12.24.2017

Happy Holidays!

Enjoy your Holidays! Get your pointy sticks out and do some knitting.

Thanks to http://mochimochiland.com/blog/ for the animation, check out the blog for more creative goodness!

santa

12.11.2017

Speedy Triangle Wrap

I’m in the middle trying to finish all of my knitting works in progress. Taking a look at them & deciding if I should frog them or continue. I had 5 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun, and had crocheted approximately 2.5 of them up in a cocoon wrap. I don’t know about you, but I get sucked into buying this yarn occasionally. It is easy to forget how splity it is. It is soft and squishy but maddeningly hard to use (for me). My crocheted project was uneven on  the edges and looking dismal. I decided to frog it, but this yarn is wrapped with only a piece of thread to keep the twist in and I’ll describe it as one ply. No way could I rip it out. So I gritted  my teeth and tossed it.
Speedy Triangle Wrap/Shawl (free instructions)
With the remaining two skeins I decided that knitting on very large needles was the best way to go. I couldn’t settle on a pattern so decided to make the fallback triangle shawl pattern that you can knit as large as needed and use all of this up.
This recipe is a general one, and you can switch to any stitch pattern in it or colorwork etc..  Smaller to just put around the neck, or large to curl up under on the sofa with some reading or netflix. Get creative!
Speedy Triangle Wrap/Shawl (free instructions)
Just cast on 3 stitches, knit. first row
at the beginning of each row k1, yo, knit to end.
This makes a nice edge.
Keep repeating until you are about to run out of yarn or it is large enough. and loosely bind off.

12.06.2017

One simple Crochet Snowflake started a Blizzard

I had a little idea that we needed a snowflake or two on our tree. I had one in the ornament box, handmade in crochet cotton thread. It was always a favorite, and I have no idea who made it or where it came from. Well that started me thinking I needed another one.
I wanted an updated look, not so thin and old fashioned looking this time, definitely different yarn., First step, start a online search for snowflake patterns. After finding quit a few, I started trying them out, and quickly decided that I would not knit but crochet them. Seemed faster & easier to me.
Crochet Snowflake pattern (free, easy)Crochet Snowflake pattern (free, easy)
I tried a few and thought I wanted to make a variety of them, but ended up making one pattern over and over. I liked the way it looked and it was easy for me to master. After several of them. I had to go buy more  yarn, and then more yarn, and different yarn…..I ended up preferring yarn with a slight “fuzz” and one that said it was for dish scrubbies (this yarn was my favorite look).

Snowflake pattern: Easy Snowflake by Michael Sellick (link to pattern) , pattern site also has a link to the YouTube video!
I made a pile of snowflakes with 3 different yarns. Then I understood why everyone made them stiff, how does that happen, what to use? To Google again, and I discovered that there were numerous ways to make any item stiff (from Halloween ghosts to Christmas snowflakes) Starch, Glue, Gelatin, Epsom salts or Sugar.
IraRott.com has an excellent blog post on all of the above except sugar (see post) Thanks for all of your in depth info on this Ira!
Info on sugar and Epsom salts to stiffen from the blog Vintage Crafts and More.com (link) she has some patterns there for snowflakes also.
Crochet Snowflake pattern (free, easy)Crochet Snowflake pattern (free, easy)
I would recommend that you test them first. (I’m glad I did) The glue one, which I thought was going to be the best & easiest one. Turned my yarn whitish, (I tested these on  bright pink snowflakes because I wondered if it would change the color, BTW who doesn’t need some pink snowflakes?) As Ira states the Glue out performed the other methods for stiffness, but do be aware if you are using anything other than white, or use metallic thread or include beads, it may leave a white cast on it. Duh, news flash, I needed to buy the one that says dries clear on the glue bottle!  I discovered since I had decided to make fluffy snowflakes using yarns that have a halo and one that was eyelash like, that the glue wasn’t for me. I have dogs, one thinks everything is a toy, so sugar was out. I didn’t try Epsom salts and would be interested to do that (I’ll update if I do) it is suppose to add a little sparkle, sugar is said to do this also. I ended up using the starch method, although I was going for slightly stiff, not stiff enough to make my fluffies droop. So I used half of the amount of starch and didn’t soak my snowflake but I sprayed it on, while my flake was on a paper towel, better to use foil or wax paper, no sticking  (which was on top of a bath towel or cardboard) then I was able to pin them out.  Sorry this was rambling and I will try and sum it up in a chart.
Update: after finding the AllFreeCrochet video, he sprinkled some glitter on his snowflake “pretty”! I MUST try this!!
I found a great tutorial on YouTube AllFreeCrochet on stiffening a snowflake! (link)
Snowflake stiffener                    Residue                  Stiffness                                               Mix 
White glue                                       Maybe                   Excellent, can be plastic like                50/50 mix
                                                        look for dries clear                                                                                                                      on  bottle                                                                                        

