Monday, February 27, 2017

Warm & Cozy Blanket Sweater

I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees (henceforth referred to as Lb&Bbs) as my partner.  She had the Light Frost Blanket Sweater on her Pinterest, and I was intrigued by it so I decided to give it a go.  I picked up some bulky yarn in a colorway Lb&Bbs liked and got to hooking.  I noticed a picture in her profile that showed us to be similar in size and shape, so I felt pretty safe making a garment for her, without benefit of a fitting.

The pattern is very simple, and does go together quickly and easily.  (Basically it's a rectangle that has its corners folded together to make a wonky diamond shape.)  Sadly, I really didn't like the pattern once it was done.  When reading the blog post, the author indicated that the sweater is 'probably a small', and that if you are bigger than her, you could 'add 10 stitches' to bring it up to a size large.  Since the pattern was so new, at the time I started it there were no other projects of it on Ravelry, not even the author's own!  (Now there are 4.)  Hence, there were no other notes to reference about size.  Yeah, adding 10 stitches did NOT make this a large.  Once my rectangle was complete, I basted the edges together as indicated and tried it on.  Nope.  It basically fit like a wad of yarn across your back, with partial arm holes.  Actually, it was kind of like having a blanket hold your arms behind you, so that when you look in the mirror, your own body shame can sucker-punch you in the gut.  Not good.   >:(
While I'm not the most experienced crocheter in the world, my experience in theatrical costuming paid off.  I could easily tell that the outer circumference of the garment needed to be much bigger in order to fit around my shoulders, and my butt.  But, that the back of the garment didn't really need to be any different.  So, I hooked up two wedges, 36 stitches wide at the base, and 3 stitches wide at the top, 15 rows tall.  I inserted these into the seams, and tried it back on.  Now it was closer to being a sweater!  The gussets alleviated the tension around the shoulders and hem, but it was still a bit short, and the neckline was an odd height.  Too tall compared to the original design, but not tall enough to turn down into a shawl collar.  So, I added 5 or 6 rows around the circumference, that incorporated the body and the gussets, increasing by 12 stitches in each row.  That was enough to let the hem fall to just below the bum, and the collar to turn down.  This made it a cross between the original design, and something like a circle sweater
(In this picture you can see the gussets, which are inserted between the bottom of the bust, and the side of the hip.)

And while it was a rocky crafting process, in the end I'm pleased with how it came out, especially since Lb&Bbs seems very happy with it.  :D

*Note: I'm not trying to be down on the author of the pattern.  The sweater she designed looks great on her body shape, which happens to be tall and thin.  I try very hard to be body positive, but no matter how positive someone is, there are just some things that look great on one body, that don't look good on another, and vice versa.  (I'm fairly my curves rock a fitted sweater in a way she doesn't!)  My point in explaining what didn't work for me in this pattern, is to help anyone else who wants to give it a try, not to bash the author.  :) 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Beaded Wire Shawl Pin

I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees as my partner.  As my main project for the swap, I crocheted a blanket sweater for her.  But since it didn't have any sort of closure, I decided to try my hand at making a shawl pin to go with it.  This was created from 14 gauge wire, and wrapped with some thinner copper and bronze wire, and finished with deep teal AB beads. 

Important to note:  Dogs do NOT like the sound of you hammering wire on your work desk, as they try to nap underneath it!   :D