Letter holder

Well, it’s been a long time since I did some crochet, and I finally got the opportunity. The table in my room has been collecting old receipts. (I know right, in this age of online everything!) I don’t think I really need them, but I decided to keep them at least until the warranty period of their items expires — warranty periods have gotten shorter anyway. But dusty papers lying forever(ish) on a dusty table? Especially when I need to clear it now and then, at least partially, to make room for my crafty ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) endeavors? Why not shove them into a letter holder instead?

So I made a letter holder. After all, I had quite some yarn left over from my projects, and what better use for all that yarn, right? Look at it doing its job!

Letter holder

Letter holder

This letter holder was quite easy to make because almost everything in here is double crochet.

I first made the base with some dark brown super-bulky yarn, and this was the quickest part — I was done before I could say “letter holder”. I started bottom up, increasing the number of stitches at both ends in every row as required. I kept crocheting with the same width until the desired height. I then crocheted one single-crochet row around a wooden rod that I added to stabilize the structure. Finally, I decreased stitches on both ends to reach the top. I made a sturdy loop at the top that I would use to hang the piece.

I then made the granny squares independently. Well, mostly independently, because I used the join-as-you-go method to stitch them together while I made them. I always start granny squares with a magic loop, and this was no exception. I first made the larger piece, then made and attached each smaller piece to it. I’d thought I’d go with one more layer of smaller pieces, but decided not to.

Instead, I added three rows of double crochet in different colors around the granny square ensemble. The piece now looked wide enough to fit the base — slightly bigger, actually, so it has some slack to hold the letters and who-kn0ws-what-I’ll-throw-into-it. I used single crochet join to firmly attach three sides of the front piece to the base. Pre-pinning the pieces at regular distances helped me maintain the same gauge throughout, and get a uniform look.

I now felt that the base looked kinda bald, so I used single crochet to add a fine edging around it. ๐Ÿ™‚ This turned out to be good in more ways than one, because it made the piece maintain its shape better.

Finally, I cut a few pieces of yarn and added a tassel at the bottom.

Vintage vest

Vintage vest

Vintage vest

Whenever I see this vest, I think it looks like it’s about 50 years too late in the making ๐Ÿ™‚ but I love it! It’s something that I started quite a while back, and with leftover yarn from not one, not two, but three projects! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I’m just really happy with how it turned out. ๐Ÿ™‚

At first, I’d picked only the pink and brown yarn, and I wanted the patterned part to be all over the vest, but from my swatches, I knew the yarn I had would not be enough for that. So I picked additional leftover yarn, choosing to only use it for the sides. In a moment of recklessness ๐Ÿ˜› I started bottom-up though there was the chance that I would run out of yarn before I finish the project… [fingers crossed]

I made the front and back pieces separately, and it was fun moving between four balls of yarn for every row — two for the two sides, and two for the stranded pattern. The pattern itself is pretty simple, as you can see.

That I decided on a closed vest made neck shaping easier. I’m improving with neck shaping, but I’m still not there — there’re always bulges at certain points along the neck no matter how carefully I calculate. Not for garments with a closed front; the necks in these come up pretty nice, regardless of what design I shape them in. When it comes to necks in open fronts that are meant to be buttoned up, though, no amount of modifications to my calculations seems to work… [Scream of fury! Then quite a few slow, deep, calming breaths.]ย  I’ve to research and think a bit more the next time I decide on an open, to-be-buttoned-up garment, and try to figure out what’s going wrong.

Anyway, after all that silent screaming, I should really finish what I started talking about — the neck shaping was a simple gently curving one, and obviously, was joined by armhole shaping after a few rows. I worked each side with three balls, one for the side and two for the pattern, and made an extra stitch along the neck — I would pick up this stitch later for the ribbing.

The back was a similar affair, with a shaping of the neck in the final few rows.

I joined the two pieces using grafting at the shoulders and mattress stitch at the sides. I experimented with adding sleeves to make it a top, but I didn’t like how it looked. So decided to keep it a vest / sleeveless top, and added ribbing at the neck and armholes.

My sister said that it’ll go well with a white shirt. (Now when I mention this vest to her, I say “the one that goes with a white shirt.”) I must say I like the combination! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vintage vest

I still have scraps of yarn left from this project, and they will go into a tiny project, or maybe something with crocheted squares.

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?

Horizontal cables cardigan

The horizontal cables sweater that I started quite a while ago is officially done today! And I โค it!

Horizontal cables cardigan

The wide button band that I had in mind eventually ended up being a thinner no-button band — just because the buttons I thought we already had for this cardigan weren’t actually in our stash. I’ve recently been jumping between dealing with things thrown at me and just relaxing when I get a breather, so I knew I wouldn’t have the time to go buy other buttons. And that’s why the poor button band had to be satisfied with being a regular band, stopping its growth when it got wide enough. Also, there’s still some scrunching near the bottom ribbing because of a slight miscalculation on my part. (I didn’t undo it just because…) Consequently, the cardigan doesn’t go completely around my body — there’s still space left along the front.

