October 24, 2014

Aura Cowl & Loop ~ 2 Free Crochet Patterns

Happy Friday! Got a pretty cowl & loop scarf to offer you today. I hope you enjoy it.

Aura Cowl
Aura Loop
Description
Aura uses color and texture to create a mesmerizing textile for the perfect cold-weather accessory.  Tall and short post-stitches create a nubbly fabric perfect for cozying up this winter. This pattern offers two versions with different construction methods: a cowl worked in the round and a loop scarf worked flat and joined with a crocheted seam to demonstrate this unique stitch pattern. Aura adds stunning color to your winter wardrobe and would be perfect for holiday gifting.

Materials
For the cowl:
Red Heart Boutique Treasure (70% Acrylic/30% Wool, 151 yd [138 m] / 100g), Abstract #788 1918; 2 skeins

For the loop:
Lion Brand Amazing ( 53% wool/47% acrylic, 147 yd [135 m] / 50 g) ) #825-207 Pink Sands; 6 skeins

Hook
For the cowl:
Size K (6.5 mm) hook

For the loop:
Size J (6.0 mm) hook

Notions
Yarn needle

Gauge
For the cowl:
10 sts & 9 rows in 4 in [10 cm] of pattern stitch worked in size K (6.5 mm) hook.

For the loop:
9 sts & 9.75 rows in 4 in [10 cm] of pattern stitch worked in size J (6.0 mm) hook.

Notes
Two foundation row methods are offered: foundation half double crochet creates an edge with more stretch than a traditional foundation chain edge.

This pattern offers two methods of working this stitch pattern (flat or in rounds). The cowl is worked top-down, in rounds, without turning the work. The infinity loop is worked flat in rows, and the short ends are joined with a crocheted seam to form a loop.

This fabric is reversible.

Scarf Option: Do not join the edges of the Infinity Scarf to create a loop and simply wear as a scarf.
Skills Needed
Foundation hdc (optional)
Working in rounds
Post stitches

Abbreviations/Stitches Used
Back-post double-treble crochet (bpdtr)
Back-post half double crochet (bphdc)
Chain (ch)
Double-treble crochet (dtr)
Extended turning chain (ETC)
Foundation half double crochet (fhdc)
Front-post double treble crochet (fpdtr)
Front-post half double crochet (fphdc)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
Round (rnd)
Slip stitch (sl st)



Cowl Instructions















Foundation Row: Fhdc 70 sts. Do not turn, sl st to join last fhdc to 1st fhdc for working in rounds being careful not to twist the round.

OR

Foundation Chain + Foundation Row: Ch 72; hdc in 3rd st from hk and each ch across...70 hdc. Do not turn, sl st to join last hdc to 1st hdc for working in rounds being careful not to twist the round.

Set-Up Row: ETC, bphdc in next hdc, fpdtr in next hdc, *bphdc in next hdc, fpdtr in next hdc; rep from * around. Do not turn. Sl st to top of ch-2 to join.

Row 1: ETC, fphdc in next phdc, bpdtr over next pdtr, * fphdc over next phdc, bpdtr over next pdtr; rep from * around, sl st to top of 1st st to join rnd, do not turn.

Row 2: ETC, bphdc in next phdc, fpdtr in next pdtr, * bphdc in next phdc, fpdtr in next pdtr; rep from * around, sl st to top of 1st st to join rnd, do not turn.

Rep Rows 1-2 5 times more.

Rep Row 1 once more.

Fasten off. Break yarn leaving a 6” (15 cm) tail.

Finishing
Weave in all yarn ends. Hand wash and lay flat to dry. Steam lightly if desired.

Loop Scarf




















Foundation Chain: Ch 185.
Foundation Row: ETC, hdc in 1st ch, *dtr in next ch, hdc in next ch; rep from * across...185 sts.

Row 1: ETC, bphdc in 1st hdc, *fpdtr in next dtr; bphdc in next hdc; rep from * across.

