Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shhh... it's a secret!

Look what I found in a box on my front steps, the day after we came back from vacation. The yarn is Lily Chin's Chelsea - a wool, cotton, acrylic blend in this beautiful shade of dusty light blue (which I just don't seem to be able to capture correctly tonight). It's paler than this, and oh so pretty and soft. The yarn came from Robyn along with a swatch (that's carefully draped so you can't really see it!) I'm so excited to be crocheting another piece for her new book. She's definitely one of my favorite designers. You can see I've already grabbed my Brittany hook and started crocheting!

You'll have to wait until 2008 for this book, but she has a bunch of designs shown here that are in the new Crochet Me book due out in just about 6 more weeks!

FO: Drops 88-20 Girl's Tank

I never posted progress on this project because I started it just before we left for vacation and finished it, all except for those blasted ends, before I returned. The ends are now woven in, so here's the finished product instead, being modeled by my adorable sweetie!

Project details:
Pattern: Drops 88-20 Safran Tank
Size: Girls 7/8
Yarn: Katia Mississippi 3 - fingering - 60% cotton, 40% acrylic - 430 yds
Colorway: Lilac
Hook: Addi 4.0mm F hook
Gauge: 18 dc x 11 rows= 4" x 4" (dead on!)
Pattern Changes: (Barely ONE)
I actually followed this pattern to the letter. Seriously. The only thing I did was incorporate the Peter Franzi method of removing the hole at the beginning of a row of dc: Ch 3, do not skip the first stitch, but do a dcdec in the first 2 stitches.

Monday, August 13, 2007

FO: Twyla

Two weeks ago I was all ready to post another project update for the Twyla Cardigan by Berroco. Really, I even had this photo taken July 31st. See? I was going to say that I had finished the first sleeve (modified to be tapered) and that I was starting the second one. Well life erupted with several family emergencies and frankly I'm not sure I knew what end was up for the last 2 weeks. Life has "settled" and now I'm left with just my own kids both sick with strep! So now that I can finally get online long enough to post (honest, I haven't even edited over at ravelry for the past week !!!!) I get to make an FO post instead of a WIP post!!

When I first looked at this pattern, I fell in love with the textured stitch pattern. I noted way back when that I would probably taper the sleeves. Of course I forgot this detail and crocheted about 14 rows of the sleeve before realizing I didn't want a 14" sleeve at the cuff. So I frogged that, whipped out my trusty graph paper and designed a tapered sleeve. When I got to the first increase, I realized that the body of this sweater has decreases but not increases and I also had to create a method to increase without disrupting the stitch pattern.

Project details:
Pattern: Twyla Cardigan by Berroco
Size: medium
Yarn: Reynolds Gypsy, 1577 yds (19 hanks)
Colorway: 'Ocean Blue' (my name for it)
Hook: Brittany 5.0mm H hook
My Gauge: 7.5 clusters x 13 rows= 4" x 4"
Pattern Changes: (just a few)
  1. Stated gauge was 8 clusters x 9 rows in 4"x4". I used the stitch counts for a medium (giving me slightly wider panels) but altered the row counts and crocheted the length of the pieces to the schematic measurements.
  2. Increases in stitch pattern:
    -To increase 1st half cluster at beginning of row: Ch 3 after completing cluster at end of previous row, turn, hdc in 3rd ch from hook.
    -To increase 1st half cluster at end of row: hdc into turning chain of previous row.
    -To increase 2nd half cluster at beginning of row: Ch 3 after hdc at end of previous row, turn, crochet cluster into 3rd ch from hook and hdc.
    -To increase 2nd half cluster at end of row: crochet cluster in hdc and top of turning chain of previous row.
  3. In order to taper the sleeve (and lengthen it as well):
    -ch 38, rep row 1 of back (37 sc)
    -Rows 2-5: Follow pattern from back row 2-3 (18 clusters)
    -Increase 1/2 cluster at each end of rows 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 31, 37, 47 (26 clusters)
    -Rows 48-60: Work even (26 clusters)
  4. Sleeve cap was modified slightly to accommodate my row gauge:
    -Row 61: Sl st over 3 clusters at beg of row, leave 3 clusters unworked at end of row (20 clusters).
    -Row 62: work even (20 clusters)
    -Row 63-68: Decrease 1/2 cluster at each end of row (14 clusters)
    -Row 69: work even (14 clusters)
    -Row 70-75: Decrease 1/2 cluster at each end of row (8 clusters)
    -Row 76: work even (8 clusters)
  5. Edging on the body of the sweater was as written except:
    -I added an extra round before the button hole round
    -I made 4 button holes, each 2 sc long, separated by 10 sc
    -I added an extra round after the button hole round, except at the neckline where I replaced the sc with sl st.
  6. Sleeve edging - only 3 rows of sc (I guess I made the sleeves a tad too long!)

Ravelry, oh ravelry...

I've promised an explanation of my absence... and I promise I will still blog, but my online time is definitely being sucked by Ravelry right now. Have you been there? Do you have your invite? Go, run, sign up for an invite and then go about your life and have patience. Many, many people are waiting for invites, but rest assured, ravelry is well worth the wait. Can you imagine fiber nirvana? Then you've imagined ravelry. It is a truly amazing knitting and crocheting community. (Yes both together and Look Ma, we're NOT fighting!)

This is the place where you can have a notebook with all of your projects - WIPS & FOs, with photos (from flickr) and details (yarn, pattern, pattern modifications) and links to all of these details either within ravelry or for someone like me, links to blog posts detailing pattern modifications. A place where you can have all of your stash yarn listed with photos and details (yes, details of fiber, manufacturer, yardage, weight, how many skeins you have). A place to list a queue of pending projects and yes with details of these projects and link to the pattern and the yarn from your stash. So for an organizing nut like me, I can still blog about yarn purchases and think about what I might make with the yarn like I did here and here, but then instead of having to search for those posts and read through them to see what projects I was thinking about I can just go to my Queue on Ravelry. Oh and one of my favorite things about ravelry... searching! You can search to see what other ravelry members have made with a certain yarn OR you can search to see what yarns others have used to made a certain pattern. Isn't this just the coolest fiber-related invention ever? Can you tell I'm head over heels in love with ravelry? Here's an awesome sneak peek that explains it all better than I could and a link to Unraveled, the ravelry blog, if you want to read even more

Oh I almost forgot to tell you. With ravelry in beta testing now, Jess & Casey (the amazingly talented creators of Ravelry - who I met at in NH at the Knit & Crochet Show) need feedback on bugs etc and they need help editing the pattern and yarn info being entered by members. They allow us fiber enthusiasts to assist them in the creation of this amazing site. So I've been editing the patterns of Interweave Crochet, Drops Designs, Crochet Me and many of the books that I own in order to get ravelry ready for the big launch out for beta testing.

So, now do you understand where I've been?