I am off on a new adventure. A new crochet adventure. A new crochet garment adventure. I blame my sisters because it is their fault. It was my fault for showing it to them so I own up to my part.

This is on my hook: Kanata Kerchief TankIt is the Kanata Kerchief Tank – free on Ravelry. I had told them I might make this instead of making the halter top.

My elder sister wanted to know if I would make both. I said I didn’t think so. I didn’t want to get into garments that deep so I would probably make the halter since I sold almost every one I made.

She then wanted to know why I would discriminate against ‘hefty girls’ when the tank would accommodate more diverse body styles. May I note that neither my elder or eldest sisters would wear either of these. Not the one who isn’t hefty and not the one that thinks she is. I wouldn’t wear them either. I think they’re as cute as can be and it is an enjoyable knit and crochet, but I don’t have the body for them. Looking at it, I could probably pull off the tank but I’m a little short in the torso and we must recognize our limitations.

Regardless, I went out and purchased some Caron Skinny Cakes because the tank is a yarn eater. I’m on the second of four. Though I purchased 3 weight yarn, I am using the Caron One Pound that feels like someone was supposed to make one pound and made simply soft but without that yucky simply soft feel. I think it’s a great fiber to use. It feels great and drapes well. I also have an order for a lace slouchy I have to get out. 

That’s also a new adventure – getting orders year round. I like it.

And just like that, I find myself back in order mode. I got two orders in today for crochet slouchy beanies. I had the yarn for one and not for the other so Mr. Honey had to drive over to JoAnn to pick it up for me. (Because we are down to one car – I told him it wouldn’t work. I don’t think he’s going to want to pick up my supplies for me very often.)

This is one of them. I like it. As of this writing, three more folk have this in their cart. If you want to join them, find the listing here.

Of course order mode comes when I have three items on the needles. Design and stock mode means having more than one thing going on. It is about to become four because I am going to have to put in some of the summer beanies in the shop along with the headband, basic beanie and the hooded scarf.

 I did buy more than two dozen skeins of cotton yarn. I had some in the stash already and it should be used for something. What’s one more thing to add to the pile? I will be in order mode for just a couple of days – unless this summer beanie begins to take off. That would something to hope for.

Cotton yarn is going to be my friend for the next few days. I am feeling hopeful and I want to strike while the iron may be warming up. A few summer sales is the goal. Just like that I would be a four season shop!

Caron One Pound

Riddle me this, Batman. I am using Caron yarn to make all the pocket shawls. Caron Big Cakes were used for the pattern prototype. You can read about it here

For the ones that are in the order, I am using Caron One Pound. It was the one brand that had all the colors I wanted available and they are plenty big skeins. In the two previous shawls, I needed two skeins. So off to JoAnn I went and got the ten skeins I would need. Pretty, eh?

 I think so, too. I figured I would just leave them there and pull them as I needed them. I started with the light gray.  It is even more gorgeous in person. Here’s the thing: it took less than one skein – including all that fringe. 

What?

I know, right? I can’t explain it. And it’s even longer than the 60 inches I planned on.The yarn was plied differently than I was used to but it was still worsted but I had 71g left over.

OK, so I started the next one in the cream. I can already see this is more lush than the gray. I don’t have a problem with it – it’s going to be every bit as wonderful as the gray but I’m betting it will take more than the one skein to pull it off. But don’t you love how cushy it looks? Riddle me this, too: Just like the gray one, it is longer than when I did the original measurement and the sides aren’t wonky. It just grows. Knit math. I tell you. It adds and subtracts at will.

The pattern for this is all done and will soon make it’s appearance and you can experience all the Knitsville voodoo for yourself.

It appears as if the pocket shawl is now a thing. So, of course, I had to try and make one of my own. OK, I made two. But let me clear, I can stop making this shawl anytime I want. It’s not like I’m obsessed with it.

However, I will make five more because someone ordered them and I do run a business. I decided to do my own pattern and it will be available shortly. I have the photos and the notes. They have to be put together and then it’s a go.

