!

My second shawl finish is another scrappy, striped Dotted Rays.  Yes, another Dotted Rays.  The first six are not enough.  A 7th was necessary.  I’ll still be saying the same thing when it’s the 10th, the 15th and even the 20th.  I love this pattern.

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It works with any & every yarn.  It’s easily committed to memory.  It’s got about a million options for customization.  It’s easy to wear.  And now I’ve got one for every day of the week!

I wasted no time casting on my next shawl.  Another Stephen West, this time his newly release, Spring Cleaning Shawl.  It’s got all my favorite components, garter stitch, short row wedges and lots of options for yarn customization!

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I’m going fade with this one…starting off with this light color that will eventually fade from the light green with bits of yellow into the blue you see at the i-cord edge.  I’ve got new project excitement at the moment so progress should be quick!  This pattern has modular construction…I think that’ll help it along too.  Fingers crossed because I’m excited about this one! These colors are swoon-worthy!

Spoiler Alert

Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling the Avengers or the latest episode of Game of Thrones.  I’m only spoiling Mother’s Day.  Not to worry though, Mom doesn’t believe in spoilers (I checked) and besides, it’s a surprise whenever you find out.

April and my temporary knitting stoppage have come to an end!  Whoo-hoo!  Except, I still haven’t picked up my knitting needles.  The big surprise…I’m crocheting!

The pattern is a freebie from Universal Yarns called the Corona Shawl.   I picked this pattern because Mom likes lacy things and crocheting lace is so much easier than knitting lace.

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That said, I do have one complaint…there’s no chart.  In my mind, crochet charts are akin to knitting stitch maps.  Diagrams that show you how the stitches interact with each other from one row to the next.  Without it, I spent a lot of time looking at project photos to make sure I was getting things in the right places.   I do love that we have a resource like Ravelry to turn to.  All the people who upload project pics were a big help to me.  Three Cheers for Ravelry!  Still though, I wish designers embraced the chart more.

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There is another surprising element to this project…the yarn is acrylic, and I sorta like it.  It’s Lion Brand Mandala and it’s not your grandma’s acrylic.  It’s a nice and soft…perfect for baby things that need to be sturdy and washable.

So, SURPRISE MOM!  Your Mother’s Day package is going to be late and acrylic.  lol.

After that, I’ll be getting back to the knitting…I have plenty of projects lined up, as always.   Here’s one last cross stitch from April too…

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Thanks, Diane, for leaving your suggestion in the comments on my last post!  I loved your suggestion and was working on it as I heard the news about Peter Mayhew!  May the Force be with him!


 

 

The Week in Review

 

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a good week.  I did.  The gift of time is my favorite thing about unemployment.  I never take that for granted.  What seemed like a lazy week, is much different when I look back at my camera roll.

The weather has been great.  I took lots of walks.
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I went on an excursion to Scrap, the local center for creative re-use.

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I picked up an old wooden picture frame to make a little pin loom.

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Despite my complete lack of skills with a hammer, it’s safe to say…I nailed it!  :)  At least for a little while, then the frame broke under all that tension.  Whoops.

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I got enough out of it to satisfy my urge to weave.  Mostly, it confirmed that I like knitting better.  I’m not giving up my needles for a loom (or a hammer) anytime soon.

Baby’s first sweater and my pair of Dotted Rays have all made progress.

My favorite progress of the week, though, is my log cabin crochet blanket.  Those colors!!

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And now, I get to have a weekend.  It doesn’t get better than that!  I’m so lucky!  Happy Friday, Indeed!


 

 

About that Stash…

Sometime yesterday afternoon, I had a moment of panic.  I realized some of my new Stitches yarn was missing from this picture.

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PANIC!  What happened to it?  I hope I didn’t lose it at the hotel?  Could I recall seeing it at home?  Was it in any of the pictures I’d taken?  Did it fall out of the bag in the car?  OMG WHERE IS IT?

Thankfully my panic only lasted about 30 seconds.  One of the benefits of a tiny studio apartment…nothing is ever far away!  I found them exactly where I had left them…with all the other speckles.  D’oh!

It’s amazing how much emotion can be packed into such a short span.  These beauties will be central to my speckle fade cardigan plan.  The thought of losing them, while fleeting, was sad.  They’re just so gorgeous!!

