Tag Archives: Crochet

Still On Vacation

Last week flew by in a hurry! My original plan was to write here at least 2-3 times. Life and my family had other ideas. We were busy everyday last week with one or two exceptions.

Here are pictures of a couple projects I found last week and am currently working on;

Scrap Blanket

The yarn is Peaches and Creme Worsted Wt. Cotton.  I am using a combination of yarn on cones and some from grab bags. It is little over half way finished at this time. The pattern is a ripple that was originally designed for a scarf exchange about a year and a half ago.Please excuse the loose ends. They will get woven in later.

Diagonal Baby Blanket

This is made from Peaches and Creme Lilac Ombre.

 

Basket Rib Towel

This is was started last weekend on the first day of vacation. It is the Basket Rib Towel by Traci. I am using Baby Blue Peaches and Creme worsted Wt. Yarn. This is for my kitchen.

I will post later about some of our adventures.

Knit and Crochet Week Day 1

KnitCroblog1

Today’s Topic is: How and when did you start knitting/crocheting?

Because I knit and crochet this is a two part question.

I became thoroughly fascinated with the art of crocheting when I was five years old when I was in Kindergarden. My mother worked so I spent the afternoons after school was out with an elderly lady who lived a few doors down from the school. In good weather she sat outside in her front yard and crocheted. I vividly remember watching her make the most beautiful pineapple doilies using very fine thread and tiny steel crochet hooks. I was completely fascinated. She sat and made beautiful creations without a pattern meanwhile talking with me. One time I asked her how she could it without a pattern and she told me words to the effect of “I have done it so many times the pattern is in my head. ”

I was hooked and in love. From that time my goal was to learn to crochet with thread. My mother had different ideas saying that crocheting was only for poor people or old ladies. I did not care. I knew that one day this is what I wanted to do.

I was 12 or 13 before I finally learned to crochet using a book to teach myself. This was a bit of a challenge because I am left handed and the only books available to me in the 1960’s were written for right handed people. I was able to look at the pictures and follow the written instructions. It worked. I managed to learn enough basic skills to satisfy my curiosity until I became an adult.

Growing up I met some of my parent’s older relatives who crocheted. I was always fascinated.

Even as a young person I had distinct tastes in crochet hooks. My choice was the Boye hooks because they suited my hands and style better than other hooks.

I did not resume crocheting with any degree of seriousness until after College and Nursing School. At that time I was able to purchase my own books, yarn and tools. I discovered books such as:

I spent many hours devouring them. I learned to read English and American instructions. I learned so much there is not room to list it all here or anywhere.They remain treasured volumes in my collection.

I made my share of Granny squares and some small items in yarn. for many years knitting and crocheting took a back seat to to other interests.

I allowed myself to take a  Crocheting class at what was then Lee Wards in the 1990’s. I quickly learned that I knew more than I realized. I came away from the class with a large amount of much needed self  confidence. It also helped increase my love for and fascination with this wonderful art.

There was finally courage to try my hand at thread crochet! I successfully made an assortment of small doilies, coasters and a couple of collars to satisfy my hunger for thread. I had to face the reality that my eyes limit some of what I can feel comfortable doing. This is one of those things. I own some magnifying equipment and have the ability to purchase more, but it is not worth time or energy to do so at this time.

I learned to knit when i was 8 years old. Knitting lessons at a local Sears store were a gift from my mother. it was an alternative to my desire for crocheting. I learned to knit right handed on some 14 inch size 8 metal needles. I still own them today.

The lessons were good. i learned a lot and took to knitting easily and naturally. Reading patterns was the same way. In addition to basic  knitting I learned to treat yarn with respect and care. I made lots of slippers and other small items. I distinctly remember my mother being annoyed at my ability to knit without watching what I was doing.

I continue to knit and crochet to this day. There is normally at least one project on hooks and needles at the same time. There is still much to learn and do.

As much as I enjoy knitting, my first love continues to be crocheting. Memories of my first encounter with that amazing lady, her tiny steel hooks and fine thread continue to inspire me.

Thank you kind babysitting lady whose name I do not know! You have given me the gift of a lifetime.

Lost In Stitching

I suddenly realized that it has been more than six weeks since I have written anything here. The time has flown by quickly!

I have been lost in stitching. The moderators of one of the groups to which I belong on Ravelry announced a contest which consisted of making Amigurumi Food. Up until that time I had been a very practical knitter and crocheter that would not indulge in making things for the fun of it. One must be practical.  I thought about taking part in the contest for a couple of days.  After doing some research on the topic and with a lot of encouragement from my husband, downloaded a simple pattern. My first project was Little Fried Egg by Ana Paula. I still recall my sheer joy and delight at completing it. I had never made anything like that before. Not only was it three dimensional, but it was fun!! I laughed and giggled with glee!!! Listening to me that day you would have gotten the impression that I had accomplished a great feat. For me, I had. that was the first time in my life I had ever made something just for the fun of it. I was hooked. This was the start of a new aspect of fiber arts for me.

