Friday, December 14, 2012

Mittens and Scarves



I made these mittens earlier in the year and recently hauled them out for gift-giving. Although given the warm weather we've been having in southeast Michigan...I think it's almost 50 degrees today...I'm not sure when we will be needing these. Nevertheless, I embellished them and will soon wrap them up and give them away. I love these felted mittens which are great to wear when you're outside walking the dog or strolling the neighborhood.

I'm still having fun experimenting with Photobucket. My poor Facebook friends are getting an overdose of my doctored photos but I'm sure I will soon get tired of it. I still haven't utilized all the special features though but I'm working on it!







I've been addicted to crocheting these flower motif scarves. I dug into my stash of Noro yarns..the beautiful self-striping yarns from Japan. I literally have a whole Rubbermaid bin of different Noro yarns but I'm making a dent with these scarves, which take about 500 yards to complete.

This is the first scarf I made. I'm embarrassed to admit my first attempt was a disaster. I sat down one night and worked up a 10 petal motif. I ended up making 2 rows of these motifs, attaching them as I went along. But when I went to attach the third row, I couldn't make it work. And worse, it took me forever to actually realize why! Being geometrically-challenged, I failed to understand that I needed a 12-petal motif to make it work. I ripped out all the motifs and literally spent hours using the Russian joining method to get usable size balls of yarn. I recently learned that technique...there are youtube tutorials to show you how to attach yarn without tying knots. Noro is perfect yarn for this technique so instead of ending up with dozens of golf-ball size yarn balls, I got 3 good size hanks.


Here's a photo of my scarf in progress with a different flower motif than the previous two. It's a six petal flower. Although it drives me crazy, I don't weave in the yarn ends as I go along. I'm finding as I go to attach additional rows, that I occasionally have made a mistake with either attaching the motif or with the actual flower. I'm easily able to rip out just the one motif, correct it and move on.


This one is my favorite:




Thursday, December 13, 2012

Experimenting

I haven't been happy with the rather lifeless quality of my photos. I have a small point and shoot camera and the lighting has been so bad due to the endless stream of grey days we've been having. So I thought I would experiment a bit with some online photo editing programs. These pictures are from Photobucket. I  especially like the ability to add text to photos. I've been having fun the last couple hours editing various photos in my iphoto library.

These are pictures of a cowl I'm making for a gift although I'm not quite sure who will receive it. I sewed on buttons from my considerable stash. The flowers can be moved and attached at random. I used the super bulky Lion Brand Thick and Quick but I want to make another one using worsted weight yarn.

However...

I've been in quite a crocheting mood lately so I'm making several flower motif scarves. I'm a little geometrically challenged however and I run into problems when I try to crochet them together as I go along. I'll post some pictures of them tomorrow. I'm excited about the photo-editing possibilities!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Bucket of Snowballs








I have been pretty busy knitting and crocheting Christmas gifts. The one I'm sharing today is a bucket of snowballs that I plan to give to the little guy who loved my dragon so my much. I was inspired to make this after thumbing through an Oriental Trading catalog where I saw white, fabric snowballs you could order. Those snowballs had funny faces on them which I thought about for mine but in the end decided to leave them plain. I went to Jo-Ann's and bought a skein of blue Wool-Ease and a skein of white with a thread of sparkliness which I thought perfect. Here's how I made them:

Bucket of Snowballs

Pattern notes:
 Use a removeable marker when crocheting the rounds and move it up as you go along. Snowballs and bucket are worked in the round in a spiral and not joined by a slip stitch after each round.

To avoid holes showing when you decrease use the invisible decrease method. You can find video tutorials on this process if you Google it.

invisible decrease: without doing a yarn over, insert hook into front loop only of next two stitches. Yarn over and draw up one loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops. Decrease made.

Snowballs measure about 3" across and bucket measures 6" across bottom circumference and is 5.5" high.


Snowballs

With a size US G crochet hook, make an adjustable ring

Rnd 1: 6 sc
Rnd 2: *2 sc into each sc* (12 sc)
Rnd 3: *1 sc in first st, 2 sc in next st* (18 sc)
Rnd 4: *1 sc into next 2 sts, 2 sc into next st* (24 sc)
Rnd 5: *1 sc into next 3 sts, 2 sc into next st* (30 sc)
Rnds 6-8: 1 sc in every st
Rnd 9: begin decrease round, using invisible decrease method described above.
             *1 sc in next 3 sts, sc 2 tog in next 2 sts*
Rnd 10: *1 sc in next 2 sts, sc 2 tog in next 2 sts*
Rnd 11: *1 sc in next sts, sc 2 tog in next 2 sts*
Rnd 12: *sc 2 tog*

Stuff snowball with polyfill and close up with yarn needle.

I was able to make 10 snowballs with one skein of Wool-Ease.


Bucket:

With blue yarn, and G hook, make an adjustable ring.


Rnd 1: 6 sc
Rnd 2: *2 sc into each sc* (12 sc)
Rnd 3: *1 sc in first st, 2 sc in next st* (18 sc)
Rnd 4: *1 sc into next 2 sts, 2 sc into next st* (24 sc)
Rnd 5: *1 sc into next 3 sts, 2 sc into next st* (30 sc)
Rnd 6: *1 sc into next 4 sts, 2 sc into next st* (36 sc)

Rnds 7-14: continue in this manner, working one more sc per round before increasing. You will be increasing 6 sts per round.

Rnd 15: working in back loop only, sc in each st around
Rnds 16-20: working in both loops, sc in each st around
Rnd 21: to make the bucket shape a little better, decrease 4 sts evenly spaced. You don't have to do the invisible decrease here.

Continue working rounds, sc in each st until bucket measures 5.5" or until desired height. Work one row reverse sc for top edging. I get good results when I use a hook one size smaller for this.

Handle: Make a slip knot and chain st for about 15" or desired length of handle. Sc in each chain until the last st, 3 sc in last st, then turn work and do a sc in each loop on the bottom of the original chain. Finish with 3 sc in last st. Work another round of sc and then fasten off. Sew handle to sides of bucket.

Snowflake:
With white and G hook, make an adjustable ring
Rnd 1: 12 sc in ring, st st to join
Rnd 2: sc in same st as joining, *ch 3, skip 1 sc, sc in next st* join with sl st. (6 ch-3 loops)
Rnd 3: *in next ch-3 space, 2 sc, ch 3, sl st in first ch ( picot made) 2 sc, sl in next sc, ch 9, slip in 4th ch from hook, ( ch 4, sl st in 1st ch) twice, sl st in remaining 5 chains and in original sc*

I used white sewing thread to attach my snowflake to the bucket because the yarn seemed too bulky. I also added a row of decorative slip st to the top of the handle.