Sunday, 28 August 2016

Herringbone Crochet Infinity Scarf

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There's a certain joy in having a sister who spins.  A visit usually involves looking at recent skeins, fleece and rolags and if I'm lucky I get to take a little treat home with me to play with, and that's exactly what happened last time Louise and I got together.  My souvenir from this visit was a gorgeous skein of yarn in beautiful muted tones of greens and pinks which had been spun end to end and Navajo plied.


I always find coming up with a pattern for gorgeous yarn more challenging than with plain wool.  I like the pattern to take a step back so that the yarn is the star of the show, and it can take a while to find just the right stitch for the yarn.  In this case I stumbled across the Herringbone Half Double Crochet Stitch for another project and immediately new it would be perfect to show of the lovely muted hues of Louise's skein.



Herringbone Half Double Crochet
Abbreviations
ch: chain
hdc: herringbone half double crochet:

Step 1: Yarn over.
Step 2: Insert hook in next stitch.
Step 3: Yarn over and draw through stitch and first loop on hook.
Step 4: Yarn over, draw through remaining loops.


For video instructions of this stitch go to New Stitch A Day

Pattern
Chain 15
Row 1: hdc into second chain from hook, turn
Row 2: ch 2 (forms first hdc), hdc into next stitch and continue to end of row
Row 2 forms pattern

Continue to end of Skein, slip stitch to join and sew in ends.




The Herringbone pattern is very subtle, but is a great textural stitch for showing off what is a particularly lovely yarn.  The project only uses one skein and is a quick and simple weekend project.

Happy Crocheting

Deb











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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Quick and Chunky Crochet Hat

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I've never had the pleasure of using T-shirt yarn before.  I've seen it in the shops of course and all over the Internet, but until there was a sale at my local Lincraft I hadn't really been too tempted to give it a try, but boy I'm glad I did.  I found it really easy to work with and its chunky nature is brilliant for quick projects,  This hat took a couple of hours one afternoon, and is a very simple cluster pattern, with additional rows of double crochet.  One size fits most.


What you will need:
Size 8 Crochet Hook
2 x 100g balls of T-shirt yarn. (One ball got me to half way through the last round of the hat, so you will only need a very small amount of the second ball)


Cluster patterns:

Double cluster:  Work 1 dc into stitch/space as instructed leaving two loops on the hook.  Work second dc in same stitch/space until 3 loops remain on hook, yarn over and draw through 3 loops on hook.

Triple Cluster:  Work 1 dc in stitch/space as instructed leaving two loops on the hook.  Work second dc in same stitch/space leaving 3 loops on hook, work 3rd dc in same stitch/space leaving 4 loops on hook.  Yarn over and draw through 4 loops on hook.



Pattern

Chain 4, join with slip stitch to first chain to form circle.

Round 1:  Ch 3, 1 Double Cluster into ring, Chain 2, *1 Triple Cluster into ring, ch 2* Repeat from * to * 5 times and join with a slip stitch to join top of first ch 3.

Round 2: Ch 3, 1 Double Cluster in same space as slip stitch from previous round, ch 2, *Triple cluster in next chain 2 space, ch 2* Repeat from * to * around hat to give 12 clusters.  Slip stitch to join top of first ch 3.

Round 3: Ch 3, skip first double cluster, *2 dc into next chain 2 space, 1 dc in next triple cluster* Repeat from *to* 2 dc into next chain 2 space, slip stitch to top of chain 3.  To give 36dc, with first chain 3 counting as a dc.

Round 4: Ch 3, 1 dc in each of the next 7dc, 2 dc in next dc.*1 dc in each of the next 8dc, 2dc in next dc* Repeat from *to* 2 more times.  Join with a slip stitch to top of first chain 3 to give 40 dc.

Round 5:  Ch 3, 1 Double cluster in slip stitch space, *ch 2, skip 3dc spaces, Triple Cluster in next dc space*, repeat 5 times, skip 1dc, triple cluster in next dc space, *ch 2, skip 3dc spaces, triple cluster in next dc space* repeat  5 times.  Skip 2 dc space, triple cluster in next dc space, slip stitch into first chain 3 to give 15 clusters.

Round 6:  Ch 3, skip first double cluster, *2 dc into next chain 2 space, 1 dc in next triple cluster* Repeat from *to* 2 dc into next chain 2 space, slip stitch to top of chain 3.  To give 45dc, with first chain 3 counting as a dc.

Round 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in each dc around, join with a slip stitch into top of first chain 3.To give 45dc, with first chain 3 counting as a dc.

Round 8:  As per round 7

Round 9: Ch 1, 1 sc in each dc around, join with a slip stitch into top of first chain 1.

