Excursion Wrap! This Is A Show Stopper!

I love when a design comes out like I was hoping! Excursion Wrap came out just as I envisioned, okay, better than I could have hoped. I saw this design in my mind as soon as I laid hands on the yarn, it just came to me and I had to find a way to get it worked up in the stitches.

Excursion Wrap

That is not to say that it came out perfectly in just one try, I ripped things back several times. I played with some different combinations of stitches and color sequins before finally landing on the perfection, and the difficulty of using multiple color rows and designing like this is when ripping back I end up with many more ends to weave in….some right in the middle of rows, as I ensure the use of all the yarn.

The wrap is worked in 2 contrasting colors, which offer a bold definition of the design. The yarn is Silk Baby Camel by Lisa Souza Dyeworks, and is lusciously yummy! It is soft, but with nice structure, making it a dream to work with. Being that the pattern only takes 2 skeins, it is manageable in both crocheting and in cost.

The lacy ripple pattern is worked as a 3 row repeat, so it is simple to memorize yet keeps the pattern engaging. So you can work the stitch pattern successfully without getting bored with it.

The color sequencing is what really brings this design to life, it demands the eye to transverse the entire piece and then to look again. The altering of the stitch pattern and the colors offers a cascading effect of interest that will definitely have you garnering praise.

This wrap is a show stopper, one that makes people stop and admire your handiwork. I already have plans to work up this design a couple of more times….once is just not enough!

Get your pattern here!

 

Gotta Love that Shawl- Free Pattern

Since I have been playing around with some stitches, and attempting to finish some yarn in my stash, I have a free pattern to share. Gotta Love that Wrap is worked entirely of Love Knots! If you are not familiar with the stitch I have a tutorial here.

I love how you can use this pattern really with any yarn, although I prefer it with lighter weight yarns. The Wrap in phots here was actually worked up in Plymouth Yarns Linaza, which is 50% alpaca, 25% linen and 25% Tencel, so it really hold the shape of the knot.

The benefit of this yarn is that it really allows the yarn to go along way, the yarn I used was 100g/440yards, and as you can see it made for a wide and long wrap. So feel free to pull something out of your stash and give it a try, or purchase that one skein in a color you love.

This design is actually only a 2 row repeat, so it is pretty simple and relaxing to work. I would recommend that you place a stitch marker somewhere along row 1, to note it as the bottom edge. As the fabric is worked along and becomes squarer, it can be difficult to discern which way the rows are being worked.

The pattern is essentially creating the points of triangles in each even row, the closing it off to a straight edge every odd row, and when the pattern states to slip stitch in the knot, the knot is recognized as the most closed point of the stitch (where is was finished).

Gotta Love that Shawl

Materials:

  • One skein of any yarn, light weight preferred. The longer the yardage the longer the wrap
  • Hook size compatible for yarn weight

Gauge: Gauge is not critical for this project.

Special Stitches

Love Knot: See here

Abbreviations:

Rep=repeat

Sl st= slip stitch

Row 1: 18 Love knots, turn.

Row 2: Skip first knot, sl st in 2nd knot, [2 love knots, sl st in next knot] rep 15 times, turn.

Row 3: 2 love knots, sl st in next knot, [1 love knot, sl st in next knot] rep 15 times, turn.

Row 4: 2 love knots, sl st in next knot, [2 love knots, sl st in next knot} rep 15 times, turn.

Rep Rows 3 & 4 until desired length.

Last Row: Rep Row 3, fasten off. Weave in ends, block as desired.

2 Books Not to Overlook!

I really do not know where the last 12 months have gone!

Last year a few friends had new books hit the shelves, and there are some that it has taken me a while to getting around to reading, not because I wasn’t eager to dive into the pages, but simply because my time demands took me in other directions. So, it was really been nice to be able to finally get through 2 of them recently.

First, my son has made comments about how the world seems to be returning to hieroglyphics with the proliferation of emojis, then my friend Charles Voth came out with his first book…Emoji Crochet! This book is full of fun patterns, from home décor to wearables. You can make a throw or a pillow then move on to a hat or sweater. The really great thing in this book, in my opinion, is how many different techniques are used. You can learn so many different crochet techniques that I would recommend this book if not simply for that reason. Charles uses tapestry crochet techniques, applique techniques, color work, charting and written instructions to delve into putting faces on your work.

Charles also ensured that there is great detailed instructions of these techniques accompanied with illustrations. This is probably due to his profession as a technical editor, meaning he has a hand in many crochet patterns that are published by ensuring that the math works and the pattern written creates the item in the photo. In addition to being a technical editor he is also a college professor, so he understands how people learn, and this book definitely has this in mind.

