Archive for April 2009

4.09.2009

NatCroMo Freeform Crochet-a-long 2009 (3/23-3/31)

Clearly, I am behind on updating my progress. Specifically, I am a month behind on my final NatCroMo Freeform CAL 2009 report. Here are the final parts of the design:

W is for Worm. I made little pink spirally worms along one edge.

W is for Worm

W is for Worm

X is for Xanadu. I went with the theme of “opulence” here, and crocheted with some beads. This marks my first time doing beaded crochet. I used a design from Crochet on the Edge.

X is for Xanadu

Y is for Yellow. I did a surface crochet chain around the central area using yellow.

Y is for Yellow

Z is for Zest. This loopy stitch made me think of lemon zest.

Z is for Zest

Your name. I added up the number values of the letters in my first name (A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc.). I then turned to that page in my new crochet stitch dictionary and used that stitch (Single Crochet Cluster Stitch I) in the cranberry color I used for J.

Your name

Your name

Neighbors. Our neighbor in back has a dog that’s white with light reddish-brown spots. I used the closest colors I have to that, and crocheted another stitch pattern out of my stitch dictionary.

Neighbors

Neighbors

Partners. I “partnered” up two colors of yarn that had been used earlier in the project (but not together) to make an improvised edging.

Partners

Partners

Fantasy. This made me think of something lacy and open, so I chose an appropriate stitch from Crochet on the Edge.

Fantasy

Craft. I wanted something that took a fair bit of craftsmanship to create. I ended up trying the lily of the valley sculptural stitch (which includes surface chains for the stems) from Crochet on the Edge. This was a lot more challenging and time consuming than I expected — I ended up with about a million yarn ends to weave in.

Craft

Craft

So it’s done, and it’s pretty wacky, definitely in a good way. I still need to learn how to do the more “traditional” (if such a word can be used) scrumbles that are used for freeform crochet, but I think this is a fun result for my first attempt. Next time: knitting! That’s right, knitting!

Lion Brand Crochet-A-Long: Moderne Jacket

As promised, here is my post on the Lion Brand CAL. The pattern was the Moderne Jacket — details and purchase information can be found here.

Before March, I’d never done a crochet-a-long, and it was great to read about everyone else’s experiences with the pattern and see all the different variations on the same garment. Originally I wasn’t going to participate because the yarn specified by the pattern would have cost about $130. That’s a bit out of my budget at the moment. Then, when I read the post on the Lion Brand blog about yarn substitution, I decided to go ahead with the project. Instead of the cashmere blend and the wool yarn, I used acrylic — Vanna’s Choice in Dusty Purple and Silver Grey, to be exact.

The pattern uses two yarns held together, which was a new technique to me. The combination of these two yarns was probably a bit bulkier than intended — the example jacket looks more “meshy” — but I think my version looks great.

As for the pattern, a lot of people had trouble with it because there were a number of inconsistencies. For example, working the pattern as written ended up with a staggered column effect, whereas the example jacket clearly showed the stitch columns aligned vertically. There was advice on both the Ravelry group and the Lion Brand blog on how to change this. Although I worked the pattern as written for the back, I aligned the pattern on the front (for the most part).

Another issue with the pattern was that the stitch pattern was meant for an odd number of stitches, but most of the front had rows with even numbers of stitches. No instructions were given on how to adapt for this. Also, at one point in the pattern, there was a missing row. I worked an extra row at this spot, with no issues. Others ran into the same problems, so it wasn’t just me misreading the pattern. I always try to rule out “user error” first.

Apart from those issues, the project went very smoothly. The larger hook (N) combined with the thicker yarn made it work up quickly as well. When I made the gauge swatch, my row gauge was right on, but my stitch gauge was just a tiny bit too big. This was perfect, because the small size was just a wee bit too small (bust size 34″, I’m a 34″ or 35″) and the medium size was way too big (bust size 40″). For the small size, I didn’t need to make the jacket longer but I did need it to be wider. I know the issues that can be caused by using the wrong gauge, but in this case, it worked very well. The jacket fits!

Although the fabric is thick, I still used backstitch for the raglan seams for strength. It didn’t seem to add too much bulk to the seams.

That’s enough writing. Here are the pictures of the finished piece. It fits a bit tighter on the dress form than on me, due to the pot belly on the form. Still, it looks good on me and on the form. Success!


Next time: the rest of my freeform project.