Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It's hard to photograph scarves, because if someone is wearing it, it's usually too far away to see the stitch pattern, but if it's just flat on the table, it really doesn't show the finished product very well. I hope you can visualize the full thing from this small sample.
ONE ROW SCARF
There are a lot of one-row scarf patterns, and I really like the symmetry they provide in a scarf--reversable, simple, yet textured. I think they're great for the men in our lives.
Materials: Worsted weight yarn. I used one skein of Woolease from the stash. The ribbed pattern breaks up the variegation and makes the scarf look rather tweedy.
Needles: US 9. You can use a 10 if you like, as a looser knit makes this scarf drape nicely.
Pattern: *K2, P* to last three stitches. K3.
Repeat until scarf is as long as you like. It makes a ribbed scarf with a finished-looking edge. It really looks much more complex than you would think. You'll love it!
This slouchy newsboy cap is another UFO that languished for more than a year, to my embarrassment. The problem here was that after I finished the cap (out of some rummage sale yarn), the instructions said to stiffen the brim with plastic before sewing together. I wasn't sure how to do this, and just put it aside. Recently, a friend was telling me how she cut up a milk carton to make some bobbins, and a light went on in my little brain. Ahhhhhh-- what an obvious source of thin plastic. It took about two minutes to trace the bill onto the side of the carton and cut out a piece. Luckily, I had left a long tail of yarn. In another minute, it was sewn shut. Voila! It was sent out today with a bag of Christmas gifts to the teen shelter. The styro head is a little small to show this hat off to its full advantage. It's quite cute.
Friday, December 4, 2009
These half-finished socks have been stuffed in a plastic bag for years. I was seduced by all of the new self-patterning sock yarns and started these before I realized how ugly the colors looked. That along with the simple, boring style just made me lose interest. So, they remained a UFO until last week when I was going to babysit and had nothing to take along except secret Christmas knitting, so I grabbed them. It's a relief to have them done and out of the knitting bag.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The blanket is slow going, though. Each square is made up of two different colors, and, since the squares are about six inches square, the final blanket design will probably run to more than 200 squares.
The good thing, of course, is that with mitred squares there is no sewing together at the end. I'm trying to tuck in the ends after every two or three squares, just to keep that chore under control.
I have no idea where all those tiny balls of yarn come from, but assume there is some sort of group at the church that makes charity goods and rolls up the ends of yarn left after a project is complete.
Monday, November 16, 2009
These potholders were the result. During the morning hours I made the lacy tops out of some scraps of blue and pink. During lunch and the afternoon session I crocheted solid backs. That night, while we watched TV, I crocheted them together and did the fancy business along the edge. I got four done--three square and one round. Two are already grubby.
But I missed blogging. Barbara (from I'm Crocheting to Keep From Smoking) and I have been working on a charity project---more of this later---and she urged me to get back to the blog. So here I am, and I have lots of projects to share.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
One of the eyeglass cases I gave away last fall ended up in the front desk of a new office building, holding the rectangular plastic key cards the employees use to move through the building. Soon after, I got an email asking me what I would charge to make more "keycard holders" for the other departments. I quickly made six more, completely out of scrap yarns.
I also sold the gossamer scarf featured here a few months ago.
So, I spent $20 this year on yarn, and made more than three times that amount from the scrap yarns I purchased. Now, I need to decide whether or not I can spend that money on YARN, or stick to my budget for another year. [Note: several people gave me lovely yarn as gifts, and I was careful not to make anything for sale from that yarn. It just didn't seem right.]
Some really good yarn is left---the blue cone yarn and the bag of cotton boucle are still awaiting proper pattern ideas. Additionally, I got wonderful orphan skeins in swaps with Jami and Lisa, and a box of Softee Chunky from Barbara (I used most of this, but there's still enough left to make something nice).
The year had a lot of high points. In November, I was (big surprise) knitting in the hallway of the courthouse and chatting with a woman as we waited for the court to return from lunch. She told me that she managed a group home for eight foster teen boys, and that none of their families had left them any gifts to open on Christmas morning. She was hoping to find some donations. Due to the generosity of Barbara and Jami and the yarn they sent, each boy got a Christmas hat! [There are many, many wonderful charities distributing hats, scarves, afghans, and the like, but if anyone wants to knit or crochet items for the local community, just google Catholic Charities to find your local office and give them a call. They have group homes that serve all sorts of people---including the teen mothers and babies that I've been knitting for throughout this year.]
This was also the year I rediscovered crochet, after many years without holding a hook. My hands are arthritic, and sometimes get too stiff to knit. At such times, it's easier to crochet for a few days. Gosh, it's fun! Crochet just lends itself so well to small, multicolor projects.