Rep Row 1 21 times more. Do not fasten off.

Join 2 short ends by laying the scarf out flat and working a sl st seam from the working yarn edge to the bottom edge. Do not fasten off.

From the working yarn work as follows:
Edge Row 1: Ch 1, sc in 1st st and each st around, sl st join rnd.

Fasten off. Break yarn leaving a 6” (15 cm) tail.

Join yarn at opposite loop edge.
Edge Row 2: Work as for Edge Row 1.

Fasten off. Break yarn leaving a 6” (15 cm) tail.

Finishing
Weave in all yarn ends. Hand wash and lay flat to dry. Steam lightly if desired.







Drake Cap: A Free Knitting Pattern

Hi! It's been awhile, hasn't it? I've been busy designing and writing a crochet book. That's right! The book is due out in Fall 2015 from Interweave Press. Now that my deadline is over, I've been knitting to relax and stretch out my creative muscles. I'm looking forward to sharing more recent projects now that there is time to breathe again.

I designed this watch cap for my Dad who picked out the yarn because of its hip colors and soft texture. I'm excited to give it to him next week, but I had to share the pattern with you. It's simple and effective--my favorite type of pattern.


DRAKE CAP

by 

Sara Kay Hartmann







Drake is a classic watch cap worked in the round from the top down. The crown is worked in stockinette stitch followed by a hat body of 2 x 2 ribbing worked on a smaller needle to create a comfortable style perfect for men, women, boys, and girls. The sizing on this cap is very forgiving, so choose the size closest to the wearer’s head measurement. Drake is soft and cozy, perfect to wear for raking leaves and jumping in leaf piles on a Fall afternoon. Wear it as a stylish slouch, a European ski topper, or a classic watch cap for extra warmth.


Sizing
8 sizes: Preemie - Adult XL
12.5 (14.25, 16, 18, 19.5, 21, 23, 25)”/ 32, [36, 40.5, 46, 50, 53.5, 58.5, 63.5] cm
Sample size shown is 23” [58.5 cm]

Yarn
Lion Amazing (53 % wool/47% acrylic, 147yd [135 m]/50 g, #217 Olive Medley, 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins

Needles
Size 7 DPNs
Size 5 16” circular needle

Notions
Yarn needle
Stitch marker

Gauge
18 sts & 22 rows = 4” [10 cm] in stockinette stitch worked on size 7 needles

Abbreviations
K: knit
P: purl
CO: Cast on
BO: Bind off
St(s): Stitch(es)
Rnd(s): Round(s)
DPNs: Double-pointed needles
“: inches
Cm: centimeters
Kfb: knit front & back (increase)

Pattern Notes
·         Because of the nature of ribbed fabric, this pattern is quite forgiving so choose a size that most closely fits the wearer’s head.
·         If you have a small hole at the crown where the cast-on stitches were joined, stitch it closed as you weave in the yarn end at the crown.

INSTRUCTIONS

Crown

CO 4 sts.
Row 1: Kfb in each st across...8 sts.
Spread sts over 3 dpns and join for working in the round (adding 4th needle later if needed). Pm at beg of rnd.
Row 2 & all even rows: Knit around.
Row 3: *Kfb, k1; rep from * around...16 sts.
Row 5: *Kfb, k2; rep from * around...24 sts.
Row 7:*Kfb, k3; rep from * around...32 sts.
Row 9:*Kfb, k4; rep from * around...40 sts.
Row 11:*Kfb, k5; rep from * around...48 sts.
Row 13:*Kfb, k6; rep from * around...56 sts. Stop here for 12.5” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 15:*Kfb, k7; rep from * around...64 sts. Stop here for 14.25” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 17:*Kfb, k8; rep from * around...72 sts. Stop here for 16” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 19:*Kfb, k9; rep from * around...80 sts. Stop here for 18” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 21:*Kfb, k10; rep from * around...88 sts. Stop here for 19.5” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 23:*Kfb, k11; rep from * around...96 sts. Stop here for 21” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 25: *Kfb, k12; rep from * around...104 sts. Stop here for 23” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.
Row 27: *Kfb, k13; rep from * around...112 sts. Stop here for 25” cap. Proceed to Hat Body.

