In the Works: Yarn bombing

I feel like I have a lot to share and no time to write. Not unusual for fall, really. Sometimes September through December feel like the shortest months of the year.

At the very least, I will share what has been occupying all of my free time this week (as well as time that should be spent washing dishes and folding laundry…).

The art teacher and some parents at the elementary school my kids attend are planning a yarn bomb as a part of the school’s 3rd annual Art Night. I am not actively involved in the PTA, but since this activity is right up my alley, I could not resist.

The current assembly includes my swatches, a couple from my LYS and more from friends. This panel needs one more row of swatches and an inch or two added to the edges. Crocheting them together is pretty fast, and I’m doing some infill work as well to get to the right size.

It’s a nice little diversion, and I’m excited to contribute at the school, but I haven’t found a new pastime in yarn bombing. :-)

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In the Works: Crackerjack

The final Cincinnati Reds game of the season is underway. I’m caught up on the knitting of my Crackerjack and I have even woven in the ends at the beginning.
 
 My goal is to knit the last stripe, weave in the ends, and graft the ends together tonight. And then putting it in a blocking bath before I go to bed.
 
 I have enjoyed the knit and I’m ready to have the finished object!
 
 

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In the Works: Crackerjack

After being over a month behind, I decided to catch up on a Crackerjack this weekend. I’m going to want this project when the season is over, and if I got any further behind I was worried that I would never finish it.
 
 Despite the bands of losing stripes, I really like it!
 
 

 I’m sure it will look even better when it is blocked. :-)

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In the Works: Shawl, Socks and a Blanket

The distraction that I posted about two weeks ago  was finished and blocked on Thursday night. I finished weaving in the ends last night and photographed it on my daughter this morning. I wrote most of the pattern (except for the charts) on Sunday. So once I figure out the best way to assemble a self-addressed stamped envelope to have the sample returned to me, I’m going to be sending it in for a submission call. But this particular call allows simultaneous self-publishing. And as I mentioned, I have an idea to make a larger version with two skeins of yarn. So you won’t have to wait months and months to see whether this comes out in a book. But I’m going to keep some of it under wraps until I have the larger version worked out.

I had hoped to submit a second project to the book call as well, but time has run out.

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The socks I started in July  have made some progress. I was feeling concerned that the one for me was a bit snug and I was sad to see that the first one for my daughter was very snug…and they went back in the WIP basket. This weekend I washed and blocked the first sock for me. Despite the popularity of Lorna’s Laces Shephard Sock, it is not one that I have used before, so I didn’t know how it would to blocking. Thankfully, there was enough bloom that the size turns out to be fine. After putting my sock in for a bath, I ripped back the sock for my daughter. No matter how fast sock knitting for a 7 year-old foot is, I don’t really want her to grow out of it mere months after it is done. So I added a couple of increases for a larger foot, and I made it a little longer, too. She tried the sock on after dinner last night – success! And I bound off her first sock before bed last night.

Hopefully I can keep the momentum going and cast on the second sock for me very soon.

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And lastly, a few photos of a finished object. I wrote about this blanket when I decided to change how I crocheted the squares together, but I never shared the finished object!

StitchSamplerAndyChair_medium2

This is a second sample of my first published design, a present for friends who adopted a little boy last year. I finished it back in June and delivered the gift a couple of weeks later. The original was designed quickly as a class sample with the yarn I had on hand. I love the color combination of this version a lot more!
StitchSamplerAndyRailing_medium2

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Skirts Complete

Both new skirts have been worn already, though I only remembered to take a picture of one of them.
 
 Happy girl in the rain.
 

 I may have started two new sewing projects right after finishing the skirts…

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Not with yarn

Tonight, I am headed to a neighbor’s house to do some sewing. It’s an opportunity to get to know some of the parents on our street better, and to make some skirts for the girl with fabric that I bought last month. The fabric was purchased from www.spoolfabricshop.com. They had a trunk show in my neighborhood. If you live in Pittsburgh, they will be having another one this fall.
 
 Heather was so excited that I had plans to make the skirts this weekend that she immediately started requesting additional colors and themes. I see a Gryffindor skirt in my future, if this pattern goes well…
 
 I spent last night’s free time cutting the fabric and assembling my materials. I realized that I don’t have thread to match one of the fabrics, but I think I found a nice alternative to a perfect match. I definitely don’t have time to drive out to the ‘burbs for more thread before tonight.
 

 My sewing basket is packed and ready to go. Now for the long wait until 9pm!

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Trial and Error and Experience

I have once again been distracted by something shiny.
 
 

 The shiny has led me to work on a crochet shawl design this week. The yarn is from SpaceCadet Creations and the inspiration was a submission call on ravelry. I’m going to talk a little bit about my process and why a good design sometimes takes more time than it may seem like it should. My goal is that my pattern, when it is done, should be straightforward and as simple as possible. But the path to work out that “simple” design is not always linear or a simple process.
 
 The shawl has two motifs. The first is one is pictured above. I found it a few months back and had already swatched, but I was concerned that it was too flowery for an adult shawl. The call on ravelry is for kid’s items, and I love the idea of a shawl for little girls. I quickly realized that the motif in question is definitely not too flowery for young ladies. Easy peasy.
 
 Sort of.
 
 The next step was to determine what the second motif would be since I didn’t want the shawl to be all flower motifs. I wanted something that would show off the variegated yarn, connect the other motifs together as you work, and have some sort of line work in it…because, as the name Structured Stitches implies, that is what I like to see in my patterns.
 
 I spent three evenings and lunch hours crocheting different options. I thought I finally had it on Wednesday night. I even did a second one during lunch on Thursday. But I was disappointed that the directions were going to be slightly different depending on the orientation of the flower motifs around the second motif. And I didn’t love the edge of the connector motif. It wasn’t smooth and really didn’t want to crochet around the whole shawl when the motifs were done.
 


So…close, but no cigar
 
 It was actually the act of working a connector motif with flower motifs on all four sides that finally helped me figure out the motif that would meet all of my criteria. This weekend, I can crochet my heart out and make real progress instead of this one step forward, two steps back craziness. (And speaking of crazy. I may work out a larger version with fewer flower motifs. I think one of the yarns that I bought at MDSW might be perfect for this shawl. Because, you know, I don’t have enough on my plate already…)
 
 

 I’d like to think that once I have more designs under my belt, it will get easier and easier to figure out the straightforward solutions with less trial and error. If this isn’t the case, please don’t tell me. I’d like to live in ignorance.
 
 

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