Thursday, July 31, 2008
A few posts ago, I was lamenting about not being able to make my son-in-law a sweater for his 45th birthday. I unearthed this sweater, and it looks good as new! Isn't that amazing? Tomorrow I'm taking it for dry cleaning. The SIL is very thin, but likes his sweaters loose. It should be perfect. He'll love having something of Ricardo's, made by me. Hopefully, grandson #1 might like to wear it as well before too long.
They are also celebrating their wedding anniversary this weekend, so I'm bringing three round cloths and a spice cake to the party.
Life is good!
Hugs to all.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
My daughter--who doesn't know about this blog--stopped over and dropped off several balls of cotton. She recently stenciled her kitchen in blue and white, and wanted me to make her a new set of cloths.
The pattern she chose is Sew-Funky's lovely Windmill Cloth. I'm also making one of the smaller Starfish cloths from this site from the leftover yarn. Sew-Funky really designs the most wonderful round cloths!
I hope to have them done by this weekend, so I can get back to my projects. See you then.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I had one lone six-inch diameter brass ring and wasn't sure what to do with it. This little purse uses the bottom of the ring as a frame for a little tote, and the top of the ring as the handle. I made it to hang on the handlebars of a teen-aged girl's bike, so she could carry her cellphone and a few dollars when she took bike rides. Her keys easily clip to the handle.
Materials: Brass ring, any worsted weight yarn except cotton (it must stretch over the ring tightly), size G Hook, large-eye yarn needle, velcro or magnetic snap fastener, any embellishments of your choice.
The bag is made up of two crocheted semi-circles, as shown at left. The semi-circles must be as near to the diameter of the ring as possible (here, six inches across)
Chain 3, work 3 sc in 2nd ch from end.
Row 1: 2 sc in each stitch, turn. (6 st.)
Row 2: 2 sc in each stitch, turn. (12 st.)
Row 3: *sc in next 3 st., 2 sc in next stitch* three times (inc. of 3), turn
Row 4: *sc in next 4 st., 2 sc in next stitch* three times (inc. of 3), turn
Row 5: *sc in next 5 st., 2 sc in next stitch* three times, turn
Continue in this manner, increasing three stitches evenly in each row (you should have a fabric that looks like three pie wedges)
When piece is the desired size (mine is 12 rows), make another identical piece.
Next, holding wrong sides together, chain pieces together around the rounded edge, leaving top open. Insert ring and check fit. The join should look tidy and finished.
Remove ring and, as shown below, work three rows of sc around top of purse, decreasing one stitch at each end of each side (4 st dec in each row). Break off yarn, leaving a 20" tail.
As shown in the last picture below, inset ring into purse, thread tail onto a yarn needle, and work a running stitch just inside the ring, making a tunnel for the ring and keeping it secure in the purse. If you stitch into the hole of each stitch in turn, the stitching should be almost invisible.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I'm very reluctant to look at any patterns since I started this blog, as there are just so many ways to make a hat or scarf or mittens, and I want to make sure anything I post here comes totally out of my head. One you see how someone else solves a problem, it's hard not to incorporate it into your own work in some way or another. I'm not a fancy needleworker, and I'm sure anything I do has been done in almost the same way by someone out there. I've heard that others have been accused of copying ideas and patterns, and want to make sure that doesn't happen to me.
But the little purses and the Nun's socks are making me proud, and I hope to get the patterns up soon.
I read three good books this week--Sea Glass, by Anita Shreve, An Unfinished Marriage, by Joan Anderson (nonfiction), and the Yarn Harlot's new book (which is very short, but made me laugh numerous times--you'll all love it, I'm sure).
Hugs! I hope you like the scarf.
It's done in a modified Feather Fagot stitch. I turned the purl stitches into knit stitches, because the stiffness of the cotton caused me to drop stitches occasionally, which in a one-row pattern can be problematic with no safety net of straight K or P rows. This pattern makes a very lacy rib-looking fabric.
One-Row Lace Summer Scarf
CO 27 stitches on #5 or #6 needles (I used a circular needle, to give more control of the lace)
Rows 1-3: K across
Row 4: *K1, yo, K2tog* repeat to end.
Repeat row 4 until scarf is as long as desired. The scarf pictured is 40", and makes a small, ascot type of scarf.
Last three rows: K across
Finishing: The ascot type of scarf shown is gathered with a thread about 2 inches from the ends, then I wrapped the thread around the scarf and secured it. I have also made this scarf longer, and tied a knot in each end. You can also use fringe, if that is your preference, but the fringe should be quite long. Of course, it's nice just plain with no finishing at all.
This is fun to make! I hope you try it.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
"One Box-o-Yarn! Smoke free, all different colors and types of yarn. Some full skeins, some scraps, all 100% useful! Everything is neatly wound, into skeins or balls, no huge mess of 37 different yarns all mushed together."
and sent Ricardo off to a neighboring town to check it out for me, knowing I have little money left in the fund, but not being able to resist. Wouldn't you have done the same?
It's fun, this treasure hunting for all that stray yarn floating around in the world, just waiting for someone to come along and make something out of it. The anticipation is most of it--wondering if the next box will hold some lovely cashmere or alpaca---or even cotton.
