A little bit of Hermione…
I am truly loving most of my classes this semester! I only have one that is a traditional classroom setting, albeit an online one. That is my Mythology and Modern Life class. I really am loving my class in terms of what I am studying. My professor is amazing; I’ve done some reading on her outside of class and she has done some amazing things. Hardcore feminist, artist, etc. She friended me on Facebook today and I started reading some of her posts about the projects she is involved in and they are truly inspiring. I am less thrilled with my classmates. Part of the grade covers participation, coming in the form of weekly discussions. We are required to create an original post of our own and then respond to a minimum of two others. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of them don’t post until the 11th hour, which makes participation difficult sometimes. And half the time, many of them don’t respond to the entire topic, which makes conversation hard if they aren’t really doing the assignment. Don’t get me wrong, the class is challenging, but if you aren’t willing to take the time to do the work, then why take the class? I work my fluffy ass off in this class, but I also get a hell of a lot out of it.
I feel like I am shirking my duty by reading novels, despite the fact that they are assigned. My Race and Romance Novel class is all novels and, while that is fabulous, my inner Hermione feels like I am not doing my classwork. I am reading another novel for the Mythology class, unlike anything I have ever read and it is one of those that takes a lot of analyzing to get all of the themes, the archetypes, and the symbolism. That same class has had me watching Hercules and Xena and The Book of Eli, none of which feel like homework!
And a little bit of crochet…
I have been a crocheting fool, juggling projects. I crochet while I read my textbooks and just about every evening. It has sort of become therapy for me, allowing me to escape a little bit into something creative. I thought that getting by my almost due date would help, but I am beginning to think its not that easy. So I have been creating.
I did this great hat by Tamara Kelly, The Fallen Leaves Slouch Hat. I love, love, love this hat. I did it in a house brand yarn that I had never used, but I love how it feels. Almost a little spongy. The pics are clickable in a new window.
Pattern: Fallen Leaves Slouch Hat
Yarn: JoAnn’s Purl Essence Sincerely in Light Gray
Then I decided that I needed a matching pair of wristlets so I whipped up a pair! The pattern is free here and there is a link there for the pattern on Ravelry. These are great to fill that gap between fall and winter, or for warmer places like here in Arizona! As you can see in the third pic, they are made fairly short, intended to be tucked under a sleeve.
Pattern: Pretty Picot Wristlets
Yarn: JoAnn’s Purl Essence Sincerely in Light Gray
Then I saw a really cute heart-themed hat, also from the designer of the Fallen Leaves hat. So I whipped that up this weekend, renaming it “My Blackened Heart”!
Pattern: All Mine Slouch Hat
Yarn: Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in black, and Lion Brand’s Pound of Love in Pastel Pink
Frankenbeanies and Slouchy Boys
I have made the Boy Beanie by Laura Killoran a whole bunch of times, and I really love that pattern, originally in Stitch and Bitch. Now there is the new and improved Boy Beanie V2.0 which I have now made twice and love equally, although, to be honest, its been awhile since I have done the original so I have no idea what is new and improved! I love it because it is easily adjustable with hook size, the slouchiness, and the size itself. I used the same pattern for Ty and for Ka’lani with two totally different results.
For Ty’s, I used a hook two sizes bigger than what was called for, but it was still too small, so I changed Rounds 6-7 to 2 more increase rounds, increasing by 10 stitches each round until 70 stitches. I wanted his hat to be nice and slouchy, so, instead of holding steady for just three rounds (7-9), I held steady through Row 18, then began the last 7-round stripe combination . Instead of sc, I did hdc for the colored stripes. He loves it, with his requested Gryffindor-colored stripes! The pics are clickable in a new window!
Pattern: Boy Beanie V2.0 by Laura Killoran
Yarns: Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in black, Red Heart SuperSaver Solids in Ranch Red and Gold
For Ka’lani, the pattern as it is written is way too small for him, so I used a hook 3 sizes bigger than the pattern called for. I still needed to add more increase rounds, like Ty’s, so I increased in Rounds 6-7 to 2 more increase rounds, increasing by 10 each round until 70 stitches. He didn’t want a slouchy version, but the traditional fitted one, but I still had to add an extra “hold it steady” round and used hdc instead of sc for the stripes. I call it the “Frankenbeanie” because of the colors he chose! The pics are clickable in a new window!