My most popular project (by the number of emails I received asking for the pattern) is the knit "overlapping scallops" baby blanket. I was so glad to make the two baby blankets and finally use up most of my baby yarns. And, thanks to Lisa, I was able to finish the neutrals afghan. Now it just needs some sort of border.
There are so many projects that I didn't post patterns for, because I found that writing down patterns was a lot harder than I originally thought it would be. I've resolved to post the baby blanket pattern this week, and several other winter patterns (mittens, hats) ASAP.
Right now (and I really mean RIGHT THIS MINUTE) I'm trying to finish a set of Jack and Annie dolls (the Magic Treehouse books). I'm adapting them from an old pattern I have of Jack and Jill, and struggling to embroider the necessary eyeglasses on Jack. He also needs a backpack! They'll go to my youngest grandson's first grade classroom, where the kids act out the stories. I knew all that pale pink worsted would come in handy.
It's been a good year. Thank you all for being there. Hugs all around.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I bought some yarn a few weeks ago at a Lutheran Charities sale. Three small bags of vintage sock yarns for a quarter a bag! I think I went a little over $20 for the year with this purchase, but only by a few cents.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I've been making blankies. This one is almost done. It's an overlapping scallop pattern, made with doubled baby yarns. With the complex pattern, the color changes, and holding the yarn double, it's a bit taxing, but I've been trying to do two bands a day. Nice and big, though, and cheerful looking.
The second one is done. It's a round pattern I found on ravelry, crocheted out of TLC baby yarn. Not as big as I'd like, though, but fine for a newborn and fun and easy to make.
The last one is something I've been adding to all year. I call it the "neutrals afghan". It's just a large granny square. I'm 41 rounds into it, and need about 60 rounds to have a decent sized throw. Now that it's getting larger, I need larger amounts of each yarn to make the circuit. I think I've used about 11-12 different yarns so far. The last five or six rounds will be off-white, so that will take the pressure off somewhat. It's going into hibernation until I can find some additional neutral-colored yarns (beige, ecru, cream, gray, silver, etc.) It's actually much paler than in the photo.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Calendars have hit the discount bins, and I was able to get a two year planner for a dollar. This one even had a nice plastic sleeve. I took out the staples and removed the cover, then turned it over so that there was a smooth white surface to decorate with some of the tiny doilies I've been making out of thread and floss. All it took was a thin coat of Elmer's Glue.
The possibilities really are endless. If I can lay my hand on a metallic marker I plan to fill in the empty spots with some small designs, and maybe gild the edge. The outer plastic cover gives it a nice finishing touch. I chose not to staple it back together, but instead tied some threads around the spine and left a little tassle on the bottom.
Does anyone want the tiny doily patterns? They are just two- or three-row bits and pieces. Let me know if I should write them down.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
So, I'm trying to get someone to help me back everything up and see if it can be fixed. Until that time, I'm stuck with going to the library to use the computers there, or visiting friends to use theirs. I hope I can learn how to load my photos from my camera into some online program, so I can begin posting again.
Hugs to all. I hope your holidays were wonderful.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
For a while, I've been down to three #3 dpns, and have been using a #4 to make up a set. Moreover, the 3's are aluminum and just not very nice. I've gotten spoiled over the years, and my hands have also deteriorated quite a bit. Now, I want bamboo or wood needles. Luckily, there are a lot of blogs out there written by people who make their own needles from dowels, so I decided to give it a try.
I took my needle gauge down to Tru-Value Hardware and went through their bin of dowels. The 1/8" dowel corresponded to our US#3. I was also able to buy a dowel to make a set of #8's, and one to make some 10 1/2. The smallest dowel was 80 cents for a yard. The others were slightly more.
The 36" dowels yield four 7" sticks and one 8". I measured, marked each length with a black marker, and sawed through the dowel with an old bread knife. Then, using a little plastic pencil sharpener, I sharpened each end into a point. I only had one size of sandpaper (most other needle makers use two or three different grades), but it was a very fine grade. I rubbed the sticks between the folded paper, then scraped the points against the paper quite vigorously, to blunt them a bit.
Again, most other people rub the finished sticks with waxed paper, or use some sort of beeswax or other polish. I decided to give the needles a test run first, and they were as smooth and silky as could be. Perhaps the larger needles will need more finishing, but these work great! I can't believe all the money I've spent on dpns, when all I needed was an 80 cent dowel (this one is made of birch wood). I'm addicted! Of course, you can also make single point needles in any length desired, by sharpening only one end, and gluing a button or whatever to the other end.
Honestly, making these took about half an hour (not counting the trip to the store). And I'm not handy with tools.
Back to frantically finishing my Christmas projects. Hugs.