Thursday, August 27, 2009

Silk Razzmatazz Necklace

I put this necklace together as a gift for an envelope swap I participated in recently, I thought rather than just sending along buttons with the rest of the goodies, I'd make them more special by turning them into an artsy necklace.

The yarn I used for this project is Berroco Seduce, it's a rayon/linen/silk blend and it worked beautifully for this application.
Both knitting and crochet are used in construction, though I offer an alternative for non-crocheters. I knitted an I-Cord (size 4 dp) knitted to the desired length, I found just the right button to use as a closure and then I made a loop on the other end to button it into. I placed stitch markers in the I-Cord where I wanted to begin the embellishment and end's easy to loose track when it's in your hands and you're working away! I determined this by putting the necklace on to better see where the necklace would hang and the best area to place the embellishment. Then with a crochet hook (size G) I did a slip stitch to attach the chain where I wanted to begin my swag of buttons. When I wanted to add a button, I lengthened my working loop and used a needle threader or a fine crochet hook to pull it through the button hole, slipped the working loop back on the crochet hook and chained a stitch or two. As you can see by the close up picture above, sometimes I added another button right away, even double stacking them, sometimes I chained a few stitches in between. When I was ready to move to the next swag, I slip stitched it into the I-Cord. (If you don’t crochet, you could easily just attach the buttons by stringing them on your yarn, knotting in between clusters and slipping a little knot into the I-Cord to secure the swag.) When you're done, just slip stitch and work in your ends, just like knitting.

If I were making this for myself, all those chain stitches would offer good opportunity for some more crochet embellishments.

This is a quick fun project, plus it's also great opportunity to dig through that button box (FUN!) and take all those terrific old buttons you've been collecting and turn them into wearable art. I bet Grandma would love to see her buttons on display!

Have a great week! Blessings Friends!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wraping Up The Free Range Wrap!

Yea, all done! I really enjoyed this project from start to finish, there wasn't one moment when I felt the yen for a new project. Don't get me wrong, I'm always percolating with ideas, but that's the beauty of free range knitting, every passage is a new moment, a new idea. So even while I was excited about future projects and mentally raiding my yarn stash in preparation, this wrap was fun and engaging to work on! So here's a picture of me...wind swept hair and all, wearing the wrap. I discovered that my beloved bobble row fitted perfectly with a lacy yo row on the opposite side and made the perfect closure!

Here's a close up, the Bobbles button into the yarn over lace pattern perfectly. How fortuitous! When I wear it buttoned this way, it looks like a sweater. Of course I plan on wearing it loose too, like a regular wrap.

I also had the same Bobble luck on the edge, you can see I am able to button the corner up around my wrist, creating a sleeve effect. My love of the bobble/popcorn stitch really paid off. I am already dreaming up an actual sweater specifically with these types of closures, something a bit more shaped maybe.

I wanted to show a close up of the edge treatment, it really made a big difference in the overall look. I ended up using two strands of Berroco, Seduce one in soft purples, the other in soft blue/greens and I did two rounds of single crochet around the edge. This is on the advise of my Mum, who is my go to gal for crochet advise and information. Then I followed up with the crocheted picot edge using a single strand of the seduce, in the soft purple color way. I used this stitch on my last project and loved it, after I saw it in used Jane Thornley's news letter, she showed a knitted picot bind off, which I think is even more elegant and flowery looking than the crocheted version if you have active stitches to finish off.

So that's the wrap up of my Free Range Wrap, I look forward to torturing all my friends and family by making them see me wear it all the time!!!

Blessings Friends!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Range Wrap..Off The Needles

Here's a close up of the last length of knitting on my Free Range Wrap.

And here it is all laid out full length, off the needles, it measures 75" long. I was going for at least 72" so this works just fine for me. All that needs to be done now is to weave in the ends and to finish the edges. I have purchased Berroco Seduce in three variegated colors, this is a rayon/linen/silk/nylon blend yarn. It's really pretty, and soft, but it glows with that silky luster, I think it will work nicely to finish off the edges. I ended up using bulkier weight yarns than I had originally planned for this wrap, I liked how they looked with the stitches, intuitively, that's what I was drawn to, so that's what I used. I think that's a big part of Free Range Knitting, going with the flow. I still have plans for surface embellishment and I'm thinking about which kind of edge treatment to use to finish off the short ends.

Blessings Friends!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Free Range Wrap

This is my current project, I wanted to show the progress to date, so I started with the most current photo shown above. The dimensions are a relaxed 34" long by 29" wide. I'm working this wrap inspired by the Free Range knitting style of Jane Thornley, if you're not familiar with her work, she is definitely worth checking out. She also has a group on Ravelry which is very helpful and inspiring!

Ok, to back up a bit, this is the beginning of the wrap. I'm working in a drop stitch pattern and Jane's feather and fan pattern. I tried to work in a bobble row, on the second wide row, but the combination of too big of a needle and the flat ribbon type yarn I was using was not a good fit for my favorite bobbles. I had hoped that they would tighten up when I knitted across the back, but as you can see...nope. Still, I was not displeased with the pattern, so I left the row in. The first wide row of blue is some of my overdyed hand spun, the yarn where I was practicing Turkish knots. I'm so excited to be knitting with my own yarns.

Here's my progress up through August 4th (21"L x 29" W ). I love this process, figuring out which yarn, which stitch, which color, to use next. Where it's going to drape when I wear it, do I need a more solid stitch, can I use an open stitch, how loose can/should I go? I'm dipping into all these great yarns and ribbons that I have stashed over the years of shopping at some really wonderful yarn stores, and as you can see, I am not afraid of color!

Again, my progress so far, I got my bobble row in by going several needle sizes smaller, it might be just about time for some more bobbles! It's funny, in the photo the rows look like they're about an inch wide, but they are really wider than that. So friends, that's what I'm working on, I'm really enjoying it!

Blessings Friends!

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I'm a crafter, knitter, tinkerer, who always seems to have a project or two on the launch pad. I love to share what I'm working on and I love to see what other folks are working on too, so please comment and let me know where I can see your latest creation!