Someone sent me a photo of a pocket shawl and wanted to know if I could make it. There was no need to purchase the pattern, it looked straightforward enough, so i just make my own pattern. The one on the left is the pattern sample. There were some changes I wanted to make to the pattern and I wanted to make one in the fiber I was going to use for the order and made the one on the right. The left is Caron Big Cakes in Cranberry Crisp. The right is Caron One Pound in Mango – color is discontinued. Neutral colors will be used for the order.

Black, gray, cream, taupe and a color to be named later will be ordered once I have the deposit and the fun can begin. It was fun making up the pattern and redesigning the pocket about three times and I think it will look great in the neutrals. But I can stop anytime I want. I can, I really can.

 

I can see the finish line for the blanket. Which means I will continue until I reach the desired six feet mark or until it’s time to leave for the party. The first update, the blanket was in the infant stages. 

Remember this from last month? The time when the world was new and dreams were tangible? The good old days.

 

 

 

A few scant weeks later and here we are. As you can see, it takes up the space. It no longer fits on the small table but it was fun trying to get it to. But I know that doesn’t really give a good look to the stitches, though you can definitely see the texture. 

 

How about this one? I can’t believe how the light changes in the same room only a few feet apart. This is taken without the flash and the colors are not that bright.

But you can see it. It might seem like it’s big enough but it’s still too much of a rectangle. Needs to fill out a little more and it will be good to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, I have been using chunky yarn and made two cowls and have a third one on the hook.This is using the Buttercream Luxe Craft Alpaca. I have the idea of making a less chunky but still chunky version of this cowl using the Tea Cakes. This is using two strands of yarn. That makes it very chunky and cozy but also makes it very expensive.

 

I’ve also started using Ice Yarns Glitz! It’s taken a while to get there but it’s on the needles and the work has progressed a far cry from what you see here. 

I’ve also started doing some embellishments but haven’t done any photos but they are coming. I did say I was ready to start doing the 2020 stuff, right?

I still have two more things to start. I pulled some cotton yarn to start my market bag – one of two market bags; one knit, one crochet. And then I need to start the fingerless gloves.

Did I mention we also just purchased a condo? Nope, not busy over here. Not at all.The finish line seems to have moved.

Don’t judge me. It took me a minute to remember I haven’t yet posted this year. I was doing the last few orders and the final was shipped off a few days ago and now I am free…

…to start working on 2020 items. I did take a few hours off and played some Candy Crush Soda but then it was back to work. Though there are no deadlines so the work is a little more relaxed.

I have three items on needles or hooks – not counting the afghan I need to finish for Mr. Honey’s family gathering next Sunday. It is a crap shoot to see how finished it gets. I measured it yesterday and it was a little over 2 feet long. I’m headed for 6 feet. It’s 3 rows to the inch. 

Let’s do the math, shall we?

It’s 31 inches as of this morning. We want to get to 60. 60-31=29. 3 rows to the inch. 29×3=87 rows. 9 days. 87/9=9.666. I think the 666 is significant. 

This seems doable. I will show you the process I am making in another post. When I have the camera upstairs. But 9 rows of 171 stitches could be manageable. Someone wake me up from this dream.

It should also come to no surprise that I changed the pattern. The intention to do the fast and easy blanket was real. But you all know I am a chronic changer. But hey, it’s still an afghan and it’s still being crocheted, so that’s something. I did think about how to create knit stitches but time didn’t allow it.

I will be more than happy to post my version right here on the blog when it is done.You really should have known I would change it. I mean, it’s a baby blanket and I just told you I have 170+ stitches to a row. Do you think that would have been my only change? It’s like you don’t know me at all.

As I was saying, I have three things currently going and two more items that will probably get their start today. I have a Claire Outlander cowl started (it’s way too basic to even call it a pattern but I will also post how I did it and you won’t have to buy it.) I also have another cowl and then some embellishments – currently hearts. The first of the fingerless mitts will be started and the first of the market bags.

