Seed Stitch Scarf

scarfdadI wanted to do something simple, but not just a straight knit pattern for my father for Christmas. I perused Ravelry for a while looking at various scarf patterns, when I came across the seed stitch. It gives a nice texture that is simple, but not nearly as boring as just doing straight knitting. It seemed perfect for my dad.

The yarn I used is Loops & Threads Charisma in Lakeside. It’s a super bulky acrylic yarn. I cast on a total of 20 stitches and went back in forth in the K1, P1 of a standard seed stitch.

I’m pretty pleased with how the striping in the yarn worked out. There isn’t too much crossing over of colors to other rows, so it almost looks like a used four different colors of yarn.

The Gathering

The Gathering - Cowl - OutlanderI can’t even begin to express how much I have fallen in love with this cowl. Not just because it was inspired by a great TV show (that’s based on a fantastic book called Outlander), but because it’s so quick and versatile. However, this cowl is no longer in my possession. It was the first of two knitted gifts I sent off for Christmas. This particular cowl went to my stepmother who absolutely loves the Outlander show.

It was my stepmother’s love of Outlander that sent me on a quest to find a pattern inspired by the show. I wanted to make something special for her that she’d enjoy wearing in the cooler weather, especially since she lives in Colorado. I came across several different variations for this particular cowl, but I ended up choosing The Gathering by Kalurah Hudson.

 

As per usual, I modified the pattern a bit. The original pattern calls for a minimum of 16 to cast on but I did 24 to make it longer. I also skipped the twists because I prefer to have it flat when folded down.  The yarn I used was the same as in the pattern, which is the Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Barley.

I got to test out my provisional cast on skills again as well as actually doing the kitchener stitch to bind it all together. Hopefully I will be making myself a version of this cowl so I can get more practice with both (but I’ve got to wait until I burn through a lot more yarn since I don’t have any super bulky yarn in the stash)

The really fun part of the whole process was using the giant size 50 needles which are a whopping 25mm. I’m really hoping that I’ll find some other great patterns to use with these needles, aside from another version of this cowl that I’ll make for myself.

This cowl is fantastically stretchy, so it can be easily pulled down over the shoulders without the top flopping around your neck all loosey goosey.

Work in Progress Wednesday -Hooded Shawl

Due to the holidays, progress on my knitting has been slow. I’ve added a whole 6 rows to the shawl since last week and I’m guessing I won’t make much more progress this week unless I end up having a lot of time at the New Years Eve Party I’m going to, but since it’s a boardgaming party, my hands won’t exactly be free most of the time.

And since I’ve only added a few rows, I decided not to add a picture this week. Once I start adding the hood I’ll probably post some picture updates.

I hope you all are having a good time this holiday season. I’ll see you Monday to share one of the Christmas gifts I made.

The Colorful Christmas Tree

Undecorated Christmas TreeI finished my Christmas Tree a few days before Christmas. You can see it here in it’s undecorated glory. I ended up taking it apart a second time when I realized I was adding too many rows in between the branch rows past the first three, which I also noticed after I started taking apart the last two branch rows when I noticed I forgot a row on the branches so it was a bit shorter than the others.

After fixing everything, I was much happier with the result, however, I think if I make another one I will add back in that extra row I had between branches. It gave it a lot more height and gave more room for adding decorations.

Decorated Christmas TreeBecause the rows were really close together I decided to forgo adding beads as ornaments and instead just made a star and garland to put around the tree. You might recognize the colors of the garland from my Jasmin Headband.

The star was made using some scrap sock yarn. I was really hoping that I could get three stars out of it and give it more dimension, but I only squeaked out three and just enough extra yarn to sew the pieces together. You can find the pattern I used for the star here. I didn’t block the stars, but I do plan on doing that at some point before Christmas next year.

And I may also add beads next year for more color to the tree, or I may just leave it as is, but I will probably also make a second taller tree. But I’ve got almost a whole year before I need to start thinking about those things. Until then, I’ll be removing the star and the garland and storing them away while the tree will adorn the top of my dresser.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday – Hooded Shawl

Peruvian Baby Cashmere YarnOn a recent visit with my mom she pulled out some baby cashmere yarn. I couldn’t find it in my heart to say no to such a fine offer. So, I brought the yarn home with the express idea that I would start on a project right away.

At first I thought I was going to make a whole set of items to wear. I thought about making a scarf or cowl and a hat and maybe some gloves,  if there was enough left over. But when I was talking to friend about how we both have this really big curly hair that hats just don’t really work with she mentioned that she wanted to make a hood and then I thought about some hooded scarf patterns that I had seen. Eventually I came across a pattern for a hooded shawl and I had to try it since I had the exact right amount of yarn.

