Tag Archive | lace

FO: My Own Best Friend Socks

My Own Best Friend 3In keeping with the idea of using all that sock yarn I own on actual socks, the sock-making binge continues.

Pattern:  Friendship Socks by Amy Palmer, from Interweave Holiday Gifts 2011

Yarn: Chelsea Sock by Nooch Fibers, colorway Arizona (caveat: that colorway name is a best guess based on the colorways that were available at the time; when I bought this yarn, the tag did not name the colorway; and, incidentally, it’s no longer available on the website, so we may never know)

Needles: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz, US 1 1/2 DPNs.  I bought these DPNs sometime last year, and they languished unused until I started knitting socks again.  Now I won’t use anything else.

My Own Best Friend 4Satisfaction with end product:  They’re gorgeous, they’re soft, and they fit.  I’m a little concerned that the cashmere content in the yarn may make them not quite durable enough for regular wear, but I can always use them as house socks.  I’m wearing them as I type this blog entry, and love how they feel on my feet.

The pattern itself was easy as pie; the lace pattern at the cuff is charted and easy to follow.  After that, it’s just straight stockinette all the way down, so this would make a good first sock pattern for a newbie.  The flap for the heel featured a somewhat different slip stitch pattern that I like much better than any other flap I’ve made — it looks kind of like a honeycomb, and that makes me smile.  I’ll be adapting future flap-and-gusset sock patterns to use this flap.

84df2-knit-your-library_2016This project is part of the Knit Your Library Challenge, although Snapdragon Crafts seems to have gone dark and hasn’t provided a link up recently.  Regardless, you can click that badge over there for more details.

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FO Friday: Oh, look, a new cowl!

Lots of book reading going on here lately.  And some knitting, too.  I finished this cowl at the end of September.  A three-month delay in blogging any finished project seems normal these days…

two-color-lace-cowl-3Pattern: Um, mine. Right now I’m calling it Lacy Moebius Cowl.  The name will probably change.  It’s yet to be written down in any sort of publishable form, but that may be coming soon. I hope to get a lot of “housekeeping” stuff done while I’m off work after surgery.

Yarn:  The luscious Cashmere Aran by Lotus, in Ecru and Dark Teal.  100% cashmere, 100% indulgence.  1 skein each, 200 yards total.

Needles:  Size 9 Addi Turbos.  I didn’t need to use circular needles because this is knitted flat across the short way, but I’ve gotten to where I hate using straights.

Satisfaction with end product:  It’s soft and warm and beautiful, and will keep my neck and ears toasty warm on those occasions the Atlanta winter day dips below 45F.  I’m having some second thoughts about the moebius twist that exposes the back side of the lace pattern.  It’s interesting visually, and makes for a nice texture contrast, but I worry that it may be too much because of the yarn color contrast.

Here are a few more pictures.  Let me know what you think.  (Click the pic to make it bigger.)

 

 

FO Friday: 2015 in Review, Yarn Edition

So here it is, January 1, 2016, the start of a brand new year.  As is my custom, I’ll start the new year by taking a look back at the old.  And, because today is Friday, this look back will include all the FOs that haven’t been seen yet because, um, Christmas.  In fact, let’s start with that first.  You can click on each of the pics to be taken to the Ravelry project page for all yarn and pattern details.

Two of my colleagues had babies near the end of the year.  Colleague number one received a version of what has become my go-to quickie baby blanket, the Great Granny, from the sadly defunct magazine, Crochet Today.  This one was made with acrylic worsted left over from the Tunisian Terror.

Jason's Granny 2

Colleague number two received something I called the Jets Stroller Blanket, from another Crochet Today pattern.  This was also a repeat use of the pattern: I made my mother a larger version of this blanket several years ago.  Why “Jets Stroller Blanket”?  My colleague is a huge New York Jets fan; he was expecting a baby boy, so naturally said boy will become a Jets fan (unless he suffers through a major teenage rebellion phase, but that’s years away, so let’s not worry about it); therefore, the color scheme of the blanket is the Jets’ team colors.  This is made with a chunky washable wool that feels marvelous.

