11.29.2008

This and that, links to free knitting and crochet patterns and more....or everyone is getting ready for a budget minded Christmas

I am a Internet knitting and crochet pattern aholic. I love free patterns, and there are so many of them online. Who isn't trying to save money for any gift giving that we do. Here are some I found that you may enjoy making for the Holidays.

Fingerless Crochet driving gloves by LionBrand yarns, I like these! They are different than any of the "fingerless gloves" I have seen before. I have made the LionBrand patterns before, and recommend them. Although they are shown on a woman, I plan to make a pair for a man. If you use the recommended yarn by LionBrand these would cost about $5 to make.

crochet driving gloves

Next pattern is also crochet, this one is from Berrocco, it is a unusual felted hat. The instructions call to crochet it, felt it, and cut it out. Sounds mistake proof, If you use the Alpaca yarn called for the cost would be approximate. 11.50 or so.

gelsomina_op

A free sock pattern that is fun is "tipsy" by Gina House from Sleepy Eyes Knit blog, (go to her blog and check out other great patterns!), this is a good sock pattern, easy, yet has a pattern, and if you use the recommended yarn, adds a great extra visual kick! Check out the pattern and her blog. The pattern calls for Sereknity yarn sock options in Pretty in Punk. That will run you around $20 and the colors are delicious from Black forest fudge to Tree frog and Wattamelon.

show_image_in_imgtag

And then I found these super cute knitted mini stockings, free pattern from Joann's store. I always want to knit a stocking for everyone. With these mini ones, you can do it! And they are so cute. Also a good way to use up your yarn stash! If you use the yarn called for Sensations™ Soles & More sock yarn, I don't think you will be disappointed, I have used it before and at a price between 3-5$ it is a deal. 75% wool, 25% Nylon. You can splurge and get all the colors you want and go crazy with little stocking. I can see a whole tree done in sock ornaments!

P409891_knitted_mini_stockings_r

Happy holiday knitting!!

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies!!

 

 

 

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11.25.2008

Knitters Tarot Tuesday Reading

Today's card is the seven of cups

006 

As knitter's we have many choices or projects this week, especially with the holiday season upon us. Choose thoughtfully. Whether knitting for yourself or others.

A need to reflect upon choices.  Sometimes too many choices and opportunities are presented, which need careful consideration if a grave error of judgement is to be avoided.  May refer to a variety of choices of people for example marriage and other partners. The inquirer is faced with several choices one of exceptional promise but great perception is needed for this to be seen.  This card may also indicate mystical experience of an inspiring kind.

The seven of cups is a  card of many meanings, with so much symbolism. All of the cups are on a cloud with a man in black in the foreground. 

The cups seem to offer many things, snake=passion, desire and power, treasure=wealth and abundance, human head=companion or lover, castle=power and stability, laurel wreath=honor and status, a dragon= magic, supernatural, a shrouded figure=need for self illumination.

The Tarot is a deck of cards that originated over 500 years ago in northern Italy. Although the Tarot was first used in a game called Triumphs, it was quickly adopted as a tool for divination, and popularized by occult societies such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The early Tarot symbolism was deeply rooted in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Today, the Tarot is far and away the most popular tool for spiritual introspection in the West.

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Enjoy your knitting this week!

May you needles fly as fast as dragonflies

11.22.2008

Accidental Knitted Wrap or Shawl pattern

I  started knitting a wrap in a simple pattern.

You may use any yarn you choose, I picked a part mohair yarn that I had already had it was Patons Devine (it is a wool/acrylic/poly blend (in pink) that I had bought for a baby blanket who turned out to be a boy)

Use needles approx. twice the size recommended on the label of your yarn, my yarn recommended size 10 us needles and I used 17.

Amount: I used three skeins, which was plenty long with some left, at 142 yd's per ball or around 400 yards needed.

Recommended to knit a swatch and measure, remember your lace will stretch.

If you are a tight knitter, and don't like the look of your swatch. Use larger needles, you may also yo twice in row 4 (knit, yo, yo, knit continue.....)

