pooling isn’t just for ducks!”

That was what Mike said when I first explained to him the idea of pooling when using variegated yarn. I thought it would make a nice catchy blog title! :D 

I was making a hand towel for a relative as a gift, and bought this variegated yarn because I liked the colour combination. I started with a chain of 40, so there are 39 stitches across. I used a 5.5 mm hook, and crochet moss stitch, using Bernat Handicrafter yarn in Queen Ann’s Lace (large skein). And look! It started making a plaid pattern!

This was completely unintentional. I was even feeling a bit bad about it because when I read about planned pooling, I saw that it often takes people 5–6 tries before getting the pattern to work (which kind of deterred me from trying at all…), and here I am, la-di-da, out comes a plaid pattern (which is not perfect but good enough for me!).

Which is why I wanted to share all the details of what I did, maybe it will save someone some time if you’re trying to make a similar thing? The finished towel came out to be 9″ wide.

But then I also read that the success of planned pooling depends on one’s tension, where in the colour section one starts and the skein of yarn, so even if I try to do the exact same thing I may not get the same result anyway.

Definitely a pleasant surprise! 

Happy crafting!

 

 

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wicker

Made with simple V-stitch, the resulting texture reminds me of wicker furniture. 

It’s an open front, light cardigan with a seamless construction. That’s right — no sewing, no sewing at all :)

Simple stitch pattern means easy to customize. The size I made is 34″. I’ve added suggestions for increasing size in italics.

I used one ball of Lion Brand Pound of Love and a 5.5 mm hook.

The cardigan is made top down.

Stitch pattern:

v-stitch (v-st): dc in stitch indicated, ch 1, dc in same stitch

Back

ch 66

Add 6 ch to the beginning ch for every inch you’d like to increase.

Row 1: v-st in 6th ch from hook, [sk 2 ch, v-st in next ch] till last 3 ch, dc in last ch, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as a dc throughout), [v-st in ch 1 sp] to end, dc in top of turning ch.

Repeat row 2 eleven (11) more times. Fasten off. 13 rows altogether.

For larger size, work 2 more rows for every 6 ch added to the beginning ch.

Right front

Turn piece upside down, so that the beginning ch is at the top. Attach yarn to top right corner of piece.

Row 1: ch 3, [v-st in the base of the v-st  from row 1 of back (it would be upside down)] 6 times, dc in the base of next v-st.

For larger size, work 1 more v-st for every 6 ch added to the beginning ch.

Row 2: ch 3, [v-st in ch 1 sp] to end, dc in top of turning ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 eleven (11) more times. Fasten off. 13 rows altogether.

Left front

Re-position the piece so that the unworked side of the shoulder is at top right. Attach yarn to top right corner.

Repeat rows 1–13 of left front. Don’t fasten off.

Join front and back

Join row: ch 3, v-st in every ch 1 sp across left front, dc in last dc of left front, dc in first dc of back, v-st in every ch 1 sp across back, dc in last dc of back, dc in first dc of right front, v-st in every ch 1 sp across right front, dc in last dc of right front, turn.

Body

Row 1 after joining: ch 3, v-st in every ch 1 sp until under arm, v-st in between the last dc of front and first dc of back, mark v-st just made, v-st in every ch 1 sp until under arm, v-st in between last dc of back and first dc of front, mark v-st just made, v-st in every ch 1 sp, dc in last dc, turn.

Row 2: ch 3, [v-st in ch 1 sp] to end, dc in top of turning ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 until piece is 19″ from shoulder, or desired length. Fasten off.

Sleeve

Sleeve is made in the round, turning at the end of every row. You will now be working along the side or ends of the rows in the front and back pieces. You will be making v-st around the dc (which I will call the horizontal bar below) and in the joining point between rows (which I will call joining point below — it is either the top of a dc or turning ch, so you can just make a v-st into it like you would usually do into a dc or ch).

Row 1: Attach yarn to the base of marked v-st in underarm, ch 4, dc in same place. sk the first horizontal bar, [v-st in next joining point, sk the next horizontal bar and the next joining point, v-st in next horizontal bar, sk the next joining point and horizontal bar] to end of round, sl st in 3rd ch of turning ch, turn.

This might help illustrate where I’m putting the stitches. The circles are the joining points, and the dashes are the horizontal bars. The v’s are the v-st.

Row 2: ch 3, [v-st in ch 1 sp] around, sl st in top of beginning ch, turn.

Repeat row 2 until sleeve is 17.5″ long, or desired length. End on a wrong side row so next row begin with right side facing. Don’t fasten off.

