Happy New Year to you and your families! I’m looking forward to a long weekend and hope you’ll get some time off to relax, too.
Over Christmas break, I finished up a couple of projects for the baby boy. I’ve posted a few photos of my work on Instagram, and will be sharing more about them once I snap some better photos.
I’ve noticed a lot of articles about knitting and crocheting in the past few months, and thought I’d share some of them here in case you have time for some reading this weekend.
Happy Friday! I hope you have a chance to work on piles of projects this weekend. And if you need a quick refresher on just how quick and simple knitting is, check out this tutorial courtesy of The Daily Show. The next time someone suggests that you should try selling the intricate shawl you’ve been working on for a month, just remember how easy it is (and how cheap the yarn was). 😉
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.
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.
Here’s the light side of the scarf:
And here’s the striped reverse.
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.
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. 🙂
Husbands can be so melodramatic sometimes, am I right?
Luckily, mine is quite patient most of the time. Happy Friday! 🙂
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:
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.
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.
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.)
I hope to get pictures to share once the tapestry is complete. What a great way to connect the community!
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.
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.)
In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.
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.
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.
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.
Next, I thread both of the loose ends of the wire through the bead.
I pull the bead down the wire and slip it over the yarn.
I remove the wire, and I’m left with a bead on the yarn.
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. 🙂