Monday, 14 April 2014

northern skies & between sleep and awake

it's my birthday today, and i have so much gratitude for the amount of love in my life. i've received so many well wishes already (i'll respond to you all soon), and it's been a gorgeous, albeit chilly, morning and early afternoon. i am so very pleased to share these two projects with you all on this day. the first is my moon & stars shawl, which i've named northern skies, and the second is my very first crochet project, a peter pan collar.

big bang theory mug from my little bro! and my curly mess of drying hair. 

this shawl is my new favourite. it dresses down surprisingly well, considering the sparkle in the yarn and the intricacy of the pattern. it's big and cozy, and wears just as well as a proper shawl as it does wrapped like a bandana around the neck. the lace panels were a bitch to knit, and i would highly suggest you take the pattern's note of using lace tip needles. i tried at the beginning with normal ones and it was a shit show. dropped stitches all over the place. the 5-into-5 are tedious and take ages, but they're so gorgeous that it's worth the effort and sore fingers.

i don't know that i would make this pattern again for myself, but that's because it's so different and unique that it would be strange to have multiples, i think. i can't wait to wear it to my friend's wedding social. and then probably to a different wedding in the fall. it's such a great design - lightweight for summer things, but big enough to provide some bulky warmth if you need it. i've already worn it to an arts' event, around home for my potluck, and to a business meeting, so it's getting quite the array of outings. 

the deets:
pattern: moon & stars shawl by shui kuen kozinski, for brooklyn tweed (no mods)
yarn: 184g of tanis fiber arts' cosmic blue label fingering in shadow

i called my collar between sleep and awake in honour of j.m. barrie's peter pan, which has been and will always be one of my favourite stories (and also a dream role to perform). as i neared the end of the shawl, i got a massive case of end-of-project-antsiness and started hunting around for a small, quick project that i could finish in time for my potluck (i actually ended up wearing my shawl, but y'know). peter pan collars are a pretty big fashion trend right now, and while i normally don't pay much attention to trends beyond whether they might impact my product sales, the collars are pretty damn cute. very vintage, pretty versatile, and quick project satisfaction. i hunted around on ravelry for a pattern, but most of them are crocheted, and as we all know, i'm a knitter. the most i'd crocheted before (and not always successfully) was edging along knitted projects. but most of the knitted patterns just weren't as exciting, and i didn't have the brain power to figure out my own pattern on such short notice.

cut to emma escott's free pattern. it's adorable, and i thought to myself, well, what better excuse to learn how to crochet? i grabbed some stash yarn that i thought might be more versatile for the finished product, and found a simple wooden button. rustic, right? the collar is a little tight right now, so i'm going to add a second button and make a simple chain to hook between the two.

the deets:
pattern: crochet peter pan collar by emma escott 
yarn: the uncommon thread's silky alpaca sport in aged merlot
hook: 3.75mm
button: wooden, from my stash

the foundation chain went easily enough, with no major differences in tension as i went along. awesome, i thought. this is easier than i expected. then came the first row. oh shit. luckily, this yarn is wonderful and hides the many, many mistakes that i made in that first row. and then in the second row. by the third row, i started to get the hang of it. i had google with me the whole way through to decipher the crochet terms and tutorials. who had the bright idea of coming up with overlapping names but completely different stitches for us versus uk crocheting? idiots. i eventually figured it all out though, and sooner than expected, i had myself a pretty damn adorable collar. i may even be a little hooked on crocheting. (insert snort at my punniness here.) but have no fear, i'll never give up on my knitting. that's here to stay. even if this collar is super cute.

i'm so excited to have these projects finished. i'm already (possibly belatedly in knitting world) thinking about summer markets and just placed a yarn order for a rainbow's worth of tfa blue label. what are your favourite colours for this summer for accessories? 

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