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.