Saturday, April 29, 2006

Basic Mittens and Another Hat

I've just finished these mittens. The pattern is from Elizabeth Durand and it can be found at the afghans for Afghans website here. I've followed the directions for the larger size mitten using 2 different yarns; the pink has a gauge of 20 stitches to 4"/10cm and the blue is 22 stitches to 4"/10cm. You see the difference in size such a small difference in gauge can make.

No, it wasn't a mistake on my part, I did it deliberately. I wanted to use up some yarn in my stash and make a smaller pair of mittens with the slightly finer yarn. I hoped that by following the pattern for the larger size with the smaller yarn they would turn out to be just the size I needed them to be-and they did. Yay!

Ryan's Hat
Chart for Ryan's HatHere is the last of the children's hats I'm making for now. This one is for Ryan, the little cutie. As before, I followed the basic pattern for the Child's Patterned Hat and substituted a new chart. Here it is if you'd like to use it to make one of your own.

I've made these hats in wool for warmth in cold climates, and they will certainly be warm with that double layer of worsted weight yarn. A solid colored hat is faster to make, but won't you consider making patterned hats for your next charity project? The children who receive the fruits of your labor will appreciate them all the more for the cheerful colors they contain!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Finished Layette and Some BackTack Fabric

garter stitch baby outfitPingouin 149 layetteThe Pebbles layette has been finished, wrapped and delivered to the baby shower. I'm pleased with the way it turned out. The details: Pattern from Pingouin 149 layette book. The models are from the set called Amandine's room, number 10 trousers, 11 pull-on hat and 12 raglan cardigan. These are all simple garter stitch baby garments. I used a dk weight yarn instead of fingering weight, so I used my calculator to translate the pattern to my gauge. Yarn is Kraemer Yarns Little Lehigh Pebbles.

black and white fabricsI was shopping for those blue heart-shaped buttons for the garter stitch baby jacket when I saw these fat quarters sitting in the basket over at Beverly's. I grabbed them up of course. This is exactly the sort of thing that I need for my BackTack3 project. I don't know what I will be making for Finny just yet, but these pieces of fabric do inspire ideas, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Live and Learn

I may have found all the boxes containing my stash of yarn, but I have not found all the boxes of unfinished projects. Half of the projects listed over there in the sidebar are hiding somewhere in the piles of boxes in my back room. That's okay, I will deal with them when I find them.

Meanwhile, I am going through the projects I have found. I'm looking them over and deciding whether or not I will actually finish them.

The prayer shawl is one that I will finish. The mitered baby afghan is another project that I will finish, as soon as I decide how I want to do the borders. That red baby coat, however, is a problem.

Unfinished baby coatAs much as I enjoyed knitting the Manoir Coat (from Bouton d'Or layette and junior book #13) it simply isn't working out well in the yarn that I chose to use. The shawl collar needs to be blocked into shape on the finished garment, and the cheap dollar store acrylic yarn that I tested the pattern with just won't do the job. This pattern will need to be reknit in a nice quality wool yarn if I want a successful garment.

My purpose in using the cheapo yarn was to test the pattern for any potential errors in the pattern or quirks in the garment, and that purpose has been served. I learned a lot from this one. Most importantly, I learned just how bad that cheap acrylic yarn from the dollar store really is. I wouldn't donate this stuff to charity, it's that awful. I mean, Red Heart is a quality product, this stuff isn't. So...


It's only good for practicing, not for knitting anything you want to actually use. It seems ok at first, but by the time you finish the object you will regret it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On The Ball Winder

Tahki Donegal TweedI spent some time the other day winding yarn from hanks to balls. I have had a few hanks sitting in the stash waiting for me to figure out what I wanted to do with them before winding them up for use. Some of them have been waiting a long time. Here you see some lovely Tahki Donegal Tweed in several colors that I in the early 90's. Lovingly stored in plastic bags with chunks of cedar, the yarn is just as beautiful as the day I bought it. I will be knitting with it soon.

Also wound, some Tahki Cotton Classic and some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in shades of pink to make some afghan squares for Grace.

