Sunday, August 5, 2018

Learning to Crochet, One Stitch and One Afghan at a Time

Crocheting was never something I was interested in - but then again, neither was knitting. After learning how to make mittens the closest I got to crochet was chaining strings to connect mittens.

Never say never. There are some crochet projects I'm looking at for the future but just don't have the skills to do. So, I picked up a hook and some of my trusty Caron Simply Soft, and started learning to crochet. My teachers were a combination of some great tutorials on YouTube and a crochet stitch book I picked up in the clearance section of Barnes & Noble.

In order to really learn the stitches and commit them to finger muscle memory, I decided to one baby afghan per crochet stitch. Boredom or project fatigue can be a problem for me and so striped afghans seemed to be a good idea. Yes, there were ends to weave in - but stripes kept it interesting.

Single Crochet

I started at the beginning with single crochet stitch. This was the most time consuming of the three I've learned so far. It also produced the heaviest, thickest, nicest blanket of the bunch. It sold the same day it was listed to a customer who already had a similar afghan that my aunt made and sold in our shop! Details on Ravelry.

Half Double Crochet

Silly me, I thought that double crochet would be the next stitch in my crochet adventure. Turns out there is a stitch in between single and double and it's called half double. This blanket went faster than the first and I had fun playing with blue hues. My biggest challenge was learning that there are a few extra chains required at the end of each row. When I realized it was starting to be shaped like a pyramid, I ripped out, learned, and started again.

Double Crochet

My third stitch was the double crochet. This one produced results the fastest since each row is considerably taller than those made from the other crochet stitches I've tried. Of course, the tradeoff is that the afghan is less dense and the holes are larger, but it's light and fluffy and of course super soft thanks to the Caron Simply Soft yarn. I went with purples again since the first afghan sold so quickly.

Baby afghans in the Marion's Mittens Etsy shop

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Recently Finished Objects - Knitted Cowls and Mittens for Kids

After a busy winter of knitting mittens and crocheting strings for them, I decided to wrap up a bunch of projects that have been laying around in my craft room. Let's take a look!

The first one I finished up was a pink cowl knitted in double moss stitch. As soon as I picked it up I realized I only had to knit a few more rows, bind off, and sew the ends together. It was an easy finish! This is the first time I tried knitting a cowl with circular needles. I wasn't knitting in the round, but the circular set was much shorter than any pair of straight needles I had in this size. More details on this project on Ravelry. Or, order this cowl on Etsy.

That cowl inspired me to do another cowl using the Caron Simply Soft tweed yarn I picked up. The colorway is called off white and it has flecks of tan and chocolate brown. It's very pretty, but it's probably likely that the tweed pieces will fall off at some point. More details on this project on Ravelry. Or, order this cowl on Etsy.

I had three of these lime green mittens for kids knitted. Why three? I was going to knit a pair for a friend's son. I didn't realize I'd knitted two already and finished a third. At this point, I was tired of the project, and took a break. I finally picked the needles back up, finished the fourth mitten, and worked my way through all four thumbs. Between this project and the cowls I'd done quite a bit of crocheting so it was nice to get back to knitting for a change. More details on Ravelry or order these mittens on Etsy.

Not pictured (because it's not finished) is some progress I made on a white checkerboard baby afghan. It's quite large (46" square) and progress is slow. But I knocked out a few other rows. I also started learning to crochet baby afghans and made three of them. But that'll be good for another post.

Marion's Mittens on Ravelry

Marion's Mittens on Etsy

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Looking back... Knitted Baby Wear Photo Shoot

These photos are over a year old, but I thought this would be a fun post to share! My friend had a baby and offered to let me shoot some photos of her wearing some of her knitted hats and sweater. 

Shop knitted wool baby hats

Shop knitted baby sweater sets