Category Archives: blanket

WIP Wednesday Pumpkin Patch

It has been busy couple of weeks. I finished the last two baby blankets while on a weekend trip to see my FIL. It was a great way to make the 18 hours in the car fly by. I love the colors Donita picked. They turned out great. I love the easy shell pattern. It is free and you can find it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/shells-baby-afghan.

Purple blanket teal blanket

 

I also finished 25 pumpkin hats for the NICU unit. I used http://byjennidesigns.blogspot.com/2015/09/newbornpumpkinhat.html by Jenni Designs. They worked up really quick and turned out cute.

Pumpkin hats

I have a new project OTN, but it was just started on break today. I do like the way it is working up, so hopefully next week it will be close to completion if not done.

Ear warmer

I have a few Christmas projects I need to work on, but those won’t be blogged about until after the holidays.

There is a bit of sewing that needs to be completed before Christmas also. The hubby made an adorable bunk bed for my cousin’s little girl for Christmas. I have the fabric for the mattresses, pillows and blankets in her favorite color (purple). As soon as the weather gets a bit chillier I’ll get moving on the doll bedding as well as the flannel shirt I make for my FIL each year. In the meantime, here is a pic of the doll bed. I downloaded the pattern from Ana White Designs. (http://ana-white.com/2011/08/doll-bunk-beds-american-girl-doll-and-18-doll).

Doll Bed

 

Lastly the Touchdown scarf has been frogged. It was turning out just fine, but I realized it just wasn’t my style. And the yarn was wonderful and not exactly cheap. So it has been frogged and will be used on a project that someone will actually use. Sometimes I just need to accept that a good pattern that is working up as it is supposed to just might not be the right project for me.

 

 

 

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Filed under baby blanket, baby hats, blanket, Crafts, Crocheting, NICU, scarf, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday – To Swatch or Not Swatch, That is the Question

I honestly don’t know of any knitter that says they love to do a swatch to check his or her gauge. Personally, I prefer to jump right in, but know I cannot if I am making a garment or accessory that must fit properly. Scarves, afghans, dishcloths and anything else that you make that can be an inch or more bigger or smaller than the pattern reads most of the time end up being ok. But try and put on a sweater after weeks (or months) of knitting and realize it is too big or small due to gauge..this doesn’t end well.

First of all, check the pattern for the correct weight/type of yarn. It stands to reason worsted weight will knit up larger than fingering or sock yarn. Next, use the size needle the pattern calls for – unless you are an experienced knitter than knows you knit tighter/looser, But if you are, you already know all of this anyway!

Your pattern will tell you how many stitches and rows per inch you need to get the proper gauge so your finished garment will fit. The mystery KAL I am making now has a gauge of “8 sts and 13 rows = 2” in stockinette stitch. So the swatch I knit has to be at least a few, if not more, stitches and rows than 8 stitches, 13 rows. Personally, I like to make a nice little square of stockinette so that I can measure smack dab in the middle to make sure the stitches aren’t pulled or rolling along the sides as stockinette will do.

swatch

So I cast on 20 stitches with size 9 needles and worsted wt yarn that the pattern called for. I knit until I had a perfect square. Sometimes I don’t but this time I figured I’d make 2 of the little purple squares, sew them together and stuff them for a perfect doll sized pillow for my cousin’s little girl. She loves purple. 🙂

Using a contrasting yarn, I make a running stitch up 13 rows (gauge from the pattern), then use 3 more bits of contrasting yarn to run along 8 stitches at the top and bottom of the 13 row mark, then another along the end of the 8 stitches to make a box in the middle that should measure 2 inches. If it does, all is well. If not – back to the swatching board. Lucky for me this one was right on target

If the gauge is too small, I need to use a larger needle, too big I need to use a smaller needle because I don’t want to use a different weight yarn. There are tons of websites that explain gauge much better than I do, just google “knitting gauge” and you’ll get instructions, video and one of them will help you learn how to swatch like a pro. I like this one: http://sheepandstitch.com/what-is-knitting-gauge/

Now that I’ve preached the importance of swatching, I’ll catch you up on works in progress. Donita’s next baby blanket is barely begun, but it won’t take long to complete.

Donita blanket #3

I will be starting the Mystery KAL from Melody’s Makings on Ravelry since my swatch is done. 🙂 And since I am leaving for a few days of vacation I am either going to make the second black sock, which is boring but will be used this winter more than the fancier socks in crazy colors that I would rather knit. Practicality may or may not win out, I’ll let you know when I get back.

