Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Year of Crochet!

Although I have been very delinquent in blogging, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been crocheting a lot this past year.  Below are some of the new patterns that I tried out or created on my own.  Many of the items pictured below have been sold before the holidays, so I am in the process of starting to rebuild my inventory for the next holiday season.
Fringed Crocheted Triangle Scarf
Fringed Triangle Scarf in Soft Blue
Ribbed Crochet Scarf
Ribbed Scarf in Turqua

Ribbed Crochet Scarf
Ribbed Scarf in Royal Purple (wool blend)

Ribbed Scarf
Ribbed Scarf in Garden
Ruffle Scarf using Starbella yarn
Ruffle Scarf in Starbella yarn

Bulky Ribbed Cowl
Ribbed Cowl in Navy using Charisma bulky yarn

Bulky Ribbed Cowl
Ribbed Cowl in Barley
Ribbed Scarf
Ribbed Scarf in Red
Flowered Headwrap
Original design flowered headwrap - flowers from other designers

Ribbed Scarf
Ribbed Scarf in Sunshine and Kelly Green
Newsboy Hat
Newsboy hat with Pink Rhinestone buttons - Charisma yarn

Ribbed Scarf
Ribbed Scarf in Orange and Black

All in all, it was a productive year!  I intend to do a better job in 2014 on sharing what I have on my hook as I am making my different handmade crocheted items!  Check back often as you won't be disappointed!!  Happy last day of 2013!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Crocheted Triangle Fringed Scarves

Wow!  Have you missed me? 
Believe it or not, I HAVE been crocheting ... just not blogging about it!

Spring was filled with crocheting triangle fringed scarves ... about a dozen or so!  I bought (and love, I might add!) the book "Crochet Boutique" by Rachel Oglesby and fell in love with her pattern for the triangle fringed scarf! 

Here is one in Caron's Charcoal Grey:

And another in Caron's Blueberry:

And another in Caron's Soft Pink:

Can you see a pattern here?  I am really falling in love with the Caron Simply Soft yarn.  When I first started working with the "soft" yarns I absolutely hated them - the yarn would split, making it more challenging to crochet with.  Now, I have <almost> used up my stash of the Caron Simply Soft and I am planning on only buying "soft" yarns from here on out ... unless there is one heck of a good sale on another kind - like almost free!

Check out Rachel's book if you're interested in this pattern ... it is money well spent!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

My running shoesEvery year I try to make at least one or two resolutions of things that I want to change.  Sometimes I go big, sometimes not so big.  This year, my two resolutions are to post more to my blog and to run at least 3 miles every other day.  So far, I've not been too good about those resolutions, but I am trying to get back on top of it.

Running has started again ... and boy, am I feeling it!  But, it's a good kind of ache that means I am getting back into shape.  I am signed up to run a half-marathon on St. Patrick's Day, so it is super important that I take time to run now.  So, for that resolution, I am back on track and hope to stay there!

For my blog posting, I just realized that it's been a month since I last posted!  Yikes!  Just because I am not posting doesn't mean I am not crocheting ... I've been working on a lot of new projects, mostly in the evenings, usually when I should be running.  I do plan to post what I've been up to in the coming days - yes, not weeks!

Today, I set up my Knots-n-Knits YouTube channel and you can find two tutorials that I created this morning to go along with a couple of patterns that I will post shortly.  Making a tutorial of yourself crocheting is quite tricky ... I started with one camera - an older Sony - but the crispness of the images just wasn't there, nor could I get the angle correct. I eventually pulled out our newer, much smaller Sony Handycam and got it on the first run through (of course, I'd already done the tutorial three times with the older camera, so I had it down).  I think the tutorials turned out nice ... no Oscar winning performances, but hopefully something that people will find useful.  I plan to add more tutorials next weekend - I have to film during the day and since I get home late from work (and then have to run), there isn't much daylight at this time of the year.  

So, back on track for those resolutions and more to come with my latest projects this week!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ravelry's 2013 Crochet Block-A-Month

As if I didn't have enough yarn, I went and bought more!  

I joined a group on Ravelry for the 2013 Crochet Block-A-Month group ... and I am going to crochet right along with several hundred other people using 3 new block patterns each month!  I am so excited!  These are the colors that I will be using:

Red Heart Black

Red Heart Carrot - much prettier in person

Red Heart Soft White

Red Heart Tea Leaf

Red Heart Turqua - much brighter in person

Crocheted Ruffled Scarves - Sashay vs. Starbella

Happy New Year! 

Over the Christmas holiday, I took advantage of the sale on Sashay yarn at Michael's to try out this new product, well, fairly new product.  I just hadn't gotten up the courage to give it a try!  I absolutely love how the ruffled crochet scarves turned out - don't you?!?

To overcome my fear of working with this non-traditional yarn, I began by watching the Red Heart Sashay Yarn video on YouTube.  It was helpful in giving me an idea of what to do, but the angle was not filmed well so it was sometimes hard to see what they person was talking about.  Once you get started though, it really came together rather quickly.

Hook sizes ... Sashay called for Size J hook, which I tried and did about 4 inches of the scarf with but ended up tearing it out and starting over with a smaller hook.  My first scarf was 6 stitches across for the foundation row and then 5 stitches for the remaining rows.  With each new scarf, I adjusted the hook size and the width of the stitches and finally settled on a size G hook and 3 stitches.  This makes the scarf not quite as "puffy" and a little longer - each averaged about 40 inches for 30 yds. of yarn.

When I purchased my Sashay yarn, I also purchased the competitor's yarn - Starbella from Premier Yarns.  It was about $1 more than the Sashay, and is 33 yds. as opposed to 30 yds.  After stitching up the 3 crocheted ruffled scarves pictured above, I did one Starbella scarf (picture to come!).  In working with both yarns, my preference is the Starbella.  Unlike the Sashay yarn, the Starbella yarn does not have the glittery edge to it and is a softer, more pliable yarn.  The Sashay was much stiffer to work with, but it does make a nicer, more polished product with the sparkly edge to it.  The Starbella is more casual, but equally as pretty!

In working with this type of yarn, the trickiest issue was having to flatten out the netting from the tape-like skein it comes on.  As I got to the end of the scarf (about 3/4 of the way through), the skein end of the yarn was completely twisted, making it more cumbersome to unravel and prepare to crochet and therefore slowing me down.  On my second scarf, I unraveled all of the yarn, flattened out the netting, and re-rolled it (again, very tedious) hoping it would make a difference in actually crocheting the project.  Nope, not much help and overall about the same amount of time.  It did seem that the Starbella yarn did not twist quite as much, but it did still twist. 

I have many more skeins of both the Starbella and Sashay in my stash and will work those into scarves - and yes, I will buy more of both products as I think these scarves are very pretty and have had requests from people looking for these types of scarves in particular!  

What has been your experience in working with Sashay or Starbella?