FO: The Turtle Hat

I swear one of these days I’ll catch up on photographing my newer projects and current WIPs so I can share. Until then, have another project from last Christmas. 😉
Today’s project is The Turtle Hat. If you guessed that this hat was a gift for anyone other than my father-in-law, you would be wrong!

To give a little background on this project let’s rewind to Christmas of 2014. My father-in-law saw the crocheted helmet that I made for T and requested a turtle hat. Because y’know… Helmet, turtle hat. They’re almost the same thing.
That’s the short story, but I feel like I should mention that he was very specific about it. He told me in great detail that the hat should be the body of the turtle and it was necessary that it have a cute, floppy head and legs.

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I wasn’t very confident in my crochet skills at the time so for Christmas that year, I made him a hat with a turtle applique on it as a stand-in until I felt like I could pull off the ultimate turtle hat. (Check my entry here for more info on that.)

I let my desire to make a real turtle hat simmer for a few years until I felt confident that I could pull off what was asked of me. The biggest decision I had to make with this project was whether I should make the head and legs in a tube shape and stuff them. I was worried that they would get in the way more than anything, so I ultimately decided to do the cute little flaps instead.

Another design decision that I was unsure about was how to create a turtle shell texture. I almost made individual pentagonal pieces to attach to the hat, but I thought that would make it too heavy and/or stiff. It would also be much more time consuming than I was prepared for. Surface crochet it is!

And that’s how I ended up with this fella.

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I’m really proud of how he came out considering I created this pattern on the fly. There are a few things I might do differently, if I made it again.

  1. I would make the inside lines thicker. I did a double line on the bottom, but I did single lines on the inside. (Or I might even do the idea with the pentagonal pieces sewed on and then surface stitch across the seams.)
  2. I would make double the amount of flaps and stuff them lightly so they would have a little more dimension.
  3. I would make the surface stitches looser. I made them loose enough where the hat would still stretch, but there was a little bit of an issue with the fit being a hair tight around the bottom band.

As with the last project, I still have the pattern notes so if anyone would like to see a pattern written for this, let me know in the comments! 🙂

Thanks for reading! xoxo

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FO: Color-block scarf

Hello, all! I have another 2018 gift to share with you today. It’s unique in that it’s a design that I threw together myself. I was trying to find a gift idea that was practical yet classy for my mother-in-law. I went through some patterns on Ravelry, but couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. Thus, the “color-block scarf” was born! (I know. Catchy name, right?)

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I got some info from T about what her favorite colors were, and after careful deliberation, I decided to combine them via color-blocking. The idea behind this was that it would, hopefully, help the scarf to go with multiple outfits as she could wear whichever color matches on the front/top of the scarf. She wears red often so the goal was to give her a fun accessory to match.
I was also a little worried with the red once I started working with it. It definitely needed some other colors to tone it down a little bit. It’s like… Violently red.

I really like the fabric made by this stitch so I’m already planning on using it again on a future project. Maybe another version of the scarf, but striped or solid color would be nice! I have so much yarn sitting around, I’m sure I could come up with something. (At that point would it even still be called the “color-block scarf”!?)

I think I still have the project notes for this somewhere so if anyone is interested in having the pattern, leave a comment below and I’ll cobble together a readable pattern from my coded notes! 🙂

(They’re not coded. They’re just chicken scratch and only I can read them.)

I’ll be back in the near future with other yarny news. Thanks for reading! ❤

One year later…

…Or close enough anyway.

Hello hello hello, everyone! It’s been entirely too long since I’ve updated. I’ve had so much going on this past year. Unfortunately a lot of it bad, which is why I’ve taken this unintentional, but sorely needed hiatus. Most things have been taken care of now, so I think I’m ready to jump back into blogging!

Today I want to share a project from my Christmas gift frenzy last year. I spent the last 6 months of 2018 (and a few months of 2019!) making gifts for all of T’s family and for some of our friends. I thought it’d be nice to share them a little at a time over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with my favorite gift project of 2018: Ravenclaw Quidditch Gloves by Jolene Meurer!

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As you can see, I opted for Slytherin colors over the original Ravenclaw as the person I gifted these to prefers Slytherin. Do not be alarmed! I’ve already bought the yarn necessary for knitting a Ravenclaw pair for myself. 😉

These gloves were supposed to be just a quick project, but I had to make some major alterations to get them to fit and look right. I followed the directions as written in the pattern the first time and ended up scrapping that glove entirely. It was way too small, and the glove pulled awkwardly toward the thumb, making them uncomfortable to wear.

For those of you who may want to make gloves closer to what I made, I’ve listed my alterations/choices below!

  • Knit Chart B at least 5 times. If you want a longer glove than in my pictures, 6 times should be adequate. (The pattern recommends 4 – 5, but 4 is so short that it will ride up onto your palms. Or it did for me.)
  • After knitting Chart D/C, knit Chart B once more.
  • When working the thumb portion, I slipped the 9 sts onto a scrap piece of yarn and followed the chart until the next round. When I reached the thumb gap in the next round, I CO 9 sts and continued according to pattern for the rows afterwards.

