Spinning Quite a Yarn

I was super excited when Lauren McElroy’s Crafter’s Box collaboration was announced. I love her Instagram content and have always been interested in learning to use a drop spindle, so it was a perfect box to spend some birthday money on.

There was a small bit of a learning curve, as you can see from the progression in that photo, but the video class was so easy to follow. I even started incorporating some color with some roving from Ganxxet.

Once I had a good amount of two-ply yarn, I wanted to create a project with it. I swatched a bit in crochet and knitting to decide which looked better. The crochet showed off the variation in the thickness (which we will pretend was intentional), so I started a hat.

The yarns I used were about 4-5 WPI, and I roughly measured the smallest amount to find out that I had about 6.9 yards per 10 grams. This hat used 58 grams of the all-white yarn and 41 grams of the blue/purple/white yarn. Really rough estimates mean that I used around 68.31 yards in total.

I’ve also started experimenting with chain plying the yarn (the two small skeins in this picture), which is a lot of fun. I don’t have enough of it yet to do much with it, but I’m thinking maybe gloves.

If you are looking to learn drop spindle spinning, I’d definitely recommend this kit. It’s still available through The Crafter’s Box Marketplace, and they have some accessories you can also pick up through the marketplace to create even more yarns.


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A Year-long Quest for Shorts

Yes, once again demonstrating a flair for dramatics with that title. But I also made 4 pairs of shorts in about a month after putting it off for a full year.

You see, my mom was frustrated with the lack of non-denim shorts in stores about a year ago. Seems a strange thing to be looking for in February now that I am sitting here in March in less than 50 degree weather, but perhaps I put off making that first pair of shorts as well and she was actually looking for shorts in the summer. Now that I think of it, that’s probably what it actually was.

Anyway, I set about to draft a pattern and quickly got bored of that idea. So I found a commercial pattern I could tinker with instead. (McCall’s M6930 if you are also looking for one. I used option A but shortened the inseam a bit.) I was able to combine two sizes to get them to fit the way she wanted, not to mention they have actual, functional pockets instead of the fake pockets women’s shorts usually have.

I made the first version as a test out of the fabric she had the most of, but for those I used some snaps I had in my stash instead of those slider buttons pants usually have. That turned out to be a mistake, because they continually pop open, but by waiting a year until things opened up a bit more I was able to get the actual hardware I needed for the “real” shorts.

I am thinking of once again taking the easy road and modifying the pattern for myself to make some short leggings for under dresses this summer. Or it might just be easier to draft my own pattern for those. We’ll see. I still have a dress in pieces hanging out in my sewing bin that I should probably finish first.


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Sweater Weather

Well, okay, it’s not the same as sweater weather anywhere else. Which is why my new sweater is an open-weave crocheted sweater made in a sport weight cotton yarn.

A woman wears a green crocheted sweater and blue camouflage leggings standing in front of a green and white wave painting on a white wall.

The pattern is The Betty Boyfriend Sweater by Natalia McHayle (@taliacrochetcreations on Instagram) and the yarn is Cotton Pure in Linden Green from Purl Soho.

Back view of a woman wearing a green crocheted sweater and blue camouflage leggings standing in front of a green and white wave painting on a white wall.

The pattern is super easy and quick to work up. I finished it within four days, including sewing seams and adding the ribbing. Somewhere along the sleeves I accidentally added 10 rounds, which worked out nicely because I like my sleeves to end either above my wrist or in the middle of my hand.

Close up of the side seam detail of a green crochet sweater near the bottom edge ribbing.

The sweater is made in two flat panels that are then seamed up the sides and at the shoulders. You add the sleeves working back and forth in the round, which I totally missed the first time through. It’s not only written in the notes, but the joins are written in the instructions, too. I just happened to miss it both places until I was at the end of the first sleeve and realized there was no instruction telling me to seam it. I have a habit of messing up the first time through on a sleeve, though. Really would like to break that habit, honestly.

Close up of the neck ribbing detail of a green crocheted sweater

You add the ribbing on the sleeves, neckline, and bottom edge perpendicular to the edge and seam it when you get back to the beginning.

Close up of the shoulder seam detail on a green crocheted sweater.

The yarn is a dream to work with, too. I had a full ball left and ended up making a bag and a belt from it. My hands don’t really get fatigued when working with cotton yarns like some people do, but this one is very soft and shouldn’t give you too much problem if yours do. It’s even machine washable. These pictures are straight out of the dryer. It is so nice against the skin when wearing the sweater, too. I couldn’t wait to wear it today to take these pictures, and am planning to actually wear it again tomorrow. More detail available on my Ravelry project page.


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