Monday, November 26, 2007

knittin' mittens!

I knit my first pair of mittens. 2 pairs actually. and a lone mitten that ended up being too small so I never did the match to it LOL. I consider myself to be an intermediate knitter and can do the more difficult stitches and patterns without problem, but things like mittens and socks intimidate me. Why? I blame the dpns. I don't like them, but I am working on it. The mittens turned out great, no "ladders" where the needles met, so I have more confidence now. However, Scott ordered me the harmony interchangable circulars from (one of my favorite sites!) and he even said he wouldn't make me wait until Christmas to play with them!! I've been dying to try this "magic loop" technique with circular needles but mine have cords that are too stiff. I did manage to do the top of a hat, but it didn't look the greatest. The knitpicks needles have, from what I've heard, much thinner and more flexible cords. Plus the harmony needles are wood (my current set is aluminum) and are stained beautiful multicolored. I can't wait to get them!!

Anyway, the mitten pattern I used is here:

I used simply soft yarn from caron, and did a set for Meg in pink and purple and even used duplicate stitch on the stripe to put M. Then I did a pair for Brendan in orange and neon green, using #6 needles instead of #3 and increasing the thumb by 2 rows and the stripe by one. I also crocheted the sets together with a long chain so they don't get lost. :-)

I am getting more and more comfortable with adjusting patterns and am even trying to write my own for a few things (see the coffee cozys a few posts down, which I have renamed "Greensleeves" in honor of Christmas and the 'green' eco-friendly movement). One thing about this blog that will be different from the rest--when you see a pattern written by me, there will NOT be a request from me stating that you may make one for you or a friend but please don't make one and sell. I don't really understand why people say not to sell them. I can see why they wouldn't want you selling the pattern itself, but when it comes to my designs, if you like it enough to want to make it and think it looks good enough to sell, that is a compliment to me and by all means please do! I've tried to be mindful of those types of requests when making things for my bazaar, even though the concept seems rediculous to me. I'm afraid the knitting police might get me LOL. So most of the stuff is stuff that didn't say that or stuff I got from pattern books etc. But when I design stuff and post it here, feel free to make it and sell it. All I ask is that when someone asks where you got the idea, please direct them to my blog :-)

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

knitting badges

The “Proselytize Knitting” Badge - A requirement for all Knitting Scouts, the recipient must do his or her bit to present knitting in a positive light, whilst at the same time avoiding all references to “hipness”, grandmothers, and yoga.
I do my best! :-) I am a young, not hip kinda funky person, and I love knitting for others. I also have a whole shoebox full of preemie hats that I plan to mail to either Stitches from the Heart or directly to the hospital my daughter (a 29 weeker) was born.

The “Inordinately Fond of Novelty Yarn” Badge - In which the recipient professes an arguably unhealthy affinity for yarn with slubs, sparkles, spangles, fur, feathery bits, and an unconscionable proportion of man-made fibre. Recipient makes no apology for the preference.
HA! Soooooo me. I love love love funky yarns. the best part is that not many people do, so you usually can find the great fun fibers on sale!

The “I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess” Badge - The recipient is a whiz at substituting yarns and calculating gauge, can space increases and decreases evenly and is fully comfortable with the basic math encountered in all knitting projects.
OK, well maybe not FULLY comfortable but I do pretty well. Sometimes I have to ask my husband for help or consult a calculator, but who doesn't? I do substitute yarns in almost every pattern.

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used paper clips as stitch markers, or successfully whittled and then utilized bamboo skewers as dpns.
I've used toothpicks as knitting needles, rubber bands as needle stoppers for dpn's, stuff like that. I'm sure there's more. just can't think of it right now.

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level Two) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a knitting tool in a non-knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used a strand of Regia Bamboo to slice cheese, or repaired a small appliance with a metal knitting needle.
I've used knitting needles to pull stuff out from under the couch, used yarn to tie the baby gate shut, used the end of a needle as a screwdriver, and even used one to scratch my ear LOL.

I got these fun knitting badges here: what badges have you earned?

Hello/free pattern for reusable coffee sleeves

Hello! This is my new craft blog. Here I will post photos of my projects (mostly knitting and stamping), sometimes free patterns, and probably some stories about my kiddos. I'm new to blogger and not very computer savvy so please be patient with me as I try to figure out how to post photos and make my blog look cool LOL.

Today I'm going to post a free pattern for an environmentally friendly reusable coffee sleeve. I heard about this idea on DIY's "Uncommon Threads", one of the guests owns a coffee shop and crochets reusable sleeves instead of providing the cardboard kind. They didn't provide the pattern though, and I'm a novice at best when it comes to crochet, so I decided to make up my own pattern for a knit version. I had to make several prototypes to come up with one that adjusted to the size of the cup without becoming too loose. Anyway, here's the pattern:


US size 5 straight needles (can also be done on DPN's to avoid seaming if you prefer)

small amount of washable worsted weight yarn, I recommend cotton. For mine I used Lion Brand's Cotton Ease.

c/o 36 sts using your preferred cast on method, I use long tail.

work in k3, p3 ribbing for about 2 inches

work in seed st (k1, p1 across 1st row, then on following rows k the p sts and p the k sts.) for about 5 rows. bind off in pattern and seam sides together.

the ribbing paired with the seed stitch gives it a nice triangular shape that stretches to fit all sizes of coffee cups. They're also very quick to make, so you can make several and keep them in your car or purse for whenever you get a starbucks craving! :-)

Well, I'm off. I have a craft bazaar in a couple weeks and I've got 2 tables going, a knit table with lots of different projects and a stamp table that my mom and I are doing together. Fun fun! I've also got several orders to fill for knit play food. My daughter is napping and my son is at preschool so I'm going to try to get some stuff done. Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! :-) Hugs!