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The main thing that helped with the fit of the glove was including Chart B between Chart C/D and Chart A. The weird pulling in the thumb seemed to be caused by the shortness between the top ribbing and the thumb hole. Even if you don’t follow any of the other alterations, I would highly recommend that one.

Also, it’s probably just a lack of understanding on my part, but I didn’t know what she meant with her instructions for the thumb holes. I ended up substituting my own method that made sense for me. If anyone else decides to make these gloves and understands what she was going for, leave me a comment and teach me your ways! 😀

I’ll definitely be back to post the version that I’m making for myself. I’m thinking I’ll go for the film version blue/silver, and I’ll make the stripes a bit larger! Until then, I’ll be back soon to share more 2018 holiday projects!

Thanks for reading! xx

You spin me right round

With all the talk of the Tour de Fleece lately, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my spinning adventures. I wrote an entry quite a while back sharing my experience with building a DIY spindle. I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so I went to Knit Picks and grabbed a pack of their Bare Wool of the Andes roving.

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My first spinning attempts were awful. I ended up with a blobby, unusable mess that couldn’t have been salvaged even if I wanted to try. I was a little discouraged so I shoved my roving and spindle into the back of the closet. I knew I’d eventually be bitten by the bug and want to try again so I let myself forget about it for a few months. Sure enough, I saw some handspun yarn on Instagram and that was the inspiration I needed to break out the roving and spindle again. The thing that amazed me the most with this second attempt was that, despite not working on it for months, it was actually okay! I guess the months of letting the spinning knowledge stew in my brain really helped? (Does that even make sense?)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my first spinning attempt. (I threw it away to run away from the failure, ha ha!) The second attempt was definitely better though! It was thicker than I wanted, sure, but it was more consistent. Once I got the hang of it, all I wanted to do was keep spinning. In fact, I spun half of what I had before I even noticed!

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Eventually, I went online and bought a new spindle. I suspect that my little DIY spindle isn’t balanced very well so I wanted to try something that was professionally made. It was a little overwhelming looking at all of the spindles available, but I finally decided on a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. I liked that I had the option of spinning high or low whorl, and it had good ratings. I used up the last half of my roving the first day it arrived, and it was my best spin yet, though it wasn’t great by any means. But you know what, that’s fine. It was just cool to know that I’m capable of getting better at this after that terrifying first attempt.

My latest goal is to try plying my little pile of singles into a finished yarn. I’m also wanting to give dyeing a try so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on that. I think my first attempt will be dip dyeing, but I’m really excited at the prospect of handpainted yarn. It’ll be a while before I’m feeling confident enough to try that, but until then, I’m going to have a lot of fun spinning my own special yarns.

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Close up of my latest spin

I’ll definitely be back to talk about my plying and dyeing attempts, but until then feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever tried handspinning or dyeing your own yarn. I’d love to hear any stories you have about your first attempts.

See you next time! ❤

WIP: First ever sweater

IT’S HAPPENING!

Next to socks, the project that I’ve been looking forward to the most since I started knitting has definitely been a sweater. I absolutely love bundling up in a nice, squishy sweater. And what could be better than wearing one that’s handknit!?

I wanted to start with a complicated pattern like the Jamestown pullover I mentioned in this post waaaaay back in 2016, but once the time came, I decided it’d be better if I used a simpler pattern until I figured out the basics. Enter Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui!

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I’ve finished the body of the sweater, and I’m more than halfway through the first sleeve now! In this pattern, the body is worked in two panels, front and back, and each sleeve is knit separate from the body and attached later. I know there are ways to make sweaters with no seams, but I thought that making each part of the sweater first and sewing them together would be a good way to help me understand the structure of a sweater before I try more complicated patterns.

One of my favorite things about this project is the yarn I chose. I loved working with Caron Cakes yarn in my Stitch Sampler Shawl, so I grabbed two skeins of Caron’s Big Cakes for my sweater project. The colorway is Pistachio Macaron, and it’s working up so nice!

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I knew that this was the perfect colorway for my project as soon as I saw it. It has all of my favorite colors, and I really love the way that it’s speckled throughout, especially in the grey sections! It’s also super soft, and since this pattern is knit on large needles, it has wonderful drape~

This yarn is also self-striping so when I worked the front panel of the body, I just let the yarn do its thing, but when I worked the back panel, I matched the stripes myself. It required a little bit of extra work, but I’m very happy with how it’s working out. I’m doing the same thing with the sleeves so hopefully it looks nice. -fingers crossed-

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Besides this, I have two other projects on my needles at the moment. This one has had my complete attention though. I can’t wait to finish it up, sew it together, and show it off! It’s too hot to wear it much now, but once fall comes around, I’m never going to take it off.

 

tl;dr

Yarn: Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron
Pattern: Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui