Confession: I’m A Jared Flood FanBoy

Gentle crochet hooks,

You’ve probably noticed lately that we haven’t seen much of each other.  And when we have seen each other it was in my crochet classes, so it was almost a case of keeping up appearances and showing a united front to the world. It’s not that I don’t love you anymore. I do! I always will. But, I think we need to see other crafts. In fact, I’ve been spending more and more time with the knitting needles that live in the other pencil case. We get along so well; it’s new and exciting. I’m always learning new things about them.

Darling crochet hooks… I love you, more than you will ever know. I’m just not IN love with you right now. I know that we’ll stay the best of friends, forever. You were my first love so you’ll always be a part of my life, and you can never be replaced. I just need to see where things go with knitting and me.

Yours forever (truly!),
Raynie

Gentle reader,

As y’all know, I LOVE crochet. And I’m far better at it than I am with knitting. But, you might have noticed that I’ve been knitting more and more lately. Knitting to me is still so new and exciting. I love that I’ve barely scratched the tip of the iceberg, I love seeing my stitches getting neater and more even, and I love that there are still techniques I haven’t yet tackled. It’s exciting to me to throw myself in the deep end and see what happened. That’s what I did with the Fenimore cabled tam by Jared Flood. And while making that tam, I fell in love with cables and I feel in love with Jared Flood’s designs.

I have a confession to make. I’m a Jared Flood fanboy. Not even ashamed.

Ever since then I’ve browsed his Ravelry designer page and oogled his designs trying to figure out which one to tackle next. Whenever a friend has some Brooklyn Tweed, I make crazed grabby hands to give it a squish. My Rav queue is littered with his patterns. Well, after driving myself to distraction with an unprecedented list of obligation knitting, I just HAD to cast something on for myself, just something to break up the cuz-I-have-to knitting to keep me sane. And I remembered that my totes amazing friend, Jules of Woollen Flower, had gifted me Terra, a J-Flood (as I now refer to him) shawl pattern, and feverishly ran to my computer and started printing it out. I dug around in my multiple yarn caches like some wild animal for some delish anonymous-backroom-specials-bin yarn from Bendigo Woolen Mills (where did I put it? When did I see it last? Was it still in the bag?) that was perfect and got to it! BLAM!

I love the yarn so much! It smells properly delicious, and the colors are completely cray-to-the-azy, but kind of subtly cray. I like subtly cray.

Here it is laid out so far. This part is super easy. It’s knit from the center out towards the edge, so I don’t get to the patterned charted bits until I get near the end. So, right now, it’s super chilled and relaxing, and then it’ll end with excitement plus!

Here you can see the crazy mess of colors and the ridged pattern repeats. I’m super stoked with how the colors are coming out. Because it’s knit in a thicker yarn and the lace pattern is pretty low key, I’m hoping I can wear it highwayman stylee and pull it off. We shall see!

So, I promised y’all some legit craftiness. I’ve got more too, but the Spock hat is proving more difficult to photograph than I’d expected, and all the socks and mitts I want to wait until I have finished pairs. But, watch this space!

Do you occasionally cheat on your main craft? Or are you a monogamous crafter? Sharezies!

Crafts & Newspapers

Gentle reader,

As I mentioned briefly in the last post, I was featured in an article in The Sunday Age’s “M” magazine lift-out last Sunday, and as promised I’ve scanned my section and the picture. You can read the whole article online here; the other people featured are quite interesting, especially the polo player.

"Don't Fence Me In" by Natalie Craig, "M", The Sunday Age, 27/11/11. Photo by Simon Schluter

Do you find it surreal when you get attention for things? It’s very strange when you stumble into attention. Lots of people have come into the shop and recognized me and said hello or asked after me. It’s very nice, but also a little intimidating. But, it’s all good publicity to get people crafting, I say!

Speaking of, it’s been far too long since I’ve done some proper craft blogging! Get on with it, Raynor! Oy! So, here is an update and a new thing!

Getting there!

The Boneyard Shawl is coming along; I’m into my third skein and I have another skein floating about somewhere. I mustn’t run out of puff! Christmas is almost here!

To recap, the pattern is by Stephen West (it’s dead easy and free), and the yarn is Silky Tweed by Rowan. I’ll tell you what, I’m totes upset that Silky Tweed is DISCONTINUED! It’s such a beautiful yarn, and absolutely scrumptious to work with. As I knit it and squish it I almost feel as if I’m mourning it. I actually bought the last skein of this colorway from Cleggs. So sad. If you see any in discount bins, snap that stuff up, kay!? You won’t regret it.

Katia Paper

Meanwhile, the store got a new yarn in; Katia Paper. It’s 100% cellulose (aka paper, funnily enough). Texture-wise, it’s more or less like raffia. The amazing thing is that it’s machine washable. My mind? Consider it blown. Anyway, my manager has wanted the store to have a market bag pattern for quite a while, and figured this would be a perfect project to do with this yarn. So, I’m now in the process of designing one.

The pictures above are just of a concept swatch. I tested out a few different ideas for stitches and different chain lengths, so it’s quite scrappy. Once you crochet this up, because of the variegation and the texture, pattern stitches or front/back post stitches really don’t show up so well unless there’s a lot of negative space.  The band above the mesh is a catherine wheel pattern, but it just disappears. I think for this one I’ll keep it simple, but I might just flip through some stitch dictionaries in case there’s a gem of inspiration.

It’s not an easy yarn to crochet with, but it is quite fun and rewarding. I’m working on a miniature prototype of the bag and I think it’s going to look really nice, actually, so I’ll keep you posted.

What’s the most unusual yarn you’ve ever used?

– R