Cuff

Row 1: ch 1 (does not count as sc), [sc in next ch 1 sp, sc in between two v-st] around, sl st in first sc, don’t turn.

Row 2: ch 1, in the back loop only, sc in every sc around, sl st in first sc, don’t turn.

Repeat row 2 two (2) more times. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Repeat for the other sleeve and cuff.

Front border / collar

Row 1 (RS): Attach yarn to bottom corner of right front, ch 2 (counts as hdc), 2 hdc around every horizontal row end (horizontal bar as described above in sleeve) up along front, across back of neck, and down front again, turn.

Row 2 (WS): ch 2, in front loop only, hdc in every hdc to end, turn.

Row 3 (RS): ch 2, in back loop only, hdc in every hdc to end, turn.

Repeat rows 2–3 once more (or until desired width), then work row 2 again once. Don’t fasten off.

Bottom edge

Row 1 (WS): ch 1, 1 sc in every row-end of the hdc rows in border, 1 sc in every st across body of cardigan, then 1 sc in every row-end of border, turn.

Row 2 (RS): ch 1, in back loop only 1 sc in every sc. Fasten off, weave in ends.

 

All finished. No sewing, as promised :)

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions! Happy crocheting :)

 

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new york, new york

You might have noticed that I was MIA on the blog for a bit… sometimes I’m MIA for no good reason, but this time, I was actually in NYC! :D 20% of the trip was for work, but we sure did cram in as much sightseeing as possible in the remaining 80% of our time there, since we’ve never been!

Mostly just mesmerized and mildly intimidated by the street scenes. Also, fire escapes are such beautiful structures! Especially the shadows they cast on the building during certain times of day. 

At the corner of Little Italy and Chinatown :O

Made a beeline to Purl Soho as soon as we had free time *heart eyes x 1000* It is such a nice shop! I got too overwhelmed by all the yarn choices and couldn’t decide on what to get. But I did get the gorgeous anniversary edition of Pom Pom Quarterly, which I’ve been eyeing forever but hadn’t been able to bring myself to get it because of the hefty shipping fees! Can’t wait to start working on some of the patterns :D

My second favourite part of NYC is definitely Central Park. A close second. Or even equally favourite. Such a magical place. And we only covered maybe a 10th of it!

Isn’t this like the scene in Spirited Away? :D Almost expecting to come out to a world full of strange things on the other side…

Instead we found Alice and her toadstools :D

This brings people together :)

Saw that the Museum of Natural History has a jelly dome, made a beeline there as well! It was well worth the waiting in line. Wish I took a picture of the outside of the dome, it looked like an inflated grey cozy igloo. And inside they played beautiful footage of all kinds of jellyfish on the dome! It was like they were swimming all round you, with relaxing music, quite magical! I think it’s a great alternative to exhibiting live jellyfish in a tank, and makes a brilliant art installation, and I think the wonder on all the visitors’ faces is just as moving as the jellyfish footage itself. 

And of course we visited The Met! It is breathtakingly grand.

I’m most mesmerized by the lighting of this room, originally from Venice, I believe.

We had one last morning to spend in New York before heading home, and we made it to Brooklyn! :D

It was so nice to be able to step into the Hudson River.

Souvenirs from our trip include 3 perfectly rounded stones from the river (along with Cocokrispies squares — because we don’t have Cocokrispies in Canada anymore), now sitting with my glass bird :)

I also took some pictures with Diana, hoping that they will turn out! Will have to show them to you when I get the film developed — stay tuned!

There were so many places we wanted to visited but just didn’t have the time! Must return one day. Have you been to NYC, or do you live there? What’s your favourite place?

Have a good rest of the week, everyone!

 

 

 

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this week’s awesome finds

Never too early to start knitting hats! The seed stitch adds a nice texture to this one. From Lion Brand Yarn (scroll down in post for link to hat pattern, free but registration required).

 

Simple yet bold poppies to add a stylish touch to any jacket. From Picot Pals.

 

Oh my goodness, MUST MAKE! From Make & Do Crew.

 

Make space for zen. Simple desk zen garden from Dwell Beautiful.

 

Never heard of shower melts before, but I think these vapour rub flavour ones would make a good practical gift! Would probably be better used than bath fizzes I think. I for one hadn’t taken a bath since I was a kid, always prefer showers. From The Homespun Hydrangea.

 

Macrame can be beautiful, hipster and not hippie. Necklaces from Lia Griffith.

 

Also from Lia Griffith, these beautiful flower rings! I think they would also make gorgeous earrings, and no one will be able to tell that they’re made from shrink plastic. 

