Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hats for Charity

I am now going on 7 years of being cancer free. I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2004. I remember how hard it was to find hats that I liked, because I didn’t like wearing a wig because I thought that it was too itchy. So I was always looking for soft comfortable hats. And that is why I decided to make some hats for Halos of Hope.
My first hat that I made is called the Simplest Cap of All. I wanted something simple, fast and easy. And that is exactly what I found in this pattern. Thanks you to Judy Gibson the designer.
Simplest Cap of All
The next hat Handspun Ribbed Hat is also a very simple pattern I found this one by looking at different sites on the web. It is very easy to knit but I did get a little bored knitting the rib stitch for 9 ½ inches. But it is a cute hat and I know someone will enjoy it!
Handspun Ribbed Hat
My third hat that I knitted was the Hurricane Hat by Andrea Goutier. I like knitting this one it wasn’t boring I like watching the pattern unfold. This is a very beautiful patter. I was told by a woman who saw me knitting it that I do very nice work. I like it when something so simple looks so impressive when I am knitting.
Hurricane Hat
I have a few more hats that I am working on for Halos of Hope and I will be posting those soon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

L is for Lazy

I don't know why but I have been so lazy this week with my hat project. It usually takes me a day or two to turn out a hat but this one is taking forever, and it's an easy knit!
I knit a couple of rounds sit it down do somthing else come back a day later and knit a few more rounds. I really need to get this done.
My goal is to knit 6 hats for Halo's for Hope and I will get it done! Soon I hope!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ariel's Blue Mushroom Hat

I asked Ariel, Have you seen Mario and Luigi lately? Because that hat looks like a big blue mushroom on your head! She laughed and said that’s ok because I like it!

By the time I finished this hat I could have knitted it 3 times. It’s not that the pattern was hard; I just couldn’t get the fit right. I wanted to make this hat for Halos for Hope a charity that gives hand -made caps to cancer patients. But it turned out to big. So I gave it to my hat girl Ariel, and as I have mention before she loves hats.
I used a nice soft yarn by Premier from their Serenity collection called Stormey, because I wanted a yarn that was easy to care for. The pattern called for a #11 circular needle for the brim, it turned out to lose. So I changed it to a #10, which turned out much better. And I continued with the pattern as stated. As you can see it is a nice slouchy beret and Ariel loves it.

You can find this pattern at Crazy Aunt Purl or at Raverly.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Looking for the perfect knitting bag!

Looking for the perfect knitting bag! That’s what I was doing when I found the pattern for this bag on All People Quilt. I was looking for a bag to carry my sock projects in while I worked on them. It needed to be small but not too small, but most of all I wanted it to be cute. That’s what I found in this bag!
It always amazes what I can find on the Internet. There are web-sites out there were you can print out patterns. All you need to do is cut them out and tape them together. Your biggest decision is what fabric to use.
Then again maybe it might be which bag you would like to make first. The web-site All People Quilt has 22 of them. Just pick which one you would like to start with first!
 This is the link for the bag patterns All people Quilt.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Lesson in Sock Knitting

One of the things I was looking forward to most when I took up knitting was learning how to knit socks. But my knitting instructor told us that she was not going to be teaching socks knitting because she was   limited to the amount of classes that she would be allowed to teach.  So I decided to teach myself then.
I bought the book How to Knit Socks from Amazon by Edie Eckman. Then I went to the my local yarn shop The Needle Nook and bought some sock yarn and the needles that the Basic Sock on Double-Pointed Needles pattern called for and then I got down to work.

The pattern was very easy to follow with step by step instructions with photos. And with a little time and a lot of patience I was able to knit my first pair of socks.
My first pair

My next pair was Jacquard & Stripe Socks which I made for my daughter Brandy. They took a little longer to knit because I fell into the dreaded second sock syndrome.
Brandy's socks

My third pair was for my daughter Ariel they were Spiral Socks. This is a very easy pattern because you don’t turn the heel, that’s because this pattern makes a tube sock.
Kallie checking out Ariel's socks!

My forth pair Hermione's Everyday Socks are for me I love these socks they are my favorite.
My favorite pair

So a few lessons that I learned this past year are. That I like knitting socks. I am not afraid to turn a heel. And not to use any double point needles larger than a #2.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Crochet Edge Fleece Blanket

Crochet Edge Fleece Blanket

When Ariel and I were at Walmart the other day in their craft department looking at some fabric, Ariel found this fleece blanket material on clearance for 3 dollars a panel. And since her boy friend Derrick happens to be in the Navy we couldn’t pass up such a great deal.

