It has been several years since I have had the opportunity to knit or crochet for infants, and so I was overjoyed to learn that a couple from our extended family were expecting a girl n January. After consultation with the mother to be, we determined that the blanket would be done in purple and white. We decided to use a lighter and darker shade of purple and add bits of yellow and sage green for accent. I had several months to crochet the blanket. Still, I startedrightaway. While many of my blankets have been done in extended Granny stitch or Diagonal Granny stitch, I decided to work with the Stitch for a denser, plushier feel. Many V stitch projects work with a multiple of 3, but I find it easier to work with an even number of stitches.
Row 1: After the base chain, make a double crochet into the 4th chain from the hook. This forms the initial DC and skip 1. Chain1 and make another DC in the same space. Skip 1 space. In the next space crochet a DC, ch1, DC and skip the next space. Repeat until the last 2 chains. Skip 1 chain and DC in the 3rd chain of the last stitch.
Row 2: Chain 3. Dc in the ch1 space from the previous row. Chain1. DC in he same space. You wil be building a v on top of the v in row 1. Continue to form V's in the chain 1 space as you crochet across the row. DC in the 3rd chain of the last stitch. You will repeat this row until you reach the end of your piece.
To change colors, make the first part of your final DC, leaving 2 loops on the hook. Pull loop of new color through 2 loops, leaving a tail of several inches. Knot tail to old color. Snip old color. Chain 3 in new color and continue until you need make a new change.
My blanket ended being a crib blanket, rather than a initial blanket for a newborn. My base chain was 150 stitches, and the blanket ended up being 57' by 57'. In the future, I would only chain 120 stitches or130 stitches. This little miss will have this blanket even through toddlerhood. My color sequence went as follows: 6 white, 2 yellow, 2 white, 2 dark purple,4 light purple, 2 white, 2 green, 2 yellow, 2 green, 2 white, 4 light purple, 2 dark purple,16 white, 2 dark purple, 18 light purple, 2 dark purple, 16 white, 2 dark purple, 4 light purple, 2 white, 2 green, 2yellow, 2 green, 2 white, 4 light purple, 2 dark purple, 2 white, 2 yellow, 6 white. for a total of 118 rows. Once completed, I made HDC in white around the entire blanket. Be sure to make 3 HDC stitches in each corner. This was followed by row of light purple and final row of dark purple.
The blanket was followed by a trio of crocheted beanies that followed directions for hats for 6 and 12 months. Flower motifs were added for color and style. I just followed charts to get the correct number inches in the crown and height from crown to below the ear.
The third piece in the collection was "Baby Girl Sweater" designed by Edie Eckman for www/redheart.com/ The body of the sweater in crocheted in HDC in one piece from the bottom up. After the body is crocheted directions are given to separate for the right front, back, and left front to form the armholes. The sleeves are crocheted separately from the bottom up. Sew up the sleeve to form a tube. Crochet or stitch the sweater at the shoulders and fit the sleeve into the armhole. Stitch or crochet together. I added 2 rows to the bottom of the sweater before I crocheted all around the bottom, front, neck and front for two more rows. The 2 button hole loops were formed in the second row of crocheting. The two daisy buttons picked up the hint of yellow in the sweater.
The first stuffy that my 6 year old granddaughter attached to was a sleepydoll. It was crocheted in pink, and she called the doll. "Baby." Even when she received other crocheted creatures, "Baby"was still her favorite. The sleepy doll has a round bottom, two arms, a head, and a sleep hat. The eyes are embroiled closed in black. I just had to crochet a sleepy doll for the new baby. I used the colors in the blanket and followed the directions from Sleepy Doll Amigurumi Free Crochet Pattern from Coolcreativity.com. A free video accompanies the pattern.
I will be mailing the package off to the parents tomorrow with cleaning directions and many wishes for a bright future for their new daughter. I have one more baby set to crochet for a boy baby expected in March. I am glad that I got a chance to revisit crocheting baby pieces again. Also, now I might go back to crocheting arigurumi. I have not made animals or dolls for a while, but I look forward to exploring the creative possibilities again.
As always, I appreciate your feedback and reflections. I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey.
Like many of my fellow fiber crafters, I celebrated the culmination of 2022 with a display of my favorite projects and an analysis of the knitted and crocheted pieces that I worked on during the past year. Now, as I embark on my 2023 stitching journey, I need to set forth some realistic goals for emgagimg with the many skeins in my stash. I also want to expand my skill level and take on new stitches, techniques, and pieces. At one point during 2022 I had crocheted several blankets that made serious inroads into my current stash. Even better, I donated the pieces to several worthwhile groups to empty several bins in my yarn and completed project closets. Unfortunately, I yielded to temptation and purchased many skeins that were quite appealing, and so I am almost back where I started last year. One of my favorite podcasters, Knitty Natty uses a notebook to keep track of her incoming yarn, and outgoing yarn by way of finished projects and gifted yarn. Ending up with just a few skeins in my stash is probably not realistic. However, if I follow the course of another podcaster, I may be able to knit or crochet through 10 thousand yards during the year. I can't promise not to acquire any new yarn in 2023. However, my choices could be purposeful and tied to specific projects. I started the notebook already and have plans for the first few projects.
