Friday, November 14, 2014

Swirly stitches!

In between holiday gifts I'm working on and the huge pile of tack I'm cleaning for clients, I haven't got much to show you this week. I am keeping busy making things, though! Here's something I can share:

I've discovered a yarn goldmine that thrills my thrifty little heart-- the local shop sells one pound bags of "mill ends" for $8. Mill ends are factory leftovers, so there's not much choice if you're looking for something particular, but I tend to go in with an open mind and have found some really nice stuff! My happiest find was a worsted-weight fiber in shades of blue, teal, and purple. I got five skeins in my one pound bag, and when I got it home and did a burn test, I found I was right -- it was wool! (Possibly a blend with another natural fiber. There was no melting, and it self-extinguished quickly.)  Soft and light, it was just what I had been looking for to make myself a little lap blanket.

I've been working the whole thing in half-double crochet, and I really like the swirly look -- it makes me think of ripples in water, or waves, or the aurora borealis.

The flash washed it out a little bit, but I wanted you all to be able to see the swirling stitches. Since this one is for me, I only work on it now and then between other (more important) gift projects. I was hoping it would be about four feet square when I got done, but I've just started my third skein and it's only about twenty inches wide. I'm definitely going to need another bag of that yarn. I hope I can find another one in the bins. If not, what will I do?? Probably fill in the middle with something that matches and then finish the end with another band of this wool, I guess. But I hope I don't have to!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Monk's Hood

Well, that was easy. This simple pattern took two nights, and would have only taken one but I ran out of yarn had to go get another skein.  My brain has this weird idea that one skein of any given yarn, provided it's of a standard size, should be plenty for any small project, especially if it's thick. Which is ridiculous, of course!

I didn't have a pattern per se for this project. I was still learning my stitches, so this is just a simple repetition of single crochet, skip a stitch, single crochet, skip, etc until it's what you want. I determined the length of my foundation chain by looping it around my neck until it felt about the right size. (As you can guess, I'm a very precise person.) The yarn is from the Deborah Norville line of Serenity Chunky Weight, a color called "After Dark". The picture of it on me is very close to the true color -- for once my camera didn't play up!

It's soft as anything, and warm without being heavy. I'm very pleased with it.

And now that it's November, you may notice my entries here becoming less frequent. This is not because I've stopped making things -- goodness, no-- but because the things I'm making are going to be gifts for the holidays, and I don't want to spoil any surprises!  I've still got my Manuscript Challenge tunic to work on, along with any number of little things I'll want to share with you, so it's not like I'm going to disappear.  I hope you also will have interesting, lively things to keep you busy during these cold times. Go have a cup of cocoa and I'll talk to you later!