Pattern: Boy Beanie V2.0 by Laura Killoran
Yarns: Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in black, Red Heart Soft Solids in Guacomole
Scott wanted a different hat, so I did the Everyday People hat. Originally, he picked a bunch of Red Heart SuperSaver colors from my stash, which felt like hell when just 6 rounds in. Which I am grateful for because I hated his color combo! I ended up buying different yarns in a different brand and in different colors and I love it now! It’s an easy pattern, almost entirely done in extended single crochet. I had never used this stitch before and, although it is easy, it makes the hat TIME COMSUMING AS HELL! The pattern called for a sport weight (2) yarn, but I used a aran weight (4) and it was just fine. The pics are clickable in a new window!
Pattern: Everyday People by Brenda K.B. Anderson
Yarns: Caron Simply Soft Solids in Blue, Gray, ad Plum Perfect
A little bit of shells and scallops…
I have seen a few patterns from openwork fingerless gloves, and tried a few, but I haven’t found one I really liked. Usually they are either overly confusing, or the joins are pretty obvious. So I designed my own! I love them! The pattern is free and available here or on Ravelry, the link on the pattern page. This is all single crochet, chains, double crochet, and half double crochet. Very quick and easy to work up!
The pics are clickable in a new window!
Pattern: Shells and Scallops Hand Warmers by ME
Yarns: Caron Simply Soft Solids in Watermelon
I literally just finished the Sugar Cone Skully Hat by Julie of Gleeful Things and I LOVE it! It is the worsted weight version of her VERY popular Waffle Cone Slouchy Hat. This pattern was super easy, all single crochet and double crochet. There was an error in the 4th round, but one that is super easy to correct. The pattern calls for an H hook and you are supposed to check your gauge after the 4th round. I cannot stress how important that is with this pattern! That round is supposed to measure 5" in diameter, and mine was barely 4". So I frogged and switched up a couple to a J. It still came out just shy of 5" but just barely. I finished it with this hook and it came out perfectly. After that 4th round, the pattern stays the same until the brim, so it would be easy to add a few rows to make it "slouchier" if you wanted. I think it would be easy to adapt, too, for bigger heads, or for lighter weight yarns that would need a bigger starting circle. This one starts with 10 dc per round and and expands to 40 with ch-1 spaces.
I used Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn Prints in Pomegranite Stripe and it was perfect for this, not to mention that this yarn, although a house brand, works up well and stands up well and comes in at about $3.99 a skein. I probably used a bit less than half of a skein, less than 126 yards. You can click the link to see bigger pictures in a new window.
I am working on a new design that I am tentatiively calling the Desert Shells Hair Wrap. Really it is a long, fairly wide scarf-type object that could be used in the traditional way, too! It is inspired by a couple of things… both good and bad! On the not so happy side, the recent months of extreme stress have caused some retroactive stress-related hair loss. I usually part my hair on the right with a zig-zag part and Ithat is just where it seems to be a bit thin. So we have a plain side part and I am trying to dry my hair and using my InStyler as little as possible to keep the loss to a minimum. Fortunately for me, I have weirdly thick hair so I can disguise my temporary issue. Under the silver lining category is the albeit unnecessary chemo I went through a few years back… it turned my straight hair a bit curly when left to air dry. But the lack of styling has left me wanting to do something with it. So, here comes my hair wrap, named "Desert" because I now live in southern Arizona and the color I am using to work this up is a sort of peachy pink that reminds me of our sunsets!
It is essentially alternating rows of stitches, forming a two-row repeating stitch pattern. I initially did it so my rows ran the length of it, but I quickly discovered a problem. I can't seem to count accurately to 300, no matter how carefully I counted my chain stitches. After frogging three times, I said the hell with it and changed it to move along the width instead. It goes a whole lot faster then!!
I am using RedHeart LusterSheen in Flamingo, which is a color I am not even sure they make anymore. I have a few skeins of it and I love the feel of it. It's a lightweight yarn (weight 2) but, as a hair wrap, I think it will drape well. I am probably going to try it in a lighter sock yarn too, as well as worsted weight one, too. It's going to be LONG so it is kind of a slow going project when heape upon motherhood and school work!