The Swamp Witch

Hello, hello! I’m back with a new project to share with you guys today: a shawl that I will be wearing for my Renaissance Faire costume this year! I’m going as a swamp witch, and since it’s in October and November I figured a nice wool shawl wouldn’t go amiss. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

It’s a knitted triangular shawl following the Lace Mess Shawl pattern (which is really more of a tutorial than a pattern, but it’s free!), and it starts from the top down and more lace (simple yo, k2togs) is added the farther down you go. It should look kinda messy and something like a swamp witch would wear if I do it right! In fact, I’ve made one before years ago in a different yarn (sorry for the terrible photo quality):

This time I’m using KnitPicks Muse Handpainted, an aran weight 100% superwash merino (on sale at time of posting), in colorway “Success.” It’s a decently soft and nicely squishy yarn with tones of grayish green, which is exactly what I wanted for the swamp witch costume.

I haven’t gotten far with the lace yet, but you can see a little here to either side of the “spine.” Also, note my skull stitch markers, which I thought were perfectly fitting for such a project. ūüėĄ I’d link to them for you but I can’t remember where I got them and I’ve had them for years now, so my apologies for that.

The shawl is working up very quickly on size 10 needles (6.00mm), and I’m already on the second skein of the 4 I bought. I’m spit-splicing the ends together (since it’s not something I’m giving to someone else) so that I don’t have to worry about knots. If you haven’t run across spit-splicing before I recommend you look it up — it’s a great way to join wool yarns seamlessly (and it’s delightfully weird). ūüėĀ

For the costume I also plan on using a crocheted shawl I made years ago from the Recuerdos de Infancia pattern, a versatile shawl pattern that’s proven worth the $6 for me since I’ve actually made 4 of them. Here’s the one I’m going to use, possibly as a waist wrap (sorry again for the terrible photo quality):

There are many other components of the costume I need to put together, as well, so I’ll update with those and definitely with finished photos of the current Lace Mess Shawl.

Do you ever make crocheted or knitted items for costumes? If so, do you try to make it something you can wear again on its own later, or do you just make it for the one event?

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. Please take care of yourselves, and thanks for stopping by!

a bazillion wips

Howdy, hookers! How have things been going with ya’ll? Surviving 2021 alright?

Things here haven’t changed much, to be honest. I’ve just got about twenty works-in-progress and figured I’d share just a few of them here!

First we’ve got this simple triangle granny shawl that I started just to use up this yarn that I bought years ago for a specific pattern that never panned out. It feels like it’s slow going.

Another item made with yarn I’ve had for years — this scarf, which will probably be way too short unless I buy more yarn or just join something completely different. The yarn itself is nice; it’s a merino/silk blend from Purl Soho.

This is my first attempt at something truly freeform and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised at what I’ve got so far. Trouble is I’m not sure what to do next. ideally it’ll be a shoulder wrap, but I’ve got a long way to go.

And finally, here’s a new piece that I started against my better judgment (I really should finish other projects before starting a new one). Made from sock yarn dyed in various BTS themed colorways by Hawari Bazaar, this will theoretically be a large wrap/throw blanket for my office, or maybe for home. Just basic stripes of sc.

Sorry I don’t have more interesting things to talk about. Ya’ll don’t wanna hear me complain about work, though, I promise, and I’m sure I’ve talked about K-pop enough on this crochet blog to last a few years already. I just wanted to share something with ya’ll so you know I’m still here and crafting. I’ve posted a couple times on my Instagram lately, actually, so find me there if you wanna see more stuff.

Please stay safe and healthy, and thanks so much for reading! See you at some unforseen date in the future!

pattern release: quick & simple granny shawl!

The Quick & Simple Granny Shawl pattern has been tested and is ready to go!  Read about & download the free PDF below.

Quick & Simple Granny Shawl

DIFFICULTY:

Easy/beginner

SIZE:

56‚ÄĚ (142 cm) wingspan before blocking, 68‚ÄĚ (173 cm) wingspan after blocking (but adjustable to your liking by just adding or subtracting rows)

MATERIALS:

  • 6 skeins of Lion Brand Landscapes (New Aran) in colorway 204 Desert Spring (pictured above) or 882 yards (807 m) of an aran weight yarn of your choice
  • 6.0 mm/US J hook
  • Finishing items: scissors, tapestry needle, blocking pins & mats

GAUGE:

Gauge is not important, just crochet until the shawl is the size you want!

NOTES:

  • Blocking is not required, it is up to your personal preference
  • Keep in mind that adjusting the size will also change the required amount of yarn
  • The other pictured example below uses a DK weight yarn, King Cole Riot, with the 6.0 mm/US J hook for a lacier feel; this is a great example of how you can customize the pattern to your liking!
  • Pattern testing & the King Cole Riot example were done by the lovely Claire, owner of the blog Mollie & Claire. Thank you Claire!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE PDF!

Quick & Simple Granny Shawl

more granny goodness

Turns out 4 balls of Lion Brand Landscapes (colorway Desert Spring) was not enough to finish the shawl.  Thank goodness Wal-Mart had 2 more!

not your average crochet granny shawl

I had a few ounces leftover from making sure the colors blended seamlessly between balls (although it wasn’t really necessary, it would have looked fine with abrupt color changes), but I pretty much used all 6 balls.

not your average crochet granny shawl

You might think that, as a simple granny triangle, this wouldn’t require a written pattern. ¬†However, there are a surprising amount of ways to make this shape, with different numbers of chains, treble stitches on the end of rows, & different row transitions altogether. ¬†I might write this up and post it if you’re interested.

