Friday, October 27, 2017

Jack O'Lantern

My work is having a pumpkin decorating contest, and I thought I'd make a pumpkin out of yarn. Only when I started looking for patterns, I couldn't find anything that quite matched what I wanted the end result to be. I wanted the shape to be roundish, and for it to have cutouts for the mouth and eyes so a fake tea light or candle could be placed inside. Here's what I came up with.


It only took about 2 hours to complete. I bought a color changing light to use with it, and just watching it makes me laugh.  

Jack O’Lantern

Materials
Yarn weight: Bulky
Yardage: Color A: 212 yds
Color B : 25 yds
(sample used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick &
Quick in color Pumpkin & Grass)
Hook: G (4.5 mm)

Abbreviations
st - stitch
ch – chain
hdc – half double crochet
bpdc – back post double crochet
ss – slip stitch
hdc inc – 2 hdc in same stitch
dec dc - decrease double crochet - [(yo, insert hook in next st, yo, draw yarn through st, yo,
draw through 1st two loops) 2 times, yo, draw through all 3 loops]
dc3tog - double crochet 3 together decrease - [yo, insert hook in next st, yo, draw yarn through
st, yo, draw through 1st two loops) 3 times, yo draw through all 4 loops]


Pumpkin
Round 1: ch 3, 7 hdc into 3 rd ch from hook (first 2 ch count at first st). Join with a ss to top stitch of ch2.
(8)
Round 2: ch 2 (counts as first hdc throughout pattern), hdc in 1 st st, *hdc inc in next 7 sts, join with slst to
top of ch2 (16)
Round 3: ch 2, hdc in next 2 st, (hdc inc in next st, hdc in next st) 7 times, join with slst to top of ch2 (24)
Round 4: ch 2, hdc in next 3 st, (hdc inc in next st, hdc in next 2 st) 7 times, join with slst to top of ch2
(32)
Round 5: ch 2, hdc in next st, bpdc in next st, hdc in next 2 st, (hdc inc in next st, bpdc in next st, hdc in
next 2 st) 7 times, join with slst to top of ch2 (40)
Round 6: ch 2, hdc in next st, bpdc in next st, hdc in next 3 st, (hdc inc in next st, bpdc in next st, hdc in
next 3 st) 7 times, join with slst to top of ch2 (48)
Round 7-10: continue increasing in pattern, 8 st per round. (80)
Round 12-14: ch 2, (bpdc, hdc in next 10 st) 7 times, bpdc, hdc in next 9 st, join with slst to top of ch2
Round 15: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 10 st) 3 times, bpdc, dc, sc, slst next 17 st, sc, (dc, bpdc, dc in next 9 st)
3 times, join with slst to top of ch3
Round 16: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 10 st) 3 times, bpdc, dc, ch 19, (dc, bpdc, dc in next 9 st) 3 times, join
with slst to top of ch3
Round 17: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 10 st) 3 times, bpdc, dc, dc in next 19 ch, (dc, bpdc, dc in next 9 st) 3
times, join with slst to top of ch3 (80)
Round 18: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 11 st) 7 times, bpdc, dc in next 10 st, join with slst to top of ch3
Round 19: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 9 st, dec dc) 7 times, bpdc, dc in next 8 st, dec dc, join with sl st to top
of ch3 (72)
Round 20: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 10 st) 3 times, bdc, dc in next 3 st, ch 10, sk next 4 st, dc in next 2 st,
bpdc, dc in next 2 st, ch 10, sk next 4 st, dc in next 2 st, (dc, bpdc, dc in next 9 st) 3 times.
Round 21: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 10 st) 3 times, bdc, dc in next 3 st, sl st in 4 st from hook, slst in next ch,
sk next 3 ch, dc in next 2 st, bpdc, dc in next 2 st, sl st in 4 st from hook, slst in next ch, sk next 3 ch, dc in
next 2 st, (dc, bpdc, dc in next 9 st) 3 times
Round 22: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 8 st, dec dc) 7 times, bpdc, dc in next 7 st, dec dc, join with sl st to top
of ch 3 (64)
Round 23: ch 3, (bpdc, dc in next 7 st, dec dc) 7 times, bpdc, dc in next 6 st, dec dc, join with sl st to top
of ch 3 (56)
Round 24 - 29: cont decreasing in pattern (8 st), cut color A

Teeth 
With Color A: Use standing double crochet stitch attach new yarn to the mouth where the tooth will be placed, dc in next stitch, cut yarn, and weave in ends.


Stem:
Join color B with sl st to top of ch 3 in previous round, leaving a long tail in front.
Round 1: Ch 3, (dec dc) 2 times, dc3tog, join with sl st to top of ch 3 (4 st)
Round 2-3: Ch 3, hdc in next 3 st, join with sl st to top of ch 3, cut color B, leaving a long tail.
Pull tail down through center of stem and out to the front between the dc at bottom of the stem.


Leaf
Round 1: Using color B, ch 4, 7 hdc in 4 ch from hook. (8)
Round 2: 2 Hdc in ea st around. (16)
Round 3: sl st in next 2 st, *(Sc, hdc, dc) in next st, (dc in next st, ch 1, sl st in ch, ch 3, sl st in same st)*
two times; (sc,hdc) in next st, (2 dc, tr) in next st, ch 1, sl st in ch, (tr, 2 dc) in next st, (hdc, sc) in next st;
*(sl st in next st, ch 4, sl st in 1st ch from hook, dc in same st), (dc, hdc, sc) in next st* two times; sl st in
next 1 sts,
Leaf stem - worked back and forth
Row 1-7: ch 1, sc in next 2 st, cut yarn leaving a long tail.
Attach leaf to pumpkin by pull tail through stitches at the bottom of the stem, leaving the tail in front.


