Monday, December 6, 2010

Colorful Crocheted Scarf

I started this scarf on a visit to Nags Head, NC. It's a lattice pattern that I've done before and really like because it's so easy. After row one, all the other rows are just row 2 repeated till you get the length you want or run out of yarn (which I did since I only had one skein with me). The yarn is Bernat's Mosaic; the color is Psychedelia. I love the way the colors made horizontal stripes as if I'd planned it that way. I got a 2nd skein when I got home so I could make it longer. The colors are so wild that it didn't matter that the 2 skeins weren't from the same dye lot. I'm such a sucker for variegated yarns. This one came out like a wild rainbow.

BTW, while at the coast, I visited a wonderful yarn shop, Knitting Addiction, in Kill Devil Hills. If I lived there, I think I'd be in the shop all the is full of gorgeous yarns and has a very welcoming, cozy atmosphere. My sister, a graphic designer, loved the colors and took photos of the yarns so she'd have a reminder of them. I bought some lovely yarn to make something for her, a felted fish kit for me, and a pattern for a simple shrug (probably also for me). I'll post the results here whenever I finish them. Right now, I'm finishing 4 other projects...all of which are NOT using old stash. So I'm a little off track on the stash busting action.

2 small projects

Neither of these are using old stash. I guess depleting stash encourages adding to stash...oh, well. Both projects are from Debbie Bliss's The Knitter's Year. All the projects in the book are "make-in-a-week" projects, but the ones I've done really only take hours, not days, to complete.

Next to the pumpkin candle holder is a pumpkin pin cushion in orange and green Brown Sheep wool. I felted it a little so the stuffing wouldn't show through the stitches.

Below is a door stop I made for on of my doors that tends to close when there's a breeze. The book showed the project in white yarn, but I think the dark fushia looks more dramatic. It took 2 pounds of beans to fill it out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Incredible Output from Charity Group

One of the ways I've been able to reduce my stash this year is by participating in our area's monthly Knit Night. Knitters and crocheters met at a local library to make scarves, hats, blankets, sweaters, etc. that would be donated to local charities. At our November meeting we brought in the results -- over 300 pieces that will be given to 4 non-profit groups in the Raleigh area. These photos that I took are just a sample of the tremendous work that everyone accomplished.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tatted Snowflake

I'm in Tri Tatters, a tatting group that draws tatters from the Triangle area of NC (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and surrounding towns). I tatted this snowflake ornament to represent our group on the Cary, NC Christmas tree this year. The town asked that local groups contribute an ornament for the annual tree lighting ceremony. I used size 10 crochet cotton. The ornament is 5" across. The pattern is from a DMC Christmas tatting book.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Off the shuttle: tatted mat

Here's a project that is really, really old. I started this mat in my early days of tatting using size 10 crochet thread, which I no longer tat with. Once you move on to the finer threads, size 10 feels like tatting with rope. The mat is in 2 colors of variegated thread (probably Aunt Lydia's brand). The dimensions are 11 inches by 21 inches. I'd finished all but one corner years ago, but apparently dealing with all the loose ends was too daunting and I never got around to finishing it. When I decided to take it up once more, I also decided to heck with neatly sewing in all the loose ends. I used Fray Check to secure the knots. Yeah, I know, that's not the perfectionist's way to deal with it, but the alternative would have been to never have finished the project. Now I can finally enjoy using the mat and no one need scrutinize the knots too closely. I've hand washed it and everything is still securely knotted.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Year-old project finished

This is a project from a filet crochet class I took last year. Not sure why I waited so long to assemble the squares...except for the fact that I really, really hate sewing blocks together. It really didn't take very long to do & I used up all the grey yarn by adding 4 rounds of edging. I was using up some yarns I had on hand which explains the colors and why some colors are only used for 2 blocks. I keep playing around with my camera settings, but haven't gotten the colors to display as accurately as I'd like. I think it looks better in reality than it does in these photos.

Here's a closeup that shows the solid and open hearts in the pattern. After I finished the class, I went on to make filet crochet valences for my kitchen.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Off the hook: tweedy rug

This is a small crocheted rug I made out of 3 strands of jute-like yarn from my weaving stash (the day before I ruthlessly weeded it). It's done in double crochet stitch.

