Wow! You never realize how much of your life you spend working until you move to a full-time position. Not to complain, not only am I happy about the promotion, but my bank account and local yarn stores are happy too. Over the christmas break I embarked on two new patterns. The first, a wrap around shawl. The second, fingerless gloves, the pattern which, I am making up as I go. But more of that later.

The shawl is another Japanese pattern. I love these patterns. They’re to the point, and because they’re drawn, and not written, you don’t have to read 300 lines of “repeat row 1”.  This pattern takes forever!  I’m nowhere near 1/3 of the way complete, and I’ve been working on it pretty regularly. But it will be well worth it in the end. At least, the pictures look promising.

Now, I have to admit, I actually started the shawl last June. But three  rows into it, and my demon cat decided one day while I was out of the house, that my ball of yarn (Palette wool from Knit Picks in Navy) was too round and needed to be stretched out. I came home from work and walked into a murder scene. It was literally like a horror movie. The yarn ran a trail from the bottom of the stairs, up to the top, around the kitchen table three or four times, down the hall, into my bedroom and there, on my bed, in the messiest lump of navy merino yarn I have ever seen, was the cat, curled up and fast asleep. I was so angry and after trying for hours to untangle the mess, I felt so defeated that I put the shawl away until Christmas.

Each row takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It wouldn’t take so long except that the way in which the yarn was spun, causes for the hook to easily slip through the  yarn, separating it, so i have to take extra care not to do that.

This is only 26 of 275 rows completed

Each row takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It wouldn’t take so long except that the way in which the yarn was spun, causes for the hook to easily slip through the  yarn, separating it, so i have to take extra care not to do that. I’m hoping to have this done by April so that I can send out to my mother in time for mother’s day.

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The Ever Elusive Pattern

September 20, 2011

Have you ever found a picture of a craft online and thought “My God! I HAVE to make that!”? The museum that I work at is celebrating its 75th Anniversary and there’s going to be a big party to celebrate. Along with a slew of other responsibilities, I have been put in charge of making corsage for employee identification at the party. While looking for flower patterns I stumbled across this beautiful crochet rose:

And lucky for me there was a pattern attached to it:

So I started crocheting this pattern and half way through it I realized that something wasn’t right. So I enlarged the photo and lo and behold, the pattern wasn’t for the pictured flower at all. So I immediately went on a search for the proper pattern, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

After weeks of searching, translating Russian and Chinese websites I lucked out and found the pattern! So If you are have been searching for this pattern and can’t find it anywhere, here it is!

It’s a japanese pattern, and it’s slightly hard to make out, but if you know what you’re doing, or have the patience to try until it makes sense, then it will be well worth it. Hopefully this will turn out as nicely as the picture, and more importantly the corsages will turn out.

Bath Mat Cont’d

July 14, 2011

My Hexagon Bath Mat is almost complete. Hurray! This bath mat has turned out to be a bigger pain than I thought it would. To start, the mat was much smaller than I expected, which meant I had to double the the amount of pattern pieces needed to complete it. Secondly, trying to join each piece as I went along (like the pattern calls for) was impossible, so I had to sew them together using a darning needing and yarn. I actually think this method was for the better. To join them the other way, (joined only at corners) would have created huge gaps, and a bath mat needs to be pretty sturdy. Third, I have discovered that I very much so dislike assembling pieces of a pattern, especially when a certain cat is watching from a hidden spot, just waiting for me to leave the disassembled pieces so that she can pounce and destroy everything.

Note the ears lurking in the background....

Hexagon Bath Mat

June 11, 2011

Leave it to the Japanese to create patterns that are non repetitive, understood by the universal crochet and knitting community, and extremely stylish. Japanese patterns, which use symbols instead of the written word to explain a pattern, are easy to understand, once you’ve gotten the symbols memorized. I particularly like them because you don’t end up reading: ‘row 3: ch1, then sc in each sc, sl st in last st.     row 4: ch1, then sc in each sc, sl st in last st.     row 5: ch1, then sc in each sc, sl st in last st’…… etc. for an entire 22 rows. Plus Japanese patterns actually show you the shape which the final product will be, whereas most European/North American patterns will show you fancy photograph of only one side of the project.

I am currently in the process of creating a new bath mat for my freshly painted bathroom and the pattern is very simple for someone just learning how to read Japanese pattern symbols.

 
picture from pattern found on Ravelry

You’ll have to forgive me for not posting any of my own pictures, but I have a new computer and it doesn’t have a memory card reader, so this will have to make do until I can get an adapter.

The main colour I am using is Bernat’s Off White Cotton and the centre colours I have chosen are Lichen green, Cloud blue and Mushroom from Red Heart’s Eco Ways Yarn. As much as I try to avoid buying from these big companies, I felt a little better with my choice knowing that the yarn was created from 100% recycled materials. Hopefully my choice of yarn will turn out.

Oh, and for those of you who don’t know what a Japanese pattern looks like, here is an example from this pattern: