It’s not a shawl. It’s not a scarf. It’s… A SCHARF!!!

There’s this woman I “know.”  You know, in the internet sense of “knowing” someone.  And not only does she have an awesome sense of style, but she wears these AWESOME scarves.  I mean, her scarf collection ALONE makes me green with envy.

So me, being the crafty person I am, decided to make myself one.  It took me a while to find a pattern that would work the way I wanted it to (and ended up with one frogged attempt), but I finally stumbled on the perfect pattern for the Classic Cotton that I picked up from that charity shop a couple weeks back.

At first, I was having a hard time finding a pattern that spoke to me.  So I asked for some suggestions on Ravelry.  One of the suggestions I got was the “My Blue Jeans Shawl” pattern.  So I tried that one first.

Scharf, take one.

Scharf, take one.

I LOVED the pattern, but unfortunately it wasn’t going to work.  I would have run out of yarn LONG before I was anywhere near finished.

So I frogged it, and went looking again.

Most of the suggestions I got, I absolutely loved, but some of them just weren’t feasible for me right now.  A couple were published in American crochet magazines – which I can’t get here.  I have heard of other UKers being able to get their hands on a few, but I’m lucky to find a few crochet HOOKS here where I’m at.  Crochet magazines? HAhahahahaHA!

There were a few that were pay-per-download, and while I really did like the look of them, I’m just not in the position to be forking out money for patterns right now.  Not when there are millions of patterns available free on the web.  (Okay, maybe not millions.  Thousands, though?  Definitely.)

And then yesterday morning, I was flipping through my Happy Hooker book while having my morning cuppa, and as soon as I opened the book, it fell right to the page where the Sweet Pea Shawl was pictured.  (Linky-link takes you to the designer’s own website, but if I understand correctly, it was published in the Happpy Hooker first.)

PERFECT!!!

Actually, I’ve been drooling over this shawl pattern for a couple of years now.  I “met” Amie (NexStitch) on Crochetville a few years back, and as soon as I saw her patterns… I was in love.

And I’d bought my Happy Hooker book back in September (actually, I have a post in my drafts about the books I bought, that I never finished), but this is the first thing out of that book that I’ve actually made.

And I don’t know whose idea it was to do a symbol chart on the pattern – could have been Amie’s, could have been Debbie Stoller’s – but I am SO grateful that they did.  (Edit: Got it straight from the designer’s mouth [or fingertips, to be specific].  It was Debbie Stoller’s idea to put the symbol chart in.)  For one thing, having that symbol chart made it easier to adapt the pattern to a smaller size.  For another, having that chart in front of me made it easier to visualize what I was supposed to be doing.

So, without further babbling on, this is what I ended up with:

Scharf, take two!

Scharf, take two!

Actually, if you look REAL close, you can kinda-sorta see the symbol chart between the open spaces in the scharf.

And this is how its supposed to be worn.

And this is how it's supposed to be worn.

The length in front was perfect, but I felt like the sides (when wrapped around my neck) were too short.  So I just took what was left of the yarn, and made tassels out of it.  Perfecto!

Oh yeah, and this only took 2 of the 4 balls of yarn I have.  I’m considering taking the remaining yarn and making some fingerless gloves to go with it.  🙂

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It’s incredibly frustrating….

… when you’re working on an ever-increasing pattern, and you’re down to the last stretch of one row… only to find a mistake you made at the BEGINNING of the previous row.

Seriously.  I’m at row 2 of the lace edging of the All Shawl, which at this point is friggin’ HUGE (and I’m making it fairly short, at least for a shawl) and I had to rip out almost ALL of the lace that I’d done so far.

Ugh!  😦

To give it some context, here’s the most recent uploaded photo:

All Shawl I

All Shawl I

I’ve done a lot more than it shows in this photo (and have taken more recent ones, just didn’t upload them yet).  There’s 15 rows of burgundy, 3 rows of the Beach Belle, 15 more rows of burgundy, 3 more rows of the Beach Belle, and 8 rows of burgundy to get to the lace edging.  It’s nearly finished, and might have been finished tonight if I hadn’t had to send it to the Frog Pond.

Oooon a happier note…

Birthday shout-outs go to my mother and my nephew Luke, who both had birthdays today (okay, technically yesterday but I’m still up, so to me it’s today).  It’s kind of freaky the way my husband’s side of the family have the EXACT SAME BIRTHDAYS as some of the people on MY side of the family.  One set of birthday-sharers even have the same FIRST NAME!

Freaky, I tell you.  F-R-E-A-K-Y.

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We interrupt this blog for a special announcement….

Yesterday was my sister J’s 28th birthday!!!

J, I put this here ‘cuz I knew you’d see it.  I apologize for not sending you a message yesterday – the other Birthday Jackie had me all tied up pretty much all day (and night), so I hardly got 5 minutes to myself (you know, between that and normal everyday family/kids/house stuff).  But I didn’t forget about you!  I hope J and the kids spoiled you rotten.  Loves ya!!! 😀

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Charity shops FTW!

