My Summer Crochet and Knitting Projects

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Since summer is here, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to make this summer. I am currently working on the Featherweight Cardigan, a blanket and this crocheted tank top pattern. The tank top uses yarn I have had for years I have been trying to figure out how to use the yarn since I used it to make a scarf and had to unravel it several years ago. I am excited about this project; I think it is cute top and I am happy to find a good use for this yarn. I am also still working on the Featherweight Cardigan. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the month but I am not sure that will happen. I don’t have a set time that I want to finish the blanket. I started it as a fun project to do while I listened to podcasts. It is also a stash buster. I am OK if this takes a long time to complete.

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Once I finish the Featherweight Cardigan, I have been thinking about making the Zinone top by Andi Satterlund. I have wanted to make it since it was first published. I think that it will be a good addition to my wardrobe and be fun to make. I could use some summer weight dressy tops. However, it is on my mind that I will be starting this top around July and may not finish this top until early fall. During this time, I could cast on a sweater and have a sweater ready for fall. On the other hand, I love this pattern and I want to work on things that make me happy. I haven’t made up my mind what I am going to do about this.

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In addition to the Zinone, I also love this lace top. I am not sure if I will get around to making it this summer. I am thinking about starting this in the fall, It is a lightweight top but I think this could be a good piece to layer with a sweater or blazer. I also want to make a lace scarf but I am not sure when I will get around to it or if I will have the time to do a lace project this summer.

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My Belcarra Cardigan

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I recently finished the Belcarra Cardigan by Robyn Chachula. I am very happy with how it turned out but I found it to be a frustrating project. The main thing that frustrated me was that it took a lot longer than I thought to finish it. I started making this in late November. I finished the sweater in mid May. and I had hoped to be wearing it this past winter. I had to unravel the same section several times before I could get a good start on it. I finally got a good start then I got distracted by Christmas knitting and a log cabin project.

 I thought about putting it on hold or unraveling it a few times. The main reason I kept going was that I had bought the yarn to make the project and I wanted this sweater in my wardrobe.  I did end up up putting it on hold for a while. I finally started working on it again and had to restart a couple of sections several times. Near the end this was all I worked on because I wanted to finish it before it was too hot to wear it. I did finally finish it but it was a struggle.

 Now that it is done, I am glad to have it. It is the nicest sweater I have. Before this project, I didn’t have a nice coat cardigan. This is a much needed addition to my wardrobe. When I was making it, there were times that I wasn’t sure how much I liked it. I didn’t like the sleeves before I added the cuffs. Once I added the cuffs, it came together and looked good but before that, I was pretty discouraged and thought the sleeves looked funny. Now that I am done, I am very happy to have with how this sweater looks. 

My Knitting and Crochet Goals for 2018

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I am a little late with this but I thought I would post some of my goals for my 2018 projects.

 1: Stash bust

I have a lot of odd bits of yarn I have collected over the years. Some of it is leftovver from other projects. Some of it is yarn I bought on impulse and some of it friends gave me. I would like to use up some of the odd bits of yarn I have. I did some stash busting projects in 2017 and want to continue this year.

 2: Keep making garments

I want to continue to make garments I can use in my wardrobe and be more thoughtful about what I decide to make. 

 3 Learn to make socks.

I  went through my wardrobe and could use some new socks at some point. I have realized that making socks could be a way for me to make things I can really use that may be fun. Before I started looking into handmade wardrobe stuff, I mainly thought of sock knitting as a knitting technique to learn instead of making socks to wear. I am not sure why I thought this. I have already bookmarked some sock patterns that people recommended that are supposed to be good for beginners.

 5: Get my crochet mojo back

I feel like I have been knitting more than I have been crocheting lately. I have been more inspired by knitting projects lately. I would like to get some of my crochet mojo back. I have been thinking about making another blanket. After that, I am not sure what crochet projects excite me. I need to read more about crochet and see what would be fun to learn and make.

My Current Projects

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Since I recently wrote about the log cabin project I am doing, I thought I would give you an update on my other knitting and crochet projects. With the pullover pictured above, I am done with the body and the first sleeve. I just need to finish the 2nd sleeve and neckline. I have tried it on a few times and it fits well. I want to finish this soon because I want to wear it. I got distracted by making Christmas presents and log cabin knitting but I am back to working on it. 

