Saturday, October 26, 2019

Cozy Silk Slippers & Mitts to fit with Apple Watch

Been feeling a little under the weather lately, and a friend pointed out that I should try to be good to myself, and rest up.  So I put aside my monster afghan crochet project, and whipped up a cuddly pair of silk slippers just for me.  The pattern is called Silk Mer-Slippers by Miranda Nippert.  It was originally designed for Darn Good Yarn's Silk Roving Worsted Yarn in a colorway reminiscent of mermaids, and utilizes a shell stitch, hence the name Mer-Slippers.  I used the same yarn in Crimson Fire instead, because I had 5 skeins of it on hand.  This project busted nearly 2 skeins of it from my stash!  The pattern is very quick; I did the first slipper Thursday night while watching tv, and the second on Friday afternoon, while curled up with some GBBO on Netflix. Since I'm still feeling tired, I plan to spend the afternoon on the couch again, and might make a pair of fingerless gloves to match it.  Or I might nap.   :D

I just finished up a pair of mitts to match my new slippers!  I love fingerless gloves and mitts, but they are always problematic with my Apple watch.  I created a little window in the left mitt, so I can still access my watch screen while I wear them. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Talisman Necklace & Asymmetrical Earrings

This was made for Powerhouseofthecell in the recent Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap.  While I do make a lot of jewelry, this was way outside my wheelhouse.  I loved that the swap forced me outside my comfort zone.  (Thanks [member]sheepBlue[/member]!)  I also really enjoyed getting to use crochet in jewelry. 

There was no pattern that I followed.  I used a beading needle to string most of a small box of 'bead soup' onto it before I started, then I simply began crocheting.  I believe I chained 16, then started doing single crochet in both sizes of the chain, for a total of 30 stitched per row.  I didn't join at the end of each row, just continued in a spiral around to create the pouch.  The yarn is Premier Wool Free Sock Yarn, in the color Rainforest.  The beads came from a mix called Butter Tart I bumped into at Joanns.  I did a few rounds without beads to establish the base of the pouch, then I alternated doing a row of beads and a row without.  I tried alternating my beads with 2 small in a row, then 1 bigger, then 2 small again, so that when they are all piled together, the bigger ones have a bit more room to shine, with the smaller often hiding behind/under/beside them.

I also only beaded 1 side, so that it would be soft and smooth against either skin or clothing.  At the top I stopped doing single crochet for a stretch, and filled in chain stitches, then restarted single crochet, and went around again, up and over the sc stitches, so that I had a natural loop to close over the button I planned as a closure.  I did several rounds without beads to provide a flat surface to sew the button to.  The button was a Czech glass treasure that I received in a swap many years ago.  (Possibly from [member]rackycoo[/member]?)  I have been hoarding since, waiting for the perfect project to use it on, and this was clearly it.

Once I had completed the pouch, instead of finishing off, I started chaining stitches, to create the necklace portion.  I think I did 2 chains, then a bead, then two more chains.  Once that was done, I cut the yarn, and started a new piece of necklace chain, without beads.  I made that piece the same length, before attaching it beside the first strand, then slip stitching over to the other side, and creating more chain, so that I would have 3 individual strands, that could be braided together.  I braided them loosely, then attached them on the other end, and added a few beads to each end, which you can see below.

After all that, I added a bit of fringe to the bottom, and filled the pouch with a few bits and bobs to protect Powerhouseofthecell on her journeys; a piece of seaglass (also a swap extra, from [member]calluna[/member]!), an antique key, and a stamped lucky penny.  As I was packing up my swap package, I included the remaining beads, so Powerhouse could use them if she wanted to make a matching item.  I was literally writing that in her card, when I stopped, and dashed back over to my jewelry making area, to create a set of asymmetrical earrings for her to match the necklace. 

It was SO HARD to force myself to make a pair that were not identical!  Seriously, what should have been a 5 minute pair of earrings took more like 20, to get my right brain to get on board with my left brain. 

Sari Silk Wrapped Bangles

These were made for Powerhouseofthecell in the recent Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap.  Powerhouse mentioned liking bangle bracelets, which I've never really dabbled in before.  These were the result of some inspiration from her Pinterest, and my stash of recycled sari silk ribbon and yarn. 

The blue and the pink were each made from recycled silk cloth, and the green is from recycled silk yarn.  The cloth ones were also wrapped in wire, and have some Swarovski crystal beads sprinkled along them.  They felt a bit unfinished to me, so I called on [member]sheepBlue[/member] & [member]PerfectlyBohemian[/member] for advice.  The recommended a few charms to finish them off.  Incidentally, I believe the dinosaur charms actually came from sheep herself!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Dragon Shawl in Filet Crochet

Guys, I did a thing!  I learned to do filet crochet.  And did I pick a small simple project to learn on?  Nope.  Of course not!  I picked a giant shawl.  (Seriously, this thing is nearly 7' wide.  It's HUGE.)  It was made for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap.  Thankfully Ant Bee is tall, so the wing span is much more appropriate to her frame than mine. 

The pattern is The Dragon Shawl by Alex at Yarn Geek Makes (formerly Two Hearts Crochet).  The yarn is her suggested yarn, Malabrigo Rios (#4 worsted weight), but I did switch up the color I chose.  Her suggestion was for a black with hints of red/orange/gold, which gave off a burning fire feel, but I went with Candombe, which is mainly black with hints of green, blue and purple.  Kind of a Maleficent-dragon feel, that I thought would compliment Ant Bee's Slytherin nature.  I had a really hard time capturing the color of the yarn.  The last picture of 3 tassels is probably the most accurate in terms of yarn color.

The pattern does work up very quickly.  Absolute start to finish on it was 10 days, but some of that time was waiting for a third set of blocking boards to arrive.  (I had 9 boards, and assumed I'd be safe with ordering 3 more as I was nearing the end of hooking, for a total of 12.  But this thing was so huge, that when I wen to pin it out I discovered I needed another order of 3, meaning it took 15' of board!)  Honestly, I didn't find filet confusing at all, after learning to do a graphghan last year.  It was just knowing what counted as an 'open' box vs a 'closed' box.  Easy peasy. 

I made 3 yarn & bead tassels with the leftover yarn, and put them onto jewelry clasps so that they can be added or removed as needed.  Ant Bee has a little one, so I think she might need to hide the tassels until tiny fingers aren't tempted to grab and pull.  I'm so pleased with how this came out, and I'm looking forward to messing around with filet crochet more in future. 
[img width=500 height=459][/img]

Mandragora Tee Shirt with HTV

This shirt was made for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap.  I bought the SVG design on Etsy, and cut it from a sage green glitter HTV.  I'm going to be honest, this one was really hard to let go.  I think I'm going to have to make a second one for myself.  :)