We were talking about how to finish the edge of the blanket. I told her she could just cut the edge and leave it like that or she could turn over the edge and sew it. I also told her that I have seen it crocheted around the edges but that took a while because you will need to punch all the holes around the edge.
I decided to look up on the Internet about how to make holes in fleece for a crochet edge and of course I found what I was looking for. A cool little blade called a Skip Stitch that you can use in your Rotary Cutter that makes the job so much easier.

So I assembled all my materials that I would be needing and got down to work.
My materals

The edge before
I am using a size H hook
The edge after

Here is the link for the instructions on how to make the blanket, and also the website where you can order your own Skip-Stitch blade.
So get busy and order your blade and you to can make your own crochet edge fleece blankets for your love ones!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Little Storm Cloud Shawlette

I just took this shawl off my needles yesterday and today I have put something new on them. That’s the way goes when there is too much yarn and so little time! Now about this little shawlette.
I had a hard time getting started on this shawl in the first place. Not that it was hard to knit, it's was just that I couldn't decide which yarn I liked best. I started with SKK Ovation which is a kid mohair and this was my first time knitting with such a fine yarn. I was having a hard time with this yarn because it keeps falling off my needles. Then I switched to a Patons lace yarn and then I decide I didn't like the color change so I took that out and then I went back to the mohair determined to get the hang of knitting with this yarn, I glad that I did. It floats just like a cloud.
You can find this shawl pattern on Ever Green Knits. I love this little shawl so much that I will be making another one soon. But first I have to finish a few more projects.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Cloche Hat

My cloche hat, cloche means bell in French! So I guess I could also call this my bell hat, but I think cloche sounds more fascinating.
It’s kind of funny I know to make a wool hat in the middle of summer, but I thought it would be an easy project to do, something that wouldn’t be to hot sitting on my lap while I knitted or crochet. That’s why I decided that the prefect projects for this summer would be to make a couple of hats. Now I have felted a few things in the past but I have never felted a hat before.
So I went looking for a felted hat pattern and I found this one on Ravelry  and thought that this would be a good one to make. It is called a Beacon Street Cloche. And this was also going to be my first crochet project that I would be felting.
I love how big something turns out before you felt it!

When I want to felt something I wash it on the hottest setting that my washing machine has. I toss in a little detergent and a pair of jeans. I turn on the machine and I wait, I keep checking on my project until it is as felted as much as I would like. For this hat I had to run the hat though three cycles. I had a towel handed and I keep trying the hat one until it was the size I wanted.

I then shaped my hat and sat it outside to dry. After It was dry I tried it on again and I still thought it was a little too big so I ran it through another cycle in the washing machine this time it fitted perfect.

I added a few button on the side that I found at Michaels. Now I am wondering how long before my daughter Ariel steals this hat from me!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ariel's Beehive Hat

Ariel has had a love of hats since she was a little girl. So when I find a hat pattern that I would like to knit or crochet there is always someone there waiting for me to finish it.
I saw this pattern for a Slouchy Beehive Hat on Ravelry and just knew that I had to knit one.
I first use a # 8 knitting needle like the pattern calls for but found that the hat was turning out to big so I had to frog it. In knitting terms that mean I had to rip it out. Then I went down to a #6 needle and liked it much better. I also decided to only knit 2 inch for the brim instead of the 4 inches like in the pattern.
All and all the pattern knitted up pretty fast and I liked the way it turned out. I will be making this hat again and I think next time I will add a few more section so that the hat will be a little slouchier.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

What should I do with such a bounty?

What should I do with such a bounty?
A few months ago I was wondering what to do with this small plot of land in my back yard. There used to be an orange tree there, but the fruit was always bitter. Yes we did feed it citrus food as directed on the plant food bag and it did get lots of water. I was also told to leave the fruit on the tree longer. But everything we tried all this tree would produce was bitter oranges.  It also became a home for ants. So we took it out, and the little plot just sat there waiting.

I was thinking about turning it into a rose garden; so that I could have fresh roses in my house every day. We went to Lowes so that I could pick out some rose bushes and as we were walking into the garden shop I saw all the vegetable plants on display. I told Richard let’s turn it into a vegetable garden instead and we can set it up with a drip system so that the sprinkler could water the plants.
So we bought two tomato's, a bell pepper, a summer squash, a zucchini and three cucumbers plants. Well that was back in May and now my garden has grown and it has produce its first little bounty.

Now back to the question of; what should I do with such a bounty? I know I will have one of most favorite things to eat!
A tomato sandwich!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Bathroom of my Discontent

This bathroom has been a thorn in my side for the past 15 years. I just never seem to be happy with the way it looks. It’s the one at the end of my hallway, the girls/guest bathroom. It is the one that every time that I walk down the hallway I see it and I am just never happy with the way it looks.

