The End Is Near
It was only 18 days ago when I frogged and re-started the poncho. I'm getting close to the end!! The first photo above shows the collar that I'm currently working on. The ribbing is the same 2x2 pattern as for the bottom of the poncho. I need to make the collar about 8 inches high and it's only about 1 inch now. The second photo of the poncho shows more of how it is going to look when completed. I am so glad that I did re-start the poncho because it is looking so much nicer than it did first time around. The cable patterns are showing up much better and the neckline is not nearly as stretched out as it was before. All I need to do now is finish the collar, knit the ribbing at the other end, sew it together, and block it! I can't wait to wear it!
I like to make quick and easy items to take a break from large projects that I'm concentrating on. This past week, I crocheted two more hats. For the black hat with the pink and white trim, I used camel stitch in-the-tracks for the trim, single crochet in back loops for the brim, and then half double crochet stitches for the body. The other hat is single crochet in back loops for the brim and then all camel stitch for the body. These hats take only about 3 to 4 hours from start to finish and are pretty easy to make.
I have a few things in mind of what I want to do after I finish the poncho. One thing I will do is take apart the two sweaters that I bought at the Goodwill store a few weeks ago. In an earlier blog, I mentioned that one of my goals for 2016 is to buy sweaters that have cashmere, angora, and other good quality wool blends and take them apart and re-knit them into shawls or hats of nice designs. The two sweaters that I got are a starting point for that goal.
Another goal for 2016 is to design and make more washcloths based on quilt block designs. I have a washcloth based on the Card Trick design on needles now and needs to be finished up. Then I will have to re-write the pattern because the way I have it written out now is nearly stitch by stitch!!
When I was at knitting group at the yarn store Thursday night, I bought a pattern that would be perfect for a short-sleeved throw-on to wear around the house. I already have yarn for it, but, the thing is, I have to frog another sweater that I didn't finish in order to use it for this sweater. Ha! Hmmm. Now which tote or bag is that sweater in?
I am finally heading down the home stretch on the poncho I had to re-start knitting. I just need to finish the length of the back half and then knit the ribbing and I'll be done with the body of the poncho. Then, I need to knit the collar. I frogged the original poncho when I was just a little bit past the halfway point 11 days ago. There were just too many mistakes in it and I didn't like the way it was looking overall. I have been making an extra effort to get the poncho finished by the end of this month (January) and I think I'm gonna do it!!
Tuesday afternoon, I took the hat that I was knitting on DPNs with me to knitting group. While I was there, I transferred the hat to a couple of circular needles which made a big difference on how soon I was able to finish it. When I had the hat on DPNs, it took a couple of months to complete about a dozen rounds. With the circular needles, I was able to finish the rest of the hat in just a few days.
A couple of days ago, I crocheted a hat using double crochet and camel stitches. I have been crocheting quite a few hats so that I can use up scraps and leftovers. I have started another hat and I'm using black for the body and pink for the little stripes. I should have it done some time tomorrow.
I really haven't finished much this past week as far as the number of projects go. That is because I have been working on one MAIN project and that is the poncho that I had to frog and re-start. I did complete one crocheted hat and need to work on a knitted hat.
The hat in the first photo is the Bojangles Hat. The pattern is in the book titled "Morehouse Farms Merino Knits" by Margrit Lohrer and I am using Yarn Bee's Ashley wool/poly mix yarn in the Cloudy colorway. I started it a couple of months ago and each time I work on it, I get only about 4 to 6 rows done on it. The hat is worked on double-pointed needles and I'm not too crazy about working with those. They get in the way of each other. I'm going to wind up buying a couple of size 9 circular needles so that I can get the hat done. I'll have to check my stash of needles first to see if I do have them before I go buy extras that I may not actually need.