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I haven’t made much progress on this cardigan. I  had also put this aside to work on Christmas presents. I had a hard time getting a good start on this sweater. I kept getting the stitch pattern off and had to rip it back several times. I have been frustrated with this. I would have given up already if I didn’t want this cardigan in my wardrobe so badly. I finally got to a point where I was able to get a good start on it. I am hoping I can start making more progress.

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I also started knitting a cable scarf. I looked my scarves and and realized that I could use a textured grey scarf. I saw some patterns on Ravelry I really liked but ended up making up my own pattern. I had to swatch 4 times but I finally found a stitch pattern I like.

My Finished Blanket

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In an earlier post, I wrote about 2 projects I finished that were stash busters. I finished this blanket back in November. I am incredibly happy with how it turned out. When I was planning it out, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out at all because I didn’t use a pattern for this. When I started to plan this blanket, it felt like a big project for me. I can’t remember when I have been so excited about how a project turned out. It was so exiting to me to finish a bit project and have it turn out well. It really boosted my confidence and makes me want to try other ideas I have been thinking abut doing.

 I finished in time for the weather here to get very cold and it came in handy. I found out one of my other blankets had holes that I was’t able to easily repair so I ended up sending it a recycling center. I found this out as I was almost done making this blanket. By time I finished it, I really needed a new blanket. It goes well with my bedspread and has been very cozy. The day I finished it I used it to take a nap and it was nice. The other blanket I made a few years ago was a little too short. I made this one wider and longer and it works out much better. I am thinking about making another blanket but I feel like I need a break from making such a large project.

Project Update-Stash Busting

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I am back after a hiatus; I had taken a break over thanksgiving week and that ended up being a longer break than I had thought. When I took that week off, I didn’t work on the blog or write. I lost momentum and then each day I didn’t write, it was harder and harder to get back to it. I finally got some blogging mojo back and I wanted to give an update of the projects I have been working on since I last published a post. I will start by writing about my stash busting projects.

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I finished this bag in the middle of November. I made this bag in part because I wanted to use up some yarn in my stash. The lavender yarn is yarn I bought on clearance a few years ago. I have had it in my stash for years but I couldn’t figure out how to use it until now. The solid colored light blue yarn is some Cotton/polyester blend yarn that was leftover from other projects. The bag ended up using more yarn than I thought it would. I ended up also using some other cotton yarn for the bag. The cotton yarn is the blue and white yarn. I am mostly happy with how it turned out. It came out a little uneven in spots and I had to go back and fix that. I think that happened because I got the stitch count off on several rows. For now I am using the bag to store the yarn I want to use for a blanket I want to make.

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I also finished the hat in the first picture. I started it because I was looking for a quick and easy project to relieve stress after I had to unravel a shawl I had worked on for months. I also wanted to use up the odd bits of worsted weight yarn in my stash. I had wanted to make a colorful hat out of my yarn scraps for a while. I am very happy with how the hat turned out and it is becoming one of my favorite hats to wear. I love the bright colors, they make me happy.

Rethinking my Yarn Stash

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One thing I recently realized is that if I want to make more sweaters, I will have to re think how I buy yarn. I looked at my stash and I didn’t have that much yarn In quantities large enough to make a sweater. I have a lot of smaller amounts of yarn. I also realized that I haven’t made more sweaters in the past because of the cost to buy a sweaters worth of yarn at one time. The sweater I am making now is yarn I bought at Michaels on clearance and the Green Gable I made was a stash buster. Moving forward, I am thinking I may need to be more deliberate about what yarn I buy. In other words, buy enough for a sweater I really want to make instead of several smaller impulse purchases. Earlier this fall I went through my wardrobe to see what sweaters I could use for this fall and winter. The 2 sweater patterns I want to make next will fill the gaps I found in my wardrobe. I need a light weight dark neutral cardigan and lighter colored casual cardigan that is warmer.

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It made me nervous to use up the sweaters amounts of yarn I already had and not be able to make anymore garments for a while. Plus, for the sweaters I really want to make next, I didn’t have the yarn for them. Knit Picks was having a sale and I found out I could buy the yarn I wanted at an affordable price so I went ahead and bought 2 sweaters worth of yarn. I bought Knit Picks Palette in dark grey to make the Featherweight Cardigan and I also bought some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport in a lighter grey to make the Belcarra Cardigan. I want to start these projects. I am excited about both of them. I just need to finish up a couple projects I am currently doing. 

