Wednesday, January 29

a whole lot of yarny plotting and planning going on...

having spent quite a few happy moments making little crocheted patches of goodness from my crochet bible, i have settled upon the stitch pattern for my next project. i still have quite a few little swatches i wish to work my way through but all in good time. i must admit my fabby fav thing is when my little patch is done, pinning it to the carpet so it is all square or rectangle-ly and blasting it with hot steam, after 5 minutes you can remove the pins and your little square of yarny goodness is perfectly perfect. perhaps you may be wondering what on earth i am rabbiting on about, if so, you may wish to go here to see Claire doing a jolly good job on YouTube demonstrating what i have not done so well in words. 

anyhow, despite all the wonderful little stitch patterns i came across in my crochet bible, i had in my mind a crochet sweater vest (its been lurking there for the longest time) and so my stitch hunt was narrowed down. 
having finished up my knitted one, 

i learnt along the way several things including, despite my wishes, i am not a knitter of the utmost kind. knitting i can dabble in, but crocheting is my true love. thus i thought to myself, well surely upon all surelies a crocheted sweater vest is possible. and of course it is, there are quite a few out there, however they tend to be of the granny square variety or lacey gappy little numbers but i, yes little old me, wished for a crocheted vest that did not look like crochet on first inspection. 

hence a rather densely stitched fabric but no so dense you could not move in it. crochet tends to not have as much give as knitting, and a bit of stretch would be required in a sweater vest or else one would never get it over one's head and if one did, perhaps not be able to move fully or worse still, be overcome by a hot moment and flay around the place trying to remove said crocheted sweater vest and with no give, it would be rather tricky dicky. i am quite sure such a moment would induce a panic attack, thus i am wisely thinking about this matter, for panic attacks are a no~no in my books.

to me one thing was clear, there is not a lot of give in a chain stitch edging, thus my cogs were pondering what if knitting could be combined with the crochet. i pondered this after wrestling one afternoon with crocheting a rib edging and decided it was taking me longer then if i were to have knitted it in the first place. where upon as my cogs were shifting through this thought, a lovely dearie called Mary from the shop whom crochets along her merry way most days, suggested the very same thing. she then very kindly went home to try it out and a few days later brought back the example and we both exclaimed 'by jove, i think we've got it!' and so it came to be, i would knit the rib and then take Mr Hook and pick up the stitches one at a time to crochet them off the needle and voila! all set to go on my crocheting way.

next thought was the yarn, i had in my mind for the longest time, even before i made my knitted sweater vest, of a tweedy yarn, the sort that Rowan does so well, but alas and alack, most tweedy yarns are 100% sheep wool in our store and do not do me any good. but there is one, called Kenzie (not super flecky tweedy but it was also not 100% wool) and so i thought i would give it whirl. and whirl we did. 

i noted my rib was pants (knitting picking style) but i carried on. i noted i did not like how thin the rib looked on size 5 needles next to the crocheted bit 

i pondered, i doubled the yarn, found some size 8 needles lurking in the drawer and knitted the rib again, this time throwing style, once again managing to make a blib in the rib. 

i told myself, fret not, this is trial run, a blib in the rib is excusable. of course then i had 2 threads upon my needle and only required only 1 thread to pick up for crocheting. this was fixed quite easily with a bit of magically twiddling and fiddling and on my crocheting way i went. the crochet part of my soon to be a sweater vest is really very simple, its alternating between a single crochet and a double crochet (USA terms) and then the opposite coming back along the row. 

i believe to me, it is the moss stitch/seed stitch equivalent of knitting and looks most marvelous in the tweedy yarn.

it looks a tad frighteningly bright but rest assured, the colour is more muted than this little picture depicts. i like to think it is a corally red. i have no idea why i am doing it in this colour, i don't think i wear red, but i do like coral so i have high hopes for it...

so now all that is left is to do the maths.
 (i expect my dad just felt a little faint and i have no doubt is fretting for my little sweater vest upon me mentioning maths)
i must calculate how many stitches are required to cast on to fit my bod, divisible by 3 so the knit 2, purl 1 rib may work with the crochet stitch pattern which requires a count of 2 plus 1 at the end. i am thankful i learnt my 3 times table as a small being. 

and then if the math and crochet gods are in line, this crochet knitty sweater vest in my head may just have a fighting chance of actually fitting. hence i will make it in the round so once it is off the needles and onto Mr Hook i can try it on as i go. and if need be, tweaking it here and there until i get to the shaping bit of the neck and the armholes where once again, i will sit, i will ponder and i will think of the little engine who could before i proceed upon my crocheting way...