Thursday, December 1, 2011

And the Great Juggling Act Begins

Sneaky peak of next week's FO. I'm
further along now than when I
snapped this photo.
December has barely begun, yet I feel the bite of deadline pressure already. I'm not certain how I'm going to get it all done, but somehow I will find a way. And I don't have children - those that do deserve Hall of Parental Fame induction at this time of year.

So, along this theme, I have two FOs and one recipe to share with everyone this Friday ... along with the sneaky peak of next week's FO (they're coming fast and furiously folks, just like the deadlines).

My first completed project is my Gourdy Shawl, so named because of its awesome pumpkin color. From a Pierrot pattern (this one, to be exact), I held two strands of alpaca laceweight together to achieve this wonderful fallish color. (Alpaca with a Twist Fino and Misti Alpaca Lace Canada - I knew you were going to ask.)

Additionally, I added some size 6 Japanese silver-lined seed beads in a light peach color on the edging for a little bling, as well as some weight:

This is my second FO this year from a Pierrot pattern, and I couldn't be happier with the result. They are very well charted ... so much so, in fact, that I didn't need any other direction.

My next FO is also the end result of the recipe I have for everyone. As I stated a few weeks back in my review of Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia, I said to watch for projects inspired by the book. Here's the first one, and just in time for me to send it (along with other hand-crafted goodies) to Appalachian Outreach. They specifically asked for 36" square lapghans to keep the elderly warm, so:

The Crochet Stitches  36-inch 'Ghan Recipe

Ingredients (my choices in this 'ghan are to the right):

1 Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula, from which you will choose:

1 or more  motifs                                                            Posy in the Granny, p. 173
1 motif joining method                                                     Chain Space Seam, p. 242
1 stitch pattern                                                               Rocking, p. 7
1 edging pattern                                                             Mari Cluster Edging, p. 261

approx. 450 grams of worsted weight yarn, at least 250 grams of which should be one color
1 U.S. size H/5.00 mm hook

Construction Set-up:

1. Make a sample motif to determine the finished dimension, given your yarn.

2. Swatch, using your main color, in the stitch pattern that you've chosen. It doesn't need to be blocked, but knowing how many stitches/rows per inch will be useful as you create your 'ghan.

3. Swatch a sample of your chosen edging. This row/inch measurement will also be needed later in 'ghan construction.

'Ghan Construction:

1. Create 16 motifs (or any number that will yield a square - 4 [2x2], 9 [3x3], 25 [5x5]).

Note: This is the part of the project that can be a great stash-buster - I used up bits of Lion Brand Wool-ease, Cascade 220 Superwash and Noro Kureyon from previous projects.

2. Once you have all of your motifs made, join them using the joining method you've chosen. A nice treat to yourself: weave in your ends, to this point, now. Once completed, celebrate with hot chocolate (or beverage of choice).

3. Using your chosen stitch pattern, determine how many foundational single crochet stitches you will need on each side of your motif square. (Stitch multiples are provided for each stitch pattern in the book.) Then, with your main color, join just after any corner with a slip stitch. Ch 1, then work a row of single crochet around entire motif block, working three in each corner. Join with a slip stitch in beginning ch 1, and your foundation row is complete.

4. Start working your chosen stitch pattern around the motif block. This is where your swatch work will come in handy. The number of rounds to be completed will be determined by the amount of inches of the stitch pattern you will need: 36 inches - (the measurement of your motif block + the measurement of your edging swatch) divided by 2.

Example from my 'ghan (in inches): 36 - (23 + 1.5 twice [edging doubled]) = 10 = 5" of
                                                                              2                                 2

stitch pattern, or 10 rounds of rocking stitch, since I was getting 2 rows per inch when I swatched.

5. Once you have completed your required number of stitch pattern rounds, work one row of single crochet around, working three single crochet in each corner. This is the set-up round for your border.

Note: This set-up row is where you need to make any adjustments in stitch number to ensure your border will work up without a hitch.

6. Work your border of choice.

7. Weave in final amount of ends.

8. Lightly block your 'ghan. My unblocked 'ghan was 33" square, and paying particular attention to my middle motifs when blocking made a world of difference. In fact, I pinned my middle motif block first, getting it to be square, and then I pinned the outer edge.

9. Once done, enjoy more beverages of choice.

Definitely don't hide under any rocks - get on over to Andrea's blog and see what other deadlines loom this holiday season!


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the shawl and the afghan. Beautiful work, as always. Great instructions for the afghan too. tehehe, adding the enjoyment of beverage of choice was a must have ;-)

  2. Both the afghan and shawl are gorgeous!

  3. Beautiful the shawl.

  4. The shawl is so lovely and delicate. Love the afghan!

  5. The 'ghan recipe is great! That's a good size to keep the elderly warm but not drag around if they use wheelchairs. Yes, great stash buster too!

  6. Beautiful creations. The shawl is simply divine.

  7. The shawl is lovely, and the charity blanket is stunning. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  8. I love the afghan, it looks so light and airy. That's a nice color on the Pierrot and I'm always a sucker for beads, they add such a nice touch to anything. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  9. Denise--You are a whirlwind!! All of the technical details are beyond me, but your projects are amazing!! Good luck keeping your nose to the December grindstone!! :) XXO-

  10. Beautiful FOs as usual, Denise :-)

  11. What a very neat blanket. I like it's delicacy in the middle and how it has a solid, strong border on the outsides. I can see a baby curled up in that.
    Oh boy skinny minny yarn for a shawl. You have golden patience.

  12. Lovely work! I've looked at that shawl pattern many times. It has some really nice projects listed under it but I think yours is my new favorite. I love the look of the 2 yarns combined.