Play around then when you are happy

Cast on 50 stitches ( 40 if using bulky yarn or you want your wrap shorter)

row 1 knit

row 2 knit

row 3 knit

row 4 *knit, yo* repeat

row 5 knit, drop all yo's from previous row

repeat rows 2-5 until your piece is long enoughOr make it a little longer as I did, I hate to waste yarn, and join the ends at a point, to create a poncho look.

poncho sewn 

You may also just throw it on, and use a shawl pin. This is a beautiful on Etsy by Irishfiddlers shop shawl pin

012 close up of pattern

010 back of shawl, or you can wear it to the side or front

Pic is in a different pattern, see belowmoeblila

You can make it long enough to reach just around your top portion and then

sewing the two ends together, join them with a twist, forming a mobius, which will twist in your front. (have fun with this, the above was done in a different pattern, look for a fun knitted pattern here, then cast on and create your mobius, as simple or complicated as you desire)

 

May your needles fly as fast as Dragonflies....

 

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11.20.2008

This and That


The Holidays are approaching and everyone is buzzing with activity.


Here are a few knitting related links that have caught my interest.


Learning to knit? KnitPicks has all kinds of video tutorials!


knitting hands


A good variety of needles, if you need some.


You can have tons of fun looking around at kpixie, yarn, patterns etc.. I like the selection of crochet kits they have. Maybe a good gift idea.


Gkara-shawlkit


Another online store the Loopyewe is fun, and Sheri has a great blog. Here are her free knitting patterns!


sheep



Favorite mittens is a book on mittens, This book is a "best of" her previous two books with a revision in some instructions.mittens


Here is a nice freebie Knitting Daily's Crochet quick Gifts, free e book download.




Always a good thing. Rowan books for any knitter, here is the Classic Winter knits


RYCWinterGiftsC





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11.14.2008

Review of a Kick Spindles Or Mother Marion to spin

When I made the decision to buy a Kick spindle I could find very little info on it, anywhere. Below is what I gathered, bought and my experience with mine. I could only find two being marketed, since I purchased mine I have found a third.

Below is my views on the Kick spindle I purchased (Little Meggie from Heavenly Handspinning), and some info on all of the other Kick Spindles that I could locate. Links and costs are included.

Review:

Things I like about my Kick Spindle.

1. Long spin time, I like the addition of the ball bearing.

2. Leaves both hands free to draft

3. It's my "wheel"

4. I like using my foot, I am moving around and don't get stiff from one position. It's a very "active" type, rhythmic motion.

5. You can actually stand and use it also.

6. Great price point.

7. I have never spun on a wheel and when I sat down at one the first time, I could actually spin (some) I think this action of foot/hand coordination helped.

8. I think I'm burning calories, so hey, I should be able to eat a cookie after (and probably during) spinning, right?

9. It unspins to wrap onto balls or niddy noddy, very easily.

10. My dogs think it is related to the vacuum cleaner (the arch enemy of all dogs). This could be a pro or con, depending on the animals in your house.

11. The Spindle hold quite a bit of yarn, I have 2 oz on here. see pic, and room for more.

11. It is portable.

12. It is great to ply with, it does it so well, that I might say I would buy it to use for this exclusively.

I think the best description is a cross between a drop spindle and a spinning wheel. My husband is an artist and has done pottery in the past, he sat down and was able to spin very easily, he had tried a drop spindle before without success.

Tips:

1. Watch some of the videos of using a kick spindle on You Tube

2. I have never tried to use it with my hands, only setting with my feet. There is a video on You Tube of a women using it on the table. I talked to a women who uses it while watching TV and doing it by hand.

3. Hold to stabilize with toe of other foot. This balances you also. Both feet are at the same level.

4. It does take some practice to get the motion down. But I have only used hand spindles.

5. It helps me to put a rubber like mat under it to stabilize it.

6. I had trouble getting it "spin" fast enough until I read to add a little Vaseline to the ball bearing.

7. There is a learning curve like everything else, I like to keep the spindle spinning, some spin and stop it to draft and then wind.

