Last week during Kathleen’s birthday celebration at The Knitting Tree, L A, a box of yarn arrived. Before I departed, I decided to check out the contents and discovered this Rozetti Wicked Fur (Fiber Content: 90% Nylon, 10% Polyester; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky). I had to have it, but which color? I ended up buying two skeins of Yarn Color: Zebra and Yarn Color: Cheetah.
I immediately set to making something with the Cheetah, hoping to beat Ms. Stewart for once, but dropped a stitch and ended up having to frog it. Now I am trying to catch up on all my other projects and have put it aside for the time being. When I get back to it, I will be making an elongated width neck piece and attaching an ecru Brown Sheep Company Lamb’s Pride Bulky (Fiber Content: 85% Wool, 15% Mohair) that was gifted to me, to accentuate the shape of the fur.
The Yarnover Truck was parked outside The Knitting Tree, L A today. I got to meet the proprietors before my shift started: Maridee and Barbra, whom I found very charming and pleasant. Using yesterday’s rationalization that I am supporting small businesses, I decided to venture out and see what I had to purchase from them.
The truck is very well organized and clean. I had heard previously that it was very hot in the truck. Fortunately for me, it was a cooler day and I did not suffer much from the inner temperatures. Of course, the first yarn that caught my attention was yarn that The Knitting Tree, L A was already selling, but in different colors. One orange yarn really caught my attention, but fortunately there was only one skein. And then I saw it: Indigodragonfly MerGoat Lace (Fiber Content: 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10 % nylon; Yarn Weight: 1, heavy lace-light fingering). It was very similar to the Madelinetosh Merino Light that I was prohibited from purchasing yesterday at Gather DTLA. When I saw the yarn color name – Paging Dr. Smart-Ass – I knew it was meant to be mine.
On da Hook: ? Off da Hook: September 12, 2014 Pattern: Ballet Neck Tee from Vogue Knitting Crochet 2014 Special Collector’s Issue Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Crazy (Fiber Content: 75% Virgin Wool, 25% Nylon; Yarn Color: 1701 Papagei; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Size: Small
I am finally done! I saw this in the magazine and wanted to make as a store sample. I had to wait for the yarn. By the time the yarn came in, Ms. Stewart saw it and wanted to make it also. Since she was a customer, she got first dips on the yarn when it arrived and I had to wait for a second shipment. This is a store sample.
At the beginning I found the pattern tedious, especially the slip stitching across the entire row. It was not until I had done it once that I discovered an easier option was single crochet. By the time I got to the back panel, I was very comfortable with the pattern, despite having to frog the second half due to a missed row of double crochet. I also experience stitch count errors with the front, which did not present themselves on the back panel.
As I completed the project, I began to wonder: was the yarn made specifically for this pattern or is it just a coincidence that the colors line up so well? Perhaps if I took the time to read the whole article – provided there was one – I might know the answer to the question.
The name of my project – The Adventures of Raindance Maggie by The Red Hot Chili Peppers – was borrowed from Water From A Vine Leaf Shawl, whose name was changed to more accurately match the colorway.
Cast On: August 26, 2014 Cast Off: September 5, 2014 Needle Size: US 9 Yarn: Tiara by HiKoo by Skacel (Fiber Content: 10% Kid Mohair, 5% Wool, 49% Acrylic, 22% Nylon, 10% Bead, 4% Sequin; Yarn Color: 0001 White; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Dimensions: 72 x 9 inches
When I made the Good Lovin’ Cowl – Pattern: Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta – I fell in love with the border stitch, thinking it would make a beautiful shawl. Well the other day, while stocking yarn at The Knitting Tree, L A, I opened a box and discovered the Tiara. It was love at first sight, but the idea for this project had not yet been conceived. A few days later…lightbulb! And here it is. I managed to get a couple of pictures that show the beads (light blue and lavender) and sequins. I only used one skein to make this, afraid to add another because the width was increasing so fast. As such, the piece is shallow and long. I wore it the other day at the TKTLA Sunday Brunch to show it off and was surprised that some time passed before my neck started getting warm, considering I am always hot.
The name of the project – Let It Go by Demi Lovato from the movie Frozen – was a delayed choice, but very apropos, considering the colors.
This is today’s project: a yarn sample for my friend that is a yarn representative for Interlacements Rick Rack (Fiber Content: 100% Rayon; Yarn Color: Scottish Lichen; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). The above image does not do the yarn’s sheen justice. I am just loving the color blends this yarn company is using on it’s yarns. I am about at the halfway point, so crocheting should speed should pick up as I am decreasing the length.