I know that one of my goals for 2016 was to finish the poncho that I had already started about 3 or 4 months ago. Well, my NEW goal for the poncho is to finish it as a re-started project. I had made so many mistakes on it I just had to frog it and start over. My last blog post has a photo of the poncho after I had worked on it for just a few days and shows that six pattern repeats are completed. In the photo for this blog post, it shows that I have completed 14 pattern repeats. I am also working on the neckline decreases and will soon be at the mid-way point. I have come pretty far on the poncho in only six days. I must admit that I have had to back up on the poncho two times because of a mistake in the large cable and the other mistake being that I started out the decrease rows incorrectly. All in all, this project is coming along fairly well.
Over the past couple of weeks, I crocheted 6 hats. The photo in the middle is the brown hat that I made about five days ago using the camel stitch and double-crochet stitch. These hats have been very easy and quick to make. I can finish one in about 4 to 5 hours depending on if I use just one kind of stitch or a combination of stitches.
I couldn't help myself but I had to do it. I frogged the poncho and started over. I had made so many mistakes on the poncho and just wasn't happy with it. The neckline was so stretched out. The cables didn't look all that great. One edge of it was curling and I didn't think it was going to look nice and flat even after blocking it.
Now that I have made a few changes to the poncho, it is looking so much better. First thing I did was change the size of the circular needles. I was previously using size 9 but I'm now using size 8. That has made the cable patterns look a little tighter and the overall poncho less stretchy for the yarn that I'm using. Another thing I did was change the edge that was curling. Instead of knit one direction and purl the other direction, I am now knitting the 6 stitches in both directions at that end.
I'm glad that I made these little changes to knitting the poncho. I had considered not starting over on the poncho and make something different with the yarn. After the Froggy Fresh Start, I am so much happier with the way it is turning out so far!
I just realized it's been a week since I have posted anything here and I thought I had better catch up on what's been going on.
The hat that I have been knitting on double-pointed needles got only about 4 or 5 extra rows added to it. I'm tempted to put it on 2 circular needles so that the work can go more quickly. The Potatwatomi Poncho is coming along slowly but surely. With all the mistakes and backing up that I've been having to do fairly regularly, I'm tempted to take it off the needles and unravel it. So there's not really much progress on those.
Last weekend, I watched a video tutorial about crocheting a hat using the camel stitch. It's one of the easiest patterns I've ever followed and I've had a mini-obsession with it. I have made 5 adult-sized and 1 baby-sized hats from the pattern. The photo accompanying this post shows the hats. I was about halfway through one of the hats and it has since been completed.
You know the sound frogs make, right? "Ribbit. Ribbit." Whenever we knitters or crocheters unravel the work back to a mistake or the whole project, we rip it back. "Rip it" sounds similar to "ribbit", so we call it Frogging. Anyway, after I straightened up the shelf of yarn and books and magazines, I did some frogging of a couple of pair of socks. To me, the socks were pretty much for practice and not for wearing. I have another sock that I will be frogging so that I can re-use that yarn to make a sock that is a little bit bigger since this one didn't fit my foot very well.
(Note: You can read my previous post about me straightening up my yarn.)
As I previously mentioned, I'm tempted to frog the poncho. I'm seriously considering it. I know I've put a lot of work into it but I'm not totally happy with the way it is turning out. It has mistakes that are obvious to me and it is also stretching. I think the yarn that I chose for the poncho is really not suitable for it. I could use the yarn for something else and get a different yarn for the poncho.
I am finally past the halfway point on the poncho that I have been knitting for the past three months. I still have 13 increases to do and then after that it will be the home stretch. I sure do hope that I will get this poncho completed by the end of January!
I started straightening up the yarn, books, magazines, and needles and hooks. I had yarn in this bag and that bag. Magazines and books lying here and there. Hooks and needles in a plastic tub and bags. I have been gathering up all this stuff and putting it on the bookcase that was my Mom's. I have the stuff on the shelves but not in the cabinet at the bottom part of the case yet. I'm sure I will fill that up, too.
My previous blog post is Goals for 2016. Well, last night I thought of one more goal to add to that list. With the yarn that will be left over from projects, I will be making small stuffed animals that I will donate to either a local community center and/or assisted-living facilities.