Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Are the Sisters Up to This Week?

I'm teaching myself to knit cables---it's fun! But what a learning curve! I started a Kindle cover with a cable on the front...first, I had trouble casting on intending to use the Magic Loop method.  I kept twisting the stitches on one circular needle, not sure why, I was working very hard NOT to twist them. I must have started over six times on casting on...finally I switched to TWO circular needles, and that seemed to work much better for me, then I was able to keep going...when I got to the cable part, I didn't quite understand how it worked. I was twisting the cable needles holding the stitches, not realizing you must not twist the cable needle. I messed up twice on the cable. It looked terrible. Then, I got out my trusty knitting book that is really helpful, Knit Book, Basics and Beyond, and studied the diagram. AHA! Got it! And now, I am on my way with a tweedy red Kindle cover! Here it is! All I need to do is add the velcro and pretty button and it's done...(not too crazy about knitted buttonholes)....I need to learn how to do a better job of doing seams on things. I whipstitched the bottom but maybe should have done a different way of sewing up the bottom.....

On to socks! I'm working on a practice sock. One of my daughters wants a pair of socks, so I'm motivated to learn! It's kind of confusing as far as the heel goes, maybe someone out there will guide me to a preferred way--gusset? no gusset? wrap? no wrapping!  I have a basic pattern that uses SSK, so I will try that first, and then add to my skills....Here's the practice sock so far...
My sister, Lyle, is still working on scarves with her loom...they are really looking good, sis! It's really fun to check out different websites for yarn sources, we're going to feed each other's fiber addictions! She gave me a website to go looking for yarn.....it's called Fabulous Yarn--Fiber for Fanatics. Isn't that a great name for a yarn site? We think so! We'll do our best to support it!  I'll have to get some good sites now, for her...How about KnitPicks, Sis?  Here's her latest scarf.....I saw one very similar to it at the Village Fest in Palm Springs the other day......she is getting into weaving more and more and branching out into different yarn fibers. Can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mitered Scarf Pattern

When I first started this mitered scarf pattern, I really really enjoyed making the squares. Then I started running into problems with the pattern....it wasn't completely explained as to how to add additional squares, a necessary increase direction in the pattern was missing, and I discovered that my spatial problems that affect me in real life ( I have tons of trouble with directions in traveling, finding my way out of a large mall the same way I came in, finding my car in the parking lot and various other annoying problems), also seem to affect me when there is spatial orientation on a project.

If I were to do this project right, I would have paid more attention to the angles of the decreases and where I was making additions to each previous square. The first set came out with a nice "X" (the four squares in the upper right corner), where the double decreases all meet at the correct angles..after that, I must have kept turning the piece different ways as I was knitting it, paying more attention to "what color should I try next?" instead of paying attention to the angle of the decrease. Now they sort of go every which way! Then I discovered, I really don't like the Red Heart Heart and Sole yarn colorways for this project. For socks they are ok, but not so much in a square pattern, at least that's what I think about this project...but that was the only sock yarn I had on hand...actually, some of them turned out all right--I like the "spring" sock color (lower left bottom), the "lime" right next to it on the right, and the "razzle dazzle" (top left square). The blue one in the center is another company's sock yarn. I'm not smart enough to figure out how to use the yarn to get the granny square look as these Red Heart yarns seem to make granny squares...if I made each one separately and then hand sewed them together later, I might get a much better look! EUREKA!  What a concept! Hand sew them so you can arrange them like a quilt! Then I'd have my granny squares! Yeah, but I'm a little on the lazy side, I liked doing this pattern because you join them as you knit! I've seen variations on this mitered square pattern. Somebody online made a baby blanket out of sock yarn, and it was GORGEOUS!

Just got another idea...wonder what it would look like if you took the same hues of colors--using different sock yarns from different companies, say, in a range of blues....but then I'd have to buy new yarn!  There's just no end in sight to this accumulating a "stash" of yarn, just like my former fabric collection that currently sits in storage back in Indiana....sigh!

So I quit after making a nine square, and I'll use it for a hotpad....I would love to still make a mitered square table runner, but with prettier sock yarn.  I'm gonna pay attention to where some knit shops are on future travels. For now, I need to think of some more projects using one skein sock yarn. I bought a LOT of Red Heart and Sole yarn, but not two of everything to make socks. I've looked at some knitting books in stores (One Skein Sock Wonders) or something like that, but didn't find anything I'd like to make.

