Recently I bound off a few projects off my needles, Skyping Beanie , Rafa’s Hat and the Colour Affection Shawl.
Skyping Beanie :
Winter this year has been hard for specially Jacob,after staying away for three years in the middle east. He specially requested that I make him a hat to wear when he takes Amber for her walks and when he works out in the garden early in the morning or late in the evening.
It always is a pleasure to make things for my family because they love it . They have worn whatever I’ve made them proudly announcing to every one that asked that ‘Pearlin/mumma made it’ . Isn’t that enough to make a maker’s heart itch to cast on things all the time?
I could have finished it long back but as per usual, I didn’t have DPNs to finish the crown part. I had order some online, and by the time they arrived , I had lost track of what I was doing and made a few mistakes before I got back into rhythm with the project.
I used the Vanitas yarn I got in my goodie bag at Craft Camp Nz. It is super soft yarn made with baby alpaca and organic merino from Outlaw yarn again.
Project Details :
Pattern : Skpying Beanie by Halldora J
Yarn: Outlaw Vanitas in Nostalgia
Needles: 4mm Chiagoo Circulars and DPNS
Project Notes :
This was a really quick and wonderful pattern to knit.
While Jacob really loves his Skyping Beanie , and wears it often, he is someone who doesn’t like wearing too much colour. He requested another Skyping Beanie in some shade of grey or greyish blue or shades of black . When I saw Outlaw Bohemia Worsted in Ebony, I knew he would love it. I did plan to make a Skyping Beanie, with it but then I wanted to try a different pattern and decided on Rafa’s Hat by Joji Locatelli.
Project Details :
Pattern : Rafa’s Hat by Joji Locatelli
Yarn: Bohemia Worsted in Ebony
Needles: 3.75 mm Chiagoo Circulars, 3.5 mm Dpns
Project Notes :
This was a another lovely pattern
I did not have 3.75 mm DPNs for the crown decrease and so used the 3.5 mm DPNs I had on had , it did not make a big difference .
The yarn was a dream to work with . The result is another cozy , warm beanie for the winter cold.
I also finished the Colour Affection Shawl , I was working on. While it seemed like it took forever to finish, it worked up pretty quickly in the end. My co-worker Ethan has offered to block the Colour affection shawl for me and so its with him, until he can find time to block it and finish it completely.
The past couple of weeks I must confess have been hectic. Things that took a lot of my mental energy and didn’t leave me energy to do much else.
I had a few projects going , but however hard I tried, I just could not make myself to pick them up my needles or my hook.
So instead of just pushing myself to keep going with my projects, I decided to take some time away from it all. Until I really felt the desire to pick up my needles or hook back.
I downloaded an e book on Libby ( which is an app from the Christchurch Library that my friend Louise introduced me to) and read it. Did a little bit of journaling , tried a few new recipes and kind of went with the flow until I got the making spark again.
The break did me good and now I am back to making .
I have been working on my colour affection shawl and really enjoying it. The garter stitch fabric that the Little Bandit Yarn from Outlaw Yarn creates feels so squishy and soft. I love it.
In the first section, I ran out of the first colour , a few stitches before finishing that section. I ploughed through that with my second colour. And then I ran out of the second colour as well!
So, I decided to put it aside until I could go back into the store to get more yarn.
In the meantime, I was working on a few rows here and there on my Skyping beanie. In spite of the few mistakes I made on it, I’m thrilled , it is now technically finished. I still need to weave in the ends though for it to be officially finished .
After I completed the Beanie, I did manage to go into the store and get the little bandit Scallywag yarn I had run out on. I have started working back on my Colour Affection Shawl. However, I was getting a tad restless as I wanted to get done with this shawl and move on the other two projects I have in mind already.
As I was reflecting on my making journey , I realised that it is good for me to embrace the moments of not making, just as much the moments of making , to truly enjoy the bliss of making things with my hands and to come back with renewed enthusiasm to my projects. I even have a progress keeper to remind of finding joy in the process of making just as much as holding a finished project in my hand.
Instead of just churning out finished objects one after another for the sake of numbers (of projects finished ) I want to experience the joy of making ,with every single one of the items I make. Not just that, I also want to make time to read, walk outside with Amber , try a new recipe or skill or technique, enjoy the simple beauty of nature around me.
I feel truly grateful for having the choice to choose what I want to do with my time and my resources. I do hope this post inspires you to do the same if you are able to.
Finishing projects has been a struggle for me lately . I had misplaced two works in progress somewhere.That put a damper on my spirits and I kind of lost my making mojo.
The Granny Square Hottie cover came about as a result a scrappy make along. I had a big tangled mess of yarn which I had frogged from an abandoned project . When I found a hottie bottle without a cover , covering it up with granny squares seemed like a great plan. And it indeed was !
So quick and easy, with the granny squares getting done in just three rows each , I kept reaching out to them until it was all done. The Hot pink colour and the cream ( Kan Ten and Curiosity) made it a very bright and cheerful project.
