Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Colors and a Happy Mistake

We were able to take a trip back east for a few days. We did have a great time and were able to see family members who we haven't visited with in years. We landed at LaGuardia, rented a car and drove up the NY State Thruway. Fall colors were just starting and I enjoyed every minute of that drive! The UPS Store guy keeps telling everyone that I must have taken 100 photos or more, LOL, and maybe I did....... I was just sooooooo excited to get to see the colors.
This picture is on the Thruway. Don't worry I won't post all of them.
This picture was taken on a smaller road, on the way to visit The UPS Store guy's dad and mom.

AND this is how close I was to Rhinebeck, home of the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival! My in-laws live in Rhinebeck. We were there a mere 3 days before the festival! no, I didn't get to attend it. But, I love this billboard and took yet another picture. The UPS Store guy knew that I had lost it, with this one, good thing he knows me and my pension for sheep and yarn.

We had a wonderful time upstate and I now have an invitation from one of the best SIL's and BIL's to stay at their home for Rhinebeck Wool Festival anytime I wish to attend it.  I tell you, I do have 3 wonderful SIL's. Two on my side and one on The UPS Store guy's side.
We had to leave upstate NY and travel back down to Long Island to visit my family for a PARTY!!  My mom turned 90 and we had her party on the 18th.  It was a fun time by all. Family, church friends and neighbors all attended and there were lots of laughs and stories floating around. Here's Mom!
Well, all the time we spent flying and driving did give me time to work on projects.  This one is actually finished!
It actually is a mistake. Yep, a bonafide mistake. However, it is a happy mistake and thus has been named.  The original pattern is a free crochet pattern on Ravelry, called Hitchin' a Ride.  Well, I left out a step. So, my Hitchin' a Ride became more of a crocheted Lazy Katy, than a Hitchin' a Ride.  The edge that is on the top of the picture should be stair stepped. But, mine isn't and I added the crocheted lace to it, to dress it up anyway.  Couldn't have done the lace edge if I had followed the directions. So, here is Happy Mistake.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fixing Knitting Mistakes

Chances are, if you knit or crochet, you have ripped out rows and rows of your work to fix a mistake.  I have anyway.  I have actually ripped out an entire sweater and reknit it. WHY? you ask, well, I didn't do a gauge swatch, hahaha, and it was too big.  It would've fit the jolly green giant.  I tried to find someone big enough to wear it and there was no one, seriously. NOW, my motto is "Do a gauge swatch." 

Well, that is off track and I wanted to show you what I did to fix a mistake so that I didn't have to rip out rows and rows and rows and rows and rows. 

This little tool has been out for a while, and I put off purchasing it because I thought it a bit pricey at $18.  I mean, I can use a crochet hook and use that money to buy more yarn and fiber.  LOL! So, as I have been helping people fix their knitting issues, with a crochet hook, I would think about this little tool and WISH I had purchased it when I had seen it. 

A few weeks ago, I went to a yarn shop in Dallas and found the tool! 

It is a good thing I broke down and purchased it. I have used it several times on just my scarf! Here is one instance. Just above the safety pin is a mistake. For some insane reason I had purled and not knit the garter stitch, who knows why?  Maybe so I could use my tool?  :)

Below, I have lightened the picture and did a close up so that maybe you can see the error of my ways.

I then slipped the stitches, from the closest outside edge to the mistake stitch onto a double pointed needle for safe keeping. I am using a circular needle for knitting my project. Next I dropped the stitch that formed the column of stitches where the mistake happened. You can see the ladders. Now for the test of my tool.

FIXED! In record time. Using a tool that has a hook on either end, was so much easier for garter stitch than fussing with a crochet hook.  IMHO, it is worth every penny. :)

Just so you know, I have made more mistakes and have been able to use the tool for help in fixing them.  But, I did place the beads in the wrong place and actually did rip out about 20 rows or so....  I had placed the 4 window beads on the right side of the picture and they needed to be on the left side. (I was watching movie at that point) Although I could've used the tool, I figured it would be easier to rip. I would have to fiddle with the other beads above the 4 that would have to be removed and replaced on either side of the picture, so I could move the beads.  To me that would've taken the same amount of time to fix.
If you have never dropped a stitch, on purpose, and you decide to try it, lay your knitting flat on a table while you work with it.  That way you aren't fighting gravity and gravity won't make it rip past where you want it to go.  Laying it down on a table also will give you a good view of your knitting and free up both of your hands for use in fixing your mistake.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cotton Knitting!

