Pretty Popcorn vest

After the success of the last garment that I made Clare from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, it wasn’t long before I started on another.  This time it was the Pretty Popcorn Vest.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

The yarn is Patons Australia Glacier, a now discontinued yarn that made its way from a friend’s stash into mine recently. According to the Ravelry database it is an 8ply, so I was fairly happy to substitute it in this pattern. I was a little concerned that a 3.5mm hook would be too stiff with this weight of yarn, but after blocking it has softened up beautifully and keeps it shape just as it ought to.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

I crocheted size 8 for Clare, and it’s still a little large across her back. However, it does up nicely at the front, and the rest of the proportions look good. The back is worked first, then each front with lace edging. Once the fronts and back are joined, the lacy sleeve edging is worked, and the ties and popcorn tassels come last.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

This was finished in ten days – but actually, it was finished in about four days, then sat waiting for me to do the tassels for almost another week! I wonder why we sometimes put off the little finishing details that don’t take very long to do. Clare likes her vest and has worn it a couple of times already.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

It must be time for me to pull out the book again and decide what to start hooking next!  There are more details on Ravelry here and more photos in a set on Flickr here.

Crystal Anniversary Clapochet

The Clapochet is a crocheted scarf/wrap that currently has over 500 projects on Ravelry.  It is a free pattern, and can be pretty much worked up in any yarn, as long as you match it to an appropriate hook.  I started crocheting this one on my Crystal Wedding Anniversary back in February, and it was finished a week later.

Clapochet in BWM Murano

I used a full 200g ball of Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano, and actually ran out a little bit before the end. This has resulted in one end of the scarf being a little chopped off – the scarf is worked on the diagonal – instead of pointed, but I don’t think that it matters drastically.

Clapochet in BWM Murano

This is one of those situations where the yarn does all of the colour changing work. And the increases and decreases needed to work it diagonally kept everything interesting without being super taxing. It was a great commuting project.  And it is super warm and cosy.

Clapochet in BWM Murano

More details of my scarf are ravelled here.

Muirlands Cowl

Oh my, where did that last week go!  There have been lots of sewing related things taking place, but no blog posts to show for them.  All in good time (which means, all when I find the time).  This time next Friday I’ll be sewing up a storm at Sewjourn, having spent the last few weeks on a huge cutting out frenzy.  So if you do follow me on instagram, be warned – I’ll be posting photos as each garment is completed!

In the meantime, my last few crochet projects.  This Muirlands Cowl was crocheted over the Easter break.

Muirlands Cowl in BWM Highlands

Cowls and scarves are really difficult to photograph effectively, so I enlisted Ada to help me. I crocheted this in Bendigo Woollen Mills Highlands. It used most of the 200g ball. I enjoyed the stitch pattern, which was repetitive but not boring. The two row repeat gives the cowl a great deal of texture, with the post stitches creating ridges on one side of the scarf.

Muirlands Cowl in BWM Highlands

To wear it you simply double it over (unless you like it left in a long loop, that is).

Muirlands Cowl in BWM Highlands

The great thing about cowls is that they stay in place, and don’t fall off in the way that a long scarf can. This is a great free pattern – highly recommended! My cowl is ravelled here.

Chelsea “capelet” for Clare

When the book Crocheting Clothes Kids Love was published I snapped up a copy quite quickly.  There is much in the book that appeals to me, and luckily there is much that appeals to both of my kids!  They spent quite a lot of time looking through it selecting projects for me to work on.  I started off with the Chelsea Capelet, for Clare.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I’m not sure why the publishers called this a capelet – as far as I am concerned, it is a vest. Front joined to back, with armholes. Either way, I love it on Clare!

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

As written, this vest is cropped, and flared a little at the bottom. Clare wanted it longer, so after working the flared rows, I added quite a few inches until it was the length that she wanted. It is worked from the bottom up in two pieces, front and back, then they are seamed together before working the collar and edgings. I measured the length from the underarm, and it has worked well.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I checked Clare’s measurements and ended up crocheting the size 8 for her. The yarn was from stash, and you may have noticed that the body of the vest is a slightly paler cream than the trims. That’s what happens when you stash bust! I had just enough of the Cleckheaton Country 8 ply for the body of the vest, then switched to the Country Yarn Collection Pure Wool 8 ply crepe for the cowl and edgings. And for the decorative flowers on the front!

