Crochet

A Retreat from the Heat…

It’s officially summer in East Texas.  Our temperatures hit the century mark this week for the first time this season.  The downside of 104 degree days is obvious.  Doing anything outside is brutal-especially when  the heat is accompanied by stifling humidity.  The upside is a re-surging motivation to come in from the garden and crochet or sew…(or just lay down under a ceiling fan, motionless…)

This week, I opted to play with hexagons. I think I love them….I actually had a pattern delivered to my email inbox that used these colors, and I knew immediately, I must make them…Big, beautiful rainbows….love!

Crochet

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.

Crochet

Playing the Field..

I’ve been multi-tasking….burning both ends of the candle, if you will.  On the one hand, I am full steam ahead with my Tunisian Crochet class and the Multi Garment.

Simultaneously, I am “go” for my sewing “Do Over”.

It’s like dating two guys when you’re single.  You usually spend one date wishing you were on another.  Then you feel guilty when you’re on a date with a guy you really like, because  the other dude is more responsible and more stable.  Usually things fall apart with both of them at about the same time and you wind up with no date…but I digress…

Apparently the sewing “do over” is Mr. Stability.  The Tunisian multi-garment is the hotter Mr. Smooth. (This is a bizarre analogy, but let’s go with it.)

The stitch patterns are gorgeous.

Even though I’m using cotton instead of silk, the stitching still promises attractive drape. With the Tunisian, despite being in learning mode, everything is easier.

Sewing, not so much.  I’ve finished my first set of pillow covers.  I haven’t worked up the enthusiasm to photograph them yet.  They’re cute….that’s it.  Just cute.  I wanted spectacular…wow! But nope, they’re cute. Like I said, the craft equivalent to Mr. Stability.  I think I’ll wait and post them when I can add a few more for a grouping.

Until then, back to Mr. Smooth…

 

 

 

 

Crochet

Three Color Tunisian

So the Craftsy journey continues, and I have to say, I liked the three color Tunisian soooo much better than the single color work.  I chose Catania Cotton (yes, shocking I know).

I love these colors!

The three color is easier because each different color strand highlights and accents the architecture of the stitches.  You don’t have to figure out where your “vertical bar” is because it’s color coded.  Very cool!

So I’m into my next Tunisian project.  Titled the “Multigarment”,  it’s a two-panel wrap that can be worn as a shawl, sweater, or poncho (love the peekaboo shoulders).  Not to be redundant, but also very cool.

Also very ambitious.  I’m branching waaayyyy out on this one.  I’m using Paton’s Grace-another mercerized cotton (practically identical to Catania-the waaayyy was sarcasm). I’m not sure that the photos do my palette justice.  I think it’s going to be pretty….if it ever gets completed.  Did I mention it’s very ambitious?

The blue is my “color pop”.  Hmmm…still thinking about it…love it in theory, though.

I’m off to stitch!

 

Crochet

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?

Crochet

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?

Crochet

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!