Garter stitch pants in progressThis is what I'm working on right now, some garter stitch garments for an upcoming baby shower.Kraemer Little Lehigh Pebbles yarn I like the yarn, which is a new arrival at my LYS, it is a cotton and acrylic blend that has a nice drape to it. Very reasonably priced, it has small flecks of color in it, very subtle. Kraemer Yarns, Little Lehigh Pebbles 45% cotton 55% acrylic color Baby Powder.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Warming Grace with Squares for a Blankie

Warming GraceWe're knitting afghan squares again. This time we're making a blankie for little Grace, to take with her to chemo treatments. Extra squares will be made up into blankies for other pediatric cancer patients. Lets inundate them with squares! So many that they'll have enough to make a dozen blankies! Go to the site and sign up, quick, deadline to get them in is April 30th!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Imps, Hats, Hoods and Stash Dregs

Kid playing in the dryerLife is full of unexpected happenings, especially when there is a little one in the house. I never know what I will find my little guy doing next.

Apparently the clothes dryer is a thing of fascination. Did you know that little toy cars roll amazingly well in the drum? This is what the boy was telling me excitedly, voice muffled while his head was out of view inside the dryer compartment. Another Kodak moment.

How will I keep the little imp out of that dryer?

Hats and socks for charityThe baby hats and socks I've knitted for afghans for Afghans are finished and ready to ship.

socks tied to hatsThe socks are tied to the hat and tucked inside of it to keep the sets together. The hats and sock sets are then put inside a ziplock storage bag to keep them safe and clean during shipping. You never know what will happen to that box on its way to its destination.

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments I've been getting, I really appreciate the feedback! I also received an anonymous comment this week asking for a way to add a hood to the striped baby cardigan. I have added the directions for making the hood at the end of the posting for that pattern here. I'm happy to know that people are finding my patterns useful.

I did find the rest of my yarn stash today. There was a box of yarn hiding in the back closet where only fabric and scrapbooking paper should have been. The errant yarn has been safely tucked away in baskets on the shelves. You can hardly notice the difference, it just looks like a slightly fuller shelf unit now.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More Hats for Kids

A hat for JamesI've made some more hats over the weekend. These are for some neighbor children whose family is relocating to a colder climate than we have here in California. These soft woolen caps will surely help to keep them warm.

For James (photo left) a hat in primary colors of white, blue, black, red and yellow. Very colorful and difficult to lose in the snow, I hope.

A hat for Bailey For Bailey (photo right) a hat in the same white, blue, red and yellow of the first cap, but with pink instead of black in the mix.

It reminds me of an Easter egg in its color and patterns.

I hope she likes the softer effect of this colorway and finds the hat as easy to find in the snow as her brother's cap.

Chart for James' hatChart for Bailey's hatHere are the charts for the colorwork in the hats (the boy's hat on the left and the girl's hat on the right) in case you want to make your own version.

Knit in worsted weight wool, I proceeded the same as for the Child's Patterned Hat, substituting these charts for the one posted in that pattern.

I plan to make some mittens to match these hats. Their hands need to be kept warm too.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Flashing The Stash

Yarn Stash on shelvesI managed to get my stash unpacked and put away neatly on this set of shelves. I have a nagging feeling that I'm missing some yarn, however. I know I should have some lopi and some other baby yarns that I haven't found yet. No matter, there's still room on the shelves for a few more bags of yarn.

You can see more than just a yarn collection in this photo, there's a basket collection too. I think baskets and yarn are meant to go together, don't you? Just like peanut butter and jelly. I love the textures of yarn, of baskets, of all textiles really. But we are not going to get into the topic of other textile stashes today.

Upper half of shelves with labelsI've taken close-ups and added captions showing what types of yarn are in each basket. Click on each photo to see a larger view. I've used zipper bags to protect the protein fibers (wool and silk) from any insects that may wander in, and to keep larger numbers of balls or skeins together. I prefer the 2-gallon size storage bags from the grocery store, which I have only been able to find in the store brand. My mother would love to use them, but finds the zipper too difficult to work; perhaps in the future I will be able to find them with the separate zipper device, then they would be easier to use.

Lower half of shelves with labelsThis shelf unit measures 58" wide, 15" deep and 74" tall. That's about 1.47m, .38m, and 1.88m respectively. With the baskets sitting on the top shelves, it reaches right up to the ceiling.

Looking at this pile-o-yarn, I realize that it is mostly intended for knitting things for other people. I was thinking about knitting a cardigan for myself, but don't have the yarn for it. With all this yarn, how is it that I don't have enough for a cardigan??