As you can probably guess, I’ve not felt much like blogging lately. I guess for once in my life i just haven’t had anything to write about … It’s been nearly a year since my last post. Yikes! I’ve been creative in other ways: I’ve been knitting and cocheting like crazy. But i just wasn’t motivated to document nything for posterity, ya know? I’ve been feeling a little chatty lately. It might be time to renew my aquaintence with the old blog.
Regular readers of this blog will recall that in my last post I said that I prefer working on small projects. Ironically, I recently finished Lucy24′s Neat Ripple Afghan and am working an interesting blanked for my parents from a pattern called the Ribbon Afghan. So much for small projects, huh?
The ripple afghan I completed was made with five, repeating colors in pastel shades of yellow, purple, green, pink, and blue.
I began working on this initially as a way to fill my time while my husband was admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis and gallstones. He was in the hospital for a little over a week and to keep myself from going crazy with stress and worry I decided to occupy myself with a large project. This fit the bill perfectly. I started this on May 12 and finished on May 28, about another week after hubs was home and re-cooperating.
The pattern was very easy and I had no problems with it at all. I tested a couple of different ripple patterns before settling on this one and I liked that this blanket didn’t have any holes at the peaks and valleys of the ripples. I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn and really enjoyed how it worked up in this pattern. It’s such a soft acrylic!
The Ribbon Afghan is going to be a belated gift for my parents anniversary and I’m working on it at a fast and furious pace. Hubs and I are going to visit them in Indiana in five days and I want it finished by then. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to happen but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
I chose earth tones and neutrals since those are predominately the colors of Mom and Dad’s home. I’m using Red Heart yarn which is probably my least favorite yarn to work with because it’s extremely scratchy on my hands but I chose it for this blanket because 1) it’s cheap and readily available and 2) it’s machine washable. My parent’s will appreciate being able to throw this in the washer and dryer. Thankfully I also find that once Red Heart has been washed a few times it softens up quite a bit. The color sequence is cafe latte (tan), aran (off white), soft navy, light grey, and claret (maroon).
The following photo was shot on my camera and I forgot to turn on my flash so I apologize for the poor quality. When I update you on my progress I promise to get better photos!
This pattern isn’t necessarily any more difficult than the ripple I just finished but there’s more counting. I’m also finding that I have to pay a little more attention than with the ripple. I’m only about a third of the way done so far and hope that plugging away for hours and hours each day will get me a finished blanket before we leave.
I’ve heard from other crocheters that once you’ve made an afghan that it’s hard to stop yourself from making more afghans. I’m not sure if this is 100% true. Admittedly, I am enjoying both blankets far more than I thought I would but I’m still finding myself drawn to smaller projects.
Generally speaking, I prefer to make quick, small projects. Who can pass up the instant gratification of something make in a few hours? Slippers, hats, and scarves make up the bulk of my finished objects.
I’m sure that I’ve never made a full size afghan before because of how long it takes to complete one. I have literally been working on my granny square afghan for months: ten months to be exact.
It began life with the idea of using all of the scraps of acrylic yarn I had sitting around. Each little yarn scrap holds a memory of previous projects including the very first thing I ever made with yarn ( a loom knit hat).
I used the granny square tutorial posted on the PurlBee blog. The instructions were clear and simple to follow. Every square has a final round crocheted in gray the used single crochet (in the same gray color) to join the squares together.
The final size is roughly 50″ square. The border is a round of single crochet followed by a round of reverse single crochet.
I’ve learned two things from this afghan: 1)I need to learn a better way to weave in yarn tails because after I washed and dried my blanket the tails popped out and more than one square came unraveled, and 2)I am not crazy about how the squares were joined together. In the future, I will try other seaming techniques.
I’m working on another afghan made with a different type of granny square. It’s a long way from completion but I love the colors and am looking forward to snuggling up with it.
- Denise Layman of the blog Knitting Without Needles shows how to make a knitting loom from household items
- Learn how to adapt a traditional knitting pattern for use on a loom in this straight forward and easy to follow eHow tutorial written by Jessica Freytag.
