Category Archives: crochet
So here is the jacket that I was working on with frozen fingers while our power was out last week. I had started making the “Suits Me Jacket” by Lily Chin but after completing nearly the whole thing, I realized that it did not fit or hang well.
So I switched to one of my favorites, the One Stitch Cardigan. I simply scattered the little dashes of color randomly across the body of my work.
Then I enlarged the neck opening and added a nice chunky ribbed cowl collar. The pattern left the edges raw, but I found that the fronts were stretching along the edges and did not have a nice finished appearance so I ran a row of slip stitches all along the fronts and bottom.
Of course it took me two days to weave in all the tails! But by the time the power came back on, I was finishing up with the collar and the buttons.
I am enormously pleased with this jacket. The dolmen sleeves give me enough room to move even when I am wearing a bulky sweater underneath. The Wool of the Andes that I used for this project is super warm. And I really love a jacket that is easy to drape over a chair back or just hold in your lap at a restaurant or at the movies.
Remnants of Christmas
The poinsettias from Christmas are still so beautiful in my kitchen window. Each morning I enjoy looking at them as I drink my coffee. Despite the frigid temperatures this winter, I never once moved them from their place in the bay window. I keep them watered and they seem to like the morning sun that warms that spot just a little each day before noon. I know they are messy but I am willing to put up with them just a little longer through this very long season. We are expecting another winter storm in two days. Paul and I are mobilizing ourselves for another outage…
My goodness what devastation! We’ve had ice storms in the past here in Southern PA but this one was a real doozy. A heavy blanket of wet snow-covered all the trees and power lines, weighing them down. Then a fine freezing mist began to fall, gradually coating everything with a thick glaze. The tiniest twigs were the size of my thumb.
I awoke at 5 am last Wednesday. It was dark outside but as I drank my coffee I could hear the repeated ominous cracking and crash of trees and limbs falling. I got out the candles, lighters, and flashlights. Ten minutes later I saw a transformer explode outside the French doors leading to the back yard. With a loud bang all the power went out.
Met Ed, our power company, communicated that we would be up and running by Thursday at 4 pm. So Paul and I decided that we would be able to stand a few days of cold. We have no fireplace or wood stove but we got out all the blankets and hunkered down.
As the day wore on, trees and limbs continued to fall. Our neighbor’s Birch tree fell and barely missed our house. The tall pine trees that afforded us privacy across the back of our property were decimated. One huge limb had narrowly missed our shed. The new firs that we had planted last spring were bent to the ground and the azaleas in front of them were destroyed.
And it was getting colder in the house. By Friday morning the temperature inside had dropped to 46 degrees. I was trying to keep busy by working on a crochet project, a multi-color jacket that was nice and warm on my lap. Finally, however, I had to give it up. My hands were simply too cold and stiff to crochet.
We had a couple of saving graces. Our gas stove enabled us to make hot meals and our gas hot water heater allowed us to wash dishes and take hot showers. We stored our hot soup out in the snow because we had already lost everything in the fridge. Throughout the storm we were worried about bursting pipes. The outside temperature went down each night into the low teens. Paul and I wrapped blankets around all the faucets and pipes in the garage. Thursday 4 pm came and went with no power recovery. The only way to charge my phone was with the car charger so we packed up Frazier and drove around in a warm car until it was charged.
Met Ed sent a text update giving us a new time for restoration: midnight Saturday night. By this time we were freezing. Family, friends and neighbors offered to have us spend the night in their homes. We decided to wait another night before draining the water from the pipes and moving out.
On Friday our library finally regained power so Paul took the computer, the phone, and the Kindles there to recharge the electronics. He had been gone for about a half hour when the power came on.
I learned a few things about myself as a result of the power outage. While I hate to admit it, the sense of adventure I had as a young woman is no longer part of me. I was extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire ordeal. My philosophy is that life is best lived by accepting adversity,detaching from it, and observing it dispassionately. I was not able to do this. There were over 137,000 homes without power in Southern York County. Some are still without power as I write this post. I’m ashamed to say that I was a wimp. Next time, we will be better prepared.
In yesterday’s post I gave you a hint of things to come with my new pattern. Developing the stitch design was fun and proved that you can sometimes think out of the box when working with crochet. The long “vines” that run up and down the shrug are slip stitch rows that are worked through both loops of the row below. What makes them three-dimensional is the row after the slip stitches. You choose a vertical loop behind your slip stitch row and work into that instead of into the slip stitches. This is a nice way to make the “vines” stand out without having to go back later to slip stitch on top of your fabric. Very easy.
The shrug design is a simple rectangle. You can change the size up or down by working a few more or a few less stitches. When deciding which yarn to use for this pattern, consider how it will drape. If you enjoy a bulky, cozy garment, then by all means go for worsted weight but if you are after a lighter wrap, then stick to sport, DK, or fingering yarn.
I hope that you enjoy this free pattern: Pietra Shrug a
After the fiasco with the Summer Breeze Cardi, I was casting about for a different project for my Pebbles yarn and decided to make up my own design. Since the pebbles is a DK weight cotton, in order to get any drape at all, I needed to go for an openwork garment. I’m not much of a fan of lace stitch patterns but I do like openwork crochet that has more of a modern, geometrical look. I was inspired by the Blue Waves Vest on the cover of the November 2010 Issue of Crochet Today.
But I really, really love the simple construction of the Crocodile Stitch Cardigan that I had just completed. There are many of that type of shrug on-line and they are all made by crocheting a rectangle and then sewing the ends together. What could be easier? And the results are fantastic! An optional border all the way around the neck and front can dress up this easy design.
I swatched the Crossbill Stitch and the SC2tog,CH 1 Stitch as well as several others and none of them were giving me the drape that I was after. Since I was working with cotton, I wanted this garment to be for the Spring and Fall so it had to be light and airy.
I experimented with the Blue Waves Vest stitch pattern but was not thrilled with the lack of texture. I wanted my vertical lines to stand out more so I tried slip stitching into the front stitch and then working the next row behind the row of slip stitches in the remaining unworked stitches from the previous row. This made the vertical lines stand out but they were much too prominent now. Luckily, my granddaughter Erika requested that I make her the Bamboo Hooded Scarf, one of my early designs. Voila! Here was the stitch pattern I was looking for!
I made a few modifications so that the textured rows would always ride on the right side. They now look as if they were slip-stitched onto the top of the fabric after the project was finished. This is exactly what I was after but by working each slip stitch row into the body of the fabric, you eliminate the laborious extra work.
So there you have it my friends. The photo above is of my new pattern on the blocking wires. I just have to take a few photos and re-read the instructions for errors and then I will post it to my blog. Stay tuned for the Pietra Shrug!