Sunday, January 30, 2011

The end is in sight

...of the unveiling of the final Christmas gifts of 2010. Thank goodness for I really need to move on to bigger and better things :) May I present to you a quadruple of toilet paper covers:

toilet paper covers

"K" requested toilet paper covers for ALL of her and my son's bathrooms in their new house. I was only too happy to fulfill her desires :) "N" and "K" have 3 bathrooms. A half bath off of the kitchen, a master bath and a guest bathroom. For the kitchen I decided to use my circle cloth and transform that design into a cover. On my first try I ended up with a Big Circle cloth motif:

Big Circle toilet paper cover

Not sure that that was the look I was going after, I gave it another try and made a smaller version of the cover, which is more true to the original circle cloth.
Now I had two covers. Which one did I think "K" would like better? I ended up giving her the smaller version. This one was going to be for the half bath, with colors matching her kitchen. I decide to give the extra Big version to "K" 's mother. I thought it would look nice in her bathroom. (Glad I did, because she really like it !)

circle toilet paper cover

Next on the list was the master bath. I had the bright idea that "K" might like a Hugs & Kisses motif on the one for the master bath. It matches the big queen sized Lover's Knot  blanket the I made for them last year. Basically I just used the "X"s and "O"s. She really like it :)

Hugs & Kisses Toilet paper cover

Then for the guest bath I decided to use my old favorite ballband toilet paper cover. Knit in colors that match the guest bathroom's pink and purple color scheme.
Ball Band Toilet Paper Cover

She was very pleased with all three, which made me very happy. I'm always happy to knit for my very appreciative and favorite daughter-in-law. Not having any of my own daughters, "K" more than makes up for the deficiency.

I'll leave you with another shot of my multiples of covers.
toilet paper covers

Now on to bigger and better things. Sure hope every one is finding the time to be happy and knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2011 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A couple of hats, plus some felting results

I still have a few more Christmas knit items to show you.  First, is a hat for my son's mother-in-law ("B"). I made it to go with the scarf I gave her a couple of years ago. I use the Intuitive Hat pattern (rav link). It's a reversible slouchy hat that can be worn slouchy or with a rolled up cuff. With the cuff you have a more traditional type of hat. "B" has a headful of beautiful natural curls so I thought she might like this style of hat. She seemed to be pleased and noticed right away that it (or the yarn) matched her scarf from a couple of years ago.

Wool Scarf

I also knit a Cashmere ribbed hat IMG_0819
for my husband who has a new jacket this year. It was fun knitting this hat on the sly so it was a surprise for him on Christmas morning. He always insinuates that I knit for everyone else and never for him. You can imagine how happy I was that I could surprise him. He's been wearing it a lot since Christmas. It fits him well. He's a big guy and has a rather large head, so I had to increase the number of stitches so it would fit. I have the details listed on Ravelry if you are interested in how I made an XXL hat. I was pleased with the results. This pattern is my all time favorite hat pattern for men. Very easy and it looks great on.

I took the plunge earlier in the week and felted my son's slippers. I really was a little hesitant doing it in my front loader. The potholder came out fine, but these slippers can be a little tricky to felt even in a regular wringer type washing machine. My front loader is a Whirlpool, Duet Sport and you select different wash cycles, spin cyles and water temp, BUT once you start a cycle the machine locks and you cannot open the door to check on the felting progress. It took 3 washes to felt the slippers to a satisfactory degree. Here's how I did it: I put each slipper in a pillow case tied with a knot. Added 2 bath sized towels and a little detergent. The first wash was a quick wash, hot water and no spin. This didn’t do much felting wise. On the 2nd wash I used a normal wash, medium spin with hot water. The knot came out once I used a spin cycle, so I added a rubber band the next time. With the normal wash it just started to felt, but it wasn't enough so I finished it off with one more quick wash, high speed spin and hot water. Had my son try them on and we stopped. Probably should have put it trough one more cycle as one slipper is a little loose going downstairs. Was afraid it may shrink/felt too much if I did it one more time. I sewed on non-skid soles. Once again I used the black rubberized self liner I bought in walmart. It's the same roll I used for all my other slippers I made previously and I still have more left.  I'm sooo glad they are done. I'm not anxious at all to make another pair. Hopefully these will last a long time :)Fiber Trends felted slippersIMG_0887

That's enough for today. I think I have enough for one more post about Christmas knitting, plus I started a new project ....for my husband. Yes, the guy who thinks I never knit for him. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I sure hope everyone is happy knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2011 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Potholders Galore!

This year on my favorite daughter-in-law's Christmas wish list were potholders and kitchen linens. A knitting mother's dream....Can you tell how excited I was? :) She wanted the usual dishcloths and potholders and something else that I'll show you another time (It deserves it's own post.), but the request was also for non-knitted kitchen linens with a morning glory theme (She has a recipe box, clock and curtains with morning glories). I knew I could knit the usual kitchen items for her, but I wasn't too sure they would be the morning glories she was looking for. Do you know how hard it is to find kitchen things with morning glories? You can find just about any other flower out there, but not morning glories.  Her curtains came from kmart, but that's all they have...curtains! I've looked in just about every store and even looked for morning glory fabric, despite the fact I'm not that good at sewing. I ended up emailing my son and he took photos of her recipe box - now I had something to work with:IMG_0406[1]-1

From these photos of her handpainted design I was able to copy it, sort of, and paint a morning glory design on some store bought potholders with fabric paint:
Morning Glory Potholders

She liked them! It was a very feeble attempt at at least trying to fulfill her wish. Personally I like a crocheted or knitted potholder better.

Next, I found a pattern for a super thick and I think quite pretty and decorative potholder. A very interesting pattern and I learned a new crochet stitch (front post double crochet) as well.
Scalloped Potholder

Then, I tried a felted pattern. A super easy one, that I'm sure I'll be using a lot in the future. It makes a nicely sized, thick felted potholder for everyday use.
Potholders before felting
"before" felting
pot holders after felting
"after" felting
It was also a good test of felting with my front loader. I wasn't sure it could be done, but I found out felting in a front loader can be done and I will be trying it again with my latest project, a new pair of slippers for my baby.(I noticed they have a new version of the pattern...I'm still using the old one.)
slippers before felting
"before" felting
I finished the knitting last night. He has worn holes in the top, toe area of the first pair I made for him a few years ago. The sewed on, shelf liner soles have been replace once. It's definitely time for a new pair.  I know -- I should have taken a photo of the old slippers. Come back again later and see the results of the felting process in a front loader. I'm holding my breath AND crossing my fingers and toes...wish me luck!

Happy Knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2011 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

A sense of accomplishment

Remember the "to-go" bag I brought home from this year's (2010) Pine Street Inn Knit-a-thon.

Well, this morning I finally finished it. Earlier in the week I spread out all the squares and started putting it together.Pine St. Inn Knit-a-thon 2010 Once I get them all laid out I just can't help myself working on it when ever I have a few spare minutes.

I decided to do it the same way as last year's and do the flat chain stitch braided crochet technique. It worked out well last year and it's much quicker than mattress stitching all the squares together. Then I did two rows of single crochets around the blanket edge. Here's the finished blanket:
Pine St. Inn Knit-a-thon 2010

Before I leave you here is another one of my Christmas knitting projects. It's a Christmas stocking for my daughter-in-law. I decided this was the year to give my oldest son his old knitted Christmas stocking (method in my madness, less stockings to fill next year and in the future!)
My favorite (only) daughter-in-law also needed her own new stocking. IMG_0824They have a beautiful fireplace in their new home and I know they will enjoy hanging their stockings. I didn't knit my son's stocking. It was given to him by my cousin as a baby gift. Someone in her church had knitted the stocking for him. This particular stocking is a bit odd, because it doesn't have a heel. It makes a good center stocking though. Recently I found the vintage pattern (ravelry link) (non-ravelry) with the heel and was planning on trying to make the new stocking for "K" with that pattern. I had a really hard time finding yarn similar to the old stocking. I never knew just how many shades of red and green there are out there. I wasn't really happy with the yarn I bought and ended up not making the stocking as per the pattern, but made a solid red stocking and embroidered it like the stockings I had made for my husband and myself many years ago. The vintage stocking was a tapered one as opposed to our embroidered stockings which were straight. If I did it again I would stick to the embroidered "straight" type of stocking. I was able to complete the stocking just in time for Christmas and "K" was happy with the results. I filled the stockings one last time and wrapped them up for them to open on Christmas day. My son noticed right away that his old stocking wasn't in it's usual place hanging on the fireplace mantel.

Here it is hanging for it's last time in all it's glory in our humble abode:

I must say I am glad the holidays are over and done with for this year. Glad to be working on some new projects. I know I still have more Christmas knitting to show you, so be sure and come back again.

Have a wonderful winter weekend with lots of happy knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2011 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Welcome 2011!

What better way to start off the new year than to start to show you what I've been up to with my knitting. I'm very behind with posts as I still have so much to show you as far as my Christmas knitting goes. Here's one of my completed items: a Popsicle scarf for my favorite daughter-in-law.
She loved the red scarf that matches her new red jacket. The stitch pattern was so much fun to knit. IMG_0789Easy, but looks difficult. It's one of those drop stitch --on purpose-- type of stitch patterns. I highly recommend it! In fact I enjoyed knitting it so much I went and bought another skein (Paton's Shetland Tweeds)...just to  make it nice and long. Most of the time when you knit a scarf you get so sick of the pattern, you can't wait to be finished.IMG_0791IMG_0790 Not with this pattern. Try it, then you'll understand!

My daughter-in law get's so excited when I knit for her....she immediately put on the scarf and left it on for the rest of the day. I really LOVE knitting for her :) She said she liked how soft it was and the fact the pattern looked reversible.

There are more items to show you, so be sure and come back again :)

Happy New Year and Happy Knitting!

Copyright ©2006-2011 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.