Major stashbusting

I've gotten semi-ruthless with my weaving yarn stash and today managed to weed out 4 big bins worth. I've offered it on Wake Freecycle and already had a response.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Off the hook: yellow baby blanket

In addition to knitting yarns I have a stash of yarn primarily for weaving projects. I'm looking at these now to see if any can be used in knitting projects. Here is a small baby blanket that I crocheted in double crochet with a simple added edging. The yarn is a cotton/acetate blend and the label says the color is "Sweet Corn." The yarn is a thin core of yellow with little twists in white thread. Because the fiber is so thin, I used 5 strands to make the equivalent of DK weight yarn.

Still lots left of this yarn! Maybe it's time to offer some of the weaving yarn stash to other crafters.

Single strand of the yarn:

Friday, August 13, 2010

On the needles: still another baby blanket

I've started another baby blanket to use up some of my cotton yarn stash. This is a favorite afghan pattern that I've used many times over the years. It's from Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I like that the pattern mimics the popular crocheted zigzag afghan pattern, but -- since it's knitted -- it uses up a lot less yarn than the crocheted version.

The white yarn is Sugar 'n Cream and the multi-color is Peaches & Creme (color is Fiesta). The pattern knits up fast as there are only 2 rows to make the pattern.

Off the hook: white cotton baby blanket

The crocheted baby blanket is finished:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On the hook: yet another baby blanket

I'm crocheting a baby blanket using white Sugar & Cream cotton yarn from my sister's recent destashing. The pattern is "Simplicity" from Comfort Knitting and Crochet.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Off the hooks: small rug

My sister did some destashing this week & I took everything off her hands. Most of the yarn will be donated to the monthly charity knitting group. Like me, she had some really old stuff in her stash, including some grey nylon macrame cord. I mixed it with some nylon string that I had on hand and crocheted this small doormat. I seem to be attracting others who are destashing & they seem to see me as the repository for their castoffs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Off the needles: Alligator scarf

The pattern is another of the Morehouse Farms critter scarves. It was a fun, quick knitting project. I made it in taupe Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Old project finished: afghan

Here's a crochet project I'd started last year to use up odds and ends of acrylic yarns. Not sure why I hadn't finished it. All that I needed to do were a few more rounds to finish the edges.

Close-up of afghan's center:

On the needles: alligator scarf

I've started another Morehouse Farms scarf. This one is an alligator using Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice acrylic in taupe. I'll have photos when it's finished next week.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On the needles: another alpaca scarf

Since I still have alpaca yarn left, I'm making another scarf. This one is a lacy collage from Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Off the needles: Gecko scarf, Pig

This time there's an animal theme to my finished projects. I finished the Morehouse Farms gecko scarf and gave it to my friends' son, who, as you can see, was a happy recipient.

My other finished project is actually something I knitted a few years ago as a baby gift. I'd never finished assembling it, but pulled it out of my stash of unfinished projects when my daughter said she needed a gift for a friend's baby's 1st birthday. The yarn was leftovers from another project that I did finish.

I'm not sure why I hadn't finished it when the knitting was done. For a stuffed knitted toy, it's so easy to arms, legs, or head to sew on. I plan to make other animals from the pattern book.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Off the needles: Baby blankets for twins

Finished the blankets for my friend who's expecting twins. These are in Lily's Sugar & Cream cotton. I've knitting blankets in this before; it's soft and washable...just want you'd want in a baby blanket. These are just garter stitch squares: 100 stitches wide by 90 rows. The crocheted borders are from a new crochet edging book I just discovered: Around the Corner Crochet Borders: 150 Colorful, Creative Edging Designs with Charts and Instructions for Turning the Corner Perfectly Every Time by Edie Eckman.

Off the needles: Alpaca scarf

Finished & blocked scarf from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia in a fawn colored alpaca that I bought at the NC Fiber Fest. (Looks as if there will be enough yarn left for another lacy scarf.) The pattern I used is one of the simplest, I think, in Bush's tricky nupps in this one.

Here's a picture of the beautiful source of the yarn:

Off the needles: white baby blanket

This is a pattern from Barbara Walker's 1st pattern book. I used 3 balls of Reynolds Kitten (which isn't made anymore). I threaded ribbon yarn through all the eyelets. Also, crocheted a v-shell border on all sides. This will be a gift for a friend who's expecting her 1st grandchild in October (a girl).

Here's a closeup of the border:

Labels from the yarn I used:

Ribbon yarn I used:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On the needles this week

Just started a gecko scarf for a friend's son. It's one of the Morehouse Farms patterns. I'm doing it in a baby-weight green & yellow acrylic. I'm about 1/2 finished & will have photos soon.