Much of my free time that weekend was spent looking for; downloading and printing free patterns from the Internet. I also looked for books about amigurumi on line and went on successful  searches for them at some local bookstores and one nearby LYS. My fascination with making food was growing.

I discovered Easter Eggs by Nikki Anders on Ravelry. Not only are they quick and easy, but they are gorgeous and use so little time and yarn. In very little time, i was making one of these every few days. I found other patterns on her blog as well as on the blogs of others. Pattern searches on Ravelry and Google and  led me to more patterns, a lot of free ones and some for purchase. How awesome! There are patterns available for almost every food imaginable.

I began spending time every day making some food item. This soon became more than an addiction, it became an obsession. I stayed up late at night and got up early in the morning to play with yarn and food. There were days when all that meant only 10-15 minutes, but that was all right. At least it was a bit of time to play with my newly found interest.

As time went by, I discovered  ETSY. It was there that I discovered Crafty Anna and KTB Designs.
Wow! They sell patterns in sets and cute ones at that in my opinion. 
Not only that, but based on price per pattern, they are not expensive. Now, several weeks later, I have a collection of patterns from
ETSY. There are other wonderful designers there as well. These two
happen to be my favorites.

At some point, I began to look at food in terms of color. For example:
is the inside of an apple Ivory or ecru? Is the inside of a banana
yellow or a different color? What is the best shade of red for the outside of an apple or carrot?  This has been  gloriously mind stretching. What a great way to learn to look at the world differently! I will never be the same.

Thank You Maile and Flo! Once again you have enriched my life and those around me forever.

Busy and Having Fun

The past couple of weeks have been busy, especially on the knitting front. I have been involved in making Ballband Cloths as part of a contest for a Ravelry group to which I belong. This has been taking as much time as I could spare. I did not get as many  cloths  made as I wanted to,but still had a lot of fun. One of my goals, which I met,  was to play around with color combinations and to try out shades of yarn I might not normally use. That was fun. There are still some color combinations I want to try, but they are on hold for now. It is time to turn my attention to other projects.

One of the things needing my attention is  a baby blanket as a gift for an acquaintance. The blanket is found here . It is being made with Shades of Spring. I have not decided if it going to have the crocheted border or not. It is an easy knit which is progressing fairly quickly. I started off using a 32 inch circular needle but have moved up to a 60 inch one to allow enough space for the growing number of stitches. This was a wise decision. I will post pictures once it is completed.

I finally got around to posting pictures of a Comfortghan I made for a friend who lost her son more than a year ago. The afghan is made from Red Heartv yarn in Paddy Dreen and Aran. The square is of my own design. It was a very special gift for a very special lady.

Have a fantastic week!

Knitting/Crocheting and Blogging Slump

The past month has seen me in the worst blogging and knitting slump in ages. I am also way behind in email. There has just been a lot of activity in my life, most of which is not exciting. It took a couple of weeks  for my household to fully recover from the flu that hit us in February. Somewhere along the way I have had a flare up of arthritis in a knee which was injured as a teenager. It tends to happens a couple of times a year and never fails to wipe me out. This time was no exception. As of yesterday, the knee was feeling much better.

For the first time in ages, a computer time slump and a knitting/crocheting slump have hit at the same time. I am finally starting to snap out of both of them in the past few days. Yeah!! I will be spending time this weekend doing an assortment of knitting/crochet  and computer related activities. I have some ideas, but will have to see how much gets done.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!

A Passion

It seems like I have disappeared from this blog. I have been busy taking care of working on one of my passions which is almost anything related to dish, wash and face cloths. The truth is, it is an addiction. At one time in the past few weeks there were at least five cloths on the needles. I am now down to three. Some of them are freebies and others are purchased.  One of them sort of does not count since there will normally be one in my knitting bag for those times when I am either a passenger in a vehicle or when I am out and have waiting time. There is a pile of them waiting to be photographed for sharing.  That is going to have to wait until my day off in the middle of the week in a few days.

The other project which has been consuming my time is working on one of my other blogs: Dish and Wash Cloth Mania . It started out innocently enough at a different location. We had little or no money at the time and my household was running low on dish cloths that were not worn out. I did what an computer knowledgeable crafter would do and turned to the internet for help. That was about a year and a half ago. The small blog has become a bit larger to say the least. I have discovered lots of patterns, both free and for sale,  by fantastic designers out there on the internet. In the past few weeks much of my time has been spent updating that blog.  My motivation for saying this is not  is not to  get you to that site, but merely to tell you how my time has  been spent.

There is  more to  be said on this topic, but  it will have to wait. There are  other responsibilities  calling for my attention.

Have a great day!

Dishcloths

As some of you may know, one of my other blogs is Dish and Wash Cloth Mania. While I was sitting here this morning adding links to some of the pages and generally updating the site, I came across this article: Lots of Cloths by Cathy at Wishing I was Knitting at the Lake.

