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Grankerchief Head Scarf and Cowl

Choosing your yarn

The piece shown above was made from some DK mini skeins that I had. I’ve also made it from DK cotton and size 10 crochet cotton thread.
This piece can be made to fit any size head, using any weight of yarn or thread. I will be sharing a video next week on how to measure the head for the full triangle or string option.
The one shown above is the full triangle option. It closes with a button and a flower.
The string option is nice for those with thinner or shorter hair because it is less bulky. It will still make a nice cowl though.
You will need to choose a hook that is appropriate for the weight of yarn or thread that you are using. While gauge doesn’t matter for this piece, you don’t want it too tight, it won’t lay on the head or make a comfortable cowl, but you also don’t want it to be too open either, it won’t hold the button and flower and might not look as nice as something a bit tighter.
This project is good for scraps and little bits, if you are game to deal with the ends properly.
I can’t wait to see some made in fingering weight and even chunky yarn.

Buy On Ravelry Buy On Payhip

How to measure for Grankerchief

Magic Ring Beginning

Working in Ends of Rows

Elongated (extended) Single Crochet

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Seasons of Country Sophistication – Summer

Each month through my weekly newsletter I share special stitches and techniques that go with the monthly pattern release, then I collect them all here in case someone missed something.

If you would like to received the weekly email and see the techniques as they come out sign up for my newsletter on the “Links” page.

Color Choices for Lace

The busier the pattern the tamer the yarn needs to be.
When choosing a color of yarn for your lace pieces there are a few things to keep in mind.
Chose a yarn that will let the pattern shine through and be seen.  If the yarn is too fuzzy, has a lot of quick color changes or is too thick, the lace design in the pattern will be lost.
Another variable is how dark the color is and the type of texture that might be part of the design as well as lace.
Cables and nupps or bobble stitches for example are “eaten” by darker colors.  If your lace or other piece has any of these elements you will want to chose a lighter color of yarn.
Smooth, 2 ply, wool yarns are best for lace.  I have used 3 and 4 ply yarns and they work also as long as the yarn hasn’t become too think.  Now technically there is no such thing as yarn too think for lace as long as you can match a large enough needle to get a fabric that is lacy.
The yarn needs to be smooth because yarns that have halo or are fuzzy are going obscure the lace pattern. They are also difficult to rip or tink when you make a mistake.
I choose wool because it is the easiest to block and lace needs to be blocked to look its best. Synthetics have to be “killed” and the finished pieces just don’t look as good. Wool also has a bit of grip and the stitches won’t run free very quickly if dropped.
Of course you can choose any yarn you want. You want to work with what makes you happy. To stay happy in your knitting I suggest swatching with the yarn and the needle you want to use. Then you can know before putting in a ton of work that you will love the finished piece.

Pi Shawl

Modular Knitting

Garter Joining Photo Tutorial

Buy this pattern in either my Ravelry or Payhip store.

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Twisted Granny

Each month through my weekly newsletter I share special stitches and techniques that go with the monthly pattern release, then I collect them all here in case someone missed something.

If you would like to received the weekly email and see the techniques as they come out sign up for my newsletter on the “Links” page.

Color Changing Tips – below
What is a mobius? – YouTube video
Cluster Stitch – TikTok video
How to begin a mobius – YouTube video

Color Changing Tips While this design contains color changing don’t let that scare you away.  It is easy to change color and because the color is changed often between just two colors, you can carry the color not in use up the back.  That eliminates all the extra ends from cutting the color at each color change.

To change color, work until the last two loops of the last stitch remain on your hook, unless it is a chain, I’ll cover that in a minute.  Drop your current color and pick up your new color.  Finish the stitch with your new color.  Ta da, color changed!

If the last st is a chain, finish the round, but do NOT join.  Drop current color, insert hook where indicated to join, pick up your new color and use it to join.  Now the color is changed and you can continue with your new color.

