Among Cool Jobs

One of the things that keeps me motivated and working at the yarn shop is having random interesting people come into the shop. Last week when I was working, a fellow knitter came in to match yarn samples. Matching yarn to exact shades is no small task, and thus we had plenty of time to exchange pleasantries while he was looking through books. He is in the highly specialized business of doing replications, which I find fascinating. I’m sharing his blog with you all so you can read about his projects for yourselves. Prepare yourselves for a new twist on Dr. Who knitting, and enjoy!


My Summer of FO’s

For you non-crafters, FO stands for Finished Object. Today is the first day of school, and in recognition of the end of summer, I would like to share all the projects I finished over the course of summer vacation. This finishing of projects I’d lost interest in required way more self-discipline than I am usually capable of, so I think it deserves recognition. And celebration, because I can finally see my coffee table again. :)

Since every crocheter and knitter I know has this problem from time to time, let me encourage you to finish up some of those things laying around! I recommend picking a set amount of time (for me it was the summer), and for that amount of time, work on only one project at a time. Focus on the one closest to completion, then move on to the next. Cut yourself off from buying yarn. Don’t start anything new. This last piece of advice was really hard for me because summer is usually a time I like to start new projects. However, it was also a good length of time to finish things because it’s long enough to see progress, but short enough I knew I could tough it out for the three months! If you set yourself up to a similar challenge, try to strike that happy balance between allowing yourself enough time to see a stack of projects through, but not such a long time you just get sick of it and give up. And when you do meet your goals, reward yourself! I hope you enjoy browsing mine!

As simple as this pattern was to knit and design, the truth is it sat around for a few years because I was intimidated by the fringe.

As simple as this pattern was to knit and design, the truth is it sat around for a few years because I was intimidated by the fringe.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by something simple. :)

My go-to outfit for work, the airport, chilly late summer nights...

My go-to outfit for work, the airport, chilly late summer nights…

This pattern is one I plan to make many times over! This one did not actually sit around for a long time, but I included it because it was something I finished early in the summer.

Bobble hats from a Noro magazine - shown with the bobbles and inside out because I liked the look of both sides!

Bobble hats from a Noro magazine – shown with the bobbles and inside out because I liked the look of both sides!

Gifts for my nieces. I don’t have a good explanation for why I started these and then took 2 years to finish them. But the fact that I went to see my family and had a deadline helped me get motivated to finish. :)

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

The only bit of design work I’ve done this summer. I started it back in March or April, and decided to push to get it done so I could give my brain a rest. :)

Stephen West's safety cowl, which was designed by the master himself for our shop as an exclusive offering in the Yarn Crawl a few years ago.

Stephen West’s safety cowl, designed by the master himself for our shop as an exclusive offering in the Yarn Crawl a few years ago.

The only reason I can think of that I let this one sit around was that other items took more priority until I decided to give this as a gift to my sister. Note to self: having a firm idea of what you want to do with an item when it’s done helps you get it done! :)

First time ever doing Tunisian crochet.

First time ever doing Tunisian crochet.

I knew from the start that I wanted to give these to my sister. She likes to decorate her kitchen seasonally, and I thought she’d enjoy these Easter egg colors during spring. I wanted to try Tunisian crochet, and decided this would be a good project because they were just flat rectangles. The problem is, to have a set, you must do FOUR.

A shawl from the Ysolda Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL.

A shawl from the Ysolda Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL.

IMAG2554

This was not really languishing that long, but um, I didn’t get it done by the end of the mystery KAL. I was in the middle of alot of design work at the time and so it went on the back burner. But it’s a whole lot of camel, silk, and merino to wrap myself up in when the weather gets cold. Which, to be honest, was THE best motivator to get it done before I started anything else!


My First Love – Craftwise

Where knitting can have a negative connotation, crochet can end up receiving the same in double. I learned to crochet before I learned to knit, and I still love it. When my friend first taught me, I came straight home, put my kids to bed, and sat up until 3 am practicing so I wouldn’t forget how to do it before I saw her again!

It is often alot easier to find knitting patterns that inspire me, but every once in awhile, I find a crochet treasure trove. This is a shame, as both crafts are equally satisfying and are art forms in their own right. Props to this site for having some great crochet and free patterns!


Unfurled

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Just want to share my latest pattern, which I am also honored to have on display at Unwind! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it. Colinton Australia is a total luxury, and I truly hope my design does it justice! Flowers are so full of color and texture, I can promise with certainty that this will not be the last pattern I design inspired by them!


Free Pattern: Chunky Rib Scarf

Now that you all know how to do fringe, here is the scarf pattern I designed that includes it! This is a fun, easy, summer knit – since you are just doing simple ribbing, you don’t need to think that much. I used up some acrylic from my stash, but you can pretty much use a bright color in any fiber and still have yourself a fun knit and bright accessory when you’re done!

Scarf

Measurements
With any scarf, you can make it as wide or skinny as you want, and as long or short as you want. Customize! But if you want the finished measurements for mine, it is approx. 82″ long and 6″ wide. These measurements do not count the fringe, so if you have a particular length in mind, account for an extra 10″ in length with the fringe.