Thank you for writing it. 🙂

I read the article a couple of times to take in all that she says. First of all, she offers an interesting variation on an old dishcloth pattern. It sounds like an idea well worth the try. It has been added to my list of “Patterns to Try”.

Secondly, is that she expressed a lot of how I feel about making dishcloths and the arts of Knitting and Crocheting. As a teenager I secretly wanted to be an artist. On the talent end of it I was a bit short to say the least. Because of some eyesight issues, not only do I literally see the world differently than most people, but I do not have some hand/eye co-ordination skills. For me this means that I know what I want to write or draw and how I want it to look, but cannot make it happen on paper or canvas.

This is where my hooks and needles come into play. When I pick them up I can do almost anything I choose. I can change the color of a pattern. The size can be changed either by adding a border, adding or taking away a multiple of stitches, or changing the number or rows made. I can use different stitch combinations than what the original pattern suggests. Did you ever try a garter stitch top instead of a ribbed top on a pair of socks? Did you ever uses a 1×1 rib instead of a 2×2 rib in a pattern? I can also use more than one strand of yarn to make an item. Did you ever take a ‘new to you’ pattern from a stitch dictionary and use it in a scarf or dishcloth? Did you ever combine 100% cotton knitting worsted yarn with #10 crochet thread in a dishcloth? How about crocheting or knitting with large hooks or needles? Have you ever used a yarn other than that called for in a pattern? ( Be especially careful with this one. A gauge swatch could be a life saver with it. ) Have you ever tried making up a stitch pattern? Have you ever made an item using a Cro-Hook or the Tunisian stitch? These are some of the ideas that come to my mind to try.

Hats, scarves, mittens, baby bibs, afghans, doilies, dish and wash cloths and other items become unique creations when these things are done. It is amazing to see a simple scarf pattern look different by using different sizes and colors of yarn. My imagination can and does run wild with ideas. The possibilities are endless. Now all I want is more hours in my life to turn my ideas into reality.

Maybe I really am an artist.

Projects

There is a lot going on these days in terms of knitting and crocheting. The deadline for making squares for the Rebuilding Greenburg Project is August the first. I have been busy making some last minute squares to add to the box going to Laura in the next couple of weeks.

Progress on my part of  the private gift for my friend at work is going slowly.  Making a very long story short, the yarn will hopefully be arriving at a nearby store by next Thursday. Once it is here, making it will be easy.  I cannot say more in case she happens to be reading this blog.  Once it has been completed and delivered, I will post pictures.

More About Rebuilding Greensburg

I realized I forgot to say something about the Rebuild Greensburg Project in my last post. Items other than squares are being accepted. Wash and dish cloths, warm winter hats, socks, mittens and baby bibs are also welcome.

Greensburg and Stash

A few days ago I learned about Rebuilding Greensburg -Block by Block while reading Knit and Pray. This struck a tender nerve in my heart. First of all the community was wiped out by the effects of the tornado that hit it. Having lived in Missouri most of my life I have seen some of the effects of this type of storm. They can be horrific to say the least. My heart goes out to all of those affected by it.

Secondly, I made a commitment years ago to return to the community part of what it has given to me. Even though this tragedy did not strike my immediate neighborhood it did hit happen and does affect real people. I recall all too vividly the sense of loss and displacement my family felt last summer and winter during some power outages that hit our St. Louis area. I can barely imagine the great sense of loss happening in Greensburg due to the tornado damage. It must far surpass anything my town and family has experienced.

My response to this situation is to begin to do my part to help. This week has seen a cloth and one square completed.

Cloths1

This is not much, but it is a start. Please excuse the loose ends. They will be woven in before being mailed. Each is in various stages of completion. The square is made from a blue ombre in my stash.The cloth in the picture is a smaller version of the square pattern. It works up quickly and easily. In the next few days I will become a bit more creative in my choice of patterns used.

My choice so far has been to knit squares and cloths. According to the information on the website, crocheted squares are also accepted. I may crochet a few as well. The dish cloths I make will be knitted or crocheted.

Earlier this week the decision was made for me to order some cotton yarn from Elmore-Pisgah. I have been wanting to do this for years because the color selection available on line is better than it is locally. I was told the order would take a few days to arrive. Fair enough… I am in Missouri and the company is in North Carolina. Much to my surprise and delight, it came yesterday while I was home.

I knew the order was large, but take a look at this:

Yarn box

The box is big and packed reasonably full of yarn. I was so excited. It was fun unloading the box and examining its contents. Here are more pictures:

EP Bags

Cones

Mill Ends

The last picture is of the Mill Ends I ordered. From what I have seen so far, they are fine. Based on my past experience with reputable companies such as this one, I don’t expect any problem with them.

This, combined with other cotton yarn from my stash is enough to keep me busy for a while. I will share more about the colors received as cloths are made from them.