Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Old hat, new hat, red hat, blue hat...

Don't you just love Dr. Suess? That was one of my favorites books growing up! Who would believe that I now make hats?

Presenting hat two:

And hat three:

Hat two was a sizing error but some lucky little girl will be the recipient of this gem through our prayer shawl ministry! It's made out of donated remnants and I was hoping to make this an adult size. This is what happens when you guess...

Hat three is my Angel babies birthday present. She wanted a beanie hat to match a hemp necklace that she has. It has teal, royal purple and a lovely yellow color. It's about 1/2" too big but she likes it. Unfortunately, this is the one time that the yarn claims to be shrink-proof! Oh well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

True knitting dedication...

I've met some nice people through Ravelry. For those of you that don't know - Ravelry is this wonderful knitting, crocheting, and notions type of community. It's fairly new and I LOVE it. I can keep track of all of my yarn stash, needles on hand, projects and much more. Plus, you can socialize and compare notes with hundreds of other like minded people.

One of those people is moonfire . I finally found her blog today and viewed one of her recent blog posts. Folks, this lady is dedicated to her knitting. Seeing is believing so be sure to visit this link.

Oh, and check out her more recent post about her knitting projects. I especially like the pumpkins!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My 1st Double Point Knitting Project!

Drum roll, please! The moment you've all been waiting for...the revealing of the now famous first double point needle project...Ta-da! Amazing! Astounding! How did she do it folks? (Hehehe...wouldn't it be funny if there truly was an announcer following us around all the time?)

Well, after three days of fussing and fidgeting with these needles, followed by 3 days of furious knitting in the round, I produced a teeny, tiny baby cap suitable for 0-3 months (I think). My finger tips are throbbing and sore from knitting so tightly and then performing "k2tog" (knit two stitches together) for 3 rounds on these super tight stitches.

I love the combination of the pink and variegated yarn. They're both a lightweight cotton and knitted so well together. The variegated yarn left a nice blue star on the crown of the cap!

For those mothers out there, I liken this to child birth. Immediately after birth you say, rather convincingly, that you'll never do that again. A few weeks later, once recuperated, you're thinking about how precious you're little one is and know that you'd do it again in a heartbeat. This is exactly where I'm at now. As a matter of fact, I've already been browsing new yarn selections for the next project.

Maybe I just like punishment!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ode to Angel...

This post is for my daughter, Angel, who thinks that the world is a better place because of Ramen noodles. Who am I to dispute that? Heck, you can even knit with them!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bumblebee Knitting

This is hysterical! For any of you out there that feel "under pressure" to complete that project, this is truly a cute representation...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Feel that those that yarn until those fingers burn...

Ok, now it's time for some chamomile tea or a sledge hammer - not sure which!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Knitting Needle Pouch

Along with all of this great yarn that has been donated to the Prayer Shawl Ministry we received 6 gauges and a partially completed sweater (cabled and beautiful!) Most of the gauges were very small, 3"x3", but there weren't enough of them to make anything with, raveled or unraveled. One was larger, but made of a very scratchy wool and kind of an odd color.

On the verge of throwing out this handful of scrap, it occurred to me that I could make something out of the larger piece but I wasn't sure what. It was such a shame that we couldn't use all of them.

Later that day, I decided to make a needle pouch with this lone gauge. Originally, it was intended to hold the needles that were being donated for the ministry. By the next day it had been outgrown! It became mine by default - I traded some of my scraps for it...

The gauge was fairly square. I folded it in half, stitched up two sides leaving an opening at the top, and filled it with my meager needle stash. I have to admit that it is significantly better than the gallon sized plastic bag I was using!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Continental versus Traditional

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between Continental knitting and traditional? or English, American and German? How about standard and throwing or right-handed versus left-handed? Did you even know there was a difference? More importantly, did you just get a headache?

These are examples of knitting styles others may refer to:

German, European, Left-handed, Continental, Looking-glass, Standard, Picking


English, American, Western, Traditional, Right-handed, Throwing

What's the difference?

Other than obvious name confusion there's not alot of difference. You may have presumed from the name game that the main difference is right and left handed. It really is that simple.

Do you work your incoming yarn from the left hand or the right?

Lefties are called by the top names and righties by the lower names.

You may have seen people working on their knitting who take many more steps than you or someone who you thought was knitting improperly but could really fly on those sticks. Perhaps this is why. This video gives a great example of both versions and a terrific explanation as to which is faster. If you're a crocheter trying your hand at knitting you can benefit from this video, too!

I taught myself how to knit Continental and often have people tell me that I'm knitting incorrectly. That's okay with me. I get the same results in half the time and save my precious right arm alot of trouble!

By the way, there are other ways to knit, but one headache a day is enough. ;-)

Thanks JadieLady! She sent me this link in a comment and gave me the idea.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Double Point Needle Knitting

Yes, I'm back on the double pointed needles. I will conquer!

What do you need them for?

Knitting in the round or circular knitting is needed for knitting socks, hats, or tubes of any sort. My sweet, little (not really - she'll be 18 in March) Angelly-pooh has requested a hat. This will be her birthday present and I'm trying so hard to figure this out in time to make her hat properly.

I ordered some circular needles (these have connection tubes) off of e-Bay from China about 3 weeks ago. Don't shoot me, but I got 16 sets of various sized needles for $18 including shipping. I couldn't pass that up, even with the environmental footprint concern. Needless to say I haven't received them yet. I'm not sure how long it takes to get things from China, but hopefully they'll arrive soon.

