Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Hurrah! I did manage to finish the December section of the Mystery SAL from Linen and Threads. And that means the year-long project is now complete!

L&T SAL - Dec finish

I’d altered the section to shorten the dress of the human in this section, and I like that it turned out not too bad.

I did make a mistake while coloring the chart, however. It’s not at all evident in the section, but maybe if you see the overall tapestry –

L&T SAL - The Entire 2018

I styled the flowers differently for Jan (green and pink) and Dec (only red)! I’m not going to redo it, though – too nitpicky, too much hassle, and I’ve already celebrated the completion of the project. πŸ˜›

Isn’t the overall project just beautiful? ❀ Now we’re wondering if this really needs to be a table runner, and if it’s not too late to turn it into a wall hanging or something. πŸ™‚

And now, the knitting…

For my brioche stitch project, I’ve chosen the Amherst Pullover by Amanda Scheuzger. This has brioche stitch only for the yoke and not the entire project, and that’s perfect for me, because the weather here doesn’t really require the squishy coziness of the brioche stitch. (And with all the swatching I did, I think I’ve now got the theory of both flat and in-the-round brioche stitch.)

As usual, I didn’t find yarn that fits both recommended weight and colors that I like, so I’m just going with colors that I like (albeit not too light weight-wise!) Right now, I’m reworking the project instructions to fit my gauge and preferred fit, because I can’t get the required gauge with this yarn without the stitches getting too loose.

I’m still undecided about retaining the pullover style of the sweater, or turning it into an open cardigan with i-cord edges replacing button bands. The pullover looks great, but by the time I finish it, I’m guessing the ‘harsher’ winter weather here would be over, and the sweater would be too hot / uncomfortable to wear, which probably means it’ll get an year of storage in the attic. A cardigan might be better for this sweater so I can use it more, but I’m not sure how it’ll look. Your vote on this oh-so-difficult decision?

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and are enjoying some crafty time too!

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Linen and Threads SAL 2018

November’s Linen and Threads SAL section was pretty intriguing due to the intricacy of the intersecting motifs in the design. I love how it turned out!

L&T SAL - Nov finish

I enjoyed the time I spent picking my colors. The little bit of blue that I used does not really stand out. I didn’t think it would blend in that well with the green, but that’s still fine with me. (I’m a bit surprised that I’m not disappointed with this. :P)

The stitching, not to be left behind, was fun too, especially after I got the hang of the pattern and didn’t have to keep going back to the chart. Stitching while listening to books or binge watching serials – ah the bliss!

I also discovered that the new red – the one that I started using after my earlier pink ran out – does not bleed! (I was kinda sure it would, though.) While that is good, it makes the overall project look a bit inconsistent now. Do I run an ink pen over the reds to force those parts to bleed? πŸ˜€

There’s a lot of space for the December section (ooh, you can see the hem stitch border at the bottom of the picture) and I’m hoping it’s not too much to stitch. Fingers crossed.

Knitting

As for the blouse I’m knitting for my mom, I’m done with the sleeves, (and they do look beautiful), but I’ve not made too much progress on the body. I’m hoping I’ll be done before this month ends so I can finally start on a brioche sweater – one of the knitting goals I had for this year was to learn brioche stitch. I did try a brioche sample a couple of months ago, but I’ve already forgotten how to go about it, πŸ™‚ so a project will help me remember it better.


Only one month of knitting, crocheting and stitching remains before the year ends. Have you started thinking about next year already? (I haven’t.)

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Stitching in October was more fun than I’d thought it’d be, because mermaids!

I decided on my colors pretty quickly, but I could see an element in this section that might be a problem. The mermaids here appear the way they probably would if they were real – with uncovered chests. On a coffee table runner in the living room (which is what this project will be when done), this would undoubtedly result in affronted conservative eyes – a lot of them. So after some agonizing over this aspect, I decided my project would have the mermaids be Disney ones instead, wearing shells on their breasts. (Sigh!)

L&T SAL - Oct finish

After some changes in the chart to accommodate this design decision, the stitching itself went along without a hitch, so I don’t really have much left to say other than gushing about how I love the way this month turned out! πŸ™‚

I can’t believe there are only two more sections to go before this SAL is done! I’m so looking forward to the decorative section of next month.

Something New…

Lately, I’ve been a bit bored with my usual pursuits, and I ended up trying a couple of new creative outlets. Gel printing was one, and the other – weaving.

I experimented with a cardboard sheet, some reclaimed yarn from a UFO, and a tapestry needle. I cut notches into the cardboard to use as slots for warping the yarn. I wanted to see if I’d like the repetitive back and forth action of weaving.

It wasn’t bad, though it might have been a tad too repetitive. I’m guessing that was because I had no pattern or design to follow.

Something New - Weaving

I love the cheerful colors!

