Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free the Doilies!!

Let it be known. The Princess Doily has officially been usurped!
No longer will our doilies be required to bow in obedience to the pineapple motif; circular patterns - be gone "before somebody drops a house on you!"
Enter the new, the free, the doily as art:

The freeform doily above was worked in #10 crochet thread with a #7 (1.65mm) steel hook. I was directly inspired for this while reading Myra Wood's new book, "Creative Crochet Lace" which is available here. Myra is one of my favorite contemporary fiber artists and her book is just beautiful! Check out her website for additional inspiration. (As a side note, I completed my piece without ever cutting the thread or "travelling" over a space - a personal challenge of my own.)

On another note: I finished Mom's sweater. ::insert cheers here::

You may remember that I was making yet another crocheted aran sweater. While I was using this one as visual aid for recommendations to my local CGOA group for our multi-month project, I sized it so it would fit Mom. Afterall, she's in Indiana and the winters can be fierce!!

Here's a few pics of the sweater, both "in progress" and finished:

I just love it! (I think, Mom will, as well.)
To all who are reading this:
Sound off and let me know you're there! A blog should not be a one-way street and I would love to hear what you think!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Au Contraire

Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

I am, in fact, still around. I have all my fingers and am just as fiber-crazy as ever. I would try to highlight all the efforts and obsessions that have claimed my time in the last couple of weeks, but I wouldn't want to scare you!
Instead, here's some of what I've been doing:

I started another aran sweater. This one is for my mother. I chose to use the same yarn (Lion Brand - Wool Ease) as the one I did for myself because I also want to show it my CT! group as a possibility for the multi-month project and want to highlight the differences in the patterns, not the yarn. Mom lives in West/Central Indiana and should get great use from it. Here's a peek:
I did another sock. (big surprise) This one is done in the JAWOLL sock yarn from Lang Yarns.
It is available at your LYS, mostly (75%) superwash wool and contains about 460 yards per skein. The yarn is self-striping which is excellent for mindless repeats without an abacus to keep track of where you are in the pattern. All said, I lurv it! While the second/mate sock is still a wip, here's the first, lone sock from this colorway.

Of course, my freeform heart never stays silent for long and I often "experiment" with patterns. Well, let it be known that this past couple months has been no exception where that is concerned! I have once again pulled out my yarn palette. This time, I'm trying to develope an actual pattern - one that can be followed and reproduced by the average crocheter without the assistance of an interpreter.

I decided on a sweater. This one for my sister. (Does anyone else notice a theme here?)
For my sister, I wanted to make something completely original, as she too, defines nice, neat categorization. Shelly has always lived by her own drumbeat and I needed something that complimented that rather than hid it. Having just completed yet another multi-bath dye project, the choice of yarn was obvious. But even though the idea was good, my first attempt at bringing the sweater into reality was... less than desirable:
The color scheme was all wrong for her. And the stitch pattern, while complex, did not result in a garment that reminded me of my sister...at all!

Back to the drawing board and the dye pot -

This time, I made the colors deeper, the hues more rich and the blend more gradual. I wanted a truer "bgp" tone to the yarn and I also wanted to find a better pattern to compliment my sister's girlish figure (and it IS still amazing after 3 grown grown children!!)

For this pattern, I am trying to do a sweater that is flirty on the bottom to show off her flat tummy and still incorporate a modicum of decency "up top." Here is the second incarnation so far:
Now, for those paying attention, you will notice I am attempting 2 different things with this one pattern... an end result to flatter my sister and an end result for "every" crocheter. I became aware that few people want as much of their mid-section to show as this particular example provides. OK then.

Enter project incarnation version 2.1:

For this project, I am attempting a verion of the "Shelly" that can: a) be made with widely available yarn, and b) be of interest to a wider pool of crocheters

Here it is. This is done in Cool Crochet by Bernat:

The "peek-a-boos" are more modest in size and the pattern incorporates crocheted cables. Crocheted Cables!! (Note: Jer LOVES crocheted cables!!) Even though there are hundreds of versions of the crocheted cable, I chose the most simple for this pattern. More pictures of the finished project ... if and when...

Before I close, I have to mention the new fiber I have discovered. Take note! Run!! (Do not walk) to your LYS and grab (read that "GRAB") a new product from Berroco Comfort line. There were 2 different yarn weights available when I last looked, but I absoluelty fell in love with the sock-weight version. Any fiber fiend will absolutley fall in love with this yarn on first touch. But it gets better!! The price is unbelievably cheap. I found this at the Shabby Sheep in Dallas. (Tell Rhonda I said HI.)

This skein contains 447 yards, retail $7. Yes. You read that correctly. 447 yards of fiber bliss for $7 retail. Like I said, RUN!! (Selfish sweater for me to follow...)

Until then~