Sunday, May 31, 2009

Big project coming up...

I'm still in the planning/inspiration phase of this project, which is actually my favorite part of any project. I love the planning, dreaming, wondering part of projects even better than I like finishing it. Probably why I have so many UFO's floating around.

I've been wanting a bedspread for our queen size bed ever since the weather became warmer and I realized that a crocheted blanket is the perfect thing to keep you just warm enough during the hot Houston summer months. I've always used comforters year round, but now, after having a baby, I find I sweat like a horse at night if I'm under a comforter. Right now I have a ripple blanket that I made last Hurricane season on the bed. It's pretty and it looks nice, but it's not quite big enough to cover the whole bed and it's bit bright for my decor ideals. October2008 006 I'm looking for something a bit calmer and classier. If I had more time and patience I would do something like this:

rowanblanket I want that classic one-color crocheted bedspread look, but with a bit of a modern twist, but really who has time to sew all those freakin' squares together? Not me. So I did some looking around and came up with Andalusia. It's a free pattern from Berroco and it's pretty much perfect for my needs right now.
andalusia_lg_medium ANDALUSIA
It's still sewing squares together, but the squares are bigger so it shouldn't take as long, and I like the little flower detail, but that's it's not too flowery. I don't want to drown my poor DH in crocheted girliness, but I want something a little classic and feminine that reminds me of those antique crocheted bedspreads you see on Grandma's bed or now, mostly in antique/vintage stores. This pattern is only big enough for a throw, but I'm going to just keep adding on squares until it's as big as I need it to be. I may try to find some sort of border, too, but maybe not. I kind of like the clean lines of the sc border, not sure if I want to mess with that.

Here's a detail of the square close up:
andalusia_D_lg
Love that little teensy flower!

Now the main problem is that I can't quite decide what color I want to do. I'm not used to having to settle on just one. I like my colors! I thought about doing just the flower part in one color, then everything else in another color, either two very different colors, or two shades of the same color. Like dark green and light greeen or gray and white, but I think that would mess with the general antiqueyness that I'm trying to create. And then there's also just which color do I want to choose. I'm pretty sure I don't want to go with pure white or even off white because I have a small child and 2 cats and a dog. No white. But a soft grey might be nice, or even a taupe. Still not sure and it will probably really come down to just whatever I see in the store when I go to get the yarn. I've pretty much decided that I'll use Cotton-Ease for the yarn, inexpensive, but not too cheap and it shows great stitch detail, which I really like for crochet. Also, machine washable and very durable. I'll probably do some swatching too, just to see what looks good and which size hook I want to use.

More on this later...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Aaaaat Laaaast... my love has come along...

JanFeb09 041

Pattern: Warm Cap with Brim/Swirls Cap
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Multi
Hook: Size F
Size: Custom Fit for my teensy head

This is the Magic Hat. I decided, on a whim to make myself a hat this winter. It was one of those things where you just suddenly decide that you need to drop everything and make yourself a hat. (I don't really know if this happens to anyone else, but it happens to me.)

First off, I should say now that I have bad mojo when it comes to hats. They just never work out, no matter how hard I plan, or how carefully I pick out my pattern. It always turns out wrong somehow. Either too big or too small or it fits but it looks stupid on me. And at one time I had just given up on hats entirely. Just decided that I wasn't really a "hat person." But then for some reason I decided to try again. Maybe I saw a hat on someone and liked the way it looked and got jealous. Or maybe I was just really cold. I really don't remember. Probably it had something to do with wanting to buy myself some yarn and the only way I could justify it was to tell myself that it would only be a couple of skeins... just enough for a hat.

My first candidate was Le Slouche by Wendy Bernard. Well, I made it and it turned out looking pretty good and then it just streched and stretched and stretched until it was covering my eyes. I'm thinking that had to do with the cotton yarn, but I'm not sure if I just made it too big or what. Anyway, it didn't work out and I didn't like it enough to make it all over again, plus I decided I wanted a hat with a brim anyway. (I'd been seeing these cute little slouchy brim hats everywhere and I HAD to have one.)

Well, to make a long story short, I eventually had to resort to changing from knit to crochet, then I ended up having to combine two different hat patterns to get the hat I wanted. And I had to crochet in some elastic around the base to keep it from stretching out. (A little trick that I took from inspecting a bought hat that was cute, but too small from me.) There were times during my Hat Journey where I almost gave up. I must have made this hat maybe 4 or 5 times before I finally figured it all out. So maybe I should call this the Perseverence Hat. The Holy Grail Hat. Whatever. It's Magic to me because I finally have a hat that I love. I had to modify the pattern greatly to get this particular hat, including going to a whole other pattern to get the brim. The pattern itself is easy, but it's more of a suggestion than a pattern as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, it all worked out in the end and now I have at least one hat pattern that I know fits my head. WOOHOO!

JanFeb09 043 JanFeb09 040 JanFeb09 042

Love that I can wear it with my hair down, or all tucked up inside, too.

I liked the yarn, especially the color, but I think if I make it again, I'll choose a solid color. I always feel like variegated yarn looks kind of cheesy in crochet and had I known I would end up switching to crochet I would have chosen a solid color to begin with.
Also, you might notice that the brim doesn't really match up with the little seams very well, which makes the hat look slightly wonky.
Oh well.

(Modifications on ravelry)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Finally some FO's!

Clapotis and happyfeet

Pattern:
Clapotis (knitty)

Yarn:
DMC Senso Harlequin in "Earth"

Needles:
Size 6 (straight)


I actually finished this Clapotis awhile ago, but life got busier and crazier so I didn't have a chance to download the pictures. I took this picture with my feet because I was so proud of the Pedicure I gave myself, but the scarf looks pretty good too if I do say so myself.

Here's a close-up:

Clapotis closeup

Isn't she beautiful, my friends?

Oh, words alone cannot express how much I love this scarf. Now I understand why everyone in the world who knits has made at least one of these babies. (And why most people make more than one, which I plan to do sometime in the future.) Not only is it truly beautiful, but it's actually one of those things that is fun to knit, at least according to me. Some of the people on ravelry complained about the endless boredom of it, but personally, everytime I got to drop one of those stitches I got a little, eh, shall I say charge!

And as great as it is to knit, it's even better to wear. I wore this thing everywhere as soon as it was finished. It looks good with jeans and a tee-shirt, with a dress, whatever. And since I made mine in a cotton blend it's the perfect weight, not too heavy, but it keeps me warm.

The only thing I'll do differently if I make another one is to make it just a leetle bit longer, more of a stole size, because that's another fabulous thing about it, that it can be worn as a scarf or a stole. (I toyed with the idea of making this one longer, but I was too paranoid that I would run out of yarn.)

I'm also really happy about the way this yarn knitted up. DMC Senso is a lovely yarn for a Clapotis. It's sturdy and strong, but light at the same time. I guess that technically it's a crochet thread, but whatever. It's fabulous for a Clapotis.

More FOs soon!