To carry the color up the back will take a bit of remembering first of all and then a bit of finessing.  When I get back to the joining for a round, I pick up the old color and catch it as I join the round.  I then catch it in each step of the first stitch of the round so that it is sitting there when I return again.

Here is a picture for you to look at.  I will work on a video later this week and put it up.

You can buy the pattern in my Ravelry or Payhip store.

Cluster Stitch Video

Carry and Change Yarn in Crochet

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Seasons of Country Sophistication – Spring

Each month through my weekly newsletter I share special stitches and techniques that go with the monthly pattern release, then I collect them all here in case someone missed something.

If you would like to received the weekly email and see the techniques as they come out sign up for my newsletter on the “Links” page.

Chart Reading – below
Magic Ring Start in knitting – Photo Tutorial and TikTok video
Centered Eyelet Stitch – Photo Tutorial and TikTok video
Cheater Seam – YouTube video

Chart Reading Tips

First, do you knit left handed or right handed?  Not sure?  Right handed knitters take their stitches off the left needle and place new stitches onto the right hand needle.  Lefties take their stitches off the right hand needle and place new stitches onto the left hand needle.  This has nothing to with picking verses throwing, only which way the stitches move from needle to needle.


Now that that has been settled, if you are a right handed knitter you will read the charts starting at the row or round number and work towards the other end.  For right side rows and all rounds you will work the chart from right to left.  For wrong side rows, you will work left to right.  Lefties you will begin at the opposite end of the row or round number and work towards the number.  For right side rows and all rounds you will work from left to right.  For wrong side rows you will work right to left.


Next thing to know is that not every row or round is always charted.  The pattern or chart should clearly state if all rows or rounds are charted and should be numbered accordingly.  Some charts have set up rows, others start with a number other than one and many charts have only the right side charted.


All patterns with charts should have a legend or key for each symbol’s meaning.  Not all symbols are universal and even within a pattern the same stitch many have more than one symbol.  It is very important to watch these details.  Some symbols have different meanings depending on if they are on the right or wrong side.  Again that will be indicated by the pattern and the legend.


Charts are read from the bottom up.  Most knitters cover up the rows or rounds above where they are working with magnets or sticky notes.  This way if you can read your knitting you can see if what you are doing looks right.  I prefer to cover up the rows and rounds I have completed, because I like to see where I’m going and not get confused by something I have already done.  The choice is yours.  If you are not to a point where you can read your knitting then seeing what you have done may not be much help.


Most patterns do not start with the chart on row or round one, some do.  So you will have to follow some written instructions until the chart begins.  Reading the symbols is fairly easy.  They just stand for stitches that many knitters already know; knit, purl, yarn over and different types of decreases.  It will be slow at first but just take each row or round one box at a time.  Each box represents one stitch on the needle.  Look at the stitch on the chart, look at the legend, then work the stitch.  If there are a series of knit stitches, count them, work them.  Go one step at a time.  Right handed knitters do not need to change any of the directions from the legend, just work everything the way it is written.  Lefties, here we go.  If the legend says that this symbol \ is a slip, slip, knit, they lied to you.  No really, for lefties the decreases are opposite of what is written.  So lefties, when you get to a \ knit two together and for / slip, slip, knit.

On many charts, there will be long areas of plain knit stitches in a row or round.  One of the things I like to do before I begin knitting is to find these areas and write a tiny number in one of the boxes in that area.  The number is how many knit stitches there are between other stitches.  This saves counting later while working the pattern.

You can buy the pattern in my Ravelry or Payhip store.

Photo Tutorial of Magic Ring Start

Centered Eyelet Tutorial

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WIP or UFO?

WIP – work in progress

UFO – unfinished object

All makers have these. Some keep them hidden in a closet or a tote under the bed. Others are on display on a shelf in the studio, shop or the back of the couch. Mine are in a chest that one of the dogs lays on in my studio window. Well most of them are any way.

So what is the difference between a WIP and a UFO?

That’s a personal question. In this post I’m going to help you with that journey and deciding what you have, WIP or UFO and what it needs to become, if anything.

