Girls Circle Sweater

Last time, I finished up the Eloise Sweaters and still had some yarn left over. ¬†I had found the Girls Circle Sweater chart (notations in Russian) on Pinterest and figured that it would be the perfect project to 1) use up that yarn, 2) stretch my chart skills again, and 3) finally make something for my OWN daughter. ūüôā

I enjoy reading charts – there’s little second-guessing (although poorly drawn charts can be equally as frustrating as poorly written instructions). ¬†Hopefully, my attempt at translating the chart to written instruction worked well. ¬†If you find any mistakes or have a problem, PLEASE let me know so that I can fix it!

Girls Circle Sweater

 

I am in the process of adding notes for different sizes. Please be patient, I will try to get the adjustments up by the weekend!  Leave a comment with the size/age you need.

Double trouble….for twins!

Not long after I found out that we were expecting, one of my very best friends received similar news.  Except her news was twice as exciting.  Twins!!!!

The twins were born about 6 weeks after our daughter arrived, so our girls have had fun growing and playing together as their mom and I shared stories and tips and struggles of new mommy-hood over the last almost 18 months.

Although I tried to finish this project in time for the twins’ first birthday, I was a little late. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†I can only crochet when my daughter is asleep or someone else is watching her, so my hooking time is severely limited. ¬†I have found that I absolutely must mark my patterns now as I complete sections, and stitch markers are a must. ¬†I use the square plastic tabs that come on bread bags. ¬†They’re cheap (free!) and I can use a pen or marker and write which hook I was using (should I forget).

eloise bonnet

First bonnet with scrapped chin strap. I was running out of yarn, so I changed the chin strap so both sets would ‘match’.

So the double project for the twins….. ¬†If you are on Ravelry, then you will be able to find the patterns quite easily. ¬†It’s the Eloise Girls Sweater and Eloise Bonnet by Tamara Kelly. ¬†If you are not on Ravelry (and if you are following a crochet blog, you probably should go check out Ravelry! ¬†just sayin’), here’s the link to the Eloise Sweater.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn in Autumn Maize (1), Blue (2 – but it was REALLY close to needing a bit of a third), and White (1) and my Furls F hook (3.75mm).

eloise sweater

I rarely do pieces that require color changes in the middle of a piece.  And this has a LOT of color changes.  Every two rows.  Since the rows on both the sweater and the bonnet are short, it seemed like all I did for awhile was change colors and weave in ends.  But I learned a LOT about weaving all those ends in, too!

I did make my own changes to the pattern.  To get more dimension between the stripes, I used the back-back-loop instead of back-loop-only.  If you are not familiar with the back-back-loop, search this blog for the blue scarf and beanie from last winter.  I also added to the collar area for a closer fit, which Tamara suggested to do in the pattern.  I omitted the buttons on both the sweater and the bonnet, and opted instead to attach the chin strap on the bonnets with Velcro closures.  That last one was more of a safety/personal decision.

It was a fun project.  I really liked how the stripes worked up and I LOVED the bonnet!!!  In fact, I will probably make one for my daughter as soon as I get my current project done.

If you’ve caught the circle sweater craze, then you may have seen this Russian version floating around the web.

NOT MY PICTURES OR WORK.  Just using them for the next project

NOT MY PICTURES OR WORK. Just using them for the next project

rcs 1 russian circle sweater

I LOVE the look of this sweater. ¬†And since the Eloise sweater isn’t quite big enough for my daughter next spring or fall, I wanted to try this one since it looks rather adaptable. ¬†Except the chart is the only instructions that I’ve found.

So I’m translating another pattern from chart to written US. ¬†I’ll post the instructions once I’m finished and get the kinks worked out.

Miss July, 1993

For as long as I have crocheted, I have tried very hard not to have more than one or two projects on the hook at any given time. ¬†I know several people who keeps LOTS of projects going, each in their own little work bag. ¬†Those people have always amazed me! ¬†I have a hard enough time remembering which row I was last on for just one project, unless I’ve marked it somehow, let alone five or six projects.

