Joining a Knitting KAL: Making the Desert Dusk Top

Welcome to summer! During the month of July, I will be joining a knit-along (KAL) working on the knitting pattern for the desert dusk top by Oihibasrf_Knit on Instagram. Now, I am not a strong knitter – I have done some knitting projects and have made a sweater or two- but I would not call myself proficient. I hate picking up dropped stitches, and creating holes by yarn overs never works out for me. However, I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone for this project! (wish me luck)

Getting Started:

The KAL is open to knitters at all levels, and you are welcome to join! Materials required for the KAL are:

3 skeins of cotton pima from @weareknitters
Use my $12 Discount code : MGMJX3P8B
1 measuring tape
8 markers
A 3 mm / 11UK / 2.5 US circular needles with a 60-80 cm / 24-31 in length cable
(See her profile for the pattern information on Etsy)

Swatching:

I spent some time creating a swatch for the project, just to make sure I knew what my tension looked like. I never really like swatching because it’s so much work for a piece that you are only going to just unravel – but – when making a garment I feel like swatching is a must! Swatching is going to let me know how my stitches measure up so that I can then calculate what size shirt I will need to make for myself. I would hate to make a small size and then it’s way too small at the end! So, I that’s why I swatched.

Beginning:

I decided to learn a new cast on technique in anticipation for a nice finished garment. In my last sweater I knitted, I wished that I had done a stretchy cast on edge at the start. So, I learned how to do a stretchy cast on using a YouTube video by 10rowsaday. I will be using the second technique from this video.

Midway Point

(Well, I will call it the midway point) I am working along the body section of the top – it’s worked bottom up. I just joined my second ball of yarn, and I am happily surprised at all the length I was able to get out of my first ball so far. The piece is measuring about 7″ (the length of one hand plus 2 inches). The body is worked to your own discretion, so I can decide how long I want to make it. So far, I am loving the design. It’s pretty and delicate, and intricate in a way that is very forgiving to little mistakes.

I will say, I have made a few mistakes along the way. I started out with one mistake that I noticed right away in the ribbing. I accidentally worked two consecutive rounds in purling, so I can see where there is a break in the pattern. Because the pattern is so intricate though, you can’t really tell unless I point it out to you. Then I started making more mistakes….it’s because I am working on this knit at night. You know how it goes, when you try to casually knit while watching tv and noise going on in the background, and then the next morning you notice some mistakes. Ah. I’ve gotten the hang of how to un-do the rows to straighten out those stitches though, so that’s a positive.

Overall, I am loving this knit. It’s an easy pattern to remember once you get the hang of the stitch pattern. And I have set my stitch markers in a way to remind me which row I’m working. I am also really admiring the color I chose to make this. I can’t wait to see it all finished. I have decided to not be too hard on myself about hurrying and the little mistakes because I went into this knowing it was for fun and just for me.

Another thing that I am overjoyed about is that the host has been so friendly in getting all the knitters together on a group chat. It’s been a great way to ask questions and check in on others’ progress. Also, I feel like I have made some new friendly connections with people. This is my first time ever doing a KAL (knit-along), and so far I am happily surprised with how fun the experience is.

The Shoulder Straps

I have worked 11″ of the body and time to move onto the shoulder straps. Reading this pattern it is unique because there is a chart for the decrease rows of the straps. It’s pretty easy to figure out, and once you get the hang of shifting the curly ribs pattern to the chart it’s not too bad. However, this took me multiple days to get in the head space! The first day I attempted the straps, I worked two straps with multiple errors. It was hard for me to read along to the chart and to keep track of which row (1-4) I was working. I had total brain fog. The next day, I tried it again for the third strap. It worked like a charm. I kept the pattern up in front of me and had a post-it note with hints for me to follow. I worked this strap perfectly. Proof that the first day was only a brain fog, I ripped out the two rows and worked them again. I would like to see the chart color coded to the rows indicating the 1-4 row pattern, but I made detailed comments in my Ravelry about it for me to follow along to.

I needed to add an additional inch to each strap to fit me. I added about 10 rows to the length of the straps.

Finshing

This pattern definitely benefits from blocking. I wet the shirt and laid it flat to dry, pinning the edges tight. The finished product is magnificent! The definition really stands out and the shape is wonderful. Using this yarn for the first time, I’ve never had a pattern block so well.

The Final Product

I tried on the top and it is so perfect! The straps fit nicely on my shoulder and cup my shoulders snug without falling off. The v-neck is not too low that I’m adjusting it, and the body is fitted. Using only 2 skeins of yarn, the body is short waisted, but this adds to the charming look. If the body were longer it would appear more relaxed than fitted.

Stay tuned for more finished photos of the top! And as always, check my current status on Instagram for photos and stories.

xo @citybrightknits

The BOHO Fringe Top Crochet Pattern by CitybrightKnits

Hello Friends! I created a pattern for a summer top that I am sharing with you just in time to kick off summer! This crochet pattern is available in sizes XS-XL, and is an instant digital download on Etsy. I am offering a special 50% off discount if you like my post on Instagram. Go there to see the discount code in the details of my post.

Pin for later!

African Flower Crochet Project

Hello, crocheters! I’ve been working on lots of little projects here and there, trying to clear out my yarn stash. (Still lots of progress to make there :)) My current project for this week will be piecing together the 100’s of granny squares I’ve been making with my stashed yarn. Really I only have about 30 squares, but it feels like lots more. Keep reading to find out more about my granny square project using African Flowers!

The Cotton Beach Sarong a Free Crochet Pattern by CitybrightKnits

I love a summer crochet project and always looking for a chance to make something new! However, sometimes it happens that you only have one ball of yarn left over, and you’re left wondering what to do with it?! This is how I came up with the Cotton Beach Sarong. 

I wanted to make something that I could use for summer that would only require 1 ball of yarn.  I decided to use a chain stitch because the open weave means it doesn’t use that much yardage and looks airy for summer.  Although this pattern is written for using only 1 ball, you could certainly make a larger piece with more yarn.  (As with all my patterns, sizing is adjustable based on continuation of working the established pattern!)

For this sarong, the general measurements will be 38″x 17″ (96 cm x 43 cm) at the top edge, and 35” x 17” ( 88 cm x 43 cm) at the bottom edge. The pattern does allow for an increased tie section at the top edges.

Keep reading below for the written instructions, and I hope you enjoy my pattern!

The Cotton Beach Sarong

Materials

1 Skein of cotton yarn (100 gr / 142 m / 155 yds) – Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton

Hook size H, 5 mm (US size 8) – Boye aluminum hooks

Stitches

Ch- chain

Sc- single crochet

Sk – skip space

Note

This pattern is written for using one skein of cotton yarn, however you can work a second skein for a larger size piece following the pattern established below.

You may also choose to use stitch markers to mark your sc spaces.

Pattern

Foundation row – chain 200.

Row 1 – work a sc into 10th chain from hook, *chain 10, sk 10, sc in every 10th chain* to end, turn. 

Row 2-14 – continue pattern working *chain 10, sk 10, sc in every 10th chain* to end, turn. (or work until piece measures 15″ or 38 cm)

Row 15 – increase on the ends of the piece to create a tie.  Chain 20, sc into the 10th chain from hook, ch 10, sk 10, sc into 10th chain.  Resume established pattern working into the 10th ch with ch 10 between sc to end of piece. Turn. ( work tie increase for approx. 2″ or 5 cm)

Row 16-17 – work same as row 10.

Finishing – weave ends of the yarn into the chains.

Be Social

If you decide to use or share my pattern, please credit me using my social links. Give me a follow me on Instagram and Facebook @citybrightknits !  Happy crocheting! I would love to hear your comments below if you end up making this design. 🙂 Use #thecottonbeachsarong and #crochetcolorfully !

Link to this pattern on Ravelry .

The Velvet + Sparkle Beanie Knitting Pattern is Live!

Hello knitters! I’ve created a new knitting pattern that is aimed at all my newbie knitting friends cooped up in quarantine. This fun pattern uses velvet and sparkle yarn! Check out the pattern on Etsy!

Cleaning Handmade Knits

Particularly during this time of pandemic, it’s important that you take care with the upkeep of washing your delicate handmade items. Sometimes people think that something handmade is by nature ‘delicate’, and too delicate to wash. Well, I am here to help you know that cleaning these handmade items is easily done. This post is going to help you learn how to wash and freshen your own handmade articles at home.

What makes handmade so special, is that handmade pieces are made specifically for someone and are meant to be loved and to last. For me, I love gifting handmade items that I have taken the time and effort to create for people. I hope, also, that receiving a hand-knitted sweater or crocheted baby outfit is equally as thrilling and memorable to the recipient. When in comes to using those special handmade things, like an every day scarf, sweater, or blanket, sometimes after a while they require delicate washing. I have been to people’s houses where they have crochet blankets sitting over the back of a couch and have commented on how it’s never been washed. Well, grab your blanket and keep reading.

Washing and Drying your Knits/Crochet/Handmade

Videos Now Available on my Blog

Hey everyone!

I know we are all stuck inside with the current events of things #quarantined. I hope you are all stocked on yarn and hobby supplies to keep you occupied. For all my friends who have reached out with questions about knitting and crochet, I want to announce that I am sharing videos with you! All my videos will be focused on basic how-to-crochet tips and lessons. I am making these for my newbies and friends who are stuck at home and want to put their time to use learning how to knit and crochet. If you have any suggestions on things you would like to see, please comment below and I will happily post a video!

Continue reading “Videos Now Available on my Blog”

History of Stork Scissors

If you do embroidery or sewing and maybe even crochet and knitting, you’ve probably seen these cute bird shaped scissors. Besides just being an interesting shape, there is a historical reason for their shape. 🦩

Continue reading “History of Stork Scissors”

Travel Crochet Projects

It may not be the most obvious thing, but travel is a great time to use the extra hours of down time towards a crochet project. Make the most of the hours you’ll have and fill the time with working on a project that’s just been sitting around. When I travel I like to take a crochet project with me to keep busy during layovers or flight delays. Sitting on the train or in the car, on the flight or even once I arrive and want to relax, having my project with me gives me a little extra something to look forward to. I’ve been caught in the situation of traveling with some extra time on my hands, and not having my crochet with me! Ah. From that point on, I always make a point to bring my travel crochet just in case.

Continue reading “Travel Crochet Projects”
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