It is hard to pick which project I like the most in this book, but I think the Not Too Blue for You Mittens top my list of first projects to complete. If you get the opportunity, check this book out, you will not be disappointed! (Check out other designs by Charles here and his classes here)

Another book I have been checking out is Bath Knits by my friend Mary Beth Temple. Now I will not even pretend that I am a knitter, I dabble, and know just enough to get myself in trouble, so this book has been perfect to help me practice the basics. There are plenty of ideas for pampering yourself in the bath, but in my beginner state I will focus on the great array of wash clothes. Like many of Mary Beth’s book this one is straight forward and lets you dive right into the projects while subtly learning a few new approaches.

Mary Beth has been an accomplished designer in both knit and crochet for a decade, and might be best known for her long running podcast Getting Loopy! Both her book and podcast are worth checking out.

Now that I have been able to at least read through these 2 books, now it is time to get my hooks and needles flying and work some of these projects! (Find more of Mary Beth’s designs here)

 

Crochet Disintegration- Knowing the Points

In all my crochet repairs I have learned some simple truths…there are points of crochet stitches that are more likely to break, disintegrate, or fail. Granted this is only understanding a “natural” break after wear or use, not the type of repairs that occur after the puppy finds a new toy in grandma’s afghan. Understanding where these points of natural breaks occur are really help in making repairs, and it also helps me understand how my stitches work together in the final fabric.

Fixing Disintegrating crochet stitchesIf you think of your crochet fabric as the construction of a building it is much easy to see that there are some points that are “load bearing” and where future repairs might need to happen. These “load bearing” points usually happen in a place that stitches are worked into. For example, the center of a motif is a classic area for a structural fail. Working multiple stitches in this one point puts a strain on the yarn, especially when the stitches are worked only over 1 strand of yarn.

Working in one loop, either front or back loops, of a stitch also is a point of stress on the yarn. This one strand of yarn is bearing all the stress of any tugs or pulls, and depending upon the composition of the yarn, or the twist of the ply on the yarn, some fibers do not handle this stress as well as others.

If you encounter these points of stress beginning to fail in your fabric, there are some simple ways to make the repair.

The first step if to thread a yarn needle and catch all the loose loops from the base of the stitches that affected.

After securing these loops, the next task depends upon the stitch that has failed. If it is a center of a motif, one can usually thread yarn around the join or center of the motif, working under all the stitches in the center and essentially creating a new center loop, and secure this new loop.

If it is the top of another stitch that has failed, well this become a bit more of an operation. Dependent upon how damaged the stitch is, you may need to remove the stitch and re-stitch it, or simply catch its loose loops and using a threaded yarn needle “sew” in the manner of which the yarn would be pulled through if being stitched. This process takes a bit more confidence, and maybe some practice, but you can save history with a bit of patience.

The best tip I can share for fixing the disintegration points, is not to attempt to work everything in one sitting. I find that I can only work for about 15 minutes at a time, as it is such focused work. Do not feel that it is a quick undertaking. Be patient, and it will come.

 

The Regal Touch- Royal Blooms Shawl

Sometimes a design takes month to develop, multiple practice attempts and hours of thought and planning…others come together like magic. The Royal Blooms Shawl in the October 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine is the latter.

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

This shawl is really great to work up, a relatively simple pattern of V stitches and Shells that yields stunning results. The stacking of these stitches creates an almost jewel shape effect, that lends itself to royalty. While the negative space created shares a bit if a peek-a-boo quality. This is a great quick gift for a friend or loved one, or a special treat for yourself. It can take you from dress to casual fairly easily and thus is an excellent addition to any wardrobe.

One of the things I really loved about this shawl is in the yarn. It is worked up in Ancient Arts Reinvent Too.  This Wool/Mohair/Silk blend yarn is one that adds enough warmth to utilize this shawl for the crisp evenings of autumn, yet comfortable enough to wear in the mid-day sun.  This yarn is listed as a worsted or medium weight yarn, but in the hand I think it works up more like a light or DK weight, so this is not a shawl that is as light or wispy as a feather, but has a bit of substance to it. There are several color ways available, so it can please just about everyone.

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

I wish I had a better story to tell as to how this shawl came into being, but honestly it just fell right off the hook without my even thinking. Part of me thinks that I cannot even claim ownership of this design as it came too easily, so I hope you will enjoy creating your own and making it a new staple in your life.