Monday, March 31, 2008

A square for Elizabeth

My sock knitting was abruptly halted when a friend of mine asked me to knit a blanket square for her. I couldn't say no when I heard the story. Here is the blanket square I made for a 9 year old fourth grade girl from a neighboring town facing surgery April 4th at Children's Hospital. A tumor was discovered in her chest when she was x-rayed for pneumonia. I don't know her personally, but I wish I could have knit more. There just wasn't enough time. And now that I'm turned out a little bigger than what it was supposed to be :( The square should be 12", but mine measures 13". I'm still going to give it to my friend who doesn't knit. It's her friend who is making the blanket to give to her friend's daughter. Hope the border can be scrunched up and made to fit. I used the grandmother's favorite square pattern without the yarn overs. Not enough time to rip it out and start over. My intentions were good. I hope for the best for Elizabeth and pray she has an easy recovery. I'm sure her new blanket will keep her warm and bring her comfort :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008


....from tinkertoys to my first ever Swift!! I had a very bored youngest son earlier this week, so he made me a swift from his old hand-me-down tinkertoys that he no longer uses. (He was very happy to comply to my suggestion as he was the last person to be my "human swift"). Recycling something that was just taking up space into something useful is a very good feeling.
We got the idea from Rachel who led us to this blog with a tutorial on how to make a swift from tinkertoys. My very clever son had to do some improvising though because our set of tinkertoys didn't have all the necessary parts. The best thing about this swift besides the obvious "low" cost (if you don't have to go out and buy the tinkertoys), is the fact that it is collapsible and therefore very portable and easy to store.

Here is a picture of the swift with a huge skein of yarn:
Seems to be very stable and spins freely. Now I'm sure you are going to ask...where is the ball of yarn that you wound with the new swift? Well, I didn't have the time to wind the ball, but I will and when I do I'll be sure and show you. Now the next time he's bored I'll have to see if he has enough Lego parts to make one of these. Then I'll really be all set!

No finished knitting to show you, but hopefully soon I'll be back with something new :)

For all those of you who celebrate Easter....sure hope you have a happy one :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Frugal Sock Blockers

I just finished a new pair of 100% wool (more yarn from my mother's stash) socks.
Another hybridization of the Nutkin pattern's short row heels and toes plus the stitch pattern "Stansfield 16" from More Sensational Knitted Socks. I think I'm stuck on this type of heels and toes, probably because I love how these socks fit me...perfectly!

100% wool socks definitely need sock blockers...most sock knitters would agree I'm sure. Dilemma ...I don't own any. Then magically a solution appeared to me most unexpectedly by way of my knitting friend Becky. She found a great "recipe" for homemade sock blockers made from placemats.
They are not only inexpensive to make, but they also can become a recycle project in my case. I ended up with two pairs of sock blockers (first pair was a little on the short side) and a half dozen coasters (from the scraps I cut small squares). Pretty good? Instantaneously you can make your own sock blockers custom sized to your own feet really easily from placemats. I didn't even buy placemats...I used old ones that should have been thrown away. The edges were separating at the corners. Just avoid those corners and the rest is fine. If you haven't already figured it out already - I am a notorious packrat :)

Here are my socks on my brand "new" sock blockers:
I'm happy :) Hope you are too...happy knitting :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some Scrubbies and Some Recycling

No, it's not Christmas again...guess you can tell I have a predominately green kitchen! Here is a stack of scrubbies from a bunch of patterns that I recently tried out. I needed a little break from my sock knitting ( yes, I did finish a new sock and I am presently working on it's mate) and thought I would try out a few scrubbie patterns (or tawashi as the Japanese call them)
and see how they compare. I'm using scraps of acrylic yarn with recycled plastic netting from onion bags.

To prepare the bags for knitting: I cut the bottom and top off a bag, washed and dried them. Then make one long strip out of the bag with a few simple steps. First open up the bag (bottomless bag) up by cutting it lengthwise into a rectangle. Then cut strips by cutting it as seen in this very poorly drawn diagram: Here is my assortment of srubbies:
The first thing you notice is that there is a size difference.
This small one is a Circular Scrubby from the Dishcloth Duo pattern. It was the smallest. Being small does have it's merits though. Good for scrubbing tight places. It can be made bigger. Check out Knottykitty's version here. You can see the red plastic netting, which will hopefully work out well as a dish scrubber.

This next one is I think is the easiest and fastest knit.

I used the Scrubbles pattern. This one is very easy and fast. Works great with the netting knit with the acrylic yarn. This one will be a work horse I'm sure. It reminds me of a green frosted donut with with red sprinkles :)

This next one is the Tribble pattern. This one I think takes the longest time to knit. You need a 10 inch piece before you assemble it. That's pretty big!

I'm sure it will make a heavy duty scrubber. It is a really good size one and with this one I used a mixture of red and white netting. The netting is hard on your hands. Not the easiest fiber to knit with. But for such a small project I definitely think it's worth it. Plus you are using something you would normally just throw in the trash. After all you are just using it as a scouring pad and not making an heirloom. I have thought of using nylon netting or tulle, but I would imagine it wouldn't be as effective at scrubbing since it is gets less stiff with use.

For these last two I got out my crochet hook and did a little crocheting.
The one on the left is done the right way and the one on the right is done the wrong way. When I made the first one I didn't read the part in the pattern that stated you crochet through the back loop. This is what makes the ridges and makes a better scrubber. I tried using the netting with this pattern, but found it too difficult and annoying crocheting the plastic netting. Knitting the netting is so much easier. The crochet pattern I used is the Spiral Scrubbie pattern.

In conclusion, here are my final thought on the subject of scrubbies. Even though I think the best looking and easy scrubbie is the dishcloth duo's circular scrubbie and making one bigger would be better.... I have to give my seal of approval to scrubbles for being the easiest and quickest to make and therefore the most practical one :)

Enough with the scrubbies already and now back to my socks!!
Happy Knitting :)