Fasten off.

Abbreviations:

sc:  Single crochet, dc: Double Crochet, ch: Chain


Happy Crocheting

Deb



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Sunday, 24 July 2016

When Opportunity Knocks

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My little classic - Gretchen
I have always been a fan of op-shops, goodwill stores, thrift shops, charity shop - whatever they are called in your area.  They are filled with bargains. One of the best bargains I ever found was a pair of Italian leather boots that lasted for 10 years.  I wore them everyday in winter and was gutted when they finally wore out.

Deb has always managed to find some bargains - and then upcycle them into some amazing projects.  Some of her projects are:-

An upcycle for your old records. You can read about it here (If the thought of using your own ABBA, Bee Gee's, Fleetwood Mac or, my personal favourite, The Greatest Hits of the Carpenters, is too painful, then pick some up at your local charity shop).

Then she was lucky enough to pick up some great yarn that she was able to loom knit into a shimmery shawl.  The link to that blog post can be found here.

Not content with one project, she was able get a further 2 projects out of her bargain yarn.

Happy Birthday to you ... 
Try as I might, I could never find any crafty items - there was always the odd ball of wool (odd being the key word), knitting needles and buttons, but nothing that jumped out at me.  Until one day, a few years ago when I was in my local spinning store.  I went  in with my Mum and Dad who were visiting.  Dad was making me a spinning wheel and we were in the store to have a look around for Dad to get a few ideas and ask a few wheel-type questions.  I had noticed an old, antique looking loom under a table on my last visit to the store but I didn't really pay too much attention - there was roving to be looked at, admired and purchased, but on this visit, I had time to have a look and, the rest, as they say is history.  (You can read about it here). The loom was an astonishing $50 and Dad fixed it up and we gave it to Deb as a birthday present.

Until a week ago, that purchase was the highlight of my 'second-hand' purchases.

Last week, my son, his girlfriend and I were having a browse through our local op-shops (my little town has 4 of them), ostensibly looking for classical sheet music.  I spied a small spinning wheel in the window and was smitten.   There was never a question as to whether or not I would buy it but once I took it to the counter, my son said 'No, let me.  I was going to come back and buy it for your birthday anyway'.
Nothing a little love and oil can't fix
Once we got her home, he oiled it and fixed the drive band and made sure she worked - so, to me, it made the gift even more special.  As all spinning wheels need a name, we decided on 'Gretchen'. Partly because I think she is of German origin (can't be sure though, we have narrowed down her origins as being from between 1850 and 2010) and the only piece of classical music that pertains to spinning is the piece 'Gretchen am Spinnerade' by Schubert.  She only has one bobbin but she spins like a charm and is a classic in every sense of the word.

Happy shopping,
Louise

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Lucille Poncho

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It's been a long time since I've had a chance to pick up a crochet hook.   We've moved house and I've been doing some study which has left little time for anything other than the usual hum drum of daily life, but this week I saw a window of opportunity and ran with it.  






My wool stash was fortunate enough to be boosted a few months ago by a sale at Bendigo Woollen Mills of their now discontinued "Bloom" range.  Bloom is a lovely graduated yarn in 8ply and I managed to pick up a few balls in a couple of colours before the stock was completely gone. 






While I would usually try and come up with my own pattern, on this occasion I was rather taken with the lovely Lucille poncho from Drops Design and thought the combination of graduated yarn and fan pattern would work a treat,


I used a size 5 crochet hook for the 8ply yarn and also went for the larger size in the poncho, mainly due to our Melbourne Winters being pretty chilly and I figure the more coverage at this time of year the better.




After only a couple of days of crocheting madly away the bulk of the poncho was complete.  The pattern is a joy to crochet.  Simple to the point of only needing to check what stitches are needed to complete the end of each row and quick so that it feels you are really getting somewhere in a short amount of time.



By far the longest part of the process was cutting and applying the fringe.  As the yarn is graduated, it took a while to check that the right shades were being placed in the correct position on the poncho.

At some point this weekend there will be a steaming and trimming of the fringe, so take this as a before photo of the back of the poncho.  The after may be a while coming!

Happy Crocheting 

Deb









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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Cabled Fingerless Mittens

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We are 9 months into our move - and the weather has been varied but mostly wonderful.  That is until this week.  The temperature dropped to minus 1 one morning on my way to work .. which I love. I am obsessively watching the temperature drop and getting more excited the lower it gets.  Everyone thinks I'm crazy and probably by the end of the winter the low temperatures will be a cause for dismay, but right now I'm looking forward to them. The changing weather was one of the reasons that we wanted to move to Victoria in the first place.