I classify a UFO as a project that I haven’t worked in over a month. I currently have one exception and that is the dragon I am crocheting. He is very detailed and takes concentration. I usually only get to work on him once a week while everyone else is away for the evening. But if I get behind on something and need to make it up that dragon time is now gone.

Another way to classify a project as a UFO is how long since you have thought about that project? Maybe it was put in time out because you needed to learn something new or ran out of materials. For me one of those two things would keep that project in the WIP category.

Keep or Rip?

I challenge you to take some time and do the following exercise. Commit to set aside a certain amount of time each day to work on this until it is finished. Even 15 minutes will be progress. You can also just do a step a day. It will make more sense as you read. You might want to write things down as you go along to remember why you classed something the way you did. I encourage to be completely honest with yourself as you work through this process. This is personal doesn’t have to be shared with anyone. When the conclusion is to rip, do it immediately. If that gives you pause I understand. Start ripping and if you’re like “okay good”, keep going. If you are dying inside, stop, ask why and maybe reassess the situation. This process is exactly that, a process and it meant to be helpful, though at times it might be hard too.

Collect ALL of you projects and place them somewhere in a pile that they will be safe from others. If you have to clean up the project to add it to the pile, is it because it has been sitting and waiting on you for more than 4 or 5 days? Or is it because it is what you worked on last night? If it is the former, you choose your time frame, clean it up and add it to the pile. The latter, leave it there.

Pull out the projects, you are truly currently working on and put them back where they need to be. If you keep something to work on, on the go, in the car, front sitting room, wherever, if it something you work on often enough that you know it’s a WIP, go put it back.

Sort what remains by craft if are a multi-crafter. This isn’t necessary but might speed up some of the process.

Is there a particular craft that you are enjoying at moment? Is there one that just isn’t your thing right now? Choose one of these answers and start there.

Enjoying This Craft

If you are enjoying craft, that is great. Move on to the Project Questions Below.

Not My Thing Right Now

You’ll want to ask yourself some questions.

Why isn’t thing your thing right now? Is this a new skill that you are still honing or maybe something that you tried and didn’t really like? Or it’s an old friend and it just isn’t their turn.

Keep honing the skill. What I have found most helpful as I learn a new craft, is to NOT start a new project until I have finished the last one. Good intentions I know, but it is easier to commit to and build a good habit, when doing something new. Also purposely setting aside time to work on this new skill. That may mean sacrificing other making time to do this. Don’t try to hone a skill in the middle of the project you need that skill for. Set that project aside and start something small that has many opportunities for you to practice the new skill.

If you didn’t really like it, ask why? Is this something that needs another try? Or do you just need to find a new home for that materials you have? It took me at least half a dozen tries over the course of 2 years to teach myself to knit. Then I did it backwards, but that’s a story for another day. If you can go to a group and get some pointers that might be helpful.

If the skill is an old friend and it isn’t their turn, I have a few of those, cross stitch and embroidery to name a couple, decide how much space they can have in your craft space and stick to that.

Project Questions

When you think about or see this project what feelings does it bring up? Make a pile for each different emotion you first feel. Some examples are happy, dread, sadness for whatever reason, or even anger.

When your projects have been classed by feelings then choose one feeling to work with and ask the following questions for each project. I have included questions for for each of the example feelings I gave. Use these as a guide to your own questions for these same feelings or others that you felt.

Happy

How long has it been since you worked on it? Why?

Do you want to continue? Can you continue? What if you ran out of a material that you can no longer get?

What is the time frame for finishing it? This could be based on an event that it needs to be finished by or just how long you are willing to let it be around. I have a wedding shawl that I have been working on for about 8 years now. I am about half way. I don’t work on it monthly and very occasionally not even yearly, but it is a project I love doing and at my leisure.

If you have the materials to finish and you want to finish, you should keep it. Don’t put it away yet, one more step.

If you want to finish it but can’t do to lack of materials, try to think of something you can remake it into. If not then rip it and stash the materials.