One of my favorite organizations for donating crocheted or knitted shawls and blankets is Threads of Love. Our local New Haven, CT chapter provides for adults and children at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Since supporters off the organization frequently donate funds or bags of yarn, I am happy to donate my time to produce lovely garments for seriously ill patrons who need some cheer and a warm hug. In December I left our meeting with a shopping bag of ho Lionbrand Homespun yarn and 3 jumbo skeins of primary worsted yarn. With the addition a few skeins from my own stash, I was able to crochet 3 colorful larger boys' blankets that went directly to donation..
Many people find it difficult to knit or crochet with Homespun yarn, but I enjoy the colors and the textures. I find it easier to knit than to crochet with this yarn. Since I used #13 needles my fabric draped nicely. . I looked back to an article that I published during any early blogging history to get some reminders as to techniques that I had used. (http://wwww/lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/it-all-started-with-a-shawl) My first goal for 2023 was to finish the shawl. My earlier pieces were knitted from single colorways and topped off with a six inch fringe. I was not sure that I had enough yarn for an entire shawl. Therefore, I tried out a design feature that would combine two colors, Since some of the patients would be in wheelchairs or other devices, I decided to leave out the fringe on this piece.
The first color band in Gothic colorway was cast on for 55 stitches.. Each band was done in garter stitch for 13 ridges or 26 rows.The second band alternated the darker Gothic with a lighter Baroque. Each color was knitted for two rows and carried along the side. The third band switched entirely to the lighter Baroque. The fourth band was striped, and the middle bands were entirely Gothic. The second half of the shawl continued in the same manner until I ended with the final band of the dark Gothic. Each skein measured 185 yards, and I probably used about 300-350 skeins of each color. It was hard to determine as some of the yarn was in partial skeins. Measurements for the completed shawl were 62 inches long by 20 inches in height. I really liked this shawl and was tempted to keep the work. However, my conscience wouldn't let me as the yarn was donated. Some patient at the hospital on in rehab will get a very attractive piece. Although I cast on in 2022, I did most of the work and blocking in 2023. This was my first finished piece for 2023, and I was thrilled that I could check it off my list. I could start my tally with about 600-700 yards used. Once my Threads of Love group has another collection date, I will be able to move it out of my FO box. I have a couple of skeins left, but I will probably gift them to a friend in any craft group as she knits hats for the homeless using the homespun yarn.
At this point, I can lay out plans for the next few projects, but I may take some time to plan for the entire year. There were two new born babies that I am making layette sets for in 2023. I finished the first set in 2022,but I am working on the second as I write. My granddaughter requested a shrug sweater in strawberry pink. My third bunch will focus on marled yarns. I bought a few sets that were already marled. however, friends gifted me about 700 yards of navy Ice yarn inn navy with thin whips of white. Since the yarn is quite dark, I am combing it with a DK yarn in white to create a marled cowl and a pair of mittens. These projects should take me through the first few months 2022. Then I can reevaluate my progress and make future plans.
As always, I appreciate your reflections and feedback. What are your plans for knitting and crocheting in 2023. I invite you to join me on my stitching journey.
What new designs have I developed?
What kinds of new projects have I explored?
Which new skills have I learned?
What pieces were my favorites?
Which color profiles stood out?
Did I use free patterns, paid patterns, or self designed patterns?
Did I accomplish my goals?
What did I learn?
The following articles were posted in 2022. As i revisit the pieces that I have created, I am filled with pride.
.My website, www.lilcreates.com and I Pad photos reflect on how busy I was during 2022. Roughly calculating, I produced about 35 crocheted pieces and 33 knitted pieces. This total does not include the 55 comfort dolls that I knitted for 'RKids and a special project for the New Haven School System. Types of pieces include 12 girls' sweaters, 14 shawls and wraps, 6 cowl, 7 purses, 8 blankets and throws, at least11 hats, and 10 or more pairs of mittens.
Most of the girls' sweaters have been gifted to my granddaughters. Most of the shawls, blankets, and throws were donated to Threads of Love. The majority of the hats were donated to Hartford Bags of Love and the Human Services department of the town of Woodbridge. I kept a couple of hats and mitten sets for myself as well as some of the special knitted or crocheted wraps. I am pleased to accessorize my wardrobe with my handiwork.
