Finished Objects

Variation on a Bright Lights Scarf

I was looking back through past projects when I came across some photos of an early attempt at color work. I had really been wanting to dip my toe in the water on that technique, and Bright Lights was a lovely pattern to start with.

Bright Lights Scarf

I hate unfinished-looking reverse sides on things like scarves, and didn’t want to add fabric backing to my project, so I decided to make this a double knitting project instead of stranded. Take it away, Wikipedia:

Another common method is to alternate a knit stitch of yarn A with a purl stitch of yarn B. Since the yarn is held to the back for a knit, and to the front for a purl, this results in two sheets of stockinette stitches, with the wrong (purl) sides facing each other. Switching colors ties the two sides together for a single double-thick fabric. This method is often used for elaborate two-color designs, as there are few constraints on how the colors may be used. The finished item from this method is reversible, each side holding the negative image of the other.

My double-knit version does have some rather distracting edging, though – something to keep in mind for future projects. I opted to repeat only one section of the chart pattern because it was my favorite part of the design.

Bright Lights Scarf

Here’s the light side of the scarf:

Bright Lights Scarf

And here’s the striped reverse.

Bright Lights Scarf

Funny story about the color palette: I originally bought these colors of Caron SimplySoft to make a scarf inspired by Hermione’s in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but totally chickened out. It’s still on my “to make” list for the future, though.

Bright Lights Scarf

I also have the Latvian Loop cowl in my queue, and I like both sides of the pattern, so there can be no cheating on that one. Any tips/tutorials on stranded, in-the-round (shudder) knitting are welcome. 🙂

Fun Stuff

TNNA Report Roundup

Although I didn’t attend The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) trade show in Columbus, OH, I’ve really enjoyed reading trip reports from the talented professionals who were there. Here are a few blogs where you can learn more about the event:

P.S. I’m so jealous about all the people who got to have Jeni’s Ice Cream. I’ve never tried it, but they have a bunch of locations now.

P.P.S. It looks like the 2016 TNNA summer show will be in Washington, D.C.

Finished Objects, Inspiration

Fiber Art Exhibit + Community Art Project

The art center is doing something wonderful. It’s captured quite a bit of attention lately, and I want to share a few photos with my fiber-loving friends:

Fiber Exhibit

Fiber Art

Fiber Sculpture

I am completely in awe of this exhibit. I’ve yet to explore all of it, but what I’ve seen is incredibly inspiring. One of the best parts, for me, is that it encourages others to try knitting and crocheting. Take an instruction card, learn a skill.

Take One

Fiber

Doesn’t it just make you happy to imagine that someone who has always wanted to learn to knit or crochet might take a card home, give it a try, and discover a new passion?

And there’s another way that this exhibit encourages community involvement: They’re asking local knitters/crocheters to submit swatches, which they’ll assemble into a giant tapestry. This tapestry will capture the spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1.

From the Lake

The art center even provided the fiber – I received a skein of navy blue yarn. Since Georgia O’Keeffe is known for painting floral subjects, I decided to pick a pattern with a flower motif: The Crocodile Flower. It’s a gorgeous, heavily textured crocheted square pattern. I used almost an entire skein of Vanna’s Choice to make my 12″ square! (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

Crocodile Stitch Square

I hope to get pictures to share once the tapestry is complete. What a great way to connect the community!

Fun Stuff

Why I’ve Been MIA

I just wanted to check in to let you know I’m still here, doing well, and starting to attack my Ravelry queue once more! I’ve been scarce around these parts, but for good reasons: preparing for, experiencing, and then catching up after the most amazing trip!

There was a little of this:

Tower of London

And this:

Eiffel Tower Trocadéro

And of course, some of this:

Volvic Knitting Kit La Droguerie

I can’t wait to share details, and to get back in my normal routine of knitting, crocheting, and posting about knitting and crocheting. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll share some more photos over on my Instagram account.