Things that I don't like:

1. It does move around a bit, I feel like I have to anchor it with my other foot, and use a rubber mat.

2. It does feel a little "clunky", I'm not sure how else to describe this, I think using a hand spindle is spider like in motion, and feel light, so this be heavy and stable, feels very different. (not sure this is a con, just a different feel)

3. I thought that the hook on the end would be a plus, but I would like to try one without a hook, it does slow me up to have to stop and wind it.

Overall:

I like my kick spindle, it is another option in your spinning arsenal, the one I have is great for the price. I like it well enough that I would like to try a more expensive one. And I would definitely purchase this one again.

It is not a replacement for a spindle or a wheel, but a compliment to them.

I understand now why people have multiple wheels.

If you own a Kick spindle I would enjoy any comments you have.

Heavenly Handspinning Kick Spindle

I bought a Mother Marion or Kick spindle a bit ago from Heavenly Handspinning. It was the right price, and at the time I could only find that one and the Woolrey had one.

P6040019_Resize $55.00 us price (the lowest price)

He sells from his website, on Etsy, (where I found him)

Little Meggie" has been updated, with the addition of a radial ball bearing. The spindle base rests in the ball bearing, creating a longer spin.

I tried to find some history on this spindle, but the only info I could find was it is recently developed.

There are several You Tube videos of this one, including how to assemble it.

See it in use here and here.

This company also makes a couple of quirky spinning wheels that includes a bicycle wheel.

 

Below is from the maker:

This spindle/wheel is also called Mother Marion's Magnificent Spinning Machine. This type of wheel was developed in 1981 and named after the inventor's mother-in-law. Heavenly Handspinning has updated this wonderful device, which works similarly to a drop spindle, but will allow you to sit or stand while spinning, freeing both hands for working with the roving.

The wheel is turned with your foot or hand (depending on whether it's placed on the floor or a table) and spinning occurs off the tip and hook. The length and stationary aspect of this wheel make it an excellent choice for plying.
The combination of light-weight, portability and ease of use, make this wheel/spindle - perfect to take anywhere.
"Little Meggie" has been updated, with the addition of a radial ball bearing. The spindle base rests in the ball bearing, creating a longer spin.
The wheel is handmade by Heavenly Handspinning. The wheel's base is made of oak. The rest of the assembly is made of oak and hardwood. The base is 8 inches in length and the total height from hook tip to base bottom is approximately 13 inches. The wheel measures 4 inches in diameter.

__________________________________________________________________________

The Woolery Kick Spindle

I found a few to choose from online, The Woolery has one.

I believe this one does not have a hook at the end of the spindle, working more like a walking wheel spindle.

You tube has a video of someone using this kick spindle on the table with her hands, and it appears to turn very smoothly. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=GFPA3BcCMyo

 

 

 

$98.00 us price (midrange price)

wheel_kick This one is similar and shows another position variation

Below from the Woolery:

Also called Mother Marion's Magnificent Spinning Machine, this handy spindle works much like a drop spindle but allows you to sit down while spinning. Just turn the large whorl with your foot (or place it on a table and use your hand) and spin off the tip of the spindle.

Beautifully crafted of cherry or walnut and hand-finished with several coats of Danish oil and a final coat of Crystalwax finishing wax for a nice sheen. Each spindle has been spun-tested by the manufacturer and comes with instructions and a starter spun yarn. Base is 5" x 12", height from base to top of spindle is 15" and diameter of kick wheel is 5 3/4". A wonderful portable tool and a sure conversation piece.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

True Creations

True creations

I only found this one recently, looks beautiful, folds flat, the spindle has no hook, and from the photo appears to have a ball bearing at the base of the spindle.

I contacted the maker for the price and info.

Price $500.00 (pricey, but as we spindlers know, usually cheap spindles do not perform as well as more expensive ones)

If you are familiar with the Golding drop spindles this may be the kick spindle version of it.

