Saturday, February 23, 2013

A New Scarf Pattern!

Well, it is about time, I finished this pattern. I started this pattern over a year ago.  It all started with my trip to NY in the summer of 2011.  :)  I purchased some yarn at a yarn shop in Islip, NY.  When I arrived home, it went on the shelf as I thought about what to do with it.  (that's a nice way of saying, it went into the stash bin) LOL!

Christmas, 2011, came and January, 2012, arrived.  Hmmmm, what to do for Rebekah for her birthday???
OH, a scarf out of the great yarn that I purchased on Long Island, when we drove there!!  Perfect. The pattern was narrowed down to 3 lace designs, and off I went.

 This tan scarf, above, was made from 100% worsted weight cotton, I Love This Cotton, at Hobby Lobby.

 This off white scarf, above, is Rebekah's scarf. It is the original scarf, made from a DK cotton weight yarn.

 This scarf is mine.  :)  It is made from silk DK weight yarn.  I love the color!! I purchased it from a local shop in TX.  Well, local, it is 45 miles away, but is the closest yarn shop to my house. (Other than my closet downstairs)  :)

The scarf uses size 10 US (5.75 mm) needles and 250 yards of yarn. Even though these scarves are cotton and silk, acrylic and wool will work for the pattern also.  They won't hang exactly the same, but will hang nicely.

This pattern was test knit by some of my knitting friends, who meet with me at a local library.  It is always fun to have a group knit, for test knitting! I get to see how all levels of knitters handle the same pattern and get some very good input. Which helps all knitters, in the end.

The pattern can be found on Ravelry, HERE.
On etsy the pattern can be found in the pattern section of my shop, Here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Free-form Scarf and Pattern

 I have been doing more free form knitting and crochet projects lately. I am really enjoying them, too.
Here is a scarf that I made, mainly from handspun yarns that I had in my stash.

Some of the yarns, were art yarns, that I spun several years ago.  All are very soft!

This scarf is a great stash buster! You can use bits and pieces of leftover yarns, if you want to.

I used many various yarns to knit this scarf.

I thought that I would write some very simple directions for this scarf.

Free form knitting, or crochet, is just that.  You sort of know what you want to do and then just keep adjusting until you like it. You can add different stitch patterns into the project or change colors when you want to.  Want to do a row of lace? Go for it. Want to do a short row and turn around? Go for it.  It is to be fun and serendipitous.  Yes, there can be some problem solving.  Sometimes you may need to rip and re-do an idea that didn't work, but we do that anyway when we make a mistake with a regular pattern.

This scarf is a great stash buster! You can use bits and pieces of leftover yarns, if you want to.
I used many various yarns to knit this scarf. I used a mixture of my handspun and some mill spun yarns.

The scarf was made by knitting lengthwise. Most yarns were bulky weight and I used  size 11 US (8 mm) knitting needles.

Leaving a long tail(for fringe) cast on about 50(or more) stitches using your favorite cast on method. Then knit one row. End off the original color and start a new color. When starting the new color leave a long tail in the beginning of the row and then leave a long tail at the end of the row, when ending off that color. These tails become the fringe.

Knit each row, unless you want to add in a lace stitch or another textured stitch pattern.  I added in a row or two of Old Shale(Feather and Fan), that is what caused the slight zig-zag.

Periodically, increase stitches, so that the length of the scarf becomes the total length you need to be able to wrap around your neck.
When your scarf is the length and width that you want it to be, bind off. Block and trim fringe even, or not. :)
It is free-form and you can be structured with your fringe or not.  :)

Are you a crocheter?? You can make this scarf, by using a similar size hook and single crochet. You can work any crochet stitch that you wish, actually, and can add in a lace stitch or textured stitch, just like the knitters.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Wool Coat Story

Once upon a time, I bought a piece of wool fabric. I brought it home, with dreams of a ruana type coat. It went into the fabric stash..... OK, so now I have to confess, that I not only have a fiber stash, a yarn stash, but I do also have a fabric stash.  :)  Over the years, though, as sewing has taken the back seat, the fabric stash is now smaller than the fiber and yarn stash. So, I know that isn't saying much, cause that could mean the fabric stash is still huge and the yarn/fiber even larger.  Not true.  LOL! The fabric stash has dwindled.  Amazing.

So, anyway, The piece of lovely gray plaid wool, sat languishing in the fabric box and truly wondered if it would EVER get out of there.  One day in 2011, I decided to pull it out and delivered it from the box. Because my idea was to make a ruana cover up, that was sewn from felted wool, I put it in the washer in hot water to see how it would felt. IT DID!! 

About the same time, I realized that I didn't have enough for a ruana....... it was too short and too narrow of a piece.  What's a person to do? Well, I went to my wool fabric stash, that has grown over the years.  Ooops!  Yep, there is another stash... Doggone it.... Well, anyway, the stashes are helpful.  I was able to go to that stash and pull out several pieces and add it to my ruana and decided it would become a coat. :)  A LARGE coat, that my sweaters could be warn under.

Well, it was too large.

So, I crocheted a trim down the front, from my yarn stash, to see if it would look slimmer.  Hahahaha! Talk about big and ugly. Guess what I did? Yep, I tossed it on top of the fabric stash box, in the closet.  I thought there was no hope for it.  The coat was in time out in the closet, on top of the box, for about a year. 

I took it out one morning, just before Christmas 2012, and wore it outside to get pictures of snow.  It was REALLY warm.  hmmmm.  I thought, "WOW, I have to fix this thing."

So, I decided to lay it out on the floor and put my winter jacket on top to use as a guide.  Think it was too big?? 

 Well, I ended up cutting off about 26 inches total, in the width, of the coat. :) If you are a professional seamstress you may just want to skip the next few sentences.  :)  Because this retired professional seamstress did the unthinkable. I did use a ruler, though, and marked a cutting line out from the coat.  Cut off the side pieces and stitched them up.  Didn't start with a pattern, and didn't finish with one.  :)

I also ripped off the trim, that was supposed to make the coat look slim(and didn't).   AND with much encouragement from two of my friends, I crocheted a dark brown trim on it instead. 

I took some of the fabric, that I had cut off, and made cuffs for the sleeves. :)  The plaid fabric is the fabric I bought in a fabric store.  The tan fabric is from my dad's wool coat and the gray was from a wool skirt that I purchased at a thrift store and then felted.

So, there you have it.  I love my new coat.  I have been wearing it on days that are cold, and having a blast!  It is nice and toasty in 30 and 40 degree weather.  Maybe one day, I will get to wear it in colder weather to test it out. It does get colder that 30 here, especially in February.