Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crochet Catch Up: A Cozy Blue Shawl

This shawl, like most of my projects, was created for someone special to me.  A couple months ago my grandfather passed away, and I decided my step-grandmother needed something extra special for her birthday in February.

I've had the pattern for a couple years, but had been waiting for the right person to come along, and I think it suits perfectly.  The blue is definitely her color, and the pattern is simple with just enough decorative touches to make it beautiful.  The shawl is cozy, comforting, and warm, which is all you can ask of a shawl at such an awful time.

Yarn: Berrocco Folio; 65% Superfine Alpaca, 35% Rayon. Though this yarn weight is listed as DK, it feels like many of the Fingering yarns I've used and worked just fine for my fingering weight shawl.

Pattern: Remember Me by LilyGo.  This is another one by LilyGo, and like most of her other patterns, it worked up without any trouble.  I did add an extra 4 rows to the body to add a bit of length, but then didn't do the last two rows of the border as I ran out of yarn. (I'm really bad at estimating how much yarn will be needed for any given section of a project.)

Hook size:  3.75mm; the pattern recommended 3.5mm, but as my yarn was potentially thicker than the yarn called for I upgraded my hook size.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Finishing the Red Medieval Dress

Last month, I showed you the finally finished Blue "Miranda" Dress.  This month is the red dress that goes underneath--again, finally finished.  Last year I spent a lot more time on this one than the blue, so I didn't have things like interior seams to finish, but it still needed a lot of tweaking.

I added sleeve buttons and buttonholes, I re-did part of the front, as when it was laced it jutted out weirdly over my stomach, and I added a panel for under the lacing, as occasionally it would gap and you'd see skin.

Photos were taken inside the last remaining guard tower in Haarlem, left over from when it was a walled city.  This is a staple of our walk/ride into the city, and I go by it or through it several days each week. It's right next to a very busy street, and is a major bike thoroughfare, so we had to get out of the way a couple times.

The Challenge: Stashbusting.  Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims, and notions that you already have in stash.  And I also used a garment I already had in stash!

Fabric: Linen.

Pattern: Drafted my own from La Cotte Simple and By My Measure.

Year: late 1300's to early 1400's

Notions: Silk embroidery thread for the button holes.

How historically accurate is it? Good!

Hours to complete: 52 on the initial make last year (with the mock-ups), and another 18 this time around.  Hopefully that will be it--70 hours seems like enough for one "simple" underdress.

First worn: Several rounds of photos at this point.

Total cost: Nothing this time, but my costs originally were probably about $20.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Crochet Catch Up: A Warm Winter Shawl

One reason I don't blog about most things I crochet is that they're often gifts and I have to wait until they're given to write about them.  And then another year passes and still no post.  On top of that, when you don't write these things down, it's practically impossible to remember which hook was used or the fiber content or brand of yarn.  Whine, whine, whine.

But with this one, only a couple months have passed, so I feel accomplished!

This shawl was made as a part of a Facebook pay-it-forward thing with crafts.  I made 5 projects in 2014 for it, and this is the first one I'm blogging about.  I decided not to continue this year, which means I don't have much in the works crochet-wise, so instead I'm writing about old projects.

Anyway, on to the shawl!

Though the model is my lovely husband, he's not actually the intended recipient.  Instead, this shawl went to a woman who influenced my life (in the best way) a lot during my college years, and who also helped me become a much better seamstress--my boss in the costume shop.

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace, 100% baby merino wool.  This stuff is so soft!  It was a perfect choice for a winter shawl and I definitely plan to work with it again

Pattern: Laura by LilyGo.  I may have said it before, but I love LilyGo's patterns.  They are amazingly detailed, and I'm a firm believer you can figure out anything with a good chart.*  Also, for a shawl, this one doesn't get monotonous.  With most shawls, you do the border and then fill in the middle, making the middle take for-ever.  But with this one you kinda work it sideways.  So if you look at the photo of the back of the shawl, you actually crochet up-down (the whole thing, border and all) and then left-right.  You build it all in one go.

Hook size:  No clue.  Though the pattern recommends 3.5mm so I probably used something around that.

Anything else?  This is actually the second time I used this pattern.  The first was a birthday present for my grandmother's 95th, though I don't seem to have written about that one yet...

*I suppose I should explain what a 'chart' means in this case.  Crochet (and I assume knitting) patterns are often written out: ch 12, dc 2 in 1st ch from hook, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc 2 in ch.  This, for a visual person, gets confusing really fast, and it's really easy to lose your place.  But a chart is just a drawing of the pattern.  Each symbol is a specific type of stitch, and if you know the symbols, you can read the pattern. I ADORE charts, and have been known to draw my own if the pattern doesn't come with one.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Finishing My Blue Medieval Dress

Last year, I made the dress from Waterhouse's "Miranda and the Tempest" for an "Art" challenge. But I didn't actually finish the dress.  The painting only shows the back, and I was in such a rush that I didn't put any closures on it, nor did I finish any interior seams, and the hem was machine sewn (Gasp!).  For the current HSM challenge (Blue), I decided to finally finish it!  And it only took about another 20 hours.

The original painting:

Last year's photoshoot:

And this year's, where I can show off my buttons:

This is my "I'm ready to go frolicking pose." My lovely plaid pajama pants are a bonus.  Plus, wearing those is how I managed to ride a bike to the photo location.

The Challenge: Art: Make your own masterpiece based on a work of art.

Fabric: Linen, probably a little rougher than it should be.

Pattern: Drafted my own from La Cotte Simple and By My Measure.

Year: late 1300's to early 1400's

Notions: Silk embroidery thread for the button holes.

How historically accurate is it? For my first "medieval" ensemble, I'm quite pleased

Hours to complete: I didn't keep track too closely, but probably another 20 went in this time around.

First worn: For photos. (And last year for photos)

Total cost: Nothing this time, but my costs originally were probably about $20.