Championship Cowl


Pattern: Thick and Quick Ribbed Cowl by Naomi Furtado (my project: Championship Cowl)
Yarn: Patons ColorWul
Colorway: Creek
Fiber: 100% Wool
Hook: US 13 (9.0mm)
Dates: January 19th to 20th

Notes: Cute, right? I worked up this little sweetie just to have something simple to work on while watching the NFL playoff games this past Sunday. I wanted something that used big needles, bulky yarn and could be knit up in a few hours. This easily fit the bill.


I wanted big needles partially for speed but also so that I could use up some of my Patons ColorWul yarn in the Creek colorway. It’s been sitting around my craft room looking pretty and I really want to use it. Can you blame me? Soooo pretty!


I easily wrapped up the knitting portion of this in one day. BOOM. The second day was boring weaving in ends day. Boooooooo.

GO BRONCOS!!! GO SEAHAWKS!!!

This is a EpicKALCAL project 🙂

Malabrigo Mitts


Pattern: Adeline Fingerless Mitts with Faux Cables by CrochetDreamz (my project: Malabrigo Mitts)
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Worsted
Colorway: Uva
Fiber: 100% Merino Wool
Hook: US H (5.0mm)
Dates: January 5th to January 12th
Skill Level: Medium (basic crochet skills, slip stitch & using single [back] loops)

Notes: These are soooo soft and squishy and the perfect size. The Malabrigo was in my stash as leftover yarn from the trim of my Taste Like Candy hat. I wasn’t completely sure that I had enough yarn leftover to make these as written, so I shortened them just a tad by four cast-on chains and in turn, the bottom half of the faux cable. I ended up having more than enough yarn with this modification.


I really like that the pattern used the back loop technique instead of both loops to build ridges and the use of slip stitches instead of single crochet stitches is also super cool. It made for a very cool texture with well defined ridges. The making of the faux cables was insanely easy. Like it’s hilarious how easy they were to make. But I like the effect that they have on the overall project – gotta love it when a little effort gives you a big bang!


Adorable, right!?

Oh, and let me just add this: this yarn is amazaballs!!! Understand, the weather in LA is so not fingerless mitt weather at the moment. Like its getting up into the 70’s and 80’s by the middle of the afternoon (life in Los Angeles – tough). But does that stop me from randomly putting them on and walking around my warm craft room just because they are super amazingly soft and awesome? HELL NO. I seriously wish I could make everything in life out of this stuff. EVERYTHANG!


Malabrigo Worsted Deja Vu & Uva. Literally the most awesome stuff ever. EVAH.

This is an EpicKALCAL project!!!  =)

Pecora


Pattern: Oveja by Ana Luisa Galvan (my project: Pecora)
Yarn: Unwind Yarn Company Touring DK
Colorway: Sanibel Stoop
Fiber: 100% Merino Wool
Hook: US K (6.5mm)
Dates: December 19, 2013 to January 5, 2014
Skill Level: Easy-peasy (chain stitch, double crochet, & double crochet increase/decrease)

Notes: Love this simple shawl! The body of the shawl was super straight forward – lots of double crochet that made for great TV crochet. The border took a little more attention but was well worth it. So nice!!!


This came out really pretty despite the two hanks of yarn not being exactly the same. As I noted in my Ravelry notes, if you look at my blocking photo you can see that the corner of the shawl on the right is more solid, saturated and with less lighter flecks than the left portion of the shawl. I’m assuming this is the life you live when you buy from smaller indie yarn dyers and you don’t check that the skeins came from the same batch. Luckily you can’t see it when its around my neck, so it doesn’t drive me crazy!


But make no mistake – this yarn was delicious to work with. The color is divine and its super cozy without being heavy so I will be rockin’ this shawl a lot. Also, this shawl didn’t need to be soaked and wet blocked at all. I simply pinned it down to the dimension that I wanted (focusing mostly on pinning out the points on the border) and steamed it good. Real goooood. Worked perfectly.

My only complaint about this project is the actual write up of the pattern. It wasn’t as clear as I’m usually accustomed to and I had to guess what the designer meant and fake/guess my way through multiple sections of the pattern. I did, however, like the hand drawn section of the pattern because it did a good job at showing what the designer meant to say but didn’t.

This is an EpicKALCAL project! 🙂

Rosie

Pattern: Anna’s Shawl by Kounting Sheep Designs (my project: Rosie)
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted
Colorway: Natural Heather
Fiber: 100% Wool
Hook: US J (6.0mm)
Dates: November 27 to December 22, 2013
Skill Level: Beginner (single crochet, double crochet, chain stitch, clear and instructions)

Notes: Like my Sockhead Hat, this shawl is all about endurance. Miles and miles and miles of single crochet. Miles. The lace border goes by fairly quickly though with lots of double crochet V-stitches goodness. But let me tell you, it’s totally worth it! So cozy and so warm and great for cold nights on the couch watching TV with the puppy and knitting!

Can we say huuuuge though?

This thing is so big I had to block it on my guest bed instead of my dining room table like I usually do. This isn’t totally surprising because I used over three skeins of worsted weight wool in making this monster. So awesome though. I’ve never blocked single crochet in worsted weight before but it came out fabulously. It drapes sooooo nicely and I love throwing it around my shoulders (LIKE A DIVA)!