I think the vintage buttons that came along as a free gift with Molly Makes magazine, tied the cover so well together. It is one of my favourite features of this project, on top of how this hottie cover came along.
Moreover ,an added bonus was the immense satisfaction, of pretty much using up all the yarn ,that was a frustrating pile of tangled mess mocking me.
I roughly followed Alexandra Mackenzie’s Granny Square Hottie Cover pattern.
Pattern Details :
Pattern : Granny Square Hottie Cover by Alexandra Mackenzie
Yarn : Outlaw Yarn Bandit DK in Kan Ten and Curiosity
Hook : 4 mm
Project Notes :
A few things I did differently from the pattern first and foremost , were the granny squares themselves . As a result I had to adjust the number of squares I made for the cover. I also joined the squares using single crochet rather than whip stitching them around. I was really happy to have a guideline in the pattern to follow and then make modifications to suit my needs.
Easy Victorian Shell Mitts :
While I do love a quick and easy granny square, nothing makes my soul sing like a feminine lacy pattern . I have made these mitts before in a cotton mix yarn called Main Line from Knit picks, now discontinued , when we were in Kuwait. For the Winters in Kuwait , that was good. After coming to Christchurch, a 70% cotton and 25% merino did not cut it for the Winter chill here. My hands were froze constantly and I have been meaning to make another pair in Merino.
When I first joined the Outlaw yarn team , Deb gifted me a Bohemia Worsted Yarn in the colour Royal and immediately I decided that I was going to use it for these mitts . Only, I never got around to making them. Even though they are a very quick and easy pattern that hardly takes more than an afternoon to finish the pair.
When I finished my granny square hottie cover, I was pumped up to crochet a little more and decided to just get these mitts done too. I had to go up a hook size than the pattern called for as I could not get the gauge right.That took a bit of time , as I started with a size smaller like I had done the first time, then the size called for in the pattern and finally going up a hook size . Yet, it did not take more than an evening to finish the Mitts.
The Polwarth, Possum and alpaca mix in the yarn makes these mitts so cozy , soft and extremely warm to wear. I love how the yarn and the colour bring out the beauty of this pattern. Needless to say , I’m so pleased with how they turned out and have this long overdue project ticked off my list of to do things.
Pattern Details :
Pattern : Easy Victorian Shell Mitts by Bron Green
Yarn : Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Worsted in Royal
Hook : 5 mm
Being able to create these two projects with yarn I had in my stash, after not finishing anything at all for a while ,has truly been a magical making moment for me.
Two months have gone by in 2020 already and 2019 seems like a distant past.
Still the fact that I had not not share my favourited Finished Object of 2019 here on the blog was not lost on me.
So to amend the glaring omission, I just wanted to share pictures of my 2nd Avenue Shawl here .
Working at Outlaw HQ, has given me the privilege of being surrounded by very talented makers, gorgeous yarn and so much inspiration.
Initially ,seeing the colours, the different yarns , textures, patterns , makers , enjoying the community and admiring their beautiful creations, I was like a child in a sweet shop, I wanted to make all the things .In the end, I really couldn’t decide what I wanted to make !
When Outlaw October rolled around, it was also around the time , a new limited edition of polwarth/ silk yarn line called NYX Prohibition was released. The colours and the silky sheen of the yarn were too hard to pass up .
So off to Ravelry I went to search for a project that would use as many colours as possible ; which then ended up in me zeroing on the Second Avenue Shawl. I have had this pattern on my queue for a while now but never got around to casting it on.
The Outlaw October Knit along and the irresistible beauty of the NYX Prohibition yarn ,ended up being the creative fuel I needed to cast on this shawl .
This shawl is a really nice, simple pattern with just enough elements ,to keep me interested -with slight pattern changes and colour changes -in the pattern until cast off . So I enjoyed knitting on it and was really pleased with the end product.
This week I finished my Sunday Shawl. I usually stay away from making the same project twice. This shawl is too pretty not to make .Unlike the first time I made this shawl, this time I made it in DK yarn , again from Outlaw Yarn , this time in Bandit Yarn. As expected, it worked up to be another quick project.
The pattern has been updated since I made it last time .It was not a difficult pattern to follow in the first place but with the updated pattern , it was a breeze.
It felt really good to get back into crochet again.
Project Details :
Pattern : Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland
Hook : 5 mm
Yarn : Outlaw yarn Bandit
(I used 5 skeins of the colour Curiosity for the main colour and one skein each of Daring, Frolic,Rouge, Kan-ten, Adventure and Scallywag for the accent colours)
My work mate Ethan and I chose the colours for this shawl as it is going to be a shop sample at Outlaw HQ . It was sweet serendipity that the colours I got custom dyed for my previous Sunday Shawl accent colours were all almost of the same colour palette.
Whats more, my usually very disinterested teen actually thought he could pinch it from me for himself and was sorely disappointed that it was a for a store sample.
It has been a long dream of mine to make a throw blanket. If you go through my past blog post, you can see how many I have started. The reason there is no finished blanket on here is because I never got around to finishing them.
