Monday, March 12, 2012

YRSTS #7 East Coast Mittens

You can find the offending pattern here, just, y'know, don't spend any money on it.

A few weeks ago, it was colder than a witches' tit here in NYC. As such, I realized my awesome nummy Fetching fingerless gloves weren't gonna cut it... I needed a set of full mittens.

Sure, there were the colorwork mittens I have started back in October, but they would take me too long to finish in the time I needed them (I do need to finish those one day...) So, industrious me decided to look for some mitten patterns.
Ravelry has a lot (I mean, a LOT) of knitted mitten patterns.... overwhelming ain't even the word. So I tried narrowing down the results to adult fit, and started lurking. I found the above pattern in the midst of this search... and thought, wait, didn't I see a similar glove pattern for free somewhere (I thought it was Knitty...)?

Damn straight I did. There were several

Alternatives

Well, a search for free thrummed mitten patterns turned up 27 patterns! Lookit that.

This one is my favorite :) It looks exactly like the one above! Can you believe it??

Heh.

The only positive thing I will say about the above pattern is they seem to provide some customization options.

It still doesn't justify the $7 price tag.

The houndstooth pattern can be easily adjusted to thrums, like this pattern incorporated it into some colorwork. Thrumming as a concept isn't hard, and I really don't think it's nice or fair to charge for something that's not only simple to do, but something you can find numerous FREE tutorials for on the web.

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pineapple Obsession

Not just an awesome fruit... or cake, or juice, or candy....*nom nom nom*

I can't stop thinking about them. When they are used in a design, they're so throwback, but still relevant and classy. And they're a breeze to make! What is there not to love about them??

You realize I'm going to eventually make my own pineapple shawl pattern, right?? Yesssssss.... it will be my first major pattern. Should be an interesting journey in any case.

I need to do some research and study pineapple formations. I think I have a grasp on how to start a top down or a bottom up shawl with pineapples; just gotta look into how different pineapples are formed and such.

Luckily I have quite a bit of research material at hand; more than I thought I'd be able to find, actually :P

Friday, March 9, 2012

YRSTS #6 The Weekender Slouchy Hat

You can find the "pattern" here. God this pattern annoys the hell out of me. Ugh.
This pattern pissed me off more than these YRSTS usually does.

I can't with these so called designers! What the everloving FUCK?? There is nothing about this that warrants the $5 price----NOTHING. It's a simple ass crocheted hat. I guarantee if you were learning how to crochet, this could be your first attempted pattern. To quote from the Rav page:

It is crocheted in the round, in a spiral, omitting any chaining from round to round (coz I’m a rebel like that)

*eyeroll* That's all the fuck this pattern is.

It uses dc for the majority (top and crown) and sc for the brim.... I think I see hdc before you switch to sc (not really necessary IMHO).

Wow.

Whatthefuck. The

Alternatives

are so many, I feel I am dumbing you down by sharing them, but it's part of my schtick so...

If you've ever made amigurumi, you'd be familiar with this way of crocheting. The default for making most hats in the round is joining rounds--sl st to the last st, ch x to start the new round. In this instance, you just crochet round and round without joining---all increases and decreases are done exactly the same way. This blogger came up with a clever way of differentiating the two;
1: Round = Slip Stitch to join at the beginning of each round.
2: Spiral = No Slip Stitch

Works for me.

A Rav search for Free Crochet Slouchy Hat turned up 100 results. You can work most of them in a spiral. Honestly though, it doesn't matter much. In the end, it all depends on personal preference and how anal (*snickers*) you are about symmetry and having a visible seam in your hat. There are ways to hide your joins (Expected a link? I was gonna put one, but you can do it yourself if you really care enough to find out. Just saying).

For a hat like the one listed, I would use worsted wt, and a H or I hook. Start with a magic circle, 10 dc, then your normal rate of inc in the round (inc all, dc 1 inc, etc) until you hit 80-100, then crochet without increases for however long you want your slouch to be. Then, you might dec down to about 60, and start sc for a couple of inches (for a "normal" sized head, that should be sufficient. Adjust to your dome for best results :P).

A handy tip: use a locking stitch marker when spiraling. Even when working on amis (avg. stitch count 20 stitches) I use a marker to keep my place. Since there is no definitive beginning to the round, you need to know where you are, especially when doing inc/dec. After that, it really doesn't matter so much :P

You're welcome.