Making socks is still on the agenda. My oldest daughter has asked for some, and I need to get started. I've never made any, so am temporarily confused by "toe up" and single circulars vs. double circulars. Step number one, START! Watch some You Tube videos, some online tutorials and see if I can't get going on this....

Got to finish up my crocheted felted purse--sew up the side seams and figure out a pretty way to embellish and add a closure...blanket stitch? beads? embroidery?  more hand felted stuff like flowers? I'm leaning towards a row of little round flowers with stems reaching down to the bottom edge of the purse. The color is a little too bright for me personally, (it's actually much brighter turquoise than the photo shows) so I might donate it to charity and try again with a grape color....then again, I'll wait and see how the flowers turn out. I might like it!

My sis has completed weaving a scarf on her loom, then decided she didn't like the textures and so she redid her weaving...tada! Here it is...she says she's going to use all yarn for her next scarf project.....way to go, Sis! I think it's very pretty!                      See you next week,        Lyle and Jeannie

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Sister's Loom Projects

setting up the loom
My sister, Lyle, has been experimenting on her new rigid heddle loom...she is working on a scarf! I thought it was beautiful, the way the first one she has ever made turned out. But, being in the same family, sharing the same genes, she is somewhat of a perfectionist like me, and she wasn't happy with the outcome. She said the materials used stretched out when she took it off the loom....darn! She called it "deconstructing" the scarf...which means she took it all apart and started over again, bless her heart! (I do that all the time in sewing, I should be familiar with that term!)

I don't know, I think it looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing, sis! We're both having fun checking out different websites for our projects....I could spend all day surfing the web looking for patterns for all kinds of crafts...I have to watch it! My paper files are growing and the space in our motor home is very limited, so I need to cull some of my project ideas that I'll probably never make...but they are so cute, I hate to throw them out!

Personally, I think needlework and crafting different things teaches you patience. I am working on a mitered scarf pattern (knitting) and I think I ripped out or "deconstructed the same square about ten times before starting to think there was a mistake in the pattern. I called the knit shop I got the pattern from, and sure enough. The directions were not entirely accurate, nor were they stated explicitly enough. AHA! I think I've got it now....it's starting to come together nicely. I'll save a photo for  next week when there's more progress to the pattern. It, too, is a scarf, but I think I'm gonna have it be a table runner instead! It's made from leftover sock yarn (you know, those little mini purses I was making that didn't sell?) I saw the cutest little baby booties made from self striping sock yarn the other day...hm-m-m-m-m, that gives me an idea....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What to Do?

I've got all these cute little key ring/key fob holders plus Easter eggs, and now don't know what to do with them! Thought they might sell at the local craft show, but they didn't. I had them priced at 5.00 each for the key rings, and $2.50 for each Easter egg, but none sold. Maybe the price was too high, or the type of people shopping at the craft show (RVers, and retirees) just wasn't the right audience. I guess I'll put them in a little tub and wait for another occasion to sell them at some kind of local fair.  Since I sold seven eggs at the rally we did, I'm not giving up yet!  I've got the eggs listed on ebay, but that really isn't the right place for them. Crafts are hard to sell on ebay!
I've got a lot of ideas to make things as a way of making a little extra money, but just not sure at this point if I can take a pattern off the internet, make it into something and then sell it at a craft show or on Etsy. I've been looking at patterns on the internet for kits for knitted dolls and don't see anything about copyrights on the patterns. I know you can't sell the PATTERN on most of these things but can you sell a product that you make from the pattern?  I started to list the little key rings on Etsy, but then thought I'd better check into this a little more...it's very confusing to me what you read about copyrights, so here I am, stuck at the moment on what to do...I don't want to do the wrong thing or heaven forbid, something illegal!

I loved basketweaving....I'd like to make more baskets but don't know if those would sell or not....here's my first market basket, the first basket I ever made and I just loved doing it!
It would be an investment to get supplies, but just don't know whether to dive into this or not....the actual cost of reed and basket weaving materials is not too expensive...as you can see, I'm just not sure where to go with my craft skills next...I've also thought seriously of making felted things like e-reader covers to sell, or other felted bags and cozies...so, this week I'll just have to do some investigating and maybe post some questions in some forums online and see if I can get some guidance.....

My sister is quite busy right now with Ferncare in Ferndale, Michigan, which is a clinic where people who are seriously ill and have no medical insurance can be seen by doctors, (ages 19-64) so she is not weaving right now....she works hard to promote Ferncare as their funding is very limited. A scarf is her next project on her tabletop rigid heddle loom. Can't wait to see it!