I made two striped placemat-like rectangles, the first with taut warp threads and a little less squishing of the weft thread, and the second with less tension in the warp threads plus more squished weft. The second one turned out just a big longer, if you haven’t guessed yet. πŸ™‚ It was fuller but also less neater. I like the weaving feel of the first attempt better, but I’m not sure if the warp was too tight. Hope that in time, I’ll learn what the right tension is.

Speaking of tension, beginner weavers need to be cautious about not working the weft too tightly. Tight weft causes the warp threads to get pulled towards the center, and the rectangle ends up with a narrower center compared to the edges. I was pleased to see that I had managed mostly constant width in the rectangles – not bad for a first attempt.

I made and fixed my first mistake too – I missed a warp thread and had to undo a couple of rows of weft to fix it. I miss knit-fixes that involve undoing only a column (or two) of stitches! πŸ˜› But now I wonder if I could have just left the mistake as is, and it would eventually have gotten hidden.

Something New - Weaving

Can you tell the first attempt from the second? πŸ™‚

I could retain these rectangles as placemats, or combine them with one or two more to make a table runner. Regardless of which route I’ll go, I thought a single-crochet border for each rectangle wouldn’t hurt.

I’m trying out a third rectangle. I’d like to use a pattern for it but I’m not sure if it’d work well, because the weft threads are too widely spaced apart. (After all, notches on these cardboard sheets can only be so close together.)

I’ve not decided yet if I like weaving, but I’m definitely going to try some more “crude” creations before I start wondering if investing in a loom will help me decide better. πŸ˜‰ What do you think – some basic tapestry after the third placemat/runner rectangle?

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Looks like I forgot to talk about my completion of the September section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL!

L&T SAL - Sep finish

The single noteworthy event that happened this month was that I ran out of the pink thread. I stitched half of this section’s pink part, and the skein ended, but when I rummaged through my stash, I couldn’t find another. This came as a surprise to me, because I’d thought I had 5 skeins of this color, and had anticipated that it would last beyond this SAL. I was wrong big time!

The pink skein was an old one and I had lost the color number for it, so instead of trying to shop for a color that most closely matches this one, I decided to go a shade darker, and picked a reddish one. (Yes, this one has at least 5 skeins, however, not all of them will be used.) Anyway, my January section had a lighter shade of pink before I switched to the darker one, so it could be a natural transition to grow even darker, and end the SAL with the new color. So many improvisations!

I hope October has fewer surprises in store. πŸ˜‰

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

August’s Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL section was again a difficult one to color in, but I think I can grow to like how it turned out. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - Aug finish

The coloring decision did involve some to and fro. The edges were a breeze, but the birds… Well, unless I made the tail feathers multicolored, which I didn’t dig, it looked like I’d just have to go with my main color, green. I decided to do just that and started my stitching, but then changed my mind when I started on the first bird. I thought I’d make the edges of the feathers go from green to pink.

It was a good idea in theory (and in my colored chart), but in reality, the shocking pink overwhelms the already-short color transition. I’d discovered earlier that the pink bleeds during washing, and I’m hoping it’ll lose some of its edge then. It’ll also be fun to check out the ‘aura’ it might create in the process – do you think it’ll add to the look of the feathers? πŸ˜‰

Also, all those running threads at the back of the project from all the color transitions! I admit I hadn’t thought of that at all. I’ll definitely be limiting any color transitions like this in the future!

So – it goes without saying that I’m hoping the September section is easier in terms of coloring. πŸ˜›

As for other WIPs – my crafty mood has ebbed a bit right now and I’m not really working on anything, but fingers crossed I’ll get back to it soon. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your projects!

A ‘Fishy’ Sleeping Bag

I used up leftover yarn from a project or two, and made a sleeping bag for one of our favorite jewelry models – Penguin. πŸ˜€

'Fishy' sleeping bag

This project was a UFO till recently – I think I’d started it more than a year ago. I’m pretty happy that I finally picked it up again and finished it! (And I used up both leftover balls, so that’s another yay!)

The project itself is pretty simple. The tail fin is single crochet stitched in a circular manner so it stays stiff. (It still twists a little, though.) The body is double crochet, also worked in circles with color changes. The finishing at the top edge is a row of shell stitch, and I made the stitch spans wider so the edge becomes a bit more snug. (Also, I was running out of yarn. πŸ˜€ )

When I’d started on this project, I had grand plans of adding some fins on the sides too, but I guess I overestimated the amount of yarn (or maybe underestimated the size of the project), and in the end, there just wasn’t any yarn available for the fins. No worries, I think Penguin likes it just the way it is! πŸ˜‰


After that satisfying finish, I’ve completed designing a rectangular shawl for my sister. We’re using a single color for this project – which is a change from my previous shawl project, the colorful Oshara Shawl – so all I needed was a lot of textured stitches, which I’ll use for sections of the shawl. More on this one when I work on it enough and click pictures of it!

I’m also working on the August section of the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL – I’ve just finished figuring out the colors, and have started stitching with my main color.

That’s it from me this time. I’d love to hear how your projects are going!