Friday, November 26, 2010

Lessons Learned

Every time I work on a project, I learn something.  It doesn't matter if the project is something I've done frequently, like a scarf, or a new pattern I've never done before.  I always get something out if it.  Unfortunately, sometimes I've learned the hard way.  I finally finished a granny square afghan I call the "Mirror Image Afghan" because the colors are reversed on certain rows.  I had a lot of ends to work in, so I did them rather hurriedly, since I wanted to take it to a couple of craft shows.  I cut some of the ends short, but I didn't think anything of it...until I washed it.  It's a good thing I looked it over, because, yep, you guessed it, I had one square become unraveled, and some of the other ends worked their way out. 

The first row of the square was affected, so I can't just fix it the way it is.  When I have some time over the winter, I'll be taking it apart and replace the square. Two lessons learned.  First, work your ends in as you go, it's a lot easier than waiting until after you have the thing put together.  Secondly, don't leave the ends so short that your item will fall apart when laundered.  Grrr.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Look!

I decided to change the look of this blog to make it look a little more crafty.  The colors remind me of Fall, which starts a couple of days from now.  This time of year, my crafting thoughts turn to warmer items, like hats and scarves.  I whipped these up last week from Premier Yarns Serenity Chunky Weight.  It's a nice, thick acrylic yarn that should keep the wearer nice and warm this winter. 
Craft show season is rapidly approaching- my first one is less than a month away.  You can see a schedule at the right.  Stop out and say hello if you're able.  If you make a purchase and mention that you saw the schedule on my blog, I'll give you a 10% discount on your purchase. 

Of course I've kept busy over the Spring and Summer.  I finished the baby blanket that I mentioned in my last post.  The Softee Baby by Bernat worked up quite nicely, and didn't fray or split.  I did a similar one in a basic shell stitch using Caron Simply Soft.  I like small, lacy things to make when it's hot out. 
 A yarn I fell in love with this year is Patons Bamboo Baby.  It's 100% Bamboo, and it feels so soft and squishy.  It's a medium weight, and feels a lot warmer than it looks.  It also drapes very well.  I made a shawl for a raffle in an online group I'm in, and I felt like keeping it for myself!  I used a stitch pattern from the July, 2010 issue of Crochet! magazine. 
Here's a close up of the stitch pattern. Absolutely lovely. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bad Winter

It's been a long, long winter. No, the weather wasn't all that bad, but the frequent weather changes have been triggering more migraines, and bad spins. Plus, I've been busy taking classes, and doing homework! Our area is very lucky to have some great local yarn stores. I have had to leave early from one class session because I was getting a real whopper of a migraine, but so far I haven't had to miss any. Although now that I've said something, I may have cursed myself.
Anyway, I signed up for a new sock class, a finishing class, a continental knitting class, and a baby blanket class. It's been nice to get out, meet people, and spend some time just knitting.
I actually finished my first sock! It's the Simple Sock from Cat Bordhi's book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. Using the two needles worked better for me than using one long needle, aka the "Magic Loop" method. The cuff on the Magic Loop method was warped, whereas the cuff on this one is much better. I also didn't stick a hole in my finger from the sharp point on the needle like I did last time I tried sock knitting. I really enjoyed it and will be casting on the second one any day now. Really, I will. No Second Sock Syndrome for me. It won't be like my promise to blog more than once a quarter. I'll actually do this.
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This is one of the blocks from the baby blanket class. It's a block-a-month class at a different yarn store than the one I took the other classes. This one meets for a couple more months yet. We've also done a garter stitch block, as well as a basket weave stitch block, and a twisted stockinette block. I'll post more photos soon. I'm using Berroco Comfort yarn, and it's nice and soft.

After all the knitting I've been doing, I felt the strong pull of crochet. I'm almost done with this baby blanket using Bernat Softee Baby in the Baby Baby color. It's the same stitch pattern I used for the Shell Baby Blanket on my Ravelry page. I've been doing some fast crochet projects, and experimenting with Tunisian Crochet, which I'll blog more about this week.(I really will)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Should Be Careful What I Say

..because I end up making a lot more work for myself. At the beginning of December, my brother went to a craft show at a local church and saw a fleece blanket that had dogs wearing Santa hats. One of the dogs looked like one of our dogs, Chloe
He called me and wanted me to look at it, because he liked it, but he wasn't sure. So, I went and looked at it. It was cute, but I thought I could do better. So, I called him back and said. "You know, I can go to Joann's and probably get the same fabric, line it, for less" There was silence for a moment, and then he said "Would you?" in this quiet "I feel funny about asking but I will" voice. Of course, I couldn't say no. So, I went to Joann's and was getting pretty nervous when I couldn't find the material in the fleece section. I went to the middle of the fabric department and found the material in with the Christmas fabric and some red fleece to match to use for a backing. I wasn't sure how much I would need, so I bought a couple of yards. Considering my limited sewing skills-I still have a problem sewing straight seams, I don't think it turned out too badly.

There was a decent amount of both fabrics left, so I mentioned "There may be enough for a couple of pillows." My brother said "Great" So, I went back to Joann's on the Saturday before Christmas and picked up a couple of pillow forms. I had a couple in the closet, but I wanted to make one pillow a little larger than what I had. I finished them Christmas Eve. I need more practice making pillows. I had a hard time sewing up the final side, trying to make the seam invisible.

So, I spent the days after Christmas looking for more of the same fabric so I could match what I had left. I searched all the Joann stores in the area, but they were wiped out. I did fine the same fabric, not fleece, but woven, with the same dogs. Only they don't have Santa hats on. Of course I told my brother and then said I got enough for a couple of pillows. What did my brother say? He said "Great, then we can have them out all year long." I was ready for this one, though. I got another pillow form at the same time I got the fabric. I need to get some brown fabric or another color to use for a backing. It'll be a nice project to work on now that it's so cold. Plus, there's the knitting and crochet projects I have on the front and back burner.