Posts tagged ‘fair-isle’

Long Time, No Blog

I am a very bad blogger. I just realized that I haven’t updated this blog since February! Well, despite the fact that I haven’t been blogging I have, at least, been continuing to work on projects.

I admit my 2-socks-on-one-circular-needle experiment never reached fruition. I was optimistic that by attempting to complete 2 socks simultaneously that it might somehow stave off my boredom. But, no. I have just accepted that socks are not for me. I still have several skeins of lovely DK yarn that, at one time, I had dreamed of turning into luscious socks. But now I am eying those same skeins with new possibilities – namely, clothes for Blythe.

My Blythe collection has grown quite a bit since I last posted about them. I now have 12, count them, twelve dolls! And I still anticipate each new release with a whetted appetite. But I am currently on a strict “Dolly Diet” after acquiring my two dream girls: a Darling Diva, and a vintage Kenner. For the time being, at least, I am content with my big-headed family and of late I have been venturing into the scary realm of pattern-designing. I figure I may as well start small, since there’s less time invested and it’s easier to whip up multiple attempts while I work on perfecting the pattern. I admit my confidence at first was a little shaken. I wasn’t sure I was “qualified” to create my own designs as I’m self-taught and relatively new to knitting and crochet. But once I dove into it and began keeping notes as I went along, I realized that it’s not so intimidating after all. In fact, by paying closer attention to what I’m actually doing, while I’m doing it, it’s actually helped me become a better crafter.

My goal is to start an Etsy shop where I’ll sell my creations. And then, once I grow bored of making a particular design over and over again (which will happen, trust me, especially given my attention span), I’ll start selling the pattern instead so people can make their own. Or maybe I’ll just be charitable and give the patterns away for free. I mean, it’s not like I’m really in this to make money. It’s all for the love of Blythe!

At first, I was a little iffy on my Blythe-clothes-making skills and I didn’t dream of selling any of them. Instead I participated in various swaps in which actually made me feel a little worse. Because I would often receive amazing items from my swap partners that my own crafted items just didn’t live up to. But over the past year, I’ve kept at it and I realize that my biggest problem was that I was using yarn that was too thick for Blythe’s little body.

Chunky yarn works great for some items, of course, like Blythe hats and scarves etc. But for dresses and tops, I was getting frustrated with my results until I switched over to ultra-thin Crochet thread and sock yarn. It really makes a difference, let me tell you!

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite Blythe creations of late:

Blythe Beaded Pouf Dress

I think I’ve definitely come a long way since I made this abomination!:

Lemony's cable knit dress

Besides Blythe stuff, I’ve been keeping busy with lots of other projects as well. I finally finished my mom’s infernal scarf in time for her birthday (never mind that it was April in Atlanta and she couldn’t even use it at the time), and my best friend gave birth to a baby so I took that opportunity to make some baby items, which was fun. All those projects can be seen on my Ravelry Projects Page!

My proudest accomplishment was a Latvian fair-isle bag that I made during the Olympics for an event my LYS was holding called “Amanolympics”. I think it’s safe to post a photo here because I don’t believe my mom knows about this blog – I intend to give it to her for Christmas this year.

Latvian Bag

Speaking of my LYS, I’ve finally found one that I love. It’s A Mano Yarn Center! This is the fist yarn shop that I’ve ever felt truly welcomed and comfortable going to. I’m pretty shy, so at first I felt a little awkward when I showed up for their bi-weekly “Breakfast Club” event, or their Stitch N’ Bitch nights, but the ladies there quickly made me feel welcome and now I look forward to going there every couple of weeks to knit and crochet for a few hours. I kind of want to go in more often, but I’m worried I’d never get any work done! (It’s hard enough working from home as it is!) But I’m glad to have a place that I can call my “LYS” with pride. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve also been working on a few other things, but this post has been long enough! I’ll try to post again before too long!

September 23, 2008 at 2:29 am Leave a comment

Bike Cozy Time!

So I got a new orange bike recently and I can’t fight the urge to decorate it with woodgrain patterns. For me, the color orange and 70’s style woodgrain go hand in hand. If they made them, I would certainly have a woodgrain patterned bike saddle, and handlebars….but they don’t. I even looked for a woodgrain top-tube pad but I couldn’t find one of those either.

I then realized I’d have to make one myself.

My first instinct was to look through my stash of cheap yarn and see if I had anything that looked “woodgrainy”. I found 4 contenders and crocheted up 4 swatches. In the past, I’ve both knit and crocheted bike cozies, and I’ve found that the crochet cozies are a little more snug and durable than the knitted version.


Well, as you can see none of these 4 swatches looks much like woodgrain (especially the bottom right swatch, but the colors enticed me and I was just curious to see what it would look like as a swatch!).

So my next step was to look online and see if there were any woodgrain knitting or crochet patterns. Once again, I came up empty-handed. So I figured I could use some graph paper and make up my own pattern. And that’s what I did!

Woodgrain pattern

Recently, while working on my Seabird Bag (from Andean Folk Knits) which has some little birds and multi-colored patterns going on throughout, the tangling and twisting yarn each time I changed colors was driving me up the wall. After each row I found myself spending several minutes untwisting the balls of yarn before proceeding to the next row. Madness!

Monedero Pajaro del Mar (seabird bag)

So, halfway through that bag, I taught myself to knit with two colors at once with one color in each hand, one hand doing continental style knitting, and the other doing english style knitting. After some intitial awkwardness, I got the hang of it and the rest of the bag just flew off my needles! Now I actually think I like Fair Isle knitting!

Anyway, I think if I didn’t learn to do the two-handed thing, this woodgrain project would have driven me crazy with all the yarn twisting. But it went by really fast, and I’m pleased with how it turned out!

I’m still not convinced it really looks like a woodgrain pattern…(Already someone has mistaken it for tiger-stripes.) I’m not sure what more I’d have to do to make it look undeniably like woodgrain but this is a start!

And lastly, here it is in action!

January 9, 2008 at 2:17 am Leave a comment

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