Yarns

Box of Yarn

I’ve got a jar of dirt a box from Knit Picks, and guess what’s inside it? That’s right, more stuff for my stash! I took advantage of the awesome sale at the end of last year, and scored an insane amount of stuff for just a little $. Fan for life (probably).

Box of Yarn

I picked a range of stuff to try, from bulky yarn (I haven’t used anything thicker than worsted in, oh, forever) to my beloved thread (Curio). Merry early Christmas to me! I’ve already made three things with the yarn from this box, with a fourth in progress. Can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on.

In the meantime, for those who like my Pirates of the Caribbean reference at the beginning of the post, please enjoy this video of the scene. Aside from the obvious crochet/knitting projects, I’ve spent my day so far at a lovely baby shower and then played my oboe for the first time in ages. How is your weekend going? 🙂

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

The second part of my “mini” and “mega” doily challenge was to use the Sunburst Pineapple Doily pattern for its original thread crochet purpose. For this one, I used Aunt Lydia’s (Size 10) in River Blue.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

You’ll notice that I took some liberties with the pattern, so it looks a bit different than the doily blanket. The points of this doily don’t overlap, but rather stay flat. The overlapping points are made by finishing off the doily on one of the rounds, then crocheting each point individually. But here, I continued crocheting in rounds.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

I chose to make this change for practical reasons. The first was that the doily was getting too large for its diameter category in the crochet contest. The second was that I was running out of thread, and the store didn’t have any left in stock. So, I improvised the edge as I frequently do. How cheap resourceful.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily

For such a simple, repetitive design, it really does have impressive results. And what a great colorway! My thread crochet version got a fourth place honor, and the judges commented on the nice shade of the thread.

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Doily Blanket

I challenged myself to a task for the contest last year: make two versions of a doily in different sizes. The “mini” version was to be made of thread, and the “mega” version was to be made from yarn. Here’s the final result of the larger version: a doily blanket.

Sunburst Doily Afghan

The pattern is the Sunburst Pineapple doily, which is a rather large doily even when made with its intended thread. My blanket version was made out of the lovely Antique Teal shade of I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby.

Sunburst Pineapple Doily Afghan

No awards for this one, but I do really like it. In fact, it’s one of the few crocheted afghans that I have out on display. It’s draped over the living room loveseat at this very moment. 🙂

Sunburst Pineapple Doily Afghan

Uncategorized

Crochet and Knitting Tote Bag

I’ve already shared where I store my knitting and crochet tools, so here’s a peek into my knitting and crochet tote bag. It’s a Thirty One Gifts Organizing Utility Tote in the same Turquoise Cross Pop pattern as my Timeless Beauty Bag.

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

Just look at those pockets. It’s majestic, I tell you. My favorite part is that a drink cup fits perfectly into them. I know that a lot of people use this bag as a diaper bag because bottles fit in those pockets well.

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

But for me, this bag is all about the crafts. I keep the essentials in those pockets, such as my pink “women’s” measuring tape. (I’m not kidding, it really is labeled specifically as a women’s measuring tape. Because… it’s pink… I guess? I got a kick out of that and now I use it all the time. It also keeps the husband from stealing it, so that’s a plus.)

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

Ahem. Above, you can see how nicely my project supplies – my hook and needle bag, a few skeins of yarn, and a couple of doily pattern books – fit inside. It’s good stuff! I don’t sell these products, but I do know a couple of consultants so it’s dangerously easy for me to order. 🙂

Yarns

In My Stash: Knit Picks Chroma in Autumn Day

Around Halloween, I picked up a few skeins of Knit Picks Chroma (fingering weight) in Autumn Day. On sale. Pinch me. 🙂 It’s lucky that I took some photos of the yarn quickly, because it has already been transformed into a shawl and is pinned to the blocking boards as I type.

knit picks chroma autumn day 1

Having purchased this yarn in the Lollipop colorway, I knew what to expect this time. Although I have to say that, after working with angora yarn, this wasn’t quite as soft as I remembered. 🙂 Check out the lovely, slow-transitioning colors.

knit picks chroma autumn day 3

This yarn reminded me of something when I placed the order, and when it arrived I had an opportunity to compare. The colorway makes me think of the cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It’s a closer match in person, but you get the idea. Love it!

knit picks chroma autumn day 2

Yarns

In My Stash: Rowan Angora Haze

Hi there! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was restful, but not by choice. I wasn’t feeling so great, so I didn’t wander too far from home. On the plus side, I got lots of crochet time in between naps.

I have been back at the thread crochet – I just can’t seem to stay away. I have a couple of doilies (I finally started working out of Doilies with a Twist – yay!) drying on the blocking mats now, and I can’t wait to get them photographed. When I do get back to thicker yarns, though, I have plenty of tempting choices. Exhibit A:

rowan angora haze 1

Rowan’s Angora Haze. I was lucky enough to have my name drawn as a door prize winner at knitxmidwest, and got a couple of skeins of this soft yarn. (Jen of makexdo is a Rowan ambassador.)

rowan angora haze 2

I’m now the proud owner of one skein each of the Hug and Embrace colorways. Handling this yarn is like petting a bunny, because, well. 🙂 Fiber content: 11% Wool, 20% Polyamide, 69% Angora.

rowan angora haze 3

Now, what to make? Included in the giveaway goodie bag was a pattern book. I’m thinking I could pull off the Judy beret or Judy gloves… believe it or not, I’ve never knitted anything in the round. Any votes?