Starch                                              No                        Good                                                     1 tablespoon per cup
                                                                                                                                                      of water & boil until
                                                                                                                                                      thick & transparent
Sugar                                               No                        Great, edible watch pets                       2 parts sugar to
                                                                                                                                                    one part water, boil
                                                                                                                                                     until dissolved, watch
                                                                                                                                                     as this will stay hot as
                                                                                                                                                     crap & burns.Cool
Gelatin  (unflavored)                        No                    untested                                                      2 T in one cup cold
                                                                                  see                                                               water, dissolve &
                                                                                                                                                      boil & cool
Epsom salts                                     No                    untested                                                       50/50 mix heat water
                                                                                                                                                      to boiling then                                                                                                                                                             add Epsom salts
                                                                       

So then approximately 75 snowflakes later they are on two trees at our house and numerous trees elsewhere. I started making the snowflakes in Dec of  2016 and fell in love with this pattern. I made around 30 in 2016 over the course of 2 weeks, and I’m in snowflake mode again this year!
Your tree may just have a few flurries or a blizzard either way have fun.
IMG_6297 (2)
The yarns I used: from left to right in photo above, Red Heart Scrubby Sparkle(comes in many colors), I didn’t have to stiffen this yarn & it has a slight sparkle in the fluffy bits (my favorite). Middle is Patons Glam Stripes, I saw this in red, white and green, the metallic is only in spaced out areas, I didn’t like how this looked in the beginning, but decided that it gave my flakes a frosty look or certain sections, Right is the softest yarn and largest flakes, it just has a small amount of sparkle, Caron Simply Soft Party.
The Hooks I used: G and H, I used size recommended on label
Happy crocheting, get your boots on!

11.26.2017

Show a little LOVE today

Holidays can be a difficult time of year. Everyone is busy with lots of things on their minds.
People that are missing from your life leave a black hole in the Holidays.
crochet heart (free pattern link, easy)crochet heart
Sometimes you just need to show someone a little extra love.
This pattern is super cute, fast and easy & I’m no crochet expert. Thanks to HappyAmigurumi and her free tutorial (tutorial link) it was a no stress project. It only took a small amount of yarn. I used Caron Solids in a red, I like the finish on this yarn.
In nothing flat I had a cute little stuffed heart to leave on my husbands desk to brighten his day!

11.23.2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was a chill Thanksgiving, I decided to try a crochet pattern & make some quick table ornaments. I found some cute pumpkin/gourd crochet pattern & decided to try it out. I also found some cute acorns but haven’t gotten those made.

pumpkin2pumpkindone

The pumpkin pattern is in a small/medium/large size. Fast and fun. I was attracted to this pattern because she had made them in non-traditional colors and they were so cute.. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Pattern: Pretty Pumpkins by Kris Moore Free link, she blogs Here

Pattern Crochet Acorn by Kristi Tullus Free Link, she blogs Here 

turkey_knitting

11.16.2017

Inspired to get Knitting

I’ve been in a productivity slump. Well I’ve been gardening and doing life, but falling way behind in the fun fabric & yarn stuff.


I happened across this YouTube of Fairy Little who vlogged knitting a sweater in 24 hours. I have a sweater I’ve been stalled on for 3 years (I believe, may be longer) After watching this time lapse video, it was like a kick in the pants for me. I thought “Yes, I can do that!, (well maybe in a weekend or week), Now I’m trying to decide if I’m frogging the pattern & starting over as that was when I stopped. I had to heavily modify  the pattern and……need I saw more?

Check out the video & thanks Fairy Little

11.15.2017

Knit or get off the Pot

I have been knitting, but not blogging for quite a while now. I’m getting organized and back into blogging. Colder weather is here and it is time to get the needles out.

ufo

I decided that I would start by dragging out all of my unfinished projects and take stock & decide which ones I’ll frog or finish. I’ve had a sweater on the back burner for years, I’m not happy with how the pattern was turning out and you know how that can stall a knitter. So I’m determined to be ruthless and not knit, (well not start anything big) until all of my UFO’s (unfinished objects) are taken care of one way or another!

If there are any other knitters out there that would like to join me leave a comment!

Next post will be a ruthless inventory (I hope) of what I’ve got going on.

11.11.2017

Happy Veterans Day! Knit an American Flag, Maybe not quite this large...



http://publicdelivery.org/dave-cole-knitting-machine-mass-moca/
Above photo is from  Arjen Noordeman


In 2005, MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) presented a monumental and uniquely American sculptural installation by Dave Cole. Cole’s project The Knitting Machine comprised two excavators specially fitted with massive 20′ knitting needles which produced an oversized American flag, which can be seen as both a celebratory gesture of pride and a commentary on America’s role in world affairs.
When the flag was removed from The Knitting Machine it was folded into the traditional flag triangle and was on display in a presentation case which Cole described as slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle, accompanied by the 20′ knitting needles, and a video of the knitting process.
There is a video of this also 
If you are interested in smaller American Flag patterns I've linked a few below:
-Mini American Flag Pattern thanks to Craftdrawer crafts   (free pattern)
http://www.craftdrawer.com/2013/07/free-mini-american-flag-knitting-pattern.html
-From Tracy Johnson on Ravelry a beautiful American Flag throw
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wavy-american-flag (free pattern, she also has a Betsy Ross American Flag Pattern on Ravelry, also free
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/colonial-betsy-ross-wavy-american-flag
Enjoy Veterans day, go hug a Veteran!