Thursday, December 03, 2015

Neck Pillow Finished

It's finished! I said in the previous post that I was working on a neck pillow. And my inspiration was socks. Introducing the knitted Socks Neck Pillow. It works too. I slept really well (when I slept, I have mouth pain right now) It's so soft, squishy and comfortable. It supports my neck, and no matter which way I turn my head, there's support for it. Sleeping flat on my back in a slightly reclined position is now much more comfortable.

I am also working on a crochet version for all you hookers out there too. I hope to have the pattern out on my Ravelry before Christmas. I debated charging a pittance for it, then discarded that idea. My God-given talents are meant to be shared with whomever wishes to share them. I even debated asking for donations, but no, it will be like my three other patterns, completely free.

As you can see, one end looks slightly different from the other. I was using some old yarn and ran out, so I used some other speckled yarn in a slightly lighter off white to finish off the last five rounds and end cap. It was for me, I could care less if it looks all the same or not. It's comfortable and that's the only thing that counts. I only stuffed it just enough to hold its shape, to keep it squishy, I don't like a hard pillow, and I didn't want to put any strain on the corners. It's perfect though, squishy and supportive.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Neck Pillow

You know, those 'U'-shaped pillows that you use when you're traveling. Coincidentally, they're also called travel pillows. Well, I wanted one to sleep with in my bed. See, I can't sleep lying flat anymore. I broke my arm this past Father's Day and if I try to sleep lying flat on my back, that shoulder and arm will complain. Loudly.

So, my darling, loving husband fixed the mattress by placing old sofa cushions under there to raise it up enough so I don't have to sleep in the recliner anymore. But now I can't get my head comfortable. Then I thought about it and came up with a solution. You guessed it, a neck pillow. Since I like to knit and crochet I started looking for a pattern. There is one at Lion Brand that was close to what I needed, but it was too flat-looking. Others looked like dog bones. I didn't want a dog bone to sleep on. So, like always, I started thinking about how to create what I wanted, and the answer just came to me. Socks!

Toe-up socks start off with a provisional cast-on and then you make short rows to form the toe (Well, some of them do.), just like making a short row heel. Problem solved. So, I grabbed up a long circular needle and began knitting. I made a short row 'toe' and I am now knitting up one side of the pillow like it was a big, bulky sock. When I get to where I like how it looks, I'll make another short row 'heel', then make the back of the pillow, another 'heel', then down the other side, where I'll make another 'toe'. Whatever you want to call them, they're all made the same and I believe I'll have a neat little neck/travel pillow when I'm done. Oh, and for convenience sake, it's easier to stuff it as I go with all of those angles that will be in it. And since its construction is identical to socks, I'm calling it the Socks Neck Pillow.

Oh, and I'm translating it to crochet too. Good thing I'm making two of them, the husband will probably want one anyway.

The only way I'll probably finish them both is to work on them alternately. It'll also help alleviate the boredom or working in one stitch all the time. Maybe I'll make up some more decorative ones with different stitches later, I need these fast so sc and knitting around is the fastest.

Thursday, February 05, 2015


Okay, a hooded scarf is called a Scoodie, I can understand that. But what if you only wanted a hood without the scarf attached? I suppose you could make one with ties on it, sort of like a bonnet, but I had an idea to make a neckwarmer with a hood attached. Then what would it be? I pondered this for a few minutes and came up with:


Why even consider something like this? Well, I really don't like dangly scarf ends and I wanted something that would look nice and be practical.

A neckwarmer is basically a circular band that you wear around your neck in lieu of a scarf. So why not attach a hood to it and end the need to wear a separate hat?

So I've gotten out my knitting needles and crochet hook and am in the process of designing a knitted and a crocheted version for all my knitting and crochet friends out there. The patterns will be posted to my Ravelry as soon as I've completed them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bubbles Baby Blanket

I'm pretty sure I've spoken about it before, or even shown off a finished one. But I had an idea, and it's turning into a very pretty one.

Just take the Bubbles Baby Blanket pattern and two colors of WW yarn. A dark and light yarn will work best for this. Now, using about a J or K hook (I'm using a 7mm bamboo hook) and your MC, crochet a chain the length you want your afghan to be. Just make sure that your stitch count is a multiple of three, plus two (This means crochet a ch with a multiple of three, then add two more chs at the end). Now, work across the chain like the instructions say, only change to your CC in the last stitch. Do this by making the last half of the sc with your CC. Now, leaving about four or five inches, cut MC and tie the two ends, along with the tail from your starting ch, together in an overhand knot and push it up close to your work. After this, just tie the MC and CC together when you change color.

That's it! Just swap colors on each row, and soon you'll see that you'll have a double-sided blanket. Your yarn ends become the top and bottom fringe rather than you having to work them all in. Normally, I don't like fringe, but I hate working yarn ends in even more, so this is me being lazy. But it looks good in the one I'm doing. I will post a pic when I'm done. I've only just started, but it still works up fast.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I appear to be on a headband kick. No, not those skinny things that do little to hold hair back, but thicker ones that keep your head and ears warm on chilly days. They work almost as well as a hat.