Dread

Did you see this project and hang your head and think “oh no…”? Why?

Was it for someone and doesn’t fit for any reason?

Just not enjoying the project?

If it doesn’t fit but was for a particular person, why doesn’t it fit? Can you modify it to fit this person? Was it a baby gift and now that child is 3 years old? You can make it be a gift for someone else, donate the finished piece if you’re close or rip it and stash the materials.

If you aren’t enjoying the project you have a few more questions to answer. Is it for a person that knows about it? Do they have an expectation of what the finished piece looks like? Did they pick out the pattern? If no, then you can change the pattern to something that you enjoy more. If yes then you maybe have a conversation with that person and change the pattern. Another thing to consider is how much more would the project take? Is it a sweater that needs blocked and seamed? Maybe a friend can do that for you or yo pay your local shop to finish. I think if you are beyond 70% or to the completed object, finish it. The reason being is that even if you love the new chosen pattern some the eh is going to come toward the new project. You know your threshold and the piece you are making. Also take into consideration other obligations you currently have and what is coming up.

If you aren’t enjoying it and it is a commissioned piece, ask the above questions and think about your client and then decide what to do.

Sadness

Sometimes a project ends up tied to a person or event, even one that the finished piece has nothing to do with. I was pregnant with my 4th child and started knitting a blanket for him. I miscarried at 16 weeks and had to have a D and C. That project lived for a long time in a box where I couldn’t see it. Then a few years later I needed the needles in that project. I got just the tips and left the rest in the box. More years later a young family at church had their first baby and gave him the name we gave our 4th child, Azariah. I knew then it was time to pull that blanket out and finish it. I did. It was still hard and sad but it was time.

When a project brings sadness I think that situation needs to be looked at from a couple of different perspectives; emotional and practical.

I know that the emotions I would have felt ripping out that blanket or throwing the yarn away would have been heart wrenching, so I kept it, with no plan in mind, just kept it. That is where the practical comes in though. Do you have the space to just keep it? As a maker that mostly knits and crochets, most of my projects are small and don’t take up much space. If you are a welder, wood worker or it’s a project car… Well that might be a different story. Right now it might be okay and you have the space to keep the project just because. That’s good if that’s what you want. I even moved my blanket to our new house 50 miles away, but again small.

An emotional and practical rolled together is wherever you decide to keep it you need to be aware of it so that the emotions don’t ambush you. Also if it’s time to move house and you stumble on it while packing, that could be a set back. So while holding on can be helpful in the moment, don’t let it unnecessarily prolong emotions that don’t need to be. The box I stored the blanket in was the ONLY box like it in the entire house. I also stored on top of the highest cabinet in the bathroom. I moved it out of view of the mirror over the sink even. I still have the box. It has other mementos from that time. We have moved again and it is buried deep in the craft closet. While the sadness of losing him is still there, I have moved forward and can share. Protect yourself now and your future self as well in this process.

Anger

Is it the person the project is for or the project itself?

I don’t have a personal example for me, but I have recently watched my teenage daughter go through this. She had a boyfriend in Colorado. They decided to try the long distance thing when we moved to New Mexico. They are both under age and don’t drive. So text, letters and phone calls only. Ok cool. My daughter started a pair of socks for him for Valentine’s day. She is also working on a blanket for his birthday in July. Avoiding the sweater and we all know why. She makes her socks from the toe up. She had just gotten passed the heel on the first sock when they started having issues. As I write this they still haven’t solved anything. During the last 3 months of talking and texting my daughter became close with him and considered him not only her boyfriend but also her best friend. So when he decided not to talk to her any more those socks only brought anger out in her. She put them in time out for a bit and then decided to rip them and remake the yarn into finger-less mitts for her brother.

If the anger is about a person that the project is for then I say put the project in time out until the issue with that person is resolved. If the person is no longer in your life and you still have anger toward the project because of the person, rip the project and stash the materials. It is going to be hard to find happiness in that project again.

