Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Today, I'll Crochet

I just re-read my 2016 quilting goals. Whew! Whatever was I thinking? Instead of starting on them I decided to revolt and started a crocheting project. Why not! My daughter had seen this 2014 pattern by Sylvie Damey on Etsy and had requested I make it for her daughter.

The pattern reads well. Rather than just typing out a rote set of directions, the designer explains in general what is happening at each certain stage. I like this approach of giving an overview. It helps to orient me. The yarn I am using is Jojoland™ TONIC a 85% acrylic 15% wool blend in a lovely lilac color. The hand of the yarn is very soft. I am working with a U.S. size H crochet hook.

Sunday, January 10th
I started crocheting this Roseline cardigan and was surprised how quickly it worked up – or worked down rather since it starts at the neckline. The rows of double crochet have the increases spaced so evenly the piece forms a smooth semi-circle and lies flat.

These double crochets are worked in the front loop only of each stitch and I found out this variation really gives a softness and nice drape to the yoke of the sweater, better than when crocheting within both loops of the stitch. I'd learned more from the designer's Chez Plum blog post for February 21, 2014, a link provided within the pdf pattern.

Below the waist are alternating rows of a shell pattern and a mesh pattern. I completed the top, minus the sleeves, and three row pairs of the follow on shell portion below the waist. It went smoothly and was very engaging. Here is a closeup of that pretty shell and mesh sequence.

Monday, January 11th
I finished the final two pair of the shell and mesh sequence rows below the waistline. I like the spark of interest that the one row of single crochet in a contrasting color  gives at the waistline. I was quite pleased that I'd knitted this whole torso and skirt without a break in yarn. All that I had left from the 3.5 ounce (100g) skein is pictured at the left.

Before I crocheted the contrast trim border I needed to pick my button size, because loop closures for the buttons on the bodice are integral to the trim and need to be sized accordingly by adjusting the number of chain stitches in the loop. I had some buttons in my personal stock that I thought would go quite well but just wanted to check out if there was a better option at my local JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store. There was not. I must admit that this is not rare. I think I have a collection of buttons that rivals the stores. When my mother passed away in 1979, my sister and I inherited all her sewing notions, fabric, and yarn.

When I buy fabric or notions now, I buy what appeals at the moment and often do not use them right away. Since colors change with the seasons, I can usually do better relying on my personal supply since I have several years' range of featured colors. The lilac in the stores now is much more of a pinkish orchid than in the yarn I am using. The lilac center and pink stripe of the button that I already had were spot on color-wise. The store had nothing even close to the hue of the yarn. My husband questioned if I was going to add aqua to the sweater because of the stripe in the button. I said no. There is yellow in the button also, but that just means there will be a wider range of outfits that will be able to be worn with this sweater. The conically shaped buttons feel very smooth and streamlined. Things have to have tactile appeal to me, too. I think these buttons were just waiting for this sweater. The scale may be a bit large but they make a statement!

I found the sales slip in with these buttons There were purchased in 2009 at a small yarn shop in Lake Forest, CA – a shop approximately 4 miles away I'd googled and sought out while visiting my son in Aliso Viejo. Sometimes nowadays I cannot remember what I went into the next room for; but, oddly enough I knew I had these buttons somewhere and I recall pawing through a bin of loose (and very unique) buttons seven years ago in that yarn store. Apparently I paid $1.00 for a "handful" of buttons. I'd saved the receipt in case I ever wanted to find the shop again when I was in the area. Coincidentally, my son just moved to Lake Forest in January 2015. Sadly, when I checked for the Yarn Lady, I learned this particular store had gone online in 2010 and is now out of business. It had been the premiere yarn source in Orange County. I'd only been there once but it had made an impression on me.

Here are some other buttons I bought that day. Those are little red cars that are zipping along the circular roadway on those blue buttons.

I also bought a clever collapsing yarn/knitting basket.

I use it to this day and it is one of my favorites. It is very flexible and with being as smooth as it is on the inside, nothing snags.

Dashing out to the store and reminiscing about buttons broke a bit of my crocheting momentum. I finished the contrasting trim border and broke into a second ball of lilac yarn to begin one sleeve. I think I could have completed the project that day but I have learned that pursuing late evening needle crafts, especially with a distraction of TV viewing, can lead to mistakes. There is always the following day to start afresh.

Tuesday January12th
I finished the sleeves and added the picot border edge to them, too. I sewed in the stray yarn ends. The way this garment was constructed there were no side or sleeve seams to slow me down and there were few yarn ends to weave in. And miracle of miracles! I did not procrastinate on the blocking. I was able to spread the body out flat to block it, but the sleeve shells were a bit tricker since they were double layered. I steamed one side of each sleeve, then flipped the two sleeves and steamed the other side of each. That seemed to work. After blocking, I sewed on those three buttons and here is the completed cardigan. I sure hope it fits!

Wednesday January13th
After adding a few photos and editing this blog post a bit I am linking up to this week's Freshly Pieced Works in Progress to explore other bloggers' efforts.


  1. Your visit down to Aliso Viejo in September 2009 was when you first met me! Dan and I had been dating for about three months at that point. I remember being nervous about meeting you guys at the "Home Depot Inn" and then enjoying a tasty dinner at El Torito in Dana Point. Nearly seven years later, you still have your buttons and I still have my guy (plus a toddler, doggie, two additional houses, and another baby on the way!)!

    1. Hah! My buttons pale in comparison.
      I couldn't be happier about your "acquisitions".

    2. Wow you have a good memory! I remember basically nothing about my parents meeting Jeremy, although I did have a few memorable experiences meeting *his* family... I'm glad you still have your guy (and all the other stuff sounds nice too...), and that he has you too. Those buttons are cute, but you're definitely the best thing *our* family got in 2009.

    3. Oh, and after I typed this, I thought "wait a sec, when did Jeremy and I meet? Did I just stick my foot in my mouth epically?" Fortunately for me, J and I met on 2008. So, your title stands unchallenged :-)

    4. Yee gads! What does it say about my sewing priorities if my son-in-law and daughter-in-law acquisitions are being compared to button acquisitions? LOL. Love them both!

  2. What a cute sweater, I can't wait for A to try it on! That's a bummer about the yarn store (the quilt store in my husband's hometown also closed down, which bummed me out epically), but those are some pretty cool buttons.

    1. Whoops. Sorry to learn it is too small but glad you like the buttons.

  3. Oh, and I love the color scheme you picked - she will look great in it!

    1. Glad you like the color scheme. I have enough of the yarn that I will make another in a larger size with the same lilac-periwinkle and pink-dusty-rose combination. Think I will use a larger hook AND make a size up. Just need to get desired sleeve length from you. Since the picture does not show it on a child, I am unsure if they are meant to be 3/4 length sleeves.