Since I limit my WIPs, I have an ever-growing list of patterns and ideas of projects that must be made. ¬†I don’t know a single yarnist who doesn’t have more ideas and patterns than she has time to make them. ¬†So while I’ve finished up my forever-thread project, I’ve steadily added to my list of want-to-be WIPs list. ¬†Baby jackets and hats for my daughter and for my friend’s twins (our girls were born less than two months apart), a fuzzy bathmat with 3-dimensional stitching, endless petals pillow, the Sophie’s Universe CAL from Look What I Made….. my list just keeps growing.

Thankfully, my current project is finished and I can start something new. ¬†This is from Annie’s Calendar Bed Doll Society, Miss July 1993. ¬†Size 10 crochet cotton in red, white & blue, with DMC gold.

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Beyond the hobby

This post won’t be in the same vein or tone as some of my others.

People use crafts and hobbies for many different reasons. ¬†In most cases, the reason isn’t nearly as important as the fun and satisfaction one gets from proudly completing something new. ¬†People sew, knit, crochet, are woodworkers, quilters, potters, painters, musicians, for nothing more than the simple joy those activities bring to themselves and those around them.

For others, crafting is more than a hobby.  Some people are able to establish entire careers around an industry that they love and contribute to daily, influencing the trends and methods.

And for an even smaller population, crafting is a life-line.  A way of coping, and dealing with personal problems.  The friendships formed in the craft communities through social media, blogging, and YouTube are real and hold deep meanings for people suffering with depression.

The crochet community lost one of those contributors last week.  She designed mandalas and contributed greatly to a CAL in 2014.  Her blog, with an entry from her sister, is here.

Another crocheter has designed and asked for submissions to honor Wink’s memory and to help raise awareness for those who suffer from depression. ¬†Details about the crochet art installment can be found here.

If you or someone you know has battled with depression, please consider participating in the #MandalasForMarinke project. ¬†Mandala patterns, both free and for purchase, can be found on Marinke’s blog site and her Ravelry page.

Of Crowns and slippery yarn

*Disclaimer: ¬†I have not received (nor expect to) any compensation for reviewing/mentioning the products listed in today’s post. ¬†Just wanted to be clear that I am not paid nor do I get any sort of free products for writing my blog. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Read on!

Have you ever been asked to make a project with a new yarn or different technique that you are not familiar with? ¬†Does it make you nervous, or does having a new experience make you smile? ¬†I’ve always loved a creative challenge, but I still have my moments of nervousness (especially when cutting good fabric for sewing projects).

The project I will tell you about today was one of those ‘mixed bag’ of both anticipation and excitement. ¬†First, I worked with a new-to-me yarn. ¬†The project called for a fingering yarn, and my client asked for a metallic color. ¬†In my search for a fingering, metallic yarn, I found Bergere de France’s Sirene novelty yarn. ¬†I choose the Rocher colorway for the project. ¬†There was a slight delay in receiving the yarn because of a backorder, but the company was very good about keeping me informed of what was going on.

The other part of the project was the employment of starch. ¬†I’m not sure I remember the last time I starched a project. ¬†I’m sure I have at various times, long ago, but working with starch is outside of the norm for me. ¬†The piece, however, necessitated starch to maintain its look and form after completion. ¬†So what is the project? ¬†It’s a crown! ¬†Specifically, it is the Marie-Antoinette pattern by Anisbee, available on Ravelry as a for-purchase pattern. ¬†Originally written in French, demand was high enough for the pattern that the designer translated it to English. ¬†Several updates were made to pattern after the initial translation (so if you do get this pattern, make sure you get the latest update). ¬†If you prefer or like the challenge of reading a chart rather than written instructions, the designer has that covered, too; a clear chart is included in the pattern.

So fingering weight yarn and a 3.0mm hook later……… ¬†I have a mini-crown!!!! ¬†Seriously, the size I was making was supposed to have a finished diameter of about 5.5 inches. ¬†My first attempt ended up being about half that. ¬†Perfect for my daughter’s upcoming first birthday, not so good for my client. ¬†General rule of thumb for anyone creating with yarn is to check the gauge first. ¬†Unfortunately, the finished diameter was the only gauge I had with which to compare.