If the anger is the project, then ask why? Go back to the questions in the “Not My Thing” section above and start there.

I hope this has helped you class your projects by emotions. Next up is the practical part.

What to do With the Keepers

Now that the materials form the frogged projects have been stashed what do you do with the keepers? Don’t put them away just yet.

I have started something new that has been very helpful for me recently and I can see my future self saying “thank you” already.

I have a project sheet in each project. It is similar to the info found on Ravlery, for those familiar. Electronic is great, until it is isn’t available for whatever reason. I can also see these details at a glance and without having to pull my phone out and open whatever app. I use the same project name on Ravelry, my app and on this piece of paper.

To encourage you to fill in a sheet for each project and put it with it I have made it a freebie for those who subscribe to my newsletter and email me to ask for it. This way it is always available, even after I change the free gift.

Sign up for my newsletter here. Email address is azariahs1982@gmail.com.

I hope that if you ventured down the path of going through your projects it was helpful and that you feel better on the other side.

Until next time,

Happy Making!

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Real Life Teaching Moments

If you are a parent you know the term and if you are of the millennial generation you have probably heard someone say it to your parents, “teaching moment”.

The moment that something happens, be it unusual, totally random or the perfect practical example of something from a recent conversation and you decide to use that moment to teach about what is going on. It can be how could you have reacted better in this situation, to see how they handled that or we aren’t the only people x, y or z happens to.

I, as a parent of three, who are all currently teenagers, have had many of these moments. That has translated into my crochet and knitting style, not just in person at class or group but also in photos and recordings.

When something odd happens in my crocheting or knitting I want to share it with you. Usually it is happening because of something I didn’t think of in advance in a new design or because I made a mistake, either way I want you have the benefit of my learning. As such if it is something that just isn’t practical to replicate or I’m not going to be able to for some reason, the photos and maybe videos will be happening live and on the spot; a teaching moment.

Because of this some the photos won’t have perfect lighting and there might be some extra background stuff. Videos might have other stuff going on around it and people walking through the frame in the background. I do have an external mic for my phone now so hopefully the sound is good.

Much of my crafting is spent outside. I now live in the city, still with the children and the dogs. I also live on a main street now and where trains go by. I will do my best to avoid the extra noise as much as possible but it might not always happen. I also love to go downtown or to the mall and people watch while I work. I’m getting over being shy about recording in public so don’t be surprised if you see something from one of those places too.

Until next time, wherever you are,

Happy Making!

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Media Studio

I have recently acquired much of the equipment needed for a photo and video studio. I have a camera, tripod, boom, micro phones, lights, and even a light box.

While I am very much enjoying having and using this equipment, it is not where my skills are strongest.

I shoot my own videos and the majority of my photos.

I also do all my own editing on my computer.

I am not only learning how to better frame shots for each of the different platforms I am on, IG, TikTok and YouTube but also how to make the best content using the editing software.

You can hear the dog whining in one of my recent videos. I’m sure that there is a way to edit that out, but I don’t know what it is. I do know how to flip my knitting content so that even though I was knitting left handed when I shot it looks right handed.

Why do I do all this work myself? Why do I shoot videos and take tons of pictures?

I do all this work myself because I can’t afford to hire anyone. Thanks to the education I got in high school I can work a camera and computer well enough to learn to edit better and I am and the quality will get better.

But why bother in the first place? Because I want to help others level up their stitching skills by showing them in as many ways as I can how to do something new.

Most of the tutorials that I have will be techniques for particular patterns. The YouTube videos for example have a list of patterns the technique can be found in at the beginning of the video.

As I get more photo tutorials together there will be a page to download those from Payhip for free.

I would like to move into downloadable classes with a mixed format with some live Q and A. That is part of the 5 year plan.

I do welcome any thoughts, comments or ideas you’d like to share along this journey.

Tomorrow will be my first YouTube release in a long time and I am so very excited!

Happy Making!

