Monday, September 29, 2008

Oriental Fantasy Doily

My mom has been decorating mine and my siblings old rooms with heirloom photos of our extended family. Many are beautiful original black and white portraits and snapshots. Well, she decided that all of the hard frames on wooden desks/tables/dressers was just too "hard" and she wanted to soften them up with some doilies - guess who she asked to make them ;)

I have been on a little break from crochet as I've been super involved with knitting (and planning a trip to India) lately. I had forgotten a little bit how much I LOVE to crochet. Once I got a few patterns and the thread picked out and started, I just couldn't stop! I made the first one in less than 24 hours and have already started on the second. Unfortunately I've only got pictures of the Oriental Fantasy Doily when I had it pinned out to dry. I will add some more photos when I get some. I completed rows 1-12 and then did the edging, adjusting it to be the smaller diameter I was going for.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yet Another Cowboy Hat

I recently contacted a few photographer friends of mine to see if they were interested in some custom pieces (hats and the like) for props for their photography. A couple of them had asked me about the possibility before, so I wasn't making unsolicited requests! One of the girls saw the baby cowboy hat and really wanted one. While this still isn't my favorite pattern to make, it seems to be a crowd pleaser. She wanted it sized to 3-4T. I sort of did a combination of the previous baby cowboy hat pattern and the Yeehaw Lady from SnB Crochet book. Its made from 100% worsted weight cotton, held double and an H hook. I think it turned out very nice, but I didn't get great pictures of it. Maybe when my friend uses it she'll let me use one of the images... ?

Heads up Mommies!

If you are a mom or know someone who is (is it possible for a person to NOT know a mom?), I am having a contest on my personal blog this week that will give you a chance to win a super-great book! All you have to do is leave a comment on one of the days I post this week. See it here!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fiddlehead Mittens

I am still trying to expand my repertoire of knitting skills, so I thought the Fiddlehead Mittens from Hello Yarn would be a fun project to learn color work. I figured it was a small enough project that it would be hard to get too lost on the chart, and I probably wouldn't give up before I was done. Plus its just a beautiful pattern! I was so pleased with them even after the first few inches! I love the i-cord cast on, a definite new favorite skill.  

I have seen many examples of these mittens and each one is beautiful and unique.  I love that no matter what yarn you use, the color combos just can't go bad (I mean I'm sure you could make it bad if you tried hard enough!).  I ended up going with Cascade 200 Superwash, by suggestion from my LYS owner.  She was SO helpful since I'm still new at picking yarn that will work with a pattern, not against it.  I really enjoyed the bright color of the Superwash Paints that I used for the contrast and the deep gray of the main color.  They are a great combo that just doesn't phtograph well.  I didn't want to use the bright pink as the lining because I thought it would just be too glaring, but the orange color seemed subtle enough to stand out without making you want to avert your eyes.

What can I say? I loved this project.... and I hated it! I loved the yarn, I loved the pattern, I loved the color work, I hated the lining... I hated how long it took. I am so impatient! And apparently when I do color work I knit tight, and when I don't I knit loose - thus the lining was very frustrating to me since it got all bunchy inside the mitten.  I ended up altering the decreases for the top of the lining to match the decreases on the outer mitten instead of a regularly spaced decrease as suggested in the pattern.  I could not stand the lining having any bumps.  They ended up between my fingers and just felt odd!  So I am so happy that I can finally say "I'm done!"  This pair is going to a relative for Chrismas.  I have plans to make another pair, altering the colorwork pattern with a modified free motif I found (link here if you're interested).  I may have just finished one pair today, but I can't wait to cast on the next!  If that's not a sign of a good pattern, I don't know what is!