I am also taught this shawl at The Knitting Tree, L A. Despite the class being over, the students are still coming on a weekly basis for assistance because when we started the pattern, I screwed up. I figured I would test the pattern while teaching the shawl, but started finding too many mistakes, so now we are crocheting rogue, off pattern. Fortunately, for me, I met Chris from A Major Knitwork two Sundays ago, and his friend Kim. Kim is going to test the pattern – same yarn, different color; I think her color is Desert Lichen – for me and Chris volunteered to perform a technical edit of the pattern for me. 🙂
The name of this pattern is ironically, Accidents Never Happen Shawlette and the project name – The Adventures of Raindance Maggie Shawlette by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- was a random selection from my music library.
I did step out for a couple of hours to attend my Tuesday morning knit group in El Segundo, where I worked on my latest design: Let It Go Shawlette, being made from HiKoo by Skacel Tiara (Fiber Content: 10% Kid Mohair, 5% Wool, 49% Acrylic, 17% Nylon, 10% Bead, 4% Sequin; Yarn Color: 01 White; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran) because The Adventures of Raindance Maggie requires a table surface for ease of crochet.
On the way to the group last week I noticed this statue at the elevated rail station.
Don’t ask me where this is located because I don’t pay attention to the streets anymore now that I don’t drive. If I had to venture a guess this statue is located on El Segundo Boulevard, west of Isis Avenue. This time instead of looking up, I was looking down and noticed Farmer Boys – picture take from Farmer Boys parking lot.
I finally finished – and not after getting too enthusiastic (136 inches!) for the Farrow Rib Stitch, the new skill of carrying yarn, and stripes. This stitch was so easy to do and almost mindless – I did find one error over three rows, but I defy anyone to find it without careful examination. After modeling the scarf for photography, I am a big fan of the double keyhole method (center picture, top row).
Of course because of all the orange, I am tempted to keep this scarf for myself. This scarf if for sale at Price: USD $25.00. Of course, if it does not sell, I will either keep it or donate it to charity.
The name of the scarf comes from the song of the same name: Always The Sun by The Stranglers.
Here is the next cowl to be donated to Handmade Especially For You, unless you like it so much and would like to purchase it at the reduced Price: USD $20.00. This cowl is seamed. I recommend wearing with seam at back of neck, as pictured. As you can see, the colors include white, pink, beige, grey, burgundy and a touch of blue and green in one of the multi-colored yarns, all of which are of a thick, bulky weight. The fiber content is most assuredly all acrylic/man-made fibers. The only identifiable yarn used in this cowl is Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: 6, Bulky).
The construction is a back loop, single crochet ripple with an US M/10 mm hook. I began with a foundation chain of 17. Row one is worked in the bottom of the foundation chain. Every row is 2sctog, 6 sc, 3 sc in the same (center) stitch, 6 sc, 2 sctog. The seam was done in pattern attaching to the front loop of the foundation chain.
When using the white/burgundy/grey novelty yarn (pictured at upper right), I held a strand of Cascade Cherub DK (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted) to ease in stitch identification.
The name of this cowl — Buffy Come Back by Angel and the Reruns – is a random selection from my music library.
Apparently, the cowl is long enough to wrap three times and keep your neck nice and warm.
Having rummaged through my stash recently to donate some yarn to Studio Royale Assisted Living Knit Group, I actually used some of my scraps to make this seamed mobius cowl, which will be donated to Handmade Especially For You. I made the mistake of “seaming” this into a mobius. I only say that because I am deciding that a mobius cowl should only be for shorter cowls that one would not wrap twice.
Only two yarns were identifiable:
Super Yarn Mart! Superlon (Fiber Content: 100% Super Spun Acrylic; Yarn Color: 100 Black; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
The third identifiable yarn was the bought at The Knitting Tree, L A to finish this piece: Feza Lady (Fiber Content: 100% Nylon; Yarn Color: 112; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Apparently, I got used to the new wimpy worsted weight yarns and used a US 8/H – 5 mm hook, which cause portions of the cowl fabric to be dense. Crucify me for my attitude, but it’s a donation, so I am not really concerned, but have taken the knowledge and will apply in future projects.
The name of this cowl – Natural High by Bloodstone – comes from the colors used: white, ecru, browns, blacks and greys.
If you are keen to make something similar, here is the recipe: 24 double crochets worked between stitches to desired length with a crab stitch border of the Feza Lady, triple-stranded.
So I finally returned to knitting. For the details that lead me back to knitting read this post. Otherwise, as you can see, another project has been completed. The pattern is Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta, Kriskrafter, LLC and I used the Karabella Aurora 8 (Fiber Content: 100% Extrafine Merino Wool Irrestringible; Yarn Colors: 286 and 1536; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) and Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 387; Yarn Weight: 3, DK/Light Worsted).
