Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lace Away!

I've long since been bitten by the lace bug.  First with crochet, then knitting, but now most recently I've been striving to tackle two other lace techniques (both crochet oriented) that I had been leery of at first:  broomstick lace & hairpin lace.

When I first saw the former I couldn't fathom how it was done, and the latter boggled my mind even more.  Hairpin became a little clearer when I realized it used a special tool, but then I was daunted by the fact that I didn't know how to use it and wasn't sure I could "get it".  (Which altogether now sounds ridiculous to me as I seem to take to fiber arts with gusto and quickly progress in technique.)  A few weeks ago I finally got up the courage to mess about with broomstick lace, and realized how silly I was thinking it was difficult.  Now that medium has turned into a separator curtain I will be working on for myself.  Hairpin lace still eluded me, up until tonight.  Finally I saw a pin on Pinterest and looking at it it somehow seemed less scary so I looked it over and then realized I could fake the funk and make my own make-shift loom to try it out.

Now I find myself drooling over a handmade loom, and contemplating all the lace I will make with it (not that I have any idea of what this lace will make) and how utterly lovely it will be.  Then there is the curtain I've taken to working on this eve, a fuzzy orange and canary yellow color to afford us a separator for a door in our apartment that is a semi-public thoroughfare.

Obsess much?  I find it all funny.  Alternative type person as I am, messing about with something so delicate & girly as lace.  Had I told myself ten years ago I would be doing this I would have scoffed and denied it, simply for the fact that "I'm not a lace person".  And yet here I am.  Funny how things work out. many things, sew little thyme for ewe and eye...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Coat of Many Squares Pt 1

So way back in September I posted about a Scrap Afghan I was working on.  Since that time I have done a little bit of a switcheroo and decided to turn my humble scrap blanket into a coat.  This of course was inspired by one of my famous pattern searches on Ravelry in which I was looking for a coat.

Originally when I saw the inspiration in question I said well while I don't want to buy a pattern I'm going to use just for me, I'm willing to because I want it that badly.  And then I realized it was in French.  *fail*  Well I tried anyhow and sent a message on Ravelry (in English first) and awaited a reply.  A few weeks later I came back, went to the pattern purchase page and requested again some information and details on purchase (this time translated to French) and still to no avail.  Frankly I got tired of waiting, being extremely impatient as it is, and opted to use the pictures as inspiration and piece together something myself using that I already had in my afghan and merely moving about some squares.  And so it was born...

I knew at first blush my coat wouldn't be as pretty as the one I saw pictured.  After all it had a somewhat cohesive color scheme, was worked in finer yarn and appeared to have some shaping.  But I didn't let that stop me.  So far so good, it's a bit boxy, but I have done several edits added and removed squares and went up and down in gauge.  I near the end of it now having only to put one additional square on each sleeve, add a slit, finish the back shaping, then buttons and a belt and I am ready to retry on.

Then what?  After that I'm not sure.  I have considered making a tutorial with my method or a low price pattern.  But other than that I'm not altogether sure I want to or not.  So my question to you is would you buy it? many things, sew little thyme for ewe and eye...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Normally Not Here...

Normally I wouldn't post this here - as it relates to another one of my blogs.  However given the vein of this blog I had to put in at the very least a mention here.

I peruse Ravelry, a lot, one might say too much but I would tend to disagree (though I have completely put off getting things done in favor going through "one more page in the pattern search" before...)  The project in question I started at the beginning of November of last year.  I had seen it earlier in April of the same year and fell in love with it, but had no reason to make it for myself or any weight that would really be suitable for it.  So I queued it, favorited it, and put it out of my mind for the moment.  Later in the year I was speaking to a dear friend of mine who I have known for years.  She told me she was deploying and I knew then and there that I would find a way (I wasn't working steadily at the time) to send her a care package.  More time went by and as I spoke to her more I knew that a prayer shawl was definitely going to be in this package.  Then my search began.

Now typically I try to make things for people that scream, "make me for this person".  If I am going to spend hours on something I want it to truly be appropriate for them and be something they will enjoy having and not out of just general gratitude.  I searched for awhile and found nothing that really spoke to me on her behalf.  Then I remembered the name of a shawl which I had recalled thinking was strikingly pretty and decided to dig it up and look again to see if it was right.  Voila, there it was, a beautiful lace shawl and labeled as a prayer one at that and a free pattern.  Ka-ching!

I spent a few months working on it, using a slightly modified version of it that made it more into a half circle than a three quarter circle.  I had high hopes when I started, I had been bitten by the lace bug when doing another shawl before and now I was a fanatic.  But perhaps I thought this time I had bitten off a little more than I could chew...uhm, yea, yea I think that's accurate.

As an artist I strive to do my work to a certain standard.  I wouldn't say perfect in the most literal sense of the word but definitely to standard.  This particular shawl though didn't quite work out like that.  In several instances I completely botched the stitch count, ranging from being 4 off to almost 20...>,< ouch.  And not being too experienced I didn't want to take it off the needles and redo (I knew it'd never be finished if I did that).  So I trudged on fixing what I could so that it would be right the next row or closer to right.  Finally last week I finished it.

Enter the other over sight.  It.  Was.  HUGE!  Not a bit bigger, but all out holy crap stretches past one end of the couch to the other...and it's not even blocked yet wow.  Oops.

So aside from the rampant mistakes and oversizedness of it all (I chuckle now because I have been called a "size queen" before and I wouldn't admit to it then...) it looks okay.  I can tell it's not quite right, and I'm sure anyone who has made it and the designer would be able to point out many mistakes.  But it's a gift, it was made with love, and that's all that counts!

Pictures to be added later, and ps I hurt my shoulder wetting it to block because it's so heavy... many things, sew little thyme for ewe and eye...