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Romantic Pineapples Centerpiece

Let the romance continue! Here’s yet another example of a pattern so nice, I made it twice. This version of the Romantic Pineapples Doily was made for a very special family wedding. (See the other one here.)

Romantic Pineapples

For this centerpiece, I stuck with classic white in the form of Hilaza Rústica Eclat, a fine cotton thread with an iridescent strand running throughout.

Romantic Pineapples

That little extra sparkle makes all the difference (even if it’s really only visible in closeups)!

Romantic Pineapples

Note that this thread is NOT mercerized. From my limited experience with it (I generally stick with the more common mercerized brands), it means that the thread is softer and a more fragile. Mercerized thread is tough to break even when pulling on it hard – non-mercerized, not so much. It also has more of a matte finish, rather than the lustrous sheen you’ll see with mercerized thread.

Romantic Pineapples

The thread seemed more resistant to blocking, although I wouldn’t rule out user error on that score. Not that, erm, that’s an ongoing shortcoming. 🙂 Oh well, on to the next project!

Fun Stuff

Gilmore Girls Crocheted Scarf

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix lately – it’s just such a perfect show to “watch” while crafting. I’ve already seen all of the episodes anyway, plus there’s definitely enough dialogue to keep you informed of what’s happening by just listening. I’ve found Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy shows (West Wing, Sports Night) to be good for this, too. 😉

Repeat viewings do reward you, though – there are so many awesome details in the sets! The Hooked on Houses blog has a photo tour of Lorelai’s house and the Gilmore mansion, as well as the Dragonfly Inn (and the town of Stars Hollow). For super fans, there’s also a thorough guide to filming locations for the show on the Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog.

Needless to say, the knit and crocheted items on the show catch my attention – and there are a lot of them! One piece that I’d particularly like to recreate appears in at least a couple of episodes: Rory’s crocheted scarf.

Rory's Scarf

It appears prominently in Season 5 Episode 14: “Say Something.” This is the episode in which Rory borrows Logan’s limo service so she can comfort Lorelai in Stars Hollow. The limo causes a commotion in town, and Rory responds by poking out of the top and explaining that she’s “not usually in a limo.”

And good news for those who like the scarf as much as I do – there’s already a pattern that was inspired by this piece! It’s called, appropriately, “I’m Not Usually in a Limo,” and was designed by Maria Keays. (Available for free as of this writing.)

Rory Crocheted Scarf

In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

The scarf made an appearance in at least one other episode. Here, Rory layered it with other cold-weather wear. I think this was from Season 4, Episode 17.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

Bonus: Here’s another scarf that’s similar in appearance but clearly isn’t the same one. This one might be knit? It’s hard to tell, but it’s pretty.

Rory Scarf Gilmore Girls

WIP

A Trick for Knitting with Beads

I’ve really been on a beaded project kick lately – even adding beads to projects whose patterns didn’t already call for them. It can be frustrating and tedious. I don’t like the stringing method for adding beads, but I also haven’t been very successful with the crochet hook method. The holes in those little size 6 beads are too small/inconsistent, and I end up with lots of unusable beads.

So here’s my little trick for being able to use beads with very small holes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a slow process – but for me, it works better than the other methods.

I start with some very, very thin wire; it’s as thin as thread, but holds its shape. I’m not sure what gauge/size it is (it’s from my craft project stash and was purchased a long time ago), but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find something similar in the beading supply aisle at the craft store. I fold a piece of this wire in half, and then stick it through the loop where I’m going to place my next bead.

Knitting with Beads

Next, I thread both of the loose ends of the wire through the bead.

Knitting with Beads

I pull the bead down the wire and slip it over the yarn.

IMG_2211

I remove the wire, and I’m left with a bead on the yarn.

Knitting with Beads

Finally, I pull the yarn loop taut and continue knitting. As you can see, it’s still a bit of a fussy process – but it works for me. 🙂

Knitting with Beads