Shades of Summer

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What colors speak to you in summer tones?  I see summer in shades of the sea. I’m not sure why.  I live in a place far from the shore where humidity hangs heavy in the 100 degree heat. It seems more probable that my summer palette might be something more akin to orange and red, but it’s not.  Cool blues and greens define summer to me.

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I couldn’t pick between a scarf and a shawl.  So why not both?  Maybe calling it a “wrap” is more apt?

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I used Catania again.  Clearly, we’re in a relationship.  I just love the stitch definition that comes from mercerized cotton, and the array of colors available with Catania allow me to indulge in color play.

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I’ve struggled creatively over the last several months.  Sometimes, when you feel stretched, it’s difficult to indulge yourself in pursuits that require additional self-discipline. Luckily, this pattern and I are old friends, and we were in no hurry.

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Number Seven

I’d like you all to meet number seven. I don’t think this variation needs a lot of explanation.  Again, Catania Cotton.  Again, Pierrot 29-34.  Just when i think I’m finished with these guys, they pull me back in!

You can see a rundown here along with pics of my Number Six.  (Yes, I know.  I have a gift for catchy titles.)  Number Six was cute, but Number seven…well, it’s Claret.

Claret makes me happy.  And so does Number Seven.

 

 

 

 

Number Six

You can’t accuse me of being fickle.  Fickle flits from one pattern to another.  This scarf pattern and I are in a relationship.  No matter where my eye wanders, I keep coming back and trying variations in color and pattern to the most excellent Pierrot 29-31.  The only relationship as durable as the one I have with this scarf, is my relationship with Catania  mercerized cotton. I’m not ashamed to say it.  I love them.  I’ve proclaimed my love boldly:

  • In February, I worked the pattern for the first time.  I followed the directions implicitly in an odd colorway of plum, chocolate-brown, off white and grey.
  • My second version (first variation) was a “Seascape”.  I love it.  Maybe my favorite of all of them.
  • Third, was in ivory and spring green.  Very natural and organic.
  • Fourth, my daughter chose the color palette, and so it became “Whitney’s Scarf”.  That girl has a wonderful eye for color!
  • The fifth version was an Easter edition of the pattern, or as I like to refer to it, “The one that looks like a watermelon.”

And now I’ve finished number six.  I like it a lot.  It’s more of a winter colorway-crisp, cool and evocative of all things brisk.

 

Too much?  Maybe.  I’ll just leave it at “I like it.  A lot.”

Each of these scarves will complete their creative journey as a Christmas present.  Needless to say, the person who gets number six will have to be very special-at least as special as number six.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tunisian…Ta Da!

I completed the first panel of Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian Multi-Garment!

It was fun.  Learning Tunisian has been very gratifying. These pictures  were taken after my first quick run at blocking.  I still have some perfecting to do with the structure.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I would have been happier with a slightly larger size.  I won’t know for certain until I’ve completed the second panel.  The sizes were based on bust circumference and I think I would prefer a little more length on what will inevitably be the “torso”.  Maybe I’m long-waisted….or maybe my tummy is a little more of an issue than my bust….

The color work is fascinating.  Let it be known, however, that it leaves a gazillion ends to be woven.  Hence the probable delay in starting the second panel for the garment.  I need a little time to forget what a pain those ends were.

All in all, however, I’m extremely pleased!  The Craftsy class on Tunisian was a great experience.  I’ve signed on for three additional classes since beginning the Tunisian.  I’m not sure that the instruction I’m seeing is the same quality that Jennifer Hansen provided in the Tunisian class, but I love the platform and  recommend it for anyone who struggles to find classes available in your location or that work with your schedule.

Tunisian Times Two

Ta da! My first Tunisian Crochet projects-The (not so) Silk Spa Cloth (done in Catania Cotton).   First I crocheted the green, and although my Susan Bates was an H, I was crocheting too tightly. So I switched to the Boye which (somewhat irrationally) feels bigger to me.

I prefer the final product with the second washcloth (off white).  Looser, better feeling in your hand, and much easier to block.  And yes, I know that this would have all been predictive had I swatched for gauge.  But hey,  that’s not how I roll…anyway, practice makes perfect, right?

Next, I’m moving onto  three color Tunisian with the same pattern. Redundancy is ok when you’re learning.

What are you working on this weekend?

Totally Tunisian

Two more tunisian stitches, and I’m still impressed with and enthusiastic about my Craftsy class!

It really has been enjoyable.  Jennifer gives clear instruction, and the ability to pause, rewind, and take notes timed to the video feed contributes to a pretty satisfying learning experience.

So here’s my Silk Spa Cloth (also known as Project #1) as of last night.

It’s a little mushed looking because it’s been quickly and furiously pressed in order to take the picture.  It originally looked like this.

I’m crocheting fairly tightly and the result is a stubborn curling, similar to knitting…

Not that I knit…

The wash cloth is made up of three different Tunisian stitches.  1) The Tunisian Simple Stitch 2) The Tunisian Knit Stitch and 3) The Tunisian Reverse Stitch.

And I hate to sound like a rube, but the Knit stitch really does look like knitting!  Very cool.

I finished the stitching tonight.  Now it’s time for lesson number three – how to bind off your work.  Don’t you love learning new things?

Behold, Tunisian Simple Stitch!

Behold the the product of my first module from Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian crochet class on Craftsy.  It’s called the Tunisian Simple Stitch.  It’s completed by front and back passes with your hook.  This picture was taken  after the “front pass” for simple stitch and you’ll note obvious similarities to knitting since all of our stitches are still on the hook.

Not that I knit.

I’m using Afghan crochet hooks that I picked up at an estate sale  a year or so ago.  I started with the Boye Cro Hook – size H.

And it just felt too thick for me.  My stitches seemed looser than what I was seeing in the video.  So I posted a question as to whether my using a decades old Afghan hook was the best plan.  I’ll get back to you on the response.  But in the meantime, you’ll note I switched from the blue Boye Cro Hook

To a lovely pink Susan Bates #8 of the same style.  Now you know and I know that the letter-to-number conversion means my #8 hook is also an H.  And yet, it’s visibly smaller.  (I know you can’t really tell in this picture, but trust me, it is)

Which just confirms that I’m a Bates girl (no offense to Boye).  The hook change seemed to bring my stitches more in sync with those from the video.

And speaking of the video, I’ve only completed the first lesson, but so far the learning methodology is solid.  Jennifer Hansen is very knowledgeable and she’s taking the time to cover the questions a newby has with the process-like pointing out where you’re likely to drop stitches at the end of the row.

The first project for the class is a Silk Spa Cloth-the ecru in the background of this pic

Predictably, I’m using Catania cotton instead of silk.  Jennifer recommended bamboo as a close 2nd choice for the silk.  I’m just not ready to use the pricier fibers while I’m learning.

Overall, so far so good with my new Craftsy geekery.  Onto Lesson number two!