Thursday, August 12, 2010

Well, I've been rather remiss about posting lately, what with the temptations of summer and trying to find a job. (If I'm not careful this whole blog could be about the attempt to find a job in this economy. And none of us want THAT.) I will keep on looking and keep telling myself that someone, one day, will say to me "you're hired!" Sooner, rather than later, please.

The Amelia sweater, is, alas, not to be. It just didn't work out with the amount of yarn I had, the sleeves would have been ridiculously short. The color I was using seems to be discontinued so no luck in finding anymore. It will just have to bide it's time until the right project comes along.

Until then I've been working on the Who Me? cardigan from the Fall issue of Knitscene. I love the patterns in this one, it's hard to choose which one to start with. I know I wasn't going to buy anymore pattern books or magazines but it was too good. Genius!

That's all for now. Will check in again soon, with news of the knitting here in Portland.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Using up the Yarn Stash

Finally, the cold has gone away. Hooray! I feel bad because I missed both my knitting group get togethers but I decided to err on the side of caution and not spread the cold around. The one good thing that came out of the cold, (other than getting to spend time with Littles), was that I finally found the perfect pattern for this yarn that has been hanging out in my stash for awhile now. It is the Dream In Color Classy, a worsted weight wool, in a beautiful shade of shamrock green with a subtle variegation. I would give a color name but when I checked on the Dream In Color website I found the color was no longer available.
This was after I had started the project and also found that I may not have enough to do the pattern exactly as it was written. Not to worry there, it could easily be modified with a little imagination. The pattern I chose was the Amelia Cardigan by Laura Chau and is from the Winter 2008 issue of It's a cute and versatile cardigan with twisted rib accents and garter stitch borders. My only problem is that I may not have quite enough yarn to finish the cardigan as it is in the pattern. Luckily for me the cardigan is worked from the bottom up in one piece. When I got to the split for underarm, where the sleeves would have been incorporated into the body for decreasing, I used a provisional cast on. I also decreased the sleeves down to 59 sts instead of 67 as my arms are not that big around and I really am not a fan of floppy sleeves. (It looks like I'm going to end up with 3/4 length sleeves.) As soon as I get the cardi done I'll post pictures!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


In my last post I did promise that there were patterns on their way and here's the first! Complete with photos so you know what your making. (Or, I hope complete with photos.
There were some technical difficulties with getting the photos from the camera into the computer, accompanied by much swearing and gnashing of teeth, followed by a red face when I realized that had the computer to camera attachment plugged into the wrong port. Remember, I majored in Fashion Design, not computers.)
This is a pattern for a pair of armwarmers made with one of my favourite yarns, Malabrigo worsted. Please bear in mind that this is the first crochet pattern I have ever written so if there are errors, or something is not completely clear, please let me know. It's a free pattern so feel free to print it out and crochet away!
These armwarmers were inspired by the movie Penelope, a charming little fairytale about a girl who, because of a family curse, has the nose of a pig. Her wardrobe looks like it has been put together with bits and pieces of what her family has brought her and that she's found in the attic. I thought these armwarmers would fit right in with the whimsical, vintagey feel.

Easy Crocheted Armwarmers

1 skein Malabrigo worsted in colour Black Forest

1 crochet hook size H

1 crochet hook size E

Scrap yarn in contrasting colour

10 small mother of pearl buttons ( I used a mix of vintage buttons I had in my button box to give the gloves a eclectic, vintage look. Using more modern buttons will give the gloves a more sophisticated look.)

Gauge - 3.75 sc to 1” wide and 4 sc to 1” high using size H hook

Start: chain 23 loosely using a size H hook

SC into second chain from the end, sc to end

Join for crocheting in the round and work a further 9 rows in sc, marking start of round with scrap yarn

Separate for thumb: work to beginning of round, turn and sc back

work back and forth in rows for a further 10 rows

On last row do not turn but join split and work for 11 sc

Place scrap yarn marker and work to end of row

Work in the round for a further 18 rows, ending at new marker

Separate for buttonband: work to marker, turn and sc back

Continue to work in sc for 15 more rows

Break yarn and fasten off

Repeat for second arm warmer

Thumb: using size H hook and starting at base of thumb work 26 scs around thumb opening, then work one more row around. Fasten off.

Button band and buttonhole band:

Left hand glove - with RS of glove facing you, start at right hand side edge with size E hook, work 18 scs across right side, 1 sc at apex of split, 18 scs along left side

You will now work the buttonhole band first.

