What I’m Up To

I need a black shrug for work – just a little airy something that comes to my elbows that I can slip on over sleeveless tops. It occurred to me that the quickest way to make this would be on a loom and if I use a single strand of worsted or dk weight yarn then that will give me that airy and/or lacy look I want.

The Purling Sprite has a really simple tutorial on her blog dated from January 2008 on the basics of creating a loomed shrug so I’m going to take her information and run with it. Stay tuned, dear reader, and I’ll post more information soon about how I make my shrug along with photos.

WIP: Bell Sleeved Shrug

Lately it seems like I’ve got a thing for knitting cream colored shrugs. I cast on this cute little shrug (also available on Ravelry) designed by Brooke Snow almost immediately after finishing my circular shrug in almost exactly the same color as my circular shrug. So far I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out.

by jeaniewh on Flckr

I’ve made a few modifications. The original pattern is knit flat and then the sleeves are seamed up afterwards. I am knitting the sleeves in the round to avoid have seaming. I’m then handling the middle section by knitting it back and forth. Also, I’m using a different yarn: the pattern calls for 2 skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease but I’m using Lion Brand Jiffy (if you’re unfamiliar with Jiffy it’s an acrylic but it looks like mohair). It’s fuzzy and cuddly – not at all a warm weather item but I started off working with yarn I had on hand. I’m finishing my 2nd skein of this yarn and about to start a 3rd and I’m only a few inches into the middle section. I think I’ll probably have to buy another skein.

Once completed I’ll post updates, my own photos, and my notes from Ravelry. Stay tuned!

Circular Shrug Update

The Circular Shrug I’ve been working on is almost done being knit up. I completed the middle section last night and started on the final ribbing section this morning. I’m not a huge fan of knitting all this knit 2 purl 2 ribbing but I like the way it looks so it’s worth it.

Wow, I can’t believe I’m actually about to FINISH my first knitted garmet project! Yippee!

Once I have all the seaming done I’ll take a few photos for your viewing enjoyment.

Turtleback Shrug

I just realized that I never posted about my OTHER pending WIP – a Turtleback Shrug. I was struck with inspiration to create this shrug one day while I was in Hobby Lobby looking at the knitting & crochet books at a book of turtleback knit sweaters, which I had never seen before but found interesting. I decided that I could make a crochet version without a pattern and so I set to work.

The idea is that you crochet a rectangle approximately 38”W x 36”L. Then fold the rectangle over on itself lengthwise and seam the sides up leaving enough of an opening at the folded edge for your arms to poke through comfortably. Slide your arms in and fold over the collar. Presto, a shrug/sweater. 🙂

I mentioned in my last post about the Circular Shrug that these two shrugs are constructed similarly and you might look at the photos in that post if you’re confused about how this shrug is going to come together.

Circular Shrug

I’m seriously wondering what’s wrong with me because I can’t seem to work on just one project at a time. Right now I have the following projects waiting to be finished:

  1. Turtleback Shrug
  2. Baletneck Sweater
  3. Spiral Tube Socks
  4. Fuzzy Purple Poncho
  5. Big Softie Snood
  6. String Bag
  7. Gray Ultimate Crochet Socks

That’s seven WIPS. Any other sane crafter might look at the above list and think to herself, “Gee, I should get some of these things finished.” Apparently I am either not sane or I have crafting ADD because I have started another project.

Seriously.

The first time I saw the pattern for the Circular Shrug I couldn’t wrap my head around how it was supposed to come together. I was still very new to knitting and the terms used in the pattern confused me (I’m still a newer knitter but I’ve been practicing) and, IMHO, the illustrations included with the pattern directions were also a little confusing. I added this to my favorites queue at Ravelry thinking that eventually I would be ready to knit a garment. The other night I was sorting through my favorites and saw this pattern and guess what? I wasn’t confused. I picked up my needles, some soft yarn, and set to work.

Basically, this pattern has you knitting up a long rectangle, folding it in half, then seaming up the sides leaving an opening for your arms to poke through. Once everything is seamed up the piece forms a circle when it’s laid down with the cast on and bound off edges facing down. (If this sounds familiar and you follow this blog you’ll know this is also the same idea behind my Turtleback Shrug.)

by julsey on Flickr

by julsey on Flickr

There are three sections of knitting – the first and last sections are knit 2, purl 2 ribbing and the middle section is mock ribbing (which I’m modifying to stockinette) – and I’ve completed the first section and have about a third of the middle section done.