Hat Body
All Sizes
Next row: Knit around.

Change to smaller circular needle.

Rib Row: *K2, p2; rep from * around.
Rep Rib Row until piece measures 7.5 (8, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5)” / 19 [20, 25.5, 26.5, 28, 29, 30.5, 32 cm] from crown.
BO loosely.
Break yarn leaving a 6” [15 cm] tail.

Finishing
Weave in yarn ends. Soak cap in lukewarm water. Remove excess water by pressing into a towel.  Lay flat to dry.



November 27, 2013

October 9, 2013

30 Day Sweater Challenge: Getting ready to launch


I may be quiet, but it doesn't mean that I'm not busy :)  Bit the bullet and took my measurements--such a pain, isn't it? I made sure to wear proper underwear like I would wear on a normal day (no sports bras, please) plus a thermal long-sleeved shirt I might wear under this sweater. This will not be a next-to-the-skin sweater, but a workhorse wear-all-winter sweater. I had previously swatched a couple things, but now I'm thinking I want to change my allover stitch pattern from stockinette to...seed stitch...to a massive cable up the back...to a lace edge at the front button bands...and should I steek? It's hard to make so many decisions. Very, very hard. I rarely make something for myself to love and wear, and so I'm getting all riled up about it being EXACTLY what I want. I need to relax. I can make more things, there is more time to knit... shh....it's ok...don't cry...

Anyway, progress to date:

Plain little cutie: circular stockinette swatch
[NOTE: This is me practicing what I preach about gauge. Ok? See that?
Yes, I do need validation for this triumphant moment.]

Raglan increases plus scalloped lace edging experiment

Unblocked detail of the scalloped edging I was considering

Experiments with raglan yarn-over increases and the # of stitches between
Why didn't I block any of this? Not acceptable. Will remedy.


Measurements -- whatever, I know what it all means.
Btw, I do have arms.

Design in progress
[desk view: notice yarn and random socks, measuring tape, phone.
I literally can't read what I just typed because of the pile in front of my screen. Normale! Normale!]




Next Steps:

  1. Settle on a stitch pattern. It's going to be simple. I know I will wear simple more.
  2. Re-swatch in the new stitch pattern & select raglan increases.
  3. Get out Knitting From the Top by Barbara Walker to revisit my measurement formula.
  4. Study the 30 Day Sweater planning guide & emails for extry tips.



September 21, 2013

Guest Post: Why It's Better To Plan Your Sweater Before You Knit It

This is a guest post by Lacie Lynnae, author of The 30 Day Sweater. Check out the free sweater planning guide linked below. 



An early attempt at a husband sweater.
He will later decide that he has a 'mild wool allergy.'
Lots of waist shaping and loved this color!


Why It's Better To Plan Your Sweater Before You Knit It


Have you ever found a pattern that you’re beyond excited to knit so you grab the only yarn you have enough of on hand, half-swatch and jump in whole heartedly only to end up with something you’re not too jazzed about? 

That is the story of most of the knitting projects I attempted during my first year and a half of knitting. But I am telling you, there is a better way! Taking the time to plan my sweater before I knit it is a huge feat of self control but I’ve learned that if I don’t, I’m not happy with my finished garment. Just in case you’re not convinced let’s look at a few reasons why you should take some time to plan your sweater before you knit it.

Making a sweater is a big project and there are lots of details that go into making it a sweater that you love and want to wear all the time. Things like choosing a pattern, suitable yarn, color, gauge and accurate measurements are all very important to getting a great sweater.

