Tag Archives: Crochet

Finishing off

Knitting & crochet quote found on Facebook

Knitting & crochet quote found on Facebook

When working on any form of craft work, I normally concentrate on one project at a time. I may well be planning the next one in my head as I finish off the mundane and tedious elements of the task in hand. In the past year or two I have noticed a difference. At one stage there were three projects on the go at one time.

Up until yesterday I had three crochet projects unfinished. Running out of yarn is not to be recommended!

Basket weave project

Basket weave project

This basket weave jacket was working well but it was a yarn guzzler. I had the back & two fronts complete, but it looked like I would run out of yarn before I had the second sleeve, never mind the front border and collar completed. I found this aran wool in Dublin last year, when out with my sister. She is an avid knitter, but does crochet too.

Sister is sensible. She sticks to a pattern. I seldom do. I like to add my own touch to a garment. Most of the time it works.

My sister offered to consult her outlet for the yarn, to see if it was still in stock. It was, but a different dye number. I decided (long distance) to let her get it for me and hold it until I was next in Dublin. I planned to use it for the two sleeves and the front band and collar using a different stitch. If there was a slight difference, it would look intentional.

A couple of falls resulting in very painful ribs last autumn, put paid to my travel plans for a few months.

In the meantime, I decided to use some raspberry coloured Aran wool called lipstick, that I had in my wool stash for over a year, to make a long cardigan/jacket. I had 10 X 100g balls, more than enough, says I to myself over confidently! Ha Ha!

Waffle stitch Cardigan

Waffle stitch Cardigan

Again, I used a yarn guzzling stitch. This time waffle stitch. I finished the back, two fronts, two sleeves and two front border/collar sections. I used every last inch! I had no Lipstick yarn to sew the pieces together!

Waffle stitch cardigan- back

Waffle stitch cardigan- back

Unfortunately the shop where I had bought the yarn had gone out of business. Thankfully there was a website address on the ball-band so I was able to find stockists in Northern Ireland. Four or five phone calls and I found it. Well almost!

Collar back detail.

Collar back detail.

The colour lipstick was available in either double knitting, or chunky varieties, but not Aran. Since it was only to stitch the garment together with the stitches unseen on the outside, I went along with the double knitting.

Sleeve detail

closer look at the front

It worked, so I decided to use the remainder of the 100g ball to make a belt. That is what you saw yesterday.

Belt in waffle stitch

Belt in waffle stitch

Sailing close to the wind… the photo above shows how little yarn I have left at the end of the project!

sleeve detail

sleeve detail

I learned a couple of new tricks with this project.

  1. A new way to join the yarn leaving no unsightly tails to be worked into the finished garment.
  2. A new way – for me – to work the base line instead of starting with a long chain.

If you would like me to share them with you, let me know in the comments, and I will do so next week.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them for greater detail.

Musically needling my yarn

On Saturday afternoon I read about WWKIP – World Wide Knit in Public Day. We were encouraged to hold events not alone on the day but throughout the whole week 8th to 16th of June.

I did go out on Saturday, bringing my wool and needles. I had my crochet and not knitting, but that was allowed. I did not plan where I was going. I have no idea what I expected, but my walk provided no inspiration for a location, so I headed home with my needles not seeing the light of day.

Sunday brought blue skies with 20°C sunshine and a determination to try again to air my yarn and needles for real this time. I had visions of sitting in dappled sunshine and working away.

I chose Clotworthy House/Antrim Castle grounds as there were now plenty of options for places to sit.

In the shade of a well dressed tree, perhaps

A Sun dressed tree to feast the eyes

A Sun dressed tree to feast the eyes

As I walked Through the Courtyard I came across this sign.

Music in the Garden with The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra

Music in the Garden with The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra

Bingo! I thought.

Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra (UYJO)  would be playing in the parterre from 2pm for one hour.

People were beginning to gather and the seats were set out ready and waiting

People were beginning to gather and the seats were set out ready and waiting

So I had my walk and came back in time to find a seat, and enjoy the music as I tapped my feet and worked the fingers on my crochet.

Making the final checks as we settled down

Making the final checks as we settled down

No need for formal dress and bow-ties, it was a day to soak up some vitamin D.

“You were not knitting!” I hear you shout.

“Oh yes I was! Well, crocheting actually.”

Both crochet or knitting were allowed according to the website. I had a cardigan in progress and there is less chance of losing stitches when crocheting than with knitting while working out of doors. It was also in a striking shade of Raspberry and more lightly to catch attention, which was the whole point in the exercise: To draw attention to and encourage others to take up or return to the hobby.

Sharing my work and yarning!

Sharing my work and yarning!

It was easy to set the work on my knees as I applauded the young talent. Vocal soloist Ayesha Akkari, entertained us with several numbers including Knock on Wood and Everything.

Vocal soloist Ayesha Akkari Knocks on Wood

Vocal soloist Ayesha Akkari Knocks on Wood

As we listened and tapped our toes, I had the bright idea to speak to musical Director Ken Jordan and ask for a photo to prove I was there. So when the programme ended I walked forward and asked to speak for a few moments.

I Thanked them for their wonderful music and singing as well as the exercise for my tapping toes. I explained why I was playing with my needlework as I listened and said I would be going home to write a blog post about my adventure and linking it to WWKIP. I asked if they had a website or Facebook page to which I might add a link.

Then the crunch bit I dared to ask if I could have that photograph with them. I was even brazen enough to suggest a swap…

Musical Director Ken Jordan & Vocalist Ayesha Akkari
with Grannymar on Saxaphone.

Fair swap – My needlework for a Saxaphone! Do you think I will be allowed to join?

I love to see young talent encouraged and acknowledged. They are a fine group of young people, I wish them well with a life filled with music. May they continue to bring joy, by sharing their talents with the world around them for many a long year!

As they plan their futures I will enjoy listening to the CD they presented me with.

Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra Twenty Twelve CD

Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra
Twenty Twelve CD

Perhaps some of these young people will read this post, so may I ask my readers to do me a small favour as a sign of encouragement for them. I know where most of you hail from on this globe of ours, but the youngsters will have no idea. At the end of your comment can you please say where you are writing from. e.g: Pune, India or St Johns, Newfoundland, ( I know those two will appear).

Just as I reached the car park, I was stopped by a lovely couple. She wished to ask me about my ‘knitting’. “So that is what you were looking at all the time!” Her husband said.

She had been a knitter, very fond of traditional Aran patterns, in the past and I discovered she also dabbled in cross stitch and other aspects of Needlecraft too. Seeing me working away gave her the urge to begin all over again. She does have a gilet in mind to knit – a great idea if you dislike doing sleeves!

We spoke about wool and I was telling her about a little coffee chop with a section for wool and needles. Several small finished items along with the patterns are on display to encourage people to have a go. It turns out she knew the family that own the shop – the world gets smaller every day! I gave her my card and hope she picks up that phone some day soon. I would love to meet and natter about our ventures with Needlecrafts.