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Filed under baby blanket, blanket, Crafts, Crocheting, Knitting, Knitting Techniques, WIP Wednesday, yarn

WIP Wednesday Audio Books and Knitting

Anyone who knows me, or has read a post of two of mine, knows that I not only love all things about knitting and crocheting, I also love all things about books. One of my favorite – or I should say two of my favorite things to do in my spare time is to read and knit. I know, you are all saying, “duh, thanks for the peek into your inner self what that revelation. NOT!”. But have you ever read AND knit at the same time? Nirvana!!! LOL for me anyway.

This week I’ve finished a couple of audio books and a few projects. The NICU hats are making another appearance this week. I’ve finished 2 blue and a pink.

5.20.15 pink and blue bears

 

In the last few weeks I’ve finished 10 of them, so I’m taking a few weeks weeks off from baby bears and hopefully finish my shawl and the blue & yellow blanket that got shelved to make the pink one.

5.20.15 possum shawl

 

It is hard to see the shawl because I can’t spread it out any more because I’d risk dropping stitches off the tips of my circulars. In this pic the top of the shawl is on the bottom left. It is zipping right along. I’m happy with my progress as well as the way the pattern is working up.

Regarding the audio books I finish, the first I have been listening to for several weeks. Alan Turing: The Enigma is a really, really long and sometimes way too technical book. But it is also a heart wrenching look at a man who has not fit into the society he was born into and spends his life playing an “imitation game” (his words) to fit in as best he can. The magnificent film based upon this book is tragic in the triumph Turing being instrumental in solving the enigma code, yet never able to be true to himself.

The book was a bit too technical for a laymen like me, but I did enjoy it. The letters Alan wrote to family and friends gave me a glimpse into this brilliant man. I was thankful that it was an audio book because I enjoyed it more not having to read all of the slower parts.

Turing

 

(picture from audible.com)

The next book I finished was #GIRLBOSS Sophia Amoruso’s how to succeed in business on your own terms. She advises hard work and being at the right place at the right time. There are some great tips for doing your best in a job interview. If you are planning a job change Amoruso’s book could really help you rise to the top of the list if you follow some of her tips.

Girlboss

(picture from Amazon.com)

So it has been a good week. Hope you all had a good week too.

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Filed under baby hats, blanket, Book Review, books, shawl, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday – Nothing to Write Home About

This week I spent more time reading than knitting. I started a polar bear hat that is ready to bind off and stitch together. It won’t take long, but it will be at least tomorrow before I finish it. Next week you’ll see it completed.

Polar bear in progressI’m still obsessed with starting a shawl that in all likelihood will never be finished. I love the look of a lacy shawl, but in reality I’m not a lace knitter. I sometimes convince myself I’ll have the patience and find a quiet place to begin and actually complete a beautiful lace shawl, but honestly I am better off with something that doesn’t need to be counted. Carefully. Without distraction. Riiiight.

I have some beautiful yarn. I ordered this silk from China in 2012. I have other lace weight yarns in my stash, but this one just calls to me when I think of a soft, silky shawl to wrap around my shoulders on cool evenings. Maybe a nice glass of wine, sitting on my porch swing with my hubby…all of this sounds so romantic, but unrealistic.

silk yarn

I am more likely wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a Pike’s Peak logo on the front, sipping a Diet Coke from the can and listening to my sweet hubby complain about being cold. AND this scenario would not require completion of the shawl that I am already love/hating.

I have whined enough about it to my friend Leslie, that today she offered to take the yarn and knit it for me. She loves to knit lace and does a great job, without any whining at all.  It is really tempting. Maybe I’ll just start it, get sick of it and hand it off to Leslie.

We are oddly opposite. She loves order, I thrive on disorder. I’m loud, she’s quiet. I’m old enough to be her mother and that is ok because we both love to knit. You can tell who we are by our websites. Mine is kind of scrambled with reading, writing and yarn arts and hers is very tidy and organized. Check it out: http://singlestitchknit.com

So I don’t know what I’ll be starting this week. I will be finishing the white NICU hat for sure. I am seriously thinking short sleeves to finish the brown sweater I started way too long ago, maybe this week but probably not.

I also have lots of squares for a Lego blanket started. Maybe I’ll make a few of them. Not likely tho.

Perhaps I’ll make Leslie nuts and start a shawl. 🙂

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WIP Wednesday – In the Pink!

This week’s projects just might tickle someone pink. The pink baby blanket is finished and hopefully keeping little Shannon warm these cold spring nights.

pink blanket 2015 #3_2

I really love the pattern, You can find it here: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/cp4.html It is called Shell’s Baby Afghan by Beverly A. Qualheim. It is especially cute in pink. Maybe that is because I have three sons so there wasn’t any pink in our laundry basket. 🙂

pink blanket 2015 #3_3

The color in this picture is more true than the first picture.


