Blood and Ash top

The two-tone top is done! I used up the entire skien of the gray yarn, right down to a tie-cord accessory ๐Ÿ˜‰ at the neck. I still have almost one skein of the red left, though. I’ll have to think of a project for it.

Blood and Ash top

Blood and Ash top

I’d mentioned earlier that I’d made a ribbed raglan for this top, and I continued with stockinette stitches for the body and sleeves. I used tight 1×1 cables for the edgings instead of simple eyelets that I’d thought of before, and it suits the rest of the top, I must say!

Blood and Ash top

I’m happy with the length of the top and the sleeves. (Phew! Glad the gray lasted — in the end, I was knitting from both ends of the skien and alternating between the sleeve rows.) I like the ease in the top as well. The cord at the neck is still too wiggly, but one more stretching treatment will hopefully fix it. The only problem I have is that it’s still super-hot weather here, and I want it to cool down fast so I can wear this one!

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The beginnings of a runner

Not the athletic kind of runner — it’s the coffee table kind I’m talking about. With the yarn left over from the Tiny triangles top project, I decided to first do some cross stitch, something that I haven’t done in a long, long while. Yarn that still remains after the cross stitch project — and there’ll be plenty left — will be used in a crochet project that has been kinda forming in my head.

At least, that’s the plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I dug up some old cross stitch supplies — aida cloth and embroidery hoop from about fifteen years ago, I think. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I’m surprised the fabric’s threads are still strong. There were also a few skeins of random colors in that bag, and I definitely need to use them sometime (but not for this project.) The cloth is big enough for a runner or two, and I thought I’ll make one for the coffee table in our living room.

I’m thinking of making three side-by-side motifs on it — they’ll all be the same motif or a combination of two motifs as A-B-A. I’ve been looking for inspiration and pinning stuff to my Pinterest board since then. As you might have guessed, the board mostly has the sort of stuff that I probably won’t make anytime soon. ๐Ÿ˜€ During my ‘quest’ for inspiration, I came across a lot of patterns for ‘biscornu‘s, which are apparently small, 8-sided, stuffed ornamental pincushions. Huh. They’re kinda weird cute. I might make one though I don’t use a pincushion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, while I wait for inspiration to strike, I’ve finished making an edging for the runner to help prevent future unraveling of the fabric.

Runner edging

And KG’s top-down sweater is going on — I’ve finished the waist, and have now started the below-waist pattern section. No photos of that for a while, though. ๐Ÿ˜

Tiny triangles top

Hurrah! The top with triangles is officially done; I just finished weaving in the ends a few days ago. I’d kept thinking of this as my first multicolor project, but I realized when I saw an old, old tote bag that I’d knit — that was my first multicolor, stranded-knitting project. Of course, I didn’t know much about knitting then, let alone stranded knitting, and my now-‘experienced’ eyes see a few mistakes, but it’s still a beautiful bag, and kudos to younger me for experimenting so successfully. ๐Ÿ™‚

But I digress. That tote bag deserves a post of its own. (Add to things-to-post-about list — check.) Back to the tiny triangles top. Just in case you’re wondering — it’s the triangles that are tiny, not the top. Here’s a picture to prove that it’s human-sized.

Tiny triangles top

Tiny triangles top

Things looked fine while I knit the front and back pieces. I sewed them together using grafting at the shoulders and mattress stitch at the sides. Then, after repeated failed attempts with different bottom edgings,ย I realized that the edging just won’t sit well with this yarn, even if I made it longer. So I’ve just let the current short 1×1 rib be. It folds up but looks okay(ish), and I can always tuck it in.ย The compromises one makes, huh… And nope, the yarn doesn’t play well with blocking either. ๐Ÿ˜€

I still have a lot of the yarn left. I can’t think of any knitting or crochet project I’d want to use it for, since I don’t wear lacy stuff much (nor does my immediate family), and it’s too much work to make a non-lacy project with this thin yarn. So I’m making a different needlework project — a cross stitch one — from it. I still feel bad for the yarn that it’s not gonna turn into a clothing item. Any ideas for a quick-but-not-lacy project?