Aaron's Baby Blanket 3

A young friend (the woman who was the stage manager of the play I did in May) had a birthday late in the year.  She is a big Harry Potter aficionado, so I found out her Hogwarts House and made her a Gryffindor Scarf for her birthday.  This is my own pattern because I couldn’t find one I liked that I could knit fast enough (I found out about her birthday late late late).  I haven’t decided if I’ll write it up and put it on Ravelry — there are so many other Hogwarts scarves out there already.  Regardless, she loved it, and that made me happy.  The yarn is Universal’s Uptown Worsted, which is fast becoming my preferred acrylic now that Bernat Berella 4 has been discontinued.  (I borrowed my husband’s college robes and mortarboard for the picture.  You must imagine him rolling his eyes while shooting.)

Gryffindor Scarf 3

Now let’s take a look at the Christmas gifts.  I started working on gifts early in the year — and have posted blog entries about several finished projects already — but even with that head start, I had to rush rush rush to finish the projects shown here, and a couple of them didn’t get finished until the weekend AFTER Christmas.  Oops.

First up is the Saroyan Scarf, a free pattern made using Cascade 220 Superwash in a brilliant red.  I like making these crescent scarves knit from side to side.  The knitting is more manageable when done along the short edge, not to mention the ease of casting on.

Saroyan 1

Then there’s the Gansey Cap from Vogue Fall 2015, using Cascade Longwood in Navy.  The Longwood is an Aran superwash, silky soft and perfect for people who, while not allergic to wool, may have sensitive skin and get itchy with wool worn right next to their skin.  This wool is not itchy in the least.  It may become my new 100% wool hat yarn.

Gansey Watch Cap 4

The Harald Watch Cap is an Elsebeth Lavold pattern that kept my interest the whole time I worked on it.  I had to pay close attention to all those crossing cables.  Unfortunately, the photographs turned out like crap, so you can’t really see the intricate detail in the finished hat.  The yarn is from Copper Corgi Fiber Studio and is a deep chocolate brown worsted that somehow showed up as nearly burgundy when photographed.

Harald Watch Cap 6

In another photograph fail, this striped watch cap (using Ann Budd’s Basic Hat pattern) is made from the same yarn as the Jets Stroller Blanket shown above, although you’d never guess from the picture.

Striped Watch Cap 2

I learned the braided yarn technique while making the Brim Braid Hat (an Interweave Knits pattern).  I also economized a bit by using Cascade 220 Superwash left over from previous projects.

Braided Brim Cap 1

I used Cascade Longwood again, in a bright blue, for the Vermeer Hat (free pattern if you’re a Rowan member).   The pattern also includes fingerless mitts with the same cable pattern, so you can knit a matching set if you wish.

Vermeer 4

Back to the Cascade 220 Superwash for the Windsor Hat, another free pattern from Rowan — part of their 2012 Jubilee Collection to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne.

Windsor 1

Finally, I pulled out an old old finished scarf that had never been blocked and plopped it into the gift pile.  The yarn, as best as I can remember, was Plymouth Encore, and the pattern is the Forever Scarf from Interweave Knits.

Forever in Camo 1.JPG

And that’s it for the FOs.  Well, at least the FOs that can be shared.  I actually finished a project today but it hasn’t been blocked or photographed, so we’ll save it for another blog post.

Now for the rest of the year in yarn.

Projects completed in 2015: 19 total, and every single one of them a gift for someone else.  I didn’t make one single thing for myself this year.  If I have to make a New Year’s resolution, it’s that 2016 will be the year of selfish knitting.

Techniques learned:  The braided brim technique shown on one of the caps above, which involved two colors in the same row, convinced me that, yes, I can indeed handle Fair Isle.

Yarn used:  This is the reason I use Knit Meter.  The visual representation is cool, plus it’s easier to keep track in one spot, especially since it does the math for you.

Yarn purchased:   59 skeins of lusciousness, including a couple of skeins of 100% cashmere and several more skeins of cashmere blends.  A number of yarn stores within a reasonable drive of Atlanta closed their doors and put their stock on sale at a deep discount.  My friend Alice and I went hog wild.  Plus I went on a couple of trips.  I always have to buy local yarn when on a trip.  *sigh*  I don’t even want to add up the yardage acquired.  Another friend and I were discussing our stashes recently and she figures that, if I never bought another yard, and if I knit at the rate of three sweaters or seven small projects (such as scarves and socks) per year, I have sufficient yarn to last the next 40 years.  I’m in my mid 50s, so that’s enough yarn for the rest of my life.  Personally, I think I’m good for more knitting per year than that (ahem, 19 projects this year!), so let’s call it a 20-year stash.  I’m ready for the apocalypse,or retirement, at the very least.

