Crochet Stashbusters!

Well, guys, it was quite a winter. The American election felt apocalyptic to many of us. I just took a look and my last post was two days before the election. My health wasn't the best this winter, and we've had a lot of personal stress at our house with a terminally ill cat (RIP Poco). To make matters worse, afterwards you always have to deal with the money issues that go along with having treated and then euthanized a cat unexpectedly, and honestly we're still grieving and juggling bills. So I've been kind of just living life, maintaining and not feeling like writing.

But life goes on, and one of the things that got me through the winter was crochet. After crocheting a pussyhat through my gritted teeth, I really did kind of go into hibernation, in an endless cycle of work, home, crochet, YouTube, TV, and work again. I started a lot of cool and sophisticated projects that I will share at another time, but for today I'd like to share some recent, quick and fun stashbusters that I've done!

It started about a month ago when my work BFF had a birthday and I got a serious flu bug. I'd been wanting to make her something for a while, but the time I would have spent making it was instead spent half-asleep and feeling like death,  so I had to make something super quick. Enter the Spring Bean Cowl, which I actually saw someone else on Instagram making. It's a free pattern on Ravelry, super quick and easy and kind of addictive.

I made my first one in Cascade 220 Superwash for my friend:

Deep red crocheted cowl on a black lace mannequin
Spring Bean Cowl
I found this so satisfying, and still recovering from the flu I needed a break from harder projects. I also have a ton of nice yarn in my stash that I have no plans for. Let the stashbusting commence!

I thought I would try a variegated yarn for my second one. I have this super yummy Knitting Fever Indulgence 6ply w/Silk that I got on a super clearance online deal. It's gorgeous and wonderful to hold and crochet with, but as with all variegated yarns, it looks messy in the wrong pattern. I really like how it looks in the Spring Bean Cowl though!
A multicolored cowl in bright spring colors on a black lace mannequin
Second Spring Bean Cowl
I was really on a roll, and kind of wanted to play around with different yarn dye patterns, so I dug out this pretty slow-color-changing James C. Brett Woodlander Double Knitting yarn for my third Spring Bean Cowl. I had a lot of this yarn, so I decided to make a hat and cowl set. The hat pattern is the Reversible Basic Ribbed Beanie by Jennifer Pionk, which is a paid pattern on Ravelry.

A crocheted beanie with ribbing and color changes from pink to gray to brown.
Another Spring bean cowl in yarn that changes from pink to gray to brown
Spring Bean Cowl in the same yarn
I promise these are the same yarns- The lighting in the hat picture was in my home office around midnight, whereas the cowl was taken in natural daylight.

Most recently, I dug out some Berroco Blackstone Tweed Metallic for another hat/cowl set. This is a solid tweed,  mostly burnt orange with flecks of purple and gold metallic thread running through it. It's really pretty and the photos don't do it justice. I'm kind of thinking of this hat as my Pumpkin Spice hat.
Burnt orange hat with gold flecks, laying on desk
Pumpkin Spice Hat

I used the pattern hook on the hat since sizing is more important on hats, thinking if it didn't work out, I would use another hat pattern, but it worked fine. I really recommend this hat pattern- I know people prefer free patterns, but Jennifer's patterns are so well written with such a gorgeous professional-looking finished product that they are well worth the money, and I can see making this beanie over and over. 

Again, the lighting makes these look like different yarns, but I swear they are the same! I need to find a mannequin head to take hat pics on in the natural light! Here's my fourth Spring Bean Cowl

Orange Spring Bean Cowl. This one is slightly larger and the photo is taken outside on a black lace mannequin,
Orange version of Spring Bean Cowl
I made this one a little bigger around since I had so much of this yarn. I'm wearing it as I type and it's so super cozy I might not take it off until July (It's chilly here!). It's fun how each version has a bit different style and character just based on the yarn choice.

I think I might be done with this pattern for now- on the orange one, I did have to kind of force myself to finish it. But you fly through it so fast, it was hardly a chore. And I will definitely keep it in mind for future gift giving or stashbusters!

On a more personal note, when I was a kid growing up in Catholic church, my favorite part of the mass was toward the end when we all would turn to each other for the "sign of peace." You shake hands with the people all around you, make eye contact, and say "Peace be with you." and then they reply "And also with you." I don't practice religion any more, but I remember that all the time, and I wish we could all do it with each other every day, at the end of every ritual, every business meeting, every shopping trip, every family discussion. We need it right now. Peace be with you, dear readers.

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