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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sweetheart Shawl

This Sweetheart Shawl is just off the knitting needles so I thought I'd share a picture with you. I found the pattern on the Lion Brand Web Site. The pattern number is L0373B.

The skill level is easy and makes a very nice lacey design.  The best part is that it only takes two skeins of Vanna's Glamour yarn which is available  at your local Michaels or Hobby Lobby Craft Store.

You will also need a size 5 circular knitting needles at least 29 inches, stitch markers, and a size F crochet hook.

The bind off is rather interesting and requires the  crochet hook, but even a beginner knitter can figure it out by simply following the instructions provided in the pattern.

This shawl needs blocking and will block to about 14 inches by 48 inches.  Even after wet blocking, the bound off edges of the shawl curled, so I crocheted an additional picot edging around the already bound off edge, and wet blocked again. This took care of the curling problem and I like the results even better than the original.

I have two more skeins of this yarn in my stash and I'm seriously thinking about making this shawl again.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Boot Cuffs

Boot Cuffs are trending.

A friend of mine wanted a pair of boot cuffs that would not be too bulky in her already tight fitting boots.  So I went to work and using a #3 weight yarn made her this pair.

I used Bernat Softee Baby Yarn. The colorway is Grey Marl.  I also used two sizes of crochet hooks F and E.

The cuffs are worked in the round from the top down. First I crocheted the ribbed top then added a row of sc, followed by rows of dc, then hdc and ending with a couple of rows of sc and finally a sl all the way around. I did decrease a few stitches in the sc rows to help ensure a good fit.

As you know, buttons are very expensive so here is a tip; check out your local thrift stores and antique malls for buttons.  The buttons on these boot cuffs were purchased from a local antique store for $1.00 and there were four buttons in the pack! How cool is that.....

Since the cuffs are a last minute Christmas gift, I haven't written the pattern down yet, but I did take good notes and will make the pattern available as soon as I can get it written.

In the mean time, here are a couple of pictures.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Toasty Plus Pot Holder

Lately I have been in pursuit of learning how to knit Fair Isle. Fair Isle basically is knitting patterns that incorporate two colors per row to form a pattern with the yarn carried across the back of the work.

I came across the Toasty Plus Pot Holder pattern by Designer Hannah Maier and thought I would give it a try. The pattern uses 100% worsted weight cotton yarn and size 5 (3.75mm) 32" circular needles.

It's a perfect project for me because it is relatively small and I find it best to practice new skills on smaller projects.  I thought the design looked pretty easy and I think the pot holders would make great Christmas or Hostess gifts.  

Here are some pictures of my first attempt.  It is far from perfect, but passable for a first attempt.

Hannah's pattern also made me learn something new, the Kitchener Stitch. The Kitchener Stitch is a way to join seams so that they appear seamless. Any time you are learning something new it can be a bit intimidating, and the Kitchener Stitch is no exception. It takes some practice to get it perfect.

To learn the Kitchener Stitch, I turned to You Tube .  I found this video by Judy Graham to be the most useful.

So Thank you Hannah and Judy for the free pattern and for the instructive help on my knitting journey.  One thing I love about the needle arts community is the willingness of these crafters to share their knowledge.  I'm personally feeling more accomplished !!
I hope you will also try Hannah's pattern. Enjoy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Knit the Russian Join

Have you heard of the Russian join. This is a great way to add a new ball of yarn to your knitting or crochet without having to tie a knot.  Check it out.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Craft Fair

My  sister and I participated in a small craft fair on October 26th. It was held at the local community building and was the "first annual" craft fair.  We were disappointed with our sales; I think there were multiple reasons for this.

One we chose to participate in a craft fair that few people knew about because it was the first annual. Second, the craft fair was not very well advertised.  Third, the timing wasn't very good. The craft fair hours were 8AM to 1 PM, and Fourth the signage  outside the building indicated a  rummage sale, not a craft fair.

I'm not posting this to disparage the management of the community center for their efforts at hosting a craft fair, but for the crafter and  some things to be aware of when considering whether or not to participate in a craft fair. Are you considering a craft fair that is well established, has favorable hours,  and has been properly advertised.

My sister and I are still neophytes ourselves when it comes to craft fairs, but we are learning, and this was a good learning experience.

Still we had a great time just spending time together and that is worth a lot. You can't beat "sister time".  And we did have sales, just not as many as we had hoped for.

Here are a couple of pictures that I took with my phone of our table.  My sis  is into "re-purposing" wool coats and sweaters and my primary contribution is knitted accessories, mostly scarves.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Bryson's Preemie Hat

A suitable preemie has been completed for Baby Bryson. I used the Magic Loop method to knit this little hat for Bryson.  Thank you Liat from Knitfreedom for teaching me this method. There was minimal laddering and no dropped stitches YAY. Excuse the background.  I finished this while we were camping and I was so proud of my little bitty hat I had to get a picture as soon as it was done.

And here is a picture of Bryson wearing the hat. His mom said the circumference was fine but the length was a little short, so I’m in the process now of knitting him another hat with the same yarn. I’m just making it about an inch longer before I start the decreases.

Other projects on knitting needles are a scarf for my sister and a rectangular vest for me, unless, of course, my sister sees it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Magic Loop

Knitting in the round is fun, but knitting on double pointed needles, also known as DPNs, is not so much fun, at least for me.   I have been wanting to learn the “magic loop” method that does away with the need for DPNs  and when my Great Great  Nephew Bryson was born I was inspired to learn this method.

You see Bryson was born ten weeks early and he only weighed 3.5 pounds.  I wanted to make him a teeny tiny hat. Well that required using DPNs.  Here is my first attempt. The stapler is in the picture to provide perspective.  I ended up with what knitters call “ladders” at the joining points from the DPNs. Laddering happens because there tends to be an  extra distance between the needles so the joining stitches aren't  as close and tidy as the other stitches on the needles.

Then I discovered that somewhere during the process a stitch had dropped off one of the DPNs. GRRRR. So My finished preemie hat had ladders, and a dropped stitch.

At that point I decided it was time to learn Magic Loop The Magic Loop according to Dummies.Com enables you to work projects of small circumference on one long circular.

I purchased a class from Liat at KnitFreedom. I know this is going to sound like a commercial but that’s okay.  The quality of Liat’s videos are very good, and her prices are reasonable too, and I learned how to knit using the Magic Loop method.  But there are a lot of free videos available on YouTube as well.

Here is a picture of the hat I made using the Magic Loop method and following Liat's instruction. No more laddering and no dropped stitches. Liat provides the pattern for free too, a nice bonus. We all like free stuff.

The yarn I'll be using for the preemie hat is  Comfy Fingering yarn from Knit Picks. I read someplace on the Internet that this is a good choice for preemie hats because the yarn is so soft. It is a 75% cotton and 25% Acrylic blend. And I can vouch for the softness factor.

The long circular needle I'll be using is a size 2 needle on a 47 Inch Cable. I purchased the needle from Knit Picks for a small price of $5 and a little change.

I have my yarn. I have my long circular needle. I’m ready to tackle the preemie hat again this time using Magic Loop. Stay tuned for an update.  My goal is a preemie hat suitable for gifting with no ladders and no dropped stitches.