While out shopping yesterday, I stopped into a couple of charity shops.  I’ve been wanting to make some curtains to put up under my kitchen counters – not only will they make the kitchen look neater in general, but it’ll help keep that area clean (I found this out when I made curtains for cabinets that had no doors in the last house we lived in).  And rather than go out and buy brand new fabric to make curtains with, I figured I’d have a look in the charity shops for bedsheets that I could use instead.   So that was the whole point of going there in the first place.

Of course, I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did find something that satisfied my fiber lust!

Patons Beach Belle, in a peachy color.

Paton's Beach Belle, in a peachy color.

…and…

Patons Classic Cotton, in what I think of as Cotton Candy Pink.

Paton's Classic Cotton, in what I think of as Cotton Candy Pink.

They were in a bin, unlabeled (the bin, that is), but when I asked?  THREE for a POUND!  All that yarn up there only cost me three pounds!

I got more of the Beach Belle because I’m planning on using it as an accent color for the shawl I’m making for my best friend’s Christmas present.  (Using the All Shawl pattern by Doris Chan.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love that woman?  ‘Cuz I do.  She creates some of the most beautiful crochet patterns I’ve ever seen, and most of them are a lot easier than they look.)  But I was really tempted to just buy the whole bin.  As it is, I think I only left about 4 balls of yarn.  3 of the Beach Belle that had lost their labels and started to unravel, and 1 of the Classic Cotton.  I thought “why be greedy?” At least leave SOMETHING for other people.  😉

Speaking of patterns… I was checking out my blog stats today, and I came across this post, linking to Caitlin’s V-Stitch Scarf (the pattern page).  Okay, first?  I have to admit, I let out a little squee when I realized she was using MY pattern.  😀  But just look at that handspun yarn!  It’s absolutely GORGEOUS!  That is going to be one beautiful scarf when it’s finished!

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Ah, the “fun” of being a moderator!

So… I got invited to be a mod on one of the Rav boards – Crochet on Ravelry.  I’m going to be one of the CAL (Crochet-a-Long) mods, which means I’ll be responsible for setting up a CAL – from planning to actual crocheting stage.  It doesn’t mean that I have to be participating in the CAL (I don’t have to actually make the item picked), I just have to be kind of “in charge” of the whole thing.  Only one per month, which the main mod estimated to be about 2 hours a week or something.

Well, considering I’m on Rav ALL THE TIME anyway, I jumped at the chance.  I highly doubt it’s going to even ADD to my time on there.  It’s just going to give some of my visits purpose, instead of just “hmm… I wonder if anybody’s posted in the last hour?”

And we’re due for another CAL thread.  Considering it’s getting close to *cough* Christmas *cough*, I thought a Christmas-themed project might be a good idea.  So I started searching the database for Christmas crochet.

And I came across this:

Christmas Tree Hat

Christmas Tree Hat

😆

Isn’t it ridiculous?  But I love it!  (Sis, couldn’t you just see a few choice members of our family actually WEARING something like that on Christmas Day?  HAHAHA!)

I don’t think I’m going to pick that one, mostly because it’s a pay-per-download pattern.  I wanted to find something free, so that everybody would have a chance at taking a crack at it.  I still don’t know what I’m going to come up with, but I’m going to keep looking.

But ah… the gems I’m going to uncover in my search!  😆

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It’s HEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!

The first ever issue of Crochet Uncut is up, and my pattern is indeed one of those chosen for the premiere issue!

Rosy Shells: Hat & Scarf Set.

Already 27 Ravelers have favorited it, and it’s sitting in 9 queues.

*SQUEEEEE!!!!*

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Since it’s Halloween, may I introduce Franken-Lexi? ;)

Franken-Lexi wearing her Franken-hat and Franken-choker.

Franken-Lexi wearing her Franken-hat and Franken-choker.

The top of the Franken-hat, showing the hair.

The top of the Franken-hat, showing the "hair".

What with the onslaught of winter (yes, I said “WINTER”; we had SNOW yesterday) and the sudden upsurge in spending on the gas (in the summer I can get by on £5 a MONTH; winter?  it’s around £150 a month), it turned out that I couldn’t afford to buy the kids the costumes they wanted for Halloween.  As you can imagine, they got quite upset, until I brought up the option of making a costume out of things they already had.

(Honestly, if I’d thought about it ahead of time, I could have easily crocheted them entire costumes.  It would have taken a good chunk of my time, but it wouldn’t have been hard.  Unfortunately, I simply didn’t think of it until the last minute.)

Lexi said that she wanted to be Frankenstein.  She didn’t really have the clothes for it, but what with it being so cold, anything she wore was going to be covered up by a coat anyway – and she happens to have a GREEEN coat!

So I offered to crochet her a choker and hat so that she looked like she had the bolts on the side of her neck and short, dark hair like Frankenstein is usually pictured with.

As you can see, she was quite happy with what she ended up with.  🙂

She’s already said that she wants to save them and use them next year.  If she’s seriously wanting to use it again, I think I might make her an entire “Frankenstein” costume – but a size or 2 bigger, so that she can layer clothes underneath it.

But hey – not TOO bad for a last-minute idea!

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