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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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bryson's Baby Blanket

Bryson's Baby Blanket is my first knitted baby afghan ever! I wanted to choose a knit stitch with meaning and I found the perfect one. It is the feather and fan stitch.

The reason why I chose feather and fan is because Bryson's daddy is an avid bow hunter, and I know he likes to hunt turkeys. Soooo, the feathers in the stitch represent the feathers on the hunter's arrow, and the fan in the stitch represent the turkey's fan.  Get it!!

Here is a PDF link to my pattern using the feather and fan stitch.

Knit and enjoy. Bryson's Knitted Baby Blanket

Here is an updated picture of Bryson. He is improving but still in neo-natal intensive care. He now weights just over 4 pounds.

This little guy is a real fighter.

Baby Bryson, my great great nephew

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Giraffe Hat

My niece Kari was expecting her first baby near the end of June. However little Bryson had ideas of his own and decided to come into the world about 10 weeks early. He was born April 15th and weighted in at 3.5 pounds.

As you can imagine, Bryson has had a tough go of it, but he is a fighter and continues to amaze his parents.

Baby Bryson


Kari is an avid Pinterest fan, and saw the cutest giraffe hat there.  It is used primarily as a photo prop.  It took me a little bit of time and effort but I was finally able to track down and purchase the crocheted hat pattern through Ravelry

The designer is Jenny Norris of Cherry Creek Crochet.  I think the hat is really cute, and I know Kari will be very pleased with it.

If interested you can purchase the finished product on Etsy through Jenny's shop,  or do as I did and purchase the pattern through Jenny's Ravelry store.  Just search for giraffe hats. There are quite a few on Ravelry, but I think this one is by far the cutest so  thank you Jenny Norris for your creativity.

Here is a picture of my 1940's composition doll modeling the finished hat. This is the best I can do until Bryson is able to model.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Here Is The Baby

Back in November of 2012 I posted a pattern review for a bunting set that I crocheted for an unborn nephew.  The pattern is in the December 2012 issue of Crochet World and the designer is Dianne Gochenour.
My niece Val sent me a couple pictures with her new born son modeling the bunting. He is so adorable that I asked Val if I could share his picture on the blog.
Perhaps you also are expecting or know a wee one that would just love to be photographed in a bunting set too.
They really are fun to make.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Granny Square Afghan

Here is a picture of the Granny Square afghan that my sister started 40 some years ago. It was recently rediscovered and  completed by me.  Never say never to those works in process.

You can see from my sister's smiling face that she is happy to have the afghan back in her possession.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Back to the Future

I’m calling my first crocheted project of 2013 “Back to the Future” and when you see the pictures you will understand why.

This is a bit of a long story, so grab a cup of coffee and read on. The year was 1970 and my younger sister Kathy wanted to learn how to crochet.  Kathy made a mistake that new crocheters often make; she started with a project that was way too big, a granny square afghan consisting of 24 large motifs, then she became discouraged, or got tired of the project or both.  At any rate, she put the unfinished project aside.

At some point she turned the project over to our Mother for completion but Mother never completed the project. Mother passed away on September 5th 2012, and while going through her things we found the unfinished project.  I took the motifs home and told my sis that I would finish the afghan for her, 42 years after it was started.

When I got to looking at the motifs I discovered what Mother had mostly likely discovered.  Kathy had made a very common mistake, when attaching a new color of yarn; she attached it to the wrong side. Quite a few of the motifs are done this way.  Mother was a perfectionist when it came to crochet. She could not tolerate a mistake. My best guess is that Mother planned on taking the motifs apart and make them right.  I noticed several short strands of yarn in the sack that housed the project, but for some reason, she never finished.

I on the other hand can tolerate a few mistakes. I told Kathy what I discovered, but that I do not intend to fix her mistakes. They are part of the personality of the motifs. I have four more motifs to complete and then I’ll stitch the motifs together, add a border, and present the granny square afghan to my sister some 40 years after it was started.

Here are some pictures of the motifs. When I have the afghan stitched together, I’ll show you a picture of the finished object. It is indeed a blast from the past.