My Stash Busting, Theory Vs Practice

 

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In the past, I published several blog posts on stash busting. For 2 of the posts, I posted links to patterns I liked that I found through a few Ravelry searches. I still really like the patterns I found but I realized that when I set out to stash bust; I didn’t think to look back those posts I wrote or use the patterns I looked up. I decided to look back at the posts I wrote and review how many of the pattern links I posted I actually used. I found out that I didn’t use that many of the patterns from those posts. In one of those posts, I did publish a link to a log cabin blanket pattern that I am seriously thinking of doing next and instructions for the mitered squares technique that I used for the scarf in the above picture. But for the most part, I either improvised or used a pattern in my queue.

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Recently, to stash bust, I made 2 hats, a scarf, and a sweater. I didn’t use a pattern for the hats and used  patterns in my Ravelry queue for the bag and sweater. I made a hat out of small bits of acrylic yarn from my stash for a knit a a long. I am currently making this bag to use up some yarn I got on clearance and never knew what to do with and some other yarn I wanted to use up. I crocheted a hat to use up small bits of cotton yarn in my stash and didn’t use a pattern.I made the lace scarf pictures below for a knit design challenge, That was also a stash buster. I used some cotton wool leftover from a sweater I made. Finally, the Green Gable was a stash buster, I used yarn I had bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really liked the pattern and it was a good use for yarn I had for ages and wanted to use up.

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 Moving forward I really want to do more stash busting. I have realized I have a lot of odd skeins of yarn in my stash. I am itching to make a log cabin blanket ever since I watched a tutorial about a week ago. I have a lot of acrylic yarn I want to use up and this seems like a good way to use it. Plus, it is rows of garter stitch and a visually exciting result. I have seen some people on Instagram knit sweaters out of odd skeins of scarp yarn that are the same weight. However, I am not sure how gauge would work for if it would fit when I was finished. I also am eyeing this lace scarf. For that scarf, I want to use some knit picks yarn I have that is leftover from a sweater I knitted years ago. Right now, I want to finish my sweater and have some holiday knitting to do so I don’t think I will start these projects right away. How about you? How do you like to stash bust? Let me know in the comments. 

Knitting and Crochet Projects for Halloween

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Halloween is coming up soon so I thought I would post some of my favorite Halloween themed projects that I either want to make or have made.

 Skull Shawl- This shawl has been in my queue for a long time and I really like it. I haven’t made it yet because I don’t have the yarn needed and am trying to use what I have.

 Spider Web Doily- I also like this spider web doily, I am thinking about making this once I finish my blanket or tote bag.

 Pumpkin Spice -I saw this knitted pumpkin pattern on Instagram and am thinking it may be a good use for some orange yarn I have in my yarn stash.

Halloween Bat- I made this bat for a friend who loves to decorate for Halloween and she loved it. It was also fun to make.

 Crochet Skull- I had made myself this crochet skull  years ago and I like to hang it up near my desk during Halloween.

September Stash Bust KAL

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In September, I participated in the September Stash Bust KAL* hosted by Wolf and Faun Knits.  It is a KAL where people encourage each other to make projects that use up unused yarn in our stash.  The aim is to be resourceful, simplify and declutter.  Here is a post that explains the KAL. In this KAL, people have been posting pictures of yarn they want to use up and have asked for advice on how to use it and posted pictures of the projects they are doing to stash bust.   

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When I heard about this KAL, I immediately wanted to join. I like to do projects to use up odd bits of my yarn stash. In the past, I have published a blog post of projects for stash busting that I liked. This summer,  I made this hat out of odd bits of cotton yarn . I don’t like waste so I save even the smallest amounts of yarn leftover from a project. I also think it is a good creative practice to use what you have.

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For the KAL, I made a hat out of some of my small bits of acrylic scrap yarn. The hat is pictured in the top photo. I had been thinking about doing a project like this for a while. This KAL seemed like a good time to do it. I am thinking about making another hat out of my odd bits of worsted weight scrap yarn at some point. I enjoyed this KAL and, I liked looking at each others projects.

*KAL stands for Knit a long