He also makes drop spindles, and has me drooling over this kick spindle.

If anyone out there has one of these are knows someone that does, I would love to hear from them.

 

 True Creations

I emailed Jim Echter and he gave me the below info.

kick spindle is a cross between a traditional spindle (great wheel) and a drop spindle.  Think of a potter's wheel for spinners.
It is put on the floor while the spinner sits in a chair.  You draft the fiber at a 45 degree angle off the tip of the spindle just like you do on a traditional spindle wheel.  With our design, you can achieve a high spin rate because you drag the side of your foot across the bottom of the spindle below the flywheel and we use two high precision bearings.  Most folks find it best to wear a sneaker or other soft shoe. Due to the diameter of the bottom of the spindle shaft, you get a great spin rate. On other types of kick spindles, you need to kick the flywheel so it is difficult to achieve as high a spin rate.  The spinner I worked with during the design process (who is a kick spindle expert), can get such a long draw of our spindle that she actually has to stop it as her arms aren't long enough to finish her draw!
Our kick spindle has a carrying handle built in as part of the base that can also be used to hang the spindle on the wall.  You can also easily remove the shaft and flywheel and fold the support arm down for storage.
The kick spindle is about 23" long x 8" wide x 15" high.  The spindle shaft above the whorl is approximately 8" long.  The whorl is 3 to 3.5" in diameter, although since I custom build each kick spindle, I can make it just about any diameter you desire and out of any kind of exotic wood.  I have all sorts of interesting whorl woods as I also make high end drop spindles.  The spindle will hold a fair amount of yarn depending on how thick you spin it.
Our web site has more information about the spindle and how my personal spindle is currently traveling the country on display with a major woodturning exposition called "Turned for Use II".  You can check it out at:
www.truecreations.biz.  I just finished making a video on our products, including the Kick Spindle.  I hope to have it added to our web site within a few days.

jim@truecreations.biz for more info.

 

May your spindles fly as fast as dragonflies!!

 

 

 

 

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11.13.2008

Featured Etsy Shop

I like this shop on Etsy. Storybeader, I was attracted by the name of the shop.

She has a selection of original pieces that vary from extravagant to fun and useful.

Some eye candy for your enjoyment.

horse bookmark Horse head bookmark $10

pirate keyring Pirate Keyring $15

jasper necklace Jasper cabochon $27

turtle Turtle Treasure Necklace $380

Enjoy!

And may your needles fly as fast as dragonflies!!

11.12.2008

Wouldn't you like to be knitting here

Autumn in Germany

autumn in germany

 

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies..

11.10.2008

Veterans Day sale and match donation for DAV

To celebrate Veterans day this year I am going to donate and match any sales I have on Nov 11 from my Etsy store Dizzydragonflies to DAV.

Please take time out and support the Veterans of this country in whatever way you can.

VeteransDay1

Statistics on our Veterans

http://www1.va.gov/vetdata/docs/4X6_fall08_sharepoint.pdf

23% of our homeless people are veterans: http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm

Donate to help this

Thanks for giving, Celebrate the day!!

DF-SC-84-11899

 

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11.07.2008

The life lessons that knitting taught me or The top ten reasons that I knit

I guess if I had to say one thing about knitting in my life it would be something like, "when things get tough, the tough get knitting".

Knitting has been present in my life starting about age 7 or so. My grandmother taught me to knit. She has patient and let me make my mistakes without flinching. Although she seemed to be able to perform magic with yarn and needles when she was showing me something. I never saw her knit for herself.

Born in 1900, she was a hardworking woman, had 11 children and a husband that I never knew. He died very early. They had a grocery store together, and although I never saw it, there was much evidence of it in her rambling home. Old crocks, pitchers and glass candy jars. After she lost her husband and the grocery. She became a nurses aid, which she worked at until the late 70's. I remember the hospital finally forced her to quit.

So I would see her knit here and there, pieces with shapes that I couldn't imagine what they were. I would ask and she would say, "oh I'm making a sweater for poor Mrs. Kimball, she lost her leg, or her daughter, had cancer etc... after a bit a catastrophe seemed normal.

