Category Archives: Completed Projects

Winter Skirts

This skirt transpired from a pattern at Mama In A Stitch along with a grab bag of locally-processed fibers from the Kurth Valley Fiber Mill. It contained a variety of golden-dyed skeins of alpaca, llama, wool, angora, and even some buffalo fibers. I had started the poncho but not far into it decided the pattern would make a great skirt for wearing over leggings. With a little added color from a random skein of bright orange/pink/army green/yellow wool, I realized I could mesh this with the slightly tougher llama fiber (as in sidebar picture) for the waist and hips and then allow the softer alpaca to hang for the rest.

Three-tiered Alpaca-Wool-Llama Skirt
You will need:
US size K 6.50 mm crochet hook
Approx. 75 yds llama, 75 yds wool, 300 yds alpaca (2 skeins, these are all approximate as I obtained them from a small local processor and didn’t jot down the exact lengths of each skein)

Size:
Approximately 16” wide (32″ circumference) at the waist, 19.5″ wide (39″ circumference) X 20” long.

Gauge:
Approximately 12 stitches and 9 rows per 4 inches.

HDC: half-double crochet
BLO: back loop only
DC: double crochet
SS: slip stitch

Starting with the waist (llama)
Ch 112, SS to first chain to join in the round
Round 1: HDC in each of the starter row chains, working in the round, SS to both loops of starting chain to join in the round
Round 2: Ch2, HDC in BLO beginning with the first open chain and repeating through all, SS to both loops of starting chain from previous row to join in the round
Round 3: Ch4, DC in 7th ch from hook (this is the 3rd ch on row below), *ch1, skip1, DC*, repeating between * throughout the round, SS to both loops of starting chain from previous row to join in the round
Round 4: Ch2, HDC in BLO beginning with the first open chain and repeating throughout, SS to both loops of starting chain from previous row to join in the round

Repeat rounds 3 and 4, three more times.

Switching to the hips (wool) and the body (alpaca)
This is where you begin working all rows as HDC in BLO, beginning each with a chain 2, and SS to both loops of first HDC of previous row.

To increase from the waist to the hips, I worked two HDC in BLO in one chain, once every 10-12 chains (an increase to 122-124). (I meant to do this every 10 chains but toward the end worked every 12. I ended up with 120 total. Considering the fiber and the stretchy-ness of the stitch, you can choose if you want more or less so there is some flexibility here. If you want to increase to the hips a little more then work two HDC in BLO every 10 chains (this increases your count from 112 to 124). If you want to increase less, work two HDC in BLO every 12 chains (this increases your count from 112 to 122).

I ended up with a seam that runs slightly diagonal which for these fibers, and the skirt, I liked how it turned out. I’m not an experienced crocheter so if you want to get a straight seam you can find out how to adjust this (in a skirt, not working in a circular pattern which increases, like a hat), here (https://wilmade.com/crochet-a-straight-seam-joined-rounds/).

Tie off and weave in ends.

Now, the funny part of this is that while I knit or crochet, I tend to find myself working out other mental gymnastics usually associated with Scripture. And for some time I’ve often wondered if there is something more to
Deuteronomy 22:11 “You shall not wear cloth of two different kinds of thread, wool and linen, woven together.” other than the symbolic reference where it is resurrected in Matthew 9:16. The verse from the old testament, similar to other precepts and laws laid out by the Lord during old testament times, were then, taken as literal commands.

Similar to Deuteronomy 22:9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited,…” where the aim of the command seems to be to maintain healthy crops by keeping seeds separate.

So why, I’ve wondered, would the Lord be concerned with giving precepts of this sort, with regard to the ancients’ clothing, and how, if at all, can it be applied today. This certainly goes deeper than it would appear on the surface (and more than this post is intending to express) since to understand the Lord is to know that He is concerned with ALL aspects of our lives. For after all, “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 9:16).

But perhaps sometimes, his precepts really are just a simple as they seem (which again goes to show his great concern for even the tiniest details of our lives). Because now I find myself wondering how I’m going to wash this skirt, where the wool and llama are quite resilient but the alpaca is soft and vulnerable to damage. On retrospect, I should have (and originally intended for) the wool to span only 2-3 rows to break up the colors between the llama and alpaca. But since I completed 6, it may have added too much bulk and especially with respect to the care instructions.

So, depending on your fibers, there is a lot of flexibility in the number of rows for each but if you’ve made it this far in the post, it’s a good idea to consider the stretch and composition of the fibers that you decide to use. My goal was to have a warm yet durable skirt for wearing over leggings in the winter. I may return to the fiber mill to pick up more llama as I think this is a great material to use for this type of skirt, especially around the waist and hips where there is more tension. The alpaca, however, gives it a nice flow without being form-fitting, as you might find in a cotton-polyester blend.