Happy Crocheting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

YRSTS #5 GOA Shawl

You can find the pattern on Ravelry here...just don't buy it. I got you, homes!

Firstly, some attribution: a reader submitted this one to me. We'll call them NaughtyKnitter XD  When she sent this to me, my initial reaction was Ugh, really? Fucking people. This deserves a YRSTS entry.

This is one of the worst offenders I have seen so far. Why? Well, this is the most basic triangle shawl design EVAH. It shouldn't cost a fucking dime when there are so many

Alternatives

Man, I don't know where to start with the alternatives.

You could just do a Ravelry search for Free Triangle Shawls/Scarves (1,108 of them!!!) A lot of them are more complicated lace shawls, but here are some good ones that are identical or better than the one for $6 above:

  1. 3s Shawl
  2. Boneyard Shawl
  3. The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief
  4. LaLa's Simple Shawl
  5. Azzu's Shawl 
  6. Simple Yet Effective Shawl
  7. Gabriel's Wings
  8. Painted Desert Kerchief 
  9. Esker Scarf
  10. Be Sweet Kerchief

All free... some of these are by famous designers and they didn't even charge.

Or you can make your own. I know of one way on the top of my head:

Easy-As-Pie Shawl Formula

Two different ways to start:

  1. CO 3 st, knit six rows, then turn 90 degrees, pick up three stitches, turn another 90 degrees and pick up 3 more from the cast on edge.  OR
  2. CO 7 stitches. Knit two rows, then k2, m1, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, m1, k2

Now ya have 9 stitches.

RS: *k2, yo, (pm if desired) k 2, yo, k1, yo, k2, (pm), yo, k2
WS: k the first and last two stitches, and purl the remaining stitches.

The next and all remaining RS rows, you'll maintain the k2 yo at beginning and end, while also yo before and after the center stitch. You can get fancy and insert eyelet rows if you like (yo, k2tgther or ssk) every so often. Repeat until you get sick of it, or you reach the desired size. I would use a stretchy bind of of some sort (either a lace BO or Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off). Voila.

I have made two of these off the top of my own head. Not hard at all to do. use self striping yarn if you're too lazy to switch colors to make stripes. I may write up the "pattern" for the sensational shawlette, but it basically follows the above instructions with the addition of eyelet rows.

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!

NaCroMo, Bitches!

In case ya didn't already know, March is officially National Crochet Month!

Did you also know I have designed three different amigurumi patterns? You can find them here on the blog; just click on the tag for Patterns or Amigurumi (too lazy to link them here lol) :P  

To celebrate, I started another shawl featuring the pineapple stitch! I'm working it in lace weight with a size E hook. It's probably going to take me most of the month to finish it, as I've only been hooking at home. *smirks*

My progress as of Monday night. In case you're wondering, the yarn is Fleece Artist Saldanha in "Blush". I bought it online back in '10 on sale at Little Knits. As an aside, I used to shop there a lot, but they dicked me on shipping the last time I did + held up my order for a week. Not too pleased with them anymore.   

The Golden Pineapple shawl, as it was named by the blogger, is an easy pattern. It's chart only, so if you don't know how to read a crochet chart you'll have a hard time with it. If I feel ambitious enough (>__>) I may write the pattern out and/or rechart it. I can see how some might be intimidated by it, and there are some slight errors with it. Also, I made a couple of slight tweaks that made sense. I think I may do it, in the spirit of NatCroMo! I bought some knitting and crochet fonts on sale on a typography site; I thought they might have come in handy one day! We will see how well they work, and if I can even make a chart with them... if not, I might have to, um, procure some sort of software to do it.

Charting fascinates me.  What I like about crochet charts is this: most of the time, the symbols used look like the stitches required, which makes it automatic (almost mindless!) to follow. They also flow organically, and repeats are easier to follow as a result. Most knitting charts mystify the hell outta me. Straight row charts I can read, but I have to put some serious thought into it. Lace charts scare the bejesus out of me, and is honestly the one thing holding me back from starting my lace knitting odyssey...but that is a post for another day, I suppose.

I want to finish at least one more crochet project (probably another shawl...) and start a blanket to get rid of the Red Heart I have lurking around my room this month (I have a 30 gal storage tub full...).

More NatCroMo updates soon (hopefully :P)