This past year has been the busiest for me as far as playing with yarn goes. It pretty much started with the Christmas gift I got from my sister last year. She got me a gift card from the local yarn store because she knew that I liked going there to purchase better quality yarns. I actually didn't buy yarn with the gift card, though. I used it toward the sock knitting class that was coming up! Since then, I have gone to the yarn shop every week for knitting groups, bought yarn there at least once a month, and have been knitting and crocheting like crazy.
Now that this year is coming to an end, I am pretty pleased with what I have accomplished in my world of knitting and crocheting. I have made hats, shawls, and hooded scarves that were actually fun to make. I made a little bit of money selling some of the items I made over the last few years. I didn't get rich, by any means, but it was nice to be at a couple of holiday craft shows where there were other people who also knit and/or crochet. Even though I have three big projects that are not finished yet, each of them are at least different in the stitches being used. One has a bit of a lacy pattern, another has three different easy cables, and the third has seed stitching and light cable work. I like variety! During the last few month of the year, I made hats that I donated to a local community center and scarves that I donated for the Scarf Bomb. The yarn store sponsors these events in November and December for those who are in need of something to help keep them warm but can't afford to buy them. Finally, I made some items for my great-grandchildren. I crocheted a couple of Amigurumi toys for my great-grandson and will be sending them to him in the mail. His birthday is in a few weeks. For my great-granddaughter, I crocheted a little hat and a pink bunny rabbit. I will be giving them to her soon.
As I already mentioned, I like variety. There will definitely be plenty of that in 2016!
Earlier this year, I started designing and making wash cloths that are based on quilt blocks. I have one in the works now that is based on the Card Trick block. I need to get it finished so that I can re-write the pattern into a more condensed version. Right now, I have written it out practically stitch by stitch! For the new year, I am going to design at least six more patterns for the wash cloths and then sell them online.
Another design project that I have planned is a knitting project bag. I want it to be one that can hold four skeins of yarn, the project, the pattern for the project, and the accessories that are being used for that project. I do have bags in which I keep my yarn and projects but I'm not happy with any of them. One bag collapses at the sides, another holds the yarn okay on one side but then there's not enough room left for the project, and the third one is too deep. SO I'm going to make a knitting bag the way I want it to be!
After knitting and crocheting different shawls and hooded scarves this year, I have been wanting to come up with a design of my own for at least one shawl and one hooded mini-shawl. Should be easy enough to do!
I have some WIPs that need to turn into FOs! I started the summer top back in May. The poncho was put on the needles in September. I cast on Rumpelstiltskin's Wrap in October. The hat that is on DPNs was started two or three weeks ago. I have been working on the poncho and hat fairly regularly in between the hats, scarves, and items for the great-grandkids. Now that I have those finished, I can devote a bit more time to the poncho and hat until they are complete. Then I will work on the summer top and the wrap.
There are a few new things that I am going to try at least once in 2016. I'm going to dye yarn and spin yarn. After watching dyeing and spinning tutorial videos online, I think I understand those processes enough so that I can at least give it a shot. It looks like dyeing yarn will be pretty easy. I'm not so sure about spinning, though.
Three of my favorite places to shop are the three (yes, three) Goodwill stores that are here in town. I mainly shop for books, tops, jeans, and sweaters at these stores. The prices are very reasonable and sometimes I get pretty lucky finding better quality tops and sweaters. Well, why not take advantage of using these sweaters as my yarn source? I have come across some that are made with cashmere, merino wool, or other nice wool blends. In January, I plan to get at least a couple of sweaters with nice fiber, take them apart, wind the yarn into balls, and then knit the yarn into different items such as a shawl or hat. Reading about a gentleman who uses his local Goodwill store as a source for yarn has inspired me to do the same. It was like a "Why didn't I think of that?" kind of moment for me.
I have been trying to decide which online store I should go to so that I can sell the patterns I am designing and some items that I will be making. I know that Craftsy is a very popular place and I'm seriously considering setting up a shop there. I just need to spend a little bit more time checking out the requirements before making the final decision. I should be able to open for business by the end of January.
Whew! That is a lot to look forward to in 2016. I will be making regular updates here about my progress in whatever I'm doing while playing with yarn...and sometimes fabric.
There are only six days left of the year 2015 and it has been a busy year of knitting and crocheting for me. I have to do some re-work on a few things I'm knitting, I have finished a few baby items, and I plan to get back to sewing again in 2016.
