Sunday, June 14, 2015

Embracing The Whole Process

With everything there is a process and there is no exception with our knitting and crochet. Some of the process we will love and a few of the other pieces of the process we don't. The parts of the process that I don't like are yarn ends and seaming. That wonderful task that puts a finishing touch to our project, those pesky strands of unused fluff that gets in our way as they hang down in mid air as unused yarn, those openings that you keep staring at as if they could sew themselves shut - they don't. I have UFO's that only need those finishing touches and yet they sit and wait until that day comes that I say I'm in the mood to finish. As you see my finished projects through my flickr you notice I love working with color but changing colors mean more yarn ends - yuck! I always fight with that process knitter and crocheter inside me. Meaning let me enjoy my knitting and crochet then move onto the next project. Oh, but wait, they are not finished. NO - because I love the process of just making those stitch patterns.

There was a couple of times that I loved yarn ends and that was when the designer incorporated them into the design as fringe. That method was used in a couple of crochet projects I did. No yarn ends to weave in and I was a happy camper - yah!

But if there is anything that I can encourage you to do is once you see that you have things flowing as they should, start weaving in those yarn ends. With almost every project there will be yarn ends whether it be one, two or 50. But if you can get a handle on them it won't look like the picture below with all that extra work to do before you can say, 'My project is complete'.

When it comes to seaming your pieces together, it could help if you are not familiar with seaming to take that extra step and do a sample of two squares in either the garter stitch or stockentte stitch and practice before you do your main project. Not only will it benefit you to be better at it, but you will potentially avoid continuously taking your seam apart because you are dissatisfied with it.

Below is a picture of a dog I crocheted. I love him with his several colors that was called for in the pattern. I loved it also because he is made using my scrap yarns. But I can't even tell you how long it has taken for me to finish him because I avoided sewing him together and then I didn't know how to do the kind of face I wanted and how do I sew on the head to finish him. Too much thinking - LOL. Well, thanks to one of my girlfriend that loves needle felting she finished the face by doing some great eyes that I love. And then he sat headless waiting for me to put on the head. My friend would say she would put on the head and I kept saying that no I would do it because I like finishing my own projects. But it never happened. So guess what? I got tired of seeing that cute headless dog and she sewed on the head. He is finally complete and now all he needs is a name. Any suggestions?

Embrace the whole process to the end so that you can enjoy using or giving as a gift your completed project.

Enjoy what you love and learning something new in the process.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Newest Project

I really enjoyed this project. It came from the book: Scarf Style 2 by - Ann Budd and the cowl is called Cross Timbers. I love the technique Fair Isle but those yarn ends is what I hate when you are working with several color changes. I've mentioned my dislike for this piece of the process in past posts. But this one was great because I am only using two colors throughout the project so there is no changing colors at the end of the rounds. Looking at the design come to life as you do the rounds gets me so excited to want to finish it. I love to see the wrong side of a Fair Isle project because it just looks interesting, Some upholstery fabric have that look where you can clearly see the design from the wrong side.

Let me give you an overview of Fair Isle if you don't know. Fair Isle is a knitting technique. It is a technique that loves color but as intricate that it can look only two colors are used per row or round. So this shows something that looks complicated doesn't always mean it is. Yet there is a certain skill level needed to even do the simplest Fair Isle, as does all other techniques. With Fair Isle you usually will be working with a chart. So you need to know the rules of reading a chart for either knitting straight or working in the round depending on the pattern you choose. Also, you will be working with two yarns simultaneously which you need to get use to balancing as you change one to the other. Changing from one color to the next when another color is introduced is essential. And working with bobbins which are holders for a small amount of yarn because you will not be able to work with full skeins of yarn and be able to control tangling. For this project, I worked with full skeins of yarn because I only had two colors. But if you are working with multiple of colors and a few lines for each two colors it works so much better using bobbins and less tangling.

I hope no matter what your skill level is that you will put this technique on your list to try. There are lots of patterns out there and you could start with a small project like a little purse before you go onto something large or a hat that just has a little bit of Fair Isle to give it more character.

The other thing is that I treated myself to Addi circular needles for this project. When I took them out of the package I just said WOW! The coil was flat - no twist. I love them. With other circular needles I had to put the coil in hot water to help relax it before i start so that they don't twist. So this is a joy for sure. And working with them they are so smooth like butter in my hands. I've heard people talk about Addi needles but never purchased any. Well, I can say that I really enjoyed working with them and will be purchasing another one. That gives me an excuse to pick out a new project just to use another size circular. What can I say. Those patterns call out to me constantly.

Enjoy your projects.