You Gotta Know When To Hold ‘Em…

…know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know when to run…

Now that I’ve got you thinking of that famous Kenny Rogers song, I do want to assure you there’s a reason I bring it up.  Actually, you’ve probably already seen the image that has me fleeing from my latest project.  The

The offending article. Notice I've already taken it off the needles in preparation for frogging!
The offending article. Notice I’ve already taken it off the needles in preparation for frogging!

colors and the transitions just didn’t come out the way I had envisioned.  It was supposed to represent the layers of ocean coming up to the breakers represented by the open wave lace, and then the green for earth.  After the three or four frogs I had to do, I figured it was time for this to go away….

I had recently finished two projects that took way longer than I thought they should and I didn’t want this top to take forever, so I chose an exceedingly simple box top style with no shaping whatsoever, and a cotton yarn that would be easy upkeep for casual summer wear.  When the design for the color transition had to be modified three times, I settled on the last one, even though it still wasn’t what I had originally imagined.  When the colors didn’t want to jive, I had to modify that several times before finding another color of the same type of yarn I’d had in my stash.  My husband joked that I could reimagine this as a Nordic beach.  But it wasn’t until the open wave lace work that made me give it up.  Oh, well.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Change of Schedule

Yuuup.  That's me all right!
Yuuup. That’s me all right!

In my last post I announced I was looking for a group of crafters to do a Crochet-A-Long on a simple afghan. Something easy.  I received a few likes, but no comments.  I took that to mean a  group of polite onlookers, which would be cool also; but, summer is bearing down upon me and I’ve found myself in a Hawaiian mood.  No, I’ve never been, and yes, I want to go.  I want a plumeria lei and a hibiscus tucked behind my ear, to take the pineapple field tours, walk the beautiful black sand beaches at sunset, go to a luau and drink cocktails with pretty umbrella toothpicks.  I want to be at the peak of Mauna Kea and see the curvature of the earth as the sun peeks over the ocean horizon and to pay incredibly inflated prices at the local McDonald’s because everything is shipped from the mainland.   And let us not forget the muumuus and brilliantly colored Hawaiian shirts.  I even want to hear the strains of Don Ho complementing the relaxing sounds of the waves susurrating as I recline on the beach in the middle of the day…underneath a huge umbrella with layers of SPF 50 sensitive skin lotion still shining whiter than my legs with its zinc content.  But most of all, I want to see the Kilauea Volcano erupt its low silicone, high basaltic lava and create the a’a rocks, so named because the natives cut their feet on the sharp edges of the cooled surface.  I also want to see the pahoehoe lava, so smooth it looks like a pudding set in the shape of ropes.  I want to see the lava drip into a steaming surf from a recently created shelf.  I. Want. To. Go.

Returning to reality, the odds are that I will never make it.

Yes, my shoulders slumped forward as I thought of this.

But that won’t stop me from being inspired by the tiny island state with a big heart that has stolen mine, sight unseen.  (Pictures don’t count!)  In choosing the yarn, I thought of the personality of the state, and the first thing that came to mind was:  relaxation.  I don’t know about you, but knitting something inspired by Hawaii could not be done in wool.  There are a few island nations where this does apply, of course, such as Great Britain and Iceland.  Wool is highly recommended there.  Hawaii?  It had to be one of three choices:  cotton, bamboo, silk.  For economy’s sake, I went with cotton.  No more $60 tank tops here…ahem.  If I stopped making those, maybe I could afford Hawaii!

Progression of color scheme
Progression of color scheme

When it came to colors, I wanted to stay with the relaxed personality range and I used my “go to” colors, blue and green, added some purple and a bit of white.  Continuing with the serene, easy-going theme, I have decided to make this a simple box – no ribbing, no shaping, no sleeves, with a little twist.  How I’m going to accomplish the one aspect of this is beyond me, but I’ll manage.

In the meantime, I will keep the afghan on the back burner.


Just in Time for Summer

Au naturel.

I really enjoy my finished knit or crochet items, but the larger they are, the longer it takes me, the less likely I’m going to complete the project within a reasonable amount of time.  Point in case, this simple construction of this Fitted Top.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Well, I did know that I wasn’t slim like the model, nor young like her, so I made a few modifications.  Well,

Their version
Their version
My version
My version

basically, I used the published stitch and most of the sizing, otherwise, I made it my own.  I figured it would be wiser to change the neckline altogether by bringing up the decolletage, lengthening the whole top and making the straps thinner and thereby, more appropriate as a summer tank top.  I used HiKoo’s CoBaSi yarn in Indigo and Natural Olive that I purchase at Got Your Goat because of the wonderful mix of cotton, bamboo, silk and elastic nylon, perfect for hot temperatures.  And it took me months to finish this.  I am happy with the results, though, and intend to wear the heck out of it.

Working with Fingering Yarn for a Top

Am I out of my mind? I hope not. I found a cute tank I could knit and the pattern called for sportweight yarn, but I was able to find a comparable fingering weight.  Correction:  an expensive comparable fingering weight made of cotton, bamboo and silk. High definition for the pattern – not

A foresee some blocking in my future.
A foresee some blocking in my future.

that it’s needed; it’s a simple 3x rib.  Period.  I need something a little mind-numbing, and the toy rabbit still isn’t finished because I was having to do too much thinking.

Anyway, I wanted a summery top after working with all that heavy winter wool.  This will also be the first article of clothing, that’s not an accessory, I’ve made in a long time.  The last one I made took my three months, and it came out way too big.  So I deliberately threw a wool sweater into the dryer.  Now, the arms a bit short, and all the detail work is lost due to the felting effect, but I still wear it!  I didn’t spend three months on that just to throw it away, dorkified or not.