Saturday, July 16, 2011

DW scarf in progress

I've begun work on the new Doctor Who scarf. This is what I have accomplished so far. 

It is about 11" wide, which is what Chris says it should be at his site. We'll see what the length comes out to be when it's done. I could do all the math, but seriously my brain is too tired for that. LOL

I am using an I hook and Vanna's Choice yarn. I chained 36, the same as the previous one, but with the I hook I was able to get the width right. I think I used an H hook before. On Tara's site she notes that each season's scarf was a different width so not as crucial to get it exactly right I think.

I make no guarantees that this will be an exact duplicate of Doctor #4's scarf (well, it can't be since his was knitted), but it will suffice for my purposes. It really goes pretty quickly even though it is in single crochet. There is no "pattern" stitch to worry about. You just go right along, changing colors when necessary.

There are seven colors and I bought two of each color except beige. I have three of beige. Hopefully that will be enough. If I use all of that yarn, that is 2 x 6 = 12 and 3 x 1 = 3, total 15 skeins at approximately $3 (retail is $4.99 but I can usually find it for 2.99) = $45.

The previous scarf was cheaper to make as it called for 2 skeins of beige and olive and one of the other five colors. So that is 9 skeins at $3 which would be $27.

Of course I may not use all the skeins or I may run out and need more. I'll just have to see how it goes.

Hmm  I may just have to make one of each season's scarves. Oh, maybe in each yarn listed at Tara's Witty Knitter site. Chris mixes yarns to get the right color and I'd rather use one type of yarn in my scarves. At least that is what I feel today. No telling what I will decide later. LOL

There is a spot of turning up at the corner so it probably could use a blocking, but I don't generally bother with that. There is an excellent article on blocking acrylic yarns here and here . Tara has care instructions on her site but she says you cannot block acrylic, which is not true. Also, acrylic will not melt in the dryer. I dry my afghans all the time. Wool will felt if you wash it in the washer. Voice of experience. :-)

Anyway, Doctor Who scarf. In progress. :-)


Friday, July 15, 2011

Lily Chin Mosaic Crochet

Mosaic Crochet sample
I finally got to finish watching Lily Chin's Mosaic Crochet DVD. They did a really nice job on this DVD!

Here is a sample piece I worked of some of the stitches demonstrated.

If you don't want a DVD, Lily Chin does have a leaflet Lily Chin's Mosaic Magic (Leisure Arts #4229). I don't have the leaflet, but I do have her book Mosaic Magic : Afghans Made Easy. I haven't made anything from it yet though.

What is Mosaic Crochet? That is the first question you probably want answered and the first thing she covers. In the video, Lily Chin says that mosaic crochet is based on the principles of mosaic knitting. Only one color is worked at a time and you do stripes of two rows of each color. In crochet, you go downwards with the new color to cover up old color. You don't work into a stitch but work 3 rows below the stitch. Only right side rows have patterning.

To put it briefly, I would add that it is a method of crochet where you use sc, long and/or post stitches, and color to create pleasing textural patterns. (I have a brief tutorial on the long stitch here. This is also on my to-do list for videos but you can probably find one by someone else at YouTube.)

Basically, in Mosaic Crochet most of the stitches are worked over 3 stitches and 3 rows down using two colors. You start your piece with one row of the first color, then two rows of the second color, and go back to your first color to begin your "mosaic" row. So you are working Color B into Color B. However, she also demonstrates how to use just one color and also three colors.

There is one that is worked over 5 stitches called chicken feet. I have to agree that it does look like chicken feet. LOL

You are working in single crochet and long double crochet for the most part  though I found that in some cases I preferred to use a triple crochet, but then my double crochets run a little short.

Lily Chin does an excellent job of explaining each stitch clearly and thoroughly. The video camera is perfectly placed so you can see just what she is doing. At some points they move in a bit close to give a different angle. For each stitch she demonstrates the procedure multiple times.

She starts at the beginning with the slip knot and chain. She goes into the back hump or middle part of the chain (as I do) for her beginning foundation chain. She also gives a complete demonstration of how to work both the sc and the foundation chain at one time which she calls the foundationless single crochet. I have a tutorial at the Cabana on this method using different stitches - the chainless foundation.

She explains the difference between mosaic knitting and mosaic crochet, which I found interesting.

After you learn the stitches, she shows you how they can be used in a project, with variations in color and also combining several stitches that you have previously learned into one project.

You will notice that right at the start she begins by leaving a tiny little beginning  strand. She doesn't mention it, but I know from reading another of her books that she weaves that strand in later.  What she does is she weaves the needle where she wants the tail to go, then threads it and pulls it through. I am too paranoid to do that. I always leave a super long tail and sew much of it in going in different directions. :-)

In another spot there was a huge knot in her yarn. She did not stop her work or even mention it, but just continued working. I cringed. I don't know if that was because she was filming and couldn't stop or because this was just a sample piece and it wasn't important in the scheme of things, or if that is what she would normally do. As I said, it wasn't mentioned and I didn't notice it on the worked piece. Maybe they cut it out during a break and just continued...?