As I was working on my knitted poncho at the knitting group on Tuesday, I realized that I hadn't decreased at one end of the row about 3 or 4 times. That means that I'm going to have to back up several rows....again. I hate that. Ugh. I also discovered that I'm going to have to back up 3 rows on a scarf that I have been knitting off and on for several months. It will be pretty easy, though, since there are not a lot of stitches in the rows. The knitted hat on double-pointed needles is coming along slowly but surely. I need to get back to it since I have a few other items completed.
I finished up a couple of baby items just a little while ago. The first one I made is the little Openwork Baby Cap which was designed by Sandy Scoville. The pattern is in the book Crochet One-Skein Wonders. I like the little flower on the cap because it dresses it up a little bit. From the same book, I made Sam the Big-Bottomed Bunny, designed by Laura Biondi. For both the cap and bunny I used Sirdar Snuggly double knitting yarn in the shade #0267. It is a very light pink with little flecks of red, blue, and green. Too bad the accompanying photo doesn't show the pretty shade of pink. I also used a size G/6 (4mm) hook. Oh! I just looked to the left of me and the little bunny's tail is still here on the table. I need to get it sewed onto the bunny!
A Few Things I'd Like To Get Crafty With In The New Year
I know that in the New Year of 2016, I will still knit and crochet up a storm. There is no doubt about that. What I would like to do is get back to sewing again. I haven't done that since the first part of 2011. Nearly five years is too long to be away from one of the things I really love to do. While watching yarn-related videos, I have noticed that several of the Yarnies have project bags made from some really cute fabric! I know that I can make those with no problem at all. I think it would actually be fun to use different cute fabrics for the outer shell and the inside lining. I would also like to design a fully functional bag that would carry 4-6 skeins of yarn, patterns, the project itself, and the accessories being used for the project.
This robot is a pretty easy yarn project for making a gift for a little one. The pattern, Robotic, was designed by Deb Richey and is in the book Crochet One-Skein Wonders. I used Red Heart worsted yarn with a Size G/6 (4mm) hook. Instead of using buttons or safety eyes. I crocheted a couple of small circles with black and white worsted weight yarn. The crocheted animals and such are good to make so that a person can use up some leftover skeins or scraps of yarn. Now, on to making the next 3 items from the Crochet One-Skein Wonders book.
December is a month for giving, whether it be for someone in your family or a stranger who is in need of something warm for the winter months but cannot afford to buy one. So far, I've been making Christmas presents for my great-grandchildren. I have also made and donated hats and scarves for those in need.
Here are what I have for WIPs, FOs, and upcoming projects this month.
The Potawatomie Poncho has been an ongoing Work In Progress that I started knitting three or four months ago. I am not quite to the halfway mark yet but should be there fairly soon. I have not spent as much time on it this month as I would like to and should be able to devote more time to it after I'm finished making the Christmas presents. About a week-and-a-half ago, I started knitting a hat on double-pointed needles and am only about one-and-a-half inches along on the brim. I am still not too crazy about working with DPNs but wanted to make at least one hat on that kind of needles. I am pretty sure that from now on, I will knit them on circular needles. When I was at knitting group today, I started to crochet an Amigurumi robot for my great grandson. I should have it finished in a few days and then get it mailed off to him for Christmas.
It sure feels good to have several Finished Objects so far this month. The crocheted sock is done but doesn't fit me so I will need to make adjustments the next time I crochet a pair of socks for me. I finished a scarf for the Yarn Bomb that the local yarn store is a co-sponsor of. I actually finished a second scarf last night and will take it to the store Thursday evening and put it in the donation pile. The photo accompanying this post is a closeup of the scarf. I finished Bernie the Rabbit a few days ago and he turned out to be very easy to crochet and put together. There is a picture of him in my previous blog post "All Together Now!".
I still need to make something for my great granddaughter. I plan to crochet a little hat and dress for her in a pretty pale pink cotton yarn. I will also make a crocheted fat bottom bunny rabbit for her. I need to, at the very least, get the projects for my great grandchildren finished for Christmas. Then, for the rest of the family members, I can make them something for their birthdays.
When I was crocheting hats for the craft shows that were in November, I was getting down to several skeins of solid color worsted weight yarn and some balls of sock yarn in my stash. I noticed that the colors of the yarn were either contrasting or at least compatible.
