Several years ago I sold an asymetrical three color solid and striped shawl at a holiday fair. My customer looked so stylish in the garment, and after some negotiating, she walked away with a beautiful piece at a bargain price. The pattern was a purchased design from the Plymouth Yarn Company that was 46 inches long and 20 inches deep. (Homestead Tweed: Striped Diagonal Shawl) it was simple to create since the entire piece ws knitted in the garter stitch. I really admired my piece, but the length was too small for me.
Several years and many projects later, I rediscovered the pattern and decided to make a shawl that I could use to accessorize light weight jackets and sweaters. I ended up with a piece that was 65 inches long that could easily be draped, tucked and closed with a shawl pin. In order to accommodate the extra length, I had to include a total of 6 shades of white to dark gray tones that grew into 11 sections of solid and striped areas.
In some ways I stayed true to the pattern. I started with a solid pice for 36 rows with increases in row 1 of a two row pattern sequence. In the second row I slipped stitch purl wise and knitted to †he end of the row. At the beginning of the new 36 row section, I introduced a new very light grey in 2 row stripes. There was much more contrast in the original pattern.
However, I chose to extend the color selection by introducing gradually darker hues as I moved up the shawl. Each solid space of 36 lines was followed by a striped section that introduced a new color. Then the new color was knit for 36 solid lines
This was a real stash buster as I dove into my bins for as many tones of grey that I could find.
I did not want to include a black stripe, and I was pleased that I could finish my shawl with the darkest of greys.
The shawl was easy to execute, but I ran into an unexpected problem from time to time as I seemed to have a tendency to drop stitches. While it is easy to pick up stock and net dropped stitches, garter stitches change each row as the knitted row is purl on the back. Alas, I found myself frogging a few lines from time. After the second time, I resolved to examine each line before I went onto the next. While it took extra time the short term, I saved myself a great deal of aggravation.
Since knitting my assymetrical shawl, I have come across several different asymmetrical free patterns online. I am quite proud of my shawl, but I have been sorely tempted try a version with two contrasting self striping yarns,. Since, I do not have that yarn in my stash, I would be undermining my resolution to use up the yarn I have on hand. Yet, I do have a large skein of about 600 yards of black yarn that I could contrast with smaller part skeins that I could match up.
Since my last article, I have created two girl's sweaters from yarn scraps and several pairs of girls' and women's mittens. My hands seem to itch to be busy. Thank you for joining me on my stitching journey. I appreciate your reflections and feedback.
I am quite proud of the three blankets that have evolved from my stash busting efforts. As I noted from my previous post, my goal was to create pieces while including large quantities of yarn from my extensive stash.The main criteria for each blanket was that I had to work with the yarn that I already had on hand. The designs evolved as I sought attractive combinations. The available yardage for each color helped to determine the eventual design. I like to work with the extended Granny Square, and there are infinite design options that are available to me.
Project 1 A variegated Red Heart Super Saver in pink, white, green, and lavender was the driving force for this piece. I also happened to have a Caron pound yarn in a pale pink and several partial skeins of white that matched the colors in the variegated yarn. The Extended Granny Square started with 8 rounds of of pink, followed by 2 rounds of white and 6 rows of variegated yarn. The sequence was repeated, ending in 2 rows of white. The final edging consisted of 1 row of pink in Half Double Crochet (HDC) followed by 1 row of variegated in the same stitch. The completed blanket was a 40 inch square which would work as a blanket for a girl or a lapgahn for a women. I donated this piece along with the shawls from my previous post.
Project 2 This 42 inch blanket or lapgahn is suitable for a boy or a man. It started with 8 (135 yard) skeins in red worsted Just Yarn that I bought from the Dollar Store. I was drawn to the color and the delightful hand feel. I bought all the red skeins that were on the shelf, and I had 1080 yards of for the project. Now I needed a pleasing contrast for my blanket. I did not want go the patriotic route in red, white, and blue. Luckily, I was able to pick up two large skeins of dark grey RedHeart yarn when I bought my shawls to the collection site for Threads of Love, Frequently people support our cause by donating unused yarn to our synagogue. Since I did not have to buy the yarn, I felt it qualified for inclusion in my stash busting mission.
I started with an 8 round square of red, followed by 2 rounds of grey and 4 rounds of red. Then I had to determine if I would continue with the same sequence or whether I wanted to increase the number of grey or red rounds as I continued with the blanket. I brought the piece to my Craft Group at the Woodbridge Center and posed the question to my fellow knitters and crocheters. I was especially interested in the views offer expert gentleman knitter as the proposed blanket or lapgahn was designated for a boy or man. We finally decided to stay with 4 red rounds, but I would inrease the number of grey rounds by one after each red bunch. After my last set of 5 grey rounds, I realized that I was running out of yarn. Therefore, I would stop making solid sets of rows and begin work on the edging. When you crochet the Extended Granny Square, you can achieve vertical stripes if you alternate two colors for several rows. Since, my last group was done in grey, I began the edging with a round of red clusters. I followed with a row of grey and then one of red. I had enough yarn for 5 total rounds. The piece was finished with a single round of grey in Half Double Crochet.