What new skills did I learn"|? I transitioned from 2 needle mittens to 4 neele double pointed mittens and was quite pleased with the result.
What projects were the most fun? I really enjoyed the freeform knitted and crocheted sweaters that I made without a pattern for my granddaughters. The freeform floral scarf that was constructed from individual crocheted flowers presented an interesting challenge.
What did I leave out? I did not produce any pieces for men this year. However,I have a pattern that I want try out for my husband. Although I usually knit and crochet with acrylic yarns, I will invest in wood or cashmere as he needs to keep warm when he performs outdoor tasks in winter. I did not make any socks, and do not think that I will tackle them in 2023/. I do not enjoy working with fingering weight yarns, and have not learned the short row techniques needed for the heels and toes.
I still have not learned how to do Tunisian knitting. This still remains a goal for the future. A friend gave me a pattern for a linen stitch scarf that I will try in 2023. Maybe this year I till knit or crochet a sweater for myself. I have the skills, but I worry about the fitting.
The scarf/ wraplet that I attempted to knit with expensive fingering weight yarn remains in my WIP project bag. I do a few rows when I do not have a new project to start, but the piece does not bring me joy. Still, I refuse to give up as the yarn was pricey. I will push forward to finish it in 2023. It would not pay to frog it and start over, It is not the pattern. I just find working with fingering weight yarn tedious,
Reviewing this article and the pieces that I have included,I am proud of the skills that I have learned and the pieces thatI have created. It was fun to experiment and to follow new patterns. Was this article for my readers or for me? I am not sure. However, the analysis helped regain a perspective on my body of work so that I can set forward-thinkiong and realistic goals for 2023.
Readers, what were the highlights of your crocheting or knitting experiences during 2022? Did you gain any new insights when you looked over this year's work? Did the analysis help you plan for 2023? As always, I appreciate your feedback and reflections. I welcome you to join on my stitching journey.
Gray has come a long way from earlier associations as a dull and dreary color to a chic and serene hue that is a mainstay of home decor and fashion. This autumn I have enjoyed creating a variety of accessories that coordinate well with outdoor garments and provide cozy additions to cold weather indoor fashion. I also found pieces that I created during the past few seasons that go so well with the theme of this article. Where possible, I will share the patterns and yarns used. As you view the pieces and descriptions, I hope that you come to share my enthusiasm for grey fiber projects. Perhaps you will attempt one of your own
Although I donate or gift most of my knitted and crocheted pieces, I decided to keep my favorite gray set for myself. The pieces were knit with Natural Marl from Loops and Thread with the color way Pearl. Information about the mittens was previously published in the Facebook Group "Just Mittens," The mittens were constructed from "The World's Somplest Mittens" from Tin Can Knits.This pattern introduced me to knitting mittens with 4 double pointed needles. Once I overcame my initial hesitation of working with the 4 dp's, I found the directions straightforward, I was thrilled with the cozy mitten that fitted my hand beautifully. The pattern includes directions from toddler through adult large in yarns from DK, Worsted, and Chunky.
For the hat I adapted a chunky yarn pattern to my worsted weight yarn. I casted on 90 stitches as the pattern for the body required a multiple of 6. I worked in the round and used a 1x1 ribbing for 8 rows before beginning the main part of the hat. The stitch pattern was:
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit 1, Purl 1
Row 4: Knit 1, Purl 1 (You want to achieve 2 rows of ribbing.)
Repat the pattern stitch until the hat measures 7 inches to begin decrease rows.
Row 1: Knit 2 together, knit 4 until end of round (75 stitches)
Row 2: Purl 2 together, knit 3 until end of round (60 stitches)
Row 3: Knit1, Purl1 ribbing ( no decreases)
Row 4: Knit 1, Purl 1, ribbing (nodecreases)
Row 5: Knit 2 together, Knit 2 until end of round (45 stretches)
Row 6: Knit 2 together,Knit 1 until end of round (30 stitches)
Row 7: Knit 1 Purl 1
Row 8: Knit 1, Purl1
Row 9: Knit 2 together until end of round (15 stitches).
Row 10: Purl 2 together , Pul1
Use a tapestry needle to draw yarn through all stitches and go again to secure.
