Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sashiko Saves a Sweater

This simple, grey L.L. Bean sweater has evolved into my favorite.  It’s at least 20 years old, lightweight and warm, and best of all, it's 100% machine washable merino wool: easy care!

It started out a little too big for me, not particularly flattering, and at one point, I was thinking of giving it away.  Then my mom came to visit and needed an extra layer one cool evening.

After that, I just kept it for whenever she came to visit.

As time passed, I got much older and bigger, and climate change caused winters to get colder, so I started wearing this sweater more often, to the point where it started fraying at the cuffs.  I wasn’t sure Sashiko would work well on such stretchy fabric, but I turned under the cuffs, and kept the stitches relatively loose.

It held up for another couple of winters.

The next time it came out of the wash, alas, a hole was forming in the front, and there was fraying at the neckline in the back.  I almost gave up on it, but gave Sashiko another chance.

The ugly-ish black blobs I created looked a little like vases, so I added flowers.  The favorite sweater renewed!

I've knitted a few sweaters for myself over the years, but they do pill and shed, and I end up not wearing them very often.  I wish L.L. Bean would make another machine washable wool sweater like this one!  Then I’d have two…to last me the rest of my life, probably.

Mom can’t visit anymore (cue weeping), but I still have “her” sweater!

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Another Cowl

 I was pawing through a bin of yarn recently, in the hopes of destashing.  I did find a few things to give away, and a few things to keep.  Made another of these cowls out of one pretty skein of worsted weight Misti Alpaca.  I just cast on 126 stitches instead of 78.

To find the original post and the link to the pattern, click here:  Mountain Girl Cowl 

Friday, December 2, 2022

November Block—Done!

Here it is!  I modified the design a little, to add that green band going around below the yellow star points.

On to the next block!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Community Quilts

I’ve made two small quilt tops with their backing and binding all ready to be quilted—by someone else!  I’m much faster at piecing than quilting, so these will go off to the Guild for charity.  It’s fun sometimes, when they do a “quilt parade” at a meeting, to see my projects finished by some noble soul.

All wrapped up and ready to go!

Monday, October 31, 2022

October Block of the Month

 I actually finished this one before noon today—early compared to the two previous months!  So proud!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Incredible Destash of 2022

My friend Elisa, a talented crocheter and crochet instructor, among other things, decided it was time to get rid of all her yarn.  This madness descended upon her for a variety of reasons (actually, it’s sane, considering), and I got first dibs.  I was torn between greed, laziness, and having no room in my closet, or so I believed.  Yarn is squishy, right?  Apparently I’m going to find a way.

This is what she brought.  Six bags full.

This is the sorting that began the same evening she and her obliging husband brought it all to me--wow, free yarn and a delivery service?!?

This is most of what I’m keeping.  I've got a huge bag of pinks, another of reds, another of blues, and so on.  The duffel is full of brown Encore and the like.

And yet there are four (4!) bags full that I am not keeping.  I have three people lined up already to start pawing through all this, and of course, there are many charities that will take what’s left, if there is any.

This is inspiring me to get back to some crocheting.

I’ve already started on one oldie goldie pattern, called "Granny Who?"  It's the one pictured on the left of the pattern cover, but mine will be turquoise and yellow, white, and maybe a dash of pink and purple here and there.

This is the first pattern I ever learned, after my high school friend taught me to chain and double crochet (see "Monsoon's Blanket" for the free pattern).  I'm kinda proud that I taught myself how to read patterns. This is what happens when you're obsessed with a new hobby!

I've made a few of these over the years, and I'm in the mood for something familiar but not boring.

There are only a couple of skeins of each color, but scrappy is my middle name!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

September Block—Barely!

I barely got this block done in time: at 10:38 p.m. on September 30, I finally finished sewing and pressing the last two seams.

I’m way behind on October’s block, but, oh well.  The planet will not spin out of its orbit if it isn’t done on time.  I’ll just get teased by my block of the month buddy!

Below is an idea of what several blocks will look like when put together without sashing.  Note the interesting shapes the grey background makes—thank you to designer Carol Doak, and her book, 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars.

As per Carol Doak's instructions, I’m making extra pieces of each star, so I can mix and match.  Just playing around with some combinations, not committed yet.  The top one kinda reminds me of a butterfly.

These blocks are my favorite project at the moment!