Tuesday, April 10, 2007

FO: Splatter Stitch Scarf

Second prescool teacher done! Here's the scarf I ended up making for Mrs. G. I call it the Splatter Stitch scarf as that is the stitch they use and I don't put on the pom poms! I made it once before, so it went really fast. I really like the texture created with this stitch pattern. I also love how it turned out with this rich burgundy color. Hopefully Mrs. G. will like it as well.

Project details:
Pattern: Caron's Pom Pom Scarf
Yarn: Red Heart SS 'Burgundy', worsted weight acrylic, ~100-150 yds
Hook: 5.5mm I hook
Pattern Changes: (really minor, for once!!) I left off the pom-poms.

Monday, April 09, 2007

FO: Scallop Wrap

One preschool teacher down, two to go! Mrs. P.'s shawl is complete! This was a pretty quick project that I whipped off in just a few hours. I think it might work better in a Super Bulky yarn as recommended. Nonetheless, I still like it.

Project details:
Pattern: Moda Dea Scallop Wrap
Yarn: Caron Perfect Match 'Cape Cod Blue' worsted weight acrylic, double stranded, ~600 yds
Hook: 11.5mm P hook
Pattern Changes: (as always)
  1. Hook size was increased to meet gauge.
  2. I wanted the shawl to be a bit longer down the back, and the scallops just seemed like they needed a bit more bulk to them at the bottom. So, at the end of row 13, do not finish off, turn.
  3. Row 14: ch3, dc in first ch-3 space, 2 dc in next ch-3 space, *3 dc in next ch-3 space (8 times)**, 1 dc in next ch-3 space (3 times), repeat from * across, ending at ** with 2 ch-3 spaces remaining, 2 dc in next ch-3 space, 1 dc in last ch-3 space, 1 dc in 3rd ch of ch-5, turn.
  4. Row 15: ch5, dc in the space after first 2dc group, ch 2, dc in the space after 2nd 2dc group, [(ch 1, dc in 2nd dc of 3dc group, ch1, dc in space between 3dc groups) 7 times, ch 1, dc in 2nd dc of 3dc group, (ch1, skip next dc, dc in next dc) twice] 5 times, [(ch 1, dc in 2nd dc of 3dc group, ch1, dc in space between 3dc groups) 7 times, ch 1, dc in 2nd dc of 3dc group, ch1, skip next dc, space before next 2dc group, ch 2, dc in the space after next 2dc group, ch2, dc in 3rd ch of ch-5. Finish off, weave in all ends.

Teacher Appreciation Week

is the first full week in May (according to PTA site). Or, if you prefer, the NEA says that National Teacher Day is the Tuesday of the first full week in May - this year May 8, 2007. In either case I need to get hooking. I recently completed the Sweet Pea shawl for my son's 1st grade teacher (I made his kindergarten teacher the Seraphina shawl) and realized that I have never crocheted gifts for the preschool teachers (other than some small bookmarks one Christmas). Well my dd will be 'graduating' from the Sunshine School this June and heading off to join her big brother at the public elementary school in the fall. For four years these 3 wonderful teachers have been guiding and teaching my little ones, I think it's time I hook them something nice. I let the kids have a LOT of input on this and we've been pattern hunting and yarn hunting through the stash all weekend. (I'm determined these will be stash busting projects). The kids amazed me with the insights they had to their teachers personalities, colors and even styles.

This Moda Dea Scallop Wrap was posted on Yahoo crochet-a-long the other day. Both kids said it looked like Mrs. P., but it needed to be blue. I didn't have any super bulky blue yarn so we doubled up on some worsted weight yarn and made a shawl. Here's a close-up photo.

Now, on to Mrs. G. "She's not a shawl person", says my ds. "She wears scarves", adds my dd, "even inside." Colors, they decide, have to be rich, earthy, not pretty pink and purples. They liked Robyn Chachula's appropriately titled scarf pattern at Crochet me "Zen and the art of stash diving" and they really wanted me to use RH painted desert. They are dead on about the colors for this teacher, but I wasn't sure about the yarn/pattern combination, but I said I'd give it a whirl. I started, but after they were asleep I decided my gut was right and I hit the stash again and tried the same pattern with some Colinette Mohair 'Mist' leftover from the lapghan kit (shown with 'Mist' on hook here). I think a non-variegated mohair might be a better choice for the pattern. This yarn is working OK, but not for Mrs G. (too much pink and purples and I think the mohair might be too "hairy" or itchy for her).

