Mr. Blue Sky: Ready, Set…

Mr. Blue Sky

…just waiting for the gun to go!

While the yarn was still wet, after dyeing and still in a ball, I started wrapping around my thumb and elbow. That got tiring very fast and I recruited mother to stand in while I wrapped around her spread apart hands. She got tired and I ended up wrapping around the bottom of the dye pot.

I now need a niddy-noddy! 😀

My hank was very small – too small to fit on my swift. Fortunately, I had a coffee can that was the same circumference as the pot. I put the yarn around the pot on the floor and wound it on to the swift. When I came across knots – as this was pieced together from several balls Ana had created for her dye class – I untied them and felted them together. As the yarn was still damp in some spots, I left if on the swift over night with a fan on it.

Today, in an effort to maintain an organized household, I decided to wind Mr. Blue Sky up in a cake. During the process, I had about four to five breaks. I just knotted them – frustrated. I can always try to felt later.

I only used blue food color and I am so happy that I got a lighter shade of blue than expected as I am not a true blue fan. The yarn is from Newton’s Yarn Country and I some of their DK wool.

Mr. Blue Sky: Inception

Newton's Yarn Country DK Wool

Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra has been born with the creation of my first hand dyed ombre yarn. I don’t know what it will be and whether or not I will combine with another yarn for something spectacular, though on its own, I think the shade of blue I obtained is right on! I am not exactly sure of the yarn name, but I think it’s from Newton’s Yarn Country. It is definitely wool, per a burn test , and i think the yarn weight is DK.

Bad Blood Scarf

Click an image for slideshow/enlargement

Cast On: December 20, 2016 | Bind Off: December 27, 2016

This is a gift for the pharmacist that assisted with my prothrombin time (PT) testing when I was on Warfarin. I’ll admit that I had a bad attitude when I finally met him, but his personality disarmed me of my attitude and I started liking him…more than I should. Solution: add him to my xmas list and make something for him, so he’ll never forget me. Ha ha ha ha ha!

I was initially going to do a huge cable bordered by another stitch, but could not find a border stitch that I liked. When I got started I totally screwed up the cable. Aiyaa! I started searching for a pattern that was interesting and masculine. I finally found this: Staggered Rib Scarf by Suzie Blackman. I like the pattern, but, as usual, I had to make some adjustments: the most important being:

  • cast on should be even sets of multiples of 2; example: 28 (/2=14) versus 30 (/2=15).
  • sl the first st of every row purl-wise and k the last st through the bl for a more even edge presentation

Recently I heard that a mans’ scarf should measure 5 feet, that men don’t like long scarves. This presented a dilemma for me, as the recipient is at least 6 feet tall – mmm, mmm, mmm! I like’m tall! – and I usually make scarves to a person’s height. Finished measurements: 62 (L) x 6.5 (W).

The yarn I used is Newton’s Yarn Country Worsted Acrylic on US 8 needles. The project name Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka – comes from the fact that I have bad blood…oh, and I just love that song!

Coincidentally, I just discovered this is the second Bad Blood project I have made. The last one was Bad Blood Cowl made during the hospital stay that reignited my whole bad blood situation.

 

Monster Mash Cowl: WIP

Monster Mash Cowl
Monster Mash Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

The more I crochet, the more I am liking it due to speed of project completion. After yesterday’s tension mishap, I started a classic back loop single crochet ripple cowl in black and orange for Halloween. Believe me the tension on this one is exactly what I like, achieved by using a J hook. I am using my unlabeled black acrylic yarn stash and a cone of orange that I purchased at Newton’s Yarn Country, during my first visit to their Fall Festival Parking Lot Sale. Coincidentally, I am scheduled to go to Newton’s on Sunday with a member from my One Skein Short group for the Fall Festival Parking Lot Sale; I’ll need to confirm with her on Thursday at our group’s fifth anniversary dinner at Alejo’s Restaurant. The project name – Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers – is the only other song in my music library that seemed appropriate for the color scheme.

Mar Azul Shawl

Mar Azul Shaw

Click an thumbnail for enlargement/slide show…

On da Hook: August 15, 2015
Off da Hook: August 19, 2015
Yarn: 1 hank Newtons’ Yarn Country Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown [Unknown]; Yarn Color: Unknown [Aqua]; Yarn Weight: Unknown [1, Fingering]; Yardage: 1100)
Hook: US 8/H
Pattern: Amita Shawl designed by Rebecca Velasquez
Dimensions: 72 (W) X 40 (H)

When I was given this yarn I was so bedazzled by the color; I did not immediately recognize it was a tangled hank! Approximately 10 hours later, blue finger dye transfer syndrome, and with the help of Cathy and Lynette, I was able to spin into a beautiful yarn cake.

This pattern has been in the back of my mind for some time now: I never tire of being able to crochet a project up so quickly. The name of this project – Mar Azul by Césaria Évora – was a no brainer. The woman that gifted the yarn to me is blond and this shawl will look great on her. Fortunately, there was enough yarn in the hank to make a shawl more closely to the recipient’s 5’8″ stature. I am – technically – over in the width, but I don’t have any significant leftovers either. The pattern is written for the intermediate crocheter, or one given to intuitive instruction, but otherwise easy to interpret.

Second Opinion: Crooked Teeth Shawl Color Scheme

Crooked Teeth Shawl
Crooked Teeth Shawl
©A Hooker’s World

This is MY proposed color scheme for my next shawl: Crooked Teeth – by Death Cab for Cutie. If you would like to suggest a different color scheme please leave a comment with the numbers in your suggested order. I will be checking this post tonight before I go to bed, as I am due in the “dentist” office first thing tomorrow and will begin this shawl as I sit in the waiting room. I have a tooth that requires a root canal or extraction, a wisdom tooth that extraction is suggested, and the roots of a broken tooth that extraction is suggested.

