17 entries categorized "knitting"

On Frogging & Trying Again

Cast on, knit, purl, purl, purl, purl, knit ....frog*. 


Where's the J hook? 

Chain, single, single, double, double, half double, single, bind off....huh, it's another not-what-the-pattern-photo-looks-like. 


Decide it's a little bag, or a hand cuff or...I know! It's a neck sweater!

And that.  Sums up my weekend. 

Did you get a little more than that done over the weekend?  (I hope so)

*frog  (frôg, frg)n.

1. Any of numerous tailless, aquatic, semiaquatic, or terrestrial amphibians of the order Anura and especially of the family Ranidae, characteristically having a smooth moist skin, webbed feet, and long hind legs adapted for leaping. (from this dictionary)
2. To "rip" out one's stitches, as in "rip-it," "rip-it," "rip-it" out (go ahead, say that out loud.  hear the frog noise?).  I have frogged more projects than I've finished this weekend.  (from the dictionary in my head, but frequently said in knitting & crocheting forums).

Speaking of Inspiration...

I have spent more hours than I'd care to admit at Ravelry lately (I'm JustPureLovely there...find me if you join!).  I know I'm spending more time fingering my yarn and looking at patterns than I am in crocheting and knitting things, but the yarn is so soft and the patterns so endless! 

Here are a few of my favorites that I hope to start crocheting or knitting soon:


Do you prefer knitting or crocheting?  Or do you like to keep a project (or two) going in both, like I do?

I prefer knitting for relaxation and for my smooth bamboo needles, but I prefer crochet when I want to finish a project quickly. Most gifts from me are crocheted. 

If you want links to any of the above, let me know! They are all free patterns I found on Ravelry.

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A Cat, a Man, a Hat, & Me

What do you get when you have those 4? 

image from www.flickr.com
Yep.  You get a blurry picture. 

I wanted to show you my new hat, in case I've convinced you to be a milliner, too.  Or, at least, have you started crocheting?  It's so very fast.  This hat was done in a 24-hour span of time, in the minutes between cooking-cleaning-hugging-folding-sweeping-sleeping-messingaroundontheinternet.

We finally got a clear (er) shot of the hat....

image from www.flickr.com

  ...but we couldn't get one of me not looking silly.  My husband turned into a papparazzi photographer when he got hold of my camera.  "Work it," he said as he tilted the camera this way and that.  The combination of him saying "work it," him looking goofy with the camera, and me feeling nervous in front of it, was enough to give me the giggles.

So, anyway, let's get back to the hat.  Truly.  You can do it.  Here's the free pattern.

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I Made a Hat

Creating things never ceases to amaze me.  I am awed that if you twist fibers just so, they will create shapes that you can actually fit on your head.  I shared my awe with the two most intelligent (book smart, male) people in our house, and they both said, "Well, sure, see, if you drone-drone-geometry-smeometry-blah-blah, it always turns out that way."

Since I can't understand that stuff, I stand amazed.

And so, I'm like a little kid saying, "Look at what I made!" because I'm seriously So Excited that twisting yarn with a metal stick created something so fun for our little teenie bopper.

image from www.flickr.com

image from www.flickr.comimage from www.flickr.com

image from www.flickr.com




image from www.flickr.com

Hats have a way of making the sass come out, don't they?  Last year, it was the Year of the Scarf around here (our ballerina is wearing one, in fact, that she crocheted last year).  This year:  I think we're on the way to becoming haberdashers milliners (had to look that one up!).   Making this little hat was so fun and so easy that I want to make 10,000 more. 

Want to crochet one, too?  The pattern is free, here.  It only took me an afternoon, an evening, and a morning (it would have been simpler to just say "a day," I suppose, but keep in mind that I'm regularly interrupted by four children and my whimsies).  The pattern is easy enough for a beginner, so try it!

What are you creating these days?  Please do share, so I will be distracted from crocheting 10,000 hats.  1.  We do not have enough heads, and 2. I'm pretty sure I won't make it to 19, much less 9,999 more hats.

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Book Review: Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet

We have a yarn problem around here:   We have too much of it.  I know we could give it away, but we also have another yarn problem:  We keep buying it.   It was a manageable problem when there was only one person with a  yarn problem, but when our now-13yo ballerina turned 9 and started knitting, she came down with the problem, too.

