Whenever I see a blog post with an afghan or quilt, I always get a little wistful. Handmade blankets are so cozy, and I want them all, but for the longest time I couldn’t imagine making my own. I’d see my mom spend months crocheting a blanket, and I’d remind her how much I love and use the one she made me in the hopes that she’d make me a second one.
Blankets seemed like they would take forever, but then I noticed the rate with which one of my friends in my knitting group whipped up a bulky knit blanket. It was cushy and springy, and most importantly, it didn’t take forever to make. Making my own blanket started to seem like something I might have enough patience to do so I picked up some Cascade 128 at my yarn store’s sale, and picked up a hook.
I’ve been thinking of it as my I’m-burnt-out blanket. I’ve been working on it when I’m too fried to want to do anything other than crochet around and around. I went with a simple giant granny square shape because it doesn’t require seaming or too much of my attention. It’s just squishy and cheerful!
My handy test knitter database is great for knits, but I”m having a hard time figuring out who would be interested in test crocheting a sweater, so I’m putting out an open call! This jacket is a simple top down raglan in a half double crochet stitch pattern.
The sweater uses 925 (1050, 1180, 1305, 1430, 1560, 1690) yards Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport or equivalent sport weight wool. The final bust measurements are 29 (33, 37, 41, 45, 49, 53) in/ 74 (84, 94, 104, 114, 125, 135) cm, and the jacket is worn with 0-2 inches of positive ease. You’ll need a G/4mm hook or whatever size is needed to match the 20 sts x 13 rows = 4in x 4in/10.16cm x 10.16cm gauge. You’ll also need a zipper to match the finished front lengths and four buttons.
The deadline for the test crochet will be May 25th. On that day, I’ll need general feedback on the readability of the pattern, an estimate on the yardage used, and photos of the finished jacket, but just the crochet work needs to be completed. Buttons and zippers can wait. When I have your pictures and feedback, I’ll reimburse you for your materials within reason (Sorry, no rare, magical unicorn hair yarn!) via PayPal. If you’re interested, please email me at andi.untanglingknots (a) gmail.com. Please tell me what size you’d like to knit and give me an idea of what yarn you think you’ll use. I’m only accepting a limited number of test crocheters, and I typically try to get a wide range of sizes tested. If you’re not in my tester database, please fill out my survey in your email so I can get to know a little bit about you.
I knocked out quite a bit of my secret knitting on Friday night and didn’t touch any knitting for the rest of the weekend. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t working on crafty stuff, though. I spent most of my weekend working on a handful of patterns. You might remember two of them. I made both of these sweaters over the summer, but somehow the patterns ended up on the back burner, and I forgot about them. Some people have hibernating WIPs, but I ended up with hibernating patterns.
I’ve been focusing on knitting accessories for my social knitting while I work on my secret projects in part because I have a bit of a backlog of unfinished patterns. I don’t want to start any new designs that I’ll want to self publish until I get a few of the ones I’ve already started finished! I don’t know how people can handle having dozens of WIPs. I only have a handful of unfinished projects, and they’re starting to drive me a bit mad.
I thought this year’s recap was going to have a lot more WIPs in it than it did, but there were only two months this year where I didn’t finish a project. I finished a surprising number this year for how much I did on top of knitting. I knit and crocheted nine sweaters if you count both versions of the sweater that I knit twice (I’ll have FO pictures of the second version up soon.) which is almost twice as many garments as I made in 2011. I even managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing and made a skirt!
EDIT: Make that ten sweaters in 2012! I just finished weaving in the ends on a sweater that hasn’t made it to the blog yet. I need to block it still, but it’s done!
I mentioned that I wanted to try making another collar in a darker color to see if it was more wearable, and I was in the mood for an instant gratification project so I picked up a hook to make this. I grabbed some leftover Madelinetosh on my desk and got crocheting, but I only had enough yarn for five motifs instead of seven so I ended up with a much snugger collar that doesn’t really work with my wardrobe.
I happened to mention in passing at Thanksgiving that I had made a failed collar, and a certain sibling of mine hinted heavily that she wouldn’t mind another crocheted collar. I think I’ll tuck this in with her Christmas present. The other collar I made her is starting to look a little sad because she wears it so much.
I whipped this up for Halloween. I didn’t have plans until the last minute so I didn’t put together a costume. I ended up wearing my Harley Quinn costume from the year before, but I had thrown out the cuffs and collar. They were pretty gross after Halloween and just cheap white acrylic, so I didn’t see a reason to keep them around. I knew I didn’t have time to remake the cuffs because they were crocheted densely with tons of stitches to make the ruffles stand up, but I knew I had time to replace the collar.
I didn’t have any white yarn in my stash, but I did have some cream Cascade 220 so I whipped up a collar out of it. This is the fourth or fifth collar I’ve made like this, and I think I’ve got the design pretty much perfected at this point. This one looks really nice, and I’m tempted to wear it as more than just a costume piece, but I think it might be a little too twee. I’m wondering if I might be able to pull it off in a darker color so I might make another one using some scrap yarn when I get a chance.
I have an interesting wardrobe because I don’t buy clothing very frequently, and I keep what I do have for ages. There have been a few additions here and there, but for the last couple of years, I’ve devoted most of my shopping to expanding my dress collection. Earlier this year I suddenly realized that my selection of separates was pretty sad. As a California native, I pretty much live in tank tops. It’s hot out? They’re perfect. It’s cold out? Well, that’s what cardigans are for! The end result was I had very few sophisticated tops, and I decided to make some. Being a crafty lady, instead of just going out and buying a few tops, I decided to make some. That’s how this top came to be.
The shape is very simple. It’s just a trapezoid with a rectangle of ribbing. You can see the basic shape here. It’s based on a dress that I’m fond of, but it’s also just a common shape for sweaters from the 40s and 50s.
I used 3.25 mm needles for the ribbing and a 3.5 mm hook for the body. My gauge worked out to be two rib stitches per double crochet which was perfect. I knew the ribbing would go over my hips, and I wanted plenty of ease. I ended up buying six skeins of Spud and Chloe Fine in order to finish this, two skeins of each color. I used up all but scraps of the white, but I have the majority of my second green and yellow skeins leftover. I need to figure out what to do with that.
I divided for the neckline, and it has become unfortunately clear that I only have enough yarn to finish one side of the neckline. I can squeeze out a few more rows, but after that, I think this project will have to be put on hold until I get time to go to the yarn store. Blerg.
These tiny yarn balls are so cute, but they’re also a cause for concern.
There was no real planning involved in this project. I went to the yarn store with only a vague idea of what I wanted to do and no idea as to how much yarn I needed. After I finished the back, I weighed it and compared it to my leftover yarn. The back used 1/3more yarn than I had left, but the neckline means that the front uses less yarn. 1/3 less? I doubt it. I’m fairly certain that I’m going to have to buy more yarn that I will use barely any of, but the irrational side of me keeps hoping that I won’t run out.
I feel like I’ve done very little on this project over the past week or so. I finished the back the weekend before last, and it took me all week to get this much done on the front. It’s not very impressive, but I keep reminding myself that I started apartment hunting, went to two movies and began running a test knit on top of my feeble amount of knitting and crochet. Tonight I plan on drinking my weight in Diet Coke at my knitting group, and I’m going to make some real progress on this.