Another set was created a few seasons ago from Scarify yarn by Lion brand. The hat was crocheted from my favorite Lakeside pattern. To this day, it remains my best fitting hat. The scarf was crocheted in two directions. This scarf was adapted from a knitted version that came from a purchased pattern. I chained for about 65 inches for a foundation row. The pattern stitch for the first section is a repeat of one row. Make a HDC into the back loop of the third stitch from the hook Continue across the row. Chain 2 and turn. . HDC in fhe back loop of first stitch and continue across. My scarf had 14 rows for about 5 inches. but you can easily adapt for a narrower scarf by decreasing the number rows along the length of the scarf. For the second part of the scarf, I wanted to create a horizontal ribbing that was at right angles to the vertical piece. The second part is crocheted separately and then attached to the main part of the scarf. Chain 16 stitches. HDC into the third stitch from the hook. HDC to the end of row for 14 stitches.. Chain 2 and turn. HDC into the back loop only and continue across. You will be crocheting a strip that is as long as the first part of the scarf. Pin pieces to space out sections and so that the ends meet and crochet with a slip stitch along the length. Weave in the ends.
Soak in cool water and squeeze out water gently. Dono wring. Shape interlace and lay along fluffy towel. Rowll towel nd let dry for a couple of hours. Unroll and continue to dry. This blocking process makes the stitches pop.
The three hats in the above photo can accessorize many winter coats. The pale gray hat on the right features a bamboo pattern instead of the typical ribbing. The hat was knit flatl and then seamed up the side. My adaptation is done in multiples of 5.
Row 1: purl 2, knit 3 across to end.
Row 2: knit 2, purl 3 across
Row 3: purl 2, Place first knit stitch over the next 2 stitches. Repeat to end.
Row 4: knit 2. purl 1, purl over for an extra stitch, purl 1. This increase enables you to replace the stitch that you lost when you placed the stitch over the next 2 stitches in Row 3.
I repeated the sequence 4 times to create a 2 inch border. End in row 4.
Knit body of hat in stock and knit until the piece measures 6 1/2 inches. To make decreases, knit 2 together, knit 8. On purl side, there are no decreases. Continue in decreases on alternate rows. Each time there will be one less stitch between the knit 2 together.. When between 8-10 stitches remain on the needle, use a tapestry needle to gather the stitches and secure. Leave a long tail to sew up the side of the beanie.
The grey and black hat was crocheted from the crown down .Begin with magic circler a ring made from asmallchain.
Row 1. Crochet 8 DC into the ring.
Row2: Crochet 2 DC into each stitch.
Row 3: Crochet 2 DC into the first stitch, followed by one stitch into the next and continue around.
Row 4: Crochet 2 DC into the first stitch and one stitch into the next 2 stiitches. and continue around.
Row 5: Crochet 2DC into first stitch followed by one stitch in next 3 stitches and continue around.
Continue pattern until there are 7 stitches between each 2 DC in same stitch. Crown will be about 7 inches in diameter.
Now you will set up the V stitch for the body of the hat. Crochet 2DC in the same stitch, skip one stitch. Continue around.
For the rest of the hat crochet a V stitch between the two stitches that you made together in the previous row. Skip a stitch. As you continue down body of the hat, create v's
For contrast, I changed to black and continued for the last 4 rows. I finished the hat with a crocheted flower.
The grey and black scarf was crocheted from Scarfy yarn . It is 7 inches wide by 68 inches long. The piece was crocheted in double crochet. A row of single crochet was made along the edges to even out the stitches. Flowers in grey and black finished off the look. The scarf is long enough to be doubled to pull the ends through. This enables the wearer to keep the flowers on top.
A second long knitted scarf was made with a broken rib stitch. The stitch also measured about 7 stitches wide and 68 stitches long. Pink and gray crocheted flowers gave it a flair.
Several mittens knitted with the two needle flat method were donated to variety of charities. See patterns from Knitting4Piece for easy-to follow instructions.
In years past I created variety of fingerless mittens. The grey ones were especially popular at winter fairs and made great gifts. This mismatched version was created from self-striping yarn.
Bamboo stitch mittens can be created from a flat panel. Begin with a 2 purl , 3knit rib for the cuff and change to the bamboo pattern noted earlier in the article. Fold the glove in half , right sides together. Sew or crochet the ribbing portion. leave about 2- 21/2 half stitches . Sew or crochet the remainder to the bottom. Weave in ends. Turn right side out. Silver hearts lighten up the pieced.
There are countless versions of knitted and crocheted gloves that can be created
Let's not leave out the men. My son=in-law has enjoyed his hat and cowl set as weather comes in. They are especially welcome when he shovels snow from the drive. I really like the patterns and would be tempted to make one for myself in the future.
I could really continue for a very long time as I showcase my grey winter pieces. I welcome your feedback and reflections. I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey.