Choosing a pattern is key to making a sweater that you’ll actually wear. Think about the sweaters you are drawn to in your favorite stores (or on pinterest) what kind of sweaters are they? That is the type of sweater you’ll probably wear. This is what usually gets me, I see a pattern that is beautifully photographed in a castle paired with a formal dress, it is lovely and makes me want to knit it. But unfortunately, unless I had a castle and that formal dress, I probably wouldn’t wear it. Beautiful patterns are everywhere but before you choose one just keep asking yourself, “will I wear it?”.

After you’ve found a great pattern it’s time to choose a yarn to knit it with. It takes a lot of yarn to make a sweater and it can sometimes be a little bit expensive. But look at it this way, if you are investing a ton of your time and energy you’ll want the end product to be worth it. Some things to keep in mind while you’re choosing your yarn is where you’ll be wearing it, how warm you want it to be and how much time you’re willing to put into the care of your sweater.

One of my favorite parts about planning a sweater is choosing what color it will be. I am always drawn to bright colors but realistically, I don’t wear bright colors. Make sure to  think about the colors that you actually wear. For me that means grey, green and pink for the most part.  I find that the sweaters that get worn the most are the ones that go with everything so I try to pick neutrals. In addition to choosing colors that you’ll wear make sure to choose a color that compliments your skin tone. There is nothing worse than knitting a sweater then finding out too late that  you look sickly when wearing it.

The last two things you should definitely take the time to do before you knit your sweater is to get accurate body measurements and gauge measurements. These two things are what make your  sweater fit properly. If you take the time to get proper measurements now you can use them over and over again. Getting gauge is also critical, it ensures that  your sweater will have the  same fit and proportions as your pattern says it will. So even though it takes a little bit of extra time, make a gauge swatch and make sure that it is exactly what your pattern calls for. If your gauge perfect the first time, make another one with a bigger or smaller needle until it is correct. Seriously, it’s worth it.

Taking the time to plan your sweater before you knit it can mean the difference between a poorly fitting, hardly worn sweater and a great fitting sweater that you wear all the time. So slow down, and take the time to plan a sweater you’ll love, you won’t regret it!

If you’d like to learn more about planning and preparing to knit your sweater download our free Sweater Planning Guide. This guide includes step by step instructions for choosing yarn, getting gauge and everything else that goes into planning a sweater that you’ll be proud of. And did I mention that it’s free?!


This guest post is part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this October as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, in 30 days. To sign up just visit http://30daysweater.com/sarakay and download your free sweater planning guide. It will help you get started on the right track! See you in October!

September 20, 2013

30 Day Sweater Challenge: Yarn Delivery

30 Day Sweater 001 by Fabricoleur
30 Day Sweater 001, a photo by Fabricoleur on Flickr.
October is almost here! I'm so excited to be participating in the 30 Day Sweater Challenge, a nationwide knit-a-long to motivate knitters to knit their own wonderful sweater in 30 days or less. This is such an exciting opportunity to join knitters from all over and get helpful tips and tricks, encouragement, and prizes from the folks at 30DaySweater.com. Take a look! 30daysweater.com/sarakay

I will be using 13 skeins (10 shown) of Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes in Blossom Heather. I wrestled with my color choice, worrying that my pink may be a little goofy, girly, giggly, etc. But the color makes me feel happy and goshdarnit, I want a pink sweater this winter!

Sign up for the 30-Day Sweater Challenge here!

January 5, 2013

Baklooptus ~ A Free Crochet Pattern

Hello Crochetophiles!

At long last, I have a free crochet pattern to share with you here on the blog. Read on for some background on the design concept and, of course, for the free pattern.

If you hang around Ravelry much, you've probably seen the ingeniously knitted Baktus Scarf pattern.

The theory of the project is brilliant and simple. Beginning with only a few stitches, you increase evenly at only one side of the knitting [in our case, crocheting] until you have used half your allotted yarn.

