Thursday, August 14, 2008

Moonflower Choker Pictures and Pattern

Well, I FINALLY got around to finishing up that choker I was working on, and I also finally got around to writing out the pattern of it. It's not by any means perfect, but hopefully it's somewhat legible. I made sure to re-do some of the trickier parts just to make sure that it all ran smoothly, so it *shouldn't* have any major flaws, but if anyone comes across anything, just holler.

Basically, it's a cable choker bordered with a crocheted slip stitch. Because bamboo isn't stretchy, I made the button band (the part you sew the button on) in garter stitch, to give it a slight elasticity. The button is actually a flower that you'll knit, which I was a bit leery of at first, but it really does fit easily through the buttonhole if you pull it out petal-by-petal, and it keeps the whole thing in place. The button band with the button hole is has a decorative picot bind off that peeks behind the flower when you wear it, looking like a little leaf. It's a quick knit, and it'll be perfect for early fall when the weather gets cool, but not nearly cool enough for a neckwarmer.

Oh yeah, and you know how we roll. This pattern is for personal use only, any commercial use of this, whether it's selling the pattern or selling stuff made using the pattern, is ILLEGAL. So yeah, don't go makin' money off my freebies.


YARN: Plymouth Yarns Royal Bamboo in a (light) worsted weight in

MC: 003 (a silver colour) and CC: 0013 Garnet. One skein of each, and you'll only use a wee amount.

Needles: size 6 US (4mm)

Crochet Hook: G-6 (also 4mm)

You will also need a cable needle and tapestry needle.

GAUGE: 11 sts, 12 rows per 2 x 2 in square in stockinette stitch. Gauge doesn't have to be absolutely perfect. For the most part it's worked by the inch, not by rows, but remember, if you're going to use the same yarn-- bamboo isn't stretchy!


In MC and on size 6 needles, CO 10 sts.

Row 1: sl 1 knit-wise, p1, k6, p2

Row 2: sl 1 purl-wise, k1, p6, k2

Row 3-4: repeat rows 1 and 2

Row 5: sl 1 knit-wise, C6B, p2

Row 6: slip 1 purl-wise, k1, p6, k2

Row 7: slip 1 knit-wise, p1, k 6, p2

Row 8: slip 1 purl-wise, k1, p6, k2

Repeat rows 1-8 until approx 2 in less than your neck circumference (ideally ending with Row 8, if you like symmetry). BO.


With 6-G crochet hook and CC yarn, join using a slip st in on of the corner of the piece, towards the beginning of the cable, andwork a slip st into all the (knitted) slipped stitches around the border of the choker (it should start coming out the way it looks in the pictures...). On the narrow CO and BO sides, work a slip st into every other stitch-- amounting to five slipped sts on each ends. Once you've make a full garnet rectangle around the piece, finish off and weave in ends.


Now, with your knitting needles and CC, pick up and knit 8 sts on one side of the choker. Work in garter st for approx 1 in. unstretched, then BO.

On other end of choker, pick up and knit 8 sts using CC. K 5 rows of stockinette st (ending in a purl row).

Row 6: k4, BO 4, k1.

Row 7: p2, CO 4 using thumb method, p2.

Row 8: knit all sts

Row 9: purl all sts

Now begin to work a picot BO as follows:

BO 2, *slip st on right needle to left needle, then CO 2 sts using a cable cast-on, BO 3*, repeat to end. A total of five picots will have been made.


In MC and using your size 6 knitting needles, CO 4 sts, leaving about a 7 in tail.