Since I began writing about knitted comfort dolls in 2018, these articles have been my most popular posts. The original article "Knitted Comfort Dolls Made With Love" traced the origins of the doll from a Canadian soldier whose mother knitted Izzy dolls for children in waitron Bosnia. Since then, Knitting4Peace has taken up the mantel to distribute Peace Pals throughout the world and in the US, anywhere kids are suffering in areas of conflict, natural disaster or from poverty.
I have updated the dolls in "Knitted Comfort Dolls: A New Look" as I incorporated new hairstyles and outfits from Pinterest and Ethel Braithwaite on Ravelry. This year I am focused on working on new clothing designs to dress to dress up these adorable, colorable creatures.
The girl in this handsome couple is sporting a red and white shirt with a double moss stitch to highlight the color and pattern of her shirt. Her companion has hair made from Red Heart Scrubby Sparkle Yarn.
When one of my friends in my craft group contributed some dolls with striped outfits, I decided to add these designs my collection.
The scrubby hair dolls are so playful, and can be used for either gender or neutral situations.
Pink and purple dolls are favorite with the girls. The skirt pattern from Knitting4Peace really dresses up these sweethearts.
This year I got to try out different stitch patterns as I experimented with the shirts worn by my anew team of dolls.
The dolls for this year's collection have beans much fun to design and knit. I hope that you will take chance to incorporate some of these ideas into your own family of dolls. I welcome you to join me only stitching journey. As always, I appreciate your reflections and feedback.
During the past year I have found myself drawn to ombre yarns as manufacturers have expanded their stytles and color choices. I just love the way the colors blend into one another from light to dark gradients. While I originally thought the term ombre referred to different hues of the same color, I have found that several yarns have used this blending technique with more than one shade. Each is beautiful in its own way.
When I began researching for this article, I was surprised to realize that I had actually crocheted with ombre way back in 2017 (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheting-adventures-in-ombre). Using Red Heart Super Saver Ombre, I crocheted a toddler sweater and hat set in blue denim, a scarf with flower decorations in grey-black tones, and a toddler poncho and hat in rust-like shades. At that time, I was also creating with Lionbrand Scarfie and Sweet Roll Cakes. Ombre yarns are fantastic to work with in crocheting mismatched fingerless mittens.
Most recently, I crocheted a throw with an artistic border that I donated to my local chaper of Threads of Love.
However, when I came upon Caron's Jumbo Ombre in shades of blue to blush and coral, it was true love. I just had get my fingers into those skeins to crochet an additional throw for my charity. The colors reminded me of Sedona in Arizona where coral cliffs stand out sharply against the bluest sky. The Caron ombre contains about 100 more yards than its Red Heart counterpart and is somewhat softer. After crocheting a large center square, I extablished a pattern of two rows of off-white with 5 rows of ombre in an extended Granny Square Throw. A single round of half-double crochet in off-white finished off the piece. Of all the throws that I have made, this piece was probably my favorite. Unfortunately, the color and pattern did not coordinate with my furnishings or I would have kept the throw for myself. Still, I am cheered at the thought that an individual in need of a warm hug will take joy from this special piece.
Lion Brand Mandala Ombre is also a worsted weight. This yarn is perfect for the shawls that I make to accessorize my wardrobe or to donate to cancer patients. Two skeins of 344 yards were sufficient to crochet a lovely draped shawl in the in the Dewdrop Shawl Pattern (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/free-crochet-scallop-wrap). I like to wrap the shawl and fit the ends together with a shawl pin. While most of these skeins come in multicolored ombres, I crocheted one shawl in Harmony in denim shades and another in grey-black tones labelled Cool. Felicity includes magenta, medium pink, dusty coral pink, and elephant gray and is waiting for my hooks maybe my needles.
Have you caught the ombre bug? Please share your experiences or photos in the comments. I appreciate your feedback and reflections. As always I welcome you to join me to on my stitching journey.
The highlight of our holiday family gathering was my granddaughters' fashion parade. Donned in their animal masks and individually tailored crocheted, freeform. striped and patchwork cardigans, they posed for photos and gleefully marched the length of the hallway and returned through the living room. Their parents and grandparents cheered and encouraged them as they paraded through the house in their new sweaters.
Having mastered the knitted form of these freeform cardigans, I switched my focus to explore crocheted versions. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/embracing-colors-and-stripes-to-design-a-girls-knitted-cardigan).Still compiling colors and stripes, I wanted to crochet to create my designs. Each girl chose her own colors. I worked worked without a pattern, using their measurements as my guide while adding several inches of positive ease for a roomy fit.
This post started as three separate articles. However, since the process was similar in designing each piece, I decided to combine my efforts to explain the process. Then I could add details that were specific for each piece. I would be crocheting cardigans in sizes 4 and 8. The vest was crocheted in size 6.