Uber cozy!!!

This is an EpicKALCAL project!

Film Noir

After about a year of sewing and researching and pinning…booooom, I have a quilt.


Ahhhhhh! I made a quilt! I made a quilt! I made a quilt!

This is a super easy quilt top (1600 Jelly Roll Race Quilt Top Tutorial) with simple quilting and binding. But of course it took me FOREVAH! It’s not that it was difficult at all, I just took baby steps in doing it. And I researched the shit out of each baby step. And over thought each baby step. Also, doing the binding by hand didn’t move things along with great speed either (blanket stitch on the machine next time for sure!).

Ugh, me and my “process”!

But look!!! A quilt with all kinds of crinkly goodness – that I made!


I decided to name it “Film Noir” because it reminds me of the old school black and white Hollywood detective/crime movies and tv shows (The Saint, Peter Gunn, Manchurian Candidate – the original version with Frank Sinatra, etc.). The technical definition of Film Noir includes the words “low-key black-and-white” which this quilt totally is. The black is pretty black but there are a lot nice grays and the white is way more of a cream than anything. The deep burgundy backing – a nod to the notorious femme fatales of this classic cinematic genre. Even in black and white you knew that their lipstick was dark and sexy.

Time to cuddle up with the puppy and watch some Perry Mason!

Quilt from above

(It’s 62 inches long by 51 inches wide)

Raisin in the Sun


Pattern: Elise Shawl by Evan Plevinski (my project: Raisin in the Sun)
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock
Colorway: Velvet Grapes
Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool
Hook: US I (Boye)
Dates: January 8 to October 30, 2013
Skills: chain stitch and single/double/triple crochet stitches

Notes: This shawl came about because as much as I looove Malabrigo sock yarn I was warned that it doesn’t hold up particularly well as socks. I’m already a fickle sock knitter so putting a ton of time into a pair that might wear out quickly didn’t appeal to me at all. This yarn is also slightly tonal and I was afraid the light spots would pool in a knitted shawl or hat. Soooo, after hunting around I came up with the idea of doing a crocheted shawl and found the Elise Shawl. And as usual…Great Yarn + Great Pattern = Fabulous Finished Object!


I have to say that it blocked out quite nicely. It was tiny when I finished the border but it blocked to the exact size that I wanted. It was a quick blocking job too. I used my Inspinknity blocking wires for the borders and two straightened wire hangers for the straight part of the top. Under 20 minutes from start to finish!


Attempting A Monogamous Life

For the most part, I’m not a monogamous knitter/crocheter. I usually have noooo problem working on a million projects at one time. Just a yarnie project ho.


Right now I’m at 5 works in progress (WIPs; and no the craft room doesn’t count). But trust me, this hasn’t always been the case. I’m not saying I let it get crazy but it’s been more than I’ve been comfortable with more often than not.

Recently, my friend Eve (over at pandorra7) came across a post over at lladybird.com where she talks about how she gets sooooo much done. Now if you don’t know lladybird you need to get your ass over to her site. SHE’S AMAZING. She’s cranks out beautiful work and in mass amounts (sewing and knitting). All of her stuff is so cute and so is she. I read her post titled “How Do You Find The Time To Sew So Much.” Although this post is jammed packed with good advice that applies to all crafty folks, one of the points really stuck with me: She’s doesn’t have any UFOs (unfinished objects). She starts something, then she finishes it.

Crazy freakin’ talk. This is the complete opposite of my usual M.O. > Start all the shit all the time. Clearly this isn’t working for me, total productivity killer. I start all the stuff and I never get anything done.

Time for a change. I’m still going to start stuff, but I’m going to start focusing on what I’m working on and finish the stuff I start beeeefore starting something new. I’m thinking maybe one (monogamous living) or two projects at a time.  I know two at a time doesn’t qualify as monogamous, but its a start!!!

To do this I figured I had to get my WIP count dooooooown. First I had my friend Eve frog my Modern Garden Cardigan.


Trust me, this is a lovely knit. Easy, fast and gives wonderful results, but I simply wasn’t inspired to finish it at all (it’s been on the needles for over 2 years!). I’d been debating frogging it for some time and I finally just handed the incomplete project over to Eve one night and said “It needs to be done. Can you do it for me? I just can’t bear to rip out all of that work.”

And rip it out she did!


Second, I wrapped up my Sockhead Hat (notes on it here):


Now I’m working on my Elise Shawl (my project > Raisin in the Sun):


To be honest I have nooooo idea why I stopped working on this months ago. I’m making it out of Malabrigo and its freakin’ amazaballs. Soft, great color and just a sheer pleasure to work with. Secondly, this shawl is done in crochet and moves along at a fairly decent clip. Hopefully I will have this finished by the end of this week (I’m slow moving due to a cold and just being worn out by work).

I’m not sure what I want to work on after this shawl though. I’m debating between polishing off my Hug Me Socks or my Metallurgy Shawl. I love the Metallurgy Shawl but the lace pattern is very complex (for me at least) and each row of lace takes a ton of concentration and time for me. The Hug Me socks are a little boring to work on but the finished project will be awesome – you can’t beat a merino wool/cashmere/nylon sock!

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