New yarn and new techniques brought my new favorite winter hats this season. Crocheted bean stitch, knit pillars, and a soft chunky yarn from Loops & Threads.

The top left pattern is a modified version of the Malia Beanie – Pattern by Little Monkeys Crochet at littlemonkeyscrochet.com. I modified this pattern by using a chunky yarn (rather than a worsted weight) and a K hook size – thereby decreasing the number of chains required for the vertical rows (I used 22: 18 for the main section and 4 for the brim). I also eliminated the 3rd round of the magic circle and worked directly from the 2nd round. To compensate for the loss of chains on the 3rd round of the magic circle, I (randomly and inadvertently) created 2 rows from each chain rather than moving to the next for every row. Also, for the large bean stitch, I pulled through after 6 sts on the hook rather than 8 – again, to compensate for the bulkier yarn. And finally, at the end of my rows, I crocheted (using a slip-stitch) the last row to the first (rather than sewing together). That gave me an additional row of a raised chain but I could have eliminated this by ending one or two rows earlier.

Added note on size: this hat turned out to be a Large, or possibly even XL. Since I was somewhat winging-it with the modifications I was really happy how it turned out but would like to try again with a little more systematic approach. Working from the 2nd round of the magic circle gives you 24 chains to work your rows from, and if you start 2 rows from each chain you’ll end up with 48 rows.

The bottom two hats use some of the Carbon Copy pattern from Sarah Keller at knotanotherhat.com.
Here again I used Loops & Threads, Charisma – a bulky yarn, with US 8 circular needles.
I inverted the purl rows for knit and used 2×2 ribbing for the brims.
With the blue I stopped short of a slouch hat because I wanted this for a ski hat and it turned out great – it’s warm and stays on tight! With the off-white I completed the full slouch but it makes a really bulky (read: heavy) slouch hat. It’s okay but not my favorite.
Regarding size: I cast on 72 sts and used about 10 rows of 2×2 ribbing for the brim. This created a ladies M/L.
Regarding the rows/pattern: After the brim I purled for 2 rows then knit for 6.
The “pillar” rows can be done in any way – on the blue hat I purled for only 1 row before beginning the 1×1 ribbing – but for the white hat I purled 2 rows before the 1×1 ribbing.
No matter how it’s done, the pillars give the hat some flexibility – especially important with a bulky yarn using size 8 needles – otherwise you get a stiff hat that’s not very form-fitting. Also, these are really quick and easy to make so I plan to do a few more and will try to post a standard size chart for the ski hat in S/M/L after a few more.

This is my version of Light & Up from Caroline Wiens. I used Schoppel-Wolle, Das Paar (Warmfront Color 2208). I’m calling it my passion scarf because I absolutely loved how it turned out. With over 200 sts on the needles at the end of the project, it takes some serious time and commitment to finish this scarf (kudos to all those who have, seeing the pictures on the link above there are some very pretty results with this pattern).

Also, I loved how the colors turned out with the Das Paar. I ran out of the it at the end and finished with a heavier weight, black yarn similar to Lion’s Brand Landscapes (100% acrylic) (you can see this in the pictures). Unfortunately, I finished this project over a year ago and can’t find the label for this yarn! It turned out nicely, however, because the smoothness and added weight eliminated the need for the tassels and gave it a nice border.

Well this week certainly encompasses the true nature and meaning of the Greek for “passing away the winter” – paracheimazo. (Hence, the name for my blog – cheimazoknits – as I love winter and one of the better things to do while stuck indoors is creating knit items meant for staying warm.)

While the midwest is in the grips of a polar vortex plunging temperatures to record below-zero readings, I’m finally finishing this afghan I started a couple years ago.

This pattern comes from the Boye book titled “I Taught Myself Knitting” and is the “1. Homespun Ripple Afghan” which is pictured on the front cover. I bought this book at least 10 years ago, or more, so it’s definitely outdated but the pattern is classic.

Having started this blanket, I was a beginner and not using continental knitting, so the first two skeins were painstakingly slow. Mostly due to my inexperience but also due to the “old shale pattern” which contains an increase/decrease row which tends to slow things down.

Initially, I was not very impressed with the Lion Brand Homespun as it seemed to easily separate and would often split. Undoing stitches was difficult due to the increase/decrease rows and the yarn itself lends the rows to camouflage themselves, making it difficult to tell which row I should be working (but is nice, however, for masking mistakes 🙂 )

Now, a year or more later, I’m finding the yarn not as difficult to work with as my knitting style has improved greatly. Because there are 114 sts on the needles, one row alone takes a bit of time, but is a great reason to learn continental knitting if you haven’t done so yet.

Right now I’m still working on the 4th skein and will use a total of 5. The old shale pattern looks something like this (creates the rippled effect):

  • Row 1:  purl
  • Row 2: k2tog (3x);  m1,k1 (3x);  k2tog (3x) – this is done in a combination of 18 sts
  • Row 3: knit
  • Row 4: knit

To work the entire afghan:

  • CO 114 sts
  • Knit 6 rows
  • Then start the above pattern, repeating those 4 rows until length desired.

