Friday, December 19, 2008

Looms & Finished Hexagon Blanket

The other day, I had to try out my niece's knitting loom, just to make sure I can do it well enough to show her. (No sense in having Auntie buy her something that her Auntie can't even use!)

I think I'm definitely going to have to pick myself up a set whenever JoAnn's sends off another 50% off coupon in the mail. The only thing about these knitting looms is that they're a pretty large guage so you have to use really chunky yarn, which for a child isn't necessarily a bad thing.

On the flip side, I *finally* finished the Japanese hexagon blanket. Or actually, I cut it off short, because I ran out of a specific color of yarn, and I was almost done with it anyways, plus I didn't want to have to send off for ONE skein of yarn. Consequently, I edged it and can consider myself DONE! Yaay.

Hexagon Blanket (3)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Knitting Looms

For my niece, I picked up Knifty Knitter looms (with JoAnn's 50% off coupon) and yarn as a basic way to start doing some yarn-based stuff. She's going to be 7 next year, and I figure this will get her started, and when she has a bit more dexterity I can teach her how to crochet.

Since I've only seen other people using the looms, I figure I should probably learn how to use it adequately before I teach her how to to do it. YouTube! has a plethora of instructional video (and almost everything else under the sun) about loom knitting, so I picked up the basics.

And, OMG, the stuff you can do with this thing! I might have to pick up a set for myself (after waiting for another JoAnn's 50% coupon)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hexagon Blanket

The crocheting project is nearly half-way done. I've managed to get 4-rows out of the 9-row of hexagons. I don't even need to look at the pattern anymore, as it's rather simple. I still have to refer to the color-chart & layout diagram, every now and then, but I found that there was a simple pattern to the rows if you look at it diagonally, so I just use the blanket to reference which color-scheme is next.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Japanese Crochet Books

The tabby shawl is pretty much done, although I still need to do the fringe at the bottom edges. I stopped it because it was getting too long (as some of the reviewers did say that the actual pattern is way too long for someone under 5'6"). So, as I finished one project, another one starts.

So, this past weekend, I picked up a Japanese crochet book that had a couple of patterns that I was very interested in making. To my delight, the rest of the patterns are also pretty darn good.

Obviously, I can't read Japanese (despite taking two semester-long Japanese classes in college although I can still read *some* basic Kanji including the numbers), but they do use the international crochet standard symbols and they provide a nifty diagram with all the stitches outlined.

Unfortunately, the web was only able to provide some of the basic stitch symbols. There are two symbols that I can't seem to find, but I had to guess what they meant based on the diagram and color change (it was either switch colors here and continue or completely end color and start a new one -- which is a slight semantic difference, but is different in how you treat the stitch). I opted for the latter option, which seems to have worked relatively well. Later, it turned out to be *almost* correct in my interpretation; the symbols actually meant, "cut yarn" and "start yarn" (thank you!)

After a couple of initial attempts at the pattern (and the subsequent frogging of the first few attempts), I finally figured out the best way to approach it. It was pretty easy once I got the hang of it, and have aving been flying through the pattern with relative ease.

The pattern takes 7 different colours of yarn.
Each motif takes 4 different colours.
There are 10 motifs, each with a completely different colour order.
Each group of 10 is arranged in a different order.
The pattern rotates the colours in a specific order such for one group, no one colour touches the same colour nor is the order of colours the same.

I can easily see variations of the pattern in a single motif.

Now, I find myself actually preferring the diagram method with symbols versus the American style of written rows. I'm actually a pretty visual person, so I can easily compare where I am in the pattern to the diagram, which lets me know immediately where I am versus having to somehow *mark* the pattern at which row I have finished.

Friday, October 17, 2008


In the spirit of the upcoming Samhain/Halloween, I made a crocheted "dead" bunny" complete with attached noose. His name is Morton. :-)

Dead Bunny

Monday, September 29, 2008

Making "Yarn"

As I was perusing, I saw an interesting "rag" bag that I thought was kinda nifty. It involved using scrap fabric as yarn.

I have an insane amount of scrap fabric from all my sewing, so I started making "yarn".

It was relatively easy although it takes a bit of time. There's two methods:
1) a quasi- continuous bias method using a tube of fabric. This works for a square-ish piece of fabric that is at least 4-5 inches big.
-- The square fabric is sewn into a tube. Turn right-side out
-- Cut 1/2" squares, stopping about 1" from the seam
-- Cut one of the end "strips" at an angle
-- Cut the rest of the strips diagonally across the seam.
This results in a somewhat continuous strip of fabric.

2) cut out strips for long, skinny pieces of fabric. Cut them either 1-2" depending on the size, then cut those in half until you get 1/2" pieces.

Pieces of "yarn" are strung together by making slits at the end of each piece, then using those to tie / knot the pieces to each other.

From the left over scraps of a duster, I managed to get about 4 yards of yarn. Most of the straps were long skinny pieces (thanks to long pattern panels), but the quasi-continuous method worked well on small square pieces as well.

I also tackled a few pieces from the ren faire outfits I made, and also managed about 2-3 yards of "yarn" from the goldenrod fabric.

Since my scrap bin is somewhat full, it'll take me a bit of time to go through, but it'll be something I'll do while watching videos or somesuch....or if I find myself with time to spare

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tabby Colors

Last night, I was balling up some skeins of yarn for a 'mindless' shawl project that I'll eventually start working on...probably after the lasik, because it doesn't require any counting or anything fancy ..once I finish the first two rows, it's work it until it's long enough.

And, it'll give me something to do when I can't focus on anything else. It's a yarn I bought online at a pretty decent price, and it's a lovely color. However, after closer inspection, I realized there were three diffferent color lots within the 12 skeins sent to me -- 4 skeins in each of the 3 different color lots. DOH! The coloration is every-so-slightly off from each other, but enough to notice. I had told the woman I was purchasing from that this was for a single project, but apparently did not request the same color lot. *sigh*

The coloration is almost the same, but one lot is slightly more "orange" and another a little more "green". But I figure I can interweave each of the 3 color lots so that it shouldn't be all that noticeable?

While I was making the balls, I noticed a cat watching me intently. Normally, the cats don't play with the yarn at all, but I think she was fascinated with the movement of the yarn from the skein.

Then, I noticed, that this particular skein was pretty damn close to said cat's coloring. I held it up to make sure. Ayup...same coloration -- more orangey. Then I took a skein from another color lot and held it up to her sister...and wouldn't you know it? It's the same coloration -- this time, more green undertones.

I took the a skein from the last color lot; it somewhat matches Kayo's coloration (from the fur I have).

DH laughed at me.

It was totally unintentional. I preferred this particular color schema over everything else. Of course, my couch is also of tabby-coloration (the first time the cats sat on the sofa, it was uncanny how well they blended into it). So, obviously, I have some sort of innate preference for tabby colored-things. Oy...go figure.

Thusly, this project will be thus dubbed the "Tabby Shawl".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I've discovered amigurumi in the crocheting world! These things are awesome! I wanted to make something quick & easy for my neice, and I churned out my very first amigurumi in about an hour.