I shop mostly online for everything, since I had to give up driving a few years ago. The yarn shopping was getting obsessive, even though I rarely bought anything. I'd spend hours trying to make up an order, trying to take advantage of the free shipping. First, I'd see something great on sale, but then I'd try to find something else to make up an order, looking at patterns for different yarns, trying to think of ideas of what to make. Then I'd see the final shopping cart and get sticker shock and abandon the whole idea. And I always wanted things from two different vendors, and really couldn't justify two orders. I spent hours not buying anything. It was window shopping at its worst, and a terrible waste of time.
I sat for an hour today, crocheting a baby sweater, trying to guess what Ricardo would come home with. Yes, he bought the box. No, it didn't contain anything too spectacular. But it was a lot of fun going through, nonetheless. First, it was very tangled, despite what the ad promised. I worked on the tangles while we watched "Foyle's War," then spread everything out. Second-hand yarn reveals so much about history. There was a lovely skein of "Beehive Baby Yarn," which was 100% virgin wool. Today, it's all acrylic. And the box held about seven or eight full or partial balls of rug yarn, which the one remaining ballband stated was a cotton and rayon blend. Today, I believe that, too, is all synthetic. There were also many full or partial skeins of worsted weight yarns in some really nice colors, some grey wool roving type of thick yarn, and one ball of red sportweight, of unknown fibre.
I have no idea what to do with the rug yarn. Any ideas out there? I'm eager to try this yarn for something.
Finally, many thanks and best wishes to people who have left me such wonderful compliments on the things I"m making. I'm very flattered. I'm certainly no artist. It's just that I've been making things for decades, I guess, and have all the basics conquered, so it's easy to use those basics to create new things. I'm sure many of you do the same.
A good weekend to all, and hugs! I'm off to eat grilled cheese and tomato soup prepared by my husband. Food cooked by someone else always tastes great.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Dogwood Blossom Dishcloth
Materials: Worsted weight cotton, about 1 oz. ombre and less than 1/2 oz. in a coordinating solid color, for flower panels (here, I used Daisy Ombre Peaches 'n Creme and solid yellow Sugar 'n Cream) This would look great in blue ombre and solid blue.
Size G crochet hook
Chain 36, sc stitch in second chain from hook and each chain across--35 sc stitches.
Rows 1-6: SC across
Change color to solid yarn, chain 3, turn
Dogwood Panel (rows 7-10)
Row 7: Work 4 dc (with turning chain, makes 5 dc), *chain 4, skip next 2 stitches, stitch in next 9 stitches* two times, ending with chain 4, skip 2 stitches, dc in last 5 stitches, chain 3, turn.
Row 8: dc in first two stitches (making 3 dc), *chain 3, stitch in 4-ch space, chain 3, skip two stitches, dc in next 5* two times, chain 3, stitch in 4-ch space, chain 3, skip two stitches, dc in last three spaces, chain 3, turn.
Row 9: dc in first two stitches, work 2 dc in 3-ch space, ch 2, work 2 dc in 3-ch space, 5 dc, work 2 dc in 3-ch space, ch 2, work 2 dc in 3-ch space, repeat in pattern to last 3-ch space, work 3 dc in last 3 dc, chain 1, turn.
Row 10: Sc across, change color, ch 1, turn.
Work 14 rows in ombre, change color, ch 3, turn.
Repeat Flower panel for 4 rows, change color.
Work 6 rows in ombre in sc. End. Weave in ends.
Note: This makes a tidy edged cloth, with no need for a border of sc.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I don't remember when I learned to knit, or crochet, or sew. My mother was a seamstress, who worked out of our small apartment. My grandmother was a tiny, fierce woman who didn't speak much English and was always knitting.
I was an adult before I realized that they were both real artists.
Grandma never looked at any sort of pattern, but closely scrutinized any knitwear that came her way, always eager to pick up a new stitch. Unlike me, despite knitting for her own nine kids and many, many grandchildren, she never made anything that wasn't embellished with dense patterns. Every mitten was a work of art. And my mother, despite sewing for others for hours, usually decorated our clothes with appliques, piping, and the like.
Grandma came to stay with me when my daughter was born, and she herself was 82. I was just finishing up a Christmas stocking. I still remember her enthusiasm for something new to knit. We sat together and knit huge stockings for the relatives. I also introduced her to granny squares during that visit, and she launched into making little vests for all the kids.
I know I'll never have her skill at needlework, but lately I've developed an obsession with flowers, due to the profusion of tiny balls of colored thread and cotton in my used yarn stash. Like grandma, I was a texture knitter. Color designs weren't really my forte. But one of the benefits I've gained from this little experiment is a newly found love of color.
The picture above shows two of my projects, both in very preliminary stages. I've been crocheting tiny flowers out of thread, and jamming them onto surfaces to make a dense covering (here, a coin purse in progress, with two loose flowers waiting to be sewn on).
The other item is a design for a dishcoth made up of rows of tulips.
I've barely made a dent in my stash, despite being one-third of the way through my year of used yarns. To date, I've completed five baby hats, three pairs of booties, a baby sweater, two pairs of fingerless gloves, two adult hats (one with matching mittens), two headscarfs, one decorative little cotton scarf, two pairs of pocketbook slippers, three dishcloths, two pairs of socks, a purse, a thermos cozy, and a tea pot cozy. Most are for gifts, and the baby things are for charity.
In progress are an afghan made up of triangles in blues and browns, for my eldest grandson, several coin purses, a tote bag, and an eyeglass case, all for Christmas presents.
Some I used patterns, and some I designed myself. I will be posting pictures and patterns for my own designs as I get them written up. Since I'd never written down a pattern before I started this blog I'm finding this quite difficult.
Thanks for reading, and hugs to all.