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Friday, February 20, 2015

Mama's Bolero

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know that (years ago!) I promised my mom that I would make her a vest.  I had grand plans to design and crochet this vest using this lovely varigated yarn that she had chosen on a trip to AC Moore because she wanted something thick and washable for the winter months.  Well, you can imagine the guilt I've been feeling in not working on that project, especially after she had the stroke.  But, I have redeemed myself!  She decided not too long ago (thankfully she is doing better and better, albeit slowly) that, instead of a vest (and we'll come back to that project because I still have the yarn...), she would like a bolero of sorts -- something short with short sleeves, in a neutral color, with a pink flower. 

So, first things first, I decided to knit the bolero because I came across this simple pattern that I figured I could adapt.  Then, I found this beautiful Rowan softknit cotton yarn that was so easy to work with.  I had gotten some during the 2013 Yarn Crawl and was able to find a 10-ball pack through Deramores, not realizing I was ordering from the U.K. (the site was in dollars and free shipping so I still did well and didn't have to wait too long)!  Plus, it was so cool to get a package from across the pond :-)

I can't remember where I found the flower pattern, but it's just a simple rose crochet pattern that's done in two rows then wrapped around from center outward.

And here's the finished results!!

I'll be posting better pix later, but just so glad that the project is done and Mom likes her bolero!  And a big shout out to my friend Holly for fixing one of the raglan increases when I somehow managed to either drop or add a stitch (I really couldn't figure out what the heck I had done, but I knew it didn't look right).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Slip Knot

As I said, I am starting with the basics and building from there.  And there is nothing more basic, but more frustrating until you get the hang of it, than making a slip knot.

The slip knot represents the first loop on your hook at the beginning of a project.  The intention is to create a knot that allows the loop to slide so that it can be adjusted to be not too loose and not too tight. 

After looking around for a good video that clearly demonstrates an easy way to make the slip knot, I decided to make my own!  One of my students showed me a way to make it that is so easy and understandable.  Here's my new YouTube video demonstrating the technique:

 Hope this helps you get your crochet projects started even better and faster!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Yarn, Houston Style!

I just got back from a quick trip to Houston, Texas!  It was great to be able to take a direct 3-hour (actually even less) flight from Washington National Airport and stay at the Hilton downtown.  As wonderful as the indoor pool and jacuzzi at the hotel were, the best part of the trip was a stop at Knitting in the Loop on Bammel Lane.

What a fabulous store!  The ladies there were so friendly and welcoming, and a big shout out to Ruth the manager who took the time to show me around and point out the locally produced and dyed yarns.  I opted to go with the Alpaca yarn from Rancho Inca Alpacas in Navasota, Texas.

By coincidence, Ruth mentioned how she's really into "geometrics" these days, and I had just been scoping out some of Stephen West's work on Do Ewe Knit's Facebook page, especially Dotted Rays.  She also told me about Melanie Berg and Josh Ryks, and I have to say, Greek Fire is speaking to me!  So, we shall see...