I can’t find anyone to link to for an FO Friday round-up.  If I thought I had enough self-discipline to manage such an undertaking, I’d start one myself.  If next week is the same, I’ll investigate further.  Perhaps an automated post with a “Mr. Linky” set-up might work.

Stay tuned, please.  A project planning post is forthcoming in the next day or two, as is a post about the year in books.

Oh, yeah, and Happy New Year!

FO Friday: Weekend with the Swan Princess Shawl

Weekend Shawl 6I finished up this beauty Monday evening.

Pattern:  Le Weekend Shawlette by Jan Henry.  Click here for my Ravelry project page.   The pattern is a bottom-up short row crescent, and very easy to follow, although I made a few modifications.  After all the short rows were done as written, I didn’t really like the look of the edges, so I picked up the slipped stitches along the edges (11 stitches each) and continued the short rows until all stitches were knitted (200 total on needle).  To mitigate the stockinette roll at the top, I added an eyelet row (K2tog, YO), then two rows of garter stitch before binding off.

Weekend Shawl 9Yarn:  Miss Babs Cosmic Sock, 304 yards, colorway Swan Princess – hence, the name of the shawl.  The colorway was a limited edition “Babette” and is no longer available.  The yarn is spectacular with a gorgeous color spectrum and a smooth hand.  It had some minor bleeding when soaked for a wet block, but a dash of vinegar in the sink fixed that little issue.

Needles:  Addi Turbo 32″ circular, size 7 for the body, size 9 for the bindoff.

Size:  After blocking and relaxing, 65 inches wide, 12 inches deep.

Satisfaction with end result:  I love this so much I’m tempted to keep it myself rather than put it in the gift pile.

Weekend Shawl 8One more picture to show off here, but you can see several others on my Ravelry project page.

This post is part of Freshly Finished Fridays, a link round-up normally hosted by HardKnitLife, but she seems to be a little late posting the linkup.  Regardless, Shadow’s KnitKnacks stepped into the breach.  Click the badge to be taken to the roundup.  Add your link and read a few others!

Freshly Finished Friday

FO Friday: The Gallatin Scarf

Today’s featured finished project was completed so quickly it didn’t even get its own Work In Progress Wednesday blog entry!

Gallatin 4Pattern:  Gallatin Scarf by Kris Basta (click here for my Ravelry project page)

Yarn:  Kudo by Plymouth, colorway #45 Cream Blue Gray. It’s too bad this yarn is discontinued. It’s surprisingly warm, given that it contains no wool, making it the perfect choice for people with wool allergies.

Needles:  Addi Turbo circs, US 10, with a 29-inch cable.  The pattern calls for US 10.5, but I didn’t like the look of the lace with that large a needle.  Dropping down a needle size made the scarf somewhat smaller, but not enough that it made a difference in wearability.

Size:  68 inches wide by 9 inches deep, unblocked

Gallatin 2Satisfaction with end product:  Very pleased.  I didn’t block this scarf because I liked the rustic look it has unblocked.  Even without blocking, the scarf is plenty long enough to wrap around the neck twice, or wear kerchief style as shown on the model (um, that would be yours truly). I love how Kudo’s long color repeats worked out to accentuate the striping effect created by the alternating stockinette/reverse stockinette above the lace edging.

The long cable was a little unwieldy at the beginning, considering the pattern starts off by casting on just four stitches.  If I make this again, which is a possibility, I’ll use a shorter cable at the start and switch to a longer cable midway through.

Freshly Finished Friday

Also, this makes one more Christmas gift down, once I figure out the appropriate giftee.  🙂

This post is part of the Freshly Finished Friday round-up hosted by HardKnitLife.  Click the badge to see who else has finished items to show off this week.

FO Friday, and Happy WordPress Anniversary to me

Five years ago today I established this blog, or so WordPress says.  Has it really been that long?  I had no idea.  I moved over here from Vox, which at that time was a going-out-of-business blog platform and not a vibrant and flourishing news site.  So, yay, and happy WordPress anniversary to me.  As an anniversary gift, I present to you another blog entry.  🙂

I finished a book and a scarf this week.

