Okay, I've bought new batteries for the camera, so here's my crochet update. You can click on the photos for larger views.
RECYCLED SILK SERAFINA SHAWL
Brigid bought me a skein of recycled silk yarn for Mother's Day, and I made a small shawl out of it, using Doni's Serafina Shawl pattern (found here). I've made several versions of this shawl in different fibers, and they've all turned out really nice. I just love this pattern! I had a small amount of the yarn left over, and I crocheted a small flower and placed it at the center of the neckline. Recycled silk yarn is made from remnants from making silk saris. You can read more about it here and here.
Recycled Silk Serafina Shawl
SHRUG & TANK SET
I made a lightweight shrug and matching tank top for Brigid, using lilac Red Heart Soft Baby. For the shrug, I followed Lauri B's incredibly easy Any Size/Any Gauge Shrug (pattern here). I used a very simple stitch pattern: (ch 1, sk 1, dc) across; then on each following row, (ch 1, dc in the dc). To increase, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1) in the dc. For the tank top, I followed Jessica Rice's Sherbert Tank Top (pattern here). I'm really pleased with how this set turned out. Brigid declined to model for me, though.
Tank top, full view
Close-up of lace pattern
Close-up of strap
Shrug, folded view
Shrug, open view
Close-up of shrug stitch pattern
ALPACA SHRUG & HAT SET
A couple of years ago a friend gave me a skein of really pretty pink and cream alpaca yarn that she got in Ecuador, and I finally decided what to do with it. I paired it with a couple of skeins of a cream wool/acrylic blend and made a child's shrug and hat. I used the same shrug pattern as above, only this time I followed Laura's stitch pattern. I added a simple tie, made by braiding together three strands of yarn and knotting the ends. The hat is a generic one, which I described in an earlier post (Crocheting Circles, in the Gallery at left). The brim is trimmed with (sc, ch 2, sk 1) around. The decoration on top is just a long chain looped to look like a flower: I attached the yarn to the center of the hat, (ch 15, sc to center of hat) and repeated so I had seven loops. I think this set turned out really cute. I only hope it fits, as I had to guess about the measurements of the intended recipient (not the recommended method!).
Shrug & hat set
Close-up of hat
Shrug, folded view
ADULT JIFFY JACKET
I'm currently working on a cardigan for myself. I'm using a free pattern from Kim Guzman (CrochetKim). The pattern is called Adult Jiffy Jacket and is available here. I'm using vanilla TLC Amoré, a yarn I've used for several items and really like. The pattern is easy to follow, and she includes good diagrams and measurements of the pieces. The yarn I'm using doesn't match her gauge — not even close! — but her diagrams and measurements made it easy for me to adjust the pattern.
Fronts & back
Now, I should mention that I've had a lot of trouble making sweaters. I do fine following the patterns, and my sweater pieces all end up the proper size and everything. But when I sew the pieces together, the finished garment just doesn't look right. So far I've made three or four sweaters, and I won't wear any of them. We'll see how this one turns out. If anyone has any great finishing techniques to share, I'd really appreciate it!