In the photo, there is a skein of medium blue and a skein of light blue. There is also a ball of sock yarn that has blue, light blue, white, and purple. For each hat, I held the strand of solid color and the strand of sock yarn together and crocheted them at the same time. The results were very nice. The hat with the medium blue doesn't have the sock yarn at the brim resulting in it having a solid-colored brim. The hat with the light blue has both yarns throughout.
I really enjoyed this process of making a solid color yarn to have a bit of extra color with it.
It was about a month-and-a-half ago that I started crocheting a sock. The pattern I used is Basic Socks Crochet and I got it at yarnspirations.com . The main reason I wanted to crochet a sock was to see if it is easier for me to crochet one than to knit one. It most definitely is easier for me to crochet a sock. I tried on the sock a few times while I was making it and it was very snug on my foot. If I crochet socks for myself some time in the future, I will need to make a few adjustments to the pattern. A size D hook is what is called for in the pattern but I think I will use size E. I will probably add a few more stitches around the bottom of the cuff, too, so that the leg of the sock will fit me better. Getting the right stitches in the right place during the making of the heel and gusset will come easier, too, each time I crochet a sock. Practice makes it easier!!
Whenever I was at the knitting group sessions during November, I tried to get through at least one pattern repeat on the poncho that I have been knitting for about three months now. I'm not quite to the halfway point on it yet and hope to be there by the end of this month. After getting Christmas presents made, I hope that I can devote more time to it. I would like to be able to wear it this winter!
Two-thirds of the scarf that I have been knitting for the Scarf Bomb is done. I ought to be finished with it sometime through the coming week.
Progress on the crocheted sock is coming along really well. I have about an inch-and-a-half to two inches left for the foot length and then the toe-shaping to do. It is actually looking like a sock! I had been worried for a little while if I was doing the sock right because I was having a little bit of trouble getting the heel done the way it is supposed to be.
Earlier in the week, I started crocheting a stuffed animal that will be a Christmas present. I have four pieces completed and five more to make. When I am finished with all of the pieces, I will stuff a few of them and then sew all the pieces to the body. The pattern instructions are very clear and the pieces are very easy to crochet. Right now, I don't want to say or show what the stuffed animal is because it would no longer be a surprise.
I have been wanting to knit a hat for quite a long time. I usually crochet them. I found a pattern that is really easy and bought a pretty yarn with a thin strand that has been a little bit over-wound throughout. Thing is...it is worked on double pointed needles. I'm not real crazy about working with double pointed needles. I thought that maybe with the yarn being thicker and the needles being a larger size, I wouldn't have as much trouble working with the double pointed needles on the hat as I did knitting a pair of socks. Wrong! The hat is going to be pretty with the choice of yarn though! That will be good.
I've been pretty busy with hooks and needles the past few days. I have decided to try to spend equal amount of time on each project every day. It could be 30 minutes. It could be an hour. As long as I spend that much time on each active project every day, there will be noticeable progress on all of them.
The knitted scarf that is in the photo is the first one that I started for the Scarf Bomb that the local yarn store is sponsoring. I had hoped that I would be able to have it finished in time for me to take it to the yarn store yesterday when I went there for the Tuesday afternoon knitting group. When I realized that I wasn't going to have this one done, I crocheted another one. I was able to get that one made in a day. I'm almost half finished with the knitted scarf and hope to have it done in plenty of time so that I can take it to the shop next Tuesday. The store will be collecting knitted and crocheted scarves through December for those who need one for the cold winter months but can't afford to buy one.
In my blog post titled "Making Progress & The Scarf Bomb" (November 25), I included a photo that shows the sock that I'm crocheting. I had only just finished the cuff of the sock. The photo for this post shows the progress that I've made has been quite a bit. I'm not very sure how the completed sock will turn out because at the point where I started the heel in the pattern instructions, I had to do about 7 rows over again because it wasn't turning out quite right. I'm past the heel part and am now working on the Instep section. So far, so good. I think. Hopefully, I should be able to have the sock finished by this weekend. I really kind of doubt that I will make the second sock but I'll have to wait and see how the first one turns out before making making that decision. I must admit that I do like crocheting a sock better than knitting because all I have is the one crochet hook to deal with and not 4 to 5 double-pointed needles getting in the way of each other or 2 circular needle cables getting tangled up.