So, now it's serious knitting time and, as my children are flying over in a month, I thought I would knit them something simple yet practical.
My son has asked for a pair.  A few years ago when I wanted to knit some and asked if he would like a pair, his words were something like .. "No, not ever .. "  My heart sank as all knitting hearts do when the people you want to knit for don't want a bar of it.  However, once he reluctantly modelled a pair for me, he 'quite' liked them and wanted a pair.  So hang in there .. one day the reluctant recipients in your knitting world may change their mind.  .. and now it's only fair that everyone have some.  These mittens are actually for my daughter.

After knitting a pair of socks, there is always quite a bit of wool left over and for years I have been meaning to knit a sock blanket with all the left overs - that hasn't happened yet and I can't see me starting it any time soon, but there is enough wool to make a small pair of mittens.  It's a small project that knits up over the course of a couple of evenings (they are long evenings here as well - it's dark by 5.30pm).

Materials.


Sock yarn (about 25g or half a ball)
Set of 2.50 DPN's
2 stitch markers
Cable needle  (If you would prefer to cable without using a cable needle, our instructions can be found here  The instructions are for a 6 cable so reduce the number of stitches to 4 and the premise is the same)

Abbreviations

COn - Cast on.  Use you favourite method but ensure that it is not too tight.
PM - Place stitch marker
M1 - Knit into the 'bar' between the 2 stitches.  If you are unsure, the instructions can be found here.
K4F - Place 2 stitches on the cable needle and hold at the front of your work.  K2, then knit the stitches on your cable needle.
K4B - Place 2 stitches on the cable needle and hold at the back of your work.  K2, then knit the stitches on your cable needle.
COff - Cast off.  Ensure that the cast off is quite loose or the mittens may be too tight around the fingers.
SLM - Slip marker.  Simply move it from the left needle to the right.

Pattern

CO 64 stitches and then arrange 16 on each needle.  Join (being careful not to twist your stitches) and establish a K2, P2 rib.
Left Hand Mitten Chart

Continue until the ribbing measures at least 8 cm.

Left Hand Mitten

Row 1: K10 [Knit Row 1 of Left Hand Chart], K to end

Row 2: K10 [Knit Row 2 of Chart]

Row 3: M1, PM, K to pattern row stitches [Knit Row 3 of Chart], K to end

Row 4: K1, SLM, K to pattern row stitches [Knit Row 4 of Chart], K to end

Row 5: M1, K to next marker, M1, SLM, K to pattern stitches [Knit row 6 of chart], K to end.

..There should now be 3 stitches before the stitch marker..

The increasing at the start of the row forms the thumb.

Continue the chart pattern that has been established (increasing for the thumb in every second row), continue until there are 19 stitches before the stitch marker.

Next Row:  Thread 19 stitches onto waste yarn,  [Knit required row of Left Hand Chart], K to end

Once you have 19 stitches, thread a contrasting yarn through the stitches to hold them and remove them from the needle.  Don't pull the thread too tight.  You should now be back to 64 stitches.

Continue knitting the charted pattern until you reach row 44.

At the start of the next row, establish a K2,P2 rib and continue for 5 rows.

Cast off.

Thumb

Pick up the 19 stitches on 3 needles.  Join the thread and knit to the end of the row.  Once you reach the end, pick up and knit 3 stitches evenly across the gap and continue to knit for 4 rows.

Establish a K1,P1 rib and continue for 4 rows and loosely cast off.

To finish

Weave in all ends and ensure the ends for the thumb are very secure.

Right Hand Mitten


Cast on 64 stitches and establish a K2, P2 ribbing as for the Left Hand Mitten.

Row 1: K10 [Knit Row 1 of Right Hand Chart], K to end

Row 2: K10 [Knit Row 2 of Chart]

Row 3: K10 [Knit Row 3 of Chart], K10, PM, M1, PM, K to end - (65 stitches)

Row 4: K10 [Knit Row 4 of Chart], K10, SLM Knit to next marker, SLM, Knit to end

Row 5: K10 [Knit Row 5 of Chart], K10, SLM, M1, Knit to next marker, M1, SLM, Knit to end

Next Row: K10 [Knit required row of Right Hand Chart],  K10, thread 19 thumb stitches onto waste yarn, K to end



Continue knitting the charted pattern until you reach row 44.

At the start of the next row, establish a K2,P2 rib and continue for 5 rows.

Cast off.

Thumb

As per Left Hand Mitten

To finish

Weave in all ends and ensure the ends for the thumb are very secure.

Once you have the rhythm of the pattern, they knit up very quickly and the end result is a small, warm gift for my children when they arrive next month.

Happy Knitting,
Louise










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