The book was Seveneves by Neal Stephenson: hard SF at its finest, but easily accessible for non-scientists and non-mathematicians like me.  The moon is destroyed and Earth is running out of time.  How will the human race survive this extinction event?  Read it and find out.  Even if you don’t care for science fiction itself, this is so well-written and moving, the humanity of the story might win you over.  Click the book cover to read the full non-spoilery review.

Chinook 8Now, the scarf. You saw this first on last week’s WIP Wednesday. Because I, um, have been avoiding sewing up the Tunisian Terror, this scarf-cum-shawlette got lots of attention.

PatternChinook Scarf by Ali Green.  Very well-written pattern, really easy to follow.

Yarn: Cozette by Knit One Crochet Two, 257 yards of a 275-yard skein.  Colorway: Sea Glass.

Needles: Addi Turbo Clicks with a short cable, US size 7.

Size:  64 inches wide, 14 inches deep

Chinook 12Satisfaction with end product:  I think it’s grand.  The scarf is ultra-lightweight because of the high silk content of the yarn, plus it has a lovely drape.  I love the knitted-in I-cord edging along the top, which made a sturdy and even straight edge to support the rest of the design. The icy color will coordinate well with many outfits.  It should make a nice transitional piece or year-round accessory.  It’s intended as a gift.  Now I just have to figure out who it belongs to.

Chinook 11Because I don’t know when to quit, here are a couple more photos.  As always, click any of the photos to see them full size.

Chinook 6Freshly Finished FridayThis blog entry is part of the Freshly Finished Friday round-up hosted by HardKnitLife.  Click that badge to see what other folks have finished this week and add your link to the list.  Also linked with Gracey’s Goodies, so check that out too.

WIP Wednesday: The end of the Tunisian Terror is in sight

Remember the Tunisian Terror?  The blanket I started for my mother in April 2014?  I finished all the crocheting in April of this year and then started the embellishments.  Behold!  All the cross-stitching is done!

Mom's Tunisian 28

Here it is laid out in the order in which it will be assembled.  Now all that remains is the sewing together of the squares.  One row is sewn, eight rows remain to be sewn, and then comes stitching the rows to each other and putting a border on it.  Stitching the squares together doesn’t really take long: I can do one row in an evening of TV watching, but truthfully, I’m so sick of looking at this thing that the blanket is lucky if I even pick up one row in a week.

Aarons Baby 1 Chinook 1Also in progress, two new projects — first, a baby blanket, the tried-and-true giant granny square of many colors for a colleague who is expecting a boy.  All the leftover yarn from the Tunisian Terror is coming in handy for this one.  I have another colleague also expecting a baby, but gender is unknown at this point, so that blanket will wait a bit.  Also, I started another Christmas gift, the Chinook scarf, out of the drapy-est silk and cotton blend you ever felt, in a color called Sea Glass.

In book news, I just finished A Sudden Light by Garth Stein and started Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.  Review pending of the Garth Stein book but it will be a favorable one.  I’m less than 100 pages into the Stephenson and completely enthralled.

100_4341 (2)Bonus picture:  Here’s Phoebe, who keeps me company when I’m here in my craft room writing or winding yarn or planning projects or simply goofing around on Facebook.  She’s getting older these days and doesn’t have any teeth left, but she’s still a good dog.  Aren’t you, sweetie?  Of course you are.

This post is part of Stitch-Along Wednesday.  Click on that badge below to see what other folks have been up to this week.  Also, go check out Shadow’s Knit Knacks Link-up post and add your link at the bottom.

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FO Friday: It’s a shawl!

Gingko Crescent 10PatternGingko Crescent Shawl by Jade Keaney (free pattern on Ravelry).  For Ravelry members, here’s the link to my project page.  Omigod, this pattern.  I had to completely rewrite it because when I knit it as written, the shawl came out with a camel’s hump that would never ever ever block out.  Even after rewriting it using top down short rows, it came out with a hump, but not nearly as bad as the original, so I let it go.  Gingko Crescent 3Here’s a thumbnail of the shawl after I rewrote the pattern, with the hump, before blocking. You can click the pic to see it larger. Humpback issues aside, the lace pattern is nicely charted and easy to follow.

