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Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Katrina got her Swap Swap Gals package the other day so now I get to blog about all the super-secret projects I have been working on.  It was actually pretty tough to stay mum on so many projects. 

 And I know there are at least a few of you are thinking, “Finally, she made something besides dishcloths!”   

 

The Brea Bag is the item I’m most proud of for the “All About Hearts” themed swap.  I had been weary of intermediate knitting projects until Kara and Katie gave me some knitting encouragement via my Ravelry message box and I decided to just go with it. 

This was my first major knitting project with cables, but the pattern was actually easy to understand, especially with the videos on Knittinghelp.com.  Also, I relied on the Terms and Techniques list from Knitting-crochet.com.  Their abbreviation list is really comprehensive and I learned a bunch of knitting terms like ssk, psso and St st.

This was also my first project with a lining.  I had to hand sew everything and it took me a while to finish.  The lining turned out a little baggy but I was afraid it would end up on the small side. 

The handle was thrifted from an old handbag.  Instead of  sewing the flaps in place I sewed buttons to the inside so the handle can be removed and Katrina can wash the bag easily.  She could even replace the handle if she wanted.

The picture of the Brea Bag along with the free pattern had a heart-like shape.  Mine doesn’t look quite like that so just for good measure I used a button with a heart motif.   

My crochet skills really helped for the last steps of the pattern.  I slip stitched the bag together for strength.  Also, the pattern called for a crab stitch edging and chain button loop. 

Since the purse didn’t have a zipper closure, I made her a matching Half-Hearted Purse with Red Heart in Cafe and Cashmere.  I used a crab stitch for the edging to match the purse and kept the same color scheme on the front and back.  In the original pattern, the designer used hemp and reversed the colors for the opposite side of the coin purse. 

I lined the coin purse, too.  I think the zipper was sewn a tad uneven so it’s a little tough to open and close.  Also, next time I sew a zipper I’ll make it a little longer.  The opening is smaller than it should be.

This drawstring bag is titled That Pouch Thing.  The pattern makes a nice little drawstring bag designed for holding dice.  I would make this again in a DK or light weight yarn.  The crochet fabric is a little stiff to gather with Red Heart (in Cafe and Country Rose).

The bottom view shows the individual pieces of the bag.  I whip-stitched the pieces together instead of single crocheting like the pattern called for. 

Changing colors every row for each of the four pieces would make a nice v-shaped stripe design. 

Katrina is due this summer so I made her baby-to-be a Pixie Hat.  The size is meant for a 3-6 month old, but could stretch to fit an older baby.  Katrina wrote in her Wish List that she liked earth tones and orange.  I originally wanted to make this in Bernat Pink Camouflage, but I didn’t know the sex of the baby until after I sent the package (it’s a girl!).  To be safe I used this gender-neutral TLC yarn in Jungle.   

There was so much sewing for this swap!  When I was done with the purses, I still had to this button to attach.

Instead of a tassel, I added a little orange heart motif.  Looks a little like a carrot now that I see it up close!

For her other three kids (4, 2 and 1) I sent Alice in Wonderland.  Remember the Queen of Hearts? 

There are four items that don’t fit the ‘All About Hearts’ swap theme.  Katrina mentioned in her wish list that she liked to read about organizing and collects recipes, so I had to include the Woman’s Day Magazine.  

As for the pink bag, I was originally going to find a heart bead to thread on the drawstring, but I couldn’t find anything non-plastic.  The little heart beads were perfect for a bracelet kit for her four year old daughter though. 

I also threw in a toy elephant and a spool of ribbon.  These were last minute additions to put in the purses.  I don’t know where I got the idea, but I don’t like giving a bag/purse/wallet as a gift with nothing inside.  It’s probably one of those superstitions you hold over from childhood.  Remember avoiding cracks on the sidewalk?

For the Lewis Carroll book I made a little granny square heart bookmark.  The pattern, Heart Coaster or Embilshment, is from Crochetville.  I just added a slip stitch tail.  The little sun motif at the end is just a ring of single crochet and a row of single crochet and picots. 

Lastly, I made this dishcloth with Lily’s Sugar and Cream in Hot Orange and Over the Rainbow.  The My Heart Dishcloth pattern is pretty and quick, just like a dishcloth should be.

At least this post wasn’t all dishcloths, right?

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The front post dc and shell stitch combination in this Divine hat really caught my eye.  The pattern uses asymmetrical shells to force the front post stitches in one direction, making the spiral effect.  To me it looks complicated, but the pattern stitch is surprisingly straight forward and very easy to create. 

If you’re a knitter, the Odessa from MagKnits is a similar design.  I like how the beads are knitted into the spiral.  If only I was that advanced!  For my hat, I used Caron SS Heather in Denim.  The color is closer to a bluish silver than a denim, though. 

 

I made the Cable hat, below, for myself.  My double crochet hat is starting to show signs of wear after several loyal years.  Plus, with all this snow and freezing wind I needed a sturdy hat.

Compared to my old RHSS hat, this thing makes my head look huge!  There’s front and back post stitches, so it has the thickness of three layers of crochet.  My brother thinks it looks like those Russian Ushanka hats, especially if I added ear flaps.  I tend to agree, but it’s very warm.  And the hat is made with Caron Simply Soft Heather (in Charcoal), so it’s soft too. 

I learned a new technique for a nearly-seamless front post stitch join with these hats.  The pattern calls for a ch-2 before making the first front post stitch in the round.  When you come to the end of a round, you ignore this ch-2 and join directly to the front post stitch. 

This means that instead of chaining for a stitch that should be a front post, you hide this chain behind and there’s barely any difference between the join and the rest of the hat.  You can see the seam of the hat in the picture below, on the left of the cable.   

 

These patterns are both from the same designer, which are written with minimum detail.  They’re easy enough to understand if you’ve ever followed a hat pattern and there’s a stitch count at the end of every row.  Don’t be scared off by the cables in the second hat either.  The directions for cables are really clear. 

I ran into some problems with gauge and my yarn selection.  I originally used Red Heart Super Saver, but the connected front post stitches looked jilted.  Not that you can’t use Red Heart, but the cables really shine when you have a smooth yarn like Caron SS. 

The other problem was gauge.  I had the gauge with the suggested hook size, but it was mammoth in size.  The gauge is based solely on the width of the front post cable.  What I found was this gauge could be true with about three different hooks.  

Also, the cable hat especially, really stretches because of the front post stitches.  So if the hat does feel a little snug, just remember that it will ease up a bit with use.  If you want to use the official gauge, I would go with the smallest hook size possible.  I ended up using a size H crochet hook with a gauge of  13 dc and 7 rows = 10″.   Even with the size H hook, it’s still the teeniest bit loose, but I’m glad I have it for this snowy Northwest winter. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

Russia has twice the number of chess Grandmasters as Germany, its nearest competitor.

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