Tag Archives: manly

You can Make an Ocean with Crochet

15 Mar

Not too long ago I came across the Sólás Caomh pattern by Jodi Euchner in an Interweave Crochet magazine. I became enthralled with crochet cabling. Most people think of knitting and the “scary” extra needle. But I had to learn how to do this wonderful new technique, but not in a baby blanket size, on a blanket that would fit a 6’1″ man – this had potential disaster written all over it. My knitting/crochet class was a little skeptical of my plan (they often are, but most times, it’s valid) but they still helped me tinker some pattern adjustments and the tricky new stitches.

The Manly Blanket

I decided to use a J hook (6 mm) and bulky weight yarn. I picked out a Clover “Soft Touch” crochet hook that’s an ergonomic design and a great price. Let me tell you, this saved me many a painful hour working with the hook. I never had to take a break or slow down because I was doing too much with my hands. It’s high enough up and has a flat neck where  you place your thumb and forefinger that makes working with it very comfortable. Mind you, this hook works best if you hold the hook like this:

Knife Holding Position

and not like this:

Underarmor position (my own misnomer)

My friend crochets the latter and had a hard time gripping the hook with the ergonomic chunky flat head. (Pictures courtesy of the Crochet World blog.)

Next, I used Ella Rae “Seasons” in color 19. It’s a bulky weight yarn that is “chainette”, which means that it’s not wrapped around itself, but is like an icord or crochet chain of yarn. I liked this style of yarn better, because I had ZERO splitting.

To make a blanket this size, I went up two yarn weights and two hook sizes larger than the pattern, then I added six stitches to the beginning and end of the pattern rows the whole duration of the blanket. This meant I casted on 135 stitches instead of 23 and added six more stitch repeats to the beginning of the row before doing the first cable set.

There are three separate cable types in this pattern and each is a little different. For help understanding how to do a Front Post or Back Post click on the links to understand how it works. Even if you know how to do these stitches, check out the videos anyway, because it’s a dude doing the videos. He has these big beefy hands and you sit there wondering, “This is a work of counter-nature.”

The part that is the hardest to understand in the pattern is FPdc or FPtr behind the stitches you worked, but it’s not a BPdc or BPtr. What this is trying to tell you (but hard to visualize), is you will be working the stitches as a FP, behind the stitches you just worked, but still in FRONT of the body of the project. Crochetme has a blog post all to help you out with this pattern.

To complete the edging I did the first two rows in the same color as the blanket and only used white for the last and final row. I liked the look of it better and called the white accent my “sea foam” to the ocean colored blanket.

Back to work on my knitted sock – don’t judge that I’m not crocheting!
-Stacy C.

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Post-Christmas Handmade Gifts Review

15 Jan

Hello everyone,

I know I’ve been pretty quiet, but if you had been crazy, like me, you would have been super busy last month trying to race to the finish line for Christmas gifts. I ended up making five presents and only two of them were “small”. Let’s take a look at my creativity gallery, shall we?

For my mother I made this beautiful shawl using the Color Obsession pattern everyone was gaga over. (I do have some tips for this one in my project notes). After having the edging snap apart while blocking, I was able to come up with a fix and part of that was to add a crochet boarder with the same color as the base color.

The finished, fixed product

Another angle

For my father, I made a pair of socks using Solemate. I was really happy with this yarn because I tried one of them on to make sure the claims of the Outlast thread worked (I washed the socks, of course). My results left me satisfied and my dad said they kept his feet very warm. I used an adjusted pattern called “Treads” from the “Son of Stitch ‘N Bitch” book.

Snazzy socks

For a friend of mine, I made an extremely modified version of the “Sólás Caomh” baby blanket into a gigantic 6’x4.5′ blanket. It took a lot of yarn, but I was able to rock that thing like nobody’s business. I’m extremely proud of this thing and all of the crochet cable-ing I learned! Because of all the awesomeness I accomplished and modified with this pattern, I shall have to write up a review in the future.

The beautiful Irish sea!

For my brother, I made him two different hats. The first is one that I (mostly) made the year before – but I had to finish it to give it as a gift, so it counts! I modified the “Wise Old Owl Hat” pattern to have only one owl – you know, the strong, silent type.

Manly hoot

The other one I made for him was a hat from the pattern “Berruti“. This was the second time I made the hat and I think my eyes were getting cross because I made a lot of unnecessary mistakes on a cool, but easy pattern.

Ziggy Zag

I made notes and mods on all of these projects I’ve stored on my Ravelry notebook. I hope you take joy looking at my Christmas presents as I did giving them.

Back to my Radiance shawlette,
-Stacy C.

 

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