NOTE: for each of the 4 rows, create a border using k3 at the start and end of EVERY row (it’s a good idea to place knit markers here, plus at every 18 sts after the first).                   To clarify: place stitch markers after the first 3 sts, then after every 18 sts, then before the last 3 sts – this should take you to the 114 total.

  • Knit 6 rows to end

Additionally, to help you remember which row you are working on, put a stitch marker in the bottom corner of the blanket for the side which begins the first of the 4 rows (the purl row). I didn’t do this until later but it’s quite helpful now.

 

 

I’ve done a lot of hats for my daughter and in newborn/toddler sizes but this is the first year I’ve tried a few for myself. The little newsboy hat was my first crochet project. The cream colored hat was my first with a newly-discovered yarn from Loops and Threads and makes a nice thick hat.

The brown was my first slouch hat and the yarn came from a local fiber mill – it is a worsted weight alpaca. If you’ve never used alpaca I would strongly recommend it – the threads seem loosely woven but it was surprisingly very clean and smooth to work with! The pattern comes from Sarah Keller at knotanotherhat.com – Carbon Copy.

This pattern created a girls’ size 7.

This is an easy, no-brainer pattern that results in a one-of-a-kind skirt!

Supplies:
US 7 straight needles
18-20 sts = 4 inches
2 balls of Santorini (58% viscose / 42% cotton); 50 g / 125 yds; (color shown is #2108)
hand wash cool, dry flat

Steps:
CO 120 sts
Then choose ANY stitch you desire for each row. I randomly chose out of these various row styles:

  1. Knit entire row
  2. Purl entire row
  3. Double-wrap knit row (wrap around your needle twice, instead of once as in a normal knit) -> results in a triangular stitch.
  4. Two-needle wrap, knit row (wrap once around both needles) -> creates a twisted stitch.
  5. These 3 rows in combination:
    • k1, *yo, yo, k1*, k1
    • k1, *k2, p1*, k1
    • k1, *k3tog*, k1
  6. These 3 rows in combination:
    • k1, *yo, k1*, k1
    • knit
    • k1, *k2tog*, k1

I inadvertently obtained a slight flare at the bottom (beginning) of the skirt by using the following combination for the first 9 rows:

    • 1 knit row
    • 1 double-wrap row
    • 1 knit row
    • 1 purl row
    • 1 knit row
    • 3 rows of # 5 above
    • 1 double-wrap row
    • 1 knit row
    • 3 rows of #6 above

After that I omitted the #5 combination since it widened the skirt when I wanted it to remain rectangular (at least for the remainder, anyway) and added a rayon liner.

Lanesplitter (knitty.com)

This pattern has turned into one of my favorites for whipping up an awesome winter skirt – great over leggings, paired with some cute boots – this skirt provides warmth for even the coldest winters.


Lanesplitter – 2019 (second skirt)

IMG_20190826_183441

My second Lanesplitter skirt, a year later, turned out much better than the first. This time I turned it inside-out and crocheted the waistband directly to the edge. Similarly, I followed the same pattern resulting in a simple rectangle then stitched the short edges together to form the skirt. Following that, I added the waistband and pulled the looseness together by crocheting in the round and decreasing chains as I went.

⦁ US 10 1/2 straight needles (for body of skirt)
⦁ J – 5.75mm crochet hook (for waistband)
⦁ [MC – A] Gina, Plymouth Yarn Co. – 100% wool; 50g/109 yds – color #0017 (blues, greens and brown) ($7/skein) (these are the background colors)
⦁ [CC – B] – 100% cottons for green/blue, 100% buffalo for brown (no tags, came from WI farm) (these are the ridge colors)
⦁ [Waistband – C] – Loops & Threads Bulky Charisma (biege).


Lanesplitter – 2018 (first attempt)

 

Notes: I needed 6 skeins of Noro Kureyon colors #102 and #149. The original pattern calls for Tahki Cotton Classic for the contrasting color but the following a display skirt from Yarnology in Winona, MN I used all wool instead.

I obtained the following measurements (after blocking), trying for the M size (19.5 on increase, 36 on the straight, and 144 CO for the waistband):
15″ – top width (with 144 co for the waistband)
18″ – bottom width
25″ – length (turned out MUCH longer than expected!)

Also, for adding the waistband, I inserted the skirt into the waistband and crocheted it together. I lined up the bound off edge of the waistband with the top of the skirt, and then crocheted into it (see pics). I used only single crochet and kept the yarn on the backside (instead of passing over the top).

  

Since the skirt edge circumference was larger than the waistband, and rather floppy, I tried to bunch up the skirt edge a little bit with every single crochet and it worked out rather well.