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.
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:
- Turtleback Shrug
- Baletneck Sweater
- Spiral Tube Socks
- Fuzzy Purple Poncho
- Big Softie Snood
- String Bag
- 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.
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?
In the mean time, I’m going to keep plugging along on this project because I really want to finish my first knitted garment.
I’ll admit it: I haven’t had my looms out much since I taught myself how to crochet and then subsequently learned to needle knit. It’s not that I don’t enjoy loom knitting but, honestly, after learning the other two crafts, I was beginning to find looming to be too limited in the items I can create.
Having said that, when I was looking through my completed projects page at Ravelry a few days ago I remembered what fun it was making Denise Layman’s Mary Jane Parkers, (if you are not a Ravelry member you can also download this pattern for free on her website).When I made my first pair of these adorable Mary Jane style slippers for my mother last year I really liked how quickly the pattern worked up. I had originally wanted to make a pair of these slippers for myself but never got around to it and so having rediscovered the pattern I began looking through my yarn stash for the right yarn. I found some Lion Brand Jiffy yarn which was just perfect – not too bulky and not too thin – for the blue Knifty Knitter loom and set to work.
All told, I spent about 3 hours making two slippers. They turned out perfectly sized. I went back after the heel was seamed up and decided to add a single crochet border around the edges in a contrasting color just to give the slippers a little flair and they look really cute.
I’m happy I picked up my looms again for these slippers. It made me remember that I can do more than just make hats and scarves with my looms.
While I was doing some much needed housekeeping with my bookmarks today, I stumbled on a site I’d saved several months ago on making your own yarn out of recycled t-shirts.
When I originally saw this I remember thinking, “Wow! What a clever idea!” and then I quickly buried the page away in my bookmarks. Seeing it again reminded me that I had more than one t-shirt that could be made into yarn.
I quickly gathered my supplies and set to work on two shirts. The shirts were made into “tarn” in no time flat.
And because the colors coordinated with stripes on a hand towel I found recently I’ve decided to crotchet this into a granny square bath mat for our master bathroom.
I need to find shirts in yellow, orange, and lime green to finish this off. I’m going to make a trip Goodwill tomorrow after class in search of the perfect materials.
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.
As you may or may not be aware my husband and I only recently moved to Memphis. I’ve had a difficult time find permanent work since we’ve been here and decided that 1) with the economy showing no signs of turning around and opening up tons of jobs any time soon and 2) since I never finished when I went the first time I should finally go back to school. And so in January I re-started my academic career.
Why am I bringing this up, you ask? So that I can give some kind of excuse for why this blog about my yarny exploits has been neglected. I have actually been looming, crocheting, and knitting but with classes and homework it’s become harder and harder to remember to post about my progress!
I’m working on better managing my down time so that I’m being more productive and one of the goals of managing this time is to work in time for blogging, even if it’s only 5 minutes a week because 5 minutes is 5 minutes more than I’ve been doing. Maybe then I won’t feel like I’m neglecting this blog? Not that most of my visitors will care but I care and I’m going to make an effort to post new content regularly.
This is the Yarn Harlot and she is one heck of a fast knitter. I bow down before her amazing speed.
Just like with my last knitted hat I used the Super Simple Hat Calculator to make a hat for myself that actually fits. I’m happy with the results.
This was a really simple hat and knit up more quickly than my first attempt with this pattern. I am a new knitter and assume this hat went quicker because I used larger needles?
On a side note: I only got to wear this once. I wore it to class today. I had it on when I sat down and I could not find it after I searched all of my belongings before I left class. It’s an auditorium style lecture hall and I looked under the entire row I sat it and the rows in front and behind me. Either it got wedged into my seat and I couldn’t see it or someone walked off with it. Ugh! The good news is that I have plenty of this yarn left to make another if I want.
I used Mary Young Smith’s Super Simple Hat Calculator and cast on using size 3 circular needles and scrap acrylic yarn. Looking back I probably should have used larger needles in say size 7 or 8. This one of the first hats I’ve needle knit (not knit on a loom) and I wasn’t sure what size needles to use. Live and learn, huh?
1/15 – I don’t know if it’s because I don’t think my husband will like what I make him – even though he’s really easy to please – or if it’s because I want it to be extra special but whatever the reason I’ve never knit or crocheted anything for him. I finally decided that the poor boy needs a hat so I asked for him to look through my yarns and see if he liked any colors. Well, I have tons of scraps of acrylic yarn and of course what he picked out was something I only have a little bit of so after we picked out some coordinating colors hub’s only request was that anything I make him wasn’t too “girly.” No problem! 🙂
1/20 – Worked on this some more over the weekend and the past few days. I’d say it’s about 1/3 of the way finished. Maybe it’s because I’m still new at it but knitting is going so much slower for me than crochet.
1/22 – I’m starting on the decrease rows today and should have the hat done tonight but I don’t think hubs will wear this hat and that it will end up either being my hat or given away to a family member living somewhere in a colder part of the world. Reason? Hubs looked over at me while I was knitting today and said, “Hmmm, looks kind of … um … like a Rasta hat. Is that what you had in mind?” Now, hubs is pretty conservative when it comes to color and even though he picked out the colors I’m not sure he realized how they would look together. The hat’s colors do kind of have a Jamaican feel to them but the hat itself is a beanie not a tam or beret. We’ll see what he thinks when it’s finished.
1/23 – Finished this last night. Hubs hasn’t seen the finished project yet (he works nights) so I’m not sure he’ll like it or not. If he doesn’t it’s definitely not going to be mine because it’s HUGE on me. LOL If he likes it I hope it fits him.
1/24 – OK, so the hat fits him but he’s not crazy about it. It does NOT fit me and as you can see in the photos it’s huge. I feel a little bad that this was a disappointment so I’m going to head out and buy some yarn for a special hat just for him. Clearly I can’t allow him to choose the yarn since he picked these colors and wasn’t happy. I guess this shows that he truly doesn’t know squat about how the colors he picks will work together just like he tried to tell me at the start but I completely ignored his warnings. So the lesson to learn here is that any color he might choose does not necessarily guarantee his satisfaction.