From there, you decrease evenly at the same side until your yarn is gone. Voila! You have a very wide, short triangle that forms a wonderful scarf or shawlette and looks endlessly chic and fashionable, especially in stripes or different stitch patterns.

This free pattern is a crocheted take on Baktus using half-double crochet back-loop ribbing, ergo Baklooptus! I planned to use 2 balls of sock yarn from the get-go, so I didn't need to weigh my skein to find out when I had reached the halfway point, I simply completed the last full row possible with the first ball, joined the second and began my decreasing half of the project.

I love that you use every bit of your pretty yarn with this pattern. HDC ribbing is reversible so it's easy to wrap or tie the scarf since it looks great on both sides.

Baklooptus Scarf


SKILLS REQUIRED: 
Skill Level: Easy (CYCA Yarn Standards)
Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner to Somewhat Experienced (Chatty Terms)
Foundation hdc - Not required, but nice to use 
Extended turning loop (ETL) - Instead of the conventional 2-ch turning chain used with hdc, I like to make 1 long chain that reaches the height of the hdc you are about to work. Using this method, you will turn your work to begin a new row and then simply pull up a longer loop than normal - pull up the loop to reach as high as the stitch you are about to work. Do not yo & pull through, you aren't making a complete chain. Just work your hdc into the last st of the previous row, there is no need to skip any stitches at the edge of your work when you use this method. I love me some tidy edges!
Half-double crochet
Increasing 
Decreasing (Hdc2tog)
Working in back loops

SIZING
Finished scarf measures 64” (163 cm) long  a
nd 9” (23 cm) wide at triangle's point.

YARN
332yds/304m; 3.52oz/100g Fingering weight, 4-ply yarn

The sample was made using:
Patons Kroy Socks FX; Camelot Colors; 2 skeins

HOOK
US Size E (3.5 mm), or size required to obtain desired gauge


GAUGE
22 sts and 12 rows = 4” (10 cm) over hdc-tbl (half-double crochet through back loops) Dare I say gauge is not critical to this pattern? See what fabric texture you like best.


NOTIONS
Yarn needle

PATTERN NOTES
  • The scarf is worked side to side from short end to short end in rows.
  • The finished dimensions of the scarf as stated represent the finished size of Baklooptus with 2 skeins of the recommended yarn. Use of a different yarn and/or different gauge will most likely produce a scarf of different dimensions and require a different quantity of yarn.
  • Severe blocking is not recommended to preserve the elasticity of Half-double crocheted ribbing. Of course you can always see what effect you like best!
  • All pattern abbreviations are noted at the end of this pattern.

INSTRUCTIONS
Begin at scarf end point:

Set-up Row: Work 2 fhdc, turn OR Ch 2, ETL, 1 hdc in each ch, turn...2 hdc.
Row 1 (RS): ETL, inc 1 as follows: (1hdc, 1hdc-tbl) in edge st, 1hdc-tbl in each st across, turn.
Row 2 (WS): ETL, 1 hdc-tbl in each st across, turn.

Rep Rows 1 & 2 until you have worked your last full Row 2.

Row 1 (RS): ETL, dec 1 as follows: (yo, insert hk under both (front & back) loops of edge st, pull up a loop, yo, insert hk through back loop only of next st, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all loops on hk), 1hdc-tbl in each st across, turn.
Row 2 (WS): ETL, 1 hdc-tbl in each st across, turn.

Rep Rows 1 & 2 until only 2 sts remain.
Work Row 2 once more.
Fasten off.
Break yarn, leaving a 6" tail.




FINISHING
Weave in all ends.
Gentle steam blocking will even out the stitches; not too hot if you want your ribbing to keep its stretchiness.


