Tag Archives: pattern

Crocheted angels and weight loss

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I haven’t been feeling well for a while.  Mostly I’ve been really tired and have very low energy but I keep trying to make my goals for losing weight.  I started using my stationary bike again and even though my goal is to make 10 minutes I sometimes don’t make it.  I still do what I can and once or twice I made it to 15 minutes without too much pain.  I have lost 6 lbs so far!  Last year I was stuck at this one place and I am now past it!  That right there makes me happy!  I weigh less than I ever did last year.  Not a lot less but any less is great!

I have to work really hard to watch my diet.  I’ve found that cutting back on carbs really helps but I also use a little protein supplement to make sure I get enough.  That is one thing I usually run low on.  I’m keeping my calories at 1200 and taking vitamins.  I’m using myfitnesspal.com along with the app for the iphone to track what I eat.

I also made a gift for a friend who is pregnant.  She lost her first baby at birth and I can’t imagine going through that.  My stomach was in knots just thinking about it.

Well in my dishcloth group we were learning about intarsia, which is a method of adding colors.  There was a knit pattern and a crochet pattern.  I did the knit cloth and I wanted to learn the technique for crochet as well.  I wasn’t loving the pattern though.   It just wasn’t something that I wanted for my kitchen so I thought I’d just have to make it for someone else.  Well, after I looked at the pattern I saw something else in it and decided to change the pattern.  The pattern was on graph paper so I changed the design by omitting some squares and embroidery designs and adding my own until it looked like a baby carriage.  I also got a piece of graph paper and scribbled in squares until I had a decent angel.  I made it a long rectangle with one design at each end and backed it with pre-shrunk flannel for a baby burp cloth.  It is made out of materials that are easy to wash and dry.  I was able to give it to my friend last night and she loved it.

 

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

I decided to link this post up to a linky party hosted by Creative Crafts Thursday at www.creativecraftsthursday.blogspot.com.

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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.

Knitting Escapades

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Double Diamond Circular Facecloth

This was a learning experience for me.  I taught myself to knit at least 5 years ago….hmmm maybe 7 but I never did anything challenging.  This was a huge challenge for me.  I ripped this out several times and my dog helped me rip it out once too.  I had to learn to relax so I could knit 2 and 3 stitches together in one which can be tricky.  I learned the provisional cast on which uses a scrap piece of yarn to hold stitches that can later be placed on a needle and knit in the other direction or you can kitchener two edges together (as above) and avoid leaving a seam.  So, that is another thing I learned – how to kitchener, or weave stitches together so it blends in with the rest of the knitting.  Mine is not perfect but is better than I thought I could do.  I’m very happy with it.  I made this face cloth for a Christmas gift and wrapped it up with some rose french milled soap.

The pattern is free on Ravelry.com 

I’m Thankful for Painkillers & Yarn

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As the temperature drops my pain increases.   I pop more pills, turn up some music,  and keep busy to keep my mind off it.  Today is one of those days.  I’ve been going through a lot of yarn and pills.

I went on Ravelry.com and looked for some things on my list to work on.  I even downloaded a nifty iphone app called Yarma that connects to ravelry.  It is a simple app that is solely for taking and uploading pictures.  There are a handful of effects with clever fiber-friendly terms like K2tog, top down, lace weight, granny square (which adds a simple frame)… and vanilla for none.  All are simple so they wont over-power the beauty of the handmade item.

The first thing I made was a simple dishcloth which I’m pretty sure is based on a vintage potholder pattern I’ve seen before.  I had to be different though so I improvised a bit.

Delightful Daisy dishcloth

The pattern has a bunch of rounded petals but I wanted mine to be pointed like a daisy.  With a little patience I finally got it to come out like I wanted.  I like it a lot better than the original pattern but I will probably make some without my adjustments too.  They are very cute and cheerful.

I made a more simple washcloth yesterday and loved how it turned out.  I used this super soft, “Moss” green yarn that I bought one time without a clue what I would use it for.  I just new I needed to make something with it because it made me so happy!  So this one is mine and I’ve already used it.

Mossy Green Spa Cloth

I talked to my big sister today.  She is always a good person for me to talk to when I don’t feel well.  I was trying hard to stay awake so I could get my sleep schedule straightened out.  Well she reminded me of this pineapple scarf pattern that she loves and so I started making one.  I have this ball of Bouclé yarn that I’ve been hanging onto, waiting for the right project for this kind of yarn.  It has a texture that makes it difficult to work with but it always comes out beautiful!  It kept getting tangled up on itself and if it gets too tangled you might as well just cut it off and start all over.  Well I have half of the pineapple scarf done and it looks fantastic!   I just love the jewel tones mixed with black.  

I am making it longer than the pattern says and I think I’ll add a tassel or fringe to the ends.

Multitasking

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Or attention deficit disorder?  I think it is the latter with me.  I can never seem to focus on one thing.  I am sewing the details on a crocheted blanket for my great nephew, I have a tatted bracelet with beads that I’m working on for a friend, and I just started to knit myself a scarf with cables.  Oh, and I’m going to the library tomorrow to pick up a book I have on hold so I’m going to be very busy.

I never did learn how to cable in knitting.  I guess it looks so complicated so I am intimidated.  I don’t like to fail so I don’t try things unless I can visualize how it is done in my head before I start.  I always put off the cable thing because I didn’t get it and didn’t come across it in something I really wanted to make yet.  Well, I have been still reading through Debbie Macomber‘s Blossom Street Series and the next book is Summer on Blossom Street.  In the front of the book is a pattern for THE CABLE SAMPLER SCARF.  I haven’t really knit anything for myself so I decided to make this for me.  I wanted to knit it in a pretty shade of pink but had a hard time finding the right yarn locally.  It calls for DK weight yarn which is a light weight yarn.  I really wanted my scarf to be a little smaller than the ones I saw on ravelry.com.  It seems incredibly wide.  So I looked at Joann’s for what seemed like forever and the scary voice started screaming for everyone to get out because they were closing….  so I ended up grabbing a ball of Patons lace sequin in aquamarine.  I figured I could test it out and buy more if I liked it.  It is really pretty yarn and the sequins are tiny and very pretty.  It isn’t something that could be taken out though.  If this doesn’t work out it will just have to be trashed.  I knit up a little bit of a gauge swatch to see how it would turn out as far as size and then unraveled it and I had to sit there and pick the area’s with sequins apart from where they slipped into the middle of another area of the yarn.  So I’m talkin… between fibers of a fuzzy lace weight yarn.  UGH!  Anyway, at least I just knit a few rows so there wasn’t much to pick out.  I was just about to chop it off but was able to get it undone.  I got it knit up to the point  where the pattern calls for moving stitches to a cable needle and went to youtube to conjure up some knowledge.  I found this video and they make it look so easy.

After watching that I realized my yarn is probably not what she was talking about.  It probably isn’t a yarn that would show good stitch definition so you could see the cables better but I don’t care.  It looks so pretty and lacy.  I think I will be very happy with it.  I am using one needle size larger than the package calls for this yarn since I usually knit tight and that is one size smaller than the pattern calls for.  So it will be just a little smaller than the pattern size but that is what I wanted.  From looking at the pictures on ravelry it looks big enough to cover a twin sized bed!  The pattern says it is 8 inches wide and 60 inches long but I am betting that some people used worsted weight yarn instead of DK weight so that’s probably why some of them look so huge.  I’m not a giraffe though so I would prefer less material to wrap around my neck…. and pretty sequins.

I’ll take a picture of my scarf soon but first I have to see if I can do the cable part.  I just realized I don’t have a cable needle.  I have these big things that look like safety pins that are for holding stitches for making cables but I don’t have one of those crooked needles.  I think I’ll just try doing it without and get some tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!

My 18 year old son just told me that these are technically not “cables”…. he said cables are something that transfer something…. blah blah blah.  He made it sound very technical and all.  Hey, I’m just following the pattern.  I wasn’t on the committee that named these things – thank God.