Completed cardigan and incomplete everything else…

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I finished the chevron cardigan! It’s taken me a while to actually upload the photos, but here it is in all its glory paired up with the dress it’s going to de-funeralise. It’s virtually unblocked here, as I have to take it on a long car journey before I have to wear it so I figure I’ll iron out all the wrinkles and uneveness when I get there.

After finishing it I had a little ‘well, what next?’ moment, which was totally uncalled for considering what I found in my project bag…

This is the basque, or beginnings of a basque, to a vest from the new Patons Classics book. There are so many great designs in the book, particularly a cabled aran-style cardigan that has a lovely silhouette… No! I mustn’t tempt myself!!

My grandmother has been teaching me how to dye yarns and this was my first effort. It was a bit of a crazy experiment but I’m really happy with the results. We used white Bluebell 5ply crepe and powder dyes. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of how it looks in the skein, but here is what it looks like in the ball…

With all that to do I surely don’t need another project, but that’s not the haphazard, prolific way I go about things!

So here’s a cabled scarf I’m making using Schoppel Wolle’s Cashmere Queen. It’s a cashmere, silk and merino blend. When I first felt it in the ball I thought it was nothing special, and certainly not worth the price, but when I felt a knitted sample I just knew I had to make something with it! The friction of knitting it causes it to fluff up and become incredibly downy and soft. This will probably be the most expensive scarf I’ll ever make, but it’s so worth it.

I have an 8 hour car journey tomorrow so I’m planning to finish it on the way as my destination it’s going to be brutally cold and windy! During the 8 hour return journey I’m hoping to finish the border of the ’70s hexagon blanket. I’m sure it’ll have the bonus of keeping me cosy on the way.

I’ve also started working on the Woodley-inspired granny square jumper, but I can’t for the life of me decide how I should join them. Here is an experiment where I’ve joined them as I’ve gone. It leaves a bit of a ridge which could be a design feature, but I’m afraid it’s just a tad too ridge-y for that. I may just whip stitch the whole thing together if I come to a conclusion that it is too ridge-y, although that will use up a lot more wool (and time!) I think some more experimenting; I need to find a way that joins as you go, lies flatter and uses up less yarn than whip stitching.

And that’s all not to mention the still in-progress blankets and a newly begun Kaffe Fassett-inspired fair-isle scarf for 107. Phew! I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Lucky I have this car journey tomorrow to get some done…

I wish I could resolve to not start anything new until I finish all of these projects, but I know I’ll just break the promise to myself and feel bad, and so I’ll buy wool to make me feel better and that will cause me to start a new project only fulfilling the cycle. So yeah, we’ll see how the car journey goes…

Crocheted Collar-related experimentation

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I hope you all had/are having (depending on where you are in the world!) a lovely Good Friday. I spent mine experimenting with crocheted detachable collars…

The first one I made using a pattern from Mel P Designs. I used Morris’ Empire 4ply superwash merino (the same as what my Plumage gloves are made from). It’s so very soft and shouldn’t irritate the skin as it has almost no halo to it. It almost looks cottony.

I was really happy with the way it turned out, although I did do some tweaking. The original doesn’t have the scalloped edge. I got the idea for that particular edging from this crochet collar pattern by iro iro. I thought it was an adorable addition and that it was a bit more my cousin’s style as this collar is for her.

I also made one of iro iro’s crochet collars in some Morris’ Estate 8ply. It’s a little scratchier than the merino, but this collar sits lower and so will make less contact with one’s neck. I decided to use a hook and eye closure at the back instead of a snap closure. I’m much more a fan of peter pan collars, but I still love this round collar to bits.

Here’s a close-up of the edging. It’s very sweet and I’m certain I’ll use it on many projects to come.

This collar is to be gifted to a friend first thing tomorrow.

Because neither of these collars are my own design, they’re not something I could sell at 107. However, I was thinking that the chevron cardigan that inspired this whole crocheted collar idea could be augmented and downsized and crocheted in white to make a kind of yoke/collar too. I love the peter pan collar too much to do away with the idea of making them for 107, so I’ll probably do some more fiddling around until I come up with my own pattern.

So with a bit more experimenting, I’m sure I’ll have a few different collars that I can sell. Maybe I could make a few basic collars, similar to Mel P Designs’, and use different edgings on each…? Scallops? Picots? Miniature flowers? Beading? I’ll get back to you on that one.

But for now, I just wanted to leave you with some photos I quickly took of a granny square blanket I recently inherited.

It was made either by my grandmother, or my great-grandmother (we’re not entirely sure) and it’s quite incredible. It’s 16 by 21 squares, plus each square is bordered by two rows of single crochet. I’m guessing it’s done in 4 ply with a 3.5mm hook though the squares on the edge are all done with a smaller hook and have an extra row. Imagine all that work! Imagine weaving in all those ends! No, I can’t imagine it either; it’s just too incredible.

Unfortunately the blanket needs a little repair. Some of the holes are quite superficial – for example, where the slip stitch join at the end of a round has come undone and needs rejoining.

But some of the holes are quite big.

I’m hoping I’ll find the time to give it a once over and fix up any holes. The really big ones will need a bit of planning before I attempt any drastic surgery.

In the next few days I’ll take some photos to show you how immense and glorious the blanket really is. Oh, and I just have the front bands left to do of the chevron cardigan. So excited to finish!

Some stuff and some things

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Today I finished the first of the gloves I was making for work! Hurrah! I’m so happy with it. It is so warm and toasty – such a shame about the non-glove-friendly, hot and humid weather we’re having at the moment.

(Please excuse the awkward angle; it’s very difficult to take a photo of your own hand.)

Tomorrow I’ll definitely scrounge around for some 4ply in my stash that I can use to make a pair for 107 (and possibly a pair for myself…) Perhaps some Crazy Zauberball, or some other sock yarn. I’m sure I have some lying around waiting to be put to good use.

In other news, the Noro ripple stitch blanket is growing steadily.

It’s rather thick and getting to the stage where it’s a bit too unmanageable to crochet during the bus ride to work each morning. It’s a good night time project because it’s quite an easy, mindless pattern. In the photo you can see the last little mangled bit of the first ball of Taiyo. The Taiyo is like the limiting reagent (ugh, Chemistry analogy). The size of the blanket only really depends on how much Taiyo I have left because it’s discontinued, where as I have abundant access to the gray and black. Yadda, yadda, yadda, therefore as I have three balls, the blanket will come out about three times the size of what you see here.

Noro-wise, I’ve decided to make a crochet chevron lace cardigan. My cousin’s wedding is coming up and the dress I want to wear is too… how should I put it…? Funeral-ly. So I spent (a bit less than) the money I would have spent on a new dress on some Noro Silk Garden to make a colourful, autumnal cardigan to brighten it up. The wedding is also somewhere quite cold so it will be good to have an extra layer, though I’ll probably only make the cardigan cap-sleeved.

Here is what I’ve done of the yoke so far:

I like that it’s asymmetrical. It’s just that bit more interesting. And practical. You’ve got to love a project with no seams!

It’s a different cousin’s birthday coming up and I was having trouble thinking of a gift to make her. Trying the yoke on for size, I had a sudden burst of brainspiration; crochet collars! I’ve been doing a little research into some patterns and found heaps of ideas. Ideally, I’d want it to be a peter-pan collar, but although many patterns I’ve seen are completely gorgeous, none are quite right for her. My favourite so far is by Mel P Designs. I’ll do some experimenting tomorrow. And who knows? If I come up with a pattern myself it could be yet another item for 107.

Guh, so many ideas, so little time.