Crochethook's Blog

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The woes of well grown woman August 28, 2012

Filed under: Completed projects,Knitting,Round Up — crochethook @ 9:32 am
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I was shocked when I finally sat down to blog this morning and saw my last post was in April.  I am a very poor blogger!

Once again I have been busy knitting but I have been slightly disappointed in the final results and therefore less inclined to swank over what I have created.  I think this is mainly due to my lack of experience in knitting. That, and the fact I am far slower at knitting than I am at crocheting, all adds up to a lack of posts.

Anyhow, here follows the fruits of my labours:

As I said at the end of my last post, I knitted some Sirdar’s Raffaella into Rowan’s Meadow tank top.   The pattern was a good one but the yarn didn’t really work for this project.  It looks great –

Meadow tank top

but the yarn is a rick-rack. (There is probably a technical term for that but I have no idea what it is.) It seem to lie flat but as soon as the fabric is slightly stretched the knitting becomes very gappy where the rick-rack has left loose stitches.  It is particularly noticeable on the bust.  This was frustrating as the top fits me but it still manages to look like I have squeezed myself into it.  I am tempted to have another go in the future with a better yarn.

Next up was a little shoulder shawl.  I found the pattern on Ravelry but cannot find the link to it now for the life of me.  I used some lovely green sock yarn I got in my local wool emporium.  I didn’t really need another scarf but it was a great traveling project.

Holding onto this until the colder weather

While I was working on the shawl I was also in the middle of the most complicated knitting pattern I have tried to date.  This was also another Ravelry find.  I used Patons Smoothie which is a cheaper acrylic yarn as I wasn’t sure the pattern wouldn’t be beyond me.  It took me a couple of months to complete – including some serious frogging at times.  All in all, it came out well:

Quite lovely

My gauge was correct but I have since discovered that ladies were obviously far less well developed in the 1950s.  I ended up omitting the buttons up the band when it became clear that there was no hope of the two sides ever meeting across the expanse of my busty substances.  It makes a lovely shrug without the buttons but I really have to work harder on taking my chest measurements into account!

Taking these lessons on board, I have started work on a little waistcoat which features on the front page of the July issue of Let’s Knit. This time I have gone up a size in the hope that I will create something that really fits me.  The pattern involves knitting in two colours which is a new experience for me but I seem to managing it so far.  I will endeavour to post the completed results in a few weeks (but don’t hold your breath.)

Next week I begin a new job which involves some commuting.  I was thinking of portable projects when I felt granny square madness settle into my soul.  It seems I am starting another granny square blanket then…

 

Do your armholes hang low? January 23, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Review — crochethook @ 5:05 pm
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My first project of 2011 is complete – hurrah!  It has actually been 99% finished for a couple of weeks now but I was putting off the final sewing up and weaving in of ends.  It is such a dull job that I have to wait until total ennui has set in and I am finally driven to it. Even now, however, as I savour the smugness that always sets in when I actually complete some sewing, I am still a little ambivalent about the finished project.

This is the first thing I have ever managed to hook which was even vaguely wearable, which is a huge plus in its favour.  On the negative side, I used some fairly cheap acrylic as my previous attempts at crocheting clothes for anyone older than 3 months have been doomed to failure so it doesn’t have the best drape to it.

The pattern is the Easy Shrug from Mary Jane Hall’s Positively Crochet which was one of my Christmas presents.  I had added the book to my Wish List after seeing someone else’s version of the shrug on Ravelry.  I hadn’t really thought about the title of the book.  I certainly didn’t realise that every pattern in the book also includes a mawkish, badly punctuated platitude to jolly you along as you hook.  They are all more or less vomit inducing but some are also unintentionally hilarious.  My personal favourite is from page 15:

“Some of my favourite things in life are the smell of a scented candle and the aroma of a good cup of coffee.  Even better though, is a pleasant chat with a friend.  What about your family? Is your speech as a pleasant, lingering aroma to them, or do your words have a bitter after-taste?  You can always add some sugar for sweetness.  A little sugar never hurt anyone!”

See?  I feel like I need a brisk rubdown with a Brillo Pad after reading that.  This is on a page for a wool-covered bracelet.

Anyway, dragging my appalled eye from the drivel at the bottom of the pattern, I started the shrug just after Christmas.  It is, as its name suggests, very easy.  You make a T-shaped piece in back-loop only double crochet and seam the ends of the top-stroke of the T to the sides of down-stroke to create an almost circular shrug. (This is quite poorly explained in the book, as it is here.  My ears were bleeding before I finally got my head round what she meant.)   You use quite large hook, although I had to go 0.5mm larger than recommended to get the gauge, and chunky wool and so the finished product is quite nice and stretchy.

 

The surprisingly OK front view

The pay-off for the ease of construction is in the arms.  Once you have sewn the side seams, you are left with rather large, gapey holes for your arms.  If you suffer from excessive bingo-wings, this could be a winner for you but my arms are quite spindly and pathetic.  The pattern suggests you can seam them a little more to adjust the size, which I did, but they are never going to be elegant.

 

As someone commented on Ravelry, "a bit funky round the arms."

I was less than impressed when I discovered towards the end of the project that the book has a considerable errata on the author’s website.   She suggests you might want to make the whole thing larger by about 2″.  Thankfully mine has enough give in it to mean that I didn’t need to frog all my work.  I think I would have lost my reason if I had to start again as 48″ of double crochet takes quite a time to complete even with a largish hook.

All in all, it’s not a terrible shrug and I will probably wear it at home.  I am not sure it will get much of an airing in public.  There is another pattern in the book which is for a sleeved shrug which might solve the problems with the armholes.  I plan to have a crack at it in a couple of months and will report back if I do.