I have my first orders of 2020. I kicked one off pretty quickly and the other was a pattern. I’m excited for the new patterns coming. Of the five items that are going on, only the embellishments are the only things I’m not doing from scratch. There are other things I want to do that I will use a pattern (as far as my condition allows.)

All in all, the beginning of the year looks really hopeful and creative. So Happy New Year!

Looking forward to it. I don’t do resolutions. Do you?

For a moment I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. It is finished. We were out last night on our date night. Which was later than usual because Mr. Honey volunteers the second Thursday of each month and we eat afterwards. I told him I didn’t know what to do with my mornings when I remembered his family get together is in January. For the past five years, I’ve made an afghan to give away. Everyone’s name goes into some kind of receptacle and one name gets pulled out. You can’t win it two years in a row.

I have not yet started the afghan – I usually have one lying around but not this year. So, one will have to be made fresh. I was fretting about which blanket to make when my Google feed showed a really lovely one. Which I did not bother to look at right at that moment. I would have to scour Google to find it and I did on the YouTube. It’s here in case you want to know what it is. It’s a simple two row repeat. Which means I only made minor adjustments. I just don’t know how to leave well enough alone.

First, it’s sized for a baby blanket and I want something bigger.So I increased the chain. Second, I am almost always wary of just jumping into pattern rows so I like to make a base row. So while the pattern says one thing, I made a  row of single crochet just to make myself feel better. The row also serves another purpose. I am using one skein of Caron One Pound Century in Golden Yellow. I remember when I bought it years ago. I got two of them. I know where one is. I don’t think I have the other one. I have approx. 800 yards to make this work. The base row is so I don’t have to make the larger edge she worked into her blanket. One row of single crochet, then sc in the first and last two stitches, should give me enough of an edge.

It is not lost on me that I am doing a somewhat mindless crochet project, albeit an important one, right after doing a sweater that caused ingrown hairs in my brain. My breathing is somewhat normal. Though I am using a Tunisian afghan crochet hook to make it. Hey, it was was the only one available. Heaven forbid I go downstairs, get a hook and come back up.

I am expecting a new laptop to arrive today. I had to order a new one because the b on this one takes forever to type. It is worn out. In fact, I have a line of b’s sitting here in a row and I go get one when I need one so I can rock the flow. It didn’t occur to me to just make a few then copy and paste as needed. Then again, if FedEx holds true, this is the only time today I will need to worry about it. Though I will hold on to them because this can be the backup laptop and I will need them.

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbb BBBBBBBBBBBB Might as well leave them here. Just in case.

So, remember when I told you I made a cowl with Caron Chunky Cakes when I wasn’t really supposed to? Well, I was making one in the color I originally intended but it wasn’t going the way I wanted. I decided to use the hook size suggested in the band. The fabric was stiff and didn’t seem at all soft as the first one I made. 

I know some colors of the same yarn can be stiffer or rougher than others but in the skein it was soft. I went up a.hook size and started over. I got the same result. It was stiff and didn’t feel right. I was again in my office – the scene of the original cowl crime – and saw the crochet hook that for me into trouble to begin with. I decided I would try the cowl again to see what would happen. I took the hook and began again in the evening.

And that was the night I fell in love. It was soft and chunky and looked full. It was every bit of everything the first one was. I was grinning from ear to ear as if I had just won both lotteries and the government decided not to take any taxes.

If course, it wasn’t enough to take that victory. I decided I wasn’t just in love with this Caron Cake and this cowl. Oh no, that would be too simple. I was in love with chunky knits as a.whole. I would need to go through the stash and find all my chunky yarns so I could make chunky scarves and recall some past chunky knits. Chunky knits showed up on the Etsy trend page so not only would I make them; they would sell because they were hot. I would get sales. I would have great fun doing it. There was no downside.

I’ve calmed down a little. I might have lost momentum at the thought of going through the stash. I am anxious to make this with a tea cake. I won’t have that chance for a bit because I already have the cowl for the next collection. Hopefully, I will remember.