These photos are unblocked though, without the ends weaved in, so I’ll have to wait to take the final photos for the pattern until I can get to that. ¬†In the meantime I’m just admiring the colors…

not your average crochet granny shawl

Never thought these colors would go so well together.  Who woulda thunk?  Well, Lion Brand did.  Thanks Lion Brand!

Even though this is acrylic I can tell already it’s going to be toasty — I can’t wait to wear it if it will ever get cold enough for my heavier weight items! ¬†Today the high reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), so I didn’t even need close toed shoes or long sleeves for most of the day. ¬†It’s December. ¬†Go home weather, you’re drunk.

The knitted cowl is coming along, I’ll have more to share on that soon hopefully but I do have to make 3 more Christmas gifts! ¬†Better get busy.

That’s all for now then, thanks for stopping by!

completed Maeve & sport weight struggles

Let’s start with the happy! ¬†I finally finished my Maeve shrug!

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

Looks kinda weird when it’s not on, so here it is actually on:

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

I made the size Small and used exactly 5 skeins (1085 yds) of Berroco Vintage (50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon) in the colorway 5195 Macaron. ¬†I ordered 6 so I have a leftover skein, which I’m super happy about because I LOVE THIS YARN. ¬†Not only is the colorway absolutely GORGEOUS (I wish you could see all the flecks of purples & oranges & pinks & reds in there but my camera can’t get that close up) but the yarn itself is great; I used Berroco Vintage Chunky for one of my ripple blankets back in 2011 and I’m so glad I did; it’s still SO soft and SO warm and I’m glad that I purposely felted it slightly in the wash so my dog’s claws can’t pull the yarn. ¬†Now I’m not going to purposely felt this shrug, of course. ¬†It’s just cool that you can if you want to, but you can machine wash it on cold and it’s fine. ¬†I’m going to use some of my leftover Vintage & Vintage Chunky for potholders for Christmas gifts, I think. ¬†Anyway…

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

It’s kind of hard to tell since I can’t take a good picture of my back but there is some sagging around the armpit area & under the back band where it connects to the garter stitch section. ¬†This is something that many people who have made this shrug have run into, and perhaps if I block it I can at least fix the second part of the problem, I dunno. ¬†And I don’t really mind the whole bat wing look, so the saggy armpit parts aren’t the end of the world. ¬†Both of these issues occur, I believe, due to the fact that the shrug won’t stay completely up — the wide garter band that goes around is 12″ and that much fabric at your neck doesn’t really work — it just pushes the shrug down a bit. ¬†That’s how the model’s wearing it in the pattern photos so I guess that’s just how it sits.

not your average crochet - maeve shrug

Even if it has a couple of small cosmetic issues, this shrug is SO COMFY. ¬†I know I’ve used a lot of caps in this post and I don’t usually do that but that just shows you how much I mean it! ¬†The shrug is very warm and cozy and no parts of it are too tight, and the front magically stays in front of my chest which is the best (because it helps keep the whole shrug in place & it keeps me more securely wrapped and warm)! ¬†I like how it completely covers my neck — that’s one of my issues in winter with my sweaters that have larger necklines — my neck gets too cold!

So to sum it up, I like this shrug a lot.  It was easy to make (minus the math headache that I completely created for myself) and took a little over 2 months to knit, working on it pretty regularly but not obsessively.

Now on to my sport weight yarn struggles — I need your advice! ¬†I have this LOVELY (again, I mean super duper lovely because the spin is great and it is SO SOFT) yarn in a fun bright color that I got on sale a long time ago from Purl Soho called Mulberry Merino (80% merino, 20% silk):

Purl Soho Mulberry Merino

I wanted to make a crochet shawl that has a large wingspan so that I can add buttons and wear it as a cardigan if I want to, like The Boho Crochet Wrap does.  However, when I purchased a pattern that I thought would be suitable for my sport weight yarn I had a huge gauge issue.

The pattern I purchased is called Picnic,¬†and the pattern says that gauge isn’t really important. ¬†However it does give measurements for a gauge swatch and I was so far off that I redid my swatch 4 times! ¬†It says 15 sts & 7 rows of dc = 4″(10cm) with a size E hook (3.5mm), but I went all the way up to a size H hook and my gauge was still too small! ¬†And by the looks of it even if I keep going up hook sizes to get the stitch gauge my row gauge will still be at least 1/2″ off, if not more. ¬†That’s potentially a problem if I want a large wingspan and have a limited amount of yarn to work with (988 yds/903 m)!

I also like the Hotel of Bees shawl, and I could make it with this yarn (I think it would look fine in one color, and this bright yellow reminds me of bees), but it has the gauge listed on the Ravelry page & it looks like I’d have a similar issue (although maybe not so much with the row gauge… but I’d still have to go from the recommended E hook to at least an I)!

Now I haven’t done a gauge swatch for crochet in a while because I haven’t really needed to; am I crocheting extremely tight? ¬†It doesn’t feel like it when I’m doing it, and I even tried the gauge swatch with my Clover Amour hooks and my Susan Bates hooks to see if the different kind of hook made a difference (it made only a tiny difference in row height).

What do I do? ¬†I feel bad about paying for the pattern if I’m not gonna use it but I don’t want to spend all that time making the shawl if it’s not gonna be the size I want.

Maybe I could just try to make The Boho Crochet Wrap in this yarn instead of a DK weight yarn. ¬†It calls for 980 yds of DK weight yarn though and I only have 988 yds of sport weight yarn — if I went up a few hook sizes do you think I could make it work out to be the same size?

Ugh, all this nice yarn poses such troubles because I want the pattern for it to be perfect! ¬†Please let me know below what you’d do, or if you have any suggestions.

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks for stopping by! ¬†See you soon! ¬†ūüôā

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