Saturday, August 12, 2017

Socks, Crafting Groups, and Peg Looms! Oh My!

Hi everyone!

Oh my gosh, I have readers! I’m so excited and grateful to share my yarny adventures with so many of you, from all over the globe! Thank you so much for reading; I look forward to your comments!

Phew! July and the first half of August have been really busy and exciting for me. I didn’t intend for this post to be so late coming, but I’m suffering from a bad case of Science Camp Exhaustion. But that’s a topic for a whole different blog. I’ve had a chance to rest a bit over the last couple of days, so let’s get busy stitching!

Today I have one new Work In Progress:
I needed something I could stitch, almost without looking, on relaxed, chatty evenings with crafty friends. So I started this simple granny stripe wrap. It will have a shawl collar and beaded fringe. I'm using Bernat Pop yarn in the color Pop Art  and a 6 mm hook. There isn't a pattern for it, I'm just using the granny stripe stitch from Fiber Flux's video on YouTube. Then I found a technique in a video on the YouTube channel Häkelnmit Ratschebutsch for adding beads and fringes to your crochet work. This video is silent, but it demonstrates clearly an easy, attractive method of placing a bead on a loop of chain stitches and adding fringe below the bead with a lark’s head knot. Of course I’ll show you my finished fringed granny wrap in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!

This Finished Object I’m really pleased to share!
These are the Spiral Heel Socks from a free Ravelry pattern by Katherina Lerch who is“Ooh I Love It!” on Ravelry. I used Lion Brand Sock Ease in the colors Grape Soda and Cotton Candy with a 3.25 mm hook. I’m so excited over these cute and comfy socks; I know I’ll be using this pattern again and again.

In my June post, you read about my first pair of crocheted socks. They were a challenge to make, and have been a joy to wear. And they made me want more crocheted socks! I found the heel in Bag-O-Day Crochet’s video challenging, so as I looked for another sock pattern, I kept watch for a different sort of heel.

Boy did I find a different heel! The Spiral Heel Socks pattern starts with the heel which, as the name implies, is worked in a two-color spiral. The leg is then worked in one color of the spiral, and foot in the other. You can switch colors again, if it strikes your fancy, for toe and cuff.

I changed things up a bit from the original pattern, the most obvious change being my yarn choice. (The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but notes that it can be adapted to four-ply or sock yarn.) Another change I made was to intersperse ribbing sections along the leg and leave the top cuff-less.

Being a rare heel-out pattern, the Spiral Heel Sock is quite different. Easier? Maybe, maybe not. The heel involved a lot of stitch counting and marking, but the second heel was easier than the first, so I think another pair would be pretty easy. And they’re so cute! Worth every stitch (and every frog)! I’d love to read your comments and see your results if you try this pattern.

I recently joined the 21st century and made a Facebook account. You can find me there at Fascinationfor Crochet. I have to tell you though, so far that account is pretty bare. It isn’t yet second nature for me to post to Facebook every time I turn around. Proof I’m of that generation who grew up with pencil and paper instead of laptop or tablet. It really is an effort to “get with the program” but I will! I’m too eager to connect with other crochet and yarn enthusiasts not to. In the near future I’d like to start a group (When I figure out how. Gosh I’m old!) where we can all share our stitching lives. Stay tuned for that development!

In my brief travels on Facebook I found a local crochet group who gather twice monthly at the library. It’s been great fun to share our WIPS, FOs, and group charity efforts. This group makes lap robes for nursing homes, and newborn layettes for hospitals and clothing banks. I’ve not attempted baby items yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

Totally coincidentally I had opportunity to join two other crochet and crafting groups! My social calendar is suddenly filled with yarny people and fun! Do you belong to a crafting group, crochet circle or “stitch and bitch”? I’d love to hear about it, please comment!

In addition to my crochet travels in July, I discovered peg weaving (part 2, part 3, baby blanket) from Allison Russell’s Craft Channel on YouTube. I had tried weaving on a conventional lap loom in the past, and was unhappy with the results. I got frustrated trying to regulate the tension in my woven fabric. It bunched in the middle and was loose at the top and bottom. But peg weaving yields beautiful fabric easily and quickly. It has me excited to start stash-busting!

My birthday is coming up, so my mom gave me her credit card and said, “Go buy yourself the present I’m going to give you.” (Mom is elderly and doesn’t get around well anymore, so I do all her shopping. But she still crochets!) I bought one similar to this from Acorns and Twigs on Etsy. After a couple of false starts, I’ve actually got a rug on the loom, made of old, old, old yarn from my stash. I’ll be excited to post it here next month, probably in progress, but hopefully finished!

Here’s wishing you an exciting, fun, and creative yarny August. Stitch on!

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