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

The combination of yarns has worked out fine, and it has removed them both from stash. Around 200 grams of yarn can be an awkward number – enough for a scarf, but not usually for a garment. Combining the two lots of cream yarn gave me enough for the vest.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I really like the cowl neckline. It was worked after the front and back were joined, and is essentially lots of chains with single crochet stitches to give structure. It gradually grows in size, which is why it rolls over itself so nicely.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I’ll definitely be crocheting more from this book. Actually, I might even check out what else is in my stash right now! More details and photos on Ravelry  here.  And a Flickr set of all the photos I took of the vest here.

Stradbroke top

See, you all really like knit dresses too, don’t you?  Thanks for the lovely comments on my Jessica dress.  I think that next time I make it I will cut it shorter, and shorten it a bit through the torso.  My usual short person alterations!  But in the meantime, I really like my wearable muslin.

And guess what – my Lekala-along jacket is finished!  But you’ll have to wait for modelled photos, I’m afraid.  Once I had it all cut out and started sewing it came together quite easily.  Having a dedicated craft room really helps in that regard, because I did a lot of the sewing in fits and starts between doing other things (like working and caring for my family) and I could just put things down and pick them up again.

In the meantime, I have a bit of a backlog of finished projects just waiting for their opportunity to be blogged.  Thank goodness for Ravelry as a repository of information!  It says that I finished crocheting Clare’s Stradbroke top on the 18th of January, after starting it on the 1st of November.

Stradbroke top

This is a cute style by Deanne Ramsey, also known as Addydae Designs.  I have crocheted quite a few of her designs now, and have enjoyed all of them.  She is an Australian designer, so many of her patterns work well with yarns that are readily available here, such as the Bendigo Woollen Mills Spring Cotton that I used here.

Stradbroke top

The top buttons at the front. After making it and Clare trying it on, we decided to stitch the straps on permanently rather than having them adjustable, as they were pulling a bit and looked awkward. We left the buttons in place for a decorative touch. Clare later decided that she also wanted a ribbon threaded through the bodice for extra security. She is possibly likely to wear this layered over another top more than on its own in any case.

Stradbroke top

The straps come from the centre of the back, so don’t have any tendency to slip off shoulders. I crocheted this in the size 6-7 for Clare. The top of the bodice is elasticised, with four rows of shirring elastic threaded through the post stitches on the wrong side, which brings it in to fit around the chest but then allows it to flare through the skirt. This could easily be lengthened into a dress if you fancied.

Stradbroke top

There are a couple more crochet projects in the works at the moment, one for me and one for Clare. Neither are progressing quickly. I have a “school mums” weekend away coming up soon, so will take my crochet along with me then and hopefully get through a bit more hooking. More details on Clare’s top are on Ravelry here.

Stradbroke top

crisscross vest

Sadly, this project didn’t turn out the way that I hoped it would.  It’s not a total fail, but not a complete success.  All due to the perils of yarn substitution.  I didn’t get the substitution right.

Criss-Cross Vest

Oh, this is such beautiful yarn! It is Wollmeise, in the colourway Rhabarber. Rhubarb, obviously! I really, really love it. The intensity of colour is superb. It is 100% merino, in a 4 ply, and this is where I went wrong. This vest really needed something much, much drapier. The pattern is the Crisscross Vest by Jenny King, and it is designed to be crocheted in Noro Silk Garden Sock. This is a heavier weight of yarn, with a composition that includes silk and nylon (as well as wool and mohair). Since the vest is designed as one size fits all, I thought that I’d be okay with the Wollmeise as long as I added some extra repeats. In the end, I added an extra four-repeat to both sides of the vest. It is okay, but nowhere near as long or draped as I anticipated.

Criss-Cross Vest

I’ll probably give this pattern another try in a different yarn. I have some Caron Spa still in stash, and think that something with a bamboo component would definitely work well despite it being a heavier weight of yarn. Or I could even lash out and buy the recommended yarn! We’ll see. I definitely haven’t finished with this design, because it is a lovely one and is the sort of thing that I like to wear, but unfortunately in this rendition it is a bit meh.

Criss-Cross Vest

But oh, what beautiful yarn!  Ravelled here.

onarum wrap

Another recent crochet project was the Onarum wrap.  This popped up on Ravelry as the November CAL  on Sharon Maher’s Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs group.  It was especially designed to take advantage of the long colour changes in Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano yarn.  Wouldn’t you know it, I was about to place an order at Bendigo for cotton, so it was simple enough to add a ball (or two) of Murano to my order and get hooking!  And this is what I ended up with.