ABBREVIATIONS
ch: chain
cm: centimeters
dec: decrease
ETL: extended turning loop; see instructions above
fhdc: foundation half-double crochet
g: grams
hdc: half-double crochet
hdc-tbl: half-double crochet through the back loop only
hk: hook
inc: increase
m: meters
mm: millimeters
oz: ounces
rep: repeat
RS: right side
st(s): stitch(es)
yd(s): yards
yo: yarn over
": inches

December 8, 2012

Yarn, Pugs, and Other Things

This week I visited my LYSes and dog-sat for my parents. They were both exciting, all-consuming events in their own ways.

Willy (short for Willoughby, named after the lovable rogue of Sense & Sensibility and demonstrating some of the same dash, charm, and wit minus any jilting of young women) came to stay with us the Thursday before last. He is 14 1/2 which I'm told is over 100 in people years. Our lives feel somewhat taken over by the demands of his routine, but it has been fun to have him around!

He is a wonderful crochet buddy, because he LOVES to sleep hunkered slightly onto your leg as you sit. All day long he makes the most unbelievable noises ranging from snorts, gasps, and snuffles to what sounds like choking, gagging and hacking. That's a pug for you.

Willoughby a.k.a. Willy, Woozy, Woozeman, Dr. Woozeman, Buzzy, Bug Bear, Bean Bag Bear, ET CETERA :)

I've been feeling drained and out of ideas lately after finishing a big project due out next February (yay!) and absorbing several rejections (boo!). Willy forced me to sit down and play with my crochet again, and I can feel a deluge of design ideas coming on, the kind where I can't possibly get to them all and don't know what to do first, hallelujah! This wave was furthered by trips the yarn shops and public libraries. 


New yarn, swatches, crochet books, and leopard-print slippers = Happy Crocheter

For me, there is nothing like vintage crochet books to jump start my design brain. The cheesier, the better.You never know what wonderful tip or technique is lurking in a yellowed, cigarette smoke-reeking library book of garish (or amazingly chic albeit insanely styled) crochet featuring unwearably squeaky acrylic yarn and Lurex.

That was an awful lot of adjectives...I'll work on that.

I've begun work on my own E-book collection of crocheted accessories. I can't share much yet, but here is a teaser of my guiding inspiration: 

Any guesses?

I finished a fun project this week, a granny pillow made from assorted stash yarns - this covers a very dull, old pillow of burgundy red. I'm loving the upcycle.


These grannies were made ages ago, but I ran out of steam on the queen-sized bedspread I was planning...really?
What was I thinking?

Pug-bombed!

So...what do you do to get inspired when you're in a creative trough?

Until next time! XOXO, Sara & Woozy Boy



September 1, 2012

Heart Vines Scarf ~ Free Knitting Pattern!

The Heart Vines Scarf features a subtly heart-shaped lace panel generously bordered by seed stitch. Knitting the scarf from the bottom up in two halves which are bound off together at the center ensures that the climbing vine pattern is balanced on each end and appears to best advantage when worn.



SKILLS REQUIRED
Intermediate knitting skills, including numerous kinds of increases and decreases for lace, three-needle bind off
SIZING
Scarf measures 7.5” (19 cm) wide and 88” (224 cm) long [See Pattern Notes]
YARN
465yds/425m; 221g/7.75oz worsted weight, 10-ply yarn
The sample was made using:
Patons Classic Wool, 100% wool (3.53oz/100g, 210yds/192m skein) Wisteria #77308: 3 skeins [See Pattern Notes]
NEEDLES
US Size 9 (5.5 mm) straight or circular needles, or size required to obtain desired gauge
GAUGE
17 sts and 20 rows = 4” (10 cm) over seed stitch pattern
NOTIONS
Yarn needle
2 stitch markers (different colors are helpful, but not essential)

PATTERN NOTES
·         The scarf is worked in 2 halves from the edge to the center.
·         The finished dimensions of the scarf as stated represent the finished size of Heart Vines Scarf with 3 skeins of the recommended yarn. Use of a different yarn and/or different gauge will most likely produce a scarf of different dimensions and require a different quantity of yarn.
·         Blocking will relax the stitches and lengthen the scarf somewhat. The sample scarf became 8” (20 cm) longer after blocking.

