Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Alpaca Farm!

Hey guys! This morning, I went to an amazing place...an alpaca farm! And naturally, I had to buy some alpaca yarn, so I did ;). I went to a farm called Alpacas d'Auxvasse, in Auxvasse, Missouri. Of course, I do not live in Missouri, but I am visiting relatives that share my interest in knitting and crocheting. It is a very small far, with only about 30 alpacas, but the owner has devoted her retired life to raising alpacas and spinning and dyeing their fiber. She also had a small yarn shop in her studio. She has many types of fiber, including blended yarns with the addition of merino wool and even bamboo to her alpaca fiber. I was on a limited budget ($22), and some of the yarn skeins cost upwards of $40! I eventually settled on a deep purple skein. The details:
  • 85% Alpaca, 15% Merino wool
  • 3-ply
  • 235 yards, 3.5 ounces
She also has 2 types of alpacas, Suri's and Huacaya's. The Suris have smooth hair, while the Huacayas have short kinky hair. My yarn had only Suri in it.

The alpaca was an absolutely amazing experience. Be warned though...it is out in the middle of nowhere! But if you are considering going, her website is here. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the yarn, but her website does not have a picture of my particular yarn, and I don't have my camera to upload a photo.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf: Part 1

Hey guys! So, if you read my upcoming projects post, you would have seen the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf as one of my to-do projects. Well, I've finally started! And I have to tell you, it's turning out great! Also in my last post, I had put a gray yarn into the spotlight. It is soooooo soft, and it stretches really well. Surprisingly, it was actually one of the cheaper yarns. I bought it at Michaels, and it was 1 out of about 5 gray yarns they had. 2 were more expensive, one was not the fiber I wanted (it was cotton), so it left me with 2 yarns. They were the same price, so of course I chose the softer one with more yardage. Here it is again if you haven't seen it:
I love the gentle sheen of the yarn, and it's proof it's soft too!

So back to the scarf. It is turning out great. There was a tip in one of the comments that said to prevent twists when creating the initial circle of chains with a slip stitch, chain the desired amount, do NOT join the ends, and do 1 row in the pattern before joining the ends. This is a really good tip. 

Sorry that I can't post the pattern here, but I put the link above. But the pattern itself is extremely clear. It even has step-by-step instructions for making the optional, separate tie that I plan to make out of small amounts of brightly colored yarn to stand out against my neutral gray yarn. It has lots of ways to wear it, at least for a scarf (5 ways, to be exact), and all with pictures! By the way, it calls for a K hook for the scarf and an I hook for the scarf, but it depends on your yarn, but try to make the hook size for the scarf 1 mm bigger than for the tie.

Please try this pattern, you won't regret it! It looks good with all solids, patterns, and textured yarns.

Analise
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

New Projects! July 1, 2014


Hey guys! Today I am going to introduce some new projects that I hope to complete in the month of July. I hope to start a new routine for myself, in which I decide projects to do the month before, go to the yarn store at the beginning of the month, and work on my projects, (hopefully!) complete them, and choose some projects again before it's time to go to the yarn store again. I haven't gone through the entire cycle yet, and of course it will have to be adjusted for my schedule and large projects, but I hope it works well. And of course, I already have some of the yarns I am going to use. I have also purchased 1 ball of yarn, but did not a My New Yarn! post, so I will introduce you to it! I am really excited to do these projects. Here they are:

Artfully Simple Scarf

Designed by Tamara Kelly from Moogly

This scarf is absolutely gorgeous. It is made in a net-like, circular fashion, by chaining the amount around your neck, slip stitching the ends together and continuing around. It is also worked in spiral (like the Market Bag) so you do not have to join rounds. Once complete, you have an infinity (or eternity, if you like to call it that) scarf that you can wrap twice around your neck. The pattern also includes a small optional tie with a button on it to give the scarf a more complete look. I will provide a link in the project post to the free ebook where I recieved the pattern. You can also find the pattern on her blog.

 

For My Project

  • Loops and Threads Soft and Shiny in grey

 

  • 5.5 mm crochet hook
  • 1.25 inch buttons (for tie)
  • I plan to use either Loops and Threads Yarn Bonbons (small balls of yarn, used often for trimming pieces, and usually have only 10-20 yards on them. They come in packs of 8.) and/or scraps of yarn for my ties (probably the bonbons because they have much brighter colors than in my yarn stash.) However, the bonbons are expensive. Winding that tiny little ball and wrapping a little label around it...bleh! They are very cute though... :)
Color-block Pillow


When I was first starting to crochet, I found really helpful to work from a book or other paper patterns (I bought crochet magazines and printed free patterns and ebooks...I still do!) I also did it because I couldn't access online patterns on my iPad when I was in the car, on airplanes, etc. But back to the book. This book has probably the best visual representations of beginning crochet I have ever seen. It has photos instead of drawings (ugg. I hate following drawings!) and shows you individual stitches up close. It has pictures of every step in even the simplest stitches and designs, and also has great beginner projects. I made have mentioned it in an earlier post, but you need to get this book if you just want to brush up on the basics or find a few beginner projects...it even has a mitten pattern, extremely uncommon in beginning crochet books. I found this book at a used book store, but I believe they sell them at Barnes & Noble (at least online.) It is called Basic Crocheting.

 

This pillow is great for beginners learning to work evenly, as gauge and tension are important in the project. You will also be making 2 identical sides, and if they aren't the same, it's no bueno! (No, I'm not Hispanic :) I learn Spanish from my friends) However, it's great because you can put almost any coordinating colors (you need 4, but most of the time you will use white or cream for the first color.) The pattern calls for ombre colors, cream, tan, coffee brown and black, but you can use almost any, and mine isn't even going to be ombre! I will be using all the yarns in My New Yarn! Volume 2 except for the cream, which I will be replacing with white.

For My Project

  • Caron Simply Soft in White, Soft Green, and Persimmon
  • Caron UNITED in Navy
  • G Hook
  • 16 inch square pillow form

Hope you guys liked these projects, and I hope to be postig about them soon!

 

Analise

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Please email me at simplecrochets@gmail.com for questions, pictures of your completed projects, or anything else relating to Simple Crochets!