Still on the needles: yellow & lavender baby blankets for twins (going fast as they're just garter stitch squares), white baby blanket for friend's grandchild (almost finished; good since I'm running out of yarn), & purple & black cabled wrap (which my daughter says she will take when finished).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another new project started.

Started another new project. This one is a cabled wrap using 2 stash yarns: (1) a black mohair/acrylic blend and (2) a thick&thin synthetic (no label on this one, so I'm not sure what the fiber content is...maybe nylon? A burn test indicated that it isn't a natural fiber) that is a twist of violet, green & black colors. I'll have photo when (or if) I finish it. This project will use up 19 balls of yarn from my stash (yay!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On the needles this week: Baby blankets

I'm knitting 3 baby blankets this week:

One in white Reynolds Kitten yarn in a simple lace pattern from one of Barbara Walker's pattern books. When the knitting is finished, I'll weave a pink ribbon yarn(from my friend's destashing) through the eyelets. The finished blanket will go to a yoga friend whose daughter is expecting a girl in October.

The other two are in Sugar & Cream for twins that a friend is expecting. I'm knitting garter stitch squares & will be adding a crochet edging. One is in lavender with yellow edging & the other is in yellow with lavender edging. Right now I'm knitting the squares simultaneously on one circular needle so they'll finish up the same size.

My daughter says I should stick to shawls, scarves & blankets since I seem to have a major problem finishing sweaters. Well, we'll see if she's right. I have a bin of unfinished sweaters that I hope to get to later this year.

Noro Shawl Finished!

Another project off the needles! The pattern is from Knitted Shawls, Stoles, and Scarves by Nancie Wiseman.

Back view:

Here's a close-up the yarn. This doesn't give justice to the beautiful variety of colors these yarns have.

Label from the Noro yarn...I think this is a discontinued yarn:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Baby blanket finished

Here's the finished baby blanket I was working on. The cream yarn is a cone of acrylic that I bought years ago at a mill outlet. It has a bumpy texture that makes it very thick and squishy. I CO with 3 stitches & added one on each side till I used 1/2 the yarn. Then decreased one stitch on each side till I ended up with 3 stitches to bind off. The yarn-over increases created holes that seemed call out for embellishing. So, using a yarn I acquired from my stash-busting friend, I wove 4 strands through the holes. Here's a close-up showing how I ended with a tassel.

Here's the label from the embellishment yarn. It's white & blue with snippets of pink ribbon, making it appropriate for either a girl or boy baby gift.

Scarves from my Stash

One of the best ways I've found to destash those 1 & 2 odd balls of yarn is to knit or crochet scarves. And I have made major inroads this year as you can see from the photo. I've finished nearly 30 since January. Most are from acrylics (Red Heart, Bernat) since most will be donated to charity & wool is just not a good choice for items that won't be handwashed. I'll have some close-up photos in another posting.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the needles this week

I'm working on 3 projects this week:

Shawl which is using up 4 balls of discontinued Noro from my stash.

Scarf from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia in a fawn colored alpaca that I bought at the NC Fiber Fest (not in my old stash, but I couldn't resist). I'm just a few rows from finishing this and have more than enough left from the skein to make a second scarf, which my daughter has already said she wants.

Baby blanket in Sugar & Cream cotton. This will be one of 2 blankets for a friend who's expecting twins. One will be in lavender with yellow crochet edging and the other will be in yellow with lavender edging.

Oh, No! More Stash...

One of my knitting friends is also destashing. This week she gave me a bag of yarn that she wanted to get rid of. I planned to take it to my charity knitting meeting since people in the group usually grab up anything donated. Of course, I had to go through the bag first to see if there was anything I could use. And, of course, there were a lot of things that I couldn't believe she was getting rid of. Her stash discards are a lot more interesting and valuable than mine (I guess I've always been drawn to the bargain bin closeout yarn). I've pulled out about 2/3's of what was in the bag. So now, I've just increased my stash. But I've promised myself that I WILL find projects for these additions or off to the Knit Night group they go. And as I do finish using this yarn, I'll post photos here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crocheted Bookmarks

Here are some scans of crocheted bookmarks I made last year for a literacy project. They were all made with various threads in my stash, mostly perle cottons. I used crochet edging patterns for most of these. The multi-color pastel thread is a perle cotton sold for sergers. The red/white/green is crochet cotton. The brown & black thread is a Japanese cotton I bought at Habu in NYC several years ago. The greyish bookmark is a nylon weaving thread that I bought at Hinshaws outlet in Burlington many, many years before they closed.