April Fools!

birdunderpants

Several prototypes

I have some exciting news…I’ve decided to focus all my attentions on my true passion. I’m going to be opening up an etsy shop called Polly Wants Panties: Artisanal Underpants for Discerning Birds. I’m so excited to embark on this new chapter of my life!

First Circular Knit: West Desert Hood

knittedcowl

I finished my very first circular knit just in time for fall! I used the absolutely fabulous West Desert Hood pattern.

A note on the ribbing– I found that using a 8 ply yarn with US size 8 needles made for some very loose and rather sloppy looking ribbing. I had never done ribbing before so I learned this the hard way, and it involved a lot of ripping out my work while making an angry monster face. SO after much trial and error, I ended up using US size 6 needles for the ribbing and then transferring it over to the US size 8s for the rest of the pattern (until the final ribbing). I suppose it’s a matter of taste; I prefer tighter looking ribbing.

I didn’t get any in-progress shots, but it’s really quite a fun and simple pattern!

malyarn

I used Malabrigo Mech in Archangel, which is just the most gorgeous yarn, with its blend of reds, oranges, and purples. I discovered it in a little yarn shop in Maine, and I’m absolutely hooked!

bonusphonepic

Bonus cell phone selfie! It was about 80 degrees outside when I took this and it’s quite a warm cowl, so that might account for the crazy eyes.

Crochet Garden Flowers Shawl

springflowersshawl

*Drumroll* I finally finished my shawl that I have been working on for…..a million years? Okay, maybe just a year. Life got in the way! The timing is at least good…it’s finally spring!

It is made up of 39 individual flowers that were then joined together continuously. I had some issues with the pattern, so I’m going to post some of my corrections here.

The pattern: here it is! 

flowercenters

Oh my Ford, I approached this like an assembly line. I made all the little centers of the flowers first. Here is a nice little pile of them (but obviously not all of them).

stackoflowers

Then, of course, I did the petals on the flowers. Here is a picture of a stack of about half of the flowers I made.

Okay, here is where things start getting tricky. The pattern for the flowers themselves was great. The pattern for joining the flowers…less so. Honestly, it was riddled with issues. Why, you ask? Let’s take a look:

flowershawldiagram
Source.

Here is the diagram in the pattern for joining the flowers. It’s great except for one glaring problem…

flowershawlissue

Following the pattern exactly as it’s written will result in those gaps in the border (in the darker blue) in between the flowers! Compare the first row of flowers (wherein I followed the pattern exactly) with the second row (where I made some corrections). One clearly looks much better.

In order to get the border around the entire flower and also join it in two places, you will have to backtrack over some of your work. (Is this starting to feel like a weird middle school math problem yet?) I’m really not much of a pattern writer at all, but I did make a little diagram to help make things clearer for anyone who would like to do this pattern with corrections:

flowerinstructionsnumbers

So, loosely following the diagram from the pattern, this is what you will have when you’re ready to go around the bottom of a row of flowers. They will be half joined on top. Following the numbers in the picture:

1: continue working the pattern as written– (sc, ch 3, sc) in ch-1 sp, ch 5, sc between 2 sc, ch 5, repeat.

2: again, continue working the pattern. (sc, ch 3, sc) into the ch-1 sp, ch 5, sc between 2 sc, ch5. But then slip stitch into the ch-1 sp.

3: Slip stitch along the chain joining the two flowers and slip stitch into the ch-1 sp on the other flower. You should now be on the other flower.

4: Once in the ch-1 space, ch 5, sc between 2sc, ch 5.

5: Sc in ch-1 sp of the flower you are working on, ch 1, sc into ch-3 sp of opposite flower (you made the ch-3 sp on step 2, and this joins the two flowers), ch1, slip stitch back into ch1 space.

6: Ch 5, sc between 2 sc, repeat pattern as written with these corrections.

Hopefully some of that is coherent? It results in the most consistent-looking joins at the petals. Anyway, here are some more pictures of the finished shawl:

foldedshawl1

All folded up.

foldedshawl2

Folded in half because why not, I guess?

flowershawlfull

All laid out so it looks like the joining diagram!

springflowershawl3 springflowershawl2

Garden flower shawl in action! Disclaimer: it is beautiful but not particularly warm.