Vines
Using tail from Color B used in stem, make a sl st near base of stem, ch 10-15, pull yarn through and cut
close to end of chain, curl near base of stem. Repeat with other tails from stem and leaf.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A present for mom

A couple of years ago, I made both my mom and my sister new hats and matching scarves for Christmas. About a month ago, my sister asked me to make her a new one, as she had misplaced hers and it was her favorite hat.

There are few people in the world who could lose an item I made for them, ask for a replacement, and get it. But for my big sister? I said, of course.

Even though I was in the middle of recovering from a neck injury and going to physical therapy and not doing any knitting or crocheting, I looked in my stash and found that I still had enough of the yarn from the original hat/scarf set to make a new hat for my sister, so I got to work. A hat pattern that typically takes me 2 hours took me 3 days to complete, as I could only work on it sporadically before I was in too much pain.



Then, shortly after I finished the hat, I got a call from my mother. Asking for a new hat. Because the one she had was dark red, and she just got a new hat and scarf that were purple. I wasn't ready to start on it right away, but spent some time going through my stash, looking for yarn that might work. I didn't have any. (I know, surprising, right?)  I thought about buying some, and then I remembered I had some undyed worsted yarn in my stash. And I had recently done some other dyeing and was in the mood. 



Had fun mixing up the colors and I think it worked out pretty well.

And I was able to finish the new hat in my usual timeframe, which was great.  Now I can finally send out the last of my "Christmas" presents.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Find Your Fade

I'm obsessed with knitting the Find Your Fade shawl. I can't wait to wear it. It's going to be like a wearable blanket.

I have swapped out my color choices about 5 times, and resorted to hand dyeing some yarn when I couldn't find anything that was exactly what I was looking for. But after all that, I think I may have finally "found" my fade.


I am continuing to "stash" my yarn in Ravelry, which has been a really interesting exercise. And I am now up to 147 yarns/gradient sets. I also started a thread to keep track of yarn combos that I might want to use in a project.



Friday, January 06, 2017

It's possible I have a yarn problem

I decided to join a "Find Your Fade" KAL, so I went stash diving to see if I had 7 skeins of yarn that would work together. Turns out, I did.


The skein in the bottom of that picture was purchased in 2006. That is not a typo.

And suddenly I realized that I have no real idea what's in my stash. So as a slightly-after-New-Year's-resolution, I decided to try and catalog my yarn. 

So far, I have added 45 yarns and yarn sets to my Ravelry stash. And I'm just getting started.


Friday, November 04, 2016

I'm making this up as I go along

I recently learned how to make a crocodile stitch. Then, because I hate to do anything the way that I've been taught, I adapted it to work in the round to make several pairs of mittens:






For my next project, I wanted to do a cowl, but I had in my head the idea of making the crocodile stitches taller, to resemble feathers. I had this yarn that I had bought with the intention of making a shawl, though what pattern I had in mind has escaped me.


I still liked how the colors looked together though, so I went back to the drawing board to figure out how to make the stitches look the way I pictures. After a few tries, I got the first two rows of my feather stitch completed. It was suggested at this point that maybe I was making a Kermit the Frog costume.


But I forged ahead anyway, confident that eventually it would start to look the way I envisioned.




This project took about 2 weeks (the feather/crocodile stitches take a long time and use a LOT of yarn), but it is finally finished. Yay!  




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The perils of workplace knitting

I bring my knitting to work, where it mostly sits on my desk all day because I am too busy to knit, but I bring it to lunch and use that time to decompress.  My co-workers mostly think I am weird.  Except for the ones that want me to knit things for them.

Recently one of my co-workers came to work wearing a simple hand knit shawl that fastened with a button, and my boss asked if I would make one for her.  Seemed easy enough.  She picked out and bought the yarn.  Her one concern was that the model on which I was basing my project was knit in stockinette, and curled at the edges, and she wanted hers to lay flat.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that I would knit the shawl in seed stitch.  Which was fine, for the first 1/3 or so of the project...and then, it got incredibly boring.  Brilliant move!  I finally made a serious push to finish this after it had languished in my wips for 3 weeks, and knit half of it in 3 days.  Go me!

And I have to admit, it came out really nice. Soft, squishy and warm.  And my boss is happy, which can't be a bad thing, right?


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The making of a sweater coat

About a year ago, my mother asked me if I would knit her a sweater. She told me she wanted it to be super colorful.  She told me she wanted other people to look at her and wonder what the hell she was wearing. She told me she wouldn't care, because she could wear what she wanted, and what she wanted was a "coat of many colors."

Foolishly, I agreed.

My original idea was for a sort of patchwork effect. So I started by making up a chart for myself:


This worked out okay, and I liked the overall look of it, but had tension issues, resulting in some gaps between the colors, which I wasn't happy with.



Also, I needed to invest in some bobbins, because this got old, real quick.


I tried doing some stripes, instead, but that did not appeal to me and I didn't even take any pictures of that step.

I wanted a more random looking color pattern, than what I was seeing with the stripes, so I took the lengths of yarn that I had from the first incarnation of the sweater and russian joined them together, until I had a nice ball of yarn and then started knitting.  When I ran out of yarn, I would put together another magic ball, and then knit some more. This was time consuming, but I was very happy with the end product:


Also, clearly, matching buttons was not going to work, so I went out and bought 7 different sets of buttons, and used 1 of each.





Perfect.

This was definitely a labor of love, that I am unlikely to repeat, but it was worth it when I got this picture of my mom, wearing her sweater.



She tells me all of friends want to know where they can get one, and she tells them they can't. Unless they have a crazy knitting daughter.