Twinning in Tweed

When I last updated, I included a green and brown tweed hat as part of my hat-knitting streak.

I’m happy to report I was able to turn around and make another one with the same colors, just in reverse order of the first. They’re soft and lightweight and absolutely perfect for fall.

So now I’ve got two tweed knit hats that would fit anyone from a child through tween/teen and it didn’t scare me off from working with tweed, even with the neps! šŸ˜€

I haven’t listed any of the knit hats in my Etsy shop yet; I haven’t decided if I want to do a whole shop restock when I amass a certain number or whether I want to do a trickle of listings.

IĀ did decide to list the knitted cowl I completed a little while back and an amigurumi squid I completed over the weekend. Check ’em out! Everything ships free within the United States.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. It still feels like summer in my neck of the woods but we’re supposed to have actual fall temps a week from now. I can’t wait!

Blocked: Sunrise Knit-Alike Tunisian Scarf

This scarf took me three monthsĀ to completely finish, including blocking. Scarves are one of those things that seem easy, and for the most part, they are. But when you get over halfway through and you just want to be finished already, getting to the end can seem like an eternity. Also, I’ve noticed this is more the case with Tunisian crochet scarfs than traditional crochet where you merely turn and keep going.

In any case, I was working a lot of hours between January and April, so it didn’t really take me three months as much as I had to put it down and motivate to pick it back up again on numerous occasions.

All that aside, I absolutely love the look of this scarf! The pattern is from bhooked. It may look intimidating, but it’s just two Tunisian stitches: the knit stitch and the cross stitch. I also followed her lead and did the same colorway as the designer did. I’m not usually a super bright colorway person, but there’s just something about those colors. I didn’t have a specific person in mind when I set out to make it, either — I just knew it needed to get made.

When I first began trying my hand at Tunisian crochet, I was unsure if I would get the hang of it. But I caught on pretty quickly, and like many others who have become addicted to it, it fulfills that yearning to create something denser and less loopy. I have dipped a toe — A TOE — in the learning-to-knit pool, and so far, it hasn’t taken. I’m going to keep at it but my hands just don’t want to cooperate with where I’m supposed to put my fingers to keep tension, the movements, etc. (I am working on learning Continental knitting, as it’s an easier transition from crochet and it is more efficient, which is right up my alley.) When I get frustrated at my clumsiness with knitting needles, I toss them aside and pick up my hooks again, feeling right at home.

I digress.

This scarf is super long, warm, cozy, and bright. It would make a wonderful autumn-into-winter scarf. Mine turned out pretty wide at 6-7″. I also used bhooked’s method for wet blocking. Blocking is a pain but it does work! My ends didn’t uncurl completely but it’s not terrible. It just gives the scarf that little extra handmade look.

For blocking, I used some rubber/foam interlocking mats, T-pins, and sprayed down the scarf with water from a spray bottle I had. I let it dry for a couple of days before unpinning, which was the most tedious part of the whole process.

I haven’t decided whether to list it in the shop or just keep it in my gifts pile. But I’m excited for the day to come when it goes to an ecstatic new owner!

Edit: added to the shop!

Yes, You Can Do Too Much Crochet

Although I have been steadily crocheting for about two years straight now, I go through the usual peaks and valleys in volume of projects and number of hours I’m at the craft.

As we are in the official frenzy of pre-holiday Making of Things, I have not been immune to feeling the crunch of squeezing projects in wherever I can. I have taken to bringing a project to work with me each day to be productive on my lunch breaks, even.

I didn’t understand until this week when I went to continue some rows of a scarf just how much I had overworked my crocheting muscles in my hands and arms. I type quite a bit for my day job and when my non-dominant hand began complaining as soon as I began typing, I realized I had pushed myself wayyy too much the weekend before. I had busied myself with other things but apparently the balance was still way off.

“Pain.” (This girl has experienced Too Much Crafting.)

This week, I concluded that the couple of times I have committed to the gym per week are rather critical; not only in terms of relieving stress and improving heart rate and muscle tone, but loosening up those muscles that want to stay cramped in one position after a while.

One thing I have tried (although it seems rather ADHD of me) is spending smaller amounts of time on the multiple projects I have going at once. For example, last night I finished the rows of a fingerless mitt, put it down, and moved on to finishing a dinosaur leg. Just sewing amigurumi limbs uses different muscles and gives them a break, but I still get the benefits of something monotonous and relaxing. Lastly, before bed, I worked on a Tunisian scarf until I got sleepy (which didn’t take long). Divvying up my time on projects made me feel like I was accomplishing a lot in one sitting, but also helped me balance the various different muscles I use for each individual project. +1 for multi-tasking!

I think the lesson here isĀ less is more. I’ll be celebrating my one-year wedding anniversary this weekend and I don’t plan to spend it crocheting. It’ll be some nice down time from my usual craft corner on my couch–a way to “unplug,” as it were–good for both brain and body.

I fully expect to bounce back come Sunday evening feeling all the more raring to get back to working on simultaneous projects. In this particular moment, I’ve got going:

  • Tunisian scarf
  • Dinosaur amigurumi
  • Starburst blanket
  • Fingerless mitt to round out the first one I made

In the queue behind those are:

  • Another Tunisian scarf
  • Another blanket for some friends’ children
  • Another dinosaur amigurumi
  • Another pair of fingerless mitts
  • Christmas stocking
  • Personal project I’m working on designing

Yeeeeeah……I think some time spent gallivanting around and celebrating my anniversary is just what the doctor ordered. Next week, I hope to showcase some finished projects . Until then!

Shades of autumn

Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Springfield



Farewell to Summer and a Few Amigurumi

Happy post Labor Day weekend! I hope it was relaxing and a bit cooler than ours was in the middle states. Summer is still going strong but thankfully, cooler weather is on the way, so it won’t feel quite so ridiculous to be focusing on hats and blankets and scarves and other cozy items.

The weekend saw meĀ  whipping out amigurumi orders, one after another–pictures below in a bit. On a whim, I listed this gorgeous blanket on Sunday and it ended up selling right away, which was a terrific feeling. It really is a beautiful blanket and I hope the new owner falls in love with it like I did when it was finished.

Corner to Corner Jewel Toned Blanket - Folded
Just before Labor Day when All the Toy-Making was happening, we had friends in town and the only thing I had out was some Chroma Worsted yarn from Knit Picks and a Tunisian crochet hook. By the end of the weekend, I had whipped up this ribbed hat :

zv hat
For what it’s worth, I do like the pattern, and the variance of knit and purl stitches keeps the hat from curling, which is really nice, since Tunisian loves to curl up on itself. My only gripe with it is that the top is a little bit holey when it’s all said and done. I think that’s why it’s pretty critical to put a pom on top–something I have yet to try. If you’ve made this hat and have comments, I’d love to hear!

Now on to the amigurumi. I’m currently coasting into the final toy of the final order I’ve received since late August, which is a cow. But over the weekend, I ended up producing:

  • One whale
  • One baby bunny (and a practice bunny)
  • One cornflower blue hippo
  • One chocolate brown elephant

It may not seem like a lot but trust me when I say making four (technically five) animalsĀ  is quite a bit from Friday to Monday, not including eating, sleeping, going to Zumba, Netflix, etc. Here are a few photos, some of which are not the best, admittedly. I’ll have more when I’ve finished the cow and I can take some ultra cute pictures of the finished trio.

Hoping to be able to work on some more wearables and holiday items now that we’re in the last few months of 2015 (where has it gone?!). More to come!

IMG_7806IMG_7799_zvc IMG_7822_zvc IMG_7823_zvcIMG_7810_zvc