I have dabbled in many crafts, too many to number, but I noticed that in extreme good or bad times, my knitting appeared in my hands.

knitting

1. Knitting lets your mind and body rest and regroup. Or take a lesson from your cat, take a break and a nap.

2. It teaches you that whatever you started out knitting is usually not how the item is going to turn out. Or you don't look like that willowy model that has the sleeves pushed up in the picture, because the sleeves are too big around.

In life when do plans ever turn out the way we envisioned them in our minds.

3. Gauge, gauge, gauge, super important, Or get the right size and type of  needle for the job. Or don't get all excited and jump into any project without all of the information you need. Or if it's a problem come at it from a different angle.

4. That beautiful yarn that was purchased is a bitch to knit with, and scratchy.  First impressions can be seriously wrong, you know that cute guy that you lusted after, but then 3 weeks into the relationship the rose colored glasses came off and the jerk wasn't cute at all.

5. Ribbit. Yes even when life throws you a serious curve ball, and that job or marriage that was going to be perfect isn't, it's ok to start over, life is a learning process. Counselors and lawyers and friends are eager to help.

6. You've finished the project, now you don't like it or it doesn't fit. It feels great to give things.

7. People love people who knit. It's a warm fuzzy calming process, even to watch. It may calm that irritating co-worker that you are ready to strangle as well as keep your hands busy.

8. Knitting lace is especially good during a family gathering. We all love our family, but sometimes its nice to have to pay close attention to the lace pattern, instead of how close Uncle Sam is to starting a brawl after Thanksgiving dinner. Or it's not my dog in that dog fight, keep it that way. You can always take a break and call 911.

9. Builds confidence and you knitters know no strangers. In a quite little way, step by step you learn I can really do this. Most people can use a little more self confidence. When you see a total stranger knitting, it is totally acceptable to go up and start talking, it's like meeting an old friend.

10. It's FUN!!! Try it!! Treat yourself, you can start at your price point,  take a trip to the yarn store. I recommend this because there is a real live person that can help you pick out everything you need and give your a project at the level you need, and take you in hand and guide you.

Use MapMuse to find your Local Knitting Store!

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies!

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11.06.2008

Camo Snakes and sheep

I have been crocheting a snake for a Christmas present. Last year I was crocheting toys Christmas Eve, so I'm trying to finish a little earlier this year.


The snake pattern is from Yarncat.com, I altered it slightly by using child safe eyes, (with washers on the backs, I picked out cat eyes and because the puplis were more snake-like), I also made a red felt forked tongue instead of a crocheted black one. I think he turned out very cute.


001 OOOO I'm scary and ready to strike, I'm long enough to put around your neck at 46 inches.


007 You can see my tongue here.



Go visit Yarncat.com! There are lots of free patterns. I like the baby snake pattern (even if you don't like snakes you will like these), Chenille bear pattern and fun things like this bug scrubber, road tested by truckers (and good for the environment) I think this would be a cute stocking stuffer.


Right now I am in a sheep ornament obsession! 005

I have plans to make, all colors of sheep and turn them into ornaments, I think this one needs googley eyes! 006


Pattern from Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet, more on the sheep later.

All done! First of the flock!


May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies!




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11.04.2008

Knitters Tarot Tuesday Reading

Two of wands

Wands02

The card of the week is the Two of Wands.

As knitters we can be daring this week, we have power and the vision to create something that has been only an idea. Have no fear, mistakes or dropped stitches will be few. Be adventurous and enjoy yourself.

Most often, the Two of Wands card means courage and daring. It has the message of striking out on a journey or new path.

The image on the Rider-Waite deck shows us a wealthy merchant or nobleman, looking west over his territory,  gazing into the west symbolizes learning from our past. He holds the world in his hands, symbolizing power. His wooden rod is firmly planted on top of a brick wall, ensuring victory over obstacles.

