Thursday, March 29, 2007

Much better at knitting than sewing!

I have always thought that I was better at knitting than sewing, but now I know for sure!! Several weeks ago I bought some material and a pattern to make myself some aprons. My old aprons are looking pretty weary and pathetic. My first instinct was to knit myself an apron...I have seen patterns (Knitty's party apron and Saucy apron from Tracy Ullman's book Knit 2 Together) and they do look quite nice. I would probably have to add a bib to Saucy, but either apron would be wonderful knit with a nice cotton. I talked myself out of knitting the apron because I thought it would take too long and would it really be practical? Ok, so I went ahead made the aprons:
From a distance they don't look too bad. They will definitely serve their purpose and I'm glad I made them. I made many mistakes for sure, but by the third one I did much better. Not perfect, but a little better. I'm glad they are for me and not a gift. I would be very embarrassed to give them to anyone!

With so much fabric left over, I then proceeded to try to make a needle case somewhat like Ren's. She was my inspiration to actually pulling out my sewing machine and sew the aprons and then the case with the leftovers. Her case is beautiful! My case is ok and much better than the way I was storing my needles previously. You can see my mess here:
I had one pretty good case for my long straights and I had a zippered case for my circulars, but over all it was a chore to find needles when starting a new project. Now, the new case didn't actually end up as I had envisioned it. I wanted a case that would hold all my needles. I really tried, but the circulars just wouldn't stay put in their pockets. Every time I tried to flip that portion of the case over they all would fall out. Very messy and frustrating. I probably could sew snaps on the pockets, but that just seemed like way too much work! I think it would be ok for a few, but I have way too many. Then I came up with a solution that works out very well. I am using a three ring zipper binder with page protectors to keep the circulars in order by size.
I wish I had thought if this earlier. Now I have two cases for ALL my needles!
This is the case I made:
I now have room for all my straight ( short and long) and all my double pointed needles. The flap folds over and I end up with a pretty compact, but heavy roll:
I'm happy, but please do not look too closely at the sewing!! It's functional; it works, but is it a product of a skilled sewer?..... NO...definitely not. My sewing machine is now safely tucked away in it's case, probably for at least another year. That's enough sewing for this year and now back to my knitting. Next time I need an apron I think I will knit it....that would be a much more enjoyable experience!!

happy knitting :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

More bibs!

When I heard that my youngest son's trombone teacher just had a baby I knew that I just had to make the baby some cute bibs. I don't even know if the baby is a boy or a girl. I think the colors I picked out are pretty gender neutral. I love the Mason Dixon "Baby Bib of Love" pattern from theMason-Dixon Knitting book. I just love's so simple, easy and quick. I chose to make stripes this time instead of using variegated yarn. The few I made previously have been very well received. This time I made the music notes dishcloth from knittingknonsense and added the Mason- Dixon straps to make this cute musically inspired bib. In addition I added a few rows and stitches to the borders. Since the notes didn't stand out I outlined them with cotton chenille. The possibilities are endless. It is so easy to adapt the Mason Dixon bib to any dishcloth. Now, I just have to keep on finding more babies to make these cute bibs for. Happy Knitting :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

What kind of knitter are you?

I don't have any new knitting to show you...hopefully soon...I'm really working on it :) My new and different project( a throw) is waiting for me to show you once I'm sure it's actually going to work out. There is a little experimentation going on. I hope it will be as I have envisioned it. Time will tell. It was supposed to be a sweater for me, but I bailed out and decided to make a throw instead. There is definitely plenty of yarn to make a blanket. I like squares and rectangles better than sweaters :) Today as a side project I just started another baby bib for my son's trombone teacher who just had a baby. Those are quick and easy so I should have something to show you later on.

For now I'll leave you with this quiz which I found on Teenuh's blog. Happy Knitting :)

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.
Take this quiz!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Recipe Rave - Sweet Chili-Glazed Chicken Wings

This is not a knitting post, but I just had to tell you about this wonderful recipe for chicken wings I just tried today. Check the recipe out in my kitchen ( hakucho's kitchen) . I am so glad I tried the recipe. Thanks g-girl for sharing the link.

Happy cooking :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This prayer shawl reminds me of blueberries!

This week I finished my latest prayer shawl. Remember how I always carry a prayer shawl in the works with me? For this one I alternated two different yarns by knitting two rows of each color, carrying my yarn up the side. The pattern can be found here.
Here's another view:
The fuzzy purple yarn is from a package of AC Moore one pound millends of unknown fiber.It is very soft and marl like, but looks unspun almost like a roving... it's not wool, definitely an acrylic fiber. The blue yarn is just plain old acrylic.
The nice thing is that I have enough extra yarn leftover, so I'm going to be able to knit two of these shawls. Enough said.... I started another one right away. I'm pleased with the way the first one turned out.