Lemony shawl

It’s Lemony because of the beautiful bright-yellow color of the yarn. I started this project because I wanted something different to do while I was trying to finish other projects. ๐Ÿ˜€ Some of those other projects are still not done, but this wrap finished up pretty quickly.

Lemony shawl

I first started with the top-down approach without any pattern in mind, working short rows coupled with increases until I reached a decent height, and bound off, only to realize that the yarn is pretty heavy, and it stretched the shawl so much that it looked like I was wearing a python. :-/ So I frogged it and started afresh, this time quite narrower.

I still wanted to stick to the top-down construction, and started off with a simple lace pattern at the top. This time, I thought of looking for some inspiration for a lacy bottom edging that I could play with. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not great at designing with eyelets and laces, and I thought I could practice a bit now. I came across the Annis shawl pattern by Susanna IC on Ravelry. The instructions were for a bottom-up shawl, though, so I thought this is my chance to try to convert it to a top-down one and see if it looks the same. I tried and tried with quite a few combinations of yo, k2tog and ssk, but it never really looked the same. Sigh! I’d had enough of searching and experimenting, and just picked the best-looking one from amongst my tries — I had already made much of the shawl and didn’t want to frog it all over again to restart it bottom-up.

Though it doesn’t look anything like the Annis shawl ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m still happy because (a) it doesn’t look half-bad, and (b) I learned quite a lot about eyelets from those experiments. It’s at least got me interested in experimenting with more lacy patterns to understand them better. There’s also more to pointy ends than I have read about — they didn’t come up right even after blocking, and have receded back into the body now…

Meanwhile…

My friend KG has asked me to knit a sweater for her. I’ve not worked on a large project for someone who’s not immediate family, but thought I could see how it goes. I haven’t blogged about the sweater’s progress, though, and KG checked with me last week about it. She’s given me a deadline, you see… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€ Now that most of the difficult initial work — thinking of a pattern, swatching, designing parts from reference measurements — is done, the actual knitting is coming along… slowly. I don’t do things for long periods these days because my eyes feel the strain and fatigue at times — my day job also involves staring at a computer screen most of the time.

I like the color of KG’s choice of yarn. (Lavender? Lilac? I’ll just call it some kind of blue.) There’s also one ball of white yarn for some stranded colorwork. And hello, the background polka dots in the picture are also blue-on-white… Coincidence? ๐Ÿ™‚

Lavender cardigan

I don’t want to post too many photos of this sweater and spoil the surprise (or shock?) for KG, though, so I still won’t be blogging much about it until she’s seen it. Take note, KG! ๐Ÿ˜›

Diamond Yoke Pullover — done!

It’s done! My simple beginner yoke sweater. Well, it’s been done for a while now, I just hadn’t written about it… Here’s how it looks on me —

Diamond Yoke pullover

A very high-contrast picture indeed! ๐Ÿ˜› Regardless of the quality of the picture, I’m happy with how the project itself turned out. I stopped working on the sleeves before they could reach the wrists, so it’s more like a top than a pullover; but hey, I’d had enough of working — twice — with this inflexible (figuratively speaking) yarn so anything that looked decently wearable was good enough for me.

Though I speak as if I would kick this yarn out the first chance I get, it’s really not that bad a yarn if I think about it. (Or maybe I just feel that because everything looks funny, or at least harmless, in hindsight.) So just to prove to myself that the yarn is actually a nice little obedient one, I made an extra something from the leftover. But more on that later. I’ll concentrate on the sweater now.

I really like how the design has turned out. (Probably because it’s my own design, hehe…) Remember how I said in my previous post that I’d started out this pattern as a cable pattern, and decided to make the reverse side as the front? So yeah, I just knit it on the wrong side to keep things simple for myself. So it’s mostly purl stitches in this knit-in-the-round pullover.

Diamond Yoke pullover -- sleeve, hip

I’d originally intended to keep the bottom of the pullover simple and without a pattern, but seeing from experience how this yarn does not show designs very well, it made sense to add a row there. Of course, the sleeves got their due share of the pattern too.