Buttonhole band: work 17 scs, work a slip st into next sc, turn

work to end of row

work 2 sc, crochet 2 for button hole, repeat 4 more times
fasten off

sc back across 17 scs to apex of work, work a slip st into the next sc, sc back to right edge of work

Button band: work 17 scs, work a slip st into next sc, work back to end

Fasten off.

Right hand glove - with RS of glove facing you, start at right hand side edge with size E hook, work 18 scs across right side, 1 sc at apex of split, 18 scs along the left side

You will now work the button band first.

Button band: work 17 scs across row, work a slip st into the next sc, work back to end of work

Buttonhole band: work 17 scs, work a slip st into next sc, turn

work 2 scs, chain 2, work a sc into st next to last sc, work 2 scs, repeat 4 more times

fasten off

Weave in all ends and sew on buttons to correspond to buttonholes.

Here's the finished pair. I left the contrast yarn stitch marker in to show approximately where it should be in relation to the thumb.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting It Done

It's not always easy finishing off all the projects that I start but I'm trying. I just get distracted. My knitting and crafting can tend to be short attention span time, not because I intend to drop things halfway through, but because something new and exciting comes along and I just can't resist. I'm weak when it comes to yarn and fabric, I admit it.
This past week, I am proud to say, I finished off my bathroom rag rug that I have been in the process of making for awhile. The tile in my bathroom is yellow, jade green, and melon orange with some accents of black. It's lovely but it makes finding a bathroom rug a bit of a challenge. Any one of the colours should do on it's own, you would think, but none of them have worked. I went through my fabric stash and lo and behold I had enough of the colours in cotton fabric to make a decent sized bathroom rug. Fabric load lightened by quite a bit!
I also finished one scarf using the Yo Drop It pattern from Stitch and Bitch Nation by the lovely Debbie Stoller. I combined three different yarns to make one: one strand of some leftover Kureyon from Noro, one strand of Cascade 220, and one strand of Filatura di Crosa 501, to make a yarn a bit thicker than what the pattern called for. It's a cute chunky scarf and it will be perfect for winter in Portland.
This week I'm going to finish up a few things while waiting to hear back from the jobs that I posted resumes to. (One of these days someone is going to hire me!) The first thing I'm going to finish is the Vintage Armwarmers pattern that I've been working on, a pair of cute crocheted armwarmers with a twist. Tune in later on this week for the surprise and the free pattern!
I'm also working on a cute transitional cardigan in another combination of yarns from my stash, and I'll be posting that pattern here as well. It's a quick knit at two and a half stitches per inch and the perfect beginner project if you want to branch out from scarves. Like most of the jumpers and cardigans that I do it's a top down raglan. Easy peasy.
I also finished the Cloud Bolero by Ysolda Teague. she used Rowan Polar, (now discontinued), which, because it contains alpaca, I can't use. I did, however, have some Autunno from Di've, a luscious 100% merino wool, in a dark inky blue and purple mix. It has a subtle variegation which worked well with the Old Shale pattern that is used in the cardigan. Usually I shy away from the variegated yarns when working with a stitch pattern but this worked well. All I need to do now is go down to the Button Emporium and find the perfect ribbon to use as a tie.
Well, my cold is getting the better of me and I'm off to bed. Is there anything more annoying than a summer cold? Other than the construction going on in the parking area of the business that faces my apartment building that is. Good night and good luck!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday, July 15th

Once upon a time a girl lived in a cozy little home with a cozy little cat and things were wonderful, well, until she went through her yarn stash and discovered that things were way out of control. So she decided to do something about it.
All knitters joke about their stashes, hoe out of control it is, how it is being saved up for when they really have time to knit, or when they retire, or because the one who dies with the most yarn wins. The truth is I have way too much yarn, way, way too much. It is currently corralled into separate boxes, (clear plastic so I can see what I've got), and I'm going to do something about it. I reorganized and started lining up projects to do and finish on the 15th of June and I've given myself a year to use it all up. What I didn't count on was how many little bits of yarn I have lying around, half a ball here, ten yards there, it adds up. If anyone has any suggestions on how to use these little bits up, let me know.
Today I started on Ysolda Teague's Cloud Bolero with some Di've Autunno that I had lying around. It's so soft and yummy, being 100% merino, that I had to do something wonderful with it. You can find the pattern on Ravelry for free. Thank you to Ysolda!

I love yarn and I love treats so I've decided to share the good things that I've found in Portland. Every Thursday is treat of the week day and here's one for today: the Basil Macaroon at Two Tarts. I'm pretty sure that these wonderful bakers can do no wrong! A basil cookie seems an unlikely treat but the combination of the basil with the buttercream is perfection! These are seasonal, like many of their cookies so get them while you can!