Monday, January 27, 2014

Becoming Jane

Remember all that yarn I wound so patiently?  Eventually I transformed this into another piece from AUSTENtatious Crochet:  the Becoming Jane Sweater. 
It's done in the Begonia Stitch.  Isn't it lovely?  I had a little trouble with the gauge, like the last time I used this book.  Perhaps it was my fault.  I chose to use a yarn different from that called for.  But I was really careful about it.  I figured that a yarn with the same ratio of length to weight should produce the same gauge.  I calculated ratios and considered colors for many yarns, and finally chose CoBaSi, a blend of cotton, bamboo, silk, and elastic nylon in a range of vibrant colors.  I knew I'd need a hook larger than the recommended E, so I tried F.  And G.  Once I got to N, the stitches were large enough to achieve the specified gauge, but they were loose and undefined, and didn't look right at all.  So I settled on J, and crocheted by the measurements. 
The lightweight yarn and small pieces made this a perfect summer crochet project.  The fabric has a great drape, and the sweater is warm and comfortable.  I think it is fairly becoming, too, even if I'm busy talking while Dandelionslayer takes my picture.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

K is for Kilt

I don't do a whole lot of sewing for the boys.  They're content to wear the same jeans and tee shirts over and over.  Not much scope for creativity.  But sometimes one comes up with an interesting request.  When the Caterpillar decided he'd like a kilt to wear with his Boy Scout uniform, I couldn't deny him.
Note:  A kilt is not part of any official Boy Scouts of America uniform, and the BSA has no official tartan.  But the Caterpillar has seen kilts in use at Scout events.  He wanted one that was similar to his Scout pants--green, with belt loops and useful pockets.
I mostly followed Uglymike's Cargo Kilt Instructable, and it went pretty well.  I sewed the pockets on just above the point where the pleats swing free.  I was happy to find snaps that matched the finish on the belt buckle--Smoke (Metal) from Snap Source.  Since the Caterpillar still has a noticeable waist, I added some adjustable elastic to help cinch the band evenly under the belt.  That went well, too, except that one end got in the way of one snap.  But under the belt, no one will know.

I finished sewing the kilt in September, I think, but the Caterpillar didn't have time to model it until Thanksgiving.  The one condition I set for sewing a kilt was that he must wear it--at least to his Eagle court of honor, and hopefully before that.  I planned to do this photo shoot somewhere neat, with boulders and a big flag, but he refused to leave our yard.  I began to have some doubts.  Was he not confident enough to wear a kilt in public?  He hasn't done that yet, but he did wear it the rest of the day on Thanksgiving.  Must be comfortable.  I'm sure he'll get it out again when it's warmer outside.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Craft Bridge

I crocheted a bridge into the new year.  I began a scarf on New Year's Eve, mostly finished on New Year's Day, and did some revision and finalizing on the next day.
It turned out to be a very long bridge.  Eight and a half feet long.  I was very careful to count the chains, but didn't look at the big picture until the end.  That's okay.  I get to be creative when I wear it.
A while ago, I ran across this pattern, which Pinkleo based on one worn by Luna Lovegood in one of the Harry Potter films.  When I went back for it, I also found Calophi's modification of the same pattern, which I liked even better (it is easier to see here).  And then, well, mine turned out differently.  I used two skeins of Caron Simply Soft Paints, in Springbrook, with an H hook.  The first skein ran out shortly before I finished the first side.  So I began the second side with row 2, rather than row 1.  That didn't save me enough yarn, though, and I ran out again before finishing. 
The next day, I took out rows 5 and 6 on both sides, then worked row 6 without row 5.  I have a little yarn left over, and I like the lacy pattern.  It doesn't look so much like Luna's anymore.  But we're both pretty unique characters, so we should have unique accessories, shouldn't we?