pierydys: (Default)

Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.

Seems everything around me at the moment is half finished. Probably because I’ve thrown myself into a pile of larger projects with no instant gratification in sight. Boo.

First, the saga of the purple yarn. I bought a few skeins of this pretty lavender wool to make my first full-sized knit project with, y’see. Then I started working on what should have been a simple eternity scarf pattern which went horribly wrong. Wrong beyond the possibility of fixing — as in, there were checkerboard spots where there were suppose to be stripes wrong. Luckily, I had only done perhaps 10 rows at that point, so it was frogged.

Upon starting over, I decided that I might as well dive right in and do the one thing that I’d learned knitting to do — make clothing. It took a while to track down a pattern simple enough for an utter beginner to try, but that was accomplished. The thing is, I know myself well enough to understand that this huge burst of obsessive energy at the beginning of learning something new will only last for so long. So why not use it for a big project that would otherwise inch along for months, buried beneath a pile of fifty other projects, once the shiny novelty of knitting wears off?

To my delight, this time the pattern actually worked. After just a couple inches of the front panel, it was obvious that all the measurements would work out just fine. Sure, this sweater will probably end up rather lumpy and homely due to my irregular n00b stitching, but it’ll be wearable and it’ll be MINE.

As of Monday morning, I have 1/3 of the front done and should reach the sleeves by tonight. I’m having some tension problems, it seems, because I’m rowing out here and there. It’s sporadic, though, so I’ll have to observe more closely to see what’s triggering it. It’s exciting to see a garment grow in such a neat and orderly manner, though — unlike the scary malignant tumor-type growth that the first attempt with this yarn turned out.

In other news, I stole a cardboard box from the cats’ play pile and blocked my afghan squares this weekend. This is news because I have not blocked anything since my first week of design school, when we were required to by a teacher peering over our shoulders. So the fact that my lazy butt is actually starting to block things again probably is a good sign that I might be taking this stuff seriously. Woohoo!

Neat little stack of 10 6-inch afghan sampler squares. Of course, I’ll need another 90 of these things to make the blanket I’m planning, but it’s a good start. It should be ready by next winter :-P

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.

This past week, I tried to use up leftover bits and pieces from my yarn stash by doing smaller projects.

Leftover maroon sock yarn made a fun little hairband!

And leftover yellow scarf yarn made a nifty little roll-up crochet hook mat.

Another multi-purpose project started this weekend was a stitch sampler afghan — it’s using up my leftover yarns, refreshing my rather rusty technique, teaching me new stitches, and making us a colorful blanket all at the same time! Here are my squares so far — some of them are so classically “granny” in style that I giggle looking at them.

I got the patterns for this set of blocks from HalfKnits, since they had a nice selection of less intimidating-looking squares to start with. Since I want every 6-inch square of this rather large blanket to be different, I’ll have to move on to another site soon enough, though.

In addition to learning new crochet moves, I also started knitting (for real this time!) this weekend. Making just one square with knit takes about two to three times as long as a crocheted one, gack. But really, I’m just dreading trying to figure out how to purl Continental style — I fumbled it several times without any success the first time it was demonstrated to me, so hopefully studying diagrams for a week will wedge it into my head. Fingers crossed!

 

 

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pierydys: (Default)

Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.

I mentioned in my last post that I started making sweaters for our Siamese mix, Coco, because she seemed to be perpetually cold for most of this past fall and winter. Despite having very efficient indoor heating and piles of blankets to snuggle into, she’s a California kitty at heart and is having a hard time adjusting to our new Nordic environment. Having a pathetic-looking furball with ice-cold extremities trying to burrow into your armpit at 2AM every night is both sad and extremely annoying. Cat sweaters it was.

The problem I found with most crocheted cat sweaters I tried, however, was that they seemed to be made for medium-sized cats of stockier builds — I had to make lots of adjustments to get them to fit Coco, who falls somewhere between the oriental and foreign body types. That means long and lanky, with much more surface area than mass, legs like a deer and a tubular torso. By the time I finished sizing a typical garment down for her, she’d look like she was wearing an early-career Britney crop top. This pattern is my first attempt at making something more suited to the needs of all those long cats out there.

Note — Alas, I do not yet knit, so cannot avail myself of the many adorable knit patterns for sweaters. I am an avid crocheter, though, and I’m guessing you are as well if you’re reading this.

Special features:

* Ribbed mock turtleneck expands and contracts, making it easier to slip on and off the cat while still maintaining its shape when worn. It also provides more coverage for cats with long necks.

* A bit of shaping in the first rows of the back provides widening to accommodate shoulder movement when cat is in different positions.

* One large armhole instead of individual sleeves allows more freedom of movement for the front legs. It also makes it tons easier to put on the cat. This seems to be the only style of sweater that Coco will tolerate for long periods of time.

