I’ve managed to work a whole two rows of the Spring Fling since last week. At this rate, it’ll be ready to wear when I’m 72.
And this is what I’m really really itching to start on today.
It’s Sarah Jane’s Seafoam Fantasy Shawl, and I bought the pattern from her new shop on etsy. I also have this pattern of her’s (which I won last year – I always think I never win anything but actually I do!):
which will be so absolutely perfect for the winter we have on our horizon. It’s already bitterly cold in the mornings now (Alex has been eyeing my converted leg-warmers but I’m a very selfish mother most of the time and she ain’t gettin’ nuthin’ hahaha) . I love the idea that it can be a cowl or a hat, depending on one’s mood (and the wind chill factor).
This is a fabulous pattern for a shawl – it’s the Sausalito Shell by Gail Tanquary. It was free via Crystal Palace Yarns, and here’s a link to the pattern if you want to download it: Sausalito Shawl.
A while ago I made it with acrylic yarn and a 4.5mm hook, and it turned out really well:
On the weekend I decided to make it again, but differently. I used 2 strands of Vinni’s dk cotton and a 5.5mm hook, and chained 199 instead of 274, to compensate for the extra thickness.
After 4 rows I realised I wasn’t going to have enough cotton in Slate to make the full shawl, but NO WAY was I going to scrap any labour! I added half a row of shells in the centre to give it a bit of a curve, and then 2 rows of double crochet along one side in a contrasting colour.
It’s made a lovely chunky scarf which I have already worn twice. No-one has commented yet on how awesome it looks round my neck…but for the moment it’s enough for me to love it and admire it every time I walk past the mirror.
And then, in an extraordinary burst of enthusiasm from my previously totally disinterested daughter, Alex asked me to teach her to knit last night. I cracked my head quite badly on the side table as I fell off the couch in surprise. This is, after all, the girl who thinks handknitted things are not cool.
Anyway, I now have the pic to prove it. She is making a hat and has cast on and completed two rows of k2 p2 rib without a single mistake. She did say she found it hard to get it right and needed to take a little rest after the first row, and I like to think she has a new found regard for the cleverness of us knitters and crocheters. Hear me roar!
In just a few short minutes online this morning, I feel like I have been bombarded by amazing crochet patterns and designs from blogs and websites and shops worldwide and about thirty of them have my hands itching to get going. But I’ve been disciplined – I forced myself to finish my hat.
I’ve used this pattern by Jennifer Appleby many times, and it’s always turned out well. This time I used a Stylecraft Life DK in Denim and a 3.5mm hook (because the yarn seemed finer than other DKs to me). [[Please note my gorgeous hook with funky handmade handle that the wonderful Lisa at Yarnchick sent me a while ago. She sent me three, actually, and I use them all the time.]]
Too impatient to wait for Alex to get home from varsity, I have had to use a sheep as my model.
But I’m sure you’ll agree, the hat suits him very well, worn either over one ear to the side, or pulled right down like teenagers and women with bad hair days wear. I added a pompom instead of a button.
Sheep I love pompoms. Don’t know why I don’t make more of them, actually.
This bikini business has become a bit of a nagmerrie, as we say down here (you’ve really got to phlegm-up the g and roll those r’s to get the full onomatopoeic gist of the word). What a mission.
I’ve tried so many different combinations of patterns and cottons and thicknesses and hooks and sizes that I’m in a quite a state. These photos are only the tip of the iceberg, and they probably give the impression that I’ve got it all under control, but I don’t.
Here are some attempts, shown on Miss Boobalicious. She’s a bit pale but on the other hand she doesn’t move much.
The white one is lovely but the cups are too pointy, and the centre point is too high up. The blue one is a lovely pattern and quick to make, but the same cotton for the pants would be too bulky, plus I don’t like the way they do the strings. Either find another way, plus use a different cotton, and then a smaller hook as well, or work in more rows….. argh. The halter-type top worked well and was really nice to make, but it isn’t what was originally asked for. It’s also too thick.
Anyway, I have two more patterns to try out, one courtesy of the incredible designer Cindy Kamps (who sent an old trusted pattern to me purely out of kindness) and the other from the Wonky Zebra in the UK, from whom I had ordered a pattern on Etsy and received an extra one, also as a courtesy bonus. What lovely ladies. I guess they understand – and you all will, too – what a BLOODY NIGHTMARE it can be sometimes to find EXACTLY THE RIGHT PATTERN…..
Rob commented innocently the other day, “Those bikinis seem to be taking a long time, don’t they, I thought they wanted them for this summer?”, but then he found it impossible to speak through a mouthful of yarn so he had to shut up.
A super quick post today, to satisfy my list of Things To Do – am madly trying to get my flat ready for Sunday’s Open Day (which a helpful neighbour picked up on and advertised on my behalf in our local e-paper – ack!) – but things are looking better already. I was even able to get into bed last night without first having to shift piles of fabric, buttons and crochet cotton.
A possible solution for an oversupply of buttons (Trish, this is mainly for you):
This is going to be my new hookboard for keys next to the front door. I seem to be wasting at least 15 minutes searching for my car keys before I rush out these days. Now I just need to find hooks…
Bikini update: slowly slowly catchee monkey.
I’ve been playing around with sizes and patterns and different cottons, and it’s eventually coming right. My “bikini contact” tells me that she knows of another shop in Cape Town keen to stock these, so I reallyreally need to focus now.
And something completely irrelevant: these photos are on my bookshelves, and something made me look at them a bit more closely when I was photographing the button hearts. My daughter at 9 months, and me at 25 years (with my lovely Nanna):