Project 3 The 8 skeins of grey worsted yarn from the Dollar store had 115 yards per skein. The 920 yards were also designated for a boy's blanket or for a man's lapgahn. When I placed the pale grey yarn next to contrasting colors in my bins, the white and black spoke out to me. I still wanted a pop of color, and so I bought out the cherry red. The initial square was made up of 10 rows of grey. The contrast sequence was 1 round of red, 1 round of white, 2 rounds of black, and 6 rows of grey. I had planned to follow the sequence two more times, but I ran out of grey yarn after round 5 oof the last grey section. Therefore, I transitioned immediately into 3 rows of HDC in red, white, and black as I had done for the larger granny stitch cluster rows.The completed piece ws 42 inches of cozy comfort.
My stash busting mission used a significant amount of yarn: 1 large skein of varigated yarn, 1 pound of pink yarn, 2 incomplete white skeins., 8 skeins of red, 2 large skeins of dark grey, 8 skeins of light grey, and partial skeins of red, white,and black. When I look back to the skeins used from the previous article, I had made a significant dent in the yarn that was overflowing from bins and assorted shopping bags. White I donated the girl's blanket, I decided that I would donate the red and grey blanket, but keep the grey blanket with the red, white, and black accents. I like to have pieces on hand when I need to come up with a gift.
After all of this stash busting, I was further motivated to reorganize all of my yarn. Most of it was useful, but buried. Some belonged to a bygone era. Others just did not fit color palettes that I enjoyed. After dumping all remaining seven bins on the floor, I sorted by color and weight. Two other piles remained: the give-away pile and the throw-out pile. I brought the giveaway pile to my craft group and most of it was taken. I tossed the throw-out pile and and remainder of the give-away pile. Now I have just 5 bins and no stray shopping bags of yarn. Best yet, I have planned my next 3 large project since I have grouped all of the colors and I know how much I have have of each skein as well as the coordinating colors.
Thank you for your reflections and feedback. As always, I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey.
While many articles offer suggestions for projects for small amounts of leftover yarn, the focus of this post is to work on larger projects that combine individual whole skeins with collections of smaller skeins to create attractive shawls, blankets and lapgahns. My closet bins were stuffed to overflowing, and there were several shopping bags filled with skeins that no longer fit into the closet. I was determined not to buy any additional yarn and to make a significant dent into my stash.
How did I accumulate so much yarn that had not been designated for a specific project?
What is important to note is that there was usually not enough yarn in any skein or collection to make a complete project. A key element of the plan was to use what I had on hand without buying any more yarn. While I worked with basic shawl patterns, I had to adapt and improvise as I was not sure how the yardages would play out.
I am still contributing to Threads of Love to help our chapter reach our 1000 piece goal. Therefore, creating shawls was a good place to start. The second part of my mission would be to crochet blankets or lapgans. However, as I started writing this post, I realized that series of projects would have to wait for my next article.
Project 1: This shawl was based on a basic triangular scarf pattern that incorporated 5 skeins of light blue worsted weight Premier Just Yarn that I purchased from my local Dollar Store. This yarn had a lovely hand feel, but with a total yardage of about 600 yarns there was not enough yardage to complete crocheted triangle shawl that required 900 to 1000 yards. Luckily, I had a several orphan partial white worsted skeins that were compatible with the blue yarn. I combined the two fibers by starting with a large white triangle. Then I proceeded to alternate several white and blue rounds of granny cluster stitches. I ended the body of the shawl with several rows of white. Although I was about to run out of blue yarn, I had enough to edge the shawl with one row of HDC in blue and a second row of HDC of white. The finished blocked measurement was 62 inches wide by 30 inches deep.
Project 2: This pink shawl with lacy white edging was based on 5 skeins of Red Heart Jiffy Yarn that yielded 650 yards of fiber. I started with the Secret Paths Pattern by Mijocrochet . Since this was a #5 yarn, I used a K hook. I really liked the ridged effect that was achieved with FPDC, but I could not incorporate the rows of bobble stitch as the yarn was just too thick. I just skipped that part of the sequence. When I ran out of pink yarn, I transitioned to orphan white worsted that I had in my stash. There was no label, but the yarn worked with the pink Jiiffy yarn. Since this yarn was a worsted. I was able to work in a single row of puff stitch before I switched over to the lacy edging with a J hook. This was my first experience with a lacy edging, and I was happy with the feminine touch it gave to the shawl. The finished piece measured 62 inches wide by 31 inches deep.
Project 3 made use of 2 complete and 2 partial skeins of Caron Simply Soft in lavender. This yarn was donated, but I did not think that I would use it for personal projects. I wanted to crochet a soft draping shawl, and designed a stitch sequence to achieve this goal.
The pattern was based on the typical triangle shawl crocheted from the top down. After an initial starting set up triangle, increases were made in the corners and in the chain 2 space in he middle.
Row 1: Double crochet
Row 2: Triple crochet
Row 3: Triple Crochet mesh stitch.
I finished the body with a DC row. A round of HDC provided the base for a final round of picot stitching
Project 4: Somehow I had 2 rolls of Sweet Roll Self-striping yarn languishing in the bottom of one of my bins. I had bought the yarn to use with my fingerless gloves, but had decided to work with more neutral hues. The turquoise, iris blue, and white stretches of yarn would make adelightful shawl. With 285 yards per skein, I had 570 yards to work with. I had bought a lot of white yarn at one time because I could easily add it to other skeins when trying out different combinations. I stayed with my tried and true triangle pattern and started with a white triangle. ThenI transitioned to the Sweet Heart Rolls that made their own self striping display of colors. Since I wanted to finish with a row of HDC in colored yarn, I had to cut off enough yardage to anticipate this round. I crocheted several rows of white Granny clusters before working the single row to top off the piece. The final measurements for the shawl were 60 inches wide by 30 inches deep.
Our group was quite happy to receive these attractive shawls in spring colors. We bagged them and included the Threads of Love card of wishing and caring. The decorated bags would be delivered to Yale New Haven Hospital and to the St. Rapahel Campus in the following week.
Did I succeed in denting my stash? I used 15 smaller colored skeins and 2 larger white skeins of white yarn in this part of my mission. I folded up 2 extra shopping bags that had contributed to the clutter in my craft room. Now I am moving onto the blanket phase of my enterprise. I look forward to showing you the results in my next post.
Thank you for your feedback and reflections. I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey.
With Mothers' Day and warm weather approaching it is time to refresh your wardrobe or develop a gift for someone dear to you. I wrote about the Japanese Knotted Purse and the Bento Purse last year, but I wanted to showcase the designs with some new colors and new creations.
The Crocheted Bento Purse is simple to engineer. You can simply crochet a rectangle in which the height is 1/3 of the length.Then fold the piece so that you end up with a V shape opening. For the red purse I used a half double crochet, stitched on the black loop only to create a ridged texture. The navy white, orange, and turquoise purse was created with a striped rectangele. For complete instructions see http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheted-bento-purse. You can use a manufactured or a crocheted handle.
Another strategy would be to crochet 3 decorative granny squares. Sew the squares together to make one long rectangle. Then fold the piece and sew up the open edges. The white orange and pink purse was constructed from solid granny squares. The white, black, and turquoise purses were made from a simple extended clustered granny squares. It was fun to crochet circles in several colors before adding rows that would transform the shape into a square.
The Japanese Crocheted Knotted Purse is one of my favorites. Once you insert the larger handle through the smaller loop the purse closes on itself. Also when you slide your hand through the larger handle you hand is free to do other tasks. Last year I crocheted the purses in bright spring colors. This year I added a red and white striped version a brown piece to wear with neutrals and a red purse that is edged with black. Since I wear a lot of black and white, it will be nice to have a lively accessory with a pop of color. For complete directions, see http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheted-knotted-japanese-purses
The new designs begin with the pouchlike bag I crocheted for the Japanese knotted purse. For the first project in a light sage green cotton yarn, I crocheted a horizontal slit a few rows before the top on one side of the bag. To produce the slit, I crocheted 9 stitches in half double crochet, chained 10, skipped 10, and continued crocheting in half double crochet (HDC) to complete the round. In the following round, I did the HDC as before until I reached the chain. Then I crocheted 10 HDC onto the chained strip before continuing on in the main body of the purse. I crocheted an additional two rows before fastening off. On the back side of the purse opposite the opening, I began crocheting the strap by picking up and crocheting 10 HDC along the top row of the pouch. The strap would be about 16 long before it was doubled and attached to the inside of the top row. To close the purse, simply insert the handle into the slit and pull up. A design feature was added to the front of the purse by crocheting a 4 inch strap that was doubled and sewn a few rows below the slit. Before folding the little strap, I slipped a craft bracelet onto the strip. I also added a coordinating heart silver button to the surface.
For the second bag, I crocheted a pouch with a black lower portion and an off white upper portion. For this piece the decorative element was the two tone handle. This handle was crocheted horizontally along the length and then added to the purse. A simple brown leatherlike button ws added to break up the space and create interest.
The final purse alternated black and taupe yarns. At the top I added three rows of black . At this time, I stopped crocheting on the front of the purse and continued on the back for 5 rows before making a slit on the back of the purse. I continued for for 4 more rows in black and topped off with two rows of taupe to complete the flap. This time I crocheted and attached a doubled 16 inch strap to the front of the purse. To close, I slipped the handle through the slit and placed the flap onto the front of the purse. To secure the flap, chain a loop in taupe to the top of the taupe layer and add a large coordinating button to the front.
These crocheted cotton purses are fun to make with endless creative possibilities. They provide a delightful inexpensive gift or a stylish, unique addition to your wardrobe.
Thank you for your reflections and feedback. I welcome you to join me on my stitching adventure.
When seeking a new project, I frequently like to find ways to showcase basic stitches in different ways or to try out intriguing color combinations. I had just completed a shawl project which left me with a large partial skein of O' Go worsted yarn in the Frosted Blueberry color way. The yarn reminded me of irises, but it needed something more to bring out my spring spirit. The Back To School Cardigans Free Pattern by Yarnspirations provided me with the opportunity. Now I just needed a multicolored yarn in coordinating colors to make the sweater. Luckily, I had 1 skein of a Red Heart variegated worsted yarn in my stash. The blue in the variegated yarn was the exact match for the solid color skein. The pink turquoise, and ivory provided a bright, but subtle contrast.
Yarnspirations classifies this pattern as a beginner skill level. The pattern is crocheted with worsted weight yarn . A G or an H hook would be used for the ribbing. An I hook is needed for the body. You need turn to the back of the pattern for the exact yardage: Using Red Heart yarn, you need 1 skein of approximately 290 yards of solid. They call for 2 skeins of variegated yarn at 232 yards each or 1 skein of any variegated yarn that yields about 450 yards. I was crocheting a size 6 garment. I had enough yarn in my super saver skein to need only one skein of variegated yarn. There were several hundred yards of blueberry yarn left over from my last project. While I crocheted my sweater in colors suitable for a young girl, the directions could easily be modified with navy and cream or green and camouflage that would work for a boy. The pattern includes directions for sizes 2-8.
The back and two fronts are each crocheted separately with a double crochet stitch. The pattern makes playful use of the two color palettes. The back and left front are crocheted in the variegated yarn. On the right front front broad stripes of the solid color alternate with the narrow stripes of the variegated yarn. Since the left front was done all in variegated yarn, the left sleeve uses the striped pattern. Since the right front used the striped pattern, the right sleeve is done entirely in the variegated yarn. All borders and ribbing were done in the solid color.
This cardigan style calls for a fitted shoulder rather than a dropped shoulder. After each section the directions call for a rib stitch created by alternating Front Post Double Crochet with the Back Post Double Crochet. I preferred stitching or crocheting up the shoulders and the sides before adding the ribbing to the entire bottom.
The sleeves are crocheted from the bottom up. After a side seam is sewed to form a tube, the sleeve tube is fitted into the armhole. It is helpful to pin the center top to the shoulder seam and the sleeve seam to the center of the armhole before pinning in the rest of the sleeve. As with the body of the sweater The FPDC/BPDC was used to create the ribbing effect. The neck band is crocheted before the button bands. Instead of the double crochet suggested in the directions I used a single crochet stitch and just added an additional row of stitching. For me it was easier to provide sufficient structure for the button holes.
A very special set of buttons from my stash provided just the right touch to complete this project. The flowered buttons in 3 different shades mirrored the colors of the varigated yarn.
As you can tell from the photos, my granddaughter was delighted to wear her new sweater. In general, I found the pattern easy to follow and made notes for my simple modifications to be available for future use. The garment is a bit roomy at present, but she can easily wear it into next fall. She wears a size 5, and her wardrobe is full of size 4 sweaters.
Thank you for your support, feedback, and reflections. I welcome you join me on my stitching journey.
Fellow knitters, as promised I am sharing my experiments with knitted cowls that you can use to add style to the simplest outfit. By experiments, I mean that none of the cowls featured in this article came from a single specific pattern. My process included reading through many knitted cowl patterns to establish realistic size and stitch counts for completed cowls. Then I combined stitch patterns that I have used successfully to produce other garments. Now that I have taken notes and have examined the finished pieces I can move on to make changes in size and pattern. I have had a lot of fun and am eager to share my work with you.
