Blocking with a Twist

Beauty shot wide 4web

My latest moebius pattern is available thru my Ravelry Shop “Infinite Grande Cowl”. This a super simple long cowl designed in a luscious baby alpaca chunky yarn, Plymouth Yarn’s Baby Alpaca Grande. The hardest aspect of this pattern is the Foundation Single Crochet length and being sure you get your moebius twist correct. The rest of the pattern is single crochet, chains and slip stitches. Pattern instructions are in text using U.S. crochet terminology and stitch diagrams.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry for $3.99.  Click here to buy it now.

Looking at the patterns I have available you can see that my favorite foundation to use for a cowl or “infinity” scarf is a moebius. But a moebius does present you with some interesting challenges when it comes to blocking your finished project.

Laying out Moebius

Because of the twist in the fabric a moebius doesn’t lay flat like most other projects. The best way to “flatten” a moebius is to lay it out in a triangular shape like above.

Fold and weave in first wire

I like to block using my blocking wires. So my next step in blocking a moebius is to fold the “top” of the triangle down to expose the top edge of the bottom strip in the triangle. I then wove in one of my long blocking wires along that edge.

Mark corner and weave 2nd wire

I then return the top of the triangle to the mat and flatten it out. The first wire sticks out of the corners on the bottom strip. I marked the top corner then weave my next wire along the inside edge of the next level of my moebius strip.

3 wires woven along inside edges

Last inside edge gets it’s wire next.

Wires woven along edge

Now I weave wires thru the outside edges. We are ready to begin stretching out the project for blocking.

Beginning to pin out

I tend to be pretty aggressive when I block and open the stitches as much as possible. I pin the bottom outside edge in place, then shift the inside wire upward to stretch open the fabric. I use nickel-plated T-pins to hold the wires in place. Nickel is important to use in blocking as it doesn’t rust and won’t mark your fabric when it is wet.

All stretched out

I work my way around the moebius pinning and stretching until I am happy with how much I’ve opened the stitches. Part way thru the stretching I realized I needed to place wires thru the “folds” at each corner of my triangle to keep the stretch from deforming the fabric. I just slipped the wires under the top layer of the strip at the corners.

Blocking paraphelia

Once everything is pinned out how I wanted I heated up my hand-held steamer and steamed the open fabric. I let it sit for about an hour to dry completely and then my cowl was ready to be photographed. Being this cowl is alpaca the stitch work didn’t open up tremendously, but the overall fabric was smoother and draped nicer afterward.

Now you know one of the ways to block a moebius. I hope you enjoy crocheting some in your projects. They are one of my favorite shapes to crochet.

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Getting Ready for Cold Weather Again

I know many of you are experiencing record-breaking hot weather right now and colder temperatures seem a dream. Up here on the mountain though the temperatures are beginning to feel a bit nippy. We are getting emails reminding us that school is starting up again in one short month. Augh! Summer always zips by so quickly.

Of course for those of you that are super organized it’s time to think about projects for your holiday gift giving. I’ll be releasing 5 patterns over the next week that are wonderful gift items that don’t take a lot of yarn or time to work up.

AMC Beauty Shot 1 web

Anna Moebius Cowl

My crochet friend V was looking for quick projects for last-minute gifts for Christmas this past November. So I created this design.  The cowl is worked off a moebius strip foundation with one ball of chunky size yarn and a large hook so you can make one in an evening. I named this design after my friend’s grand-daughter because she really loved the cowl and liked to wear ones with a shorter foundation as an ear-warmer.

amc closeup 1 web

My sample is worked using one ball of Plymouth Yarns “Gina Chunky” with a size L /8mm hook. The 100% wool of this yarn means you get a wonderfully warm cowl (or with a shorter foundation, ear-warmer), and the color changes in “Gina” make the shells in the stitch pattern stand out individually. Or go with a solid color yarn for a subtle textured look to your cowl.

This pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop for $3.99  BUY NOW

I’m heading to San Diego for the Knit and Crochet Show this coming Tuesday, but I will have more patterns posting while I am on my trip. Be sure to check back.

 

Twisted Vs Cowl

Jennifer at Holiday Yarns

At the Knit and Crochet Show I saw one of my yarn company friends that I had just seen at the TNNA trade show in May. Jennifer from Holiday Yarns. Jennifer dyes yarn and her booth is always a visual feast for the eyes.

We have been talking about me creating some crochet designs using her lovely yarns and decided that there was no time like the present. After some conferring we settled on a simple cowl design worked up in a bulky yarn.

4 hanks of yarn and a lovely ball of sparkly pencil roving from Holiday Yarns.
4 hanks of yarn and a lovely ball of sparkly pencil roving from Holiday Yarns.

As you can see in the above photo, I bought a few hanks of her lovely yarns for my own enjoyment. She also sent me off with a hank of her Bea-Ewe-tiful Bulky to design the cowl from. Of course the big challenge would be to see if I could get the pattern written, tech-edited, the sample crocheted and sent off to her in time for her to have it in her booth at Stitches Midwest. Challenge Accepted!

Project modeled 2_edited-1

I spent most of my time on the flight home to Colorado swatching. I tried a couple of stitch patterns but finally found myself returning to an old favorite: The V-stitch. Of course I had to make this a moebius.

The pattern for this snuggly cowl is available now in my Ravelry Shop for $3.99, and you can order the perfect color of Bea-ewe-tiful Bulky at the Holiday Yarns website or check with your own LYS, they might have some of it on their shelves.