I Made A Scarf For A Contest At LYS
February is Noro Yarn month at the local yarn store where there is a contest for which Noro Yarn is used. The yarn can be crocheted, knitted, or woven into an item that can be finished by February 29th.
The item that I made for the contest is a scarf that is knitted in such a way that creates a diagonal design and has an eyelet pattern. The yarn is Noro Taiyo Sport in Col. 7 colorway and the pattern is Totally Looped by Julie Tarsha. The yarn worked out really nice for this scarf. I like the way it did the self-striping so that the stripes were only about an inch wide and shows all the colors of the yarn very nicely.
First Time I Ever Blocked Anything
As I was knitting the scarf, I noticed that it was curling a little and had little bulges throughout. I decided to block the scarf so that it would lay nice and flat and so that the eyelet pattern would be more noticeable.
I was at Walmart the other day and bought a play mat that breaks down into squares that are about 12" x 12". I snapped 6 of them together end-to-end so that I could pin the scarf to the surface and then spray it with warm water to block it. I let the scarf dry over night and as you can see in the far right photo above, it no longer curls nor does it have little bulges. This is the first time I have ever blocked ANYTHING!! It looks really nice.
What's Up Next
~~ I still have to block and sew up the side seam on the poncho that I finished knitting last week. I didn't get that done because of the scarf I knitted for the contest at the local yarn store. ~~ I bought more yarn last night to make a couple more scarves like the one I did for the contest. Well, I'm thinking one will be a lightweight cowl and the other will be a scarf. ~~ I need to get that summer top that I started knitting last spring back out so that I can work on it and have it finished for THIS summer! Ha! I will need to re-read the pattern so that I can get familiar with it again. I pretty much have just the sleeves and neckline to knit.
Well, that's it for now. Will keep you posted on what happens when I Play With Yarn.
P.S. I'll let you know if I win/won anything at the Noro Yarn month contest.
Hooray! The poncho is finally off the needles! I finished knitting and cast off the poncho a few days ago. This weekend I will block it, sew up the seam, and then take a picture of it for my next blog post. I will wear it to knitting group for "show and tell" next Tuesday. I can't wait!!
The local yarn store has a contest during February. Since it is "Noro Month" there, the items made are to be of Noro yarn. They can be woven, knitted, or crochet and the yarn must be bought at that store. I bought one skein of Noro Taiyo Sport in the colorway Col. 7 and I'm making the "Totally Looped" scarf designed by Julie Tarsha. I started knitting it last night and I already have one-fourth of it completed. When I'm finished with it, I'll take a picture of it to post onto the store's contest discussion thread on Ravelry so that I will be "officially" entered into the contest. Prizes include a $50 RW gift card, a Noro book with yarn for a project, and a Knitterella project bag. Nice, huh?
This week, I gained more yarn not by buying it but by frogging a couple of items that I made (but didn't quite finish) and wound up not really liking them all that much.
I have been to knitting group a couple of times this week. Tonight will be my third time going to the yarn store for knitting time away from home. I can get more done on the scarf that I started last night.
What you see in the photo is not all of the yarn that I have. I have more in bags and a couple of storage totes. Then I also have my WIPs in project bags. I need to slow down on buying more yarn and work on using up what I already have.
My library of yarn-related books is pretty much what you see in the photo. I have a few more lurking around here somewhere. I have sorted out the magazines that I wanted to keep. I will take the ones that I don't want and donate them to the yarn store. The owner has a selection of magazines for minimal donations to the local domestic abuse shelter. I have a 3-ring binder that is full of individual patterns. I need to start another one because I have so many other patterns that I have printed up but they all need a home!
In the brown tub on the bottom shelf are knitting needles, crochet hooks, and accessories. Most of them belonged to my Mom. I took them over so that they can be in use since she could no longer remember how to knit and crochet. I need to sort them out an put them in their proper little storage bags.
I am almost finished with the poncho that I re-started 20 days ago. I have 3 inches of the collar left, then the bottom back ribbing, sew it together, and block it. Then it will finally be done!