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Welcome 2022! Wow…

I know my last post said “See you in November” and I’m sorry it has taken so long to get something up here. Moving in and getting settled into a new house, in a new town took a little longer than I expected and then it was time for Christmas. Well that is all over now and here we are in January 2022, wow.

With a new year comes a few changes for Azariah’s Fibre Arts, all good I think and with the idea to get you better content, consistently. I will be posting here monthly. I will also release a newsletter once a month, be sure and sign up for that on the home page if you haven’t yet. There will be weekly Tiktoks and a monthly Youtube tutorial that will go with the pattern release of the month. I have already become more consistent on Instagram and am really enjoying the platform. Join me on any or all of these to see what is coming next.

Currently In My Basket

I bought this yarn from Leading Men Fiber Arts when they discontinued their lace line called Ghost Light. It was just sitting and I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. Then I decided to put these 3 colors together and see what they had to say.

Four cakes of yarn sit in a square on a brown background. The yarn colors are mint green, a darker mint green, brown and a variegated of greens and browns with a touch of gray.
Beginnings of my Fields Ruana.

While driving on the country dirt roads while still in Colorado I looked out over a field I had seen many, many times over the last 9 years and “saw” it a different way this time. This time I saw my lace yarn in that field. I got out my stitch dictionaries and started swatching. The project at for a while as I had a few other things on the line that needed finishing first and then we decided to move to New Mexico.

an open field with red brown plants scattered across gray green grass. Remains of a fence are on the right side and a light blue sky across the top.
I took this picture in mid October, after many of the different shades of green had faded.

After getting most of my stuff put away I thought about those swatches and that lace yarn again. I got to work on it and so far the design is coming out great!

I am working on a crocheted bedspread design that I hope to share later this year. If everything with it continues to go well it will be available in 2 different yarn weights and at least 5 different sizes. My Mom has been helping with some swatching and pretesting some of the pattern already. One of the weights is size 10 crochet cotton, and so it is taking a bit of time to make up the sample; even though it is a small size.

A small swatch of purple crochet lace sits on a black background.
Beginnings of the bedspread.

Newest Pattern Releases

In the month of December I did release 2 patterns, one knit, a pair of socks and one crochet, an accessories set.

The pair of socks is called Love you too! socks and can be bought on Ravelry, Payhip or LoveCrafts. It started with a skein of yarn from Leading Men Fibre Arts. I had been in love with the color way of theirs, “Love you to pieces” for a while but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Then one day I decided I needed the solid colors too, but how to get them all into one sock? Helix knitting! That is how the cuff is stripped is with helix knitting. The pattern includes a photo tutorial and a video will coming soon.

A pair of hand knit socks on blue sock blockers on a wooden back ground, with brown, orange and yellow candy strewn about. The socks have an all over lace pattern, with a stripped cuff, brown heel, orange toe and multi color body.
Love You Too! socks Large

The accessory set is called Color Drip, after the color drip candles. It has a hat available in 3 sizes, a cowl in 2 sizes and fingerless mitts in 2 sizes. This project started with just a single pair of mitts after Christmas of 2020, when I discovered I didn’t have any Christmas accessories, and evolved into a full set when my Mom asked for a hat pattern to go with her mitts. I made all the pieces separatly, but really wanted to see them as set. Leading Men Fiber Arts very generously helped that dream come true. Here you see 2 sets of the “OMG! Neons!” minis and 1 full skein of “Spritely Endeavors” Pattern is available in Ravelry, Payhip or Lovecrafts shop.

Woman wearing a matching hat, cowl and mitts, standing in front of a white door. The accessories are crocheted in bright, stripes of color.
Color Drip Accessories set All in Large sizes

January’s Release

One new pattern will be released each month and featured here first. Newsletter subscribers always receive a discount on new patterns.

January’s Pattern is called Barren Soul. This is a crocheted pattern for either a poncho in fingering weight yarn or a blanket in worsted weight yarn.

