So, after weeks of working on and off on my crochet fingerless gloves, I have decided to put them down for now until I can manage to figure out a way to complete the glove without turning the pattern. You see. the stitch pattern I was using, was going great, until it came time to work the thumb hole. That required me to turn the pattern, and well, the stitch does not look good in reverse, which is unfortunate because every other row, for 6 or 7 rows, is reversed. So I have given up….for now.

The shawl that I am working on, is taking FOREVER!! I was hoping to have it completed for mother’s day, but I may have to push it back to my mother’s birthday in september. I just get so bored doing the same stitch over and over for 300 rows, and it seems like I am getting no where with it. I will continue to plug away at it, but I will also be starting a new project so my brain can at least be challenged from time to time.

Also, we just finished remodeling our en suite bathroom, and the Hexagon Bath Mat which I had made last summer, is way too small for the area I want it to fill, so I have begun working on that project again, trying to double the size. As soon as that project is over, I will be starting a new one, I just have to decide what it is…

It seems like everyone around me is having, or has had a baby in the last few months, so that means it’s double time on the baby patterns. I have just finished a really cute hat for my friends niece. I was torn between a cutesie baby hat such as this pattern on I found on Ravelry:

Spring time Beanie

Or an earflap hat pattern that I created which was a little more bold, but just as cute. The bold earflap hat won, and I couldn’t be more happy with the results! Here is the beautiful baby wearing her awesome new hat.

Baby K. - Punk rocker in the Making

She's too tired for rockin' out

This pattern was a combination of two patterns that I found on Ravelry. The majority of the pattern comes from this Ravelry site. The second portion of the pattern, or the mohawk, came from this pattern. I just adjusted the pattern to fit the hat.

Although I am a huge believer of eco friendly, real wool, and purchasing yarn from a local yarn supply store, I thought it would be best for both baby and mommy to make this out of synthetic yarn. I didn’t want it to be too hard on the baby’s skin, and I wanted it to be easy to wash for mom. I used the softest yarn I could find: Bernat Satin in Ebony and Lion Brand Baby Soft in Pink Lemonade.

I know, I know. Most people would never put black on a baby, but you can’t have punk rocker without the rebelious black and hot hot pink hues! I think it suits her!

Oh! and nd a HUGE tank you to my friend T. (who just so happens to be Baby K.’s aunt) for the awesome photos!

Well, the big 75th anniversary party is over, and the corsages were a hit! I ended up using a different pattern than the rose pattern I spent weeks searching for(see below blog). It took way too long to make, and, as I quickly realized, takes a lacing hook and yarn. So  a simple shell pattern which was then rolled up into a flower shape had to do. Here are the results:

This is one that i made from strips of jersey cloth while I gave my cramping hands a break from crocheting.

Most of these corsages ended up in everyone’s hair! We were lucky enough to have some student hairdressers and make-up artists volunteer their time to “vintage” up our looks for the big party, and when the corsages came out, everyone, including the hairdressers, wanted them up in their hair….I sense an etsy idea brewing!

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.

The Irish and Their Lace

September 8, 2011

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Ireland, I’m instantly transported to the island’s country side with its emerald-green fields, rolling hills, its beautiful old stone cottages and its dreary weather. I have  a friend who lived there and said it did nothing but rain and when it wasn’t raining it was cold and damp, so she had no choice but to move her “office” to her couch and do all of her work in front of the fire. I imagine that this weather was a major contributing factor in the developement of Irish Lace. Well, that, and the efforts of some very “crafty” nuns during the Potato Famine.

The Irish economy was weak to begin with before the famine struck. The majority of Irish land was too rocky to produce anything other than potatoes, and those farmers that were lucky enough to grow other vegetables, had a difficult time purchasing the seeds to plant with. The Ursuline Nuns saw an opportunity to help women earn additional income for their family. The nuns taught those wanting to learn and the craft quickly evolved from a venetian style crochet to its own style. The patterns which were created by the women often became a family tradition and turned into closely guarded family secrets. The wealthy would pay for the fine crochet cloth and thus, the women would be able to help provide for their families.

Irish lace is some of the most beautiful and fine work I have seen. Just look at the work that went into this wedding dress and childs frock.

If you want to see more of this intricate lace work, there’s the The Sheelin Antique Irish Lace Museum in Ireland, which you can see in person, or in a budget friendly look at their online shop. I highly suggest you take a peak. I guarantee you will be amazed!

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: