Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for the ‘Crochet’ Category

Gifts #3, 4, and 5 Done!

Posted by mtmom on December 17, 2010

And about time, too!  We have 8 days until Christmas, and one of these had to be mailed (went out yesterday — phew!).  We have also had about 5 inches of wet, melty snow fall over the past 48 hours, with more expected tonight.  Nothing like the snow and ice paralyzing the UK currently, but enough to make the roads and sidewalks rather sloppy and to require shoveling of the driveway.  Pretty in the air, though!

our driveway, 17 December 2010

#3 = "hoot!" by Ysolda Teague, in Paton's Classic merino on #5 ndls.

#4 = crocheted flower (Names retouched out)

#5 = crocheted snowflake (names retouched out)




Patterns (free) available here:  #3 “hoot!” by Ysolda Teague, #4 “6-leaf flower in 4 layers” and #5 “snow flake” both by DROPS Design.








Also have 2 temari balls finished; one more to try.  Pattern for all 3 (also free) available here:  Lion Brand craft pattern.

Temari Ball #2, "Square-Eye", in 3 colors of Vanna's Glamour

Temari Ball #1, "Starburst", in 4 colors of Vanna's Glamour

Posted in Crochet, Knitting | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Revisiting Robert’s Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on July 25, 2010

2009 Satakieli hose

Longtime readers may recall the pair of green kilt hose I knit in fingering-weight Satakieli wool for Irish bagpiper Robert Watt last year. (He’s only in Flagstaff for 11 – 12 days each summer.)  —  —  –>

Well, he decided they were “too bright” to go with this kilt (they are, really, aren’t they) and asked me this year if I could remedy that, and also make the cuffs more snug.  Reknitting the cuffs I knew I could do, and I also knew that overdying the socks darker was possible — but I had never done such a thing before.  I told him I would try.

I mixed up some Jacquard acid dyes: some red and blue to tone down the yellow-ness, a touch of black and some more blue to go for a darker, bluer hue — more like the forest green yarn he liked in my long swatch.  And I overdyed those socks.

not an especially good photo of overdyed hose, 1 cuff removed

<– The lighting here is not especially good to see the color, but the next one shows it better.

It also shows an unexpected side-effect of dying a pre-knitted fabric that has RIBS. . . .


The dye did not penetrate the recessed purl ribs nearly as much as it did the knit portions.  I can call it a “design feature” all I want, but I still doubt this will look good on his legs.  Arrgh!  Grimace!!  And anything more I do will likely only make matters worse.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll go ahead and reknit the cuffs and send them to him in Ireland, or just frog and reuse the (slightly dappled) yarn for something else.  Either way, I will charge him nothing for his second pair . . . and perhaps his third as well, if I don’t send back pair #1.

Speaking of pair #2, here is the current state of them.

Pair #2 for Robert

First foot has a turned heel — toe-up gusset heel, a la Wendy Johnson — and 4.5 inches of ribbed ankle.

Second foot is ready to begin the heel gusset.

After I turn the second heel and begin the second ankle, I’ll be ready to begin the calf shaping.

Yarn is Wool-Ease worsted weight, in color Forest Green Heather, on 3.75 mm needles (US #5).

Aaron’s argyle repair work and the white textured hose made by Elsie, Stuart’s mum in Scotland, continue to call to me.  I want to finish Robert’s pair first, but don’t want to wait so long that the others get “sour” in my mind.  (Perhaps I should set them more out-of-sight for the time being.)  In the meantime, Elsie and I have struck up a knitterly e-correspondence.  If she gives her permission, I’ll recreate her (flat) pattern in the round — in yarn and on paper — and then share them with you all.

Oh, I almost forgot to add:  When DD got her practice chanter and registered for Piping School, I crocheted a protective “sleeve” for the instrument in “royal blue” Wool-Ease sportweight (sadly, no longer produced), with  variegated drawstrings.

Posted in Celtic, Crochet, Design, Dying, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Citius, Altius, Fortius” Knitting — Part II

Posted by mtmom on February 22, 2010

Some serious knitting (and crochet) has been happening this past week at Mountain Mom’s house!

DD1 has discovered amigurumi and now has 4 creations under her belt.

#4 Polar Bear

#3 Penguin

#1 kitty-toy Fortune Cookie, #2 blue Lovebird

All of these were made from free Lion Brand downloads.









From these, and the Crochet Workbook we had when last we were snowed in, in mid-January, she learned enough to “free-hand” this hat.

and Hat makes 5!

She now has her own Ravelry account and has earned 3 medals in the Ravelympics!

As far as my own “Olympic” knitting, since I completed the Chunky Charity Cap-in-a-Day, I have also finished the Inishturk Tam and Swatch #1 for Master Knitter Level III and am most of the way through a lopi-style cap (or cowl) where I’m using 3 colors at once in many, if not most, of the rounds.  Each of these an “Olympic” challenge!

Inishturk Tam

Swatch #1 (first go - may redo later if I can't block out that bias)

Lopi "God's Eye" Cap/Cowl

“God’s Eye” is the name given to that main motif, when used in fisherman’s ganseys.  I transferred into Icelandic-style yarn both the motif and the Channel Island cast-on.

I learned these during my study of fishermen’s sweaters for my Level III report on ethnic knitting, and I’ve been enjoying using the cast-on.

There *are* other things, knitting and otherwise, going on — even a bit of housework — but nothing post-ready yet. . . .

[Wordpress seems to be having trouble with images today!  Please check back later if they aren’t showing up just now.  Sorry!  😦  ]

Posted in Crochet | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Knitting Olympics Training Continues

Posted by mtmom on February 5, 2010

Swatching some less common cast ons and bind offs, in preparation for Olympic Speed Swatching next week.

(Left column, dark teal)

Twisted German paired with JSSBO, stockinette to left and ribbing to right.

Small picot CO and BO.

Large picot CO and BO.

I-cord CO and BO.

(Right column, bright green)

Crochet CO and traditional BO.  If I used a crochet hook to do the BO, not only would they look the same, but perhaps I could call it “different”.


Next time I work on this, I’ll try a few versions of tubular cast on — there are at least 2 or 3.  Then, when it comes time for the Games,  I’ll need to make full-sized swatches which also include the less-common decrease techniques called for in the Level III instructions, and have Very Even Edge Stitches.

In the meantime, I’m also working on other stuff.

Red Heart "Soft", colorway "embers"

Embroidered after Christmas break with school letter logo

Elizabeth Zimmermann "Icelandic Hat", at smaller gauge

Quick Crocheted Chenille Cap

She wants you to see her first-ever hook-crocheted chain!

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Snowed In . . . with Yarn

Posted by mtmom on January 29, 2010

And what did I and my 2 DDs do while we were snowed in for almost a week?  Crochet!

I had 2 library books at home, and we worked from those and from Lion Brand online amigurumi patterns.  The books are Creative Crochet Lace by Myra Wood, and The Crochet Workbook by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters.

Cherry's chain

Cherry learned to “finger crochet”, and produced this L O N G chain (which the cat finds irresistible!)

Kathy's amigurumi toys

Kathy and I did exercises from The Crochet Workbook.

Kathy's swatches

< – – She used her new crochet skills to produce a Fortune Cookie-shaped cat toy and blue “Love Bird”, both from Lion Brand free patterns.

Here are her practice swatches. – – >



And here are mine.

Turning chains: count as stitches vs don't count as stitches

Single-crochet and double-crochet as CO chains, instead of slip stitches

Step increases at the ends of rows


2-color Spiral -- finally figured this one out myself

Bumps, bobbles, loops, and knots

Uneven rows that compensate for one another

2-color partial rows

Built up the ripples to get a level row, then added spikes and round-the-post and crab stitches

Posted in Crochet | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Back to Fair Isle Sampler Scarf, plus Kollage Kap

Posted by mtmom on January 10, 2010

3 sets of "Korean stripes" in Sampler Scarf

Here’s where we stand with the Sampler Scarf!

Stripe Set 1:  neutral is KnitPicks “Bare” handdyed with (decaf) black tea, then colors are KnitPicks Palette C843 “Garnet Heather”, Jamieson & Smith shade 1283 “Pink Mist”, Reynolds Gleneagles fingering shade 3412 orange, J&S 58 “Dark Green”, J&S 26 lt. green.

Set 2:  neutral is J&S shade FC43 (“Fawn”), then 3 shades of KP Palette:  C821 “Blue Note Heather”, 6886 “Petal”, C843 “Garnet Heather”, and J&S 73 “Orange”.

Set 3:  neutral is J&S 202, then KP “Bare” home-dyed with sumac blossoms (yellow), J&S 93 “red”, J&S 131 “violet”, J&S 21 “navy”, J&S FC11.

Set 4:  My current plan is to use J&S FC17 for the next neutral.

Then perhaps on to some non-stripe 2-color patterning.

This is all meanwhile the Kollage “1/2 N 1/2” Kap proceeds toward 18 Jan. deadline.  The pattern is mostly written up — I’ll probably change some details of notation — and the model is progressing nicely (faster now that holidays are done and family are back at their respective schools).

Cap with smocking-stitch brim in Kollage Yarns "1/2 N 1/2"

I’ve also cast on another charity cap. This is my first experience with Lion Brand “Vanna’s Choice” yarn.  It feels pretty good while knitting, spongy, but a bit firm knit on #8’s (5 mm needles).

And the hat/scarf set in Noro “Silver Thaw” inches along.  It isn’t needed until *next* November.

The other recreational fiber-medium I’ve been dabbling in is Freeform Crochet.

one side

other side

Either side could end up being the “front”. . . .

Sometimes I have an idea to add onto it, sometimes I don’t.

In her book, Creative Crochet Lace, which I recently borrowed via interlibrary loan, author Myra Wood calls this “Doodle Lace”.  (BTW, interlibray loan is a great free service!  If your library offers this, take advantage!)

Posted in Cap/Hat, Crochet, Design, scarf | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Quick Caps and Slow Scarf, plus Socks

Posted by mtmom on June 15, 2008

Sorry, folks.  My computer’s been “sick”.  It’s still not all better, but I’m eager to post.

As usual, I’ve been working on several projects at once.  A few I finished up quickly. . . except for the ends.  3 chunky hats

Stash busting!  Two are Chenille Thick&Quick, variations on my (free) pattern “2 Chenille Caps” — see sidebar or Ravelry.  And one is WoolEase Thick&Quick in a basic top-down patternless cap with rolled brim.  That empties one whole storage bin — hurray!!!  (Now it can hold my yarn “blanks”, which I’m saving to dye up later.)  Here, the girls model the caps.  gray & blue chenille on Ktop of one cap

WoolEase T&Q on Ch

 gray on Ch

I also finished the Feitelson band of my Fair Isle sampler scarf . . .    Fair Isle motif by Ann Feitelson 

. . . and began the next — from “Autumn Colors Cardigan” in Sweaters from Camp.Autumn FI band

And (!!) cast on some socks for my mother who’s in the hospital in Houston — far, far away. 2 cuffs

These are “Madder Ribbed Socks” from Nancy Bush’s book, Knitting Vintage Socks.  Trying 2 different methods of keeping track of the uneven ribbing-rhythm: 2 – 1 – 6 – 1. . . .

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work, Crochet, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Crochet and Knit, both. Also blogiversary!

Posted by mtmom on January 13, 2008

Some Christmas-tide progress on the knee socks.  One and 2/3 socks

But I also have done quite a bit of crocheting in thick chenille since last I wrote.  The (free) pattern for the 2 caps is available in the sidebar.  The brown & white cap you’ve seen before, I believe, but this is the first I’ve blogged about the dusty blue cap with brim.  blue-grey chenille cap

Writing up patterns, particularly in crochet, is new to me.  But the skill is an important part of TKGA’s Master Hand Knitter program, so I’m seeking to gain some facility at it.  Constructive criticism is welcome.  [I say that now.  We’ll see how I feel after some take me up on the invitation!  😉  ]

I have also recently learned about “blog stats”.  What fun!  Thanks to WordPress, I can view a graph of number of hits over time, and a list of sites from which people followed a link to here.  That can help me to do more of what works to gain knitter-exposure.  Speaking of which, I’d like to hold a giveaway in honor of my one-year blogiversary on January 29.  I’ll send a goodie (I have a particular book in mind) to one person who leaves me a comment between now and Shrove Tuesday/Super Tuesday, 5 Feb. 2008.  Tell me where you heard about my blog, what link you followed or what search you made.

Now, back to knitting content!

Another pattern I’ve written up, eventhough I have not finished the prototype (!) is for this 3-color Spiral Cap.  I enjoy these single-round stripes — learned this technique from Meg Swansen, someplace where she was talking about avoiding jogs in circular color-work (Dubbelmossa?).  I have made a cap in 2-colors of Baby Alpaca Brush before, but using 3 strands is also fun, and the combination of different yarns stimulates even more ideas for more colorways.  Here is Dreamsicle’s beginnings.  start of spiral cap

And then more. . . .  holding up half a cap

See how each round of color ends 3 rounds further down than it started? And yet, the older stripes appear continuous!   trying to show spiral effect

And here, see how I’m about to pick up the lowest/oldest strand (the dark orange) to begin the next round?  large photo of eor

Here I’ve worked a handful of orange stitches past the end-of-round shown in the photo just above, so you see the imtermediate rounds being scrunched as I resume using the color from 3 rounds down without twisting it around any other strands — very important.  another way to show spiral 

One tip for success with this technique:  don’t pull the first stitch of the new round very tight.  Tightness doesn’t help make the transition smooth; leaving it a bit loose helps the stitches even out later once they’re away from the “scrunch zone”.

Next post (Lord willing):  more Master Knitter swatches.  Thank you for reading!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Crochet, Design, Knitting, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

More Oldies, but Goodies

Posted by mtmom on December 30, 2007

I have been working on new stuff. . . , but I’m on a roll with collecting photos of projects from pre-blog days.  Documenting knitting can be a whole separate hobby to the knitting itself!  It has its own joys, to be sure, but without knitting there can be no documentation, so rest assured that I am actually knitting in the background.  Or crocheting, as the case may be.  (That is a hint, btw.)

I have also been updating this blog.  Check out new items in the sidebar:  new Blogroll entries, a separate box for favorite Shopping Links, and a link to a new “Page” where I’m posting original patterns.  The patterns are free, but I ask that my name (Deborah Swift, a.k.a MountainMom) continue to be attached to them.  Let me know if you use one!

On to the archives!  This week, we look at scarves of old.

The first scarf I ever made (2000) I also designed myself.  I interspersed moss stitch among the garter stitch ridges,  One end of red scarf

. . . and then, emboldened, I worked a personalized panel in the center.  Name panel in red scarf

At this point, my teacher asked me why I was still coming to her classes.  😉  We still swap yarn, and I make something for her church Craft Sale each year.

I did also (2002) make a cap to coordinate, in the same unknown red acrylic.  Beginning at the top, I increased in 8 sections and added ribs and cables as each section became wide enough.  The ribbing is, I now know, too loose; I added a few strands of elastic thread on the inside behind the brim.  Red hat

Fast forward a few years (2004?).  I started making tubular “sampler” scarves made up of lots of varied texture and color patterns.  The first I made for myself, in Lamb’s Pride worsted singles — until I ran out of the cream and substituted a burgundy something-else yarn of similar gauge and fiber-content (wool-mohair).  My first sampler scarf

This 8″-wide scarf includes several kinds of ribbing/loop-fringe/braid/texture stitches, as well as color patterns, gleaned from several books:  Kaffe Fassett, Ann Feitelson, Sheila McGregor, Liz Upitis, maybe even some Alice Starmore, Betsy Harrell, or Joyce Williams.  (I did not take notes — sigh.)

Projects of 2005 included both another sampler scarf for DS and a Swedish Dubbelmossa from Meg Swansen‘s pattern, in undyed unspun Icelandic yarn.  Here it is, pulled out to its full length.  A fully-enclosed tube with quite a tassel.  Dubbelmossa, pulled out full length

To wear it, you first push the bottom up inside the top, making it half as tall and 2 layers thick.  Dubbelmossa, doubled to half length

Then, you fold up some brim.  Now the hat is about 1/3 as tall, and swaddles your ears in no less than 4 layers of 2-color wool warmness.  fully-folded Dubbelmossa cap

Last for today, let me show you ds’s sampler scarf in 5 colors of Harrisville Designs’ flax/wool blend.  He picked out the celtic designs on the front side himself.  DS Sampler scarf, back view  front view of ds's sampler scarfAh, the memories!

Posted in Celtic, Color-work, Crochet, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »