Tag Archives: knitting

To See or Not to See

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I’m not a spring chicken anymore and more and more I’ve been noticing that I am blind as a bat.  I was trying to find the correct crochet hooks for a project and the larger hooks I have are these clear colored plastic hooks with the size etched into the end of the handle.  I’m sure you know the ones.  They are Susan Bates Crystalites.  Susan bates also has the hooks that are all white which have the same issue.  When I was looking for the larger sizes like L (8 mm) and N (10 mm) these were all I could find here locally.  With no contrast it is very difficult to read the size.  I finally got a bright idea and I dabbed some white acrylic paint over the size on the handle and tapped the paint around with my fingers to fill in the etched in area.  Then I wiped off the excess with a paper towel and now I can see it perfectly!  If you have the white ones you could use any bright color or black.  The same thing applies to the knitting needles of course.

Fixing Crochet Hooks so they are Readable

Craft Krazy

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I really hate to be a follower.  I go way out of my way to avoid anything that is “in”.  I’ve always loved butterflies but when I was in high school and the springy butterfly hair barrettes were “in” I refused to wear them, although in part because of the springiness.  Anything springy on the head is dumb unless you are 3, and then it is cute.

Anyway,  I’ve tried to avoid the Martha Stewart line of craft things because….. because I want to be unique and I know everyone and their mother is buying it!  But I was coveting the Martha Stewart Knit & Weave Loom Kit.  I really wanted to try weaving with it.  I’ve seen several free patterns on Lionbrandyarn.com and I have been dying to try them out.  The only problem was the thing was almost $50 and I am frugal.  That is another thing going against this whole thing.  Martha Stewart anything will not be cheap.  I watched for sales but was never happy.  Finally, I saw it a few weeks ago on sale at walmart for $35.  That is the best price I’d seen (Alaska prices of course) but I still held out, after all, I already know how to knit.  I just want it to try weaving.

Well…. on Sunday after having a lovely anniversary dinner with my husband we decided to stop by the store for a few things before heading home.  It was a very quick stop but my husband left the lights on and the car was dead.  So Happy Anniversary Honey, you get to walk home…..  poor guy.  It was slightly raining too.  I offered to walk with him but he was worried I’d be in pain afterwards and I probably would be.  So I went back in the store to browse while he walked home to get his truck.

They had a bunch of summer clothes and other out-of-season things on clearance and they were having a 60% off clearance sale for Labor Day.  I didn’t want to buy anything I wouldn’t be able to use so I just walked through each department killing time.  I just happened to walk through this section of yarn (which I definitely don’t need any of!) and scrapbooking goodies and then I saw this hacked opened Martha Stewart Knit & Weave Loom.  It was marked $31.97 on clearance and I saw this huge sign that said 60% off clearance!  I looked down and there were pegs from the kit on the floor under my feet.  I really didn’t want to pay for something that was damaged no matter how cheap it was.  Then I bent down to pick up the pegs to prevent someone’s demise and saw more undamaged kits on the bottom shelf.  Holy cow!  I grabbed one up and made sure it was in perfect condition and then had to hold myself back to keep from running to the register.  It cost me a whopping $12!!!!

So now I’m a Martha Stewart fan big time.  I’ve spent hours plugging pegs into frame pieces and watching videos online of how to use it . I’m a very happy camper and of course a new loyal MS follower.

I have woven one side of a pillow and I just learned how to double knit with the loom.  It is surprisingly easy and meditative.  I mean, I KNOW how to knit but I actually enjoy this.  My dog randomly jumped up in my lap, like she does on occasion, and even after she was sitting on the loom and knocked in on the floor and then drug it around to get it nice and tangled up….. even after that I was able to just pick it back up and it was fine.  If I had been knitting on needles it would have been all unraveled.  That is pretty darn cool.

Here are some video’s I’ve watched on how to use this cool new contraption.  This is a list of videos so when the first one ends just wait and it will go on to the next quick video.

Rag Rug

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I’m still not feeling well.  I’ve been my usual achy self because of the cold temperatures but I also caught a cold that I just can’t seem to shake.  I’m trying though.  I did make a rag rug though.  I had my boys rip up the fabric info 1.5 inch sections and then I knit them on large size 19 needles.  The pattern is free from cocoknits.com.  I wanted to make this for my bathroom but it was just too big.  I will have to try this again on a smaller scale for just the right bathroom sized rug.