I belong to our church's prayer shawl minisitry, which meets once a month. Check out Janet Bristow's website for more information on the Prayer Shawl Ministry in case you would like to find out more or perhaps you might want to start a ministry of your own. A group from our church recently went to New Orleans to do work projects and they brought with them a large number of prayer shawls and they were very well received. In fact they could have used more. Guess we just have to get working and knit up some more! It's a good feeling to know that something as simple as a prayer shawl can bring so much comfort :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

These boots clogs were made for walking....

Believe it or not it took almost a week for my Fiber Trends Felted Clogs to dry. Normally when I have felted anything (only purses) I have felted them in the washer with hot water and a load of sheets letting them go through all the cycles including the spin cycle. With the felted clogs it is rcommended that you remove them before the spin cycle and rinse by hand which means even after squeezing out the excess water with a towel they are still sopping wet. I kept turning them and eventually they dried to a perfect fit.

Once dried I had to make the decision as to what I was going to put on the bottoms of the soles to make them non-slip. I am such a clutz that I knew I had to do this one last step. Next came my research.

Here are my options:
  • Ruth from my Monthly Yahoo Dishcloth group uses "Shoe Goo" which can be found in the shoe dept. at Walmart for about three dollars and some change. You can put dots of this liquid plastic type of material on the bottoms. Drawback - smell is foul and potentially harmfull to one's lung. No thank you, that is not for me.
  • You can use puffy fabric paint. Sounds easy, but how long would that last? No, not willing to try.
  • has some good ideas. Iron-on patch material for slipper bottoms - durablity would be questionable. This website has other paint on latex or plastic compounds listed. Once again harmful odors are problematic. They also mention leather bottoms.
  • Leather slipper bottoms an be purchased directly from Fiber Trends. Unsure of the cost, probably expensive. Elann sells leather soles too. Click here to see the elann slipper soles which are very nice, but again the draw back is cost.
  • Lastly, I found a latex product that I can cut out and sew on the bottom -- Easy Liner by Duck. I found this big roll of shelf liner in the housewares dept. of Walmart for three dollars and some change and comes in a few basic colors. Sounds good to I took the plunge and this is what I tried.Here are the soles finished. You could probably glue the custom cut soles on, but I chose to sew them on. Should the material wear out I can easily remove the worn sole and replace it with another. Pretty easy and for me the best solution. No slipping now, but the test will be how long they last. I will only wear them in the house so hopefully they'll hold up :) I really enjoyed knitting these clogs. I highly recommend the pattern. If you follow the pattern step by step through all the twists and turns it's very easy. I know there will be more felted clogs in my future.

Happy Knitting :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

An assortment of cloths

This week my experimentation with chenille has continued. All but one of the cloths I knitted were made either with chenille or a mixture. I really like combining cotton yarn with chenille. The resulting fabric is quite nice and makes a nice soft wash or face cloth. The plain chenille is so boring. Someday I want to try dyeing some, but until I have the time that project will have to wait!

The first new pattern I tried is the Diagonal Ripple Dishcloth pattern. I made the first one in the chenille...not too exciting...but knitting the pattern is exciting as every row is different.
The next one I used peaches and cream. I like this pattern in the varigated yarn (Peaches & Cream - daisy ombre). You can find the pattern here.
The ripples show up much better with the peaches and cream. Another cloth that I tried is a cloth that has similarities to the infamous ballband:
I found this pattern in Barbara Walker's "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns". The stitch is called the "basket stitch" and can also be found here. I think ball band lovers will like this one. I used Bernat Handcrafter - robins egg with the chenille.

Juat to be a little different I thought I would try this one - "Garter Stitch Puff Stripe".
I got the idea from Nicky Epstein's Knitting over the Edge. This one almost feels like it is a double knitted fabric. The cloth is super thick and cushy. I think it would make a good pot holder. The reverse side has its own special pattern as well. I used Sugar & Cream - rose pink with the chenille:
The next one I tried was Monika's (Smoking Hot Needles) Garter Slip Stitch Dishcloth pattern. This one is wonderful with the chenille and the cotton (Sugar & Cream - rose pink) . I love the finished cloth.
This is the back...which is pretty, too! You can find this super easy pattern here.
Then last but not least I once again returned to Grandmother's favorite, but this time I did stripes for some variety. One with varigated peaches and cream - shade denim and the chenille stripes:
...and one striped with the solid cotton Bernat Handcrafter - robin egg in addition to the chenille:
I've knit all these cloths and I still have lots more chenille to I'm sure I'll be keeping my eyes open for some more interesting patterns to knit!

I am now ready for a new and different project after I get one loose end finished up!

happy knitting :)