Materials
US 17 needles
536 yds. of worsted weight yarn
Darning needle
Scissors
N – 9.00 mm crochet hook

Pattern Notes
I advise cutting the fringe first, because you can then knit until your yarn is gone, if you so choose.
To get the chunky knit look, I knit the scarf with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together. However, you can use half the yardage in a super chunky yarn like Malabrigo Rasta if you don’t like working with two strands.

Instructions
There are a total of 10 groups of fringe on each end of the scarf. Each group has 8 strands. Cut each fringe section by measuring 10″ lengths of yarn 8 times. (This adds 5″ to each end of the scarf, because the fringe will be folded in half when you attach it.) I recommend using hair scrunchies or bands to keep each fringe section grouped together and place in a Ziplock bag until you’re ready to attach them. You may notice that no matter how careful you thought you were in measuring, that all the ends just do not seem to be the EXACT SAME length, and I want to encourage you not to drive yourself nuts about this. Mine were not exact either, even though I tried to measure carefully. When you attach it and it all hangs together, it looks the way it’s supposed to, and if you happen to notice one piece that really stands out from the others, snip it to a length that allows it to blend in.

Once your fringe is cut, CO 22 sts. K1, p1 every row, until your scarf is 10″ shorter than you want it to be. BO in pattern. You do not need to weave in ends, because once you attach your fringe, you may simply hook the ends into the fringe and snip to the same length.

Check my tutorial on adding fringe if you’re not sure how to do it. Aside from cutting the fringe, which may be easiest to do at home, I advise making this a beach/poolside/airplane/gift knitting project because of how simple it is! Happy summer knitting!

 


Adding Fringe: A Tutorial

Every knitter and crocheter I’ve ever met has certain things they’re afraid/intimidated to try. I hadn’t been knitting for very long before I made myself a sweater…then I did some cables, and then some colorwork…but for some reason, I avoided projects that required fringe. However, in my experience, once I put my mind to learning something new, it is rarely as difficult or scary as I anticipated. I just designed a chunky knit scarf, and looked at several different ways of finishing it, and kept coming back to fringe. Let me just say, of all the knitting techniques you might be intimidated to try, adding fringe should NOT be one of them! I’m sure there are many other tutorials on how to do this, but I decided to do my own, just to show you all how simple this is to do!

Your tools: scissors, your fringe, which I advise pre-cutting before you sit down to add it, and a crochet hook (I used a size N - 9.00 mm

Your tools: scissors, your fringe, which I advise pre-cutting before you sit down to add it, and a crochet hook (I used a size N – 9.00 mm

Folding the strands of fringe in half, use the crochet hook to pull them through the edge from right to wrong side.

Folding the strands of fringe in half, use the crochet hook to pull them through the edge from right to wrong side.

At this point, you can pull the ends taut against the hook to even them out, if needed.

At this point, you can pull the ends taut against the hook to even them out, if needed.

Use the crochet hook to draw the loose ends through the loop created on the folded end.

Use the crochet hook to draw the loose ends through the loop created on the folded end.

Tighten it up, and you have your fringe! This is what the wrong side will look like.

Tighten it up, and you have your fringe! This is what the wrong side will look like.

Free pattern and my styling ideas are soon to follow. If anyone decides to make this, I would love to see your FOs when they’re done. :)


The Doubles Remix

As anyone who’s read my blog for awhile knows, I love knitting cowls. You can imagine my delight and excitement when Stephanie at Unwind Burbank let me design two patterns for Yarn Crawl LA this year!

I’m one of those knitters who aims to use up every scrap of yarn on a project. I’m not too crazy about leftovers. Aside from the fact that these two cowls are soft and squishy, the other great thing about the design is that you can just keep going until you’re almost out of yarn. Just make sure you leave enough to do the rows of ribbing, but otherwise, just knit through your supply!

One day I was looking to make a superfast gift for someone, and I realized I had two skeins of Malabrigo Rasta, which this pattern lends itself to perfectly. This yarn really highlights the texture of my design pattern, and I used every last inch to make this cowl! For those of you who are not familiar with Rasta, let me just say, it is so chunky, that with a few modifications to my original pattern, all you need is 2 skeins and 2 days (or 2 hours, depending how fast you knit!) and you have yourself a supersoft, squishy cowl. This is going to be my go-to version for when I need to pull a gift out of thin air!

RastaChunkyVersion
RastaChunkyVersion2
The Doubles Remix

2 skeins Malabrigo Rasta – shown in Stitch Red #873
Size 15 24″ circular needles
Stitch Marker

CO 84 sts. Place stitch marker and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Work 1 1/2″ in 2×2 rib, then switch to the double seed stitch.
(Double Seed Stitch: Rows 1-2: K2, P2. Rows 3-4: P2, K2.)

Work in Double Seed Stitch until piece measures 9″ from CO. Switch to 2×2 rib for 1 1/4″. BO in pattern.


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