Each piece begins with a rectangular panel that stretches from thence to the bottom ofd the garment. The size 4 was crocheted in white in HDC on the back loop only. The size 8 was crocheted in light blue, using the same stitch. The size 6 was crocheted in a V stitch in pink yarn.
Nest, I turned the back panel 90 degrees and picked up stitches along the length.of the panel. Stripes in the child's chosen colors were crocheted on each side on each side of the panel. Size 4 were done in pick, white, purple, and a pink-purple variegated yarn. Size 6 was done in pink, sage green, white, purple, and a multi-colored yarn. Size 8 was done in light blue, navy, white, multi-colored, and neon green. Once I reached almost 1/2 of the circumference, I added a shorter section that reached from the bottom of the back to just below the armhole. This section was the transition to the front.
To make the front, I had to start with a piece that was separate from the rest of the garment. For sizes 4 and 8 I crocheted a 2 inch strip that used 3 colors in blocks. The size 6 was done in pink. Then I crocheted the strips to the side piece from the bottom up. This process enabled me to form the armhole.
I turned the work again to crochet about 3 more stripes before working on the neckline. decreasing a stitch in the next 4 rows, I repeated the steps on the other side of the sweater.
At this point I crocheted the shoulders with right sides together so that I could pick up stitches around the armhole that would be crocheted in the round. These directions relate only to sizes 4and 8. sweaters. Since I made the size 6 with yarns left over from the size 4 sweater, I was running out of the pink yarn, My friends in my craft group suggested that I leave the piece as a vest since the armholes had a neat edge. The 5 1/2year old granddaughter already had several knitted sweaters, and the vest idea really appealed me.
For the size 4 cardigan,I picked up 50 stitches, and for the size 8 cardigan,I picked up 60. I placed a stitch marker at the starting point so that I identify rounds. For each sweater I decreased one stitch before and one stitch after the marker at regular intervals until I reached the desired sleeve length. The sleeves were crocheted in striped in HDC. I alternated white with colors for contrast.
Before I could crochet the button bands I crocheted the neck/ collar in single crochet (sc) for 3 rows. The borrombandswas crocheted in HDC for 5 4ows. To form the left button band,I picked up stitches along the length of the sweater each crochet 4 rows in sc. Buttonhole placement went on the right side and was determined by the number of stithes.
Row 1: Pick up and sc crochet stitches along the length of the front. (sc)
Row 2: Crochet 2 stitches, *skip 2. Crochet number of stitches needed for sweater. For size 4 sweater repeat from * 3 more times . For size 8 sweater repeat from * 4 more times. Skip 2 more stitches for last button hole. Size 4 had 5 buttons, and size 8 had buttons.
Row 3: Crochet in sc across. Make 2 stitches in the skipped space.
Row 4: Crochet in sc across.
To strengthen the buttonholes, I used a tapestry needle to sew buttonhole stitches around each buttonhole.
The girls were delighted with their sweaters. The youngest who is sometimes resistant to wearing and being photographed in the sweaters I make for her, wore her sweater for the entire evening. The oldest struck dynamic poses and asked me to make a vest similar to the one I made for the 5 1/2 year old. This gal was eager to wear her sweater to kindergarten. As I had been working without a pattern, each time I designed a sweater, I became more accurate. The lessons I learned from ny knitted versions served me well.
I called these designs freeform, but they were still done with stripes and rectangles. While scrolling through the freeform designs on Pinterest, I found panels that were done with swirls, curves, and oddly shaped pieces that were joined together to form panels and sections of sweaters. Since I have several other projects that need my attention, these designs will have to wait until Itime when I do not have so many other crafting commitments. However, these freeform designs will remain on my future todo list.
As always, I appreciate your reflections and feedback. I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey.
I just love the way stripes and colors play with each other to create fantastic sweaters and cardigans.The works of many artists, especially Stephen West (West Knits), have inspired me to interpret the process of joining the vertical and horizontal knitting to produce sweaters of my own.
The model that I frequently use is my darling 5 1/2 year old granddaughter who is growing into size 6. Using her measurements and a sweater that I had already knit for her as a base, I launched my first project. It wa great to incorporate my scraps to bring out pops of color. Remnants of a neon pink-gray multi, light pink, tangerine, and white made for a cheerful combo.
Since I ws constructing my piece entirely without pattern, it would be creative experiment -- a kind of knit as you go effort. As I knitted, I added stripes based on contrast and the amount of yarn I had available. I started with an 8 by 11 inch tall white seed stitch panel. Then I turned my work 90 degrees and picked up stitches along the length so that I could work horizontally. Stripes that created welts were purled in grey, pink, tangerine, and white on either side of the back panel. A wider short strip in grey multi made for the transition to the front in shorter rows that allowed for the armhole. Stitches were cast on so that the front of the armhole would match the back. On the front I continued to add stripes that coordinated with the back. For the sleeves, I picked up 60 stitches and knit in the round alternating white with colored stripes The beginning of a row was marked so that decreases at regular intervals could be made before and after the start of the row. The collar, bottom bands, and the button bands were ribbed in pink-gray multi.