I started again this time using a basic acrylic in Burgundy and Caron's PomPom scarf pattern that I've used before. It uses a really pretty splatter stitch pattern and I leave off the pom-poms!Last, but not least is Mrs. F, a teacher and director of the school. The kids chose mittens for her "because her hands are always always cold". They are right. She does like to have mittens in her pockets, even in summer, just in case. Most likely I'll use Sue's crocheted mittens and some simply soft in some springy colors... we still have to check the stash for this.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

FO: Spring Flower Cardigan

I thought I was on schedule to finish this for my niece's 4/28 wedding, then Abby asked last weekend if she could wear it on Easter Sunday! Well, it's finished with days to spare!! This is my version of Tammy Hildebrand's Spring Flowers Cardigan. The original pattern is in Crochet! May 2006. After swatching many patterns, I had decided on this pattern even though it is written for size 3 thread. The pattern had a few glitches, I even sent an e-mail to Crochet! magazine one evening. Get this... they called me back the very next morning!! Of course, I had found a glitch their editors had missed, or at least that's how I interpreted our telephone conversation. Nonetheless, I was impressed by the prompt reply. In the end I made my own modifications as usual.

Final result - Abby's happy, and that's what matters! (Photo taken by her 7yo big brother Alex!)

Project details:
Pattern: Tammy Hildebrand's Spring Flowers Cardigan, Crochet! May 2006.
Yarn: Gedifra 'Wellness', a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend (~780 yds)
Hook: Brittany 4.5mm hook
Pattern Changes: (as always)

  1. I used ww yarn instead of thread. I determined that my gauge (7hdc = 2in, 6 rows in pattern = 2.25 inches) together with the pattern as written for size 2 would match the measurements of the size 6 (determined by the published thread gauge).
  2. Body was completed as written, except that I added another 3 row pattern repeat to match the size 6 length of 12.5" (I realized later this is really long, by the way).
  3. Front panel tops were completed as written except that the pattern contains an error in the neck shaping area of the fronts. As written the shaping occurs every third row such that the shaping would be at both the neck opening and the armhole opening. I assumed this was an error and proceeded with shaping every third row, only at the neck edge.
  4. Back top was completed as written.
  5. Sleeves presented another problem. Sleeves were crocheted in the round on the sweater after the shoulder seams were joined. The number of stitches the pattern called for (size 2 or 6) was way too few to fit around a 12 inch circumference armhole (correct for size 6). I just crocheted an even number, matching my gauge and ended up with 42 hdc around. The original pattern calls for no tapering, just a gathering at the wrist with a row of scdec. Of course I changed this as well. I followed the 2 row pattern as written, but added tapering with a hdcdec under the arm and at the top of the sleeve on rows 9, 15, 21, 25 and 29. So my stitch count ended up as follows: rows 1-8 (42 st), rows 9-14 (40st), rows 15-20 (38st), rows 21-24 (36st), rows 25-28 (34st), rows 29-30 (32st). Because I added the tapering, I changes the first cuff row from scdec around to (scdec, sc) around. I did the final edging row of the cuff as written.
  6. Buttonhole band was done mostly as written. Row 1 - I needed 48 sc to span my right front edge. Rows 2-3 as written. Row 4 - I evenly spaced 6 buttonholes (7hdc in between each) using only ch1, sk1 (not ch2, sk2) as buttonhole as I have small buttons. Row 5 - as written except I didn't fasten off (you reattach in this same space to do the neck edging).
  7. Button band - as written except 48st with a new skein attached at the side of the last row of the left front panel. Again, I didn't fasten off (you reattach in this same space to do the neck edging).
  8. Neck edging - Row 1 - using yarn left hanging on the buttonhole band, sc evenly around the neck shaping, placing scdec as needed to smooth out the steps, sc across the back and around, placing a matching number of sc and scdec on opposite side neck shaping. Row 2 - I did a second row of sc - sc evenly around the neck opening, again placing scdec as needed to smooth out the steps. Row 3 - picot edging around as written.
  9. Bottom edging - as written except using yarn left hanging on the button band.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

FO: Sweet Pea Shawl

Finished! I just love saying that. I love love love completing projects - it's such a great feeling. This one is Amie Hirtes' Sweet Pea Shawl - a CAL at Crochetville! that I joined on a whim. The pattern is available online at her site NexStitch.com as well as in the book "Stitch'n'Bitch: Happy Hooker". I have to say that I am so very happy to report that this pattern (unlike so many other recent patterns) isn't so riddled with errors that you have to rewrite it 10 time along the way! There's one small error, that's corrected in their published errata, and the stitch diagram was correct all along.

Project details:
Yarn: Reynolds Saucy Swirl, in dark pink, light pink, gray and white; ~925 yds, including fringe.
Hook: Brittany 5.5mm I hook
Pattern changes: (minor). I thought the intended recipient would appreciate a slightly wider/longer shawl so I increased the starting chain by 30 chains in order to add 3 shells (about 9 inches) to the starting width.