Saturday 12 February 2022

More Shawls

 Some time ago, I purchased this book for my Kindle. 

 However long ago that was, I've had it on my Kindle and basically ignored it since then. When I decided to start making shawls, I perused this book and discovered that it is actually a book of shawl patterns that you can find free online. And it provides a link to the patterns. Hmm, so why did I need the book? 
One of the ones I started from this book is the Summer Morning Shawl.

My goal is to create a small stash of prayer shawls so that I'll have them ready when I need them. This is the first one to go in the stash. It's made with a labelless knitting worsted and I used a 5.0 mm hook. It took 251g or 8.85oz of yarn, and measures approximately 58" across and 26" long.
It's an attractive stitch with a 4-row repeat. 
The pattern comes with a crochet diagram that you can use to follow once you get past the initial 13 rows. 
Lost in Time has already found a home and so has the Goddess Shawl
This one is much lacier than Lost in Time, so will provide more beauty than warmth. I used Red Heart Comfort Sparkle, a 6.0 mm hook and it took 322 g or 11.35 oz of yarn. I forgot to measure the final size, but my size 11 feet are in the picture for reference. 😆 Here's a close up so you can see the sparkle.

The pattern states that it was based on a doily pattern. I think I might have some doily patterns somewhere that might come in handy, especially since I seldom use the same pattern twice. I just don't understand the crafters who decide to make 2 (or more) of the same pattern. There are so many beautiful patterns out there and life is too short to keep making the same one, in my not-so-humble opinion. 
There is a bit of a story before I finally got to the Goddess Shawl, made from the sparkley purple yarn. The person I made this for loves bright colours, but, like me, purple is her favourite. I know that I have a skein of this purple yarn somewhere, but could I find it when I wanted it? Certainly, my search for this yarn highlighted for me just how much yarn I have and that I really need to be using it up before I buy any more. But back to my story: I next opted to try bright yarn and pulled out some Red Heart Super Saver in blacklight. I don't remember exactly what order or even how many different patterns I tried. I know I tried the Sapphire Satin Sparkle Shawl and didn't like the way it looked at all. I was going to try the Sweet November Scarf/Shawl. Tell me if these instructions make sense to you:
ch 4, 1 dc in 1st ch, ch 3, turn (This forms beginning loop)
1 dc in loop, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 3, turn
When I looked at those instructions and looked at the shawl and thought that it looked rather boring, I decided against that one as well. I started the Lattice Lace Wrap and realized that was going to be too boring - just chains and single crochet. I looked at a couple of other patterns and they didn't appeal to me either. I also tried the Broomstick Lace Shawl. More instructions that don't make sense: After being told to turn at the end of row 2, here's row 3,
Ch 2, turn, sc in second ch from hook; working in front loops only, sc in each sc across, turn—5 sc.
Why do I chain 2 and then turn again??? And then it doesn't tell me to turn again, so where am I to continue the rest of the stitches for this row? Yeah, that pattern wasn't working out either. After that, I decided to try my own broomstick lace from what I remembered how to do it. I wasn't particularly enjoying that and thought I might continue by making a sampler stitch shawl, so I pulled this book 
 out of my library. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that probably wouldn't look great either. So, I decided to try a stitch I liked from this book and do the whole shawl in it. I picked #46 Bravado. It is a really pretty stitch, but the instructions weren't correct and I ended up with a puckered mess. I went online to look for an errata for this book. Nothing. Fortunately, I'm an experienced enough crocheter, and the picture of the stitches is clear enough that I was able to figure it out. For future reference, in case you ever decide to try this stitch, here are my corrections:
Row 1: Sc in 8th ch from hook (first 7 chs count as first hdc, ch-3 and sk next ch), *[ch 3, sk next 2 ch, sc in next ch] twice** ch 4, sk 3 ch, sc in next ch, rep from * across, ending last rep at **, ch 2, hdc in last ch, turn.
Rows 2 and 3 - same as in the book.
Row 4: in the second line, where it says, "sc in next ch-3 sp", this should read "sc in next ch-5 sp".
Rows 5 and 6 - same as in the book.
Row 7: on the last line, after it says "ch 2," the next stitch should be "hdc" not "dc". 
Pretty as this pattern was, I just was not liking it. And I realized it was the yarn. While the variegated yarn that I used for the Summer Morning Shawl worked fine, the blacklight was too loud with too much contrast. It might work in the afghan that I actually purchased it for, but I did not like it as a shawl. So I set this shawl idea aside until I happened to be in Walmart and they had the Red Heart Comfort in the purple sparkle (I still haven't figured out where my skein is at home), and I purchased one skein and made the Goddess Shawl. I'm very happy with it and I also now know a few patterns that I won't bother trying again. Nor will I, unless someone specifically asks me for a very loud shawl, try another one in blacklight. 

Friday 4 February 2022

Forever in My Heart

 I have plans to create a series of quilts called "Healing Hearts", all with a heart theme. My dream is to write up the patterns and have them published in a book. The quilts will be horizontal, rather than vertical (landscape orientation instead of portrait), so that the recipients can wrap themselves up in them. I want the larger ones to be big enough to qualify as a Quilt of Valour, and the smaller ones a good size for a child to wrap up in. I also want the patterns to be able to utilize pieces from clothing, so that they can be memory quilts for a deceased loved one. That's my dream, but very difficult to accomplish this when I still have to work for a living. However, I have numerous ideas, some on paper and some just in my head. And I have managed to make two of them. The first one was Healing LoveThis is the second one, Forever in My Heart. 

The hearts could be made from clothing, the panel could be chosen to represent the interests of the person being honoured, and photos can be added to the larger hearts, if desired. 
This is the first time I've added photos to a quilt. I used Avery Printable Fabric and my Canon inkjet printer. The resolution and colour aren't bad, but not great. I have no idea how well the photos will wash. The fabric has an adhesive backing, which I did not need as I did an allover quilt design, then stitched the pictures down, then went back and couched the edges. Unfortunately, the adhesive left the pictures hard and stiff. And I found that when I tried to couch over the edges, it wasn't always catching the yarn. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with how stiff the pictures were, or more the quality of my yarn, or the size of the couching foot I used... So next time, I will try either making my own photo fabric or buying EQ Printables, which have no adhesive back. 
On both Healing Love and this quilt, I used a Minky backing. 
I just love how soft and comforting Minky is, and when you want a comforting, healing quilt to wrap up in, Minky is the way to go. Though it doesn't look great with the dense stitching required to couch the edge of a photo. 😆 The pantograph is Hearts in Bloom by Timeless Quilting, from Willow Leaf Studio. This panto stitches up quite quickly and the density is appropriate for quilting on Minky. 
The unfortunate thing about wanting to make a book of quilt patterns is that I would need to have the quilts for photography for the book. And I don't tend to keep a whole lot of my quilts...  When I make a quilt with a recipient in mind, I generally want to get it into the hands of the recipient as soon as possible, not keep it around until I finish several more so that I can write up the patterns and put them in a book. Until I retire, that could take years. So, in the meantime, I'll just enjoy making - and giving - quilts.