* A bit of shaping in the lower half of the sweater widens the “belt” to better accommodate full bellies ;-)

* The uniform single crochet background is great for attaching decorative appliqués, should the mood hit you.

Sizing:

This was made to fit an 11-pound long cat. Will probably work for a 10-14 pounder of similar body type. Adjust according to your animal — I find that the top-down approach makes it easier to try on the cat as you go so you end up with fewer sizing errors at the end. Larger hook for a bigger cat, smaller for a wee one, etc.

Materials:

* around 164 yards (150 meters) of Aran-weight yarn (10 ply/8wpi) — or, y’know, whatever you want as long as you adjust the pattern accordingly. I used a 75% Wool, 25% Nylon blend, since I figure she’ll probably ingest some of the fibers at some point and I’d prefer they be mostly of animal origin.

* size G-6 (4mm) crochet hook — or whatever you need for the size of your animal and your personal gauge.

* yarn needle for finishing

Gauge:

I did 19 sc = 4″ with the 4mm hook. I crocheted on the tighter side for this sweater, since I wanted it to be thick, sturdy, and insulating. However, since I typically run towards loose, my idea of “tighter” probably isn’t quite as extreme as some other people’s.

Abbreviations:

Standard stuff. ch = chain, sc = single crochet, ss = slip stitch. All instructions are in US terms.

SWEATER

Ribbing

Chain 11.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each chain across (10 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 2-42: Sc in back loops only, working in each sc (10 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 43: Align beginning and end edges to make seam and sc through both loops of both layers to attach them (10 sc total). Ch 1. Do not finish.

Body

Row 44: Turn piece 90 degrees clockwise so you are now working perpendicular to the ribbing. Sc at the end of each row for the next 34 rows (34 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 45: Sc in the first 15 sc, 2 sc in the middle 4 sc, sc in the last 15 sc (38 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 46-48: Sc in each sc across (38 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 49: Sc in first 18 sc, 2 sc in the middle 2 sc, sc in the last 18 sc (40 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 50-60: Sc in each sc across (40 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 61: Sc in each sc across, ch 15, ss to connect with beginning of round on other side of arm hole. Ch 1, turn.

Row 62: Sc in each of 15 ch, sc in each of 40 sc, ss closed (55 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 63-67: Sc in each sc across (55 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 68: Sc in first 47 sc, 2 sc in the next sc, sc in the next 7 sc, ss closed (56 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 69: Sc in first 7 sc, 2 sc in next 2 sc, sc in next 47 sc, ss closed (58 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 70: Sc in first 44 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last 4 sc (60 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 71-75: Sc in each sc across (60 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 76: Ss in each sc across (60 ss total). Fasten off and weave in ends.

© 2011 Angela Lai and Velvet Kerfuffle, all rights reserved. The content of this pattern is copyrighted. You may print out pages for your own use or to share as long as appropriate credit is included on each page. You may sell items handmade (but not mass-produced) with this pattern, but if you sell them online, you must link to this pattern.  You may not sell, publish in any form, or otherwise claim this pattern as your own.

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pierydys: (Default)

Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.

And this post concludes my recent spate of crochet spamming on various social networking platforms :-) I am now caught up so my project posts will come at a slightly more manageable pace.

Socks! Really big ones!

And a pretty flowered earwarmer. Yes, I have a glass lampshade the size and shape of a human head. Doesn’t everybody?

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Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.

I started crocheting again last week. Picking it up again reminds me of many things — crazy times as a senior at UCLA (the last time I went on a huge crocheting binge), how tired my fingers can get, and and how much I love yarn. Also, that I need to keep a much closer eye on my gauge/tension! These were the first two projects I completed. Click on picture for a Ravelry link that will take you to more details.

A scarf done in T’s favorite hockey team colors.

A hat and glittens set dedicated to our favorite giant ball of orange fluff.

 

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Raveled.

Mar. 1st, 2011 12:34 pm
pierydys: (Default)

Originally published at Velvet Kerfuffle Fashion and Costumery. Please leave any comments there.

So I started an account on Ravelry late last October but didn’t really bother to delve too deeply into it until recently, when a local friend mentioned that she had found several very interested patterns from just flipping through pages there. Decided it was time to give it a closer look and have now updated my profile and added all the old projects that have been floating around on my computer. It’s nice to have everything all orderly! Now I can start posting about the new projects I’ve been working on, which are hopefully the beginning of a productive streak. It’s been a while since I’ve felt settled enough to start making stuff again, and I think this is a good beginning. Besides, yarn is soft, fuzzy and addictive :-) I miss my giant yarn closet back in Cali and will probably try to recreate it here.

Does anybody else out there have a Ravelry account I can add to my friendslist?

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