Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Poncho, Poncho

I've been on a bit of a knitting hiatus recently, as my left index finger started hurting. I think I'd been knitting a bit too enthusiastically on first the lace stole because it was on a deadline, and then my third Tubey sweater, purely because I'm excited about it, and want it finished! But my finger started hurting, and rather than push on and risk hurting it any more, I decided to switch to crochet for a while. Thank goodness for alternating crafts! I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't craft anything!

I've been making first of all the Etain Shrug by Aoibhe Ni Shuilleabhain, from the most recent Inside Crochet magazine. I loved that shrug as soon as I saw it, and started it pretty much when I got the magazine! It's finished, but I haven't got any photos of it yet, so I'll write an FO post about it later ;)

I'm also making the Beauty in Bloom Poncho by Rachel Geller (ravelry link) This is my first poncho, and I have no idea why I'm making a poncho. I just got the irrational and insatiably urge to make this project. I had a random black yarn on a cone in my stash that I'd found in a charity shop, so I started it :)

Poncho WIP

Crocheted Flower

This pattern is very interesting. You make all the flowers first, then crochet the top of the meshy part, then join the flowers individually, then do the bottom mesh part. Joining the flowers needed super concentrating powers to follow the pattern and to do it correctly. I had to rip them out 3 times. Firstly because I hadn't read the instructions on how to position them and they were all at different angles. Then I got confused twice about where to join it all together. Luckily, there's a close-up picture of the flower on the pattern, so I used that to help me get the idea. The instructions are all written out, so it can be a little confusing, but charts kind of scare me, so I don't know if I'd have even started if it was in chart form. The instructions do make sense when you figure out what's happening, but it did require a lot of thinking on my part. I'm not used to all that joining of motifs anyway, so that lack of experience contributed to my confusion too :)

The way the mesh is joined at the end of each round is super clever! You can't see the join at all, it just looks like continuous, seamless mesh. I'm seriously loving this pattern :)

I'm looking forward to doing lots of mesh crochet this evening. It's repetitive and kind of mindless, so it's lots of fun :)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

FO: IntSweMoDo#4 Tubey#2

Tubey #2

I finally got photos of my 4th IntSweMoDo sweater!

Pattern: Tubey by Cassie Rovitti

Yarn: Teddy Vanguard acrylic DK

Needles: 4.5mm (changed from recommended to account for different gauge)

I ripped the yarn from my Lion Brand Cowl Neck Sweater because it was way too large. I didn't really know about gauge back then, so when the pattern told me to make it a few inches smaller than my body actually is, I ignored it and made it the same size. Since it's crocheted around, it just swam on me, and I don't think I actually ever wore it except to take photos. So it got ripped, and the yarn became Tubey instead.

I'm still in this repetition kick, making patterns that I've already made before, and this is my 2nd version of Tubey (the other one was black). I'm making another right now in purple (the same brand of yarn). Well, right now I'm not, as I've been knitting so enthusiastically on it that my index finger on my left hand hurts. So I've been crocheting instead. Thank goodness I learned that other craft so I'd still have something to do when I overdo the knitting!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Finished Lace!!

I finished the shawl on time!

I was quite scared of blocking it. Partly because I was scared it wouldn't block out enough, and partly because the yarn is so thin, I was worried it might just snap in the middle and make a big hole! But as soon as I dipped it in the water, it just went whoosh! absorbed it right up, and became so much more pliable.

This is a pic of it before blocking:


and this is it after:


It still didn't quite get to the 60" mark, but it grew from less than 36" to about 50", which seemed long enough :) It seemed like it would probably stretch out more next time it's washed and blocked though.

Knitting on the border was fun. I liked how in this pattern, you didn't have to pick up all the stitches, you just picked up one at a time and knit into it. And the numbers all worked! I was quite amazed at that, I usually have a few too many or too few stitches when I'm picking up and knitting them. But this one worked out perfectly.

Here's a detail shot post-blocking.

Post-blocking detail

Probably not the bestest job of blocking out ever, other people's lace always looks so precise... But it was my first attempt, and it was a bit rushed to get it all done before the birthday. Now though, the shawl is the bf's mum's responsibility for washing and blocking ;)

She really liked the shawl, and put it straight on :) She said that it was amazing to see the yarn actually knitted into something, since it had sat in her stash for so long, then in mine for a little while. She really liked it, and appreciated it, and I'm glad :)