In my effort to put a big dent on the yarn stash, I finally made an afghan with yarn from Lewiscraft. Canadians will know that Lewiscraft closed their doors back in 2005, which means the yarn is really old.
I've never really been good with crochet but this was an easy pattern and everyone says crochet is both fast AND eats up yarn. Well, this Bubbles Afghan ate 14 skeins of yarn! A dozen skeins came from the stash and I ended up buying 2 skeins for a splash of color.
Loosely following a project from a fellow raveler, JulileAnny’s Dots, I made some modifications, including making it larger. In total, I made:
12 X large dots (4 of each color)
24 X medium dots (8 of each color)
48 X small dots (16 of each color)
Then, I finished it up with a border - 2 rows of hdc in blue and 1 row of hdc in brown.
Here's another Noro project - an infinity scarf/loop/cowl/neck thing from a FREE pattern which I made several months ago but didn't have a chance to blog about it.
I used two different colorways. Many times during the project, I was not too happy with how the color combinations were merging together and considered frogging it. Luckily, however, I persevered. Like a Monet painting, the stitches look messy and random close-up but as whole, it somehow works.
My only complaint is that the edges curl like crazy!
I'm looking forward to wear this once the weather cools down.
Another chunky destash. Another 2 skeins of Noro. Another neckwrap!
This time, I used 2 skeins of Noro Transitions to knit the Lacy Baktus. The only complaint I have in the yarn is the angora. While soft, it's a bit too fuzzy for my tastes and sheds too much. I was knitting this on the bus and some fellow riders beside me started sneezing. Ooops.
I made this empire dress over 15 years ago, circa 1996! It was my own adaptation of a Vogue Knitting Fall’95 pattern: #18. It was made with two different yarns in the same color but very different textures. The top was boucle while the bottom was plain worsted yarn.
Over a decade later, I am not as slim as I was in university. However, I love knitted dresses, so a few years ago, I dusted this dress off and decided to rip out the top and reknit it.
Originally, I planned to make something like the Suspension Dress from Modern Top Down Knitting and replace the patterned bodice with boucle stockinette. However, I couldn't get the top band to fit properly.
Eventually, I frogged the entire bodice and knit a top-down raglan top with short sleeves. Also finished the dress with crochet edging to update the skirt portion. Details on ravelry.
The Noro obsession continues - and this time I made a skirt. I was worried that I would run out of yarn during the entire project, but it worked out OK. I basically knit a parallelogram and grafted the edges together to create a tube. It worked out perfectly that both grafting edges were the same color so the colors transitioned seamlessly. Woohoo!
I asked Sister B what she wanted and she said socks. She likes to wear them at home when the weather is cold. Yes, Sister B lives in tropical HK but it does get cold. Anything below 10 degrees Celsius feels like freezing as homes do not usually have heat. I remember my first winter in HK and I had to wear 3 hoodies and 2 pairs of socks to keep warm!
Used worsted weight Patons Decor yarn (which is great for socks given it's wool/acrylic blend). I originally bought this yarn to make a granny square afghan. I obviously didn't think it through because this yarn looks "diseased" when crocheted. In contrast, the variegated colors work out great as a sock.
Sister B is not very good with taking care of wool... it often ends up in the washer/dryer. This, coupled with the tropical climate in HK, makes her wool's worst enemy. So, I chose an acrylic/wool blend and a very open pattern for her cowl.
I used Lion Brand Thick and Quick, which despite it's bad rap from other Ravelers, is a lovely wool! And cheap too! Details here.
Convertible Cowl/Scarf for in TO
I love Rowan Biggy Print so when I found it at $2 a skein, I bought all 5 of the remaining skeins. However, I've made a few projects with this yarn and the results are often disappointing. The weight adds 20 pounds to any frame, so recently, I've reserved this yarn for neck accessories.
I made this long rectangle thing with buttons that can be a short scarf (unbuttoned), buttoned as an infinity scarf, or wrapped around twice and buttoned as a cowl. I used 3 skeins and details are here.
I have 2 sisters and we live time zones apart. One lives in HK and other in Toronto. We don't see each other often and it's rare to find all three of us in the same place at the same time.
I'm excited that I'll see sister Toronto in March and sister HK in April! I used to shower them with materialistic goods but lately, I've been gifting knitted goodies instead.
In addition to the Hacho triangles, I've made even more scarves/neck warmers! The two very different climates where they live allows for more variety in my projects:
Summer Scarf for Sister HK
I had about 5 skeins of Rowan Bamboo tape left after knitting my top and found the Montego Bay Scarf pattern. Unfortunately, 1 of the 5 skeins is a different dye lot and it shows - that one was used for the fringe.
