|slipper sock by sharon klinsky adjusted to fit my two year old niece|
|simple earth hat by laurie laliberte|
|slipper sock by sharon klinsky|
pattern adjusted to fit me
Okay, done. . .finally time to just knuckle down and finish those slipper socks I started for myself back in October. This is one of the most versatile and easy to adjust patterns I've ever worked. I'll tell ya Sharon Klinsky, their designer, is a GENIUS! Adjusting the pattern to accommodate different sizes, widths, etc is so easy it's criminal. No, they're not glamorous, but they're extremely warm because they're worked with two strands of yarn and they work up quickly because of the simplicity of the design. In just a few hours I made a pair to give to my two year old niece for Christmas. I will warn you if you're prone to discomfort/pain in your hands for any reason, these can be tough to work. My fingers are still stiff a day after finishing the pair I made for the little one (partially from the crocheting, partially from the weather). Still, I'd like to make a few more pairs before Christmas, one for each of her brothers and another for myself so my feet won't be cold while I wash my first pair.
Somehow in this flurry of activity I WAS able to finish the cross stitching on the towel in my "Cross-Stitchable" collection. I'm sure I'll be listing that before this post hits your screen, at least that's my intent. I must say that I really like it and I'm darn proud of it because I've never written a cross stitch pattern before. (Can you tell I can't wait to show it off?) Anyhow, now that I've brought you full circle, perhaps I should get to the reason for these two posts. . .
|plaits & bobbles hat by michele thompson|
After seeing N's hat, his Mom asked if I had, already made, a hat in my stash that would coordinate with her winter coat. Immediately I thought of one I made last winter that I absolutely love. I originally made the pattern for myself a couple of years ago in a solid lilac acrylic. I made it again in this aran fleck that just seemed to beg for this pattern when I picked it up at the craft store.
Note: I searched everywhere so I could link this pattern, but it's nowhere to be found.What better to go with a beige and chocolate brown coat, right? Wrong. Mom tried it on and wasn't crazy about the way it slouched on her. She asked for something more fitted. So I searched. . .and searched. . .and I found a few styles that I thought would suit her simple/less embellished style. We settled on chocolate brown for the color so I wouldn't have to order yarn before getting started and I pulled up my Ravelry queue to show her the styles I had chosen for her. She stood over my shoulder as I clicked from one style to the next and suddenly I heard, "Wait, stop! Click that one." "THIS one?" "Yeah, that one. Do you have that color? Not the blue, the green under it." She had spotted a pretty puff stitch beret/tam style I had queued for myself. Well, it just so happens that yes, I DID have that color in my stash AND the pattern from Pierrot Yarns was FREE! Within an hour, I was comfy on the couch with my laptop on the coffee table in front of me and the project begun.
In the interest of saving paper I rarely print patterns. Instead I save them on my laptop so I can carry them almost anywhere. However, I need to get around to creating a better filing system.
By the time dinner was ready I was tweaking the pattern slightly so it would better suit Mom's face shape vs. the Japanese model in the picture. By bedtime the hat was done and it looked great. . .and great on her. So why is this particular project blogworthy? Because the doggone thing's in Japanese! Honestly, I believe the two most beautiful sources on Ravelry for free patterns are the Japanese companies (which I lump under one umbrella) and Drops Design. Both have attention to detail that we Americans often overlook. Of course, the drawback to each of them is that neither is written in American terminology. That's why I hadn't made projects from either group until now.
|oval tiny bubbles scrubby by laurie laliberte|
When I first sat down to make Mom's hat, I groaned. I had forgotten that it was a Japanese pattern. Okay, deep breath. The All Shawl pattern was written AND had a chart. Heck, I had WRITTEN a chart for my Oval Tiny Bubbles Scrubby so I could better visualize the end product. (I later wrote the instructions by following that chart.) I knew I could make the hat by working completely from the chart. I just had to find a key so I could be certain I was reading it correctly. I found a great conversion chart and set to work. By the time I began the third round, I was able to follow the pattern without a second thought and it was a breeze. All in all, I think the finished project turned out great AND it did wonders for my self confidence. I still can't read Japanese, but now I know I can work any of the Japanese patterns available on Ravelry. . .and so can you!
As always, Happy Crocheting!
All of the items pictured in this article were crocheted by Laurie Laliberte using Lily Sugar 'n Cream except the slipper socks which were done in Pisgah Peaches 'n Creme 100% cotton worsted weight yarn. All photos were taken by and are property of Laurie Laliberte.