My ribbed cowl was knitted in the round with a self striping worsted weight yarn on #8 cable needles. The piece measures 9 inches high and has a circumference of 22 inches. Cast on 130 stitches. To produce the cowl, begin with 6 rows garter stitch (knitted) The stitch pattern is a rib with a 4 knit 2 purl repeat. To increase the circumference add in multiples of 6 for the 4 knit stitches and the 2 purl stitches. Since the piece is knitted in the round, you just continue with the same stitch pattern until you have the desired height. Complete the cowl with 6 rows of garter stitch.
1 love the texture of the bamboo stitch cowl. I have used this stitch to make fingerless gloves and scarves. The cowl is 8 1/2 inches high with a circumference of 20 inches. However the stitch is quite stretchy which makes it very comfortable. The piece was knitted with a #3 merino self striping yarn on #* cable k=needles. Place marker at beginning of row, The 4 row repeat pattern continues as follows: Row 1: *Slip 1, knit 2 Pass the slip stitch over the two knitted stitches. Purl 2.* Continue to end of row. Row 2: *Knit 1. Add 1 stitch before the next knitted stitch. Knit 1. This addition replaces the stitch lost be slipping a stitch over the two knitted stitches in row 1. Purl 2.*Continue to marker. Row 3: Knit. Row 4: Knit. Cast on 130 stitches. There is a 5 stitch multiple to add or decrease stitches.The first 6 rows will establish the rib. Knit 3 stitches Purl 2 stitches. Starting in row 7 begin with the stitch repeat. I knitted 9 4 row pattern repeats. Complete cowl as you began with a 6 row rib of 3 Kinit 2 Purl.
The finished cowl was cozy and soft. If I were to repeat the pattern, I would probably add ten to twenty stitches for a looser fit.
The final cowl was probably my favorite. The pale lavender Impeccable worsted from Micheals was knitted on a #8 cable needle in the round. The design feature for this cowl was aC4 cable stitch. To produce this stitch, slip 2 stitches on a cable needle.in front of work. Knit the next two stitches. Knit the two stitches from the cable needle. How to Knit the 4 Stitch Cable is a helpful You Tube Video that can guide you through the process. Cast on in multiples of 8. I cast on 160 stitches for my piece. Place a marker before the first stitch. To establish rib, I knitted 4 purled 4 around to end for 4 rows. Pattern sequence is as follows:
Row 1: *Follow steps for C4F or cable stitch with 4 stitches in which you hold the cable needle to the front. Purl 4* and continue around. Rows 2-4 Knit. Continue with sequence until you have the desired height. Endwith 4 rows of knit 4, purl 4 ribbing.
I enjoyed this simple cabling. In future cowls I may wish to work on more complicated combinations.
Creating a cowl is so satisfying as the project can be completed quickly and the creative possibilities are endless. After my initial experiments I am encouraged to try new designs during the autumn or winter months.
As always I appreciate your reflections and feedback. Thank you for joining me on my stitching journey.
With spring just around the corner, we still have time to accessorize an outfit with the textures and colors of a crocheted cowl. I have considered crocheting cowls for awhile, but suddenly I had a window of time between projects. Since each of the cowls in the article can be completed in a day or two of full time crocheting or a week of sparetime crafting, these pieces fit right into my schedule. I began by surfing the internet or scrolling through Pinterest or Ravelry for pictures of pieces that were attractive, relatively easy to execute, and which would use only the wool and hooks that I already had on hand.
The first photo that caught my eye was the Frosty Forest Cowl, a free pattern from 5 Little Monsters (https://www.5littlemonsters.com/2019/01/frpsty-forest-cowl.html). The pattern instructions call for 4 shades of yarn in the same color family from dark to light and an I hook (5.5mm). The texture of the double V stitch was appealing. I followed the basic design, but made a few changes. I did not have 4 shades of one color on hand, but I decided to dig into my large piece scrap pile for 4 colors that would compliment each other. I ended up with 4 rows of Frostberry from left over from a shawl, 3 rows of Sparkly Silver left over from a child's ballet shrug, 3 rows of white, and 4 rows of yellow. While I made the initial chain with 90 stitches using the I hook, I switched to the H hook for the body of the cowl. I did try using the I hook throughout, but I did not like the presentation of the stitches. Using a slightly larger hook for the initial chain kept the piece from being too tight at the bottom.
If you prefer crocheting a flat piece, you can crochet a rectangle and then sew the short sides together. In this case, chain 90 +4.
Row 1:Make the first double crochet in the fourth chain fromm the hook. Crochet another DC in the same chain. Skip 2 chains. In the next chain stitch, crochet 2 DC, Chi 1, 2 DC in the same stitch.( This stitch is called a Double V Cluster.) Skip 2 chain stitches.* When you are 3 stitches from the end, skip 2 chain stitches and crochet 2 DC in the last stitch. Turn your work.
