Saturday, December 29, 2007

WIP: Purple Haze progress

Purple Haze was the third sweater I began during my infamous sweater weekend. I'm making this one for me, using Gedifra 'Cotton Merino'. Unlike the other two sweaters, this one has gone more slowly as I struggled to make sense of the pattern. Don't let that dissuade you from making this though. Lauren Irving is a great new designer. She thinks "out of the box" as they say and subsequently this sweater is just shaped a little differently. Thankfully Lauren patiently responded to my e-mails and helped me step a bit out of my comfort zone. Purple Haze can be made in a variety of sizes - you can mix and match your sizes based on waist & bust measurements. You can choose from 3 different sweater lengths (cropped, hip length, or peplum hem) and choose to add a collar, or not. Mine is going to be hip length with no collar (I think).

So finally I have significant progress to report on PH. The back panel is complete and blocking - as written except for lengthening it by 2 rows, and raising the back neckline. The front panels are complete and blocking as well (in fact I've already seamed the shoulders). In addition to lengthening them by 2 rows, I modified the front panel armhole increases so they would end at the same row as the back panel (I needed that symmetry... sorry Lauren!). The front arm hole increases still start earlier as Lauren intended.

Now for possible buttons.... I bought 3 sets of buttons at the LYS yesterday. The white ones in the middle are pretty but not for this sweater. The petals or flowers are pink - perfect for some yarn in my stash.... The other two sets are possibilities, but neither one is a winner for me yet. Are the pewter ones too ornate for this textured stitch? And although the "black ones" have a pretty purple opalesence in them, are they too stark? Any thoughts?








I'm currently crocheting the first sleeve and I'm really hoping to make significant progress in the next 3 days, because finished or not this moves to the back burner on January 1st (Robyn's project trumps PH).

Friday, December 28, 2007

FO: Easy Tweed Scarf

This was the mindless project for the car trip to NYC. I started it in Massachusetts as we began our journey south on December 22nd (after dance and piano recitals). The stitch pattern allowed me to crochet by feel in the dark, so I was able to finish it in Connecticut several hours later. I sewed in the ends when we arrived in NY. I didn't have an intended recipient, but not to worry. I wasn't even able to get a photo taken before my MIL claimed it and promptly put it away (it matches her new gloves... who knew?) Instead here's a photo of the yarn.

Easy Tweed One Skein Scarf

Project details:
Yarn: Red Heart Easy Tweed - bulky - nylon/acylic blend - 143yds
Colorway: Blue tweed
Hook: Boye K (~7.0mm) hook
Gauge: 4 st / inch
Size: Approximately 36" long x 5" wide.
Pattern: My own

Ch 146, must be an even number

  • Row 1 - sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, skip one ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * across, turn.
  • Row 2 - ch 1, sc in 1st sc, sc in ch-1 space, *ch 1, sc in next ch-1 space, repeat from * across, sc in last sc, turn.
  • Row 3 - ch 1, sc in 1st sc, *ch 1, sc in next ch-1 space, repeat from * across, sc in last sc, turn.
  • Repeat rows 2-3, until skein runs out.

FO: Balaclava

I learned a new word in making this. After our 3rd snowstorm in 8 days, with total snow accumulation of almost 3 feet, I finally took my dh's requests for a ski mask (aka 'balaclava') to heart. I searched online, came up with a basic pattern, hunted through the stash and voila - a ski mask!

