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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to mend a broken heart.

Well, maybe that is a bit over the top but I am a little sad. Here's the deal. I flubbed my awesome job with StitchDiva Studios. Yes. You heard right. I had to stop being a stunt stitcher. Because of time and it's limits thereof. Went back to work + family needs = one of Jennifer's projects being made incorrectly. I decided if I did not have enough time to do her work properly then I should not be wasting her time. I knew it was time to step down. And as I read her gentle and kindly note I thought the floor was moving from under my feet and that I was about to be swallowed whole into the fiery pits of h.e. double l. I might venture to say that the previous sentence is also a bit overblown. Though I was mortally freaked out. It was a sweet dream snuffed out by the harsh realities of life. Bummer. And so, hence, my sorrow. And shame. Yes that also. I will add, as each day passes, I feel less unnerved by this episode this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach this walking into a telephone pole in public (of course in public, won't find one in private) this...oh gosh, there I go again. I hate being a drama queen. Sorry about that. Got a little carried away. But for real, through it all, I am glad I put myself out there. It shows that I may have a small tad, a tiny tink, of talent in the knitterly process. Its in the proper finishing of projects that I glaringly fell short. And that I have too much going on for the professional life. Those of you who have it all have my undying sympathy ooo I meant undying admiration! But seriously, to the pros, shock and awe. I stand amazed.

I now find myself thinking about when knitting reintroduced itself to me a few short years ago. I remember how it helped me through a very difficult time. Why did that journey, that obsession, begin? It was the process, my fascination of, and with, the ambidextrous nature of knitting. My knitting quest. It might seem crazy to many but it feels like I've come home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Free Quasi Pattern in Crochet

Little Chemo Cap  

This beanie was made for a young lady, the age of 5, attending our local Head Start Program. She has been taking chemo therapy and her hair is falling out. If you can believe that such a thing could happen! A child for gosh sakes. One afternoon the Early HS teachers asked if I could make something in pink for this child. I had it ready the next morning. It's the same stitch I used for the cozy I posted the other day. Please feel free to use this pattern for a cause that is close to your heart.

A worsted weight yarn and matching crochet hook. I had some pink and white ww acrylic laying dormat and was glad to be able to make good use of it. (you may have thought the same; stash buster!)

I made a chain to go around my grandson's head with a little bit of ease making the count an even number. Mine was 60 sts and about 18 " around. (I love to bottom up a crochet beanie).

Begin: To join this chain without twisting, fold chain in half with bumps out and take the hook out of the last loop. You then pull that last loop through the first bump with the hook. Your yarn should be behind the work toward your right (or left if a southpaw!) with the loop coming forward through the bump. Chain 2 and immediately turn. You'll work back the way you just came, instead of going on forward. For some reason continuing onwards causes a twist.

The Stitch: After the ch 2 make an *extended sc (ex-sc), ch1, extended sc (ex-sc) all in the next bump, then skip next bump* and repeat this * to * around the chain. You can see an explanation of the stitch ex-sc and the one I thought up from it (ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc) in one of the posts below. I then slip stitch around the beginning chain 2.

Continue: Ch 2. In each ch-1 space around work an ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc; sl st around beginning ch-2. Repeat this round until tall enough to begin decreasing. I make these beanies up, on the fly, and so forgot how many inches but I think it's 4 or 4 1/2" in height. To figure for your decreases, take a count of how many stitch motifs you have and decide on your divisibles. My beanie had 30 motifs and 5 x6 =30. I broke my decreases into 5 sections. 

Begin decrease: Ch 2. *(In next ch-1 space work ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc) 5 times; in next ch-1 space work 1 ex-sc only*; repeat * to * around; sl st into space before last ex-sc, sl st around beginning ch-2.
(25 motifs; 5 single ex-sc's)

Next Round: Ch 2. Work ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc in each ch-1 space around, skipping over the single ex-sc's all together; sl st around beg ch-2. (25 motifs)

Next Round: Ch 2. *(In next ch-1 space work ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc) 4 times; in next ch-1 space work 1 ex-sc only*; repeat * to * around; sl st into space before last ex-sc, sl st around beg ch-2. (20 motifs; 5 single ex-sc's)

Next Round: Ch2. Work ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc in each ch-1 space around, skipping over the single ex-sc all together; sl st aournd ch-2. (20 motifs) 

Next Round: Ch2. *(In next ch-1 space work ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc) 3 times; in next ch-1 space work 1 ex-sc only*; repeat * to * around; sl st into space before last ex-sc, sl st around beg ch-2. (15 motifs; 5 single ex-sc's)

Next Round: Ch2. *In next ch-1 space work ex-sc, ch1, ex-sc; yo, pull up a loop from next ch-1 space, yo, pull up a lp from next space before the ex-sc (3 loops on hook), yo and draw through 2 loops, yo, draw thru last 2 lps, ch1*, repeat from * to * around. (5 motifs; 5 dec and ch1's)

Next Round: Ch2. Work an ex-sc in each ch-1 space and at each dec around, sl st around ch-2. (10 ex-sc) 

Next Round: Ch 2. *Pull up a loop from next 2 ex-sc's, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, yo pull thru last 2 loops, 1 lp on hook*; repeat this from * to * around, sl st around ch-2. (5 decrease sts)

If the hole on top of beanie is not small enough for ya work a sl st in each st around and that should do it. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Please let me know if this was understandable! Drop by with a picture of what you made and have a good day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

knitting saves the day!

