Sunday, May 16, 2010

'New' fad

It's not exactly new (to me) but I've been bitten by the crochet bug. I mostly knit lately, but crochet once in a while. For an Icelander crocheting is not a craft on it's own, as much as another side of the coin for knitting. No one only crochets there, or at least no one I've every heard off. So I found it interesting that there were people in America that only crocheted and knitters that said they could only knit, not crochet. That's beside the point.

I'm crocheting now.

It started with crochet mittens.

My grandmother gave me a whole lot of Einband, in bright and beautiful colors for Christmas, and I've been wanting to make something out of it. Normally you would make shawls out of this yarn, but it has the potential for much more. It´s gained more and more popularity as a sweater yarn, and I've started a sweater (hoodie even) from this yarn (the never-ending-sleeves I've been working on since March 1st). This idea wasn't mine, I saw a similar project on Ravely, but I made a pattern of crochet mittens from Prjóniprjón, an Icelandic knitting book I bought (from one of the the author) the last time I was in Iceland.

I combined two threads of Einband, pink (1768) and magenta (9142), and used a 4.5 mm hook. I started off with 32 chains for the base and the only changes I did was to do a SC decrease but the pattern suggested to skip a SC for a decrease.

It's a quick and easy project and I basically just 'molded' the mittens to my hand (i.e. kept trying them on to see if the size was correct). They do have a potential for some cool embroidery too, but for now I'm not going to go that way.

Before I had even sewn in the ends for the mittens, I had my next crochet project started. One that I'm obsessed over. I'm making another blanket (what is it about blankets and me????) and it's made out of hexagons. I can't even describe how much joy I'm getting out of this project. I'm following directions from Attic24, which are just brilliant (Attic24 is brilliant too, especially at color - take a look at her blog and see for yourself). What is so genius about this pattern is that there is minimal finishing (I'm not too big on finishing). Each hexagon only ends up with one end to weave in, even if I use 4 colors for it! And that's not all. I don't even have to sew the hexagons together, but crochet them together as I go. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

The yarn I'm making the blanket with is Kambgarn. It's a sport weight yarn, dyed and distributed by Istex (Icelandic yarn maker). I was collecting this yarn, most of it I got gifted to me, but some I purchased last time I was in Iceland. I had intended it for multicolor mittens and hats, but never seemed to actually make these things. The yarn is perfect for the purpose of making a blanket, I have 22 50 gr skeins in 10 colors, thereof 8 in one color (moss green), which I can use for the main color of the blanket. The challenge is that the colors are a bit haphazard (three different shades of red and green), I would not have chosen exactly these colors if I had chosen them from scratch for the blanket, but they are not too dissimilar, so they will work.

I'm going to make the blanket as big as it will get with the yarn I have (or at least that is the plan to start of with). Each hexagon is quick (I haven't timed it yet), so it is a nice project to grab when I sit down and take a break on the weekend (I've only really worked on it over the weekend!) or any other time I'm not sitting down for extended period of time.

I don't know how long the honeymoon will last but at the moment I'm quite enamored by the little hexagons and want to continue with hexagon nr. 9, which I had just started before I started writing this post.

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