- Fellow loom knitter Bethany A. Dailey, the blogger behind Gettin’ It Pegged, has written the book Loom Knitting for Little People .
- This tutorial/pattern at PurlBee.com explains how to make granny squares (my latest crochet obsession).
- Lucy at Attic24 always shares amazing, colorful projects. I immediately fell in love with her ripple afghan and I think this will be my next project.
- Learn the vintage pineapple stitch. I know … I’d never heard of it either but the sample looks interesting …
- I found this tutorial on Pinterest about finger knitting and think this technique would for making a unique scarf or maybe make a rug or blanket by stitching together several strips of knitting.
- Are you a picker or a thrower? Interweave’s Knitting Daily blog had a really great post explaining the differences between the two knitting styles along with a tutorial teaching picking to throwers and vice versa. This isn’t a new post but the information is especially relevant to newer knitters.
- Search for “speed knitting” on YouTube and you’ll be returned a lot of results. KnitPicks.com’s video “Learn to Speed Knit!” is full of great tips for increasing your speed and efficiency.
Hubs and I moved into a new home in November. All of our windows were naked. We put up blinds in the other rooms but our laundry room had an oddly sized window that I thought would be perfect for a little crocheted set of curtains.
I’d originally planned to make two panels but after I finished the first one I decided that it has exactly the look I wanted.
I used 5 skeins of Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton. This yarn drapes wonderfully and looks great hanging up in my laundry room. The pattern I used is very simple and easy to customize.
I decided last July to take a small break from blogging. I figured I’d be gone a couple of weeks, maybe a month, and then I’d be back to posting. Somehow time got away from me and the weeks turned into months. Nine months.
I’ve missed my blog. I’m not saying I plan to blog daily however you can look forward (hopefully) to reading about my knitting, looming, and crocheting exploits on a more regular basis.
Behold, my latest completed crochet project: the granny stripes lapghan. Lucy at Attic24 has great step-by-step instructions on creating this blanket and I used yarn from my scrap bag to crochet up a blanket that is about 34 inches squared.
It’s the perfect size for the car or for sitting outside on a chilly night. I am really happy with how it turned out. I didn’t take any pictures of it when it was completed but the picture below this text is of the lapghan when it was about 80% finished.
Since I used up scrap yarn, leftover from other projects that might otherwise have been thrown away I feel like I saved the yarn from ending up in a landfill. Doesn’t that count as a “green” project? Hmm … I think so! Another reason to love this project!
I was surfing the web today looking for some knitting, crocheting, and looming inspiration when I stumbled on to a forum post on Ravelry about ways to use up all those scraps of yarn that we yarny people seem to accumulate. Seriously, people, where do they come from? I have enough yarn scraps to reach the moon and back!
But I digress …
The thread mentioned something I have never heard of before: a magic yarn ball. A magic yarn ball, for those of you like myself who were not in the know, is a yarn ball that is a ball of yarn wound from scraps of yarn. You take lengths of yarn that are between three to eight yards long and start winding. When you reach then end of one piece of yarn, you join a new piece of yarn by either tying a knot or using a Russian join.
I had to find out more so I did some Googling and some YouTubing (are those real words?) and about 5 minutes later I was watching the following video clip from Jimmy Beans Wool:
I have tons of scrap yarn sitting around on shelves, in drawers, and in bags … ugh, I have yarn scraps everywhere!
This is a real inspiration.It’s a great way to be green too since all that yarn will be saved from going to a landfill.
I’m envisioning an afghan to cuddle up with on the sofa.
Here are a few things I’ve been viewing lately. These aren’t all yarn-related but they’ve been fueling my creativity and I thought they were cool enough to share.
Lasunka’s Crochet Brown Hat
Kacey Kendrick Wagner’s Candlestick Topiary
Crochet Hearts by The Late Afternoon
Foodie Family’s Nana’s Spanish Style Hot Chocolate
Dressed Up Loom Knit Hats by In Words and Pictures
Zoom Yummy’s Crocodile Stitch Purse