Since I'm sooooooo incredibly cheap and can't find reasonably priced circular needles around town, I splurged and bought some double pointed needles (those have points on both ends) for $1.25.

Either can be used for circular knitting, but I'm having serious issues with the double pointed needles. Granted this is my 1st attempt and I'm sure it will become easier, otherwise they would've stopped selling those things many moons ago.

As I said in an earlier post, these double point needles are getting the best of me. Since YouTube has had some great videos for knitting I thought I'd try there. This is the first one I found and pretty much details what happened to me except for the fact that she loses no stitches and I thought the needles were connected by yarn somehow. I'm not sure this is better... wittle head hurtz....maybe I'll conquer this tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Completed Baby Blanket

This is my first baby blanket! It's made for our prayer shawl ministry and from donated yarns. I think it turned out ok. It's not as soft as I had hoped for and maybe that's due to the combining of the yarn. The yellow was super soft on the skein, but it's a little rougher now that it's knitted.

I did run out of yarn a little sooner than I'd hoped. I guess some lucky premie will be the recipient of this blanket, otherwise it may be too small...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The green monster rears it's ugly little head...

Oh...I have a terrible case of yarn and knitting envy. I found this blog, Jadielady, through a lovely lady on Ravelry. It's her daughters' blog and I did enjoy it, but I now have the worst case of yarn and knitting envy ever!

Last night, I tried my hand at knitting in the round with double pointed needles. I fought with the yarn near the corners, missed a few loops - perhaps due to the fuzzy yarn I was using, and struggled to keep all of my loops from falling off the end. Surely, I must have done something wrong. It can't possibly be that difficult and people still choose to do it! Well, I frogged that project after almost cussing (several times.)

Then, darn it, today I see this lady's version of a prayer shawl started on double point needles. AND I love the yarn she's using, not to mention all of the other yarn she has pictured...sniffle, sniffle...I think I'll crawl away and lick my wounds...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Completed Lap Robe

Last week led me to explore the possibility of making a lap robe for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. I started it on Wednesday and two days later received a phone call about a man that was in a terrible situation health wise. The caller stated that she thought he might benefit from something from our ministry. God works in mysterious ways doesn't He?

This one began as a single piece in a basket weave design. Somehow in the first seven rows I ended up off one stitch, which would've messed up the basket weave. I frogged the original project due to my inability to let mistakes go without a fight. Besides, I was only seven rows in.

The next thing that came to mind was to piece together something from individual squares. I think it ended up more rectangular than square, but the overall effect I like and it seems to be the perfect size. This is constructed from mill ends of a fairly soft yarn in two different greens: mint and army. Great for a man, don't you think?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prayer Shawl Ministry Update

Take a look at the amount of items already made for the Prayer Shawl Ministry! AMAZING! These two bags are full of scarves and shawls. Even more amazing...there are more in the making as we speak.

And can you believe that all of this has already been donated to make more? I'm happy to say that I'm rapidly running out of space and storage ideas for all of these goodies. What a wonderful problem to have.

When I look around at these lovely colors and lovingly, hand crafted items I'm almost rendered speechless. To think of the time, effort, care, love, and concern that went into each tiny stitch and to know that God's love emanates from each and every that's amazing!

By the way - these nice storage bags are recycled. For other great ideas for reusing zippered, plastic storage bags visit my other blog - The Simple Life.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Currently on the sticks

Currently I'm working on a baby blanket for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. The idea came from a nice lady I met last week at a local church. She was knitting a baby blanket with a combination of three different yarns, all in pastel colors. The result was gorgeous, and she made knitting with multiple yarns look so very simple. I had to give it a whirl.

I'm guilty of trying to make things more complicated than they truly are, in knitting and in life in general. Therefore, the thought of multiple yarns almost gave me a headache. I just knew I needed one of those finger thingys (the fingertip cap that separates multiple yarns for you.) Now I don't know what the finger tip is for; it certainly wasn't needed to join two yarns nor did the lady need one to join three. Does anyone out there know what these finger tip things are for????

This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship...

all courtesy of lovely, donated yarn. The edge is a fuzzy yarn of some sort. It appears similar to Fun Fur, but it's a softer, finer texture. There is only a small skein of it, perfect for edging. We had a full skein of the lemon yellow which is a Caron Simply Soft and two of the smaller skeins of a rainbow pastel, unlabeled.

As I sifted through the bags of donations this combination appeared, each from a different bag. What a blessing to be able to put them together and find them a new home! I just hope there is enough yarn for a decent sized blanket.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yarn crazy and frogging (ribet, ribet)

It's official - I have gone yarn crazy! Recently I have found some fantastic deals on yarn. Some were found at the local dollar stores and discount retailers. You can't beat yarn for a dollar, especially when it normally sells for $5 and up.

Here are the latest pictures of my stash.

The past two nights have been spent searching for ideas on how to use it all. I'm thinking I'll try my hand at a hat or two, some granny squares (I know - that's crochet), and perhaps a lap robe or two. That should keep me busy for the next few weeks.

My hubby's Christmas scarf was frogged (this means unraveled) last night and I'm waiting on the yarn to relax sufficiently to restart it. I'm still up in the air about how to knit it this time. Any ideas?????

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thought for the day

We had Chinese last night, which is highly unusual for us these days, given the economy. But, we do splurge occasionally and boy was it worth it!

This was in one of the fortune cookies -

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

Amen! I feel a challenge - take on something you thought was impossible...when you conquer it you'll feel like you can do anything.

Don't you just love fortune cookies????