"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What's on Your Hook / Needles?

This post, for me, was FUN with a capital F-U-N! I asked a few of my online yarn diva friends a fairly simple question and got very different answers. I wanted to do a blog post that would feature a few of my pals from different parts of the country and various levels of crazy (heh) who have one thing in common:  yarn.
So I asked them, "What is on your hooks/needles right now? projects/yarns/stitches involved. Anything you wish to share about it is appreciated like what drew you to the project(s) in the first place. If you've got more than one project going right now, pick three that you're willing to share along with links to the patterns if you can." And my girls delivered.
First up is Talia who ran away from corporate America and is now living the dream as a stay-at-home mom, spinner, and knitter. She is also the web mistress extraordinaire from International Fleeces. Here's what she had to say:
Oh, Ravelry, Ravelry, how you inspire! Moms have a lot of odd moments where the baby isn't quite awake yet but is not quite asleep. There are times when a quick check of my boards on Ravelry is all I can do in a day and this usually takes place in those odd-almost-awake-baby moments. I found the two projects I am currently working on in such a way.

The first is a scarf made from commercial yarns by Knit Picks. The pattern caught my eye when I saw a movie still, of Jude Law conversing with Robert Downey Jr., from the movie "Sherlock Holmes:  A game of Shadows." A kind knitter on Ravelry, after seeing the movie, started a discussion about the scarf. It is a basic knit 1, purl 1 striped scarf. As the discussion about the scarf and Mr. Law's hunkiness continued to grow, someone posted photos of the actual scarf that they got to see in person, which helped other knitters to count the number of stitches, rows, and repeats. It was communally decided that there are 72 stitches of K1,P1 pattern done in repeated stripes consisting of 12 rounds of brown, 2 grey, 6 blue, and 2 grey. Teresa Ferreira offers a free pattern to download from Ravelry called "Elementary, Dr. Watson." (LINKY: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elementary-dr-watson) She uses 3 colors of Knit Picks:  Wool of the Andes, which is nice because it didn't break the bank. Her pattern is slightly different with 12 less stitches and different row counts but her scarf came out as fabulous as the original.

The second project is a garment I truly adore though it comes without the handsome model of the first. It is an Orenburg triangle shawl called Four Season:  The Autumn created by Russian Lily Designs. (LINKY: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/four-seasons-the-autumn-orenburg-triangle) Russian Lily showcased this shawl in a Spinner's Marketplace listing to give an example of lace yarn made from grey Orenburg goat down that she sells. Needless to say, I bought the down to spin on my Orenburg metal-tipped spindles, which I had previously purchased from the designer. I plied the Orenburg gossamer lace singles with some grey, commercial spun, silk thread that I imported from India. If I were forced to make a choice between Jude Law and the handspun yarn for this shawl, I would pick the yarn.

The pattern for this shawl is incredible; it is like an e-book. Russian Lily talks about the music of shawls and goes into traditional Orenburg methods of construction. There are 2 complete sets of charts and an excellent photo tutorial. This project is still in the beginning stages of knitting but I am already finding it to be a thrill. Don't worry all you not-yet-handspinners, the designer suggest several different commercial yarns in the directions so you don't have to learn how to spin...yet.
Next is Megan whose blog, Crochet Every Day, featured one free pattern each day last year and her commitment to complete every posted project by the end of 2014. That's how we met and became online friends. You can also find Megan at Newlywife.
the woman herself, Megan, holding her finished Basket Case Scrubby designed by Laurie Laliberte (yes, me)
I just finished a gingham blanket and let me tell you -- I am so excited to be done! It was on and off the hook for about a year. Once I found out my friend was pregnant with a boy, I knew it had to be hers! That gave me a deadline (the shower last weekend) and I made mini goals to finish. I was done about a week ahead of schedule and it felt good! Why was it so tiring? Each square was 2 rounds of a granny square -- that's tiny! So lots of joining and weaving (and I hate weaving in ends). I've moved into a ripple blanket in bright summer colors -- so fun! The pattern is from Attic24 and the yarn was a gift from my Mother-in-Law. When I picked it up to work on it a few days ago, I realized that I had done the whole first portion in dc and not tc like the pattern calls for... so dc ripple blanket it is! And I have some scrubbies on my hook -- the perfect gift for a bride to be. In case you were wondering, it's a set of both the basketweave and horizontal stripes in a few different colors.
And now, Melissa, whose tastes are so similar to mine in everything we do that I call her my "Sistah from anotha Mistah." She is definitely my official online bestie. Melissa left the navy to settle down with her sailor and become a stay-at-home mom to her two boys. She swears she's going to get her Etsy shop up and running, but seems to be doing a great job of selling her finished crochet projects by word of mouth. You can find her on twitter @coppertop97.
Awww!! I DID settle down with my sailor!! So cute how you put it!! Okie doke...here goes.

