Sunday, December 7, 2014

Crochet love

Even though I mostly knit, I still define myself as primarily a crocheter. When I was in middle school in Ghana, we used to make  intricate lace doilies in between classes.Most of the patterns  were passed down orally as we learned informally without knowing the names of the stitches.Later,  I learned the terms in English and in Kenya, I was taught how to read patterns and charts in French. Nonetheless, it is still very hard for me to read crochet patterns in the US because I realized that I learned the UK terms!
Most of the time, I rely on French instructions or a chart. Oh, and I run away from knitting charts.....too complicated!

As a teen, crochet patterns were mostly used for home decor. Many , including my parents, would use doilies on tables or even on the back of a sofa or armrests.
Photo credit: Collectionsetc website

It is interesting how tastes change from one generation to another. I rarely see this practice nowadays.
I don't have any doilies yet I miss making them!! One of my most memorable memories was in Kenya when I would see women crocheting  beautiful doilies in markets! There was a popular pattern in the mid-1990s that used mostly a pineapple stitch that I just can't remember how to do.

This winter break, I would be visiting my parents and I am bringing a few handmade gifts:two crocheted pillows including one with the simple tunisian stitch, one of my favorite Anne Hanson's blanket "Caravan"...and I am going to dust my magazines from the 1990s and make 1-2 doilies depending on time!
I can't wait to share pictures when they are all done!

Work in progress: Sunny pillow made with Yarn Love Juliet yarn! The colors are so cheerful :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The most beautiful blanket I have ever knitted

After 18 months on the needles, I finished one of the most beautiful blanket ever!!
This post is worthless without pictures :)

The color.....that yellow just makes me happy!!! It is by Three Irish Girls, DK weight and the colorway is "When life gives you lemon say no thank you and make cookies instead"!
 Brilliant right!!

I love the cables, the lace pattern, the texture, the length!!! This blanket was supposed to be a gift but I am having a very hard time giving it away. even though I am making myself a throw version!!! I never imagined that I could make something so beautiful!! As I am finishing up my PhD, I tend to shy away from complex projects because I can't handle an additional stress... from knitting of all places! I am so glad I mustered my courage to make this blanket.

The pattern is "Sky Ladder'" from Anne Hanson.

Talking about pretty things, I am currently spinning another fiber from Unwind Yarn Company, a beautiful Merino/ Silk braid "stop and smell the poppies"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spinning again

After a long hiatus, it feels soooo great to spin again!!!

A riot of color ruction: merino/nylon


Three Irish Girls Carys BFL roving, colorway is "sandpiper" from the Netloft

FatCatKnits "Frog and Carp" on BFL/Silk

Unwind Yarns Company "Sanibel Stoop" in Merino/ Silk

Saturday, September 27, 2014

it is time to switch gears

Thanks to a dear friend, this summer I participated for the first in Camp Loopy organized by the Loopy Ewe!! It was so much fun and forced me to finish projects!!
The first project was 400 yards min. and I did a shawl using for the first time yarn from Julie Spins MCN 430.
The pattern is Luciole by Anne Hanson

For the  second project (min 600 yards), I made a blanket in delicious Malabrigo Rios. I used 4 skeins and the pattern is "Caravan Blanket" by designer Anne Hanson...yes she is my favorite designers of all times!!

I think we notice a trend is my favorite color!!!!

Last but not least, my final project (min 800 yards) is a cardigan!!! My first one!! Initially I was going to knit a beautiful scarf by ...Anne Hanson :) I decided to challenge myself instead!
The cardigan "Ballou" by Melissa Schaschwary is so easy to make, so straightforward and the pattern is so clear and well-written!! With 2 skeins of gorgeous tough love sock from SweetGeorgia Yarns. The colorway is "Glacier" beautiful!!!

And now it is time to switch gears because it is Plucktember!! I was first introduced to the Plucky Knitter through Cookie A sock club! This year, our first club shipment was a vibrant fuchsia "Goin'Steady" in the Plucky Feet base , 90% merino and 10% nylon. Too intimated, it sat in my stash until I decided to participate two weeks ago in the Plucktember event!!
The yarn wanted to a be a pair of fingerless gloves. Holding it double, I made "Cirrus Mitts" by....yes Anne Hanson"

very chic, n'est-ce-pas?
 For the last remaining three days of September, I am hoping I can squeeze in a baby cap with the leftover be continued :)
 Edited to add the finished baby cap!
It is Crocus Cap by Anne Hanson

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Spring

 April/May: wrapping up the semester, working on my dissertation, enjoying Spring bulbs, planning my garden, knitting , spinning.......I feel content and I am looking forward to a quiet and productive summer :)

Daffodils and Crocuses in my garden

This past weekend, I attended my first fiber retreat organized by  Just One More Row podcast

This Spring, I am obsessed with shawls and I am actually finishing them (and casting several)!

"Oaklet Shawl" by Megan Goodacre using Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennet. The colorways are "Blossoms on the wind" and "Creamsicle"

"Prism shawl" by Tanis Lavallee using a paintbox gradient box from Fiberoptics that I recently purchased at the Greencastle Fiber festival. The colorway is chocolate cherry

"a shawl full of owls" by Earth Sky using delicious Malabrigo Arroyo (note to self: need more malabrigo in my stash) in Borrojas and Arco Iris

"Laisy daisy shawlette" by Orange Flower using scrumptious Elizabeth Harding yarn

This is why I love blue!!!
I recently spun these fibers from FatCatKnits

Monday, January 27, 2014

Spinning new beauties

What I've been spinning lately :)
FatCatKnits Falkland Wool  in "Phoenix"

FatCatKnits Merino Wool in "Elfin Magic"
A beautiful and delicious fiber as a birthday gift!!!!! I want to use half in my blanket and the other a cowl.
Into the Whirled  Polwarth Wool top "Viola"

and Yarn Love Juliet Roving in "Pretty as a Peacock"
Lots of Spring colors :)

the joy of finishing projects

Ah...the joy of finishing projects!!!!
In these past few weeks, I finished my second Wish I might shawl designed by Irish Girlie Knits

These colors just bring a bright smile to my face!!
Yarns: Yarn Love Marianne Dashwood in " Red Delicious" and "Valentine"

a pair of socks that took me more than a year!!!!
These are Watermelon Slice Sock designed by Wendy Gaal
They are very comfortable :)

A pair of bright fingerless gloves  "Colorblock handwarmers" by Purl Soho.
The yarns are Three Irish Girls Springvale DK in "Lysander", "People Will Say We're in Love", "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Firefly"

A quick project that I finished over the weekend. It is a headband "Chiminea" designed by Anne Hanson with delicious Malabrigo Silk Merino yarn.
 I feel quite self-conscious whenever I wear hats. They just look funny unless I haven't found the right shape.

I love my headband  though and I think I'll make more :)
I've been in the US for 14 years and... ahem this is the second year I am wearing gloves and now headbands. I was more concerned all this time at keeping my neck covered!

Now of course for every project I finished, I casted on 2-3 new ones :)