Friday, August 3, 2012

Completed Cowls!

After a two week hiatus, I have a few completions to share!  I began both of these cowls as part of a knitting class I took at Stitch DC.  The first I mentioned in my last WIP post (which I'm trying to get better about doing.  It's nice to see where I am with projects, though clearly I take on way too many at one time).  I'm calling it Pickles and Honeydew because a) I think that's sort of fun and b) those are the names of the two colors I used (creative, I know).  The second I absolutely LOVE and am keeping for myself.  It's made of amazingly soft yarn (I can't remember what, but I'll try to find out and report back) in a great burnt orange color.  I wore it the day after I finished it even though it was close to 100 degrees outside.  Thankfully the place I was going is always a freezer and I was very glad to have it with me.  So, without further ado, I present:

Pickles and Honeydew

I sent this one back with my brother and sister-in-law when they were visiting last weekend to give to my sister-in-law's sister-in-law (or my brother's brother-in-law's wife - whichever way makes it easier to understand).  She's super spunky (I think) and always quite put together even though she has a full-time job and two young boys to look after.  I thought this would look great with her hair color and complexion and keep her warm during the cold PA winters.

This cowl is great because you can wear it long, or wrap it around an extra time for added warmth.  It also works up quite quickly once you get the pattern down.  And I definitely made a few mistakes, but they're flawlessly hidden in all the cables.  Unless you know they're there, you probably wouldn't notice.  

The pop of honeydew is by far my favorite part.  I originally planned to use two full skeins and make it half dark and half light, but in the end I decided that would have made it way too long and cumbersome (especially with a one year old son pulling on everything you wear!).  I'm really glad I decided to stop when I did and think this hint of the lighter green brightens it up just enough and adds a little freshness to the whole effect of the cowl.  I hope the recipient agrees!

Materials: Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton in Pickle (dark) and Honeydew (light); ChaioGoo Size 7 (4.5mm), 16" circular needle and one size 7 (4.5mm), 5" double pointed needle (to use for cabling), both bamboo

Chocolate Orange

I'm calling this one chocolate orange because I love chocolate oranges almost as much as I love this cowl. (Random tangent: That reminds me that I haven't had a chocolate orange in way too long.  I love the satisfaction of banging them on the counter and opening the wrapper to see all the perfectly split slices).  Anyway, as I mentioned, this cowl is luxuriously soft.  The example in the class was pretty stiff and stood up straight, but because of the yarn I used, mine hangs pretty loosely.  I think I like that better.  It's much more relaxed and casual rather than turtlenecky, which always makes me feel like I'm choking anyway.  Again, this pattern was pretty simple once I got the hang of it.  It's also a good introduction to lace techniques without hitting you over the head with yarn overs and the like.

Materials: Yarn, TBD; ChaioGoo Size 9 (5.5mm), 16" circular, bamboo 

In other updates, I finally got around to cutting the back and basting my zig zag baby quilt.  Hopefully I'll get it quilted and bound this weekend.  I also pieced the other quilt top I alluded to in that same WIP post.  Probably won't get around to doing much with it this weekend because I don't have enough pins to baste more than one project at a time, but the back is pieced and ready to go.  Just need to free up my pins.  I also finished the baby socks from the WIP post.  Well, technically I ripped out that sock and then started new ones using the two at a time method, but I do have one pair of finished socks.  I haven't taken pictures yet, so I'll report more on that once I do.  As always, my project list is growing exponentially faster than I can craft.  I have yarn purchased to knit more socks, a couple sweaters to start and finish, and a million pillows I want to make to practice and improve my quilting skills.  I also have my first (pseudo) commission!  My friend wants me to make a quilt for her, so we're going to comb through fabric options and select some in the coming weeks.  I want to get better (i.e. matched corners 93% of the time) before I actually delve into that project.  Thankfully, I think it will take us awhile to settle on fabrics and a pattern, so I have time to practice.

In other news, aren't my new pictures pretty!  Mr. T (my bf) commented that the pictures on my blog "were really shitty."  Looking back, I couldn't disagree.  For convenience sake, I was just taking them on my phone and uploading them to Dropbox and popping them in with no editing or anything.  They're all so washed out and boring looking.  While I don't have a super fancy SLR camera (or the budget to buy one), I do have a relatively decent 12mp Fujifilm point and shoot that hasn't seen the light of day since I got my smartphone.  So, I recruited a friend who was visiting, dusted off my camera, and headed outside.  Thankfully, it was a gloriously sunny day.  I have to say, I'm much happier with these pictures than any previous ones.  The colors are so much crisper and I like the effect of the sunlight trickling through the tree branches.  So, lesson learned.  Legit pictures it will be from now on.  It's worth the 5 minutes of extra effort of plugging my camera into the computer to upload the photos.

Okay, enough for today.  Have a good, crafty weekend!

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