Got a bag of old shirts? Cut them up and make a rug!
Doris Chan's fourth book breaks down lace garment construction into simple shapes, then guides the reader through construction of sophisticated-looking skirts, vests, wraps, and dresses. This is not only a wonderful introduction to charted crochet patterns, but also a great starting point for more experienced crafters to adapt shapes to their own vision.
I designed this simple, middle-out knitted wrap based on a common design of alternating decorative and mesh panels. It's designed for summer nights in Georgia, made of a cool and easy care cotton-acrylic blend. The light, springy yarn was enjoyable to work with and easy to carry around in my canvas project bag.
I sent it to my mom last week, and it arrived on the Thursday before Mother's Day. I think she really liked it, and she will use it as a shield from the fierce air conditioning required by all public buildings in the deep South.
I found this great-looking pattern on Love Knitting's pattern search when I was looking for a Mother's Day shawl. It had straightforward center-out repeating panel construction, a nice light weight, and was not a yarn hog. I downloaded it in the yarn store and bought the right-size crochet hook. With Premier's cool white cotton yarn in hand, I settled in to a day of crafting and Lost in Space. I had this project all planned, so why did I end up frogging this simple piece 10 times in 2 days?
If you're not familiar with top down knitting, it's a technique that starts at the top of a garment so you can try it on as you go. For sweaters and shirts, this means you knit from the neck line out to the shoulders, and then down the torso.
I'd been wanting to make a garment for myself for a long time, and something more ambitious than socks or a hat. I found this classic pattern at Tin Can Knits, which is straight knitting in the round with a wide purl stripe going down the arm. I re-imagined it as a light summer sweater, knitting in a linen cotton blend and shortening the sleeves. The sleeves were easy, just stop midway up the upper arm and work the ribbing.
The project was mostly a success. The only thing I would change is that I can see a join right in the middle of my torso. Next time, I'll use a Russian join instead of knotting. Knots are just extra clear in linen yarn, though I'm sure only experienced knitters would really notice. A friend of mine did say the linen color on top matched my skin too well so the shirt looks a little like a tube top at first glance, but I don't think that will stop me from wearing it.
I do plan to try other projects at Tin Can Knits. Their aesthetic is so timeless, and patterns are easy to follow. I've got my eye on the Lush Cardigan even thought I usually avoid buttonholes.