Took a vaca to New River Gorge. Me, my sis and Gorge-ous, the young man above. No. I do not white water raft nor would I ever. ever. bungy jump. We just meandered the route around the river and came to the falls pictured behind "The Dude". This spot, near the head of the New River, is called Sandstone Falls.

Another view of Sandstone Falls

A view of Sandstone Falls at Overlook across the river from on Rt 20
I've lived in West Virginny for a many years but this is a first time visit for me. I loved it. 

This is Grist Mill north of Sandstone. Way cooler in the flesh. Yes, it was raining.

This past week we camped near by but it was soooo cold in the mountains. So we had to cut camping short. Bummer! Still the trip was great and will remain a fav.
And how did Knitting Save the Day? Here's the deal. We pull into camp, pull tent from bag, pull poles (those crazy bungy rope/cord thingys) from their bag and boom, that new fangled bungy concept snaps! Uh tent poles, no tent!!
Sis says, "Heeey, I am freaking out!"
Course we could have gone to a motel but I thought, well, how about maybe we fix it.
"How the devil are we gonna do that? Look. Look where the sun is!" she says.
Yes, it was close to doing the sunset thing but I say, "let me get my tapestry needle!"
"What are we gonna do, sew it up?" She didn't say it but I know she wanted to. I saw the look. But she was freaking out hence the smart remark ready to leap from her lips. Bungy jump and dance a jig. Course she is very independent. A real tough cookie. Takes no shite from no one. Sick of being bossed around. All that kinda thing. But here we are in a pickle, so to speak, and being strong sometimes is not enough. Imagination may just save the day. I run for it (my needle) and my gold wool (a favorite color), tie yarn to cord, attach needle to yarn, drop needle into pole section and tamp it down. Well damn, it works! Dear nerve racked sister snatches the needle and begins to work. Must of been 15 of those babes needing need'ling. I did not think to take a picture of this intersting concept and, anyhow, the sister may not have stood for it.

I must add that I Always Take Along some kind of yarn craft. Many of my family members find this Very Annoying. But now I feel pretty justifited. Knitting does save the day. Guess knitting can have its uses.

Note: pictures were taked by sis. Thanks for taking me along for this adventure DC!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Free crochet pattern: Headband

Today is 5/5/2010.   Picture is now up so you can see!

I'm gonna put up these directions without a picture. I want to get it on paper while it's in my head but I promise to include a pic soon.

Any left over yarn and matching hook. I like this done up in cotton for summer. Wool, of course, is nice for cooler weather. This pattern is great for using up yarn. And all the young people around me love how it comes out.

Pattern St:
         Front Post dc (fp dc): with a loop on hook, yo, insert hook around next stitch from front to back and to front, yo, pull up loop, (yo, pull through 2 loops on hook) twice. One loop left on hook. Front Post dc made.
         Back Post dc (bp dc): with loop on hook, yo, insert hook around next stitch from back to front and to back, yo, pull up loop, (yo, pull through 2 loops on hook) twice. One loop left on hook. Back Post dc made.
         These moves are made around the post of the dc instead of working the chain on top of each stitch.

       Make a chain to go around your noggin' plus 3 or 4 more, making for an even count. Not tight. Fold the chain in half with the bumps outward. Take hook from last chain and pull loop through first bump, chain 2 loosely and immediately turn. You will work back the way you just came and not forward, as in the usual manner when working in the round. This helps to prevent a twist in your chain. My head usually requires from about 78 to 90 chains depending on the yarn.
      In next bump and in every bump around, work a Double Crochet (dc); slip stitch (sl st) around the beginning chain 2 (ch2).

Next Row: Ch2 loosely, *fp dc in next dc, bp dc in next dc*, repeat this around, sl st around beg ch2.
Next Row: Repeat this row for about 8 or 10 rows or less. Whatever you might like. Or whatever your yarn will yield. A wool headband is nice, wider, for warmth. The one shown above has 5 rows in cotton. I like to finish with a row of reverse sc.
For the edge: after last sl st of last row, ch1, sc in each dc, sl st to beg ch1, reverse sc in each in every other sc around going the other way (also called crab st). Sl st to beg reverse sc. Fasten off, and weave in end.
Attach yarn with a slip knot to any dc on opposite edge. Ch1, sc in same spot, and in each dc around, sl st to beg ch1. Work reverse sc in each in every other sc around, sl st to beg ch1. Fasten off, and weave in end.

This stitch makes the headband kinda chunky. Hope pattern's easy enough to understand! Enjoy and drop me a note on what you think of your headband.

Note:  I put the strikethroughs because I made this headband last night and realized there's not supposed to be a round of single crochet and also because the reverse sc is done in every other stitch instead of each stitch. This makes the headband both snug and stretchy. The one shown is made in Universal's "Cotton Batik Supreme" in the color Farmers Market. I like this color. I had already knit up a beanie in it and had enough left over for the headband. Hope you's like it!

Have a good day.