Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Modern Vintage--Kansas Sun Afghan

I love vintage patterns!  I have a whole shelf of them.  I received my grandma's pattern books and have purchased some here and there over the years, and I love to look through them for inspiration (or for what NOT to do :).   Sometimes I take the general shape as inspiration, and sometimes it's just the stitch, or sometimes, like today's example, I use the pattern as is, but change up the color and color pattern to make a more current version.

The afghan to the right was made by me for my Kansas grandma.  Her bedroom was yellow, so that determined my color choice.  I made this about 20 years ago, and received it back after she passed away.   I think she was afraid to use it!  I know it was folded on a chair in her room from the time she received it, but when I got it back it still looked brand new.   Now it lives on my living room couch, where we snuggle under it all the time.

Here is the original pattern book.  That lovely striped creation on the right side is the same afghan as the Kansas Sun afghan pictured above.  Even back when I made mine, the original example was dated looking, and not appealing color-wise.  I decided to use color-blocking instead of making thin stripes, and I omitted the fringe.  I didn't want it to look so busy.

If I were to make this again, I might like this pattern in the thinner stripes, but in a fresh color combo.

Check out the swatches below.  Try gray, white and pale turquoise....mmmm, beachy!  How about orange, pale blue, tan and cream? (baby boy gift...oooh or my family room needs a refresh!)  Or use Lucy colors!  This pattern is perfect for a Lucy blanket.  As a matter of fact, I've been wanting to make a cushion, Lucy-style.  This stitch pattern with Lucy colors!  ....runs off to pull yarn out of boxes....

You can get the original Vintage Pattern Here.
Link to my Ravelry Project.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WooHoo! Check me Out!

I met Maire Treanor last summer while taking her Clones Lace workshop in Berkeley at Lacis.  She is a wonderful woman, and is writing a series of articles for Interweave Crochet magazine on Irish Crochet lace.  She asked if she could use one of my photos for her article that appears in the Spring issue.  OF COURSE SHE COULD!

We had taken a field trip to the Sunnyvale lace museum and there was a piece of actual Clones lace there, made in Ireland.  All of their other "Irish Crochet" is from the US.  Maire could tell the difference between the Irish and the non-Irish, from the thread used to make the lace.  US lace is made with mercerized cotton and antique Irish Crochet from Ireland is made from non-mercerized cotton or linen.  I had photographed many of the lace pieces with motifs that were interesting to me, and she remembered that I had an image of the Clones piece.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Missoni Style

I love the crazy color combos and the fun patterns of Missoni.  I was determined that I could achieve the Missoni effect with crochet.  My plan was to do this with a self-striping yarn, and then I wouldn't have a bunch of ends to weave in.

My friend at Alcidina Art Yarns made me some custom dyed yarn!  She surprised me with these self-striping skeins.  Boy did I feel privileged when these gorgeous treats appeared in my mailbox.

I tried to use the yarn as it was, perfectly measured and just alternating the two balls.  But, I ended up liking a more randomly ordered stripe, instead of a consistent stripe.  So that meant lots of cutting of my self-striping yarn and weaving in of those ends.  Grrr....  AND...I added white, you have to have the white in there to break up all that color.  BUT, I love LOVE my scarf!  It is a cushy cashmere blend and is extra wide for more smooshy goodness.

Pattern is coming!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Heartstrings Haul

Yesterday I spent my requisite hour and a half at Heartstrings Yarn Studio in Chico, CA.  We are visiting the in-laws for Easter, and I snuck out to ogle the yarn-goodness over on the Esplanade.  Well, they knew precisely where I was, so I didn't really "sneak out."

I love this shop.  They have a HUGE selection of yarn, everything from pricey art yarns at $50 per skein to humble cotton/acrylic blends for $4 per skein.  And their sale corner is great!!!  Half price yarn, baskets full!  This is where I get in trouble.  This visit I had a gift certificate from my SIL, so I chose some cotton for a new project.  Then I went hunting in the sale baskets.  I justify these sale purchases because A:  hello?   half price!  and B: the yarn I bought is for projects for my kids.  THAT does not count as wanton yarn buying.

Here are the goodies!

Upper left yarn:  Malva by Filatura di Crosa.  It's a ribbon yarn and I plan to use it with some pink cottons I have at home, to make a dress for Miss E.
Book:  Custom Crocheted Sweaters by Dora Ohrenstein.  Great sweater patterns in here, plus detailed instructions on customizing and fit.
Upper right yarn:  Escape by Sirdar.  This will be a sweater (or yarn jacket as he calls it) for Mr. M.
Bottom left:  Ultra Pima Cotton by Cascade.  As you can see I've already started my new's a top for ME!