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The two on the left are Savannah from Baah, a lovely soft MCN.  The one on the right is Tosh Merino Light in the Foliage colorway.

I frequently tell people to stop buying Tosh.  There are so many other great yarns to try, no need for pigeon holing.   That color though!!  I could not resist.  I saw it from a distance and once I had it in my hand, there was no putting it down.  I love the bright fun speckles but the dark green is what sold it!  It’s a completely grounded and wearable color but it also satisfies my need for rainbow clown barf.  It is my absolute definition of irresistible.   I would have been very sad to lose it.   And so, this is why Tosh remains a favorite.  Maybe one day I’ll learn, resistance is futile.

Similarly, in the maybe-one-day-I’ll-learn category…

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I started a new project yesterday.  The more I say I’m not going to do something…the more likely I am to do it.  (see:  buy yarn as another example.)  I definitely thought I was good on WIPs when I left you yesterday.  I didn’t expect this to happen either!  I’m pleading the Crochet Loophole on this one.  It’s totally reasonable to allow myself one little crochet project, along with all the knit WIPs.

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And by little, I mean 3200 yards of KnitPicks fingering weight Chroma!  Wooo!

A very generous knitter asked me at Stitches, do you like Chroma?  Why, yes.  Yes, I do.  She said she was destashing and she’ll bring it for me.  Well, Monday knit night rolled around and she was serious about this destash.  So, here I am with a giant bag of unexpected yarn!  It’s amazing!  And Rainbow!  And Stripey!

Just about 11 pm last night, my resolve broke and here I am with my newest WIP…a crochet blanket, log cabin style!  I’m going with a big hook and a loose stitch in the hopes that this will be a big, squishy rainbow hug!  It’s gonna be so good!


 

May The Fourth Be With You

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Happy Star Wars Day!  and May the Fourth be with you! 

My intergalactic amigurumi crochet collection is growing!  I gotta say, I’m happy to see this Stormtrooper killed.  He’s kind of a reject anyway.  If Yoda didn’t do it, Vader would have, soon enough.

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While he does look more like a Stormtrooper than a Village Person, he’s a summary of everything I dislike about making stuffies.  He’s just a bit off.

At least he’s less phallic than when he started.  It makes me wish Rebecca Danger wrote a Star Wars book.  I love her toy design.  Her pieces aren’t sewn together but rather, picked up and worked more continuously.

That said, if you’re good at tiny finishing and you like fiddly bits, this is the book for you!  Rumor has it, you can find it at Costco these days.

I’m not letting the dark side win, I’ll be back to crochet another day.  For now though, I’m just going to enjoy a day filled with nerdy puns—and KNITTING!

May The Fourth Be With YOU!

Last Minute Halloween Costume

Who doesn’t need a last minute Halloween costume??  If you’ve got a crochet hook and a bit of green yarn, I’ve got your solution!

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It’s a Brain Slug!  (which is pretty much what it sounds like.)

It’s a free crochet pattern.  You can find it here!

I whipped this little fellow up in a couple hours.  Using the safety eye was genius…It’s holding the white of the eye in place as well.  No Sew Eye!  And he’s sitting on a skinny little headband, just slipped the headband through his stitches and slid him into place!  No sewing there either!

Honestly, I didn’t even sew the antenna, I just pulled their ends through and tied them.  I even left the ends uncut on the inside…it’s just more stuffing!

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I doesn’t get any easier!  There’s still time…you could have a costume for that party tonight!

IF…you have the right stash.

(Really, this is a post about stash justification.  It only works if you’ve got the right stash.  How do you know if your stash is right?  You don’t.  You’ve gotta collect all the yarns.  See??  Proof right here!  It’s on the internet, it must be true!)

Happy Halloweekend!!

 

 

 

I Ain’t Afraid of No FO.

Why pack for Rhinebeck when I can crochet instead!

This guy was fun to make, even if he was fiddly.  Faces can be persnickety.  This one turned out okay.  Better than expected even! 

And he used tiny bits of scrap yarn! It’s hard to even call it stash busting because it used so little. 

It’s a free pattern, with some tutorial photos.  

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And now, I’m rhinebeck bound!!  Happy Weekend!!