Yesterday, I was going through some yarn on my shelf and noticed a layer of dust on the yarn. This was a clear indication to me that I need to address the yarn in this shelf immediately. Everything else is in bins and or covered, so it can wait.

The only identifiable yarns in the picture above are Pingouin Pingoluxe (Yarn #: 3; Fiber Content: 73% Acetate, 32% Polyamide; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK) and Newton’s Yarn Country Nevada (Yarn #: 8; Fiber Content 100% Rayon).

Afghanpalooza

Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios Afghan
The Crickets Sing For Anamaria Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

 

The above afghan – The Crickets Sing for Anamaria by Emma Bunton – I started on August 1, 2015. I am using size US 6 needles, after knitting a swatch in US 10 and US 8 and not caring for the fabric. My presumption is that the yarn is from Newton’s Yarn Country as it is on a big ol’ cone. It is based on the pattern Thesis Blanket by Phoebe Garrett. Emily Ocker’s circular cast-on method was easy-peasy, but if I was going to make this again, I might just start with four stitches versus the 12 required by the pattern. I can officially state that I am not a fan of magic loop or knitting in the round, unless the number of stitches is sufficient to be held on the needles without constant manipulation.

The afghan below – Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios by Adam & The Ants – Afghan that I started yesterday. This is a scrapghan that is being created from all my wool/wool blend scraps: MadelineTosh, Newton’s Yarn Country Hand-Dyed by me, Cascade 220, etc. I am loving it so far. I will be challenged add more colors in a way that they compliment the afghan.

 

Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

From Tangled Hank To Yarn Cake

Newtons' Yarn Country Blue
Newtons' Yarn Country Blue
©A Hooker’s World

Have you ever received a hank from someone that is tangled. I did and I loved the color so much I set to winding into a ball and untangling. I got about a third of the hank done. On my birthday, Lynette and Cathy stayed later than the other guests. We went inside my room and they worked on the hank some more, probably accomplishing about another third. Today, while watching two movies, I finished the untangling and wound it up into a yarn cake. I am estimating it took about 15 hours to urn the tangled hank into a yarn cake. As for the fiber content, I am guessing Rayon. Now, what is it going to become? Without yardage, I am hoping it might be enough for the Swank Tank or making the Amita Shawl.

Adventures in Dyeing

Adventures in Dying
Adventures in Dying
©A Hooker’s World

It has been so long since I took Ana’s Food Color Dying class, but I think I remember most of what she taught us. I watched some videos just to for good measure. Because I had helped Ana at the time of her class – at least that is my reasoning – she gifted me with a dye kit and some wool from Newton’s Yarn Country. I had finished the blank some time ago, but now that I am no longer working at The Knitting Tree, I have much more time for crafting. When I pulled out the box, I discovered even more wool, so I might trying dying a yarn cake and dying a hank next.

When I saw MadelineTosh Holi Festival I fell in love, so that is my inspiration for this blank. Because I don’t exactly remember the steps, I made up my own:

  1. Soaked the blank in hot water
  2. Layed the blank out on the ground
  3. Applied color
  4. Sprayed with vinegar
  5. Let dry in sun

I am letting it dry in the sun because I have the space and mom is so particular about her kitchen. I suppose when it drys, I will rinse until water runs clear and then wind it into a yarn cake. I do not want to apply any pressure to the blank as it is because I don’t want colors to run anymore than they naturally will, but I am concerned that the color will not go through to the other side. I suppose that’s just as well, as it might disperse the color more through the yarn.

I’m so excited.

Working With Rayon

You've Got Your Troubles Shawl
You've Got Your Troubles Shawl
©A Hooker’s World

This is a shawl I am making for a friend of mine, Cathy. I have named this project You’ve Got Your Troubles – by The Fortunes – Shawl. Well, I’ve got mine; That’s how the song goes.

Cathy chose the yarn from one of Newton’s Yarn Country’s parking lot sales before showing me the pattern. Her yarn choice is like a rayon, very slippery. Having worked with rayon before, I did not think much about her choice. Of course, this was before she gave me the pattern she liked. The pattern (The Shawl – Collared Shawl from the book Crochet Your Way by Gloria Tracy and Susan Levin) calls for a 70% mohair, 30% silk blend, which might be a lot easier to work with because of the hairs, and crochet hook sizes G, H, I, J & K, beginning with the K.

The first attempt went well from the foundation chain except that using such a large hook with such a fine medium caused the foundation chain stitches to twist on themselves, making stitch identification and consistency difficult. On the third attempt I got the idea to crochet the foundation chain around a length of waste yarn to prevent the stitches from twisting on themselves. This was a very important lesson learned.

I was still struggling with tension, and I think because of that, I kept loosing stitches. I am a counter, but at this point, I am losing patience. I am counting as I crochet, double-checking when I am off. Another lesson I have learned is to count stitches while the project lays flat on a table versus in holding the project in mid-air.

Another problem is the stitch identification. At least three times I have lost stitches on the decrease row. Because the stitching is so loose, it is hard to identify the decrease; add to that the correct replacement of the stitch marker.

Pictured above is the first two rows, crocheted with a K hook. I am about to switch to the J hook and start the first set of decreases. My plan of action is to take my time, perhaps turn off the television and/or the music, so I can concentrate because I already told Cathy if this doesn’t work out, I am going to grab my size 8 steel hook and just improvise something.