Of course being the rebel that I am, I changed the pattern:
by incorporating more than one color
by replacing the garter, just above the brown trim on the bottom, with stockinette
and by making up my own two border (Row 1: Purl; Row 2: Purl; Row 3: YO, P2tog; Row 4: Purl; Row 5: Purl)
I think I am going to make another with the skein of Cascade Casablanca (Fiber Content: 60% Wool, 25% Silk, 15% Mohair; Yarn Color: 3; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) I have.
Thursday, I got a call from The Knitting Tree, L A about a job from the Prop Master at American Broadcasting Company (ABC), who wanted a 30 x 50 inch crochet afghan by Tuesday for a television series called Young & Hungry. Five days to make the afghan. At right is the picture of an idea he wanted. I told him to continue looking for someone because I did not want to say yes, unless I could enlist the help of another person, ensuring I could meet the deadline. Once I secured the help of someone, I called him back, we discussed pricing – based on my normal pricing schedule, which I have been advised is too low – and sealed the deal.
I went straight to the store to buy the yarn and encountered dilemma number one: was there going to be enough of the colors/yarn weight requested? With respect to color, I was doubtful on the navy; with respect to the yarn weight, I was doubtful there was enough white yarn. The store suggested double-stranding a lighter weight and I reluctantly accepted the suggestion. Later, when I got home, I found more white yarn in the correct weight, feeling more secure. However, I ended up using the double-stranded lighter weight yarn because I gave the worsted weight to the person that offered to help. Here is what I ended up buying:
I must mention that I am very impressed with the Universal Uptown Worsted and will probably make that my acrylic, worsted weight yarn of choice for future afghans.
I got two of ten strips done the first night. The next day, I get a call from the prop master, suggesting that if he paid an extra $100.00, could he get the afghan by Monday, allowing him more time for framing. I agreed and immediately sought more help from two more people that arrived at the store later Friday afternoon. Let me mention that if took a while for person one to match my gauge, using a hook two sizes larger; person two, a hook one size larger; and person three, a hook three sizes larger.
On Friday, person two expressed that she did not want to seam her squares together. That screwed up my payment schedule and was not appreciated. The quality of person three was not up to snuff, but she offered to seam all the squares/strips for me.
On Saturday, person one brought me enough squares for two strips but had left all the tails, which I discovered later – when I was informed by the seamer – were not long enough to work with. Unfortunately, the seamer advised me after she discovered one square, that had already been seamed, began to unravel. By this time, person two had stopped contributing accomplishing enough squares for one strip. By the end of Saturday, all squares had been completed and seamed. That is when I called the Prop Master, who informed me that the afghan was no longer going to be framed, and that he would like it larger: 36 x 54 inches. I was already having issues due to my method of seaming, which was causing cupping of the squares, thereby shortening the length and width.
On Sunday, I crocheted the extra 24 squares necessary to make up the difference in width and length and person three seamed them into place. This was a big accomplishment, allowing me time to wash the afghan, checking for construction quality. When I called the prop master to check in regarding the process, I left a message requesting the original deadline, as it was not longer being framed and he conceded. Phew!
On Monday, as I was tying sewing in the loose ends and resewing the loosened ends, I discovered at least five more squares that were unraveling. Aiyaa! Because it would have take more time to remove them, remake them and replace them, I took a shortcut: cosmetic touch up. I also began the border.
Today, I was just about to finish the border when the prop master arrived at the store. He grabbed some lunch while I finished the last half of the last round, came back, admired the afghan and made the purchase.
While I am ever grateful for the help I received from persons one, two and three, I have learned some valuable lessons from this project:
No one will ever match my standard of quality, just as I am sure I could never meet another person’s standard of quality
I allowed my ambition to fulfill a life’s dream – crochet an afghan for a television show – to compromise my standard of quality, which led to me being dependent on others
Unless all the yarn I estimate for a job is available at one time, I will not deviate or make concessions
I need to take a deep breath before accepting jobs that I have never quoted and make sure I have consulted with others before committing to an estimate
I discovered that I am blessed to know more people than I thought, who could have guided me more accurately regarding my price estimate
If I ever solicit help from others, I need to be extremely specific as to my expectations
Overall, I am glad the project is done and cannot wait to see it on television. I received a phone call from one of my bosses while composing this post, inquiring if this was a done deal and if the prop master was pleased with the outcome. I can only assume he was pleased because he paid, unless he has some secret elves stashed somewhere that can crochet the same afghan overnight. My boss surprised me the confident suggestion that I would have been able to complete this project alone. Perhaps that confidence will instill itself within me for future projects. I am blessed to have such thoughtful employers, who allowed me to use the store as a workshop, arriving/leaving outside normal operating hours to work on the afghan.
The name of the afghan should be obvious and comes from the song by Smash Mouth from their 1999 album Astro Lounge.