After finishing the afghan, I made a couple of pink polar bear hats for the NICU unit at Central DuPage Hospital. I think they turned out really cute. This is a pattern that I’ve used before, it works up quickly and is really cute.

NICU spring challenge Pink Polar Bear 4.26.15

The only adjustment I made was on the second hat I didn’t knit the entire suggested length of 14 inches, because I didn’t want it to be as large as the pattern calls for. Here is the pattern link, and I highly suggest using the Bernat pipsqueak yarn that is as soft as a cloud and works up beautifully, http://www.yarnspirations.com/li-l-polar-bear-hat.html

NICU spring challenge Pink Polar Bear 4.29.15

Since it is late, I suspect I will take some white Bernat yarn to work tomorrow to work on another baby hat. This weekend I may start a new project. I am itching to make a lace shawl for cool summer nights, but just can’t find a pattern that is what I want. I could finish the second sock – but that can probably wait until our summer trip to see our son and daughter-in-law. The drive is about 10 hours, so it is a good time to work on socks.

I have the sweater started last year calling to be finished, but still am not happy with the sleeves the pattern calls for, and have torn them out twice already. It won’t take long to finish once I sit down and get busy figuring it out, but don’t know if this weekend will allow the time.

I guess the WIP next week will be a surprise for all of us – me included! 🙂

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WIP Wednesday – Yup, on time this week :)

Happy Wednesday everyone.

My only needlework this week has been the pink blanket, started last week to replace the blue and yellow blanket after the baby was a girl instead of a boy as planned. I’m about 2/3 of the way finished, hopefully it will be done by the weekend.

pink blanket 2015 #3

Then I’ll be working on the NICU hats for the Spring NICU challenge. They work up fast, so I hope to do several next week unless my plans are disrupted, which happens more often than not.

I’m getting an itch to start a shawl for myself out of one of the great fingering or lace yarns in my stash. I’ve been looking at a patterns, but nothing is really catching my eye. I don’t want on that is very complicated since I usually knit and talk to my friends at break and lunch.

Do any of you have a favorite shawl pattern you would suggest I use? Let me know!

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WIP Wednesday: The Baby Blanket Saga

Welcome to WIP Wednesday – which has apparently slipped to Thursday again this week. The reason (excuse) is Wednesday was my middle son’s birthday and went out to dinner to celebrate. By the time I got home, I vegged in the chair without even opening my computer. Maybe it was the delicious Chinese food we had for dinner or maybe not, but whatever the reason, here I am now.
This week I completed my first sock and promptly sealed it in a ziploc bag with the yarn, instructions/notes and needles so I can pick it up the next time I travel. Which I hope is soon. But mostly for the travel, not the sock, which won’t be needed until fall when it gets cold enough to wear my boots again.
Eden Silk Sock #1
The good news is I got about 1/2 to 2/3 done on the baby afghan for the gal at work. The bad news is she told me on Monday that her friend had a girl, not a boy like she anticipated. Hum, before ordering a blue and yellow blanket would you make sure said child is going to be a boy or  get a more gender neutral color ordered? She suggested just “adding a few rows of pink”. Nope, can’t have anyone think that was MY choice.
 blanket 2014 _2
So over to Hobby Lobby with the hubby Tuesday night to get a wonderful baby pink color. I’ve just discovered “I Love This Yarn” that comes in a 7 oz skein of acrylic worsted weight for only $3.99 each. It is really nice yarn, soft, yet sturdy enough to show the stitches nicely. It isn’t as soft as Brava from Knit Picks, but is almost 1/2 the price and I don’t have to wait a week for delivery. Acrylic is my choice for baby afghans because machine wash and dry is a must for baby items. And I don’t have to worry about wool allergies since I rarely know the recipients.
 blanket 2014 _3
I’m only a few rows in, because break yesterday was nonexistent due to a meeting (what the heck?) and I only got to work on it during lunch. But I think it is cute and very girly. I almost wrote that I should have it done by next week, but we have out of town guests coming in on Friday night, an anniversary party on Saturday and a BBQ on Sunday. Soooooo, not much time to crochet. I’ll be conservative and predict I’ll be 1/3 – 1/2 done by next Wednesday and hopefully be further along.
Regarding the blue and yellow blanket. I am not tearing it out, because I think it is really cute and I am already about 6 hours in. I’ll finish it after the pink one and save it for the next baby boy that arrives.
So this week the only project I am going to concentrate on is the pink blanket. I’ll let you know how that works out next Wednesday. Or Thursday. LOL And maybe get one of the bear hats going….

 

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Filed under baby hats, blanket, Crocheting, Knitting, socks, Uncategorized, WIP Wednesday