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

This wrap takes less than one ball of Murano. It is designed to be worn across the shoulders and tied in front, as in the above photo, and the tassels help to keep it in place and to add a little pizazz.

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

However, I am more likely to wear it as a scarf, so had some fun trying different ways to drape and tie it.

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

I really love the colourway. Perfect for me since I became a red head!

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

This was a fun project, and it was quite enjoyable watching the others taking part in the CAL finish their wraps and see the different yarns and colourways that they used. I’ll definitely be using this pattern again. More details are on my Ravelry project page.

chocolate and lime

Some months ago I got it into my head that I could crochet a two coloured scarf, with a simple centre and a more elaborate border.  This is what I came up with.

chocolate and lime scarf

Both yarns are Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8 ply. I crocheted five rows of dc for the centre strip in the chocolate colour, then added a lime coloured border. The border is #119 from Around The Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman.

chocolate and lime scarf

I think that this is an interesting idea, but I’m not completely sold on the finished product. I feel that the centre panel is too thick and wide, and rather than providing a pleasing juxtaposition to the lighter lace, it just clashes a little. However, I will keep going with this as a general concept. I really enjoy working lace borders, and this is a nice way to get a useable product from them without embarking on a massive project.  Further details on Ravelry here.

almost finished: the wool-eater

Okay, I started this in 2009.  It has had many extended periods of hiatus, but this year I was determined to get it closer to finished.  Although my original plan was to crochet three round of each colour, I have amended that to two rounds.  I am almost there, but have run out of yarn with about twelve stitches to go in the mid-pink, which means that I won’t have quite enough yarn for the next few rounds either.  When I can source some more of the yarn I will finish off those last rounds.  In the meantime, the blanket has gone into use.

2013-11-16 19.59.57

There is more detail about this on my Ravelry page, and there are previous posts about the wool-eater blanket here.

shredded

Whenever I return from a weekend at Sewjourn I feel both exhilarated and a little shredded.  We really don’t get enough sleep!  It’s always “I’ll just finish this seam” or “I’ll just insert the zip” or “I’ll just cut this out” – and before we know it the time is well past Cinderella hour.  But boy, we are productive!  I really love seeing what everyone produces.  Megan created almost 100 metres of bunting, whipped up a crocheted hat (or two) and was generally impressive.  Rachel made her daughter beautiful skirts and shorts, a dress and a couple of skirts for herself.  Kathryn whipped up a skirt, a fully lined jacket, and two dresses!  Karen created four and a half divine dresses for her daughters in really beautiful fabrics.  Tanya was amazing and inspiring – she is in the process of learning to draft patterns and fit them to her own measurements and it was fantastic watching her draft, sew up toiles, try them on, alter the fit, and then use the calico dresses and shorts as patterns for two dresses and a pair of pyjama shorts!  I’m going to be very busy googling pattern making courses as soon as I finish this blog post.  Annie was her usual talented self, making a new bag, a variety of patchwork squares, and an entire quilt that was begun in the afternoon and pieced, backed, quilted and bound by the evening!  She is truly amazing – especially since she did all of it while still using crutches after her recent foot surgery.  Wendy was a wonder, moving from sewing Days for Girls bags to binding quilts to piecing quilt tops to finishing dresses to making knit tops.  And I made a dress and three tops for Clare, a dress and a top for Stella, a skirt and a dress for me, and another seven tops for me as well!  I had them all cut out before I arrived, and many were very simple patterns that I’d used before.  That said, I also tried out a few patterns that were new to me and I’d been wanting to sew up for a while, so I look forward to getting some photos of them and blogging them sooner rather than later.  But back to the title of this blog post – shredded!

shredded scarf

I crocheted this scarf the weekend before conference in October. The yarn is Milla Mia Naturally Soft Merino, in navy, and the pattern is Linda Permann’s Shredded Scarf, from Inside Crochet Issue 13 (January 2011). It was a joy to hook.

shredded scarf

The scarf is worked lengthwise in either chain stitch or single crochet, depending on what row you are up to in the repeat. I think that it would work well in a variety of yarns, and be suitable for a man or a woman. I love it!

shredded scarf

And on that note, since I still feel a little shredded, I’d better get to bed. Hopefully I’ll get some photos of my Sewjourn makes soon. And to my fellow Sewjourners – you are such a special group of women. To write about the conversations, laughter, slippers, and general love and support that you all give would take me hours, so instead I will just say a very heartfelt thank you and goodnight! #soztoteshavingaconvowithmypeeps