I love the beginnings and the ends of projects but really don’t like when things get repetitive in the middle. I think that’s why I start and stop working on so many projects. I wonder if I should impose a ban on starting new projects until I finish work on the rest of my pending work? In theory this sounds like a logical idea and easy enough but how would I enforce this on myself?

Any suggestions?

In the mean time, I’m going to keep plugging along on this project because I really want to finish my first knitted garment.

Ballet Neck Sweater

I’m working on a Mary Jane Hall’s Ballet Neck Sweater from her book Crochet That Fits. It’s constructed side-to-side and I’ve never seen a sweater pattern made this way. So far I’m really liking how it’s turning out. The stitches are all worked in half double crochet in the back loops only which is going to help the fabric drape nicely. Interestingly, I can see when I hold the finished pieces up they look like they’ve been knit. I’m not sure how I feel about the sweater looking like it has been knit to be honest because I like the look of crochet but … well, it’s interesting. Not good or bad, just interesting. I’m trying to hold off on final judgment of the knit look thing until I’ve finished the sweater.

Status Report

WIPs

  • Big Softie Snood: I worked on this last night and I have a long weekend to really buckle down and get some work done. I hope to either get it finished or at the very least really see some progress towards getting it completed by the time Monday rolls around.
  • Hub’s Knit Scraps Hat: I just CO this hat yesterday using some scrap yarn in a color that he deemed wasn’t “too girly.” Honestly, men … But I digress. Since I don’t have enough to make the whole hat that color I’m going to use scrap yarn in stripes of coordinating colors. I sure hope that’s not too girly …

Long Term Projects:

  • Fuzzy, Purple Poncho: This is going to be a fun poncho to wear but I have to admit that the pattern has become a little boring otherwise this would have been completed a long time ago.
  • Sweet: Another case of something I’m sure I’m going to like wearing but this pattern is boring. Maybe it’s a combination of the pattern and the yarn I’m using. This might be turned into a hibernating project.

Hibernating:

  • Gray Ultimate Crochet Socks: I already have a pair of the fantastic socks crocheted up and I love them. I wear them to bed, with my boots, and when my tootsies need to be warm and cozy. I started this second pair and finished one sock and then stopped to work on something else and didn’t pick them up again. I have one-sock-itis. Ugh.
  • String Bag: The pattern for this market bag is not complicated and is crocheted using twine. It’s rough on my hands and I think I sat this aside to give my hands a break and I just sort of forgot about it. Now it’s resting in my project bag waiting for me to pick it up again.

Queued Up:

Posted in WIP

Work In Progress: Big Softie Snood

Example of old school snood

Back when I was a youngster, a snood was a stretchy band with a mesh net on it that held your hair loosly at the nape of your neck. They were popular for about two seconds. The other day I was reading an article about what those in the fashion industry predicted would be the “it” items for the coming years. One such item: the snood. I immediately pictured my above description and envisioned girls looking like they’d just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel.

If you are as clueless as I, please allow me to enlighten you: the international fashion community has decided to take a perfectly good word that already describes a perfectly nice (but maybe a little dated) item and give it a second meaning. Confusing. NOW a snood is also a scarf that call also be worn as a hood.

Purple Peppermint Loop Scarf by MaraBianca @ Etsy.com

Example of modern snood: Purple Peppermint Loop Scarf made by MaraBianca for sale @ Etsy.com

Snoods are very similar to cowls in that they’re worn around the neck, are large and loose, and are joined in the round. I think that the big difference between a cowl and a snood is that a cowl is supposed to be used as a neckwarmer and a snood is meant to be both a neckwarmer and a hood. Personally, I think both words can be used interchangeably.

When I was out yesterday I found some incredibly soft cotton yarn and I’m just improvising a  pattern for my own snood (the hood kind not the hair kind) in half double crochet. I’m making a rectangle about 20″ x 30″ and then I’ll stitch the piece together along the shorter edge. I’ll post pics of the finished project once completed.

I decided to make this since none of my coats have a hood. Yes, yes … I have tons of hats and just as many scarves but it’s nice to have some variety.