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

Finished Objects

Glitz at the Ritz Shawl

Now that the fair contest is over and I’ve picked up my projects, it’s time for a good old-fashioned online show and tell. 🙂 So without further fanfare, here’s part 1 of my 16-part (!) series of posts on this year’s contest entries.

glitzshawl1

Project numero uno is my take on the lovely Glitz at the Ritz shawl pattern by Helen Stewart. It’s available for FREE and is incredibly fun to make.

glitzshawl9

Okay, maybe the beading part was less-than-fun – as I have discovered before. If you’ve ever tried to shove a loop of yarn through a Size 6 bead (I used a pushpin to “fish” the yarn through – good times), you know what I’m talking about. Multiplied by about a zillion beads. Yep, it was a time-consuming, finger-endangering process.

glitzshawl8

Roll that beautiful bead footage. I used Bead Treasures beads in Beach Party, which coordinated very well with the yarn (I just omitted the green beads in the pack, and still had more than enough). As for the yarn, it’s the Araucania Nuble yarn from my stash – purchased on my trip to St. Louis.

glitzshawl6

I love the contrast between the main body lace pattern and the “star lace” pattern toward the bottom edge. It’s such a great pattern – reviewing these photos makes me want to make another one!

glitzshawl7

The edging was simple and stress-free. It’s all in the blocking!

glitzshawl5

Star lace makes this a yarn-thrifty project. I used less than two skeins of the Araucania Nuble – crazy for a project of this size. The beads lend weight and substance to this otherwise-airy shawl.

glitzshawl4

Love the staggered polka dots in the main body lace.

glitzshawl3

Although this one didn’t receive a ribbon, it got a perfect score in the judged criteria. (It’s a very competitive category – I don’t envy the judges for having to make tough calls!) I’m proud of it because I learned a couple of new techniques.

glitzshawl2

Now that I’m done writing about this shawl, I’ll get back to my Gail (Nightsongs) – which I just frogged for the umpteenth time this weekend! With great yarn comes great responsibility…

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Ready or not…

…it’s almost time to enter my knitting and crochet projects into this year’s fair contest. It looks like I’ll have 16 entries this year – down from last year’s 20, but still not too bad. 🙂 Here’s a peek at a few of my projects:

Victorian Romantic Pineapples 5

glitzshawl7

Circular Motif Shawl by Babycakes Creates

Nennir Scarf

Donna Spiral Doily

And now that I’ve cut myself off from making contest projects before this year’s deadline, I’m spending time on some fun projects with no pressure. I’m finally using my Blue Heron Rayon Metallic to make a shawl, and it… is… amazing. It just knits up beautifully. More on that project later!

Uncategorized

Knitting in the News: Knitting Through Grief

I came across this interesting article about how C.J. Arabia got into knitting while mourning the loss of her mother.

Arabia says “knitting is a way to just kind of float. You’re floating with the waves, just bobbing up and down. That’s how the stitches are for me. That’s all you can think about.”

A lot of people comment about how meditative and therapeutic knitting can be. For me, it entirely depends on the project. What about you?

Fun Stuff

Geeky Crafter Gifts

When a gift-giving opportunity comes up, crafty people are shockingly easy to buy for. The only type of people who are easier to shop for? Geeky crafters. 🙂

I do have to give my husband credit for these Christmas gifts, though – he definitely knows me well. Check out my awesome Doctor Who stitch markers.

Doctor Who Stitch Markers

I use stitch markers now. Stitch markers are cool.

All of your Doctor Who favorites, represented in useful stitch marker form. The husband found them on Etsy (yes, my husband buys me things from Etsy – be jealous) – the seller’s shop is here.

Doctor Who Stitch Marker

I use these while working on my projects, and drinking out of my Downton Abbey mug. While the cat sits on my lap. And I’m watching episodes of Downton Abbey or Sherlock. Periodically taking a break to read blogs or social media. I have become a parody of myself.

Downton Abbey Mug

WIP

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?

Fun Stuff

Gift Ideas for Knitters and Crocheters

Stumped about what gift to get the knit/crochet lover in your life? Not sure what to tell those who ask what you want for Christmas? I have a few ideas to get you started. Let me tell you, it was a real sacrifice to research this post. 😉

“Splurge” Yarns. Knitters and crocheters never get tired of yarn shopping. Unfortunately, our bank accounts (and spouses?) do. That’s why getting a skein or two of a luxury yarn as a gift is so great. Pictured: Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini in Granite Peak.

Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini

 

Ottlite. I don’t have one of these, but I have heard great things about the powerful, color-accurate light they produce. Bonus points for models (like this one) with magnifiers (thread crochet, anyone?) and supply-storage bases (Where is that cable needle? Oh, there it is.)

Ottlite Table Lamp

Project Bags. Crafters have a lot of supplies, so we need a handy place to put it all when we’re on the go. Project bags are available in a variety of price ranges. I like the delia Q Isabella bag pictured below – with pockets that button closed!

Yarn.com Della Q Bag

Hook and Needle Cases. Did I mention that fiber crafters have a lot of supplies? That makes a good needle and/or hook case so indispensable. The hook and needle case I use (Thirty One’s Timeless Beauty Bag) isn’t actually meant for the purpose – it’s a beauty supply bag. But the elastic bands meant for brushes work great for holding knitting needles, and the clear interior pockets allow me to find the right crochet hook quickly. I also use the Thirty One Organizing Utility Tote as my project bag most of the time, which works great.