As a first effort, I was generally pleased with my sweater. I loved the way the stripes and colors played with one another. The sweater was slightly larger than my granddaughter's size frame, but was consistent with the other size six sweaters I had knit or crocheted from a pattern. She is growing and will be wearing this piece into the spring season.
This time I started with 3 narrower color blocks, knitted in stock and net, in grey-blue, medium blue, and dark blue. When I turned my work the stripes were knitted in blue
green, neon pink, grey blue, medium blue, and dark blue on both sides of the black. Grey-blue was used for side and underarm. Again, I played with an array of stripes to form the shoulder and front. Decreases were made to form the neckline. As in the first sweater,I pickled up about 60 inches from the armhole to make the sleeve. The sleeves were knitted in the round with stripes in the same colors as the body of the sweater. I put a stitch marker into the beginning of the rows so that I could make decreases at regular intervals before and after the marker. The cuffs, neck, bottom, and button bands were ribbed in grey-blue.When I ran out of grey-blue yarn, I just added a few rows of dark blue to get the correct length.
The neckline of this sweater was better fit as I made the shoulder at least 1 inch wider on both sides. However, what made this sweater exciting were the fantastic buttons that used most of the colors in the sweater and highlighted the stripes. I could not resist them.
i thoroughly enjoyed this knitting adventure, since I did not know how either sweater would evolve when I started to knit. Now I plan to expand this process to a crocheted version.
Please remember folks, the development of these sweaters was a process and not a specific pattern. I hope that you will try to experiment on your own. I invite you to join me on my stitching journey. As always I appreciate your feedback and reflections.
My crocheted floral scarf was created as a freeform 3D piece from individual motifs that were joined to form the finished piece.The original inspiration was a Lacy Floral Scarf featured in Noro Knitting Magazine #4 (2022).It was crocheted with a single skein of Noro Sock Yarn that's a #2 weight in bright jewel tones.
While I applied the process to create my scarf, I changed just about everything else. I incorporated muted hues in worsted weight yarns. The original scarf was 5 inches wide and 44 inches long. I needed amore substantial piece as I am taller, ands I needed enough flowers to fill in a 7 inch wide scarf that would be 57 in ches long.
Creating the scarf starts with crocheting the individual flower motifs in bud, small, medium ,and large sizes. I started with the number of flowers recommended in the original scarf, and added flowers as I constructed mown.. I ended up with 20 large flowers, 7 large open work flowers, 6 medium flowers, 16 small flowers,and 22 tiny buds. Surprisingly, my local Dollar store has added a yarn section. The selections of Premier Just Yarn worked well with my project. I used about 3 linen and 3 taupe. Then I added lavender Impecable yarn from Michaels that I had in my stash. I worked with a G+ (#7) hook to create my floral motifs.
In the beginning I followed directions for the flowers suggested in the magazine, but I found that I preferred to work with my favorite flowers that I have used for many projects through the years. My flowers yielded different textures so that the scarf had a 3D aspect. Since I crocheted from memory, I had to look for flower patterns that would provide my readers with simple accurate directions. The large and medium flowers were similar those found on Pinterest: Free Crochet Flower Pattern at stitching-together.com. As these flowers can be made in one, two, or three layers they worked well in my design and enabled me to use more than one color in some of the individual flowers. I also created a large flat motif that allowed changes in texture and design. The bud was similar to Easy Puff Flower Free Crochet Pattern also found on Pinterest.
Now I had a pile of flowers that I would combine to create my scarf. I lay the pieces out on my kitchen table as I combined sizes, textures, and colors. I started with the larger layered and flat pieces and filled in with the medium and small. When there were holes, I added buds to fill in the area. When I reached the original 45 inch length, I calculated that I would needed more flowers to add 6 inches to each side. That meant I would crochet about 8-10 more large flowers, 4-6 more medium blossoms, 4-6 more small bits, and about 10 more buds.Building the freeform scarf was an evolving process, and I moved pieces to develop contrast and balance. Since I wanted to remember the location of each flower if I had put the work aside before I finished sttching the flowers together, I took several photos to ensure that I would get the exact placement.
To connect the flowers, I sewed with an overhand stitch with yarn from the flowers. When possible I sewed with yarn that was used in the specific flower. As the colors were all muted, and there was ample texture, most of the stitches seemed to disappear in the work. The finished piece measured 5 inches below my waist. The scarf had a lot of body to it and hung straight. I used a simple shawl pin to close the scarf with style.