When we first moved here the bathroom consisted of two separate rooms; one which held the tub and toilet and the other the sink with a door in-between. So my first attempt at this room was for my girls who were 5 and 10 at the time. I painted it a pink rose color and hung a rose border around the wall. And a few months later every time I walked down that hallway the room stated to look like we used Pepto- Bismol to paint the walls with.
Next Richard and I knocked down the middle wall to make the room one big room. He painted the room restained the cabinet replaced the counter top and laid tile on the floor and that was that; so he thought. But not for me the room needed something more. Should I hang another wallpaper border or do I stencil one around the wall. I just couldn’t make a decision; so for the next few I years I would walk down that hall and think I need to do something about that bathroom.
I finally decided on a hanging a paper border because I was just too lazy to stencil one. So I went looking for the perfect border or so I thought. I found this wallpaper border that I loved, but couldn’t make up my mind how to hang it, because I didn’t want to cut off the sayings. So after many weeks of standing on a chair, the counter and the tub trying it at different places on the wall I finally figured out where I wanted it hung. But it never seemed right to me. It always looked like it was floating on the wall. And every time I went down the hall I would see that room and think I need to do something about that room.

So the other day I said to Richard, you know what I was thinking. He said uh- oh! That can’t be good!  Will I think I will paint that wall above the border in the bathroom blue, that way it will give it something to hang on to?  Now what color blue is the next question? So this week I went to Lowes and picked up a few paint chips brought them home placed them on the wall next to the border.

I asked Richard which color did he like best (like his opinion really matter) we; I mean I decided on the color.  So I went to Lowes after work to get the paint and then found another color blue and thought maybe this one would be better went home with the color chip. Yes this would do nicely so I went back to Lowes; and bought my paint, a new brush, and some tape to tape the top of the border with so that paint wouldn’t get on the border.

Oh could this little quart of Midnight Blue finally make me happy let’s find out. So I went to work I carefully ran the tape around the borer and then I painted.  

 So far so good

My view from above. Kallie and Balkie my little helpers!

We have now come to the end of my journey the corner. One can only hope that I have not now painted myself in a one (the corner)!
Now I set to cleaning up my mess; with Ariel’s help of course after all she uses this room more than me I just have to look at it. We clean the tub, the sink and floors; and rehang the pictures and shower curtains. 

 And then I stand back and I look at this room that has caused me this discontentment.

And today when I walk down the hall I see the bathroom and I smile!
 For now!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brandy's Little Shrug

When I first saw this cute little Ribbed Lace Bolero on Ravelry I knew I just had to knit it, but my biggest decision that I needed to make was which one of daughters was going to have the honor of owning it. Will you can see who won! Brandy tells me that whenever she wears her little bolero that she receives a lot of complements. They want to know where she bought it. And when she tells them that my mom made it for me, they are always surprised and want to know if I will make them one to.

The lace pattern was easy to follow. You basically knit a rectangle and then fold it over and sew it together a little at the seam to make a shrug. How easy is that!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My First Knitting Projects

A little over a year ago I started knitting again. Will I can't really say again when I never really started the first time.
 Way back when I was a little girl growing up in Newport News Virgina, my stepmother Gen started taking knitting and crochet classes. And I asked her to teach me and I was thrilled that she did. You see I love making things.
I inherited this gift from my Nana.
When I along with my brother Robert and sister Robin would go an visit our Nana and D-Daddy during the summer my Nana would teach me how to sew on her old Singer sewing machine and let me tell you that was a chore in it self. She won this sewing machine when she entered a sewing contest when she was a teenager.

You see it has the foot peddle, you know you had to pump it with your feet just right. Its the only kind she ever used and I'm proud to say that I now own her sewing machine today.
 When we would visit she would take us shopping and let us buy something  special, I would always pick out needle point kits. You know the ones that have the X's and lines in blue that would wash out after you finished your project. I would make pillow cases and doilies that she would help me sew lace on with that Singer of hers.
Now lets get back to me taking a knitting class last year. The reason that I had to take the knitting class was that I couldn't remember how to. I knew how to crochet that stuck with me but for some reason or another I forgot how to knit, so I took a few classes and away I went.
The first thing that Elizabeth our instructor had us make was a scarf. After that she had us making dish clothes, slippers, hats and bags.
 I learned how to use double pointed and circular needles. How to do cabling and how to felt. By the time I was done I made my first sweater.
Will like I said that was over a year ago and I have knitted quite a few things sense then and in future postings I will be sharing those project with you but for now here is my first scarf and hat.
This is my daughter Ariel and this happen to be one of her favorite hats. She took it from me when I made it and she has been wearing ever sense.
I added the crocheted flower because I ended up with a hole in the hat. I didn't know why then, but I now know I did a yarn over.
Live and learn how to hide your mistakes!