Row 2: Chain 3. Dc in the same space. Crochet your first Double V cluster in the chain 1 space of the cluster from the previous row. Continue across the until you get to the las 3 stitches. Crochet 2 DC in the same last space.
Rows 3-14 Follow instructions for row 2.
If you wish to change colors, you will make the change by stopping the final DC of the row when there 2 loops on the hook. Lay the contrasting yarn across the hook and pull through the loops to complete the DC. Turn your work Chain 3 with the new color and proceed with instructions for row 2. Leave tails of about 4-5 inches of old and new yarns and tie together. Then you will weave in ends when the piece is finished.
My second piece was the "Layer Cake" Lace Cowl from Kirsten Halloway Designs. I chose a multi-tone self striping Cozy Merino Wool(Driftwood Multi) with an H hook (5.0 mm) . The cowl comes in many sizes, but I chose to start with a 120 stitch chain to crochet the piece in the round. The set up sequence includes 8 rows of different stitch patterns that achieve the lace effect. Then you repeat rows 3-8 four more times before ending with the scalloped row 3. The piece was interesting to crochet end not too difficult to follow. If I were to use the pattern again, I would like to try a solid or a tweed so that the stitches instead of the color would be the focus of attention.
I saw the photo for the final piece before I located the pattern. I really liked the style and use of sttiches and texture. This was another cowl crocheted in the round on an H (5.0 mm) hook. I decided to wing it and figure out the stitch and row combinations as I went along. My yarn was another skein of Cozy Wool Merino but with shades red, plum, and lavender. My basic attempt included a 120 stitch beginning chain, followed by 3 rows of HDC and then 4 rows of Front Post Double Crochet alternating with Back Post Double Crochet. By changing off sections, I had 4 sections of HDC and 3 sections of the vertical stripes of the Front Post Double Crochet/Back Post Double Crochet. Eventually I found the pattern from the photos. Brooklyn Cowl by Demi Sharpe is a paid pattern found on Ravelry. It includes sizes toddler through adult and is accompanied by a matching headband. This cowl is larger than my version as it begins and ends with the Front Post Double Crochet/ Back Post Double Crochet sections.
Although I am wearing a white long-sleeved t in the photos, I can easily enhance the look with a black or colored t shirt or sweater. The project was engaging and called on me to be creative. While working with these crocheted cowls, I was encouraged by the positive remarks of my friends to work on knitted versions. Please look for my knitted cowls in a future post.
As always, I appreciate your feedback and reflections. I welcome you in doing me on my stitching journey.
Since my local chapter of Threads of Love organized in 2009, members and participants have produced more than 900 pieces. The shawls, lapgahns, and children's blankets are donated to Yale New haven Hospital and to the St. Raphael Campus so that cancer and other seriously ill patients can receive a warm hug and caring wish This chapter was orgainized by Sarah Blum, a former chaplain of St, Raphael Hospital and has been administered by Elaine Klein for members of the Or Shalom synagogue and interested participants in the general New Haven area. We passed our 500 mark in 2016 and hope to reach 1000 in 2022. Shawls and blankets for men, women, and children have also been sent throughout New England and across the country when we hear of friends and friends of friends who would benefit.
Before COVID, our in person meetings were larger, but we continue to drop off pieces on collection dates 3-4 times a year for wrapping and distribution. Each piece includes a caring message for the recipient during times of health problems. At our last meeting we reached 911, but I was later called on to leave a newly crocheted piece for an elderly lady in physical rehab. With the addition of these two shawls our group total was now 913. Our group typically generates 18-21 pieces at each collection date. Therefore with a bit more effort we can reach our 2022 goal of 1000 pieces by the end of the year.
The shawls featured in this article were made from Yarnspirations Caron Big Donut Yarn.
Usually this yarn sells for about $10-$11 per skein. While the yield is 502 yards per skein, I have been reluctant to indulge even though I was attracted to the yarn. However when the price was reduced bu 50% at a local large craft store, I picked up a bunch. Once it is opened the tangle free quick start O'Go worsted yarn is easy to use. It unwinds without any difficulty and you do not have to search for an inner or outer thread. This is not a self striping yarn. Instead, there are 5 blocks of interesting color combinations.
My first shawl was a rectangle piece in Sea Foam colors, crocheted with anI (5.5mm)hook. I used most of two skeins. However, one of the sections was a bright teal. While the color worked well for the center of the piece, it would be awkward to continue and place another teal black at the end. I cut off the bright block and am using it for other projects. While the Autumn Symphony pattern is usually worked in bulky yarn increased the chain stitches from 43 to 63 to achieve multiple of 4 +3. After the initial set up the double V stitch was repeated throughout the shawl. I also crocheted a triangle shawl with alternating Double crochet and open mesh sequences. The Autumn Symphony Shawl is a free download from fiberfluxblog.com.