Row 1: sl 1 knit-wise, yo, k1, yo, k2

Row 2: sl 1 knit-wise, k5

Row 3: sl 1 knit-wise, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2

Row 4: sl 1 knit-wise, k 6

Row 5: sl 1 knit-wise, k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2

Row 6: BO 4, k 3

Repeat rows 1-6 until four "petals" have been made, repeat rows 1-5, then on row 6 BO all sts. You will have five petals. Break off yarn, leaving about 7 in tail again. Draw the yarn through the little bumps on the bottom of the petals and draw tight, forming a flower shape. Draw the yarn through again so it doesn't get undone. Now sew first petal to last petal, completing the cup shape. Weave in the ends of that BO tail, leaving the CO tail out. Now using the CO tail, sew flower to center of the garter st button band, sewing through at different angles at the bottom of the flower. Give it a slight tug to make sure it's nice 'n' sturdy, then weave in ends.

Voila! The end result should be a cute 'lil' choker. Enjoy.

Moonflower Choker, With Cables Showing

Read more!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blueberry Pickin'

A few days ago my family and I found out about a local person who has a sort of blueberry U-Pick-Em. We called him up for directions and time, and he told us to come whenever we want, and that he basically has an honor system for the blueberry sales-- a tip jar located on a table in front of the field-- so there was no need to concern ourselves with whether there'd be someone there or not.

The money goes to a charity that helps orphans in Belarus, so really, you'd have to be quite a lout not to pay up regardless of whether anyone's watching or not.

We arrived early in the morning, before the sun was harsh. I still brought my hat, of course. Despite my usual hatred for doing anything before 8:00 (including waking up), I still had enough of my wits about me to remember to take my cameras, digital point 'n' shoot as well as my clunkier, more professional, manual Pentax K1000. In my opinion, though, all the greenery looked far better with my simple point 'n' shoot, so that's what I used to take most of the pictures.

Here's how a small family-owned blueberry field looks in the morning.

Here's what some of the blueberry stems looked like, all grey and hazy.

Look at how colourful blueberries can be.

Here's my sister, Bebe, and my brother, David, picking blueberries.

You can see the table with the buckets in the backround.

We're still drowning in blueberries, despite Mom's incessant canning.

More adventures to come soon?....

-The Bloated Ewe

Read more!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Green Feets

My green socks are finally DONE.

I decided to suck it up and buy a second skein of Colinette's Jitterbug yarn in Popsicle...and since it was only the very tip of my right sock I needed to finish, I have enough a second pair of socks; maybe I'll knit some anklets in the future?

Until then, I'm just happy to have these babies all finished up.

Though in the future, if I ever do the pattern again...I'd probably alter the toe so that I'd be able to just draw the yarn through the remaining stitches instead of grafting. Yech.

There's so many things I'd like to write about and post pictures of, but this week has been insanely busy. I relatives from south Florida who are currently at their vacation home up here, and we've been doing alot of things with them. And when we're not, my family and I are out and about, enjoying the last leg of summer. Today has been one of the more peaceful days for me. Hopefully I can get some snapshots up soon, before saturday at least... when both my spinner's guild meeting AND last summer contra dance just happen to coincide.

Gah, I need to do so much before my courses start up again. I need to call up financial aid and make sure all my loans and scholarships and stuff are in. I need to see when I have to attend the student work-study workshop. I need to get my books. I need to contact disabilities and get my tardy exemption sheets and e-books. I need to get art supplies. I need to figure out where the heck my classes are going to be held....

But this blog is a HAPPY place, so I need to get away from the boring university moaning and back to art and knitting.

I finished the choker, and next time I write of it, there will be pictures and a free pattern to boot.


-The Bloated Ewe
Read more!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bike Riding

The weather this week has been quite balmy lately.

But despite that, when my brother asked me if I wanted to bike ride with him down our road, I decided to tag along.

I also took my camera.

I took pictures whenever I stopped for breath.

I took a picture of what I've always assumed to be an abandoned shack, but have never been totally sure.

I took a picture of the road, which isn't much of a road if you're used to pavement.

I took a picture of the mountains, where we decided it was time to head back.

Then I took a picture of the little church graveyard, along with SPECTRAL EVIDENCE.

Just kidding. It was a guy on a lawn mower.

Then I took one last picture, as we headed back home.

-The Bloated Ewe

Read more!