Yarn:  Surf by Mondial.  298 yards.  As far as I can discover, this yarn is discontinued, so here are its vitals:  100% cotton, says it’s sport-weight, but personally, I think it’s fingering.  Plied construction.  Feels nice in the hands, and knit up with a lovely drape.  I wouldn’t mind having more of it if I could find it.

Gingko Crescent 11Needles:  Addi Click Turbo circulars in sizes 6, 7, and 8.  Size 6 for the actual knitting, size 7 for the very last row, and size 8 for the bind off.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Buying those Addi interchangeable needles was worth every single penny.

Satisfaction with end product:  I like it.  It’s pretty.  It’s intended as a gift, so I hope its recipient will like it too.  The pooling of the yarn was nicely distributed, giving it an impressionistic feel with the pastel colors.  And it’s a bit of a chameleon: the standout color varies depending on its surroundings, so the shawl may seem predominately yellow/orange in one view, but the blue and pink may be more obvious in the next.

Now, about this pattern.  The original called for casting on with a garter tab, then knitting in stockinette with increases until you reached a certain number of stitches, then beginning the lace pattern.  Sounds pretty standard, yes?  The problem is the increases were both poorly placed and insufficient to create a real crescent shape.  Instead, we got a pointed ovoid with a camel’s hump on one long edge and pretty lacy leaves on the other.  (I really should have taken a photo before frogging my initial effort.)  So here’s what I did to fix it:

Gingko Crescent 12Begin Pattern

CO 99. Knit 2 rows.

Row 3: K2, YO, K1, YO, [K2tog, YO] to last 4, K1, YO, K1, YO, K2. (103 stitches)

Row 4: K2, YO, P to last 2, YO, K2. (105 stitches)

Row 5: K2, YO, K1, YO, K to last 3, YO, K1, YO, K2. (109 stitches)

Row 6: K2, YO, P to last 2, YO, K2. (111 stitches)

Repeat Pattern Rows 5 & 6 twice. (123 stitches)

Begin short rows:

1. K2, YO, K1, YO, K to 10 before edge, wrap and turn
2. P to 12 before edge, W&T
3. K to 5 before gap, W&T
4. P to 5 before gap, W&T

Repeat short rows 3 and 4 until 12 stitches remain between wraps.

5. K to last 3, picking up wraps, YO, K1, YO, K2
6. K2, YO, P to last 2, picking up wraps, YO, K2. (129 stitches)

 Begin pattern again.  Repeat pattern rows 5 and 6 10 times. (189 stitches)

Gingko Crescent 7Begin second section of short rows:

1. K2, YO, K1, YO, K to 20 before edge, wrap and turn
2. P to 22 before edge, W&T
3. K to 10 before gap, W&T
4. P to 10 before gap, W&T

Repeat short rows 3 and 4 until 23 stitches remain between wraps.

5. K to last 3, picking up wraps, YO, K1, YO, K2
6. K2, YO, P to last 2, picking up wraps, YO, K2. (195 stitches)

 Begin pattern again.  Repeat pattern rows 5 and 6 once. (201 stitches)

Begin lace chart as written.

Gingko Crescent 8After allowing the shawl to relax after blocking, we have a better crescent shape, although still not perfect.  The cotton yarn just wouldn’t hold on to that straight edge.  I think a wool yarn would do better.  Overall, though, I’m pleased.  Truth time: this is the first time I’ve done such a major rewrite of a pattern.  If anyone else tries this, especially if you use a wool yarn, let me know how it turns out!

Freshly Finished FridayThis post is part of the Freshly Finished Friday round up. Click on the badge to see what other crafters have completed this week.

Work In Progress Wednesday: Blocking It Out

Mondial SurfAfter experiencing cross-stitch burnout, I set aside the Tunisian Terror for a while to work on a shawl.  I had two skeins of this discontinued 100% cotton variegated “sport” weight that had been given to me a few years ago, and it had been whispering in my ear recently.  (I say “sport” in quotation marks because that’s the weight Ravelry gives for this yarn.  Personally, I think it’s fingering, and that’s the weight I filtered for when looking for a pattern.)

The pattern I settled on was the Gingko Crescent Shawl by Jade Keaney because I loved the lace edging.  The path for this shawl was rocky.  I knit it to completion, hated the result but still loved the lace edging, so I ripped it all out and rewrote the pattern, then knitted it again.  When I write up the finished object post, I’ll give you all the gory details.  For now, here’s a photo of it blocking.

Gingko Crescent 5I’ve taken the week off work and, by the time this post appears publicly, I will be on my way to Hilton Head Island.  A friend and I are leaving our respective spouses behind for a few days and running away to the beach!  We’re taking the convertible, our knitting (of course), our cameras, our bathing suits, and very little else.  According to The Weather Channel, thunderstorms are expected during the few days we’ll be there, so that should be entertaining.  Maybe I can capture some dramatic “lightning over the Atlantic” photos.  Or maybe we’ll just sit on the balcony of the hotel room and revel in the windswept ocean vista.  Regardless, it’s going to be a fun time, no matter the weather.

Stitch Along WednesdayThis post is part of Stitch Along Wednesdays hosted by Gracey’s Goodies.  Click that badge over there to visit Gracey’s blog and see who else is participating.  This is also part of the WIP Wednesday link roundup hosted by Shadow’s Knit KnacksClick here to check out other linked blogs and add your own!

Freshly Finished Friday: Hot off the blocking wires

I’ve had busy fingers the last few weeks. Behold:

Before blocking

Before blocking

This beauty came off the blocking wires this morning.

Pattern: Ironwork Shawl from Interweave Knits Spring 2012 (click here for the Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Cascade Dolce in Teal, approx 57 yards; Cascade Superwash 220 in Red, approx. 82 yards
Needles: US size 10.5 straight; US size 11 circular
Process/ Satisfaction with end result: This little shawl is a superfast knit with that worsted weight yarn. The pattern is well-written and easy to follow.

After blocking

After blocking

I wish it had a chart, because I prefer charts when knitting lace, but the written instructions were perfectly clear.

I should really learn to trust that blocking fixes a lot of perceived issues. When this first came off the needles, I thought: Well, the colors are nice together, but I’m not too sure about the whole mixing of these totally disparate lace patterns. Then, after blocking, I fell head over heels in love. It’s gorgeous.

Before blocking

Before blocking

Two other projects came out of the same skein of vibrant orange yarn.

This hat is another example of how blocking changes a project from a crumpled mess that doesn’t seem large enough for a child into a fabulous beret suitable for the most discriminating of beret wearers.

Pattern: Rustling Leaves by Alana Dakos (click here for the Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Savannah Sock by Copper Corgi Yarn Studio in colorway “Devil’s Kiss”, approx 152 yards

After blocking

After blocking

Needles: US Size 2; US Size 3
Process/ Satisfaction with end product: Alana Dakos writes the most beautiful patterns. Her instructions are clear and concise; her charts are phenomenal; and I’ve yet to encounter any errata in anything of hers I’ve done, so she must have a fabulous vetting team. She’s easily my favorite designer. (Just because she hails from the county where I grew up doesn’t mean I’m partial or anything. Really.) This little hat is no exception to the high quality work I’ve come to expect from Ms. Dakos. It’s a breeze to knit, and fun, and cute as can be.

Just for grins, here's another photo of the hat so you can see the lacy leaves a little better.

Just for grins, here’s another photo of the hat so you can see the lacy leaves a little better.

We'll always have Paris.

We’ll always have Paris.

The third project completed was also lace: a scarf, this time.

Pattern: Raha Scarf by Nancy Bush (click here for Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Savannah Sock by Copper Corgi Yarn Studio in colorway “Devil’s Kiss”, approx 198 yards
Needles: US Size 4
Process/ Satisfaction with end product: My gauge was way off on this, and by the time I realized it, I was several inches into the scarf and didn’t want to rip it back and go to a larger needle. Knowing that the project would need a good hard block to make the specified width, I added an extra repeat of the lace pattern to make up for the extra tight gauge; even then, the scarf blocked out three inches shorter than the pattern specified. Good written instructions and an excellent lace chart. The lace pattern is not your usual leaves and flowers; it’s reminiscent of filet crochet, in fact. I like it a lot.

Freshly Finished FridayThat’s it from me for Freshly Finished Friday. Click the badge over there, follow the link-up at the bottom of the post, and take a gander at what other folks have accomplished this week.