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.

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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.

Amigurumi – Cat!

Orange CatThe first thing I actually made and finished this year was a small cat that I made as a gift for my friends that were having a baby.  Being cat lovers and having lots of family members that loved making baby blankets, I decided that this would be the best option.

I browsed pinterest for a while looking for some cat patterns, but I eventually pulled out my copy of Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet and thumbed through the patterns.  I used the baby lion pattern as the base and then embroidered the face as I felt like and just did a simple tail.  I also gave him a little chain ribbon that I tied in a bow around his neck.

cat2One of the main reasons I ended up embroidering the face instead of using buttons or even safety eyes, is that it was a present for a newborn and I wanted to make sure that nothing used would be able to be pulled off or get broken.  I also didn’t have any safety eyes at the time, and in an effort to spend a little less on crafty things, I used part of the plethora of cotton thread that I own (a picture of which I will share at some point in the near future as I think I have located all the bits and pieces I have.)

I’m planning on doing some more amigurumi in the future.  Do you have any amigurumi patterns you like or things you want to see made?

Potholders

After moving into my new apartment I realized I didn’t have any potholders (something as a lover of baking I couldn’t live without).  I knew that I had some at one point that my mother had made, but I couldn’t find them in any of the boxes I had initially brought with me.  So I decided that I would make myself some.  I figured it would be a quick weekend job.  I mentally went over my stash of cotton yarn, eyed the Michael’s ad, and then did something I really shouldn’t have.  I went and bought some new yarn even though I had decided that I was going to work through the yarn I had before buying anything new.

The only justifications I can give are that the yarn was under a dollar a skein and that I was going to use it right away.  All of which meant I spent less than $4 on the four Lily Sugar’n Cream skeins of cotton yarn and that I would be making that initial chain right way.

And to be honest, I also wanted to use colors that I would enjoy for years to come.  So I ended up with Warm Brown and Red.  If the store had had more than two skeins of the Warm Brown in the same dye lot, I probably would have bought enough to make a couple dishcloths, placemats, coasters and so on.  Although the only things I’d probably end up actually using would be the dishcloths and potholders.

So, the day after acquiring the new yarn I set to work. My quick weekend project ended up turning into a three month ordeal. Having only recently gotten back into crocheting, my hands weren’t quite up to the task.  I finished two within a week, but the last two took quite a bit longer.  I also visited my mother, found a box I had missed which contained the four potholders she had given me in college, and then I found out one of my friends and his wife were moving into a new place.  So, being as I actually wanted to use up my stash, I brought over all the other Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn I had and let them pick their colors.

Lily Sugar'n Cream Hot Blue and Mod Green potholders
Lily Sugar’n Cream Hot Blue and Mod Green potholders

It took me about a three weeks to finish off their potholders.  But I had a nice deadline to push for, so I didn’t dally as much as I had been with mine after finding my old potholders.  I was also happy to find that this new set of potholders was a much more consistent size then the two I had made for myself so far.  And it meant that I now had 4 less skeins of yarn in my stash. They are also the second gift I’ve made from my yarn stash since the beginning of the year.

Lily Sugar'n Cream Warm Brown and Red Potholders
Lily Sugar’n Cream Warm Brown and Red Potholders

I eventually did end up returning to my own potholders after I found out about the knitting and crochet group meeting twice a month at the yarn shop near my new apartment.  I’m happy to say that I finished them, love the colors and was able to show them off at my birthday party over the weekend.  And now I really wish that I could have bought more of those two colors so that I could deck out my kitchen in these beautiful colors.

If you are interested in making your own potholders, I mainly followed Miss Abigail’s pattern, but I used the starting chain of 31 since I wanted a slightly larger potholder.  These potholders are extra thick as you are crocheting through a loop from the current row and the previous row.

Afghans!

The first thing I every crocheted, outside of just making chains for miles, was an afghan.  Unfortunately that afghan has since passed on and was much loved and cherished.  Since I moved to Texas I didn’t think I’d ever make another one again, at least not till I moved back to a cooler climate.  But then I wanted to do something special for my dad when he got remarried.

BlanketThus we have my first ever knitted afghan.  This also happened to be the first project I’ve actually done since moving to Texas almost three years ago and it was done last year, before I had decided that I needed to start knitting and crocheting more often.  All the yarn for the project was bought specifically for it as I wasn’t working on emptying out my hoard yet.  I also don’t have a whole lot of blue in my stash, but it’s my dad’s favorite color, so I had to buy something just for him.

Considering that knitting is not really my strong suit and it had been 2 years since I had actually handled yarn in any fashion other than to move it out of the way, I’m pretty proud of the results.  I also don’t anticipate that I’ll be making any more afghans soon, not to mention I don’t have very many skeins that would work well together, so I was a little sad to leave this behind when I visited my dad in Colorado.

But it does give me something to look forward to when I get my stash down to zero.  It means I can go buy yarn and I can make myself a new afghan since the only ones I have are ones that were made by my mother.  There’s just something about having something that was made by me, for me.