Hats, Hats, Hats

I’ve been working on making hats to either sell or give out at Christmas as gifts.

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This hat is Rikke and the yarn is Lion Brand Amazing. It’s almost finished.

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This is another Rikke. As you can see it is finished.

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I’m crocheting his beanie without a pattern – I’m winging it.

More updates to come.

I’m Still Here

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.

Afghans, Afghans Everywhere

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.

ripple afghan

My finished Neat Ripple Afghan measures 50″ x 80″ and is perfect for cuddling up on the sofa.

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!

Early photo of my Ribbon Afghan. Pictured here at only a few inches complete. The finished blanket will be 50″ x 80″.

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.

Granny Square Afghan

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.

50" x 50" Granny Square Afghan

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.

Close Up of Border

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.

Inspirations for April 10, 2012

Loom Knitting
Knitting loom made from a plastic bottle

Handmade Knitting Loom @knitchat.com

Cover of book "Loom Knitting for Little People" by Bethany A. Dailey

Loom Knitting for Little People by Bethany A. Dailey @amazon.com

Crocheting

Neat Ripple Afghan Pattern from Attic24.com

Neat Ripple Afghan Pattern from Attic24.com

  • Learn the vintage pineapple stitch. I know … I’d never heard of it either but the sample looks interesting …
Crochet sample of vintage pineapple stitch

Vintage Pineapple Stitch @Freevintagecrochet.com

Knitting

  • 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.
Finger Knitting

Finger Knitting Tutorial @Little Bird School of Stitchcraft

  • 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.

Crochet Curtains

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.

Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! in Brown

This yarn looks great and drapes really well

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.

Laundry room curtain

Hi, It’s Me!

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.

Yikes!

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. 

Granny Stripes Lapghan

close-up image of granny stripes lapghan

GretchKal's Granny Stripes Lapghan

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!

eighty percent completed granny stripes Lapghan

Eighty Percent Completed Granny Stripes Lapghan

Make a Magic Ball of Yarn

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.

Intrigued?

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.