I have three storage totes that are full of stuff that I have made over the past 3 or 4 years. They are full of knitted bath mitts, knitted fingerless gloves. hooded scarves, wash cloths, coffee cup cozies, and hats! I need to figure out what I'm going to do with them. I think I will be donating the hats to one of the churches in town that does yarn stuff for charity. There is also a community center that takes hats for kids.
The End Is Near
It was only 18 days ago when I frogged and re-started the poncho. I'm getting close to the end!! The first photo above shows the collar that I'm currently working on. The ribbing is the same 2x2 pattern as for the bottom of the poncho. I need to make the collar about 8 inches high and it's only about 1 inch now. The second photo of the poncho shows more of how it is going to look when completed. I am so glad that I did re-start the poncho because it is looking so much nicer than it did first time around. The cable patterns are showing up much better and the neckline is not nearly as stretched out as it was before. All I need to do now is finish the collar, knit the ribbing at the other end, sew it together, and block it! I can't wait to wear it!
I like to make quick and easy items to take a break from large projects that I'm concentrating on. This past week, I crocheted two more hats. For the black hat with the pink and white trim, I used camel stitch in-the-tracks for the trim, single crochet in back loops for the brim, and then half double crochet stitches for the body. The other hat is single crochet in back loops for the brim and then all camel stitch for the body. These hats take only about 3 to 4 hours from start to finish and are pretty easy to make.
I have a few things in mind of what I want to do after I finish the poncho. One thing I will do is take apart the two sweaters that I bought at the Goodwill store a few weeks ago. In an earlier blog, I mentioned that one of my goals for 2016 is to buy sweaters that have cashmere, angora, and other good quality wool blends and take them apart and re-knit them into shawls or hats of nice designs. The two sweaters that I got are a starting point for that goal.
Another goal for 2016 is to design and make more washcloths based on quilt block designs. I have a washcloth based on the Card Trick design on needles now and needs to be finished up. Then I will have to re-write the pattern because the way I have it written out now is nearly stitch by stitch!!
When I was at knitting group at the yarn store Thursday night, I bought a pattern that would be perfect for a short-sleeved throw-on to wear around the house. I already have yarn for it, but, the thing is, I have to frog another sweater that I didn't finish in order to use it for this sweater. Ha! Hmmm. Now which tote or bag is that sweater in?
I am finally heading down the home stretch on the poncho I had to re-start knitting. I just need to finish the length of the back half and then knit the ribbing and I'll be done with the body of the poncho. Then, I need to knit the collar. I frogged the original poncho when I was just a little bit past the halfway point 11 days ago. There were just too many mistakes in it and I didn't like the way it was looking overall. I have been making an extra effort to get the poncho finished by the end of this month (January) and I think I'm gonna do it!!
Tuesday afternoon, I took the hat that I was knitting on DPNs with me to knitting group. While I was there, I transferred the hat to a couple of circular needles which made a big difference on how soon I was able to finish it. When I had the hat on DPNs, it took a couple of months to complete about a dozen rounds. With the circular needles, I was able to finish the rest of the hat in just a few days.
A couple of days ago, I crocheted a hat using double crochet and camel stitches. I have been crocheting quite a few hats so that I can use up scraps and leftovers. I have started another hat and I'm using black for the body and pink for the little stripes. I should have it done some time tomorrow.
I really haven't finished much this past week as far as the number of projects go. That is because I have been working on one MAIN project and that is the poncho that I had to frog and re-start. I did complete one crocheted hat and need to work on a knitted hat.
The hat in the first photo is the Bojangles Hat. The pattern is in the book titled "Morehouse Farms Merino Knits" by Margrit Lohrer and I am using Yarn Bee's Ashley wool/poly mix yarn in the Cloudy colorway. I started it a couple of months ago and each time I work on it, I get only about 4 to 6 rows done on it. The hat is worked on double-pointed needles and I'm not too crazy about working with those. They get in the way of each other. I'm going to wind up buying a couple of size 9 circular needles so that I can get the hat done. I'll have to check my stash of needles first to see if I do have them before I go buy extras that I may not actually need.
