Paul’s Afghan

I made this lovely afghan for my brother Paul. You know you must be pretty special if I’m willing to spend weeks working on a gift just for you! The colors are ones he chose. I really enjoy the light to dark play on color.

I adore crocheted afghans that look like quilts. I especially love ones that use up leftover yarn! I hate to sew (I can but don’t enjoy it) so a crocheted quilt is the next best idea!

And, yes, this puppy is HUGE! 🙂

What is your favorite crochet quilt pattern?

Finished!

I love these quick knits! This yarn was extra bumpy — those aren’t dropped stitches, it’s just the way the yarn worked up. Once blocked it should even out and the loops will be less apparent.

This photo shows more of the true color of this gorgeous hand-dyed yarn!  Isn’t it fun what you can do with just 300 yards of fiber?

Knitting Again!

I really wish the colors were more true — they are very saturated jewel tones. I love to do mindless knitting when I’m between jobs, it’s a great way to relax. One of my very favorite items to make are cowls — I have a closet full! 🙂 I love wearing them too! They are a fantastic way to add a pop of color to a t-shirt and dress them up. Since that’s pretty much all I own, cowl’s are a must!

My standard cowl is simply 40 stitches on size 8 circular needles. I knit every row, so no keeping count of stitches! It’s a wonderful (and colorful!) way to use any single skein yarns you have!

Beaded Bracelet

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

I love beads! Especially Fire Mountian Gem beads! I also love quick and easy projects. This beaded bracelet took about an hour from start to finish and that includes the photos I took!

First, I gathered my supplies. Fire Mountian Gems graciously provided the clasps, blue and purple beads and thread for my project.

I dug out my beading crochet hook and a larger crochet hook. It turns out I crochet loose enough that I didn’t need the larger hook. You might, so keep one handy.

I love, love, love these clasps! Aren’t they gorgeous? Before we begin we need to unclasp them. Next, we will pull a loop through the first circle on our clasp and chain 2. Then we will pick up a purple bead with the beading hook and pull the thread through the center of the bead.

Chain over the top of the purple bead to close the stitch. Next, make another chain and then pull the loop through the center of the blue bead. Chain over the top of the blue bead to close the stitch.

Keep repeating the color sequence until you reach the desired length of the bracelet. This bracelet fits me perfectly with 15 beads.

Now we want to slide the clasp back together and work into the corresponding circle. To join we will single crochet into the first circle. Our first row is complete.

To begin our second row we will single crochet into the second circle and chain 1. Then we will pick up a blue bead and pull the thread through the center of the bead. Chain over the bead to close the stitch and chain 1 more. Pick up a purple bead and pull the loop through the center of the bead. Continue chaining and beading as we did in row 1.  Don’t forget to keep rotating the colors as you bead!

When we get to the end of our second row, single crochet into the circle of the clasp and then single crochet into the next circle. Repeat the first 2 row’s color sequence and then fasten off.

Secure the ends in your preferred method. Some people like to use a dab of glue to keep the thread secure. I simply made a small knot and once I was sure it was secure I trimmed the ends.

This is a fun and easy project! It’s perfect for gift giving or just to make a little bling for yourself!

Wool-free Gradient Yarn!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

If you are like me and can’t use wool you totally get my excitement in finding a wool-free gradient yarn! Check out Schachenmayr Tahiti!

Love Knitting carries several different colors to choose from and shipping is reasonable even for those of us that live in the US. It’s a UK yarn but appears to be available to US residents, as well! Yay 🙂

My favorites are Sahara, Hibiscus, and Riviera. I love that it comes in 306-yard skeins, too. It’s the perfect amount of yarn for a shawlette or cowl. Happy Shopping!

 

 

When Dye Lots Don’t Match

I love hand-dyed yarns! My sweet hubby knows I’d much rather have hand-dyed yarn than jewelry! Usually, buying two skeins at one time is no issue. You end up with fiber dyed at the same time and colors that match perfectly.

Other times, though, you end up with two skeins that are glaringly different. That was the case with this slinky bamboo shown above. Thankfully, there is a way to work around the issue. Lacy stitches and using each skein every other row hides the difference in color, especially if your yarn is multicolored. That’s exactly what I did with the wrap I made with my bamboo. It turned out beautiful, too!

