Thursday, August 8, 2013

Magic Numbers and Color Blending

My most recent project experiments have been to use two of designer/yarn producer Laura Bryant's techniques.  The first is a shell sweater knit using her color blending technique.  The pattern is a simple stockinette shell with a garter stitch drapey cowl at the front neck.  The yarn I chose is Fyberspate Scrumptious Lace which was originally natural but I dyed it in three colors: light gray, china blue, and a light brown.  The first piece worked is the back.  To work the color blending technique I started using three strands of the light gray.  After 3 inches I dropped one strand of the gray and added one strand of the china blue (2 gray, 1 blue).  After 3 inches I dropped another strand of gray and added a strand of the china blue (1 gray, 2 blue).  After 3 inches I will drop the last strand of gray and add one of the china blue (3 blue).  I will knit the 3 blue for another 3 inches.  Sweater measures 12 inches.  At this point I will drop one of the blue strands and add one strand of the brown (2 blue, 1 brown).  I will knit 3 inches (at 14 1/2 inches will also begin armhole shaping) and then drop another blue strand and add one brown (1 blue, 2 brown).  The back now measures 15 inches.  Next I drop the last blue and knit for the remainder of the back using three strands to brown.  The front will be worked with the same color blending technique.  This technique produces an ombre tweed effect.  I am currently at the 2 blue, 1 gray stage of the back.
The second Laura Bryant technique is one based on her latest book and uses what she calls Magic Numbers to produce an argyle effect when knit or crocheted with hand dyed yarn.  The first step is to determine the type of hand dyed yarn you are working with.  The yarns I am currently using are my own hand dyed and are dyed-around as opposed to dyed across.  Then you need to determine the length of one color repeat.  This gives you the magic number for that skein of yarn.  Next using that number plus one I crocheted this scarf.

 Now I am working on a knitted version.  This time I am only using 1/2 the magic number minus one.  This will make a narrower scarf and a zig-zag pattern instead of the arygle.
I also completed a baby hat for a friend knit with several strands of novelty yarn held together and worked are size 15 needles.
It looks a little odd on this styrofoam head because it is an adult size.  On a baby this will be more of a hood style hat.
Tomorrow I need to get yarn to start a couple more class samples (crocheted socks and something else).

Thursday, July 25, 2013


This week I have been doing some weaving.  A little over a year and half ago I purchased a Rigid Heddle loom.  I tried to sale it awhile back but could not find any takers.  Therefore last week I decided to go ahead and try to use it.  As is normal there was a bit of a learning curve with some trial and error but finally got some cute mug rugs and potholders made using New Zealand Rug Yarn which I then felted.  They will make some nice gifts for later on.
I did finish a new cotton cardi but still need to get it blocked and buttons sewn on.  I am almost done with a cotton tee for one of my crochet classes but ran out of yarn.  Have also made some progress on the shawl (also for a class and also the Wound Warriors Sempier Fie Ball).  I also did more work on my crocheted socks (have one almost finished).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Granny Meets Kristin Shawl

One of my recent designs is a crocheted shawl that I named Granny Meets Kristin.  The reason for the name is that the basic triangle shawl is made of a type of granny square.  It is then trimmed with a trim from Kristin Omdahl's book A Finer Edge.  Before I released the pattern on Ravelry and Craftsy I did contact Kristin and insure that it was okay to use this pattern  I really was surprised by how nice she was about me using this chart/pattern and how supportive she was.  That is one of the things that I find so rewarding about the knitting and crocheting community.  Even the designers are supportive of others and help encourage and mentor them.  Here is two finished versions of the shawl.  The blue/green/purple one is yarn that I dyed myself.  The multicolored squares with the pink edging is a larger shawl and is made with a combination of Blue Ridge Footlights and Perwinkle Sheep Potluck. 

The Granny squares are joined as you go and then once all of the squares are joined the edging is work by doing four rows of double crochet and then the scallops which are from Kristin's book are worked individually by working back and forth in rows.  Both shawls also have beads which are visible in some of the pictures.  This was a fun design to work in both sizes.

I am now working on designing a top-down crocheted cardigan utilizing sizing techniques I learned in one of the courses I purchased.  Love the Craftsy format and the instructors are experts in the craft industry.  Plus you have them available 24/7 for as long as you have a computer to access them.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

After A Long Hiatus

Because of my husband's long illness and ultimately death, have not posted stuff in a long time.  However, I did continue to knit and crochet.  Often having a project to work on in the hospital ER, or at his bedside was all that kept me reasonable sane.  Mostly worked on simple items such as baby blankets.  However did complete the following items.  Knitted Projects

Crocheted Projects - other designers

 Crocheted Projects - My designs

And these were my contributions to Halos of Hope at Stitches South 2013 in April.

This year they donated items to an Atlanta area childrens cancer center and they requested sea themed items so I made Gordon the Jelllyfish, and the cute fish, as well as a stinky fish hat.  The other three hats were for their usual chemo hat collection.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recent Creative Activity

Since being fired on 3/6/12 I have been busy knitting, crocheting, dying yarn, and writing patterns.  Here are the things I have knit or crocheted recently.

I also made this summer maxi sundress from cotton material I ordered on-line.  It is my own pattern developed from my memory of one of my favorite muumuus bought in Hawaii.

It is shown here unbelted but does have a belt that can be added.

I have also been hand dying more yarn.  Here are the most recent results.

I have several more items to knit and crochet plus some more clothing to sew for both myself and my great grand children.  Also I have several more skeins of yarn to be dyed. 
I am also working on developing several patterns that will be for sell soon.