I know that one of my goals for 2016 was to finish the poncho that I had already started about 3 or 4 months ago. Well, my NEW goal for the poncho is to finish it as a re-started project. I had made so many mistakes on it I just had to frog it and start over. My last blog post has a photo of the poncho after I had worked on it for just a few days and shows that six pattern repeats are completed. In the photo for this blog post, it shows that I have completed 14 pattern repeats. I am also working on the neckline decreases and will soon be at the mid-way point. I have come pretty far on the poncho in only six days. I must admit that I have had to back up on the poncho two times because of a mistake in the large cable and the other mistake being that I started out the decrease rows incorrectly. All in all, this project is coming along fairly well.
Over the past couple of weeks, I crocheted 6 hats. The photo in the middle is the brown hat that I made about five days ago using the camel stitch and double-crochet stitch. These hats have been very easy and quick to make. I can finish one in about 4 to 5 hours depending on if I use just one kind of stitch or a combination of stitches.
I couldn't help myself but I had to do it. I frogged the poncho and started over. I had made so many mistakes on the poncho and just wasn't happy with it. The neckline was so stretched out. The cables didn't look all that great. One edge of it was curling and I didn't think it was going to look nice and flat even after blocking it.
Now that I have made a few changes to the poncho, it is looking so much better. First thing I did was change the size of the circular needles. I was previously using size 9 but I'm now using size 8. That has made the cable patterns look a little tighter and the overall poncho less stretchy for the yarn that I'm using. Another thing I did was change the edge that was curling. Instead of knit one direction and purl the other direction, I am now knitting the 6 stitches in both directions at that end.
I'm glad that I made these little changes to knitting the poncho. I had considered not starting over on the poncho and make something different with the yarn. After the Froggy Fresh Start, I am so much happier with the way it is turning out so far!
I just realized it's been a week since I have posted anything here and I thought I had better catch up on what's been going on.
The hat that I have been knitting on double-pointed needles got only about 4 or 5 extra rows added to it. I'm tempted to put it on 2 circular needles so that the work can go more quickly. The Potatwatomi Poncho is coming along slowly but surely. With all the mistakes and backing up that I've been having to do fairly regularly, I'm tempted to take it off the needles and unravel it. So there's not really much progress on those.
Last weekend, I watched a video tutorial about crocheting a hat using the camel stitch. It's one of the easiest patterns I've ever followed and I've had a mini-obsession with it. I have made 5 adult-sized and 1 baby-sized hats from the pattern. The photo accompanying this post shows the hats. I was about halfway through one of the hats and it has since been completed.
You know the sound frogs make, right? "Ribbit. Ribbit." Whenever we knitters or crocheters unravel the work back to a mistake or the whole project, we rip it back. "Rip it" sounds similar to "ribbit", so we call it Frogging. Anyway, after I straightened up the shelf of yarn and books and magazines, I did some frogging of a couple of pair of socks. To me, the socks were pretty much for practice and not for wearing. I have another sock that I will be frogging so that I can re-use that yarn to make a sock that is a little bit bigger since this one didn't fit my foot very well.
(Note: You can read my previous post about me straightening up my yarn.)
As I previously mentioned, I'm tempted to frog the poncho. I'm seriously considering it. I know I've put a lot of work into it but I'm not totally happy with the way it is turning out. It has mistakes that are obvious to me and it is also stretching. I think the yarn that I chose for the poncho is really not suitable for it. I could use the yarn for something else and get a different yarn for the poncho.
I am finally past the halfway point on the poncho that I have been knitting for the past three months. I still have 13 increases to do and then after that it will be the home stretch. I sure do hope that I will get this poncho completed by the end of January!
I started straightening up the yarn, books, magazines, and needles and hooks. I had yarn in this bag and that bag. Magazines and books lying here and there. Hooks and needles in a plastic tub and bags. I have been gathering up all this stuff and putting it on the bookcase that was my Mom's. I have the stuff on the shelves but not in the cabinet at the bottom part of the case yet. I'm sure I will fill that up, too.
My previous blog post is Goals for 2016. Well, last night I thought of one more goal to add to that list. With the yarn that will be left over from projects, I will be making small stuffed animals that I will donate to either a local community center and/or assisted-living facilities.
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.