Crocheting Things

Lately my focus has shifted to crochet as I work on a scarf commissioned by a friend and a blanket requested by another. I’m working the scarf in baby yarn with a size F hook, so it’s taking a little while. It’s turning out really nicely though, and hopefully I’ll have some photos to post soon. The blanket has a different story. A friend’s mother in law passed away after a brief illness several years ago, and while she was sick she asked her husband to buy her some yarn so she could make a blanket. Sadly, she did not have the time to get started on it. Then a few months ago her husband passed away too. My friend sent me the yarn and asked me if I could make a blanket for her husband, who is having a hard time with having lost both of his parents. Of course I agreed- I love new projects and this one touched my heart. I hope to have that project done and in the mail by Christmas, but again hopefully I’ll have some pictures to show you soon.

The Scatterbrained Sweater

Not long ago I spotted the pattern for Simplest Sweater, which looks like a really friendly sweater that won’t hurt me or get excited and bite me or accidentally crush me to death in its giant but untamed hands. I’m a jumpy knitter with things I’ve never done before, which is not great for my sense of crafting adventure but it does give me good cause to integrate my experience with dogs and reading Of Mice and Men.

Anyway.

I’m having a time getting the swatch done. I cast on for the swatch yesterday but I’ve only gotten through one row.

I’m so scattered and busy right now that I can’t make it through a swatch.

Let’s just process that for a sec.

Hopefully I’ll have this thing done before it’s too warm to wear it again. If you’re the betting sort, don’t put money on it though.

Still Not Dead, and an Orange Scarf

It’s been slow in my crafting world lately, mainly because I tend to wait for some kind of inspiration before I start a new project. For me, it takes a lot of time, energy, and commitment to create a finished piece of knitting or crochet, so I don’t like to spend a lot of resources on a project I feel lukewarm about. I’ve got it in my head to finally learn how to knit socks, but I think I may sit on that plan until the month-long break I’ll have from school over the Christmas/New Year holidays.

In the meantime, though, it is time to start whipping up scarves and hats and whatnot for the upcoming three days of cold weather we always get here in south Georgia. My size N crochet hook and my Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in the pumpkin colorway were calling to me the other night, so I’m in the middle of working up a simple single crochet scarf for myself. I have a feeling it’s going to be a shortish scarf since it’s going pretty fast, but that’s okay. I’ll post photos here when it’s done. I doubt I’ll block it.

Speaking of blocking… the blue triangle scarf still awaits the steam treatment. I really need to do that already.

I’m Not Dead

I know it’s been quiet around here. I’m not inspired at the moment, and I’m totally unmotivated to block that triangle scarf. The acrylic garter-stitch nonspecific thing I’m knitting now is keeping me from getting rusty or wandering too far away, but that’s about it.

Book Review: Field Guide to Knitting

You may or may not have ever used a “stitchionary” or stitch dictionary. If you have, you know that a good stitchionary can inspire your designs, challenge your abilities and the way you think about knitting, and sometimes it’s just nice to look at pretty pictures of knitting. If you haven’t, opening one up will be like a revelation for you and you’ll wonder how you ever did without!

My favorite stitch dictionary is the Field Guide to Knitting: How to Identify, Select, and Work Virtually Every Stitch. (That’s not an affiliate link, just a link to the book’s Amazon page in case you decide you must! have! a! copy!)

This book has about two hundred different stitch patterns in it, and it has a couple of unique features that make it indispensable for me. Like all books of its type, it contains color photos of swatches of all its different stitch techniques, an index, and a guide to abbreviations. It also has several unique features. The author provides a brief commentary on each stitch, usually including some background or cultural history of the stitch, but she has also come up with an ingenious system of visual cues (icons) to tell the reader all about the stitch at a glance. This system indicates a stitch pattern’s yarn consumption relative to stockinette (uses less yarn, uses more yarn) and explains why that is. The icons also tell the user if the pattern is reversible, how the pattern generally behaves in terms of lying flat or puckering, and what size needles work best (although this is in a general sense; no assumptions are made about what weight yarn the user might select). This book is also the perfect size to throw into a purse or project bag. It’s a small but substantial paperback that won’t break your back but can also hold its own against the poking and jabbing of needles in a project bag on the go.

Sometimes I just look through the pictures in this stitchionary and swatch things out to see if I can get them to look that good. This is a great book for a beginning, intermediate, or expert knitter. It covers several categories, including knit/purl, cables, lace, ribbings, and edgings, so there’s something there for everyone and every project.

This is my favorite stitch dictionary and it’s always the first one I grab when I want to try something new!