With the completion of the cowl, I have done 6 of 10. I have a lace slouch, new hat pattern and another cable beanie and basic beanie to complete. The plan is to have it done by the end of the month but we will see.

Pray I stay on track. I can hear the chunky yarns whispering to each other. They may be calling for my seduction. I am vulnerable but I shall stay strong.

 I have one of those jobs that can be done – for the most part – in front of the television or while listening to music. Or outdoors, you get the idea. I am not chained to a desk. Though I am at a desk at this very moment. You don’t need a degree to do my job. Though there are Masters Degrees in knitting available if you look. I’m gonna make you look for yourself. I find some of them funny. People tend not to take your knitting career choice seriously until you show them how much of a living one can make. It doesn’t take much to impress because folks think of this as a hobby thing not a job thing.

It doesn’t feel like it to them and sometimes to me. But then I find something like you see here. I was looking for inspiration on what to write about when I saw a file on my laptop called Projects and Yarn. I do not remember making this file and when I opened it, there were several pics of this. I do remember doing this and I’ve done it since.

This is where I admit to having to look up the name of the stitch because I can’t ever remember it. For the record, it’s the Bavarian Stitch. I believe I continued with this and made a blanket that was given away at the family get together.

This was not an easy stitch for me to learn. For me, crochet stitches are harder for me to learn. Knitting is a natural love for me. I didn’t love crochet at first. Didn’t respect it at all. I have slowly come to enjoy it almost as much as knitting. Knitting will remain my love, If I had to choose, I would knit over crochet but there are times when I quite look forward to putting down the needles and picking up the hook.

What this photo reminds me is that there is work in this unusual career I have chosen for myself. I took it from just a hobby on purpose and circumstances have led me to think about it in a clinical manner because I don’t want to have a hobby business. I want a sustaining business. Should something happen to our finances, I want to be able to have a base to start over with.

To some who see me knit in public, it doesn’t feel like it, but I take it seriously – while I maintain the spiritual side that is provides me and the fun and community that comes with sharing it with folks who also knit or crochet and those who just admire our doing it.

This isn’t hard work, at least not the visible part of the business career, but I work hard at it.

 

Believe it or not, I do not use my own stuff. Well, I do wear my hats but that is strictly as a matter of function when it’s really cold and I have a high threshold for cold. Otherwise, I don’t (often) wear hats, scarves or even afghans I make.

I recall one day I complained to Mr. Honey that it was cold in the house. He stopped, turned to look at me and said, “You have a hundred blankets in the house” and pointed to a pile of afghans.

There weren’t a hundred of them. But there was a nice pile of them. Never occurred to me to take one and put it over my body. I have an electric blanket – a gift he gave me and a nice comforter my sister-in-law gave me. There is a handmade comforter we use on the bed but that was made by a friend of my mother-in-law. Hey, I purchased it at their annual craft show more than twenty years ago. It fit our double bed, was only $40 and it still holds up all these years later. Don’t tell me handmade ain’t great.

While I am not a great ambassador for my own goods; I am for my craft. I knit/crochet in public all the time. Even in church. I sit in the back and I put it down when during prayer time – except for the quiet prayer time. During that time, I hold onto the fiber and send a prayer and ask for a blessing into it. For some reason, it is more important to share the gift of it than the end result. I’m not sure I want to change that. I do like making money and having a successful business but I would be knitting anyway.

I like to think of it as being a natural inclination to remember what is really the important thing. The spiritual gift that knitting is to me. It is the journey not the destination that makes it work for me and through me. I imagine how I should look pulling on one of my hats. I should be thinner and taller and the rest of my wardrobe should all of a sudden make sense. It never has in all my life but that’s what the imagination does. Real life is so much different. I rejoice at finding a clean shirt. Where I was once proud of the way my hair draped after a visit to the salon, I now have a stylist who cuts me practically bald and I live for haircut day. The last time I bought makeup was around the time of the royal wedding – of Charles and Diane.

Knitting has remained a constant for me. Believe it or not, I have a short attention span so this is a good thing. I’ll take it over having a hat head. But still…