I found a way to join yarns: threading one strand into the other, then hiding the ends into the core of the yarn. Wish I had discovered this for other projects using tape-style yarn! Would've saved a lot of weaving in ends!
Winter Cowl for Sister Toronto
Another one! For this one, I knit one strand of super chunky yarn together with 1 strand of mohair.
It's no secret that I LOVE Anthroplogie. It is #1 on my must-visit list wheverever I travel to the US, even though there is now a store in Vancouver.
I love their designs but not particularily their prices, so I do what every knitter what do - knit my own versions!
Buttoned Berm Pullover
My version uses twisted instead of tweed yarn but still gives a similar marbled effect. I used 5 skeins of Rowan Plaid, which has been in my stash forever and I'm very happy it's all used up. The yarn is REALLY warm. The pattern is a relatively basic sweater shape, with the addition of a button flap on one shoulder (which incidently, I put on the wrong shoulder). Details on Ravelry.
The orange version is mine and the cream version is from Anthropologie.com.
Chunky Striped (One-Of-A-Kind) Loop
I saw this chunky striped loop for $458. No, this is not a typo. Instead of knitting random rows of purl and knit, I used the honey cowl pattern.
I got the size of 40 X 21 inches.
The end result is a very chunky loop that can be also draped over the shoulders like a capelet. Mine’s a little more chunky than the Anthropologie version, but it’s definitely a fashion statement!
The dark purples, lavender and blues version is mine (top 2 pictures) and the navy, white, taupe and moss version is from Anthropologie.com (bottom 2 pictures).
A few posts ago, I mentioned that some items I knit fall into the "victory projects" category ... and I am proud to share two of those with you.
Both patterns are from 2007. Yes, it took me almost 5 years to gather up the perfect yarn, patience and stamina to tackle them.
Both require attention. I had to frog back sections of both projects due to wrong color changes, reversed cables, dropped stitches, wrong stitches...etc. The patterns were not at fault - they were both wonderfully written, I just wasn't paying attention.
Both designers have superb attention to detail. The cables grew from the ribbing and the fairisle pattern is perfectly symmetrical and well placed, it reminds me why I buy patterns and don't design them.
Both were love-at-first-sight. I knew I had to knit/have them back in 2007. They didn't take that long to knit; I just didn't know it would take so long to finally tackle them.
Both were knit with more economical substitute yarns (knitpicks and elann).
Both were 95% finished in 2011 but not completed until now. Still finished within the 1st half of January!
And here I present...
1) Autumn Rose Pullover designed by Eunny Jang
Knit with Knitpicks Palette, which I bought when a skein cost $1.99-$2.19. Unfortunately, most of the colors I used are probably now discontinued.
Of the three Eunny Jang fairisle sweaters: this one, Ivy League Vest and Venezia Pullover, I think this pattern is the easiest for a beginner. The chart shows the increases/decreases and the colors change every 3 rows so it’s obvious that they need to be cut.
I used elann Peruvian Highland wool, which is a lighter weight so I used smaller needles to compensate. I could have used a heavier yarn but the lighter yarn creates a less bulky (adds 10 pounds) sweater. I love the finished product.
LOVE...Quirky color combinations. HATE...Knots, tonnes of them. LOVE...Color changes that make even the simplest pattern spectacular. HATE...Difficulty joining skeins if you want to keep the colors flowing in order or smoothly. LOVE...Predominately natural fibres. HATE...Straw and other weird stuff found in the yarn. LOVE...Absolute magic with the perfect pattern. HATE...Sometimes it's very difficult finding the perfect pattern.
And yet... time and time again, I cannot resist buying a skein... or two... or more.
Here's another project knitted up with Noro Furisode!
Unlike the Missoni-inspired cardigan, this yarn was frogged a few (4!!) times. It was hard finding the perfect pattern given the chunky weight and cotton/silk content. The chunky weight made garments bulky and big a.k.a. fat factor, while the cotton/silk content made bobbles or cable stitches difficult (yarn had zero elasticity).
In the end, I just made a Clapotis wrap... the pattern that has never failed.
By coincidence, I was destashing and both recent projects happen to be purple.
Mohair Boucle Cocoon
Found a perfect pattern for some chunky mohair boucle (Creative Fibres hand dyed mohair) called Boucle Cocoon which was a pretty design and a perfect match with the yarn (both in weight and yardage).
My version is more slouchy and the shape reminds me of the circle shrug/sweater in many stores. Details here.
Star-Crossed Love Cardigan
A pattern inspired by an Anthropologie sweater, it turned out great after 3 rounds of frogging and a nice wet block. A few modifications were made for a larger size and customized sleeves (details on ravelry).
The cables are basic, but they look great - minimum effort, maximum impact. I like!
I'm now more obsessed with the Anthropologie sweater patterns!