 

These fabric coil bowls are intriguing, and made from t-shirts! From We are Scout.

 

Great alternative to actual birthday cake, or just for tea party! From Tikkido.

 

Looks super fancy but the recipe seems simple enough for me to tackle! And with croissants! From Make & Takes.

 

Happy summer crafting! :D

 

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moth patch

Was looking for a perfect moth patch for my jeans jacket but couldn’t find one that I liked, so I decided to crochet one!

Made with a 2.5mm hook and some sport weight cotton. I made the two larger wings and the middle part separately, then sewed them together. I used a lot of fabric glue on the back to stick down the yarn ends. It was a fun one evening project!

Here it is on my jeans jacket :D

Happy June!

 

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earthsea

It’s finally done! :D :D :D

It’s probably the most complicated knitting project I’ve tried yet! But it was tons of fun, and the pattern actually leaves a lot of room for customization and altering stitch patterns. Like the garter stitch ridges I have on one sleeve, and the couple of rows of stockinette at the bottom of the sweater.

Mike made this while editing the photos *laughing with tears emoticon*

Indeed! It used up a lot of my very old stash. I actually inherited scraps of the variegating orange, purple and blue from my mom, who probably bought the yarn in the late 90s.

I’ve never read Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series, only saw the animated adaptation by Studio Ghibli, but thought it’s a fitting name for the sweater with its shape and colours. I’d like to read the books one day.

Wishing you a fantastic week!

 

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this week’s awesome finds

Also nice for layering in the fall with a fuzzier yarn I think! Beach robe by Two of Wands.

 

Cheerful origami cacti, links to diagram in Bluebells Design’s post!

 

The cutest chairs have paws. Pattern from Let’s Knit (email signup required to download).

 

This is ingenious! A jellyfish cap for air plant by One Dog Woof.

 

This cat sweater! Paid pattern by Knit Picks.

 

Looks like a speedy project and super squishy. Bunny slippers by Persia Lou.

 

Brilliant egg cozies for summer brunch-time. I love the pom pom flowers :) By Twinkie Chan.

 

For us cat admirers who’re allergic, the coziness of a cat scarf without a real cat! From A Beautiful Mess.

Happy weekend, everyone!

 

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wip monday

About a week ago I finished the body of the Enchanted Mesa sweater! 

And I’ve been working on the sleeves since. I decided to knit them flat, because while I was trying to find a tutorial about picking up stitches for sleeves and using the magic loop at the same time, I read on a blog that knitting small circumference while dragging the entire sweater around and around is a pain. And the time it takes to fiddle with the stitches with a magic loop would probably be the same as seaming the sleeves later. I can totally imagine that. 

The one sleeve has different colour stripes, the other has garter ridges. I’m currently working on the last couple of inches of the second sleeves! :D

Have a happy week!

 

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tea runs in my veins

I got a new clear phone case and was for a long time looking for the perfect decal to put on the phone. I wanted either a pile of cats or one simple black cat, but I couldn’t find anything I liked with the right size. So one day I just got frustrated and decided to make my own. I got some origami paper and a clunky utility knife and was just going to experiment, but this creature appeared. It has the perfect grumpy look!

And I sandwiched it between the phone case and the phone :D

I thought he’d also make a nice desktop companion. So I asked Mike to make a few wallpapers to share :)

Desktop

Tablet

Phone

 

I think the phone one works best on the lock screen. Just click on the size you want to save the image.* 

To quote Dr. Ogden from Murdoch Mysteries: “The brain requires a constant flow of oxygen..or tea!”

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

 

*A friendly reminder: my images are for personal use only, please don’t repost the images without crediting this blog, and please absolutely don’t sell the images. 

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hanami in the city

It’s the most magical time of the year. The trees are blooming, the sun is shining, everyone’s out enjoying extended daylight. Spring is here! :D

Every year we try going to High Park to enjoy the cherry blossoms. There were hardly any blooms last year because of unusual winter weather, but it seems to be making up for it this year with full blooms on sunny days. Aren’t they just magnificent?

I’ve been seeing these cords tied to tree branches everywhere. I think once upon a time I looked up the meaning of it, but can’t be sure now. I would guess that they represent wishes or prayers, or they just look nice on the trees? If anyone know what they are for can you make a comment and let me know?

Our tradition is to have a picnic under a cherry tree. This year’s picnic is a bit makeshift because we were coming from work (an attempt to avoid crowds on a weekday evening — not so successful. Oh well.), with discounted end-of-day sushi and Vitasoy and a taro roll, but it was still the best date night ever :)

We even met the resident swan!

Happy May! Happy spring! :D

 

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