Rag rug

This took about 7 yards of fabric.  The idea is to recycle an old sheet but I didn’t have one to rip up.

Hopefully I will feel better soon.

For my Valentine

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I haven’t been feel well.  I’ve been extremely tired but I knit this washcloth yesterday and wanted to share.

Valentine wash cloth

This pattern is free online.  Where it says to repeat 3 times I only repeated once to get a square cloth.

Oh, and I am my valentine.  I’m keeping this one.

Apply Yourself!

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WordPress Daily Blog Prompt: Apply Yourself

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

I am actually doing this right now.  I enjoy knitting but I tend to do what is easy.  This year I have been trying to improve on my knitting skills.  I actually started in December when I made a lacy dishcloth pattern I saw on ravelry.  That was challenging for me and I ripped it out and started over several times.  I even researched and learned how to do a new cast on and how to kitchener (weave) the ends together so there was no obvious seam.  After I was finished with that I was so pleased with myself and hungry to learn more.

It helps to be part of a group that is doing the same thing.  They might not all be knitting something challenging but there are always people more seasoned than you are that can offer a learning challenge.  My group is a dishcloth group on ravelry called Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong.  They are not just a knitting group though.  They also have crochet patterns and there are several crocheters that participate.  Each week they post a crochet pattern and a knit pattern and each person can choose which to work on.  Many people do both patterns.  

Now a dishcloth group may not seem like the ideal group to learn new things and it wasn’t the obvious choice for me but after joining I learned the advantages of learning on a small scale.  I am learning more challenging techniques but I don’t get so overwhelmed because the project is so small.  If I had started out trying to make a lacy shawl instead of the lacy dishcloth above I might not have stuck with it long enough to finish.

I am currently learning Intarsia knitting.  This is a technique where you are adding blocks of color within larger areas of color without carrying yarn across the back.  The pattern is a simple pattern with staggered blocks of one color on a different colored background.  I have 10 bobbins of colored yarn dangling from my washcloth so the difficulty is not in the knitting but in keeping yourself from getting all tangled up.  I am SO VERY GLAD I do not have a cat!  Oh and I am using these bobbins that I printed free online from Wild Olive.  I just adhered them to the side of a cereal box with Elmer’s spray adhesive and cut them out.  I like the spray adhesive because I don’t have to worry about the layers of paper separating as I use them.  They work great and they are really cute!  She also has smaller bobbins for thread on her website.

I printed mine on pink cardstock and made some others on blue cardstock so I have boys and girls.

I printed mine on pink cardstock and made some others on blue cardstock so I have boys and girls.

Learning Intarsia knitting
I started out with my bobbins lined up all neatly in a row but that didn’t last long.  At first I fought with them constantly tying to keep them all untangled.  I finally just gave up and concentrated on knitting until I finished that section and then snipped them off leaving the ends to weave in later.  It is so much easier if you just try to forget about the tangled mess and just knit but I’m a little OCD so it makes my blood pressure go up.

I’m getting there though and it is not as stressful now as it was when I started.  I am now about half way finished!

This is the first pattern I’ve ever worked that involved a chart.  So that is something new I’ve added to my repertoire already.  I now know how to read a charted knitting pattern, at least a simple one.

It really isn’t as hard as it seems.  It is just more awkward.  When you add in new threads it is very loose so you have to be careful of the tension.  As you end one color you just pull the next color yarn under the old one being dropped so they get twisted.  That prevents holes from forming in the knitted fabric.  Even though some of the stitches are lose in the beginning you can just tug the lose ends in the back to snug them up and the front will all look like one smooth fabric.  I love how it looks and even though this is a very simple pattern I can just imagine what could be possible!

I have already found another pattern for a potholder using intarsia knitting and it has cute little chickens and eggs.  I knew my sister would love it because she is crazy for chickens.  I don’t get it really but that’s her thing and I’d love to make something I know my sister would love!  I’m going to change the colors to match her kitchen.

That pattern is free by Drops and is called 0-626 Easter pot holder with pattern in ”Paris”

Here is my project at the halfway point.  Lookin’ good!

Learning Intarsia Knitting (half way now)

Learning Intarsia Knitting (half way now)

Here is a video I used to help me get started. It explains how to get started where most videos show you how to do it after it is about half way completed. When she first starts talking in the beginning it sounds really overly complicated. Don’t listen, just watch her do it and then go back and listen. It makes more sense after you’ve seen it being done.