Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 2014 #2 - French Country Aqua

There is a wonderful group on Ravelry that I belong to, Itty Bitty Knits, for fans of designer Susan B. Anderson. It is by far my favorite group of people. They are warm and inviting, and over the past several years I have had the several opportunities to meet many of them in real life. We participate in fun and interesting swaps, send along unexpected RAKs, listen to problems and acknowledge accomplishments. We also celebrate each other's birthdays. This past July I received many lovely patterns, many of them hat patterns. (imagine that!)

This lovely pattern, French Country, was gifted to me by my friend Mary Rose. The hat is crocheted with two strands held together of I Love This Cotton on a size K hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, double crochet, slip stitch and a 2-dc cluster stitch. It took me a bit to understand the cluster stitch, but took my time and re-read it a few times and the light bulb went on. The remainder of the pattern was easy to follow and I like the finished look. I didn't have quite two skeins of yarn so I was one row short of single crochets, but I don't believe it is noticeable.

I won't go into my struggles with trying to crochet a flower to put on the hat. It was a time consuming disaster. Instead I opted for using a deconstructed silk flower like I did for my Sassy Summer Hat. It takes a bit of time itself, but I love the final look. A bit unexpected and since it is removable the hat remains washable.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 2014 #1 - Bluebell

Time flies. Or so they say. But when you can not work with yarn it feels like the calendar days drag on. Shortly after my last post (hours in fact), I had a second surgery on my left thumb to tighten up a ligament It is typical in 50% of the people who have reconstructive surgery such as mine. Since my thumb was so deteriorated to begin with I feel into the lucky half that required a second surgery. Luckily I didn't need to wear a cast. Unluckily I couldn't knit or crochet for the past six weeks. But not any more, because...I can crochet again! I still can't hold knitting needles, but heck. I can crochet!

My comeback pattern is designed by my good friend Laura Krzak for Cascade Yarns. The pattern, Arches Hat, is available for free on the Cascade Yarns website. I used a new yarn Sateen Worsted in Powder Blue. The yarn was just a bit splity, but I totally forgave it because of its smooth texture. The hat is so soft and dream like in feel I know the final recipient will love wearing it.

The hat is crocheted with a size G hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, double crochet and slip stitch. There are also multiple special stitches (of which I needed to learn or relearn) fsc, fpdc, dc2tog, fpdc2tog and dc/fpdctog. I really struggled with the foundation single crochet, but knew there was a reason it was used, so I kept at it and finally figured it out. (I'll say it yet again, I really need to take a class on how to crochet, it would eliminate sooo many of my problems) The special stitches were clearly explained, the pattern was easy to remember and the results lovely. The hat will clearly become one of my favorites, because even at my slower pace I finished it quickly. I also see this hat in a variety of yarns and colors, for both men and women. Well done Laura!