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. 🙂

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Hourglass Cowl

When I think about it, it’s kind of surprising how infrequently I wear things I’ve made. This project is an exception, though – I’ve put it in regular wardrobe rotation lately. I love the size, the colors, the pattern and the drape.

The Hourglass Cowl (free pattern on Ravelry) is really like two projects in one. The “front” of the piece has a curvy hourglass design…

Hourglass Cowl

…with a ribbed edging. I used Boutique Unforgettable yarn in Echo. I have to say, the chain craft store brands have really been “upping their game” in the past few years when it comes to premium acrylic options. The Unforgettable line has become one of my favorites.

Hourglass Cowl

The Hourglass pattern is definitely gorgeous enough on its own. It’s knit in the round, so there’s no need to worry about seaming. But wait, there’s more! 😉

Hourglass Cowl

The reverse side knits up as a basket weave pattern. I can’t decide which side I like better.

Hourglass Cowl

Here’s a closer look at the basket weave pattern, and the yarn. In manufacturer photos, the yarn often looks brighter than it actually is. As you can see, it’s actually a pretty muted color palette.

Hourglass Cowl

Here’s a side-by-side look at the cowl’s dual personalities to give you a sense of scale. I really think this was the best possible yarn choice for this project. It’s one of those patterns that you’ll want to make over and over!

Hourglass Cowl

Sparkly Broomstick Lace Cowl

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I can break out some of the scarf projects I’ve made over the past year. Including my first (and so far only) attempt at broomstick lace.

broomsticklace2

I made this sparkly broomstick lace cowl using this helpful tutorial. The yarn is Feza Jewel in Plum from my stash (two skeins). Wish I’d had a little more yarn to use so I could have made a longer infinity scarf.

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I’d also use a larger “broomstick” next time. I ended up using a jumbo knitting needle, but it didn’t make holes that were as large as I would have liked. The tutorial at the link above offers some good suggestions, and you can also buy broomstick lace pins that seem like they would work well. It was a fun and mostly stress-free project – a good one to try if you’re looking for a project that doesn’t require constant pattern-checking.

broomsticklace1

In My Stash: Feza Jewel

I hope autumn is going well for you so far – mine is flying by! I haven’t had as much craft time as usual, since I’ve been focused on a busy work schedule and on my other hobbies. I’m happy to get back into the habit!

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, 😉 but I love sparkly yarn. A lot. So when I saw this rich, deep shade of purple yarn, it was an easy pick.

Feza Jewel Yarn

I actually got this Feza Jewel yarn in St. Louis – it’s not available at my LYS. (Although I have seen some Viva Glitz locally and it caught my attention as well.)

Feza Jewel Yarn

The yarn is fairly soft – which is always a concern with yarn that contains metallic strands. I have fairly sensitive skin, but the cowl I made from this yarn (pics to come) doesn’t bother me.

Feza Jewel Yarn

Yarn Sale Jackpot

I stopped at Michaels after a long day yesterday to buy something other than yarn (I swear), but somehow wandered over to the yarn department anyway. And then I saw this clearance on Patons Glam Stripes for $1.79 (retail is $5.99). How often do you find yarn prices that begin with $1.-?

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Naturally, I cleaned them out of my favorite shade. The above pic is the rack after – sorry other teal lovers. You snooze, you lose. I liked the purple in the rack below too, but it wasn’t as heavily discounted.

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And here’s my loot. If this were a video, you’d be hearing gleeful giggling. Got to love a bargain. I think I’ll make a light cardigan out of this fun color, but that’s to be determined!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

Time for more show and tell. This baby blanket is my first knit lace project. Well, technically my second – I made two of these in a row. The first one didn’t get photographed – I gave it away as a baby gift before I started documenting my projects. How lovely is the Chalice Baby Blanket pattern? 

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

I really like the soft gray-green color of Caron Simply Soft I used for this blanket. Alas, it’s no longer available. (Story of our lives, amiright?) The other one of these I made was in white – really lovely for a baptism gift. It’s nice to have photographed my older projects like this one, so I can see some progress. My stitches are more even now than they were on this project!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

A Study in Contrasts

My most recent projects are on opposite ends of my fiber-crafting ability spectrum. He’s a little bit bulky-weight and knit, she’s a little bit cotton thread and crocheted.

Crochet and Knitting Projects

I ran out of thread while in the middle of one project, and had to wait until my order for more arrived. (Booooo. Hisssss.) In the midst of the waiting, I started the other. This is rare for me – I prefer to work on my projects one at a time. I usually work until completion, even when the project gets mind-numbingly boring and I reach what I like to refer to as my “point of despair.” As in, “Will this project EVER be done? I cannot make one. More. Stitch.” But then I do, and eventually it gets finished.

Crocheting and Knitting Projects

The thread crochet project is the Wild Rose table runner by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which I waxed poetic about in a previous post. I’m making it with Curio thread in Comfrey. I bought the thread without a project in mind – you’ll definitely need two balls of it for this table runner.

Crocheting Project

My “killing time” project is a GAP-tastic cowl made with Brava yarn in bulky. (Noticing a theme? Both this and the thread are from my amazing box of yarn.)

Knitting Project

It seems that many knitters/crocheters work on several projects at the same time, so I’m curious – am I alone in only working on one project at a time (most of the time)? Which do you prefer – working on several projects or just one, and why?