I have 3 things going on right now, well 4 but you only want 3, but I gave you 4. Cause I prefer even #'s. [ed. See? We're so much alike, it's scary!]

Color Me
It's dc in one st and sc in next using an H hook. I find it makes for a really neat texture for the crayon. I have to drop colors and change them, then pick the old color back up. There are TONS of ends to weave in and slip stitches for the letters. I'll also have to attach the words to the crayon and each crayon together, which is something I've never done before. I also had to do decreases for the crayon point, much easier than I thought!! It's really a labor of love!! Since I'm making it for my 5-yo son. I'm using Red Heart Super Saver so it's a little sturdier and can hopefully make it through his childhood without getting all stretched out. I have to admit, I've come to adore RHSS. The colors are so pretty & vibrant. The yarn is surprisingly soft once washed.

Swirl Baby Blanket
I've made two of these before. At first I didn't understand how to start the pattern and I didn't know how to make sure it kept getting larger with each round. Thankfully another crochet friend taught me how to make it when we were living in VA. I'm really proud of myself for starting another one (for an upcoming baby shower) all by myself. I'm using a baby yarn from my stash, Bernat Baby Jacquards, Berries & Cream. It is SO soft & pretty, and the design the variegation creates is lovely. It's going to make a very light, soft, but warm baby blanket.

Purely Square Baby Throw
This is my first granny square baby blanket and I'm hooked, lol. I'm in love with variegated yarns. I chose Bernat Baby Sport, Pajama Party, for its springy colors, and an H hook. It's for another baby shower. The pattern is very easy. I'm surprised I don't need to look at the pattern anymore. You just keep going around and around. I already have a bunch of ideas for more granny square blankets, all sorts of different color combos.

Shell Sleep Sack & Cap
I'm also giving this a try. I've tried making sleep sacks/baby cocoons before, but they haven't gone well. This one MIGHT. I'm using another beautiful variegated Bernat Baby Sport, Chiffon Print, and an H hook. If I can get this sack done, I might have the confidence to make a matching hat. Hats and I do NOT go together well. I wish I could make hats.
These lovely ladies have given us all so many patterns to checkout that I think I'll leave it at that. Maybe I'll talk about my finished projects after April's big event. Thank you all for helping me make National Craft Month worth its weight in yarn.
Oh, by the way, the first five yarn divas (male or female) to leave a comment to share their latest projects with us will receive a complimentary copy of the Basket Case Scrubby pattern. Don't forget to leave us a link for the pattern or your project on Ravelry so we can check it out.
Happy Crafting!


  1. I love this! But we may have to have a crochet duel for Melissa. ;) She's a bestie fo'sho! I was lucky enough to live close to her & crochet IRL with her - well, before her sailor up & hauled her to MO.

    1. Jealous! If the planets align correctly, I may be able to do that within the next year. Check your email in a few.

    2. I have a great solution! You both should move out here with me in MO!! Sounds perfect to me!

      Laurie, this is so awesome! Thanks, xoxo!!

  2. Replies
    1. Oh! And count me out for the basket case pattern... we all know I already have it (and have made at least 3 of them)!

    2. Will do! I try not to play favorites, but I think the Basket Case is my favorite scrubby.