Thirty One Timeless Beauty Bag

Fun Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks. A pretty set of crochet hooks or knitting needles can make a project even more enjoyable. I like these gorgeous new Caspian knitting needles from Knit Picks.

Knit Picks Caspian Needle Set

Printed books. Knitters and crocheters can never have too many patterns, so pattern books are always a great idea. I’ve heard good things about Crochet at Home, for example.

Crochet at Home Book

Magazines. You can find a lot of great patterns in magazines, too. I still love getting magazines in the mail, and for people like me, getting a new issue of a crochet pattern magazine such as Interweave Crochet is like Christmas every time.

Interweave Crochet Magazine

Pattern Downloads. Great patterns aren’t just in print – many are available as online downloads. Because so many knitters and crocheters use Ravelry patterns, you could consider gifting one of the paid patterns.

Ravelry Pattern

Stitch Markers. I haven’t had too many opportunities to use stitch markers, but with adorable options available through Etsy artists, I might have to start. These cookie-shaped stitch markers are by OneElf.

OneElf Etsy Cookie Stitch Markers

WIP

Wintery Weekend Projects

I spent most of this weekend trying to stay warm. If I needed any proof that winter is here, I definitely got it when I left work on Friday. This is the view out the windshield as I waited for my car to warm up enough to scrape. And yet another reason why it’s good to have a portable hobby such as knitting or crochet. 🙂 Do you usually carry a WIP in your purse/bag?

ice and yarn

As you can see, I’m working on a project with my Rowan Angora Haze. It’s so fluffy! I decided to make the Judy Beret, my first knit hat. Wish me luck! I’ve already frogged it at least three times. It seems slouchy, but my gauge is pretty accurate so it must just be the design. Does anybody know how easy it would be to shrink it a little if it comes out too loose for my liking?

I just wish my skin wasn’t sensitive to this fiber. It’s not unbearable, but I don’t know that I will be able to keep the project for myself, and I don’t see myself working with angora any time soon. But.. I won the yarn, and it was just too pretty to resist. What can I say, I suffer for my art. 🙂

Inspiration

I’m Just So Busy… and Other Terrible Excuses for Putting Your Hobbies on Hold

Sunburst Pineapple Crochet Hooks

I’m not sure what causes the innate desire to “justify” our personal time, but I know I’m guilty of it. At times, especially when I’m extremely busy (as I have been the past few weeks), I feel like the time I spend on hobbies is somehow wasteful.

This feeling often occurs on an unconscious level, and it’s only upon later reflection that I realize I didn’t enjoy my already limited crafting time as much as I could have – because I was worrying about all of the other things I was “supposed” to be doing. How unfortunate! The truth is that those things could wait. If the task needed to be a priority, then I wouldn’t have been working on my hobbies in the first place.

I know that personal time is important, and that having my own hobbies is rewarding. Here are the main reasons that, for me, using some of my free time for them is worthwhile:

  • Working on my hobby is personally satisfying. I love the feeling of turning skeins of yarn into beautiful knit or crocheted items. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride in my abilities – especially when I have learned a new technique.
  • It allows me a chance to relax. Anyone who has a creative hobby knows that it isn’t always relaxing. Just ask me how my closed-loop cable-knit scarf is going. 🙂 But most of the time, knitting or crocheting (or scrapbooking or blogging or…) help me clear my mind. And that refreshes me for when it’s time to get back to necessary errands or tasks around the house.
  • I have a new opportunity to connect with others. I’m always amazed by the interesting conversations that get started when I mention my hobbies. More often than not, the person I am talking to has either tried knitting or crocheting or knows someone who has. They may even begin talking about a loved one who has passed on, sharing fond memories of how that person enjoyed the hobby. In any case, it’s an opportunity to learn things about a person I might never have discovered. This goes for online interactions, too – how fantastic to have online social channels on which to share projects and advice!

Those are just a few of the many reasons why I find taking time for my own pursuits so important. I do have to be careful not to add my craft projects to my “to-do” list, letting each one become just another thing I have to get done. These activities are supposed to be fun, and if I need to take a night off to just relax in front of the TV or surf the internet, I know that’s okay too!

What are your main reasons for spending your valuable spare time on your hobbies?

Finished Objects

A Tale of Two Harunis

Hot on the heels of my Chroma Lollipop Haruni project wrapup, here is the other Haruni shawl that I made soon after. This one was made with my Knit Picks Comfy in Sea Foam.

knit picks comfy yarn haruni shawl

I’m still not too sure about this one. Because the yarn doesn’t have the “halo” that the Chroma has, it seems less forgiving of my uneven stitches.

knit picks comfy yarn haruni shawl

When it’s flat, like it is in the photos, it looks great. But drape it over anything… like, oh, say, shoulders… and it doesn’t seem to hang quite right. I do love the color, though, and it was nice to use a solid shade to give more emphasis to the pattern. Another thing I like? The fact that I went with the crocheted edging on this one rather than the I-cord option (which I used on my Chroma version).

knit picks comfy yarn haruni shawl

In any case, I was very pleased to make this lovely pattern again! I rarely repeat patterns, but I wouldn’t mind creating several more Haruni shawls.

Pssst… I went on a little weekend getaway and yes, it involved a yarn-store stop. Can’t wait to share the details and my haul. 🙂

To see this project on Ravelry, click here.