Hooded Shawl - UnfinishedUnfortunately, not all things go well. I already know I’m going to have to make some adjustments to the pattern after finding out that the Mulled Grape color was from a bad lot. There were several breaks and tears in the yarn making it very hard to work with. Which basically means that I’m not going to have enough of one of the colors to actually do the shawl the way it’s meant to be done. I’m pretty sure I’ll be cutting out the last alternating section.

The one really nice thing is that because this is such a simple pattern it is very quick to knit up. So after I add the hood I may try and see if I can stretch out my yarn to finish the rest of the shawl, and if I can’t, I won’t have spent too much time trying it.

For now I’m going to knit to the end of the next large lavender block and then start working on the hood with placement on the side. I’m guessing that’ll I’ll end the shawl with an I-cord of the mulled grape after the last lavender block. It’ll only make the shawl 10 rows short along the top edge (but 20 total rows of the pattern since the edge stitches are slipped at the end of a row), which should be fine since most of the images I’ve looked at show the hood spanning from the first alternating section to the beginning of the third large block, which is what I’ve knitted so far.

 

Autumn Multi Fuctional Cowl – Skirt – Hood

Autumn Cowl - Skirt FinishedSince finishing this project I have worn it once as a skirt and twice as cowl. I’m liking it very much in both areas. Though I think I like it just a bit more as a cowl. Unfortunately, not even adding a second color got the cowl to be long enough to also work as a hood.

I finished the pattern as originally called out, which surprised me a little, though I do have a tendency to crochet a bit tight. I still had some of the flax colored yarn left, so I added a few extra single crochet rows after realizing that I didn’t have enough to add a full row of star stitches.

I sewed up the side and tried it on and, as I suspected, it was not long enough for me to comfortably wear as a skirt. I looked through my color options and chose Patons Silk Bamboo in Sapphire. I had two skeins of this particular yarn and I thought I could probably add a three more rows of star stitches. Not to mention it was shiny like the flax colored yarn.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of trouble getting the star stitches to work since I was trying to do them in the round instead of going side to side and I was working from the starting edge. I probably could have crochet a set and then stitched it to my finished piece, but ended up just doing single crochet stitches instead to give a smoother finish for the part that would likely end up covered by a shirt anyway. The bamboo yarn was also slightly thinner than the Bernat Soy Natural Blends, which also contributed to my deciding to just do single crochet.

I added two rows to the starting edge for accent. Then I flipped to the other end and added 7 rows of single followed by a row of double crochets done with four double crochets followed by a chain 1 and skipping the next stitch to create a space. I then finished it off by adding one more row of single crochets and ran a ribbon through the spaces.

I’m pretty proud of the result and I love the vibrancy of the sapphire against the flax. It’s also nice to have a cowl in a different color palette than my pink and black one so I can always have something warm around my neck without clashing too horribly.

And as noted in my WIP from last week, the original pattern can be found here.

Work in Progress Wednesday – Autumn Multi Functional Cowl – Skirt – Hood

Naiyaru's Autumn Multi Functionl Cowl Skirt Hood
© Naiyaru

This particular piece is something I pinned ages ago, nearly one of the first crocheted things I pinned. I really liked the look of the star stitch and to be quite honest, I’ve always wanted to make a skirt and this seemed like a good project to try just in case I decided that I didn’t like how it looked as a skirt (since I’m not exactly a small girl and can be quite self conscious).
You can find a rough pattern by Naiyaru here. I’m pretty sure that I won’t have enough yarn to make it as long as Naiyaru calls out the pattern since I’m having to make it a fair bit wider so that I can wear it as a skirt, but I think I have a few other colors I can add to the skirt if I want to give it a bit more punch and give it the length I’d be comfortable wearing it at. I also highly recommend watching the first few rows in the tutorial video on the page Naiyaru links to for the star stitch since the initial row for the star stitch in the video is for starting from the foundation chain.

Unfinished Star Stitch - Cowl - SkirtThe yarn I’m using is Bernat Soy Natural Blends in Flax. Which, as per most of my yarn hoard, is a discontinued style. It is a 50% soya and 50% acrylic combo. The yarn is very soft and has a bit of a shine too it. As it stands in the picture I’m a bit over halfway through my yarn and it definitely doesn’t seem like it’s going to be nearly long enough to cover my behind.

I did try and initially crochet this in the round, but my foundation chain kept twisting, so I will have to sew up the side when I’m finished. It is coming out nice and thick since the yarn is held double. I’m thinking it’ll be a great winter accessory for here in Texas on the coldest days and a fantastic skirt.