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Still cute, though, right?

Second attempt:  I changed the hook size to a 5.00 mm since the first crown was so much smaller.  I probably could have used the 4.5 mm hook and finished with an appropriate size, too.  The second crown turned out much better, although I did have to starch it twice.  Notes on starching:  I used a sugar starch (1:1), and dried the crowns over forms in the sun for 2 days.

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Second attempt; sizing is better.

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I did have to make some changes to the pattern itself, some were minor typos (probably lost in translation), one was a personal change.  I prefer foundation stitches when starting with long chains and especially when joining in a round.  This pattern called for a starting chain of 80 stitches, joining, then stitching in each chain for the first round.  I have a bad habit of twisting the chain, so I prefer to use foundation stitches, when appropriate.  Moogly has a great video tutorial on foundation single crochet if you are interested.  The rest of my review of the Marie-Antoinette pattern and this project is on Ravelry (my username is Lisette1528).

Have a great day!

Late Spring Arrivals

I’m so sorry!!!! ¬†I’ve neglected this blog for far too long. ¬†I really don’t have a good excuse other than finding time to sit at a computer can be hard sometimes! ¬†Our last lamb of the season was born near the end of April. ¬†We were fortunate to have more than 70 lambs come this year. ¬†They are all bouncing and jumping in the green fields today, as I look out the window.

I’ve also been busy building a new bee hive for the farm. ¬†That’s right, I’m officially a beekeeper! ¬†I’m really excited to taste the honey later this year.

But back to the crochet…..

I have been working on some new stuff.  For a long time, I promised myself that I would only work on one project at a time.  After my last move, I realized that I had far too many projects lying around in their own bags.  Some of them I had had for years and had forgotten all about them!  There were sewing projects, crochet projects, bobbin lace pillows, and even my misguided knitting projects Рcast aside mid-purl.  After discovering all of this half-finished attempts, I vowed to finish projects, one at a time, before I began new endeavors.

For a long time, it worked. ¬†One project at a time. ¬†I was much more productive, but I also wasn’t as happy. ¬†I get bored to easily. ¬†So, I broke my promise to myself this spring and I have 3 projects on the hook, and two more floating in my head!

I had a small commission project that I am putting the final touches on this week.  If you are on Ravelry (a great resource!!!), be sure to check out the Marie-Antoinette crown pattern by Anisbee (paid pattern).  It comes in a couple of different sizes as written, but you can make it bigger or smaller as needed.  The diagram/chart included is really helpful, too.

I’m also working on a bonnet and sweater/jacket for my daughter and a friend’s twin daughters for this fall to keep the girls warm. ¬†My friend’s girls were born just six weeks after my own daughter, so similar jackets (with slight changes) are in order. ¬†The pieces are coming along nicely, with some dimensional work in back-back loops and striping color changes.

My third WIP is the never-ending thread project. ¬†I’d estimate that I’m probably about 60-70% done with it, but those tiny stitches can take so long sometimes.

The Trouble with Thread Trebles

Ack!!!!¬† I didn’t realize it had been so long!¬† I’m enjoying my recent opportunities to translate crochet pieces and diagrams into written instructions.¬† It’s proving to be a rewarding challenge that I am enjoying.¬† If you have ever written a pattern, you will know that it is sometimes monotonous, but can be well worth the effort in the end.

As far as my latest crochet project goes……¬† it’s slow, done in thread, and full of treble stitches.¬† As in over 200 or even 400 treble stitches in a round.¬† I’m to the point now that if I start crocheting, the repetitive trebles put me to sleep in about 15 minutes, which is entirely not what I want to happen!

I do love working with thread crochet and the beautiful projects that can be made (I was just able to pick up more than 75 patterns, including some fabulous tablecloth designs, for less than $1 each!).  On the down side, thread projects take a much longer time to complete, and can be tedious after awhile.

Do you work with thread crochet?  If you do, what projects do you make with thread?  Let me know in the comments!