Stitching by the water

Next summer, Welland will welcome the rowers and canoers participating in the Panamerican games (Toronto, 2015). Toronto proper doesn’t have a venue quite like this one. I’m looking forward to knitting and crocheting while I watch a race or two. More about the project in the photo, below.

Here you can see I’m crocheting a summer top for my wife. There’s only about 6 inches done on it so far, bottom-up, more details on it later, when I have more done.

I’m crocheting with Bernat’s Handicrafter #5 Thread.  It’s not really a “thread” per se in my mind as I’m crocheting with a 3.5mm hook and not the recommended 2.75mm hook (which still isn’t really a thread hook, imho).


The lighting for this swatch photo is a bit off, but nonetheless, you can see that this yarn has a nice sheen to it. It’s 100% acrylic and it looks like it’s two ply with what I would call a medium twist.

I haven’t blocked this swatch, and as it’s acrylic, I’m not thinking that blocking will do it much good…but I really like the bounce and stretch in this yarn, so I don’t think I’ll steam it or heat it to make the blocking stick.  Instead, I’ve designed Pam’s top with some negative ease so it’ll hug her curves which will in turn make the lace open up. Another advantage to this yarn is that it is light and not warm, at least not in this stitch pattern.

This yarn does get a slight halo as it is worked. I’m hoping that it doesn’t pill under the arms or any other friction spots, but I don’t the soft fuzzy look it has so far. I should have washed the swatch before starting the garment, but I was under the spell of startitis.

By the way, Duncan, our English cocker spaniel is 7 years old, but still young at heart. He’s even on the podium taking the gold.

A couple of questions for you:

Where is your favourite place to knit or crochet outside your home?

Do you knit or crochet with acrylic? Why not? Why so? When?

9 thoughts on “Stitching by the water”

  1. I’m a crochet only girl but will hook up pretty much everywhere. I also tend to stick to man made fibres just because theyre more robust and will cope with being accidentally thrown in the washing machine on a medium heat cycle (it happens a lot) . I also love to heat block, watching the fibres just relaxing and seeing how the pieces drape so nicely afterwards feels so rewarding and means that any gifts i make for my non crafty family and friends aren’t going to become one of those items you dont wear just because they need hand washed and re blocked.
    I adore the pattern of the piece above and would love to be added to your list of testers (i saw your comment on the LinkedIn post re:pattern testing) my ravelry user name is Kenderlynkraftz if you’d like to have a look at my work 🙂
    We also have a Springer Spaniel, she’s liver & white called Millie and is around 9yr old (she’s the last of the 4 we had which have sadly passed over the last 2yrs) and then we have my surrogate baby, a 2.5yr old Pomeranian X Jack Russell Terrier called Poppy who thinks she’s a Spaniel after being brought up with them, she even manages to put up more pheasants on her daily walks on the Irish bogs than Millie does lol. Happy hooking 🙂 Karen

  2. I stitch anywhere and everywhere. At home, at work on lunch hour, with friends, outside, inside etc. I like knitting with natural fibres the best, but do use acrylic for baby projects.

  3. I forgot to answer question #2. I prefer to knit with natural fibres, as I find them more comfortable to wear. I’m often cold, and man-made fibres just don’t have the same warming factor as wool or cotton. For an “over-sweater” though, I’d be open to using acrylic or other man-made fibres. Luckily I don’t have any allergies, but I wonder if it is harder to work with because of the slipperiness?

  4. I’m kind of like you Charles, in that I knit anywhere. I always have my knitting (or some other craft) with me in case there’s a chance to do some. I chuckled when I read you are looking forward to crocheting while watching a few races, as I have taken my knitting to my sons’ and husband’s bowling tournaments, and someone almost always comments about that to the effect of “Is this boring you (that you have to bring your knitting)”? Although I haven’t crocheted in years, I’m getting drawn back to it. I feel naked if I don’t have something to do with my hands. I may not touch it, but I need it with me, as my needle crafts are an extension of me.. The place I do the most knitting is in the car while commuting, but on longer distance trips also. If it wasn’t for the car, I would not finish anything! I also do chain maille & other beading, hand embroidery, sew on quilt binding (on that rare occasion when I actually finish a quilt) in the car. If it can be done by hand, I’ve done it in the car!

    1. I completely empathize with you Cynthia. Needle crafts are an extension of who I am, it’s not about boredom at all! Well, except sometimes…for instance, friends gave us tickets to a Buffalo Sabres semi-final game because they couldn’t go. My wife insisted that I not bring my knitting along and that I watch the game (which was neither here nor there for me, but our sons got to enjoy a very cool opportunity of a lifetime) so that the fans around us wouldn’t think I was cheering for the opposite team. 🙂 I can knit as a passenger, but not crochet as I have to look down for that and I sometimes get motion sick if I look down. What is chain maille? Never heard of it, but I’m always “into” learning new things. 🙂 I agree with man-made fibres for wearables…that’s my favourite, too. When I work with slippery yarns like silk or bamboo, or manmade rayon or microfibre (high quality acrylic), I tend to use bamboo or wood hooks/needles. I love using very slippery hooks/needles with a metal finish with all wool, alpaca, etc.

      1. Luckily I don’t get sick in the car, period.
        Chainmail is an old art that was used to make knights’ garments that they wore as protection. It’s made by joining together lots of little metal rings, called jump rings. It’s also used to make jewelry, (chain maille) which is where I come in. Here’s a link to some photos
        I don’t do really elaborate designs, I like the simpler ones.
        Here’s the armour –

  5. I like to knit on my front porch or in a doctor’s waiting room. I love Bernat Handcrafters 100% cotton. I can’t use acrylic yarn; the fibers that float loose while working with it glares up my asthma. Even if I use a mask, it still bothers me and I end up with bronchitis.

    1. I’ll have to try the cotton. I haven’t done that yet. How remarkable! You are the first person I’ve “met” that reacts to acrylic yarn because of the fibres that are released. Are you the same with wool or other fluffy fibres? Well, they are so many lovely cottons and bamboo and silk yarns out there, that I hope you are still able to enjoy knitting a lot!

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