Solid color yarns can also be rotated this way but the changes are a little more noticeable. Washing the yarn can help remedy any significant color changes. When you have the yarns as closely matched as possible after washing, give them a quick rinse in diluted vinegar water to set the color. Some dyers treat their yarns so they are colorfast – so don’t always count on this tip when buying hand-dyed yarn.

There is always a way to make an off color dye lot work – play with it until the colorway suits your project! Then it becomes a design feature instead of a flaw!

Tunisian Shawl

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

The last couple of weeks have been a flurry of writing. I am always amazed at how quickly time slips by when I’m writing. I did take some downtime in the evenings to work on this Tunisian shawl.

It’s an asymmetrical shape made in a stitch I came up with while swatching. It’s also Ben approved, as you can tell! 🙂

I added beads to the border to help keep the shawl in place when I wear it. It’s made with a lovely hand dyed lace weight bamboo that would slide off easily.  Adding a bead to a chain stitch is very easy to do, you simply pick up a bead with a super small tipped crochet hook:

 

Then pull the yarn through the center of the bead with the tiny hook:

Next, we remove our tiny hook and insert our regular hook:

And finally, we chain over our bead to close our stitch:

Pretty easy, isn’t it? You can find a huge selection of beads at Fire Mountian Gems!

I have amassed a nice collection myself – it’s like yarn, one color is never enough!

More From Estes Park Wool Market!

I thought I’d share a few more photos of the gorgeous work that was on display at the Estes Park Wool Market.

These scarfs were a perfect example of what you can make with yarn you spin for yourself! Unfortunately, I couldn’t touch them, they were wool, after all.

This circle vest was made from 100% bamboo! I was so happy to find a booth that had no wool! It’s hard when you are allergic to pretty much every fiber at the market, but I managed to power through. 😉

I loved the felted bags! Felting is a fun and easy technique. It’s also how I found out I’m REALLY allergic to wool. LOL.

There was even sheep related artwork available. These little lambs were so adorable!

At last! A booth with all bamboo!

The Fiber Lady shop was, by far, my favorite place to visit! She even carried bamboo lace weight yarn! If you’ve ever tried to find a lace weight yarn without wool, you know what an adventure that can be. I bought the lace weight – I can’t wait to design something light and airy with it! Click on over and check out her store. The yarn colors are vibrant, comes in a variety of colors and weights, and she even carries project kits!

 

Estes Park Wool Market!

Two weeks ago we made our yearly trip to the Estes Park Wool Market. I love the view as we cross the lake into Estes.  One year we actually saw several elk swimming across it! It was an incredible sight to see! Behind those peaks is the Never Summer Range. They are snow packed beauties year round.

We absolutely live in the west – those chaps and lassos as “art” were pretty cool!  Visit any local ranch and you’ll find them in the mud room or barn.  😉

There were colorful felted items at the entrance to the market. It was the wool market after all!

I loved this spring themed felted scarf – it was a stunner in person!

Raw wool, alpaca, and rabbit hair were all around.  I even found some camel hair to spin! No animals are harmed to acquire their wool/hair. Sheep and alpaca are shaved and bunnies are brushed. The camel hair is gathered as they shed it (same with yak). They are all lovingly cared for.

Weaving is really hot right now and there were plenty of booths selling woven items or the supplies needed to do it yourself.

All in all, it was a wonderful day! I have more photos to share later. There were booths packed with glorious fiber and beautiful sample pieces, as well!

Tunisian Bracelet

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

This morning I was looking for a quick and fun idea for scrap yarn. It’s been one of those mornings where I wanted instant gratification – not an easy thing to achieve with knitting or crochet! The above bracelet is the result of that!

The yarn is a bit fuzzy which is why the photo appears a little blurry. It was a fun and fast project!

I started with my Denise hooks, some pretty scrap yarn, my scissors and a yarn needle. I chained until it fit around my wrist loosely, for me, that was 30 chains using an F hook. My yarn is a sock weight so if you use a thicker yarn you’ll want to go up in hook size. I worked 3 rows of the Tunisian knit stitch and then fastened off. I then sewed the ends together and weaved in the ends! That’s it! Done!

You can do as many or few rows as you’d like. Whatever you do, don’t block it! This is the one time we want the curl! The curl is what gives it the lovely bangle shape.

These are perfect gifts or even stocking stuffers you can whip up in no time! What a great way to use up pretty bits of yarn you just can’t stand to part with!