In March, I went to the Wildflower Fiber Retreat. On the way to Tyler, TX, where the retreat was held, my friend Sharon and I stopped at a yarn shop named Rose Path. It is a great shop and the ladies inside were very friendly. Even the gals sitting and knitting at the table were friendly! There was a shawl/scarf/light wrap laying on top of some yarn and it caught both of our eyes. What a great shawl for Texas, or actually, anywhere that you might just need a light shawl or scarf. It was made from cotton yarn, which is a great yarn to use for summers in Texas.

My thought process at the time was, I could knit this up for summer and get to where it in the cold air conditioning.  Well, summer is almost over and it is FINALLY done.  :)  I love it and the cotton is some of the softest yarn I have used.

The pattern is named 3S Shawl, by Amy A Meade, found on Ravelry as a free pattern, and fingering weight yarn. Here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry. I used the larger size needles and I did the crochet bind off. Also, I worked a couple of rows of the pattern stitch, *k2tog, yo,* before I worked my bind off. That way the bottom edge had a bit more of a lacey look.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Knitting Short Rows

I have always thought that there should be a better way to knit short rows than wrap and turn.  It always seemed fiddly to me. This morning I was on you-tube looking at videos and found this one on German short rows! It really looks good, although I haven't tried it yet.  She has a second video if you need to work the short row on the purl side.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Shawl Shaping Experiment

Once in a while, my brain wants to see "what if I do this when I knit this item?" So, that leads to an experimental item and maybe a pattern and then again, maybe not. 

Below, I took one of my basic shawl patterns, Terrific Shoulder Shawl (found on the linked page) and the "what if" question was, "What if I increase every row at the center back?"  I wondered if it would make the sides longer, since it would be growing quicker, or if it would take the point longer down the back.

I also increased at the ends at a quick pace, every row, so the front grew quickly, and threw in some rows of *K2tog, yo* repeats for a lacy look. I used a yarn, that was comprised of several strands of yarn from several different balls of yarn. It was all cotton and made yarn weight of heavy worsted to bulky.  I used a large needle, Size US 13 (9 mm). I love the look of this shawl. 
Ok, here is the surprise shape of the back.  :)

The point does dip down quickly and I do like the shape. The back point is actually equal to the two front points.  Yet, it is narrow across the shoulders.

So, now we know the answer to my "what if."  Have a great day!!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Free Washcloth or Dishcloth Pattern

I am participating in a handmade washcloth project for M.D Anderson Hospital in Houston Texas. The info for this project can be found here. Basically, the washcloths are going to the cancer unit there and they are given to the patients when they are done with their radiation treatment, so they can wash off the last remaining marks from the treatment.

One of my washcloths is a pattern that I love to knit and have used to make many washcloths and dishcloths.  It suddenly dawned on me that maybe others might wish to make a washcloth or dishcloth from this pattern and maybe I should write it up.  :) So, I did and then decided I would give it away for free here on my blog and on Ravelry as a PDF.

If you find a typo in this pattern, please let me know so that I can fix it. Thanks!

This pattern stitch is one of my favorite stitches and holds wonderful memories in it for me. When I was young, my mom knit many pairs of mittens for me and she used a knitting pattern that included this stitch pattern. So, when I knit this pattern into something, I think about my mom, her knitting, my mittens and playing in the snow.


Yarn: 1 oz. worsted weight cotton

Needles: 7 US (4.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge 20 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches in pattern stitch. Gauge isn't really important, since this is not a garment that will need to fit someone.

Finished Size 8 3/8 inches x 8 3/8 inches.

Abbreviations CO = cast on; K = knit; P = purl; BO = Bind off.


CO 40 sts.

Rows 1- 4: Knit across.

Row 5(RS): K3, *K1, p1* repeat between *'s across to last 3 sts, k3.

Row 6(WS): K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.

Repeat Rows 5 and 6 until piece measures 7 ¾ “ from cast on edge.
Next 4 Rows: Knit.