Some of the examples had cute names, such as the one called Mardi Gras, made with silver and black yarn. It is in the chapter on X stitch variations, almost to the 2 minute mark. I am noting that because I want to go back to it. The finished piece is reminiscent of the fleur de lis. She has an afghan using this pattern in the book Mosaic Magic : Afghans Made Easy. In fact, I think many of the projects shown on the DVD are in this book - at least they looked similar to me.

Then there is another she calls Roman numerals because it uses an I, a V and an X. If you know your Roman numerals you know that I is one, V is 5, and X is 10.

Many many projects are shown. Beautiful work. Great color use.

The video chapters include the I Drop, V Stitch, Lopsided V Stitch, Slashes, X Stitch, Chicken Feet, Post Stitches, Tunisian Stitch, and Designing on the Computer. Each chapter has a few additional sections in it. There is also a section that discusses using Mosaic Crochet in garments, shaping, sleeves, etc. She does not give a tutorial on how to do these, but shows a number of examples.

If my ears were working right, I think she said purple when she meant blue at the beginning of the Tunisian section. Minor gaff if I am right in what I heard. I've made similar errors in my own videos and heard them in others as well. Sometimes our voice doesn't say what our brains are thinking.

There is a section on how to plan your pieces with the compute which is very interesting. 

Each section is fairly short so you could watch each even if you have only a short amount of time if you are not going to work it as you watch.

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

granny square blue scarf

Here is the reversed granny square scarf. Three round grannies with a three round edging. You do have to vary your shells around the joins. Three double crochets is too much in that area. Each round is a little different in how you approach it.

Finished size is 6" x 56".

I used an H hook and made 11 squares as in the previous scarf. Then I joined them using the continuous join.

That is #15 and all the scarves are in plastic bags ready for transport, hopefully tomorrow.

Now I am going to change gears and make that second Doctor Who scarf I wanted to try.  I'm going to use Chris Brimelow's pattern this time, with the same Vanna's Choice yarn colors I used in the previous one. (Chris gives different suggestions on his site)

As always I'll keep you posted. I think when I return to the Special Olympic scarves I will be trying the other yarn suggestion Red Heart Super Saver – 387 Soft Navy, Red Heart Super Saver – 319 Cherry Red. These yarns are more readily available locally which is a plus.

For the previous scarves I used Red Heart Soft – 4604 Navy, Red Heart Soft – 9925 Really Red. These were okay but I got a number of thick sections and more than I like of tied together bits. Of course that can happen with any yarn and I may have the same problems with the RHSS. Just fyi, if you're trying to decide which to use, the RH Soft is similar to the Simply Soft yarns IMHO. It has a sheen to it and is a tad thinner than the Super Saver.

Now I'm off to watch a bit more Lily Chin.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

granny square scarf

#14 is a granny square scarf. With an H hook, I made 11 three-round grannies, joined them with a continuous join, and then added two more rounds of edging. In other words, three round grannies and three rounds of edging.

Finished size is 6" x 56 1/2".  The trick in this one was to get within the required size knowing that a good part of that would be edging. I'm happy to say I was successful in that.

The squares were about 3 1/2" individually.

The next one will be blue squares with a red border. I've already got 8 squares made. :-)

 I didn't get to watch any more of the Lily Chin video today as I had to take my dog to the vet. He's had his yearly checkup with the added bonus of a flea allergy. Treating that with antihistamines, anti-inflammatory, and topical flea stuff. He's been on heartworm/flea pills since a puppy.

Anyway, I digress. This one is easy if you know how to make granny squares.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

striped scarf

This is a pretty simple scarf. Plain double crochet in alternating colors or red and blue, two rows each so I could carry up the yarn. I used an I hook for the body and an H for the edging.

I then worked a sc all around, followed by my current favorite (sc, ch 2, sc, sk 1) in same st.

Finished size 6" x 61". The edging made it a little longer than I'd anticipated. (I put a call in and they said the extra inch is okay.) It needed an edging to get it to the 6" and since it is a pattern I had to do xx number of rows to get it to come out. I worked 106 rows but probably should have stopped at 102 (so I could begin and end on red).

This week I received my copy of the video Mosaic Crochet (Lily Chin) and I have begun watching it, but since I'm crocheting along, it's taking me longer than the 2+ hours - remember she is the fastest crocheter! heh

I will review when I'm done, but it might not be until next week as I'm working on SO scarves so I can deliver them Friday. My goal was to have half done, then deliver, which would be 15. I think I have 13 finished  and one in progress so I may be just shy of my goal.

Happy crocheting!