Women standing in front of a wooden cabinet wearing all black clothing and a black crocheted poncho with multi color crocheted flowers. A brown and white dog photo bombing at the bottom.
Barren Soul – Large Poncho
A dark purple crocheted blanket, draped on a rocking chair in front of a brick wall. The blanket has multi color crocheted flowers on it.
Barren Soul – Blanket

Designs On Deck

Coming in February is the first pattern to be released in a series for my first e-book.

A woman, back to the camera, spreads her arms out to show the lace work on the sleeves of the all over lace shawl.
Seasons of Country Sophistication – Spring

Up Coming Teaching Events

I will be teaching 4 classes at the Interweave Yarn Fest in April 2022. Below are the classes, with their dates and times. Please follow this link to register.

Intro to Yarn April 20 9am – 4:30pm

Dyeing Safely April 22 9am – 12pm

Math, Yes, Math April 22 1:30 – 4:30pm

Crochet for Knitters April 23 9am – 12pm

I will also be teaching at the Estes Park Wool Market in June. Those details are still being finalized, stayed tuned for more info.

I hope that 2022 has started out alright for you and if not I hope it gets better. Making something is a good coping skill; you have my permission to use it as needed.

Happy Making!

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See you in November!

Sometimes we do things; things that wee don’t want to do but know it is the right or responsible thing to do. Right now, this post is one of those things for me. I really don’t want to do this but for the sake of my mental health and the quality of the content here, I will not be posting or even doing affiliate things again until November at the earliest.

We are in the process of selling our and moving to another, both of which we have never done. My ever, my husband watched his parents do it a couple of times as a child, but we basically have no experience at this.

I was really excited for school to start so that I could hit full throttle on this blog and my design business, then we decided to move, so now I knit and crochet in between packing and cleaning.

I am very excited for this chapter and adventure in our lives. We are moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico. A town we visited just a month ago and loved. We were planning on moving there next summer but the time table was bummed and we decided to go for it.

Once there and settled I will get to push the go button here. Full throttle might not be until January but I’m okay with that. I’m thankful for this and all that I am learning in the meantime.

I will still be releasing patterns, so be sure and sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already. You can do that from the home page. Subscribers get a discount and find out first when patterns are being released.

Thank you for being here and for your patience as I make this change.

See you in November!

Happy making!

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It Finally Clicked!

Even as a seasoned knitter, sometimes, something so simple can flummox me. Steven West’s Bubble Shawl did just that.

The first time I tried this shawl was in March of 2019. For details on yarn and needle size, see my project page. It was the second year my daughter and I decided to start a knitting or crochet project together with the end result being entered into the Make it with Wool contest in November.

We don’t start the same project, we just spend the day together casting on some place different and having a nice lunch; outside if the weather permits. This particular year we did sit outside to cast on. At the fire pit at Southlands mall in Aurora, Colorado. I don’t remember what we ate however.

Three hanks of yarn lay on a green background with a set of interchangeable needle tips in the package, The cover of the Bubble shawl pattern visible. A zippered project bag with sugar skulls and polka dots on it is ready to be packed.

I do remember starting my project twice while we sat there and it didn’t work either time.

The front side of the beginning of Sara's shawl, worked in variegated yarn, sits on the black background of her pants.

I tried again the following week while everyone was at school. Maybe I just needed some quiet to get this going the right way. It took a couple of tries but still not great. I pushed on, figuring I’ll get the hang of it soon and the rest will block out.

Then came the bubble stitch. I’ve never worked the bubble stitch before. I had to wait until I was at the bus stop with enough time to watch the video and try the bubble stitch in the car. We didn’t have home internet yet, only on my smart phone, which had no signal at home.

I watched, I tried, eh it was sort of okay, I guess. Maybe it’ll get better with more bubbles. So I kept knitting. I’m not sure how far I got or how big the piece was, but I knew I wasn’t happy with it. My bubbles weren’t bubbling. I hadn’t got the hang of the horizontal rib and I wasn’t enjoying the piece.

It was put in time out for a while.