Honestly, when I started this Chunky blanket, given my previous history of making blankets, I wasn’t sure if I would finish it. The Outlaw Chunky Queen Bee yarn , and the easy and fun Chunky Blanket Pattern , made this blanket dream of mine come true. To my own surprise , it turned out to be a quick knit.
With the little leftover yarn, I decided to make tassels because I just wanted to use them up and also add a fun element to it. I was tossing between pompoms and tassels but then I decided to go with tassels. I am happy with how it turned out.
Project Details :
Pattern : Chunky Cable Blanket
Yarn : Queen Bee Yarn in Smudge, Yara, Titania and Zelda ( 9 skeins in total)
I hope you all are back to work after enjoying lovely Christmas and New Year holidays.
I have been long gone from the blog ,but I have been busy posting on other social media, which is You Tube and Instagram in bits and pieces. If you would like , you can catch up on my 12 days of Vlogmas on my You Tube channel Planetpearl.
The year 2019 seemed to whiz past , mostly because it was a year of huge personal growth for me.
I started working at Outlaw Yarn HQ . People who know me really well, know its a dream come true for me.
Once I read about a research that found ,that people who worked in Flower shops were one of the happiest . I can understand that , because how is it possible not to smile when you are surrounded by flowers, right?
As a fiber craft enthusiast, I feel the same way working in a yarn store( or Wool Shop as some people like to call it here ). It is hard not be happy surrounded by all the colourful yarn and meeting some really cool people , seeing the amazing projects they make. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.
It also opened up the opportunity for me to meet Steven Be . THE Steven Be . Which was one the year’s highlights for me.
He helped me cast on my Pearl Sweater. Which I thought was so cool. Really who would have thought I would meet him right ? And that he would be so down to earth and humble ,to patiently take the time to teach an absolutely beginner sweater knitter , how to do a cast on, explain the garment structure and make sure I got it right. Surely if that is not being generous with one’s time, I do not know what is !
Ever since I met him, I have been fan girling gushing talking about what a wonderful person he is to know! So much inspiration, wealth of knowledge , so positive and funny.
One of the things I checked off my Bucket list in 2019, was attending Christchurch Woolfeast as a stall Vendor ,selling my Hold and Cherish project bags . Two of my close friends and my son gave me so much support and made it a wonderful success.
Another wonderful experience was flying over to Wellington to attend Craft Camp. It was such a well organised camp which helped me meet some amazingly talented women.
I learnt to dye yarn along with Steve, my younger son, which was a great exposure to art of yarn dyeing for both of us.
I also tried weaving which I really loved too.
I’m really proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and I’m really pleased with how the year 2019 went for me craft wise.
For the year 2020…
Regardless of how my personal life is going, I always get excited about a New Year. It’s always a time to reflect on the past lessons and look forward with hope, to another year of inspiration and learning .
The plans for this year include ,moving towards a more intentional ,slow living and uncluttered lifestyle.
I have already cleared out my closet of clothes that I do not wear, to be donated to Salvation Army. Which does make me feel better about putting my thoughts into action.
I also hope I will be able to keep up with my blog more regularly, sharing more of my creating journey ,towards a joyful life.
With that said,Thank you so much for being part of my creative journey , for your encouragement and support by way of likes and comments. Appreciate you all so much.
I’ve always enjoyed learning to make new things and the two seasons have been really good on that front.
First thing that I wanted to learn to make this year was to learn to make socks. I did not get a good result when I attempted to teach myself. When a class was announced at a local yarn store, I did not think twice before signing up. The yarn and the needles were part of the class.
Good thing I did because, not only did I learn to make the socks, i really enjoyed it as well as one colour transitioned to another .Whats so exciting is that they fit my foot perfectly!.Im still learning to do the Kitchener stitch perfectly though.
A local yarn store advertised for sample knitters and I applied and got to make a sample blanket.The yarn and pattern were given to me by the yarn store plus paid to make the blanket.
Honestly it was so fun to work on once I got hang of all the repeats right. The yarn was really lovely to work with as well.
What I really liked about this blanket was that the edging on the blanket was also a chevron.
By the time I finished this blanket, this yarn store decided to move to a near by town . So I took a bus to go there to return the blanket which turned out to be another adventure!
I also made a pony tail headband to wear when walking Amber . The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the colourway Lotus. Its really cozy and warm to wear.
I also tried my hand at candle pouring. Which was really fun too.Ive been using these candles I made constantly
I also took a Botanical Skin care Workshop with Tuwahiwi Botanicals , which was a wonderful workshop and I learnt a lot of face oils .
This work shop took me straight back to the days when my mom and I used to make all sorts of natural skincare powders.
My dad would tirelessly went to the local native medicine shop to get all the things from our long list of ingredients. Some of the ingredients we often collected from the plants growing wildly near our home.Beautiful carefree days to reminiscence and cherish the love that went into my upbringing.
Looking back at all these things it feels like a very productive season.