On a subsequent shopping trip I found another donut in light yellow, pale blue, gold, light periwinkle, and navy. Since there was not enough yarn on the wheel to complete an entire shawl, I bought a compatible skein of Impeccable in Ivory for 285 yards, My plan was to crochet the Quinley Sideways shawl with ivory sections at both ends. The Quinley Sidesways Shawl has a 2 row repeating pattern. In the first row you double crochet across the row. In row 2, V stitches are separated by 3 skipped stitches to alternate with shells. .Since the color block arrangement on the donut wouldn't work in its original form, I unwound, cut and rewound each section into separate balls. I rearranged the color blocks so that the light yellow would not be next to the ivory, and the navy would be in the middle of the shawl. At this point I realized that I needed blue to balance out the shawl and took some yardage from a Frostberry wheel. The finished piece is 21 inches deep and 63 inches long. It is an ample cover up that is quite cozy. The Quinley Sideways Shawl is a free download for AllFreeCrochet.com
The final piece for this project was a triangular Amorous Shawl by Katja Loffler. This pattern is a free Ravelry download, I used the remainder of the Frostberry wheel from the previous shawl and part of a secondwheel to create a piece that was 29 inches deep and 68 inches from tip to tip. The piece is worked with an I hook (5.5 mm) from the top to the bottom. Increases are made in the center and both sides. Once the 9 row set up is established, 6 rows are repeated until you are saitisfied with the size. There is combination of closed and open work to create an interesting texture. An attractive feature of this piece is the front post double crochet stitch. By turning the shawl over to the reverse side, this stitch creates a raised ridge. This detail makes for a creative and attractive shawl.. A shawl pin enables the wearer to style the shawl in many ways.
I am proud of my shawls, but I need to take rest for a bit to develop other projects. My goal for 2022 is to donate a total of 20 pieces. I put in 3 in January. I added another 2 in February. Have 2 completed another 1 in planning stages for March and April.. That makes 8. That means that I will take on12 more pieces from April through December. It is unambitious plan, but I can do it even though I will be working on other projects and skills in between my shawl and blanket making.
I welcome you to join me on my stitching journey. I appreciate your reflections and feedback.
With so many interesting pictures of commercial sweaters to buy and patterns for making my own sweaters I was determined to try my hand at creating interesting sweaters with bold sleeve striping as the featured accent. Since my three granddaughters like primary colors, I decided to discover the many ways I could use red, blue, and yellow to produce varied results. By knitting with the same three colors to make three different sweaters, I hoped to have a cohesive body of work as I played with striping effects. My yarn choice was Read Heart With Love, a #4 Worsted. Needles were #6 for the cuffs and neckband and #8 for the body of the sweater. Pattern sizes 4 and 6 were worked with the Cascade Yarns Pattern Cherub Aran Zebra Pullover (W464). The size 8 sweater was worked with the pullover sweater from Bellish, a computer app that is no longer available. In retrospect, I wish that I had just enlarged the size 6 pattern to increase fro chest, body length, and sleeves.
The size 4 pattern for the simple roomy crew neck pullover was worked with a red body, cuffs, and neck band. The pattern called for flat knitting of the separate front and back which would later be stitched together. While the pattern showed broad stripes of the same colors, I decided to knit one sleeve with red and blue stripes and the second sleeve in red and yellow stripes. Instead of knitting the sleeves separately and stitching them to the body, I took the final stitch count and picked up stitches on the designated armhole and reversed the process. Instead of increasing stitches from the cuff up, I decreased stitches from the top of the sleeve to the cuff. in this way my sleeve seam is smoother and I can easily adjust for sleeve length. I was pleased with the striped effect and eager to try a new combination on my second sweater.
The second sweater in size 8 was worked with a blue body, cuff, and neck band. This pattern called for knitting the body in the round from the bottom up. After separating for the armholes, I knitted the upper back and front. Directions were given to produce the front and back necklines. Then I sewed the sweater together at the shoulders. I picked up the number of stitches for the top of the sleeves and knitted the sleeves in the round through to the cuff. This process enabled me to create as I knitted along. I used 5 broad stripes in red and blue for the upper part of the sweater. Then I transitioned to yellow and blue for the narrow stripes at the lower part of the arm. I carried the yarn along as I changed colors when appropriate. Note I added a narrow strip of red near the blue cuff to tie the colors together and to make a more dramatic effect.