Still I was not finished. The muted colors needed some pizzaz. I dug into my extensive button collection and obtained many different gold tone, natural shell, and other different buttons.. I extended the scarf to its full length and sorted the buttons by color, size, texture, and interesting features. This was another part of the freeform process. I felt as though I was painting as I placed the buttons on the flowers. Since it would be difficult to pick up the scarf and buttons if I had cleen up before I finished, I alloted about 2 hours for this process. However, I took photos of my button placement since I had to lift my working edge as I secured the individual buttons. I was thrilled that I had so many different buttons in my stash. They were just the right accent to the scarf add light and dimension to my creation.
When winter comes I will be ready with my sculptured f scarf. I enjoyed the challenge and process of creating this piece without a specific pattern in a freeform design. It was a process rather than a definite set of directions. I seem to be entering a new stage of my crocheting and knitting career. In subsequent articles I will be featuring freeform sweaters that I created for my granddaughters.
As always, I appreciate your reflections and feedback on my work and the creative process. I welcome you to join my stitching journey. If you decide to make your own freeform floral scarf, i would love to see photos of your work.
Each growing season I celebrate the joy and spirit of my husband's lush garden and how it inspires my stitching creativity. Last year I crocheted a queen size extended throw for my begin shades of sage, taupe, bone, and variegated hues. This year I was gifted 2 large skeins of acrylic Caron Jumbo Ombre (595 yards( that ranged from the palest green to the deepest blue-green. I also knew that I would use strategic rows of Joanne's acrylic Big Twist (380 yards) in white to provide contrast. The green hues and the white rows mirror many of the leaves of the of the Hostas in our garden. Whether I look out any window in my home, eat dinner on the raised deck, read in a shaded area under the porch, or drive in or out on our long driveway from the house, I marvel at the beauty of his evolving creation. I just hope that my crocheting and knitting do it justice.
As with many of my extended Granny Square Blankets, I start with a concept, but the design emerges as I stitch. The ombre yarn includes several gradient hues, and I crocheted most of the first skein into a 24 inch square without having to change yarns. At this point, I included 2 rows of white for contrast. As the design began to evolve, I decided to crochet 5 rounds green ombre followed by two rows of white. I planned to repeat this pattern, but I was concerned that I would be playing Yarn Chicken.. I worried that I would not be able to complete my creations I envisioned it. Luckily, my trip to Joanne's was successful, and I was able to buy a third skein of the Caron Jumbo Ombre and a second skein of the Big Twist White. Now I had the freedom to execute my piece without any shortcuts.
There are two parts to my artistic 4 inch border that gives a snap to my throw. First, by alternating single horizontal rows of green ombre and white, I can achieve alternating vertical rows of green and white that surround the main portion of the blanket. The ideal number of rounds is 7, starting with the dark color, following with white and going back to dark green, etc. It is counterintuitive to think that I can achieve alternating vertical rows by crocheting alternating horizontal rows, but it works. I finish the border with a single round of white in Half Double Crochet (HDC) followed by single row of the green ombre in HDC. The way the stitches merge is magic.
The completed throw measures 52 inches square. It will be donated as a men's throw to my Threads of Love group for our October collection. I enjoyed working with the ombre yarn as I can incorporate several gradient shades without having to change skeins as I did with my previous blanket. Although I usually crochet with Red Heart Ombre, I was pleased with the colors. textures, and ease of stitching with the Caron Jumbo Ombre. I believe that this throw measured up to the standard of my husband's garden. I will be proud to display it until our collection date. I can see several more ombre projects my future.
Although I provided a sequence of color design in my narrative, it may be easier for the crocheter to follow a specific pattern list of rounds and color changes.
Most of the throw is crocheted in an Extended Granny Square that uses clusters of 3 double crochet stitches (DC)
Begin with 24 rounds of ombre that measures approximately 24 inches on a side.
Crochet 2 rows rounds of white.
Crochet 5 rounds of ombre.
Crochet 2 rounds of white
Crochet 5 rounds of ombre.
Crochet 2 rounds of white.
Crochet 1 round of ombre.
Crochet 1 round of white
Crochet 1 round of ombre.
Crochet 1 round of white.
Crochet 1 round of ombre.
Crochet 1 round of white.
Crochet 1 round of Half Double Crochet (HDC) in white.
Crochet 1round of Half Double Crochet (HDC) in ombre.
As always I appreciate your reflection and feedback. I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey. Although I used green ombre in my piece, there are so many possibilities open to you with different combinations of ombre yarn. If you decide to try your hand, I would love see a photo of your work.