FO Pledge

I pledge to actually finish some projects this week since I am on vacation.

I pledge to finish the following projects this week:

  • Black Stitch Sampler Backpack – I just finished the crochet and only need to sew it up now.
  • Share a Square Squares – There’s one face that needs to be embroidered on, a few ends woven in, and they need to be steamed. Then I just need to mail them. I pledge that this will happen tomorrow.
  • Hooded Jacked AKA De La Soul Jacket – I need to weave in the ends and sew it up. I would say “just need to” weave in the ends, but there’s like a million of them.
  • Sergio’s Turtleneck – I finished the back a month and a half ago. This is a boring project in all DC, but I could probably finish in a day if I could pay attention long enough.
  • My Turtleneck – I was so psyched to start on this and couldn’t get a hold of the pattern fast enough. I had to order a hard copy snail mail -gasp, say it isn’t so- and of course by the time it arrived, my enthusiasm had dwindled. I have a whopping 6 inches of the back done. I would actually like to get through this before it’s too hot to wear it. It uses one of the yarn colors from the Hooded Jacket, so if I finish that I would wear this with it.
  • Ewing’s Thomas the Train Blanket – I have 7 more rows of light blue, then the border, and need to weave in a zillion ends. Being that officially this was his “Christmas” present, I pledge to finish it this week.
  • Grandma’s Polar Bear – Another “Christmas” present. I just need to embroider the face and sew him up. Really, he’s stalled since December, really? Ridiculous.

I figured if I published my pledge I had a better chance of holding myself accountable.

I would say I pledge to finish them before starting new ones, but that would just be a lie. Did I mention I just bought yarn for 4 new projects last week? I couldn’t help it. They’re going to come out so cool.

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Hooded Jacket CAL AKA The De La Soul Jacket

It wasn’t until I started working on it that I realized I remembered this jacket from high school. I distinctly remember Damien and Jamar wearing this jacket in the high school courtyard. It’s the De La Soul jacket from the Three Feet High and Rising days… but I don’t really want to wear the De La Soul jacket, so I’m making a few changes.

I’m making the hooded jacket along with a bunch of other people as part of the Hooded Jacket Crochet-a-long on Ravelry. I’ve been having a great time with it and the crochetalong part has really pushed me to think through the project and come up with some great ideas for modification possibilities. I’ve loved seeing what others are coming with on this one. Some have been super cute.

Hooded Jacket Schematic

Hooded Jacket Size 14 Schematic - Click to Enlarge

The “vintage” pattern is available for free through the Jolly Plum blog. The first thing I realized was that the schematic was nowhere and I really needed it so I drew it up for size 14.

Having the schematic helped me out more than I thought it would as I started planning my stripes. I decided to only go with 3 colors after putting together tons of gorgeous bright color combos only to later remember I would be wearing this in public and the days of Cross Colors had come and gone. While some do have the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as their end goal, I do not. After making my Snow Day Bag, I loved the colors and yarn so much I decided to use the same ones for this project too… and it was on sale at Michaels again.

Planning out the stripes was a lot harder than I realized. I wanted wider stripes in the center and thinner ones on the sides to give the illusion of skinny. In retrospect the skinny stripes in the pattern would have been fine for the entire pattern if that was the main goal, but I do like how the graduated stripe width looks. I was right around gauge with my H hook, so after drawing out the schematic I broke it into rows based on 2.75 rows per inch. After figuring out that I wanted stripes to go from 6 rows down to 2 rows at the sides, the first stripe issue I came across was matching the shoulders. It wasn’t too hard, but it did change my original plan. After the hood was done, I realized I hadn’t matched stripes from the hood to my neckline. This I’m letting go for now. The stripe police will not come after me… I pretty sure of it. The sleeves were redone three times before I was happy with the color pattern and stripe widths on them. I ended up realizing it would look best with the center sleeve stripe matching the center side stripe.

This is where I currently am:

Striped Hoodie Almost Done

Striped Hoodie Almost Done

Striped Hoodie Flat

Striped Hoodie Flat looks like the Schematic who would have guessed

Hopefully I’ll finish this weekend. Part of the CAL is that it does feel like a race.

After seeing the challenges some others faced… yarn shortages, body shape needs… it really got me thinking about what modifications could be done with this pattern to create a great modified garment.

Vest Option:
It makes a great vest. If you have broad shoulders, just leave off the sleeves. If like me, you have more sloped shoulders, the shoulders would need to be 6-8 rows shorter, but you would still need that width in the chest, so maybe a graduated decrease instead of the squared drop to the armhole that the pattern has. I also think the armhole would need to be a little deeper for a vest.

Painted Crochet Option:
Being that the pattern is written for two strands of yarn held together throughout, I think this would make a great candidate for painted crochet to create your own ombre effect, similar to the Snow Day Bag.

Shorter Option:
The one I’m making definitely fits me more like a cardigan than a jacket. I’m thinking of doing another to hit mid hip instead of mid thigh. At gauge, knocking off 77 stitches from the starting chain should be about right.

Longer Technicolor Dreamcoat Option:
This could easily be elongated for the full technicolor dreamcoat look, just know the starting chain will probably hit mid thigh and add on another foot or two to each side, 77-114 more stitches additional to the starting chain.

Short Sleeve Option:

NittyNora's Gorgeous Cap Sleeve Hoodie

Someone ran out of yarn and did a cap sleeve with a one button closure instead of a belt and turned the pockets so the stripes were horizontal. It came out super cute.

Side Slits to Accommodate Hips:
It’s very easy to figure out where the side center is, it’s between the 4 rows of armhole shaping. A side slit is a simple way to accommodative larger hips. For the third row of the armhole shaping, along the bottom, make about 30 stitches not connected to row 2 of armhole shaping.

This is definitely my favorite CAL at the moment and has helped to keep me focused on actually finishing this project instead of abandoning it for the next shiny thing to come along. If you want to take a shot at it, come on over and join the fun. We’d love to see what you do with it.

P.S. I was completely unsuccessful when searching for a picture of anyone in De La Soul wearing this jacket so it is possible I am completely imagining it… but I swear I’m not.

Sweaters Lost in Space (4 sweater UFOs?)

This weekend was super cold, as in single digits, so we were staying in and I was crocheting.

As I was trying to figure out what to work on, I looked through my project list on Ravelry and saw 4 sweaters I’d started over the past 2 months. That seemed a bit much. It was freezing now, but at the rate I was going these guys would still be in UFO stage once it was time to turn on the AC.

As I started a new scarf project, I contemplated why I refused to even work on the sweaters and it came to me… They are boring! They are large pieces of fabric in repetitive stitches and take a long time to finish. In concept they’re great… how cool you can make your own sweater! In reality, yarn has variables, so even trying it on as you go may end up in a sweater that “grows” or yarn that doesn’t hold its shape. Then there’s the tedious torture of sewing all the pieces together.

Brown Sweater

My first sweater, which is quite warm and comfortable and has sleeves that are way too long and ends sticking out everywhere, sat there for several weeks waiting to be sewed together and didn’t look so great once I finally did.

Now that I got that rant out, maybe I can actually get somewhere with one of them so it can be worn before summer. For now, they’re looking like this:

Sergio Sweater

Cream Sweater


My Turtleneck

Tunisian Jacket

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