Monday, April 16, 2012

Dishcloth Mania

Recently I’ve completed several crocheted (and one knit) dishcloth.  Nothing super fancy – mostly functional. 

This first set was originally intended for someone else.  Over the course of a couple days I knocked out a set of four.  They now live in my kitchen drawer (in case you weren’t aware, you can never have enough knit or crocheted dishcloths…)
I didn’t use much of a pattern.  If you’re looking for one though, here’s a standard Granny Square dishcloth pattern.  Mine are a 4-chain ring into which I double-crocheted 4 times.  On each row, I chained one between side dcs (double crochets), and at the corners I chained two between the corner dcs.  This creates a cleaner corner, in my opinion.  I crocheted 7 rounds total.  (Please forgive my inadequate explanation of my crocheting – I’m a noob when it comes to crochet and only have the most basic understanding of how it all works!!)

The yarn is Pisgah Yarn and Dying Company, Incorporated, 100% Cotton in Pageantry.  This cone was on super-sale at Walmart (a place I so rarely frequent…) so I snatched it up quick.  I’ve got a lot of cotton left for many more dishcloths – crocheted or otherwise.

I also crocheted 2 dishcloths (using the same pattern as above) and knit one dishcloth using the Garter Stitch Dishcloth pattern.  This yarn is Lion Brand Lion Cotton Solid in Natural.  I loved using this cotton.  I don’t dislike Lily Sugar ‘N’ Cream or the Pisgah Yarn, but this was so soft and supple compared to what I usually use.  Perhaps because it was undyed?  My hands are usually really sore by the time I’ve finished knitting, I can’t wait to put it down.  But I could knit with this all day.  The 3 dishcloths didn’t even use up a full skein of yarn, which is awesome.  I purchased 2 balls of it at JoAnns, and you can bet I’ll be using it for more cloths in the future!

These last 3 dishcloths were for Mr. Man’s cousin and her fiancĂ©.  They are getting married this June and so I made them for the bridal shower.  Mr. Man’s grandma knit us some dishcloths back when we were married and they quickly became some of my favorite cloths to use.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Moody Kerchief

I admired this pattern for a very long time before casting on.  But there was always something more important, more pressing, in line ahead of it.  Finally, I have my own version in my closet and it makes me so happy!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m blogging far less frequently this year than last.  At the moment, I just don’t have enough hours in the day or free hands in the evening.  But what’s good about this is I still have the ability to knit, even if you’re not seeing everything I make!  This year may be a year of more selfish knitting.  I know I’ll continue to knit gifts, but already I’ve done so much more for my family and myself than in the past. 

Moody is knit with Cascade Pima Cotton in Teal & Sand.  My only mods were to knit the eyelet work in teal instead of sand.  I wanted that detail to stand out.  The garter sections that border the eyelet sections are amazing to me in the way they really make this design pop.  Again, I think that’s why I love where I decided to place the teal.  But isn’t it amazing what you can do with just garter stitches?

This shawl was complete awhile back.  End of January maybe?  The cotton was lovely to work with and makes this a heavier shawl, but I really enjoy and appreciate the drape.

Mom was kind enough to model for me, as I’m not great at taking pictures of myself wearing hand knits.  Any tips on how to make it easier?
My only wish is that this was a bit larger. But it is meant to be a kerchief and will be great for cool summer evenings. 
As for the pattern – easy.  A beginner would have no trouble with this one.  Well-written and easy to knit while watching tv or the kids.  I love Kristin Kapur’s designs and will be knitting more from her the in the future!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday 4/11

Two weeks later and I'm finally posting again.  Ever get tired of me saying that I'll be better about posting more often?

I have made some progress on several WIPs.  In fact, at least half of what I shared last time is complete and just needs proper photos so I can share them with you.

What does that leave me with, you ask?  Plenty.

I'm still working on my Whippoorwill shawl.  I'm on row 78.  I had put it down for a while and couldn't remember exactly where in the pattern I had left off.  So the first time picking it back up again was slow going.  And the rows where I'm alternating skeins move slower.  But I'm on a solid-color section now and think it will go quicker again for a bit.  I have noticed a ruffly, rippled look forming where the increase rows are placed.  On each increase row you're increasing by several stitches each time.  I can't wait to see what the end result looks like.  This is a project I work on when I'm just not sure what else to do because I have some other required knitting to complete this month.

Evie's Sweater is still in my "active projects" bag, but it hasn't seen the light of day in a while.  But I want it finished before Fall arrives this year, so it'll probably get completed this summer.  I should probably get it back out again, double-check and document where I'm at in the pattern so I don't forget like last time.

I've started a new shawl.  The pattern is Be.Leaf by Kitmay Figueroa.  I'm participating in a swap in the Odd Duck Swaps of Ravelry group. The theme for this swap is Fairy Tales.  Take a minute to think about what how you define a fairy tale, and then another moment to think about all the different ways you can classify and define those two simple words.  Then throw the theme into a very large group of people and you get a very varied definition.  And I think it's fantastic!  Personally, I like a modern twist to the classic fairy tales.  I've come to realize that two of my favorite stories are Red Riding Hood and Rumpelstiltskin.  And it just so happens that my partner feels the same.  This helps when picking items for her swap package!  Okay, okay, I'm getting off track.

Anywho, I've knitting Be.Leaf because it reminds me of the forest.  I wanted to knit a shawl (I thought about a hood or cape to be representative of Red Riding Hood, but wanted something more practical, so shawl it was).  And I wanted the shawl to elicit the feeling of being in the woods, running from the wolf.  This shawl truly needs a post of it's own because of my thought process behind picking this shawl, but long story short - there is a leaf pattern that is unique and fit the theme and "feel" that I wanted.  I originally wanted to knit it in a gradient shawl, light moss green to dark olive green to brown, but I don't know that my partner really would have liked that.  So I settled for a darker teal color that should showcase the pattern really well.  I just cast on with Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Kenai.  I'm still on the stockinette portion, but I love the feel of the fabric already.

I'm also participating in the H is for Hedgehogs & Hippos swap in the Itty Bitty group.  I haven't done a swap in a bit and I really wanted to do this one.  The Hedgehog to Squirrel toy by Susan B. Anderson is truly the cutest!  I've picked out the yarn for the Hedgehog and hope to cast on soon.

There are a few other knit swap goodies in the plan, but I'll have to see what time allows.  And I apologize that I have no pictures to share with you today - I have been so lacking in the picture-taking department!