The time is right to be bold and creative. If you are in a moment of doubt, this card tells you to make your move. You have the power in your hands; now is the time to find courage to use it

The Tarot is a deck of cards that originated over 500 years ago in northern Italy. Although the Tarot was first used in a game called Triumphs, it was quickly adopted as a tool for divination, and popularized by occult societies such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The early Tarot symbolism was deeply rooted in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Today, the Tarot is far and away the most popular tool for spiritual introspection in the West.

Enjoy your knitting this week!

May you needles fly as fast as dragonflies

 

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11.02.2008

Crochet Octopus key chain tutorial, Free pattern

I started making these and had so much fun I decided I would turn them into

something useful. Ta da..Keychain.

Supplies:

Small amount of yarn, I like to use a multicolor, only about 1 oz, any type is ok from embroidery floss to chunky yarn. Yes Red heart is good for this project.

Hook: use the hook recommended for the yarn you choose, see label of yarn.

Stitches to know: sc, sl st, chain, how to increase, how to decrease.If you need help learning to crochet or a refresher check this site out.

Eyes: I used glue on google eyes (i actually found mine at the dollar store), there are also child safe eyes, and of course you can just make a french knot and some dark yarn and embroidery some on. There are also Chenille balls you can use for eyes.

Batting or yarn: to stuff head, small amount.

Key chain if desired: I bought a pack of 80 for under 2 dollars at walmart.021 (2)

Beginning; chain 3

Rnd 1: In first chain space, sc 7 times, this is crocheted in a continuous circle, you may wish to mark the end of this Rnd with a safety pin or a piece of yarn.

009 First round done

Rnd 2: * sc, 2sc in next st * repeat until end

Rnd 3/4/5: Continue Rnd 2 three times.

010 Top of head looks good here.

Rnd 6: sc in all sts around

Rnd 7: *sc x3, dec 1* repeat until end. Now you should start to see the head start to form. (If you need help to dec. see this link)

Rnd 8, 9: sc all around. If you want your octopus head to be elongated repeat this round until your happy. (I did 3 rows of this)

019

Now I think this head looks about right.

023

Rnd 10: *sc x2, dec 2*, repeat until end.

Rnd 11: sc all around.

Rnd 12: sc, dec 2, until you have 9 st left. Don't break yarn off.

Now we are ready for the legs!!

025 After doing my decrease rounds

Legs:

Rnd 1: chain 23, still using yarn that you have from the head last round.

028 Chaining enough for first leg

Rnd 2: Turn and sl stitch the next 5 sts, sc the remaining sts, until you get to the last stich, sl st in original stitch on base of octopus.

030 Showing beginning of sl stitches back

sl st to originial st on base First leg done, back at body base.

Leg will curl around, this makes it look better.

Turn, now don't make all of the legs the same length. make them longer, shorter, fatter, this is when your octopus comes alive.039 Admire you work, listen to your instincts.


Attach yarn to next stitch at body base for next leg.

041Attaching yarn for 2nd leg

042 Chaining 2nd leg

Legs 2-8: Chain any where from 10 to 27, turn sl st back about on third of your stitches you decided to use. now sc the rest of the stitches. To make some of the legs fatter, you can sc back down about a third of your stitches here, and sl st down to the end of the leg, cut your yarn leaving about a 5 inch tail.

044 Two legs done here

046 Three done

048 now five,

003 (2) Done! Eight legs!

Have fun with this! Continue until all 8 legs are made!

Now weave all of the ends of yarn in.

If you want to make him a key chain do this before stuffing.

Also if you are using child save eyes, place and attach them now.

Make a new chain of 20 or so stitches, pulling them tight, Draw it though the top of the head and knot it inside of the head. Now you can add the keychain to this.

Stuff all of the leftover pieces and yarn into head now.

Push any up into the head that are from attaching the legs to the head, and place a small amount of batting or yarn into the head, as much as desired, and now stitch the head loosely closed, working ends in.

Enjoy, if you make this pattern, I would enjoy seeing your version of it!

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