I made the neck wide, and that shaped out well. I finished the piece with garter stitch borders. It’s simple, but I think it’s effective for this piece.

Diamond Yoke pullover -- neck

One would think that the season for sweaters is over, but for people like me going to offices with chameleon-like air-conditioning settings — it’s freezing one day at my workplace and pleasantly cool another — an extra layer (or two) comes in handy. And if there’s one thing I appreciate about this yarn, it’s that it does keep me warm! ๐Ÿ™‚

Waiting granny square pieces…

Granny square piecesI’m trying to remember how old these pieces are. (The photo looks pretty old, but I assure you, I clicked it just yesterday using a retro camera app on my phone. Very retro, indeed! ๐Ÿ˜€ ) I almost can’t recall when I made these, but they’re at least a couple of years old. I can say for sure that I had just learned about granny patterns and knew squat about magic loops, because I remember being not too happy with the holes in the middle of the granny squares but letting it slide.

I crocheted the squares from leftover yarn, and used whip stitch to tie them together. For the edging, I used two rounds of double crochet.

I’d made these so they can be brought together and fashioned into a clutch purse. And guess what — they’re still awaiting their destiny! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Okay, I guess that’s the wrong smiley to use here; this might just be my work-in-progress-for-so-long-that-i-have-almost-forgotten-about-it project…) It’s now sitting with my current work-in-progress project so it keeps reminding me of its presence. Maybe one of these days…

Granny Hexagon Placemat

Granny Hexagon Placemat

Granny Hexagon Placemat

Harmony.

That’s what I felt when I started working on a placemat using my stashes of tan and black light weight yarn. And that’s what I feel after I’m all done with the piece. The colors just complement each other so beautifully.

I’d like to acknowledge Kara at Petals and Picots for her photo-filled tutorials on granny hexagons and joining them as you go. I’d never have finished the piece so quickly if not for her instructions making it so easy and fun. Kara also has another tutorial for the edging, but I used my own, and I’m not disappointed! ๐Ÿ™‚

How I made it

I made my hexagons exactly like Kara shows, but with only two colors. I started with (2dc, ch1) x 6 in a magic ring using my tan yarn. I then made (2dc in chain-space, ch1, 2dc in same chain-space, ch1) x 6 with my black yarn. Switching back to tan yarn, I made (2dc in corner chain-space, ch1, 2dc in same chain-space, ch1, 2dc in next chain-space, ch1) x 6. Finally, I used my black yarn as the single-crochet join-as-you-go edging to the hexagon. I made 7 such hexagons, joining them as I made them. I single crocheted around the hexagon bunch, making (1sc, ch1, 1sc) at the convex corners and (sc 2tog) at the concave corners. That made all the black edgings look uniform.

Granny Hexagon Placemat - progress

For the overall edging, Iย  made double crochets, one color per round. For the first round, I made (1dc, ch1, 1dc) at the convex corners and (dc 2tog) at the concave ones. For round two, I made (1 dc, ch2, 1dc) at the convexes, and (dc 2tog) at the concaves. For the last double-crochet round, I made (1dc, ch1, 1dc, ch1, 1dc) at the convexes and (dc 2tog) at the concaves. The final row in edging is a single crochet one, with (1sc in chain-space, ch1, 1sc in same chain-space) at the gaps in the convex corners and (sc 2tog) at the concave corners. Here’s a closeup of the piece —

Granny Hexagon Placemat - closeup

With careful weaving-in of the ends, the piece is quite the reversible one!

Blocking

It feels weird to acknowledge this, but I’ll say it — I’ve never blocked any piece I’ve knit or crocheted before.ย o_O There’s always a first time for everything though, right? So well, this is mine for the blocking process! ๐Ÿ˜€

After some research, I decided that wet blocking is best for this piece. I briefly wet the piece to dampen it, then laid it properly stretched out, using pins to keep its shape. After a day, the piece was dry, and, I must admit, much better-looking than it would have been without blocking. Need I say that I’m going to block everything I knit or crochet from now on? :p

And now, the placemat has found its purpose in life — preventing dust from coating our home phone! ๐Ÿ™‚