Those frosted windshields and travel mugs full of hot tea mean that it’s accessory weather! Fingerless mittens have come out of storage weeks ago, I’ve started carrying around a slouchy hat in my purse for windy emergencies this week and I just sorted through my chest of knit sweaters. I’ve been pretty steadily increasing the winter wardrobes of my extended family and friends every Christmas and this year is certainly no different. I wanted to share a few of my recent favorites to add to your own knitting list!
I am usually a very strict one-project-at-a-time kind of a gal, but every once in a while a yarn is just so tempting and beautiful that it just happens to come home with me and goes directly onto my needles or hook. And that is precisely what happened with our latest special reserve yarn, Diadem DK. I was still in the middle of my last crochet cowl (in Diadem Fingering) but I just could not help myself!
This yarn is so lovely with a wonderful drape, I knew it would be perfectly suited for something gift-worthy. And with the holidays sneaking up on me, I had just the excuse to break my one-project rule.
When Diadem arrived at the office, I was in love. I immediately grabbed my 3 favorite colors (Emerald, Moonstone and Azurite) to play with…but then I had a problem. What to make? I love these three colors together and knew I wanted something stripey but deciding on what would be perfect for this yarn was making me crazy. I thought about another Color Affection but I was worried I’d run out of my precious yarn. I started Lee Meredith’s Waving Chevron Scarf but didn’t like how it was coming out (not the pattern’s fault by the way, it’s a great pattern). Finally, I grabbed my hooks and decided to go with a simple crochet chevron cowl.
As the graphic designer for Connecting Threads, I’m typically blogging about small quilting and sewing projects that I’ve completed, however it’s time to switch things up a bit! Earlier this year, two of the ladies on the Knit Picks team graciously offered their time to teach a bunch of us non-yarn folk how to crochet. There is a long list of crocheting ladies in my family, and I was determined to be one of them. While I didn’t pick up on it right away, it did eventually click and I found a new craft to be obsessed with.
When the samples of Diadem first arrived in our office, the thing I remember most was the feeling of being completely in awe of the colors! Immediately, I went into project brainstorming mode: grabbing colors, making notes of pattern possibilities, rearranging color palettes, piling up stitch dictionaries.
Diadem in Tourmaline
There were just so many good possibilities! And finally, after many piles of mini swatches (both knit and crochet), I settled on making a cowl with a simple stitch pattern to really show off the ever-so-subtle shade shifts.
Christmas is almost here. Well, if you crochet and knit, that is. This is my first holiday season as a crocheter, and I hope my family and friends are prepared for the sudden shift in the types of gifts I bestow. Goodbye gift cards, hellllooo scarves.
The rains are here and I know it’s time to start thinking about pumpkins, golden leaves and early frosts. My favorite pumpkin patch has started sneaking tempting images of ripe pumpkins into my Facebook feed and my Pinterest is filling up with October crafts (beeswax-dipped leaves, anyone?) so it’s definitely time to get my fall crafting started! To celebrate the cooler weather and changing seasons I whipped up a quick little pattern with instructions for both knit and crochet pumpkins.
Getting into crochet has been a great spark for me. I love learning and trying new things and experimenting. I love to push my own boundaries, too – so when I kept seeing amazing images of arm-knitting and arm-crocheting, I needed to try it!
Basically, arm-knitting and crocheting is when the material you’re working with is so large that your arms become the needles or hook (or, if you’re really crafty, you make the tools yourself!). This larger-than-life technique isn’t new – it’s been a perennial favorite of installation artists who work with everything from fiberglass to 1,000 strands of yarn at once. But it is new to me.
I had a wad of plain Wool of the Andes roving sitting around, and on a whim I grabbed it, split it into two halves lengthwise, and tested what could be done with it as yarn. The sample didn’t look like much, but it was promising. So, in my typical go-big-or-go-home fashion, I ordered 20 hanks of Full Circle roving in quarry and set out to make…something!
The soft gray days have rolled in, and with them my crochet color palette has taken a gentler hue. Typically one with a penchant for bold color combinations, I decided to craft a blanket in the neutral and lovely Wool of the Andes Dove Heather. Its misty tweediness is so apt to usher in autumn.