All righty folks; as you well know, idle hands do the devil's work. Well, while my hands have been idle blog-wise, they haven't been idle craft-wise, so I thought I might share with y'all (that's right, I'm not from Texas) my work over the past couple of months, just in case you were afraid my fiber frenzy had abated somewhat.
I found this pattern in my 2007 Crochet calendar, but it is available for free here. I might add that I did make a few mods because I didn't like the way the purse puckered toward the base; if I were to tell you how I did it, however, I wouldn't remember; I just eyeballed it. Once I got to the end of the dcs on the outermost dc row, I did hdcs, scs, and sl s to flatten out the base as much as I could. I used Noro Kujaku in Color 21, which I believe is discontinued; I doubled the yarn and I'm pretty thrilled with how it came out.
This is the cool color side:
This is the warm color side:
The pics came out darker than the real thing, but it should give you a sense. The pattern doesn't call for a strap, but I liked the idea of a button in the center with a strap. I used these buttons I bought at The Big Box Store from Hell and covered them in yarn, and I made a strap starting with two rows of sc, then picking up the stitches and knitting linen stitch, and then two rows of sc, and crocheting the loop to go around the button. This was all eyeballed.
Then, HP-wise, I knit a Hip House Scarf from Charmed Knits (p. 94) in Ravenclaw colors, except that instead of spacing the CC rows by 14 rows, I spaced them by 22, which I like better:
This was knitted in Red Heart Soft, which, as its name indicates, is soft; it was really affordable and really nice to knit with, not at all acrylicky-plasticky, so I highly recommend it.
And then I tackled Rosemary Waits' wondrous HP Fair Isle pouch, just about the most exciting HP pattern to come our way in a long time, in my humble opinion:
I knit this in Red Heart Super Saver and, as you can tell by the squares looking more like rectangles, I need to work on my Fair Isle tension, but that said, I'm really, really excited with how it turned out. It still needs to be blocked, although because it's acrylic, I don't have high hopes of making it look perfect, but I'm proud of the thing, durnit! I have some heavy-duty blue cotton twill I will use to line it, and I will crochet a relatively short strap which I will line with the same fabric.
Okay, now this is me geeking out, but I had a dream not too long ago that I really wasn't a Ravenclaw, but a Gryffindor... so I'm wondering if I didn't self-sort myself wrong. In any event, I know I would be either. But where would I have really been? Self-indulgent Hogwarts Identity Crisis Alert...
On a lace-related note, I've been working on charting the Harpoon Lace from Donna Druchunas' Arctic Lace; it's been a bit of a headache given that I'm 1) a bit of a novice lace knitter and 2) not so much a little bit of a perfectionist, but I haven't given up and my experimentations are starting to bear fruit.
I never thought I would learn so much about how stitches behave, but this is about the best lace school experience I could have hoped for. My swatch is turning into a scarf right before my eyes, but it's worth it.
Just a note from experience: don't buy unmercerized el cheapo cotton to swatch for lace and wind it into hee-uge balls. It sticks to itself like crazy, and if it's super-fine and your big ball loses its tension as you use more and more yarn, which it invariably will, you'll be left with a tangled mess on your hands when your ball loses its shape. I learned this the hard way. When you're swatching, knots don't matter, so small balls is the way to go.
And FINALLY, dun dun dun dun.... Drumroll please ... The big piece of news...
I'm one of the Scholastic Sweepstakes winners to go see J.K. Rowling in the flesh in NYC on October 19!!! I never win anything. Never. But boy, am I glad I won this. When I found out about the sweepstakes, it wasn't actually closed yet - I usually find out about cool events and great concerts a week after they've taken place - so I figured the most I had to lose was a piece of paper, an envelope, and 41 cents. I entered. I won. I will leave the monumental squeal that came out of my mouth when I found out up to your imagination.
So, given that I am a severely addled HP fan, and that I belong to the sub-category of Severus Snape fans (aka Snapekins or, more commonly, Sev in the forum where I spend way too much time), I am dressing up. Yup, I bought a robe, a wand, a cool witch-looking denim jacket, and a nifty dark blue crushed velvet purse. I had thought of going as a Ravenclaw student, but seriously, at 32, I'm too old to pull that off, so I'm going as a grown witch, and I'm taking my fashion sense from Tonks (minus the hair color), thank you very much. I also have royal blue mesh tights and suede booties to wear. I promise I will post pics after the event.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Jump up and down, jump up and down, jump up and down. DH and I are making a 3-day weekend of it; while there we hope to get to Ellis Island, which I've wanted to see for the longest time, and maybe I can sneak a yarn store in there - shhhhh...
Hope you're all well!