By the time I got to the third sweater (size 6), I really had to force myself to go on mes. Again, I was back with Cherub Aran Zebra Pullover, As with the first sweater, I omitted the zebra pockets on the front of the sweater. Now, I had to challenge myself to produce a new stripe combination, still with the same three colors. While each of the first two sweaters had a solid color on the body, for the third sweater I split the body to knit in red to the armhole and then change to blue to the neck. To create interest i added a thin stripe of the contrasting color just above the bottom ribbing and just below the armhole. I was looking for a bold result. As with the other two sweaters, I connected the shoulders and picked up the stitches at the armhole. By starting with the same blue as the chest, the sleeve and body looked seamless and continuous. The thin stripes of red, blue, red started just below the blue upper part of the sleeve broke up the yellow portion in the middle and at the bottom near the blue cuff. I have to admit and that I reconstructed the sleeve a few times before I got the desired effect.
To create these or your own original striped effects, you can use the pattern featured in this blog or any pullover sweater. I think that a roomier style works best with the worsted wools I knitted with, but that can be your personal choice. Let your imagination go wild and enjoy your stripes.
I am proud to have completed the three sweater project with creativity and style, I am relieved that I can deliver the pieces, and take my pictures for my blog and website. The subject of striped effects still intrigues me, but I will lay it to rest for a while. After crocheting the 3 ballet barre sweaters for my last blog post and knitting these sweaters with the interesting striped sleeves, I think I have learned a lesson. Creating three coordinated pieces for one article requires several weeks of work. Since I like to write as well as knit or crochet, I may need to discipline myself to produce fewer pieces on a theme when I consider what I will write about. However,I have said the same words before only to cast caution to the winds before launching a new vision.
As always, I welcome your reflections and feedback. If you have knitted pieces with interesting stripe work, please share your photos. Please join me on my stitching journey. I continue eo enjoy my evolution as a fiber artist.
As a very fortunate grandmother of three delightful girls (plus 2 wonderful teenage boys) I have wonderful models who are my muses for so many creations; Now that all three girls have started dance programs, the front tied At the Barre Shrug designed by Diane Moyer for Yarnspirations is the perfect accessory for these "budding ballerinas." The free pattern is also shown on Ravelry and Pinterest. Although the directions called for Red Heart Sparkle Soft, this yarn is no longer available. Therefore, I substituted Caron Simply Soft which was a good fit for sparkle and weight. I started with a sparkly silver for the oldest girl. Then I made the next shrug from a sparkly white. The youngest child requested a blushing pink. The Simply Soft yarns come at the lighter end of the worsted (#4) spectrum of yarns, but they worked well for these delicate sweaters since I wanted to allow for freer movement. While they would probably not wear the sweaters as they danced, these accessories could easily be slipped on so that they did not get chilled after their lessons.
The size range for the pattern is child 4 through child 10. The sweaters are crocheted with size I (5.5 mm) hooks. The body of the shrug is worked in one piece beginning with the lower back edge. The sleeves are worked directly onto the body. Most of the sweater is crocheted in double crochet. Special stitches include dc2tog (double crochet 2 stitches together), FDC (foundation double crochet), FSC (foundation single crochet), and a Picot edging. Instructions are provided to make special stitches. I found it necessary to go on You Tube to see a video on how to make the foundation stitches, but I got the hang of it with practice. Since the foundation stitch combines the initial chain and the first row, you can just separate the steps if you find it too difficult to execute the foundation stitches.
Since the pattern is reversible, just select the side you prefer before starting the sleeves. By crocheting the sleeves right into the body, the sleeve placement is smooth. With right side facing place markers on both side edges of front and back from 2 to 5 inches depending on size. This will leave from 5 1/2 to 7 inches between the markers. A handy diagram with measurements helps you to visualize sleeve placement and construction. When the sleeves are done crochet a Picot edging to create a finished look.
To construct the garment, fold the piece in half to match the front to the back of the sweater. Pin along the short side seams and along the sleeve. I used a neat blanket stitch to make my seams. With the double crochet stitching I found that crocheting the seams or using the mattress stitch did not provide necessary structure. I prefer blanket stitch to whipped stitch as the seam has a more finished look.
Place the sweater right side facing you to start with a single crochet in the lower right corner to begin the Picot edging. You will be working in the ends of the rows as you go up the right front edge, across the neck and down the left side. Ties are crocheted to each side of the front sections. The pattern calls for FSC (foundation single crochet) followed by 2 additional rows of single crochet.
The free Yarnspiration patterns are wonderful to work with. The patterns are concise and are easily printed over 2-3 pages. Yarn weights, yarn yardages, gauge, and finished measurements are listed. Directions are clear and special stitches are explained. Photos and diagrams help to visualize the finished piece.
My girls were delighted with their new ballet shrugs. If there is a young dancer in your family or friend group, I encourage you to try this project. The sweaters do not take long to finish and are relatively easy to make. As always, I appreciate your feedback and reflections. I invite you to join me on my stitching journey.