I've designed one in knit that I've put up on my Ravelry page. I only have three original designs there, though I've been thinking about taking my designs from my Original Designs blog and put them there as well. I'd have to convert them to PDF, but that isn't a problem. Open Office Writer has a PDF converter. All I would need to do is c/p from my page to OO, then convert. Putting them up on Ravelry is a bigger undertaking, but once there they will be out there better for people to use and enjoy.

Back to headbands. Along with the Textured Headband, I'm almost through designing another one. And yes, it will go up on Ravelry as a free download. I like to share my ideas with everyone else, not make money from them. It's a hobby for me, not a business, which keeps it fun.

I doubt you'll see any large articles coming from my head to pattern, I prefer small things like hats, headbands, handwarmers, etc.

Anyway, stay tuned for more headbands.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Amazing socks

Lion Brand Amazing yarn is just...amazing. They say it's a 4 weight, but it's really a bit thick and thin and not quite as thick as a WW. It's 53% wool and 47% acrylic, but it's really soft and squishy and fuzzy.

I'm making a pair of socks out of a ball using size 3 dpns. I'm just using a basic SS pattern and am on the leg portion right now, but I can already tell that they're going to be warm and cozy. The color I'm using is called Cobblestone. It's stripes of browns and tans that look really nice. Here's a shot of the leg of the sock:

Beautiful, isn't it?

I know Amazing isn't sock yarn, but I just couldn't help myself. When I got it, all I could think of was "Socks, socks, socks..."

Yes, I have 1x1 ribbing. I like it better than 2x2. I'll put up more pictures when the sock is farther along.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Prayer Shawl

I started knitting one. Well, I don't pray aloud while working on it, don't light candles or recite some fixed mantra, but I'm using a pattern I found on a website dedicated to prayer shawls. Really, any shawl can be a prayer shawl if you're making it for someone who needs some comforting. Just pray silently as you work on it that it brings the comfort intended.

I do pray, talk to God while I knit. Usually silently. He's omnipotent, he knows I'm talking to him even when my lips don't move. Do I always get answers? No. But that in itself is an answer. I'm being told to wait. Non-answers aren't always negative.

Anyway, back to the shawl. It's an interesting and simple pattern. Simply cast on a multiple of three (I CO 60). Then work in k 3, p 3. On following rows you simply knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches. The pattern emphasizes that it should not look like ribbing. What it does look like is columns of garter stitch. I find it a refreshing change from normal garter stitch, which is knitting every single stitch in every row until you have a shawl. Now, tell me you won't get bored to tears doing that and put it down very often and possibly not finish it, knowing how boring it is to knit. However, this is very refreshing. You're knitting and purling and still getting garter stitch and it isn't nearly as boringly repetitive as knit, knit, knit, knit, knit...well, you get the idea.

I'm also using a method called combined knitting, where you make your purls 'backwards' and then orient them correctly in the next row by working the backwards stitch through the back loop. This also keeps things less boring. It also tells me which stitches I need to purl. The 'backwards' stitches are the ones that need to be purled, so they get purled through the back loop to orient them correctly.

I don't even know what the pattern itself is called, the site just calls it a prayer shawl and then gives the instructions. I think I read something about it being compared to vertical blinds, and that's a pretty close description. So, I think that's what I'd call it. Vertical Blinds. Or more simply, 3x3 Garter.

I'm also using the pattern on some legwarmers I'm attempting. I'm knitting them flat and will seam them when done. It's the same pattern, but will have 1x1 ribbing on each end. I'm just using some recycled light pink yarn I pulled from an old afghan that was coming apart. It's RHSS, acrylic, so will be washable. I ended up with two big balls of it and didn't know what to do, so it's now becoming a shawl and legwarmers.

Hey, the yarn is still in decent shape, might as well re-use it rather than throw the afghan out.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My switch to continental knitting

It's been awhile since I wrote that I was switching to continental style knitting. You know, where you hold your working yarn in your left hand like a crocheter does. Since I've been a crocheter as long as I've been a knitter I decided to try it. See, the knitter who taught me knitted English style, and she simply held the yarn in her right hand and threw it around the needle to make the stitch. So, that's how I knitted for most of my life.

Then I decided "Well, I already hold my yarn like that for crocheting, how hard can it be to hold it like that while knitting and pick up the stitches?" Turns out it was a bit awkward-feeling at first, until I found a rhythm that suited me. Now I'm knitting quite smoothly. I can't say that my gauge is quite consistent, but I never make things where gauge is so crucial that being off just a little would be a disaster.

I've also just started trying the combined method of knitting. This is where you make your purl stitches 'backwards' by wrapping the yarn in the opposite direction of how you're taught when you make it. This leaves the stitch backwards in the following row, so you work the stitch through its back leg to orient it correctly when you slide it off the needle.

On a funny aside note: I can just see myself knitting like this in a public place and having some random knitter walk up to me and tell me "You're doing that wrong!" To which I can just shrug and say "Just because my style doesn't match your style doesn't mean it's wrong, it just means it's different."

Or ask where the knitter's book of laws is so I can read it and not get arrested for 'doing something wrong'. And then point them to the many sites which describe combined knitting ;)

Laughable, isn't it? But it happens. I haven't had the displeasure, but I've read enough about other knitters or crocheters being accosted by these 'snobs' to know it happens.

I'm not sure if anyone even reads my ramblings due to no comments, but that's okay. I just like to ramble, and if it means rambling to myself, then I'll ramble to myself.