Next Row: Knit and Bind off all sts.


Weave in all ends.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Great Little Tote Bag

Or, I should probably say tote box, or maybe the title should read, "A Walk Down Memory Lane." 

I worked on this project a while back and had a lot of fun making it. Many, many, many, many years ago, I had made lunch boxes into purses. I was either in Junior High School or High School, so late 1960's or early 1970's.  We used them as purses back then.  One time, recently, when visiting my mom, I saw that she still had hers and had her crocheting in it!  What a great idea! Except, that after some 14+ moves in 40 years, mine is long gone......

I decide that I would make another one!  Yes, that is it!  I can use pictures from knitting and crochet magazines, making it a green recycling reusing project to boot.  Off I went to find the black lunch box. Well, that was a sad time, no one apparently makes them anymore.  Is that true?????  I went to several stores, none. I went to the big box hardware stores and the little independent stores, none.  It is funny, at the little store, the guy was younger and when I asked for it, he gave me a puzzled look!!!  I thought, "am I that old??"  So, I explained that maybe his dad had had one, then he remembered them. "Ohhhh, no we don't have those, I haven't ever seen them here."

The hunt was on.  I new I could find them and I knew just where. Canton, TX.

The next time Rebekah and I headed off to Canton, the black lunch box was on my list. I actually found two of the "old fashioned" lunch boxes! My first requirement was met.

Second, I went through my knitting magazines and pulled out the items that I wanted to save. Then I went through the same magazines and cut out all sorts of pictures of knitting, crocheting, yarn, spinning wheel and fiber items. I cut them fairly close and then trimmed them, when necessary, as I used them.

Third, I used the good ol' Elmer's glue(old fashioned too), actually I used Elmer's glue stick, and glued all of the pictures onto the box, overlapping them when needed, to get total coverage of the box.

When finished, I sprayed it with several coats of a polyurethane, to seal and weather protect it.

The front in all of its glory!

The back. I did keep some pictures together in the same area. Notice all the tools on the bottom portion of the back. I glued pictures on the bottom, too, even though I don't show that here.

I lined it with acrylic felt, again using the Elmer's glue stick.  When I was done, I couldn't keep the Lil' D and JoJo out of it, they love it!! 
The box holds a small project, like a pair of socks. Right now, there is a ball of lace weight yarn in it, as I am working on a lace weight shawl/scarf.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Where Ya Been, Joanne??

Aacckk! where to start.  I don't know, where to start except to say,  I love blogging and have really missed it.  But, I was getting frustrated at the way blogger had changed and wasn't user friendly with my WindowsXP computer. (I know, I know, old technology. But I liked it...) So, after a couple of months of suffering while blogging with struggles, I stopped blogging. Then, the light turned on in my brain!,  I decided to update my computer to Windows 7.  I know, that isn't the newest thing either, but it is the most stable, or so I have been told by the ones in the know.  :)
I have still been busy knitting, spinning and crocheting. Also, was working on patterns.  As my computer was in the shop, I kept busy designing.  So, that when it came back home I had to write.
Now, ready to blog again, and see if the updated computer works any better with Blogger, I had to choose which, of the multitudes of pictures that I have taken over the last several months, to start with. So, starting with some small crochet projects, here we go.
These are two potholders that I made and sent to my mom.  I told her that she could choose one, and give the other away to a friend, if she wanted to. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry. The potholders are made with cotton yarns. I have a little collection of colors.  :) 
The above potholder is just the front.  I hadn't woven in the ends or done the back yet. Below you will find the front and back of the second potholder.  I love making these and working with the color combo's. I get to see what works and what doesn't.

 Still in the crochet mood, I decided to start making Minions. You know the little guys from the Despicable Me movies? Two for our grandson and one for The UPS Store guy!  He liked how cute they were and wanted one for his desk.
Those mischievous little guys, invaded the potholders!!


 These two guys, now live in Florida.  Our younger daughter and her family moved to Florida last month, so they went with our grandson to his new home.

Wow! It worked!!!!! I was able to write to you, show you some pictures and be done in under an hour.  :)  That is a good thing.  Guess for now, I did the right thing updating the computer. Hahaha! (I know, it was about time)