Horizontal cables cardigan

But. I have no regrets about the bands or anything else in this sweater. In fact, this has been one of the most satisfying of my projects so far. I’m elated to see that the two ends of the horizontal pattern align with each other pretty nicely after I made the final ribbing. And this is the first time my calculated seamless set-in sleeves turned out well-fitted! (There was another time a long while back when they fit right, but that was a lacy sweater, and could tolerate fitting mistakes like no one can. Speaking of which, I should write about that sweater some time.)

I also made the top-down sleeves taper more gradually by decreasing one stitch every N rows instead of two symmetric stitches every 2N rows. I think I’m going to continue doing that in the future for medium and larger weight yarns, because I’m pretty happy with how non-bumpy the sleeve ‘seam’ looks.

And remember the other project that I said in the same post that I would frog? Yeah, I frogged it, and am now making a three-colored triangle-patterned top with the yarns. That’s right, my first time on a multicolor project! I had all the rookie problems with tension, but it’s becoming easier and better-looking as I march on. And I love how it’s turning out. (Finally! A happy project for this fingering weight yarn. It must be heaving a sigh of relief that it won’t endure yet another bout of frogging.) These are two of the three colors —

Triangles pattern

I can’t wait to see how this project turns out! Soo excited!

Horizontal cables

I’ve been working on this unnamed cardigan lately — a simple stockinette one, with its redeeming feature being a horizontal cabled strip running around the chest. (That’s right, I just cannot knit a sweater with only stockinette stitches. ๐Ÿ˜› )
Horizontal cabled cardigan For this cardigan, I first knit the cabled strip — it is about 7cm (2.75″) wide. I calculated it for a length of chest circumference minus border. I then used stockinette gauge to pick up the required number of stitches from its longer edges, and have continued with plain stockinette stitches for the top and bottom parts. I’m shaping the neck, armhole and waist as necessary.

I’d abandoned this project for quite a while due to reduced knitting time / inclination — I got busy with other creative projects decorating my room, and knitting took a backseat. Now that I feel like knitting again, I’m hoping to finish this one soon. I just love the soft pink color! โค

Speaking of abandoning, there was another project that I’d started, not knowing if I’d like it. A shawl using some fingering weight yarn. (Also pink, heh. Was it an unconscious “girly” decision? ๐Ÿ˜› ) My original thought was to make a lacy one, but I don’t do super-lacy, so I did something different using short rows.
Shawl from fingering weight yarn I liked how it looked when I started it, but now I really cringe seeing how it’s coming along. I know I’ve spent some time on it, but I’m thinking if I should frog it. My sister was aghast when I told her this. (To tell the truth, I myself was aghast when I thought of frogging.) But then, instead of spending more time and energy into something that I don’t like, it’s better to let it RIP. (See what I did there? ๐Ÿ˜› ) I’ll leave it in my project cupboard for a few more days before finally deciding whether to tear out the needles from it.

Maybe I should do super-lacy…

Striped phone cover

… with flowers!

Striped phone cover

This is a pretty old project of mine —ย  a phone cover made using leftover yarn from other projects. (After all, isn’t that what phone cover projects use — leftover yarn? Mine always have…)

For the body, I knit in the round for the required length, alternating blue and pink rows. At the top, I created holes by repeating *yo, k2tog*, then bound off in the next row. I then sewed up the bottom. For the pull cords, I made two 3-strand braids, each about four times the width of the cover. I looped the cords from opposite ends, weaving them between the yarn-over holes, and finally knotted together the ends of each cord.

The cover still seemed too plain, so I crocheted two flowers that I secured tightly on the cover. Ta da! โค

‘Ribersible’ hat — completed

So I had some free time over the end-of-year holidays, and I managed to complete the reversible ribbed hat, or ‘Ribersible’ hat, that I’d started making for my sister. She seems to be satisfied with it. (Phew! It’s always “(s)he likes it… (s)he likes it not…” when you make something that’s not for yourself…)

When I started knitting it, I had a different version in my head. Along the way, incorporating wishes and tweaks, it became something else altogether. Still good, but something else… ๐Ÿ™‚

The horizontal sections in this top-down hat are composed of alternating stripes of 1×2 ribs (which are 2×1 ribs on the other side) and seed stitches (or British moss stitches, as they are also called. There’s an American moss stitch, which is different — but I digress…) I ended it with a 3×3 ribbing using needles one size smaller.

This is how the hat looks inside out and outside in —

'Ribersible' hat

‘Ribersible’ hat

Though there’s no right or wrong side ๐Ÿ™‚ my sister and I each have our preference. How about you? Do you like one better than the other?