Beige Backlash

Wow, I don’t know about you, but my week absolutely FLEW by! I have several projects which I want to share with you, so let’s get stuck right in!

What’s off my needles…

Pattern: Carrie On Tote by Wool and the Gang
Yarn: Mixtape by Wool and the Gang in Sandtrooper Beige

Carrie One Tote

Ta-Dah, another finished object! I definitely feel like I’m on a roll at the moment, though I have a sneaking suspicion that finishing an object every week might be a short-lived phenomenon.

Every now and again I work as a maker for Wool and the Gang, and so when they put out a request for a Carrie on Tote a couple of weeks ago, I was more than happy to dust of my hook and get crocheting. I love working with their Mixtape yarn, it’s made from up-cycled cotton scraps and is the perfect combination of chic, durable and sustainable. In terms of the yarn’s construction, it’s made up of a flat knitted tube which is surprisingly smooth to crochet with, and has a lovely dry texture which is unlike any other yarn I’ve worked with. The tote was super quick and easy to make, I would definitely recommend it to a crochet newbie as it is worked entirely in single crochet, the majority of which is done in the round, and as it’s a bag, getting the specified tension isn’t the be-all and end-all. Once I had added the leather straps, it was a real test of my will power to box it up and post it off. Wouldn’t it make just the perfect beach bag?! Maybe I’ll treat myself to a kit next Spring. Or two kits, because my sister was dropping some pretty heavy hints.

What’s on my needles…

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Cascade 220 in River Rock

Moss Stitch Sweater Error

So unfortunately, here begins this week’s tale of woe. Fingers crossed this won’t be a weekly segment!

Up until a few days ago, this project was my pride and joy. It was growing quickly, I was finding the action of knitting moss stitch soothing, and I was quietly pleased with myself at how the unconventional construction was turning out. My aim had been to knit a sweater which combined the speed of knitting in the round, with the structure and stability of shoulder and armhole seams. I began at the neckline and working flat, I knitted the front piece until it measured the length of the armhole opening. I then picked up stitches on either side of the cast on edge, casting on stitches in between, and worked a matching rectangle to form the back piece. Up until this point everything was going well, and I was eager to join the two pieces in the round so I could zoom down the body. However, 12cm into my zooming, I noticed something disturbing. Maybe if you look closely at the image above, you will see it too. In the section where I was knitting back and forth, the columns of stitches are stacked directly on top of each in a neat, orderly fashion. However, when I started working in the round, the stitches began to spiral, forming diagonal lines which sloped gently (but still perceptibly) to the left.

Now, when one spots such a catastrophic error on a Friday afternoon, the temptation is to throw the offending object out of the window and collapse into an inconsolable weeping heap. Well, that was what I was tempted to do anyway. I narrowly avoided doing either of these things and instead made a large cup of tea and set about ripping back five evenings of knitting. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt during my years as a knitter, it’s that it’s always better to unravel the mistake as soon as you see it. In the past I have either tried ignoring errors, fallen into a state of deep denial, or bundled the project up into a bag and guiltily attempted to forget about it. Needless to say, none of these actions are productive. It’s usually just best just to get these things over an done with.

So where am I with the sweater now? Well, my new plan is just to knit the back and front pieces flat, then seam them. Revolutionary, I know! Then I will pick up the sleeves and work them in round which will at least speed things up a little. Despite my best efforts, this project has spent a bit of time sulking in the naughty corner this weekend, but I am hoping to get it back on track next week.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Shiny Happy Cotton by Wool and the Gang in Nude Pink, Pink Lemonade, Space Black, Naked Blue, Spearmint and Jog Grey

SHC Pouf

Now onto some brighter, cheerier things! I go through real phases with crochet, most of my crafty time is spent knitting, but every so often a crochet project will come along and completely consume my every waking minute. That is exactly what happened this weekend, when, in what can only be described as a backlash to my sweater failure, and also perhaps how beige my recent projects have been, I gathered together a load of my Shiny Happy Cotton scraps and began a brand spanking new project.

A few weeks ago my parents put in a request for me to make a new cover for a pouf which lives in their front room. The reason being that our elderly dog had a little …ahem… accident on said pouf which, despite rigorous cleaning, has left a rather unfortunate stain. As I am currently (though hopefully only temporarily) living back at home with my parents, I was more than happy to do a spot of stash-busting and crochet something up for them.

Cushion colourways

I really enjoyed playing around with the different colour proportions and stripe sequences, and by some minor miracle, both my parents and I agreed that the design in the middle was our favourite. Recently I have seriously begun to appreciate how photoshop and other design programs can support and speed up my design progress. For a long time I stubbornly insisted that gridded paper and colouring pencils were all I needed but after watching a few YouTube tutorials, and a with a lot of practice, I am gradually integrating Photoshop into the way I design.

The fun colours of this project has been a refreshing change, and the simplicity of it means I can just relax and enjoy watching the stripes grow. My plan is to crochet a flat square in single crochet, then crochet around the four sides and work in the round. The awkward thing about the pouf is that the cushion part cannot be removed from the wooden base, so the cover I make has to be able to neatly slot over the top of the old cover without any fastenings. I think I should be able to manage it!


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