Project details:
Pattern: Aunt B's Ski Mask/ Helmet Liner
Size: Adult Large
Yarn: Cascade 220 & Cascade 220 Quattro - ww - 100% wool - ~300 yds
Colorway: Navy/Black multi; Black solid
Hook: Boye K (6.5mm) hook
Gauge: none given
Pattern Changes: After 7 inches, I skipped 32 st, chained 34 for the mouth opening. Continued until I rain out of navy/black Cascade 220 Quattro . I trimmed the mouth/eye opening using black Cascade 220 and a smaller hook (H, 5.0 mm)

FO: Cluster Hooded Scarf

I began this project on a whim, as a possible teacher gift, just because it was starting on December 9th as a CAL at Yahoo crochet-a-long. The designer, Peter Franzi, aka, had graciously offered his pattern at no cost to the group to do as a CAL. I jumped in, first thinking of my ds' 2nd grade teacher (until I remembered I already had teacher gifts...) and then thinking of the wonderful lady who teaches piano to both my kids. I finished the scarf a few nights before the Holiday Ensemble/Recital, enough time to wash and dry - a must for this yarn - and delivered at the performance.

Project details:
Pattern: Cluster Hooded Scarf
Size: one size, women's
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver - ww - 100% acrylic - ~800 yds
Colorway: Aran
Hooks: Brittany I (5.5mm) hook
Gauge: 13 st x 9 rows = 4 x 4 inches (as written, 14 st = 4")
Pattern Changes: Just one! I shortened the scarf by 20 stitches, starting chain = 247.

Another secret....

Look what I found in a box on my front steps back on December 14th. The yarn is... a secret! It came from Robyn along with the swatch shown. It's for a project for her new booklet (not to be confused with her new book) and on her blog she's decided to share her design process about the projects in this booklet, but not to tell you the yarn manufacturer or specific yarns used.

This project is a shortsleeve cardigan with a cool textured stitch in a yarn that just shines in this stitch pattern. Go check out Robyn's post on this project, and while you're at it check out all her posts on this upcoming booklet.

I'm so excited to be crocheting another piece for Robyn. I had to finish up some holiday projects (see future posts) before I could start this... that and I had to replace my lost beloved Brittany I hook (did that today - yipee - bought J and K hooks , too). Now I can finally grab my hook and start crocheting!

FO: Two-Toned Pullover

Another sweater finished in November (but not quite in time for his 8th birthday) was Alex's Two-toned Pullover. This one was also started in October, during the infamous sweater weekend, and greatly benefited from my late night hooking marathons during my beloved Red Sox' World Series romp!

Project details:
Pattern: Two-toned Pullover found at
Size: Child 8
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft - worsted weight - 100% acrylic - ~800 yds
Colorway: gray and navy
Hooks: Brittany G (4.0mm) and G7 (4.5mm) hooks
Gauge: 14 st x 14 rows = 4 x 4 inches
Pattern Changes:
  • After completing the "front" panel, I decided it wasn't as wide as needed and the neck was too high (not large enough opening). The back panel was supposed to be a simple rectangle with no neck shaping. So, the "front" panel became the back panel.
  • The new front panel was modified to be wider at the bottom (starting chain increased by 8 chains), decreasing at the armholes to match the width of the back panel (the side seams will be slightly to the back) and also to have a larger neck hole.
  • My ds is way too skinny a kid to wear sleeves that aren't tapered. So I decreased the starting chain at the cuff and increased every few rows to create tapered sleeves. I modeled these sleeves off the "Boys Geometric sweater" I made him before I started blogging - from the now defunct Solutia website.

FO: Ballet Sweater

I'm finally blogging again!! I think I've figured out that one can volunteer too much for one's sanity. Hopefully, I'll be able to better balance this in the new year.

I started this sweater during my sweater weekend and finished in early November. It was a really quick crochet project due to the chunky yarn (and the kids size!).

Project details:
Pattern: Lion Brand Ballet sweater
Size: Girls 6
Yarn: Lion Brand Chunky USA - bulky - 100% acrylic - ~500 yds
Colorway: Grape
Hook: Boye K hook (almost 7.0mm)
Gauge: 8 hdc = 4 inches (10 cm)
Pattern Changes: Made the back and sleeves as written. I was making the pullover and didn't want the thickness of a doubled ribbing as written. Following a trick I learned crocheting a secret Robyn project, I made the front ribbing and then crocheted both "panels" of the front off the same ribbing.