I didn’t finish it for the make it with wool contest.

I pulled it out again at a later date. Decided that frogging would be the way to go and start again. I made a swatch to help.

A small swatch of the bubble stitch, worked in variegated yarn, resting on top of a ball of yarn.

Same issue with that horizontal rib… Just can’t see how it should go and am having to follow every single row. Why can’t I get it?

The bubble stitch wasn’t any better this time around either.

So I frogged it, again. Put it all in a bag and then placed it in the box of yarn that is for projects.

I really want THIS shawl in THIS yarn. But it isn’t happening right now.

It was at least a year, maybe more before I picked it up this time. I took it with me to Stanley Market Place, also in Aurora, Colorado, one Friday morning. I had just completed a large project and casting on a new project was the reward for that. I thought it was time to try the Bubble Shawl again.

Same bag maker as always, same yarn of course, same needles, even the same water stained set of instructions and I was ready to go.

Three balls of yarn spill out of a zippered project bag, decorated with dragon flies.  Water stained directions of the Bubble Shawl pattern can be seen behind the yarn tails and the cable of the needle.

It was a rather warm day for this time of year, but I stayed outside. I was sitting and just casting on when a guy walked by. He knew that I was knitting, asked what I was making, and said “It looks like you’re just getting started.” He was right, there was or is a knitter in his life somewhere or he himself is one.

I started, I worked for about 20 minutes, did an Instagram story and even mentioned I’m not sure it is correct. I worked a bit longer. Looked at what I had done and it was wrong. Okay here we go again. Frog and re-cast on.

This time I didn’t have to rip. I took the time to read every row, and mark Row 4 of each repeat. This is what got me through the first 30 rows or so.

Now I can finally see that horizontal rib. I can’t tell you the pattern but I can work the pattern now.

Okay so what about the bubble stitch? Well I was a bit concerned that my bubbles were still not going to bubble. My daughter made a mini baby blanket the first half of last school year for a class, using the bubble stitch and her bubbles, bubbled beautifully. So this time I have on-site help if I need it.

Well I needed it. She watched me do it. I listened to her explain… Still not bubbling. Back in the bag and to time out it went.

Then I saw someone else’s Bubble Shawl on Instagram and it was so bubbly. I decided to pull it back out and try yet again. Over two years has passed since this shawl was big and Steven has made a lot of tutorial videos. It was a lot to dig through on his YouTube channel. So I tried the search box and got a video from someone else.

You’re never going to believe what I was doing wrong. I ripped back to the beginning of the bubbles and tried the stitch again. I worked on it the entire week that my daughter was at my Mom’s house. When she came back, my bubbles, bubbled!

Sara's shawl worked to about a foot wide in variegated and green yarn lays on a brown background, waiting for the next row to be worked.

I wasn’t going down enough rows to make the bubble stitch. I was only going down 3, not 4 and that made a huge difference in the bubbles or not bubbles.

I no longer mark every 4th row for the horizontal rib, like I said I can see it now. I only look at my directions for the bubble row, to know when to start the bubbles. There are 4 different bubble rows because the bubble section increases every right side row. Though I am seeing the pattern emerge and hop to be able to not rely on the directions so much. Not there is anything wrong with that, there isn’t; it’s just a personal goal of mine.

Why did I push on? When was the breaking point?

In part because I am stubborn, honestly. I really wanted this shawl and in these colors. I had ordered the yarn just for this project and really wanted it to become this shawl.

This try would have been my breaking point. If I hadn’t gotten it while my daughter was gone, it would have probably been frogged and put into the fingering yarn bin.

Now I am very happy with the project. I don’t get to it everyday but most days. I know exactly where I’m at and what I need to do next. It took me a while to be able to really “see” this design, but I’m glad I kept coming back to it.

What project had you stumped? Have you ever had a project be “more” than you thought it was going to be before you began?

Please share in the comments below. Or share your pictures on Instagram and tag me. I’d love to see what “got” you and how you chose to deal with it.

Happy making!

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