So she and I decided, in the spirit of wasting not, to use at least 5 balls of yarn, each, before we're allowed to purchase more. Yipes.

image from www.flickr.com

One of my self-assigned projects is to figure out how to use the ribbon yarn we acquired on a clearance sale, when we no doubt had to have it for something, someday.  That day hasn't come yet, and the ribbon yarn just sits (whatever could it be useful for?), so when Interweave Press sent me their beautiful new book, Gifted:  Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet, and I saw a pattern for a silk crocheted scarf, I thought of the ribbon yarn.

image from www.flickr.com

I think, with a different sized hook, the ribbon yarn would crochet up easily - and quickly - into a  fancy, evening scarf.  And since I never, ever have a fancy evening (well, I probably have had one, once), I'll likely give it as a Christmas gift to someone.  But first I have to think of someone who has fancy evenings.  Hmm.

Well, think of someone or not, I'm motivated to complete the scarf because as soon as I use up this ribbon yarn, I'm one ball closer to being "allowed" to buy more yarn!


Gifted:  Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet was written by Mags Kandis.  It is a beautiful book. The projects are not all quick (there are some beautiful socks that would take me a fairly long year to complete, I'm sure), but they are all definitely lovely gifts that I would love to give (or receive!).

I'm planning on making:

  • the crocheted scarf above
  • the adorable felted hearts on the front cover
  • the ribbed, knitted tea cozy


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Tutorial: A Knitting Pattern for a 'Woven' Scarf

A finished project!  A finished project! This is cause for celebration around here, that I actually finish a project (I'm more about the process than the product).  This year, though, I'm determined to do more finishing.

This project:  A little knitted scarf, the perfect size for our 6yo little gal. She wasn't available for a 'photo shoot,' so I threw it over the birds' cage:

You can make it, too! Here's how:

Cast on 16

Knit 4

Purl 4

Knit 4

Purl 4

Flip it over and repeat the above for 3 more rows, for a total of 4 rows.


Purl 4

Knit 4

Purl 4

Knit 4

Repeat that for 4 rows, too.  Then do another 4 rows starting with knit.  Then 4 more with purl.  And so on until the project is as long as you like.  

I used small bamboo knitting needles - size 4, I think.  They were small enough that this scarf took a long time to make (I swapped this project out with faster crochet projects when I needed a break).  Larger needles would be much faster.

(The blue bird was unimpressed.  I couldn't keep him awake.)

If you make a project using this pattern - or if you already have - let me know!  I'd love to see it.

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Busy Hands

My hands have been busy lately, crocheting and knitting Christmas gifts. Since I'm always more about the process than the end product, I don't often finish projects.  But this year, I'm happy to say, I've so far completed two in time for Christmas:  a bright red cotton crocheted afghan for my parents and a pea green capelet. Including I and completed in a sentence is worthy of a "whoo-hoo!"

image from www.flickr.com
Pictured, from top to bottom, are the works still in progress:  a blue and white cotton crocheted afghan for our 9 yo little guy; a shades-of-blue checkered (in texture) cotton knitted scarf for our 6yo little gal who chose the yarn and would not budge on it no matter the brighter colors I showed her; a not-yet-started brown woolen knitted helmet liner for our 14yo Civil Air Patrol cadet (this is the project that scares me into frozen numbness, and so it is not yet started); and - finished right after this photo was taken - a pea green cotton crocheted capelet with brown ribbon decoration for our 12yo ballerina.

I have to do more than one project at once, or I'll get so fed up and/or bored that I won't pick the thing up again (I know myself well after all these years of being me!).

But it's easy to do several projects at once when they are so simple. These projects are done with easy-peasy stitches so that my easily-distracted mind can work on them while multitasking.  I've been crocheting and knitting in snippets all Autumn,  taking whichever project tickles my fancy, to ballet rehearsals, to the library, to the movie theatre, to the Nutcracker,  to the beach, in car rides, and even to a church service (I honestly listen better when my hands are preoccupied!).

Are your hands busy making gifts for Christmas? 

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Fuzzy Things, Soft Things, Spinning Things

Saturday and Sunday were National Alpaca Farm Days.  Did you know that?  No?  Well, they were. 

There is an alpaca farm just two miles up the road from us.  This....is an alpaca, in case you didn't know.

alpaca2 by you.

Purty, no? 

But I'm not so sure about this one...

alpaca3 by you.

Still, as I say to my (human) girls regularly, All Girls are Beautiful.  If God, the Artist, thought it was Good, then who are we to say his art is ugly?

(Transparent sidebar moment that I can't believe I'm typing, but the above reminded me of it:  Our Little Gal was watching me exercise in an unbecoming pose - that's my excuse - this morning and in all her five-year-old honesty said, "Mama, I know God made you that way, but you have a fat bum.")