Fun Stuff

knitxmidwest Part 2

knitxmidwest was a two-day event, and the second day was just as much fun as the first. You may have caught photos of some of the decorations in my Part 1 post, but check out this closeup of the pumpkin-and-cat motif. The organizers certainly know their demographic – the decor was a big hit. 🙂

knitxmidwest decor

The second day included a session of “knitting yoga” stretches – much needed after the previous day’s knitting marathon. 🙂 We also heard about handspun fiber from Maggie of Girl With A Sword Productions, and got to watch her work on some amazing creations.

knitxmidwest girl with a sword yarn

The Stash Swap was a great idea.

knitxmidwest stash swap

There was also a bunting that grew as the weekend progressed. Several retreat participants contributed flags to create a fun group project. This would be an awesome activity for a small knitting group, too, to celebrate a baby/bridal shower or just for fun.

knitxmidwest bunting

Still. Cabling.

knitxmidwest project

There was a door prize drawing, and I won a couple of skeins of gorgeous yarn, plus a pattern booklet. (Yay!) I’ll share details in an upcoming post. I have a couple of pattern possibilities in mind for this yarn, but I might need your help deciding. 🙂

It was such a relaxing weekend – I can’t wait to go again!

knitxmidwest day 2

Fun Stuff

knitxmidwest Part 1

Last weekend I finally got to attend the event I had been looking forward to foreverknitxmidwest, the first (of hopefully many) knitting retreat hosted by Jen of makexdo and the ladies of Hill Vintage & Knits. The setting was picture-perfect:

knitxmidwest Walnut Woods

I made my way to this picturesque lodge, ready for a weekend of fun and yarn.

knitxmidwest Walnut Woods lodge

The lodge was filled with lovers of all things yarn, and I can’t tell you how great it was to be among them. Some came in groups, some came with a friend, and some came ready to make new friends. Lots of laughter and sharing of tips, patterns, and stories.

knitxmidwest Walnut Woods lodge

Most of the time was unstructured, and I appreciated having most of the weekend set aside to work on projects. There were a few scheduled activities, including a presentation from Robyn of she makes hats. She shared her journey to making 10,000 hats (most given away to charity) in her lifetime. Her project is amazing, and her blog is definitely worth following.

knitxmidwest she makes hats

The food was great, too. Just check out these adorable knitting cupcakes, complete with golf tees as knitting needles. Definitely worthy of the paparazzi that swarmed them. 🙂

knitxmidwest knitting cupcakes

Here’s a closer look at the adorableness.

knitxmidwest knitting cupcake

I spent the entire weekend working on my cable-knit scarf. All. Weekend. I had long since reached what I like to call the “point of despair” in this project, and was just ready to be done and start something new. But… I love how it has turned out, so it was worth it. More to come!

P.S. How cute are those can coolers?!

knitxmidwest project

Fun Stuff

Chicago Trip

The husband and I snuck away for a weekend in Chicago recently, and it was wonderful! In the midst of a busy season, it was great to take a mini trip and get in some quality time.

Our “must-do” was the Willis Tower Skydeck Chicago, 1,353 feet above the ground. 103 stories. See those tiny cubes on the side of the building in this very zoomed-in photo? Yeah, that’s where we headed.

Chicago Skydeck

I was worried about crowds (having been warned that it gets busy on weekends), so we got there very early. We were there on a Saturday, and it opened at 9:30 a.m. – not 10 a.m. like the website indicated. That was good news for us, because we were in the first group to go up for the day. The process of getting in and going through security/ticketing was remarkably efficient. We didn’t feel rushed at all as we took photos in the Skydeck. Here’s a view from the top – not for the faint of heart.

Chicago Skydeck

We got out nice and early, and headed off to do more sightseeing. Next up was another iconic landmark at Millenium Park. After taking some obligatory reflection photos in the Cloud Gate and seeing the park’s other highlights, we were ready for the next stop.

Chicago Millenium Park Cloud Gate

The husband and I walked over to Navy Pier, but didn’t do anything except stop in a gift shop and take some photos at the end before continuing our tour of the city.

chicagonavypier1

We happened to be visiting during the Open House Chicago event, and since we had time we decided to go to Tribune Tower. The building is beautiful, and stones from famous locales are embedded in its exterior.

Chicago Tribune Tower

Because of this special event, we were able to tour the Tribune’s digital media department, which is located where the newspaper used to be printed. It’s a very open, industrial-looking space that combines old and new elements. I was so glad we were visiting during this rare time it was open to the public.

Chicago Tribune Tower Digital Media

Final stop for the day: The Art Institute of Chicago. We were pretty wiped out by this point, and didn’t have the energy to see as much as we would have liked. It was great to see the highlights of the museum, however, such as Marc Chagall’s America Windows.

Art Institute Chicago America Windows

The next day we spent a significant amount of time at the Museum of Science and Industry. This museum was playing host to a fantastic exhibit of Disney memorabilia. It was amazing to see items such as the carpet bag from Mary Poppins, the prop storybooks from Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, the first ticket ever purchased at Disneyland, and Walt Disney’s personal notes written on scripts and signage. Just wow.

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Capping off the trip was a stop at a yarn shop – Loopy Yarns. Like my other experiences with local yarn stores, it was wonderful.

chicagoloopyyarns1

Helpful staff, a nice selection (including a lower-level sale section), and, importantly for the ever-patient husband, a comfy sitting area. 🙂

Chicago Loopy Yarns

I picked up a couple of skeins of yarn, branching out into a color that I wouldn’t normally choose. It was an unusual choice for me, and will be a nice reminder of our fun trip. They even wrapped up the yarn in tissue paper – it’s the little things that make a difference. More info about this yarn to come!

chicagoyarnpurchase

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.