Shrug of Many Colors – Finished!

Haute Couture it’s not, but I like it.

The center section, crocheted with the first yarn, reminds me of a faded garden at the end of summer. The outer section? Deep and moody; what you might find in the dark crevices of your garden.

HexesShrugFront

HexesShrugBack

I connected the hexes at the end into a tube for a sleeve. I wanted a slight taper. The end of the sleeves contain 4 hexagons (column 1). I wanted 5 hexes at the upper arm (column 3). This meant that I needed to cobble a puzzle piece to fit into column 2. This was approximately 2/3 of a hexagon. I used LauraLRF’s diagrams for half hexagons as my jumping off point. I also used them to to fill in the top and bottom of the shrug.

I finished the shrug off with a row of single crochet around the sleeves and 2 rows of sc around the body. A bit of steam and light pressing, and it’s done! Just in time for warm weather.

Unlike the other shrug that I used as a basis, this shrug has a distinct top (neck) and bottom.

What would I do differently?

It goes without saying that, if I were to do this again, I would do it all in a single color way, or at the very least, two color ways of similar hues and values.

While I like the ease and convenience of the join as you go method described in the original hexagon recipe at Attic24, I wouldn’t do it again. The hexagons look tacked down, because that’s what it is. You can see blips of tacks in adjacent hexagons.

This method worked for this particular shrug because I was working on a fit/design-as-I-go. Sometimes, this meant ripping out just one hexagon, sometimes it was 5, but not always adjacent. If I joined using any other method, it would have mean ripping out more.

But I do like the serendipity of the color placement that the join-as-you-go method affords. I didn’t have to agonize over the final placement of all the individual hexagons. I think that would have stalled me out and taken longer to finish the shrug.

It’s a trade off that needs more consideration.

I also modified the start/end of round 2. I wasn’t fond of how the first couplet looked in Round 2 (the ch2, 1 dc) pair. It just looked like 2 dc next to each other instead of a bobble like the rest of the round. I have modified it so that the first stitch looks more like a bobble.

Here’s how I did it:

  • ch 3
  • (work a bobble stitch into next stitch, ch 1) 11 times
  • work the first half of the bobble stitch, work a slip stitch into the 2nd stitch of the chain 3 and pull through all the stitches on the hook. The chain becomes the second half of the bobble.

2013 Spring Cleaning #2 Update

Grace wasn’t sure about the contrast between the 2 different yarns. Here’s a picture of 2 bitty scraps, one from each yarn.

SC2Scraps

Pretty darned close, no?

There are color overlaps between the two yarns that make them nearly indistinguishable from each other. The second yarn is mostly black based, but the color sections are similar in hue and value of the darker sections of the rainbow yarn. I think it will work. If it doesn’t? There’s always a dye bath.

2013 Spring Cleaning #2

SC2

No before picture for today’s installment. I came across a partial top down sweater while digging through my stash. The last time I remember working on it, we were living in the little Zen tea cottage* when we first moved back down to California — in 2004. I didn’t have enough yarn to make the sweater I originally intended. I wasn’t happy with the fabric. I should have gone down one more needle size, but that meant I would need even more yarn than what I had available. So it sat. For 9 years.

Last weekend, I pulled it out of the UFO box and ripped the sweater. I had thought that I could make another vest. That was a surprisingly wearable and comfortable vest. I wanted more.

But last night, I finished the last hexagon on my crochet hexagon shawl/blanket thing. Except it wasn’t large enough.

Hexes1

The current size is 15″ deep by 40″ wide. The width is workable — elbow to elbow on me. But 15″ doesn’t cover enough of my back to keep it warm, just the shoulders.

A light bulb turned on. Perhaps I can use the yarn from the former top down raglan to frame the hexagons to make it larger all the way around. I think I even have enough to turn it into a shrug.

Hexes2

Here is the hexagon piece on top of the shrug. The shrug is folded over so the hex piece is about 1/2 of a shrug. I weighed everything. The hex piece weighs just under 8 oz. The former sweater weighs around 9 oz. I definitely have enough to turn this hex piece into a shrug.

The shrug will be colorful. It will be wild. It will most definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it should definitely keep my back warm while I sit and drink a cup of tea.

Myth Busting

I love the show MythBusters, but I have a something that you will never find featured, dissected, and blown up on the show.

I have always heard (*) that if you are spinning yarn for crochet, the yarn should be spun opposite of how you need to spin for hand knitting. Typical yarn is spun Z then plied S. The saying goes that crochet will twist the yarn in the Z direction, therefore, unply your yarn. For this reason. You have to spin S then ply Z.

* I don’t know where it came from, but I read it on the internet.

I’ve been crocheting all those hexes and it just dawned on me today to take a careful look at my working yarn. I spun this yarn without any project in mind so it was spun just the normal Z then S. Nope. It hasn’t tried to unply itself as I’m working along. In fact, the yarn still looks fine and just as sound as it was when I first spun it.

busted

As with all things found on the internet, you should take it with a grain of salt and test it out yourself before you make any decisions.

I’m really enjoying crocheting this. I had forgotten how much fun crocheting is. I need to dig out some of my old crochet pattern booklets.