These two are watching my girl (the one who is old enough to never say anything about her mama's bum) in the background...

watching over the farm

So I came around and shot them from the front.  Yes, of course, I shot them with the camera

the girls by you.

Don't they look like a couple of gossips?  I'll bet they're assessing our gal and the grey one is telling the other that All Girls are Beautiful.  Even human girls without fur.

My favorite, very favorite part of Alpaca Farm Day(s) is the spinners.  The kids and my man can go on and enjoy those alpacas all they want. I just want to plop myself down by the spinners for the rest of the day.  Oh, and no, we are not speaking of spinning as in exerciseThat would not be something I'd plop down to watch - or do - for fun.  This is what I mean...

spinner by you.

Isn't it all so beautiful and inspiring?  The wheel, the socks that match her blouse, the white apron, the fiber, the yarn, the HP box...um, okay, never mind that one...  Here is where I could stay all day.


This lovely couple invited me to come back the next day to try my hand at spinning.  I did and I loved it and now I am so very excited about what is on its way in the mail to me.  So. Very. Excited.  But I'll tell you later about that.

alpaca yarn

Knitting by the Bay

Oh, good.  Gustav (hurricane) didn't knock out our power or blow around too much or cause flooding here.  I'm very sorry for our fellow Southerners in Mississippi and Louisiana who had to bear the brunt of his fury.  I hope he wasn't too too awful there.

We have  gusty winds - the kids say it feels like God is opening his mouth wide and blowing hot breath on us - and some rain and more tornado warnings than the weatherman could keep up with (he said it was a record number).  I hope those only struck empty fields.  But not the cotton fields.  That wouldn't be nice, only a month or so before harvest.

So, good, I guess I'll still have more days of knitting at the Bay while the girls are in ballet, as I hoped. 

Our Little Gal started ballet this year, too.  We thought we'd let her start when she's older, like her sister did, but she sooo wanted the "pretty dresses"  and pleaded for most of the Summer until Daddy couldn't say no any longer.  He also had to buy her a "purple" tutu, since that's what she requested, even though the pink one was cheaper.  It's handy to have pretty blue eyes and the instinctive knowledge of how to use them on your Daddy.

Ballet Slippers

While the girls were at ballet, my man worked, and the boys stayed home, likely rotting their brains on electronic games.  I found myself alone.  What to do with an  hour of free time?! 

Knit by the Bay, that's what.

Knitting at the Bay

Oh, and take photos of the pretty cotton yarn on a picnic table by the Bay, that's what, too.  I wondered for a moment if I looked silly, photographing yarn.  But the few people nearby were walking silly-looking tiny dogs, so I figured we were even.

Knitting at the Bay

I cannot think of a more relaxing - therapeutic, really - way to spend an hour.

Knitting at the Bay

p.s. In case you're wondering...it's an afghan I'll finish, oh, sometime in 2030 or so, made of my first attempt at cables and from this book.  The pattern really stands out when knit with a simple cotton yarn (yarn from the esteemed cottage business yarn shop, um...WalMart....and therin lies the proof that I'm no knitting purist and am definitely impatient.)

Project: Knitting a Shawl Like Tasha Tudor's

I don't think you're supposed to keep the knitting urge when it's Spring and the garden is growing, but I do still have the knitting urge, so that's that.   I am a whim-follower.   This week, my whim is to knit a Tasha Tudor shawl.  Never mind that I'm knitting it in wool and we are in the middle of March and I live in the Deep South.  Never mind that at all.  I want a shawl like Tasha Tudor has, and I want to knit.

Here is Miss Tasha in her red shawl:

Tasha's shawl

Mine will be in Chestnut Brown. This is what the delivery guy brought today:


Chestnut Brown 100% wool (4 skeins) & size US4 29" circular Bamboo Knitting Needles


(those are the only things needed for this project but I also ordered, because I am a follower of my whims, a Bias Tape Maker and white wool to dye - neither of which I know how to do, but ... what fun is not trying, I ask?)


Do you want to knit a shawl like Tasha's, too? If so, here are a couple of links to photos and the free pattern:

Of course this is not the only knitting project I have going on.  I like to have several projects in the works at all times.  So, I'm also making a knitting bag, a scarf for my man (who absolutely will not need it until next "winter," and maybe not even then, but what else to knit a guy?), and finishing a purse for our Little Gal.  The purse was supposed to be a sweater until I got absolutely bored of the pattern and couldn't imagine spending months on it, so it's now being stitched up to be a bag/purse.  Whims.  You know.