INSTRUCTIONS
Scarf Half, make 2.

CO 35 sts.
Row 1 and all other WS rows: Sl 1 st knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * 4 times more, place marker A, p13, place marker B, **k1, p1; rep from **4 times more, end k1…35 sts. (On subsequent rows, slip marker as it is worked.)

Row 2: Sl 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * to first marker, sm, k3, (yo, k1) twice, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1, sm, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.

Row 4: Sl 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * to first marker, sm, (k3, yo) twice, k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1, sm, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.

Row 6: Sl 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * to first marker, sm, k3, yo, k5, yo, k1, sl-k2tog-psso, k1, sm, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.

Row 8: Sl 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * to first marker, sm, k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, (k1, yo) twice, k3, sm, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.

Row 10: Sl 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * to first marker, sm, k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1 (yo, k3) twice, sm, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.

Row 12: Sl 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; rep from * to first marker, sm, k1, k3tog, k1, yo, k5, yo, k3, sm, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.

Rep Rows 1-12 20 times more OR until your piece is half the total length of your desired scarf. See Pattern Notes.

Center
Row 1: Sl 1 knitwise,*P1, k1; rep from * to marker, p to next marker, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.
Row 2: Sl 1 knitwise, *P1, k1; rep from * to marker, k to next marker, **k1, p1; rep from ** 4 times more, end k1…35 sts.
Break yarn, leaving a 32” tail. Place live sts of Scarf Half 1 on a holder. Do not bind off. Work Scarf Half 2 as for Scarf Half 1.

FINISHING

After you have made both scarf halves, use 3-needle bind off in patt, joining the 2 scarf halves with RS facing, removing the sm as you work. Break yarn, leaving a 6” tail.

Weave in all ends.

Gentle steam blocking will open the lace work and even out the stitches.


  

August 18, 2012

Freeform Explorations


Lately I've been reading a lot of Sylvia Cosh and James Walters--the inventors of the "scrumble." 
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If you love crochet, PLEASE look for these books at your library, used book sales, special order from the big bookstores or the big online one! They have that very 70's-80's crochet feel, but I assure you that there are real treasures inside. These are mostly technique books that you can return to again and again for new ideas, to listen to the authors' friendly art philosophy. The full book list can be found at the bottom of this post. 
     The following photos show my current freeform WIP. 
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To get started, I selected 11 or 12 yarns from my stash that were related in some way by color. Then made sure to include some differing textures. My scrumbles in the past suffered from the use of too many smooth yarns of similar twist and fiber type--the result looked a little more tortured than fun. Working in the new textures really adds to the feeling of exploration rather than odd or random appearance. 
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Self-criticism is a real bugbear for beginning freeformers, and expecting your work to resemble masterful knit or crochet artists is a common pitfall. I really enjoyed this fun foray into fiber, texture, and color. 
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You could definitely use the word "habit-forming."
Book List
The Crochet Workbook by Sylvia Cosh & James Walters
This is a wonderful explanation of freeform and conventional crochet techniques. If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the "freedom" that you have no idea what to do with your crochet--read this book. They teach you in a very easy-to-understand way that is open for interpretation but also contains enough instruction to get you going!

The Crocheted Sweater Book by Sylvia Cosh
My obsession with bobbles came from this book. Sylvia's approach to garment construction, stitch-yarn-color combination is mesmerizing. I am beginning to believe that extreme tailoring is somewhat less desirable in crocheted fabric than in knitting, for example. By its nature, every crochet stitch is full of potential for change, decision, random play. Knitting often works on a more strategic level with smaller stitches, coordinating some or many stitches to achieve an effect.

Crochet Workshop by James Walters
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You need to see this book; that's all that needs to be said. :)